Newborn Twin Brothers Ethan & Eli | Clarksville Newborn Photographer


Newborn Twin Baby Boys These twin brothers stole my heart and the public spotlight more than once over the past few months.  Considering that their mother and father were both soldiers in the Army and served together in Afghanistan, I should have expected these precious little “military brats” to take charge and steal hearts along the way.  Born micro-preemies, the boys were 9 weeks old by time they graced me with their presence.  Even so, they were each approximately 5 lbs at the time.  Tiny!

To honor their dual military parents, we incorporated Mom & Dad’s Uniform Shirts atop the separate tiers of a miniature bunk bed.  The setup proved to be not only meaningful and PERSONAL to the family, but also a big hit with the public.  BEST NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHERS featured the image of the boys on the bunk bed on THE BLOG and their Facebook Fanpage on December 2nd, 2012.

newborn twin boys on a bunk bed with ACU tops and Army caps

This image was featured at BEST NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHERS as well on December 29th, and proves to be a favorite image for many (including me).  I plead the 5th on which brother this is though – I refuse to play favorites!

Newborn baby boy laying on ACUs with military cap

Since the boys were photographed in MOvember {November} and have a grandfather with a famous ‘stache, we decided to run with it and photograph them supporting the cause as well.  It became another little personal touch that tells a story about their family, which is an important part of what I strive to give each client.  Here they are pictured with their Grandfather:

Twin newborn babies and their mustaches for MOVEMBER

Apparently the newborn ‘stache picture was appreciated by more than just the family it represented.  Plenty of giggles and comments came about, and BEST BABY PHOTOGRAPHERS shared the picture on their Facebook Fanpage on November 28th.  How fun!

newborn twin boys wearing mustaches for movember

Being the middle of the holidays, we put together a very fitting Facebook Timeline Cover for Mom & Dad too – it still makes me chuckle 🙂

Silent Night?  Yeah Right!  Newborn Twins

When Daddy & Mommy were deployed together in Afghanistan, Daddy gave Mommy a teddy bear lovingly named “Beans”.  How appropriate that Beans be photographed with the boys now!  I wonder what will become of Beans once the boys are old enough to realize there is only ONE Beans?  I think we may have to check back with the parents in a few years to find out.  Until then, they were perfectly content sharing him in sweet slumber.

twin newborn boys and small teddy bear

Here are a few more favorites from our time together, including this adorable shot with tiny little newborn baby fedora hats from Kasey’s Creations!  (She makes the infamous little newborn Army caps as well).  You can follow her on Facebook too if you like, tell her I sent you!

newborn twin boys wearing newborn baby sized fedora hats newborn twin baby boys laying in basket

All in all, it was a wonderful session!  My dear friend Jasmine over at The Jazzy Peony Prop Shop assisted with the babies, stop by her Facebook Fanpage and give her some love if you get a chance!

Last but not least, I must include the obligatory sleeping parent out-take that so many of you love.  With twins, I expected Mom to be knocked out much sooner and for much longer, but I will take what I can get 🙂

GQ4A7941

I hope you’ve enjoyed these images and “getting to know” this family with me.  Just for fun, if this blog post receives 20 comments this month, then the family will receive a free gift!  So, if you love what you see, please make sure you SHARE IT so others can see what you love too.  Thank you!

newborn baby photographer in clarksville nashville tennessee tn and fort campbell ky kentucky, pictured moments by april

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Newborn Twin Brothers Ethan & Eli | Clarksville Newborn Photographer


Newborn Twin Baby Boys These twin brothers stole my heart and the public spotlight more than once over the past few months.  Considering that their mother and father were both soldiers in the Army and served together in Afghanistan, I should have expected these precious little “military brats” to take charge and steal hearts along the way.  Born micro-preemies, the boys were 9 weeks old by time they graced me with their presence.  Even so, they were each approximately 5 lbs at the time.  Tiny!

To honor their dual military parents, we incorporated Mom & Dad’s Uniform Shirts atop the separate tiers of a miniature bunk bed.  The setup proved to be not only meaningful and PERSONAL to the family, but also a big hit with the public.  BEST NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHERS featured the image of the boys on the bunk bed on THE BLOG and their Facebook Fanpage on December 2nd, 2012.

newborn twin boys on a bunk bed with ACU tops and Army caps

This image was featured at BEST NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHERS as well on December 29th, and proves to be a favorite image for many (including me).  I plead the 5th on which brother this is though – I refuse to play favorites!

Newborn baby boy laying on ACUs with military cap

Since the boys were photographed in MOvember {November} and have a grandfather with a famous ‘stache, we decided to run with it and photograph them supporting the cause as well.  It became another little personal touch that tells a story about their family, which is an important part of what I strive to give each client.  Here they are pictured with their Grandfather:

Twin newborn babies and their mustaches for MOVEMBER

Apparently the newborn ‘stache picture was appreciated by more than just the family it represented.  Plenty of giggles and comments came about, and BEST BABY PHOTOGRAPHERS shared the picture on their Facebook Fanpage on November 28th.  How fun!

newborn twin boys wearing mustaches for movember

Being the middle of the holidays, we put together a very fitting Facebook Timeline Cover for Mom & Dad too – it still makes me chuckle 🙂

Silent Night?  Yeah Right!  Newborn Twins

When Daddy & Mommy were deployed together in Afghanistan, Daddy gave Mommy a teddy bear lovingly named “Beans”.  How appropriate that Beans be photographed with the boys now!  I wonder what will become of Beans once the boys are old enough to realize there is only ONE Beans?  I think we may have to check back with the parents in a few years to find out.  Until then, they were perfectly content sharing him in sweet slumber.

twin newborn boys and small teddy bear

Here are a few more favorites from our time together, including this adorable shot with tiny little newborn baby fedora hats from Kasey’s Creations!  (She makes the infamous little newborn Army caps as well).  You can follow her on Facebook too if you like, tell her I sent you!

newborn twin boys wearing newborn baby sized fedora hats newborn twin baby boys laying in basket

All in all, it was a wonderful session!  My dear friend Jasmine over at The Jazzy Peony Prop Shop assisted with the babies, stop by her Facebook Fanpage and give her some love if you get a chance!

Last but not least, I must include the obligatory sleeping parent out-take that so many of you love.  With twins, I expected Mom to be knocked out much sooner and for much longer, but I will take what I can get 🙂

GQ4A7941

I hope you’ve enjoyed these images and “getting to know” this family with me.  Just for fun, if this blog post receives 20 comments this month, then the family will receive a free gift!  So, if you love what you see, please make sure you SHARE IT so others can see what you love too.  Thank you!

newborn baby photographer in clarksville nashville tennessee tn and fort campbell ky kentucky, pictured moments by april

Military Families Learn to Relish the Moment | Fort Campbell Newborn Photographer


What a beautiful baby newborn Cole was!  He was just as sweet as can be, calm and content throughout his entire newborn portrait session.  Considering that his Daddy’s deployment to Afghanistan with the Army was just around the corner, I expected the tension to be a little thicker, and Cole to be affected by it.  I found the opposite to be true though.  The family was more focused on relishing the moment, enjoying each other, and attempting to slow down the passing of time.  I enjoyed spending time with them during their session, especially Cole and his older brother Connor.  I can’t wait to watch these boys grow over the next year, while preserving memories as images to share with their Daddy away at war.

newborn army baby sticking his tongue out at deploymentsNewborn boy and brother sleeping newborn baby boynewborn boy and older brother with a tonka trucknewborn baby boy sleeping in army dad's armsnewborn boy with upcycled newborn sleep cap newborn boy in blue crochet hat with ear flapsnewborn boy posed with antique crateupcycled newborn hat and antique yellow bucketnewborn baby photographer clarksville, tn   fort campbell, ky   www.picturedmomentsbyapril.com

Military Families Learn to Relish the Moment | Fort Campbell Newborn Photographer


What a beautiful baby newborn Cole was!  He was just as sweet as can be, calm and content throughout his entire newborn portrait session.  Considering that his Daddy’s deployment to Afghanistan with the Army was just around the corner, I expected the tension to be a little thicker, and Cole to be affected by it.  I found the opposite to be true though.  The family was more focused on relishing the moment, enjoying each other, and attempting to slow down the passing of time.  I enjoyed spending time with them during their session, especially Cole and his older brother Connor.  I can’t wait to watch these boys grow over the next year, while preserving memories as images to share with their Daddy away at war.

newborn army baby sticking his tongue out at deploymentsNewborn boy and brother sleeping newborn baby boynewborn boy and older brother with a tonka trucknewborn baby boy sleeping in army dad's armsnewborn boy with upcycled newborn sleep cap newborn boy in blue crochet hat with ear flapsnewborn boy posed with antique crateupcycled newborn hat and antique yellow bucketnewborn baby photographer clarksville, tn   fort campbell, ky   www.picturedmomentsbyapril.com

Welcome Home! {Behind the scenes}


Considering the vast number of our armed forces deployed over the last ten years, most people have rejoiced along with a military homecoming at some point.  It is a wonderful, emotional, priceless event that impacts anyone who witnesses it. For this reason, you will find a massive amount of “welcome home” coverage on the internet, news, and television – people love a happy ending!

What happens after the homecoming is rarely newsworthy, however.  Very few people discuss the downside of a military homecoming.  Have no fear – I will go there for you!

*You and your spouse will change in a year – sometimes for the better, but it could be for the worse.  It is almost never on the same exact path.  It will take time to get to know each other again and to learn the changes that you have both endured.

*Expect a huge change from your children.  Kylie had multiple potty accidents daily for the first three weeks after Kyle returned home to us.  She became clingy and whiny, continues to have nightmares, and begs not to sleep alone.  She cries any time Kyle leaves – even if it is just to take out the trash.

*If you are like me, you became super woman during the deployment.  You handled it ALL – you had a routine and a schedule that worked for you!  Be ready to change things when your spouse returns.  Kyle came home wanting to help but feeling as if he were always “in the way”.  He was in the way!  It wasn’t until I realized that my routine {that worked great for just me and Kylie} needed to be modified to accommodate our new family size.

*Never forget that the transition is very difficult for them as well.  Kyle came from a hazardous environment where “work” was the priority 24/7 and carried that mentality home with him.  All of the noise, distractions, and chaos of family life can have devastating effects on a soldier returning home.  Ease into things – try not to take it personally if it takes them a while to make that transition.

*Communicate!  Discuss your fears, struggles, and failures along the way.  Explain why you’re feeling challenged and be sure to listen when he does the same.  Miscommunication is probably our number one issue these days.

*Patience is priceless.  Your kids will come around, your marriage will soar again, and your routine will run like clock work soon enough.  You have to believe that, be positive, and be patient.

I have been battling all of the above recently, and came to a breaking point a few days ago.  My tears took over and held me captive for most of the evening.  I realized that sometimes, a good cry is just what a girl needs to overcome an obstacle and push through.  I was washing my face before bedtime and vowed to not beat myself up about the breakdown.  I made another promise too – I won’t forget the very best part of our military homecoming.  He came home.

This picture was taken by Tiffany Hall of A Mother’s Eye Photography

Project Christmas Card


Last November I started “Operation Christmas Card” along with some fellow Army Wives here.  We invited {begged} friends and family to please send a Christmas card to a list of soldiers – each of our husbands included.  The idea was that the consistent influx of holiday mail throughout November and December would hopefully ease the hardship of being alone at war for Christmas.  The project took flight and really soared – the response was truly overwhelming!  It was immediately clear that begging was unnecessary – people {even strangers} were honored to take part in it.  Kyle and the list of soldiers received Christmas cards and care packages from all over the country for months!  Some were from our family and friends, others were from fellow Army wife family and friends.  Many were from complete strangers.  To say that the project worked would be a huge understatement.  Kyle said the constant mail kept his spirits up, made him feel appreciated, and showed him how kind and supportive people really are.  He tried to write thank-you cards during the scarce free time in Afghanistan, but couldn’t thank everyone unfortunately.  For that reason, I wanted to take the time to give a heartfelt thank you to all of you that blessed my husband and the list of soldiers last Christmas.  It truly meant more than you can imagine.

After returning home to us and getting settled here at Fort Campbell, Kyle received a few cards in the mail that were forwarded from Afghanistan.  Apparently, he was on the move when the cards reached the country and didn’t make it to him in time.  Amazingly enough, they made it back here though!  I knew the project was a success and I could imagine how all of the love and supportive mail would make him feel, but I was never on the receiving end during the project until now.  These cards were from a girl scout troop and a math class – complete with pictures.  I started crying.  I finally felt an inkling of how these soldiers must have felt this past Christmas.  I am so blessed to have friends and family who not only support my husband and many other soldiers, but also ask their friends and family to do the same.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you all.

 

My Hero


 

Most people that know Kyle well would have a handful of words to describe him, “humble” being an anonymous choice.  Sometimes I would even dare to say that he may be humble to a fault – refusing to take credit for something he deserves or has rightfully earned.  For me, being aware of his overwhelming sense of humility means that I have to be proud enough for the both of us every now and then.  Anyone that knows me well is probably smiling now because that isn’t a hard task for me by any means.  I am always proud of Kyle and all that he does for us as a family.  Yesterday, however, was a very special circumstance.  Kyle was awarded the bronze star medal at his award ceremony for his actions in Afghanistan.  My heart was bursting with pride when his name was called and I felt the pride overflowing as I watched him receive his award.  He will probably refrain from sharing this accomplishment with people.  Since there is a slight possibility that my pride wasn’t enough for the both of us, I wanted to make sure I shared it with all of you.  Congratulations to my hero!

Keep Coming Home


Kyle wanted to attend another Homecoming ceremony to welcome home some friends and fellow soldiers from his unit.  It was fun to have him by my side this time while we held up signs and cheered for the soldiers returning home.  As Kylie was yelling “here come all the daddies!”, I felt the joy in my heart overflowing as tears in my eyes.  I looked over at Kyle and saw the emotions overcoming him too while his fellow soldiers stepped off that plane.  I realized that homecomings are emotional, even the second time around… whether you know the soldiers returning home or not.

Day 252 – Welcome Home!


I can’t put into words the feelings that overcame me the moment I knew for sure that you were finally home safe.  I can honestly say that I didn’t believe it entirely until I found myself in your arms again.  My heart pounded in my chest and I couldn’t hold back my tears when I saw one trickle down your cheek.  I’m forever grateful to have you back here with us – hopefully for a long time.  I have learned that being a military family means the possibility of you leaving again at any time.  Fortunately, for that reason, we know how important it is to not take even ONE moment together for granted.  I love you, welcome home Kyle!

*All photos were taken by Tracie Fread

Day 229 – A Picture A Day While My Soldier’s Away


I found this picture in an old wallet of mine, and decided to scan it for my picture of the day.  I’m sorry that it’s a little banged up, but that’s what happens when you carry something around for that long.  This picture was taken in 2002 – shortly before your first deployment to the middle east, and a few months before our wedding.  I often wonder to myself that had I known the road our marriage was about to take, would I still have gone along for the ride?   At the moment this picture was taken, I couldn’t fathom spending over 4 of the next 8 years apart from each other.  I had no idea that you would be on your 3rd deployment right now.  The thought of you having a nearly 4 year old daughter, whom you have only spent 18 months with would have crushed my soul.  We’re here though, and that’s the road we’ve taken.   As I anticipate your homecoming and our reunion, I have to admit that I’m nervous.  We’ve both grown in different ways {and I’ve shrunk!}.  We have to invest in each other all over again – learn to live together and get acquainted with each other’s new habits.  We have to figure out how to parent together again, and get Kylie accustomed to having her Daddy around.  Anyone that’s ever made it through a deployment knows EXACTLY what I’m talking about.   Do I think it will be a failure?  Absolutely not.  I know it will take some time though, and with patience and persistence we will make it just fine.  Although we’ve changed completely since this picture was taken, we’re a lot like it – banged up a little.  That’s what happens when you carry something, like WAR, for as long as we have.