Saturday, October 31, 2009


It’s hard to know where to begin on this one. I love and adore this person so much and she’s one of the most talented people I know. So where do you begin? With the talent or the sentimental-gushy moment?
Let’s start here. Her name is Ivy. I met Ivy nearly five years ago. First impression: Beautiful. And the simple yet astonishing, she-didn’t-even-have-to-work-at-it – stunning. But over these five years, I’ve gotten to know her, and though she’s clearly beautiful on the outside, I’m pretty sure her outward beauty doesn’t hold a candle to the lady that she is.
Ivy and I had the privilege of working together at the LifeSpa in Warrenville. And quite honestly, she’s one of the most gifted stylists and colorists I’ve ever known. Though our spa is filled with ridiculously talented people, Ivy was the first stylist I’ve EVER had that I could sit down and say, “Do whatever you want” and know it would come out perfectly. (The reason why I can’t normally do that is part “I’m a control freak” and part HORRIBLE hair coloring and cutting history before I worked at LifeSpa. You would not believe what people have done to my hair…)
A little over a month ago, Ivy realized it was time - time to step out on her own. And though I miss seeing her when I work dearly, she was right. She is so incredibly talented and it was time. Being the amazing (and beautiful) friend that she is, she let me steal some of her time to capture some shots for her website. I got to spend time with my friend, my stylist and my kids’ favorite person ever. It was an honor.
Ivy, you are so beautiful it’s out of control. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your story with me. Thank you for sharing your talents with my hair – hearing your story is my favorite thing, but my husband and kids thank you for making me look a whole lot better. And most of all, thank you for becoming a part of our family. For loving my children, for loving me and for laughing at my husband! We are thrilled to have you in our lives and quite honestly, you’re our stylist for life. We thank God for you all the time. You are amazing. Thank you for rocking our lives with your awesomeness. I just hope these pictures help the incredible business I know you will have.

Ready to sign up for your appointment? Yeah, I figured. And if you were to see what she can do with my curly, frizzy, crazy hair, you'd be scrambling out the door to make sure you could get an appointment with her. Here's her website:
Go and enjoy every last moment with her. She's amazing.

One of my first loves...

Tell me. Over and over. Adjust a few details as needed, but please, just tell me.
From the very beginning, I've been in love with stories. Hilarious stories are some of my fave. Love stories melt my heart. Stories filled with survival and passion and dream-chasing. Stories of rescue, stories of hope and simple stories have filled my days. And I love it.
I'm realizing that's one of the reasons I'm in love with photography. I get the privilege of capturing and then sharing those stories. My poor parents indulgence of telling the story of when you...(dressed up as an ape to scare your dorm mother, threw your suit in the trash, were given permission to spank your mother...) ONE more time paid off. Now I get to be the story-teller.
There are some great stories waiting to be told. Some have already been caught on my camera, some will be soon. And I can't wait to tell those stories. Stay tuned if you don't mind for some beautiful stories and people coming your way. Slowly, but surely, I'm figuring out a rhythm as to how I work and I'm excited to share that with you.
And finally, to anyone who is reading this, thank you. It means the world to me to think that you would take the time to read my stories. I appreciate it to no end. And yes, I do get ridiculously encouraged when I see that people have actually been visiting these stories. So thank you. There's more to come and now there will be a rhythm. (Thanks to Mandy, who's story will be told soon as well)

Here's a picture of someone I adore. Her story will be coming soon...

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Millers

I remember the first time I heard her talk about it. She stood in front of our church and laid out her longings to have another child. She walked us through the time she had spent praying and agonizing and wrestling with God as to why He didn’t seem to let that happen. She let us into the joy she felt as she held her precious little Raegan and yet the ache, doubts and the pain that she went through as she longed for more little ones to cuddle in her arms. She captivated us as she led us through a series of events that started their adoption process. And as the tears rolled down her face as she talked about her precious daughters and going to get them, I knew I had just met one of the most amazing women ever.
Her husband happens to be just as cool. If you know my story, you’d realize that church hasn’t always been a great experience for me. With a father in ministry, I’ve seen some of the great sides of church and unfortunately, I’ve seem some of the really ugly sides. And I haven’t exactly had a great track record with pastors, whether they were my boss or my dads. (Not all, just many) So when Mark came on staff at our church, I had no idea that my impression of pastors could be restored in such an awesome way. Mark has been this incredible, patient, healing presence in the life of our family. (It helps to have such a stellar wife and kids…) And I can’t begin to thank him enough for that.
And their kids? AWESOME. And I will forever and always adore them all, especially Miss Raegan – seeing as I had the privilege of having her in youth group. (She is so awesome it’s out of control)
So now that you know that they’re great, add to that equation that they’re seriously gorgeous. Here’s a little snapshot of their family. They make me want to be an honorary Miller. (What do you think guys? Would Ramsay say I make the cut?)

Monday, October 26, 2009


One year ago I sat, a belly full of boy with questions dancing around my head like a mosh pit at a punk-rock concert. Would I love him as much as Hannah? What on earth was I going to do with a boy? Could I actually do this? Will I ever go into labor? Did we pick the right name? Do his initials destine him to get made fun of?

But secretly I knew. I knew that even though I wanted to have another girl, even though I had walked into the ultrasound sure that I was having a girl and already prepared with her name, even though I thought it was weird that my body was currently housing a boy who was peeing inside of me, I knew… God was smarter than me. I knew that even though my heart was not currently loving the idea of all things blue and just watching little boys play made me tired; I knew I’d be smitten.

I was right. After an entire night of being in the hospital, turning, checking, waiting, laboring and wondering if my anesthesiologist was going to deny me the right to have an epidural (another story for another day) my doctor laid my little baby boy on my stomach and I BAWLED. For those of you who don’t know me, I don’t cry. I learned a long time ago, whether it’s right or wrong, to hold in my emotions. Not at that moment. I looked in his eyes and started crying. (Heck, I’m crying now even thinking back to that moment. While I sit in the middle of Starbucks. Oh dear…) There he was.

This little man who had regarded my insides as a soccer ball ready for practice. The little man whose hiccups had made me giggle. The little man who had been peeing inside of me; however much that weirded me out. The little man who had been doing the worm inside my tummy. He was here. And he was looking at me.

I couldn’t get myself together. I loved him so deeply I was ready to give my life away for him instantaneously. I was ridiculously, whole-heartedly, head-over-heels in love.

While other newborns let out their wails to announce their grand entrance into the world, my little Jayden, laid in my arms examining our faces. (My stellar, rock-awesome husband had pretty much gotten me through it all. I have no idea where I would be without that man…) He didn’t cry, he just studied us. “Oh…so you’re that guy with the weird laugh. And you’re the one that likes to sing all the time. Hi guys.”

I wanted to press pause. I wanted to stay right there and soak up every last second of his face, his startle reflex, his BLUE eyes and his blond hair. I could have lived in that moment forever. (Although I was missing my little lady)

God was right. I knew he would be, even though my heart had not formally agreed. And I get to spend my days with the most incredibly precious, smiley, happy little man. And he is better than I ever could have imagined. Here’s to God being smarter than me. That’s a great thing.

And once I'm home and can connect to my external hard-drive, there will be some pictures of that adorable little boy... I promise

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hi, there. Welcome to the new version of my blog.
You'll see most of the same old entries because I'm sentimental and imperfect and wanted the visual reminder of both.
And hopefully, I'll actually be posting a lot more frequently...especially since all these amazing people keep stepping in front of my camera and it's time to tell their stories. I'm going to enjoy a few moments of time to relax and just sit with God before my two little munchkins wake up and bring even more excitement into my life. Rock out today...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

There's a lot to come...

So many stories, so little time. This has been a full few weeks of adorable children, beautiful couples and so much more. I don't have time to post much because I am shooting my amazing friend's wedding in Louisville this weekend, but here's a taste of what's to come. Soon. I swear.