Every Family Can Be a Super Family

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Super Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Thor is hulking and huge. Mighty Mouse packs all sorts of tricks into his tiny but mighty frame.

Moms and Dads are the best example of heroes. They can be seen every day… fighting through fatigue. Stretching a dollar. Sharing that last slice of pie. Choosing to gently instruct instead of venting and shouting.

Erin and Tom show their boys each day how to be strong. In important ways.

And so their boys will grow up to model these same great strengths to their families.

Because even super heroes need love. And pie.

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Call Norma at (316) 648-7498 and reserve your session today! www.MarkingTheMomentPhotography.com.
Email: Norma@MarkingTheMomentPhotography.com.
Facebook address: www.Facebook.com/markingthemomentphotography.
Twitter: @MarkingMomntPix
Instagram: instagram.com/markingmomentpix

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Wichita Family Photography: Memories Park

Several weeks back there was a warm, wonderful February Sunday during which temps rose to seventy-two. I knew we needed to gather the family outdoors. And I knew just where we should head.

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Because Memories Park opened here in Wichita, Kansas in December, many people haven’t been out to explore, play and take photos there yet. But an awesome group, Together Wichita, gifted some cool props to Wichitans to use for fun photos. Memories Park was created as a small section in Sedgwick County Park.

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There is a giant blue chair that stands higher than eight feet tall… but can be easily used and accessed as all our kids and grandkids are photographed doing in the first photo. That vintage truck pictured above is another prop. So is the tandem bike with a basket.

 

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A wooden pergola also sits nearby, waiting for couples, families and children to pose inside of it. There is a pile of hay bales. And it is all located on a scenic, pretty stretch of the biking/walking trail through Sedgwick County Park that is near another oft photographed feature, a covered bridge.

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One time an artist friend of mine came to visit after I’d moved here to Wichita. She noticed and gushed over what I’m embarrassed to say my eyes had become dull to; Wichita is a city that values art. From the sculptures along Douglas to the art walk on Wichita State Campus to a sun dial shaped mural on Kellogg. And in so many other places. This is a community that offers many surprises and wonders and treats all around. We just need to notice. So do yourself a favor and go check out one of the newest gifts to the community; Memories Park. Bring your camera. Bring your loved ones. Ride your bike. Walk your dog. However you want to tailor your trip there… go. It will reaffirm for you that we live in a place that has little pockets of charm just waiting for us to discover.

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As if you need another reason to spend time in Sedgwick County Park. Or any of our great parks here.

The group that was behind the gift of Memories Park, Together Wichita created an ad campaign that features residents holding signs reading, “I Live Here and I Love It.” Thanks, Together Wichita for giving us one more reason to love Wichita, too!

At Marking the Moment Photography, we place emphasis on fun during our relaxed shoots. We always allow an unlimited time to get the right pictures of your family. A relaxed family and a fun session translates into portraits you’ll treasure! Call Norma at (316) 648-7498 and reserve your spot today!

www.MarkingTheMomentPhotography.com.
Email: Norma@MarkingTheMomentPhotography.com.
Facebook address: www.Facebook.com/markingthemomentphotography.
Twitter: @MarkingMomntPix
Instagram: instagram.com/markingmomentpix

 

 

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Wichita Family Photographer: Miracles All Around

Jill and Cole used to make Friday outings to feed the ducks. Now Cole is a busy senior at Maize High School- running Track and Cross Country. He does more than run at these events. He excels. And Jill is right there cheering him on. This fall he’ll be heading to college to run for Emporia State.

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Cole’s departure to college will mark a new stage of life for both son and mom. They’ve been a tight family unit- facing life, cracking each other up, enjoying snacks (preferably chocolate) and supporting one another daily for a long time.

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Jill, realizing that change was coming, began training to teach cycle spin classes. She is also considering going back to school herself. She has been that mom who attended events and scrapbooked details. But as devoted as she is as a mom, or in fact, perhaps because of it, she cultivated new interests. She is excited for Cole and wants to allow him emotional freedom to soar from the nest. It will be a challenge. But one has to admire the model she is offering her son. And the lessons about taking care of oneself and of letting go. Those are choices of strength.

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Its not that Jill won’t have much to do. She has worked for Children’s Miracle Network for 5 years. She is responsible for fundraising, event planning, board development and working with families of sick and injured kids and/or families who need assistance in 64 counties of Kansas. She knows these children and these parents. I’ve seen the look of love and gratitude that washes over them because of the work that she does.

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I met Jill through our professional networking group, (Business Networking International). Our chapter meets weekly and I see firsthand details of many of the events she coordinates- from setting up dates when a percentage of all Dairy Queen Bizzards purchased goes to CMN, to the huge, vast administrative effort that goes into the Shockerthon held at Wichita State each November. Jill is in the midst of efforts to improve the lives of children every single week of the year. This is important, life-changing work. And Jill does it with a smile and a hug.

When I asked Jill what her favorite quality about Cole is, she replied, “he never quits.” After knowing Jill for these several years I can confidently observe that he must get this from his mom. As well as her easy, beaming smile.

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Cole would love to travel to Oregon. Jill would love to take him to Europe. Given the determination both mother and son, I expect to see photos from both of these trips some day. Because when you have a “never quit” attitude, when you run so fiercely after your dreams, when you show such loyal dedication to those you love… and those in the community… miracles happen,

Know a sick or injured Kansas kid who faces medical needs, Children’s Miracle Network helps thousands of children each year.

www.MarkingTheMomentPhotography.com.
Email: Norma@MarkingTheMomentPhotography.com.
Facebook address: www.Facebook.com/markingthemomentphotography.
Twitter: @MarkingMomntPix
Instagram: instagram.com/markingmomentpix

 

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Wichita Wedding Photographer: Valentines Day — It’s not just for romance.

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We had our family over for a Valentine’s breakfast this morning. Our grown children and their children. Hearts on the napkins. Pink and red straws. I set the table with china that we use for family dinners. It belonged to Patrick’s Mom. One of the daughters will inherit it one day and use it at her family gatherings. So we, the current parents and grandparents, got to spend time with those we love… and those who were parents and grandparents before us were probably near us celebrating, too- glad to be remembered and included.

Karter, age three

Karter, age three

Patrick made pancakes. We caught up on what filled our week. We talked about the house one daughter will be moving into in a few weeks.  We did what families do around a meal table.

I am always aware that Patrick and I may not be around when these grandchildren are adults. One hopes for the best. But, you never know. And so I want whatever they remember of us to be loving. I try to have the house full of the smell of dinner cooking when they walk in for Sunday dinners, and the table looking pretty. Someday they may remember those things and feel comforted. We tell them often that we love them. We play and hug and spend time. Because we can now. We are all here. Together at times like these. And it does not escape Patrick and I that this is a rich, rich privilege.

Peyton, nearly two

Peyton, nearly two

One daughter brought gifts of candy. One brought a heart-shaped cookie cake. And one had the grandchildren decorate and sign cards. And… that’s a Valentine’s day. Which, for us, is really just a reason to gather.

So we’ll gather for St. Patrick’s Day (I think we are walking a 5 K this year). And Easter. And on birthdays and and other days that we can.

Because these three grown, beautiful, strong, smart women are our best Valentines… out family. And their children are our best loves.

And we are rich.

Landon, nearly one

Landon, nearly one

So if you have family, give them a call. Drop them a card. Bring them a flower. Make them a pancake. If you have a friend, be a surprise Palentine.

This is not your Daddy’s Valentine’s day. And it’s not just for romance any more.

www.MarkingTheMomentPhotography.com.
Email: Norma@MarkingTheMomentPhotography.com.
Facebook address: www.Facebook.com/markingthemomentphotography.
Twitter: @MarkingMomntPix
Instagram: instagram.com/markingmomentpix

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Wichita Family Photography: A Day at the Park

Okay… close your eyes and imagine a circa 1980’s Jazzercise outfit. Headband. Tights. Leg warmers. Now imagine a mom and baby girl wearing this in autumn of last year. 🙂

Lia dressed herself and little Teagan like this and won a photo shoot in the Cutest Kid’s Halloween Costume Contest that was held by Professional Home Buyers. And that is how and why we met Lia’s cute family. After seeing the workout photo, I had high expectations that the shoot would be fun. And this family did not disappoint.

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Teagan is the only member of her Dad’s family not be born in Kansas. Those are some deep-running roots. But this little family is a Wichita family once again. They live, work and play in Wichita along with their yellow lab named Duke.

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Teagan keeps herself busy constantly playing with her socks and shoes and transforming anything she can find into a scarf. It is not unusual to see her proudly wearing her latest “scarf belt” or “scarf shirt” as she goes around happily clapping, dancing, hiding, seeking and singing. She does stop playing periodically to eat. On a good day the meal consists of her favorite: macaroni and cheese.

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This is a close, loving family. You only have to be around them a few moments to feel this. And this made photographing them a snap. We spent part of a beautiful, mild November afternoon with them in the park. We were able to shoot images for their Christmas card as well as some “regular” shots. This is important stuff- documenting family moments in different stages of life and varying ages. Patrick and I feel privileged to do this work- and we enjoy afternoons like this one.

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Do you have a current family photo? We’d love to work with you. We have a clean, smoke-free studio in our home near the river in the North Riverside area of Wichita. We can shoot in-studio, outdoors or on location. And, if you want to wear a shirt around your neck, we won’t judge. 🙂

Call Norma at (316) 648-7498 and reserve your spot today!
www.MarkingTheMomentPhotography.com.
Email: Norma@MarkingTheMomentPhotography.com.
Facebook address: www.Facebook.com/markingthemomentphotography.
Twitter: @MarkingMomntPix
Instagram: instagram.com/markingmomentpix

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When Networkers Become Clients: Curtis Clears the Way

Curtis is one of the first people I encountered when I began attending the networking group I eventually joined.  And for this I am grateful. The Referral Rockstars, a chapter of BNI (Business Networking Intl,) is a group of 50 outgoing, charismatic personalities. Think of the talker in your workplace- the one who doesn’t know a stranger and always has a story to tell. Now think of that person times 50, and you have a glimpse of the energy in this room I now go to regularly. But I recall feeling a little daunted at the first meeting. Perhaps even the second. But… there was Curtis. And Curtis has this calm, gentleness to him. Curtis is a kind, welcoming soul.

He has known his wife, Angela, since they were children. They met at a church camp in Missouri and became friends. Their families moved. Their paths separated a time or two. But they always came back together. And you can tell by being around them that this is because that is where they belong- with each other.  Angela is quiet, but very funny. They are two people of deep convictions and firmly held beliefs. They live out their beliefs and model their faith.

Smiling couple in Riverside Park

Curtis and Angela, married for nearly eleven years

I once asked Angela to tell me her favorite thing about Curtis. She thought for a moment and said, “Oh that would be very, very hard to choose. There are so many things.” Curtis felt a calling to ministry and Angela supported him completely. He is pastor of the Wichita Bible Holiness Church, and their family is committed to their church family. Curtis would love to see the church grow in membership. But it is important to him that the church be strong, not only in number, but also in their outreach.

Curtis and Angela have three sons:

8 year old boy

Travis, age 8

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Corey, age 6

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and Eric, age 3

But there is more to Curtis than his welcoming spirit, his pastoral qualities and his family life.

Curtis works for CLEARS, Inc., and local company that screens backgrounds for potential employees, volunteers or tenants. Now… how about that for a valuable service? Honestly, this company can save you from becoming entangled with some individuals that could create problems. I know that any time we use and intern or hire an employee to work around our clients,  we will first have CLEARS check their background for trouble signs.

So, see what I mean about Curtis? He clears the way to make room in his life and family for God. He tries his best to clear the way for God to be present to the community. And he works for a company that can clear the way to valuable peace of mind when hiring someone.

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Looking for a church home? Curtis would love to talk to you about that. Call: (316) 942-3313. Need a background check? Curtis can help you with that at CLEARS, (316)683- 6861

Lastly, feeling intimidated at a networking function? Look for the kind, gentle souls like Curtis. They’re there- waiting to help.

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www.MarkingTheMomentPhotography.com.
Email: Norma@MarkingTheMomentPhotography.com.
Facebook address: www.Facebook.com/markingthemomentphotography.
Twitter: @MarkingMomntPix
Instagram: instagram.com/markingmomentpix

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When Networkers Become Clients: Michael Welcomes You Home

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Imagine if you had helped thousands of people get a house. A home. A place to raise children, share meals, rest, make memories and retreat to at the end of a day. A home is a huge, magical presence in our life- one that we often take for granted. There are different types of homes. But a house comes with a sense of roots and stability. This may be because the process of buying a home can be daunting. A house may be the largest purchase we ever make and the greatest treasure we ever own. But the road to becoming a homeowner is full of steps, procedures and requirements that must be handled correctly. We need a trusted advisor during this process. And I know a great guy who can be your trusted advisor.

Michael Gonzales knows his stuff. If someone comes to him in good home-buying shape, he can help. But, too, if someone comes to him with some dings and dents in their credit history, he can help. He counsels people over a period of months and gets them in good home-buying shape. He has worked in the mortgage/banking industry since 1999. He has run his branch of Open Mortgage since 2010.

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He is a local guy who got two degrees from Wichita State- Go Shox!! His smart, gorgeous wife, Tammy, also has roots in the community and works at Cargill. This is a great looking couple. On a windy, windy, COLD day in November, Patrick and I were layered in all out winter finest. Tammy and Michael were exposed to bitter temps and freezing gusts during this Christmas card shoot- and they never complained. Studs- both of them. And if a guy can face the rigors of the mortgage industry daily and also remain unflappable in weather like that to get photos like we did- this is the guy you want. He’s like the James Bond of the mortgage world. Really, he should have a theme song that plays when he enters a room.

Patrick and I see Michael each week at our BNI (Business Networking International) meeting. (So that would be cool to see the whole theme song thing.) We both know firsthand that this is a dependable, nice, approachable guy. But even if I did not have that background knowledge of Mike, I would have been impressed by his behavior when he was our client. He and his wife were so good to our beloved dog during their View and Choose session. Usually our dog is kept in her bed in another room when clients are present. But they both wanted to see our dog because they have three of their own- two of which are recent rescues. And our dog was crazy for both of them. And you know what people say… if my dog doesn’t trust you… something’s up. But there was none of that vibe here. And I know it’s because Michael is the real deal… an honest, solid guy who does what he says he’s going to do, and does it with knowledge and professionalism.

I asked Michael if he could have one Super Power, what would it be. He replied that he would choose teleportation. A totally cool power, right?! People always say invisibility and it gives me the creeps a little. Like… what is is they want to watch while they are invisible. But teleportation… it has a purpose. But wait for it… he would choose this power, “as long as I can take Tammy when I teleport. She really likes to travel and I’m not a fan of flying.” A man who thinks of his wife even when choosing a super power? This is a good man.

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In the market for a home? Know anyone who is? Patrick and I know, like and trust Michael Gonzales of Open Mortgage.

 

www.MarkingTheMomentPhotography.com.
Email: Norma@MarkingTheMomentPhotography.com.
Facebook address: www.Facebook.com/markingthemomentphotography.
Twitter: @MarkingMomntPix
Instagram: instagram.com/markingmomentpix

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