Camp Mom*tog Scholarship Nominees

*** Updated 5/2 – And the winner is… Erin S!  We’re so excited to meet you at Camp, Erin!

Julie and I loved reading through all the Camp Mom*tog nominations!  We had a hard time narrowing down our favorites.  There were so many deserving moms.  But, we eventually narrowed it down to our top 5.  Now we need your help!

Please read through the entries and vote for your favorite.  I know the entries might be long, but each woman has an amazing story.  Voting ends on Wednesday, May 1!  Once you’ve read their stories you can vote below.

And, BTW, there is only ONE spot left in Camp Mom*tog!  If you have been thinking about signing up, now is the time!

Erin S.

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I would like to nominate my good friend Erin for your consideration.  You see, Erin has had a tough few years and I can’t think of anyone more deserving!  Four years ago Erin and I became first-time-Moms a few months apart.  We were constantly calling and texting advice and encouragement throughout our pregnancies and first few months of motherhood.  We also had both recently bought our first DSLR cameras to capture all those little moments we never wanted to forget.  We’d always joke how nice it would be to actually know how to use our camera! 

In August 2009, four months after Erin had Owen, she was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma.  At only 27 years old, with a newborn, the news was devastating to Erin and everyone around her.  She was scared….we all were scared. But if anyone is a fighter, I knew it would be Erin.  I’ll never forget even during her hardest moments of chemo and radiation Erin was always positive about her future, about Owen’s future.  I remember one day her quietly saying “I just want him to grow up with a Mom in his life” and my heart sank, unable to fathom what that fear would feel like. 

That year was rough.  Erin was very, very sick.  But through it all she documented with pictures, which was another thing I commend her for.  She never shied from the camera and wanted to remember that time in her life.  She wanted Owen to have pictures of all his “firsts” even though many of them happened during those chemo months when she felt so awful.  She finished treatment and the tumor had tremendously shrunk, but the doctors wouldn’t deem her cancer free for two years post treatment. During those two years there was much uncertainty.  They weren’t sure if they’d be able to have more children, and they so desperately wanted Owen to have a sibling.  It was a waiting game.

 I can happily say the two years passed, and Erin was officially in remission! She was given the go-ahead to try for more children, and a few months later got pregnant.  In January they welcomed a baby girl, Ella, into their family.  Once again, we are making our kids put up with our incessant picture taking, and still wish we could learn all those settings on our cameras.  Because at the end of the day, those pictures are all we have left of the tiny little moments that go by way, way too fast.

Mackenzie M

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I am writing on behalf of my wonderful wife in the hopes that she qualifies for the camp scholarship

I am a pastor, which makes my wife a pastor’s wife.  For the past 11 years I have been the student ministries pastor for a church in Brea, CA.  I started the job shortly after we got married and so over those years, on top of ministry, my wife and I have dealt with getting life started together (awesome!), miscarriage after miscarriage, infertility testing, finding out she can’t have children, starting the adoption process, have doors shut on us including flying to Sacramento to adopt a baby girl only to find out that once we got there, the birthmother had changed her mind, finally adopting our first son and then three years later, adopting our twins.  Throughout the ups and downs, the good times and bad, my wife was always a support to me.  Even when things for her were at their darkest, she still made sure that I was able to do what God had called me to do.  Being gone for weeks at a time on mission trips and camps while she was at home by herself, grieving (before our kids) or at home taking care of three kids under three (and two only months old), she never complained (too much J).  She did the hard work so I could invest in the lives of students and she never asked for anything in return.

While on my trips and other times away, I would always get pictures from her on my phone of her and the kids blowing me kisses, playing at parks and just loving each other.  Her photography made me smile, cry, laugh and share with others about how blessed I was to have my wife and kids.  Over the years, Mackenzie’s gift and passion for photography has grown.  She is always looking up ways to get better, classes to go to, books to read (and now camps to go to).  Now it’s my turn to do what I can so she can do what she loves.

At the beginning of this year, the church we have been serving at for the past 11 years asked my wife and I to plant a church in the city of Fullerton.  My wife is once again, completely supportive of this change and has even taken on the role of unofficial photographer for the new church.  At every meeting and every event, you can find her talking to people, taking pictures, capturing moments and loving every moment of it.  I know that you’ve probably gotten thousands of requests and I know that there are thousands of incredible stories out there but for all my wife has done and sacrificed for me, our family and people around us, I had to try to get that scholarship for her.  It is the very least I could do.

Megan H.

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Let me introduce myself, my name is Megan and i just turned 30 (eek) and i have a wonderful husband, Shaun, and am a mom to two lovely kiddos, Jude (2) and Sonya (7 months). i just got my first dslr last year for Christmas and have been spending my free time trying to teach myself! 

my husband and i were missionaries in Hungary, that’s where we met, got engaged, and later had our two beautiful babies. Well, we are now onto another adventure… Ethiopia. We are moving there to come alongside friends of ours who run an amazing Children’s Home and are mom and dad to 26 orphans and they have 5 kids of their own! We are so excited for this new journey in our lives. I know we are not done adding to our family, we are hoping to adopt a couple of kids while we are there. We’ve made a 3 year commitment and i’d LOVE to use some of my time there learning the ins and outs of photography.. and i’m going to have some great kids/examples to photograph! These orphans don’t have their own moms and dads to take their pictures.. so i want to be there capturing those special milestones and every moments for them! 

my dream is to eventually be a birth photographer! Giving birth is such an amazing, God given gift and it really is one of the BEST days of your life! I’d love to be there capturing those moments for families.. especially because dad needs to be there for mom, so i’ll be there holding the camera. 

so this is me! thanks for this chance!

 

Katherine E.

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From childhood up to my adult years, my sister Kathrine Uy, with our 14-year age gap, has always been like a second mom to me. She’s the eldest in our family so she looked out for us and disciplined us when necessary, especially when our parents weren’t around.
 
From the start, she has always been generous and hardworking. I was in high school when she migrated here in America to work as a physical therapist. She worked nonstop. She persevered even when she was struggling with the demands of work as well as the emotional pain of being away from her family and friends back in the Philippines.  
 
I could never be able to repay her for sending me to college. Because my parents couldn’t afford my college expenses on their own, my sister insisted to help me out. I knew it wasn’t easy for her to provide me with the financial support I needed but she selflessly did without asking for anything in return.  I wouldn’t have been able to finish school without her unwavering support.
 
Throughout my life, she has always been a great sister and I always knew that she would be a great mom because of how she took care of my brothers, sister and me.
 
 
Sure enough, after giving birth to a beautiful baby boy, I could say that she is a much greater mom than I imagined. After years of working, she stopped to take care of her baby full-time because the thought of being away from her little boy for even just a short period brings her to tears immediately.
 
The love she has for her baby is the most beautiful thing in the world to witness.
 
My sister has always loved to take photos. Ever since her baby was born, she has been taking pictures of him. He dresses him up, buys props and even researches places where she could take good photos of him. For example, last Easter, she scoured the shelves of Target to buy plastic eggs, baskets and stuffed toy bunnies to try to create an Easter-themed background for a photo. She even searched for parks where she could take these photos of him.  
 
Her passion for photography is admirable and inspiring, seeing how she goes through great lengths to capture good photos of her son. But taking these photos sometimes is frustrating for her because she says she just doesn’t know how to get great pictures of him. She needs help and she acknowledges that she has a lot to learn about photography.
 
Receiving this scholarship and having the opportunity to learn from Camp Mom*tog would be a great way for her to finally learn how to capture great photos of her son that she has always been dreaming and striving for.
 
My sister has been such a wonderful mom to my nephew and she has sacrificed a lot to help support her family; I believe that earning this scholarship would bring her so much happiness.

Knowing my sister and her love for photography, she would be the best recipient of your scholarship. No one deserves it more than she does and she will make the most out of this opportunity. I hope you choose her.

 

April C.

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I would love a chance at attending Camp Momtog for a variety of reasons, namely because I want to become a better photographer, not only for my children, but also for myself.  I’ll try to make a long story short…

I didn’t grow up in a wealthy, or even middle-class home.  We always had food on our plates and clothing on our back, but we (my parents, brother and I) lived in a small 2 bedroom, tin roof trailer on my grandparent’s land.  One night, when I was around 13 years old, we woke up to a ghastly smell and our eyes burning.  After investigation, it was determined our home was on fire and within half an hour, our home was in flames.  We didn’t have much, but we had each other.  Going through the rubble was heartbreaking, as we lost all of our momentos and pictures. Luckily, family was able to replace some of our pictures.  From that moment on, I always took lots of pictures.  I couldn’t always afford to develop the film, but I vowed to at least have the option.
 
Fast forward a few years and I became a wife and mother at 19 and 20.  Again, I always had a camera in my hand, never wanting to miss capturing my little ones’ lives.  This was especially important from 2002-2006 when my husband served 2 tours overseas in Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq, Qatar and Kuwait.  I wanted to make sure he was able to, in some small part, still be a part of his children growing up.  We now have 4 children and have been married for almost 14 years.  With the digital age making photography easier, I have found a love of taking pictures that goes deeper than just a click here or there.  I’m finding I want to capture the very essence of a good story, a feeling or emotion, a mood.  I relish in my daughter’s tantrums, my son’s quirkiness, my oldest children’s indulgence in my always asking for a picture.  
 

I’d like to take this passion and apply it to others’ memories and experiences as well.  I want to be the best I can be and have clients relive their photos day after day.  A day at Camp Momtog would enhance my journey in photography in a way I haven’t experienced before.  Thank you for considering me for this opportunity!

VOTING HAS NOW ENDED!

Comments

  1. Jess says

    My vote is for Katherine E.
    Jess´s last blog post ..15 Months

  2. mary lowndes says

    I vote for Erin S

  3. Carmel McDonnell says

    My vote is for Erin S.

  4. Nicole says

    My vote is for Erin S!

  5. Nikki says

    I vote for Katherine E.

  6. DrewB says

    Hey Jess! Please be sure to vote via the survey. If you don’t see it there’s a link above. Otherwise your vote won’t count!

  7. DrewB says

    Hi Mary, Please be sure to vote via the survey. If you don’t see it there’s a link above. Otherwise your vote won’t count!

  8. DrewB says

    Hi Carmel – Please be sure to vote via the survey. If you don’t see it there’s a link above. Otherwise your vote won’t count!

  9. DrewB says

    Hi Nicole – Please be sure to vote via the survey. If you don’t see it there’s a link above. Otherwise your vote won’t count!

  10. DrewB says

    Hi Nikki – Please be sure to vote via the survey. If you don’t see it there’s a link above. Otherwise your vote won’t count!

  11. tamsen says

    Just a heads up that the names on the Survey are not in the same order as on the blog post…I clicked back and forth before I realized which one was the one I wanted to vote for. If people just have in their heads – first girl- they’ll be voting for April, who was actually 5th. Might confuse the votes. 🙂