torn again

Excited: about my big brother’s wedding tomorrow. He just left me a voice mail and said (I’m paraphrasing here) “Hey, we were wondering if you’d do double duty and do one of the readings tomorrow. It’s the one about man being lonely and so God created woman to cook him dinner.”

Apprehensive: about Ryan’s grandparents. Please say a little prayer for his grandpa who is suffering from a stomach hernia and his grandma who may or may not have throat cancer. If only the doctors could make up their mind.


The Farm

The last few posts have all used "the farm" as a back drop. It's been in Ryan's family for years. It is or will be a Century Farm. His grandma still lives there in all of her 80 some years of experience. She has about six cows that are bred and calf every year. For no other reason then her enjoyment. Cocoa and Zoe, a chocolate and a black lab keep her company. And every Sunday the extended family comes out to the farm. The men find something to do outside while the women sit in the living room and chat until it's time to get the coffee and rolls on. I often wonder how long that tradition has been going on... or when it got started. Maybe some day I'll ask his grandma.

Anywho - back to the task at hand. Ryan's cousin asked me to take a few photos of the farm to frame and hang in her house. I've taken a few before so I tried to get a few different ones this time around.

Opening weekend

Every year my husband starts to get itchy mid-October. By the second week he's counting down the days. By the third week he's ticking off the hours. And with just days to go until opening weekend of pheasant season it's usually down to the minute. He's like a little kid at Christmas. It's so much fun to see him that excited.
The past few years I've tagged along opening weekend to get some photos. Here is a few from last weekend's adventure.

Here's the crew after the first morning and their seven birds. I'm sure Ryan would want me to mention he shot three of the seven.

And here's the master hunter in action...

I love that you can see the dew in the grass. It was pretty but made for some soggy socks after the first half hour.

Have you ever tried to walk through prairie grass? You don't just take a leisurely stroll through the switchgrass. It's a lot harder than it seems. The wind whips through tangling it into big knots. So it's more like hurdling than actually walking.
This is Vern. Ryan's step-dad. He hurdled his way through nearly shoulder high switchgrass for about 45 minutes... with a herniated disc!

They went out again Sunday but the wind was so strong it was tough going. They didn't see a single bird.



It’s an odd feeling. A little bitter with a generous amount of sadness and a touch of jealousy. Today my sister and her family are in Hawaii. That explains jealousy.

I can see them playing along white sandy beaches and eating dinner while being entertained by hula dancers. Why aren’t I happy for them? Because it means they’re gone. For two. Whole. Years. And I don’t really feel like I got to say goodbye. This is where sadness comes in.

Sure I organized a big send off for them… but that was weeks ago now. Thanks to the internet and all it’s agony we’ve emailed and shared a Facebook wall post now and then. But it’s not enough. I haven’t heard their voices. Wait for it…. Wait for it… yep, bitterness has arrived.

So Pam, Jeff and the kids - if you manage to find internet access amid your island adventures this week… know that I’m thinking about you and praying for your safe travels. Love you all.


Adam and Jenny: Couple moments

These two are... well, they just... make sense together. And not because of the way they look at each other or because they hold hands all the time or spend every possible moment together. Who knows they might do that too... I don't know. They're adorable because they have fun together. They laugh and joke and play. They tease each other once in awhile. They're real.

Adam and Jenny - Thank you. I had a great time taking your photos. Enjoy...

I just noticed the rings on the barn at the top of this photo. Back when Adam's great grandma and grandpa Ed and Rosemary farmed with horses his grandpa Vern used to tie the team to those rings to be hitched or unhitched from wagons.

I almost photoshoped their t-shirts to say Jack Trice...


A fall hay ride

By nature I'm not a big city person. I grew up in the country surrounded by pasture and timber. As a kid I spent my days roaming our eleven acres, ice skating on the neighbor's pond and riding my bike a mile down the gravel road to play with the neighbor kids. Suffice it to say, after awhile the city limits start to get a little suffocating. And this past weekend… I escaped.

We spent Sunday in the middle of no where. Well, Ryan's grandma's farm is certainly somewhere. But if I shut my eyes and pretended the giant Super Wal-Mart on the other side of the hill didn't exist, it was close enough. And no where kind of implies you're the only sole for miles. That was definitely not the case. But hey, if I want 59 of my relatives in my no where then who's going to stop me?! That's right… no one!

I think this year marked the third annual Korwes family hay ride. And nothing says fall like climbing onto a hay wagon while the big green and yellow parades you through acres of restored prairie. It was such an amazing day. In true Korwes style, afterward we had a buffet of chili and chicken noodle soup with every side and dessert imaginable. It was a great reason to escape the big bad city.


The Schmitz': Family moments

I don't remember the first time I met Ryan's cousin Brian and his wife Lisa. I'm guessing it was probably out at their grandma's farm. So it was fitting that I met them and their two daughters at the farm to take some family photos Sunday morning.

Brian, Lisa, Anna and Sophie - it was such a pleasure to follow you around the farm. Honestly, I think I had more fun than the girls! Thanks for letting me play. Enjoy!

This is Anna. She is every photographers dream. She was full of big smiles and poses the whole time. Mom and dad might have their hands full with this one in a few years. I predict she's going to grow up to be drop dead goregous.

Some day they'll realize they will always be best friends...

This is Sophie. She's quite the opposite of her sister. Quiet, low key. A go with the flow kind of girl. She's going to be one of those girls everyone loves. You know, the ones that are naturally beautiful. The ones that look amazing in jeans and a sweatshirt without a stitch of makeup.

I played around with the saturation on a few of these. I kind of like the 'almost black and white but not quite' feel to them.

This may be my favorite... Sophie, can you say precious?

Can't you just hear the giggle that accompanied this smile?


The Mixdorf's: Family Moments

There is nothing better than spending a goregous fall afternoon laughing until your ribs hurt. Spend a few minutes with the Mixdorf's and you can tell Mark and Jeanine have a tremendous amount of fun with their kids, Megan and Lance.
From chasing each other around the park to errupting in giggles, I had so much fun spending an afternoon with them at the library of all places. And all I did was watch. I dare you to spend five minutes with this family without noticing a smile creep across your face.
I'm willing to bet $20 you won't last five seconds.

Mark, Jeanine, Megan and Lance - I had a great time with you. I won't soon forget about Lady the horse, cherry coke and the infamous Cars birthday cake. Thanks for letting me document all the smiles. :-) I hope they are as much fun the second time around...