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Welcome to my blog!
I photograph...

because a memory should never be lost.
because love is all we need.
because today will be gone tomorrow.


Can't believe this little doll is already 1 year old! Had such a blast capturing her adorable face... and let's not forget big sis, who is turning *gasp* 3! Thank to mom and dad for all their help keeping her in the frame ;) Gotta love that On-The-Move-Stage!

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Aw, have to say this is my favorite of her, and don't you just love that red hair and blue eyes?
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My favorite of Emily!

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September 12, 2011

Well this one is certainly a bit personal, and LONG! So if you are in for a nice long read, yeah! Otherwise, sorry to bore you, but you can skip down to the photos! :)

I promised myself I would never get too personal on my blog unless it really was something important to me. Today it's my mom. Yeah I love her lots! I mean, who doesn't love their mom? I don't mean to judge, or sound too boastful, but some moms are just better than others, and I feel sorry for those people that don't have the best moms. The children in need of a better life, breaks my heart. :( But this post isn't about that right now.

For me, I just have an awesome mom. Here's the short version. I have 5 siblings... yep! 4 sisters (and yes I love them all more than you care to know even though we have been known to fight like cats, they are my best friends in the whole wide world) and 1 brother (who also happens to be pretty amazing and we never fight like cats). Life as I knew it growing up meant a house full of yelling, laughing and only the occasional stunt (Julia knows what I'm talking about!) And we were HAPPY!!! Still are happy, actually, and there are lots of reasons for that, but this blog is about mom.  So without going into the whole broken family issue, I'll stick with the aftermath.  Mom brought us back to her native land of Michigan the year I turned 10. Reasons are not important, only know that the reasons were important. Mom did the BRAVEST thing any woman could have done in her position.  She was our hero, rescuer and lifeline during those dark, tragic days. I am not being dramatic, I am only stating the facts.

So here we are growing up as basic as you can, red beans and rice and spam, remember when spam was only a food? Heck yeah gotta love the spam! Life wasn't easy, but you know what? We never even knew that life wasn't easy. Mom made it so seamless for us we thought we had it made, we had each other so we REALLY DID have it made!  It wasn't until I was older that I began to realize how much mom sacrificed for US. Always giving, never asking back. One of my happiest memories of my childhood was when it was my turn to go shopping with mom. She took us all in turns and would buy us something small to thank us for our work around the house. It didn't mean as much to me then as it does now. All through those tremulous years mom was raising the 6 of us, she put herself through college, earned a degree and worked the whole time. YES!! You read correctly! She's worked tirelessly her entire life for her kids, and continues to do so now for her kids AND grandkids.

I love Dolly Parton. Random thought, but I tend to really love artists who write their own music and from the heart, and Dolly had a very humble upbringing. One song in particular she wrote of her childhood, and I can't listen to it without both crying and thinking about my own childhood.

COAT OF MANY COLORS

Back through the years,

I go wonderin' once again
Back to the seasons of my youth,

I recall a box of rags that someone gave us
And how my momma put the rags to use
There were rags of many colors
Every piece was small
And I didn't have a coat
And it was way down in the fall
Momma sewed the rags together
Sewin' every piece with love
She made my coat of many colors
That I was so proud of


As she sewed, she told a story
From the bible, she had read
About a coat of many colors
Joseph wore and then she said
Perhaps this coat will bring you
Good luck and happiness
And I just couldn't wait to wear it
And momma blessed it with a kiss

My coat of many colors
That my momma made for me
Made only from rags
But I wore it so proudly
Although we had no money
I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me

So with patches on my britches
Holes in both my shoes
In my coat of many colors
I hurried off to school
Just to find the others laughing
And making fun of me
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me

And oh I couldn't understand it
For I felt I was rich
And I told them of the love
My momma sewed in every stitch
And I told em all the story
Momma told me while she sewed
And how my coat of many colors
Was worth more than all their clothes

But they didn't understand it
And I tried to make them see
That one is only poor
Only if they choose to be
Now I know we had no money
But I was rich as I could be
In my coat of many colors
My momma made for me
Made just for me

 

Dolly and Shania Twain sing it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXW5vagD55Q&NR=1

 

So now we get to the heart of the matter. Mom is a rockstar, and always taking care of everyone around her, never herself! So this story continues with her unbelievable challenge of buying her first very own house!! YES, a HOUSE! Something most of us have and (admittedly even me) take for granted. A house with warmth and comfort, the kind of place you want to have everyone over for the holidays. Please, join me and my family in enjoying these photos and the rest of this special story!


We start with the closing...


I wish my words could do proper justice to what this very small key represents!

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I just love this ecstatic look on her face, she is soooooo happy!! The challenges facing the house buying were almost impossible to count. Suffice it to say, it was a sheer miracle and an act of God that things moved into place the way they did!
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So many papers to sign, but the enthusiasm didn't wain :)
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This is my sister Rebekah, as you can see she is very excited!! Rebekah worked so hard to help mom with all the many details of the house buying experience! She and her husband Brian were key people in the whole process, so she was, essentially, as excited as mom! :)

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Seriously, who gets this excited with the title lady? ;)
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:) A long time coming....
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This is Robert Struk, our Realtor from Century 21. What a great guy, no joke! Patiently and humorously took us round to house after house to tour. We had so much fun! He literally bent over backwards to work with my mom's budget and needs. You know you have a great Realtor working for you when the pay-out is low, he treated us as though we were shopping in Beverly Hills! Cannot say enough about this guy, and honestly, we laughed a LOT! Seriously call him if you are looking for a house! He will take care of you!

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Dawn McCarty from Shore Mortgage worked tirelessly from the mortgage company with my mom and the bank to pull strings that had never been pulled before. In some cases, it was an honest-to-God miracle that things fell into place! This was the first time mom met Dawn and she had to hug her.
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We are on to the next phase.... Painting!!!

Now, I have to apologize for some of the following images from this section. Some I did not shoot, and they all been done with a *gasp* point-and-shoot camera because I forgot mine that day!
Some points to make:
-We made "Independent Women" t-shirts to paint in. I can't tell you how much we laughed, we were all so sleep-deprived.
-So many people came out to paint!! We are so grateful to everyone for their support. Even Ben was painting ;)
-Some of us were having more fun than was necessary... (Sarah).
-Special SHOUT OUT to our Uncle Keith who drove in from Virginia in one drive to drop off a bunch of donated furniture. We could not have done it without you Uncle Keith!! love you :) (he didn't want to be photographed as you can see from him hiding behind his iphone, I think he's still trying to decide if I'm good with a camera ;)  )

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Just love this shot of Brian.... gosh the guys worked SO HARD!! For like 2 and 3 days in a row!! This may give you a clue to how excited everyone was for mom!!
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Uncle Ray was also an instrumental tool in the move-in process, thanks Uncle Ray! We love you!!  Here he is working on replacing the back door...
Rebekah got a little silly with the paint.
Thanks to Tory, Ben's dad for all his help painting!

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Mom is so sleepy after a long day of moving and ready for her first night in her new house!
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Next phase: Mom's first holiday!!!

I told my husband, Adam, that mom would be hosting for Easter, a mere 2 weeks after moving in. He didn't believe me.
"Surely she won't be ready after just moving in?"
I replied "do you realize how long she has been waiting to host a holiday? She's having people over!" Of course I took the opportunity to capture the house, mostly unpacked... ;)

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I asked Sarah to play my Waldo in this series of house images...
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The living room!
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Dining room!
In case you were wondering why Sarah's hair is so stinkin' fabulous, she's a hair stylist and make-up artist. :)
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Kitchen..

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Bathroom, don't you just love that gray?

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Mom's room! This would be the room from the painting photos... quite a transition, eh?
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Next: the house warming party!

We still can't believe how many people showed up to show their love and support! It was a smash! Just look how happy mom is! She has so many friends and people who love her :)
Thank you to everyone who came! We are truly blessed.
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Just look at baby Emma having her lunch! :)
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My Aunt Val and Aunt Vicki. Sneaky Val, she came into town as a surprise to attend Vicki's birthday party the night before and mom's party! We were all so excited to see her. Love you Aunt Val! Vicki also helped out so much for the move and we love her too!
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My Adam, such a dedicated son-in-law :)  Adam helped SO MUCH on moving day and mom was so grateful.
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The loft!

One of the features mom was looking for in a house was a space for her grand-kids to sleep and play when they come to visit. Victoria and Christianna come over for at least one weekend each month. They absolutely love the loft and the room they have for toys and they each have their own bed! I had to capture them in this room, because let's face it, they are quite beautiful.. ;)
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This girl is soooo sweet.
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So is this one!
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Again, a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped in this monumental event! Your good deeds will never go unnoticed. We love you all from the bottom of our hearts!
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Mom says:

Thanks for the photos and memories! You are so sweet, but you made me cry! I really did not do anything special - I just wanted to take care of my children because I love you all so much.

(09.13.11 @ 09:37 AM)
Trae says:

What a wonderful tribute to your mom. I even got teary eyed. This is such a testimony of what God can (and wants to) do for us! Thank you for sharing

(09.13.11 @ 12:26 PM)
Danielle says:

This was so beautiful, Rachel. Thank you for sharing it!! God is so good :)

(09.13.11 @ 12:49 PM)
Mary Beth says:

That's so great! Congratulations Sherry! Thanks for sharing! :)

(09.13.11 @ 03:56 PM)
Rhita says:

Thank you Rachel for such an amazing post. It was so emotional but in a good way. You have such a strong loving family. Love you Sherry! Love you guys!

(09.13.11 @ 04:44 PM)
Deanna says:

This is so special! You can see the happiness in everybody, especially your mom. I am so very excited for her. I know your mom will cherish these memories captured in photo forever. Thank you for sharing this special occasion with us all.

(09.14.11 @ 05:55 PM)
Christine says:

Even a stranger can look at these photos and share a sense of connection and excitement for your mom!

(09.22.11 @ 12:57 PM)
Christine says:

Even a stranger can share a connection and excitement for your mom because of these fabulous photographs!

(09.22.11 @ 01:24 PM)
Christine says:

Even a stranger can share a connection and excitement for your mom because of these fabulous photographs!

(09.22.11 @ 01:30 PM)
Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: A house on Lincoln . TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.rachelshomsky.com/darkroom/mt/mt-tb.cgi/92
You might remember Julie and Brian from their engagement session. I was so excited for their wedding, and you will see how we were blessed to have so much sun!!! They got married at the lovely Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor.

Loved her simple and beautiful gown...
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The ring box was passed around to the guests to place their blessings on the rings :)
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The flower girls were so sweet!
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This little guy was so happy! love it.

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Julie, you are so radiant! Happy all day long...
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If I haven't said so, I really do love the sun...
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J and B, thank you so much for letting me capture your day! I wish you both a lifetime of happiness! Click here to see their slideshow!

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Trae Bohlen Devoted Knits says:

lovely per usual. The botanical gardens is an amazing location - and this is the second time I have seen you shoot here (since I was at Mike and Heathers wedding last month) and I LOVE how you capture the moments of the both of the weddings and the location is just a beautiful backdrop...how do you do it?

(09.12.11 @ 01:34 PM)
Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Julie and Brian, an Ann Arbor wedding . TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.rachelshomsky.com/darkroom/mt/mt-tb.cgi/91
When I first met Jennifer she had red stripes in her hair. "I think they might be blue for the wedding, I haven't decided yet." It was then that I knew this was my kind of couple! :) We planned for a while for the engagement photos, loving Detroit the way they do, J and B wanted to have a downtown vibe mixed with their favorite sports team. We also wanted a nice sunny day... and I am nothing if not persistent. Second time was a charm, and boy am I glad we held out for sun! I hope you enjoy these images as much as I do! This is a long post, I just couldn't leave any of these out! ;)

I absolutely love the way they brought their style into this session! I didn't feel like I had to think at all about what I was doing, the shutter moved of it's own accord...

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These two have such a wonderful connection. I barely gave them any direction, these reactions are completely natural!

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Maybe my favorite on the left here... maybe.
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Should have seen her pushing her way through the bars... we all wanted to be inside the park.

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I love this one!
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Could not have worn a more perfect dress by Betsey Johnson... Can you imagine how stylish her wedding gown will be?!
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I simply adore the look on her face here. So in love, and look at those dimples!

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Shoes are also by Betsey :)
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Seriously, how cute are they?
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Thank you J and B for such a great time in the city! Cannot wait for your beautiful June wedding!

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CarlaRoush says:

Rachel, I'm so in love with their whole album!!!! Excellent work!

(09.08.11 @ 03:01 PM)
Chris says:

I love them all! It is too hard to pick just a couple favorites.

(09.15.11 @ 07:53 PM)
Andy Owen says:

Two of my favorite people in the world! Great job capturing their personalities and just expounding upon them! There are some really amazing shots in this set! See you at the wedding!

(10.07.11 @ 03:33 PM)
Elizabeth says:

I love this album! Where is the graffiti wall Downtown? I'd love to be able to go check it out!

(07.05.12 @ 12:57 PM)
Samantha Cover says:

WOW! These are gorgeous, Rachel! And your girl has style.....LOVE her shoes and matching red tie (and red accents on the building). Beautiful work!

(09.14.12 @ 12:05 AM)
susan ashe says:

Gorgeous images, couple, styling but I especially love the connection and love that you have captured so brilliantly!

(09.14.12 @ 12:10 AM)
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