Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I'm The Lucky One

10 years people. 10 years is a long time. OK, in the grand scheme of things, it's not a LONG time. But, when you are talking about 10 years of marriage, that's a long time. And we you factor in that we got married when we were babies....23 and 24....it's a miracle we survived 10 years of marriage. Many people don't. I feel like it has been an honor to reach this milestone in my marriage. 

Not only has my marriage survived 10 years, our marriage is stronger than it was when we were newlyweds. I didn't even know it was possible to love Nolan more than I did when we were first married, but I do. I don't think I could have a better match for me. And the funny thing is, I don't think that if I could have designed the man for me, he probably wouldn't share many of the same interests as Nolan. A computer guy....nah. A gamer, nah. But, it's not those things that matter, it's mushy stuff on the inside that I love about Nolan....the stuff that I admire. The stuff that makes me want to be a better person. 

Nolan has a soft spot for those who need help. Many times, I would have walked on by a person in need or figured there wasn't much I could do to help them. It's those times that Nolan stops. He's given money to strangers who said they needed it....no questions asked. He's stopped on the road to help a family push their mini van down the street to their drive way when it ran out of gas. He's helped clean up a part of town where the homeless camp out. He's even handed his subway sandwich to the guy on the street corner. 

Nolan is also an amazing dad. He's not ashamed to play my little ponies or to help make jewelry. There is a lot of pink and glitter that goes on in our house, and he takes it all in stride. I'm sure there are times when he wishes there was a little guy to go out and play catch, but you would never know it. His heart melts when those little twins run up to him saying, "dada dada!" Or when they snuggle up and put their head on his shoulder when they are sleepy. And Georgia has always been a daddy's girl. She's always had him wrapped around her little finger. I think the girl could get away with murder around him! And seeing him with our little girls....ah, it melts my heart. 

And Violet. For some, this might have been a huge breaking point in their relationship. We both feel like her death made our relationship stronger. After she died, I was a broken shell of a woman. There was nothing but sadness left in me. Everything made me think of her and that she was not with us any longer. And he fixed me. I don't think he knows he fixed me. He showed me more love than anyone ever has. He sat by my side in the hospital watching me go through the most horrendous experience of my life. He held my hand while I cried. And then watching him grieve for our daughter was beautifully heartbreaking. You really see who someone is when they are stripped raw and that is what I saw in that tiny hospital room. I saw a man broken down and I've never loved anyone more than at that moment. 

This song by Brandi Carlise reminds me of Nolan when I hear it.....

In 10 years we've learned to live with each other....and all of our little quirks, we've bought a house together, adopted a cat and a dog, we've had 4 children, we've helped each other grieve the loss of one child, we've gone through job changes, starting businesses, learning to cook, made life long friends, helped guide each other, challenged each other, and loved each other. I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else. Nolan, I love you more than words. You are the man of my dreams. I'm the lucky one to have you in my life.....thank you for asking me to marry you.

Monday, November 25, 2013


this summer, i received an email from cara (who is a dear friend of one of my dear friends) asking about a family photo session for the fall. i was tickled pink to be able to help her out with this. i've heard so much about cara and her amazing family, it was going to be a real treat to get together and photograph them.

when you photograph a family, you really get to know them. you are posing them....getting up close and personal. you invade their space a little bit so you can capture a special moment for them to remember forever. it can be awkward. many times, if you just keep conversation going, you can get everyone to relax and have a good time. if you are uncomfortable, it's going to show up in your photos. so, not only is it my job to take good photos of you, but also to make you comfortable and relaxed. 

josh, cara and their girls were amazing. everyone seemed comfortable from the get go. these girls, like most kids their age, had tons of energy! they were so fun! i think that their personalities were really able to shine through. 

i really love to capture the moments when the kiddos are playing. when they don't realize i'm taking their picture. it's real life and i think that makes the best memories. you want to look back on times when they were young and carefree. when they were truly being a kid. those are the times that bring the happiest memories to your mind!

thank you josh and cara for choosing me to photograph your beautiful family! as cara said during our session, it was like meeting an old friend for the first time! i look forward to many more opportunities to get to know your family a little better :)

in 1994, josh and cara met at a bonfire. it was their freshman year of college. they were married decemeber 15, 2000. happy early anniversary by the way....we also have a december anniversary!

frances-2 1/2
ameila-2 1/2
all three girls were adopted into josh and cara's loving home. what a special family they are!

i asked cara to describe her family to me and here is what she had to say......
"family hugs, responsibility-we are a team, devoted, active"

Friday, November 22, 2013

good reads-the happiness project by gretchen rubin


so, have you heard of this book? gretchen rubin's the happiness project chronicles a year of her life that she dedicates to making herself happier. each month she had a set of resolutions to try to follow. by the time december rolled around, she tried to do all of her resolutions all the time. 
here is a month by month run down of some of resolutions gretchen had
january-boost energy (sleep more, exercise, organize, tackle a task, act energetic)
february-remember love (quit nagging, don't expect praise, fight right, no dumping, give proofs of love)
march-aim higher (blog, fun in failure, ask for help, work smart, enjoy now)
april-lighten up (sing, acknowledge people's feelings, be a house of happy memories, time for projects)
may-be serious about play (more fun, be silly, go off path, start a collection)
june-make time for friends (remember birthdays, be generous, show up, don't gossip, make friends)
july-buy some happiness (buy a modest splurge, buy needful things, spend out, give something up)
august-contemplate the heavens (read about catastrophes, gratitude notebook, spiritual master)
september-pursue a passion (write a novel, make time, forget results, master new technology)
october-pay attention (meditate on koans, examine true rules, stimulate the mind, keep a food diary)
november-keep a contented heart (laugh, use good manners, give positive reviews, find refuge)
december-boot camp perfect
over the course of the year, she decluttered, she was true to herself, she spent money on things that truly made her happy, she realized things about herself that she wanted to change, she remembered to "be gretchen" or be yourself.  
i'm not sure that i would do an entire year like this, i mean, she was doing research and writing blog....she's a writer so it kind of fell right into her line of work. sure, she could have just written more biographies, but still I don't have the time to dedicate to researching different ways to make ones self happy or different philosophies of life along with the rest of my life.....family, friends, photography, church, chores, etc. but, this book does give you something to think about....what could you do to be happier?
some of her ideas that really struck home with me were to declutter. 
in the end, gretchen was happier. it wasn't something that kept track of but more of a feeling she had. she just felt happier. sure, there were some things that she thought were grand ideas that she ended up scratching, but that happens to us all. i think that something she learned was not to beat herself up over the stuff that doesn't work out. 
so as we are approaching a new year, this book gives me a little something to think about. what are some of the things in my life that i could change to make me (and my husband and kids) a little happier? a little bit of reflection is good for us all. i think there are areas that we can all improve on. 
what would make you happier?

Thursday, November 21, 2013


my niece rylee turned 13 this august. she's such a beautiful, smart young lady. she's one of those people who gets her entire body into her laugh. i love to watch her when she gets really tickled about something. it's contagious. its one of the things that i love most about her. and she's kind, sweet, generous, smart and beautiful. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

cake smash

do you have a little person in your life that is coming up on their first birthday? have you thought about doing a cake smash??? sure it's messy, but everyone has fun and you get photos like these.....