One of my favorite things about raising goldendoodles is seeing them happy in their new homes. Duke was from my first litter last year. He is 8 months old now and just as lovable and snuggly as he looks. It was so much fun photographing him with his lovely owner Hannah. I love happy endings and Duke has found his with Hannah.
Enjoy the images we got of them snuggling on a rare warm day in February! It was perfect.
If you are interested in our upcoming spring 2016 litter email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I believe it was Winston Churchill who said ”There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man”. I love this quote because it is true, but I know that horses are not just good for our inner world because of their physical beauty. Their gentle spirits and kind friendship have borne up many souls who could not have otherwise moved forward. I am one of those people. Horses are a part of my story in such a deep and beautiful way. They are woven brilliantly into my very being and I believe they helped to save my life. I wish every little girl could have a horse. I hear it often, how horses are a part of a young girl’s story, how they provided the sanity she needed to just move into another day. I didn’t know horses were carrying me across the broken bridges of my little girl world until I was much older. I just knew I had to be near one as often as possible. Just the smell of them filled me with longing and tethered me to a sense of safety. I treasured the warm sensation of their breath on my hands and the soft sweetness of their noses. They were a paradox to me – gentle yet so powerful. They provided me with comfort and yet I revered their glory, my heart pounding in my chest in their presence.
Horses have a God-like quality in this way. He is sometimes frighteningly beautiful in all of his splendor and yet he is loving and good. We can trust the majesty that is much more powerful than us because it is bent in our direction. This is love defined.
Horses were at the preschool I attended at 4. I sometimes got to stay after and ride them when the other children went home. On these special days I would try as long as possible not to wash my hands when I got home. I wanted to remember the smell of the horses. I would keep my hands cupped around my nose savoring their scent until my mother made me wash them clean before dinner.
When I was 7 my parents suddenly separated and then eventually divorced. I say suddenly, but that is from the perspective of a 7 year old. In one day, my whole life changed. Our bags were packed and we left our Kansas home. Just like that. I don’t blame my parents for this now. I cannot begin to know all that was in their world. I do know it was awful for all of us. I often liken divorce to a bomb detonating in a house. No one escapes the shrapnel and it is difficult to find your bearings after the smoke clears. Each of us did our best to survive. None of us really seemed to know who were we were anymore or what our role was. I was the youngest of 4. We moved to a new state, went a new school and my family was no longer a family. I felt lost. Eventually, my mom enrolled me in a riding program. She must have known how desperately I needed it. It was the highlight of my week. I loved it so. Threads of continuity began to weave in and out of my broken little self. Continuity that smelled like horses, and riding until the sun went down. I began to breathe again.
Then, one magical day when I was 10, my mom and I went to look at little white horse named Buttermilk. He was half Arabian and half Welsh pony. I had memorized each breed and their characteristics from my horse book at home. Honestly, I didn’t care. He was perfect. He was mine. I road him all the way from the woman’s house to the barn where I would keep him. He was my world.
There is no sense of time in a barn. If you love horses you know that. I am convinced clocks do not tick there. In the age before cell phones my mom had to come looking for me. She would often be waiting for me when I was on my way back from a ride. She had been driving around looking for me. “Where have you been? It’s late and the sun has gone down!” she would say, genuinely worried. I would always apologize, “I was with Buttermilk. I’m sorry! What time is it?” I really didn’t know. I would often ride him down to the beach that was close by and swim with him in the bay. On the way back, I would canter him until I couldn’t breath either from the joy.
Over the years, many horses have come and gone from my life. Their friendship has remained a constant in a world that never stops changing. I have had the beautiful privilege of sharing horses with my children and husband. None of them have had the horse bug like I did but they all love them and feel confident riding which is such a gift. Last summer I lost my Sammy, who was the most trustworthy horse I have ever known. Even at 28, he would throw his head and tail high under saddle. How he loved to ride. I dreaded the day that I would have to let him go. That day came on an appropriately rainy day in June last year. I knew he was very ill when I called the vet and braced myself for the worst. After a brief examination the vet determined that Sammy had a tumor on his pancreas and was in a great deal of pain. The doctor looked me in the eyes and recommended that I do the kind thing and let him go. I was alone, but agreed he was right. The rain beat hard on the tin roof of my little red barn as I offered up prayers of gratitude for my Sammy. I pictured him running to greet RM, the fatherly figure in my life who gave him to me, and them cantering off on the beaches of heaven. No more pain. Only joy.
When Sammy passed away, I mustered the courage to pray for another pony to adventure with. I needed a special horse who would show me the same kind of friendship and faithfulness that Sammy had given me. That’s when God brought Astro into my life, a lovely Paso Fino horse who is small but strong. He is my gift from God. I call him Astro the wonder horse. And you know what? He looks so much like my first little horse, Buttermilk. I am looking forward to building a new friendship with him.
He is a gift in every sense of the word, and has already begun to be such a blessing in our lives.
To all the horses in my life, thank you. You have borne me up not only on your broad and strong backs, but in friendship and love. I pray God gives me many more years to listen to your soft clip-clopping on pavement, happy nickering when you see me bringing out the hay, and the sound of thunder when you run happy in the pasture. You have brought me much joy.
James 1:17~ “Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
“I saved this for you” he says quietly as he tenderly pulls a twined blossom from his pocket, “it reminded me of you.” It is the boutonniere from the wedding he officiated this weekend. I feel my heart flutter because he knows me so well. It is a small yet significant gesture of his love for me. He is steady and faithful and kind. I take the blossom and put it in one of my favorite teacups to treasure a little longer.
He always weeps when the bride comes down the aisle, especially when he is officiating. Every time I feel my body leaning towards him, even if I am in the back of the room, as if I could support him from there. My heart is tangled up with his. I know the tenderness and vulnerability that resides there. I know what he is thinking- or rather just knowing- in his spirit. He is reminded of the kingdom of heaven, when Christ’s bride will be given to him fully in all her glory. He is heavenly-minded, other worldly in his affections, and I am not the least bit jealous of this love. I am sheltered and safe there, drawn more deeply to this God who delights to tell his story in our every day lives.
We will be indeed in trouble when our girls marry. May God hold us that day.
We have been married for 27 years and if you are married you know it is difficult. And wonderful.
Here is one of the things he said to the young bride and groom this weekend.
“…choose again every day to be in love. Say to yourself, “I can have a great marriage if I want it. It is my choice.” What happened yesterday is gone, what happens tomorrow is not here yet, but today is mine to choose. You see, the power is not really is standing here today and declaring your intent to love, it is in actually choosing every day to be present and fully vested in the relationship. “
He can say these things because that is what he does. ( I am trying to get my husband to write his own blog. He has such wise things to say. If you see him, encourage him in this way.)
I pray that I will also live out the faithfulness that my husband has exemplified.
Today I say yes to faithfulness. It is like the twine around the beautiful flowers- holding us together come what may.
Proverbs 3:3 ~”Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.”
I have a special place in my heart for dancers. Dance is part of my own story and when I get to photograph them it brings two of my passions into a joyful convergence. When Mackenzie said she wanted to dance for her senior portraits, I knew it would be a memorable session.
My goal in any session is to be able to show my client and the world who they really are- their innermost beauty. Most people don’t know how beautiful they are. They walk this earth completely unaware of the light they carry. It is my joy to not only see it, but also to capture and carry it back for them to view as well. Mackenzie is no exception. She walks with a quiet beauty and elegance that she doesn’t know she has. She was a bit shy during the beginning of our session, but it wasn’t long before we were laughing. I loved taking her around the block close to my studio in her lovely dance dress. People stopped to stare at this spectacle of grace and loveliness. ‘Yes’, I thought to myself. “She is a gleam of light on this mundane block of city life. You should stop.”
Mackenzie, thank you for sharing your free and sweet spirit with me. I hope you love your senior photos. Blessings on your bright and shining future.
It has been over a week since I declared The Year of Yes, and I am slowly finding my way into this acquiescence. My yes has to be cultivated and nurtured, just like gratitude and a sense of wonder. These treasures must be tended to oh so carefully in our lives, protected against the choking weeds of distraction and fear. It’s a slow and diligent process. This week as I waited for my son in a busy coffeeshop, I was drawn to the light encircling the rims of the coffee mugs on display. “Yes, I see you there” I said to my Father who is tenderly leading me out of this numbed state and into dancing again. Simultaneously, the voice of my enemy mocks me. “Light on coffee mugs? Silly,” he stings. Yes, light on coffee mugs. And no, not silly. I am learning to see again. I turn my back on the scoffer who makes small of the beauty that God uses to make me whole.
I have known fear this last year. My chest seizes tight even now. Anxiety has become an unwelcome companion in this last season. He has walked so close to me that I nearly believed he was part of me. He crept in on the folds of grief’s garments. I am now seeing this more clearly. He latched hold when a relationship shattered into pieces, shifting in quietly and heavily, like a heavy cloud that blocks the sun.
But I declare it now in this moment- “Fear is not part of me”. I read it on Ann Voskamps’s post today. “The answer to anxiety is the adoration of Christ”. Yes. Yes! I will give God my yes. I will let this last season rest in the deep with all it’s pain and weariness. I will let it go to God. He alone can hold all these things.
The sun is rising again, with all her glory and colors. God is doing a new thing and I am so grateful.
Yes to new, Father. Yes to you.
Isaiah 43:19 ~”See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
I am feeling a good bit of trepidation as I sit to type my thoughts concerning a new project in 2015. Projects are scary. I was able to complete a 365 in 2011, but not without much sacrifice. I failed in my attempt to do another 365 in 2014. This project will be different, and yet still the same I hope. In each challenge I grew spiritually and as an artist. I also got to know people I never would have met otherwise and I learned to trust God on a level I had not known before. I want those same things now, but I don’t desire to put the the 365 pressure on myself. It has been a tough year raising puppies (the reason I dropped my second 365) and I am tired to put it mildly. Truthfully, I am exhausted.
There have been other factors that have contributed to my general sense of malaise. We have had some breakdown in relationships that have caused us deep pain. Nothing can dull the heart like pain. In my efforts to move on I have found myself closing my heart. When the heart shuts down, no life flows in or out. I have lost my sense of wonder. I have lost my yes.
I am choosing, begging God to help me give him my yes in 2015. I want to say yes, no matter what the year brings. This is a frightening thought. What if there is more pain? More suffering? What if?
Recently I asked a friend to pray my for heart. She didn’t know the details but she came back to me with a scripture that she felt God gave her for me. It was Isaiah 26:3,4 ”You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”
When I trust God I can give him and others my yes. I can say yes to whatever the day brings because he alone holds my heart. Not every yes is a happy one. There will be pain, that is most certain. But there will also be joy, and how can I truly know one without the other? My heart has to be open to know them both. I cannot pick and choose which one I will receive. Only God can do that.
I want this to be the year of yes.
Today’s yes is to wonder. Never do I want to take wonder for granted. This morning, I felt the smallest inkling of it when the sun cast herself across the greenery on my kitchen table. I remembered. I remembered the childlike heart that God put in me as I sprayed the greenery with water and photographed the droplets in the morning light. Joy gently nudged me and I nodded my head yes.
Yes. God is good and he can have my yes. Here’s to a year of many yes’s to come.
Happy new year.
Psalm 62:5 ~”Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him”. (emphasis mine)
Well the pups will be 7 weeks tomorrow and I am behind on my weekly portraits. We had the flu this week and I just couldn’t it together.
Here are their 7 week portraits one day early. They want to say Happy Thanksgiving to you all. They are all spoken for and I am so happy with their new homes!
Here are the pups in the order of their birth as usual.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all. We have so much to be thankful for.
Sometimes my children do things that fill my heart to the very brink; and when they love one another well it is the sweetest joy of all.
When Johnny came home several months ago he told us that he had written a song for Katie. He spoke it so casually and in such a humble way that we might never have known how amazing this gift was. When he played it for me at the kitchen table – his fingers flying over the strings making the sounds of falling leaves- I wept. It was tender and exquisite.
He wrote a song for his sister from the perspective of the man who will capture her heart. Honestly, I don’t know how these children came from me. Who is this gifted grown-up man who writes songs to bless his sister? He worked on it for months, writing and playing all the parts. He is a gifted producer as well. He brought in his friend and fellow musician Taylor Ronne to sing it.
He gave it to her as quietly as he had told us about it, leaving a note on her car. He told her to check her email and to never settle for less than the best. (sniff)
She was blessed to her toes.
It’s amazing. Give it a listen. I dare the mothers out there not to cry. Click the link below to listen to the beauty.
You may purchase this song here at https://brethrenheart.bandcamp.com/album/stories-youll-tell
Posted on 16. Nov, 2014 by maryanne.
Okay I can’t stand it. These babies are so sweet and precious. They are growing so fast! As of this post we have one baby left. Red collar boy is still available. Email me at email@example.com for a puppy application if you are interested in him.
Had to do another Christmas theme with these sweethearts. Enjoy their 5 week old pictures. They are listed in their birth order always.
(To read about the parents click here http://www.maryannemorganblog.com/2014-fall-goldendoodle-puppies/)
Blue collar boy is now Lincoln and has a wonderful home in Atlanta. I am so excited he is going to stay close by!
Payton was feeling a little camera shy this time so I got a nice profile picture. She is my precious little bit. Just love my Payton.
Paris wasn’t sure about wearing the Santa hat but I promised her she looked adorable. I don’t think she believed me. This little girl is so laid back and shy. I love her.
This face! Oh my goodness Luna’s little face get’s me every single time. “What hat?” she says.
Purple collar girl is now Maggie and I adore that name for her. She has the funniest expressions. She looks like she is pondering some deep things here. I just adore her!
Light blue collar is now Jax and will be living in Williamsburg VA. I am so happy for his new family and for him. He said he preferred no hat. Look at his blue eyes!
As of this post Red collar is still available but I don’t think he will be for long. We are okay if he stays though. He is such a joy!
Scarlett is so easy to photograph. She is pretty much okay with whatever we do. Love her sweet little face and dark hair.
Posted on 10. Nov, 2014 by maryanne.
Well the puppies are 4 weeks now and I am having a hard time keeping up with these photos! Right now they are learning to use their litter tray (slow going!) and eat wet puppy food. They are also learning to play with toys and wrestle each other. They are so precious. If you want to follow me on Instagram you will see videos and daily updates. You can find my instagram at http://instagram.com/magbug.
Here are their precious 4 week photos. We decided to do a winter theme this time since they will be ready to go home December 5th!
They are in their birth order as usual.
As of right now blue collar boy is still available. He is affectionate and beautiful with markings that look like his daddy, Mr. Darcy.
I adore little Payton’s face. She is so attentive and loving. She is my most delicate puppy.
Since Paris’s mommy is good friends with London from our last litter’s mommy, I am letting her wear the princess crown for her portrait. She didn’t seem to mind.
This little girl melts my heart every time I look at her. She has the sweetest little face. Luna!
Purple collar girl is still available right now. She is curly and sweet and such a beautiful girl. I just love her.
Light blue collar boy is still available. He is precious with his curly curly hair and a pink nose. His eyes will probably stay light also. He is a sweet boy.
Red collar boy is still available! I love this sweet and cuddly boy. He is always coming and plopping down in my lap. He is so beautiful too with all of his white markings. He has a stocky little face.
Finally we have sweet Scarlet. She is still a deep red and so sweet. She has a lovely home and I am so happy for her.
That’s it for this week’s update! If you are interested in one of our pups email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a puppy application.