Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Burns Benefit. Blogged.

So, as most of you know, one of my dearest friends lost her husband in a car accident a week and a half ago.

Melissa is finally home, but has a long road ahead, filled with multiple surgeries to fix her badly broken leg, and finally laying her amazing husband to rest this weekend.

My heart continues to ache and yearn to be a comfort to Melissa and her boys. I just continue to pray for comfort, peace and healing. She has an amazing amazing support system in her friends, family and faith, and I know that she'll be okay. One day at a time.

Last Thursday, we held a benefit for the Brent Burns Memorial Fund at a boutique here in Indy. The turnout was, to say the least, amazing. The store was filled with people from all over, coming to show their support for Melissa and the boys. So many talented vendors donated goods and services, it was an overwhelming response to our friend in need.

I was (and still am) humbled, to say the least. What a wonderful community we live in! God is good. All the time.

The grand total for the benefit is somewhere around $4,000....and we're not done yet! Everything that didn't sell at the benefit is being placed on an online auction through, starting next Thursday, April 7. I can't even begin to list the awesomeness that is up for auction! Please check it out!

Here are few pictures I snapped while at the benefit last week. I wish I had time to really take more, but the place was so jam packed with new and old friends, I spent more time chatting, mingling, hugging and shopping! :)

Ashley counting up the money at the end of the night! We were giddy, thankful and overwhelmed when we finally added up the total dollar amount. It's easy to see that this community loves this family.

Ashley (creator of Laynie and Belle ::{hair things}::) is also the genius behind the hyenacart auction, as well as one of Melissa's closest friends. She's been amazing!

Shoppers and friends! Love these girls!

The place was packed. The. entire. time. Amazing.

Amanda, me and Ashley. The three knuckleheads that somehow put this shindig on with just about three days of planning (along with Candance and Brooke, owner of Lottie Dottie...couldn't have done it without them!!!). Amanda and Ashley have been friends of mine for about a year now. We don't hang out on a regular basis, talk on the phone every night or show up to each other's houses unannounced just to hang out. But this event, this loss, has brought me closer to these girls, given me a newfound love for them and their friendships. SO thankful for them. We all love Melissa, Brent and the boys so much, and anything we can do to ease the burden, just a little bit, is what we'll do. And then some. They. are. awesome. xoxo

My sweet nephew charming the shoppers!

A little slap happy by the end of the night, huh, Amanda???

Again, hyenacart auction. Starting Thursday, April 7th. Be there. Or be a total loser.

Just kidding. Kind of.

Miss Delaney Marie, miracle baby.

If you follow me on facebook, you'll recall that my best friend had an emergency c-section, delivering her sweet baby girl eight weeks early.

Well, after three weeks in the NICU, Delaney came home and is just thriving at home with her perfect little family! She's gorgeous and chunking up just wonderfully! She is amazing, and so is her gorgeous momma.

Here are a few pictures from Delaney's newborn session.

Seriously? Who looks this good after having a newborn??? Gorgeous momma, my best friend, and newborn assistant for the day. :)

Delaney did *not* particularly like being messed with!
But, she did rock a few of my favorite newborn poses!

one of my favorites!

precious face!

sibling love. blogged.

A client of mine contacted me a few weeks ago, asking if I could squeeze in a mini-session for her sister's children while they were visiting from Illinois.

Adorable kids. I'm insanely jealous of Miss A's perfectly perfect hair. And her baby brother is the cutest! Enjoy this sneak peek. :)

What a face! Don't you just wanna squeeeeeze him???

Told ya! perfect hair. Just perfect!

I love sneaking in photos of babies with their lovies. These are the photos we don't capture enough, and I love to have them to look back on years down the road.

gettin' down with my creative side!

so. I am *not* the most computer saavy person in the world. Like, at all. But, while my kiddos are napping, I decided to mess around with my super blahhhh blog, and tried to spruce it up a bit. Whaddya think? I love it so far!

Just thought I'd do a quickie blog entry ( kiddo has already woken up), sharing a few of my favorite images from a photo shoot with Laura from lillypie.accessories. She just debuted her spring line of goodies, and I must say, she's totally outdone herself! lovelovelove.

not. I repeat. *not* easy to coordinate two one-year-olds and a three year old who feels led to mother both of the said one-year-olds.

So, I get by with a little help from my friends. :)

Huge thanks to my friends, Bethany and Laura (Miss Lillypie's momma herself) and their two adorable daughters for spending the afternoon with me! 

Ohhhh, Lilly. You. are. so. cute.

My gorgeous girl!

Harper giving Lilly some love.

Miss Corrinne. I kinda sorta love her. Lots. Her momma and I go waaay back, and she's soon to be a big seester! Corrinne's baby brother/sister's newborn pictures coming to a blog near you in October!

I cannot wait for spring to officially be here! We got lucky for this shoot, it was 74 and sunny. Currently? 37 and snowing. Yeah. Gotta love Indiana.

Enjoy the rest of your week, and stay warm!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Brent Burns Memorial Fund Benefit

I can't put into words how touched I've been with the amazing outpouring of love and prayer for the Hock and Burns families. Thank you just doesn't seem to do it justice, but thank you thank you ten times over.

We are having a benefit at Lottie Dottie Boutique in Greenwood, Indiana this Thursday from 6-8 pm. I'm overwhelmed with the amazing vendors, photographers and others that are offering up goods and services to be purchased to go directly to the Brent Burns Memorial Fund.

Here are the vendors that I know of so far that will be there Thursday:

-Lottie Dottie Boutique
-Bowlicious Babies
-Laynie and Belle: Hair Things
-The Girls in Grey
-Lemongrass Photography
-Holly Von Buchler Photography
-Rachel Vanoven Photography
-Sarah-Beth Photography
-HB Photography
-Dr. Dana Fehr of Westwood Hospital for Animals is offering an Annual Wellness Exam for your dog or cat in Brownsburg. Package includes physical exam, all vaccinations needed, internal parasite exam (fecal), heartworm test (dogs) and nail trim. $175 value for $100.
-Interface Indy is offering Latisse, Botox, Juvederm, and other amazing skin care goodies for purchase.
-Twirl Boutique
-Homemade Gourmet
-Fairytales Custom Cakery
-The Organic Bloom
-Strung by Color
-Design Lines Hair Salon
-Pure Ambiance Salon
-Amanda Phipps Photography
-Amanda Allton Photography
-StarryEyes Photography and Design
-Angie English- Photography
-Breezybug Boutique
-Amy Phipps Photography
-Stella and Dot jewelry
-Mary Kay Cosmetics

and honestly, there are more that I don't even know about! I. am. amazed. To say the least.

Anything that does not sell on Thursday will be organized into an online auction with all proceeds going to the family as well. We are hoping for a nationwide group of amazing vendors and services to be offered for the family, and I think the online auction will be a perfect outlet for that.

If you or anyone you know may be interested in offering goods or services for the online auction, please email me at or Ashley Stamper at

If you feel led to make a monetary donation, here is the information for that as well:

Donations may be made by the following:

1) In person at any 5/3 Bank branch. Account number is 7654963680. (You need to have that account number available.)

2) By Mail.

...Brent Burns Memorial Fund

c/o Josh DeArmitt

720 Executive Park Drive, Suite 1600

Greenwood, IN 46143

3) Via PayPal to

Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, or you may call Josh DeArmitt at 317.442.6509.

Again. I am *so* touched by the love you all are showing to my friend and her family.

THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

don't wait. please don't wait, make excuses, or put it off.

This is difficult to write. My heart is aching, I'm on my last pair of contacts, Maddox broke my glasses in half last week, so I'm sitting here with blurry, cloudy contacts from crying nonstop for the past 24 hours, and a wounded heart.

Last night at 11 pm, my husband received a call on his cell phone from a number we didn't recognize. The voice mail sounded odd, so he called back. It was the coroner from Macon County, Georgia. He had found a check in my friend's purse from me, with obviously our contact information. He was calling to try to get in contact with my friend Melissa's next of kin. 

That was just the start of the nightmare.

He then went on to tell me that Melissa, her husband Brent, and their two boys (ages 5 and 2), were in an accident on their way to Florida for spring break. Brent was killed, Melissa was in critical condition, but the boys were miraculously unharmed.

My head was spinning, my hands shaking so badly I could barely write the information down legibly on a piece of scrap paper I found in our junk drawer.  My husband had to call Melissa's parents to notify them, while I'm sitting in disbelief on the kitchen floor.

My friend, at age 29, is now a widow.

My heart is breaking, I can't sleep, can't eat, can't concentrate, can't hug my kids enough. I can't stop watching my husband love on our kids, play with our kids, just be with our kids. I'm soaking it all in, feeling grateful, sad, angry, tired, frustrated, defeated and mourning all at the same time.

I hate the phrase "it's not fair." But, this? This. is not fair. I don't understand why God called Brent home before we all felt ready. I don't know why those boys lost their daddy, and Melissa lost her husband. I don't know why. I just keep praying for peace, comfort, guidance and wisdom in the physicians taking care of Melissa, and comfort and love to surround those young boys in this time of loss. There are no words.

I've had a lot of time to sit, think, cry, reflect, and pray tonight. And my mind started wandering to photography.


Photography puts emotions into tangible form. They are constant reminders of our families, friends, the ones we love, the things we do, who we are. They remind us of our baby's first smiles, first steps, our first kiss as a married couple, first day of school. They are such a wonderful wonderful way of capturing life as it happens. A gift.

I hear all the time people say, "Oh, I want to wait until I lose these last 15 pounds of baby weight." "Oh, I want to wait until the baby is old enough to smile." "Oh, I want to wait until my husband gets his hair cut, finally cuts his beard, he wants to lose some weight." "I want to wait until spring/summer/fall/winter." "I want to wait until a Saturday."

I want to wait...I want to wait...I want to wait.

Please. Don't wait.

Don't wait, because you never know when life throws us a curveball, and our path is forever changed. 

Please, embrace the extra 15 pounds, the baby that isn't quite smiling on demand, the husband who has an annoying beard he won't shave, the kiddo with a bad haircut, the "wrong" day/time/season.

Life is happening. This second. Don't wait. Live every day as it's your last. Because we never know when life on this earth is over. It can be over in an instant, a second, a nanosecond.

Tell those you love that you love them. Take pictures, write things down, hug, laugh often, don't go to bed angry. Smile. Hope. Pray. Every day.

Don't wait to take pictures of your family, and use silly little reasons that don't matter in the end as an excuse.

Capture life. As it is. And embrace it.

I thank you all so much for continuing to pray for Melissa and her boys, Dylan and Colton. And also for their families, who are in a nightmare of their own. I pray that God's will be done. I try to remember that God did spare the lives of Melissa and her sons, that I should be forever thankful for that. I pray for strength for the Burns and Hock families. For comfort, for peace, and that they feel everyone's arms around them, loving them, praying for them, comforting them in this time.

This is Brent, Melissa, Colton and Dylan. Please continue praying for Melissa and the boys, for they are about to face the hardest year of their lives.

Thanks so much for reading. For being an ear, a shoulder to cry on.