I had seen this location a lot in other photos and just knew I wanted some of Libby there too. Well, I almost changed my mind once we actually got there. As cool as this near-abandoned building with peeling aqua paint over brink and chipped red doors and stairs looks, well, it's down a back alley with broken out windows and abandoned shopping carts. It was dirty and smelled like pee. And right across from where we were shooting there was a homeless couple and their VERY large pit bull trying to catch some shut eye in one of the abandoned and dilapidated buildings. I think we took them by surprised. They watched us, but didn't say anything. As soon as we were done they got up and came out, but again, only after we had moved on...as I drove away I felt sad for them. I wondered what might had happened in their lives to lead them to the place where they spend the night in abandoned buildings. And I've seriously thought about trying to gathering up some things...food, water, blankets, etc. and bringing them back down there for them tomorrow.
I won't lie, something felt surreal about taking my freshly scrubbed baby, in her cute outfit (I already had everything except the cute pinafore, which I got from here), to have photos taken there. But then I saw this shot and was glad that we did it. I hope, someday, that when Libby is grown, she might return to this place (if it's still there) and have photos taken again. It's the first time I've taken her downtown (other than just passing through in our car) and I said to her, "This is YOUR city baby girl. This is where you're from...Tulsa!" I have always felt deeply connected to San Francisco, where I was born and raised, and I wonder if Libby will feel that way about Tulsa. I guess we'll have to wait and see...I am sure it will be somewhat determined by how long we stay here.
We came home and had some lunch and Libby napped. As soon as she was up we got ready and headed to the Oklahoma Aquarium to meet up with my new friend L and her daughter A. A is two months younger than Libby. And 8 pounds lighter! But they're SO cute together. A wanted to touch Libby's hair. And Libby wanted to touch A's face and even gave her a kiss on the forehead. L and I took the girls around the aquarium which was quite busy since it was a Saturday. L is a working mama and we actually met in December when I was a client where she works. We hit it off immediately and chatted like old friends. I saw her again in January and invited them to Libby's birthday party. We've chatted on Facebook and are developing a nice friendship, which I so appreciate. It's been tough to be here and not have any girlfriends. But finally, after 2.5 years of living here, it's starting to happen. And I am SO grateful. L is younger than me (she's in her late 20's) but I feel like we click and can relate. I admire her greatly...she lost her first daughter on February 18, 2009, at just 4 days old. So this past week was the anniversary of her birth and death. And I thought L might not be up for a play date after such an emotional week. But she was. And she was great company and her little A was just precious. Obviously, with A almost 1 years old, L got pregnant again fairly soon after loosing her first little one. I cannot imagine the heartbreak. It must be bittersweet to be planning A's first birthday and remembering the first daughter she lost just two years ago. I look forward to developing our budding friendship and seeing the girls have more fun play dates together. Who knows, maybe A and Libby will be posing together for their senior portraits in downtown Tulsa someday?