forsey family | family session

Forsey2Let me tell you about this amazing family I know. The Forsey’s have to be one of the best families I have ever met.. seriously they are amazing people with the best hearts. They recently built their dream home and I asked me to come photograph their family in it before they moved in. It was a fun experience full of laughs and screams, seriously a blast for a week night.

 

These kids are amazingly fun and are crazy climbers. And those smiles.. they are killers I tell you. 
Forsey1It was a blast to have each kid show me their bedroom and how they were excited to move in. And did I mention they have this awesome ‘secret’ play room upstairs complete with a bookshelf that pulls out and a mini door for the littles to climb through? Uh-amazing. 
Forsey3 Forsey4

 

Thank you Forsey family for letting me come sneak a peek of your beautiful home, and spend a fun evening with you!

 

Forsey

my new years resolutions | personal

FollowYourHeartAlright, so every year I have been so determined to have a new years resolution I can keep. I usually pick the same that 95% of the nation picks, lose weight and be healthy. This year after reading some good posts I decided to set goals that I can really achieve. Ones that I know I can complete. I always have a running list of goals that I accomplish, and the list grows. But never something I work on for a whole year. So this year is going to be different. This last year I had a motto, Enjoy the Process. This was a really hard thing to accept, but it made me take a break and really review where I stood with things.

 

This year my motto is Listen to my Heart. I often find myself in the toss of what is right, and what I feel like I should do. So this year is all about following that little heart of mine. I really want to be in tune with the people around me and my feelings as a whole. I want to make sure my heart matches my actions. So with that being said. Here are some of my new years resolutions for 2015.

 

Keep : reading. In 2014 I kept a running list of all the books I read over the year for 2014, I read a grand total of 26. I read 11,734 pages and an average of 2,933,500 words. My goal for this year is to read 30 books. I am sure this is something I can accomplish, and hopefully even with a new one joining the family soon.

 

Change : This one was a tricky one for me, cause I feel like it is always easy to see the faults you have in yourself. So I decided that I am going to change how I view myself. That I am going to have more self-love and be more positive. I have always had issues with my body image, and I want to be okay with myself. I know I am not going to be a size -0 ever, I am just more curvy than a stick, now to teach myself that it is OK to look that way.

 

Start : I want to start a photo project. The last project I did was my roadkill project, Confrontations, which you can see on my site. Since then I haven’t really done a set project with multiple images in it. I have some ideas floating, just to land on one to work on.

 

Stop :  Worrying about the little things. This is something I struggle with, I am what my father in law calls a ‘awfulizer’. I imagine the worst thing happening, and I am convinced that it will come true. I need to learn how to let go of the things I can’t control and focus on the things I really can change.

 

What are your new years resolutions? How do you keep yourself working on them all year long?

baby peter | newborn session

eyes

next to a birth story, my favorite thing is shooting a newborn. All these babies around me makes me super anxious for mine to come! A sweet family in my neighborhood called after their little grandson made his entrance. This sweet little boy was just over a week old and such a fun little squirt. I loved taking time to shoot peter!

 

Above Elephant
feethands lips

 

Look at those killer eyes! They were so blue! I loved staring at them while he was awake. MomTie Ribbon

 

His sweet mom looked so great for just having a baby, and was the sweetest thing to her little man I have ever seen.

 

Sleeping Swaddled

 

Thank you Nelsons for letting me photograph your sweet little grandson. He was a pleasure to shoot, and made me so excited to have my own soon!

 

 

infertility | 5 questions we dealt with

One of the hardest parts of infertility was all the questions we got. They ranged from when are you going to have kids to what is going on.. Some were harder than others to deal with, I will be honest. But after going through 5 years of questions, and from the strangest people and places, I learned to build a pretty thick skin. So I thought I would share with you how I learned to deal with these 5 questions I got about infertility.

 

1. When are you going to have kids?

This one was a tough-y at first. I won’t lie. I shared one of my favorite responses in my last post, you can see it here. When things started I would tell people things like ” We are working on it” or make up an excuse as to why we haven’t had them yet. School was always a fall back for this one. But as time went on I realized that those questions were uncomfortable. So I decided to make others just as uncomfortable as I felt about getting asked the question. So I started with ones like “9 months from now” or “we saw your kids and decided against kids, thanks for sparing us”. Now I realize that not everyone can go that route, I just liked it for the reason I could laugh about it. Some other options are “We are still waiting for our gift” or “We have our order in, just waiting for it to be filled”.  Whatever you decide, talk with your spouse and agree on a few answers that work for you.

 

Cody&Teagan2

 

2. Are you ever going to have kids?

This was a hard one to swallow, I will admit. Of course I wanted kids, but short of slapping that person across the face I still had to answer. Again, I had answers that created comedic relief, cause I prefer to laugh about things then to dwell. So I would answer with “Oh well when your kid is old enough to baby sit mine” or “Nope, why do you care?”. This question is a hard one, cause really that is no ones business except you and your husbands. But none the less you will get it. So if you want to err on the side of kindness go for ones like “We would like to one day” or “When the time is right”. This let’s them know that it is a matter of when not if.

 

3. What tests are you going through?

This one I actually didn’t mind talking about when I got to the testing phase of our process. I felt like being more open about how things were going and how I felt about situations helped me work through my emotions. It gave me a chance to express myself and my feelings towards what was happening, but also a chance to educate the person doing the asking. However, not everyone is as open about chatting. And that is PERFECTLY okay. It is your business, if you want to share you can. If not you can mention to them that you would rather not talk about it until you know. Or play the coy side where you act as if you haven’t had the tests yet, even if you have started. But if you go this route, chance are they will ask again.

 

4. So what’s wrong with you?

This one stung the most. The problem with this one, is even if there is a problem and it does lie with you, it makes you sound as if you are defective. But in all reality you aren’t, and there is nothing you can do to control the changes that happened. I had a hurtful experience with this one in fact, but I braced it as a chance to educate the person. I got a very hurtful letter from a dear family member, expressing how it was my husbands fault and that if he had made some different health choices that we wouldn’t be experiencing this issue. The actuality of it was that there was ZERO we could have done about it, and his choices didn’t have any effect on what happened. So I took the chance to write back and set them straight. This is a good chance for you to educate those around you about infertility. Even if it is an issue with yourself or your spouse, there is nothing they could have done to prevented it. So it is NO ONES fault, remember that.

Cody&Teagan7

5. What can we do to help?

This one was a welcomed question. I embraced this with open arms. It gave me a chance to cry on someones shoulder, to ask for advice from them or just know that they were understanding to the situation and had sympathy towards what we were working through. Even though they might not be able to fully understand what is happening to you, or how you feel, hold these people tight and close. They are the ones who will help you make it to the end.

 

No matter the question, or who it comes from, know that the reason why they are asking is because they care. They might seem to be harsh and abrasive questions, and some of them are, but take it as a chance to love them back and to educate them. The reason why they ask stupid questions is because they really don’t know. Take the time, even though it hurts, to let them know about the world of infertility. Who knows it could help someone in the long run.

baby nixon | birth story

 

Nixon10

Can you believe it?! I got another nephew this month! I know I am one lucky lady. My brother and his wife welcomed their first little, baby Nixon on December 16th. I was lucky enough to be apart of his birthday celebration and photograph his birth. There is something really amazing about watching a little life make his grand entrance into the world, it is an experience worth watching if you get a chance.

Nixon8

Our morning started at 5:20am. My sister in law was set to have an induction that morning. She needed to be there at 6:15. I got a frantic text around 5:20am, that her water had possibly broke and she was having contractions. So our planned leaving time was going to be moved up. We couldn’t wait. So I threw on the first pair of clothes I could find and rushed out. Turns out her water hadn’t broken but she was in deed in labor. Crazy that her little knew the day he was supposed to come.

 

Nixon9

They got her all hooked up and epidural placed. She was a happy camper. I got to have a nice breakfast with my brother, a rare occasion, where we sat and talked about how it was crazy that he was going to be a dad and how in a few short months I was going to be a mom. Crazy how your life can change in an instant.

 

Nixon6

 

Nixon7

The doctor was amazing. He happened to be a family friend of theirs and was a superstar doctor. I hope my delivery goes as amazing as hers did. A few short hours after checking in she was ready to push. At 2:20p my sweet nephew arrived with a loud cry, giant hands and large mouth that were beyond adorable. I was smitten.

 

Nixon5

Nixon4

 

I think this is the first time in my life I have watched my brother break down in tears. It was amazing to see and feel the love in the air for that sweet little baby.

Nixon3

 

 

Nixon2

 

Welcome baby Nixon, I am so glad you are here! Thank you to Matson and Erica for letting me be apart of your big day, it was a honor that I can’t even express how grateful I am for it. 


Nixon

ringing in the new year | 10 fun NYE ideas

I don’t you but I love a good party. Especially when you are surrounded with a bunch of fun people. Every year we get together and ring in the new year as a family. It is a fun tradition that we have done since I was in high school. But I thought today I would share some of our ideas but others that you could do to ring in 2015!

 

Our new years tradition started way back when I was a sophomore in high school. My parents wanted to come up with a way for the younger kids to be able to celebrate with us, and since they weren’t old enough to go out late they invented the Family Olympics. The evening kicks off with dinner and a movie. As soon as our movie is over we start into the games. We have gathered a bunch of games over the years but a few favorites are : paper airplane races, windup toy races, balloon races, and cup stacking. It makes for fun times and hilarious laughs!

Here are 10 fun ways you can ring in the new year :

Olympics

Olympics : Gather whatever kinds of games you want to play. A good resource is the minute to win it games. Here is a site that has 20 games and how to play them.

Movie Marathon : If you are big movie buff it would be fun to do a marathon of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars or any of your favorite series.

gamenight

Game Night : We are huge fans of games, so you could gather your top games and play them back to back with friends.

CityParty

City Celebration : Most cities host their own version of a NYE celebration. They always have some fun events and food to help ring in the new year

Go to a concert : If you can swing this, it would be fun to dance in the new year.

Have a date night : If you are craving alone time with your special someone, call it a night and have a romantic dinner and cuddle up to your fireplace and watch your favorite flick. There is always room for more one on one time.

Resolution

Make your Resolution list : If you are a fan of resolutions you could spend the evening deciding how you are going to make 2015 the best year yet.

film reel

Highlight Reel : With some family and friends it would be fun to remember all your favorite moments of 2014. I am sure there are some good stories to share with that as well!

Potluck / Round Robin Meal : Do a giant potluck meal with friends, or a round robin meal with them. You start at one person’s house for your appetizers and then move to a new house for every course ending with dessert. Yum!

beach

Go on vacation : There is no better way to ring in the new year than to celebrate it in a fun new spot, maybe by a beach?

 

Here is a download of a resolution sheet for you to get a jump start on your 2015!

  Resolution Sheet

Happy Holidays!!

baby dane | newborn session

Details

One of my favorite jobs to do are birth stories. I love being there when the world stands still for just a minute when that little one enters the world. I love capturing those moments in photos that will last years after those sweet seconds. A few weeks back my sister delivered her second precious little boy and I was able to be there as he entered the world.

DaneBirth

Kellyn

 

My sister was a champ. I hope I can handle labor and delivery like her when my little makes his entrance. She was laughing and joking with us the whole time before and literally pushed 3 times and he was here. She is a pro.

Tools

Hello

Amazing how much love flows into the room the second that little one makes their entrance into the world. It hits you like a brick wall, and this one was no exception. He is so loved.

 

Handhold

 

DaneChris

 

Weigh

One of my favorite parts of watching a birth is to watch the bath after they are born. The nurses are so gentle and love their job. I also loved playing ‘Thor’ with my nephew.. he is a grand little dude.

DaneNursery

BrigsBath

Welcome to the world baby Dane. You are so loved by so many people. I am so glad you joined our family and that I was able to be there for your special day.

 

Dane

 

Love your auntie.







baking | gingerbread man cookies

Title

So there is something about the smell of gingerbread and cinnamon that makes it feel like Christmas to me. So of course I had to share one of my recipes for gingerbread men with all of you! That way you can use it to build your houses and cookies this year! These cookies take about 1hr and 20 minutes to make from start to finish. These work awesome for building custom houses, like we do each year – mobile home, teepee, tent etc- cause you can custom cut your shapes and then bake! Also today I am sharing an awesome recipe for royal icing, this stuff sets up pretty fast and tastes pretty dang good.

 

Gingerbread Recipe

3 cups of flour

3/4 cup of brown sugar

1 TBS cinnamon

1 TBS ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup of butter – softened

3/4 cup molasses

2 TBS milk

 

 

Mixer

In a mixer add flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and soda. Mix on low until combined. Add in butter, you can chunk it into pieces if you want. Mix on low until it creates a sandy type texture. Add your milk and molasses. Mix until the dough is evenly mixed and moist throughout.

DoughSheets

 

doughwPin

Scrape the dough down and divide in half. Place half on a sheet of parchment paper, and place another sheet on top. Roll dough until it is about 1/4 thick and transfer to a cookie sheet.

DoughSheet

Do the same with the other half. Put these in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes (or refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight). Preheat your oven to 350.

Cutout

Remove one of your stiff dough sheets and remove the parchment paper. Cut out your shapes and transfer to a cookie sheet. Bake them for 8 to 11 minutes – depending on how hard you would like them and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to fully cool before icing.

 

Royal Icing

5 TBS meringue powder

1 tsp vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup water

food coloring

 

Start off by adding your meringue, sugar and vanilla together. Slowly add water, the more water you add the thinner the icing. I add slowly until I get the consistency






I want. Beat on high until it is glossy and stiff. You want it to set up pretty well, this is what helps keep all the cute decorations or the glue for your house. Add food coloring if you want, and then transfer it to a icing bag or a squeeze container to help you decorate. Then let your creativity run wild!

FinishedWIcing

I love this recipe to use for gingerbread houses, because you can make the walls hard by baking about 10 minutes. Then you can get the coolest house award at your next party!

baking | pumpkin pie

Ingredients

 

So pie is one of the most wonderful things about this time of year. I don’t count it as just a Thanksgiving treat.. that is right we have it until past Christmas. Pound that pie. I figure the more time I can shove desserts into my belly the better, and also I am convinced that calories don’t count after Halloween. So today I am sharing with you my recipe for pumpkin pie.

 

Here is what you need :

 

3/4 cup of sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

2 eggs

1 can of pumpkin

1 can (12oz) evaporated milk

 

pie crust : you can find my recipe here.

whipped cream (optional)

 

Start off by mixing sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger in a small bowl. Beat eggs in a large bowl (I put in in the mixer). Stir in the sugar mix and the can of pumpkin. When well mixed, add the evaporated milk. Mix in slowly until it is well mixed. It will be like thick milk.

MixerCrust

 

Pour this mixture into your pie shell. I blind baked mine before, but you don’t have to. To blind bake, roll out your crust and put it in your pie plate. Put down two sheets of aluminum over the crust and weigh it down to prevent shrinking. I used rice. Bake it for 15 minutes at 375. Remove and then fill with your filling.

Prebake

 

Put your pie into bake. The oven needs to be at 425 for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce the temperature to 350 and set a timer for 40 to 50 minutes. Stick knife in the center to assure that it is cooked, when the knife comes out clean it is done. Cool on a rack for 2 hours and then refrigerate serve immediately. Top with whipped cream if you like and dig in!
Finishedpie


12 days of Christmas | gift ideas

 

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There is always some fun to be had around the Christmas season. Giving gifts and sharing moments with family is really what the season is meant for. I love giving gifts to others, and especially when I can make them fun. This year my younger brother is living out of state, in New Jersey and won’t be home for Christmas. So we decided this year to make him a 12 days of Christmas package. I mean what is more fun than opening a present every day?!

So we made our own version of the 12 days of Christmas, with a little flair of course. Here is what you will need to make this fun package for your special someone.

 

Pear Jelly Bellies : We used these because they are one of my brother’s favorite. You could use any kind of Pear Flavored item, or pears themselves if you can get them there without being spoiled.

2 Dove Chocolate Bars : Since shipping live birds is out of the picture, dove chocolates work perfect for the second day of Christmas.

Box of French cookies: We found a set made by pepperidge farms that were half dipped in chocolate. You could find a different type or use ones like pirouettes in place of these.

Box of Nerds : This was our version of bird seed for calling birds, since he really has no use for real bird seed. You could use Trail Mix or some other type of seed looking candy as well.

5 Ring Pops : Nothing better for 5 golden rings, unless you can really get golden rings.

6 Easter eggs : We found a few of these among our Easter decorations, and then filled them with candy. But you could fill them with money or someother fun toy!

Peeps : We found the little snowman versions they have at Christmas time. They seemed more festive than the actual peeps that look like birds.

Blue Gatorade : This goes with the peeps, it is the ‘water’ for the swans that are supposed to be swimming.

Hot Chocolate : Since shipping a cow would be quite costly we figured Hot Cocoa would be much more appealing than a pile of cow poo. We sent a box of packets.

Dancing Santa : We found a wind up santa that dances for the nine ladies dancing. Seemed more fitting for Christmas, but you could send a hula girl or something cute like that.

Socks : This one was hard, lords a leaping. We opted for something foot related, so naturally we went with socks. Who doesn’t love some new socks?

Kids pipe toy : We found ours at Zurchers, but you could look at a party supply store. We just sent a little kids version of a flute. Fun play on pipers piping.

Suckers : Instead of drumsticks that really melt or make lots of noise, we opted for a bag of suckers.

Screen shot 2014-12-04 at 8.27.49 PM

So for my brother, he is currently serving a mission in New Jersey. So we were limited to the presents we could send. So all of these are mission friendly, but you could alter the words on these to fit your needs.  After you gather all the presents, print the files for the present tags.

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Cut them apart and tape them to your present BEFORE you wrap them. Then wrap the gifts individually and use the number tags to have them open them in order. Lastly place them in a box, and wrap that, attach the outer tag, I placed the rhyme inside on top of the wrapped gifts then ship and you are ready to go!

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It is a perfect way to spread holiday cheer with those who can’t be near you this year! The gifts would have to start on either December 13 or 14th (if you start on the 13th they open the last one on Christmas Eve, the 14th on Christmas day) depending on when you want them to end.

Here are all the downloads you need to make your own 12 days of Christmas package! Happy Holidays!!

Numbers Numbers Presents Presents Tags