[my life, my blessings, my journey]

year in review ~ 2011

I started this blog with no real expectations and a lot of fear. What I couldn't have known is how much this blog and photography would grow and stretch me; challenge me and confirm so many things in my life. I am more comfortable now in my own skin than I have ever been.

I have learned to endure criticism and have grown a thicker skin. Grown more comfortable in knowing what makes me happy in my images and being okay with that. Whatever it is.

I have met some really talented photographers who have been warm, supportive and encouraging to me this year. Photography is not really about photographs. It's about connections. I have been witness to raw, heartbreaking, beautiful and joyful images this year through my newest friends and I have been immeasurably inspired by them. Thank you to each and every one of you.

Looking ahead to 2012 is exciting. So much possibility and promise. I'm going to do a Project 52 (and really stick to it!) and I'm looking forward to more growth, more creativity and inspiration. I'm excited to see what the new year brings.

A year in review - a few of my most treasured photographs.

January 18, 2011

February 20, 2011

April 24, 2011

April 8, 2011

May 18, 2011

June 11, 2011
sweet caroline

June 8. 2011

July 23, 2011

August 27, 2011

September 10, 2011

September 12, 2011

September 11, 2011

August 31, 2011

September 19, 2011

October 15, 2011

October 4, 2011

October 22, 2011
2011 10 22_0115_editWeb

November 9, 2011

December 30, 2011 - Looking ahead to a bright 2012. P52/Week 1
Week One - Resolution

Life doesn't have to be big and fancy and overdone.

It can be ordinary, quiet. And full.

Full and well lived.

Wishing you a full and well lived 2012, friends.

"And when I give thanks for the seemingly microscopic, I make a place for God to grow within me." ~ Ann Voskamp


"Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand." ~Thoreau



Several weeks ago, we took a family trip where the skies were blue and the wind was warm. And where everyone is always having a magical day. (wink wink)

Believe it or not, I left my big girl camera at home and only brought my trusty-rusty point and shoot. I know, I know....but I made it through and actually snapped some pretty decent photos. On a trip like that where my primary job is keeping track of the three living, breathing, beautiful children that I call my own, I just couldn't do the whole photography/present Mommy thing that I wanted to do. And ya know what? Mission accomplished. Some decent photos of our trip and our time together (I was even IN some of the photos!! gasp!) and I didn't miss my sweet Nikon a bit.




There just aren't words for all the weirdness that goes on here somedays...

Have I told you how much I love my iPhone & Instagram?

elf cookies & christmas magic

I succumbed last year to the madness that is Elf on the Shelf. The girls squealed with delight as we read the book and named our very own elf. His name, you ask? Collin Nutcracker. Izzie wanted to name him Collin and Caroline was obsessed with nutcrackers last year and that was her vote - so, we compromised and now we have Collin Nutcracker.

Nightly trips to the North Pole must make a guy, even a pint-sized one, pretty hungry. So we made Collin some cookies tonight - don't they look delicious? Caroline carefully packaged them in a little box with a ribbon and a note. So precious. I often wonder how long this Christmas magic will last before I have to start bribing her not to let Jack and Iz in on "the secret". I'm hoping I have at least a few more years...this is just too much fun. To see the wonder and magic of Christmas through my children's eyes will never, ever get old.



merry merry

merry and bright. twinkly christmas lights. a cozy saturday night at home. peace. joy. merry merry.




hold on, sister

Yes, they fight like cats and dogs. He swipes her glasses off her face in a drive-by sorta way and runs off. She retaliates and someone always ends up in tears. She bosses him around like she's the Queen of England. He sasses back to her in his 20 month-old dialect and she gets flaming mad. She tells him he doesn't get to go to Disney World. He swipes her lovey bear and runs off (are you seeing a pattern of behavior here?). All of the aforementioned happen on a daily - sometimes hourly - basis.

So imagine the little dance my heart does when I turn around after preschool pick-up and see this. No prompting from me, no polite begging to please be nice to one another for just 5 seconds. And then imagine me talking to myself (well, them, really) - "please hold hands for just 3 more seconds while I get my beloved iPhone out for a snap - I must capture photographic evidence that they can, indeed, love one another and be nice to one another for 5 seconds." I knew they could do it. :)

This mama's heart was so full it almost hurt.

totally random tuesday

How funny is this hat? And the fact that he looks like he is a cone head while wearing it? This makes me laugh. :)


Caroline wanted to be sure I snapped a photo of her showcasing her mad hula hoopin' skills for Uncle John. When I told her he wouldn't see it until we mailed him a real honest-to-goodness picture, she said, "well, that's fine. I can still go a lot longer than he can." Oh, sweet girl. I'm pretty sure he'll have some mad new skills to show you the next time we see him too.


Life can be so hard when you're four years old, can't it?


Sadly, it's getting dark by about 5pm these days. I still love that late afternoon light and the long shadows, even if I have to really hustle outside to capture its insane beauty just a few more times before the snow flies.



Sometimes I feel like I'm only standing at the edge of all that He has for me. Today I was reminded again that I am chosen. Loved. Cherished. Beautiful. Of sound mind. Marvelous. A daughter of the King. And not because of anything I've done but only because of who He is. Good stuff.



today I am...

loving the song "a thousand years" by christina perri.

baking cornbread for the stuffing i will make tomorrow. yum.

battling a sinus infection. i forgot how yucky this feels.

missing my brother.

looking forward to out-of-town company this weekend.

feeling hopeful that God will relieve the anxiety and worry for one of my kiddos.

feeling uninspired in the photo department.

grateful for my many blessings.

posting a photo with myself in it. yikes!! that never happens. but izzie snapped this photo and it's so me - my long hoodie, leggings, no make-up, kissing my babies. she did alright. ;)






Fall and baking go hand-in-hand around here. Chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter chips AND milk chocolate chips? Yes, please. John Boy's chubby little hands trying to swipe cookie dough off my cookie sheet? Yes, please. The smell of fresh baked cookies floating through my house and cookie crumbs all over John Boy's face? Absolutely. Go bake yourself a batch with your favorite little person - you'll be so glad you did. :)



Do you see my little swiper in the background?! Love it.


leaning in

This is my favorite time of year. The crisp air, the changing colors and the anticipation of the holidays and family. I find myself picking up my camera daily - as a way to lean in to fall and to my family; into the season and into a deeper, more meaningful relationship with my heavenly Father.

Camera in hand, I am finding a peace and rest that I so long for and seek right now. Photography is such a journey and a process for me and, as the days go by, I'm am finding it to be so much more than that. I will be ever thankful for this passion and the ways in which it is transforming me.




"Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again." ~Joseph Campbell