One of the major reasons my husband and I decided to move back to Springfield was to be around family. Not only that, but our hometown in the Ozarks is known for its stunning lakes, rivers, country roads, and rolling hills. Something I dearly missed living in the city. Mark and Nicole, and their three children, Jaden, Finley, and Miles, live just outside of the city of Springfield, MO on gorgeous acreage. I had been to their property before, but I was excited to have a brand new opportunity to explore and see some of hidden areas that I might otherwise have missed.
Arriving at their property, I opened my car door and there sat the sweetest friend. Hutch is the family dog and his soul mission in life is to be loved and included in all events ;) I kid you not, Hutch jumped into the family photo and posed himself. He even tried to jump into the van as we were heading out to other locations just to be a part of the group. Sorry you couldn’t be there for everything Hutch! We do love you though!!
Jaden is the oldest of the three kids and I cannot believe she is going to be a senior in high school next year. What? I feel like just yesterday I was meeting her for the first time and in the blink of an eye, over ten years have gone by. Jaden shared with us some of her future dreams and goals. She wants to be a storyboard artist. How cool is that??? Jaden, keep on pursuing your dreams. You are going to be amazing!
Nicole directed us to the first location. Some of her neighbors allowed us to sneak onto their property. One property had a hanging bridge that led over to an island positioned in the middle of a pond. Beside the island was a small old log cabin. If any of you have memories of summer camp as a kid, that’s what this old log cabin smelled like. Makes you want to be a child again. We crossed the hanging bridge. The structural integrity might have been questionable ;) but we all made it. Finley warned me of a large hole in the center of the island. Even with Finley’s warning, I think I tripped in the hole about ten times lol
Driving to the next location, Mark pointed out a barn on his neighbors property. This old barn made for the perfect rustic country photos. We even had to climb through a barbed wire fence to get there...shhh, don't tell anyone. :) As we were standing next to the barn, two ginormous fluffy white dogs came bounding up to us. They sounded fierce, but like Hutch, they wanted some love. As the two large dogs left, a tiny dog brought up the rear. He did not want to leave us. At all... I think if given the opportunity he would’ve come home with us. Finley took a particular liking to him, she said, “Christina, can you take my picture with him?” Finley also thought a good name for him would be “Army.” The reason? This dog would lay on its belly and drag his back legs behind him like he was army crawling across the ground lol Not sure where he learned to do that, but he provided us with some well earned laughs and smiles.
Big shout out to the youngest member of the crew. Miles is about to be ONE years old this month!!! He hardly fussed and participated in the various lifts, walks, poses, dog petting, crawling, etc. Not only that, but we got some big smiles from him that will make your heart melt. As the sun was setting we all walked back towards the car. Our tiny puppy friend we met watched us go. He inched forward little by little as we did, hoping that maybe he could join us for some more fun. I think he realized he had to stay at his home, but his eyes made our heart ache nonetheless.
Not going to lie, we did stay long after the sunset. ;) Alex accompanied me on this shoot and he was dying to talk to Mark about upgrades to our personal backyard. Mark has a business called Country Roots Lawn and Landscapes, LLC. He actually had done landscaping on many of the properties we visited on our shoot. Mind blown!! Check out his work because it is incredible!!!! Plus you may end up inspired to start upgrading your own home. P.S. Once our backyard is complete be on the lookout for photos of this awesome landscaping.
Mark, Nicole, Jaden, Finley, and Miles, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to capture memories of your family! We had a blast!