Photo Challenge - "Love."

This week's photo exercise theme was "love." I'm blessed with a lot of love in my life, so I could have gone many directions with this, but I thought I'd take this opportunity to introduce you to someone who is seldom seen on my blog. This is my nine year old. He doesn't live with us right now, which is why I rarely post photos of him. 

Springfield IL Family Photographer | Lydia Stuemke Photography

In the fall, we left Hawaii and flew home on emergency leave to our home, in Illinois. Noah, who had been really shy and quiet, and withdrawn since moving to Hawaii, was a completely different kid. He was laughing, and joking. He was outgoing and always smiling. He was so happy to be near the family who he had missed so much since we left Illinois five years before. So he asked to stay. And we respected him enough to take him seriously. 

So, this is love. Love is listening to your nine year old when he asks to live thousands of miles away for nine months. Love is when his grandparents give him his own room and welcome him into their home. Love is when other friends and family members invite him to movies or museums or to go ice skating. 

For his sisters, love is wishing you could have your brother instead of Christmas gifts. Or dreaming you were playing together and waking up and he's not really there. Love is falling asleep with his picture every night and taking it with you to school every day. 

I am so thankful for this little family and how full of love we are. Even when it means you're missing someone.