are you up for it?

Ok. So the comments are still coming in, the votes are being tallied… and now I am offering up a CHALLENGE.

Are you up for it?

If we reach 300 votes by tonight at midnight I will GIVE each family a mounted 8×10 print of their photo!

EVERY FAMILY IN THE CONTEST!

So keep rocking those votes! Just about 100 more in less than 12 hours… can you do it???

holy comments batman!

You guys sure know how to ROCK THE VOTE!

Almost 200 comments! Holy cow!

Just had to pop on here (as I'm RUNNING around getting ready for Florida today like a MAD WOMAN) to tell you there is the SAME contest running over at Fresh Art and we'd love your vote there too!

AND we just posted this sneak peek today so if voting ONE MORE TIME seems like too much work… at least pop over there and leave these parents of the SLEEPIEST newborn around some comment love! And to tempt you here are some of my favs…

Henry1

Henry2  Henry3

Can't you hear him? MIZ….ZOU!

Henry4

Henry8  

ALSO… just FYI… today is the LAST day to get our 75% off session fee at Fresh Art! So send all your prego friends out way!!!

VOTING ENDS TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT FOR BOTH CONTESTS!!!

Just because I want you all to have a GOOD chance to WIN!

Ok people. Here we go. This will be a new monthly tradition I think!

THE RULES:

1. you may only vote ONCE.

2. Anonymous votes DO NOT COUNT and will be deleted!

3. You may spread the word however you like to get votes on your photo!

4. Winners announced SATURDAY morning

5. TO VOTE: leave a comment with the number corresponding to the photo you want to vote for and WHY you are voting for them!

6. EMAILS do not count as votes… ONLY comments!

HERE WE GO!

#1

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#2

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#3

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#4

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#5

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 #6

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#7

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#8

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 #9

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#10

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#11

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AND WHAT DO YOU WIN???

A 5×7 proof book of ALL the images from your session!!! Valued at $150!

GO! VOTE! GOOOOOO! YOU HAVE TWO DAYS NOW! GO!!!

the random bits on a thursday morning.

Bailey, lately, has been making up her own words.

"Quesh" means "to win"

"Shane" means "to lose"

"Dorm" means "sweet"

And what's funny to me is that when she says something we don't understand we just assume she's pronouncing something wrong, but then she'll say something like, "No, DORM means sweet. You know, like candy? It's NOT candy, but it's LIKE candy…" So she really does know what she's talking about! And she doesn't forget b/c she'll use the words in sentences every day. In fact, all of us use QUESH and SHANE like they are actual words.

Any ideas? Is this normal? Should we discourage it instead of, I guess, encourage it like we are by learning her words and using them?

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While in Florida we are meeting up with on of my FAVORITE photographers, Lyndsay Stradtner! Of Life in Motion Photography. She's awesome and I've followed her blog for a long time now. We email every once in a while and when she realized we'd be near each other (2+ hours away!) we decided to meet in the middle and exchange photo shoots!

So my family will have BEACH photos!!!

I am literally beyond excited!

We're going to all meet up for dinner and then hit the beach for mini sessions. I can't wait to meet her, chat with her, get to know her IN PERSON and just hang out together! AND of course have my family seen through her eyes! OMG I'm excited.

EXCEPT.

WHAT IN THE HELL DO WE WEAR?

I don't know how all of you clients out there do it! I have two days to find some killer outfits that are US but don't have stains all over them! And I am ALL about wearing what you wear every day… if someone was coming to my house to photograph us… but not at the BEACH. I want cool outfits. I want funky outfits. I want affordable outfits!

ANY IDEAS???

I'm hitting Old Navy today with the kids in tow to see what I can find there (we have gift cards so it will help if I can find something there) and then if it comes to a trip to the mall it comes to that but JUST SHOOT ME. Ugh!

I wish I had weeks to plan this b/c there are some artists on ETSY who I'd love to get dresses for the girls from!

HELP!

——————–

We're having an end of the month contest over at Fresh Art and I think I'm going to do it here too! Just because Kim's idea is killer and I want to offer it HERE as well!

SO… if I had a session with you in the month of JULY I'm going to pick MY favorite image from your session and post it tomorrow!

Then YOU have to get your family and friends to come over here and VOTE! They only get TWENTY FOUR hours as the contest will close Sat morning August 1st!

So get ready… if you are a JULY client start teaching your family and friends HOW TO COMMENT b/c that's how they will vote!

I'll announce the killer KILLER gift the winner gets tomorrow!!! It's huge people! HUGE!

VALUED AT $150!!!

My friend Tami did this recently and it was so fun to see her client's family's go all out on the voting!

——————-

Ok. There's more to chat about but this day has got to get a move on! So far I've showered, used my NEW hair product thanks to my friend Tara, got all the kids dressed… not fast enough though b/c Grayson pooped on the floor, stepped in it and walked across the room before I noticed his poop-steps. So HE has had a bath already today too! Now we're all in the playroom where they are playing and I'm working away.

I am officially behind in a few sessions… if YOU are a family I'm behind in I AM SO SORRY. Have I mentioned that I've had 25+ sessions this month? It's insane. And it's finally caught up with me. I'm working my ASS off to get done before we leave for Florida Sunday! Thanks so so much for your patience!

my new blog.

I started my first Typepad blog when Parker (now 2.5) was 4 months old. I was sad and tired and fairly depressed I think. Bailey was still 4 months away from turning two so I had two babies home with me all the time. I had no time for scrapbooking or creating or crafting or decorating my home which is what kept me sane when Bailey was an infant. Basically, I had no outlet.

Until one night, at 3am I was feeding Parker (who was weeks old) and flipping through a craft book by Donna Downey and at the very back of the book I noticed the link to her blog. I’d heard of blogs before but had never visited one. I took my hungry baby, got out of bed and sat feeding her at the computer completely enthralled by Donna’s blog. For days I sat and read her blog from front to back. Then I noticed the links on her sidebar (all terms I didn’t know at the time!) and started clicking them. For months I read blogs in the middle of the night when Parker was fussing or eating or I just couldn’t sleep. I found some of the most creative people in the world, I found crafters and photographers and painters and most importantly I found moms. Moms who were as tired and as overwhelmed as I was.

One night I finally bit the bullet and started my own blog.

And the rest is history.

I’ve loved my Typepad blog. I’ve loved the relationships I’ve made, the work I’ve been able to grow, the intimate moments of my life I’ve put out there and the links I’ve shared. And as much as I really do love my Typepad blog, it’s time to move on.

I want a place that is a tad more professional. Somewhere that actually lets people know that I am a serious photographer. A blog that still allows me to share the dirty secrets of my life but that also shows my work bigger and better.

So welcome. To my new blog.

Things will be changing here and there as I have more time to work on it and refine it but for now it’s HERE and WORKING and a great place to welcome in my busy season!

Some price changes are listed, new galleries are up and FOR NOW the old website is down.

THIS IS A BLOGSITE. Which just makes the most sense for me since my BLOG is such an important part of my business! Website+Blog=Blogsite.

I hope you love it!

our afternoon at the park.

Trying to catch up and work ahead and finish laundry and start packing and run errands and entertain the kids while Chris is at soccer all week has made for a little less blogging this week and a lot less sleep! But the end is near… we leave Sunday morning!

And FYI (I will mention it again!)… there is NO internet where we are staying! I will TRY to get to a cafe of some kind to check emails at least but blogging might take a break for the week!

Today we had an hour before Chris had to be back at soccer so we walked across the street to the park…

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Can you see them? SO tiny in this BIG world! :)

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My focus was totally off in this last one, the fence is all that's in focus but WHATEVER right? My girls and my guys all in one photo… that's all that matters!

Working on some fun blog posts over at Fresh Art so check over there in the next few days!

Florida is BOOKED and Chicago is CLOSE so please email me ASAP if you're interested in Labor Day Weekend!

Now on to the other blog… as if I need MORE excuses to blog! HA!

90 emails deep in need of answers and came across this…

I am up to my eyeballs in emails needing replies and am working diligently tonight (as I swear I do every night!) but was definitely in need of a BREAK when I came across an email from Donna, who’s house I just posted below, and this video literally gave me goosebumps and had me in tears with a smile as wide as my mouth would stretch! IT IS GOOD. And if no one but my mom watches it it’s ok b/c I KNOW she will love it!

But no seriously, WATCH IT! You can’t NOT love this!

go big or go home.

I grew up with that phrase. It was my dad's motto for so many things in life. Although I'm not sure he ever used it when talking about printing photos… but I am from now on!

Why?

Because look at these:

Dining room 010

Master bedroom 005  

Donna sent me these images of her two 24×30 prints (printed on stand-out mount) in her dining room and bedroom and I LOVE how they look!

I think most people think an 8×10 is LARGE. But man oh man it is TINY!

These are just SO awesome!

Thanks for sharing Donna!!!

another word about blogs.

If I ever hold a workshop for other photographers it might be to teach them how to grow their blogs.

Not that I'm planning on holding a workshop, ever, or that I even really know anything about growing a blog. Ok, so obviously that idea is stupid. Except that for some reason my blog keeps growing and through my blog I have "met" some of the most amazing people out there. And I want everyone to have the network of support that I have b/c it is awesome. I mean, aside from one MEAN commenter, my days are full of fun and supportive emails. Which makes even a crappy day so much better! Who wouldn't want that right?

I guess I'm just really passionate about blogging. For a ton of reasons, that I won't go into here RIGHT NOW in case I do ever decide to hold that workshop. Or just b/c it's getting late and I'm being LAZY.

Anyway, one such INCREDIBLE person I've met in blogland is Jamie. I honestly can't remember if I found her via Janel's blog or if she found ME via Janel but I'm pretty sure Janel was the link! Am I right Jamie?

ANYWAY. Jamie and her house full of boys is a couple of hours east of St. Louis over in Illinois and although they were ready and willing to travel here to ME I thought a mini road trip adventure sounded like a lot more fun! So we met in the middle, kind of, in OKAWVILLE, IL.

Yeah.

Okawville. The W is silent if that helps. :)

So at the last minute Chris and I got a sitter so he could come with me and we drove over to Okawville together to scout locations for the session.

Can I just say that unless you want a LOT of photos in CORN there isn't a whole lot in Okawville? Not that I was surprised I guess!

So although Chris almost died of embarrassment I drove up to a farm house with a great red barn and asked the sweet elderly man living there if I could photograph a family in his yard. Let's just say that explaining what I meant took me a WHILE and even after I brought Jamie's family there and sat them by the barn and let the boys jump on this man's trampoline I'm still not sure he understood WHY I was there!

HA! I love adventures and meeting RANDOM people and having FUN with my clients and blog friends!

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I'm not sure what she bribed her kids with but her three BOYS were SO good! They listened to me and did what I asked and were totally into getting their photos taken!

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Letting them run around, jump on a trampoline and play mini golf might have helped my cause a bit… HA!

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Not sure what it is about freckles but I could eat this kid alive he's so cute! And he's old enough that if he heard me say that I'm sure he would die of embarrassment! Maybe him and Chris could start a club!

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So cute. Their anniversary is coming up and she wanted a cute photo of just the two of them… and even though they're not both looking at the camera, this was my favorite b/c they are totally laughing at their kids! Love that!

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And then Jamie wanted a photo of US. First, she is only the second person to ask me to take a photo with them I think and it truly makes me happy that someone would WANT that! HOWEVER. No make-up. Lots of sweat (I actually apologized to her in that moment b/c I knew I probably smelled bad!). FRIZZY hair. Holy hell my hair was a ball of frizz! But, at the end of the day THAT IS ME. Nearly 100% of the time so whatever! And I LOVE that we're both laughing here! Totally going up in my office next to the painting she made for me!

Thanks Jamie+FAMILY! You guys were SO great and I was so happy to finally meet you! The rest of your photos are coming soon!

(Read Jamie's blog HERE!)

(Visit her ETSY shop HERE!)