Sunday, June 17, 2012


Megan! I was so happy when Megan said she would be part of this project! I first met Megan my freshman year in high school! We had choir together, and that brought a lot of memories!
I can remember Megan letting me race down the hall in her wheel chair, and trying to do half of the things she does, like turning corners... Overall, I wasn't very good! haha, Megan is a friend to anyone who wants to get to know her. She loves books, and is attending ISU. AND SHE IS BEAUTIFUL!

"I think I want people to know that just because I have a disability doesn't mean I'm not a person. I have feelings, treat me like you would treat any other person."-Megan

My chair does not define who I am, I define who I am.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mr. Archer Oakley or AO for short =)

This, is Archer. I dont think I have ever ran so much during a photo session haha! He is such a ball of energy, and is a total sweetheart!  Nui, of Arohanui Photography told me when I first started this project that she would love to help out. I had no idea, at that time, that she had an angel of her own. Nui, was so awesome to second shoot my session with Archer!

Archer even decided to take a couple pictures himself! Adorable right?!? Well I could tell you all about Mr.AO, but I know I could never tell it to you like his mother. The following massage is from Nui.

" As I was laying in bed last night, editing away some pictures on the laptop, I stopped and looked at my son, snoring softly next to me; legs sprawled out, one arm nestled behind his head, the other haphazardly draped up onto my hip, his thick blonde hair sticking straightup on one side, due to falling asleep shortly after his bath, allowing his damp hair to dry in a completely rediculous manner, and smelling like only a sweet, clean, soft, warm baby can smell....and I couldn't help but be completely overwhelmed with such a sense of gratitude for having this little boyfriend in my life. Three years into this journey and I'm still amazed at what a blessing this little boy has been.

I started thinking back, and realized I haven't been writing, and keeping track of such an amazing experience, nearly enough. I thought of the day he was born. I remember laying there on the operating table, unable to move anything below my arms, and I saw my beautiful little man for the first time; his 6 pound, 12 ounce little olive skinned body, his flaming orange, (yes, orange!) hair, (which he has since grown out of, and gained a thick honey blonde mop!), and his soft little cry, only long enough to kiss him and whisper, "Happy Birthday, I'm so glad you're mine." before he was whisked away. But that moment was long enough for me to realize that my life would never be the same, and I couldn't have been more ecstatic.

I think not knowing he had Down Syndrome before he was born, was exactly how it was supposed to be. I didn't have all that time to worry and wonder all the things that could possibly be wrong, or convince myself of what a hardship it was going to be. Instead, finding out nearly 3 hours after he arrived that afternoon, all I could think was, I wonder how they missed it.

Before any worries or apprehensions had a chance to creep in, Archer Oakley was put into my arms, and any pending disastrous thoughts were quickly dissolved and brightened by this perfect little body, and all the limitless possibilities for the future flooded in. I instantly became obsessed and so excited for all the things I was about to learn in life. First lesson learned: I never knew it was possible for me to learn SO much from something SO small. Never knew it was possible to love someone SO deeply. And never knew that just the smell of his soft, sweet little breaths, could bring me to tears in an instant.

I didn't know that when it seems everything you've built up in life has seemingly been torn down and left bare, what is rebuilt in its place is infinitely better. Through the past 3 years, there have been an abundance of tears. Not tears of sadness, but, tears of an almost suffocating sense of luck. Luck that he picked me. I'm so grateful for him and the amazing lessons he is teaching me along the way. These tears of pure joy and elation have been accompanied by an almost silly amount of giggling and full on bursts of laughter, as well as a much broader perspective and a deeper meaning of life.

He's changing me. I find more beauty in life. I find more meaning and appreciation in every breath I take, and every step I take. And Mister Archer Oakley? Well, AO is a perfect, mischievous, rambunctious, naughty, hilarious, curious, soul-satisfying little boy, who has such a wild fire behind his eyes, yearning to learn and discover everything in his world. And he's taking his world by storm. He wakes up every morning with a magical, wide-eyed wonder, anticipating his adventures for the day. He is extremely resiliant, stubborn, and strong, and I think he's quite fearless. His laugh is contagious, and he has a hard time hiding his naughty little adventures. He loves to dance, and adores music. He's undeniably smart, and picks up on things after seeing it done just once. He has surpassed all the dreams and expectations of being my first born child - and then some. He makes me complete. He is EXACTLY what I have always needed. "

( I love the picture above, it was pretty much nap time, and he was done taking photos haha)
I hope Archer's story was able to touch your heart, because really touched mine. Thanks Nui, for sharing with us!