A very very favorite time of year for our family is "Farmcation" :) We travel 90 minutes to a DIFFERENT WORLD!!! A fantabulous and picturesque world! A world where childrens' stories come to LIFE! "The Big Red Barn in the Great Green Field had a weather vane, and a pig that squealed..." I laugh that city kids (& suburban kids!) grow up with sooo many picture books and songs of farm life - the cow says moo, The Farmer in the Dell, they even sing " Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain!" Kiddos point at the John Deere colors in their puzzles & school lessons correctly calling out, "Tractor! Farmer!" But we really never ever actually engage with these storybook characters in real life, they are like... giraffes! elephants! sheep! pigs! mermaids! unicorns!
Our family is soooooooo blessed to be welcomed with open arms into this storybook world ANY time we make the drive east - Our cousins welcome us with open arms - and abundant food :) The views are stunning to me... and the experiences - I gather bundles of wheat for decorations at home, the kids jump in a whole truck full of oats, Joy drives a tractor that picks up hay bales :) Aunt Becca takes her family photos at golden hour each year :) We feed all our food leftovers to the pigs - and wouldn't you know!!! - all that garbage gets recycled into BACON! God is amazing.
Our nephew, Tyson, invited me to make his senior portraits and we had a ball at his farm and in the town of Ellensburg. His senior session here. I was over the top thrilled when our niece, Taylor, Class of 2020, asked me (a year ago) to make her senior portraits in 2019. And she knew already, that she wanted sunflowers. Her Dad obliged with acres and acres of sunflowers that bloomed all together in August 2019 ~ aaaaaahhhhhh heaven :)
And I love flower walls / flower carpets, but we made the first one I've ever seen that was just sunflowers & wildflowers :) Thank you Kirsten & Brent & Taylor, this was ( a lot of quick work) and fun for me!!
Beauty overflows at Taylor's home. It busts out of buildings & blue skies & rose-colored sunsets. My niece, my vibrant sweet niece, allowed me to photograph the beauty God created in her - thank you! :)
Sunset colors :)
Taylor's make up was done by her friend ( let me know who, T!) and her gorgeous waves in hair were created by Kristen at Mangos Salon in Ellensburg. We knew we wanted these waves to last through wind and hot sun that afternoon, and Kristen's waves lasted the entire evening! yay!
The fun thing at Taylor's farm is that every corner is pretty :) Barn is old? All the better. Blue trunk retired from use? It will be perfect :)
Dad stopped by! He protested my photo ask - farm work gets dirty - but that's the fun of it, right? He cleans up good, so its fun to get a candid picture as he crosses the field of view!!
Did you know... that farm kids get up real early?? ... well, not Taylor so much... unless she has an anxious Aunt Photographer trying to catch golden hour :) At 6AM :)
Taylor has enjoyed a variety of athletics, from gymnastics to soccer & softball, basketball, and she really discovered her strongest talent after experimenting with volleyball. No surprise to me :)
Tay enjoys her Kittitas Secondary School volleyball teammates immensely. She has also been blessed with a local club team being trained by amazing coaches - so each year she has been able to travel to Nationals to play at the top of her game. But likely her crowning achievement in the sport (to date) has been journeying two years in a row to become champions in the parent-child division in doubles sand volleyball at the Seaside Beach Volleyball Tournament 2017 & 2018... she played with my husband, Tony Pound :) We totally cheated. He's not a parent. Uncle Tony is really more of a 2nd cousin or something, I can't keep it straight. And given, there was a lot of beverage and posturing flowing amongst the parents. I think the smack talk is a traditional virtue for the elder 1/2 of each parent-child team. Okay, and, given, these divisions were not the official Seaside parent-child divisions, they were aprés-play when-a-net-is-free-grab-it homespun tournaments devised by the parents of Taylor's volleyball team - but still, those were tough games ;) maybe ;)
A year from now, Summer 2020, T will be playing volleyball for George Fox University. She is excited to continue the sport she loves at a small college that is devoted to nurturing her & teammates spiritually as well as mentally & physically. (Congratulations, T!!!)
Brent set up a net in the loft of their large barn. This is the loft where generations of Taylor's family have played basketball - and I saw roller skates up there - and it's generally been like a really awesome treehouse clubhouse for kids :)
And we went for some action shots!
Taylor, you're strong in knowledge of what's right, along with a heart for justice. My prayer for you will be that you continue to stick with your gut, your convictions, the ways of your God, and that those around you will be blessed by YOU just being YOU in that fruitful way. I'm so happy for you, I enjoy hearing your thoughts, and I'm so glad to have been able to get to know you even mo' betta' lately!! Love that we could make your senior portrait ideas really happen - Taylor in Sunflower Fields :)