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DEAR MOMS

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DEAR MOMS

OKLAHOMA CITY/EDMOND CHILD AND FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER.CALVERT'S PLANT GREENHOUSE 

We drove 2,000 miles in a minivan to the midcoast of Maine.

Just me, her, and a map made of paper with only the highways we needed highlighted.

For three full days we drove, only exiting every 4 hours for gasoline and Gatorade.  I remember the mini-cooler of meals wedged between us for easy access, white knuckling my way through the blinding rains in Virginia, and power walking the parking lot together before crawling into the hard hotel bed.    

It was the summer of 2006, and no other memories with my Mom have surpassed it since.  

That trek was truly a trip for two, with no phones or Facebook to interfere with what was growing into the most effortless friendship that's only richer today.  When I think back to those days, I wish I had more than words to share the details I do remember.  Details that I would have Instagrammed today.  Details I wish I had proof of, like selfies in the front seat while I spoon-fed her yogurt, or the East coast exits with nothing but a shoddy shack to fill up - our approach hesitant yet hysterical - to the single pump that was so sluggish we had nothing but time to wait for the dreaded dirty wooden bathroom key.

Why am I telling this 10 year old story?  Because the story is all we have.  

So no matter the moment - road trips with your mom, Saturday morning cereal with your son, or growing your new hobby of greenery and gardening with your girls - it's all about the kinship.  Make note of it - snap it, selfie it, print it - just do more than only remember it.  

Those memories with my Mom are rooted in my heart, but oh how I wish they were also in my hands. 

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GARDEN GIRL

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GARDEN GIRL

OKLAHOMA CITY/EDMOND FAMILY & CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHER

Force me to, and I honestly couldn't pick my favorite age.  Is it only hours old with tightly shut eyes and the newest of everything??  Or maybe 9 months old, with dimples as knuckles that army crawl everywhere, led by drill sergeant drool?

But I don't know, let's think about talking toddlers real quick.  

You may be tired of all the words and voices and constant chatter from your littles BUT GIVE ME ALL THE CEASELESS, SENSELESS TODDLER CONVOS.

I love them.

And then there's the age of the tooth fairy.  I LOVE missing front teeth and to let the adult chiclets grow in with zero photographs taken before the gummy gap is gone is a sin! (Ok, too far.  Maybe just a regret.) 

So when your niece has a birthday AND is toothless, it merits a special freaking flower crown (last minute diy birthday present Laura?  Brilliant idea!  The cussing doesn't count if no one hears it!  Keep making all the things all the time!) and a new outfit to celebrate SEVEN because Auntie loves spoiling her 'babies' who now have real knuckles and don't drool (but they're still my favorite talkers).

Hannah, your soul is so good for mine.  This garden of new growth and golden rays parallels your personality perfectly.  I can't wait for my next favorite age with you.  I think it's going to be 13.  A teenager!  Lemme go grab some popcorn for this, because if I'm remembering my teen years accurately, this oughta be goooood.  Don't worry Julie, Mom is living proof she survived it...TIMES THREE! (Woof.) 

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2015

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2015

He was brand new and barely 8 pounds, but you trusted me to hold him, my hands to comfort him, and my vision to turn his delicate details into artistry.  

Weeks earlier, though swollen and spent and almost full-term, you relied on me to reveal your beauty amid this swift season of motherhood.

And then, when you feared chaos and crying (because, TODDLERS), you counted on me to connect your crew among your pack of personalities.

Your favorite parts of the past year: PRESERVED. 

By choosing me, you trusted me, and sharing your story frame by frame is a privilege you'll never see me take for granted.  

Thank YOU.


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THE PLANT SHOPPE FAMILY

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THE PLANT SHOPPE FAMILY

LIFESTYLE SESSION.OKLAHOMA CITY/EDMOND CHILD AND FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER.THE PLANT SHOPPE. 

Starting and sustaining a small business is not for the weak.

Neither is becoming a parent to a premature baby.

Both are so fragile and in need of continuous care.  Absence of attention to any vital detail could be detrimental, sinking the chance of success.

Or survival. 

Sales, expenses, and profits.   Weight, temperature, and heart rate.  Every day, multiple assessments are taken to measure for growth, and every day, you pray for any improvement.  Even the smallest of signs.      

Baby steps.

The toughest part of all? The part you’re convinced just might break you?  Waiting.  You’re forced to be at the mercy of time, and being patient suddenly seems impossible.     

And there’s no one more knowing of all of this than Jen of The Plant Shoppe and Chad of Bent On Creativity

When Memphis’ birthday came 10 weeks early, the uncharted waters were rough and dark.  Overwhelming.  The NICU became your new normal while the hours at the shop were unusual and sometimes, unknown.  The shift in priorities was absolutely necessary, but just when your strength started to waver, you became aware that you’re far from alone in this fight.  

Gift by gift, the grace washed in.  Promises of prayers poured in while sympathetic customers or strangers who simply loved succulents offered up good vibes and patient understanding.  Local small shops bared big hearts by joining forces, raising funds and donating sales in support of one of their own in the most selfless style. 

Oklahoma City rallied for your boy, your world, and proved there’s no greater community with compassion more genuine than ours.

So here’s to Jen, Chad, Memphis, and the city founded on fellowship.

This is community.

This is OKC.

And this, a true labor of love.

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WARRENS LIFE WITHIN

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WARRENS LIFE WITHIN

IN-HOME LIFESTYLE SESSION.OKLAHOMA CITY/EDMOND FAMILY & CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHER

“We had our second date here," she said. “It was in the bathroom I stared in disbelief at those two little pink lines and then paced these floors while counting contractions.”

“Kate took her first steps here.”

Home.

So many pieces of our lives happen at home, adding up to an entire collection of memories we’ll remember well past our childhood. It’s ultimately the environment where you’ll raise your children and help embed their favorite pastimes of hide-n-seek, blanket forts, and messes that stretch across the entire kitchen.

These memories from home are what live on long even after you’ve moved.

How many years ago was it when you arrived home, sunburnt and happy, to congratulatory cards and wedding gifts piled high on the kitchen table? Sadly and far too quickly, the honeymoon was over, but it felt SO good to finally be home. Together.

Home is where your marriage would begin, blossom, and eventually grow into your family.

What do you remember most about your firstborn?  Is it the song you whispered as you paced the living room floors in the dark hours of night, bouncing her back to sleep in your arms? Or maybe it’s the rocker in the corner of the bedroom where you stared for hours, mesmerized, and memorized every feature of your baby.

Unbeknownst to visitors, the middle couch cushion has been flipped over to hide spilled juice. The walls, which acted as crutches to your teetering one year old, have been repainted in areas to cover those tot-sized fingerprints. Outside, your driveway is a museum of chalk art that will take many rains to fade the rainbow-colored dust.

Your home is your haven for laughter and for tears. It’s your refuge for anger, grief, arguments and make-ups.

Your home is alive with life and growth.

Realize it. Remember it.  Get proof of it. 

Because guess what your kids will relate home with?

You.

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FAMILY OF 7 AT KAISERS

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FAMILY OF 7 AT KAISERS

MIDTOWN OKC SESSION.OKLAHOMA CITY/EDMOND FAMILY & CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHER

“Wow. You really have your hands full.” How many times have you heard this not-so-clever comment from the stranger at your favorite restaurant or even in the cereal aisle of Target? (I hear grocery shopping alone happens too rare these days.)  All you wanted was a dish-free evening out with your family or some dang lucky charms (because, MARSHMALLOWS), but not without being noticed first. You’re left awkwardly haha-ing with a stranger, tongue-tied and slightly baffled.

I mean, let’s get real for a minute. Do they expect you to say “I know, right? Who signed me up for this?!” I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt - their intentions are likely harmless - and it's probably just a little slip of innocent honesty.

Oh, how I bet Tyler and Nichole have become so immune to this, though.

The strangers who just can’t help but blurt that opinionated comment apparently don’t have children. Whether you have 1 child or 19, you chose that wonderful path of raising children, just as they probably chose not to.

To each his own, amiright?

Before I give up understanding this for parents everywhere, can anyone tell me what it even means? Does it appear to them that you don’t have it under control? Maybe they missed the moment when you were juggling that hot plate with a sippy cup of chocolate milk and searching for the missing yellow crayon under the table, all while paying attention to your daughter’s day at school. Or maybe the few minutes of disarray and dropped cereal boxes looked chaotic, but what they didn’t see was you in control of that so-called chaos.

Does this sound familiar, Tyler and Nichole? With every “it’s a girl!”, you’ve become well-adjusted to parenthood, so by now you’re experts at family outings and are only reminded of your large brood with kind compliments and curious stares.

Don’t get me wrong. Life with 5 girls probably isn’t always child’s play, but from the outside looking in? I'm all, "sign me up!" because this looks like a whole bunch of fun!

If you ever see these 7 Smith’s out, you’d probably gawk just a bit. Who wouldn’t, when Tyler is outnumbered by 6 beautiful females? How can you not peer into their family dynamic and imagine the fun they have when the array of their daughters begins with a well-mannered teenager all the way to a spunky toddler? On a few occasions, I witnessed the shy middle girls huddled together, giggling in their own little world. I was immediately sent reminiscing to the 90’s, huddled with my own sisters, recording cassette tapes of radio music and braiding friendship bracelets. I already know the bond these sisters create over the years will be undoubtedly tested but unshakably true.

It is so apparent to me that Tyler, Nichole, Taya, Livia, Ella, Liana and Vayda have the coolest kinship. It was obvious in Tyler and Taya’s playful banter, in Nichole’s bond with her baby, in Liana’s full personality and in Livia and Ella’s quick response to hold a hand, console and comfort their little sisters. And then when Mr. and Mrs. Smith had some time alone? Well, just see that for yourself…

Like parents everywhere, they probably have ‘those days’, but full hands?

Of course they’re full. Full of five healthy and bright daughters and all of the wonder and pride that parenthood presents.

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THE BEST OF 2014

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THE BEST OF 2014

TOP PHOTOS OF 2014. OKLAHOMA CITY/EDMOND MATERNITY/NEWBORN/CHILDREN/FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER

How?! How on Earth is it New Years Eve of 2014?

Somehow it is, just like somehow our busy days dragged on while our weekends flew by.

But WHAT.A.YEAR.

The real me wants to get really mushy with you and remind you how much this tiny speck of a business (in the grand scheme of things) means to me and how I can never, EVER thank you enough for hiring me, inquiring about a session, reading my blog, liking a post, hearting an INSTAGRAM photo or heck, even knowing Sunkissed & Free even exists, but even then I don't feel like that's sufficient enough.  Every day, this creative outlet for me continues because of YOU.  I promise you this: you'll never know how appreciative I am to be asked to tell your story.

And now, the best of 2014!

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And ending 2014 with two of my favorite of all favorites:

The kids who have my heart and call me Auntie, bellied up to the same ice cream counter where I grew up ordering single scoop sugar cones.

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And lastly, the photo I hope to take every few years.  Why?  To see him grow.  To see me grow.

2014

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2008

The Beginning

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WARREN FAMILY PARTY OF FOUR

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WARREN FAMILY PARTY OF FOUR

FAMILY SESSION.OKLAHOMA CITY/EDMOND FAMILY/MATERNITY PHOTOGRAPHER

I can't help but wonder what their next chapter will feel like. Things will change, I assume.  Quiet cuddles and coffee will turn to full hands, effectively multi-tasking toddler toys and newborn feedings.

Schedules will be adjusted, bottles will be juggled with sippy cups, and nap times will be nonnegotiable.  Some days,  you'll dominate.  Other days?  When Will walks in from work, you'll having nothing left in you but tears of relief, frustration, weariness and defeat.

The first few weeks will be an emotional blur,  but don't ever forget how fast time flies.

Savor the wait without the rush.  Until it's time to turn the page, keep bottling up the memories of today and tomorrow's party of three.

As for you, Kate?

You're just merely months away from meeting your lifelong best friend.

SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY /// Oklahoma City / children photography / family photography / oklahoma photography / maternity photography
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OFFICER RYAN

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OFFICER RYAN

CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY.OKLAHOMA CITY/EDMOND CHILD PHOTOGRAPHER

176. That's the average number of steps a toddler hops - leaps - runs - skips - stumbles per minute.

You guys, 176.  IN ONE MINUTE!

Which means I can easily tack on another reason Ryan is a rockstar toddler.  As sweaty and tired as I was playing with him, there's no way he sprints less than 500 steps a minute, with no two steps heading in the same direction. (My knees wanted to point that out.)

You think I'm kidding?

At 2.25 years old, Ryan's inquisitive nature and adventurous spirit flood his parent's heart with both love and exhaustion.

I've witnessed his momma's deep sighs of patience when every daily task begins with "no, I do it."  His giant yellow labs must miss the days of being fed instantly by mommy instead of tiny morsels-at-a-time by Ryan.

And anyone with talkative, carseat-age children can relate to their little one's stubborn hands insistent on clasping the carseat buckle first before you are allowed to tighten it.  The days of newborn bottles and bags delaying your daily errands slyly turns into self-dressing, shoes on the wrong feet, absentmindly crawling into the backseat, and becoming easily distracted by stale goldfish and a folded sticker that HAS TO BE unfolded, all while asking never ending questions.

Sometimes, you're really crunched for time (because, aren't we always? But then there's *those* days) and with your composure crumbling, you'd rather risk a fiery fit then waste an hour letting him attempt tasks he watches you do daily.

Mostly though,  you're amazed.  You're amazed that you used to cradle him in your arms.  The same baby who spewed mashed green beans at you is now putting words into sentences, and actually making sense.  You can carry on a conversation with your little buddy, and sometimes, it's not until he repeats a naughty word that you realize (after you look away and laugh) the world is his to learn, and you're his teacher.

So, on *those* days, the ones we're all allowed to claim, when he's right at your feet, pushing your buttons and persistent with curiosity, sometimes a deep breath isn't enough.  You're tired of the time outs.  You catch yourself checking the clock every hour, wishing for bedtime.  But then you're rocking him and remembering the time when his entire body fit perfectly across your chest, and even after a day full of battles that beat you down, you have nothing but a heart full of the deepest love you'll ever know, all to give to your little boy.

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Stank eye!  This kid.

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FINEST FOURSOME

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FINEST FOURSOME

FAMILY SESSION.OKLAHOMA CITY/EDMOND FAMILY & CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHER

So you’ve scheduled family pictures.

Maybe for the first time, in, oh… (an exaggerated) FOREVER?!

You have nerves.

For good reason?

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“I hope the weather is perfect. Will these outfits coordinate correctly? What if the kids are crazy loons and behave like wild animals?”

"WHAT IF MY FACE MELTS OFF BECAUSE IT’S 99% HUMIDITY OUT?!"

(Don’t fret. You’ll see shortly that none of their pretty faces melted off.)

Though I wish I could, I can’t always set the sun in a perfect, water-colored evening sky. (Or carry around an earth-sized humidifier, but that could be super useful.)

Is it necessary to shop store to store, exhausting every idea in search of that perfect Pinterest outfit you pinned 2 years ago? No. Now, pleated khaki pants and matching white tops are a thing of the 90’s (along with music videos, pagers, and my crush on every NSYNC band member), so for those who ask, I am eager to share recommendations regarding your wardrobe. But, honestly? The best outfits are those that complement each extraordinary personality of your crew (wild animals and all).

If I promised you there is no such thing as your child misbehaving with me, would you believe me?

Well, I promise.

Your biggest worry is my creative kindle.

I’m sorry Beyoncé, but in my world, kids run it. From the second their feet jump from the backseat on to the dusty gravel drive and look up at me, I’m anticipating their temperament. Will they be shy like Sloane, clinging to Daddy’s pants and peeking around his leg, measuring me from a safe distance? Or will I hear a tiny voice before the car door is even shut, like Harper’s free spirit and candid chatter?

The M&M candy bribe you charmed them with is our little secret enticement. I know Gram and Gramps have probably requested a family photo to share proudly on their wall. The one showing perfect posture, hands gently folded and everyone smiling their best smile. (Thanks to the M&M’s?) And I’ll get this shot for you. If not for this ordinary shot, my parents wouldn’t have the hilarious family photo from the 90’s to showcase my permed mullet. The perfect pose could be your new profile photo or the fresh update your office walls need. It’s necessary to your shoot and to your growing assortment of nostalgia.

But what I really love to gift you? Is WHO your child is. Children may be little, but their personalities are grand, and that combination is essential to my inspiration. Every child expresses a unique personality, owning it fully and parading it with no reason to restrict. (Are you smiling right now, imagining your child’s quiet wonder with weedy flowers or the way her eyes smile first?) She makes expressions that mimic her mommy and shares similar mannerisms with her Daddy. Isn’t their individual identity the best part of your children? The part of them that pushes your patience and melts your heart in the span of 2 minutes is what I cherish to give you.

See for yourself, but this family nailed it.  Nerves?

What nerves?

SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA
SUNKISSED & FREE PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY / CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY / OKC / OKLAHOMA

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THE SUN CHASER

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THE SUN CHASER

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER.OKLAHOMA CITY/EDMOND MATERNITY/NEWBORN/CHILDREN/FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER

I still eat string cheese the only way that's right: pull by pull.

At inconvenient times, a sudden urge to burst out in hysterical laughter bubbles up to my cheeks, and it takes all I have to behave.

My age and the bills addressed to me are proof I'm an adult, but all this time spent maturing to a life full of dependability and responsibility never stole the playful part of me.   Life is too swift, too fleeting, to do anything for the last time.  I refuse to be too old to play hide and seek.  I'll always drown my fro yo in sugary toppings, though I must report my visits to the fro yo bar are moderate. (I owe my health and the importance to keep it to my dual degree in kinesiology.)  And as long as it doesn't make my hands sticky (*shudder*), you can find me right in the mix of making mud pies, hunting for roly poly's, or packing a pail for a princess sand castle.

Among my nicknames and titles, the beloved of the bunch is "Auntie."

My fascination for photography stems not only from the art, but to remember what it feels like to lose all cares of today and tomorrow and explore the world from a child's perspective.  I love to be on their level, in their world, tip toeing right alongside their tyke-sized footsteps.  To create pieces of their nostalgia only deepens every sense of my own.

Your child is my sidekick, your kinship is my inspiration, and together, we're Sunkissed & Free. 

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WARREN, PARTY OF 3

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WARREN, PARTY OF 3

"We're going home!"

Attached to these often sleepily spoken words is a photo of a tiny baby, draped with nana's handmade pink blanket and enveloped by a 5-star safety rated infant carrier.  Dad assures she's snug and secure and then reassures one final time before nervously clenching the wheel (suddenly becoming apprehensive of his ability to drive) and leads his new family home.

Home.

Where you last left as an expectant mom, waking each day, restless, wondering if today was her birth day.

Where you thoroughly prepared for "it" and later, her, with a color-splashed nursery, furnished with newborn necessities and adorned with delicate details, like her name, announced on the wall in turquoise: KATE.  Those letters waited forever to belong to a new, flushed face.  Your anticipated first glance of her is when she's heaved onto your chest, tears falling from your matching green eyes, and you realized love at first sight?  Is real.

Home, where the journal of The Warrens, party of three, began.

SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC

The first night in your own bed is deeply rooted into your memory.  Staring down at your brand new bundle, too anxiously happy to rest yet too exhausted and nervous to let the opportunity to sleep slip by.  Each coo, cry, and kick jolts you awake, concerned, wondering if you even know what to do.

By day 8, your red brimmed eyes and drained body are surprising you at the capabilities they can achieve under broken segments of sleep.

At 2 weeks, you've cried your way up every hardship, exasperated and weepy, as well as coasted down every tender moment with infatuated eyes and tear-filled smiles.

September 17th comes during a 2:00am feeding, and suddenly, you notice her long feet fall off your lap, her cheeks have filled with plump, and she's already 3 months old.

At the same time you and Daddy whooped with wonder at her first gummy smile you willed her to slow down.  To stop growing.

The days you felt like a failure?  Those are the days you'll fail to forget.

Your paycheck may come in the form of snotty noses and ceaseless diaper changes, but you'll wholeheartedly agree the routine effort of raising your child is more gratifying than a yearly 3% raise.  (Plus, corporate benefit packages don't include toddler-sized arms hugged tightly around your neck.)

So many elements of your life are altered as she grows.  A year ago, leaving the house was a feat you celebrated, especially when you managed to accomplish one errand, which you carefully calculated to occur between her morning milk and her afternoon nap. (High five, Mom!)  Today, you still celebrate leaving the house, but now, snacks are your lifesaver as you coast the aisles of Target, successfully juggling her puffs container and your well-deserved, hard-earned coffee.  The second you're granted a window of opportunity, albeit short and harried, you make a break for it, but first, double and triple checking that Daddy's OK with daughter duty.  Minutes after arriving at the local coffee shop, giddy with girlfriends at your well-planned escape, you slowly fade out, antsy to get back home to Kate.

You have been banded together since well before her birth.  She's your companion, your playmate; you, her protector, her nurturer.  Always.  From today, at one year old, until roles are reversed and she's caring for you.

You know those rare, quiet times when you find yourself reminiscing back to her infant days? Each milestone she meets, each new recognizable word she babbles and each birthday she celebrates is when you realize, this age is THE BEST!

Heather, Will, happy birthday to your one year old!

SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
2014-06-13_0016SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
2014-06-13_0041SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC

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THE GERBERS

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THE GERBERS

You don't look bored.  You look YOU.

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2014-05-30_0009

Don’t get me wrong, your smile that stretches from cheek to cheek, flaunting those bone white chiclets, is perfect, but your personality is beyond that smile. Your individuality is bubbling behind that smile, in a wild, giant laugh, just waiting to burst. Any second, your bass-playin’, beard growin’, Jesus lovin’ husband will make that face you love, and just like a Mentos dropped in a soda can, your guffaw explodes, bringing your whole family to a musical performance of laughs.

SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC

 See? You’re not like every other family.

SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC

Look at other’s family photos, and they stand still, nearing statue status, the children full of bribes posed with perfect (perfectly fake) cheeses, but not YOUR family.  Your family fills the frame, often overflowing it with bellyaches of laughter that fade to genuine smiles, the kind that begins in your eyes and spread all over.  Casually, Casey brushes his daughter's wispy hair off her forehead, and a tickled giggle escapes from her.  Stealing spontaneous kisses from your son is your specialty, but a groan and that goofy, wrinkled face of his?  That quirk is straight from you, his momma.

SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC

Speaking of Momma, it's time everyone saw you, too. And here you are, loudly and proudly making your appearance. The best part? It’s not a sorry selfie, requiring your arm to extend to go-go gadget length, angling the iPhone lens perfectly, while attempting to not chop off your kid’s foreheads, or worse, give your husband a fivehead. (Anyone else out there take 89 selfies, only to find one decent one?! No? Just me?)

SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC

Your entire family. In one frame. No, make that MANY frames.   And right there in the mix of it all, is you. Mom. The leader of your tribe. Your artistic, faithful, kind-hearted, one-of-a-kind, FUN tribe.

SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC

I know you’re fun. (Oh, do I know!)  You know you're fun.  Now, everyone else can see just how much!

SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC

Christa, that loud cackle of yours? That’s YOU. I wasn’t about to hide that.

SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC

 Your children. Oh, your children! Owen’s brilliance and eagerness to learn the world is so evident, and I can’t help but imagine who he’ll grow up to be.   Yours and Casey’s sense to show him the world is just one of your many selfless acts of parenthood that is so apparent. He also has two little green eyes, peering up to him like a hungry puppy, eager to be just like him. Stella’s soul may be tender, but she’s bound to stick up for herself, now against her big brother, and later against anyone who tries to stop her.   Her daddy’s soft-spoken encouragement is only the beginning of her can-do attitude that’s instilled in her daily. The forever mark of ink that lies on the inside of Casey’s forearm, with script that reads “Did you love...”, is one of the most beautiful, permanent reminders I’ve ever seen.   To “make each choice with love” and to “act with love” is a reminder I have happily added to my personal daily practice.

SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
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2014-06-03_0010
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
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2014-05-30_0045
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC

My hope, for when the time comes for you to gaze through these photos tomorrow, next year, or next generation, is that you recognize all the tiny parts that add up to your entire whole. Has your family dynamic ever been so alive?!

SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC

Those tiny parts are what make the Gerbers? THE Gerbers.

SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC

I don’t think you can put a price tag on nostalgia your whole family can enjoy. And by your whole family, I mean each branch that, over the years, extends from your family tree, always growing, always eternal. Reminiscing OF your family AS a family is priceless. What better way to narrate your story with the help of photos that don’t just smile your story, they SHOUT your story!

SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC

So those empty walls throughout your home? They won't be bare anymore.  Now, you can fulfill that Pinterest inspiration pinned many moons ago with your own family gallery.

SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
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2014-06-03_0011
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC
SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC

Because Christa, your family has NEVER.LOOKED.BETTER!

SUNKISSED & FREE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY OKC