the journey.

Chris and I hit our fifth anniversary in September and in the last few months I have seen a massive change in our marriage.

I'm not sure if it's b/c five years to share so intimately with another person is long enough to finally truly hit a stride or if the fact that this is the longest I've gone without shocking him at the announcement of another baby has helped or what, but we're doing really good.

Not that we were doing really bad. We bicker and argue and have blow out fights like I think most couples do occasionally, but recently we are finally figuring this whole marriage thing out it seems.

Today. For example.

I am tired. Truly, if there were a photo to sum up how I'm feeling today it would be this:


I want to lean on someone that loves me unconditionally and just be tired. LEAN ON THEM. Like Parker is doing here with my mom.

I had a twin session yesterday morning for Fresh Art (more to come on that HERE), got a sneak peek done during the time I should have eaten lunch, got a last minute sitter so Chris could come with me to my evening session that was an hour away in Illinois (sneak peek coming SOON!) and when we got home at 8:45pm, just as I was about to eat my first real meal of the day, I got a call from NILMDTS to rush to Children's Hospital.

When I got home at 2:45am and FELL into bed after one of the harder sessions I've been a part of I was exhausted.

But I went to sleep knowing that Chris would take care of the kids in the morning and let me sleep. Which he did. He even took the girls out to get a few donuts for us so the house was quiet. He let me shower and get dressed in peace. We had friends stop by at 10:30am (the twin's moms) and we had a great time catching up and chatting with them. And holding the babies. Oh those sweet babies.

I made lunch for the kids while Chris got some computer work done and then he came in and took over so I could go get some work done. He cleaned up the kitchen and got the kids in bed while I worked.

Our day was chugging along fairly seamlessly when my friend called and mentioned all the soccer the boys had this week.


I knew they had soccer 4 mornings this week. I had forgotten (b/c Chris DID give me a schedule a while back) that it was in fact FIVE mornings and TWO nights. Couple that with FOUR sessions for me, a WEDDING, TWO sessions I'm behind on and packing/getting ready to leave for Florida in a week from TODAY and…


I started telling him how much I hate soccer and how little he gets paid and yaddah yaddah yaddah. Same old stupid argument.


Except that two years ago Chris would have gotten defensive and I would have been on a rampage and we would have ended up screaming at each other. And in the end nothing would have been changed or been figured out or worked on.


But today was different. Today, as I went from being angry about soccer to all the things we have to do this week to prepare for Florida to all the things I'm worried about on the trip to all the things I'm worried about in general Chris was able to stop me. Without making me feel stupid or overly emotional or LIKE A HORMONAL WOMAN (working on stopping nursing has sent my hormones into a tailspin recently).

And I was able to calm down enough to stop, look at him and say, "I'm sorry, I am just really really tired I think."

And from that second on I sat there, looking at him, knowing that I had married the man God created for me.

He knew that I was just tired. He knew that I had a crazy busy day yesterday coupled with an extremely late night working that was over-the-top emotional and I was just done. But rather than point out the obvious (which would have just egged my anger in the moment) he listened and stayed calm and helped me see that in fact, the world was not falling down around me, I was JUST TIRED.

It was amazing and just a few years ago today would have ended very differently.

Marriage can be so hard. It is hard getting to know someone so deeply. It's not all candle light and roses. In fact, at least in our life, it is very rarely candle light and roses.

Marriage, for us, is letting the other person sleep in no matter how much you don't want to get up at 5:30am. It's allowing the other person to follow and realize their passion. It's encouraging the other person to follow and realize their passion while overlooking how that directly effects yourself. It's accepting the fact that I don't cook and not making fun of me for it anymore. It's being on the exact same page when it comes to disciplining our children. It's making it to as many soccer games as I can with three kids and a camera in tow during the crabbiest time of day during the busiest time of year for me. It's knowing that when he's quiet he's not mad, just quiet.

It's laughing harder with someone than I've ever laughed before. And doing it on a regular basis.

I rarely talk about our marriage here b/c MARRIAGE IS HARD. And I don't want to only talk about the fun+good times b/c that's not the whole truth. AND my husband is a teacher so I would never rant about the bad times b/c who knows which student might come across my blog.

BUT. I'm talking about it today b/c TODAY I was so grateful that I married Chris. And it made me realize that the first years of marriage might just be the hardest (of course three kids and a million other major stressers don't help those first years) ever. And I want to remember that. I want to remember screaming late at night in the kitchen. WHY? Because it makes me appreciate days like today even more. It makes me take comfort in the fact that someone loves me so completely.

AND I want a record of me saying that THIS IS A JOURNEY for my kids someday. Marriage does not end at the alter, it begins. And it is a LONG ROAD. But it never stops. You just keep truckin along. And I want my kids to know that. TO KNOW THAT. That you don't give up during the bad times b/c right around the corner are the best times of your life.

Bailey, Parker and Grayson… to your future selves… the best decision I ever made was to marry your dad.

sometimes. always. never.

I saw this posted on Elise's blog and loved the idea… so I'm borrowing it!


I sometimes….

…wake up well rested on 3 hours of sleep.

…feel totally inadequate about my business.

…get to shower.

…wonder why God chose my to raise these kids.

…keep my house clean.

I always…

…start my sessions with a stop for a fountain mnt dew.

…get excited about new ideas.

…love doing art projects with my kids.

…am behind on laundry.

…wish i had more time in my day to do EVERYTHING that never gets done.

I never…


…enjoy sick kids.

…feel like my house is clean or organized enough.

…spend enough time with Chris.

…stop wanting new things (like a new camera, lens and computer b/c we NEVER have $10,000 laying around!)

A fun+easy Saturday morning post!

Join in and link to your posts in the comments!

Now it's time for a little hide n' go seek before I head out to the TWINS Kim and I are photographing for Fresh Art this morning! Then it's lunch, editing, and heading back out to a session tonight!

***FUNNY photo from Kim… I was trying to get MOM photos the other day at her studio… MOM meaning NO make-up, SWEATS, BAD hair, CRAZY kids… I think we succeeded! HA!

one more session left.

Just wanted to pop on here and mention that I have ONE MORE FLORIDA SESSION available!

If you know anyone in the Destin area (we're staying in Santa Rosa and I'll be shooting anywhere around there) PLEASE spread the word!

Available date: THURSDAY AUGUST 6th evening session

ALSO… Chicago sessions are booking up for Labor Day, just 3 slots available so please email me soon if you are interested!

More fun stuff later…

where i tried to give a video demonstration of our latest crafts and failed miserably.

*Post title fully COPIED inspired by my good friend Fern, who's post titles can make me laugh before I read anything else!

1. This video is of two GREAT kid craft ideas, first one found HERE (abbie you'll love this blog!)

2. I promise to stick with my regular camera and leave video taping to the pros

3. For some reason I talk very slow on video and in real life can talk very fast

4. When making your bottle top boats, make sure the glue is dry or they fall apart when wet VERY quickly

5. There is a LOT of Bailey half-dressed in this video, which just goes to show that my kids are rarely dressed around the house on a daily basis and that I really do think kids are cute in the buff

6. Chris is mowing in the background of some of this… sorry for the noise

7. We normally ice paint WITHOUT the hose on so the paint doesn't wash away immediately

8. Kelsey, you get a MAJOR shout out from Bails!

9. If you can't understand Parker in the last little bit… she's saying: "put dat tamera down so i videotape you"

10. ENJOY!

the rock star.

Last night I was a workshop with some other local photographers and during the evening the "rock stars" of the photography world came up a few times.

You know, like HER and HER and THEM.

And they told us not to try to be a rock star.

Which I get b/c come on, there aren't that many out there that are BIG names and it's hard to become a BIG name so it makes sense to just try to work your market and work it well.


Why would you be in this industry if you didn't have dreams of being a rock star with the income to match?

Is it bad that I dream of being a big national name?

Is it bad that I want to make lots of money for my family?

That I want to travel and have people want to hire me all over the country? The WORLD?

Is it bad that I want to shoot in cities other than St. Louis? That is actually THRILLS me to shoot in new places?

I don't know.

I do know that I think about it. Dream about it.

And then a kid poops and calls my name for me to come wipe their bottom and reality comes crashing back down!

And speaking of my kids, we had dinner at my parents over the weekend and for the first time in a long time i had the camera out… so beware… lots of my kids are coming atcha!


Chris, my mom and Bailey were playing catch in their front yard but Parker was tired and not into it… I love this one of her leaning on my mom.










post-head ball! HA! Can you tell daddy is a soccer coach?

THEN, yesterday morning I was watching Gray walk all around the house and I realized I really hadn't captured those first few steps in a way that I liked. So I stripped him down and took him into the yard. WHY DID I MAKE HIM WALK AROUND NAKED? Because I really love a baby's body. The rolls, the dimples, the skin. I love it. And I love how perfectly it shows his first steps. With his arms up for balance…perfection.


And the fact that he's carrying PUPPY DOG, his lovey, around makes my heart sing.

(Jakki… I swear I thought of you when I did this in b/w!!!)

AND THEN I got crazy and I made the girls strip down too. Because I just think a naked tush is so natural and cute and innocent.

HOWEVER. My mom thought it was too NAKED and I know Chris will freak out when he sees it on the WWW… hence the SENSOR blocks!


Just be warned that this shot may be printed as a 24×30 CANVAS in my house soon b/c I AM IN LOVE.

TODAY: The kids slept at my parents house so after my 2am bedtime I got to sleep until 7:30am! Thanks mom+dad! I have about 2 more hours of kid-free work before I head to my parent's house for a meeting and to see the kids. Then I'm leaving them to nap there while I take a NILMDTS session at Children's. It's going to be a tough one. Very much like THIS one. And that breaks my heart.

I had 5+ hours of sleep but MAN my head is fuzzy still! That means a shower and a quick run for a mnt dew is in order. The house is a mess, laundry needs changing and emails are SCREAMING at me for answers… does anyone else sometimes hate their inbox?


stacy claire boyd feature

Oh man!

Just had to share that one of our Fresh Art photos was just featured on the AWESOME designer Stacy Claire Boyd's blog!

SO COOL! (Especially since we've not even been around an entire month yet!)

I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE for you YOU (yes even you!) to head over there and leave her a comment for me… maybe she'll get so much blog love that she'll want to use our photos on her website too!

Go HERE!!!


working the light.

In the last post (not the post-it video but the one before that!) my good friend Tami left a comment saying that I was working the light. She's so great and is becoming my go-to for all things photography (she's amazing and if you live in AZ you should HIRE HER!) so a compliment from her means the world. Anyway, as I was editing these LOVE LIGHT photos that's all I could think about.


I love that. Because you are. As a photographer I watch for three things as I shoot:




And light is first b/c it is hands down the most important part of photography. (Maybe I'll talk about all three in more detail one day?) Have you ever heard the saying that photography is painting with light? It is. If you have crappy light you're going to have crappy photos. Period.


Love Light is changing all of that b/c DARK is the epitome of BAD light right? It is literally the absence of light! HOWEVER, if you find the right light, MASTER your camera (I'm still working on that part!) and position your subjects just right the DARK can be awesome. It can actually make the LIGHT even better.

Ahhhh. It is early and I am tired and I hope I am making sense here! HA!

Anyway, Saturday night I had a Love Light session and for the first time I REALLY felt like I was WORKING THE LIGHT. I kept having moments when I wanted to jump up and down b/c I KNEW I'd gotten the shot I wanted… I refrained so I didn't totally freak out my clients, but trust me, I wanted to! It was great b/c Love Light sessions are really one big MASSIVE experiment for me. I truly have NO IDEA how it's all going to turn out b/c I am shooting at 11pm at night. But as we walk around I see the light, get an idea and go with it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it turns out as one big black blob. But whatever.

If you aren't PLAYING you aren't LEARNING.

So you be the judge…


Ok. This is not really doing anything masterful with light, but it did make me laugh really hard! HA!


This and the following were shot at 200ISO. Just so you know.


And it was 10pm.

And dark.


Love that.

Now if I had had my ISO at say, 1600, I would have seen a LOT more of them. But this is perfect. What more do you need to see? It gives you ENOUGH of an idea. It shows their love. Their closeness. Without being too literal.

Am I explaining too much? Love Light is becoming such a passion for me I think I just want everyone else to GET ME you know?

Anyway, this next photo might just be my absolute favorite LL image ever. And that is saying a lot b/c I really do love the shot of Bill and Susan under the Arch… remember that one? I just LOVE this next one though!


That's not photoshop magic. That is just a simple black and white conversion. It was all the LIGHT. Love it!


Poor Dan kind of got the shaft in the lighting dept. but I just think a woman is SO beautiful when she's in love!


SOOOOO St. Louis! HA! Sliders at midnight! This is kind of an inside joke between Elizabeth and Dan… I'll let her tell you in the comments if she wants to!

MAN I love these sessions!

The best part though was finally meeting Elizabeth! She is the cousin of one of my clients and has been a long time blog reader. We've emailed and you might remember her as the INSTIGATOR to all the GO drama! She even brought me a GO Visa ad to the session, which made me almost wet myself I was laughing so hard, that I am totally framing for my office! She ALSO felt like I needed time for MYSELF and her and Dan gave me a gift certificate for a MASSAGE! A ONE HOUR MASSAGE! OMG! SO nice! I might have to make that apt this week I'm so excited!!! Can you believe that?

I'm totally going to start writing WAY MORE posts about OH WOE IS ME so that I can squeak out more surprise gifts! HA!

She also made me a CD, which sounds SO 7th grade, but totally made me cry. Because she's read my blog for so long she knows a lot about my life and my loves and my struggles and she put together a playlist of songs that she felt would lift me up. Can I just tell you that that is one of the best gifts ever? Beats the massage and that's saying a LOT! It has been playing non-stop in the car and on my computer!

Thanks so so SO much Elizabeth and Dan for making me feel SO loved and appreciated! You guys were a blast to hang out with and I SO hope you love your photos!