If you have been following my blog you have seen this little one before.  First you may have seen her making gingerbread cookies, and then remember her playing out in a field wearing a beautiful blue tutu.  Later we had a tea party with her favorite bear! Miss “N” and I have definitely had many adventures together, but this latest one is my all time favorite.  Her mommy contacted me one day and asked if I would photograph Miss “N” and her horse.  Now of course, my thoughts immediately focused on some kind of toy horse (like the barbie horse I used to play with as a little girl).  But immediately I realized that we were talking about a REAL horse.  And y’all this horse was magnificently beautiful.  It stood in the pasture among the trees as little Miss “N” played alongside.  What an adventure for this little girl and her horse…

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So this year I    wanted to do something different as a holiday tradition with my little guy and luckily my wonderful, inspirational friend Shalonda from Chubby Cheek Photography shared a brilliant idea that she does with her family.  And so I took her idea and made it our own… this Christmas season we decided to do 25 days of Random Acts of Kindness.  My son and I chose 25 acts that we are determined to complete before Christmas day, and each day we set out to share kindness with others.  At first I started this for the sole purpose of doing something together.. but it has evolved into something even more.  There is something about sharing kindness with others that just brightens your day.  Not only that, but our hearts are happy when we know that we in some way brought happiness to the lives of others.

I  was a bit hesitant to share this with you all… especially because it isn’t about getting recognition for what we are doing.. thats not our purpose at all.  A lot of the acts are anonymous and so we aren’t expecting anything in return.  However, because my little guy and I have gained so much just by doing this, I  thought maybe sharing this would possibly inspire you to do the same (just like Shalonda inspired us).

And so each day we choose one act of kindness from our list.  Some of the things we have chosen to do include buying someone’s dinner, sending ornaments to someone special, making Christmas cards for our Military heroes, placing popcorn bags on Redbox machines, collecting toys for a church, delivering cookies to our fire station, and so much more.  After we complete the task we take a picture of the act of kindness and place it on our Giving board to serve as a reminder of how we were able to spread kindness to people all along the way. This is something I    plan to continue to do each year…. not only because it fills our heart with joy, but also because it teaches my son that doing things with kindness in your heart can bring happiness to those around you and can make life so much more wonderful.

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I  started Be Merry sessions 5 years ago, and all along the way I would not have been able to make them as successful as they are if it wasn’t for all the wonderful people who have supported me all along the way. Some have helped me make props, let me borrow props and carry props from one location to another.  Others have assisted me at the actual sessions or have referred new BE Merry clients to me.  And this year, my family donated their time when I had the opportunity to borrow a family heirloom, a vintage red truck, for some of this year’s BE Merry sessions.  And let me tell you it was a hit!

I am forever grateful for all that my family, friends, and you do for JIP.  I couldn’t do this without you all. Just to know that I  have so many people rooting for me and are there to help when I  need it encourages me to keep going.  So if you have ever had a hand in supporting me and JIP in any way… you know who you are… I    am forever grateful.

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So the moment I hit send when submitting a gallery to a client, I immediately get knots in my stomach as I    wait to hear back from the families that receive it.  I    have been doing this gig for a little more than 5 years now, and I  can’t say that it gets easier.  I    think I always worry about what they will think the minute they see the images on screen.  And I     will say that I    have never had someone respond in any way but positively when they first see their images, but that still doesn’t make me feel at ease.  Thats just me!

And so after I submitted the “P” family’s images from their BE Merry session, I    received an incredible message from this amazing mommy after opening her gallery.   Her words were something like… “this can’t be real life… I    am in awe of how perfect you capture our family.” And you all… those words just gave me so much peace… so much love in my heart… and so much joy.  I  don’t think she knows what her words did to me… but they meant more to me than she will ever know.

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There is nothing better than the bond between a daughter and her mother.  Even as an adult woman… I    still need MY MOM! I   can’t even imagine what I    would do without her.  And so every time I  see this beautiful duo I  am reminded of how wonderful this bond really is.  These two are just beautiful and when you spend time with them, you know that Ms. “A”  is her mom’s world.  Just beautiful…

 

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