Viewing entries in
Child Photography


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.





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! 




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! 



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! 



the beauty I stumble on

I fell short on completing my "blog everyday in May" challenge.  The summer starts to pick up a lot for my little photography shop - Busy most weekends, be it taking pictures or editing them.  So, my intention started out very gung-hoe, but it was hard to keep up.  There are still a few of her topics that I plan on blogging about...  I just need to wait until I get caught up.  The blogging is fun, it has turned into my hobby and therapy and the photography is a business - so, the clients come first.  Well, truth be told, they are second...  this little guy comes first:

It makes me a little sad to say out loud, but Brayden and I had 5 days in row together.  No work.  No Photography.  I think the last time we had that many days in a row together without much interruption was last summer for vacation.  I didn't realize how much I miss that time with him - this week back to work was brutal - all 3 days of it.  And, Brayden is with his Dad this weekend - and, I really miss him.  That time together spoils us both - it is really hard to get back to that routine, that 7:30-5:30 daily grind.  He is growing up so fast - I feel like time is slipping away.  He is going to turn into a teenager in the blink of an eye - I pray, daily, that he will still love me like he does now.  I pray, daily, that he is gentler on me then I was to my parents.  I pray we respect each other, like we do now - but with greater appreciation for where time has taken us.  

During our break - the 3 of us went to the zoo - they have a dinosaur exhibit.  And, if there is anything Brayden loves as much as his Mom - it would be his dinosaurs.  He has loved them for forever it feels like.  He is inherently all boy.

 I use to worry about Brayden missing the everyday male role model, that I would be confusing his 'maleness' - If there is even such a thing - but, I know now that even though he still likes to put on my jewelry and play with my make-up from time to time, he is all boy.  He loves sticks, and worms, and monster trucks, and dinosaurs, and being outside and 'rough houseing'.  I apparently us that term now much like my mom use too.  It probably sounds something like 'if you boys are going to rough house, go down stairs' - because Brayden now uses that phrase, "John and I are going to rough house - I will be the rough house.  Downstairs, right Mom?"

I wish I had a video to capture every silly phrase, every hug, every kiss, every 'so much" response to my "I love you".   He will never be like this again.  I find myself being happy and sad, excited and terrified all at the same time.  

These feelings surfaced up this week being back at work...  and then this morning I read this article that was shared on FB - To Parents of Small Children - Go read it.   You will laugh and cry - because we all feel it.  Because parenting is hard.  Because parenting has all of those emotions that you just don't get until you have children to raise...  to witness and participate all at the same time.  Both Parent and child learning as we go.  Parenting is frustrating and exhausting and down right scary sometimes.  But, it is the best thing I have ever done, ever.  And, I imagine it will always be #1 on my list of accomplishments. I love when I stumble on beauty - the article reminded me of the zoo pictures that I hadn't looked at yet - and then, as I opened the folder, I stumbled on the most beautiful faces, Brayden and John, my family.   

In the Life, Love & Lemons front, I updated the Home page with a few of my fav photos.  I have the most beautiful families.  I also added a new proofing and purchasing site.  AND, I bought a new camera!!  John asked if I was excited as I examined the new Nikon...  my response, "No.  I am scared sh!t!#ss".  I needed to upgrade, but it is hard to bite the bullet and spend the money.  But, now that I have it I am so fascinated by the upgraded / updated technology.  I will put it to practice this weekend shooting some of my vintage rentals for my website. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! :)  Thanks for stopping by!



cute curry family

I am so behind on editing, blogging, cleaning my house...  I am trying to get caught up.  I fell off the 'blog everyday in May' band wagon...  like 10 days ago...   I tried!  Just too busy,  but busy isn't bad!

A few weekends ago a took some  photos of an adorable family.  Three beautiful little girls - full of personality!  Mom and Dad are going to have their hands full in about 10 years (if they don't alreay)!  Here is the cute Curry family!:


Love these pictures of them dancing under the pavilion :) 



Dear Abby (mommy&me special)

Dear Abby~

There is something very special about a mama and her little boy.  Taking your pictures and putting your gallery together reminds me of something my pediatrician said to me when Brayden was about 5 months old.  He said (speaking to that little baby boy),"Stay away from the girls, your Mom isn't going to like any of them anyway"  I cried.  I knew he was right.  :)  I know you feel the same about Evan :)

Here are the pictures of you and your little man.  I hope you enjoy the beauty in and through those moments.  It is apparent to anyone that sees them, the love you have for your little man, and how much he loves his mama too!

Happy Mother's Day (early)!





beyond contentment

I reference Mark and Angel often on here.  I find their writing and insight thought provoking and attitude altering.  Today's post is 6 Reasons Someone Wishes They Were You.  Go read it (after this one of course). 

Before I blog, I often mull a topic over for a few days.  I get the premise of what I want it to say and I visually type it out in my mind.  I have been thinking for a few days about my own happiness and my own contentment in the day to day.  It is interesting to me that a year ago, my life was in a completely different place.  It was without John and the comforts of his companionship, but I was happy and content with where my life was.  I was evolving into a person that was learning the comforts of my own skin.  I didn't have everything that I wanted, but I absolutely had everything I needed - our basic needs were met: work, apartment, food, entertainment, photography...  Most importantly, I had Brayden and our health.  Now, in this short time, our lives have had a major shift - and it hasn't always been easy - but we are so happy.  

We are planning this wedding - oh my, what an exciting, frustrating, time consuming, costly, momentous event this is.  I love it and curse it all in the same breathe.  A friend said to me the other day that I will miss the planning...  I told her she was nuts.  But, I assume she is right.  She has been there before - maybe there will be some parts of me that will miss the excitement and the nerves of planning for the event that puts us on the course of 'for the rest of our lives.'  John and I explore buying a home where we will start our family, and we dream about that growing family - picking names for both boys and girls, and how their name and their being will carry on parts of our history.  In the today, I could easily say we are content with our lives, but it is much more than that.  I feel we are far beyond contentment.  We are so blessed with our everyday life.  Sure, more money and a bigger house would be fantastic.  But, we are comfortable - we both work really hard to provide for our everyday and we save for what we want for the future.  We dream.  We dream near and distant futures.  I dream big, John dreams realistically.  I know exactly what I want to be doing by the time I am 55.  There are many, many things that need to happen in these 25 years but I believe no matter what course we take we will end up at one single all-encompassing destination, happiness.  

Speaking of happiness, look at the source of mine.  

This happiness, it reaches far beyond the depths of my soul.  I now know that I always dreamed of this little man - even in my younger days when I said I didn't even want kids.  I think I always knew that I did.  I think I always knew that someday, God would give me Brayden.  In Brayden, I found the true meaning of love and happiness, in responsibility and work.  I learned how to live life because I had to live it for him, with him.  I got to spend one of these recent few sunny beautiful days with him.  We planted flowers, played in the yard, hung a bird feeder, and practiced being ninjas and superheros.  I laugh at the conversations I have with this little man.  He loved planting flowers.  Without prompting, he knew exactly what these plants needed.  He said to me (as we were getting ready to transfer them from one container to the next) "these flowers will be so happy in their new home.  Now all they need is love....  and water."  I stand smiling, nearly crying.  Where?... How?... When did he become so smart, and grown up?  His intelligence far exceeds his age.  He is right.  It is what we all need.  A place to feel at home and a little love...  and water too :)  

In this life we lead, be more than content.  Thrive.  Live on the thrill of the little feet we chase and the noses and bottoms we wipe.  Breath in the air, rainy or sunny - they each have their own distinct beauty.  Learn from the past. dream for the future. live for today - beyond the contentment.  Live and love with excitement, like a 3 year old :)




Adorable Zavier's family

This family was a referral from a friend - I am so glad they made their way to the LL&L's new studio.  They came out from the city and made the drive with little Zavier for his 1st year portraits and for a few outdoor family pictures as well.  This was my first session outside for 2013 - it was a perfect day for pictures!

Here is the beautiful Nardi family!


Thank you Nardi family for making the trip :) 



Decker, 6 months - oh the places you will go!

I live in the approximate area that I grew up in.  I am often given the opportunity to take pictures of the families and children of people that I was in grade school, junior high, and / or high school with.  I love meeting new clients - I equally love being able to see where people have gone with their lives after high school.  

 Kristina, the Mama, was a year older than me in High School.   It is great to see where life has taken her beyond the high school walls and see her in very different roles, wife, mother, career women, etc.  The adorable little boy, and family below is the purpose of photography that I love.  Not only did I get to take Decker's new born pictures, now I got to take his 6 month pictures as well. Oh Decker, the places you will go!

Both times I got a few family picutures - I love to see how they grow as a family.  I told Kristina, I can't decide who her boys look more like, her or her husband.  They have a beautiful family.   I look forward to seeing them again in another 6 months! 

Here is Decker, and the Kuntz family. 


Here is Decker as a little peanut:




Spring Sneak Peaks (installment #1)

Our Grand Opening Weekend went beautifully.   We introuced Knee High and LL&L to lots of new faces.    Our Spring Mini Session was beyond wonderful!  We were ahead of schedule (falling behind causes me anxiety), the little animals did fantastic, and the kids ... oh the adorable little kids....  I had the HARDEST time limiting my number of edits - they were all so adorable...  see below (this is the first installment, second one will come tomorrow). 






Cake Smash - they never get old!

Here is Vincent and his handsome little self!  Here is his Birthday Session - including the cake smash!




Seriously, this is how he stood to eat the cake.  I was laughing so hard I could barely stand up!

Too cute, right!?!!  :) 



Maxine Lou, how cute are you?!

I was participating in a little contest, and needed an adorable model - of course, Maxine came to mind!  She did beautifully!  We also squeezed in a few family pictures too! :) 

Max was practicing holding up her 3 fingers since she just had her birthday!



oh my, Miles! 1 year already!!

Here is little Miles.  I know, he is stunning.  What a handsome little guy.  And, very cooperative too.  :) 

I took their family pictures over the summer.  You can see there album here,  Adorable family! 

He threw-up after the first bite, so we stopped the session after that : (




the good worries are still heavy

I have found it difficult to blog lately.  When really, I know it is what I need most.  It makes me feel better.  I am having a hard time celebrating life.  To be honest, I am struggling with making it much further than my bed.  I go to work, I do the errands, laundry, etc - but, my bed is my favorite place.  I am tired.  I feel like I am drowning in tasks.  And yet, even if 'free time' presents itself - I find something else that needs  to be done - or I go straight to bed.  I blame my exhaustion on the weather - I am ready for spring.

Most of my worries are good worries to have - they are the best kind, really.  And, I know that.  But, it is still weight.  It is still something to carry - we all have something, or many somethings.    

I am planning this wedding.  And by I, that is what it is.   John just wants what I want, he just wants me to be happy - and sometimes, I just want him to tell me what I want, so I don't have to decide.   We are just over 5 months to the wedding and we don't have a venue.  It has been narrowed down, but, they aren't what I want.  It's not what I see in my mind.  The wedding planning is becoming consuming - and, it isn't how I wanted it to be.  I wanted simple - that doesn't necessarily translate to easy, but I have a vision of what I want it to look like and feel like.  It is hard to choose a place that will never be what I actually wanted.  I am refusing to choose a photographer.  I keep thinking someone will magically appear that I can trust and have confidence in taking the pictures I know I would take.  I want the real emotions.  I want the 'feelings' felt through the pictures - not just pretty poses.  I have pushed it off so far that I may in fact reach difficulty finding a good photographer, that is still within my budget.  Budget - is such a daunting word.  I am plagued with visions of dollar signs.  Everything is so damn expensive.    When it's all said and done, I know it will come together, and I know we will love it.  Not because of the venue, the food, the table settings, decorations, or music but because it is about Me, John and Brayden.  I have to find that as my center again, like how I started out.  

I got bad news on Sunday.  This is one of the worries that isn't good.  My Grandma has been sick.  She had surgery.  We all thought the surgery would create time.  Well, more tests and doctor visits, and we still are in the same place - worrying about what time will be available for her, and for us.  I want her here for August.  You see, the wedding date is August 10th.  It isn't just any date.  It is the Anniversary of Knute and Florence Gudmunson, back many years ago.  It also became the anniversary of John and Margo Gudmunson, my dad and mom - and Marcy and Alan Kinney, my sister and brother-in-law.  Grandma needs to be there - she is the tethering of the many branches that makes us family.  

Brayden, my sweet and sassy little guy, drives me crazy!  I have so much Mommy guilt, like most of us struggle with I am sure.  I am always wondering if I am doing everything I can, and doing it right.  He has a lot of schedule changes between our work schedules and the every other weekend shifts and daycares that prove to be disappointing and frustrating.  I worry about Brayden.  He has bad days....  he has bad weeks.  All I think is I am screwing him up.  I need to remember that he is entitled to a bad day.  He is entitled to try to push his limits because, he is 3 and he is learning what those limits are.  And, it is my job as a parent to let him know there are boundaries.  I get the saying now, "this hurts me more than it hurts you".  It is hard to be the boundary setter, but it is a parental requirement. I know he is happy.  I know it.  I just have to smile and laugh through the not so happy, sassy, snotty nose, "I don't want to share", "I don't want to eat my peas I just want a cookie" days.  They are going to happen, inevitably - and it isn't because I am doing it wrong - it is because Brayden is being a 3 year old.  Even though he has the ability to frustrate me beyond belief, I love him more than measure and he is the happiest part of my life. 

(here is a snippet of our weekend, it was a really great weekend.  We needed it because it was a really hard week):

with his cousins: picture by Aunt KimAren't they cute?! photo by Aunt Kim

The Store and Studio:  It is exciting - but a TON of work.  There are so many small details that need to come together to make it complete.  We are almost there....  This weekend will be like a marathon to wrap it all up.  These were taken when it was kinda put together, before it got torn apart last weekend.  I still don't know what it will look like when I am done!