Monday, July 20, 2015

book #16 The Language of Flowers: A Novel

kansas = plenty of time to read....usually! and this time was no different. either on the way out, on the way home or while the kids are hanging out with their grandparents, i get to read! yea!

i finished up my second book this afternoon. it wasn't one that was on my radar at all, but it was my book club read for this month. 

book #16 is the language of flowers: a novel by vanessa diffenbaugh

you follow the story of victoria, a young woman who never had a family. she was given up as an infant and she knows nothing of her mother. she bounced around from foster home to foster home. she finally gets placed in home with a woman who is ready to adopt her. a woman who understands her. then, gets all messed up. 

you also find out about her present day life....and her struggles to accept that she too can find happiness and even love. 

it's was a great book. i couldn't put it down. check it out! 

p.s. only four more books and i will have met my goal for 2015. fingers crossed i don't blow it! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

book #15 landline

can you believe that it's only july and i've already read 15 books?!?! my goal is 20 books for 2015. i think that i'm going to make it! 

book #15 was landline by rainbow rowell. 

so if you remember, i loved (LOVED) rainbow rowell's book eleanor and park. i read eleanor and park in like a day. it was so wonderful! but, landline, was just eh. i mean, i totally wanted to finish it. i wanted to know what happened between georgie and neil, but it wasn't that same deep burning desire to know what the heck was going to happen. maybe i had my expectations to be too high for this book. maybe if i would have read this one first i would have liked it more. but, anyway, i was slightly disappointed. 

on the other hand, it was a very easy read and it held my attention. so, i did enjoy it. so if you are a rainbow rowell fan, you might give it a chance! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

book #14 roller girl

guys, it's been a little while. the last time i told you about a book that i read was at the end of may. yikes! well, a lot has happened since then....i'll get into all of that another time. but, what i'm here to tell you about right now is the graphic novel! i finished my very first graphic novel last week. and i am in love! 

book #14 for 2015 is roller girl by victoria jamieson

roller girl is all about determination, pushing the limits, finding yourself, all while dealing with adolescence. a couple of friends who are doing some sort of insane book a day challenge this summer (you know who you are my lovely book worm friends) and they both read and LOVED this book. i asked if it was age appropriate for Georgia, who by the way is obsessed with roller skating! there is one curse word in the entire book. and it's not that bad. they warned me about it, so i read the book for myself just to see what it was like. and that's where the love began y'all! Georgia then read the book. and she read the book again. and again. and again! i think she read it 5 times including one last time on the way to the library! 

so, if you are looking for something new for your kiddo or yourself. check out roller girl!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

book #13 the year of billy miller

lucky #13 is finished! the year of billy miller by kevin henkes was a really sweet book about life in second grade. i read it and now i'm having georgia read it. i usually let her pick her own books to read....about 98% of the time i would say. and then there are times when i feel like there are books out there that she is overlooking because it's not about a fairy or princess or pony or something. books that might have a little bit more substance. with the year of billy miller, while it's not one that she would instantly reach for, i think that it's one that she will find entertaining once she starts it. i think that we may start it together to get her going....i'll let you know how she likes it! 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

book #12 bastard out of carolina

last night, I was so close to finishing book #12 for 2015. it was late. i wasn't sure i would stay up to finish. but my curiosity to find out what happened at the end of the story outweighed my desire to sleep. so at 1:15 am this morning, i finished up bastard out of carolina by dorothy allison. 

bastard out of carolina, follows the story of ruth ann aka "bone." her mother was unwed when "bone" was born and was therefore labeled bastard in bright red letters on her birth certificate. her entire life she was fighting that label. 

"bone's" mother married a man named glen. daddy glen had a temper and took it out on her. she also didn't like the look he would get in his eyes sometimes and she knew there was something else that he wanted from her. 

i found the end of this book heartbreaking for poor little "bone." the first 12 years of her life were can only hope that the rest of her life got better!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day, Hymns and Wicked

A few years ago, I wrote about why I choose to celebrate Mother's Day in this post. It was a gentle reminder for all of you to remember those who find this day hard. I'm one of those who find this day hard, but I also find it pretty awesome too. It's a confusing mix. 

There are all sorts of reasons why this day is hard for so many of us.................................
the death of a child, miscarriage, stillbirth, infertility, not being in a point in your life to have children when you desperately want them, the death of your own mother, a bad relationship with you mother or child. Those are all hard to deal with on normal days, but when there is a day when it's all about mom and honoring her, it makes these things (and more) especially hard. 

For me, most of you know, my baby girl Violet was stillborn. Everything was going fine and then one day it wasn't fine anymore. And from the moment I heard, "I'm sorry we can't find a heartbeat." my life changed. I'm forever changed. And not all of it is a bad change. Since Violet's death, I feel a greater need to make a difference in this world. And not just for my family and those close to me. This is why I started Violet's Day of Kindness. A day to honor what she meant to our family and to spread joy wherever we go. I feel like I not only have to live my life for myself, but for her too. She didn't get a chance to take a breath here on earth, so I have to make sure that I'm doing all that I can to make sure her life has a greater purpose. 

That day that I went to the hospital to deliver my sweet sleeping girl, I remember praying so very hard for it all to be a mistake. I knew in my head that the outcome was going to be the same, but in my heart I still had a glimmer of hope. Just a little bit. I was praying for a miracle. But, the miracle I was looking for didn't happen. My little girl still had no heartbeat. There was nothing to do to save her. But here is where the miracle happened, it happened in me. It happened in my life. I became more aware of the pain that others go through. I developed friendships that would have never come to be if this had not happened. I would have never started doing random acts of kindness for others. And there are so many other things that probably would never have happened if it wasn't for my wonderful little Violet. So, when I say that I'm forever changed, it's not such a bad thing. There are bad parts to this, of course, but there has been a lot of good as well. Those of you who are fans of the musical Wicked will know this reference....
"I've heard it said, 
That people come into our lives
For a reason
Bringing something we must learn.
And we are led to those
Who help us most to grow if we let them.
And we help them in return.
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you. "

"Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun,
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood. 
Who can say if I've been changed for the better
But because I knew you. 
I have been changed for good"

And I have been changed for good by one little girl. 

Today at church, there was a song that was part of the service....I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry.....and I cried big, weepy tears. It was the kind of cry where you have to get up and leave the service and hide out in the bathroom for a bit to compose yourself again. After the service a friend asked if I was ok. I said yes. She then told me that she was sitting there listening to this song and thought how beautiful it was. Then she saw me get up and leave and it hit her that not everyone would feel this way about this song. That this song is very painful for those of us who have lost a child. Those of us who never got to hear our child cry. The song tells the story about all the things you get to see your child do. All of those firsts, I never got to do with Violet. 

"I was there to hear your borning cry, 
I'll be there when you are old,
I rejoiced the day you baptized,
to see your life unfold.
I was there when you were but a child,
with a faith to suit you well;
in a blaze light you wondered off
to find where demons dwell."

But, while I find this song very painful, showing others my pain has reminded them of the suffering that many of us go through. And so often we are suffering in silence. And that is one of the things that I can take away from all of this tragedy, that maybe, me being vocal about what it's like to lose a child, specifically through stillbirth, will make others more aware of the difficult road we have to walk. And maybe instead of hiding from the elephant in the room others will know it's ok to talk about our tragedy. That talking about it, helps us heal. That remembering the good times is helpful. 

And as I was thinking about all of this today, I got a message from another friend who said that she's been seeing all the purple flowers in bloom this spring and she can't help but think about Violet. And that is what I'm talking about here folks!!! Knowing that someone else thinks of her from time to time, means the world to this grieving mama. That helps me heal. 

So, I know that Mother's Day is almost over, but it's never to late to reach out to those who are hurting today. Just a kind note, a quick hug, a little "how are you?" can make a huge difference in someone's life. Be the reason that someone that someone changes for good. 

Peace, my friends. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

book #11 I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

book #11 was not on my original book list for 2015. since i'm apart of two different book clubs, i knew that there might be a few books that would get added to my list :) book #11 of 2015 is I Am Malala; The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai. 

malala tells the story of her early childhood, growing up in pakistan. she went to school with other girls. she listened to her father talk politics with other men. she watched TV. she played with her brothers in the alley behind their home. she fought over silly things with her best friend. she had a normal childhood. that is until a group preyed on the fears of the people. and even the government couldn't stop them.

malala, a young girl, was targeted by that taliban because she wanted to go school. she wanted other girls in her community to be able to go to school with her. she wanted to read books. she wanted to become a doctor...then later a politician. she had dreams that she wanted to fulfill. and she was vocal about it. she did news interviews and told the world about what was happening in pakistan. the taliban tried to kill those dreams....quite literally. but, they didn't succeed.

malala fought back and the story of her bravery is inspiring! she's a great role model for anyone. sometimes you must stand up for what you believe in, even if its not always easy. 

if you know anyone, especially a teenage girl, this story would be a great read for them. It was inspiring to read as an adult. it was a quick read. check it out friends. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

What should you bring to your photo session?

Often times I'm asked, "what should I bring to my photo session?" 

Well, you don't NEED to bring anything with you. But, many times, if you do bring something along, it makes your photos more personalized and more meaningful. Here are a few ideas that my clients have brought along.

Toys that have meaning....
It's always great to capture something that's special to your child. One of my favorite photos of me growing up is of my playing with my koala stuffed animal. I still have that stuffed animal somewhere! 

 Cool shades....
Anything that gets your family to loosen up a bit!

Little girls with flowers always make people go, "aw!"

Bikes an wagons always make for a great photo!

If you're graduating high school and have played an instrument, you might want to remember that time. There is a strong likelihood that you will never pick up that instrument again!

Books are a great way for families with small children to hang out. Kids can sometimes be pretty nervous when I show up with a camera. They also are notorious for not posing for photos. This takes the pressure off and kids can relax and hang out with their family. A great picture doesn't have to have everyone looking and smiling at the camera. 

Special Items For Baby....
When you are pregnant sometimes you get special little little shoes. AND most people get an ultra sound photo. Those are great to use in a maternity shoot!

Balloons can have special meaning. Balloons can add a pop of color to your session. Kids love balloons. You can't go wrong with balloons!

Or clown noses, or bubbles, or kazoos, or lollipops, or fairy wings, or anything fun! Anything that gets your family and kids to loosen up and really have a good time!

So, the point is.....bring something meaningful or something that is going to make you have a good time. Your photos will end up so much better than just the traditional posed photo!!! And no idea is too crazy!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

book #10 brown girl dreaming

book #10 has been crossed off the list. yesterday i finished up brown girl dreaming. 

in brown girl dreaming,  jacqueline woodson, tells her own story about growing up. the book feels more like a book of poems that tell her story rather than a chapter book. this book was such an easy read. i loved it reading about jacqueline's time with her grandparents down south. the time she spent barefoot in the garden with her grandfather. the time she spent traveling with her grandmother as a jehovah witness. 

right before jacqueline was ready to start school, she and her brother and sister joined their mother and baby brother in NYC. jacqueline had to learn about an entirely different world. a world where she could no longer run outdoors and play until dark. one where she had to wear shoes all the time.

i loved this book. i hope you do too!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Indianapolis Family Photographer: Spring Specials...Mommy and Me and Spring Mini Sessions

Hey faithful readers! I just wanted to let you know about a couple of different specials going with Purple Peaches Photography. 

Spring Mini Sessions
Schedule a mini session in April for $60. This is a 30 minute session. You will receive 5+ images from the session, edited by myself on a disk with full printing rights. These sessions are geared couples, families and children. These mini sessions are only offered a few times a year and are a deep discount from a regularly priced photo session.

Mommy and Me Mini Session
Come one moms....get out from behind the camera and get in those photos with your children. A Mommy and Me mini session can be a great way to capture your special and unique relationship with your children. For $50 you get a 20 minute session, 5+ images on a disk that have been edited by me and full printing rights to the photos. These sessions are for mom's and their children. 

Contact me today at to schedule your mini session!!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mommy and Me Giveaway!

Guys, my photography season is about to kick off! I mean, I photograph all year long, don't get me wrong. BUT, most of my sessions occur between April and Nov. And this year, April has been super chilly so things have been delayed a little bit. But, last night I was marking down some sessions on my calendar and realized that I'm filling up. And I can't wait to photograph you all. 

When I was thinking about all of this, I was thinking, that a GIVEAWAY would be the best thing to kick of my busy season! I did these fantastic Mommy and Me sessions last year what do mom's like more than photos of their kids???? Well, maybe their actual kids....sometimes ;)

So here's the here to get to my facebook page. At the top of the page will be a post about the contest. Share that post on your facebook page and you will automatically be entered to win a free mommy and me session for you or you can give it away as a gift to someone else. It's that easy. 

The contest will go on now through Sunday April 12. So if you want some fantastic photos, like the ones below.....or you would like to win something like this for your a special mother in your life, share this on facebook!!! 


Monday, March 30, 2015

make me a channel of your peace

The closing song from yesterdays service at First Mennonite has been stuck in my head. That's not a bad thing. This hymn is based on a traditional prayer attributed to St Francis of Assisi. 

Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love
Where there is injury, your healing power
And where there is doubt true faith in you. 

Make me a channel of your peace;
Where there's despair in life let me bring hope
Where there is darkness-only light
And where there is sadness, ever joy.

O Spirit grant that I may never seek
So much to be consolded as to console  
To be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
In giving to all that we receive
And in dying that we're born to eternal life. 

If you would like to hear this song, listen to this video of Susan's lovely!

Friday, March 27, 2015

can't live with out em!

Beauty buys? That's something that I've never talked about here before. I'm not 100% sure that everyone out there wants my look. It's pretty laid back. But there are a few things that I've tried that I absolutely love and I don't mind sharing those finds with you my friends!!! 

#1 Coconut Oil-ok, I use this ALL. THE. TIME. I use it as a make up works really well to take off that pesky waterproof mascara! I use it as a moisturizer. I use it as face wash. I use it on my hair when it gets too dried out. I use it on my nails to moisturize. It is so fantastic! People, get out there and buy yourself a big ol' tub of coconut oil. You will not be disappointed. 

#2 ELF Lip Exfoliator- This stuff is the bomb. I used to get this dry flaky skin on my lips...I know, just what you wanted to read about...but this product has solved all my flaky lip problems. I might be addicted to it. For real! 

#3 Sally Hanson Insta Dri nail color. I don't paint my finger nails very often. I like the look, but the up keep is too much for this Mama. I'm always washing my hands or doing dishes or giving baths or doing something with water. And that leads to chipping polish. But I do paint my toe nails when it's sandal weather (which it hasn't been for a LONG time). This polish is quickly dry and comes in lots of colors. Also, the quick dry formula is great to use with the little ladies in my life. Georgia loves to have a manicure done....even an at home manicure. And it's against school policy to wear nail polish, so when she has a break, we paint nails often. And when she gets her nails painted, there are two more little ladies that like their nails painted too! I can use this without fear that they will get polish all over the house! And it's pretty that helps!

#4 Oil of Olay Wrinkle and Pore Vanisher- Friends, the struggle is real. I have a massive wrinkle on my forehead between my brows. I really don't have too many other least not ones that I'm too concerned with concealing. But the forehead wrinkle bothers me...more than it should! But you buy this wrinkle and pore vanisher from Olay and poof, the wrinkle is gone! It's pure magic. 

#5 Philosophy Miracle Worker Eye Cream- This stuff makes my eyes look great. I love it! It helps with dark circles, bags and fine lines. More magic! But this one is pricey. I became hooked on it when I got a sample from Sephora. I don't use a lot of it and I use mostly drug store cosmetics, so I feel like can justify a little splurge. 

Those are my top 5 beauty products. They are things that I use most days. Some of them I use every day and some I don't. But they are things that you will always find in my make up bag. Do you use any of these products? What are a few of your can't live without beauty buys...I would love for you to share!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

open for service

you guys! i'm having a little bit of trouble here in indiana. you see, indiana just signed SB 101 into law. it's one of those things that i just can't believe is actually happening. for the past several days, i've just sat with my mouth gaping open as i've read about the bill and the opinions of those for and against it. and frankly, i just can't get on board with SB 101. indiana, you have made me embarrassed to be called a hooiser. 

SB 101 is the "religious freedom" bill. from my understanding, this bill will allow a business to refuse service to someone based on their religious beliefs and not have the fear of a law suit filed against them. the minority group that will see the biggest discrimination against this is the LGBTQ community. 

i know several frustrated hooisers right now. i have friends, both conservative and liberal, who think this bill is wrong. local businesses, like Eli Lilly are speaking up about their dislike of this bill. and on the national level, the NCAA says this law creates concern for future events held in indianapolis, Gen Con (this one would be a HUGE loss to the city) has threatened to move (they only bring $50 million to Indy every year...spare change). Disciples of Christ has said they will seek out a different city to hold their annual convention. even mayor Greg Ballard says, "We are a diverse city and I want everyone who visits and lives in Indy to feel comfortable here" what will have the biggest impact on our state....hitting us in the pocketbook. i'm not saying that individuals should put their the almighty dollar ahead of their beliefs. but as a state, our leaders need to think about the impact of these losses. 

and social media is blazing about this bill. there are all sorts of people talking about indiana. they are saying how they won't do business in indiana any longer. and while i feel like this bill is wrong, refusing to do business here hurts those of us who live and work in indiana...those of us who call indiana our home. and while some feel SB101 is the right thing to do, there are several who don't agree with SB101. we make our livelihood here. we raise our families here. everyone is assuming that all businesses are going to discriminate

there is a grassroots movement to buy stickers to put in your storefront saying that you will do business with everyone. Instead, why don't we make those who are willing to admit that they will discriminate put a sticker up for everyone to see? admit it to the world that you are willing to turn someone away. i would be curious to see how many would be willing to do that. 

Christ taught us to love one another, John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." I choose love....above everything else.  So, that being said, I proudly say, I am open for service for everyone. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

book #9 still alice

i just finished this minutes ago. and i had to talk about it with someone and dear readers, that's you!

alice is a harvard professor. she's married with children. she's only 50, she's got so many years ahead of her. after a series of forgetfulness she seeks out some medical advice. after meeting with a specialist, alice is diagnosed with early on set alzheimer's disease. the rest of the book tells of the life she now had to minute knowing exactly what is happening to her and the next minute not even knowing her own daughter. 

this book was so frightening to read. it's frightening because its happens. alzheimer's disease happens, even to those who we think are too young for the disease. and to know that there is no cure....not even a real fighting chance is devastating. the scariest part for me would be after the diagnosis...when things are still relatively clear, but knowing what is going to happen to you. and with early onset, knowing that your mind will disappear much faster than the rest of your body. 

i can't wait to see the movie. julianne moore plays alice and won an oscar for it. i love her in everything, so that makes me want to see the movie even more. 

i think that this book just took the top spot in my reads for 2015. we will see if anything can knock still alice off the #1 spot. but, no matter what, read this book. it's so worth your time. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Purple Peaches: jack and family-newborn and family photo session-indianapolis area family and newborn photographer

back in august, my friend libby surprised me by telling me at her daughter's 1 year photo session that she also wanted to do a baby announcement.....

she's pretty pumped about being a big sister!!!

well, in february ellie's little brother, jack, arrived right on time....really, on his due date exactly! he's destined to be punctual!

here are a few of my favorites from jack's newborn session. he's a sweetie and makes awesome faces while he sleeps! 

why hello there bright eyes!

we were able to do all of these photos in my home...we have great lighting here! i should use the space more often when i photograph my girls :)

someone is in love with his mama!!

so cute, i can't take it!

this little guy isn't adored at all, is he?

little miss e needed to get in on the action too!

so those are jack's newborn photos....we are going to try again to get some of e&j together, so stay tuned to check those out :)

remember to like Purple Peaches Photography on facebook!