Monday, November 20, 2017

Day 5 Post Adoption

It hasn't even been a week since Millie was officially adopted into our family and my husband and I both can see an amazing transformation.  It is almost as if she knows! 

Millie is confident with exploring new areas, she is showing more of a sense of curiosity than she is fear.  She walks up to people to smell them and see what they are about... and I have seen her ask strangers to be petted... and of course, they reach down to do so!

I have finally heard her speak!  Her voice is an amazingly, fierce and powerful bark that sounds like a low rumble.  This past week she heard a strange noise coming from the back porch. It concerned her, so she ran to the door and gave it one loud bark. I went to check and it appears that the wind had blown over some boxes.  I nodded in approval for Millie's diligence and observance.. she seemed to puff up in a proud manner..

Prior to adoption, I had hoped she would grow to love the outdoors, hiking, adventure, people and being around social situations. I think it is safe to say, she LOVES being on the go.  I can't even put my shoes on or grab her leash without her jumping up and down from excitement.

She has learned how to do about almost everything except jump in a car.  I find it comical to be seen lifting this big ol' 60lb of muscle into a little car.. but I will do what I have to do until she feels comfortable doing this on her own time.

Millie does insist that she is a lap dog and I often endure my leg falling asleep from her weight in the evening time when we all watch television.. She is one of the most affectionate dogs I have known.. maybe she is making up for lost time?

This week is a great week to remind myself how thankful I am.. I am thankful for taking a chance.. (I can remember hesitating on calling about Millie as she was not available for adoption at the time.) I am also thankful for the staff at the GBHS that work day in and day out caring for animals such as Millie, in hopes they too will one day find a home.  I am thankful for my husband and family for being supportive of my decision to take on another dog and responsibility.  With their support, it made me caring for her needs all the more easier. I am thankful for that woman who found her and surrendered her that day to the Humane Society, in hopes she would have a better life.

It wouldn't and couldn't have worked if all of these things did not come into play as it isn't just one person who makes a difference.. but rather all of us!

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Campbell Family Mini

Meet the latest family fresh from Dallas, Texas!!  I would personally like to welcome these guys to Alabama and hope that the southern hospitality has not disappointed!  The Campbell family has been in Birmingham for roughly a year now.  Luke and Ian are soooooo adorable!  I loved their cute little shirts.. Luke's shirt said DUDE and Ian was THE MAN!  They had so much personality, that the shirts seemed to fit each one perfectly!

I was very happy to hear from Jennifer and was thrilled to put her and her family on the books for my annual mini-sessions.  It's always a great warm up for those who book me for the first time.  Short and sweet and done in no time!

It didn't take long to grab some cute shots of these guys anyways.. They already looked like professionals.

Day 113

After 113 days of nurture, encouragement, coaxing and loving.. I am proud to announce that Millie Vanilli is officially adopted into our home just in time for the holiday season.  We couldn't have been happier with how helpful the staff at the GBHS were.  They went above and beyond helping us.. making sure she was taken care of, had everything she needed to thrive and most importantly.. they helped us save and rescue this now hopeful and happy pup.

Millie has her forever home and as I reflect on the past several months, I am so happy to know that we were the ones that were there to nurture her, foster her, show her that life can be fun and enjoyed, that she doesn't have to be scared of everything and that there is a great big world full of interesting things waiting to be discovered. This whole healing process made the adoption even more rewarding!

Since we've been caring for her, there is a lot that she seems to have experienced for the first time.  She didn't know what toys were and now I can't get her to stop playing.

She also discovered what it's like to have friends.. She loves when we have doggie days out and go hiking and exploring..

Speaking about exploring.. she got to experience the beach this summer.  There she got to feel the sand beneath her paws, the ocean breeze and see the infinite ocean for the first time.

She has gotten to see so many wonderful things that she probably never knew existed.. From the sand of Gulf Shores to the highest point in Alabama.  She feels like she's on top of the world!

Most importantly.. out of all these experiences, I feel the most rewarding is knowing that she knows she has a place to call her own.  She no longer feels the need to sleep in a tense, tight ball in a stressed manner.. She can stretch out, roll on her back and pass out comfortably in her own home, knowing she is safe.

If you are ever considering getting a dog.. I only hope that your experience can be as half as rewarding as mine has been.  Adopt don't shop.  Save a life and make a difference.  It not only changes your world but it means the world to the dog you saved.  Pay it forward!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Stratton's Mini Session

I loved meeting Stratton for the very first time this past weekend! We decided to add a little bit of 'festive' undertones to the photos and used wild growing evergreens as our backdrop.  We were, after all, having to deal with harsh mid-day sun.. so they provided just enough shade to keep all the squints and racoon eyes at bay.

He is just now 5 months and is preparing to have his first Christmas with mom and dad.. to which, I know, can't wait to celebrate this time of year and pass down traditions as well as start new ones!

I can't wait to see which image they choose for their Christmas card.. as who wouldn't want to send out an adorable family card with this cutie?!?

Rogers Family

I can't begin to tell you how happy I am to have these guys back in the Birmingham area!!!  I am sure that Allison's friends and family are in agreeance too!!  These guys have been in Huntsville and Cullman over the handful of years and I am thankful that the Rogers have been forever faithful with our portrait gatherings.

It's been so rewarding to see Carter grow into a handsome young man and experience all the joys of expecting Amelia and the arrival of her.

It has been a while since I last saw them so when we met up.. I couldn't believe the curls on that baby girl!!  She was so full of joy and personality, trying to keep up with her big brother was challenging.. but she hung in there!

Welcome back to the magic city!

The Howell Family

I love seeing the Howell family!  Every time we meet for our session, Ms. Eloise seems to be a little bit bigger and her hair just a little bit longer!  My goodness, she is a cutie and full of sass too!  She has adorable curls and big blue eyes that can melt any heart..

She will soon have some competition though.. as her little sis will be arriving in February.  I can't wait to see her become a big sister!  A girl's first best friend!!

It was great seeing these guys again before the holiday rush begins.  I enjoyed our little outdoor adventure and it seems that Eloise enjoyed the creek.  She's a beauty and I have loved capturing her first year and beyond. 

She is over the hippopotamus song now and has moved on to twinkle twinkle little star.. so I will need to practice up on my singing when I see her next time.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Day 111

We are on the final stretch of Millie's foster-to-adopt program!  The anticipation of her belonging to us for good has me so excited!  This should be the BIG week we've been waiting for over the past several months..

It really has been a very rewarding process for me.  Seeing the baby steps she took to becoming a confident, playful and loving pup.

She went to have her surgery to be spayed six days ago.  Millie had to stay over night for observation at the clinic.  That was the longest night that I've had in a while.  We had all grown so accustomed to her being with us that the house seemed vacant.  She seems to have become the final piece to our puzzle... where it just makes more sense to have her with us.

The following morning, I couldn't wait to get up and go get her.  We stopped and bought her a stuffed toy and waited in the lobby for the staff to retrieve her.  They returned a few minutes later with no Millie.. I became a little anxious and that is when they informed me that she has refused to walk for anyone and they wanted me to walk back there to see if she would move.

I followed the vet tech to the back and that is when I saw her... they had her kennel all nice with food and blankets and a bed.. all the nice sentiments of our home.. but her head remained down.. until she heard my voice.  Oh, that was the best feeling in the world when I saw her jump up on her feet and ready to walk out. 

In a way, maybe this was her validation she needed from us to know that she is forever ours.  We came back for her and that is all the proof she needed to have.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Plaia Family

What a sweet surprise to hear from the Plaia family this year.  I met Annette and Tony just over a year ago for Ariana's newborn session. She was just a couple of weeks old.. I had to dig through my archives to see for myself the comparison.  My goodness, a lot can happen in 15 months as she is a full spirited, happy go lucky, walking toddler who had such a contagious sweet smile.

Her big brother Camden is just as cute as I remember!  He is really into reptiles and brought his stuffed snake along.  Which made the perfect necklace for me during our session!

We couldn't of asked for a prettier morning to start the day.. The time change had us feeling it was much later than it was and I am just now adjusting to not getting up too early.

This was our first family session to have for the upcoming holiday season and I am so happy that they remembered to call on me!

It was a great reunion and I enjoyed catching up with Annette.

Shoultz Family

I have been photographing the Shoultz family now for about 3 years for their annual family photo session.  I've loved each session as each time offers a newness with Jack as he grows up! 

Their family dog Bailey has been there from day one, so it's been really sweet getting to know her over the years too. 

This year, since I've started PIT-STOP photos.. the Shoultz family decided to donate to the cause on Bailey's behalf.  I am always so honored to see people reaching out to help other animals in need.

This made my day!

Of course, we can't forget the adorable photos of Jack.  He is such a happy boy.  I love how his laughter shines through on camera.

This was a great session for a great cause!  Thanks so much!!