Friday, July 20, 2018

Welcome to the 'Hoods'

Yesterday afternoon at 12:30, the Hood Family awaited anxiously for the birth of their daughter.  Britni and Adam have been amazing to allow me to capture some of the most important and amazing chapters in their life so far, so I was humbled to be allowed into this safe-haven with their family.

Britni's sister Jordan along with her daughters ( the two out of the four doting cousins of the new baby) and the loving, proud grandparents of the new baby were some of the familiar faces I have come to know over the years.

The new baby is not lacking any affection, attention and love!  Everyone had a chance to hold the new baby girl and welcome her to the world.

Ashlyn and Drue are the older sisters of the new baby and I absolutely fell in love with the moment Ashlyn brought the not so baby anymore, Drue, to the room.  She couldn't wait to burst through the door to have a peek at her new baby sister.

She is adjusting to not being the 'baby' anymore so we all weren't exactly sure how she would approach her new sibling.

Drue couldn't wait to run over to the bed where her mom and dad were waiting with the new baby.  She was lifted up and put down right beside her.. There was a pause of silence and then the newly assigned big sister let out a big 'AWWWWWWWW' as though she expressed it as a sign of approval.

She even was bold enough to lean forward and 'pet' her!  Watching the toddler interact with her newborn sister was one of the sweetest moments.  She even sang happy birthday to her with the brand new guitar that her mom and dad got for her.

I predict that they will soon become fast friends.

As always, I truly enjoy having the opportunity to see the Hood family.  This was a very special time for so many that I will remember this session for a long while. 

Thank you my friends!!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Final Days

Yesterday afternoon I experienced a very heartfelt, touching photo session with Clay and Elizabeth for their dying dog, Champ.  I know it was extremely hard for these guys to allow themselves to be emotionally vulnerable during this time.. I myself had a very difficult time keeping it together and found myself crying a handful of times throughout our session.
So I would like to personally thank Clay and Elizabeth for allowing me to come into their home during this time to document the final days of their beloved family dog, Champ.

He has been a part of so much for the past decade that it would be hard to look back at the relationship and marriage of Clay and Elizabeth and not remember Champ.

I broke all rules of being a 'professional' and found myself crying off and on throughout the session.. so my apologies.  

The purpose of documenting this time was not to pretend that everything is pretty and perfect.. but to honor and remember Champ while he is here with them and that he is loved always and forever.
Sometimes people want to avoid any grief or sadness but I think more individuals should face these emotions head on.  It connects you to humanity and it is what makes us human. 

I am going to keep all these guys in my thoughts and prayers as they try to embrace, comfort and appreciate the final days of their beloved.  I know that this was not an easy session to face but I do hope that they will remember this time as a time for reflecting and also as a reminder that life is short, it is precious and most importantly.. it is fleeting. 
'Until one has loved an animal, a part of ones soul remains unawakened. - Anatole France

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

New Goals

photo credits to Chris Tickell & Gordon Harvey

With the retirement of weddings it is amazing how much more free time I have.. so much more free time that I actually have discovered running as my hobby!!  As odd as it sounds, yes.. I have decided to give endurance running a go. After-all, I've always hated running but I've always loved the outdoors and trails... and I must admit that it is kind of refreshing to have something completely non-photography related..

I've always made a promise to myself that life should never be about settling or complacency.  When you find yourself bored, content or worse.. just existing.. you should really look deep into your deepest thoughts and think of one of the most scariest, hardest and impossible things that you could never believe you are strong enough to do.. and challenge yourself... and by all means, make sure it's a positive goal.. We don't want anyone scared of drugs and go out and try them as the whole process of this challenge is to be productive, positive and enrich your lifestyle not make it worse.

So if you ever wonder what ever happened to me.. no need to worry.. I am just in the process of challenging my own personal boundaries and limits and can be found most weekends out in the woods somewhere running trails.. as I prepare for a half-marathon this November.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Happy Birthday Drennen!!!

I can't begin to tell you what a happy, loving and carefree baby Drennen is!  He celebrated his very first birthday with a close group of friends and family this past weekend.  Drennen didn't want to miss out on all the fun and was able to hang out with all his special guest for the duration of the afternoon.

Every little detail was perfect.. from the cute popcorn cups and machine to the paper lantern caterpillar.  He had a caterpillar themed birthday and all the decor, including the cake and cupcake were brightly colored with greens, reds and yellow.

All his cousins attended and had just as much fun as the birthday boy did!  After a full day of play and a full tummy.. he could be found unwinding with his beautiful mommy.. A day well done!!!  Drennen is now one!

I would love to thank the Turpin family for allowing me to spend a very important day with them and their loved ones as we celebrated Drennen's 1st Birthday Party!

It was the perfect party to welcome a beautiful  baby boy into what I call 'toddlerhood'.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

412 Public House

 Yesterday afternoon I discovered my new favorite place to hang out in Cullman!  I was assigned to photograph a new business called 412 Public House.  They opened just three months ago and word is already spreading like wildfire about their excellent drink list, yummy food and amazing fun and energetic staff!

These guys showed me some of their best selling items and I also got up close and personal with how those specialty drinks are made.  These guys put in a lot of care and skill for their prep work.

I left feeling inspired and wanting to return with my husband to the 412 Public House.  Cullman has always been my home away from home so I do predict a visit to the lake soon.. and we just might have to make a pit-stop to see these guys.

If you haven't already, check them out!  They are open Tuesday through Sunday and are located downtown Cullman at 412 2nd Ave. SE !!

Tell them Leigh Ann Photography sent you :)