Rainy Days

Rainy days are few and far between here in AZ. Every time I got to Target, I see these super cute little fireman looking rain boots. And every time (I'm not exaggerating), I put them in my cart and spend the rest of the shopping trip trying to convince myself that Harvey needs them. I do the same when they have pink ones in Raegan's size.

But every time, I put them back. Because 2 days of rain in the last 4 months, I just cannot justify spending $20 on shoes they will use for wet weather and will likely grow out of before the next time it rains.

But, I have these fun clear bubble umbrellas on hand for if/when I ever had a client who is willing to brave a rainy day. I have literally used them ONCE before. So I figured it would be fun to let the kids play with them for a little bit.

After about 5 minutes, Raegan decided she was too cold and ran back inside. But Harvey, shirtless as usual, played until he couldn't stand the shivers anymore.

Just Because

Nothing special to say. Nothing deep or profound today. Just wanted to capture my kids in their element. Playing in the backyard for as long as they're able before the sun decides to "go to bed for the day" as Harvey would say.

I sure do love these two.

Man's Best Friend

Honesty hour.

I don't love animals. I know I should. I know there are a variety of them that are cute and cuddly and fuzzy and so on and so forth. But I just don't care for them.

Actually, let me rephrase. I don't so much mind the concept of a pet, I just don't love the mess that they constantly cause.

The fur on the furniture. And floor. And beds. And even somehow sometimes in my mouth. The muddy paw prints. The dribbles of water all over my house. If there were an animal that didn't require constant clean up, then maybe someday I could say I love animals.

I will say this though, my kids adore our pets. We have 2 dogs and a cat. And a fish if that counts. We got Mandy when Raegan was still very little, and they basically have grown up together. If you ask her, she'll tell you that Mandy is her dog, and only her dog. Both quiet and contemplative, a little skittish, and they love attention, only when they ask for it though. They get each other. Mandy mostly stays out of my way. She really is a sweet dog, minus the excessive shedding.

And then there is Bell. She stinks, is rambunctious and loudy, and would do nothing but eat 24/7 if given the opportunity. She thinks everyone is her best friend, and will tuck herself under your limbs and force you to cuddle with her. Sound like anyone else we know? Needless to say, her and Harvey are two peas in a pod.

Because of You

She’ll never have to look elsewhere for the love that only a daddy can provide.

She trusts you. She believes you.

Thank you for being you.

For choosing Jesus and letting Him change you. For always putting us first. For encouraging me to be the woman you always knew I could be, but loving me in the moments where my hurts had me frozen.

You’re more than I ever expected. More than I ever thought I deserved. The stuff of dreams. I love you.



Am I the only mom who really doesn't love doing crafts with their kids?

I just don't love the mess. Actually, more like, I don't love the person I am when trying to contain the mess. I'm all about them being creative and spending time expressing themselves on paper. But I know myself, and I know I have a hard time not getting upset when the paint hits the floor or the glitter gets dumped on the dog, or the tiny dab of glue I suggested becomes a giant glob that is slowly threatening to reach beyond the edges of the paper and make its way onto my kitchen table. And so on and so for.

I used to get all jealous and guilty when I'd see some of my amazing mom friends doing Pinterest products with their kiddos, because mine just don't very often. 

But every now and then, usually in the summer when I'm trying desperately to keep them entertained indoors, we bust out our very small art supply and I grit my teeth and let whatever is going to happen, happen.

And they love it. And I survive. And I walk away realizing how silly it is for me to not let them do it more often.

Fall 2017 + New Years 2018

Every year for Fall and for New Years I take my kids out to capture a few more staged photos. I mean, it's still total chaos and I still capture all the random moments. I don't love overly posed stuff, as you've hopefully figured out by now.

But I still try every year to plan out a few pictures, complete with new outfits and such, and I try to take them at the same time every year. In my home pictures of the kids, it's sometimes hard to see how they grow in the day to day stuff. But these pictures, they are almost like milestone pictures so I have something to compare every year.

So anyway, here's last Fall's pictures as well as New Year's pictures for 2018! A little mixed up, but I'm trying to play catch up over the last 6 months! 

Playing With Light

One of my favorite things to do with Harvey while Raegan is at school is to discover new and interesting light. Ever since I picked up my camera for the first time, I've started to view light differently. Like, my brain takes a mental note of the light around me in every situation, even when I have no plans to take pictures and my camera is far from my reach.

I could go deep and talk about how there is always light, even in the darkest places. And how sometimes it just takes a shift in perspective. BUT this post is really just about fun light. Warm early morning light just as it peeks into the windows, the last little bits of afternoon light, funky window light, smokey light, shadow fun and a few in between. I'm so thankful that he's such a willing little subject!

Here's some of our (yes, Harvey helped pick these) favorites from our experiments over the last few months.

Monkeys on my Bed

These little monkeys and I did not get along today.

They fought, constantly. They broke things, they didn't nap. They didn't listen the first, second, or third time.

I yelled more than I should. Dismissed them when they were simply trying to connect with me. Shuffled them to their rooms the moment we got home for an early and rushed bed time.

And now I sit here, as they are tucked into their beds and silent, staring at these pictures and missing them. Kicking myself for the moments I had an opportunity to teach, but let my temper or my impatience get the best of me.

And you know what? They will wake up tomorrow with smiles on their faces. They will greet me with kisses and "I love yous." They will make themselves breakfast and be patient with me while I peel myself from bed slowly.

They won't mention today. They will be the greatest example of grace, as they always are. And when I apologize for my grumpiness, they will offer hugs without judgement.

I missed opportunities to slow down and teach today, yet these little people never stop teaching me.

I am so thankful for them. Even in my frustration, they are answers to many prayers, the source of so much joy, and I am so proud of them, simply for who they are.

Notes for my Girl

All the fears I had about having a little girl, gone the moment your daddy placed you on my chest.

You are perfect for me. With all your sass and emotion, you're teaching me to be patient and gentle. To feel deeper than I've ever allowed myself before I met you. When I was younger, I was taught that crying was a sign of weakness. I was told that being over emotional would never get me anywhere. So I swung to the other end of the pendulum completely. It took me forever to look into your daddy's eyes when I was sad. I'd often let the tears fall in the shower so I could use "shampoo in my eyes" as an excuse. 

But then you showed up. 

You have this strength about you, even in moments of weakness. You have this wisdom that blows me away. You put your princesses in capes and love to paint butterflies on rocks. You are a girl. A strong girl. And your enthusiasm and emotions do not take away from who you are, they complete you. Just like you completed a part of me that I didn't know was missing anything. I love who you are, even though sometimes I get frustrated when I don't understand you.

Gosh, I am so lucky that you are mine.


Notes for my Boy

I hope there is never a day in your life where you don't feel like you are strong enough to lift a mountain, smart enough to defeat a ninja, and brave enough to fight a crocodile.

I hope you always get quiet when you see an ambulance and whisper a prayer for whoever might be inside. I hope you never stop laughing at your own jokes, and that vegetables are forever your favorite. I hope you always cheer on firefighters when their lit up truck zooms past us.

I hope that someday you'll run up to your wife, grab her face, look her in the eyes, and tell her she's "so pretty." I know from experience, it'll make her feel like the most beautiful woman in the world.

I hope you keep defending your sister and fighting for her, even if you were fighting with her just moments before. That you keep that goofy proud smile when you beat others to the door and open it for them. That you continue to look at yourself in the mirror and admire how strong you are, even on the days that you don't feel it.

You sweet boy, deserve the world. Yet right now, you'd give it all up just to make another person smile. Stay humble. Stay confident. Stay empathetic. Stay silly.

Be you, and always be proud of who you are.

Summer Vacation 2017

I started this photography journey with the hopes of capturing my children as they grow. It's become a difficult balance, now that photography is also my job. To be both present for them, but also capture moments that I want to freeze in time forever.

I went back and forth the week before as to whether or not I wanted to bring my camera with us on our trip. I was so excited to unplug for a week and give my family all of my attention. I had even considered having a photographer friend of mine come and capture a full day for us, just so I wouldn't have to. But in the end, my husband reminded me that taking pictures of the kids would actually end up being restful for me. And would help re-ground me before I jumped into a full Fall season. 

And he was totally right. I am so glad that I brought my camera along. I would snap a few shots here and there, and then away it went so that I could spend the rest of the time with my kids. These are some of my favorite pictures of them ever. Likely because they are unposed and completely raw, and just them being kids.