Friday, July 30, 2010

Baby E Milestone | Minnesota Infant Portrait Session


You might remember this little guy from THIS SESSION or THIS or even THIS ONE. One this is certain, Baby E is growing faster than the weeds in my garden. I spent some time with him, his big brother, and momma last week - here are a few of my favorites from the day:



close face


baby rug


I especially got a kick out of Big Brother's smile in this one:


A huge improvement from this smile, so long ago:

Day 177/365:  his squishy smile

Thanks again, Kristen, for a fun morning with the boys :)

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ryan | Minnesota Senior Portrait Session


I met Ryan last week for my first senior portrait session of the year. It was another hot day but thankfully we were at a location with loads of shade. Here are a few shots from our time together:

full bridge




close face

Have a great senior year, Ryan!

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

it was hot hot HOT! | Minnesota Family Portrait Session

The sun was shining and humidity CRANKED for this family session that took place last week. The kids were real troopers (not to mention their folks!!!) as we spent the afternoon playing outside. Here are a few shots from our time together:




boy chair

family full




carley love

family shoulders

baby teal

Thanks again for sharing your precious family with me, Carley!!

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Monday, July 26, 2010

The Color Teal | Minnesota Family Portrait Session

After a busy couple of weeks, I am catching up on several session sneak peeks. Seven, to be exact. To make matters worse, my computer has been slower than slow. I think it's time for either a tune-up or new laptop. Neither an appealing solution right now. But I digress.

I was itching to use a few new girl props. And with no girl in sight, I asked my friend Amanda if she'd be willing to share hers. THREE OF THEM. Oh what joy!!! Here's a peek at our evening together:


baby tutu





Thanks again, Amanda, for your energetic efforts in bringing about smiles :)) I hope to have the rest of your images ready SOOOOOOON!!!


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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ever felt like hiding?

It's been a secret fantasy as of late. (Guess it's not-so-secret anymore!)

hiding away

I'd love to literally lock myself away from the world for a month and spend the time watching old movies. And ordering takeout from all of my favorite places. And not answering the phone. Or checking email.

It has been a tough year and though the waters have calmed a bit, life is still not comfortable. I guess my hope in hiding, is that I'll come out on the other side... to normal life. Though summer has been filled with joyful moments, life is still... prickly - realistically, it's likely to stay this way for some time.

I read something the other day that sort of helped and thought it might do the same for someone else working through a difficult season. It has to do with suffering and pain - when something hits out of nowhere and you're left to deal with it. Could be sickness or loss of a loved one. Could be the betrayal of a friend or financial upheaval. It could be a transition of any kind that you did not ask for.
  1. We must suffer and endure pain when in a position of weakness, when we have no control over the situation. The pain is bad enough to be sure; what makes it unbearable is the feeling of powerlessness that goes with it. We must endure pain because we cannot prevent or alleviate it.

  2. Our emotions can be debilitating. We may feel anger, but it is powerless to help us. We also experience the extra burden of sorrow, the emotion we feel when evil is with us. We need courage to stand firm against these inner emotions as well as outward threats.

  3. Endurance implies suffering for a long stretch of time. In our culture, we often expect a quick fix. But the truth is, we do not have much control over how long we must suffer.
So what are we to do with this when faced with extreme hardship and difficulties? For obvious reasons, turning your home (or bedroom) into a hideout is not the answer. Neither is escape by means of alcohol, shopping, or the Internet.

For starters, we need to let someone else in: a trusted friend, family member, health care professional, or pastor. Allow others to be an encouragement to you. Seek prayer. Open yourself up to objective heartfelt advice.

Remember to take life one day at a time. Keep moving. Force yourself to do things you don't "feel" like doing: working, taking care of the house, making dinner, and showering (yes, it can be that bad at times).

Turn to God's word for encouragement. When feeling overwhelmed by fear and doubt, fill your mind and mouth with words of hope.

LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16: 5-8 (NIV)

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. Psalm 18:32-36 (NIV)

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever. Psalm 28:7-9 (NIV)

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18 (NKJV)

I run to you, LORD, for protection. Don't disappoint me. Psalm 71:1 (CEV)

Discover for yourself that the LORD is kind. Come to him for protection, and you will be glad. Psalm 34:8 (CEV)

The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7 (NIV)
And lastly, I have a great resource to share. If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you might be familiar with Pete Wilson (remember the Backseat Jesus sermon series?); he's recently written a book entitled, "Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up the Way You Thought He Would?" Click HERE to learn more.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

summer finds

1. Target has some ADORABLE little girl sundresses. This one even matches my new photography props:

teal dress

Loved this cream little number as well:

cream dress

Makes me wish I had a little girl to dress up... oh, the fun!

2. With the availability of garden lettuce I've been experimenting with salad recipes.

buffalo chix salad

This was a Buffalo Chicken variation. My absolute favorite, however, is not pictured. It included grilled NY strip steak, gorgonzola, red onion, candied pecans, and a maple vinaigrette. The dressing recipe is below:

Maple Vinaigrette
1/4 cup cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tablespoon (plus 1 teaspoon) Dijon mustard
Salt and ground black pepper

Into small bowl or jar, measure vinegar, oil, syrup, Dijon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; mix with wire whisk or fork (or cover jar and shake) until well blended. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 week. Stir or shake before using.

And the candied pecans recipe:

Candied Pecans
1 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Prepare a large sheet of parchment paper or foil for cooling pecans. Stir sugar, oil, and vinegar in a large skillet over medium heat until sugar melts and syrup bubbles, about 3 minutes. Mix in pecans and stir until nuts are toasted and syrup coats them evenly, 5-6 minutes. Turn nuts out onto prepared parchment paper and separate using 2 forks. Cool completely. Nuts can be prepared way in advance (up to 1 month) and stored in an airtight container.

3. The Metropolis Resort in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

the metropolis hotel

With Chaos Waterpark on one end and Action City on the other, our kids were anything but bored.


We received an awesome deal that included two days of unlimited games (including bumper cars, go-karts, miniature golf, bowling, laser tag, and the rock climbing wall IN ADDITION to the arcade). It was kid heaven.


And with a Dairy Queen on-site, I was in mom heaven :)

4. Izzy's Ice Cream with 32 ever-changing flavors each day and an Izzy scoop on top. Be sure to stop by on Thursday, July 29th for their 10th birthday celebration!!

5. While on the ice cream kick, I might as well keep on going... Stoneridge Creamery flavor "Tom's Twisted Pretzel" (available at Cub Foods): chocolate-covered pretzel chunks and caramel - need I say more?

6. Old Navy Summer Clearance. Picked up these cute jammies for a steal:

peach cami

peach shorts

7. Hidden Greens Golf Course - voted Best Public Golf Course 2010 by City Pages.


In addition to a monthly Date Night special, kids under 16 years old golf free (with a paying adult) on Fridays and Sundays after 3:00 pm.

How about you? If you have any summer finds of your own to share, just add a comment to this post!

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Saturday, July 17, 2010

looking for a few good {new} locations




With senior and family sessions rounding the bend, I've been playing working hard to find some fresh locations and props.


This teal green chair being one of them - along with a little yellow milking stool - that I picked up for a steal at a local antique store. I also had a friend make me a collection of tutus in three different sizes and colors. Had a chance to play with the new "toys" yesterday and will have some pics to share with you soon! Until then, a peek:

baby tutu

Gotta busy week of sessions ahead, now if only the weather would cooperate! Too, as far as blogiversary prizes go... I just received the last of them and will have them in the mail this week. FOR SURE. Have a super weekend :)

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