Viewing entries in


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!! 




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! 



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 :) 




First Wedding of 2013

I have my first wedding of 2013 on June 22, with several more to follow - including my own!  Here is my first Bride and Groom for 2013.  They are simply lovely - and I can not wait to photography their wedding!

Here is Amanda and Ryan!



1 Comment

Day 5 and Day 6: fav bloggers and 'what I do'

I left my laptop at the studio yesterday...  and, I was exhausted from a very long weekend.  So, I decided I would do two topics today.

Day 5, Sunday: Publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your blogger friends. What makes them great? Why do you love them? If you don't have blogger friends, talk about a real-life friend or even a family member

Amy Kolz - I have blogged about her several times: here and here.   She was the silent nudge that pushed me to do this.  She was a strangerer I stumbled upon, and I have followed and connected with her ever since.  She checks in with me from time to time and we stay in touch through FB.  I will forever owe to her the release I have found through pursuing my passions.  Thanks Amy! ; )

A few others - some are big names, some are not - but, I follow and check in on them often.  They are all different types of people.  Creative, Photographers, Mother's, Father's, DIYers, Writers, and some are all of these :)  There are my favorites, and I am a regular reader - and a big fan. 

Lil Blue Boo

Miss Mustard Seed

Diapers and Daisies

Single Dad Laughing

Under the Sycamore

Finding Joy

The Daily Balance

Brining The Sunshine

Marc and Angel


Day 6: If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you answer the question, 'what do you do'?

I am an ISO Coordinator for my 9-5'er for a manufacturing company that makes air dryers. They sell internationally and I was hired to obtain and manage their International Organization of Standards Certification.  It comes with it's own challenges, but I enjoy it and it is close to home.   All of the other hours of my life I am a Mommy and a Partner with John.  I am a Photographer, Blogger, Designer, Furniture Painter, Hoarder / Collector, and basically anything else I decide to dabble in.  Most of all, I am a dreamer and a planner.  I dream big, and I plan every move.  It doesn't always work - but, I find love (and hate) in the trying.  I am happy with giving something my time - if it works; great!  If it doesn't, that's great too.  Either way, I learn, and to me that is success.  I can never fail if I always try.  And that is what I do :)

photo by Chris Bland


1 Comment


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)!





1000 of my unique viewers

I just had to share....  I have reached over 1000 unique daily readers.  Pretty big deal for me :) Thank you Pinterest, Facebook, - and of course everyone that reads my little rants, pictures, and mommy stories.  Very flattered and excited! 



on the other side of the lens

This weekend was our Mommy & Me Mini's.  I have so many adorable pictures to share!  I can't wait to get them all edited! Thank you to all the patient Moms, Grandmas, Great-Grandmas, kiddos, and Dad's that participated!  

Also, this weekend I did an engagement session - wedding is in June and I am pumped about it!  Can not wait!  Fun bride and groom - and adorable.  Don't take my word for it, their engagement session will speak for themselves...  coming soon! 

This weekend I also thought it would be a good opportunity to get some of our family pictures done. I am lucky to have my brother-in-law (Chris Bland) who is a photographer so we use each other when we need our family pictures done.  Well.  It has been a while since I have been on the other side of the lens, having our pictures formally taken by someone else.  This experience was ...  less than fun.  And, I get it - getting your pictures taken is not fun, most of the time.  I kinda forget the emotions that parents go through when worrying about what to wear, selecting the optimal time to schedule the appointment based on the happiest hour of the day, spill proofing outfits, begging, bribing, and praying for just one good picture.  With clients, I am patient with their children and I understand what kids need to get those good pictures.  They don't want to sit and pose, most of them any way.  And, you say "smile" and they will do anything but!  I am able to laugh through the sessions, because I am a mom... and because, they aren't my kids! So, I ooze patience :) 

However, put me in the other side of the lens, the one not doing the button pushing, posing, calming, clapping, snapping, making funny noises and faces - my patience is gone.  I had forgotten how stressful it is to have the worry of trying to get the perfect picture. My frustration grew with each completely imperfect pose was shot...    Here are some examples of not our best moments:


 ...  But, Chris got some really great shots....  I will post those soon.  It is proof that through the chaos, there is beauty...  which actually translates into real life quite nicely :) 



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:




Extraordinary Everyday Life

Extraordinary Everyday Life.  

That is my 'subheading' for my website.  This whole photography thing happened in like 1 day, literally.  I mulled it over for years - but, one day I just did it.  I bought the name, bought the website and started putting it together.  

Title: Life, Love & Lemons.  

Subheading: ... subheading?  like a slogan?  motto?  Heck, I don't know!   I thought for a minute what I wanted to capture through my photography - for the lives of those I am photographing - and, what I wanted 'represented' in my blog.  That phrase came poring through - I typed it out - without revision.  It's perfect.  It really encompasses my today and the trajectory of what I want life to feel like, forever -  in my personal life and through my photographs.  I want them to feel the emotion.  Feel the moment.  Feel the extraordinary.

Everyone has an extraordinary life.  We all do, in our own right.  We choose how to live it.  How to run it.  How to own it.  How to make it ours.  We create a life on what we dream and what we believe.  We also know that life doesn't always take the same route we dreamed it would.  But it is ours.  

The dreams and evolution of my own life has shifted more times then I can hardly remember - and, it's only been 30 years.  I can't even imagine where I will be in the next 30, but I am ready.  I am excited.  I am comfortable.  I know that some of it I will create.  I will work hard on developing, cultivating, nurturing the life I want for myself and my family.  I am also comfortable knowing that my dreams are broad enough that they can shift with life because life requires flexibility.  I am comfortable with knowing that my dreams may change with the obstacles that are pressed upon us.  Changes aren't always easy.  Sometimes that learning and shifting and changing produces a curve.  These learning curves vary in height, width, and dimension.  Some are long and slow and others, they resemble more of an acute triangle then ever a bell curve.  But that is life.  What we do with it is what makes each of us unique.

A decade ago I was different.  A decade ago I was lost.  Ambitions to take on anything - but I had no direction.  So, I went in many different directions.  I love the quote, "not all who wonder are lost."  However, I was, admittedly, lost.  I don't regret those days.  All life experiences give the opportunity to keep trudging down a path that we know will show great rewards.  We know because we can feel it.  Then there are paths we start down, and realize, it isn't for us.  It isn't the succession to failure - it is recognition of what we don't want.  I have had lots of opportunities of recognition :)  They make me smile, now.  They have shaped me.  They have changed me, for the better. 

A glimpse into my life doesn't look like much.  But, simple loving nights make it extraordinary, to me.  Last night, I wasn't feeling well.  John left his night class to come home and take care of Brayden.  We all laid in bed.  John tired from a long day.  We just sat.  Messy house.  Nothing packed or prepared for tomorrow.  Dishes not done - and something from the freezer for dinner.   Laundry piling.  We sat exhausted - but not defeated - the opposite really.  We relished in the simple.  Cartoons on the TV.  An online final for John (I help because I miss being in school).  Some where, some how, Brayden found lotion and decided he needed to lather up after his bath.  Then I persuaded him to put lotion on my legs and feet (what a good husband he will be some day).  That lead me to a story of my Grandpa Knute.  John and Brayden never had the privilege to know him - but, he was a great man.  An Extraordinary Man.  I told Brayden that I use to put lotion on my Grandpa's feet and color his toe nails with crayons...  And even do his hair.  I can still picture it.  I can still feel the happiness from those memories.  This lead into a discussion about where my Grandpa was and Brayden wanted to know how he could talk to him.  So, I explained the best I could.  "Grandpa Knute is with God.  We can't see him or hear him but he is always around and we can talk to him whenever we want.  Just like God."  Surprisingly, and not typical, Brayden didn't ask any more questions after that.  I usually hear "why?" at least fifteen times when I am explaining something.  I am happy that he was content with my answer.  Then, we went and got crayons and markers so he could color my toenails...  that lead to coloring my feet too.  All while we laid in bed.  I couldn't have planned a more perfect night.

While creating and living this life, people don't always get me.  Some people don't really know me - some think they do and some could give a hoot.  Very few really know me.  John does.  Brayden does.  There are a few others that get me and accept me - and there are a few who don't get me, but love me anyway.  And really, that is all I need.  I have comfort and contentment in my own life, in my own skin.  The decade ago Megan cared what people 'thought' of me.  The older Megan chooses to live life more consciously and purposefully. I am driven, ambitious, and loving - but perfectly imperfect and flawed in all the ways that make me, Me.   I am who I am.  Take me or leave me, I live this life for me.  For Brayden.  For John.  It isn't perfect, but it is ours.  We live our everyday life, extraordinarily.  

You should too :) Own it.  Live it.  Love it.  Extraordinarily.  



Grand Opening - Life, Love & Lemons Studio

Tomorrow marks the Grand Opening for my little corner space studio :) This is a really great space and place for me to start out - in many way - financially this perfect little space makes sense.  And, within myself it makes the most sense - I feel great about it, and beyond excited to feel and see the growth of my little love.  

Putting up prints last night, and this morning makes me giggle like Christmas - I have the most amazing clients.  They are all so beautiful, truly art.  

It isn't finished - I have some visions that I haven't yet got to complete to make it feel like home, but much like moving, it will evolve as I evolve in my little corner.  

Stop by Saturday and Sunday to check out Knee High to a Grasshopper and LL&L Studio.  Abby has some super cute things...  It's a good thing I don't know any babies coming soon or she would have to be ordering more stock!!  And, the little baby girl clothes...  oh my...  the cuteness! come check it out! I will be snapping away for the spring minis tomorrow with cute little faces, 2 bunnies, and some ducks and chicks!!  Can't wait to share!  We will have drawings for a free session, a $50 print credit and a raffle for a hand made toy box!!

Here are a few peaks...  :) But, you really should come see it live this weekend!!  

Hope to see you all there!


I teared up putting my little logo in the frame...  I asked Abby if I was a total dork, she smiled replying "No."  I think she feels it too.  

This little guy will be in tomorrow for his 6 month pictures!!  I CAN'T WAIT!!!!  



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 : (




Spring Mini Sessions and GRAND OPENING!!

tick tock....  I am feeling the pressure to get all of this stuff done and ready....  I am feeling kinda ready...  but a little bit like my head might explode too! :) 

Abby has been stocking up and the store is coming along beautifully.  Our plan is to be done and ready by Monday!!  Fingers crossed!!  Until then, we are asking you to do a few things:



Come back visit the next couple of days to see previews of the store and studio and to see the sessions I did this weekend;  Two first birthday babes and a family session.  :)  A few give-a-ways will be coming soon too! ; )