a mama’s gotta do…

School's out. Which means I have all of my babies, from the littlest to the biggest, home. As must as I wish it were otherwise, this is rare. Due to Zach's college schedule, sometimes this phenomenon only occurs twice a year. Which leaves a mama with only one thing to do. Insist on taking pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Thankfully, I knew a place we could go where the kids can actually have fun in the process. Even better, it's free. And we picked a day that had a questionable forecast, in order to miss the crowds, and arrived just … [Read more...]

2014 in review: 24 of my favorites

It's become a bit of a thing around here, I suppose: going through my pictures at the end of the year and plucking out a few favorites. It's laborious. It's time consuming. But I love it because it's a chance to look back at the year, as a mama, and see how my babies have grown. Cherish important milestones. Remember sweet moments. I don't love it because it's a chance to look back at the year, as a photographer, and see how my photography has grown. Or not. *ahem* But whatever. I am still clicking away. And perfect or not, these images tell the story of … [Read more...]

letting go

My oldest child is 25. My youngest child is 1. And I am mama to 10 more that fall in between. My 1 year old cannot feed herself. Hold her cup. Walk from one end of the room to the other. I get to do all that for her. My 25 year old, on the other hand, no longer needs much help. For anything. In fact she can do basically anything I can do, and oftentimes does it better. And somehow, mothering the child that is virtually independent can be as hard as mothering the child that is completely dependent. I am learning that when it comes to parenting, … [Read more...]

the dreaded family photo

Another thing on my list of things-to-do-before-Zach-leaves was family pictures. As in pictures of our entire family. Can I just add something here? UGH. I already struggle with trying to photograph just a few of my kids together. Getting everyone in the same frame, still relatively clean, all looking in the same general direction and not making a face is, honestly, ulcer-inducing. Add to that the fact that for the entire family to be in the same frame, I had to figure out the self-timer (thank you, Victoria), set up the tripod (thank you, Asher), and … [Read more...]


He's entering his second year of college this fall. Over 600 miles away. So when he's here over the summer I have weeks, not months, to do all-the-stuff-I-wish-I-had-all-year-to-do. Being a mama can be so hard on the heart. One of the things on that "to-do" list is pictures. Lots of pictures. On this day we had driven to a specific spot where we'd hoped to take pictures. When we arrived, though, it was already closed for the day. But, in true Zach style, he was game to get a few shots right there. In the parking lot. And even made me laugh … [Read more...]

out and about

It's summer. And all my babies are home. My most favorite time of year. And there is so much I want to squeeze into the time we are all together - all fun stuff, of course. But the truth is, we just don't get out a whole lot. For several reasons. 1) I am a homebody 2) "We" is a whole lot of people 3) For this mama to get this crew rolling, it has be good. And it has to be affordable So when we found out that this much-talked-about, National Historic Landmark, 20th century blast furnace was open to the public, (and free!) we were all … [Read more...]

Sunday Snapshot: 14 from 2013

I did it last year. The year before. And even the year before that. It's sort of a thing, I suppose. And, since 2013 doesn't want to be left out, here are my favorites from the last year. Not necessarily technically my favorites, from a photography standpoint. Just from a mama's standpoint. 1. Princess Vivienne. 2. My incredibly silly pony. 3. My brave and beautiful Velvet, just days before she passed away. 4. Isabelle... being Isabelle. 5. Tallula, home one wonderful year. 6. My babies. Every one of 'em. 7. My biggest boy, the … [Read more...]

Sunday Snapshot: 19

Yep. He's turning 19. Already. Currently soldiering through his first year of college. Still trying to figure out his major. His whole future ahead of him. Gah. Makes a mother's insides sort of wobbly - having her baby out there in this big, crazy world. But that's what love does. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Happy Birthday, my biggest boy. I love you to the moon and back. If you're ready to play along, go ahead and link up below. Be sure to visit here for the full scoop. To link up this week with your Sunday Snapshot, … [Read more...]

a summer tradition

Trying to carve out special time with your biggest isn't easy. Especially when you have 9 younger ones afoot that are usually messier and bossier. And louder. But this summer we managed a few hours every afternoon. About 4:00, we ice down the coffee. Pull out the Quiddler. And put on our thinking caps. Okay, it's not really a very cerebral game. But we do like to think we're pretty getting our smarts on... at least for a few hours a day. We actually laugh more than anything else. Nothing better than making memories with your … [Read more...]

Sunday Snapshot: my babies

It's been a busy summer. In a good way. I've let a lot of "regular" things slip because I wanted to be intentional about spending time with my kids. And it has been so ridiculously fun. One of the things I put on the back burner - besides blogging regularly - was my photography. I used to pull my camera out every day or two. Lately it's been every week or two. Despite the layer of dust growing on my camera I was determined, before summer ended, to get a picture of all of my babies - together. To be honest, though, just the monstrosity of the task gave me … [Read more...]