Rose: College Graduate

The Lowder family is about to add a college grad to our collective resume!  Rose is a senior at TWU and is about to graduate with a degree in child development--and she did it in FOUR YEARS, folks!!  Does anyone even do that anymore?  ROSE DOES.

Like any college senior, she's a little apprehensive about the future, but those of us who know her are incredibly confident that her story is just beginning.  I pity the fool who doesn't hire this girl, ya know what I mean?  Qualified, full of heart, and unafraid of a challenge, this girl is ready to fight for kids and to make sure each one with whom she comes into contact is safer, smarter, and more loved than before they met.  Case in point:  her one request for her senior photos was that her nieces and nephew were in the photos as well.  Are you kidding me?!  CUTEST. EVER.

Her tattoo, as pictured below, is a beautiful representation of who Rose is--and her story is hard and important and beautiful, just as beautiful as she is herself. 

Cast Iron Families: Crowd Funding Update #2

Whew.  Friends.

What a whirlwind. 

I spent a couple years writing the book, about six months shooting for it, my gracious designer labored hard (no pun intended, but she did have a baby ;) for several months, we prepped for crowd funding for a month, and then... less than 48 hours...



Friday afternoon, my head was spinning.  I said "thank you" in as many venues as I could find, and then we took some family time over the weekend.  All the while, I was thinking in the back of my head...

"...what's next?" 

We still have through the end of MARCH to crowd fund!  The urgency has passed--because we met our goal, I'll definitely get my funding.  But the sky is still the limit-- we can raise as much as we want, y'all!

I'm not allowed to change the goal amount, officially, on the page, but I have a feeling y'all can roll with the punches.  So let's change the goal unofficially.

New goal: $4500.


Two reasons.

One: I truly believe in the two-fold message of this book.  First, it is entirely possible for you to take the kind of photos you want to take.  Secondly, family. comes. first. Period. So let's pick up the camera and work on your skillz, but only if we're going to be honest about our families and never at the expense of our families. In a culture of anxiety-inducing headlines that make us fear that we are SCREWING UP AT ALL TIMES IN ALL WAYS, this is a book that says, hey. You're good.  Let's hang out and practice together, and get better in the ways we want, and forget about anything that is not a personal priority.  

Two: I'm doing my part to take care of my family.  We've sacrificed our time and resources to put this book together, so I don't want to sell us short now.  The more books (and the other perks too, of course!) I can get into your hands, the greater our sigh of relief can be when we pay our preschool tuition or book plane tickets to visit far-away family.  I'm not trying to cast a guilt trip by any means--we don't do debt and won't make any commitments we can't follow through on. I just want to be honest about where your investment will end up.  If you see us take a trip to Vegas (whiiiiiich you probably won't, haha!), it absolutely will have nothing to do with this campaign.  Cast Iron Families is about working hard and loving hard, and I'd never cheat any of us by spending this money on something frivilous.

So, let's do this!!  We have the rest of the month to hit $4.5k, and I think we can do it.  I do not think I can do it on my own--I need my community.  So rise up, if you please.  Thank you.


Claire: Melissa Senior

OH THIS GIRL.  Not enough heart-eyes for this girl.  Just like, two seconds ago, she was a stinkin' cute freshman sneaking goldfish in my class (the snack, not the animal, worry not) and laughing with her friends. I'm not sure what happened, but all of the sudden she's a beautiful, gracious senior--Varsity cheerleader, smoothie maker, volunteer extraordinaire.  

If Charlotte has a choice, she DEFINITELY wants to go to Claire's house (not to mention the wonderful brothers, sister, and parents who come with that package deal) because she knows how safe and well-cared for she is there.  Well...she probably actually just loves playing.  But subconsciously, she knows. ;)

I am so excited for the Baylor community--they're getting a jewel with this one.

Cast Iron Families: Crowd Funding Day 1

To be totally candid, I thought about making a really steep goal: 50% in 24 hours.  Then I got nervous, and backed it off to a still steep but less intimidating goal: 50% in 48 hours.


In one day, we've reached 52% of our fundraising goal of $3500.  This is a big deal, folks, mostly because this is an all-or-nothing campaign.  If I don't reach my goal, I don't get any of the funds.  So I'm pretty excited--this seems like a good sign that the campaign will work out.

My second goal is to hit 100% in 10 days or less.  I'm thinking "or less" is definitely possible!! Here's the trick, though: we've got to get the word out a little further.  Tomorrow I'm going to be asking everyone to SHARE like crazy, so we can reach folks who haven't yet heard of Cast Iron Families.  

Thank you all so, so much--this has been a big day of refreshing my safari app like crazy and my jaw dropping again and again.  Folks SHOWING UP.

Love you all. Let's do this again tomorrow.

Meredith: Tom Bean Senior

Here's a sweet, sweet local senior who I totally enjoyed getting to know!  Meredith's mom (Amber) and Jeff work together, so I had previously had the opportunity to get to know Amber a bit, so I was pretty sure Meredith would be a total joy--and I was right.  I mean, most girls who grow up in Grayson County are, right?!  Haha...I may be a little biased, I guess.

I'd been dying to explore the town Jeff works in, so that's where we shot these photos.  There's something about these old railroad towns that I just love.  Not too much glitz or glam, but lots of character and open space.

Meredith, I hope you have an incredible finish to your senior year!  The good, the bad, and the ugly...twelve years from now, it'll all blur together into one big good memory.