Sunday, January 27, 2013

Military Hair Bows

Military hair bows are now on the list of things I create. I have always been looking for something to personalize for my kids and for all my little friends who have fathers in the military. It's an exciting step to be taking and I'm thrilled to be supporting our men and women in uniform. Be sure to keep checking the Etsy shop for new products that will continue to pop up. If there is anything you see that you want in certain colors or have a photo you want added to a bow, feel free to email me! You can find the Etsy shop HERE and the facebook page HERE!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veteran's Day... Never Forget!

First off, this is going to be a long post. So prepare yourself. It's important and it's near and dear to my heart. I'd like to first share an online auction that is going on today. It starts today and ends on the 19th at 9pm. All the proceeds from the sales of the auction go straight to the playground being built in memory of my loving brother. We are getting closer to being done but still have about $15,000 left to raise. Please go take a took at the awesome items and share the link with everyone and anyone you know! We would all greatly appreciate it! The link can be found HERE!

Since today is Veteran's Day I just wanted to state that above and beyond anything else, we should always be thankful for our military. For without them, we would not be the country we are today. They have defended us, fought for us, and died for us. They go to war not knowing if they will get the chance to come back home and they do this for such little pay. They are proud, they are fierce, and they are brave.

I have been a military brat since I was born. My dad served his entire career in the Army. We moved quite often and it was all I knew, but I actually liked it. I had the chance to meet knew friends all the time and some I still keep in touch with. It was a life I wouldn't trade. I also come from a long line of family who have served this great nation. My grandpa served, my uncles served, my counsins served, my sister served, my husband now serves and my brother served. However, my brother died while fighting for this country and it's a loss that can never be replaced. We need to always honor and remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice because way to many of them have gone before their time. They leave behind children, wives, parents, siblings, husbands and friends.

This veteran's day I want to recognize some of the clients I have had the privilage to shoot who have served and still do serve this amazing country. Take a look at these families and give them THANKS. They make up who we are, the freedoms we have and the rights we continue to keep.

I would also like to thank my loving husband. He joined the military at a time when we were at war and most of all, he joined the military right after my brother was killed. He did it for our family, he did it for our country and he did it to honor his brother in-law. He is an amazing father, a wonderful husband and just and all around great person. He supports us and loves us more than anything else in his life. He truly is my other half and stole my heart when he said "I do" 9 years ago. I love him!

I also want to thank the Gold Star Community that I have come to know. They have given me hope, they have stood by my side and they have become the foundation on which I stand. They understand my pain, my loss and the reason I honor my brother. Take a look at these HEROES who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. I am friends with all of their loved ones who mourn their HERO'S loss. Each of these men and women paid the ultimate sacrifice for yours and my freedom. This is not to be taken lightly. They are the heart of this country and we will NEVER FORGET!! 

THANK YOU to ALL who serve! Our thanks is NEVER enough!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

True heroes never die...

Where should I even begin? I'm upset with the American people. Mostly for the fact that they just threw the military to the waste side. That they don't find it a big enough importance to keep it strong and large. I've heard many people say that "we should at least be thankful we even had the opportunity to vote because many other countries don't get the chance". Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but without a military, you will not have those freedoms. Many men and women over many years have died protecting those freedoms for you and if we don't have someone to keep protecting this amazing country... you may actually see those rights dissappear. It's saddening. 

This past weekend one of my best friends came to visit us here in Williamsburg. We don't get to see them very often beacuse they live in South Carolina. Her friendship means the world to me and our kids get along great. I'm going to first tell you how this friendship came to be. 

Back in April of 2010, a girl emailed me to get a print done from our non-profit "Picture the Fallen." Her husband, TSgt Phillip Andrew Myers, had been killed in Afghanistan on April 4, 2009 while working with a bomb. He was in the Air Force and EOD. She wanted the print to hang in a room that was to be dedicated to him so that her children would always be able to honor and remember the great father that he was. I did the print, sent if off and then we wrote, which turned into becoming friends on facebook. After that we visited Arlington together and our kids met for the first time. It was there that they bonded over a loss that is so devastating and heartbreaking to both of our families. And now here we are Gold Star Family Friends for life. We've spent many nights staying up late and talking about our heroes. She "gets" it and we honor them so that others will never forget. She too is devestated over the outcome of this election. Many things will also change for her because of the way things turned out and not in good ways. After everything they have sacrificed for as a family, wife and children. It really is a slap in the face to so many Gold Star Families who have lost loved ones in the war. They were protecting our rights and then we (the majority of the population) go and forget what they gave. 

No matter what though. I have found a friend who understands the pain and appreciates what our military sacrifices for on a daily basis. She and her kids are amazing people that will never let the fallen truly die. They are the heart of what America stands for. We will NEVER FORGET! 

We are only the land of the free because of the brave

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

taking a break.

Sorry it's been awhile a bit since we have last posted. Things have gotten rather crazy around here and it's about to get more hectic for the next few weeks. So, there won't be any postings for the next 2.5 weeks. We are leaving for Missouri to go visit family and do some awesome photo sessions.  I hope you all enjoy your October and we will be back before Halloween!

For now, just a couple of pics from a photo session I shot a week ago. Jennifer and Tim are engaged, getting married next summer and he serves in the Air Force. They are the most amazing couple! They were so sweet, kind and funny. I loved them. - Jessica Oatman Photography

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I miss him.

I miss him. He was an amazing brother. He was fun and crazy and loving. He was everything you hoped a sibling would be. He helped us to take life less serious. We had the same outlook on a lot of things, with humor being the main similarity. We laughed at a lot and he laughed at me often. Growing up with him was fun and I wouldn't trade any of it for anything. I miss him being here every single day. People think you get over it, you move on and that life just continues. Well it does continue and that's not a choice. 3 years have gone by and he was and is thought of on every single day. I'm not over it. He drives me during my runs, I think of him when I drive, I laugh at the many wild memories and I cry because my heart still hurts from never being able to see him again on this earth. Today he would be 27. Today we would most likely be BBQing with him and he would be making my kids scream. Today he is missed just like he has been for the last 1125 days. That will NEVER change. It's still just so unreal. Happy Birthday Paul. I love you. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Carry the Load

Here is an amazing organization! If you haven't heard of them, check them out now! Everything they stand for is what America should be known for.. especially on Memorial Day! They are known as Carry the Load.

Their mission at Carry the Load is to highlight  the meaning of Memorial Day across America, ultimately driving attention and steering resources towards existing non-profit organization already supporting veteran families and veteran organiztions. Carry the Load offers community members and opportunity to come together in sharing Memorial Day actively remembering our American heroes.

The organization was founded by Clint Bruce who is a US Naval Academy graduate, veteran and former SEAL in Dallas Texas in 2011. He had one goal in mind.. to meaning back into Memorial Day.

They do this by doing walks that share stories of as many possible heroes in each town they pass through. The walk this past year started in West Point, NY and finished in Dallas, TX with it being 1700 mile relay where it is divided into 350 5 mile segments.

Anyone can be involved. Check it out, sign up and help put the actual meaning back in Memorial Day!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Memorial Monday: Sgt Joseph B Milledge

Todays Memorial Monday hero is Sgt Joseph B Milledge. Sgt Milledge was killed on October 5, 2007 while serving Operation Iraqi Freedom. Let us not forget the fallen and remember to always honor their heroic acts!

The Associated Press
Sgt. Joseph Milledge, 23, was among two soldiers killed Oct. 5 when a roadside bomb exploded near his unit as it searched for weapons in Baghdad.

Milledge leaves behind a wife and 1-year-old son.

“You couldn’t have asked for a better father or husband,” said the soldier’s mother, Carla Milledge, who still lives in Glenwood. “He loved his wife and son. He loved them with his whole being.”

Milledge graduated from Glenwood High School in May 2002 and later moved to Pointblank, Texas. He enlisted in the Army in August 2003 and was sent to Iraq for his first tour about a year later. His second tour began about eight weeks ago, his family said.

Mary Milledge, one of the sergeant’s sisters, said he did not want serve his second tour in Iraq but knew he had a duty to his country.

“He had a wife and child,” she said. “He didn’t want to leave them.”

The soldier’s wife, Amanda, gave birth to their son, Joseph Bradley Ryan Jr., in August 2006. When Milledge was home this summer, they had their son baptized.

“He’ll know his daddy was a hero and died for what he believed in,” Carla Milledge said.
His family said he was not in Iraq to fight a war but to help the defenseless, especially the children.

“Joey would want people to know that the soldiers aren’t just fighting over there,” his sister said. “They bring the kids water, play football, get involved with the schools. He cared about the humanitarian effect.

“At Christmas, he asked us to send toys and clothing for the kids.”