Super Heroes aren’t always the Ones in the Actual Drawing

Today was a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. My oldest daughter, Madison (as a lot of you may already know) has Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as Sensory Processing Disorder. We spend 2-3 days a week traveling from our home in St Helens to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland (about 45 minutes each way) for her therapy appointments.
Today, myself and her Speech Pathologist noticed that she is starting to drop a lot more of the middle of words as well as ends. This is not the first time I have heard this, and it’s becoming more and more evident just in her day to day speech.
It’s hard hearing/recognizing these things because just when I feel like she has made so much progress, we hit a wall.
It’s basically like one step forward, three steps back. Constantly. It hurts seeing your child “behind” where her peers are. It hurts seeing her struggle to communicate, knowing other children her age can speak full sentences and tell their parents and peers what they want and need.
Today’s 45 minute appointment was one where I had to fight back tears. Sometimes I just feel so helpless in all of this.
On our way to the elevators to head back down to the lobby, I noticed a sign. “Meet the artists! Event today on the 11th floor”.
I looked at Madison and asked if she would like to go and she excitedly said, “YAHOO!”. So, away we went!
When we walked into this room, we were greeted by one of the amazingly sweet Doernbecher volunteers who handed us a goodie bag full of awesome treats. In the bag was a sketch book which we were instructed to take to all of the numerous artists around the room and have them draw her something in it. These were nationally known artists with work in Marvel Comic Books, national comic strips, The Simpsons, Futurama, and the list goes on!
There was a lot of people, and Madison doesn’t do well with crowds. She shut down relatively quickly and was having a hard time keeping herself together, but I knew this was one of those times that if we were able to do something now, she’d love it later.First, we went and watched a very talented woman (her name is completely escaping me) working on a Wacoam tablet and drawing a man in front of her. We were able to see her working with a projector that they had hooked up, and Madison was completely amazed at the whole process. Once she was done drawing the man, she somehow managed a quick sketch of my child who hardly wanted to take her head off of legs. It sounds silly, but the artist drew Madison smiling (even though she wasn’t). I know that’s her job, but I cannot express how much it meant to me in that moment. Madison is my always happy girl, but her moods shift so quickly and she was having a hard time coming around to the entire situation of us being there.

Once that was done, we moved on to another man. His name is Jim Horwitz and he is the creator of the “Watson” comics. He was very sweet and offered to draw Madison a dog. A lot of you know that Madison is getting a service dog this winter and when he handed her the sketchbook with her new dog, she got the slightest smile across her little face.

After Mr. Horwitz’s station, we walked around a little bit more. We managed to walk in literally the last 15 minutes of the event so it was sort of rushed, but all of the artists were so sweet. We walked up to a table with two men sitting there. One of which started singing The Unicorn by Shel Silverstein when he noticed Madison had her unicorn backpack on.

The gentleman that we approached was Bill Morrison, he is one of the artists that creates for The Simpsons, Disney, and a few other large names. He asked what Madison would like drawn and she whispered “horse” to me. So, in less than 2 minutes she had her very own horse!

Madison had a pretty difficult time leaving the hospital. Generally after we have been in a large crowd, she takes a few hours to calm down. But once we got home she was obsessed with her drawings and was so proud of them.

I know this was a novel, and props if you made it through this. My point is that I hope that these artists know just how much this time meant to my little girl (and I know so many others). A little bit of escape from our reality of appointment after appointment was much needed and watching a large group of very well known artists get together, spend time away from their own families, and work to make children happy? It’s something I could never say “thank you” enough for. I wish we had gotten to meet more artists, but hopefully they will be back again next year so that we will get that chance.

Thank you all, so much. From the bottom of my heart.

Exciting News for Sweet Lily Photography!

Over the past few months, I have discovered a love for a new form of photography (to me) and have been working so hard to make it work for me. I have two young girls (3 and 1) which can make scheduling difficult for me at times and has limited what I can shoot.

Well, luckily I have the most amazing tribe of women around me that are always willing to help me with the girls and I’m excited to announce that I am finally adding Birth Photography to my list of services! Births and the first days after have the biggest place in my heart with photography. The moments of welcoming a child into the world are the most amazing times you will ever experience. Whether it is your first or your eighth baby, these moments deserve to be documented so that one day (sooner than you think), when your baby is grown you can look back on the first time that you laid eyes on the new love of your life.

Pricing for birth sessions can be found on my services page.

Portland Newborn Photography : Fresh 48 : Kinsley Rene’

If you have read any of my Facebook shares of a Fresh 48 session, be it fusion video or photo, you have probably seen me mention a thousand times how much these are my absolute favorite sessions second to births.

There is something so unbelievably special about capturing a fresh baby and even though I actually photographed this sweet girl just 12 hours before when she entered the world, I got to come back and capture big brother coming to meeting her, and it was pretty much the sweetest thing ever.

He kept saying “It’s okay baby, shhhh,” and all other variations of adorable that are enough to make any woman’s ovaries ache.

Thank you so much, Miller family. It was an honor being able to be a part of you welcoming miss Kinsley into the world.