Archive for the ‘Children’ Category


My niece Karsyn (oldest child of Darin and Jodi) is 8 this year.  It took us FOREVER to get her pictures done.  I think this was our fourth attempt.  Every time we scheduled, one of Jodi’s kids or mine got sick.  At long last, we were able to go up North last week and get ‘er done.   Of all the kids in the family, I think she looks the most like my mom – the blonde version.  (Well Tori too but from a genetic contribution perspective I have to give it to Karsyn).   Karsyn shared her shoot time with her cousin (Jodi’s sister’s daughter) Kennedy.  K and K were born only six weeks apart and are such precious little cousin/friends.

We had such a fun day together.  It was Jodi and the kids, me and mine with the addition of Noah, and Jennifer and two of hers.  Quite the group of us trying to do pictures and track babies.  Thus the reason for bringing Noah!  He and Tanner were assigned kid duty.  Those boys came in plenty handy a time or two.  I’ll get to that more later.

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During our shoot, a summer storm hit.  In order to keep girls and camera dry, we had to hide out under a tree for a bit.  Never a dull moment.   As Aimee said, in this family, we GO BIG because we don’t GO HOME.

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I asked Kennedy to ignore my presence and just play her guitar.  It was adorable how perfectly she could execute that.  Allowed me to capture KENNEDY – just how she is.


My very beautiful sister Jodi.  I love her in this hat and insisted that she bring it.


And here are the mamas.  I love that I got a shot of the two sisters laughing.  Story of their life.


Just another example to show Tanner of how sometimes the baby is the tallest.  (He is hoping this will not be true.  He is going to be out of luck.)

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I don’t know whose idea it was to climb that tree for shots but it was a good one.  I LOVE these ones.


This may sound silly but I love this shot because somehow it still manages to convey the personality of both girls.  My little Karsyn is so fun loving but also the serious, studious type.  Kennedy, is full of whimsy.   She reminds me of a little fairy that just surrounds herself with beauty and quiet and loves to live in a whimsical, dreamy place (of her own creative making).  You just see it in the far off looks in her eyes.  A little dreamer…

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When I imported these shots, they imported in a very random order.  I want to explain this picture of “The Grand Escort” but you’ll have to keep reading to get to it.

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And.  Here it is.

So the boys disappear on us (naturally) with a small troop of toddlers in tow and we find them under the bridge in the creek.  Looked to be a great shot spot so we followed.  As I am shooting, Karsyn says “Aunt Sissy I think there is a snake looking at me in the water”.  I say “No.  That is just a stick.”   She continues to insist.  I continue to debate the point.  I truly thought it was a stick.  From the sidelines, Jodi says “The stick moved!”

Sure enough.  Snake.

Shortly after, we saw another.  (There ended up being at least 3 that we saw).   Us girls began the frantic (and predicatable) dialouge then about whether or not we had cotton mouths or water mocassins (which turn out to be the same species by the way) in AZ.   Jodi calls her brother who works for the Forest Services and he confirms Noah’s assesment.  We were dealing with harmless Garter snakes.

Deciding that we needed to GO BIG, I encouraged the girls to cowgirl up and ignore the snakes.  Not so easy to do by the way.  I wish I would have caught the snake in the water but I didn’t.  (CAUGHT IT WITH MY CAMERA! Re-read that previous line and wanted to clarify).  Karsyn eye balling it was a pretty good capture though.  This was right BEFORE I was convinced the stick was a snake.

In retrospect, I should have listened to my niece right out of the gate.  You know what ornament Sweetie bought her for Christmas last year?  A snake.  Why?  Because my Karsyn was in Papa’s backyard bird aviary and my mom watched a snake slither down from the top right over the top of her head.  My mother (like Jodi), tends to laugh when she is nervous, and she was doubled over laughing trying to tell Papa and Karsyn about the snake.  I think it was a red racer (also harmless).

Do you recall what happened at Karsyn’s shoot just before Troy was born?  When I was shooting her on that tire swing up in Payson?  A snake.  Above her head.  Eating baby chicks out of a nest.  It was huge.  I posted pictures of that event too.   TWO SHOOTS in a row where Karsyn has snakes interfere with our plans.  This is seriously getting flat weird.   Getting nervous about the next shoot already.  What in the world is up with that?  Can’t she be a little St. Patty and drive them out of AZ?  She sure seems to be able to attract them!

After that initial snake set back, we asked Tanner and Noah to please (a) do a snake inspection before we placed the girls in their strategic spots (b) escort them to the spot and (c) stay close by with a watchful eye.   I loved having the escort shots as part of the memories captured.   I am sure the girls will NEVER forget that experience.

It was pretty funny because Ryker and Cooper were yelling “SNAKE” the moment we arrived.  Jodi told us to ignore them because they claimed to see snakes everywhere, all the time.  So I did.  That was a mistake.

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We ate lunch at a quaint little farmer’s market that is really close to where Jim and I honeymooned (nearly 19 years ago!).  I had the BEST turkey and pesto sandwich.  I think Jen and Jodi and I may want a girl’s day out just to go back there.  So good.



I love the art of photography.  I love the creative side of the processing.  But nothing – I mean NOTHING – can compare to spending a time with my family.   That is truly full package.  Love you girls!  Thank you for adventuring with me and for choosing to be brave.   I promised you wouldn’t be sorry!

Again, because my family gets a boat load of shots, I have lots more from this shoot that Jodi and Jenn gave permission to share so here is the full gallery if you would like to see it:

Fabulous Five

April 25, 2013


Five is such a fun age.  Old enough to converse and have very adult like conversations but young enough to enjoy the play time of childhood and the wonder of everything in her world.



While listening to American Idol…

Tori:  Mommy who do you think the best singer in the whole entire world is?  (And then she whispers…)  You can say my name if you want to.


I wanted to.  :)






Ty:  Mommy why do you have this look on your face right now?

Me:  I am just thinking about things.

Ty:  Are you thinking about me?

Me:  No.  Do you wish I was thinking about you?

Ty:  Yes.

Me:  Okay.  This time I will stare off and think about you.  (He laughs).

Ty:  What are you thinking about me?

Me:  I am thinking how wonderful you are.  How you were born so tiny and how much I wanted you and how much I love you.

He gets off the couch, hugs me, kisses me, and then says

Ty:  Now I am thinking about you and thinking that I love you so much.

Tori:  Mommy?  Would you think about me now?





Me:  I need to get my stuff all ready for my shoot tomorrow.

Tori:  If you need help, I will be right behind you.  I’ll be right by your side.  If you have heavy bags, I am strong enough.  I will be beside you every step of the way.


I ordered Tori’s dress from Etsy – Crocodile Crunch for her pictures and for Easter.  Love it.


After a coughing attack…

Tori:  Mom you had better go get some of your air.  (Referring to my inhaler)






























Dress Up Days

April 25, 2013




Tori loves all things girly and was especially pleased that I got the boas out for her.  She has been wearing that petti since she was tiny.  I love the years of use I get out of them.






I couldn’t decide between a tutu line or a dress up line so I opted for both.



A big thank you to my friend Amanda for teaching me how to curl Tori’s hair with a flat iron.  It works so well for long, loose curls.  I watched YouTube videos and tried it but I just couldn’t get it to work.  They always demonstrate this technique at the mall kiosks but when you get home they never seem so easy to re-create.  Thankfully, Amanda is a true pro at it and taught me (in our church kitchen no less).  For ages, the best of female trade secrets have been swapped in kitchens.



I really should have taken some video of this because Tori is a crack up when she “works” a shoot.













How I love my girl!  Such an incredible gift.

Tea Party

April 25, 2013


I have had several pictures that I wanted of my girl and this spring realized that if I wanted dress up and tea party pictures, I better get on it because the window for these shoots is not particularly large.  At five, dress up and tea parties happen to be at the top of her favorite playtime activities list (along with all things crafty of course).  I am going to split this session into 3 blog posts because this will be an epic overshare.



Her table and chairs were made by her Grandpa Peter (same Grandpa that made me the Cinderella Coach).  She loves this table and gets a lot of use out of it.



Translation of her above expression “This is the best shoot idea you have had yet!”


This is her prim little tea time expression hee hee.  So very Tori.

Tori is so dainty.  I love watching her little hands and fingers when she is at work and play.  She has always had awesome coordination and dexterity (she was using a fork at 1 year – none of my boys came close to that).  Beyond that though, she has a natural grace about her.  That is a gift I envy because I most certainly do not have that particular talent.  Ever see me dance?  That is rhetorical because I really don’t want those that have to speak up hee hee.


Baby brother loves to play with Sissy so I figured he would want in on the action.

He is a pretty good little pretender.

I don’t know what she was laughing about but she thought something he was doing was funny.  Looks like he might have been building with her tea set as the saucer appears to be on top of the cup.  Give a boy a tea set…


This one is my favorite.  He wanted her to smell the flowers.





There were no real cookies at this party so the baby decided it was time to bail.  He is taking his drink with him though.


I find 2 year old portraits to be such a celebrations of childhood.  They are just so authentic and playful at this age.   So much energy!   Little Maddy is such a sweetie pie and I really enjoyed watching her just delight in life.

Bubbles, and wagons, and bears, rocking horses, books, and yes…even a train – all of Maddy’s “loves”.

I am always a sucker for those big eyed serious expressions.

It was so good to see you Maddy!  (And mom and dad too!)