when you can’t sleep, blog.

I am experiencing forms of sleep deprivation right now that there are not names for yet.

Parker and Grayson had really bad nights coughing, Grayson the worst though. He finally passed out on my chest early this morning but I was in such a contorted position I just laid there and prayed for morning to come. Never have I wished I had someone to pass the reigns to like right now so I could sleep.

Two more days. Two more days. Two more days.

So since the baby is finally sleeping and the girls are eating their snack packs (baggies of random snacks thrown together is their favorite), drinking their juice and watching Disney I thought I would blog some more Wisconsin photos.

While we were there my parents stayed in a hotel that had a pool…


TODAY: Survival.

parts of the whole.

OR pieces of this day I don't want to forget someday.

Like tomorrow.

Since I have no memory anymore.



Bailey has been pulling around this Plan Toys snake you pull around and she calls him "Lord." Seriously. She told me again today that she was taking care of Lord while his Mommy was out on a photo shoot and he was all alone.

Yesterday when I asked her about his name she said, "you know, like in that book? the Bible? He's Lord."

Oh. Ok.

What do I worry about more? That she named a serpent Lord or the reference to the kid being all alone while the mommy was out shooting? SO many issues, so little time.


I've found that I sort of like peeing with my feet on the little pink stool that is always in front of the potty these days. Kind of relaxing. Is that weird?


Spent the morning at a friend's house. Note to self: spend more time with women and their kids. "Play overs" as Bailey calls them, are fun. A tad stressful but fun. Thanks Angie.


Note to self 2: introduce new solids to Gray more slowly so we don't have any more nights like tonight where he writhed in tummy-ache-pain during the last part of Grey's. And continued to writhe for almost 2 hours. Maybe don't give him anything new at all when Chris is out of town and I have no one to share the screaming baby with.


Still ok with soccer. Not hating it yet. Check back tomorrow.


The girls are obsessed with watching 2 movies. "Ariel" (aka, The Little Mermaid) and Enchanted. Today during the beginning of Enchanted when it's still in cartoon mode Bailey said, "I wanna do dat."

me: Huh? (half listening)

B: I wanna fall like dat. (referring to Jazel falling from the tree into Price Charming's arms)

me: Why do you want to fall?

B: So a prince can catch me.

me: Ummmmm. Hm. Well sweetie, we don't have princes around here, they are just in movies.

B: thinking for a while…. Well Daddy can be my prince and catch me when I fall.

No truer words have been spoken.


I am coughing as much as the kids. Hoping this stinking virus or cold or whatever leaves this house soon. SO tired of this family being SICK ALL THE FREAKING TIME.


If you have emailed me in, um, the last month and are waiting on a reply… don't worry. I'm coming. I am literally almost a month behind in answering emails. Someday I will be able to keep all my balls in the air. If you are a client and emailed b/c you're waiting on something, feel free to email me again and ask about what it is or where it is or whatever. SORRY!


Grayson cut his first tooth about 2 weeks ago and then zilch after that. He's still not crawling but sort of scooting backwards. I love this little lump that doesn't do much! He's so cute but MAN is he slower than the girls at EVERYTHING!

Not that I'm comparing! HA!


My parent's had their carpets cleaned yesterday and the perfume+potpourri+candle smell in their house was so strong I was gagging. Why in the world is my nose so so SO sensitive since having kids?


It's after midnight and I am exhausted but always have trouble turning off the light when Chris is gone.


Maybe I'll just sleep with the light on! Good night!

ahhh. soccer.

If you've been reading this blog for more than a minute you know that my husband, Chris, is a teacher (high school biology)+a soccer coach. Currently he is the girl's head varsity coach.

I have a serious love/hate relationship with soccer as you can imagine… LOVE that he has a passion. LOVE that he is loved by his kids. LOVE that he is incredible at what he does. LOVE how proud I am of him. HATE the late nights. HATE the weekends away. HATE the kids missing him and crying for him.

Basically, on any given day I go from one extreme to the other… usually due to being overwhelmed by being along with the kids so much and no break in sight. In a million ways I am completely selfish and like to be able to share responsibility at some point during the day.

Truly, I like to pee in private and that only happens when Daddy is outside the bathroom distracting the girls.

Anyway, part of the MASSIVE love affair I have with him coaching is getting to know the girls and being able to photograph their season. Here are some photos from the last 3 events I went to…



They met in a park one Saturday morning recently for some fun team-building activities…

I LOVE this photo I caught of C laughing… man he is HOT!

Traditional team photo.

Untraditional team photo.

Can you guess which is my fav? Um. yeah.



C's asst coach is also the swim coach so once every season they take to the pool for a work-out practice. The girls love the break from the field and everyone has a great time!

This photo totally cracks me up! This is Coach B, the asst, yelling at the girls… he looks mean huh? HA!


Today was the first game and MAN OH MAN they rocked it! NINE TO ZERO! If you know anything about soccer you know that is a HUGE score! I was so proud!

C's other asst coach is our good friend Kevin, who's wife is a good friend of mine as well. It was a beautiful day so Angie met me at the game with her three and the kids ate a Happy Meal picnic while I shot. Here is Bailey and her two best friends! SO cute!

I swear this girl can throw the ball a mile!


And what was Ms. Parker doing for most of the game?


Walking through the only puddle on the field and then looking at me confused and saying, "wet pants!"


So there you have it. Soccer.

I love soccer and I hate it. Mostly I love it though which is good since it consumes our life every spring!

And speaking of soccer, I need to head to bed since Chris leaves early tomorrow for a 3 day soccer trip.

Ask me on Sunday whether I love soccer or not!

feeling led.

It is an insane day here with 7 of our 10 room house being rearranged in a constant effort to LIVE in every space we have so our LIFE is that much better, Parker's constant coughing led to a puke session that was incredible in its thoroughness to soak everything in sight, Grayson now has said cough and is beyond fussy, Chris has his first game today at 5pm that I paid $70 to rent a lens so I can truly capture it in all its glory and oh, did I mention he leaves me for 3 days starting at 7am tomorrow?

Busy day.


I feel led to pass a blog on to you that is in desperate need of prayer.

I'm sure most of you have heard of her b/c she's famous in the blog world, as in she is in the multi-million blog hits. MckMama is her name and she has kids almost EXACTLY the same age as mine but with one extra. Oh yes, she has 4 ages 4 and under. The newest, little Stellan is a miracle baby b/c while in utero his heart went into SVT (meaning it was beating too fast) and they said he wouldn't live past birth. A few months later and he was as healthy as a horse, until two days ago (I think) when his heart went back into it's old rhythms. He's incredibly sick but MckMama is incredibly faithful in a loving and merciful God. I love her heart. And her blog of course.

Anyway, please pray for their family. And for Stellan. And for her. I can't image what she must be going through. I've been thinking of her and her family non-stop it seems like and as I was pushing Gray in the swing a little while ago I realized just how thankful I should be for this crazy life. A fever and cough is NOTHING in the grand scheme.

So go HERE to her blog if you'd like and start your own prayer chains. God hears us.

Love Light. Wisconsin Style.

While visiting my sister I got to sneak in a few Love Light shots. Abbie was really excited about the session but my bro-in-law was a little freaked out about taking photos in their hopping downtown area where people would see them.

Listen. I totally understand! You barely see me on the other side of a camera so i get it.

And I thought it was a great lesson for all of you considering a Love Light session.

To get GOOD night time photos while NOT using any kind of flash, I need good light. And interesting light. The Texaco? Not so interesting. The light pouring out of the windows of an all-night frozen yogurt store? Interesting.

Unfortunately, good night time light is usually found where people ARE at night. Hence, keeping the lights on. So during one of these sessions will we be around strangers? Yes. Will they watch you kiss on the street corner? Yes. Will they giggle and smirk and point? Maybe, if they are immature. But so far, most people are just interested and intrigued. And most just think it is a couple newly engaged or something!

BUT. When you are desperate for some Love Light shots and your husband hates the entire idea of them we can still find some secluded places to get good photos!


I am in love with this last one! As if you have never grabbed a quick kiss on your car at the end of a date! This reminds me of college!

Anyway, just wanted to show you that you can get good shots no matter where we go… and although I prefer a downtown area, I can go anywhere! Well, it has to have SOME kind of light, but I can get creative!

I've had a few booking for Love Light sessions but here is the 411 in case you missed it!

Love Light Session


No, we didn't take a really long detour from Wisconsin to Missouri today. Indiana is one of my all-time favorite road trip songs, dating back to high school, and it's how we started and ended this little trip of ours this weekend.

In case you don't know The Samples, you should.

So. We are home. With three sick kids and two tired parents. I am already desperately missing this little girl, my only niece.


She is the sweetest and friendliest baby I've known… she hadn't seen us since Christmas but came right up to everyone for hugs and cuddles! And even if her momma was holding her she would reach for me! I loved that.

I'm also desperately missing my sister. I HATE that she lives so far away. We just wish we could see her and Chris and Sam all the time and not every couple of months. It's hard.


I love this photo of my sister reading to all the kids (minus Gray). I love it b/c she was really excited to have them all cuddle up in her bed for books before bedtime one night and I thought that was the sweetest thing ever. And I love it b/c Sam is drinking her bottle and not paying a bit of attention to her mom, Bailey is of course paying close attention and Parker is, well, Parker! It shows all of their little big personalities so perfectly! This will be framed somewhere soon!

We arrived home tonight to a house you could tell had been packed in a hurry and I HATE coming home to a mess. Chris and I also spent the 9+ hour drive deciding how to better LIVE in our house and will spend the next two days rearranging almost every room. Our house has an interesting layout and we've spent almost 3 years trying to figure out how to best utilize the space we have… it's an ongoing puzzle but I think this time we may just have come up with something brilliant. Which will give the kids more space, me an OFFICE back and make the dining room a legitimate craft room for me and the kids. Awesome. We'll see how far we get with three sick kids (fevers and coughs) that are beyond exhausted tomorrow!

Lots of things to share this week… more photos from the trip, recent soccer photos, and things from last week I never got finished. It looks like I'll need a Mnt Dew early tomorrow to survive!

a padded room.

I need to put my family in a padded room and lock the door.

Bailey and Parker are both sick, fevers, coughs, sore throats, etc. My parents were so sweet and took Parker last night to the hotel with them so that I could sleep by Grayson and Chris could sleep with Bailey and they could sleep with Parker… that was each sick kid had an adult at their side. Parker was the worst last night but finally sweat the fever out this morning.

Why can't my kids stay healthy?

Grayson has been perfect but woke up stuffy with a cough. Time will tell.

Oh, and I broke my toe yesterday when I totally slid down their stairs. It's red+black+purple+blue and although it's only my pinkie toe, it's still really painful!

Padded room and I will swallow the key.

On a brighter note I was able to steal my sister, Chris and Sam away for a little while to get some updated family pics of them… here are some but I'll share more… lots more!



More later…. there's a kid on my lap and the smell is telling me a diaper is in his near future!

one year.

We are in Wisconsin and the last time I was here was exactly one year ago today.

The day my sister called, in labor, and my mom and I jumped in the car to drive up here. The day my first niece entered the world. The day I got to see my little sister become a mom. It was a good day.

It was a long drive with 3 young kids to get here that started last night, paused in Rockford, IL and continued on this morning. But oh my gosh it was so worth it!

Hanging out with this sweet little thing today has been incredible!


Tomorrow we are going swimming at Grandma and PawPaw's hotel pool, we have a few photo sessions to do and a fun pizza lunch out. There will also be some decorating and party preps going on. I have more Sam photos and party decoration ideas I will share here in the next few days… like more photos from this shoot today:


The "smash the cake" shoot that was a total flop! I mean, TOTAL flop.

Right now I am operating on NO sleep and although my brain and body want to shut down I still need a few minutes alone (the whole fam just went to bed). And now that basketball can be changed to the DVRed Grey's, I am a happy camper. Tired. But happy.

{BTW, in case you were wondering, our kids were TOTAL rock stars in the car. I'll give more details later when I've had some sleep and can complete a thought… I will also share some of my home made car activity ideas.}

Happy Birthday Samantha Jane! We love you! Good night!

“Mommy! We jus wuv to twirl!”



And take a bow!

Some of my favorite shots of my kids are when they don't realize I am shooting them. Here I was sitting on the floor playing with Grayson, we had their favorite music on (All the Single Ladies, anyone?) and they were dancing in the dining room. In the midst of dancing (and singing as they know most of the words to that song!), Bailey calls out to me, "Mommy! We jus wuv to twirl!"

And that is the exact moment I thanked God for my camera. And my kids. And my life.