Flat Stanley visits Fort Campbell, Kentucky


Hello Mrs. Lewis!

This is Stanley reporting back to you from Fort Campbell, KY.  My friend Chloe sent me here to visit her cousin Kylie and I have had a great time!  Fort Campbell is a military base located on the state line dividing Kentucky and Tennessee, however, since the post office happens to be located on the Kentucky side of the base, Kentucky is the official “address”.

fort campbell map

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The weather here right now is COLD!  There is snow on the ground for winter time, although flowers start peeking through the ground for spring very soon.  Summers are very HOT – sometimes over 100 degrees.  Fall is beautiful with colorful leaves falling from the trees and breezy, cool weather.

Being a military base, there are many different cultures.  Families move in and out of the area often too.  Kylie wanted to make sure I felt right at home while I was visiting, so she made me my very own Army uniform to wear!

flat stanley

She took me to see a memorial on the Army post and we spent time checking out old military aircraft too.  She even let me “fly” an old helicopter!

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Next, she took me to meet some HEROES that live at Fort Campbell!  They were very nice soldiers that wanted to meet me and take a picture with me.  I made sure to thank them for volunteering to serve in the military and protect our country too.

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Kylie wanted to introduce me to a few of her own favorite people too.  We met the local Girl Scouts selling yummy cookies.  They wanted to meet me too!  We took a picture, donated to help wounded warriors, and I got to pose with a GIANT girlscout “cookie”.

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Last, but not least, Kylie gave me my very own “scout” patch for serving at Fort Campbell for the day!

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I had a wonderful time visiting with Chloe’s cousin, Kylie and I hope to come back soon!  Maybe next time, I could bring Chloe with me.  I know Kylie would love that the most.

Thank you for letting me explore Fort Campbell, Kentucky!

 

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Your Favorite Newborn Pictures of 2012 from Pictured Moments By April


On the Facebook Fanpage, I recently put out a plea for help in choosing some favorite newborn images from 2012 for my side-show header on my new (upcoming) website.  I have to say that I was blown away by the responses and feedback that so many of you shared – thank you for your opinions and willingness to help!  I didn’t want to let all of your hard work go to waste, so here are the results of your feedback:

In no particular order, these were the 30 FAN FAVORITE newborn images of 2012:

IMG_4082-copy2 newborn twins mirror mirror newborn twins sugar and spice Fort campbell newborn baby photographer newborn twin military baby picture Triplet newborn baby photographer | Clarksville, TN |  Fort Campbell, KY  |  www.picturedmomentsbyapril.com newborn baby girl in tutu and cinderella carriagephotographer clarksville TN and Fort Campbell KY newborn lips black and white, baby photography clarksville TN, Fort Campbell, KY  Pictured moments by April newborn baby girl in heart basket with fall leaves.  pictured moments by april.  clarksville, tn and fort campbell, ky Newborn baby boy laying on ACUs with military cap

newborn baby boy with winter hat newborn baby girl with afro and flower headband Clarksville Newborn Baby Photographer newborn baby girl smiling Newborn baby girl with a vintage baby bonnet and satin ribbon newborn boy propped up wearing an infant fedora newborn baby boy sleeping in his daddys army helmet from fort campbell ky 101st airborne division screaming eagles newborn baby girl smiling with dimples and a peach flower headband newborn baby boy with his mother and father hands holding him newborn baby girl in a basket of pink satin and feathers big sister kissing newborn baby brother newborn baby girl in a basket with gold lace smiling newborn baby boy laughing Smiling newborn baby boy with open eyes newborn baby boy wearing a cowboy hat posed in an antique bucket next to daddys cowboy boots bonding newborn baby twins newborn baby girl with lace and peach flower headband Newborn baby girl smiling with red flower headbandswaddled newborn boy in crocheted hat

Newborn baby girl with adorable afro and red flowers on a headband

From the choices above, I can gather a few things:

  • smiling newborn baby images are your favorites
  • lace with newborn girls photographed beautifully
  • you all sure love the multiples and military babies!

Thank you for commenting with your feedback and voicing your opinions.  It was a proud moment to see the love from all of you and to be able to share it with these babies and their families!  I feel beyond blessed and truly appreciated for my artwork – I hope every photographer has a chance to have clients, friends, and fans like all of you.  From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!

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

 

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 🙂

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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

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 Jaxon! Fort Campbell Newborn Photographer


My very first time being hired as a photographer was on May 3rd, 2011.  Although I spent months learning, researching, shadowing, and experimenting after I received my first DSLR in February, it wasn’t until May that I got paid.  I was ecstatic – someone liked me and my work enough to pay me to photograph their welcome home ceremony reuniting their family after a year long deployment.  It was very surreal to me.

I wrote about that memorable first session of mine here:  Heartfelt Homecoming  although I think this is the first time I’m announcing that it was technically the first time I got paid.  I thoroughly enjoyed welcoming home a soldier and celebrating with the Major family as they became one big happy family again.  I felt honored to be capturing these memories for them and blessed to be able to call this “work”.

Fast forward to February and I was able to spend quality time with the Major family again.  This time they brought their new addition to their family – Jaxon – for those priceless newborn portraits that everyone loves.  I was tickled pink holding him and even more so when I saw his older brother and how much he had grown since last May.  My heart smiled as soon as I realized that this family started my journey last year and kept it going strong this year.  Thank you<3


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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

Hooah! {or something like that}


I am a fan of the Army life that we live.  I love being able to stay at home with my daughter, make new friends all over the country, and I beam with pride when I am asked what my husband does for work.  I feel it’s a privilege to live among heroes {and their families} every day.  With that being said, this life is not all butterflies and fairy tales.  In fact, most days it’s anything but.  Now that most of our soldiers are returning home over the next six months, there will be a big turnover in the company that we keep.  The Army is infamous for relocating families soon after the soldiers return home, and I am already starting to see the proof of this.  My neighbors {and wonderful friends} were just sent to Georgia – I’m not sure who is more heartbroken about this, Kylie or me.  Their daughter Abby was Kylie’s little friend instantly, and living next door!  The neighbors are just one of many of our friends that are leaving us too soon.  Cristin and Kylie’s friend Marlie will be Georgians this summer too.  My dear friend Renee just informed me that their time at Fort Campbell will be coming to an end as well.  This is one of the downfalls of the Army life.  As quickly as people come into your life and bond like family, they are moved out of your life just the same.  It can be a hard lesson to learn, and even more difficult to refrain from building up your defenses and warding off new friendships in the future.  I will make new friends, I know.  The friends that leave impressions on your heart are impossible to replace though.