The Hopes and Prayers of a Single Mom

I still remember the moment he left, the moment I knew I was on my own. I remember how I felt, first I felt abandoned, then I felt anger & then at the core of it all…FEAR that cripples even the strongest of people. My fear…raising two boys on my own. Now, I was fortunate to have some child support & the fact that their Dad was still local so they still had him in their life. There are hours of things that I could write about that would anger even Mother Theresa, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’m here to talk about the victory, the end result, after all the bad…the bright shiny ending 🙂

See, I was a single Mom for 7 years with two amazingly wonderful boys! I’ve since remarried about 3 years ago, but again, this isn’t what this story about. This story is about the single Mom & how she hope & prays every free moment, that she loved those kids enough & that they won’t miss the other parent. They pray that they give them enough & that their kids don’t want for anything. Single Moms work sometimes 2 & 3 jobs to provide for their kids & so they have the best that they can give them. Single Moms worry about their kids sometimes to the point of being ill & they love them until their hearts burst!

We hope that we taught them enough, loved them enough, prepared them enough & was there enough, even though we know we couldn’t be & it wasn’t a matter of choice like with other parents. I think we hold our breaths until they graduate from High School, because there has been so much put into them to get them this far. Now after hanging onto our kids for dear life…we have to learn to let go…let them spread their wings and fly…watch the beautiful sight of them making a life of their own & smiling when you know that you had everything to do with it! Well…you & God, but He was the one that entrusted you to carry this life until he could walk on his own & love him until your own breath was gone.

This photo is one of my friends Latoya & her son Kenny. She is an amazing single Mom 🙂 She has raised a wonderful young man & soon he will graduate and head off to the Army! I love that I was able to capture this moment last week, where she can rest her head on his shoulder for a change. Latoya…your prayers have come true & your wishes come true 🙂 He’s a good man! Just like we all hope they will be…so breathe…smile & know that someone appreciates all of your hard work & is so proud of you! Love you…you did it!

Corinne Noel †


Everything I ever needed to know I learned in the Army

In honor of Veteran’s Day tomorrow I thought I would blog about my time in the Army. Since I will be marching in the Veteran’s Day parade locally with my family, I won’t be on my computer tomorrow 🙂

About 5 years ago, I felt the need to take my boys and march in the Veteran’s Day Parade that they have downtown every year. It was on a Saturday morning, the kids were off of school, we made a day of it and I felt all warm inside marching down the road with people waving & thanking me for my service. The next year we went again, it was on a Sunday. The following year, I was shocked to see that kids no longer had Veteran’s Day off and I was having to take them out of school to celebrate it. We have marched every year since then and  it’s really important to all of us, I just wish it was more important to more people.  I don’t understand why it’s more  important to remember one man or one event when you could celebrate and show support for something that truly needs our love & time! Okay, enough, I’ll get off my soapbox, for now. Here is a short list of things that I learned while in the Army.


If you sign your name on the line, you had better be ready to deliver. This is for real, they are not playing games, this is not summer camp, it’s boot camp.

If you try to do things on your own, you WILL NOT make it, anywhere! If you try, they will drag you right back!

Being a part of a team is one of the most valuable lessons you can ever learn, ohh that and how to dig a cat hole!

Do not sleep in your uniform to keep warm, when sleeping out in the field, you will sweat & then freeze your butt off.

Following directions is very important as in, keep your head down, don’t point the weapon at ANYONE & my favorite…Don’t cry to me, I’m not your Momma!

Keeping your boots shined helps in seeing the enemy in the reflection or to be used as a look out for keeping out of trouble.

Give thanks where thanks is due, as in “Don’t thank me…thank your Recruiter!”

There is nothing better than a nice hot shower, nothing worse than sharing it with 150 other people.

The color green does in fact look good on everyone and everything, like your truck, your underwear, socks, blanket & canteen.

Drink lots of water everyday, because if you don’t you will wish you that you did, just trust me on this one.

The human bladder can hold a full load to the point or crying, dancing wiggling & pain, but not if you sneeze!

Last but not least, serving your country will give you the most pride, discipline, respect & real friends that you will never find anywhere else!

Happy Veteran’s Day to all my fellow servicemen & servicewomen! To all my Army peeps~I love you guys, you’re the best…HOOAH!!

At what moment did you realize you wanted to be a photographer?

I woke up yesterday morning about 3:30…yes it’s REALLY early, but I didn’t mind. I took a shower,  loaded up my car with necessities and headed off to Orlando. It’s about a 2 1/2 hour drive, I was a little excited to get there, so…it only took me 2 hours (must have had angels blocking all the police radar guns!) Anyway, I was going to Orlando to a conference for wedding & portrait photographers international WPPI. They had some of the most amazing speakers there, really pushing us to step outside of the box, to feel more & fear less. One of the speakers asked us to ask ourselves, when did you first know you wanted to be a photographer?

I tried to trace it all back to my childhood, other than smiling while looking through National Geographic magazine, nothing! So, I fast forwarded to when I was stationed in Germany in 1990, I was 20 years old. A very specific photo came to mind. I remember while in Germany, I was standing in the train station with some friends waiting to take my first ride on a real train. I had my little disposable camera with 110 film in it, ready to shoot the beautiful buildings and castles along our ride. While we were waiting, my friends were talking & I noticed a little German girl with her Grandma. The Grandma was standing up on the luggage cart while the little girl pushed her around, they were both laughing away. I remember how happy I was to notice what my friends had overlooked. I pulled out my camera quickly and snapped a photo. I’ve held on to this photo for over 20 years. It’s not a great photo and most people would have no idea what the photo is about, but I do. When I took this photo, I knew at that moment that I wanted to be a photographer. I wanted to document life as it happens. I wanted to capture pieces of happiness and share them with people. I love what I do…I’m a photographer 🙂