Indulge me while I have a little ‘Mother Moment’ here, won’t you? **Edited to add**

For a number of years we had an incredible friend and photographer named Dawn Mosely come out to our house and take pictures of the girls. We usually did it around November and we used her gorgeous pictures as our Christmas cards. We’d also always frame some of them for the grandparents as gifts, which would always produce the desired reaction: lots of oohs and ahhs and damp eyes coupled with ecstatic clutching of the photos to their collective breasts. Exactly what we were going for!

Dawn is a gentle soul, funny and kind, and she had endless patience with my girls– they were always excited to see her, so getting them to settle down wasn’t always easy. They also weren’t crazy about changing outfits, posing in such close proximity to each other (OK, that was mainly Madi) and were ready to stop way before we were, so Dawn had to summon all of her kid-wrangler skills to keep them having fun and smiling. Some of the absolute best photographs I have of the girls were taken by Dawn, and I treasure them so much. Over the last few years, we kind of got out of the habit of taking Christmas card photos, I’m not even sure why. I guess the girls were getting older, and I talked myself out of spending money right around holiday time when I was taking photos of them myself ALL THE TIME anyway. But those images that Dawn took, with her incredible eye for creating a ‘moment’ and capturing each girl’s personality and the magic of that particular time in their lives– well, I will never ever be able to reproduce that.

Dawn sent me this video the other day. It is set to a song, “Remembrance”, by a violinist named Ruth McGinnis, a beautiful woman who lost her well-fought battle with ovarian cancer last week at the age of 52. She was a beloved member of the Nashville music community, and her exquisite playing has graced the recordings and live performances of so many of your favorite artists. Dawn put this montage together several years ago, but  I had ever seen it. Ruth’s passing added an extra poignancy to a video that would have reduced me to tears anyway, so you can probably imagine my reaction to seeing it for the first time– let’s just say there were a couple moments there where it definitely crossed the line over to the ugly cry. Dawn has graciously agreed to let me share it with you, and I urge you to go to her website “First Glance Photography” and check out some more of her wonderful work. We are totally going to have her come back and take pictures this year!

So, here it is. Feel free to bust out crying and start wailing, “They grow up so fast!” at the top of your lungs.

Or maybe that’s just me.

madi and charlotte from Dawn Mosley on Vimeo.

64 Responses

  1. Phyllis S

    I seem to have a blank block where the video should be…is it just my computer?


    Yeah, me, too! Tori, quit boohooing so that you can load up that pic right, then we can boohoo with you! I had my mouth all set, and everything!

    Sorry ’bout your friend, too. That violin music had already set my mood for some release! Get on the pic!

  3. Phyllis R

    How precious! Those pictures are great…can’t pick a favorite one…I really like the one that they girls are sitting on the cough barefooted…then there is the one of…they are all gorgous. The music…WOW, some of the most beautiful violin music I have ever heard. I am sorry for the loss of Ruth.





  6. Phyllis S

    Yea, I am still looking at empty square…..HELP!

  7. tori

    DELIVERED and Phyllis– What browser are you using? I am using Safari and it shows up fine…? Are you using something else, like Internet Explorer or something else?

  8. tori

    I’m working on it!

  9. Phyllis S

    I am using foxfire, have not had trouble with previous screens. Is this posted on the “First Glance Photography” site? I might try it there.




    Well, i just then cut my own self off! See what I mean? The librarian says Internet Explorer. So, does that leave me out of the party? I wanted to cry, too!


    Im gonna go on the net, try to figure out how to can some of these apples falling all around me, then come back. They are too pretty and good to waste. gotta find out how to just can them, no sauce, no jelly, just plain ole apples. maybe by then my nerves will have calmed back down, and i can catch up w/ the boohoos.

  13. tori

    I think it’s a Facebook issue– that’s where it was initially posted and is in the code. I’m working on it… HANG WITH ME!


    i’m hanging!

  15. Phyllis S

    If it is a Facebook thingy, then I know the problem is here at work…Facebook is blocked…I downloaded Safari, and still cannot see it…will try when I get home and have Facebook….
    Thanks….but I do get twitter at work and keep up with ya…..

  16. jonny

    Also Tori, I think you have an ‘ever’ that should possibly have been a ‘never.’


  17. jonny

    Yep, a Facebook thing. I switched over from my phone to a computer and the computer says that it is a secure video that I should sign up to check out.

  18. tori

    I’ve got a message in to Dawn, I think she will have to upload the video to Vimeo and then I can reload it from there. Hopefully I’ll hear from her soon!

    (Jonny, you are the best editor! However, in this case, it’s a southern thing– we say “never ever” instead of the double negative “never never”… It makes no sense, it’s just something we do!)

  19. jonny

    Actually, I missed the ‘never’ on my phone, but got it on the computer!! Oh, and sory I missed describing my place in the earlier post. I was feeling so bad I just wasn’t able to get motivated enough to put that kind of concentration, energy in to a Say it! at the time = / Hopefully next time!!

  20. LindaB

    bOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO HOO!!!!!! I actually cried and they’re not even my kids! But I feel like they are my “sister’s” kids (Sister Tori) and I know how much you love them and I couldn’t help it!

    Did you ever dream, before they were born, how much you would love your girls? When I first became pregnant, I was worried because I didn’t particularly like other people’s children!!! I thought I might not love my own kids like I should. But after I first saw them, I was overcome with a love so deep that it hurt sometimes. Okay, a lot of times. I just wondered if you really liked kids before you had some? Or was it just me?

    Beautiful photography! A TREASURE! Have her back to take some more pictures, will ya?

  21. drobin99

    Oh, Tori…I should never have looked at that while I’m at work! What a precious video and what a special person to have given that to you. Thank you so much for sharing. Your girls are beautiful and so are you – inside and out!


    Now I’m just plain ole jealous!
    And, jonny, its not too late to take some pics of your place! (I don’t think?)
    I’m still getting a blank square. Let me ask the librarian is she knows how to pull this up some other way so I can sniffle and snot, too!


    Oh, Tori – still hanging…………………..
    will catch up in the morning, around 7:00. maybe by then I can start my day off w/ tears? Somehow that really sounds twisted,but yall totally understand, right? then, all my first graders will see me sniffling, and they always come and give the B-E-S-T-E-S-T hugs EVER!!! Yeah, sounds like a plan for sure!
    Going back home, hit the couch, grab a kitty and a book. Iys sbeen rainy all day here, good snuggling weather. Since I seem too particular about the menfolks nowadays, I am safer/happier w/ a cat!=) (at the present time, anyway) less temptation, less static!
    G’night, everyone!

  24. jonny

    Who said anything about pictures ???

  25. Phyllis S

    It worked at home where I have Facebook…What precious memories we all have of our children, but to see them set to music is priceless…

  26. MostlySunny

    Can’t see either. Not a “facebooker”

  27. auburn60

    I got to see it…and felt like Linda did…sort of like watching sweet nieces grow up before your eyes.
    Those pictures triggered a memory of a Gaither video–maybe the one about Heaven?–where the girls are sitting together and one of them says ‘Heaven is a great place for…People!’ or something like that. So cute. Did I mess that up, Tori? Haven’t seen it in a long time but that stuck with me.

  28. LindaB

    I have that video, Alyson! It’s on the Heaven one! And Madi (a.k.a. Maddie back then) and Charlotte looked so sweet! And after they said what Heaven meant to them, they hugged each other! It was adorable, and I ain’t just sayin’ that ’cause Tori’s listenin’! (Or was it Char hugged Madi, Tori??? LOL) And, of course being Tori’s children, they mentioned “animals” in that Heaven context too!

  29. GRITSinNC

    I would love to see it but I don’t want to join Facebook to do so. :(

  30. auburn60

    Yeah, I thought I remembered something about animals and people and Heaven.
    They were so little and serious about the whole thing. Think we could get them to re-enact it–hugs and all?

  31. LindaB

    YOU ask them, Alyson! LOL

  32. rockin robyn

    Ooooh Tori! How special that is… coming from a long line of photographers, I totally respect the history behind having “‘lil-person” pics. Not having children of my own but seeing my family and friends kids grow up in pictures, that was a very special gift and an awesome idea.

    In pictures I love to study the child changing from that “little-one” to seeing that first picture when you start to see them take on their own personality and actually seeing that character start to come to view in pictures. With out even knowing them (but taking in how you loving speak of your girls) you can almost see that in this collection of pictures.

    Thanks for sharing your very special gift with us.

  33. BrownEyedGirl

    That’s beautiful , Tori. They do grow up so fast. Cherish every second with them.


  34. delightedabroad

    I couldn’t watch the facebook video either but the other two are so wonderful ! On some pictures it seems as if Charlotte (she’s the younger one right ?) has some sort of special knowledge/wisdom coming out from her eyes.

    jonny, how are you doing ?

  35. rachelbaker

    Ooo – we say ‘never ever’ over here too, it must have been something that came over with the English.

    The photographs are beautiful, I think I would have got so misty eyed that I couldn’t see the screen anymore if I were you! I can get teary of photos of my kids that were taken yesterday (seriously), so I can’t imagine what state I will be get myself into in 10 + years time!

    Linda – I know excatly where you are coming from. I’ve always liked kids – but not for more than a couple of hours at a time. There is no feeling like the uncontrollable, overwhelming and more than a little bit terrifying love you feel when you first hold your child. Then no. 2 comes along and it all starts over again. I had such a hard pregnancy third time round that I was concerned that the negative feelings I had towards the pregnancy would transfer to the baby – not a chance! Did I ever tell you all how great my kids are??

  36. delightedabroad

    I’ve also always liked children but had a surprising amount of patience and love for them. And each time I see my husband with little children I’m so deeply moved because he’s so natural with them. Anyway, I know that a mother’s (or father’s ?!) love is still different – unfortunately I can’t participate in talking about that for we don’t have children of our own.



  38. tori

    You know, I just realized that the old over-used Christian cliche of people being “just like a family” truly applies here at the ‘bloomr– you poor guys have had to endure both vacation photos AND pictures of my kids! That is the acid test to prove you have crossed that invisible line… people rarely subject mere neighbors or acquaintances to the vacation/kid pictures!

  39. auburn60

    As I recall, I whipped out a cell phone picture of my DOG to show you one time. How do we categorize that? Besides weird.

  40. tori

    I categorize that as ‘charming’.

  41. auburn60

    Oh,Tori–no wonder I adore you–always just the right word.

  42. DonnaMariePatterson

    I wanna see! I wanna see! Where is it???????


    ENDURED? I would call it invited, shared, and enjoyed immensely! I love you, and your family, too. How’s Pops doing, BTW?
    Still have NOT seen the vimeo, will try it at school tomorrow. This library has trouble, doesn’t plug into the Facebook thang, can’t carry it due to volume? ok – WHATEVER that means! In fact, I feel that the school library probably won’t either. So, we’ll se what happens.

    Auburn60 – good to met another “weird” person – if that’s what we shall call ourselves – that is the adjective I continuously use when emailing Tori. Weird can be very fun! I think she likes weirdness to an extent, she sure doesn’t scare easily! good thing!

  44. auburn60

    I think on that particular day I was showing Tori how BIG my dog is — she’s a St. Bernard– (the dog, not Tori)…but I know for a fact that I showed her a picture of the dang dog before I showed her a picture of my son. And now that I think about it that does seem weird, especially since I’m not that fond of the dog.

  45. tori

    Yeah, I think the point was that all three of my dogs put together would still be smaller than your dog’s head. And if we had compared my dogs to your son’s head– well, that would have just been weird! Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  46. jonny

    OK, finally saw it! Interestingly enough, I had to by-pass Facebook to do so!! First time that happened with a vid from the ‘V’! Really nice pics, and choice of music, put together very beautifully. I have to admit though, the moment I got the most excited was when the two pics with Pip in them appeared!! Yep, I’m still a fan boy at heart when it comes to ol’ Butt Nip!!

    Oh, my health, living situation, is still very challenging at the moment. I also have MANY meetings to attend this week, and winter just hit us like a ton of bricks. Very hard getting motivated to go outside, get things done in weather like this when one is under the weather. Also, this weekend, Saturday, will be the funeral for my cousin and her two boys who were gunned downed by their husband/father. So that’s in the air now as well. Pray would be appreciated. OK, now to go over the the other thread and explane the Jim Neighbors, Mark Lowry connection so GRITS can get some sleep again!!


    jonny – THEY ARE JUST NOW HAVING THE FUNERAL? WHAT? ITS BEEN LIKE OVER A MONTH NOW, RIGHT? And, just outta curiosity, what do yall call Winter? I mean, is it snowing? ( i love the snow, dont have it here, maybe an inch per year! grew up w/about 4 inches per month in the winter, fallen trees, etc) I kinda thought you had lots of rain, fog, dampness.
    So, any ways, still praying for you and your family during this time, i thought it was over, sorry. praying for your health, too.


    oh, wish i could bypass the facebook, still havent seen the vimeo.

  49. jonny

    Things were on hold while the police were investigating, then the faher of the guy who did all this was apparently trying to get the bodies himself and do the funeral. Fortunately, for the mom/grandmother of the vicitms, in California where she lives, and the state it happened, anyone from the perp’s side of the family has no rights in this matter. So, finally, the mom/grandmonther was able to start taking care of these things around three weeks agao, from what I can tell. I’m not able to make the funeral, but was able to send a card last week Friday. Should hopefully get there this week Friday.

  50. GRITSinNC

    Delivered, I finally got in to see it without Facebook. Don’t know how I did it, but I did it. Don’t give up…maybe you’ll hit the right button eventually.

    Tori, it is totally precious and we thank you for sharing it with us. I know it’s something you and Russ will treasure forever.

    You could never bore us with anything you say or share with us. Bring it on!

  51. jonny

    Oh, and yes, D, there were a few big snow flakes around nine this morning, but they didn’t stick. The temp keeps playing around the freezing mark. At the moment we are just above freezing.

  52. LindaB

    Well, Jonny—-same weather here! The flowers and garden are finished. No more. I picked my last basket of tomatoes and peppers Saturday. Trees are beginning to turn such gorgeous colors though that I suspect God is trying to make it up to us for putting our gardens to sleep, so he is about to give our eyes such a treat that we will forget about that! Don’t ya love Him! He never takes anything away that He doesn’t give us something new and wonderful to help us over it!

    Wanna hear something funny……..and endearing? My hubby did not want our granddaughter, who lives with us, to get a dog. He was dead set against it. Our kids were not allowed to have dogs, why should she? But I lobbied for her to get Tatum, her rescued beagle/terrier puppy, after talking to her counselor who said it was a good idea because ADHD/bipolar kids do well with pets—-it gives them someone else to care for, a sense of responsibility knowing that a living breathing creature is dependent on them alone, a reason to get up in the morning, and sometimes, a reason to live. And, being the excellent lobbyist that I am, she got the dog. But everytime Tatum messes on the floor, or jumps up on company, or runs down the street with us running after him yelling in vain for him to come back, or shreds a whole box of tissues, hubby rolls his eyes and gives us that “I told you so” look of disgust!

    Well, today I had a long list of errands to run and I called him and asked him if he’d pick up something for his dinner on his way home. He said sure. Our granddaughter wasn’t home either because of a couple of doctor’s appointments, so I asked him if he’d let the dog out to do his business and then put him back in his crate until we got home. Later on, I called to tell him I’d be even later and I asked if he had let the dog out? He said yes, he did. And then he said he had gone to Culver’s (a local restaurant) for dinner………….and Tatum went with him. He bought Tatum popcorn chicken, then they stopped at the park in Birch Run and had a nice long walk!!!!! He bought him a big bag of bones to chew on while they were out, too. When we got home, he was in the recliner with tatum asleep on his lap. If you knew my husband, you’d be rolling on the floor right now laughing your head off! This is AMAZING! Tatum, wild and untamed though he is, is working some kind of spell on my stern and unflappable husband! ROFLOL

  53. delightedabroad

    And who is the tamed one now ???

  54. LindaB

    LOL Exactly!

  55. jonny

    I thought the term was ‘broken in,’ or is that for horses *scratches top of head* Or was it ‘house broken’?? No, I think that one refers to doing one’s business outside, or something to that effect.

  56. LindaB

    I believe “broken in” refers to breaking and entering a home that isn’t yours! A horse who is willing to wear a saddle and let a man ride on his back is said to be “broken”. And a dog, as you said, is “house broken” when he gets the concept of going outdoors and doing his business there——–every time!!!

    I’ve been watching The Dog Whisperer lately, hoping to find some scrap of hope for Tatum. I love Cesar! I wish he had been around when I was raising my kids—–I would have known the importance of being the “alpha dog”! Recently, for the show, he has chosen three puppies of three different breeds and spends a number of programs teaching those puppies to be PERFECT family pets! And already, I see that we have made a huge mistake from the “get-go”. (Delighted, that’s a slang phrase meaning ‘from the start’.) He said he choses the most subdued, The quietest, the most docile puppy of the litter——-they have the best chance of being an excellent family pet. We, on the other hand, chose the fiestiest, the most rambunctuous, the most excitable puppy of the bunch!!!! And now—–we’re paying for it! All the other puppies were “going” on a puppy pad in the corner of the room. But Tatum went out in the middle of the floor and did his business——and we thought he was a rugged individualist! We thought that was cute! We were wrong.

  57. jonny

    So, is there any hope for the little guy??? And, did having him help your granddaughter at all??

  58. LindaB

    Yes, I think he did help her——she’s been doing a lot better since she got him. And there’s all kinds of hope for him, but not for us! LOL While I was reading this blog right now, he got a placemat off the table and chewed holes in it, then managed to get hold of a dishtowel from the kitchen and chewed it up too! Dang!

  59. jonny


  60. delightedabroad

    No wonder that little children and puppies (or baby pets in general) are said to have a special guardian angel !


    GRITS – R U DRY? Man, it turned rainy & cold all of the sudden! I almost turned on my heat yesterday!
    LindaB – R U anywhere near me?
    I’m going home to find a book, couch & cat, AGAIN TODAY! Got a fresh box of those FF devils food cookies from DG, gonna make some dcaf & get in place, look at some Disney.
    LindaB – I can just see that puppy gettin into everything! They are a handfull at that stage! My little abandoned rescue kitten is just terrible, but makes up for it when he crawls under the covers at night and starts purring. Too sweet. He is tiny, but has a big roar!
    Who could ever just leave him out? His name is Andy, maybe Tori will zap the pic over here so yall can see him. Teeniny!

  62. Barbara M. Lloyd

    Don’t lose Dawn! I would have these beautiful photographs framed and hung in a gallery somewhere in my home. They are precious….and so are those children….er, young girls. I love it when memories are captured from the past.

  63. LindaB

    “The most obvious example is the classic “stuff and blow” syndrome–…..”– Tori

    TORI!!! THAT’S my diet right there!!!!! I didn’t know it was some kind of fancy “syndrome”!!!!

  64. LindaB

    And to answer your question, Delivered……..I live in Michigan. I suspect it’s a far reach from where you are!

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