unexpected happiness. and then there were five.

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Coming September 2015, we will be adding another little person to our family.  I like to call this unexpected happiness. 

I was pretty adamant while pregnant with Miranda, that this was for sure it.  No more babies.  I was huge, sick, and tired.... and huge.  But, as the pregnancy and labor affects wear off, and there is a perfect little baby growing right before your eyes, it becomes a little easier to think about the possibility.  I got a little sad as I blinked and before my eyes, Miranda was 6 months old, then 8, then 9...  and I felt like the closure wasn't there.  That, this may not be the last one.  And then surprise!  She won't be.  But this one will be, maybe! ;)

I love trying to get pictures of these two stinkers - sitting nice and smiling...  well, as Brayden gets easier, Miranda won't sit still - and then we get to add another to the mix! 


Both Brayden and Miranda were made to care and lookout for someone - Miranda wasn't meant to be the youngest.  They are both going to be awesome! 



I wanted a boy

When you first find out that you are pregnant, everyone wants to know what gender you would prefer. First and foremost, we want healthy.   I didn't really have a preference...  but, a little bit I wanted another boy.  For me, it was pragmatic.  I have all boy things - 3 years worth of clothes and toys.  3 years worth of experience raising a little boy.  I really didn't know how to have a girl.  My Mom thought that was the most ridiculous thing she has ever heard.  I have 3 sisters... and to point out the obvious, I am a girl. So, she was a bit confused.  She would always say,

"a mom needs a little girl of her own."

I had names picked out for both the girls and boys.  My girl names where far from girly - I wanted something that sounded tough and confident, or could be shortened into a 'boy-ish' name.  Montgomery was my first choice, and I would call her Monty...  needless to say, there was a lot of turned-up noses.  I really had no reason to feel that way except it was just the world I was use to.  The day came and we found out that we were having a girl, and I was excited.  I stuck with my gender neutral names.  I started buying clothes and picking out bedding.  I even picked out less girl-y bed clothes, and let John make the final pick - he selected bright and pink, and I was fine with that too. 

Finally, my due date arrived - it felt like I was pregnant for a lifetime.  I wanted to be induced, just as I was with Brayden.  I get huge, and I wanted nothing more then to be done being pregnant.   It went very smooth, with the exception of some issues with my epidural not working during all of the contraction, but when it came time to push, it was smooth sailing.   And then, at 4:34 pm, she entered the world - all 7 pounds 6 ounces of her - of pure perfection.


I instantly cried.  I i knew that she was my perfect angel - my precious little girl.  And, in that second I knew she didn't need to be toughened by some strong gender neutral name - Miranda Ann, soft and perfect.  Our  little girl.  And from that moment, I was transformed.  It amazing how we can meet the needs of total opposite human beings, Brayden the 4 year old boy of dinosaur land and Miranda the pretty in pink baby girl.  I bought lace leggings, and ruffled butt everything, hair bows and barrettes.

 The biggest change, was the shift in my concern for Brayden.  I was mildly horrified about what this new baby would do to him.  How would he respond to sharing his mom?  How would he handle her crying?  How would he learn to be patient with his needs?  How would he learn about having to lower his voice during nap time?  I focused so much I what he would be loosing, I really passed up the experiences from my own life - the additional love, joy, and comfort from having siblings.  And Brayden, he is the best big brother - ever.  Seriously.  

 And as Miranda has grown, they have become the centers of each other.  The joy in their eyes when they are together, brings me so much happiness.   The bond is indescribable, it can't be measured, only felt.  

What I didn't anticipate was the pain of separation, how they would adjust to not being together.  Brayden leaves every other weekend, and goes on extended trips with his Dad.  I know it is hard on both of them, and it hurts me to see them miss each other so much.  We make due with Facetime :)

My experience from Miranda was a lot different from Brayden as newborns - Brayden was really needy, and really fussy...  colic?  I didn't know.  Miranda, she was an angel.  She had some bouts of colic, but it was timed, so we were prepared, and we worked in shifts.   Miranda is sweet and observant and just really really happy.  As she is rounded the ripe age of 1, her frustrations to communicate and determination to have what she wants is really starting to shine through.  And, although there are days when it is frustrating, I actually  enjoy seeing her stubborn side - she wants what she wants, and that may be the one trait that she gets from her mom ;)  The most interesting difference that I see between her and Bradyen, is that Brayden loves all things 'boy' and Miranda loves everything girly.  She loves her baby dolls.  No. I mean really loves them - she holds them and kisses them...  and wants them near all the time.  She loves her play purse, we have a morning routine where she plays in my make-up while I get ready.  She wears my necklaces - for hours.  She gets mad if you try to take them off.  She is girl through and through, and I love every second.


And here we are, nearly a year later and she has outgrown many rounds of clothes.  She will be walking any day.  She loves all of her family and she has filled our home with a different type of air - full of giggles and pretty things.   When I rock her, I can hard believe how much she has grown.  And, how I never knew how much I needed this little girl.





sometimes, somethings got to give - catching up on the last 6 months!

Here it is, December January (I started writing this in December).  My last post was July.  

July.  5 6 months ago.

A huge portion of starting this photography journey was for the writing.  I love it.  I love what it invokes in me - deeper thinking. awareness. appreciation.  documentation of life.  To be honest, the photography was almost secondary.  Life, Love & Lemons - is really about life.  My life, and others.  About the journey - ups and downs of life - through words and pictures.  This blog has been neither, lately.

Life is happening. It is moving so fast, I can't keep up.  My passion for writing, is now just another thing to do.  At some point, something has to give.   I have many posts that I have started in my head - lovely short stories that have come from the tender moments with my kids.  And others, the tender moments that arise while taking family pictures, celebrating new life - of bellies, babies and weddings.  I just can't find the time to post them.  I want to! I want to boast about this little chubby cheeked girl that has graced my life - and the highs and lows about everything else.  The photography business is booming with weddings and families and adorable kids -  and one more reason why I can't get sessions blogged - I try to pride myself on a prompt turn around time, and I have been able to keep it - but not blog. I just can not find the time. 

Here it is, December January and I am finally able to put some words down.   I call this the start of my slow time.  And, it isn't.  It is still busy.  It is the time when my mind and body finally get to catch up to each other.  I am once again, thinking about the next step - the next adventure that I want to start down.  The best part, through all of the hussle - I get to keep dreaming.  I am still finding inspiration at every turn.  Winter is my time to plan my attack.  Approaching and building ... right after I update my website with a new look and updated pictures!  What a difference a photography season makes.  I'm learning a lot - and I love the loyalty I get from clients, and the referrals they continue to bless me with!

Below is just a taste of all of the beautiful people I was able to first meet, or watch grow - from engagements to weddings and from growing bellies to growing families.  I loved 2014 and am super excited for 2015!  




 Thank you for all of the loyalty - you all have become more than clients -  you are dear friends!  Can't wait to see what happens in 2015!





The other side of the lens (year II)

Well, this year marked the second year of our family pictures and we added another little smiling face. It went a little better then last year, I didn't get mud on my pants but I did have to edit out my spanx from my creeping dress :) Brayden was his typical 4 year old self - cooperative and sweet, until he decided not to be.  Then, it was utter refusal.  Miranda did really well - she is on a good streak - lets hope she will be so use to having her picture taken that she will just beam any time I ask! 

We were waiting for John to arrive after work, so I got a lot of pictures of me and the kids - something that rarely happens.  I wanted to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight before I had these done, but, like I encourage others to do, these kids will only be this small for a very short time - and, they love me regardless of the extra weight I have to loose.  

Here's our little family:



Thanks again Chris Bland with B-Land Design Photography, you are pretty fantastic! ;) 



extra space in my heart

My little pumpkin head is already 3 months, not sure when that happened...  but, every day, I am struck with wonder.  I never knew I could love another human being as much as I loved Brayden.  I was always told by Moms of multiples that is was possible, but I didn't believe it.  It didn't seem possible to have enough space in your heart.

Now I know, it's true.

Here she is, already 3 months - and she is pure perfection, especially those thighs!! 




Becky, Dean & Ben: belly to baby

I love when I get email inquiries - I smile and giggle a little :)  They make my day. 

Last September I got an inquiry from a pregnant Mama - wondering about belly and newborn pictures.  We had a consultation and we picked style and locations.  We laughed together through the joys of pregnancy, she was nearing the end of hers, and I was just starting mine.  I got to be the only one who knew their little guys name - it was a secret to be kept until after he was born.  

Having had a baby, and being pregnant while doing the pictures gave me a different perspective on taking maternity pictures.  I always thought pregnant bellies were beautiful!  Then, after being pregnant, I realized the woman carrying the pregnant belly may not necessarily always feel beautiful, excited and amazed - absolutely, but finding yourself beautiful can be hard some days.  

Becky totally rocked her belly pictures - no shortage of beautiful here!  

And, they were both a lot of fun to capture!



 And then, baby Ben, aka peanut, was born :)  And, I got to do his newborn pictures:


and, just a few weeks ago I got to do baby Ben's 3 month pictures...  He still has all of his hair and he is growing fast! :) 




I look forward to watching baby Ben become little boy Ben! 




Meeting Miss Miranda

Little Miss Miranda was born 2 weeks ago today - on February 12th at 4:34 pm - on her due date (I was induced - I was very adamant about not going past my due date.  She was ready to be born too).
Initially, we all thought she would be a really big baby - Brayden was 8 pounds, 10 ounces - so, everyone thought she would be the same.  But, she was a very healthy weight at 7 pounds 6 ounces, 20 inches long.  The consensus is that she looks like her Dad.  
She is a fantastic baby - sleeps well.  Eats well.  Cries very little.  Her temperament is just what I needed in a baby #2.  I have gotten use to the idea that she is a girl.  I thought I would have a harder transition from everything boy to pink, girly frills - but, I actually really like it.  
These are her 'formal' newborn pictures, taken yesterday...  I have a few more that I want to take of her in her bedroom, but I have a few finishes to do. 



a week and a day

a week and a day.

that's how long it's been since I became the Mom of two.  

It has its moments - but, for the most part, it is going pretty well.  Of course I have to keep in mind, we haven't left the house except for a Dr.'s appointment and little Miss Miranda sleeps 75% of the day.  Brayden's lunch and dinner request consist of shell mac and cheese and a piece of fruit, so he is taking it easy on me too.

Brayden loves her.  He has his moments too, but then again, he is only 4.  The nice part, he blames me when he is mad and not his sister...  yet...  

I was able to take a few pictures of them yesterday.  I'm glad we did.  They both did great, which is pretty untypical from all of my other attempts at family pictures - there is usually tears - and lots of bribing, begging, and pleading.   Suffice it to say, I didn't have to beg or plead.  Brayden was just really happy to get to hold his sister and have his picture taken with her.  

Brayden's second favorite part...  moving the furniture so he can fly :) ...  so, maybe there was a little bribing ;)




Mommy and Brayden Mondays

Our weekdays are much like any other working Mom's.  The alarm goes off, always too soon.  I lay there, knowing I need to get up and into the shower.  I turn on cartoons, have the volume low enough not to wake the sleeping 4 year old - but I have also learned he is content if he wakes-up to Mickey Mouse if I am not next to him, otherwise he is sent into a panic.  He gets breakfast delivered in bed.  It has been this way since we moved back to Illinois.  I had to learn how to accomodate a little one, while trying to get ready at the same time.  A TV and a cozy bed was the ticket, so it has become our normal.  I try to let him relax as long as possible until I have to slip him out of his PJ's and into suitable clothes.  His hair is never brushed - He almost always has sleepy-head hair.

For the past year, I have had Mondays off my 9-5 job.  Mondays have become Mommy and Brayden days.  I don't usually schedule anything - just time for us to be together.  I have cherished those days.  A few weeks ago, we spent our Monday doing some errands - getting his haircut, picking up dry cleaning, stocking up on groceries - with a final trip to McDonalds for lunch.  I cried throughout the entire day.  It started in the morning - awake from another sleepless night, I just watched him.  I watched as the sun started to peek through the curtains.  And, I realized we don't have too many of these Mondays left.   He is becoming a brother, and I am becoming a Mom of two - and one of them is a girl, which is totally weird for me, exciting but totally foreign.  

Life is going to change.  

So, on this special Monday - that Brayden thought was pretty typical, I cherished.  I watched his every move - every expression.  I listened intently to his stories and answered all of his questions with  enthusiam and foundness of who he was on this Monday.  It left me feeling sad, like I am taking something from him. 

When I found out I was pregnant, there is an initial excitement - my mind becomes filled with all of the wonder and awe that babies bring.  The sheer amazement of growing a human being is nothing short of a miracle, literally.   Almost immediately, my mind turns to sympathy - poor Brayden.  He is going to be so lost.  He has always been his Mama's little man - just me and him.  We both have found security with eachother.  I'm scared.   How will I balance, love, and care for two little ones - how will my learning affect him, affect us?  Somedays I think to myself, " I got this - I can do this - no problem."  Then other days, I wonder how I even have made it this far with Brayden.

I spent the next several Mondays taking pictures.  I got out the camera that I typically only get paid to use.  I hate that.  With the number of hours I spend snapping away and editing for others, I spend very little time capturing our special moments on anything but my cell phone.  I want to remember our last few Monday's as just Mommy and Brayden.   I worry less about the laundry and the house and we spend time doing things.  We play Superheros, in which I always have to be the bad guy.  We play dinosaurs, in which I always have to be the one that gets eaten.  We play with the playdough and coloring books - I usually spend more time getting everything out and putting it away then we do playing.  We make cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and banana bread.  None of which hold his attention for very long, and I seem to be the only one in the house that will eat them.  

But, he loves it.  

I love it more. 

This Monday, (unless baby girl decides to come on her own) will be our last Mommy & Brayden Monday.  

I don't think I am ready.... 

But then again, are we ever?  

So, I am just going to enjoy it now - and learn as I go.  Brayden and I will find the balance.  I will learn how to be the "Mommy of two" and he a big brother :)   

 He's gonna be great!




Sarah & Mike

Another winter session this past weekend :)  I think I am getting use to the cold!  I at least got to stay bundled up - Sarah and Mike had to go coatless for half of the session!  They don't even look cold! ; )

 These too were so cute (and brave) - and I am really looking forward to their September wedding!! 



family traditions

I have a new nephew :) 

Little Knute.  He is a month old now - and absolutely adorable!

Knute?  Some of you might say??  That's different.  Well, if you google it - there are a few famous people with that name, and it has been in a movie too.  But, this Knute - He is named after our Grandpa - Pa, as he is better known to us grandkids.  

Knute Gudmunson - that was our Grandpa, and as biased as it may be, he was one of the kindest people to walk the earth.   Now, we have another Knute Gudmunson.  Knute Franklin Gudmunson.  He has a long line of heritage, just in his name.  He has some pretty terrific parents, my younger brother Nick and his wife Courtney, and again, my bias shows through - but they are pretty terrific too :) 

I love that Nick and Courtney chose to have his name carried on in our family.  

I got to have the privilege of being in the delivery room for the birth of little Knute.  I rushed to the hospital at 4:30 in the morning - I wanted to be sure I didn't miss it.  The intention of me, the photographer / sister, to be in the room during the birth was to get the first pictures - fresh from the womb, or canal...  but, as the delivery began, the physician requested no pictures.  I could take them after he was out, the cord was cut, and he was cleared medically - after that, I could take as many pictures as my heart desired.  Both Courtney and I were very disappointed, but none the less, we still got some really fantastic moments captured.  And, I got to witness my nephew's birth :) 

Here are some of my favorites from his birth - Is he not the most adorable little guy??  Biased again? :)


See, I wasn't just bias - he really IS adorable! :) 

Congrats Nick and Court on your new little guy!  You are very blessed! 



A sister's request

My sister, Makenzie, got engaged this summer.  We were all thrilled - very excited to plan another wedding!  I offered Engagement pictures in September during an open slot in my day.  Fall is super busy for family pictures - I wanted to make sure she got them done and it would work with both of our schedules.  But, Makenzie and fiance David were both very busy as well - our schedules never really worked, and Makenzie had mentioned, in passing, something about a winter session.  

If anyone knows me, I would trade these cold winter months for just about anything - It is the worst part about the Midwest, in my opinion.  Well, this winter has started off very cold.  And by very cold, I mean record breaking temps - Yesterday was -45 with the wind chill.  So of course, the weather people are telling us about these unbearable temperatures when Makenzie sends me a text: "Are you available tomorrow to do pictures?" 

Seriously?  You pick the coldest weekend in 30 years??  No, I am not available!  I don't want to be anywhere but under the covers!  But, I look up the weather, and it was going to be 27 - not windy - perfect snow - and a little over cast, so it was literally going to be picture perfect outside.  So, I agreed (reluctantly).  

I dreaded it the night before, and even in the morning when I had to literally roll my big belly out of bed.  But, once I got to their house - and their perfect scenic backyard - I knew this was going to be really beautiful.

See for yourself :)  




Congrats Makenzie & David!  Can't wait for your Septemebr wedding! :) 




I started today different

For the past few months, and for many in the foreseeable future - I don't get to sleep.  In my current pregnant state, I am big.  My hips hurt, my shoulder hurts - and I am constantly being kicked or punched in one or multiple organs.  I have to get up to pee at least twice in the middle of the night, and I have to rotate sleeping sides to avoid complete loss of circulation - all of which takes every muscle in my body to roll myself over.  Some nights are easier to sleep through, most are not.  Brayden is now 4, and still sleeps in my bed.  I often wish he would give his big boy bed a chance, without the tears and the fears - but, that doesn't seem to be in the cards anytime soon.   

This morning came early.  I squinted to see the clock, half blind due to poor vision, the other because it was so dark out.  I wanted to know if I had to roll myself out of bed and into the shower.  I patted around in the dark for my glasses - It was early, only 5:00 am.  I let out a sigh.  Too early to get up, but not really long enough to try to put myself back to sleep.  I closed my eyes and just wished for it not to be morning yet.  At the same moment, another thought collided into the other - It interrupted my negative focus, "Be thankful for this morning."  Still with my eyes closed, I exhaled and had a surge of gratitude come through.  I thanked God for another day on this earth.  For another day to be Brayden's mom.  For another morning I get to wake up to his feet in my back and the silent hum of his breathing next to me.  I am so thankful I have this little guy that finds comfort sleeping next to his Mama - one day to soon, he will want nothing to do with snuggle time, so instead I rolled my big belly over and cuddled him, just being thankful for the moment.  At the same time I am kicked by another set of feet, ones I have not yet seen - but are growing daily.  I am thankful for the ability to have this little girl - a blessing that is too often taken for granted. 

I often focus on the things that need to be done - and I get agitated when I am off schedule.  I am task driven, always.   Brayden was gone for 2 weeks over Thanksgiving.  I hate it when he is gone.   This is his first week back.  I tried to spend more patient, unscheduled time for us - even through the busy week.  It was wonderful, and I get to look forward to a nice relaxing weekend together.  We get to put up the tree and do some more decorating, but besides that - no other tasks to cross off my list.  We are just going to enjoy the time.   Christmas this year feels much like being a kid.  I actually like the Christmas songs I hear on the radio and in the stores.  Last year was much different, Brayden was going to be in Virginia, so I dreaded this Holiday - I actually wanted to sleep right through it.  So, I decided this year will be celebrated differently - It will have a different focus - it wont be about the task of getting things done and the hustle and bustle of the day, it will be about celebration and gratitude - which is the real purpose.  I just needed a little perspective.  Perspective that came to me in a morning daze, in the hum of a snoring 4 year old, and the kick of a baby.  I started today different, but I really hope I can make it the norm.

"gratitude turns what we have into enough"





4 years in the making

TODAY, is Brayden's 4th birthday!

A lot has changed in this very short time - from the chunky, little baby to a never. stop. running. little boy - and he really is ALL BOY!  He won't think twice to rescue a worm from the drive-way on a rainy day, and yes that is with bare hands - Mom will have nothing to do with that. 

Brayden and I have traveled many, many miles together.  From Georgia, to Virginia, to Illinois - and many miles in between.  He gets full credit for helping me become the person I am - I hope I can do him proud...  as proud as he has already made his Mama. 

I am terrible about scrap books - I tried, I have most of his 1st years done...   But, I started doing his birthday videos, I hope that makes up for it, a little.  

Here is birthday #4 for my big man, Little Buddy - My favorite 1st born, and the sweetest little guy I know. 



Raising a Husband

I know what this sounds like - and No, this is not about John.  That isn't to say that he and I don't feel like we are raising each other somedays, because I know we defiantly do.   This is about the almost 4 year old little man that I hope will develop into a kind and loving person and will someday, be a wonderful partner. 

Photo Credit: Chris Bland

I say often that I really don't want Brayden to grow up.  I say it so much, that he mocks me with my own statements.  He shows me his big muscles, and he laughs as he rises to his tip-toes saying "watch how big I will grow".   As much as I want him to stay little - I love the developing person he is becoming.  I am coming to believe this is one of the great gifts of parenting.  Every day is filled with pride - pride in the little person growing and learning.  And pride in our own learning and growing -  on the difficult days when we give ourselves a much deserved pat on the back for handling an in-store tantrum or refusal to eat dinner.  We deserve the self recognition for making it through.   I was visibly not happy the other day - clearly frustrated.  Brayden came over to me and started rubbing my arm and consoling with kind words.  I instantly knew that my petty frustration was nothing.  I was moved into a space of pure joy - and I thought, probably out loud, Brayden, you are going to make a wonderful husband someday.  

I spent one of my many sleepless night thinking about all of his wonderful child qualities that I adore - And I really hope he can keep them through the harshness that the world often engages us in.  I hope he can hold fast to his qualities and brilliantly overcome the challenges he may come to face. 

Photo Credit: Joanne Thyne

Laugh.  Life is only as serious as you make it.  Laugh often and life will be lighter.  Brayden's laugh has changed.  It's different then a few weeks ago - He has more belly into it and he does it more now - he is learning his sense of humor, and others too.  Laughter is so important - and this is coming from a pretty serious Mom - We laugh, but I need to interject that same principal into other aspects of my life too.  I am taking lessons from him, everyday. 

Love. Love. Love.  This kid, he loves his Mom.  I am sure all kids do.  He sometimes has a hard time reaching others because he finds comfort in the closeness of me - I of course love that.  But, I want him to not have anxiety about being away from my reach - I know in time he will, to quick I assume.  I know someday he will have that some protective comfort when he finds a partner worth sharing it with.  Until then, I will be happy to carry that role. 

Flowers.  Always bring flowers.  I did not teach Brayden this, I wish I could take the credit.  This sweet boy gives me the same artificial, potted flowers EVERY DAY.  No joke.  He brings them if I am sad, tired, happy - he looks for a reason.  He always starts out with the same exclamation, "Mommy, close your eyes.  I have a surprise for you!"  As much as girls say, don't buy flowers - they are a waste of money...  we lie.  Get 'em from a ditch or for $3.99 at the grocery store - We will LOVE them :)

Never loose that glow - the way your eyes light up every morning (ok, most mornings) ready and eager to take on the day - just wanting to know what adventures await for the day ahead.  I believe it is one of the most contagious things about Brayden (it could be all children I suppose, but I am biased).  People have been drawn to him - comments from strangers since he was just a baby - adoring onlookers of the miracle that he is - I believe it is that sparkle in his eye that invites people to want to know him.  Hold onto that, and keep close to your heart - know the world and the people in it are good.  

Children - We come from a large, large family.  Regardless if you have your own or not - be involved in the lives of children, they keep you young - they keep you laughing - they remind you of the traits that adults tend to loose - love them because they need it.  Love them because you need it too.   

Photo Credit: Joanne Thyne Stay stubborn.  That same determination you use today when you are relentless about NOT  putting your pants on by yourself - or when you just cross your arms and out right refuse to listen because you don't want to do what I have asked - keep that.  However, learn when it is appropriate.  There are times when sticking with your convictions is all you can do - you take a stand and don't budge.  But, it is also important to learn to pick your battles in life.  Compromise, when used appropriately, is very powerful - sometimes hard at first, but you catch on.  You are inherently stubborn and a little controlling - that's ok, you  have good intentions, you come by it naturally (and so do I).   Just remember that delivery is key - you can hold your own and be respectful in the same moment.  I heard once that one of the most important journeys we take is when we meet someone half way.  

Love your Super Heros.  Right now, as you round 4 years of age - You love Super Heros - who can blame you, they are pretty awesome.  You love when they defeat the bad guys (a role that is often filled by Mom).  You love that they are big and strong - and look forward to one day being just that, big and strong.  You love your dinosaurs still - this phase has been going on for several years, and for me, it never gets old.  You love to read and to learn.  Keep your curiosity - and keep loving the little things.

Photo Credit: Chris Bland

Last, but certainly not least, always lean on your Mom.  I don't mind, really :) 




Senior Smiles: Hannah - look at those eyes!

Here is another Senior that we were able to squeeze in just before the leaves started to fall.  It was a beautiful day - a little chilly, but you would never guess!  Her pictures are beautiful...  and, just look at those eyes!  

A little background story - I didn't realize when they booked her session who she was - THEN, when she got out of the car, I was like - "wait, I know you!"  I was an aide in her 4th grade classroom right out of college - it was my first 'real' job.  I can not believe that class is graduating this year!  Makes me sad... and feel SUPER old! 

Here she is!: 

Contact me to book your Winter and Spring Senior Smiles Session!



All done 2013 weddings, onto 2014!

I wrapped up my last 2013 wedding about a month ago - We have been steadily booking for 2014.  Our wedding season starts in February!!  Here is one of my July wedding couples - could they be any more beautiful?  I am very excited to capture their intimate wedding at The Mora Farm.  It will be photographed by Chris and I - and vintage styled by me and my team!  CAN NOT WAIT! :) 
If you are recently engaged and starting to plan - make sure to contact me for available dates and vintage rentals!



Sara's Senior Smiles - comfortable in her skin

Gosh, I can't believe it has been a month since I last posted...  Well, be prepared for overload.  I am going to start my catching up - I have enough clients to blog about since May - It will keep me busy all winter long!

I decided to start with one of my Seniors - I have had really wonderful Seniors this fall - they all have their own identity, their own bit of self that they bring for each session - And I love that each session is uniquely them.  

This is Sara - She was a real natural, and I loved her style.  She needed no direction -  completely comfortable in her own skin. 




Contact me to book your winter or spring Senior Smiles Session!




3 become 4.... it's a....

I haven't blogged much in the past 4 months.  Many, many reasons for the lack of time...  trying to sell our house, both of us working a lot, planning a wedding... etc.  All matters that consumed my time,  and my mind.  I wanted to blog, but choosing between sleep and typing, sleep won.  Looking back, I probably really needed the release of thought.  

To add to the excitement, we found out we were pregnant.  We were both ecstatic.  Well, at least for a few weeks, until the excitement gave way to spending mornings, and some evenings with my head in the toilet.  Constant nausea, constant exhaustion.  This little being absorbed every once of energy - energy that I didn't even know I had to give.  Brayden, working, running a business, planning a wedding took nearly everything I had - God managed to squeeze another little blessing in.  That's what motherhood shows us - you give and give - somehow, somewhere you muster up the strength, happily.  

We made it through telling Brayden, I was nervous about how he would feel about sharing me.  But, he handled it beautifully, like a big brother.  He's gonna be great. 

 We made it through the wedding.  I started to feel better about 2 weeks before the big day.  I was able to enjoy it without the aching feeling of throwing-up.   I was able to squeeze into my not very forgiving wedding dress.  Our day was beautiful - Our day was perfect.  

The following Wednesday, my belly bump poked through, and has been growing steadily since then.  I have retired any prepregnancy pants - and most shirts.  I find comfort in elastic, granny panties, and a full coverage bra.

We had the coveted 20 week ultrasound yesterday.  It's amazing to see that little being swimming and kicking around in there - to feel, and watch the kick on the screen is amazing.  To watch the yawn and the roll over from the tiniest little person, not even weighing in at a pound.  I cried.  John watch in awe, laughing nervously in disbelief.  Then, the baby was in just the right position to get a look a the goods...  Would it be a girl or a boy? Then we saw it.  Brayden would be a big brother to an aodrable little....  


Let the shopping begin!