what ____ looks like | month four

another crazy month. come and gone. i'm not really sure where it even went. but thank goodness i have some pictures to remind me. here’s a bit of what november in tampa, florida looks like [kind of crazy to still be catching butterflies, swimming, wearing shuts and running around barefoot]…

finding and holding a butterfly, in our front yard.

ALWAYS dirty, dirty feet. kids play outside barefoot every day.

one of skyler's gifts to me. they usually end up on my inspiration board. that's where she likes them.

yep, this is how i found them one day.

the barn nursery. sky loved holding the piglet until the barn dog became interested. then she got too nervous.

we so love seeing the new additions. these were the new ducks, who are now pretty big. last time we were there, they were in the geese pen and the geese were crazy protective over them [and loud]. we're waiting on baby bunnies to be born. any day now.

more new barn friends. with each visit, we always seem to find new friends.

the deer were so timid when the barn first got them and now they love to be pet.

this guy scares me. i finally was able to take a picture of him, but not without hissing at us.

sometimes i like to explore the other areas of the barn with the kids. sometimes they don't.

the only place ryder wanted to take flat stanley was...under water.

location scouting for my editorial shoots.

playing on a tire swing. sky was doing all kinds of tricks. she's pretty fearless.

sky also seems to sit on the couch every way except how she's supposed to.

ummm...homework and TV.

there’s a group of 12 of us participating in this what ____ looks like monthly project.  i hope you’ll check them all out [clicking link to link]. next up... stephanie moore | tucson senior photographer.

my muse | part II

spend time every day listening to what your muse is trying to tell you.- saint bartholomew

for me, there's so many ups and downs in photography.  self-doubt seems to be the biggest culprit, creeping it's way in...time and time again. often, i get a photo that i so love and i think to myself, this is it...i'm done. how am i ever going to capture something like this again? doubting my abilities; viewing it more as an lucky break. i know that i am my own worst enemy. i am the one stopping myself and i must change that way of thinking. gratefully, my muse shakes me silly and continues to inspire me. and somehow it happens...another photograph that i fall in love with.

i'm feeling a bit lot lost and frustrated right now, which i'll share more about in another post. but for the moment, as the quote says, i just need to listen. and trust!! thankfully, she knows better than i do.

skyler, you looked over my shoulder and asked me what i was writing about you. this is what i want you to know...

i love you to the moon and back. and so much more than that. thank you for making me the person [and photographer] that i am. i trust you. completely. thank you! for being the amazing soul that you are...and inspiring me more than i ever dreamed.

love, momma

my muse | part I

muse.the goddess or the power regarded as inspiring a poet, artist, thinker or the like. a goddess that inspires a creative artist. a source of inspiration.

skyler is and always has been my muse. she inspires me more than any other. she's put up with my growth and frustrations in photography. she's allowed me to test new ideas and techniques. most of the time, she just does her thing and i excitedly shoot. we understand one another that way. but, i hope she knows how much i truly appreciate her and all she does and gives to me...each and every time. i can't imagine a better muse in my life but i guess that's what a muse is all about. i can't imagine my photography without her. ever.

needless to say, i have SO MANY photos of sky.  i was grabbing some of my favorites of favorites, to share, and there were still so many that i decided to have a muse part I and II. most of these have come and gone, from my website portfolio. a few have stayed strong. i hope you enjoy part I [2006, when i first picked up a camera, till 2008]...

goodness, i love this child so much. so much my opposite. so much my same.  so much completes me. and i can't wait to continue to grow WITH her.


a bit of our daily. not sure how this came about but this was our [the little ones and i] conversation on our way to the grocery store today...


i'm not going to have any kids. because i want to be in charge. i'll be in charge of my husband. like you are mommy. maybe i'll have one kid. but i'll still be in charge.


i'm going to have a wife. and prank her. and my kids too.


kiele's dad's grandma sadly passed away last week at age 92. great-grammy was such an amazing, amazing woman -- one of the kindest people i have ever met. but i don't think i could ever share more beautifully about great-grammy as kiele did in this letter (below), a letter that was to be read at great-grammy's service this past weekend. Dear Great Grammy,

Time goes by without you realizing it until there are no more seconds left and the clock stops ticking. Many years have passed by and I’ve always cherished those few special moments when we could be together. Other times I let the days slip off my fingers just glad you're there, but not paying too much attention. I remember when you would come from your house and we’d walk down the road heading towards big rock. You asking me about school and would find nice little raspberries for the two of us to munch on. I was happy then and I’m still glad to have the memory. Even when I left the camps in Maine and was at my house we still maintained a little connection throughout the years. You would write me letters that I struggled to read, but still figured out what you meant. I’d write you back disappointed my handwriting couldn’t match yours and put your letters in a special place. The letters are still here -- old, wrinkled from time, and a treasure to keep always. When Great Grampy died, I felt for you and while shedding tears I began making a little story about how happy he was and about his life. I drew pictures of the events in a my little kitty notebook, waiting happily to send it to you as a birthday present. Not getting the ending finished, I never sent it. Something I will always regret. Those times from when I was little, to last year sculpting a butterfly for your birthday, and just about to write a letter to you before you passed away are some things I’m glad I was able to do for you. I really hope you had a great life. I think you did because when Brooke and I got persuaded by Dad to do an interview about your life, you sounded content about what happened. Even when you were little at a picnic with your family at a lake and swimming to the middle of the lake unconisously before realizing what was going on. Drowning, your dad rescued you and since then you’ve had a fear of water. To driving into Canada with your dad and sibilings to a little store to purchase root beer and enjoy the summer evenings. Explaining these, you were happy and satisfied with the results. You will remain in my heart and memory forever. Someone like you is not meant to be forgotten and blown away with the whispers of the wind. No, you shall stay with me...a spirit watching over all of us. Thank you for the adventures and sharing the story of your life with us. The words in your story will never be forgotten, from the beginning word to the ending chapter.

I love you and will miss you always Great Grammy.

Love you, Kiele

kiele also wrote this poem, in remembering great-grammy...

One day I did happen to see A trail of red ribbon like the sea Astonished, I stepped towards it The world became dark and moonlit I stared up into the light A voice of mind began a fight Should I stay? Should I run? Wide-eyed, I turned ashen With a panic and dropped down To watch myself begin to drown The ashes floated away in the breeze And soon I felt at ease When the kind angel appeared And up to Heaven I was steered One day I did happen to see A trail of red ribbon that set me free

as i re-read what kiele wrote, tears well.  so proud of kiele, in writing such a heartfelt, poignant letter.  remembering what an incredible woman great-grammy was.  hoping that i can grow old as beautifully and gracefully as she did and that i, too, can pass on such wonderful memories to my great grandchildren.

note: i asked both kiele and mike if it was okay for me to share this photo and kiele's writings, before posting today.

H2O love

be careful what you water your dreams with.water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream. - lao tzu

here i am in tampa. trying to get my business going. not easy task. uninspired by the landscape. missing the open fields. and the trees. wondering if i'll find my way here. knowing deep within that i'm on the right path. yet still struggling.

i've had the most incredible opportunities that wouldn't have been possible if i was swamped with client sessions. i know i'm right where i'm supposed to be, yet i yearn to be inspired with tampa and it's landscape. and today, it happened. that spark has been reignited and is burning bright.

i received my underwater housing today and tested it out a bit this afternoon, in my backyard pool. and i can't even begin to tell you how excited i am about the possibilities.  about the future. the adventure has just begun.

i will be bringing my housing with me, to hawaii (for the next nine days), to continue testing it out. i still have TONS to learn and luckily have a cooperative subject, who can hold his breath way longer than i can (my husband).

YES...i'm exactly where i'm supposed to be. and i'm dreaming big. really big (although i'm really sore and my shoulder and back are killing me. not sure if it's crossfit or heavy housing related.).

i'm so optimistic about the future, i can barely stand it.  more super big news coming soon!!

the everyday

as much as i hate the mess, i absolute love and cherish my kids' imaginary play.  i think the littles learned it from their big sister.  she's the pro at it. although...they were watching sponge bob at the time of this photo.  hence, the not-so-imaginary trance.

yesterday, i was here, spending the day with this awesome friend.

tonight, i will be in the fields of wisconsin.  photographing a most incredible and magical family tomorrow.  can't wait, but i'm a wee bit nervous too.

birthday party hangover

okay, so i should have posted this days ago.  but then this happened.  and that happened.  and it didn't get posted when it was supposed to. sky had a most-awesome birthday party, filled with...

screaming swimming crafting ramen noodles, hot dogs & pickles more screaming homemade vanilla cake dancing movie watching whispering and not sleeping

it was a fabulous day and evening -- one that i hope she'll never forget (especially since her actual birthday day was "the worst ever"...an eight-hour car ride home).

the gang...

the homemade vanilla cake...

the crafts...

the dancing (the bit about "i'm doing them a favor" kills me)...

the hangover...

hope you have an awesome EIGHT sky!!