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Last weekend I, hands down, had one of the best Sunday’s of my life. OK, technically my best friend had the best Sunday of her life but I was able to be a part of it and that is something I will always cherish. This girl. She is my soul sister. We have been best friends since we were 12 years old. There’s no mountain I wouldn’t climb for this woman. We share everything and hold nothing back. So, I meet Rob, and I instantly knew he was the one I would be sharing my best friend with and I am 100% OK with it. He’s the one. I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect man for her. The love they share can’t be put into words but you can see and feel it in every picture I took of them.

I’m sure you’re ready for the backstory. Anyone who knows Kayla knows that she is impossible to trick. BUT WE DID IT ROB!! I get a message and I squealed so loud the neighbors heard.IMG_5081

I called and he said “I need you partner. I got a ring the other day. I want you to make her think she’s just going out to get some pictures done. I want to ask her at my grandma’s farm. Can ya do it?” YOU BETCHA BUDDY! He chuckled and said “Aight, let’s do this”. I told Rob about the endless talks she and I have had and I asked him if I could make a board for them to hold after he popped the question. IF I was even able to sneak it without her seeing. Rob is the kind of guy that when he speaks, you know it’s important and straight to the point. We would laugh and talk about how we thought he would propose. We came up with one perfect, fitting phrase: “Ya Wanna”?

ANYWAYS back to the story; I’ve been begging Kayla to take pictures for months so that I could update my website so when I bugged her about it yet again, she didn’t think much of it. She even asked me: “Rob’s off that day would you mind taking a few pictures of us since I don’t have any good ones?” Of course I said “Yeah he can come if he helps carry my stuff, does he know any good places? I want to try a new location”.

And that’s the end of that. She had no clue. She and Rob were sitting on the quilt by the pond and she was looking at the camera smiling. He held the ring out. She was still looking at the camera smiling, then she looked at Rob for a second then back at me. She immediately did a double take. She realized he was holding a ring. “Wait, WHAT!?” Rob said “You want to marry me babe?” and I really don’t need to tell the rest of the story because the pictures say it all.

I love you both. I can’t wait to celebrate your love for each other. And I love the man that let me be a part of my best friends special day. Now sit back, grab a tissue and hit play on that music button!

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Yes, this is my art and photography site/blog but I’m also a mother and I figured once in a while it would be nice to share a little of my personal life. My daughter has therapy 4 times a week each one at a different location and at different times. She has cerebral palsy caused by the doctor who delivered her at birth. Throw in doctor appointments, constant paperwork, and dance therapy in the fall and there is barely any time for fun “normal” things let alone for me to even catch my breath until the weekend finally arrives. Some days are hard for me and I find myself in a funk. On these days I try to imagine myself as a super mom. Literally. I try to imagine myself in a chic pair of yoga pants (ha ha), hair in a bun, with a cape around my shoulders flapping heroically behind me while I kick some butt. But lets be real: as exhausted as I am some days the tip of the hat goes to my daughter.

Here are my 5 reasons she’s already a better adult than I am:

1. She works harder than I do. 

Yea, I do the paperwork, I’m the cheerleader, the chauffeur, the maid and the cook but could I do all that with two leg restraints on? NO. Could I have someone correcting everything my body does that I couldn’t control? Could I relearn how to use my entire left side and do it without feeling bad for myself or being resentful? Nope. No amount of work I do could ever match the drive and determination she has to gain control of her own body. unnamed2. She knows she’s different. And she doesn’t care.  

It wasn’t until I was an adult that I had complete confidence in myself and knew who I was and how strong of a woman I am. She is 3 years old and has more strength and (pardon my language) balls than half of the adults I know now. A child from a daycare class came up to Ava during therapy and it was a hard day for her because she had to wear two leg restraints that day and asked her “What’s wrong with you?”. Of course my first instinct was to swoop in and defend her but I waited. I knew she didn’t need my help. She looked at the other girl and said: “I’m a super hero”. Then asked the girl how her day was. My child can handle her own and my heart couldn’t be more filled with pride. IMG_7518

3. She never makes me feel guilty.

As a parent I never feel like I’ve done enough for my child. Every day feels like work. Routine. Wake up, Give her seizure medicine, eat, put on leg brace, hand glove, go to therapy, nap, do more therapy at home, work if I can and then it’s bed time. She’ll watch T.V. Always Disney channel. She see’s the castle and loses her breath. “Mom, I want to see it”. I’m too busy working around our schedule and worrying about money to remember to have fun. Or to even take a break. Or to even afford the break she deserves. She loves the days when we can just go to Chikfila and share a milkshake. Or run around in Target. Things I don’t consider fun; she turns them into a party and for that enthusiasm I am grateful. I feel like a hero grocery shopping. She makes the small things big things. IMG_1866

4. She “let’s things go”

I’ve been working on a waiver for several months trying to get her assistance to pay for therapy. I’ve been denied 4 times. It stresses me out. It keeps me up at night. She is terrified of only 2 things she has to go through and after she’s done she moves on. Once a week she has to have one eye dilated because her surgery in December didn’t work. The summer sun hurts her eye so bad she can barely see outside or play but does she complain? NO. Every 4 months I have to hold her down so the nurse won’t strap her down because she gets Botox. A needle longer than my pointer finger. I want to cry and some nights after she’s asleep, I do. Shots in her thumb, her arm, her leg. Just to help her move better. She cries and screams. Then she’s done. Nothing. And doesn’t complain. She handles it like a grown man. I’m in awe and jealous of her strength. unnamed (6)

5. She sees NO FLAWS. 

At my age and being a full time mom it’s hard for me to make friends. For Ava? Everyone is a friend. She sees no boundaries. No handicaps. She compliments everything about you from your cool Frozen book bag to the wheels on your wheelchair. If a child can’t talk, she’ll sit by them and read to them (and she can’t even read yet). Have a leg brace? She’ll gladly show you hers and relish every thing you two have in common (She’s a mini Taylor Swift for sure) Why can’t we as adults be like this?unnamed (2)

I’m inspired by my child and the life we live together. My biggest fear is that I struggle at times to give and provide her with the things she needs and deserves. And so the reason this ties into what I do is because not only am I inspired by her, I do everything I do FOR her. So when you decide to work with me, you are also working for her. Every dime I make goes towards giving my child a better life and a better chance at having what everyone wants: just to be like everyone else. To be a kid. A kid who gets to play like every other kid. That is my wish for her. And with her being the amazing person she is I know she can do anything. She’s proved every doctor wrong this far. Why stop now?

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ARTSALE

I’m pretty excited today because..IT’S MY FIRST BLOG POST! And any reason is a good reason to make more art so I’ve decided to celebrate my new website and first blog post by having a sale on my custom paintings! I made my first small family painting last year for myself to hang in the foyer of our house. It was our first time buying a house and I was feeling so nostalgic that I had to make the first thing I would see when I came home something personal. And nothing makes a house a home like family. Every time we had visitors someone would comment on how cute they thought it was and thats when I started making them for other people. I love each and every little family painting I’ve made and I love seeing how different each one is. So this summer I’m marking down my family paintings to $25 instead of $35. The painting is 6″x9″ and done in acrylic paint.

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Also, today I painted a small selfie for myself and I love it so much I had to share! If anyone is interested in having something like this made let me know! I would love to make another!

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More art posts are definitely on the way because I will be teaming up and collaborating with my friend Marsha from Blackbird Hand Lettering + Handmades within a week or so and we will be turning out some awesome new prints combining our hand calligraphy and art skills! I can’t wait!

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