See Ya Around Sam


We adopted Sam on May 20, 2012.  We picked him up from a foster home, paid $250, signed some papers, and loaded all of us into the car (picture above).  All we knew about him was that he was rescued by this foster home from a high kill shelter in Kentucky.  Apparently he had been found simply wandering around a park after some big event.  We learned it wasn’t uncommon there to intentionally leave pets behind at large events in order to be rid of them without anyone knowing.  Our goal in “dog shopping” was to find a buddy for Haley.  We didn’t like leaving her all alone on our long work days.  Sam was perfect.  They slept together, played together, and otherwise did life together.  He also was too stinking cute.

Maisy was born on June 19, 2014.  After that finding Sam a new home came up promptly.  It’s not that he’s bad with kids.  He’s actually the perfect dog for kids as he cleans up their messes (spit up and all), lets them tug on him in any way they please while not doing so much as flinching, and he’s generally the favorite of theirs (probably because he looks like a stuffed animal).  It’s that he’s bad with parents of kids – or at least these parents of kids.  Suddenly his toddler, needy and clingy and whiney, personality was more than I could bear.  I rapidly realized he was a dog much better suited to a no kids lifestyle because he downright refused to give up the “baby of the family” status.  I didn’t like yelling at him especially when my little girl started parroting me.  I didn’t like that I was going to have to stand guard of my chickens, likely indefinitely, because he drooled and licked his lips and actively pounced around trying to get at them every time I took them out to play.  But what I really didn’t like is that no matter how hard I tried I could not fall back in love with my little fur ball.

Then Man Sam met Dog Sam and my heart felt so right about the pair of them living their own happily ever after.  (Yup, a man named Sam adopted our dog Sam.)

Now, our slightly smaller family has settled into a quieter, more peaceful normal.  I cried hard the night before Sam left, the morning of the switch, and a large portion of the car ride home from making the drop off but it really is for the better.  I’ve barely raised my voice in four days.  Though Maisy cried for a while after we dropped Sam off she too bounced back well.  She’ll ask questions about him occasionally but is satisfied with my answer of “Sam went buh bye.”  Haley was the biggest surprise though, I thought for sure I’d have a moping, depressing dog for a good long while but instead it’s almost like nothing happened.  She’s loving the extra attention she’s getting and that I’m not yelling at Sam anymore – even though the yells weren’t directed at her they might as well have been with her extra sensitive personality.  She also happens to be awesome with the chicks.  I put them on a crash course of free ranging it all together outside and they were entirely unperturbed by the other.

I remember distinctly praying prayers about Dog Sam and finding a good home for him, whether it be a solution that I hadn’t thought of yet to make it work here or a new home altogether.  I felt a huge sense of guilt and felt like a hypocrite for giving him up.  How dare I give him up when I was supposed to be the one that rescued him?  Didn’t that make me as bad as the people that first abandoned him in Kentucky?  But now I know that even though I had to be that person that it also was the right choice.  The Lord answered my prayers and His answer was a new home.  A home that needed him too.  And that’s what makes my heart most glad, is that it looks like Sam has what he so persistently demanded from us for the past two years. He now has his beloved endless supply of attention back and gets to participate in all the corners of life with Man Sam like he used to be able to do with us – since we made the switch this weekend Man Sam has shared pictures of Dog Sam joining him on outings like walks and kayaking (life vest and all). Best part of the deal, it isn’t really goodbye, it’s a “see ya around Sam” being that Man Sam is our buddy and all.2016-06-01_0001

a Photo a Day | Aug 18 – 24

A full Week in Photos!

For more “a Photo a Day” CLICK HERE.

I sure have been busy!  I got to do a family/newborn/baby shoot, a senior portraits session, and did 2-month-old photos of Maisy.  We also went to a Brewers game with Josh’s parents!  Basically, the week was full of photo fun and some newness with Maisy – I finally got her pathetically adorable frown on camera and she tried out the Bumbo this week and loved it!

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Our First Family Pictures!

Our family is now of five parts!  Maisy Joy Calhoun was born on June 19, 2014 at 10:52 in the morning at 8 lb, 10 oz, and 21 inches.  This little one brings us so much joy!  It truly is amazing how you can love something so much that is so small and really doesn’t do much.

Thanks Mandy for another job well done!  You’re the best!

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a Photo a Day | Aug 11 – 17

A full Week in Photos!

For more “a Photo a Day” CLICK HERE.

Maybe one day the majority of my “a Photo a Day” pictures won’t be of Maisy.  That day isn’t today.  This week we have Maisy smiling at me while I work, rockin’ the Moby Wrap facing forward, a view of my little gangsta from the backseat mirror, more Moby Wrap riding but this time snuggled in and sleeping, and a big morning yawn.  I did also squeeze in a senior portraits session this week and a baby session among huge quantities of wedding editing, daily mothering, and house loving (I picked paint colors, rearranged, set up a new dining table, planted blueberry and raspberry bushes…).  Yup, Josh wasn’t home so I got LOTS done!

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Falling in Love with Maisy

I knew I loved Maisy even before a pee stick told me I was pregnant.  I distinctly remember praying for her on a run one day, a week before even taking the test was a possibility, and I prayed that she would love Jesus to her very core, be so full of joy, and come out perfectly healthy.

The moment I touched her I knew I loved her.  This love was more a provident love.  I knew all I wanted to do was provide for her and care for her better than anyone else in the world has ever cared for anyone.

But it wasn’t until the day after the hardship of trying to care for a newborn while photographing Sarah + Travis‘ wedding and the full day of mothering maddness that followed that my head love for Maisy found my heart.  The thing is, I knew I loved Maisy but I didn’t feel it for a little while.  Perhaps part of this is due to the zombie-like nature I found myself in for the first week and a half of new motherhood, but perhaps it is the hardship that finally connected my head with my heart.  I have found it is only really “doing life” with someone that seals a friendship.  Maisy is and was an easy baby.  Motherhood and Maisy made sense to me and I was stress free… until Maisy’s 9th day.  On Maisy’s 9th day I photographed a wedding.  The wedding went well and Maisy was a champ, but the next day all hell broke loose.  Maisy seemed desperate to eat all day long despite the fact that overeating only ended in projective vomit (see”Upchuck and Church“).  It was an exhausting day and by the end of it I cried.  The next day I woke up to the same baby but with a new dose of help:  the moment my sleepy eyes met my newborn’s face my heart filled with this most bubbly, lovely goodness.  That was the moment I truly fell in love with my daughter.  A couple days later she knowingly smiled at me and we’ve been best friends ever since.