Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Maddie-Sweet 16

I love this family!  Their son and my son have been good friends since kindergarten.  They are the sweetest family.  We love hanging out with them and our boys play so well together.  They are the kind of kids you want your kids to be friends with.  Solid.  Fun.  Good.  All that you want in friends for your kids.

Vicki contacted me a few weeks ago about a fun idea for Maddie's birthday.  She was turning 16 and they wanted to do something fun and special.  Maddie is a budding photographer so her mom thought it would be fun to do a photoshoot with Maddie and her friends.  Awesome idea.  
They also rented limo to pick Maddie and her friends up at school and then bring them to me for our session.
It was so much fun to hang out with these 7 teenagers!  They were polite and fun and great to work with.  It was one of my favorite sessions.  I hope to do more of these in the future.
So fun watching the girls interact.
 Had to include one quick pic of Maddie and her amazing, beautiful mom.
This girl.  So beautiful.  Inside and out.  Watch out world.  This girl is a keeper.  This is the kind of girl I hope my boys marry!
Thanks for letting me be a part of your special day!  I loved every minute of it.

For more pictures visit my website or my Facebook page.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Kitchen Re-do Part One

Renovation is not for the feint of heart.  It is messy.  It is disruptive.  It is life-sucking.

We just finished a 4 month remodel of our kitchen.  I LOVE the outcome, but it was a very challenging 4 months.

Our "5 year" house has turned into our 14 year house.  It was our starter home and apparently we are still starting.  We aren't ready to move from our house, but we needed to make it more affective for us.  Our house is a pretty small (1400 square feet) 3 bedroom, 2 bath house.  But like most houses built in the 70's-90's it has a really stupid front "formal" living room.  What do you do with this space?  Entertain fancy ladies and serve them tea?  Because that doesn't happen at our house.  We need more room for our 3 boys.  And more seating area.  And more than 3 tiny drawers.  Our kitchen was TINY and didn't have much counter space or prep area.  This made it really hard to entertain or even make a meal for 5 people on a regular basis.  

So we started dreaming.   Luckily we have a building planner/viseo expert/construction manager/etc. in the family.  We could not have done this project without my dad.  He is amazing when it comes to this kind of thing.  If you need any proof, you just need to go to my parent's house and see what he has done with their house over the last 40 years, or go to my sister's house and see her kitchen or basement remodel from a few years ago.

The dreaming began.  This was the first drawing on the white board at my parents' house.

Then it was full fledged planning.  Including measurements down to the 1/16th of an inch.  Then it all goes into the computer.  And then it gets redone and redone and drawn on and changed and changed again.  

I think we had four versions at the end and even then we switched some things at the end so the final product doesn't even look like this.

Version Four:

Then came the trips to IKEA.  We went to IKEA to check out their selection and to see if they would have the cabinets and options we wanted and to see how it fit into the budget.

We happened to get in on a sweet deal as IKEA was phasing out their old cabinet system to make way for their new system so all of their kitchens were 20% off.  BEST DECISION we made during this process.  IKEA has got it going on.  We have so many awesome features like self-closing drawers and cabinets, pull out trash can, swing-out corner cabinet and many more that we never would have been able to afford with any other cabinet company.

Also during the process my dad spent HOURS making DETAILED budgets for us.  I think by the end we had 10 or 11 versions of the budgets that were updated weekly so we could see exactly how much we were projected to spend and how much we actually spent.  It was so nice to be able to see where we were budget-wise.

The day finally came and we decided to pull the trigger and I sent this email.  Notice the date.  Halloween.  Nice timing Lisa. 
 And I got an email back the next day with a detailed timeline (down to the day) with a start day 7 days later.  Gulp.  We had our annual Harvest party that Friday, the 6th and we started demo the next day (November 7th).  I was freaking out a bit.  However, it made cleaning for the party easier.  Because I didn't want to do a deep clean when I was going to be demoing the next day. 

I also got this in my email inbox.  A way for us to "function" during the remodel.  Nothing is overlooked when it comes to Dave Coombs.

My husband said he didn't want to be doing construction over the holidays.  I am impatient and wanted to get started, so I pushed.  I knew it was going to be tricky, hard, timing consuming and that it would be hard to do over the holidays, but it was going to be hard anytime so why not over the holidays.  I also have more time off over the holidays so I thought it would be better.  Ummmm.  My husband *may have* (okay, absolutely) been right.  It was REALLY hard over the holidays.

Of course I had to do some cleaning the morning of demo.  I knew this blog post would come and I would have to have some "before" pictures.

So here is a little bit of what our house looked like on the morning of November 7th.  I will put more "before pictures" when I do the final reveal.

This is what my "before" remodel looked like.  I should have taken a before and after picture of myself.  In the "after" shot you would find bags under my eyes, more gray hair and wrinkles and my husband glaring at me in the background saying "I tried to tell you".  I get it......he was right.  However, I still stake my claim that it is hard to renovate any time of year.  

Stay tuned for demo and construction pictures.

Friday, March 20, 2015


I love working with repeat clients and watching their families grow and help them welcome new little family members.  I was lucky enough to take pictures of Landon when he was a baby and then watched him grow through my "baby's first year" program.  It seems like we just finished his first year and baby brother came along.  To be fair, we waited until he could walk to do our final session and that little stinker took a long time to walk (just like my kiddos).  

Now it is Parker's turn.  He is a bit older than my typical newborns, so I saw more "eyes" than I usually do, but I love how his little eyes tracked with me and he even gave me a few smiles.  Eventually I wore him out and he was out like a light for a few pictures.
His room is Winnie the Pooh.  Isn't this hat adorable?
I love being in people's homes for the newborn session.  It is so fun to see them in their natural surrounding and to be able to document what their life looks like at this stage.  I wish I had done this with each of my newborns.  

Marcie also got some really cute hand knit hats online.  So cute!
We even got a little brotherly love.  It was quick but we got it!  Landon is so cute and walked around the house saying "pa-ka" for much of the time I was there. 
These brothers look exactly alike!

It must be all those beautiful dark locks of hair.

Thanks for allowing me to be a part of documenting your love and your family.  I can't wait to see how much Parker has grown in a few months.

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

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Ty Turns One

I first met this little guy when he was four months old.  It is hard to believe that now he is one!  I love to be able to watch kids grow.  It is one of the greatest pleasures in my job!
Ty was one of the cutest one year olds I have taken pictures of.  He is so shy and adorable.  When he gets shy, he puts one little hand up by his eye.  He did this for the first 15 minutes of our session together.  Then he warmed up to me and turned on the charm!   
Ty also has some of the bluest eyes on record.  Looking into his eyes is like seeing a little piece of his soul!
This picture sums up parenthood.  One moment they are crawling away from you....the next moment they are going to kindergarten.
I can't wait to see how much his big brother has grown in a few months when we do family pictures.  Thanks for letting me be a part of your family journey!
I hate it when picture time is over too buddy.  

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