Signs to Remember | Creative Chaos

• May 25th, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

So here I am sitting at my desk, about to start my anatomy homework… today is no different than any other day I sit at my desk to work or do schoolwork, but today was just hard. Looking at my two little boys and thinking, “am I ever going to be able to take them to a playground to play? Will Bradley be able to start preschool? Will we be able to go on that road trip to see my husband’s family 1,300 miles away? Will my mom get to meet Andrew?” These questions, and more were running through my head today. I have several signs on my desk that I’ve surrounded myself with that remind me on days like this that “This too shall pass”. So I’m not sure which one of you need to hear this today, but I sure did.

Sign #1: “Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go” – As a species, we have made it through, the plague, the flu, swine flu, and so many other terrifying diseases. Technology has come so far and we will find a treatment. We have made progress and know more about Covid, as terrifying as it is. We will get through this.

Sign #2 – “Let your faith be bigger than your fear” – Everyone has different beliefs, but my faith will carry me through this, I need to focus on the bigger picture, instead of being scared of the what-if’s.

Sign #3 – “Too blessed to be stressed” – Yep… This is true, I am very fortunate in these hard times, my husband and children are home with me and are happy. When today being Memorial Day, so many families aren’t as fortunate… My thoughts and prayers are with those families, and remind me to be thankful for what I have and hug my family a little tighter today.

So while this morning has been hard. We all have hard days, we all have sad days, but like my last two signs say… “if it is to be, it is up to me.” (Thanks Dad for the 2 letter word idiom) and “girl, you’ve got this”.

All of these speak so true, we just need to remember… this too shall pass. So hang in there… You’ve got this.

Phenomenal Moms | How I spent my Mother’s Day

• May 11th, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Yes I worked on Mother’s Day. My church, Freedom Fellowship, and I have done family portraits on Mother’s Day for the past 8 years or so. It has become a traditional so many of us look forward to each year! It might only be a few minutes and you might only get 3-4 images, but even just ONE beautiful portrait is such a gift to us moms.

We have some phenomenal women in our church and such wonderful examples of motherhood! We have single moms doing this all on their own without any support from their children’s fathers. We have mothers who have lost their husband and have been thrust into single motherhood unexpectedly. We have mothers who never got to hold their babies but are still mothers to heavenly children. We have mothers who are without biological children but have many spiritual children who look to them for advice and guidance. We have mothers who never birthed their children but choose to love a child born from another as their own. We have mothers who chose adoption for their children and have sacrificed knowing their children call another woman mom. We have mothers who struggled for years and needed the help of science to help them bring their children into the world. We have mothers whose children have emotionally cut them off, who mother now through their prayers, praying their children will reach out. We have mothers who’s children have passed away and who have a very difficult time “celebrating” Mother’s Day. We have grandmothers who fill the role as mom. We have military mother’s who are celebrating being a mom while deployed across the world away from their children.

Motherhood takes on very different roles for different women. Mother’s Day might have passed but take time to recognize ALL the different mothers in your life, in your neighborhood and at your job. Don’t forget to celebrate their motherhood journey as well!

Please take a look at some of the amazing mom’s I was able to photograph yesterday. I can’t post them all as we had such a great turn out for our “Drive-Thru” Mothers day portraits. (We had a line of cars in the parking lot social distancing and waiting their turn to get out of their car!) This is just a snapshot of the phenomenal moms of my church. Such a blessing to know and photograph them!

This beautiful momma celebrating the 14th Mother’s Day without the child she never got to hold.
The amazing Pastors, Rick and Diana, from Freedom Fellowship
New momma!

Happy Mother’s Day!|Creative Chaos

• May 10th, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful mother’s out there. Whether you’re a biological mom, adoptive mom, soon-to-be mom, grand-mom, step-mom, all around mother figure and everything in between, I hope you have a beautiful and wonderful day today, and are celebrated for the amazing people you are.

During this quarantine, our patience has been tested! Creativity has a new definition, and time is sometimes irrelevant. Did I do that yesterday morning? Or this morning? Wait, it’s only 3:00, it’s not bed time yet? I hear you. I’ve been there, but you know what? This too shall pass. Personally, this quarantine has been a beautiful reminder of what mother’s and family are supposed to be all about. We are forced to go back to basics and spend quality time together, get creative, play games, and just be present in the moment.

Today, I am spending my day with my wonderful husband and beautiful boys. Had to get creative because they have been going stir crazy, so I made a tape race track in my living room. We have had race after after race and I’m exhausted and it’s only 1:00. Andrew is down for a nap and Daddy and Bradley are outside playing. Mommy is going to kick back and read a book.

Enjoy this time together, take those few moments for yourself too. You’re beautiful and you deserve it. Happy Mother’s Day! You’ve got this!

What is your favorite game? |Creative Chaos

• April 2nd, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Do you have a favorite board game or card game? Did you have family game nights as a kid? I did! I remember we used to have family game night once a week when my brother and I were kids. We could never agree, so we always each brought one we wanted to play and my parents picked between the two.

During this difficult time when we are all self quarantining, board games and card games are making a huge comeback! Monopoly, Risk, Life, Guess Who, Phase 10, Uno, and so many more are being played more and more often! We have always enjoyed games so this is exciting for us to have time to play and Daddy home to join in the fun.

But after game after game of monopoly being whooped by my sister-in-law, my husband and somehow even my three year old, I wanted to get creative. So we are creating our own Monopoly!

We only used graph paper and markers. The movement pieces are beads I had with some hot glue on the bottom for stands! The possibilities are endless! What game would you create your own version of?

Quarantine at the Porter House | Creative Chaos

• March 28th, 2020 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

So this is what quarantine looks like at our house. Chaos.

If you have two littles like I do, I’m sure you are going absolutely bonkers. With two boys, I hear a lot of fire sirens, abc’s and have played game upon game of “firefighters” and lost about 700 races, had 400 meltdowns, 800 loads of laundry, and so much more… But you know what? That’s okay! Even though my ears are constantly ringing (due to the high pitched siren my 3 year old produces, how he does that is beyond me.) I wouldn’t trade this time with them and my husband for anything. Daddy is home from work (he’s active duty so having him home is always a blessing!) and we have been able to have more family time than I could have ever hoped for. We are on day, what, 14 (I think) of this quarantine. If you’re like me, all of your ideas for entertainment have all been exhausted and your backups of your backup cards have all been played. So what now? That is what this blog is all about.

Photo by the wonderful Devon Shanor!

We are not in this alone, whether you have small children, children of school age, children out of the house, no children, living at home, husband or wife deployed, home alone, or everything in between. This is for you. I will be posting a few times a week so, lets get off the couches (I know, they sure are comfy right now…) and do something, creative in the chaos… let’s do this!

Alyssa’s Big Day turning ONE!

• October 29th, 2019 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Alyssa is turning one!! She laughed and smiled for the camera because she loved the fuzzy texture of my fur carpets! We captured lots of big moments during her first year session, she stood by herself and she started crawling THAT DAY so we got some adorable belly crawling!

For most little ones, the cake smash is a fun treat and tasting the sugary goodness that is icing and cake is a highlight! However, little Alyssa wasn’t having it, she gagged when she first tasted all that sugar! So, we enjoyed playing in the icing more than eating it!

Thanks Wilda family for trusting me again with your little girl. Year one down, I hope the next ones are as exciting and fun as this one was!!

Family Portraits in Laos

• October 25th, 2019 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

I had an amazing time traveling Asia with my mom and daughter this summer to celebrate Olivia’s graduation. While we were touring Laos, we met an amazing man, Thong, who showed us all the beauty of his country. He was such a wonderful man and we loved his story! He met his wife and married her within a week!!!

They are still happily in love with three kids! He is known in his town as the man who drives with FIVE people on his little motorcycle. Many people drive with three or four but he is the only one who regularly travels with five. As we were touring the country, I mentioned that he needed a portrait of that and he agreed! So when his wife came to pick him up she brought all the kids and we did a mini photoshoot for his family.

My camera wasn’t very happy with the very humid morning after spending the night in air-conditioning (dang condensation!) but we pushed through and still captured some fun family portraits for my new friend!

A Real Family Feud

• September 16th, 2019 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

When we hear the phrase “family feud” some of us immediately picture Steve Harvey and the game show. If I went a step further and said the family name is Mccoy, we might think about the Hatfields vs Mccoys feud. Well this is a completely different kind of feud between family, one that is dividing families all across America right about now…it’s football rivalry.

When dad is a Green Bay Packers fan and mom is a New England Patriots fan what team do the children choose? If you base it off the last few Super Bowls the Patriots could be an obvious choice, Go Brady! So fast forward a few years, the twin boys are now in High School, Rob Jr is a Patriots fan and Kenneth is a Packers fan. I love these portraits because mom let the green and gold rule, but I love this family because above all else they are loyal to each other. Who’s ready for some football?

Before Your Very Eyes

• September 10th, 2019 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Meet Miss Felicity, at her nine month portrait session. I have been photographing her quarterly since birth and it’s so cool to capture her growth and milestones. We typically wait about nine months for baby to arrive and in the nine months after they change so fast.

Felicity is sitting and playing on her own, but she enjoys the company of her big sister, Elleigh. She is trying new and tasty foods and looks forward to nap time. We were able to get a few shots with dad and his girls before he left for deployment. This little lady is growing up right before our eyes and soon it will be time for a first year celebration.

A Messy Tradition- Genevieve turns ONE!

• September 6th, 2019 •

Copyright ©  Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Not every little girl has a handy carpenter grandpa, but lucky little Genevieve does! Her grandpa crafted this adorable little boat for her and we had to incorporate it into her first year portraits.

Genevieve has mastered crawling but isn’t quite ready for walking yet, but we did capture some standing pictures, such a big milestone for an almost one year old! We also captured an adorable portrait of her looking at herself from just a few days old!

Little Genevieve LOVED her cake smash session! It was a messy highlight to her first 360 days her on each! She played, she ate, she eventually practically passed out from the sugar rush!