Happy Sunday friends!
Today we have another edition of a Sunday Weekly Roundup.
I’m getting ready for a really great wedding in Joplin, MO (my hometown). I moved to Arkansas in 2006 (or was it 2005?) from Joplin… a place from which few people ever leave. I knew the move was right because: 1) my Northwest Arkansas wedding photography business was already growing, 2) I was ready for a change in scenery (and photo backdrops), and 3) because sometimes big life changes require a fresh setting. While it was sad moving away from my mom and from Ellie, it was only an hour away so I didn’t feel like I was putting a death sentence on those most important relationships.
I still go to Joplin often, and it will of course have a special place in my heart (though, I could never live there because it’s entirely too conservative for this liberal family). Like today, I still have photo clients in Joplin, and family in Joplin, so there are plenty of reasons to return.
The last thing I’ll say before I move on: Joplin is a pretty incredible place. After the Joplin tornado (in which my grandma passed), I’ve never seen or felt such community as I did when the town banded together, dusted itself off, and rebuilt bigger and better than before. I am incredibly proud to be from Joplin, a place that bends but doesn’t break.
Scout is potty training this weekend. We didn’t know how she would do, because… how do you ever know? We know that she is very vocal about what is going through her mind at any and every moment, and lately she has been talking a lot about bodies and their functions, so Tyler made an incredible plan that seems to be working well. It involves something that looks like an apple watch, a princess crown and balloons for the “throne,” a chart, rewards, and stickers. Lots and lots of stickers.
She walked around pantsless all day yesterday with no accidents, save an outside #2 that directly followed a #2 on the potty (her first one, but apparently there was still more to come, lol). At the end of the day, she had around 10 stickers (1 for a #1, and 2 for a #2) and the confidence of a “big guhl.”
Tyler and I were talking last night after Scout went to sleep. Two proud parents, once again overcome with astonishment and pride as our girl embraces change and growth better than our expectations. She really is something special. (I realize that every parent feels that way about their kid, but that doesn’t lessen the feelings of pride I have for Scout).
We are going to Disney in a 10 days (YAY), and I have to brag on Tyler for a moment. We lost our Disney planner person a couple years back so Tyler embraced the role. This will be Scout’s 4th trip to a Disney park, but this one is the first where she can really participate in a lot of the adventure (and remember it). Tyler has curated the perfect trip, where every meal is planned and the itinerary made. Do people sell Disney itineraries? If so, I’ve got a top-dollar plan for you! I’m excited to share more about our trip while we are there.
I’m also excited because Ellie is going to come with us. I haven’t taken her to Disney since my sister was married there forever ago. It was Ellie’s first trip in a limo, and I think we might just recreate that moment. Come to think of it, that was Scout’s first time on a limo too! How cool. Anyway, I love traveling with Ellie, who will be fresh off a 10-day trip to Europe.
Writing those paragraphs, I just feel so much joy. As a boy who rarely left his hometown of Joplin until college, having kids who are world travelers at such young ages makes me tremendously happy.
Another week filled with travel, including a lot of driving in the rain (not my favorite) I had a busy past 7 days. This week took me to St Louis and into Illinois for shoots. The drive wasn’t my favorite, but I’ve been binding Mad Men for the first time. Can you believe I’ve never seen it? I almost gave up after the first few episodes, but happy that I stuck with it now. I’m also reading (and listening via Audible) to Herding Tigers. I’ll let you know what I think about it.
Finally, I put the kitchen cabinets back up after painting them. I was dreading that project until Tyler surprised me with a paint sprayer, which made the job infinitely more fun. Next up, we bought the full set of bespoke appliances from Samsung that start arriving this week. The kitchen has long been my least favorite room in this house, which is crazy because cooking is one of my biggest stress-relieving activities outside of sex, lol. I remembered to take a few “before” pics that I’m excited to share when the “afters” are ready.
How was your week? What did you do? I’d love to hear!
That does it for this Sunday Weekly Roundup!
Talk to you soon,
Dale Benfield is a Luxury Northwest Arkansas Wedding Photography and has been named one of the best Luxury Wedding Photographer in the world while serving Fayetteville, Rogers, Bentonville, and Destination Weddings. Benfield Photography is a Fine Art Bespoke Wedding Photography Studio and is a staple in NW Arkansas and has photographed luxury weddings, Italy weddings, celebrity weddings, private estate weddings, Crystal Bridges weddings, Carnall Hall weddings, Weddings at Osage House, Bachelor Nation Weddings, and more.
He has photographed every style of wedding you can image: intimate weddings, Catholic cathedrals in Italy, church weddings, elopements, destination weddings on the beach in Mexico, and so on.
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