Remembering Grandma McBain

This is perhaps the hardest blog post I’ve ever had to write. For those of you who don’t know, my grandmother, Evelyn McBain, passed away on April 15th.

I don’t know what to write. How can you sum up a lifetime of memories and love in to one post? I know that whatever I put won’t even come close to scratching the surface.

Ever since I was born, Grandma lived a few blocks up the road from us. Every day after school, she’d be waiting for me in her red, ’92 Chevy Lumina with the bright yellow Hardee’s star antennae ball waving in the wind. She’d pick me up, ask about my day, and take me back to her house until my mom got off of work and could pick me up. She’d always feed me a snack (usually my favorite at the time, which alternated between ho-ho’s with milk or cheese balls,) and we’d gain our daily ineffable wisdom from Oprah together or play cards. Of course, there were plenty of days where I’d go out to her garden with a pair of scissors and come back in with a bouquet for her. She loved flowers and was always so happy when I brought her in some. She’d tell me the names of the plants I had gathered, and help me fuss over them until we got them perfectly arranged in a centerpiece bouquet for her kitchen table.
Other days we’d play Candyland, Aggravation, or hide and seek. I remember one time where I decided I was going to hide in the hardest place I could find. I ended up hiding in her laundry hamper. She couldn’t find me, and 20 minutes later was still frantically searching the house for me. After a while, she was about to call the police when I finally popped out. I remember us laughing about it, and from then on she always checked the hamper first whenever we played.
Grandma was always at every one of my terribly boring softball and volleyball games, cheering the way she loved to do for all sporting events. She was in the crowd for every concert/jazz/pep/honor band performance, full orchestra concerts, piano recitals, marching band halftime shows, and school plays, as well as national honor society events, handbell choir concerts, church functions and more. She always had time for you. As I got older and went away to college, she was always eager to see me and hear about the latest news in my life. Never once do I remember her turning me away because she was too busy, or she wasn’t interested. I can still perfectly picture the way her face would light up, even at the end, when you sat down to tell her a story, or talk about what’s new in the world. It was like seeing her as a school girl, giddy with excitement, ready for the latest piece of gossip.
One trait I always admired about her is her straightforwardness. She never sugar coated things.  If she didn’t like something, you knew. She wasn’t afraid of what others would think, and was her own woman. I remember once she got a picture of me with my prom date. She loved the photo and had it framed. Well a year later, my prom date and I broke up. Grandma was upset, told me what she really thought of him, and proceeded to cut him out of the prom pictures and then re-frame the cut up photos. I remember visiting her the year she moved to the nursing home. The last time I saw her at her house, she still had the mangled photo framed and prominently displayed on the shelf in her kitchen. If someone asked about the photo, she would announce, in a very matter-of-fact way, her distaste for the removed, and tell you that it’s a much better photo the way it is now.
Most importantly though, she was everything a grandma should be. She loved her children and grandchildren to the ends of the earth. She was always kind—even when we certainly did not deserve it. She enjoyed life. Even in her 80’s she was white water rafting, flying in helicopters, traveling to all 50 states, and taking hot air balloon rides. It was her love for life, her kind disposition, and generous soul that make this loss so hard.
There has been a hole in my heart since that Tuesday. I keep finding signs of her everywhere. One of her favorite things in all the world was the cardinal bird. Those that knew her would agree that she had cardinals all over her house. She often would wear sweaters with cardinals on them or would be sporing a lapel pin or purse with one of those bright red birds. Since she passed, there has been a cardinal that visits my porch window every day. Although it brings a pang to my heart, I like to think it’s her, checking in. Waiting for the day’s stories, eager to listen…the way that only the best grandmas do.
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One of Grandma’s rings she left me. I have been wearing it every day. The band is so thin and worn down from the years she had worn it.

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Grandma’s bible. Copyright year of 1907.

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Inside her bible she wrote “Evelyn Alleda Dodge. Terril Iowa. 1940” for her marriage.

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“Yea thought I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil: for thou art with me…”

 

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Grandma’s four children. From left to right: Leroy, Linda, Bob, and Larry

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Her two favorite rings: Her mother’s ring and birth stone ring.

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Grandma with her great-grandchild, Cade. April 6th, 2014.

Grandma and me, April 6th, 2014

Grandma and me, April 6th, 2014

God saw you getting tired
A cure was not to be,
So He put His arms around you, and whispered, “Come To Me.”
With tearful eyes we watched you and saw you fade away.
Although we loved you dearly, we could not make you stay.
Many times we thought of you, many times we’ve cried,
If love alone could save you, you never would have died.
A golden heart stopped beating,your tender hands at rest,
God took you home to prove to us He only takes the best.

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You will be dearly missed.
All photos © Holly Hildreth 2014.

Summer Shooting

Lots of new and exciting things have been happening! If you’re just here for the photos make sure you read the bit at the end of the post.

At the end of May I flew back to Iowa to see my family and get some wedding things straightened out. I have THE worst luck flying. We ran into storms on the way to Iowa, and on the way home, we had a ground stop and we sat on the plane on the runway for 4.5 hours, I missed my connection, got on board another plane, had a turbulent flight, and then landed in Columbus to another ground stop, which made us sit on the runway for another hour before they’d let us off. I’m beginning to like driving more and more!

It stormed heavily every day while I was in Iowa. I didn’t get to take many pictures at all as it was constant tornado warnings followed by flash floods. I took a few pictures despite the conditions anyway.

© Holly Hildreth 2013

© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Super Cell off of I-35 north of Des Moines.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Severe Thunderstorm warnings don’t stop me from going out and shooting.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

I of course had to visit my little nephew, who is growing up way too fast. He can walk and talk now and is a lot of fun! While I was in Des Moines my fiance came up for a day. It was amazing to see him again, even if only for a short amount of time. It had been almost 5 months since we last saw each other.

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Out for a walk between thunderstorms.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Cade acts like Jen’s his favorite aunt, but really, she’s his 2nd favorite 😉
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Cade with his Grandma Linda.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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“Fishing” at the farmer’s market.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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My nephew, Cade, with my sister (his aunt) at the Cedar Rapids Farmer’s Market. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of the duck.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

My nephew. © Holly Hildreth 2013

My nephew.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

I didn’t get as much done as I thought I would–we found out right before I came that my grandma’s cancer had spread and she needed to have surgery immediately, so we did spend a fair amount of time down in Iowa City with her for her operation. I was glad I was able to be there for her. But all-in-all it was good to see everyone again. It stinks I won’t be back until Christmas, but I guess that’s the price you pay for living in another time zone.

In Columbus I have been keeping busy and I also volunteering at the humane society. I have helped with a handful of fundraisers and I take photos of the adoptable animals for their promotions and websites. I love that it gives me my fix of two of my favorite things–animals and photography.

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Volunteer Dog Wash in Dublin, OH
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Dog wash fund raiser in Dublin, OH
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Adoptable kitten at the Humane Society of Delaware County
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Super sweet Beagle mix for adoption at the Humane Society of Delaware County
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Mix breed dog available for adoption at the Humane Society of Delaware County
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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I wanted so badly to take this little fluff ball home! He’s looking for a forever home at the Humane Society of Delaware County.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Available through the Humane Society of Delaware County
© Holly Hildreth 2013

 

And of course I still find time to take other photos too.

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© Holly Hildreth 2013

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And when all else fails and Stoli’s not being a good photo sport, I find other things to shoot, like my ring
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Near-Infrared photo at Inniswood Metro Gardens in Westerville, OH
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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© Holly Hildreth 2013

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Stoli turned THREE in May. Doesn’t seem like he should be that old already. As you can see he was still pretty excited.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

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One of my new favorite Stoli photos. It took forever to get this shot. I was holding his cheeks and running the camera.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

We also signed on a condo earlier this month. I start moving my things at the end of July, and my fiancé moves out here at the end of August. I can not wait, and I am literally counting down the days! I fell in love with the condo during the showing. At first we thought we weren’t going to get it as another couple had already started the paperwork, but we had a twist of fate in our favor. It’s going to be a nice upgrade from what I have now.  The only downside is it’s on the 3rd floor, and I am not looking forward to moving my furniture up 3 flights of stairs.

Outside of our new building. Ours is on the back side and overlooks Alum Creek and a wooded area. © Holly Hildreth 2013

Outside of our new building. Ours is on the back side and overlooks Alum Creek and a wooded area.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

A quick panorama of the deck, living room, and part of the kitchen in the new place. © Holly Hildreth 2013

A quick panorama of the deck, living room, and part of the kitchen in the new place.
© Holly Hildreth 2013

And perhaps the most exciting part: I have TWO new Hallmark cards coming out!! The first is a birthday card for a man, which is available online now, and the 2nd is a baby card for a baby boy. The 2nd card goes for sale online in October. If they go to stores, they’ll both be out in July of next year.

This is the photo for the Man's birthday card.

This is the photo for the Man’s birthday card.

This is the drawing that will be on the baby boy card. This is actually the first drawing I did on the computer. I don't consider myself to be an illustrator by any means, so I was pleasantly surprised Hallmark wanted this one!

This is the drawing that will be on the baby boy card. This is actually the first drawing I did on the computer. I don’t consider myself to be an illustrator by any means, so I was pleasantly surprised Hallmark wanted this one!

Like I said, the Man’s b-day card is online now at: Hallmark, and then the Baby card will be online in October, and I will post a link then. If Hallmark moves these to stores it won’t be until July of next year, but trust me, I’ll let you know! I was also pleased to see Hallmark is bringing back my Stoli Birthday card in stores. I saw them stocking shelves as my local Kroger earlier this week with his card.

I’m sure I’ll post once we move into our new place, but I’ll be quite busy until then!!

All images in this post are © Holly Hildreth 2013 | http://www.hhildretphotography.com

Movin’ on Up

Well, lots of things have happened since my last post, and instead writing of some nice introduction, I’m going to just jump right in.

My internship with McGraw-Hill Companies School Education Group ended August 10th. BUT, I signed a contract as an image specialist with them, so I am full-time now! During my internship I was subleasing a place in the Short North area of Columbus. My sublease ended September 1st, so I needed to find a new place. As just a heads-up, if you ever plan to move to the Columbus area, DO NOT do so when Ohio State is moving back. I checked out over 30 apartments, and all but 2 had waiting lists to get in backed up until the end of October. As a result I didn’t have a lot of choices for apartments. I ended up finding one–it’s more than I wanted to pay, but like I said, it was slim picking! I am now 10 miles closer to work which is nice, but it takes me twice as long to get to the office, which is not so nice.

Since I was subleasing, when I came out to Ohio in May, everything I brought fit in the trunk of my car. I only brought Stoli (plus his things,) my clothes, and a rubbermaid drawer for toilertries. This meant that moving into a new place, I needed to get all of my belongings out here to Ohio. The problem was that 1/2 of my stuff went home with my parents to Iowa when I graduated, and the other half stayed spread out between my boyfriend’s house and my friend’s garage. So, in order to recover my things, I took my very first plane ride (shocking, I know. I lived under a rock for 20-some years though,) back to Kansas City.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

The view on my connecting flight from Philadelphia to Kansas City. We wre flying above a rain storm.
© Holly Hildreth 2012

My first time flying was only mildly traumatic, but that’s another story. It was great to be back in Kansas City. Even though I had only been gone for four months, I missed it (well, mostly I missed the people.) My boyfriend worked every day save for two and was on the opposite sleep schedule from me, but it was so good to see him again! We were able to go to our favorite restaurant, Fogo de Chão on the Plaza in Kansas City. While we were there, I took a few pictures to remember KC by.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Union Station, Kansas City, MO
© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Union Station at sunset
© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Liberty (WWI) Memorial
© Holly Hildreth 2012

The rest of the week was spent packing boxes and trying to see friends while I could, as I have no idea when I’ll be able to make it back to the area. One of my good friends adopted an English Mastiff named Baby-Girl. Although she’s gigantic, she’s a giant teddy bear, so of course I had to take a few photos.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Baby-Girl
© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

At the end of the week, my dad and uncle came down to Kansas City from Iowa with a trailer and we loaded up most of my stuff. The drive from Kansas City to Columbus is about 12 hours. With help, I was unable to move and unpack almost everything.

180 degree view of the kitchen and living room at my new place

The bathroom.

My new bedroom

I got crafty. I know it’s hard to see, but on the left I cut out the shape of the state of Ohio from a Columbus map. On the right we have the state of Missouri I cut out of a Warrensburg map, and the middle it says, “Home is where the heart is”.

Living room

Kitchen and breakfast bar

My door is on the left-hand side. I live under the stairs like a troll

My building. The bottom right is my little patio

One of the entrances to my apartment complex and the tennis courts

No Apartment is complete without a pool

Things are still a whirlwind. I have been super busy at work–I photographed Mitt Romney and President Obama before going to Missouri. I am trying to shoot outside of work so I have new photos to post. I’ll keep you updated.

All Photos and Content are © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.com

Ohiowa

This week has been quite the whirlwind. I’ve been busy snapping pictures, packing, and moving! I left Missouri on Monday (5/14) and stayed overnight in Des Moines at my sister’s house. She wanted some snapshots of Cade–nothing too intense, as he was 2 weeks shy of being 3 months old and still couldn’t do much of anything. I did a quick shoot for them, but was frustrated as I desperately miss the lenses and lights I used to check out from school to do shoots. I definitely need to invest in at least a flash unit asap. I have been mulling over getting a new lens as well, but the lens in question (the fabulous Canon 16-35mm L series lens,) costs about 3 times as much as their top of the line flash unit. So, it’s one thing at a time! I just used natural light for the shoot with Cade. My sister, brother-in-law, and nephew will be coming out to Ohio sometime this summer to visit my brother-in-law’s grandfather with the baby, so I am going to try to meet up with them and do another photo shoot. Hopefully by that time, Cade will be more aware of what’s going on and will be able to interact with me more, (and maybe I’ll have new equipment to play with my then!!)

Cade looks like an old man © Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade looks like an old man

 © Holly Hildreth 2012

 © Holly Hildreth 2012

 © Holly Hildreth 2012

 

 © Holly Hildreth 2012

 © Holly Hildreth 2012

After Des Moines, I headed up to Waverly, IA. I spent Tuesday through Thursday in town doing a few last-minute things before my big move. I even got out for one last photoshoot of the “sights” (if you can even call them that,) in Waverly.

Main Street Bridge, Waverly, IA  © Holly Hildreth 2012

Main Street Bridge, Waverly, IA

The newly finished, (and highly controversial,) inflatable damn

The newly finished, (and highly controversial,) inflatable damn

Waverly Civic Center

Waverly Civic Center

The damn, looking west

The damn, looking west

My dad and I left at 6am (CST) for Ohio on Friday morning. We loaded up the car with Stoli and the rest of my things and headed east. My dad drove through Iowa, but I took over for the rest of the trip as he recently had invasive shoulder surgery and can’t drive for more than very short distances. Illinois seemed to take forever to cross. I didn’t much care for Indiana. With the exception of Indianapolis, it seemed to be more rural than Iowa, and we spent a lot of the time watching dust devils swirl across the unplanted fields. Once we hit Ohio, the landscape changed to mostly forest with a lot of cities thrown in. We hit Columbus about 12.5 hours after we left Waverly. I am subleasing a room in a duplex in the Short North area. The area is full of old, historical-looking houses. I believe our house was build before electricity was common as I don’t have any ceiling lights in my room. Here are a few pictures of my new digs.

The Front door. (Faces east)

The Front door. (Faces east) My room is the one with the lamps on in the top right corner.

My room. There's a bricked-up fireplace on the right of this shot. Not pictured: I have two almost floor-to-ceiling windows on the wall behind me that face east.

My room. There’s a bricked-up fireplace on the right of this shot. Not pictured: I have two almost floor-to-ceiling windows on the wall behind me that face east.

Living room and front door

Living room and front door

Other side of the living room

Other side of the living room

Downstairs fireplace

Downstairs fireplace

Dining room area and where we crate the dogs (my roommate has a husky/terrier mix).

Dining room area and where we crate the dogs (my roommate has a husky/terrier mix).

The kitchen. The white thing on the left side of the photo is the washer and dryer

The kitchen. The white thing on the left side of the photo is the washer and dryer. This door leads out to our backyard.

Backyard view from the kitchen door (looking west).

Backyard view from the kitchen door (looking west).

The backyard looking east from the fence. Our neighbors landscaped the area. Their door is on the left.

The backyard looking east from the fence. Our neighbors landscaped the area. Their door is on the left.

Our parking area behind the fence

Our parking area behind the fence

The view from the end of our alley. Downtown is right across that bridge. You can't see much of the skyline as its really obscured by trees, but trust me, it's there!

The view from the end of our alley. Downtown is right across that bridge. You can’t see much of the skyline as its really obscured by trees, but trust me, it’s there!

We've got a giant Wonder Bread sign by my house

We’ve got a giant Wonder Bread sign by my house

Stoli's enjoying his new backyard

Stoli’s enjoying his new backyard

My roommate's dog, Chase

My roommate’s dog, Chase

Stoli never fails to make me laugh

Stoli never fails to make me laugh

As soon as I pull my camera out, Stoli strikes a pose. He's a smart one!

As soon as I pull my camera out, Stoli strikes a pose. He’s a smart one!

Stoli and Chase play CONSTANTLY. It's nice though, because when I come home, Stoli is so exhausted from exercising all day that he just wants to sleep and cuddle.

Stoli and Chase play CONSTANTLY. It’s nice though, because when I come home, Stoli is so exhausted from exercising all day that he just wants to sleep and cuddle.

Stoli attempts to look fierce

Stoli attempts to look fierce

I started my internship at McGraw-Hill this Monday, and so far everything seems to be going really well. I am really excited about everything that I will be doing. I think I will be covering a variety of subjects which should be a nice change.

Oh, and here’s some more big news. Remember this photo I took?

Holly Hildreth Hallmark Card

Well, not only is it available to buy as a birthday card on Hallmarks website, but they’ve selected it to be sold in stores!! They’ll be available nationwide everywhere Hallmark products are sold starting in June (I’m not sure on an exact date just yet, but I’ll let you know when I find out.) This is my 2nd Hallmark card to be sold in stores and my 3rd card to be sold online. I’m very excited that you’ll be able to find Stoli at your neighborhood Walmart, Walgreens, Hallmark, etc!

Spring Break, Part II: NE Iowa

After leaving Des Moines on Saturday, we headed up to my hometown of Waverly, Iowa. Waverly is about 6 1/2 hours northeast of Kansas City, so I was glad that we broke up the drive by staying at my sister’s house in Des Moines the night before, (so we only had 2 1/2 hours to drive in the morning). Iowa, like everywhere else in the country, has been seeing unseasonably warm temperatures. When I went home on Spring Break last year, I still had to wear boots and my winter coat. Last year Andrew and I went to St. Louis for part of break to celebrate our one-year anniversary and we got stuck in a snowstorm. It’s quite amazing how different it has been this year. Iowa had unseasonably nice weather, and I even wore shorts one day–something absolutely unheard of for the beginning of March.
The first night in Waverly, we went to the Pizza Ranch. I worked at the Pizza Ranch for two years during high school, and my parents loved it, because I brought home free food every night. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of visiting this awesome establishment, Pizza Ranch is a pizza+fried chicken buffet. So, basically it’s your midwestern American dream. Ever since I met Andrew, I told him about Pizza Ranch, and he always made fun of me for it, insinuating it was a place for hillbillies to gather and swap stories about corn, cattle, and cousins over greasy food. So, of COURSE we made him go.
After supper Andrew and I went to a Celtic music concert in Cedar Falls for St. Patrick’s Day. My high school English teacher, Doug Nichols, and his wife are in a Celtic band, Banish Misfortune. Mr. Nichols has sort of adopted me, and he’s become Uncle Doug. I always try to stop by and see him, his wife, and their corgi whenever I’m in town.

On Sunday we decided it would be a nice day to go to Decorah and picnic. Decorah is a small, Norwegian town in extreme northeastern Iowa, about 15 miles from Minnesota and around 40 miles from Wisconsin. Decorah has been a fun day-trip spot for my family since I was a little kid. The Iowa Trout Fish Hatchery, Ice Caves, Twin Springs (artesian wells,) and Dunning Springs waterfall area all located there. (To see pictures of the aforementioned in season, click here: My Trip to Decorah in Summer 2011). We went to the fish hatchery to begin. Across the street from the fish hatchery is a nest of eagles. (You can read more about it in the above link). We looked at all the trout, which ranged in size from an inch to 24″. It’s always fun to walk up on a still pond, throw some fish food in, and watch the water churn with the swarms of fish. There’s a waterfall emanating from a limestone bluff that fuels the trout hatchery with cold, natural spring water.

Andrew © Holly Hildreth 2012

Andrew with the natural spring. He was like a little kid, and I had to keep telling him not to climb on things and to be careful, haha!

Parents  © Holly Hildreth 2012

My parents in front of the waterfall. My dad is in a sling, because he just had surgery on his shoulder. He was driving to work on the highway this past December when a car failed to stop at an intersecting road and t-boned his work van. He had a torn rotor cuff among other muscle injuries and it chipped off a piece of his shoulder.

Us  © Holly Hildreth 2012

Andrew and I at the fish hatchery. It was windy and hot--80-some degrees. A record for Iowa!

After the fish hatchery we went to the Ice Cave. As kids, we explored the Ice Caves caverns, but I hadn’t been in probably 15 years. The Ice Cave is named such as it has ice on the walls year-round. To our disappointment, it seems parts of the Ice Cave have collapsed. We weren’t able to go much past the initial opening of the cave. I know Andrew was disappointed, because we were talking it up and his outdoorsy Eagle-Scout instincts took over and he was ready to do some spelunking.

Next we went to Dunning’s Spring, which is my favorite part of Decorah. However, the once raging waterfall had been reduced to a trickle and most of the area was brown. We couldn’t believe our eyes. In the 22 years I had been coming to Decorah, I had never seen the waterfall this dry. I didn’t take any pictures, as I was so disappointed. I also felt bad, as we were raving this up to Andrew as well. By this time, I’m pretty sure he was thinking that we Iowans are easily amused and think the littlest things are great. Here’s a picture of Dunning’s Spring in its prime when we visited this summer:

Dunnings spring  © Holly Hildreth 2012

Finally we stopped at Twin Springs Park to see the artesian wells. These too had dried up. There was only a little bit of a stream flowing. We had a picnic in the park and relaxed. I of course had to take pictures, even though the springs were definitely not in their prime.

Twin Springs Part © Holly Hildreth 2012

Twin Springs Part © Holly Hildreth 2012

Twin Springs Park © Holly Hildreth 2012

Twin Springs Park © Holly Hildreth 2012

Twin Springs Park © Holly Hildreth 2012

Twin Springs Park © Holly Hildreth 2012

My mom took a photo of Andrew and I in front of the stream, and I was VERY proud of her for not cutting our heads off.

On Monday, we went to Cedar Rapids to visit my oldest sister, who just moved there recently to accept a new full-time meteorologist position at CBS affiliate station. It was Jen’s birthday, so we went out to eat and hung out at her apartment for a while.

Tuesday was a relaxing day. We futzed around the house, I got a haircut and ran errands, and we both packed and prepared for our voyage to Chicago on Wednesday morning.

I apologize for the length of this blog. Normally I like to keep it short and sweet and bombard you with photos. The next blog post will follow that pattern. Stay tuned for Part III: Chicago.

All Images © Holly Hildreth 2012 | http://www.hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com

Cade Micah Kapusinski

I found out last Wednesday that my pregnant sister, Kristin, was being induce into labor on Monday (2/27/12). Kristin’s blood pressure was high, and the baby’s stomach was measuring small. To make sure everything was all right, they decided induced labor was the best option. I traveled up to Des Moines Sunday night and spent the night at their house. Kristin and Greg were to be at the hospital at 7:30 am on Monday morning. I wanted to do a documentary approach to the whole thing, so I came to the hospital around 9:00 am to ensure that I got a few “detail shots” before Kristin went in to full-on labor. The rest of our family arrived around 10:45 am, and things seemed to be going slowly. Kristin was gradually having more regular and powerful contractions, but after 4 hours, she was only dilated 1/2 way to what she needed to be. I asked the nurse about progress, and she said that she’s be “extremely surprised if she delivered any time soon”. So, we had lunch and walked around, running errands, and we didn’t think she was going to progress as quickly as she did.
The next thing I know, I’m running into her room, grabbing my camera as they’re pulling the baby out all the way. I immediately went to work, snapping my first picture as they placed the baby on her chest. I’m not even sure what followed after that. I must have been in the zone . I documented everything from the baby’s first breaths to cleaning him off and weighing him, to both Greg and Kristin’s family holding the newborn. I’m so grateful that they left me to do my thing.

Cade Micah Kapusinski was born at 1:47 pm on Monday, 2/27/12. He weighs 6lbs, 2.5oz and is 20.5 inches tall

I know these aren’t my usual dog pictures, but these images mean more to me than I could have imaged before going into this. I don’t think I have ever taken such powerful photos, and I am very proud of this set. I am so glad to have been a part of this experience. It’s definitely something I will never forget.

After getting back to Missouri, I put together a little slideshow for the proud parents. As soon as I watched the finished product for the first time, I admit I cried. (I guess it’s good if your own images can move you to shed a tear or two!) Here is the video:
Cade Video

Here are some stills that I used in the video:

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

First photo of Cade. They are placing him on Kristin's chest. He is less than 10 seconds old here.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Weighing in at 6lbs, 2.5oz

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade opens his eyes for the first time

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Greg hold his son for the very first time

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

The First Kiss

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Calling our Grandma McBain to tell her the news

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Cade holding his grandma Nancy's hand

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Dad's on diaper duty. Grandma Linda is there to help.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

All images are © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com

Ice, Ice, Baby

My older sister, Kristin, had contacted me a few weeks ago about possibly doing a maternity shoot. Kristin is currently 35 weeks pregnant and her and her husband, Greg, are expecting their first child on March 2nd. Needless to say, I’m excited to be an aunt!

Kristin was being honored with a baby shower thrown by her high school and college friends on Saturday in Des Moines, so she had me come up so we could kill two birds with one stone–I could shoot their maternity pictures and take  a couple shots of the shower for the baby’s scrap book as well.

Unfortunately Mother Nature reared her ugly head and made the drive up to Des Moines an interesting one. When I left Warrensburg after class at 3:00pm, it was 48 degrees and raining on and off. By the time I hit Liberty, MO, it was raining pretty steadily. The farther north I drove, the more the temperature plummeted, and the icier it got. Normally it takes around 3 1/2 hours to get to Des Moines, but it took more around 4 1/2 this time.

On Saturday, I photographed my sister, brother-in-law, and my nephew-to-be. They didn’t want the session to be too intense, as they only wanted a couple of picture and didn’t want the shoot to be very long. I had never done an on-location maternity shoot before, so I was extremely nervous. We photographed in the baby’s room and then decided to go outside. With 30mph winds and temps in the middle 20’s, we soon realized this was a horrible idea and scrapped all outside shooting. I wish I could have taken more images, but with such a short time-span, it’s difficult to do everything I wanted. Plus, as my sister and I agreed, the most important pictures will be taken when the baby arrives.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

After the maternity shoot on Saturday, we had time to eat dinner and then head to Smokey Row in downtown Des Moines for Kristin’s baby shower.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Snack table with the amazing cake one of Kristin's friends made.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Tricycle made out of diapers.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Shower games: Erin tries to guess how big around Kristin is.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

Comparing guesses.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

© Holly Hildreth 2012

All-in-all it was a busy, but productive weekend. I feel like I need a day to recover from it all, though! Driving 500 miles in 2 days can be quite exhausting! But, I am glad I was able to capture some photos for them, and I’m really looking forward to meeting my new nephew.

Full photo set can be found on my flickr: Slideshow

All Images © Holly Hildreth 2012 | hhildrethphoto.wordpress.com

The End of Break

First off, I would like to start by saying this is my official 100th post! This blog started out as a required project for a class and has morphed into my way of sharing my day-to-day shoots with people outside of Facebook.

Anyway, I spent two weeks of my Christmas break at my family’s house in Iowa. Initially it was a shock to the system, as I went from 50 degree weather in MO to highs in the teens in Iowa. I’m not a fan of winter weather to start with, so that was not a fun surprise to come home to. I got to Waverly just in time for Christmas. My sister, Kristin, had made some Christmas treats, and I decided to try my hand at photographing them. I have never really shot food before, and I don’t think it will ever be a huge part of my portfolio. I just used a lamp to light the scene and then had some tinfoil propped up to bounce light back into the scene. The cookies she made are two Ritz crackers with peanut butter in the middle, all dipped in chocolate. Needless to say they were delicious.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

My attempt at photographing hot chocolate wasn't so successful...

 

My other sister, Jen, has a Willow Tree nativity set. She has been collecting all the pieces over the years, and I thought I’d try shooting that as well. I used window light and then more tinfoil as a reflector to bounce extra light into the scene.

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

My sister and brother-in-law left our hour Christmas Day, and my other sister, Jen, had to do the news all week, so life got boring around the house. I soon was setting off around Waverly, trying to find things to photograph. I found a flock of geese on an open patch of water on the Cedar River and decided they would be my next photographic victims.

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

© Holly Hildreth 2012

 

School starts back up and Monday, and I expect to be very busy as I am taking a huge credit load. Don’t worry though, I’ll have plenty of new material to update and will hopefully be posting more regularly.

 

Repeat Offender

Hallmark has officially announced the winners of their “Mother’s Day Unleashed” contest. I have been selected as a winner for the 2nd time! I have known for a month and a half, and it’s been tough keeping it semi-under wraps, but I can actually publicly announce it now! The card is currently for sale online. You can check it out by visiting their store: HERE. Also, I now have a “Repeat Card Star” page about me on the Hallmark home page, which you can check out: Here. (It’s not much, but it’s kind of cool having a link to all your cards on their page.)

Decorah

On Wednesday, I traveled to Decorah, Iowa, with my sister and the news station for a story they were doing on the community and what it has to offer Eastern Iowans. My dad used to always take us girls to Decorah for fun when we were kids, but I hadn’t been there since I was in elementary school. We used to always visit Dunning’s Spring and the Iowa State Fish Hatchery. I followed my sister around while they were filming her segment and got some great photos while we were up there. Decorah, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the area, is about 2 hours northeast of my home town. It’s probably about 20 miles from the Minnesota border. It’s a quiet little town of Norwegian ancestry with a lot of character. Anyway, here are a few photos from the day. I took a ton of pictures, so if you’d like a more in-depth look, check out my flickr by clicking: HERE

Dunning's Spring © Holly Hildreth 2011

Dunning's Spring © Holly Hildreth 2011

Dunning's Spring © Holly Hildreth 2011

Panoramic of Dunning's Spring

Dunning's Spring © Holly Hildreth 2011

Dunning's Spring © Holly Hildreth 2011

Dunning's Spring © Holly Hildreth 2011

After shooting the falls, we headed to the Iowa Fish Hatchery. This is where they raise fish to be released into the wild. While Jen did her story, I wandered around the grounds. It was tough to get good photos of the fish, as they had to put covers over all the tanks since the eagles that live on the edge of the hatchery keep stealing all the fish.

Iowa Fish Hatchery © Holly Hildreth 2011

Iowa Fish Hatchery Holding Tanks

Iowa Fish Hatchery © Holly Hildreth 2011

Trout at the Fish Hatchery

Iowa Fish Hatchery © Holly Hildreth 2011

The Natural Spring that provides the water to the Fish Hatchery

Eagle's nest across the street from the Iowa Fish Hatchery © Holly Hildreth 2011

Eagle's nest across the street from the Iowa Fish Hatchery

Eagle's nest across the street from the Iowa Fish Hatchery © Holly Hildreth 2011

Mother and Baby Eagles

Like I said, there are MANY more photos from this shoot. This is just a small sampling of the day’s activities. Head over to my flickr for the rest.

Also, my family and I are leaving in the morning for a family vacation in Atlanta. I should be posting more photos from my adventures as the week rolls on.