E’s Third Birthday

February 18, 2017 | Goodness — she’s THREE. The beginning seemed to move slow, yet now it’s just flying by! We kept it simple again this year with just family, and my friend Brie made her cake/cupcakes perfect. I met her at the Dollar Tree that morning to grab the cakes, while also picking up $1-filled balloons…win. Moana, Paw Patrol, Clarence the Dino (named because after Valentine’s Day, I found him on the Clearance rack) and more. She was seriously thrilled with everything! And what’s a family gathering without mandatory group photos with toddlers? FUN FOR ALL!

I’m not sure WHY I didn’t use my real camera to take pics while we were singing to her. Maybe I was actually enjoying the moment??? Imagine that! After the party (and a nap) we rode to a nearby neighborhood to play on their playground. She just wanted to pretend that she was trapped and monsters were after her (mostly Dave and I). It was a fantastic day!


February 5, 2017 | It had been many years since the last time I attended this conference, but I really wanted a boost when it came to inspiration for my photography business. Plus a lot of the old crew was going, so I signed up! Lots of people take classes, seminars, do networking dinners…blech. Not me! I spend time with the people that I enjoy, and we go into the critique rooms and watch some of the best shooters’ work get evaluated and judged on a big screen. It’s humbling, but makes me want to expand my capabilities as a shooter. Despite carrying my camera a lot of places, I really didn’t use it much. Just here and there, but some bullet points that come to mind are;

  • Chris offering his flask to another KC-photographer we just met, getting shut down by said photographer, and from then on that guy was on his s&*t list.
  • Being in Vegas sober isn’t quite as fun
  • But it helps when Deanna randomly paid for a limo to get us back to our hotel!
  • Dave stayed back home with E, and decided to take Monday off to have a day with her. Little did he know she’d be sick for days, and he’d be stuck inside the house the whole time I was gone… 😦
  • We visited Hoover Dam in a rental car (just a few of us) and it was awesome. I saved the DAM Tour for the next time I go with Dave, since he’s always wanted to.
  • I chose horrible in the footwear department; as in, a foot was bleeding, and even my backup shoes from my bag hurt. JD couldn’t get over the fact I had backup shoes.
  • I’m too old for Vegas clubs, but still LOVE to dance (even sober)

Cell phone goodies!

We were in the room while this image was critiqued…and it received a perfect 100 in the Illustrative Category (unheard of), and I am in complete AWE of how it was put together by Ben Shirk. It’s a composite, meaning the photographer took all of the images himself at the zoo, of his son, grass at the roadside, and then creating a completely digital concept that resulted in this amazingness. Talent doesn’t even BEGIN. His Website

Big Bed!

January 28, 2017 | She was ready for a long time…we were just dragging our feet on picking a bed and sheets, etc. But I finally ordered a bed from Amazon (+ mattress) and my sister found these crazy/loud/bright Paw Patrol sheets.  Which aren’t really my thing, but you do these things for your kiddos, right?  It’s all for that smile. She is a big fan, and for the most part has done really well with it. Staying in bed isn’t really her strong suit, but at some point in the night she makes her way back to the pillow… 🙂

Cell phone pics & SELFIES! (inner groan)


January 26, 2017 | Despite all that has happened, I feel that I need to put this in here. I may be sad now, because it didn’t work out, but this particular morning I took the time to write these memories and I want them to stay…

I was woken by the familiar sound of E over the monitor, shouting “I’m awaaa-aaaaaaake!” as loud as she could.  D was getting ready for work, and I decided to hit the bathroom before answering the toddler-call.  The plan was to attend a super-hot yoga class with my friend Cara at 9 AM, but something prompted me to take the pregnancy test sitting on the back of the toilet.  You know, just in case?  We had timed it correctly this month, and I thought that I was exhibiting all of the signs that my period was starting.  But come to think of it, I’ve been very teary lately…emotional at the drop of a hat…and my lower-back has been hurting.  And so I opened up the package.

Immediately a bold plus sign appeared…and I just stared at it.  Incredulous.  Was this for real?  I sat in there, hearing D at his sink on the other side of the door.  I slowly walked out of the bathroom and said, “Uh, D?” and showed it to him.  We both smiled at each other, then laughed, and had a big hug.  Cautiously happy, you know?  Because it’s so early (2-weeks!) anything can happen!  If this is going to be the newest member of our family, early October is the due date.  Wow…!  

The night before we had our buddy Joel over to setup the new treadmill, you know, so I could start running again?  The WPPI Vegas trip I’m taking the first weekend of Feb?  Oh and that CO trip that we are supposed to go on at the end of Feb but haven’t booked lodging for yet?  Maybe this is the reason I’ve been dragging my feet.  But it’s all happening, and I’m so happy that I walked on the treadmill for 45-minutes without even noticing, and have shed some happy tears twice today (and it’s only noon).  We’ve been ready, but scared, anxious, and now excited… 🙂

Valentine Mini

January 23, 2017 | Time for the 3rd Annual mini-session with Leigh! She went with a balloon theme this year, and of course E got to spend some quality time with Captain the Cat again (her favorite). I even put together a fave image from each of these sessions. They are just so quick and easy!

Nana Birthday

January 8, 2017 | It took us awhile to celebrate Mom/Nana’s birthday — 12/26 is the date — but December is inherently busy so January had to work. Ironically I have no photos of MOM from this family gathering, just the kids being silly.

For a gift, we thought we were so smart getting us tickets to see Travis Wall and his dance company downtown (purchased months prior). She opened the envelope and saw the below image, then sadly let us know that she would be out of town for Spring Break! 😦 If we had done her party on TIME it would have been before they planned their trip!  (My friend Heather ended up filling-in for us). Oh well, Happy Birthday Mom!