Friday, May 30, 2014

Sneak Peek: Both Family


This post is a long time coming.  I originally started working with this family in March.  Our first date was snowed out.  Our second date also turned out to be fairly cold.  Heather warned me that Hailey did not like the cold weather.  But we went ahead with our session and we just bundled her up.  This girl really did not like the cold.  Her mom tried to tell me....but I didn't really believe it.  I thought I could make it work and we would just have gloves and a cute coat, but Hailey wanted nothing to do with it.  So we took a few pictures and then decided to try again when it got warmer.

I managed to get a few smiles on our first try

And then the third time was the charm.  I got so many wonderful pictures of this sweet little girl.  She has one of the prettiest smiles I have ever seen.  She was also such a little lady.  It was like talking to a grown up in a 3 year old body.  She captured my heart.

Can't you just sense her "old soul"?
I loved everything about this session from her orange fingernails and toenails to the "dandy flowers" that she loved to pick and carry around.  She loved her Dandy flowers.

During our time together I tried to get her to smile by singing "do you want to build a snowman?".  She immediately got serious and said NO.  I told you she hates the cold!

Sorry for the picture overload, but I can't help myself!

The other exciting news is that she is going to be a big sister this fall.  I bet she will be a great helper to her mom and dad when the baby comes.   Doesn't Heather look great?  You would never know she was even pregnant!

They were planning on announcing the pregnancy with something like this: but it was during our cold session, so Hailey wasn't that into it.

What is funny is that when we got to this alley, the words were already written there.  Apparently someone else had done a similar session before us!

 I can't wait to meet the new member of this family this fall.  It was a true pleasure working with them.  And Hailey....from now on we will only do warm weather sessions.  I learned my lesson with this one!  Listen to mom, she always knows best.

For more pictures, visit my website or my Facebook page.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sneak Peek: Stacy's Baby Bump

I love maternity sessions.  I love the hint of new life and the excitement in the parents-to-be.  I am totally regretting that I never had maternity pictures done with my kids.  So now I am on a mission to make sure that everyone I know gets them done so they don't have any regrets.

It has been a while since I have done any maternity pictures and out of my last 6 sessions, 4 of them have a new little blessing on the way.  Is there something in the water? 

This cute couple found me through some marketing brochures I did with my OB/Gyn's office 2 years ago.  Nice to see that come to fruition finally!

I loved getting to know them and having time to work with a couple in a setting without the wedding pressure and without chasing after little ones (don't get me wrong, I LOVE chasing little ones but it does stifle the creative flow and makes it hard to set up the shots that I have in my head).


This couple is going big this summer.  They are getting married at the end of June and then have a baby at the beginning of July.  Hopefully your sweet baby girl will hang in there until after the wedding!

One of my favs

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 Love this shot, but so sad that all of these trees are still dead most of the way up from the flooding at Bear Creek Lake Park last fall.

 They are such a good looking couple.  I can't wait to meet their little girl.  I bet she will be a beauty!
Seriously.  How sweet is this one!
 Stay tuned for big things from these guys this summer!  For more pictures visit my website or my Facebook page.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bye- Bye Grammie

In the last 8 years, we have had 7 family funerals-6 grandparents and a dad.  That is too many.

On Sunday, my Grammie died.  She was the last of our 8 grandparents.  She was sick and had a poor quality of life, so while it was time for her to go, it is still sad.

She was probably the grandparent that I was closest to.  My parents moved to Colorado when they were first married and my dad was in the Army.  So I never grew up near my grandparents who all lived in Washington State.  Chris was blessed to have is grandparents close by and therefore he had a much stronger relationship with them.  My memories are all of visits from them or vacations to their houses.  My Grammie and I had a stronger relationship.  I used to love to sit and watch her put on her makeup when she would come and visit.  She also passed on her love of Geography and travel to me.  She and Grandpa traveled extensively and they loved to learn about the culture and history of the places they visited.  They would always bring a slide show of their latest travels and we would sit and watch Grammie describe the exciting places they had seen.  The other kids hated it, but I secretly craved it.  She also was a strong beliver in women's rights and accomplishments.  She had a game called "Foremothers".  It was like Go Fish but it had pictures and descriptions of influential women of the past and their accomplishments.  She gave it to me about 10 years ago and I used it in my classroom.  The students loved to look at the funny pictures of the women (see Gertrude Stein and Locretia Mott).

I can't even begin to imagine what Grammie's life was like.  She was born in 1919.  On June 22 she would have turned 95.  She grew up in the depression where things were scarce and you didn't waste anything.

She married a soldier and had to send a telegram to Okinawa Japan to let her husband know that she had given birth to their first son and that she decided to name him David (my dad).  Can you even imagine that?  My grandpa didn't even get to see my dad until he was over 6 months old.  Grammie also knew loss.  She lost their youngest child (my dad's sister) when she was 3 years old.  She just collapsed and died one day while playing with my dad and uncle.  She had a rare heart condition that they didn't know about.  She also lost her oldest grandchild (my sister Carol) when she was 12 years old.

But she was a tough old bird.  She really wanted to visit Japan and my grandpa, who had seen so much death and destruction there, refused to go with her.  So she went with a friend instead.  She was really active in her church and served in many capacities even though my grandpa refused to go to church with her.

I have been wanting to do a picture like this for some time and I dug this picture up the other day and took this "flashback" picture.  She died 11 days later.

Lisa and Grammie- Summer of 1979

Also did a re-creation of the picture with Nana and her only granddaughter

I cherish my memories of her and am thankful that she instilled in my a love for education, hard work, geography and God.  They have served me well.  I am thankful that I will get to meet her again in Heaven.  Perhaps she will have a slide show ready for me.

Friday, May 23, 2014


I love it when photography turns into a relationship.  It is like finding a really good hair stylist.  You love them, you trust them and it is a joy to see them a couple of times a year.  I have never really had a good hair stylist until a few years ago.  I would just go to a cheap place and get the pot-luck of whoever was available at the time.  Not a good idea.  Then a few years ago a friend was going on and on about her stylist.  She was expensive, but worth it.  So I decided to try her out.  I loved her.  She was so personable and we had a lot of mutual acquaintances.  However, she was a bit out of my price range.  She knew that might be the case and at the end of our time, she recommended another stylist (who was more in my price range) who worked at the salon-how cool is that?  So the next time I needed a cut, I booked with her.  And I fell in love.  She knows me and my hair (she is still plenty pricey- but worth every penny especially if you only get your hair cut every 6 months).  You have heard of a Bro-mance?  I might have a Hair-mance.  I just saw her again yesterday and she worked her magic.  With anyone else I might freak out when they literally thin out half of my hair on the underside.  But not with Heidi.  I trust her to make me look and feel good and I love that she knows that I have A TON of hair and she always makes my appointment 15 minutes longer than her usual appointments.  I have even spied notecards where she makes notations about techniques she used that worked well and notes about families and interests so that she can keep up to date.  It isn't just about cutting hair and that is what keeps me coming back.

I want to be that in the photography world.  I don't want it to just be about the pictures.  I want to be about the relationship.  I want people to come back again and again because I remember their names and their kid's interests (Not to freak out past clients, but I have a spread sheet on all of my clients so that I can remember names, dates and places we have gone-thanks to Dad for the spreadsheet part of my brain and Mom for the creative side).  I want to be able to capture those precious moments because you (and your family) feel comfortable with me.  I want to see your kids grow and mark the important milestones in your life.  I want to be your Photo-mance.

This family might not have a Photo-mance with me....but I have one with them.  I started taking pictures of them when their first baby was born.  Now he is two and they have another one on the way.  I have grown with them, taking pictures every 6 months or so for the last two years.  Because I know them, I think that my pictures of them are getting better and better.

When I was downloading the images from this session I was practically squealing.  They are some of my favorites.

Isn't Becky so beautiful?

Aidan, you were a little trickier as you are two and constantly in motion.  But I could drown in those big brown eyes.

I am so glad that we got to sneak in some maternity pictures and I can't wait to meet #2 in September.  This image is seriously one of my favs of all time.
Sigh.  I love my job.
More constant motion.
Hello Colorado Blue Sky.  How I love you.
I chose this spot because it has this cute, old house with weathered white wood and a big porch.  Imagine my horror when I pulled up and it was...under construction.  Nightmare for photographer.  I had all of these images and backgrounds in mind and then, poof, all gone.  However, brillance comes in times of pressure and I got the idea for this one.
Fitting especially because they are having another boy.

It also pushed me to find other spots and then this happened.  The lighting was magical and beauty abounded.
 Brian, your relaxed and easy smile in these pictures made them even more magical!

Thanks for believing in me and letting me document your lives.  It has been a privilege and I can't wait to meet the next McKelvey.

For more pictures visit my website or my Facebook Page.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cancer Sucks

We have all been touched by Cancer in one way or another.  It isn't fair and it isn't fun.  There are people all over the world who are struggling and fighting to beat Cancer.  They are true heroes, especially the kids dealing with it.  And so are their loved ones.  I can't even imagine (and hope I never have to) what that must be like.  I hate the sinking feeling when my kids are sick and I have trouble sleeping when they have a cough, let alone something as big as Cancer.

Little Braedyn was diagnosed with Stage 3 liver Cancer when he was just 14 months old.  It breaks my heart.  But after 8 (long) months, he is now Cancer free!

So to celebrate being done with chemo and his second birthday, his Grandma planned this photo session.  It was so fun to get together with this little guy and his Grandma (who happens to be one of my favorite preschool teachers).  They obviously adore one another and he wanted to stick by her side whenever he was unsure of something.

The lollipop was a special treat as he isn't really supposed to have much sugar.  It can speed the growth of cancer and they don't want to take any chances.  I think Grandma had more of it than he did anyway.
I loved this session and this little guy gave me a workout.  Braedyn had to sit still in so many doctor offices, hospitals and clinics that now there is no slowing him down.  You wouldn't believe how many pictures I got of him running around.  It was a little like the line from Forrest Gump:  "Everywhere I went...I was running".

Isn't he just the picture of health and happiness?  He was so fun to watch.  He loved the animals and followed them around saying "uck" for Duck.  When we saw the chickens we taught him "cock-a-doodle-doo" which just came out as "cock", which gave us a good laugh.  You can tell that Gramma is a preschool teacher as she let him run, explore and get dirty (as little kids should).  He even picked up goose poop and was throwing it in the pond.  Yucky, but she didn't even bat an eye.

He was tricky and didn't love to look right at my camera, but with some patience I finally got the money shot!

Just look at that little face.  Don't you just want to squeeze him?

Caught red-handed.  Or in this case, poop-handed
My favorite part of the session was the end.  He was finally comfortable with me and would give me more smiles. I also got to see more of his sweet personality.  He reached his hand into his pocket and said "papa" and made this face: 

Papa had given him some coins earlier.  Love the expression on his face.
He also loved my little blue chair and really wanted to take it home.  He carried it around and pushed it on the sidewalk.  Darling.

Marcia, thanks for sharing your grandson with me for the afternoon.  It was a pure joy for me.  I am so thankful to have met him and I will be praying that he stays Cancer free!

For more pictures visit my website or my Facebook page.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Day in the Life...

Being a young mom is a really tough job.  You are constantly on duty and you have to watch the kids every second just to keep them alive.  It is emotional draining!  Then your kids get bigger.  And they get easier...sort of.  It is a different kind of tough job.  It is a brain drain and a major gas guzzler!

So, just so y'all can see what a "Stay at home mom" does every day I am going to show you a day in the life of LiLo.

My day began at 6:30 when the alarm went off (and I hit the snooze button).  And then again at 6:40 when the 10 year old came to wake me up saying he needed to bring pancakes to student council this morning.  So my feet hit the floor running.

40 minutes (and a double batch of pancakes) later, I took kid #1 to school early for student council.
Got home and did dishes from said pancakes, packed lunches for the remaining two, ate a bowl of cereal and started to drink a cup of coffee.
8:05- took kid #2 to school.
Got home and did more dishes, started dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen (sort of), empty the trash cans, took the trash to to curb for trash day, quickly checked email and downloaded the images from last night's photo shoot.
8:30- Popped kid #3 into the bathtub.  Piled up laundry and picked-up the upstairs while keeping an eye on bath time.  Got him out and dressed (and had to iron the shirt for graduation today) and may have accidentally pinched the boy parts while trying to zip a tricky zipper- comforted poor boy.

9:00- did a quick photo shoot with #3 after realizing he was wearing the same shirt his big brother wore 3 years ago and that it is his last official day of preschool- finally finished 1st cup of now cold coffee.

The first two were taken in Sept. 2011
9:08- Got in the car to take #3 to school and drop books off at the library (because we can't renew them anymore....kind of a slacker about taking books back- online renewal has changed my life- perhaps for the worse)

9:30- Drop #3 off at school.
9:45- Get to Clement park to try to get in a quick workout.  Run/walk 2.5 miles.

*Side note: In thinking about this blog post I was super aware of my surroundings today trying to "take it all in".  As I was running I saw a group of handicapped kids.  I wanted to be one of them today.  He was clapping and singing and he looked like he was having the best day of his life.  I know many people pity the simple minded, but today I was struck with the thought of how nice it would be to be a little more simple minded.  To be in the moment and not hurrying to do 100 other tasks that need to be done that day.  To enjoy a simple walk around a lake.  To not have 50 million other things on my mind.

10:10: Finish my walk/run and realize that in order to get back to my car I had to walk right by the Columbine Memorial.  I have only been there once and I felt drawn to it today.  I spent a few minutes walking around, reading the quotes and being thankful for my own kids.

10:29- Get to Walmart to do some grocery shopping.  My goal was to be there by 10:30.  Yahoo!  I was ahead of schedule.

11:35- Get home from Walmart (15 minutes after I wanted too...Ugh), unload the car and furiously put away all of the fridge/freezer items.
11:38- Get into the shower and get ready as fast as I can to leave for preschool graduation.  Also shoved a protein bar in my face for lunch during and after the shower.
12:03- Leave for preschool and hope I hit a lot of red lights so that I can put make up on while stopped.
12:18- Arrive at preschool (only 3 minutes after my goal time) to save seats for the graduation.
12:30- Do my best to not tear up during the cute little ceremony of 4/5 year olds and the fact that I will no longer have any kids in preschool.  Sad.  I love preschool- especially our preschool.  If you are looking for a good preschool, let me know and I will steer you in the right direction.

1:21- School is out and we are on our way to DQ to celebrate the graduate when I get a call from the elementary school that kid #1 has thrown up.  Hurry to DQ and have the 5 year old scarf down a star popsicle and then head to get kid #1.
1:55- Get to the school and sign out kid #1 and go to Sonic Happy hour to get a special drink for the sick boy.  Because Sonic Happy Hour makes everyone feel better!  Deposit kid #1 and #3 at home.  Get everyone settled.
2:30- Head to the school to get kid #2 (super glad that the hubby works from home and the kids could be parked in front of the TV for the 20 minutes I will be gone- and that I don't have to drag them with me as it is threatening rain).  Thankfully got a front row spot in the hug-and-go lane because it started pouring rain and hailing.  Which means I didn't even have to get out of the car!
2:55- Get home in time to watch the hail storm destroy the back yard and make myself a snack.  Realize that the Lego movie has been released on iTunes and the boys decide to use some gift cards to download it.  Spend the next 20 minutes trying to download it.  Do more dishes, finish putting away the non-refrigerated items and attempt to pick up a few things around the house.

3:30- Fool around on the computer for a few minutes (perhaps a little instagraming and facebooking in between emails and more picture downloading ). And then start writing this blog.
4:35- Writing this blog--- and suddenly realize that I need to get kids ready for time trials for swim team tonight.  So mad dash to find swim jammers, flip flops, towels and goggles.  #1 begs be to let him to go swim trials as he "feels so much better and time trials are really important and fun".  Cave in and let him go (even though he looks awful in this picture- he really did well and was totally back to normal after swimming- must have been the magic of Sonic Happy Hour as previously stated). 

5:00- Arrive at swimming pool for time trials (with laptop in tow hoping to get some work done while there). *See my instagram account at lizajanelord if you want to see the videos of the boys swimming.
6:05- Leave swimming pool after cheering on #1 and #3 in four separate events- without ever touching the laptop.  Oh well.
6:18- Get home and start preparing dinner- also field a number of phone calls and text messages.  Made a great new recipe for Porcupine Meatballs from Pinterest.  Find the pin on my "recipe board" here.
6:55- Sit down to dinner with the family.  It was pretty good and the kids all ate without much complaint (or they were starving because it was LATE).  After dinner, help with dishes and clear the table.  Spend 5 minutes talking to the Best Husband Ever.
7:40- My favorite sister wants to go for a walk.  How can I deny that?  39 minutes (and over 3 miles later) arrive at home feeling good.
8:20- Help get the kids down to bed (thanks to the hubby who hung with the boys while I walked and also got them in jammies and teeth brushed- I married a total keeper!).
8:32- Sitting in the hallway (a total crutch for getting the kids going to sleep) writing a blog on the laptop and realize that I didn't take any more pictures after 6 pm.  Oops- so much for that photo journalism.
9:12- Eat a mint chocolate skinny cow ice cream sandwich while still working on the blog.  Blogging takes FOREVER, just in case you were wondering.
9:27- Look around the house and feel like crying.  There is a load of clean unfolded laundry that has been sitting in a laundry basket since Saturday morning (same for the load in the washer and dryer and the 3 loads upstairs that need to be washed).  The table is dirty again as it didn't quite get wiped down after dinner.  There are toys scattered, food on the floor, shoes everywhere and papers littered from school all over.  There are 2 papers needing to be filled out asking for money for year end parties, 7 photography sessions needing editing, a garden that I am dying to plant, flowers to put in pots and countless other things to be done.

9:54- Finishing up blog and trying to decide if I should work on pictures for a little bit or let my eyes glaze over in front of the television for a while.  While all days aren't quite as busy as today was, most of the time they are pretty close.

And I used to wonder why, as a stay-at-home-mom,  I can't keep up with everything.  Now, after writing out my day, it is no wonder that I can't get anything done.  I never Stay-at-Home.

So I am trying out some new titles for myself.

Just-trying-to-get-shit-done Mom
Happy to have kept all the kids alive and in the right place Mom
Volunteer (or guilted into volunteering) for everything Mom
Never-at-home Mom
Completely Overwhelmed Mom
The Laundry will get done someday Mom

So here's to you "Stay-at-Home" moms.  I feel ya.  I am in the trenches with you.  If we happen to come up for air at the same time...(maybe in 15 years or so) let's get together.  Until then, stay strong.  Go to Sonic Happy Hour often.  And rejoice in the fact that you are the ones able to take your kids all over Kingdom come.

And don't judge if you happen to come over to my house and I don't invite you in.  We can have a nice chat from my nice, clean porch instead of my disaster chaotic house.

P.S.  In case you are wondering if I favor #3....I don't, but my camera does.  He LOVES the camera and is constantly posing for me.  I am also with him WAY more often than the other kids, so he has more pictures just from the fact of more one on one time with him.