Noise and Boys

I have been meaning to take some pictures of one of my truest most devoted friends. She’s been with me since my single years. She’s beautiful and loving and wants very little in life.

I have little boys. When I focus my attention on something not them, they instantly create diversion tactics to pull me back.

My littlest one saw me sitting down with my girl and came rushing over to pet her ear. She didn’t mind.

That left the oldest one to cause the attention-grabbing diversion. Before long, things like this were happening.

The backyard was full of laughing and playful noise. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

A Special Place of Their Own

Kayla and Matt were married in a serene, secluded place where no other two have ever before been married.

Their special place is a location they will be close to for years to come.

They were married on a dock on their own private pond surrounded by friends and family.

Kayla and Matt also shared their special day with this most handsome little fella.

Kayla told me she loves dramatic skies. The day was a bit chilly and the threat of rain lasted throughout the afternoon. But, the sky was painted with clouds providing just the right amount of drama.

One thing that struck me about the two of them was that they were always having fun. When I looked through their pictures of the day, they were laughing in many of the pictures. Kayla’s laugh was infectious.

The entire group was fun to work with and kept the day feeling warm though the temperatures were on the cool side.

Once the wedding was over, the party continued at the Robin’s Nest in Battle Creek.

Their little sweetheart was there waiting for them and looking forward to a snuggle with his mom.

Congratulations Kayla and Matt! May laughter fill your days together. To view the rest of the online album, go here.

Clowning Around

I am not really a huge fan of clowns. I don’t dislike them, but I don’t necessarily love them either. I am impartial.

Following a recent vacation to Disney World and a visit to the circus, my boys have decided that clowns are cool. I have heard more than once over the past year that they want to be actual clowns.

As a parent, I feel I must encourage my children to grasp their dreams, hold onto them tightly, and work toward making them a reality.

Becoming a clown isn’t as difficult a goal as, say, becoming a physicist. So, I looked into available resources for costumes and activities that would support clown appearances and this is what I came up with.

A local parade.

The boys loved it though I was slightly uncomfortable. I’m not sure I’ll be wearing the outfit again, ever. But, the pictures will linger on and the boys can add “clowning” to their list of accomplishments.

These clowns I love.

Twisted Metal, Broken Concrete

It’s not a secret that materials such as metal and concrete are durable and nothing less than difficult to bend or manipulate.

In this building, it seems almost commonplace. The presence of disconnected pipes and large, gaping holes in walls and floors is the norm here.

Doors that lead to nowhere now were once important passageways–part of progress.

Gears that turned other gears that powered large machines now stand still connected to nothing.

Large powerhouses once responsible for electric life, now sit completely idle.

Papers with words that were once typed and later read by many document moments of the past that no longer matter.

The needles on broken gauges measure dust that has collected on their faces.

The Road to Independence

My little boy is moving quickly down the winding road to independence. He’s been doing it since he was born.

Yes, he occasionally needs his mom to help him on his journey. I hold those moments close to my heart and hopefully will be able to pull them out as memories when the day comes that he does become an independent, grown man.

It started when he took his first breath of air without my help. Before long, he was crawling. Then walking. Followed quickly by running away from me toward some unknown future. He’s already learned so many tools to help him work through his five and a half years of life–his ABCs, his numbers and colors and shapes.

This day he crossed over to a new chapter in his life.

He has gone off to school.

I was filled with pride, worries and many hopes as I stood on the side of the road watching him ride away down that unavoidable road to his future.

More Pictures from a Forgotten Place

My thoughts are very scattered today. I have a lot on my mind. Sometimes, I feel words are more valuable than anything tangible. Other times, I feel words simply get in the way. I think I have consumed too many thoughts and had too many long, mind-consuming conversations today. So, I will share more pictures of the paper mill without any more…


What Once Was

I don’t pretend to be an accurate historian, but I do absolutely love many old things. I am very fond of antique shops and have picked up some interesting things over the years–some valuable, most just unique. I also love old dilapidated buildings and houses with history.

This particular place, a paper mill in its day, is nothing now but a shell of what was once a noisy, hot, metallic and brick sort of place. It will soon be knocked down and I am very thankful that I was allowed the opportunity to capture some images of what it looks like today after all of its people, its sounds, and its sweat have been removed.

Walking through the dust and broken glass, one can almost imagine the near-deafening sounds of a place so grand. Building after building was erected. Someone placed each brick that made up the walls. Someone tightened large bolts into place to hold pipes. Someone was responsible for the pull of electricity through the factory’s veins.

Although the place is lifeless today, it was once a booming and fast paced place full of dangers and the lives of hard-working men raising families with sweat and dedication. Lives were lived out within it’s walls.

As I walked along, the silence within the walls of the buildings was quickly filled by my footsteps and I could hear each of my breaths as though they were magnified. Each step, each breath, each thought felt like it was the cadence of a familiar but faraway song playing just out of reach of reality.

I am drawn to places like these. The space is so massive and the details are so interesting, there will be more posts to follow.

A Quiet Location for Two

I met Kim and Shawn at a bridal expo. I met hundreds of people that day, but I remembered Kim and Shawn. They were glowing with happiness and I really felt like I connected with them right away. They both struck me as very happy and easy-going people.

Before the big day, they went out in search of a great photo location. I had some suggestions of parks or downtown areas in Battle Creek that would be great for pictures. They liked my ideas, but went out for a drive and found this place.

I instantly understood why they had chosen their location which was tucked away in the middle of downtown. There was greenery everywhere. The place was lush and beautiful and perfectly matched the two of them.

I found out from Shawn’s father later on that he is into photography as well and I think they have an eye for location. He suggested this pose.

The wedding party was stunning and very fun to work with.

I loved the vines they had discovered.

And her colors of blue and white were very classy.

After pictures were done we headed off to the Robin’s Nest for some fun, great food and dancing.

Kim and Shawn, I hope you have many smiles and much happiness throughout your years together. The rest of Kim and Shawn’s online presentation is available here.

The Games We Play

My five-year-old loves to play games. Not mind games, but board games. I think he really just likes to win.

Personally, I think it’s about the journey, not so much the end.

It’s about the time spent together on cool days sitting outside on the patio concentrating on colors and counting spaces. It’s about moments without schedules. It’s also about those seemingly small insignificant times that will someday be fond memories.

For right now, at age five, it is all about winning. Someday, when he thinks back, it will be about so much more.

The Sweetest Words

My boys, ages five and two, were outside coloring on the sidewalk with chalk. They were playing quietly and I was using the peaceful moments to get some gardening done.

After a while, I glanced in their direction. They were huddled close together on the ground. The little guy was clutching a huge piece of chalk in his pudgy fingers and the older boy was guiding the little one’s hand to help him write out some words. I moved in closer to see what they were spelling.

This is what I saw.

Yes, the letters are backwards, but that’s because the two-year-old was sitting to the left of the five-year-old, so they were writing in the logical direction. No matter, I don’t think the words of any great work have ever resonated with me as much as those perfect, backwards letters.