Capture Sweet

Friendship Across the Miles | Lake of the Ozarks, MS

I have not moved as much as many military spouses/families have to, but one thing I have learned from my few moves, or from having friends that moved, is that I often find out how strong friendships are when there are many miles between us.

Emily may have thought I was crazy when I put my stuff in the cubicle right next to hers in our new office, when there were about 30 cubicles in the room and less than a handful of employees. I AM an introvert (no one believes me when I say that!) but I was also a little lonely seeing as my husband was deployed on the other side of the world. A friendship slowly built over about 6 months, with me inviting Emily to book club and Emily inviting me over for dinner with her and Mike, and I am grateful that it did. When I moved up to Maryland, we kept in touch and when Emily was pregnant with her first baby, Sam, she came home to Baltimore (where she grew up) for me to document her maternity photos. For Sam’s first birthday, I was invited to celebrate and document their family photos at Lake Anna, in Virginia, because they wanted photos of their family in their element, doing something that they love to do. THIS is exactly what I love to do, document families somewhere or doing something that holds special meaning for them, so of course I said yes! This led to a brief weekend trip that convinced me that what I needed in my life, and for my family, was days and nights sitting around a campfire, unplugged and enjoying peace and good conversation. In essence, it led me to telling my husband that I wanted to buy a camper.

Fast forward a couple of years, and Emily and Mike have moved to Colorado and now have two amazing little boys, Sam and Eli. And seeing how their previous family photo session led me to want to camp in the first place, I find myself suggesting a camping trip somewhere between Maryland and Colorado. And so we end up at Lake of the Ozarks on an extraordinarily hot week at the end of July.

Emily asked if I would take their family photos while we were out there, and so we started early one morning, hitting the trails and making use of the scenery along the way.

Sam attends a forest school, and was a fantastic leader and expert hiker as we traversed the landscape not far from our campground. Lake of the Ozarks State Park did not disappoint, providing us with a variety of backdrops to document all the love in this family.

Eli was all smiles and happiness, enjoying snuggles with mom and dad, getting lots of love from big brother, and exploring the fun textures to be found in the rocks on the trails and the sand on the beach.

And as we wrapped up and headed back to our campsites, we were sure to grab Olive, the family fur baby, to snap a family portrait with her.

I feel incredibly blessed to have friends that were willing to travel multiple days to spend some time together, and who also trusted me with their family photos while we were there. Mike and Emily, thank you for making memories with me and my family and I look forward to picking somewhere further north next time for cooler weather!

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