Amazing Amy | Barns and blue eyes

Let’s go to a farm and take my senior pictures. Sounds like a great plan to me! We met Amy at a friend of the family’s perfect-place-to-shoot-property. There were several barns and an old truck to add to the fun.






We loved Amy’s enthusiasm and creativity and her beautiful blue eyes! And we look forward to seeing the wonderful accomplishments ahead as she chooses her career path 🙂

Sheila’s Sweet Summer Family Session

What’s a Cotton Candy Day?  Well, its definitely not your traditional family session — its short & sweet and comes with cotton candy 🙂

I think it took a little convincing to get the family to come photo session, but it was well worth her effort. The kids were delightful – we loved Griffin and Addison’s personalities! And Larry & Sheila always seem to have a magical, fun connection! We all had a blast and captured some realness!

I love when we get to put words with those moments. Sheila selected the words to accompany our favorite daisy images – a special collage for Larry.

I also love getting to put favorites to music: Fly Away Together

Our precious Princess loved to join the sessions and get in the shot.  We always teased, “She thinks you came to see her, of course”.  Only a few days after this, she went on to kitty heaven and is missed dearly. Thanks sweet Addison for sharing your pose with Princess. These images will be special to me always 🙂


Road Trip to Sara’s Graduation

Over the weekend we took a little drive to Kokomo, Indiana to see our lovely niece Sara Grace graduate.

Her mom, Joni, is Tony’s sister and was justa’ glowing for her baby girl. Dad, Nate, and brother, Daniel, were proud too.

For the commencement Sara led the way! She was first across the stage. Looking good! Even though we were in Missouri, her dad gave a shout out “Roll Tide” as she went. Afterwards she took one last walk through the senior hall with her bestie Logan!

Friends & family gathered on Saturday to celebrate. Aunt Jeannie had the memorabilia on display – jerseys, awards, and lots of pictures. Its unbelievable how fast time flies – from such a sweet baby to a lovely young lady! I am so glad she has a wonderful high school experience.

Everyone had a great time! Amazing – just like Sara Grace!

Congrats Sara! We love you and look forward to seeing all that God will do with beautiful you!

YOUR life is beautiful… love it out!

Inaccurate Quote in a Frame

Memories are forever. This, of course, is totally not true.


Being the primary caretaker for a loved one with cognitive impairment, I found this stupid little saying, well, stupid. This small, framed piece was among Mom’s owl keepsakes. And it raised such an internal emotional fit every time that I looked at it, that I did the opposite of what any reasonable girl might do — I kept it. Now years later I must share it with you.

In the initial years confronting the challenges accompanying my mom’s disease, I cried. A lot. I cried every time I left her. I woke up during the night and cried. Then again when I woke up in the morning. Sometimes the tears were because I was sad for her and how helpless she was, sometimes because I was so mad at the disease and how it robbed her future, and sometimes out of fear for myself. I feared not only that I wasn’t equipped to help her, but also that my own children would lose their momma, me, in the same unfair and wounding way.

I can’t say that I don’t cry anymore, because I do sometimes. It’s still sad. She is declining slowly. Although she still remembers me & Tony, the majority of her memories of her life and family are not present. I miss my mom.

On several occasions I have shared the stupid quote on the owl keepsake and usually found that others didn’t seem to find it as offensive. But if you can understand, if you have a loved one experiencing memory loss, I want to share the following three thoughts that came to mind as I reflected on the last few years.

Just do the next right thing.

When faced with daily decisions, research as best you can and then make the best choices you can at that moment. I was constantly overcome with worry as I made life-impacting decisions for someone else. I experienced analysis paralysis before each new decision and should-have realizations afterwards. Even decisions made with advice from professionals were, in hindsight, not the best for mom. It was an exhausting cycle.

But what I did find is that despite the mistakes I made, the blessings outnumbered the misfortunes. There were countless situations where someone showed up to help – people I didn’t expect, or even know sometimes, that provided what we needed when we needed it. Keep moving forward doing the next right thing.

Surround yourself with friends.

Take time to allow others to embrace you. It was helpful to talk about the frustrations and emotional challenges – to vent to someone that would just listen. I found comfort in support groups and online forums related to dementia hearing that others were able to cope well with the challenges.

Other times it was such a relief to talk about anything else. I am thankful for friends that have prayed with me and for us — always believing the best for my family. They helped me to stay me.

Make new memories.

Cherish little moments. The conversation exchanges between my mom and those sharing her path are precious and make me smile. Things will never be the same but they can still bring love and laughter. Move forward, which sometimes means just being still, and look for happy.


Memories are not forever.  Not for someone experiencing dementia. But I have learned that embracing the good today brings comfort to you and to your loved ones. Oh, and when reading quotes, don’t worry yourself with the ones that seem inaccurate — they might just be right for someone else.


YOUR life is beautiful… love it out!

Congrats 2013 Graduates

This is such an exciting time of the year with graduating high school seniors – the summer is finally here!

A special CONGRATS shout out to the awesome seniors we had the honor of photographing during this season of their lives!! Go out and do [more] great things!!

May this next season be full of adventure and blessings beyond measure! YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made – there is no one else like you!

Love it out!