July 5, 2012


I have been reading about the beauty and awesomeness (is that word?) of McFee Park. I got to experience it first handed when Aaron and his Mommy met me for a photo session. Everything I had heard was true - it was beautiful and so nice! I highly recommend taking your children there if you're in the Farragut area.

Aaron turns two this month and his Mommy wanted to get some birthday photos done. He is simply handsome! Big bright blue eyes and the cutest blond hair. Behind all of his handsomness (again is that a word?) he was all boy! Not many two year old little boys want to sit still and have photos made so I let him do his own thing and photographed him in the process.

I believe we got some great shots that truly show his personality. Ashley, thank-you for trusting me to capture this special time in Aaron's life. He is a doll!

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God's Love Story - The Burnham Edition

Disclaimner:: I miscounted how many weeks were until our anniversary. Our 5th wedding anniversary is four weeks from yesterday, lol. Now on to the story.


You can imagine my disappointment when I went to bed on that Monday night. I hadn't received a phone call and I was sure this was a sign that he wanted nothing to do with me. I arrived at work the next morning and shared with Leah the disappointing news. I told her not to make any more contact with Jon about the situation. We left it up to him and to God. Well, Leah received a text that morning from Jon asking again for my phone number. She gave it to him and that was it.

I went on lunch that afternoon, to Chick-Fila to be exact, and while I was pulling out of the drive-thru my phone rang. I had a text. I didn't recognize the phone number but thought it must be him. I was so excited. I'm pretty sure that I texted Leah before I even texted him back. Do you want to know what my first text from my "Prince Charming" said? "Do you have Verizon?" Romantic right?  I laughed and replied yes. We texted all day, which was very against the rules at work but I promise if Kristin is reading this that my kids were safe and sound and I did interact with them, lol.

After a day of texting, he asked if he could call me that night. I told him yes. That night he did call just as he said he would. We talked for what seemed like forever. We asked each other questions and were getting to know each other. The night ended and of course I felt like I was on cloud nine! The week continued and we talked every day.

We talked about going out on our first date but he had to work all weekend and I had plans with some friends on that Friday. Friday evening rolled around and as I was leaving dinner with some friends from work and was headed west on I40 my phone rang. It was Scott which was weird because he was suppose to be at work. He got off early from work and asked me on our first official date. It was late and now the only thing between us officially meeting and going on our first date was getting my parent's permission. I prayed the whole way home that they would let me meet this stranger that they had never met.

July 4, 2012

The Uribe Family

Happy 4th of July! What better blog post to have on this Independence Day than that of a family who is serving our country. The Uribe Family made time during their vacation in Tennessee to have family photos done! We met up at AK Bissell Park in Oak Ridge and once I saw them all decked out in their red, white and blue I knew it was going to be a special session.

Little Emma is simply adorable and was so cute in her patriotic dress and red cowboy boots. I loved watching her interact with her parents, especially her Daddy. Her Daddy was dressed in his uniform and some of the images we captured of the two of them seriously melts my heart every time I look at them!

Alicia and Emma thank-you for the sacrifice you make daily so that Ryan can protect our country. Thank-you Ryan for your service!

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July 2, 2012

The Chapman Family

Each summer since Memories & Blessings Photography began I have had the priviledge of photographing the Chapman family. I am so honored they have chosen me to be a small part of their life. I say it all the time but one of my favorite things about my job is that I get to watch all the kids grow. Bradley and Carter have grown so much since we first started. In fact, Carter was a newborn when I first did the Chapman's photos in 2010. He is such a big boy now and running everywhere! Bradley is just as sweet as ever and I do believe he is getting more handsome with age!

We met at the Chapman's home in Lenoir City and walked to a beautiful location they we were able to use for the photos. A big field, an old fence and barn and the sun gently beginning to set made for beautiful photos! Thank-you Brice and Kelly for giving me the opportunity to capture God's blessings in your life!

Here is the family back in 2010 ...

Here they are today!

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July 1, 2012

Be a Blessing Winner Is ....

Thank-you for making the first annual "Be a Blessing" campaign a huge success. I received eleven heartfelt nominations. Each of the nominees could have very well won and each are well deserving of their nomination. I hope they receive knowing that someone wanted to recognize them and wanted to thank them for all that they do.

Meet Steve and Heather Umberger, pictured below with their five children. Steve and Heather have been such a blessing to my husband and I throughout the years. Steve was Scott's Youth Pastor and through the years they have turned in to such close friends. They are such a blessing to us and I'm sure the same would be said if you asked anyone who knows them. Steve is a pastor in Bluefield, West Virginia and I was so excited that he and Heather were willing to choose this year's "Be a Blessing" receipient.

And now for the real reason you are reading the blog today, the announcement of the winner! Congratulations to Lillie Mae Rutherford who was nominated by Sherry Proffit. Here is Sherry's nomination entry.
 I don't know where to start. I am writing about Lillie Mae Rutherford. She is known as mom to her 4 daughters (including me) and her 1 son. She has 15 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. She turned 74-years-old today.

Lillie Mae was born June 25, 1938 in Morgan Co. to William and Reba Goins. She started working when she was a young teenager and only retired last year right before her 73rd birthday. She was married to William Rutherford and they had 5 children together.

By the age of  11 I was the only child left at home. My dad was always very sick and having surgeries. My mom for years was the only working parent. She never had her license so if my dad was too sick to drive her she would have to walk from our home to her job, which was probably 7-8 miles one way. It did not matter what the weather was, if she could not find a way she would walk.

My family has had lots of tragedies and my mom is always the strong one. My sophomore year of high school, in 1989, my sister-in-law was in a car accident in Sugar Grove Valley. She was hit head on by a driver on the wrong side of the road. My 4-month-old niece was killed in that accident. My brother and sister-in-law along with my whole family were devastated, but my mom was the strong one.

In 1992, at the age of 55 my mom took and passed her driving test. She was now able to drive herself to work if my dad was too sick. In November of that year, my dad was admitted to the hospital and passed away 3 days later. Again, my mom was strong for us kids. She continued working to pay bills.

Towards the end of 1995 my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. In 1996 after trying to stay in her home and then moving in with my Aunt and Uncle for awhile, she was placed in a nursing home due to the fact that she was falling and breaking bones. This devastated my mom. She would get up and go to work at 5am and as soon as she got off from work she would drive to the nursing home to help give my grandmother her bath, help feed her and just spend time with her. In Dec. of 1996 she was admitted to the hospital and passed away Dec 21. My mom was lost. Her mom was gone and she did not know what to do. After some time she went back to work.

My mom has 3 brothers and 1 sister who she is close with. Her younger brother who has always lived next to my mom was diagnosed with cancer in 2011. The doctors went in and removed it. Around Thanksgiving he found out it was back. On Dec. 2 he was told it was on the brain, in his lungs, in his shoulder and the lymph nodes. My mom was spending time with him from early morning until late at night. By end of January he started going downhill. I could tell it was taking its toll on my mom. She was not sleeping and hardly eating. By February my uncle was doing a lot of sleeping and when he was awake, he did not know who most people were, but he knew my mom. My mom was getting about 2 hours of sleep per night. She was cooking or going to buy food so that my aunt, cousins, and anyone who came to see my uncle could walk next door to her home to eat. My uncle passed away February 14, 2012 with my mom, my aunt, his 2 daughters, 2 of my sisters and myself there with him at his home. My mom had lost her best friend.
 2 weeks later, my mom got a call from her sister. She was at work and received a phone call that her only son had shot himself and was being flown to U.T. My mom, still trying to catch up on the sleep she had lost due to my uncle got out of bed, got dressed and went to U.T. to be with my aunt and uncle. She spent well over a month there until my cousin passed away. She then went home with her sister to be there to help out anyway she could.

My mom NEVER does anything for herself. She never shops for herself. The only time she gets new clothes is when me and my sisters buy it for her. She takes her money and pays bills and helps out anyone who needs it. When she was working she would have teenage kids come in who were going to school and would not have enough money to buy them breakfast or something to drink and she would tell them to go ahead and get them something and she would pay for it.

She has said for years she would like to have some photos taken so she could give all of her kids one.

Congratulations Lillie Mae! You will receive a $100 gift certificate from Memories & Blessings Photography. Renee will also receive a gift certificate in the amount of $50.

The decision was hard so I allowed Steve and Heather to pick a second place winner. This winner will receive a $50 gift certificate. Congratulations to Bobby Joe and Sonya Headrick. Here's what Krystal Griffis had to say about them.
I would like to nominate a couple in my church and their family.  Bobby Joe and Sonja Headrick.  They a wonderful Christian family and they have been such an inspiration to my husband and I.  They are just great people that seek to serve the Lord in all they do.  They help tremendously with the youth in our church.  She teaches the teenage girls Sunday school class, and they have led the VBS at our church for as long as I can remember.
That being said they don't have a lot of material things, and are struggling in this economy just like the rest of us are.  She is a school bus driver and he can't work because he has very bad eyesight.  But even though they may not have much they are the kind of people that would give you the shirt of their back if they knew you needed it more and it would help you.  They have always been there for my husband and I, and we love them dearly!  They have four children and three grandchildren, and I am sure that they would love to have their family photographed!
 Each nominee will receive a $20 gift certificate and all those that sent in entries will receive a $10 gift certificate. Thank-you all again for willing to be a blessing to others! I look forward to meeting each of you and getting to "Capture God's blessings in your life!"

June 29, 2012

Brence & Monica

This was the second time I have had the opportunity to work with Brence and Monica. I love repeat clients because you already know each other. It's kind of like hanging out with old friends rather than work. This session was no different. They are such a sweet young couple and when they look at each other you can really tell they care about each other.

We met up in Lenoir City for a session by the lake and it was beautiful. They were so much fun and so easy to photograph. Be on the lookout this fall for another session featuring Brence and Monica, as we head to the Tennessee Valley Fair!

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June 28, 2012

The Belcher Family

I had the awesome opportunity to meet up with the Belcher and Duncan families at Lenoir City Park and do some family photos. I love photographing all types of sessions, but I especially love when I get to photoraph a large family unit. Within the first moments of meeting the familes I knew who the center of the family was ... the grandson, Zach. He is one extremely loved young man. It was so nice to meet a family where there seemed not to be "in-laws", they were just all family.

Zach shares some precious memories with his grandparents and I had the priviledge of documenting some of thos memories during our session. For example, the torn dollar bill.

When Zach was just a toddler he tore one of his Grandpa Duncan's dollar bills. Since that day, Zach and his Grandfather each carry one half of the dollar in their wallets. As Grandpa Duncan was reliving this memory with me I asked him what he would've done if it was a one hundred dollar bill and he laughed and said he would've ran and found some tape! This family was full of laughs and I loved that I got to go down memory lane with them for awhile.

Here are a few of my favorites from the Belcher/Duncan family session.

Zach gave his grandmother's the rings they are wearing when he was much smaller.

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