I Heart Faces {Friendship}

I had another image in mind for this months I Heart Faces August Photo  challenge, but then these two changed that.  I heard giggling and “pass the pen, ok this one is yours and this one is mine. Let’s keep them forever”  They had their own little photo shoot and to say I smiled would be an understatement.  I just love that these two little firecrackers do not let a couple year age difference keep them from being BFF’s.


 Come join the fun!

Photo Challenge Submission

xo Heather

The M Family | Syracuse Family Photographer

Each year, in December it is my goal to reach out to our beautiful community and ask you to tell me about your loved ones. I want you to tell me about the people in your life who give so much and maybe need a little love given to them.  I do this to honor the 26 people who lost their lives in the Sandy Hook School shooting on December 14, 2012.  The memory of that day still makes my chest go tight and my mind spin. It still makes no sense, it never will, BUT if you have clicked on any of the facebook pages, Youtube videos  or other ways parents have shared  about their children you will learn these kids knew how to love and how to give.  A photographer who wanted to remain nameless started the Olivia Act and photographers around the country jumped on.

“Dec. 14, 2012, is a date that will be etched in my memory forever. On that day, 26 people lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School, including 20 children, in what was one of our nations deadliest shootings. The images will haunt me for a long time. I cried and cried all weekend long, and I felt I should really do something. I had seen images of Olivia Engel and her family from a professional shoot they had done not that long before little Olivia was killed. I know how much that family must cherish these photos now; so, I thought it was so important to give back using my skill as a photographer. It started out with me just offering a free 30 min. family shoot to a family that might not otherwise have images made, but a lot of other photographers wanted to do the same. So, I created The Olivia Act. I challenge every photographer to do this for a family! You do NOT need to mention my name, just do this out of the goodness of your heart, no matter what city, state, or country you live in. It’s 30 min out of your life and can mean so much to a family.”

This year the call was put out and this community did not hold back. You shared, you shared good. I cried . I prayed and even cheered for each family nominated.

The family who won this years session had recently lost a very special member, leaving a space very hard to fill. Everyone I have spoken to says what a light Mary Demko was to everyone she came in contact with. I will let her daughter, Ashleigh share about her mom.

“My Moms story of Life-
Words will never describe the hole in not only my heart but my life! My mother was not only my “Ma” but she was truly my best friend! We shared a truly genuine one of a kind relationship, that most mothers and daughters will never find, not to mention the true love she found with each of my children. I always told her I would NEVER be able to go on without her and she has given me the strength and been by my side throughout this whole process. There is not a day that goes by I do not think of her or want to pick up the phone and call her, but knowing and feeling her right by my side has brought me comfort. My mother was looked up to by many and she had every right to be. You never met such a caring, devoted, patient, loving woman, my mother would give to others things she never in a million years could have given to herself! She would give to anyone in need even if that meant she had to go without. My wish for others is that they take a moment each day or each week and try to do something for another human being that may be in need. My mom Mary was not rich in the sense of money but she was the RICHEST woman I have ever known! To love whole hearted the way she did and to find the best in people when no one else would is what made my mother above the rest.
Mary Demko
Ashleigh, I can say with no doubt you make your mom so very proud. I loved spending time with your beautiful family. xoxo
I hope the moments we captured here will have you smiling for years to come.


All Boy ~ I Heart Faces Photography Challenge

It’s time for the June I Heart Faces Photo challenge! This month it is all about the boys!

These two wild and crazy guys keep us laughing, on this pretty day in very early spring they where making sure the Zoo was free of all bad guys. Oh the imagination they have. xoxo



There are sure to be some great pictures going up this week, you have have until June 14th to add your favorite boy picture in. I Heart Faces has made entering the fun easier with 4 different ways to submit. Even if you are not ready to jump in yet, come smile with me at all the wonderful boys and leave a little encouragement. We all like that right? ;)


xoxo ~ Heather


Photo Challenge Submission

Love. I really love it.

A few months ago I was sent an e-mail asking  “please take our pictures” (always like these e-mails) The Mrs. wanted to surprise her Mr. with a photo session to celebrate their five years of marriage. I am a huge goober for love, makes me all silly, so I was pretty excited to meet with these love birds. Well mother nature messed with us and our time together got bump to two weeks ago. During the time I was first contacted and the time we met, this precious couple found out they were expecting a baby!  I was delighted when we met and they shared the news. Love and a new baby, oh goodness consider me happy to the max.  Thew pictures make me so happy. Enjoy.






Best wishes W family, can not wait to meet your little man!



My heart is so heavy this week.

I am sure you all have seen the pictures of little Ryan Cruz sweet red curly haired son of blogger Jacqui of Baby Boy Bakery. Jacqui and her husband Dan are, I can only imagine, living in a state of shock and horror. Their beautiful boy chased a frisbee into the street and the unimaginable happen.  Social media has stepped up and is doing all they can to wrap this couple and their family in as much love as we can muster.  You can find all the love for this family at the hash tag #redballoonsforryan

If you want to help this post has several options. The Power of Social Media


As a mom I am here aching for this mom, feeling helpless. Feeling bad for laughing or smiling for a moment.  Feeling overwhelmed by these thoughts and then feeling guilty. I imagine how would I handle this…..while she is living it.

I lost Max for 30 seconds in Target yesterday.  We all know this feeling. It lasted 30 seconds. Then he was there, his naughty guilty little face looking up at me. He was still mine, I could still hug him and kiss him. How does a parent even take a breath after something so sacred it ripped from them?  I could not even hug him in that moment because I would have lost it big time right there between toddler clothes and housewares.  At home I let my broken heart empty in tears. I prayed those tears would be prayers of love and healing for two who are living with pain unimaginable. I prayed how thankful I am that I love a God who is bigger than this, I thanked Him that because he sent Jesus to us to die for us that He knew exactly what this feels like and in His perfection this couple will find a way. There are no easy answers and no easy fixes but we will love and pray and support however we can.  There are so many right now choosing to love. This is where we can find the grace to keep moving forward.


Natalie Grants song ‘Held’ has been playing on loop in my head the past few days, I use it as a prayer. God does not rush us through pain, He hold us right there, He keeps it from swallowing us. I pray this for Jacquie and Dan. Grace for each moment, that every moment they are living right now is coated in His grace and and it gives them the strength to take the next breath. .


Psalm 147:3 ‘He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds’




I Heart Faces May Photo Challenge…..Girls

Girls girls girls, I love my girls. These sisters that drive each other crazy but always have each others backs make me very proud.

As our Ella Joy got ready to go bald for St. Baldrick’s day this year it was her big sister, Marcelina, who was the most emotional.  I didn’t expect this and I am pretty sure she did not expect to be so emotional either.

In this image we were in a packed excited room waiting our turn, looked over and saw this. Nothing forced, nothing staged. Just raw honest pride from a a big sister to a little sister.



Please come over to I Heart Faces this week and join in the fun! After all, girls just wanna have fun ;)



Photo Challenge Submission

My kid is bald and awesome.

Yesterday was a big day. My girl joined with over 600 people who are not willing to sit back and let childhood cancer win. She went bald. She is so beautiful and we are so proud of her.

Both of my daughters have now joined in and used their sweet charms to raise over 5,000 to help fun childhood cancer research. Thank you to everyone of you that helped them do this, every single dollar showed my girls how good the world can be. You can peek at Marcelina (and me) HERE

Of course I did my best through the high emotion to capture some of the amazing memories. Thank you to everyone who cheered my girl on, both at the event and through texts and calls xoxo You kept her strong, you kept me strong!





So many of you have called Ella brave. She is to an extent, but let me show you real bravery. This is Jill, she is Eric Schilly’s mom. She had to say goodbye to her sweet boy far to soon. She came yesterday, and I was so touched and amazed by her bravery. She cheered our girl on, hugged her and thanked her.  Eric must be so very very proud of his mom xo


My guy….

This little guy of mine makes me happy. He is his own littler person with his own little  thoughts on how life should be.  It is fun to just follow him around and photograph his everyday stuff.  This year I am making a real effort to just capture each of my children naturally. The girls are a bit more tricky and have more rules for me (I always listen when they say not now mom) So today I am sharing a few favorites of Max from the last two weeks.

Just watching a little Frozen for the 9,000,000,000 time



I had been taking some pictures of his new baby cousin, took her off the bed for some snuggles, turned to find him like this.  He has been so sweet with the new baby but he has also been sure to remind me he is my baby! ham

Explaining a new game to his Abuelo.


Quiet Play




His dream cake..Cake







Sword fight with his best friend.




Starting his day in deep thought.thinker



His little world is growing. I am savoring it.