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local is for lovers

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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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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