Unexpected Chaotic Fun!

I have an article coming out internationally for my church about how to help kids with cognitive disabilities at church. Late last week, I got an unexpected phone call. The magazine's art department requested a photo shoot with my son and I. They contracted with an awesome photographer - Erin Jensen - and an appointment was set for four days later.

I was super excited but then . . . questions and to-do list items started to pour in. 

Contact Isaac's church Sunday school class and beg them to be in the pictures. 

Pray, pray, pray for Isaac to have a good day at school, so he'd be in a good mood for the photo shoot!

What about clothes? What will I wear? 

And oh my gosh, my gray hair is showing!!!

I quickly called Gina - a total hair genius - told her what was happening and asked if she could fit me in so I wouldn't look like Frump Mom.  (No laughing!) She was awesome and not only fit me in, but also made time to style my hair the day of the photo shoot.

That Sunday, I asked Isaac's class to participate. Everyone was great! It turned out to be much easier than I anticipated. Whew!

Next item, clothes. Awesome photographer chick that Erin is, she took me shopping and we pulled together a simple, but beautiful, outfit.

Isaac had a great day at school (Thank you for answered prayers!) We finished his homework, had a quick easy dinner, then went off for the photo shoot.

It. Was. Awesome!!!

Erin was a blast to work with. She was fantastic with Isaac. She had him laughing, smiling, and totally at ease. I loved how she had us interact together as she took pictures. There were very specific pictures she was looking for. I liked how she put us together to fit those needs, but did it in a way that was so us - me and my guy Isaac. I can't wait for the article to come out just to see how they turned out!  =)

The photo shoot was mind opening in another way too. I have always taught the younger kids at church and for the last four or five years, have not seen my son interact with the kids in his church class. While Erin was taking pics of them together, I got to stand back and watch them all goof around and talk together. They are one big bunch of energetic kids who joked with Isaac and each other. He just fit in - even with his quirkiness. It was one of those heartwarming, incredible Mommy moments when I realized the other kids like Isaac just the way he is. They accept him. They're his friends.

It was a wow-happy-tear-filled moment. Nothing makes a mom with a special needs child cry faster than seeing her child accepted and loved.

Isn't it awesome how something so unexpected and not-at-all normal can bring such great moments? I know it's one I'll never, ever forget.


Now, I need your help with something. Awesome person that Erin Jensen is, she took a few pictures of me as a thank you. Wohoo! The following photos are the same pose, just different crops. I'm trying to decide which ones I want use for Facebook, Twitter, my blog, and website. It doesn't have to be the same one. For example, on Twitter you just get a tiny square, so I was thinking one of the closer cropped ones for there. Please tell me which are your faves and why. Thanks everyone!


 Color #1

 BW #2

Color #2

 BW #3

Color #3

 BW #4

Color #4

Would you like to comment?

Heather Justesen said...

I think I like picture 2 for most uses, close enough to see your face well, without being too close. Super cute pictures!

Tapper said...

I love black and white number one. It is my favorite and you look incredible. I'm so happy for your great experiences! Can't wait to read your article.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I'm with Heather. I love that color blue on you.

themeese2 said...

Number 1 & 2 get my vote! Kimmy

ErinKJ said...

I like color one and color two.... since you asked! You're a beauty!!!!

Unknown said...

Oh man...I'm terrible at choosing...but anything black and white is my favorite.
So much fun...I'm glad to see these good things coming your way.

Laurie LC Lewis said...

Either of the first two because the perspective is so gentle and comfortable. I wish every ward had a copy of your book for their ward councils to read. We have so many children who need better-trained teachers to reach them more effectively. Sweet teachers want to reach them and just need simple strategies. Great book. So happy for your success.

Janette Rallison said...

My favorite is #2. Great pics!

Rachelle Christensen said...

Either 1 or 2. You look beautiful! What a neat opportunity. Congrats!

Julie Wright said...

You are beautiful!

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

What fun! I'll look for the article and say, "Hey, I know her."

kbrebes said...

You look gorgeous! My favorite is the one on your blog. After that, my favorite is the larger #1, then #4.

Big Congrats!