About a month ago one of my clients got ahold of me and told me she had a friend who was pregnant and there were some complications and there was a chance the baby wouldn’t make it, and that she … Continue reading
This woman…. I am blown away by her, this was her 2nd VBA2C, and she rocked it!
It amazes me watching women become a mothers whether its her first child or her 4th, they work so hard and endure so much pain, but when they get that sweet new baby in their arms for the first time a transformation happens and they just radiate pure joy. It is a amazing thing to witness and I am so honored that families invite me in to document one of Gods wonderful miracles. It’s such a important day in their lives, and not something I will ever take for granted. So Dani, Rhett, thank you so much for allowing me to be the one who documented you completing your family.
I have been meaning and wanting to write this blog for awhile now, I just haven’t made the time. Well today another group of amazing individuals left for the Philippines to take over medicine, clothes, and the word of God to people who need it. This is going to be a very lengthy post but please bare with me. And I will start from the beginning:
When I was 17 I went to Falls Creek (church camp) with the church we were attending at the time, I felt like I was being called to missions, and always thought that would be an amazing thing to be able to do. I came home and told my church family I didn’t know where God wanted me to go but I was going to go there. Well…… Fast forward 10 years, alot happen during that time included, getting a job I worked 7 days a week, quit going to church, going to college, falling away from God, many many bad decisions, finding a new church through my brother, surrounding myself with friends who did nothing but help be grow in my walk with God, basically did a 360 degrees turn around.
One of my dearest friends Cassidy’s (also my assistant most of you talk to her) husband Jared was preparing to go for his 5th time to the Philippines in October of 2012. While listening to him tell stories of all the things they have done over there, I started thinking that might be something I might want to do, I thought about alot actually, so I figured the best thing to do would be to pray about it. So I did, I ask God that if it be his will to make this opportunity happen, only if he wanted me there. A week or so after Jared got back he did a presentation about his trip to our church family, while he was talking there were picture in the background. And Jared no offense but some were blurry, or too bright or too dark, I knew in that moment how I could use the gifts God has given me to help further his kingdom, to take pictures!!! I decided then and there I was going to talk to Jared about the possibility of me going with them in the future just needed to figure out how to approach it.
I kid you not after church that night we were all standing around talking and Jared said “Ya know Amanda, Mark and I were talking why we were that he would like to have a photographer come one year and docu….” and I said “YES I’LL GO”
Over the next year I got to meet with Mark and we both felt like it was Gods will for me to be apart of the team, I raised the money for the ticket and expenses, got everything squared away on my end, packed my bag and was ready to go. The one thing I didn’t do was research the Philippines, still to this day I honestly couldn’t tell you on a map where we were, I didn’t look up the customs, or crime rate, of statistics. I wanted to arrive there with an open mind and no preconceived opinions. I wanted to see the Philippines how God wanted me to see the Philippines, and let me tell you, it is one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had in my life.
Even a year later I could right a book about the experiences, and things I learned why I was there.
But I’ll try to keep it short…er….
When we first landed I was just overwhelmed with the scenery of the place it was paradise the blue water and beaches, how in the heck could this place be in need of anything….But then we headed to town and I saw why were were there. Thats where we met up with Ever and Rudy who have help with this mission ever since Marks dad started coming to the Philippines all those years ago. They showed us the bakery they run, the church, the school every one was so welcoming. But out of everything the part that stuck our to me the most was that; the poverty that the people in the Philippines face was gut wrenching, but what blew my mind was how happy they all were with what little they had. Talk about a reality check.
We spent about a week with Rudy and Ever we had a Pastoral conference were pastors from all over came to learn how to help grow their church and tell others about Jesus, we passed out medicine and vitamins that are so common and easy to get here that we take for granted, Dana was the nurse that came with us a she taught a class to the women about hygiene and baby care. I was asked to teach a class about photography, and I had no idea wear to start because most of them just had cell phones like I had when I was in high school with a super grainy picture. And Jared taught the youth. It was a great learning experience, after that first week, we made the long 11 hour trip from the top part of the island to the southern part which was only 200 miles but due to the road conditions, took that long. We arrived to another town to do it all over again.
I have a ton of stories that I want to share from the two weeks there but I really don’t think that you would finish the blog if I did, and they say a picture is worth a thousand words so i’m just going to leave some pictures for you to look at and then at the bottom there is a video, its long 20 minutes but it shows you everything I want to tell you. I am so blessed to have gone on this journey with the amazing group of people that I did. I went over there to teach people, but they are the ones who taught me, my life has been forever change because of my experiences I had, and as cheesy as it sounds I left part of my heart in the Philippine when I came home. The love we were shown, and the joy they have is just remarkable, and they credit it all to God. I pray everyday that i’m able to be Jesus to someone like they were to me.
And if you feel lead to help with this mission be it monetary, medicine, goods, or most importantly prayer please let me know and I’ll get you in contact with someone who can tell you the needs
Dusti was scheduled to be induced Thursday evening at 5:00. I got the phone call Wednesday morning that she had been having contractions throughout the night and was going to the hospital just to get checked and would keep me updated. It wasnt until around 3:30 that they decided to keep her, however Dusti told me not to come yet because her Grandma hadn’t gotten there yet and she was bringing her make-up and curling iron (she was serious haha) I arrived around 4:15 and she had just gotten her antibiotic drip so it would be a few hours before thing would get going, with the hospital only being 8 blocks away I went home and attemped to rested for a bit (but in reality I just paced the floor ) . When I arrived back at 7:30 she was getting her epidural, from that moment on Dusti had a smile on her face.
Dusti was absolutly amazing and everyone was in awe of her. She said she couldn’t really feel the contractions and once the pushing started besides the doctor counting all you could hear was laughter. And maybe its just me but when you scroll down to the pictures when you get to after he (Brouxin) got here she looks like a new person, there is a glow about this woman, well, she looks like a “mom”. Dusti and Cale are going to be amazing parents, and with the group they have around them Brouxin is going to be one spoiled little dude.
I was completely blown away by the support system that Dusti and Cale have, at Midnight they still had a waiting room full of people awaiting little mans arrival, and once he got here is was almost 3:00am before everyone went home. I go into births most times with have only meeting the moms when they come into book their birth story, so when you walk into a room full of faces you don’t know it can be alittle unsettling, but with this group I feel like I have known all of them for years. We laughed, swapped storied, cried happy tears, and shared such a special moment in all their lives when Brouxin joined the world. I am so honored everytime when families ask me to be apart of such a intimate moment, and document it so they can relive and see some of the little things they might have miss out on being caught up in what was going on.
So, as I sit here crying while type (i’m a ball bag). Thank you so much Dusti and Cale for allowing me to be apart of such a momentous moment of your lives, and hope that these pictures are something you hold dear to your heart for years to come.
These two…. Where do I start, these two make me smile. I shot their wedding last May, and you would of thought these two were newlyweds the way they were gushing over eachother. I was also super releaved when I found out when Tori and I started talking and I found out I’m not the only wife that hates Call Of Duty Haha. I honestly can’t wait to see what the future holds for these two. :o)
This is Marley, she is 7 months old I have posted about her on my Facebook before but for the blog crowd have a read about this wonderful little kiddo. Marley was born with a rare condition called extensive lymphatic malformation It affects her entire left leg and top of her right foot and ankle. They are going to kansas city to discuss treatment options sept 9 . Boston Children’s Hospital is helping them as well. She has regular visits to OU Children’s Hospital, her pediatrician’s and physical thearpy. Unfortunately her condition is life long and it’s all about how they can maintain her health so she avoids blood clots, extreme swelling and infection. They are currently raising money to help offset some of the costs of going to get treatment such a gas, hotels, and food. Please share and get the word out and help this sweet family :o) http://www.gofundme.com/7cf7fwHYPERLINK\l “”
This little lady has such a personality and so happy! Her momma got ahold about doing her smash cake session and I just couldn’t wait! She TORE her cake up!!! It went flying everywhere, and she even shared a little bit with sister which just made for better pictures! She is a sweet girl hard to believe she is already turning one.
These Boys… There are no words. I couldn’t help but smile while I was working on their pictures. I always tell parents to let the kids be them selves and they will shine through the photos, and this is the perfect example of that. The wrestled, raced, and played and you can see how much they adore eachother in the pictures. I have never enjoyed going through the blooper photos as I did with these two.
Last week I had some of the cutest little ones meet me down by the river (or creek) and we went fishin’. The only thing we caught were some smiles, laughs, and moss. But the kiddos looked pretty awesome doing it!