Monday, January 26, 2015

Sawyer is One

I have loved every minute I have spent with this little guy and his mama.  This whole family is full of love and joy and we just clicked from the moment we met.  I love it when that happens!  I have been taking pictures of this little guy from the time he was a month old.  I can't believe that he is already one!

This little guy has the happiest disposition and he has the BEST facial expression.  You can't help but love him and want to pick him up and squeeze him.

I love these.  They are kind of artsy, but I love it.  He looks so grown up yet so little at the same time.
I also love Ashely and her mom.  Grandma is amazing and happened to be in town for 3 of our 4 sessions.  I love her southern drawl and down to earth view of life.  I finally convinced her to get in front of the camera.  She didn't want to and I am sure she won't like that I am posting this picture, but I LOVE generational photos and I had to share the beauty of these women and this family.
Doesn't this one look like he is taking a selfie?  So cute and funny.
 Hey there big boy!
Ashley, thanks for being such a great mom and even though we haven't known each other very long or spent tons of time together I do count you as a friend!  I love it when clients become friends.  And also thanks for being so trusting and always going along with my ideas.  She is always up for anything!  Let's do some pictures in the snow....okay! 

Happy Birthday Sawyer (a little late)!  You are a joy.

For more pictures visit my website or LIKE my Facebook page.  To see the entire gallery from this session, click here.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Change.  It is hard.  It is scary.  It is uncomfortable. 

But I have learned that Change is inevitable and how you embrace the Change makes all of the difference in the world.

We have gone to a small church near our house for the last 8 years.  We have loved it.  The people there are unbelievable and have walked by our side through some of the hardest and darkest days of our lives.  They brought us meals and let us cry on their shoulders when our beloved father/father-in-law/Grandpa died unexpectly 8 years ago.  They stayed the night at our house with our older kids on the night our youngest son was born so that all of our family could be at the hospital.  They embraced us worship leaders and ministry partners.  They invited us to lunch and played with our kids.  They loved us for who we were and helped show us potiential we didn't even know exisited.

Our church has been through a lot these last 8 years.  People have come and gone.  Conflict has arisen.  The enemy has tried to take control.  We couldn't see God's plan and we questioned, wondered and prayed.  It felt a little like we were wandering in the desert.  But we were faithful.  And we followed.  And we served.

Now God has revealed his plan.  He was working through the conflict and the pain.  He had a plan that was so big and wonderful.  But He waited for His perfect timing to reveal it to us. 

We have 10 acres of land that we haven't used to its potiential.  God was waiting for the perfect plan.  We had a fun, loving congregation and people who love Him and want to serve Him.  We want to reach our neighborhood and bring healing the hurting people, but we were small.

A nearby church has also been serving, loving and reaching people.  They have a fun, loving congregation of people who love Him and want to serve Him.  But their needs were a little different.  They needed a place to grow.  And we needed more people to help make our vision reach it's potiential.  Do you see what God was doing?

Our churches, from two different denominations, two different congregations, two different, but ajoining neighborhoods are becoming one.  How cool is that?  Our pastors and leadership realized that we can't do it alone and that God was calling us to join together.  How often does this happen?  Never.  Churches are made of sinful people that often need to fulfill their own agendas and egos.  They aren't willing to look at another church and realize that they NEED each other.  But God was calling our leadership and they listened and put aside their own agendas.

We are all working for the same goal.  To reach people and bring the love, hope and healing of Jesus to hurting people who NEED God.  Can't we work together? 

So we have merged.  We are working together to IMPACT Southwest Denver. 

Belleview was our home and we loved it.  But now we are The Rock and I love our philosophy.  Real Church for Real People.  Come all you who are weak and weary.  Let us love you and pick you up and you do the same for us.

Easter Sunday will be our last Sunday at Belleview and then we will all be going to The Rock while they break ground on a new facility on our old property.  It is going to be hard.  People are going to be uncomfortable.  They aren't going to know all of the songs.  The worship is going to be different.  The sermons are going to be different.  Change is hard.

But let me give you hope, people of Belleview.  God is working.  He is good and He stretches us.

The kids and I visited our new church family this morning.  I felt like I was cheating on my Belleview family.  It was hard for me to go this morning.  To not see my husband up there leading the congregation with the talent God has given him.  To not know a single worship song.  To not know many people.  Change is hard.  Did I dislike it?  Quite the opposite.  I loved it.  It just made me a little sad.

And then I went and picked up my kids.  THEY LOVED IT!!!  It brought be such joy to see my kids bounding out of their Sunday school classes joyful, happy and LOVING the new.  We can learn a lot from our children.  My oldest said...."the high schoolers led worship for us.  I only knew one of the songs, but I loved hearing all of the new ones and just sang right along".  How cool is that?  They can't wait to go back.  Change is easy for them.  They embrace it.

Lord, help all of us embrace this new change.  And may we seek You with child-like fervor.

And if you need a place to be loved, embraced and given a good dose of truth and hope, come visit The Rock of the Southwest at 9 or 10:35 on a Sunday morning.  God is doing great things there.  And you can be yourself.  Real Church for Real People.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Kamden- 8 months

My "Babies First Year" clients make time fly like no other.  Every time the moms contact me for our next session I always say to myself "I can't believe it has been 4 months already".  How is time flying so quickly?  With bigger kids (like my own) their growth isn't as obvious (until they try on jeans that they haven't worn in 2 months and now no longer fit).  

I love marking time with these babies and families.  I love getting to know their little ones.  And I love getting to know the families, especially the moms. We moms have to stick together.  We are in the trenches together and I love that after a year I no longer call them clients, but call them friends.

So on that note.  Here is the sweet, adorable Kamden.  He is now 8 months old.  He is so happy and content and made my job a cinch during this session.  With his blue eyes and chubby cheeks I think he is the perfect candidate for the newest Gerber baby.  Don't you think?
His big sister is turning 2 in just a few short weeks so I snapped a few pictures of her as well.  She didn't want to stay still (as with most almost 2 year olds).  She also really wanted to show me her tongue.  Every time I pointed the camera at her, she stuck her tongue out.  It was darling and frustrating at the same time.  She made me work for it!  Good thing her brother was so easy. 

But you know me...I love a challenge.  So I am super happy that I managed to get a few shots with her tongue inside of her mouth.  Sweet little stinker!  I can't believe how much these two look alike.  It must be the amazing blue eyes!  
 We tried to do a few of them together but Brayden didn't want to sit still.  I don't blame her.  It was a bit chilly out and she wanted to be up exploring!  The one picture I got was so funny.  She looks like she is about the same size as her baby brother. 
Bridget, thanks for sharing your babies with me!

For more pictures visit my Facebook page or my website.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Erickson Family

This was almost the session that didn't happen.

Cindy wanted to get a big group family session done while all of her kids were in town for the holidays.  We had to postpone it several times.  Nils was in bed with a terrible cold for several days...then it passed from person to person (the youngest of which came down with it on Saturday night, but she was a trooper).  Then the weather was not cooperating.  In the end, we decided on Sunday morning.  I skipped church for this family (just about the only family I would do that for) and we braved the cold. 

When I say cold I don't mean just a bit chilly.  I mean bone-chilling, freezing, biting cold.  When we started the session my car said it was 8 degrees out.  By the time we were done (90 minutes later) it had warmed to 10 degrees.  Heat wave!  I know what it is to want a big group family picture so I knew that I had to make this happen for Cindy.  There is no better gift for a mom/grandma than a big group picture that she can hang on her wall and show off to her friends and family.

This was one of those sessions that I stress about.  I love this family and have known them for 20+ years.  Not only that, there are no re-dos.  Dane and his family were leaving the next day and who knows when they would all be together again.  I also knew it was going to be cold and there are 4 little kids, which is tough.  It snowed the night before and I wasn't sure how that was going to work.  I also wanted to make these pictures perfect for them, so I put added pressure on myself.  But, prayers work people!!!  Everyone was well enough to take pictures.  Yes, it was freezing but everyone held it together long enough for me to snap some photos.  They took turns getting warm in cars so the kids weren't out in the cold too long.  

God blessed us with the most amazing blue skies.  The lighting was perfect and I got some of my favorite shots to date.  This family is SUPER photogenic and I couldn't be happier about the way these turn out.

See what I mean?
 I really wish that I could share with you every single picture from this session on the blog.  I can't, however, if you want to see all of the pictures click here for the online gallery.

These two crazy-fun people started this family over 40 years ago.  Hard to believe when Cindy doesn't look a day over 40!  They are so cute and fun.  There is never a dull moment when these two are around!

First comes Love....Then Comes Marriage.....
And then come the babies in the baby carriage...
Then those babies grow up and have love, marriage and babies of their own.

Nils and Karli...
Bodie and Tate...
These sweet boys were amazing.  They had to spend the most time out in the cold.  They handled it like champs.  Tate was crying by the end and I felt so bad for him.  But I couldn't be happier with the way these turned out.  Karli, those sweaters are to die for!
Dane and Bazi....
Little Nia has never played in the snow before.  Not sure she liked it.  Or perhaps it was the sniffles she had that kept her from enjoying the Colorado snow. 
She did, however, love getting a piggy-back ride from her gorgeous mamma and warm snuggles from her smitten parents.  

 Danika and Brandon.....
Danika is one of the sweetest gals I have ever met.  She is so kind and loving!  And these guys could all be professional models...especially little Talia.  Her eyes are so beautiful and expressive.  She was pretty quiet and just took everything in.  I never saw her cry but she wasn't super interested in smiling in the freezing temperatures either.  Perhaps we need to get together again and do a whole session with this little beauty!
These families just need to keep having babies, because their kids are beautiful!

Three generations of Erickson Ladies...
And here is the whole group with those beautiful Colorado blue skies....
 Glad we made it happen.  And so glad to call you guys friends.  Thanks for letting me capture your family and your love for each other.

For more pictures visit my website or my Facebook page.