Day 4: Quotes

Day 4: Quotes

Busy busy day...  but, I was determined not to miss a day...  not yet ; ) Today is some favorite quotes.  I have a bazillion on pinterest - but,  I decided to take pictures of the ones around my house.  Quotes serve as the swift kick that I sometimes need to make me present.  I try to surround myself with reminders.  

Here are some of them - it is an ever growing collection:

For me (and B):

For my family:

For John and B:

For Purpose:

To John - and my dream for B:

In B's Room - great reminders for him, and for me:

From Mom, at least 10 years ago.  Appropriately, the last line is 'call your mother', and it has so many simple rules to live by - I read it while I get ready somedays - it is a good reminder of how to live the day:

For everyone, from the country girl:



Day #3: Discomfort

Day 3, Friday: Things that make you uncomfortable

This topic makes me uncomfortable :) 

I could have a never ending list of the things that make me uncomfortable.  To be honest, that is almost my default answer when explaining some of my behaviors, ..."because it make me uncomfortable..."  Is something I say often.


  1. Truth be told, I have social anxiety...  maybe that is why I love blogging so much :)  I can say things on my mind, share my thoughts, feelings, and my heart - and not fear the reaction I might see on someone's face.  I can perform very well in social settings, actually, from a professional standpoint I would say it is one of my stronger qualities, I can really excel interacting with people - little do they know I am sweating through my shirt.  The stress and anxiety I feel leading up to those moments, and after the encounter has passed, I over think everything.  What I said, how I acted, what did they think, did I say to much or too little, did I react too much or too little,...  Did they like me,  Will they like their pictures,....???? I call this my social anxiety, or maybe it is just me being a girl.  Who knows.
  2. Confrontation - who really likes it?  I actually do really well making my points, and holding my ground...  which, to fault my stubbornness, could also be the problem.  In the heat of a discussion, especially something I am passionate about, I have difficulty keeping an open mind and I get shaky in my statements, but stay firm on my convictions.  I have come a long way with age and experience to understand that two people don't have to agree.  Understanding that point is often difficult, for myself.  I have grown to be able to say, "I can see where you are coming from" or "I respect your opinion".  But, I want that same curtousy - which is not always reciprocated.  And then I obsess about it (see #1 above...  and then sometimes #3 below). 
  3. Holding grudges.  Being too stubborn to forgive and let go.  Those feelings are so conflicted.  People that have the ability to do this I really respect.  It is on my list of things to do....  A few sessions with my Priest should help...  
  4. Last but not least, snakes, scorpions, and spiders ....  and other little creatures that could kill you when you don't even see them coming!!  I live in the Midwest so I seriously doubt I have to worry about that much here...  but, if I enter high grass, I automatically assume something is going to bite me and I will die.  

maybe I just need meds! ;)

on my way to the Mommy & Me mini's - I send John pictures still... He likes it :)




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)!




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Day 2: Something I am Good At? What I am learning....

Day 2: Educate us on something you know a lot about or are good at. Take any approach you'd like (serious and educational or funny and sarcastic)

This one is difficult for me to come up with.  For the longest time I was the 'hobbiless girl'.  I hated that question.  "What are your hobbies?"  someone would ask.  My usual response, trying to be funny, but was totally serious, "Does shopping count?" I was much better at the list of things I can't do then the list of things I can. 

Now, with the major shift in my life, I am full of things to do.  I never stop, there is always something.  I realized when I went from the everyday single Mom - no brakes, no time for anything but work and Brayden - to Brayden's Dad moving here and all of the sudden I have almost 3 days every other weekend where I had nothing.  So I dove into photography, furniture painting, and blogging.  I have now realized that they were more then my hobbies, but my therapy and my escape.  It was avoiding the void I felt with not having Brayden.  It became such a necessity I would even choose it over socializing with friends, family, ...  dating.  

It is difficult for me to say 'these are the things I am good at' because I am my own worst critic (at least I hope so).  I am pretty hard on myself about what I produce.  I always know that I can do better and I am ok with knowing that I am still learning.  I embrace my learning most of the time....  but, it also makes me hard on myself too. 

I realize the importance of talking myself up.  Positive output brings a positive input.  So here I go:

I am good at:

  • Photography and editing (but, there is no way I am to a point I could give instructions.  Someday I would love to be a mentor, but I know I have a lot to learn).
  • Repainting furniture using chalk paint - I love this.  It is the best way to give a fresh new look to something you don't love anymore.  It works on any surface and is super easy.  You can't screw it up - which is why I like it!
  1. Use regular latex paint
  2. Mix 2 Cups paint to 2 Tablespoons sandless grout (it must be sandless).  
  3. Paint furniture. 
  4. Do extra layers if you want additional coverage
  5. Sand lightly all over
  6. Sand on edges and corners to give a look that is old / vintage / shabby chic
  7. Use a sealer over the furniture.  It can be a Poly- or a stain depending on the look you want to achieve.  

I have blogged about it previously here and here that gives more instructions. 

Here are some examples of the furniture I have completed:


Give it a try! :) 

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story of my life with, story of my life

A young lady I have been following posted a challenge to her fellow bloggers - Blog everyday in May.  This is a challenge - but, she gave us the topics to write about every day.  So, in addition to my photo blogs, I will be trying to type about her topics as well.  Sometimes with writing it is organizing a relateable topic into one, not to long, post, that is often the challenge.  It is very helpful that she provided the cues to push us to write about.  So, go check out Story of My Life with Jenni - she also has amazing photography as well.  

so, here we go with, the story of my life (in 250 words, approximately)

Proud conservative, Catholic, farmers daughter - I am the third of six.  Growing up on a farm - with a stay at home mom and a third generation farming family is something that isn't heard of often anymore.  I love that my story is very different - it involves working as kids walking beans, doing chores, and being active in 4-H.  I couldn't have written a better life for myself - I hope someday to provide that same kind of pride to my kids in some way.  

 My family is my roots, and I am the sibling with wings, very diferent from my grounded siblings.  We all share very similar characteristic (our spouses, significant others say that common thread is stubbornness).  I seek out adventure, always thinking of my next new and exciting step, often before I have followed through with the stride I am in.  My family is always good to be the realism - even though I usually do what I want anyway - they are always there.

 I am the proudest Mommy of the most adorable 3 year old on the planet.  He brings out the light in my heart and I ask everyday to keep him little so we can keep our lovable little life just as it is.  But, I know he will grow.  With his height, and with my age - my pride will grow too.  I know he will accomplish great things in his life.  He is my everything.  I finally found the love of my life, who was right around the corner, literally, all my life.  We just needed the right moments to align for us to meet.  We are planning a wedding in August, but more importantly, plan for a life together for the next 60+ years - with babies and a home.  And God willing, lots of traveling in the service of others, someday.  

 The center of my soul consists of family entangled with my little passions that are always growing with antiques or old stuff, ( that I am sure someday my family will turn me in for hoarding), painting furniture, photography, and dreaming of my next big move....  and of course, great country music...  

Pretty sure that was more than 250 words ....  :) oh well - I was never much for following rules anyway.



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 :) 



the sun will rise

I had a blog started before some of the events that have taken place this week.  I will post it next week, after some settling.

I make a point to not watch the news, or read the paper.  It mortifies me beyond words for the world I am raising my child in.  It scares me to bring any more into this world were there is evil, hate, and uncertainty.  This has been a hard week for so many.  And no matter the denial I am in, there is so many  images and updates, there is no escaping it.  From Boston to Texas to right here at home with the flooding.  I have been fortunate to have had very little of that impact me directly - but my worrisome heart and mind can find no resolve.  All I have is questions.  All I can say is "why?" It is so far beyond my own comprehension why people make the choices that they do.  It is so far from my mind the hate that is spewed out onto people who are good.  We as a human race are not perfect - we were created that way.  But, we were created with the ability to make choices, and like the majority of the world, we make mistakes but we still do a lot of good.  We are surrounded by the good everyday, which makes the atrocities of this weeks events so hard to digest. 

On top of the events from around our country - and I know the many more around the world that don't make it to our TV screens - I have my own turmoil.  It has been yet another difficult week of co-parenting, as most weeks are.  Then today at 9am eastern time, I sold my home in Virginia.  In part, I see it as the final connection to Virginia and all of what and where my life changed.  In so many ways, it was wonderful and beautiful - and then, there are just as many that are painful and sad.  In that home I planned a future with the little bump in my belly.  I dreamed of how our lives would unfold and the memories that would be made in the walls of that home, in that back yard, and on the beach of the lake.  The lake was the deciding point - it was countless sand castles to be built and splashing in the water with the little wobbly baby legs.  It was those visions that made that house my final choice - it was the visions of a home and a life - a future very different from the one I had been living, it was the start of my family.  In that house, it held the room that was once painted light green.  It held the perfectly organized clothes and baby items as I prepared for the dreams of the future and what represented the happiest shift of the rest of my life.  Brayden never saw that little green room, it was painted over.  I cried then, and still now. The house is gone and along with it all of those dreams that never became more that just a vision.  I thought I would feel lighter when it was gone.  But, today I am weighed down by all of the anger and the would-have-been's.  Tomorrow I am sure will be better, but today I allow myself to morn the loss of that life.  I believe it would not be nearly as difficult had the co-parenting relationship that I participate in were healthy, for Brayden and for us.    Some days are just hard, when I feel like they shouldn't be.  It seems that when people work for a common goal, it shouldn't be difficult.  I guess the same could be said co-habitating on the same planet, and co-parenting.  Love and happiness shouldn't be so difficult. 

Amidst the sullen of this week, we know the sun will  rise again tomorrow and I, we, us - will be given the opportunity to make choices, the good ones, that will keep us working towards the common goal of love and happiness so our kids can live beyond the worry and live in the light of the sun. 

I pray God will help to lift us through these difficult times, for me - we - us, parents and humanity. 



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 :)




wedding talk - the countdown is on

pinterest. etsy. amazon. vista print. modcloth. Very Jane. Rustic Wedding Chic. Style Me Pretty. {found}. something borrowed.

Plus a bazillion sites and photographers on Facebook. 

These sites are consuming my time, and my money!  

When I was the 12 year old girl that talked of her wedding, it wasn't a big, fancy, detailed event.  I can remember telling my sister Marcy that I would be perfectly happy having KFC cater my wedding.  Put some picnic tables in the yard and I would be happy. Well, here we are, 18 years later  and I am far from the KFC reception - far, far from it.  

When John and I started talking about getting married, I started pinning my ideas for our wedding, dream a little dream. Well, 777 pins later - I am in over my head! It is easy to get consumed by the beauty that weddings represent.  I have had the frame work of what I wanted our wedding to look like in my head but, to actually get to that non typical wedding that represents me, and have a budget, has been more challenging then I ever imagined.  

I narrowed my selections to a 14 page word document that detailed and narrowed down the selection for our big event.  I detailed costs, responsible persons, due dates with deliverables.  It is still evolving, adding and deleting with realism - now that actual money is being spent and the date creeps closer.  I am behind schedule.  I haven't sent out my save the dates yet, 2 months beyond the 'minimum requirement' of when they say you are supposed to send them out.  We crossed our 4 month mark until the walk down the isle on Wednesday, April 10th.  That day was a very real day for me.  Lots of emotions - coupled with panic of everything that has to be done.  

Realizing the importance of resources, I thought I would share some of mine; listed above.  But, also, I thought I would share what I am doing to make our special day, special.  

The Catering Gourmets  was the first 'to do' that we checked off our list.  This may have been done a little backwards, because we didn't have a venue.  But, they are worth it.  I was blown away at our food tasting and I continue to boast about my caterers - about how excited I am for our food and the uniqueness of what we are doing.  The best part, I went to the food tasting and I told Janet what I wanted to do.  I told her it would be an outdoor event and I would be doing all of my place settings with China.  I want to create an experience and an ambiance with the set-up.  She piggy-backed off what I have in mind and tailored our meal to go with the experience.  They are bringing the big grills for our dinner.  The aroma of a fresh grilled meal with beautiful colors in the strawberry salad and bright veggies is going to be a big hit of the night.  I am convinced that I will be a bride with a Nikon around her neck - I want so badly to photograph my own wedding :)  I think I just might have to - at least have my camera within an arms reach.   

Speaking of photographers, I really struggled with finding mine.  Literally, I waited until just last week to book mine.  I now understand the struggle of finding a photographer, I didn't get it before.  It isn't a lack in selection, it is a struggle with finding someone you feel you will trust.  I found someone that was recommended for Child Photography on FB.  I checked out her albums and knew at that moment that I had found my photographer.  Her and I have the same style, taste, pose selection, etc.  Then after I met her, it made all of my nerves about finding just the right person, calm.  finally.  I will share her info at a later date - I didn't ask in advance if I could blog about her, so, after I get the nod - I will share her. :)

VENUE.  I had a vision of what I wanted.  I wanted this big beautiful barn, I wanted my parents big beautiful barn.  But, a working farm and a 'fancy' reception don't always work well together.   So, I had to search elsewhere.  The Mora Farm is where I found just the right place for us to celebrate.  It is a beautiful atmosphere and very accommodating owners.  

Vintage Rentals.  We made the decision to invest in our own place settings - dinner plates, salad plates and bowls, dessert plates, teacups, silverware, glassware, serving dishes, etc.  So, down another avenue, coupled with my wedding photography, I am excited to help create the same classic vintage comfort to other weddings and special events.  I have already booked a few vintage rental dates.  Along with my china, I am a self proclaimed hoarder - lover of everything old.  I plan on having different decorated corners to give the vintage vibe wedding.  My own wedding will be used as my marketing material! 

Band.  I was very determined to have a modern country band for my wedding.  It isn't everybody's style, but it is mine and John's.  So, that is what we are doing.  We have a band that I am very happy with.  We need to do some finalizing, but as soon as that is done I will share them with you as well.  We will have some other music played during the break times to play the other genres of music. Finding a band was a huge challenge.  I think it is because we are kinda in the sticks.  I had to do a lot of research and eventually I got a referral from one band for another.  It all works out!

Bridal Party.  We decided not to have one.  This was a difficult choice.  In the end, after all of the weighing and discussions, it came down to one important fact, the wedding is about us, John, Brayden, and I starting our family.  We have the 'unofficial bridal party' that will still serve the same roles.  They will be there to support us now and forever.  There will still be pictures of our closest.   They will still be present before, during, and after the partying.  We believe they don't need the title to know their importance to us on that day.  It actually has helped to eliminate a lot of extra 'stuff' like dresses, and tuxes, and shoes and jewelry, and...  all of the extra coordinating.  

Wedding favors.  I have to admit, this is a little bit of a guilty pleasure.  Damn you Pinterest! I am having a very hard time selecting / limiting what these are going to be.  Creative by nature, I want to do everything - and make everything by hand.  I believe I have it narrowed down...  I will wait to share that later when I can show some samples.  

Save the Dates / Wedding invitations.  I made ours.  And by made I mean designed, no template.  From the picture in our Save the Dates, the invitations,  and the rsvp cards.  It has been a process to teach myself to expand into the design aspect - but I really enjoy it.  I originally thought it would save some money too.  And, it may very well have - but, I never researched what they cost so I can't say for certain.  But, it is just one more little touch of the wedding that has made the wedding more ours.  

The countdown is on.  121 days. 



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.  



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!!!!  



refuse to sink

Today is met with so many emotions.  

I cried on my way to work today.  But, they were happy tears.  It felt so good to have a shift of emotions.  I have been waiting for weeks for this shift to come.  I knew it would.  It always does.  Sometimes the wait is longer then others.  

Today, we slept in.  I am blessed by a great employer.  I have a flexible schedule and he is very understanding of this kinda crazy life I lead.  

We got our break from the bitter cold today.  Today is sunshine and birds singing - and with the glistening of the snow really creates this amazing beauty that warms my heart - and for a few days of the winter season, I am thankful for the climate that I live in.  

On the drive in, Brayden was full of questions.  And these questions, like most, make me smile in amazement of what he is learning.  He asks so many questions.  But, not just "Why?"  Today, out of the blue he stated "Lighting hurts people and things,"  I said, "Yes it can, but it is just part of nature."  You can anticipate what the next questions was....  "What's nature?"  So, I think for a minute....  "It is the sky, clouds, sun, rain, ground, trees, wind, air..."  I pause, waiting for the next question.  "What does the rain do?"  "Rain is very important.  It feeds the ground and everything that grows: trees, corn, beans, grass, flowers..."  I pause again, I know there is another question coming.  "What's the sun do?"  I smile, loving the sequence of his questions - because they all impact one another.  "The sun and rain work together.  The sun helps everything grow too.  All of the plants and animals need the sun and rain."  And then, brilliant little Brayden says, "Us too!"  "Yup, that's right!  Us too!! The sun and rain are very important"  I reply.  Then, the topper, "cars are important too!"  

I love that kid. 

I realized a few days ago on my way back to the studio, after multiple nights of being there, after many weekends spent planning, organizing, painting, designing, preparing, list making.  I was talking to God and to myself trying to find the calm among the chaos.  I told myself, I just need to get through the next month.  I just need to make it through this and then it will calm down.  Then, it hit me, I always say that.  I pray for the strength to make it from one moment to the next.  Pray to just let me survive this phase.  And then, I believe it was God responding, Why do you do that?  I always tell myself, I just need to make it through this.  Get through this moment and then I can enjoy the next.  Why can't I enjoy the moment I am in?  I need to enjoy the process.  I often look back at the roads I have traveled.  While traveling them, they felt rough.  Somedays were hard to put one foot in front of the other, but I did it.  I look back and I am proud of my travels.  I am proud of my lessons.  I have learned.  I have grown.  I have experienced life.  And, I have some good memories from the traveling.  

I forget that during my current travels.  I focus on the "what if's".  I obsess about just surviving instead of thriving.  There are days that feel like I am drowning in everything that needs to be done.  My mom calls them 'self inflicted' tasks.  And she is right - I know only one speed and that is being busy.  I work best under pressure - I just don't always seem to enjoy the pressure.  At some point, there comes a moment of clarity.  Something, or somebody, that exposes the many, many blessings in my life.  It is all I need to just stop for a minute.  I smile and give gratitude to the amazing life I lead.   And then I tell myself:

Just keep swimming

Enjoy the journey

Refuse to sink