Happy New Year!

So how was everyone’s Christmas? Our family had an amazing time. We had multiple Christmas’s and our children are SPOILED! So am I for that matter. It’s so fun watching all the kids open their gifts. That’s my favorite part of Christmas is the giving and the children. And of course seeing family we don’t get to see quite as often.

I got a lot of things for Christmas that I asked for. Including some cool gear for snappin’ some photos, a work out bench, a new Kindle, & some tennis shoes!

One of the things I have been asking for {for the last few years actually} is a scroll saw.  I asked for the Ryobi Scroll Saw which would work fine for the random projects I have floating in my head!

But instead, my parents hooked me up with an industrial, beast of scroll saw! Complete with a giant motor and huge stand! This thing is awesome sauce! It’s still at my parents so I don’t have a picture of it yet, but once it’s in my grubby little hands, I’ll be sure to show you!

Apparently it was sitting at someone’s house {whom they knew?} and had not been used, just taking up a lot of space. So they gave my parents a super awesome deal, & well, the rest is history!

I could seriously build a house with this thing! Now that I can do so much more than a few tiny projects, my mind is really, really spinning with some cool thoughts… just need to get them down on paper some where…

Which reminds me, I have started probably 10 notebooks for project thoughts… but I always misplace them and start a new… some day I’m going to find that stash…

But anyways. Back to the point of this post.




I hope the Christmas hustle & bustle has settled down a bit and I hope you have managed to make room for all your new goodies {we are yet to be completed with that part}.

Have you thought of new resolutions? Are you even a new resolution-er? Are they work related or personal goals? Maybe you want to aspire to do something that you have never done before? Become a healthier you and push yourself to limits you never thought possible? These are where my goals are headed.

I’m not typically a new year’s resolution gal. Usually mine are your typical ‘lose weight‘ resolution. But, this year, I have a few with actual details. Not many, but enough to keep me working through out the 2015 calendar year.

With this past year, we had a lot of really high ups and some pretty steep downs in all different areas so I have to say, I’m excited to start fresh. Maybe just a normal year… with not too much excitement? Na. That’s not how we do things ’round here.

A) We’ll start boring. Yes to lose weight. I want to lose 80 lbs in a full year. Difficult, but not impossible. I asked for a weight bench {for Christmas} so I could start doing different exercises with that, including free weights. I love lifting. It’s the cardio that I’m not such a fan for. With the holidays and the busy season, I got hit hard and exercising just took to the back burner. At first I tried to fight it and worked hard at trying to work it in. But it never worked and it made me feel even more guilty and more of a failure than I would have if I would have just said, ya know, you’re not meeting your goals anymore anyway, let’s just put this on pause. Come the new year, you’ll see a new me. I bought Chris Powell’s book Choose To Lose and I’m about 37% done. {Kindle’s, turn out, don’t give page numbers, just percentages… which I’m not a fan of, but I can deal}. It’s such a good explanation of everything and he dumbs everything down for me. So much of it makes sense now. He is such a huge inspiration and I love his show. In fact, my whole week was just off if they post-poned his show for any reason. I can’t wait to get going again. So look for that series after the first of the year.

B) I want to teach my children to be more giving & to inspire them to show the path to their peers. Teach them that receiving is not everything & that giving has so much more fulfillment. Giving is what brings out the best in people. I feel this is important for our children to learn. The world is full of so much hate and I, as a parent, need to teach them how much good they are capable of, regardless of the situations. To look for the good in the bad. To want to make someone smile just because. To help restore everyone’s faith in humanity. So a big goal of mine is teach my children to give.

C) Blog at least twice a week. Monday and Thursday. I feel that for right now, is a good number. If I can fit more in, then great. But I won’t feel like such a failure if I can’t. To have a schedule is exactly what I need to get my life organized. And that’s part of this… I need a blogging calendar to help me organize my thoughts and posts. So I’ll be looking for one {on Pinterest} that fits my needs. I’m hoping if I can keep up my blogging schedule, I’ll be able to move my blog to the next level by end of year. But we’ll just have to see :)

D) Become a better photographer and start taking myself seriously. I would really like to further my skills but my doubts in myself are holding me back. I want to be able to contribute more financially to my family and I really want to do that with photography.

E) And last, but not least. To become a better person myself, in addition to becoming a healthier me. It may come as a shock to you, but I have my faults as well. {Please… please, settle down… I know, but stop with the surprised faces.} I have so many angles that I would love to work on. Including being quick to judge, being more thoughtful, and being a better wife and mother. Which are the two main areas of focus for me.

So there you have it, my 2015 goals. They will be work… but all for the better. For the much better.

I hope you all keep safe tonight and have DD’s!!!

Have fun smoochin your one and only at midnight! Whether that be your significant other or your best friend!! :)


learn from yesterday

The Photography Dream

I have dreamed of being a photographer since the 2nd grade. The look of someone carrying a ‘professional’ camera and taking picture after picture just always looked amazing to me. I was always fascinated. I started to really dream of the profession when the movie Step Mom came out. I loved watching Julia Roberts just go crazy with her awesome, super fast, clicky, camera! A good reason to want to become a photographer huh? Ha!

Best Local Wedding Photographers

Well about 4 1/2 years ago, I had decided I was going to go to Rocky Mountain School of Photography {RMSP} in Missoula, Montana the very next summer. They have a Summer Intensive Career Training that lasts 4 months every year. They basically teach you everything you need to know about photography, from taking the pictures, to lighting, to marketing your business, to your brand, to getting your new business off the ground. I fell in love. I couldn’t wait. But my husband {boyfriend at the time}, was not as excited as I was. He saw photography as a hobby, and something I could learn how to do on my own without the extra $20,000 student loan bill that came with RMSP. Which is true. I could have  done it on my own… but saw this as a quick way to learn what I needed to, and was willing to pay the cost. My time was precious to me. So 4 months of learning what I needed to vs. 1-2 years of maybe figuring out what’s needed? Ya, I was willing to pay for the 4 months.

But, to be fair, I started emailing random photographers that were around the area, asking them for their advice, whether to go to school, or learn all on my own, what they thought helped, etc. One of those photographers was Lindsey at LP Photography. She. Is. Awesome. A wonderful photographer who just has a unique and great vision with her photographs. Her model/fashion photography is pretty f’in sweet also! I never thought that was done in Iowa… I always pictured that type of photography to be in LA or New York. That clearly changed when I met her and saw her work.

Anyway, her and most the other photographers I had emailed, all said that school was really unnecessary, and everything you need to learn, can be found on the internet. Jason and I also found out on Valentines Day {a few months before I was to start RMSP} we were expecting. So between the two, mostly because of the later, my RMSP dream went down the drain.

While pregnant with Kensli, I got engaged, so had a wedding to plan after Kensli was born. We also moved into a new house just before the wedding, and then I quit my job to start an in-home daycare so we didn’t have to pay daycare costs anymore.

During all of that, I decided I was going to really try to start this photog biz and I had bought a used Nikon D90 off of Craigslist . So I emailed Lindsey back again… 4 1/2 years later to see if we could meet up and chit chat. During our luncheon, she decided to take me on as an ‘intern’. And all the information she has given me has been so invaluable. She’s so incredibly talented, and I always look forward to hanging out with her to learn more.

Lindsey specializes in weddings, seniors, and models, and does not shoot newborns. But I really wanted to watch a newborn shoot happen in front of my eyes, so I contacted Alisha with Alisha Stoutenberg Photography. I love her style of photography. Love it! It’s so light and just beautiful. So once the twins were born, we went over for a shoot so I could watch her and learn some stuff from her. It was awesome to watch someone shoot newborns. There’s a special kind of difficulty that comes with newborn photography, and I find the challenge exciting. But I also wanted to see these safety skills happen before my eyes. I was scared there was something huge I was missing and would never, ever, put a baby at risk knowingly. It was so fun to watch her. Move around the bean bag with the upmost skills. I just soaked it all in. And as soon as her new house is built {I am super excited to see this place, it looks and sounds amaze-balls!} I’ll be heading back over to pick her brain at some editing software.

Seriously. Aren’t these two amazing for doing this for me? Someone they barely knew? And to just help out of the kindness of their hearts. To help someone make it in their very saturated career choice. And I have decided, because they have been so kind, if I make it into the professional photography level, and get asked to help another emerging photog like myself, I would love to pay it forward. 

Babies are just so innocent. You look into their eyes and your heart can’t help but melt. They have the softest features that make them seem so angelic and I want to bring that out for their proud parents. A memory stilled and hung up on the wall. Forever to be remembered.

In the end, I want to be a newborn and boudoir photographer. I know. The two most extreme opposites in photography…. but not really…. See, one type helps creates the other, so they are kinda related in all honesty.

I have done some shoots with my babes when they were born… but it’s the editing that I’m struggling with. Clearly I have much to learn with posing and the camera as well, but I can’t wait to understand my way through Lightroom and Photoshop.



Heart Twins

Are they not the most precious little babes on earth? Okay, okay… I know I’m their mom… but still. They are the most precious. :)

So as soon as I learn enough editing techniques that I can start editing enough to make a difference in a photo, I plan on starting free photo shoots for a limited time. And I can’t wait! But I’m nervous as hell. I’m not great with posing, and I hear that just takes time and practice… but it’s odd telling people how to pose, how to stand, or where to put their foot or hand when you’re not 110% positive that’s where that hand or foot should be.

But I’m super ready for the challenge. I am ready to eventually turn this into a small money making hobby. Because lord knows we could use the extra money.

I can’t wait. So if you need family photos or have a newborn making it’s debut into this world soon, please let me know! I’d love to do a photo shoot with you! :)