beware… a moment of mommy bragging ahead.

I suck at a lot of things and doing baby books for my kids is way high up on that list. Bailey’s is the best, of course. I think I started one for PJ but I know I don’t even have one for Gray. I was blogging by then and it seemed like enough. I hope in 20 years they all think so.

And actually, before I share my SUPER PROUD mom moment let me share something else. I was reading Erin’s blog and just LOVE this post she wrote. Click HERE to read it. What she wrote was SO perfect and it’s funny to me that I hadn’t thought of it like that. She talked about how when her kids were tiny she blogged constantly and took a ton of photos because it helped pass the days. That was SO me. I started my blog the spring after Parker was born when I had an infant and a one year old. Then I had an infant, a one year old and a two year old. My camera helped me remember that there were GOOD moments in the midst of some really long and really hard ones. And blogging kept me connected to the outside world during a time I felt incredibly alone.

Now, I don’t blog as much. In fact, sometimes blogging feels like work when before it was the highlight of my day. But mostly the blog is quieter because I’m working more, the kids are bigger, my days seem to fly by and when I am with the kids I’m not taking as many photos. Back when I blogged every day I was with the kids 24-7 and the days crawled by. Now I crave time with them, LOVE my time with them (mostly) and wish the days had more hours in them. It just leaves less time to blog and that’s ok.

But I do want this space to still be a place to capture their childhood, my thoughts and feelings about life, etc. This is still my blog and I want it to reflect my life. It will be interesting to see how it changes over time but I hope that it is always a good reflection of me no matter what. I never want to sugar coat life or only share the good, those blogs drive me crazy!

So while sometimes I do want to share the ugly truth, tonight I have to share this incredible email I got today from Bailey’s teacher! I’m sure she is required to email parents every once in a while but I’m going to pretend like that’s not true and that she just wanted to share this with me. We adore her teacher this year and I’m SO glad she took the time out of her night to email this…


I wanted to share a story with you from today.   At recess today  the girls ran over to tell me there was a rabbit’s leg by the playground and some boys were touching it.  I went over to investigate and sure enough……there was a rabbit leg. (EWWW)  Bailey and Emmy are ALWAYS willing to help so I sent them inside for a plastic bag.  After I took care of the “leg” I asked Bailey to put the bag in the trash can.  I watched as she and Emmy skipped over to the trash can, put the bag in and then stood there for a few extra seconds.  As we were lining up Bailey shared with me that she said a prayer for the rabbit’s leg.  Now how sweet is that??!!!!  I don’t want to embarrass Bailey, but I wanted to take a minute to tell you and Chris what an amazing young lady you have.  She has to be one of the kindest, funniest, responsible and caring students I have ever had.  I am sure you know what a jewel she is, but I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate her!  She is amazing!


Have a nice evening,



I’ve been editing boudoir sessions like mad so the awesome women that came have time to make Valentine goodies for their husbands but it is a little disheartening to be drinking soda and eating junk while I edit these beautiful women. Really, it’s just depressing.

I need to start running again.

And if we had an extra $250 I am dying to join the Webster Rec. I keep telling myself if I had a WARM place to go workout I actually would.

It came up today that I should write something in Gray’s baby book and well, he doesn’t have one. So instead I’ll write it here. About a year ago he used to call himself a “beater-man”. It meant that he could/would beat anyone else he was racing against (in his head or real life). So he’s be running and call out, “I beat you! I’m a BEATERMAN!” or “Wow Mommy! You fast! You a beaterman!” But Chris could never understand him and would always say, “A Bee-lemon?” And then Gray would say, “no, a beaterman” and I would correct Chris with the right word but it became a joke. So Gray talked endlessly about being a beaterman and Chris talked endlessly about being a Be-lemon. Of course the B-lemon stuck so now Gray will say “We’re driving fast Mommy! We’re the B-lemons!” which cracks me up because it makes absolutely no sense to anyone but us which ends up making me laugh even harder.

I’m seeing more and more that Bailey is VERY black and white. It’s either right or wrong. There is no gray for her. Which is so great because she totally gets it but at the same time I worry that she’ll be a control freak afraid to make mistakes (kind of like ME). I want her to be “good” and all that but I also want her to be adventurous and brave and not afraid to live BIG even if it means she’ll fall hard. Do you think she’s too young have a conversation about this? Is it too early to start talking to her about all the things I desire for her? I want her to have the best of us and what I see right now is a desire to always be good (which makes for very easy parenting most of the time!) which means that someday her fear of being “bad” or getting in trouble will surface and that can be crippling. As a kid and even now I was always terrified of getting in trouble that it kept me from doing a lot of fun things.

I’m desperate for a work space at my house. At my parent’s house where I work all week I have an awesome desk and file cabinet and room to organize/work/spread out projects. At home I have the only table we have to eat at or the couch. The table is uncomfortable and just not ideal. The couch is too comfortable and causes me to get tired faster at night. Plus organizing Fresh Art and school papers and personal bills and business bills and other paper that comes in this house is HARD. I need an office.

I’m back on caffeine so hard right now it’s bad. I KNOW it’s bad. I know the ingredients and what it can do to my weight and my body. But how else do I get through the busy weeks? And HOW am I so busy during my slow time?

I was at one of my dad’s client’s homes today and she’s retired plus lives alone. This is going to sound terrible but I actually dream of that. I dream about all that I could do if I had total alone time. I don’t think that means I want to get rid of my family but I do think it means I need a week by myself somewhere to just BE. Does any other mom ever feel this way?

The funny part of feeling this way is that on the flip side is this ache to be with my kids more. They are SO FUN right now. I would give anything to be a stay at home mom with them. Instead I work two jobs. It just sucks sometimes you know?

the tree burn.

Tonight Chris and I were invited to a Christmas Tree burn. We had absolutely no idea what it was all about except the obvious, burning trees, but with the Allen’s willing to babysit for free and a few hours away from home beckoning to us we jumped at the chance to watch trees burn!

And you guys, I am SO glad we went.

The 45 minute drive was nice because Chris and I had a few really great talks. One about my sweet friend and her BIG decision she just made, one about our kids and how we’re frustrated with how undisciplined so many parents are around us (making us talk seriously about our own school choices), one about the direction Fresh Art is moving, one about our plans for our first ever summer vacation and well, a few others too! 45 minutes back and forth was ample time to really talk. And that’s ALWAYS good!

I love this shot in color because you see more of him but I also LOVE it in black and white b/c it’s got such a Love Light feel!

So I showed you both! He’s my love and I’m allowed!

Anyway, it was also an awesome night because Chris got to put faces to so many names he’s heard me talk about before. Sara has been an “online” friend for a few years but we so rarely get a chance to hang together in real life (if you haven’t yet, watch THIS video on the IRL vs. online life b/c it’s AWESOME!). .. while I value just reading her blog, commenting, emailing, FBing, whatever, it was also nice to stand next to each other and chat.

Oh and burn some trees. That was pretty cool too. This shot is totally out of focus but so awesome I had to post it! The fire was CRAZY (I was too cold to ever step back and get a full shot of this fire but it was intense!) and so much fun! Ok, this looks like a huge fireball is about to eat him but he’s actually ok and walked away unharmed! HA!

That tree came from their church and it was HUGE!

SO basically a big bunch of adults stood around this HUGE fire in the smack dab middle of no where watching dead Christmas trees burn. And it was awesome! Great conversations on the way there, while we were there and on the way home. I had a little buzz going, or maybe I will still defrosting, but now I’m exhausted and finally heading to bed. What a fun night. Makes me excited to save our tree for next year!

Thanks so much Sara and Mike!

sword fight

After church I threw the kids in their V-day outfits to take some shots (details on WHAT I’m making coming next week!) and on the way back up the street the boys got into an impromptu sword fight.

I feel so lucky that God blessed me with these two amazing boys. My boys. Man I love them!

and january is almost half over.

I was driving home today and noticed a house that had their Christmas lights up and it hit me how damn fast this winter is going. Days and weeks used to feel like they just crawled by. Now they fly. Do you think it’s because for the first time in longer than I can remember I’m just happy?

Chris stayed home sick today but by this afternoon got dressed and took the girls outside for me after they got home to enjoy the SNOW we got today!

19 degree temp with a windchill or 2! It was COLD!

Yesterday it was NOT cold which is so strange. How it can go from 53 to 19 is baffling to me.

Did you see that I am doing Valentine’s Mini Sessions? Please spread the word! I need to make some money on this one! HA!

I took Christmas down last night and have been obsessing over my mantle ever since. It’s always kind of a let down after the sparkle of Christmas lights so I wanted it to be different+fun for Valentine’s Day. Here is where I started and tomorrow I’ll try to get shots of where it ended up… less cluttery looking but I think I love it. I need to sit with it for a day or two maybe.

What I love about this are the details, I just ended up changing the layout of the details and edited it back a bit.

Details… I made the love banner a few years ago and still love it. Chris bought me that adorable felt ball garland for Christmas.

The small print in the jar is from Katie Daisy. I ordered some prints from her for Christmas (she is one of my FAVORITE artists!) and she included that in the package. I’m also obsessed with putting photos in jars right now. A cheap, fun and easy way to frame photos you can easily change out! Parker made the little snowman and the pink heart.

The lace and trims are from my Grandma’s stash I’ve slowly been using over the years, the sparkly strand in the jar was from my Christmas mantle, Bailey made the colorful heart, the blue bottle was my Grandpa’s and I’m obsessed with doilies right now!

That’s me! HA!

The star fish is from our last trip to Florida and Bailey made the snowman last year. A lot of the jars are from my dad finding them while kayaking and hiking around Missouri. He calls them his “dirty clear glass bottles” and they are my obsession. I want millions of them!

The marbles were my Grandma’s also. Same Grandma as the trim. My mom’s mom. I never knew my other Grandma.

Anyway, it looks different now so I’ll photograph it soon and share. I love finding inspiration for Valentine’s day online! I found the idea for the doily+heart+jar on pinterest but HERE is the original post. I changed it a little of course. I’m not a fan of directly copying anyone!

And since I’m in a photo sharing mood here are two more days on my photo project for 2012…

Ok, back to editing client images!

A quick gift idea!

I know it’s almost half-way through January but sporatically I’m going to post about Christmas! There are things I want to remember!

So to start… this was one of my favorite gifts from this year and it happened super randomly. Honestly, I think I was wandering around Target just searching for ways to spend money when I found THIS (or something similar) and bought it. With no real reason for doing so except that it was crazy cheap and I realized that if I did packs of 10 gift cards I would have $20 gifts for under $1 each. I think the pack was like $13 maybe? Did I do my math right?


And no, I wasn’t REALLY walking around Target begging to spend money. I’m sure I had a very specific list and STILL found multiple ways to spend money I wasn’t counting on spending! Does that happen to you? Only at Target do I go in for a sports bra, milk and a birthday gift and come out spending over $100.

So I got this huge pack of blank cards home and ended up doodling on them for little gifts that we gave some of the kids in our life (neighbors and friends mostly). It was a great break from the computer at night while I watched tv!

ANYONE could do this! I am not a good artist! They’re just simple doodles and if you googled “doodles” I bet you could copy something pretty easily. It’s just not something I’d ever thought of before so I thought I’d share!

I think I did 5 sets total and it was fun to try and think about new doodles for each one (and some I totally repeated!).

Oh and aren’t you SO jealous of the paneling in our back room? I know. Sexy. The room is literally rotting off of our house so I haven’t touched it besides making it the homework/art room for the kids and the pantry. If I paint it I’m afraid that I’ll forget that one day I’ll walk out there and fall through the floor! The ugly keeps me on my toes!

Happy Monday friends!

our everyday

My new friend, Shalonda, from Chubby Cheek Photography did this year long project called “the everyday” and my main resolution for this year is to attempt it. They are her posts I most look forward to seeing on her blog even though I am completely inspired by all of her work.

So throughout the year I will post these images. I’m not going to make it a project 365 or anything. If I try to do something every single day I am just setting myself up to fail which is NOT how I want to start out the new year. I’m just going to call it “our everyday” and take shots as they come, capture moments as they happen, snap things I want to remember and just try harder this year to keep my camera out of the bag more. They will be beautiful shots, funny shots, posed shots, secret shots, silly shots and hopefully very happy shots. The tiny moments of our day, the big moments of our year and all the in-between.

Monday we celebrated C’s Grandpa’s 88th birthday and the girls decided to dress up in their new handmade poodle skirts Terri made them for Christmas. It was 4pm, the light was terrible and it was cold. As we were walking out the door I realized I hadn’t even started my new project yet right as the girls asked to get their photos taken in the new skirts. Perfect. It makes me laugh that this cheesy smile, stand in the middle of the street where the last light of day is best, hold hands, posed shot is the first of the new year because these are the shots I detest. But ultimately it made me realize that it’s ALL a part of the whole. There will be photos I hate in this project (that will hopefully be an album at the end of the year) and ones I will cherish. But it’s all part of the process. And it’s all just pieces of our everyday.

8 random thoughts

1. Gray has ringworm. Does that disgust anyone else so much that just saying it makes your mouth taste like vomit? O.M.G.

2. 2012 is hitting me like a ton of bricks today for some reason. The reality of Kim stepping back has finally hit me full force I think. SO much to do. So much to change. So many lists I need to make. So much time I need to devote. SO much so much so much.

3. The kids went back to school today and getting out of bed before 8am nearly killed me. And of course it wasn’t until the last moment I realized I had to make three lunches, pay preschool and deliver cupcakes to C’s school. I hate mornings like that and wish, in that moment, I could homeschool and start the day just a bit later.

4. When I get in bed I always read blogs on my phone to fall asleep. I have a nice stack of awesome books I’m dying to read but if I turn the light on it wakes up Chris so my phone is the best way to get my eyes to officially droop. So it was late Monday night when I saw THIS post from one of my newest online friends and fell in love. I mean, I’ve been in love with her work for a long time and look forward to her “the everyday” posts the most, but something clicked. A couple of years ago I tried doing the photo a day thing and gave up around May i think. Considering I had so many little ones I was proud I made it that far, and to this day they are some of my favorite photos. So I’m starting again but not forcing every SINGLE day on myself. If I miss a few it’s ok. I take photos most days anyway but I’m hoping this inspires me to keep taking them and to actually look for the small moments I kind of forget about in the rush of the everyday. I want to slow down a little this year and absorb it all. I think this will help.

5. Parker spit on a little boy at choir tonight and in the car on the way home I asked her WHY she did that (after punishing her at church) and she said, “he told me I had to kiss him Mommy and I didn’t want to so I spit on him.” HA! I told her she could spit on any boy that asked her to kiss them and I just hope at some point that’s not her initial reaction anymore! That day can be a long way off though!

6. My big Christmas gift this year is a night out this Friday! TWO DAYS! Chris asked Kim to do a Love Light for us (SO excited about this!) and then we’re meeting our best friends for dinner at our favorite restaurant followed by dessert at another favorite restaurant! And THEN we get to stay at the Ritz since I have the suite anyway for my boudoir sessions on Saturday! AND we get to sleep there Sat. night too! TWO nights away might actually take away this stress headache I’m nursing!

7. The weather is warming up and it’s amazing how much I hate the cold. I think I was born to live in a warm climate! I’ve been taking B, C and D vitamins to help beat the winter blues but it’s days when the sun warms me up that is the best medicine!

8. I wanted to make it to 10, not that it really matters, but my headache is screaming for sleep. I’m desperate to start blogging here again more often but it’s always so late when I finally have time it nearly kills me. My goal for 2012 is to find the hole in the universe where they hide more time for our days! I need more time!