Saturday, August 31, 2013


We are in a tough stage of life known as middle age.  I don’t really think of myself as middle aged, but if you ask my teenage niece, she would probably say I am.  When I say “we”, I mean most of my friends and siblings. 

Middle age is hard.  I am just going to say it.  It downright sucks.  I feel like I am surrounded by pain, divorce, adultery, debt, job loss, illness and affliction.  Is this a stage?  Yep, it is called middle age (aka LIFE).  We have moved into a new phase. 

When you first get married, everything is rosy.  Even if you or your spouse loses their job, not a huge deal.  You still have one income.  Everything is exciting and new.  Perhaps you are even lucky enough to buy a house or get a dog (not us, but just saying).

Then you arrive at an even more exciting time of life.  The child bearing years.  They are filled with really long days (and nights) and your whole life is consumed by your cute little offspring.  You pop out a few kids and you love coming into their rooms and night and sniffing their sweet smelling heads.  It is exhausting but wonderful.

Then you arrive at the middle ages.  Nothing exciting is happening anymore.  Your kids are growing so fast you can hardly keep track and you are exhausted in a different kind of way.  You are exhausted from trying to keep track of 5 (give or take a few) schedules and figure out who goes where with which parent at which time.  You try to sneak a load of laundry in between trips to the baseball field and the school assembly and you just sneak a quick peek of the kids because sniffing their heads no longer brings pleasure.

As a stay at home mom, you wonder how you can be a “stay at home mom” when you are never actually home, your house is always messy and the laundry basket can be compared to the pit of despair where it slowly sucks one year of your life away (see aging myself here).

It is the doldrums of life.  Everywhere you turn, someone has a had a death in the family, has a child who is chronically sick, lost their job, left their spouse……and on and on and on.

The sad part is, it is just as prevalent in the church.  Christ followers are not immune to the tragedies of life.
When I was in my 20’s I went to a bible study where someone said “God disciplines those he loves” (she was in her middle ages).  I actually thought to myself “God must not love me very much, because I have a pretty great life”.  Stupid.  Naive. 

The last 6 years have been the most difficult years of my life (apparently I have needed a little discipline and needed God’s love even more!).  2007 was a particularly difficult year and all I wanted for Christmas was an ornament that looked like a pile of @#&* with the year 2007 on it.  It would have been the perfect summation of the year.  I didn't get it.  Now I am kicking myself.

I purposely went to bed at 9 on New Year’s Eve because I was so mad at 2007 that I didn't want to give it the satisfaction of saying goodbye.  But you know what?  I saw God’s hand throughout my life a lot and I grew quite a bit that year.

2009: rough year.  I wanted to throw in the towel a lot that year too.  Perhaps odd numbered years aren’t the best for me!

2013 has proved to be a pretty tough year as well.  But I have grown a lot in my faith.  I have learned a lot and I have helped shoulder the load of some pretty big burdens.  And through that, God has blessed me.  He has taught me, molded me and pushed me to become a better Christ follower, mother, wife and all around woman. 

I read a blog the other day that had an interesting thought:  “If the grass is greener on the other side, perhaps you need to start fertilizing”. 

I have spent so much of my time comparing myself to others, wishing things were different, wanting what others have……etc.  Throughout my life, I have been spending a lot of time looking at other people’s grass.  In 2013 I have learned that I need to fertilize my own grass.  And you know what makes a great fertilizer?  You got it!

So I am learning to take the @&%* in my life and figure out how to learn from it and use it to make me appreciate and cultivate what I already have, cause I’ve got it pretty good.

Bring on the middle ages, cause I am armed with a cart full of @&%* and a God who can turn that into a work of art.  Just don’t expect my house to be clean.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sneak Peek: The Goodwin Family

Look at this ridiculously good looking family!

Karin, good work!  You picked such beautiful, bright colors and you have such a cute family.  It was so fun to work with you guys and get to know your family.  She even let me know that the frame that she wants to put the picture in is a vertical one, so I knew to take more vertical shots than I normally do.  It is so nice to know that kind of information BEFORE I take the pictures.

I loved all of their little (or not so little in Tyler's case) guys, but little Gavin especially touched my heart.
See.  No pretense. His face shows how he feels.  

How can this not touch your heart?

I grew up with a sister who had Muscular Distrophy so I have a soft spot for special needs kids.  They just have such a sweet innocence about them.

These two still got it!


A mom of 5 knows how to just roll with it.....and with a smile nonetheless!
I loved this family and seriously wanted to take them home in my pocket.

Stay tuned for more pictures.  I was lucky enough to do Tyler's senior pictures.  They will be forthcoming!

Have a great holiday weekend everyone!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sneak Peek: Harlow Turns 2!

Remember this little beauty?

I can't believe that a year has already gone by!

 I love this little family.  Courtney....I love the shoes.  Can I just hang out in your closet and try on all of your shoes?

Last year she wore these awesome yellow boots.

And now this year....

Even Harlow got in on the cool shoe action.  Apparently these boots have been passed from kid to kid throughout the extended family.

Don't stress about how your kids are acting during the photo shoot.  My goal is to let them get comfortable with me so that I get natural expressions!  Little Harlow was done with the photo shoot after about 30 minutes.  She started asking for "Hops".  "Hops" are the little bunny snacks that she loves.  Even though she was stuffing the "Hops" in her mouth, we still got some great pictures and it will be a fun reminder of what she loved at this age!  Let the kids be who they are during our session and I promise I will get a few good shots!

What a cutie!  I love the big brown eyes.  For more pictures visit my website or my Facebook page.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Impact Orphan Photo Shoot

This summer I was contacted to volunteer my photography services for Impact Orphans.  They are an organization here in Littleton that provides services for orphans and kids in the foster care system.  I was happy to oblige!

I actually got to take photos for the coordinator of the fundraiser!  What a blessing and honor.

Thanks Lydia.  It was so nice to meet your lovely family.....and support a great cause in the process.

The candids are always my favorite!

Stay tuned.  I promise that I will do some actual blogging soon!

For more pictures of this wonderful family visit my Facebook page or my website.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sneak Peek: Jacinda

Meet Jacinda.  She is a beauty and a rock star swimmer.  She lived in our neighborhood (until a week ago) and her brothers are on swim team with Makai.  She also taught swimming lessons for Jameson and some other kids this summer.  It has been fun getting to know her and to spend time taking pictures of her.  She is very photogenic and we had a great sunset session together.  My favorites were spent down at Soda Lakes beach.  It felt a little bit like a swimsuit model shoot.  So fun and different!

Sorry if the pics are a little grainy.  Just got a new full frame camera and trying to figure out how to reduce the MB size of the pictures that they are not so big!

Thanks Jacinda!  You are beautiful and I hope you have a wonderful senior year.