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! 




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! ; )




little wins, one day at a time

January was a big month for us.  They are little milestones, with big meaning. 

In October and November (and December) I was really struggling with Brayden.  He is a fantastic little man - and most often, the light of my life.  But, there are days when I ask myself how I will make it through the end of the day without committing myself to an institution.  Understandably, Brayden experienced lots of changes in a very short time frame.  He moved into a new home.  He started a new daycare.  His Dad moved into a new home.  He spent long periods of time in Virginia.  We tried potty training - my goal was to have it done by the time he turned 3.  That is hard.  That is a trying time - for the toddler and his parents.  Also during that time, I was really busy with my 9-5 job, and super super busy with photography.  I was one fuse shy of blowing up.   That is also during the time when I wrote, "they come and they go".  I reread that yesterday, and I smiled knowing that those days have passed, for now :) 

During the counseling with my Mom, I cried.  I told her I was struggling with Brayden.  Age 3 is so much harder then the so called "terrible two's".  Two was a cake walk.  Three is tantrums and talking back and refusing to eat, sleep, and poop (literally).  I wanted 3 things from Brayden this year - in all of 2013. If we can over come these, I will be a content parent: 1. Poop on the potty 2. Eat (try) the food that is put in front of him 3. Sleep in his bed.  To date, he is doing exceptionally well with two of them.  I can happily say, we broke him of the phobia of pooping on the potty.  It took a little nudity, tough love, and some bribery but we made it through.  He still gets nervous about it but he hasn't had an accident in two weeks.  To me, that is success! He is also eating the dinner we eat.  Brayden has been a picky eater - and I, a tired single mom, gave into him.  I created the little picky monster - and, it has been hard breaking through the 2 years of me giving in.  But, we are doing it.  Together, at the kitchen table we all sit and eat the same meal.  It doesn't sound like a big deal - but, it is.  I wish it were a little quieter, with a little less protesting and less demands from me.  But, we are doing it.  It isn't perfect and we still have lots of room for improvement but, I will take the little wins, one day at a time. 

Can you guess the battle I have not yet conquered?

(don't you just love his shirt?!?!)

Yes, he is still sleeping in my bed.  It hasn't always been this way.  There was a time when he slept in his crib - through the night, happily.  But, he developed allergies, and sleeping through the night was rare.  Sleep deprivation is horrible.  All Moms know.  He would wake up every other hour.  Back then I didn't know why.  After a year of investigating and constantly going to the doctor, we finally figured it out.  He was never healthy.  The poor kid felt miserable.   I don't blame him for wanting the comforts of his Mom.  And, I don't blame me either.  I was tired.  Even with him in my bed, I never slept through the night, because he never did.  But, it was easier to fall back asleep - for both of us.  So, I will give it some more time to bask in the glories of our little wins.  I will continue one day at a time to build on the achievements he is making.   Hopefully, by summer, I can write that we have successfully over come the 'in mommy's bed sleep-overs'.  Until then, I will keep snuggling the little guy - who is growing bigger every day.  Because, I really don't mind all that much.  I know there will come a time and he will be in his bed.  Until then, I am ok sharing.

Another little win, I celebrated with John as he watched me do my daily count of viewers to my website, I had a record breaking month in January.   I made a goal to break 600 - and by January 31st, I had 765!!  Some bloggers/ photographers can get that in a day - and some, in an hour.  But, for this small town farm girl, I will take that little win.  One day at a time, I will reach new people and hopefully I can snag them to keep coming back - and maybe give me the opportunity to photograph a few of their little wins.  

Thank you for all of those who read.  You are more than a number.  You keep me passionate.  You keep me inspired. 

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend!  I am gone next week for a training course for my 9-5'er.  If I get a chance I will try to post some of my secret happenings from this weekend! 



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?



Senior Smiles in action

Last Friday I took more Senior Pictures of Johnny - doing his thing.  :)  He challenged me to do things differently for his pictures.  He loves the in action look.  Over the summer we did a wake board session that I LOVED!  See it here.  So, I attended his game Friday night to grab a few 'in action' shots.  He gave me a lot to pick from!  I don't think his feet ever touched the ground, at least not for long.  He is appropriately wearing number 23! 

I like the newspaper look and feel of these pictures - and Johnny totally rocked it!  

btw: they won!



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



stay together

Mornings are crazy busy.  Anyone with kids, no matter what the age, or if you work or stay at home, can testify that trying to get everyone out the door usually feels like a cluster of chaos.  

This morning I arrived at work at 7:39.  9 minutes late.  And for me, that is doing pretty darn good.  I told my self, if I had just not hit that snooze button I would have made it here on time.  Who created the 'snooze' button?  Worst idea EVER.  Anyway.  The morning unfolded as it always does.  An interrupted shower by a little guy that wants to spend extra time with his mom.  So, he gets in with me.  I really love my nice quiet hot showers, on the rare occasions that I get to experience them, but I love the interrupted ones too. After the shower,  Brayden sits naked (he loves being naked) watching cartoons just long enough for me to get dressed.  Then he gets shuffled downstairs for breakfast.  Today was apples and m&m pancakes (warmed-up) from Monday when they were made fresh - but, he doesn't mind, it's m&m's for breakfast.  I hurry to finish up.  Partially blow dry my hair, throw on some make-up and then it's his turn for clothes.  We wipe off the syrup stickiness, I feed him bites in between clothing items.  He gets his daily meds and a 2 minute warning for the cartoons.  I run bags and coffee out to the car, start it up and turn the heat on high.  I run back in and do a double check for anything I am forgetting.  We grab coats and we are out the door.   I get maybe 30 seconds (2 minutes if I am lucky) of regular music, mommy music, before Brayden makes the request to hear his music.  I swore my kids would NEVER listen to those goofy kid songs...  but, he loves them.  And, he looks adorable singing along.  So, I ask, " Which one?  Rum Sum Sum?  Monster? Honk Honk?"  Today was the Monster song, so we start to sing.  

Then, right in the middle of the song, Brayden breaks my heart.  He has been saying this phrase daily, for weeks now and every time he asks, my heart hurts.  I struggle with how to respond (seriously, I am open to suggestions on how to answer this question).  Brayden says,

"I want us to stay together."  

My usual response is, "We will all be together when I pick you up after work.  Then we will go home and see Jojo (I through Jojo the cat into anything and he is usually happy).  However, today he asked "Why can't we stay together?"  I said, "Mommy has to work.  I have to make money."  Then he asks, "What's money?"  I try a diversion of pointing out anything in the scenery - but, it didn't work.  "What's money?", he asks again.   "It's how we pay bills and buy groceries," I say.  "What's bills?" he asks.  Ugh. "Ummm, it is electricity and it's mommy's car...."  "What's electricity?"  oh my.  this is never going to end.   I am having flash backs from our trip home last night explaining fog.  I used words like precipitation and condensation - which is good, but I am not the best at explaining what those are....   Can I go home yet?  It isn't even 7:30 and my brain is fried.  At this point I turned up the 'clean-up' song and he was happy with that.  

"I want us to stay together" is a phrase that haunts me every morning.  I know that as soon has he wakes up this comment is going to come out of his mouth.  And, he gives me those sad brown eyes and it hurts, every day.  

Appropriately enough, I saw an article shared this morning about "What Not to Say to a Working Mom".  I laughed - but, it hurt too.  All of it being honestly true.  I work because I have too.  But, I also work because I like too.  I wish it meant that every minute we are together it is pure bliss, but it isn't.  There is a lot of yelling, sadly.  He is 3.  And I am tired.  But seriously, we are so happy.  Even with the chaos and negotiating bites of peas, we are happy.  Everyone has a different way of running their homes.  I believe it is hard to organize and balance everything that life throws our way but, we all do it.  Day in and day out - there may be the occasional yelling and tears but there is lots of laughter.  Lots of kissing and hugging.  And lots of "I love yous." At the end of the day, we are together - and that's what matters. 




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! 



fashinesta in the making

First birthdays are so fun!  Especially, when it is filled with tutus, cake, with hot pink and zebra prints! Zoe couldn't be more adorable! I can't even pick a favorite! 

Here she is, hot pink and all - the little fashinesta in the making! 

Happy 1st Birthday Zoe! 



Before the cake smash....


Tomorrow I will post her V-Day Mini Session!  



my son-shine

Yesterday, Brayden and I (and of course Jojo) were getting ready to snuggle for a late afternoon nap.  He was winding down, not ready to close his eyes, and not realizing what I already knew, he was was ready for a nap.  He was in good spirits - and he probably could have gone without the nap, but I feared the monster that would appear in the early evening if he didn't get some rest.  So, we took our time snuggling and gigging.  

Brayden tells me at the most random moments, "I like you, Mommy!"  And, I am always a little taken back... "like?"  What's with that? Have I been demoted?"  Now I am use to it.   I just say "I like you too," or "well,... I LOVE you!"  Yesterday, after I replied with the "I love you" he said, "why?"  Again, taken back... and not knowing just what to say, or how to explain it, I fumbled and jumbled my words and came up with, "You are my son. You are my little boy.  You are my sunshine. I just do; that's why."  So, after we goofed for a little bit longer until he decided to finally close his eyes and his cute litle almost-a-snore crept in.  I laid there in the silence with my little boy wrapped in my arms and thought about it. I looked at him, still trying to answer the question that he has long forgotten he even asked. 



It isn't something I contemplate very often.  How do I explain love?   Especially to a 3 year old.  The love for him, or for John, or for our families.     I thought of all of the different adjectives that could be used to explain love.  Someday, this question will come up again, and I would like to be able to give an educated, sincere, thoughtful response.  

I laid there in silence, just watching him breathe.  I looked at his hands.  Those big hands.  They have been big since the day he was born - but, they are changing.  When they are chunky babies, they don't even appear to have knuckles - just dimples.  He still has those, but less apparent from when he was a baby.  He use to snuggle me and fit right into the crook of my arm.  Not anymore.  I use to tend to every whimper - Now, I wait until it sounds serious before I go running to check on him. He is growing.  Parenthood, love, gives us this incredible amount of satisfaction, yet longing to cling to moments that just wont stay just as they are.  Love pushes us, excitedly, to look forward to the someday, but at the very same time ache to hold the moment we are in.

 I decided:

1.  Love is a feeling.  Webster and Wikipedia can try to explain it all they want.  They could use all of the words in their dictionary and it wouldn't do it justice.  Love is felt.  Love is shown through commitment, honesty, dedication, respect, and sacrifice. 

2.  Brayden already knows.  That's why he tells me "Mommy, I like you" or "I just love you so much." 

We just feel it.  He to me, and me to him, and us to the world.  Love is felt. 



capturing love {through a lens}

I was given the opportunity to photograph two weddings last year.  Both couples took a leap of faith in me, because I had only assisted in one other wedding before.  I believe both weddings were a roaring success!  You can see the blogs about them here and here.  

Shortly after, I was contacted through my site by a lady named Laura.  She was referred to me by a friend - the best compliment a photographer can receive is a referral.  Laura was getting married.  She told me a few things up front.   They were both middle aged and they didn't want a big 'to-do'.  Just a small, simple wedding.  My thoughts after reading the email... it sounded perfect.  And definitely something we could make work! We decided to meet and go over some of the wedding details.  

When I met Laura, she was very pleasant and kind.  We went over the details -and she had them all mapped out.  Very organized - beautifully planned.  She had addresses and contact information all ready for me.  We discussed Save-the Dates.  I asked her if there was anything significant in their story that she would like me to bring out in the save the dates.  And, she beamed - literally.  She said there was a quote by David that she would like on there.  We planned it out - and scheduled a date for their engagement shoot.

We had a beautiful day, a little windy but we made it work.  My favorite part, it was as if I was invisible to them.  Not because they were rude or it was an awkward encounter.  It was the love and their engagement of each other that was so perfect.   David is a character!  He was joking and laughing and kissing the entire time. Which made Laura giggle and smile, the entire time.  It shows in their pictures. 

I feel very lucky to have met these two people that found their way to each other.   All good things are worth waiting for - and Laura and David have found a meaningful and true love that they will share together forever.  I am blessed to be able to witness it.  Here are a few of their pictures - you can feel the love.

Here is their Save the Date that we came up with.  I think it represents them well :) 

Congratulations Laura & David! 



The sibling he doesn't have

Evenings are busy.  I pick Brayden up from daycare after work and there is dinner to be made, dishes, laundry, dinner to eat, baths, bills, organize for the next day, all to be done in 3 hours or less.  The list is never ending.  All while Brayden wants attention too.  So, I can never do anything for more then 5 minutes without interruption.  And it's ok.  But, I sometimes feel bad that he doesn't get the full attention from me because of my 'to-do' list and he doesn't have any siblings to play with.  

Then, we got Jojo, our new little kitty.  And now it is like, "Mom, who?"  All he wants is Jojo.  As soon as his eyes open in the morning, "Where's Jojo?"  When I pick him up from daycare, "Are we going to see Jojo?" As we are going to sleep "I want to snuggle Jojo!"  This poor cat probably cringes at the pitter patter of Brayden's little feet as he walks in the door.  She hides under the furniture... a lot.  But, he loves her.  They are best friends, for sure.  And, I can fold laundry without being pulled away, sometimes.  Now the interruption are "Jojo's under the couch, help me get her!"  And, I know Jojo doesn't always want to be found.  She is the sibling that Brayden doesn't have yet.  He occupies his time, his imagination, and his heart.  He really loves her.  We all do. 

(excuse the blurry cell pictures - I was worried I would miss the moment if I ran to et my camera)



Grizzley doesn't seem to mind her either! 



peas and carrots {passion and confidence}

It's easy to get lost.  Lost in the everyday.  Lost in wishes, wants, and wills.  Lost in the maybe somedays, what-ifs, and what-if-nots.  

I get lost in all of the above.  Somedays, I don't see how blessed my life is.  Somedays I get tired of trying so hard.  There are days when I wish I could make everything I want to do, happen right now.  That includes a successful business - with a never ending line of interested and happy clients, a home that is always clean, and a little boy that is obedient, healthy, and playful.  I get frustrated with the process that life requires me to jump through, to get to where I want to go.  Most days, I can see where I want to be, and what it will look like when I get there.  But, choosing the path and staying the path to get there isn't always easy.  Most journeys, especially the ones worth getting to, can be long and bumpy.  However, the scenery along the way is beautiful.  I need to focus more on it then the bumps I stumble on.  Love and passion keep me thrusting forward, even when I feel too tired to lift my feet.   

I stumbled on a few quotes the other day.  They appear at just the right moments.  It gives me the little nudge I sometimes need. 

"If there is no passion in your life, then have you really lived? Find your passion, whatever it may be. Become it, and let it become you and you will find great things happen FOR you, TO you and BECAUSE of you." 
- T. Alan Armstrong

..."believe your great, accept that you aren't perfect"...  

"When everything seems to be going against you, remember that an airplane takes off against the wind, not with it" - Henry Ford

Between all of the dreaming of where I want to be, and wondering how in the world am I going to make it all happen - is the everyday.   Not only am I in search of direction for myself but I try to give direction and roots to the little man that is just starting out.  He is 3.  He is stubborn.  He is stong willed.  He is just like me.   We have been learning about life, together.  

B and Jojo - You can't see it, but he painted her bottom half with red paint - she got her first bath last night

With Brayden, He sees a cookie or an opportunity to play with the cat.  Something that he wants to do so bad...  to the point of tears, but there are obstacles in his way.  On occasion, I may be that obstacle.  He will fight, fight, fight - scream, cry, pout, refuse - snot and tears pouring.  Recently, I have been 're-introducing' foods that he has been offered in the past but has always declined to try.  And, I let him pass them up.  Well, not anymore.  There comes a point when a child has to eat what is put in front of him.  Peas and carrots, particularly.  These are just 2 of the many that he passes up - I have no idea why. And, what I want him to do is sit at the table and make an effort to eat his dinner.   We have had multiple stand offs.  There has been begging, pleading, negotiating, yelling, and tears - from both of us.  And then, in the end, there is pride. We both smile and sing praises when we reach the finish line.  He finally eats that dreaded vegetable - that he realizes, wasn't all that bad.  I shake my head, both crying and smiling at all of the challenges we will overcome together.  It will appear as if we are against each other, nose to nose, but that really isn't the case.  I am always in his corner and on his side - even if I am the one he is looking in the eye. 

These peas and carrots are just the beginning.  These are the little battles, but I know they are important.  I have been winning these little battles - but, I fear how I will handle the ones that I won't win.  I hope they are many, many years down the road.  Someday, he will demonstrate the passion and confidence that I hope to be instilling in him - and, he will reveal the traits I handed down.  All of which, I know will be used when making his own decisions, some I will disagree with - much like what happened to my parents.   My parents often wanted rationale for the decisions I was making.  Looking back, I never really gave any.  It was just a feeling.  Intuition?  Passion? Stupidity? Who knows!  But, my life has unfolded in the most beautiful way.  And, I have to be confident, Brayden's will do the same...  even if it is a battle that I don't win. 

He is teaching me.  I have to be supportive and firm, nurturing but not naive.  We are both learning and growing together on this journey through peas and carrot, through passion and confidence, and some stubbornness too. 

Here was our battle last night.  And, he was irritated even more because I was taking pictures of it.



 After our stand-off, and the compromise - we went back to the usual night events: bath, books, and bedtime. Quiet.  Just the way we like it :)




 blurry cell picture (last days of 29)On Saturday I said good-bye to my twenty-somethings, and hello to my thirties.  For a decade, I have been twenty-something.  Now, for the upcoming decade, I will be thrity-something.  Wow. It is a little unreal.  I haven't mastered my confident tone when I say outloud, "I am 30," but, I will.  I am proud of my age.  I do find it a little scary, that is pretty typical of change, I am mostly excited for what this new decade will bring into my life.  Lots of learning, love, and laughter - just like the past 30 years have already been. 


Twenties represent something very different then thirties.  Twenties is fun and provoked mischief, at least the first half was for me anyway.  After Brayden, I became the home body that I always knew I was.  I no longer thrived on the social activities but felt daily gratitude from surviving a baby and having a clean house.  And now to date, I still feel that way.  If I can make it through the day with no injuries or illnesses, a happy toddler, and a tidy house (most likely there is dust in the corners and toothpaste on the mirror) then I am satisfied. I am happy.

my little man

I feel as though there is a new chapter of my life that is beginning.  It isn't just because I am now 30.  It just so happens to be coinciding with new life events - getting married and making plans for a growing family and growing business.  All of which is exciting, and a little nerve wracking too.

 It feels a little like the first day of school.  There is some unknown territory - and a few new faces.  Schedules are different and lessons are harder - there is a lot to learn.  But, as the days come and go, the anxiety sways and comfort sinks in.  The day will come and it will feel like I have always been here, until, of course, I turn forty-something. Then the cycle will repeat, I assume.  


new years

I will be thirty-something for a while -  my confidence and my blessings will grow along with my age.  I can't wait!

We spent my birthday celebrating at an indoor water and amusement park.  Brayden had his cousin Maxine with him - they are besties (i love that).  It was fun to see them have fun - it isn't the most relaxing thing for parents to do - but, it is all made worth while to see that smile on our kids faces.  We got another complimentary upgraded room (just like our summer vacation) which was wonderful.  The kids enjoyed the whirlpool in the condo almost as much as they enjoyed the big pool! 


Celebrating 30 at Grizzly Jack's Grand Bear Lodge


video from Chris Bland - thanks Chris!