Kristen’s Bridal Portraits and Some Recent Happenings

We’re still alive! =) Just wanted to confirm that, despite our lapse in blogging for the last couple of weeks. I’ll give you an update below, but first…

Here are some favorites from the bridal session we did for Kristen back in March up at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple in Guthrie. Now that Kristen is married, we can finally share them!

It’s definitely the busy season! Editing is piling up and the warm weather is settling in! Despite everything that we had going on, we just got back from taking almost a week off to visit with family — particularly my grandfather who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He lives in the Caribbean and was flying up to visit family in Iowa, so we made an impromptu road trip in order to see him and the rest of the family.

My uncle recently moved to Iowa with his wife and eight children (yes, 8!) and lives in a massive (former) bed and breakfast, so amazingly, all 30 of us actually stayed with him without any trouble or inconvenience at all! Now, you have to understand that my family is just a little bit loud, especially when they’re all together, so it was really amazing that we were all able to stay in one home and not lift the roof. =)

Anyway, the visit was SO enjoyable! It was really restful and therapeutic to see everyone and to visit for a few days. Grandpa’s Alzheimer’s has started to affect his memory, mainly short-term, but the joy of being able to see him and enjoy his company far outweighed the sadness. I couldn’t help but think that this may be the last time we visit with him as he is right now… That maybe next time he wouldn’t remember us… Or that maybe there wouldn’t be a next time. Life is so short and these things definitely help us to keep our priorities straight.

Driving back from Iowa, we actually stopped in Tulsa to attend the memorial service for a friend, and amazing pianist, composer and conductor Larry Dalton, who died unexpectedly of a heart attack two weeks ago. I was shocked to find out that Larry was actually 63 years old. In my mind, he was in his 40’s… he was so energetic, such a fun, interesting person to be around, and quite the prankster I might add. The music at the memorial service was just amazing and there was no end to the stories people had to share about him. Larry’s ability to relate to and converse with anyone was really outstanding. I’ve heard that the essence of a gentleman is being able to put those around you at ease, and Larry was so good at making those near him comfortable. Today, we’re listening to some of our favorite arrangements he did, including one that we used at our own wedding for Holly to walk down the aisle to. We were really honored to even have Larry play piano at our wedding… so many great memories.

Between Grandpa’s diagnosis and Larry’s recent passing, I am reminded of a quote that says it’s better to be in the house of mourning than of feasting for a few reasons…

  1. It reminds us that ultimately that’s where we’re all headed
  2. It gives us a more healthy view of and appreciation for life
  3. It’s foolish to seek only fun and merriment all the time

And so, after this week’s experiences, I find myself a little more contemplative than usual. I hope you don’t mind.

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