My daughter is spirited (to say the least).  She is strong-willed, adventurous, wild & free.  There is a fire constantly burning inside of her and I see it as she dances around the house, sings at the top of her lungs, jumps off furniture, races her tricycle around the kitchen, or runs back and forth chasing her brother with a plastic bat or a dart gun, he is 9 years older than her.  

Her laugh is infectious and her smile will absolutely melt your heart.  Despite having her own kind of crazy trademarked, she has a tender side.  She sweetly says, "Come here My Little Darling, I have a secret…"  and she proceeds to tell me softly in my ear, "I love you Mommy.  You are my best friend in all the world" only to seal those sweet words with a kiss as she holds my face in her toddler hands.

 To say that she marches to the beat of her own drum does not nearly say enough about her passion for life and her vibrant energy.  So, when I took her to visit family in California, I was worried to see the weather turned from sunshine to gloom, rain, and wind.  You see, like a wild animal she is not meant for captivity and despite the December weather giving us chilling winds, gloomy sky and cold rain, I knew we had to go to the ranch to let her run.  All morning she asked to see "her" horses and feed "her" chickens.  I tried to explain how it would be miserable outside, but she had her little heart set on visiting the ranch as she persistently told me that all she needs is boots to jump in muddy puddles…  

After visiting a second-hand store and getting her some rubber boots, we went to the ranch.  A place where I spent many years, rode many miles on horseback, and built many memories…  

It's an awesome thing to watch my daughter build memories of her own, on the ranch that I spend many childhood years roaming around...

Young child feeding a carrot to a horse on the family ranch in California
Toddler holding a chicken at the ranch | Kat Oswald Photography
Toddler blowing bubbles in an open field on the ranch, on a cold gloomy winter day in California | Kat Oswald Photography
Toddler portrait outside on a cold gloomy December day in California | Kat Oswald Photography
Toddler playing in puddles with her grandmother | Kat Oswald photography
Toddler and her Grandma jumping in puddles at the family ranch in California | Kat Oswald Photography
Toddler playing in a puddle on a gloomy day | Kat Oswald Photography
Farmhouse Kennel | Kat Oswald Photography
Enormous tree on family ranch | Kat Oswald Photography

And to think… these beautiful memories were almost missed simply because I though it was to gloomy, wet, muddy and cold to be outside.  It turned out to be one of my best memories with my daughter.  She fed and pet the horses, then squealed as she chased, fed and tried to catch the chickens.  Next stop was jumping in muddy puddles with grandma before playing with the ranch dog and blowing bubbles in the field.  

 But this trip back home to Cali was soothing to my soul.  It allowed me cherish a moment I was ready to dismiss and opened my heart to once again be wild & free myself.


Kat Oswald is an Albuquerque-based portrait photographer that cherishes real life moments.  If you would like to book a session like this to capture sweet memories of your child, please contact her for booking details.  Click here to view her website and here to send her a message.