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"Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown. In my heart it don't mean a thing." -- Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is right. A child is a child. Hard for me to admit as I constantly fought against my own mother's 'mothering', but it's the truth. As mothers, we have a VERY hard time letting go and allowing our children to sprout wings and fly away.
It's been 3 years since my daughter graduated from high school. The thought of 'letting' her go off to college was beyond my comprehension. I was certain I wouldn't be able to live through it. But guess what?   I did.  She is now officially a senior in college and I can't believe how fast the time has flown.

Just yesterday, I took her to the airport to take off on a study abroad program that is taking her to Africa for the next 3 weeks!  I'm immensely excited for her. I am living vicariously through her. I can't wait to see all her photos when she gets home. The thing is... it was almost as hard to leave her at the airport as it was to leave her in front of her dorm at the beginning of freshman year.

I thought I had grown... I thought I had developed a 'thick' skin... I thought that the past 3 years of her being away at school had toughened me up. I guess I thought wrong.

It's that dang motherhood thing! We just can never get away from it. We will always think of our children as children.   Sorry kids, that's just the way it is......

In celebration of my daughter's trip to Africa I am posting photos of all the horses that have been in her life. This is the first summer that she is not riding and she's not very happy about it, but going to Africa  didn't leave much time for horses.
(Also, this is my contribution to Texture Tuesday. Kim Klassen's lovely post with the horses inspired me to go through my horse photos. Thanks Kim!)

This is Lexie. She was one of the first memorable horses in my daughter's life.
She was a crazy mare, but we loved her.

Lexie was layered with Kim's 'jacob' texture and 'mayzee' texture, both at soft light.

This next picture is her first horse show with Luke. He was a very good boy!

The above photo was layered with Kim's 'mayzee' texture at soft light x 2.

This next one is our very own horse, Dizzy. We bought her for Chelsea's 16th birthday. She was a beautiful, crazy mare. She lived up to her name!

The photo of Dizzy peeking out of the barn window was layered with Kim's 'mayzee' texture x 2. One at soft light and one at multiply. The saturation was reduced first.

And here is Chelsea riding Dizzy.

The above photo of my daughter riding Dizzy was layered with Kim's 'mayzee' texture once at luminosity.

After we sold Dizzy, we leased this pretty little black mare named Elora.

This is one of my favorite photos!I used Pioneer Woman's 'heartland' action and then layered Kim's 'mayzee' texture over it at soft light.

And here is Chelsea & Elora at a horse show.

The above photo was a shot I waited for so long! Trying to get the horse with all 4 feet off the ground over a jump--very difficult, at least for me. The photo was layered with Kim's 'memorable' texture and her 'mayzee' texture, one at soft light and one at multiply.

The final horse is Corona. We leased him last summer and he was a pretty chestnut with a very playful personality.

On the last photo I used Pioneer Woman's 'colorized' action and then layered Kim's 'mayzee' texture over it at soft light. Works really well with the beautiful shade of Corona's coat.

There were actually a few other horses in her life prior to Lexie, but they were also prior to my digital 
camera and I didn't feel like going in search of the actual photos to scan and alter.
Hope you enjoyed the equines in our life. They are such beautiful creatures. I love to photograph them.

Right now, my daughter is somewhere over the continent of Africa. Her flight will get into Johannesburg early this afternoon, which will be almost 9:30 at night their time. She pretty much hates long flights so that was her biggest dread of this whole trip. Being in a plane for 8 hours from Chicago to Amsterdam and then another 10 hours from Amsterdam to Johannesburg.  She was armed with her ipod and several books, plus a bottle of dramamine! So hopefully it wasn't as bad as she was expecting.
I'm supposed to get a phone call from her when she gets to South Africa and that will probably be the only time I get to talk to her until she gets back!!! I will busy myself with photoshop until I hear from her today.
Cheers to all the moms in the world who have learned to cut the 'apron strings' and allowed their children to soar!  Even though we may learn to 'let go' we still never stop worrying.



Flat Creek Farm said…
Awwww, hugs from one worrier mom to another ;) Sounds very exciting for your daughter though! I adore these horse photos... all are beautiful and you have added that 'just right' texture to each one. also, my heart skipped a beat when I read about combining actions *and* textures. Oh my. the possibilities are truly endless! -Tammy
Dyche Designs said…
Beautiful equine shots, I especially love the one of Dizzy. Hope your daughter arrives in Africa safely.
Thanks Flat Creek & Dyche! I love to play around and see what happens with actions & textures both!
I'm waiting patiently for that phone call from her...
Ali said…
Oh my these photos are outstanding, my fav is second to last!!!! I will be back often I love your blog. I have family in Joburg...I'll tell them to look out for her ;p. I can't yet imagine letting mine wonder too far from me.
Barbara said…
What a beautiful post! I always expect to see lovely images as I check out fellow Texture Tuesday participants. It is the stories that always seem to amaze me. How exciting for your daughter that you are able to give her wings to fly and experience things that will stay with her forever. Thanks for sharing your photos and story... and for visiting my blog.

Thanks Ali & Barbara,
Motherhood is truly a tough job! Playing with a camera & photoshop really help : ))
I am sending you peace...we all worry about our children no matter what their age. Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart
debsea said…
i'm right beside you on the mom hard to let my girl leave our little island home for college in the real world - so scary...she graduated last year and got a job, so far away! it's bittersweet, for sure. and the goodbyes never get easier.
your photos are beautiful - look at the joy in her face! fabulous!
hope she gets there safe & sound and has a wonderful experience for you!
Thank you Mary Helen & Deb! It's comforting to know we all worry over our children. I am not alone!
Cedar said…
I guess I should buck-up and stop whining about my baby graduating 5th grade tomorrow...I still have some time before he travels to Africa.

Love all of these horses with the textures and actions. Beautiful!
Sherry said…
My oldest just graduated High School and my baby kindergarten, all in the same month! I never, ever pictured my kids "grown up". There your babies, how did they grow facial hair and go to the next state to concerts? But, they do. I just was never thinking about that when I was chasing the tow head and worrying about bees or bruises. Forever a mom. Lovely pics of your daughter and horses. Thanks for stopping by.
Being a Mother I can relate! I alwasy appreciate your posts:) I so love all of the pictures you truly are so talented!
Thanks everyone! All us moms can relate. No matter if it's kindergarten, 5th grade, college or all 'growed' up they're still our babies.

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