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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). 






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!!!!  



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!



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! 




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! ; )




projects and studio peaks

We finally got a start on organizing the Knee High Store and the LL&L Studio.  It was great to start to see it unfold.  Just a few weeks and we will be open for business!  I can't believe how quickly it has snuck up on us.  

Here is a little peak at the store / studio with a few furniture pieces that will be used for display.   I LOVE the beautiful floors and tin walls and ceiling.  The tin is original to the building, from the late 1800's.   It  has a great history to it.  

Old Dresser Face Lift:

My desk - and my little helper: 

The little manikins (they will be cuter with clothes on, and maybe arms and heads too)!

Did you notice the chippy yellow door in the pictures above?  I wanted to use that as a head board, but it is seriously super heavy.  I was worried about attaching it to the wall.  And, I would like to use it in pictures too...  so, I purchased another door, not as heavy and I think it turned out great.  

What do you think about they vintage yellow laps? Should I keep them yellow or paint them white?  I don't want to ruin them, because I LOVE  them - but, I am not sure if I love the yellow...  any suggestions?



picture proof....

... this is happening!  My prints arrived last night!!  It was like Christmas ; )  I was so excited I could barely get the box opened!  And, I think I am going to order more!  I really had to narrow down my selections... but, I am so in love with these I think I may just have to order another 6 or so!!  hehe!  I have 2 personal canvases coming - I will have to decide if I want them at home or at the studio.  

Tomorrow I hope to have a 'project' reveal on all of the things I have been working on to put into the store / studio.  This weekend will be spent organizing and decorating... and so will the upcoming weekends until opening day! 

Stay close by and be sure to 'like' our facebook pages to get grand opening information and specials! 

Knee High to a Grasshoper  and Life, Love & Lemons



Random-ness from the weekend

Everyday (ok, multiple times a day) I check the activity on my website.  I look to see how many unique viewers I have had, what they looked at, and how they navigated through my site.  I like to see how a person may have clicked from one thing to another.  It lets me follow them through what they read, how much, what tabs they clicked on, etc.  I do this almost obsessively.  I realized about 10 days ago that January had the potential to be a record breaking month for unique readers.  So, I made a goal that I would break my own record of 598 unique viewers from the month of November.   I had carefully planned out what I was going to blog about this week to ensure I got my numbers.   I was going to do a few sneak peaks of my potential wedding venue... but the appointment got cancelled due to weather.  AND, a peak at the store /  studio - but it wasn't done.   So today instead, I am sharing some pictures of Brayden.  Although my exciting plans for the weekend got cancelled,  I did get to spend extra time with this adorable little man.  So really, I think it worked out for the best!


Guess who is in the box?

...  Jojo, poor Jojo.  But, he loves her! 

...  And, she loves him.  

Today is like 60 degrees - yet, on Saturday we had snow...  But, it was nice enough to play outside.  Brayden loved it! 

Also, thanks to Pinterest and my post about chalk paint - I had traffic ALL weekend.  I broke my record without posting anything new!  665 and climbing.   Maybe I will aim to break the 700 mark!  

I have been painting for the past few weeks to get items into the store / studio!  I have 3 peices finished that I can't wait to share!  I had a good helper too! 

How was your weekend?  Any unplanned, fun activities that stumbled your way?  




be fearless

"a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" ~ Lao-tzu

I am beaming. glowing. bursting with excitement.  

Opening a studio is a big jump.  Big commitment.  Big rewards, God willing!

Little did I know that when I took pictures of Abby and her family that it would lead me to this point.  I didn't know Abby.  I didn't know any of her friends.  I didn't know any of her family.  We had never crossed paths.  She happened to see a facebook post of mine advertising for family photo sessions.  As the four of us walked to the destination for their pictures we chatted about our lives.  One story lead to another, and then she threw out the idea of me having a studio in her someday store.  I loved the idea, but was I ready?

Abby and I shared a few correspondence back and forth.  She commented, "... to be successful, I have to surround myself with successful people..."  She's right.  Her and I meeting was not by accident or coincidence.  It was intentionally planned by someone greater than us.  And, I know that she is the right person to join forces with.  Being successful separately will make us successful together, and visa-versa too.  We will lift each other.  

When you first meet Abby, she is adorable.  great smile.  bubbly.  personable.  sincere.  kind. driven.  organized.  There are many characteristics of hers that I can learn from.  We are both alike and different in all of the right ways. 

Something that resignates with me, she is a great Mom.  Evan is an adorable little guy.  He is her priority. 


Abby is following her dreams.  She is taking a risk.  She is taking that first step to be successful for herself and her family.  The rewards will be numerous - but, that doesn't come without a lot of hard work.  I am following my dreams (one of them - I have many on my bucket list).  I have spent more nights laying awake planning and dreaming then I could ever count.  Ideas flood my mind during the day.  This dream that I am living now, I never knew I could make it here.  My life and myself have evolved so much in the past 2 years.  The new me doesn't even recognize the old me.  I have lots of growing still but that is an important part of life that I am happy to admit to do.  I grow.  I change, happily.  

The truth about chasing my dream; I am scared.  I have invested time and money - anticipating success.  But, that doesn't come without it's risks.  Loss of time with family.  Loss of money.  Loss of pride if it doesn't work out.  The key to be successful isn't being fearless - it is about pushing through it, one small step at a time.  Doubt and fear can be incapacitating.  They have the ability to keep you static.  I refuse to be static.  I don't know how, honestly.  Step by step we work through the discomforts - even when the finish line is too far to see.  Anything and everything we can think of started this way - an idea and determination to over come fear and obstacles.  We all dare to dream to prove to ourselves, that we can do it.  We can live it. 

What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?

For Abby and I, It is Knee High to a Grasshoper and Life, Love & Lemons!!  

Stay close by to get sneak peaks of the store / studio in progress and for Grand Opening Specials!