The Secret Life of My Mom

Written by Jolea Brown on .

As Mothers Day approaches I am understandibly nostalgic and just plain missing my mom who passed away suddenly two months ago. It has definately been hard to know I cant call her anytime and hear her voice. I actually saved a few of her voice mails to me just so I could hear it every now and again.
She was a beautiful caring woman who always wanted to take care of other people - So it was no suprise to go through her things and find She had saved all of the smallest details from the people she loved. I found matchbooks from weddings 40 years ago, letters from family when she lived out of state for a brief time, trinkets from her small adventures away from home. The stuff she kept from my childhood was amazing, every menial award or accomplishment was treasured as if gold -  medals, dental records, baby books with my locks of hair and every first (yes, first successful pottie time written down in detail, really mom?) And it is just overwhelming to know how much she loved me and all of her family.
What was also a wonder to me was all of the photos, some carefully kept in sleek albums, others mixed in boxes with bobby pins and old batteries. This was her whole life - a lot of it I wasnt even there for - and it was so amazing to see my mom as these different 'non-mom' people. Photos of her as a baby, teenager, young wife, party girl, sister and daughter. I love that she kept these and am so appreciative that she kept MY photos for so many years, so that I can see my own life through her eyes. I was a cute baby, surly teenager, young wife and am a somewhat competent adult.
These photos passed on from generations tell us not only where we came from, but who we are as a whole.
 I am so glad that a couple of years before my mom died, I made her , yes MADE her, let me take photos of her and my stepfather. She was resistant at first but once she got in front of the camera she was hamming it up, acting silly, trying sexy and goofy faces, she even bit my stepdads ear. (It had been a looong time since I had seen them flirt like that). Now I have those photos and they are among my most treasured possesions.
I feel like now, through these images and the ones she left me, I can visit her whenever I want. She's not just a memory. She's right here.
Happy Mother's Day Mom - I love you.

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Beautiful Winter Wedding

Written by Jolea Brown on .

First Wedding of the year was extra special for more than one reason! Tawn and Shuron have been together for over 13 years and are such warm loving people, that I was honored when they chose me to be there when they made it official! The Wedding and ceremony were at The Olmsted and decorated beautifully with the help of wedding planner Jackie Barbour. It was a cold winters day with light rain, so even though we could not do any photos outside, we got plenty of beautiful photos using the natural light coming in through The Olmsteds large windows. The lasies had arranged for a fun and talented Doo Wop group to sing as guest were seated and the bridal party got in place. The food was delicious and the music was great. There was even an activity table for the children to keep them occupied. It was such a beautiful night of family and love and I could not be happier for these two fantastic ladies!f
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