March 28th

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

Let’s all take a moment and gush over those sweet squishy cheeks!

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I don’t normally photograph people (unless your name is Paul).

But take one look at this face and you know why I just had to.

My experience with newborns is very limited, however, I do know that they like to be warm, have a full tummy, be held, and sleep — so pictures are usually quite a production. A photographer that I interned for in college would always book three hour newborn sessions; she’d hope to photograph the babe for about an hour spread out between diaper changes, feedings, and quick naps (if you were hoping to get any with eyes open).

So math dictates that 1/3 of the booked time was actually spent taking pictures. The other 2/3’s was spent catering to baby’s needs and ensuring baby’s comfort. Not to mention posing them, and then giving them time to settle into that pose and relax and quiet down.

With all that being said, Ben must be made for the camera. The perfect amount of alert and awake, while still content and relaxed, he happily let me photograph him for an hour without breaks.

To say he was a rockstar is an under exaggeration.

An extremely cute rockstar.

Here are a few more from today, but not many because mom and dad still haven’t seen these, so we have to leave some for a surprise later. 🙂


February 2nd

Saturday, February 2nd, 2019

Something exciting happened with my family yesterday – my dad retired!

Assured Security, Inc. was founded in 1989 by my dad and his business partner, and they quickly became the go-to specialists for commercial door, hardware, and security needs. Assured grew from a couple of employees working on doors and frames to an office full of guys specializing in security spanning from simple hardware needs like key cutting to complex video monitoring systems and similar technologies. Assured’s reputation for their high standards of quality and customer service brought in institutions such as banks, schools, cities, and a myriad of private businesses as loyal clients.

Thirty years later, my dad put pen to paper and closed on the sale of Assured.

Our immediate family has known for a couple of months that this deal was in the works, so we’ve had some time to wrap our minds around it. However, as a buyer was selected, an agreement eventually signed, and closing day set, I think we’ve all been feeling some intense emotions. But no one as much as my dad.

And when he asked me to photograph him as a part of my blog to document his journey, I was honored.

He was a little confused when I said I wanted to start by photographing him in my parent’s bedroom, but I was thinking about the light and the shelves full of photographs lining one of their walls. Generations of wedding photos, my and my sister’s seniors photos, baby pictures, and frames full of other memories. I thought it was fitting to have all of those memories in the background for this new stage. Like I said to him: The memories he was able to make happen because of his business and his dedication to our family and his success.

We started out with many smiles and laughs, but heavier emotions set in when I asked him to think about what life was going to mean now. What he wanted to do with his time, the people he was going to spend that time with, the freedom that comes with not making the decisions anymore. What he was going to do now that his time was truly his.


Then I asked my mom to come in and take a couple pictures, and when she asked why, I said to them because she was just as much a part of this journey.


After we did a few inside, we went outside (into the forty degree weather!) to take some pictures with his van (and Henna).


I then wanted to focus on my dad’s work shirt, as it’s just as much a part of him as his work van.

And the light was pretty, so we did a head shot too.


I’m so proud of you, and so excited for you dad! You deserve it! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you and for mom.

I love you!

January 17th

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

She just makes me smile.

It’s always an awesome thing when our schedules line up, and we can spend time with friends. Cody, Dana, and Brooklyn were all home today, so we went over to spend the day with them.

If you follow my blog, you know that I got a KitchenAid stand mixer for Christmas. At the time it was purchased, there was also a rebate program going on where you could get a free attachment, and with our mixer our options were either a spiralizer or ice cream maker. We already have a good Pampered Chef Peeler/Corer/Slicer, so we opted for the ice cream maker. Well, it finally came in the mail yesterday, so we brought it along today so we could play with it and make an afternoon treat.

We made homemade chocolate ice cream batter (pictured), and Brooklyn helped with every step.

Her face in this picture pretty much sums up how excited we all were to give this thing a try. 🙂

And folks, it was SO GOOD.

It’s definitely a process, but it was worth it!

December 25th

Tuesday, December 25th, 2018

Merry Christmas, my friends.

What a wonderful reason for a celebration we all wait months for. While I know this time of year can be one of conflicting feelings for those missing family, friends, or facing other challenges, I wish you a time of great joy, belonging, and good health as you go about your day.⠀

Today, Paul and I spent all day with family. The morning with my family, the afternoon with Paul’s.

Paul’s family loves games, so we that’s what we did all afternoon. We played two new ones this year (What Do You Meme? and Spotted), while we also played our usual go-to, SPOONS.

SPOONS always gets intense – chairs get knocked over, people end up wrestling for spoons, and this year since we played with plastic spoons, many got broken in the struggle for the win. After I got all of my letters, I grabbed my camera and played with a slow shutter to attempt to show the action on the table.

And then I turned around to see the calm on the other side of the room with those already out of the game.


I think out of everyone, Colt had the best day. So many hands to pet and love him, so many laps to snuggle on and with. He was more than a little sad when everyone went home.


December 22nd

Saturday, December 22nd, 2018

Sista sista is home from grad school!

The girls were just about as excited as I am, haha! Emma pulled up, and all of the girls (except Judy, go figure – she’s hanging out in the back on her own) came RUNNING to her. If you’ve been to our house, the girls were all the way over by our flag pole, and booked it around the back of her car to come say hi.

Those little drummies were working.

Emma hadn’t met our chickens yet, so their enthusiasm was unexpected, and in usual Emma fashion, as she slowly backed away from them: “this is how horror movies start!!” I was nearly crying I was laughing so hard!

So, if you come to our house, and the chickens are out, know that they WILL come say hi. I promise it’s out of friendliness, not aggression. Although Penny has no boundaries, and she’ll walk right up to you and outright chest bump your legs if you don’t stop to say hi to her. Our sweet Ruby will coo at you, and our flock boss Carol will squawk to announce your arrival (she’s almost better than a dog in that regard – I always know now when someone pulls up). Carol keeps the UPS guy on his toes, he’s stopped by a lot over the last week and he keeps his distance from her – hahaha.

These chickens really are the best.


December 3rd

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

If you know me, you know I’m not a crier.

But Stephanie made me cry today.

She asked if I could come help her trim her bunny, Dwight’s, nails this afternoon, but when I went it was a setup. Instead, after hearing about my sadness with hanging up Burke’s stocking this year, she (and Dwight) gave me this beautiful ornament as an early Christmas gift to hang and enjoy on our tree.

It was a total surprise, and had me in tears instantly (if I’m being honest I’m crying again now as I type this). It was so thoughtful, and it was exactly perfect and exactly what I needed.

Now, I can hang this ornament instead of his stocking, and still have a piece of him there to celebrate with us.

And he always loved the tree, so it just makes sense.

Thank you , Steph – I love you!

November 22nd

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you were all able to enjoy your day surrounded by those you love!

For the first time since Paul was hired at SkyWest, he had today off, so we were both able to celebrate with both of our families. This morning, we went to visit Paul’s parents, Jan and Janis, and his sister and our brother-in-law, Abbey and Mike. Mike and Abbey bought their first home this summer, and wanted a few images of the two of them in front of their house for Christmas Cards, so we did a mini shoot today.

We also were able to utilize the wifi and remote shooting function on my camera, and take some images of all six of us together!


October 30th

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

A certain super cute visitor stopped by with her mama for the afternoon today!

My family is pretty close. My dad has four brothers, and all of us cousins are very similar ages. My cousin, Clayton, is only three days younger than me in fact.

We used to all go camping as a big extended family for two weeks every summer, and it was always my favorite time of the year. My cousins were essentially my siblings, and even as we’ve grown, gone off to college, and gotten married, we’ve stayed close.

Clayton and his wife, Amy, got married just a month or so after Paul and me, and they had their daughter, Bonnie, this March. (The baby shower I helped plan this February was for Amy, if you wanted to look back.)

Anyway, it was an awesome surprise when Amy texted me this morning asking if they could swing over and visit for the afternoon. They both brought lots of light and laughter 🙂


September 29th

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

It’s here! Today’s the day!

Some of you may not believe this, but my camera never came out of my bag today. My phone came out for a few quick snaps this morning, but then was packed away for the rest of the day. I was present with my best gal all day, and it was wonderful.

I kind of wish we would’ve taken another selfie once my makeup was done (they did such an awesome job!), but this will have to suffice. 😉

Can we all take a moment to admire how drop-dead phenomenal my girl is?! Not only appearance-wise, but from this inside as a lovely human as well. I mentioned in my Matron of Honor speech this evening that I don’t have enough good things to say about both Kya and Tim. They are amazing people, inside and out, who deserve each other full-heartedly. While maybe a bit stubborn and a wee bit competitive (I say that with love, haha!), my Kya has a heart of gold. She embraces everyone she meets, and like I said to the makeup artist when she asked if I had met the other girls in the bridal party before –  when you know Kya, you know and love every one of her friends even before you meet them. If you’re friends with Kya, you’re bound to be friends with all of her friends; she’s just that kind of person.

I’ve always joked that there are two things Kya has always had more of than me: Fashion sense and confidence. She was one of my biggest cheerleaders when I said I wanted to quit my job and pursue my own dreams and ambitions. Actually, let me rephrase, when I stood at the edge of my cliff, wondering if I should jump, she came up behind me and pushed me. That first summer, she took one of her summer weekends to help me run my booth at an art fair Paul couldn’t be at. She knew very little logistically about my art, but she actively pursued customers with me, charming them into opening their wallets. She shares every single post I put out there on my business Facebook page, she buys my art for Christmas gifts for family, and validates my dreams every chance she gets.

She is the friend I strive to be both for her and for others.

As I’m thinking about it, let’s even back up 12 years. She was the first person I shared my feelings for Paul with. “I think I really like this guy, but so do a couple of my other friends. And they’ve openly talked about it – I can’t just sneak in there and say ‘Me too!’. I don’t want to make waves, I’ll just stay quiet.” She thought that was preposterous, and told me that “if you like him, who cares what other people think? If it’s meant to be, everyone else can -and will- get over it. Don’t compromise your happiness for a sense of comfort.”

I listened to her, and I can honestly say it was the most influential advice I’ve ever received in my life. Kya, I may or may not owe my incredibly beautiful, joy-filled marriage to you. Thank you, friend.

Kya, I love you. Paul and I absolutely thrilled to do this day with you and Tim, and we can’t wait to continue to live each new day, new experience, with you both. We treasure you. Cheers to YOU, Mr. & Mrs. Wilson!


September 28th

Friday, September 28th, 2018

Do you ever have those moments when you feel like God has hit you over the head with clarity?

I know that may sound strange, but let me explain. Today, when I was least expecting it, I looked around at all of the people around me, the laughter we were all sharing, the purpose for our gathering, and it was like *BAM* God put glasses on me, bringing it all into focus.

Like He was saying “Look at all the love, nourishment, community, purpose, and belonging I’ve provided you with. I’m all around you; look at these blessings!”

A best friend who has stuck it out with me for 20 years, her beaming love for her soon-to-be husband, the families on each side that embraced us as honorary members as we celebrated. The joy that was so so evident, even as we all stood in the 40 degree, rainy weather during the rehearsal. The unity of the bridal party – so much support, laughing and joking like we’d all been friends forever.

As we gathered for a meal, and my cheeks hurt from smiling.

Paul making jokes with Kya’s dad, Tim’s sisters laughing at the other end of the table. Tim’s best man quietly hoarding all the drink tickets as Kya distractedly kept handing them to him (thinking he was passing them down the line) as she was talking with the restaurant manager. Kya’s brother jokingly passing the veggie pizzas all down to Tim’s family as he kept the meat ones for us. Pizza for dinner, doughnuts for dessert. Just like the bride- and groom-to-be, a lovely combination from all angles.

A day we’ve all been waiting for, anticipating, for over a year is finally here! I’m going to do my best to hold it together…wish me luck!