Buddy the Horse and the Sines Family Farm {Springfield Illinois Photographer}

Buddy the horse has been an exciting addition to the Sines family. Last winter they worked hard to fence in their pasture and turn their existing chicken coop into a barn. They had friends who needed to find a new home for Buddy and the three pigmy goats that have been his life companions. Lindsay and Scot have always wanted a farm, so this was the perfect opportunity. Since then, Lilli has been taking riding lessons with Buddy and it was fun to watch her with him. Their youngest son, Zeke was able to sit on Buddy for the first time while I was there and his reaction was priceless! In some ways its hard to remember what their place was like without the farm because they are naturals with all that goes into taking care of the animals and maintaining everything.

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Rodden Family Session: Springfield Illinois Photographer

This family is FUN! My job was easy because they let their individual personalities shine. I can’t believe how well the outfits each girl wore spoke to who they are and still complimented each other. Plus I love all the colors. Nothing makes me happier as a photographer to capture people just as they are! We met through a small group at our church, so I had fun talking to them and getting to know them better throughout the session. Thanks for such a fun evening, Rodden family!rodden-145-lowresrodden-270-lowresrodden-113-lowresrodden-136-lowresrodden-262-lowres32rodden-207-lowres1rodden-183-lowresrodden-196-lowres4rodden-246-lowresrodden-130-lowresrodden-385-lowres

Happy 4th Birthday, Nolan!

Oh man, I can’t believe this kid is turning 4!  His third year of life, he was known for wearing his dinosaur costume everywhere and this year is one full of pajamas. I have to pin him down to get him into actual clothes, so most days he is in pajamas. I have learned to choose my battles when it comes to this boy. These pictures were taken a month ago and he is actually wearing four different pajama shirts. He kept pulling out pajamas he liked and couldn’t choose just one, so he just put one on top of another. And yes, we went to the library dressed liked this. The Stow Library is his absolute favorite place on earth because of the animal puppets they let you check out.

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To the outside world he is extremely shy, quiet and probably doesn’t seem to have much of a voice. Those that he is close to and loves know him to have an ear piercing, high pitched squeal when he gets excited and he can talk so fast you can barely tell what he is saying. He is my stubborn boy, who keeps me on my toes, but snuggles me all day long.  He is a lover of all things animals and sings around the house whenever we are home.  I can’t wait to see what this next year in the life of Nolan holds.  He is an extraordinary adventure I am so thankful to be a part of.  Happy 4th Birthday, Nolan Maxwell Claytor!  You are loved.

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Boyhood

A month or so ago my husband and I watched the movie Boyhood. All three hours of it. The movie followed a boy growing up during a span of 12 years. While it was a fictional movie, it was loosely influenced by the director’s life. The movie was sad to me. The boy’s mom was in and out of bad relationships.  The kids were drug through every one of them and one turned out to be very abusive. The one thing that stuck out to me the most during this movie was the lack of joy from just about every character. At the end when the boy goes off to college, the mother melts down questioning what the whole purpose of her life was. I felt her heart in that moment. I know when I’m faced with the reality of an empty nest it will be tough, but I also pray that my heart will be full and that I can smile knowing I did one of the most important jobs…raising happy individuals who will contribute something special to this world.

All of this made me think about our children and how quickly life will pass us by. These moments at home with them seem like such long, exhausting days at times, but in no time we will be sitting alone at home wanting those days back.

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Now that I’m in the slowest season for photography, I have been so excited to sit and just play with Nolan while Elise is at school.  And some days he actually lets me take pictures of him.  Most days of the week Nolan is in pajamas because he refuses to get dressed, but one day he asked to wear stripes so he could be a tiger.  He specifically wanted to be a blue tiger…blue is his favorite color.

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Watching him run around the circle in our house or watching him morph into whatever character he chooses to be puts a smile on my face.

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Looking at these pictures from the last couple of months reminds me to really enjoy each stage of my children’s life.  I love these pictures of Nolan waiting for Elise to get home from school   because I know that someday both children will be off on their own exploring this big world and I will be the one standing alone behind the door waiting…pining.

Go hug your kids, snuggle under a blanket and know these moments don’t last forever.  Savor them:)

Stay warm,

Jen