Just Keep Swimming

Most moms I know are chanting this mantra from sweet little Dory.  Gosh what a nutso time of year!

borrowed from a Google Image search

borrowed from a Google Image search

 I mean really…on top of the madness it has been hot and cold and hot and cold.  Allergies are the WORST in forever so everyone feels sick and doesn’t know if they are supposed to take a decongestant or an antihistamine.  I take one and if my throat stops itching I know it was the right one.  Two Sundays in a row either me or the hubs have been in bed after a weekend of baseball.  We are old, we can’t keep up this pace…or so we say then the next Friday comes around.  I am giving a GIANT shout-out to all of my friends, sister wives (dance moms) and others who help us out on a regular basis!  I think they know we have their back too whenever they need it so everyone stays in balance.  I have lucky kids to be parented by a community of great people.  We all love these kids like they are our own and fiercely care for one another.

MY kids are SO ready to be out of school!  I wish I could stop time right now because their interest in school and the safety of their good grades are not at equal levels…staring down falling or soaring rockets.  I challenge them to finish strong.  I feel like there is an overabundance of teaching moments and I just want it to be easy too. TWO WEEKS FROM TOMORROW and they can breathe a sigh of relief.  Then I gasp with the thought of an unsupervised Summer.  It should be interesting.

So I had the great honor of taking my neighbor Emily’s senior pictures.  I have known her since she was SIX!  Her and a teenage boy across the street (sadly he moved away) gave us a glimpse of what life with teenagers would be like and now we are living it with a 14 and 12 year old plus the equalizer, 7 year old.  Day to day it is either a teenage mamba or is it a booty shaking twerk dance?  Depends on the day I suppose.  It feels great and I’m so proud of my kids then the teaching moments remind me that I’m a mom and I have a job to guide them. It can be daunting and I’m always wondering if I’m doing it right.  I have God on my side guiding me every single day and striving for a balance of love and direction.

Enough gushing…here are some favorites of Emily!

What is ahead for this beautiful girl?  She wants to be a nurse.

What is ahead for this beautiful girl? She wants to be a nurse.

Love this spot!  Perfect light!

Love this spot! Perfect light!

How fab is this graffiti?!

How fab is this graffiti?!


Senior Session Pricing: $275   3-5  outfit changes and location changes.  Includes a disc with an average of 30+ edited images a set of proofs, 24 wallets, and choice of 8×10 or 2 5×7’s and a full copyright release.  I can assist with ordering more and will provide a price sheet.

Quick and Dirty: $75   One location, one hour and we’ll fit in as many outfits as we can.  Disc with 20-30 edited images, proofsheet and copyright release.

I have a baby being born soon and can’t wait to capture her first moments of life then a dance team to shoot.  Both should be super fun! I am planning some family beachy shoots when we go to Myrtle Beach with our dance team in July.  Should be loads of fun!  I need to keep this up so someday I can buy my dream iMac!  Until then I’ll enjoy the tools I have.

One more thought from my friend Dory:

This is totally me

This is totally me



Spring Sweetness

I definitely think Spring is my favorite season.  After a long…the LONGEST…Winter it has been so nice to have bearable weather.  I’ll even take intermittent rain at baseball over the cold and snow.  When we actually have a beautiful, sunny day it is magic!  Good Friday was a gorgeous day, I had my camera so I took full advantage of being at The Plaza with the kids.  They had the day off, Aunt Jessica hung out with them while I worked then we snapped some shots at the end of the day.  The sun was a bit bright and harsh but I wasn’t trying to take the most artistic photos ever.  I just needed a family shot that was cute and will continue to play with them in Lightroom when I find the time.

A quick snapshot by Aunt Jessica by my favorite fountain.

A quick snapshot by Aunt Jessica by my favorite fountain.

Since everyone was all spruced up I sent a text to my dance friends to let them know I’d have my camera for a spur of the moment family photoshoot in the beautiful courtyard at our church.  The Lord has given me a love of photography and the ability to gift photos to my friends. I initiate these little moments and thankfully have friends and family willing to take some group shots for us too.

The Woods/Dameron cousins  April 2014

The Woods/Dameron cousins April 2014

I love being an Aunt!

I love being an Aunt!

Woods Fam at Easter

Woods Fam at Easter

Little Lee Sweet Peas

Little Lee Sweet Peas

_DSC0573Lee girls

The beautiful Lee girls


Nice weather sure makes taking photos so much easier!  Wind and cold don’t do much for smiley happy people!  ***I started this post two weeks ago and forgot to publish it…geez, I’m the biggest slacker when it comes to blogging!


Blog re-invented

No more feeling guilty about my poor lonesome blog. I’m now a legit photographer and will be using it as a place for my photography clients to go for information and to see their photos. Isn’t it amazing how a person’s passion leads them to getting paid for what they absolutely love doing? I mean I love my day job…getting people jobs but to now have my hobby (one of them) to be a second job is so AWESOME!

This month I’ve taken pictures at a wedding reception and created two gorgeous canvases for the bride. They totally embody the sweetness of their story. …insert tears here…it is an incredible one that is for sure!  More reveals from photoshoots to come!

_DSC0833back-sepia2 Kiss-Sepia

Oh boy…here we go

What a great January!  I can’t remember a better January…EVER!

WEATHER:  Shhhh…I haven’t posted this on any social media but the weather has been insanely amazing!  I really and truly feel bad for my friends who rely on snow for income during the Winter but I have to say…it has been really nice.  I do think we’ve had enough of the good weather and need some snow or rain asap.

HOTEL FUN!  We started the month with a dance competition in Downtown KC and stayed at the Sheraton.  The kids got to swim, Carter got to ice skate with his friends and our family got to hang together away from the hustle and bustle of a normal weekend at home.  Then I closed the month with a girls SCRAP weekend at the Drury in OP.  Super relaxing and I put together a Christmas and Valentine’s Day album.

WORK: I got four super nice people jobs in January!  How great is that!  Getting people jobs makes me absolutely so so so happy!  To know I am directly impacting someone’s family in such a positive way makes me so happy.

SHAVED EYEBROWS = Gracious Tween: Whitney Jane got busted by her brother for shaving her eyebrows!!!! Yes, I know GASP!  She used this little tool I warned her over and over and over and made her pinky promise not to every use alone…and shaved her eyebrows halfway off.  Jessica and I told her a million times NEVER TOUCH YOUR EYEBROWS WITHOUT HELP!   So my little Miss Me Jeans and Uggs wearing snotty totty got her TAIL tied in a big time knot!  After a week of being grounded from everything including her makeup she came around to the normal Whitney.  She is now gracious, happy, kind and helpful.  Who knew mascara had such a power over her.  This mama learned a good lesson in that one.

And a new fun thing to do…many years it is calendars…I create like 5 calendars…this year it is photo challenges.  I’ve decided to add this one and it will help me with my 365 challenge too.  I’ve fallen a little flat lately.

A Break in the Rain yields yearly wonders

We have been stuck in the downfall of Spring which is chilly days and nights, lots of rain and the longing for it to warm up so that we can clean up the yard, not freeze at baseball games and send the kids outside to play.   About 2 weeks ago Brad informed me that there was a new nest in our Willow tree!  I was beyond excited!  Last year the kids and I named the sweet little mama robin, Alice and her four babies ChickenPot, MoJo, Princess Julia and Rhino (who never hatched :(…)  We were reviewing the photos from my facebook last year and they were all hatching exactly this week!  BUT, it has been cold and rainy so we are hoping we didn’t miss the whole egg reveal and hatching since mama Alice has been firmly planted on her nest.  We are really hoping for some warm temperatures so she’ll go grab a bite and we can take a peek.

Last year’s facebook album


This year’s pic of Alice:

Mama Alice keeping her eggs warm

I also LOVE Spring because my giant bleeding heart bush bursts with blooms!  I SO love this plant and am amazed as if it is the first year it grew.  It starts with just little sprouts sticking out of the ground and is one of the first to pop through.  Then in a flash…like THREE days it is HUGE and measures 3ft across then 4ft and will probably be close to 5ft across this year.  I’m hoping it will stay long enough for me to cut some blooms and enjoy them.

HAPPY SPRING!  Dreaming of blue eggs under that mama bird!

OMGolly this baby is sooo sweet!

Ok a quick preview of sweet little punkin Gage.  I can’t open my laptop without smiling at the screen while editing these pictures.  Oh and his big brother and sister are pretty cute too.  The best was when I put him in Russell’s snuggly chenille blanket I made him when he was born.  I tucked Gage in a little basket and he LOVED being in there!  His daddy was cracking up and thinking they needed to take that basket home to keep him happily sleeping.  He’s pretty loved on and prefers to be held so getting him to chill in a nest was awesome.  How could you not indulge that little man?  He’s just too sweet to not snuggle with him constantly.  My Aunt T always says you can’t spoil children with LOVE and I’ve always reminded myself of that when I questioned if I was holding the baby too much.  And still remember that when they let me love on them…and when I can’t bare to kick them out of my bed.  It is those stolen moments I cherish and keeps my heart warm.

Congratulations Jacobs family and thank you for allowing me to photograph your gorgeous children!  I can’t wait to get the whole family in there!!!  Until the next time…give that Gage a squeeze for me!

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Is it 3:00 yet???

I’m worn out.  I had a week and a half and am sleepy and exhausted.  However, the fact that my little friend Gage will be coming by for a photoshoot gets my tired brain hoppin’ with ideas.  Gage is a dance mommy’s two week old punkin.  She lets me hold him the entire hour we wait for our daughters on Mondays.  I could just eat him up!  Those little baby sounds, faces and wiggles just get my baby fever running high.  Whitney and I talked about Gage for days.  She kept saying “he was so cute all squished up and snuggled with you.”  I’ve passed my baby fever on to her.  It is nice to have another person in my family shares my true love of babies.

Once my photos are edited I’m passing them off to my friend Erin who will drop them into her digital masterpieces.  She is making announcements for the Jacobs family to show off little Gage.  Heather and Jay appreciate it and we are giddy at the thought of an opportunity to work on a project featuring a newborn.

Pics to come…

Snow Dayz, fun and frenzy

I love my children, for real I do but 3 unexpected snow days with 3 wild monkeys is a bit much! If it wasn’t so cold it would be different because they could expend their energy outside but phew…bouncing off the walls here. Today I got some long awaited work in and took the rest of the day off for ice skating and photoshoots minus the little “minja.” It is nice to have some time without the littlest firecracker so I can have some “mini-adult” time with the “BIGs.” Thank the Lord for my amazing boss and her patience with this weather and my foot (long story boring.)

So this blog will get fancied up eventually as I have time to play around. My next dilemma is figuring out what the heck is wrong with my Mac Aperture program, won’t open. I have to keep telling myself new software and processes are good for my brain because my impatient gene is…not very patient…with learning curves. So yet again I’m trying out a new process with my iphoto. I’m debating on going back to Picassa…one day I’ll learn photoshop and be happy as a lark.

My dance mommy friend Susan and I took some pics of the kids after ice skating. It was fun to have new subjects to play with and they were very good! Carter might stab me in my sleep but I had to post this one of him…his best smile was when he was being silly. Notice the athletic shorts with his “tight” (that means cool these days) shirt. That kid is all about SHORTCUTS! I think they turned out pretty decent.

Some of these are edited, some are not. Not all can be works of art 🙂

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