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    Welcome to my blog where not only will you be able to view my most updated work and recent sessions, but also regularly learn a bit more about me, my family and my every day life. For my complete portfolio, session information, current pricing and contact information, please visit my website at heatherbirdphotography.com.

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Nine Years Ago

Nine years ago today, I was one month into experiencing the best gift of my life, the gift of motherhood.   I could have never imagined the emotion, the love, the sheer joy and excitement of having a son.   I remember being scared, nervous and worried about my abilities but most of all thrilled.

I was so anxious for all of the adventures that I jumped right in, wanting to experience all the fun immediately.   I couldn’t wait to have playdates and go to the park.  Literally, COULD. NOT. WAIT. so I went on playdates and went to the park (with my one month old!).   I’m not talking a stroll around the park in a stroller.  Nope.  I took my beautiful baby boy in my arms, climbed up the long ladder to the top of the slide and slid down holding a baby who now, I realize, was probably terrified.  I watched for his smiles, not experienced enough to realize that the smiles, giggles, and flying down the slides on his own would come soon enough, not knowing that when they would come I would plead for time to slow down.

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I anxiously awaited each milestone and adventure not fully realizing that they would come quickly.   And now, here I sit combing through the adventures of Ricky’s NINTH year.   (and couldn’t resist creating him a short little video of his year!)

What a year it was!   (**Disclaimer – Here comes the braggy, proud parent moment, but hey, I’ve got a pretty awesome kid!)

Ricky, this past year you:

  • Have mastered blowing bubbles!  (You’ve had lots of practice with the 100s of gumballs in your machine that you got for Christmas a year ago)
  • Have learned how to play many board games including Battleship and Ticket to Ride (and typically win!)
  • Visited Las Vegas and Phoenix for the first times (where you got to swim outside in February!)
  • Made your First Communion
  • Had the most RBIs on your All Star baseball team
  • Placed first again for a 5K in your age group
  • Have read many, many hard, long chapter books
  • Have learned how to Kayak
  • Have learned how to do a front flip off the high dive
  • Have become a GREAT soccer player (People on the sidelines would constantly comment “Who’s number 44?!?” especially in the game where you scored 5 goals!)
  • Have learned how to ice skate
  • Were so brave when starting a new school and have done so well there
  • Fished in the Green River for the first time and jumped high above Flaming Gorge (one of my favorite pictures – below)
  • Wore your first scary Halloween costume (no more cute monkeys and lions:()
  • as always, were a helpful and loving big brother
  • Had a TON of fun!

Today, I’m still anxiously awaiting more fun and exciting adventures, but I just wish they would come more slowly.   Nine years have flown by.   And while I know I can’t slow time, I also now know that I’d rather slowly take in each precious moment and savor it.   No need to rush to the next adventure.   Every moment is an adventure in itself.

 CR5A2859aRicky, Every moment is a gift with you.
Happy belated 9th birthday.   I love you.
Love, Mommy

Mary - This is such a beautiful tribute! Happy birthday Ricky Bird!

Jennifer ince - Awww Heather, you are such a sweet and caring mother! :-) Ox

DeEtta Bird - Ricky, You have such an infectious smile. You have had a year to smile about haven’t you. You are blessed and also are a blessing. I love you.
Grandma DeDe

Beyond the Grip of Craniosynostosis

When my friend, Kase, asked me to photograph him shaving his head I was honored and a bit nervous.   Anytime anyone asks me to photograph their family, their event, their new baby I am always honored and always a bit nervous.  However this was more nerve wracking than my typical anxiety of making sure I take beautiful photos for my clients.   Kase was shaving his head for the first time at age 37 and he wasn’t just shaving it because of a receding hairline or to have the buzz cut that he wished for as a kid.   He was shaving it to uncover scars.   Scars that would help in telling his story, a story of a baby born with Cranionsynostosis.   Scars that shaped insecurities in his life, yet scars he had never actually seen.

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I had always known Kase “was born without soft spots.”  I had always known that he had surgery as a two month old baby to correct this.   What I didn’t know was the medical terminology nor the seriousness of this condition if left alone.   I didn’t know how common this birth defect is and how there are various ways of correcting it.  I didn’t know that many times it goes undiagnosed by doctors, even with pleading from parents that know in their gut something is not right.   Neither did Kase.   But he spent years researching and writing a beautiful book that tells his story and the stories of many other beautiful children born with this birth defect.   The families stories are heartbreaking and beautiful, filled with uncertain decisions and fears.   I was brought to tears many times throughout the book as I imagined having to hand my own boys over to a surgeon to reshape their tiny skulls and as I thought about what Kase’s parents went through.

So this was not any old photo shoot.   This was a photo shoot with an old friend who would finally uncover some answers, some potentially emotional answers that he had waited his whole life to reveal.   It was an honor to document.   And I was thrilled when one of the images was selected for the cover of the book.

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Kase did his first reading and book signing to a crowd of almost 100 people and it was amazing.    It was a pleasure to meet some of the families and to celebrate such an wonderful accomplishment.

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Book Reading

Huge congratulations, Kase!   We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends in you, Mary and Lukas.
Love you all.
Heather

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kase - You rock! As always.

Carol Sullivan - Amazing photos. Touching story.

Deanne VanLeeuwen - Heather, The photos and your blog story are wonderful! You are such a blessing and a blessing to them!

DeEtta Bird - My two boys had birth defects and needed surgery as babies. It’s terrible to see your little child with huge tubes in their bodies and permanent scars as well. I was thankful that their condition was treatable and that little children recover fast.
Thank you for sharing your experience.
DeEtta Bird

Valentine’s Day

I’m so lucky to have such a handsome, supportive, amazing husband as my Valentine.  He’s currently making a steak and lobster dinner for us!  Hope you are all enjoying a lovely Valentine’s Day.

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Valentines

I love you!
Love,
Heather

 

Ricky as Roberto Clemente

Last week Ricky participated in a Historic Timeline presentation at school.   Each child chose a historical figure that has made an impact on the world.   They each dressed like their figure and gave a short speech on their life.   I was not only impressed with these 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders but was also thoroughly entertained and I learned a thing or two. Among the figures present were Jesus, Mary, Christopher Columbus, Joan of Arc, Pocahontas, Milton Hershey, Martin Luther King, Aaron Rodgers, Elvis, Steve Jobs, Taylor Swift, many other amazing people and my own little Roberto Clemente.

Roberto Clemente is known for persevering through racial tension and bigotry to become one of the best all – round baseball players while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was a humanitarian who was killed in a plane crash while on his way to deliver supplies to victims of an earthquake.

Ricky, who is pretty shy and has some anxiety when it comes to things like this, did a phenomenal job.   I was so proud of his hard work and preparation for this project as well as his presentation.

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Ricky and a couple of the other sports stars.

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Way to nail it, Ricky.   We love you.
Love,
Mommy

DeEtta Bird - Congratulation, Ricky, on giving a good speech. I think public speaking is a great skill that you will use all your life. Keep practicing. Your grandpa Bob loved Roberto Clemente also. You chose a good man to report on.
Grandma DeDe

Superbowl XLIX

As many of you know, I have a five year old who is a passionate Seahawks fan.   Based on the number of people who have called, sent texts or inquired in some fashion about how Benny is doing after his beloved team lost on Sunday, I’d say I talk about it a bit much :)  but thank you all who have shown care and concern for my little fan’s sorrow.   He actually took the loss quite well.

The boys loved the excitement of the day.   We spent most of the day preparing for the game.   We made appetizers.  We made a poster for a friendly wager on the scores.   We baked Seahawk cookies.   We got decked out in our Seahawk gear (most of which was Benny’s but he has enough to share with everyone).  Even Nolan, who has rooted against Benny’s and Ricky’s teams all season, and claims not only to hate the Seahawks but also hate football in general decided to wear a Seahawk shirt.   When he said, “Ok, mom, I’ll wear the Seahawk shirt because if your brother is cheering for a team you should cheer for his team too, right?” I felt like my constant harping of “be nice to your brothers” may actually be paying off.   At some point during the day Ricky asked if we always celebrated this “holiday” or if we were just celebrating it because the Seahawks were playing.    It indeed felt like a holiday.

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When it was finally game time, Benny planted himself in front of the big screen at our friend’s house and watched the entire game.    I know I talk about his love of the game often, but it’s fascinating to me to watch a five year old be so consumed with the score, the plays, the reasons behind the plays, how to hold the football, etc.   If you happened to be sitting near him watching the game you may have been slightly irritated with his constant commentating of the score and the plays as well as his questions, but to me I find it intriguing.   He loves the Seahawks but he truly loves the game.

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While Benny is always interested in the score of every game, all of the kids were interested in this score because they had wagered their hard earned quarters on what the final score would be at the end of each quarter.   Right before half-time Ricky said to Benny, “If the Patriots score, you’ll win some money.”   My little diehard fan responded with “I don’t want the money.”   Ricky, however, did want the money.   He’d been saving his money like crazy (his birthday money, his chore money, his piggy bank money, his money from selling things) for an iPad Mini and was $12.00 from having enough to buy one.    During the last plays of the game Ricky was in a position to win the big pot of $18.00 yet he was SO torn.   He really wanted that money but he also really wanted the Seahawks to win, “for Benny.”   He finally decided that he’d rather have Benny’s team win the Superbowl than win the money for himself.   But it just didn’t work out that way.

When the game ended Benny lay down on the ground and put his head down for a second.   A split second later he was back up, watched a bit of the Patriots celebration and then was ready to go home.    Ricky, well Ricky was in tears.   He felt so bad for Benny.   When I found him, alone, tears streaming, all he could say was, “I’m sad for Benny.”   At home, he sat at the table, still crying, counting out his winnings.   Once he had all the money sorted, he grabbed $10.00 and gave it to Benny, hoping to make him feel better about his loss.   Benny smiled, looked at Ricky who still had tears in his eyes and returned the money, “it’s okay, Ricky,” he said.

And that my friends, was my favorite part of this “holiday.”    I’d take the Seahawks loss any day to witness this interaction between my boys again and again.

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It was a great game.   Congrats to the Patriots, and my condolences to all my fellow Seahawk fans.
Love,
Heather

Benny’s counting down the days til football starts again and has already asked who the Seahawks play next.  In the meantime his new obsession is the Mariners (I think this kid needs to move to the Northwest.)