I’ve been at a loss for over a week now. Unsure of what to write. How to write. Where to begin.

And tonight I realized I just have to start. And see where the words take me. Because I still have no ideas.

Here we go.

This will be my last post on this blog. Ever.

Because as of tonight Jodified is done. I’m killing off Jodified. And although parts of me are sad, the majority of me is happy and ALL of me knows this is the right decision.

Here’s the DEAL.

Kim Weiss and I will be merging completely over at Fresh Art. Have you been there recently to see our new look? We’re hoping it’s family friendly because that’s what we’re aiming for! So not only will we be photographing the heck out of newborns, we will now be doing families and seniors and kids and even weddings together!

If you are a current Jodified client that has already booked a session nothing is changing for you except that things will be called Fresh Art now, your sneak peeks will be over HERE from now on and you will get two photographers for the price of one if you’re lucky, as Kim will be coming along on most of my fall Jodified sessions! Print prices and packages aren’t much different so there are no price changes b/c of the move. And if you have questions or concerns please email me directly… and please also check your inbox this week for an email with more details about your session!

Here’s WHY.

I had an insane summer. Which is leading into an insane fall. Full of family and newborn sessions, a few big commercial shoots and holiday promotions. This summer I had a husband at home full time and I still felt like I was drowning a lot of the time. Now he’s back at school and coaching THREE sports this year so my help has diminished. Greatly. And at the end of the day I want to be known as a good mother more than a good photographer. But unfortunately we depend heavily on the money my business brings in so work is a necessity for me. Which is where Kim comes in. Since working with her I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. In her I have an equal partner who can pick up slack when my kids are sick and I can step up when she’s busy too. We both are passionate about giving our clients a great experience and lately I have been forgetting things, dropping things, skipping things and that’s not fair. But together we can make sure things are on track.

And all of that is not to mention how much fun we have working together and pushing each other creatively. It is so rad to see the things we can do TOGETHER as opposed to apart. And we can’t wait to share more of what we have planned!

Here’s HOW.

I will still be blogging. Just like I do now. NOTHING will change on my end. Except, of course, you will have to make sure to have Fresh Art in your Readers or bookmarked since that’s WHERE I will be blogging starting tomorrow! And the other thing is that Kim will be blogging personal things too. Which will be fun b/c you’ll get to know HER as well as you know ME! And trust me, she’s great!

And now, can I just say a quick goodbye to Jodified?

This blog has changed my life. And I know I’ve said it before so I won’t go into details, but it has.  It’s been a place for me to vent and share, rejoice and seek help. It has brought me out of dark times and led me into the brightest times of my life. It has given me opportunities like none I could have imagined. It’s been a diary, three baby books and letters to friends. Not to mention a place to share my work and my passions, my joys and fears.

Thank you to all of you FIVE people that have been here from the beginning and to all of you that started reading along the way. I am still humbled each time someone takes time out of their day to leave a comment or send me an email. Thanks.

And NOW.



Are you ready? Because this might be one of my BEST ideas ever!

We are having…


The first clue is below in this post. EVERY answer can be found in my blog and in the links page on this blog. They will be easier or harder depending on how long and how often you’ve read my blog! Before you can move onto the next clue however, you have to complete the task given to you on the clue card! ALL tasks are about capturing your life. All will be a blast. And along the way you have to email me your photos so I can see how you’re doing!

Once you figure out WHO the clue is, complete the task (email it to me!) and then go find the clue’s email address! All clue answers have blogs or websites and if you cruise around enough you’ll find out how to email them.

Say the answer to CLUE #1 is Tara Whitney… b/c in my world I pretend we’re BFF (HA!)… and you figure it out, do your task and find her website. Then you have to email her with “Jodified Scavenger Hunt” in the subject line of your email. AND then you have to tell her how cool her site is! Or just say HEY! Whatever you write in the body of the email is up to you. Then Tara will read your email and reply with your next clue!

And the winner will be announced on the Fresh Art blog on October 11th… my 30th birthday! AND the winner will get a BOX full of gifts from EACH of the clues! LOTS of talented women are participating so this is a great prize!

I hope you play along!!!


Thanks again for everything.

Signing off.


while i take a while to figure some things out…

cruise around at these…

1. I am in love with the creativity that went into THIS website! Love it.

2. And he’s dating HER who’s blog is one of my favs! Her photographic creativity is out of this world! Adore her!

3. I love vinyl decals for walls. I don’t have any, but if I ever buy some I will start with THESE.

4. I am obsessed with invites. And if I ever don’t want to design my own I might start HERE!

5. When we have more money my kids will have the cutest shoes! Like THESE!

6. I think THIS would make a great birthday gift!

7. I started a Bible study this week and the kids each have a Bible school class during the same time. In just two weeks Bailey has been talking more about God and Jesus than she ever has. We read our Bible (a children’s one of course) more than we used to and she loves talking about Gensis 1:1 which is what they learned about this week. And I will be buying THIS book asap b/c I think they’ll love it!

8. I love THIS idea and might do it for Christmas this year!

Ok! Enjoy!

And I promise I will be back asap to tell you what has been happening this week! Big changes and lots of big sessions has me light years past the busy point. Today we had a big commercial shoot, tomorrow is a home movie shoot and Sunday we have a sweet newborn. Oh and this week starts my official fall sessions. Which means I’m shooting constantly. Which is really exciting!

Enjoy your Saturday! And if you are in St. Louis go to Emmanuel Episcopal Church tomorrow morning for their annual BOOT SALE (a big garage sale)… according to my mom they have lots of great stuff this year! 8 South Bompart in Webster!

client share

I love this email I got from Kristin a few weeks ago…


Attached are a couple of snapshots of your awesome pictures up in our house.  We were so excited to get them in the mail this week and get them up.  As you’ll see we went BIG… we loved them so much and I loved how your beach pictures looked on your blog so much I was inspired to go BIG!

Thanks again!



They look great! And I just LOVE it when people GO BIG! Truly, you have no idea the impact it will have on your everyday life to have BIG prints in your house of your family!

*they purchased a package that included the disk of full-res images so they could print these themselves.

sept canvas sale!


sept canvas sale

EDITED TO ADD: Thanks to my friend Mark for pointing out what an IDIOT I am! Although he used nicer words! HA! This sale isn’t quite 50% off… but CLOSE! Sorry! Can I blame it on the day I’ve had? No? Too bad! I’m blaming my idiocy on the day I’ve had! It’s still a good deal though!!!

can i get an amen?

Or maybe this post will end in stunned silence.


I just had to say, after two posts documenting the trials and joys of my life (and so many lives like mine) I also have to throw this tid-bit in and THEN I WILL BE DONE. I swear.

But here’s the thing.

Are you ready?


I love my kids. Love them. Madly.



If all I did all day was MOTHER these three kids all day I would go insane and blow my head off.


If I had nothing but caring for them, teaching them, feeding them, cleaning up after them, wiping them, dressing them, and well you know, MOTHERING them I would start to hate my life.

I know I would.


I NEED something else but my home life. Which is funny because for my ENTIRE life all I wanted to be was a mother. And really I was fine up until I had Parker. And then the whole two under two thing was just too much for me. I lost myself. And started looking desperately around trying to find myself.

Not knowing WHERE I was or how to find me I started blogging, started my business and the rest is history.

I am a better person because of this job and the time I spend away from my kids shooting and collaborating and editing and even filing. Being CREATIVE. Being ME. JUST ME.

Does it make my life crazy to have three kids ages four and under PLUS a more-than-full-time job? HELL YES!

But could I give it up?

Absolutely not. Because I know a HUGE piece of myself would be lost too.

A lot of women love being home with their kids and that’s great. For them. It is not for me. At least not ALL of the time. Because I am home with them a lot. And we build towers and do art projects and bake cookies play games.

But the times I get to leave rejuvenate me.

And THAT means I think I have the best of both worlds!

Stunned silence or AMEN SISTER?

the flip side.

The funny part about my life is that even in the midst of hunkering down I am energized.

And this is the part that I can not for the life of me explain.

I love my job.

I wake up in the morning and wonder what emails I have.

I make the kids breakfast and dream of locations.

I shower and come up with crazy new ideas.

I drive and chat with Kim about what’s coming up next.

I get a thrill when I get a new client inquiry.

I edit photos into the wee hours of the night and enjoy it.

I cherish the relationships I’ve made because of this blog.

You’ve heard what sucks about having young kids and running a business. Losing sight of friendships, gaining weight (oh yes, I TOTALLY blame this on Jodified! HA!), exhaustion, etc. And those are all really important and I am going to work harder to find a balance.

Aren’t we all?

But I just have to say that I also feel incredibly blessed. I get to be home with my kids… not full time, but a lot. I get to help provide for my family without a college degree. I have a flexible schedule so I can chose when to slow down and when to speed up.

And you know what?

I get to live my dream!

I get to have a job that I wake up EVERY SINGLE MORNING excited to do! I get to be PASSIONATE every single day! I can be creative and not only when I’m coloring with the girls! I get to work with amazing people and meet incredible families!

Not everyone in this world can say that they have found what they love to do and DO IT every day!

This is a really huge freaking deal and I don’t take any of it for granted!

hunkering down to survive my life.

Have you ever been on a merry-go-round, in the very middle where things seem to spin even faster, closed your eyes and just held on for dear life?

Or have you ever been the egg during “don’t crack the egg” on a trampoline, holding your legs to your chest in a desperate attempt to not fly flailing into the air?

Or have you ever been in the car with someone who hit a turn too fast and instinctually grabbed for the door to hold on?

That’s me.

Hunkered down. Holding on. Curled up. Tight.

And what results when this happens are parts of my life slip away. Because when you are curled in a ball you can only hold onto so many things. You can’t hold it all so you let a few things slip away, slowly at first, and then as life spins faster you let a few more things go and a few more. Just so you can keep your grip.

Our marriage has been busy. On Sept 4th we celebrated (with a non-celebration b/c I was in Chicago) our fifth wedding anniversary and all I kept thinking about was how far we’d come. Two cross-country moves, lots of jobs, no money, three kids, etc. It was a lot. It is a lot. And I’m proud of how far we’ve come and excited with how far we have to go.


During all that time and all that stress (three unplanned pregnancies can take it out of you!) I had a smile on my face. And I was happy. And letting life move me and shape me and mold me and it was good. Like tall grass on a breezy day, life moved me and I swayed. Good.


The last six months or so have been different. Someone said to me today that my business has grown too fast and I think she hit the nail on the head.

Since the feature in PPA mag my business and thus my life, has been a whirlwind. And until recently I didn’t realize that I had somehow, in the midst of it all, stopped smiling and swaying and accepting the chaos. Instead I have been hunkered down. Dealing with it. Excited about it. Terrified by it. Letting it shove me and push me and kick me and exhaust me.

My life is not my own.

And I realized this because I have let some friends down. Like big time. And I hate that.

But the busier my life got the less things I could hold on to. I had to let things slip away. And you’d better believe it wasn’t going to be my kids or my work or my husband. And so my friends took the brunt of it.

Lack of phone calls, no emails, no texts, no social life at all really. Because friends could be easily let go. Unfortunately.

Of course my sleep was let go of first, followed close behind by my health and any thought of making time for exercise. Next came having a perfectly clean house and cooking dinner and keeping up with laundry. But friends came soon after.

When there are so many hours in a day you can only do so much. And for the last few months it was all I could do to keep up with Chris and the kids and the house and my work. And after all those things were happy and cared for I had nothing left.

And so, to my friends, ALL of you, I am so sorry.

I take for granted that you will be waiting for me when this season of my life is over and I can step down off the merry-go-round for a bit to go have a drink and catch up.

So last night I did just that.

I put the kids to bed, said goodbye to Chris, closed the computer and went to a movie with my best friend, Jessica. And it was awesome. And we vowed to do it at least once a month.

And the biggest blessing of my life? I hurt her and she was frustrated, but she actually was waiting for me. And welcomed me back whole-heartedly. And will hold no grudge.

So from now on I am going to force myself to slow down, delegate more to my assistant or Kim when needed (not that they both don’t do SO much already!) and learn to say NO.

4 sessions a week is about all I can manage without losing sight of all the other important pieces in my life. And those are almost booked solid from now until November (a few slots left so book quickly!).

And I write this because I think everyone has seasons in their life like this. And I think we all need a reminder that it is ok to jump off the spinning merry-go-round for at least one night! You can always wake up and hop back on in the morning!

But go get a mnt dew first! You’ll need it!

a sneak peek for the McCullough family.

And possibly my last sneak peek on this blog. But more on that later.

Julie is a photographer down in Alabama and contacted me about photographing her family on their way home from a family vacation up in Wisconsin. Whew. It was a lot to plan out for them but they took a slight detour and made it to St. Louis Sat night in time for our Sunday morning session… before driving the 7 hours home later that day!

They like to include historical elements and parts of Americana into their trips so they wanted to meet at The Arch. Which is great, except it is a PARK and I hate PARKS. But I think making a slight concession for a family willing to travel to see me is the LEAST I could do! And we made it work! And it worked great! And by WE, I mean Kim Weiss and I. Because she came along. And thank goodness b/c shooting a family with two photographers offers you SO much more flexibility and SO many more ways to be creative than when it’s just YOU! Thanks Kim!


Flexibility like this. What you don’t see in this WAY pulled back photo is that Kim was right next to them. Getting great shots of them interacting as a family. A bit of clone stamping and you just get the family in a new city. I love this b/c some day they can show their kids that they were in St. Louis…which close ups wouldn’t provide on their own. But this is the perfect example of why having two photogs help so much… b/c since Kim was over there I could get this shot without running from one side of the lake to the other! Normally I might have had this shot in my head but given up the idea b/c of time or something.



I know that b/c Julie is always BEHIND the camera she’ll be excited to know that we got a TON of great family shots with HER in them! I love this one!


And SO random that we found this heart carved in a tree! But it was too perfect not to use! Love it!

Thanks so much Julie and family for coming to St. Louis to hang with Kim and I for a little while! I hope you got a chance to go up in the Arch! More sneak peeks on the Fresh Art side of things coming soon… Kim has a really sick kid so her edits will take a bit longer.

AND lots of fun announcements coming this week! Stay tuned!