How to be Amazing

Rowan has always been incredibly strong and flexible. She learned to do headstands against the wall when she was two and can easily do splits, straddles, and backbends. It isn’t something she’s ever had to practice. It’s always been a skill set she’s naturally had.

Recently we decided to put her in gymnastics, and she has loved every second and has grown in leaps and bounds. Two weeks ago she had a chance to watch the “big girls” in the gym. They were practicing for their next competition, and Rowan saw them doing their floor routine, which included walkovers, handsprings, round-offs, and leaps. She hasn’t stopped talking about it, and she’s always wondering, “Are the big girls in the gym right now, Mama?” I catch her practicing leaps and splits in her room, but she’s getting frustrated with her limitations. She is seeing a big, new world of gymnastics, and she’s ready to do those amazing things, too.

But she’s not ready. Her little body is strong and is doing amazing things already, and she’s been selected to move to the pre-competitive team this summer. She has a natural talent and skill that the coaches want to build on and foster into something more. I love that she’s learning at such a young age that to reach for amazing isn’t by chance or without hard work.

Last year, I had a long-time, very loved client ask me how I was so amazing after I delivered her images. I’ve thought about that comment often since then, and the truth is, I do not consider myself to be amazing. I don’t ever want to feel amazing or that I’ve arrived or reached my goal, and since then I’ve considered what it takes to truly become what you dream of being? To stretch and reach towards that pinnacle?

Instead of that pinnacle in the last several months, I’ve surprisingly found a space of relative comfort and confidence. I’ve written before about conquering the gap that Ira Glass so eloquently described. The chasm that beginners find when embarking on a dream is intimidating; it’s frightening. The self-doubt and the frustration can be incredibly overwhelming, and it’s easy to get lost in the muck, to splash around in it and get stuck.

Comfort and confidence is a welcome shift from anxiousness, fear, and frustration. After endless hours of practicing, of analyzing, of studying. Endless hours of searching for my heart inside of my images and style. It’s incredibly satisfying to finally exhale. I enjoy feeling more confident about my work and my style. But it’s also nice to know I’m not amazing. Because that means there is still so much more to do, room to grow, and progress to make.

One day I’m sure Rowan will do a walkover and handspring. She will be one of the big girls in the gym and will find so much more comfort and confidence. And I hope that she understands that amazing isn’t a destination. Amazing is a reaching, a longing, and a desire for more that is never quite achieved, and that’s what makes it beautiful.

how to be amazing lifestyle photography girl jumping

Finding Purpose

Today I had the honor of speaking at my alma mater to a group of students who achieved principal’s list during the last quarter. I definitely had a mix of nerves and excitement. Even though my background is teaching, this does not equate to being a gifted or comfortable public speaker. I gradually found comfort in my classrooms, but the big difference is they become safe places. Each of my classes would become more like a big, somewhat dysfunctional family. In contrast, a cafeteria full of 60 teenagers staring at me talk into a microphone is vastly different.

I was asked to talk about passion, life goals, and purpose. My life’s path has definitely not been a straight and simple one, and I’ve spent quite a bit of time (over) thinking about what I was meant to do with my life and always coming up short with finding a clear answer.

I have a rising freshman of my own at home, and he and I often have conversations about careers, life goals, and exactly what he wants to be when he grows up. And right now, he doesn’t have an idea and he tells me he’s too young to plan for the rest of his life… Wise words! Because I think back to always wondering what I wanted to be. What did I want to do with my life? And I never knew for sure. I changed my mind quite a bit, and I might have had five different majors in college. Five! And they really varied: in my 4.5 years in undergraduate school, I spent time as an English, history, art history, early childhood education, and a nursing major. (Hence the extra semester needed to actually finish my final major choice!)

Because of this constant indecision, I have always looked around and wondered how people get to where they are. On the surface it has often appeared like luck, a golden thread randomly woven into their fabric of life. There were many years of my adult life where I sat back in a protective cocoon, wondering when that thread of luck might weave its way into my life, too. It was a frustrating place, one of observation and envy, one of an almost consuming powerlessness.

And it always came back to that overwhelming question: what do I want to really do? I remember being captivated by my senior high school English teacher and her passion for literature and writing and the craft of teaching. She filled the room and shone an incandescent sort of light for us— a weary lot of overachieving seniors, but in the midst she drew out our creativity, our depth of thinking, and the writers we could one day be.

She was the reason I finally decided to teach English. I wanted to be like her; I wanted to fill a classroom with my passion. I wanted to read and write and teach. At least that’s what I thought. I’m an introvert by nature, a fairly quiet person. I work hard to not fill any room, so my experience in the classroom always felt flat. It wasn’t one of passion, but struggle; not a time of joy, but frustration and regret. From that first year of teaching, I knew I wasn’t where I wanted to be, yet I stayed for ten years hoping to one day understand that it was what I was meant to do. If I wanted to be like my teacher, I had to.

But that burning question persistently loomed well into my 30s. Two years ago, I was talking to my stepdaughter, then a college freshman, and she was embarking on a similar search as she tried to decide on a major and internships and big life questions. I found myself recanting my choices and paths.

I described my admiration of my teacher; I explained my frustration with the reality of teaching, and my perceived failures there. And what usually happens when we are helping others with their worries is that we help ourselves, too. I found myself explaining to her that admiring my teacher all those years ago did not mean that I was to teach.

Instead it was her passion I should have emulated: the way her eyes sparkled, the joy she held for her work, the momentum she created, the work she gladly put into making a happy space in her life.

I took myself by so much surprise in that statement that I had to pause to allow it to register. I had never thought about my own choices in that light. Rather than living with a sense of listlessness and confusion in what the future holds, I realized that it was up to me to bravely mark the trail towards what will make me most happy. And it didn’t have to look like anyone else’s path. Some people know what they want to do all along the way and some people, like me, might have to try a few things on before they realize what really fits. And neither way is wrong.

At that point in my life, I knew I loved photography. I knew I loved taking pictures of my children and family and capturing our life’s story. There was a quiet part of my heart that thought just maybe I could actually do this as something more than for our family, but it felt so large and frightening that I often tucked it away. Typically I wasn’t in the business of large and frightening decisions.

But immediately after that conversation, I realized my eyes sparkled when I was absorbed in photography. I would gladly put hours of work into learning and understanding the craft, the creative aspect, and the technical requirements. Finally! It was my own interpretation of my English teacher’s incredible passion for her craft. I realized that finally, at 35, I had found what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t know exactly what it would look like, and I certainly didn’t realize how hard it would be, but I knew I didn’t have to wonder anymore. It was up to me to take that golden thread and weave it through my own life, build a business, and create something wonderfully fulfilling.

Today has been full circle in many ways. To my surprise my Timehop app showed me this morning that I published parts of this blog two years ago today. And even though I honestly wanted to be sick driving to speak this morning, knowing that it was two years ago that I was brave enough to set into motion my photography dream made me feel a little braver in encouraging others to stay the course towards their dreams.

I ended my brief and somewhat shaky-voiced speech like this:

Some of you in this room may know without a doubt what you want to do. You might have a path plotted out from here until you’re my age, and that is amazing. Some of you might be more like I always was. You just might not know for sure what will be next for you after this chapter in your life is over. What I’ve learned along the way is that there isn’t one right path for any of us. Whichever place you find yourself, I urge you to search for the thing that makes your eyes light up and build your life around it. Fill the room with the part of you that shines and inspires others, and all of us will end up exactly where we are meant to be.

And I think that’s applicable no matter our age, no matter our place in life. No matter how lost or restless we feel, there’s a path for us to follow. It might be straight and simple or it could be convoluted and winding. Neither is more successful; neither is better; neither is correct. Because there’s beauty to be found in both the decisive and the indecisive.

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray. -Rumi


Trust the Flight

On every flight, I grip the armrests pulling my knuckles tight. Impulsively, I resist the lift of the plane into the air. I push myself down into the seat and grasp for the safety of the ground below. My fear of flying, my tendency to expect the worst, to stress the possible and terrifying outcomes, makes the lift the worst moment of the flight.

But eventually, the plane pulls off of the ground, fighting gravity and the weight of passengers, luggage, and the sheer heft of itself. It’s a familiar struggle between the momentum generated to take flight and find lift and the desperate pull of gravity, of the earth’s roots, and the safety of the ground.

Three weeks ago, white-knuckled, I pressed myself down into the airplane seat, resisting the lift. I tensed, held my breath, and closed my eyes all while attempting to appear completely calm. I was on the way to Connecticut for a visit with a dear friend and a mentoring session with the wonderful photography team, Justin & Mary. Within that tension and breath holding, were many questions about my future dreams and goals, overwhelming fears about moving forward along a given path, and doubts regarding the choices I wanted to make.

I walked into my mentoring session the same way I boarded the plane: anxious, nervous, and afraid. We talked finances, we talked about dreams and a vision for my business, and we reviewed my website and social media accounts. Little by little I felt myself approaching take off. I felt myself impulsively pulling back; I heard myself making statements that were safe because I wasn’t sure I was brave enough to fly in the direction I thought I might want to.

I knew then that I had two options. I could walk away, stay grounded. Or I could trust the flight.

When Mary told me that she could tell just from my galleries that my true heart and soul was with my families, that because I choose to see and honor the beauty and complex imperfection of my own family’s blended history, I can also see and capture the beauty in the imperfection of the families I work with, tears filled my eyes. Mary saw my heart, and at that moment I felt safe enough to finally acknowledge it. I knew at that moment that I was finding the trust to finally lift off.

For months, I had been stuck in the moment before the lift, of fighting the flight. The moment just before the tires release their hold on the earth. I was struggling to stay grounded, safe, and rooted because choosing anything else felt too risky, too lofty, and too unknown.

But in the midst of this struggle there comes a point where the plane must fly. And we must too. We have to trust the flight and relax into the lift. Whether they are small, quiet changes or big, scary dreams, there’s a point where the fight to stay safe is no longer worth the struggle. We must grow.

We must fly.Mentoring with Justin and Mary

Shooting For Me | Personal

When I first started this photography journey, it began with capturing our lives. If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll remember our weekly photowalks and my struggle with being brave enough to just push the shutter button. Over the last two years, the habit of shooting for me, shooting our personal lives, and capturing our memories has fallen away. Throughout 2015, I was consumed with growing my technical ability, my business, and my presence in the industry. I went to workshops, drove hours to second shoot with an amazing photographer, second shot locally over 20 times for several great photographers, and shot several of my own weddings, portrait sessions, and styled shoots.

It definitely was a year of growth, and while I don’t regret investing so much time and energy into those choices, I’m looking forward to a year of better balance in 2016. I have many amazing projects and a brand new direction for my business that I am so excited about, but personally, I am really happy to have begun my own version of a 365 project. I at first felt pressured to take an amazing picture each day, but honestly, it hasn’t been every day and sometimes it’s not necessarily amazing. And that’s okay. What is important is that my camera is out, I’m capturing memories, and I’m pushing myself creatively at least a few times a week for personal. I probably won’t get to 365 unique images by the end of 2016, but I will have an amazing collection of images showcasing our lives, day-to-day.

Here is a sample of what we’ve been up to so far! I’m trying very hard to not set up moments, but to lurk and capture them instead. But at the same time, when the urge to be creative strikes, I am creating more intentional compositions and posed shots. I love the combination! <3

virginia-beach-family-photographer_0049virginia-beach-family-photographer_0050virginia-beach-family-photographer_0052virginia-beach-family-photographer_0051virginia-beach-family-photographer_0054virginia-beach-family-photographer_0053virginia-beach-family-photographer_0057virginia-beach-family-photographer_0060virginia-beach-family-photographer_0055virginia-beach-family-photographer_0061virginia-beach-family-photographer_0056virginia-beach-family-photographer_0058virginia-beach-family-photographer_0063virginia-beach-family-photographer_0062virginia-beach-family-photographer_0059virginia-beach-family-photographer_0064virginia-beach-family-photographer_0065virginia-beach-family-photographer_0066virginia-beach-family-photographer_0067virginia-beach-family-photographer_0068virginia-beach-family-photographer_0069virginia-beach-family-photographer_0070virginia-beach-family-photographer_0071virginia-beach-family-photographer_0072I love, love, love grain! And I’m finally embracing it, so I cranked the ISO here and shot Pacey’s soccer game. <3virginia-beach-family-photographer_0073virginia-beach-family-photographer_0074

The Timing of Dreams | Personal

Many years ago I remember telling people that I would love to know more about photography, but I didn’t really think I would be any good. I briefly considered taking a photography class somewhere, but something along the lines of fear and doubt held me back.

Three years ago, I had the quiet dream of completing a half-ironman. After successfully finishing several half-marathons and short triathlons over the years, I felt ready for a new challenge even if it terrified me. Speaking that dream aloud set into motion a path to follow, and suddenly signing up didn’t feel insurmountable. I found a coach, got a training plan, and lived and breathed triathlon for two solid years, completing three half-ironman races in twelve months.

Along that triathlon timeline, my photography dream began to take form. Maybe it was the courage and confidence conquering a seven hour, 70.3 mile race brings, maybe it was the hours of training each week, the early morning sunrise sessions on jello legs. But maybe it was just time.

I’m not certain of the timing of dreams. The doors and windows that open and close along a life’s path do not follow predictable routes, and the twists and turns and noodling seem to leave us no option but to surrender to the ride.

Seems to. But not really. Within the hazy timing of dreams and all of the curves and U-turns is an intricate tapestry, a singular thread making its way in time and space with us at the helm. We might not understand the path we are on or why a particular dream is too frightening to begin to face or even why one comes to fruition almost as soon as the words tumble from our lips. But within those moments we have the option to plot a course; we can set goals; we can grasp the dreams, put in the miles and cross the finish line. And most importantly, we can trust our life’s path.

Last October I signed up for a full ironman: 140.6 miles on a single day. This year, on October 10, 2015, I was supposed to be completing another dream– a huge, terrifying dream. One that brought tears of excitement and respect to my eyes. I knew there would be hours of training, but I believed I was ready to move towards that goal.

Life has had other plans. I’ve struggled with lower back issues since November. It waxes and wanes but still isn’t healed, and the thought of being on my bike for less than an hour, not to mention three or four or more right now is unimaginable. I haven’t been allowed to run for over a month. And while I’ve been through the injury cycle enough to not allow this to completely derail me, and while I’m trusting in where I am on my path, I’m still sad. I miss hot summer runs and long early morning bike rides. I miss racing and conquering goals. I miss that part of my identity even though I go to the gym and elliptical and strength train and swim.

But then I remember the noodling. Ironman isn’t on my life’s path this year, but my photography business is front and center. It’s time for that dream to grow, and I trust that my back issue is keeping me focused on that. I know I would not have had the time and energy to be in the middle of wedding season, second shooting more than fifteen times and having five of my own weddings, planning a successful styled shoot, taking on portrait sessions, and training fifteen or more hours a week. It just wouldn’t be feasible for my lifestyle, my personality, and my family goals.

This is the beauty of the timing of dreams, and I appreciate that I have grown enough to understand that seemingly random clockwork. I can embrace a season that is meant for this business because I see that I have been prepared for this dream over the years. In my mid-twenties when I would wonder and wish and whisper about photography, I simply wasn’t ready. Now I know that I am; the timing of my other dreams has brought me to this precipice of an amazing journey.

And I’m ready to run along this path (especially since no other running is happening right now). <3



Sieze (Seas) the Day | Personal

Sometimes I find it hard to get going. Does anyone else feel that way? I have ideas or things to work on or things I want to do, but it’s hard to just start. I think much of my issue comes with being overwhelmed by the process and worrying something won’t work or that the result will be less than I wanted it to be. So it’s much safer to just hang out on Facebook and Instagram instead, right?

Tell me I’m not alone. 🙂

If I’ve learned anything over the last few years of training and racing long-course triathlons and starting a photography business, it’s that there isn’t time for lingering and there certainly isn’t time for too much fear and doubt.

Otherwise you stagnate. How many times have I stared at the start line of a triathlon, petrified to dip my toes in the water? Or even worse, 100 meters in, flailing around in a full fledged panic? When that begins, there isn’t much forward progress towards the swim exit.

The same is proving true in the hustle required to be a successful photographer and business owner. There have been many times I have wanted to climb under the covers, deactivate my business Facebook page, and just disappear from the entire scene because it has all felt too overwhelming. Luckily that only lasts for a few minutes before I calm down and take stock of why I love it despite how terrifying it can be.

Even still there are times when it feels like it takes all of the courage and energy I can muster to move forward with a project, a blog post, or even preparing for a session. I love this journey; I love meeting so many amazing clients and capturing memories for them, but I’m an introvert. It takes everything out of me, and it’s old habit to want to hide.

And this is why I absolutely adore the necklace giveaway I won from Amanda Hedgepeth Photography and All Washed Up Jewelry. Not only is it gorgeous and all things beachy, but it is a fantastic reminder for me to get to it, to keep hustling, to forget fear and keep moving forward.


Because nothing at all will happen by hiding under the covers, and great and amazing things won’t happen without being fearless and taking risks and embracing limitlessness.

So there are a few fun things in the works! A uniquely beachy wedding styled shoot geared towards beginner photographers is what is coming up in July. Eek!! Stay tuned for details!

#seastheday (My new favorite hashtag!)


Photos courtesy of Elizabeth Henson Photos, and I LOVE this one. Happy!


Rowan | Personal

This weather! It’s driving me crazy! I love the snow, but seriously, I’m feeling cabin fever big time. And I know this is the slow season, and it has been really great to focus on other parts of establishing a business like this website, fun rubber stamps and other packaging supplies for my clients, and as always practicing and learning and growing.

But still. I miss the pulse and energy of consistent sessions. I miss editing until late into the night. I miss shooting outside in the sun and fresh air. I’m so ready for spring!

What’s making it worse is I recently welcomed a new member into the HCP family! My trusty 6d is now my back up, and I’ve upgraded to a 5d Mark iii. I knew it would be different, but I didn’t realize how amazing it would be. The 6d was pretty awesome, but I just can’t even describe the difference in the 5d. And the sound of the shutter click. I don’t know what it is about it, but it feels more legit. Ha!

Since we have pretty much been housebound, I have been playing with the indoor, natural light in our house, and my favorite model, Rowan! Suddenly, she is very interested in having her picture taken. She will sit patiently however I ask her to, and she even comes up with ideas of her own. She even told me yesterday that when she grows up, she wants to be a photographer like me and wanted me to show her how to turn on the camera. Heart melted.

So here’s what we’ve been up to. Who needs the outdoors when you have light like this inside?! Okay, I do, but still it’s nice to know my indoor skills are really coming along! And having these images of my last little love bug is the best part of all!


Gah. I LOVE this one. virginia-beach-portrait-photographer_0101virginia-beach-portrait-photographer_0102virginia-beach-portrait-photographer_0105virginia-beach-portrait-photographer_0106virginia-beach-portrait-photographer_0104virginia-beach-portrait-photographer_0100virginia-beach-portrait-photographer_0063

And because we have to acknowledge that snow is actually fun sometimes, here are some from our snow days!virginia-beach-portrait-photographer_0107virginia-beach-portrait-photographer_0093virginia-beach-portrait-photographer_0092

Pacey, Gage, and Rowan | Personal

I was chatting with one of my clients a few weeks ago and confessed that I had absolutely no pictures of my three kiddos together other than quick snapshots with my cell phone or very, very informal shots with my camera. Rowan has been with us for over three years, and we have nothing of them all together! How crazy! Our last formal family portrait was over six years ago. And we have another photographer in the family, too! How shameful is that!? So when last Monday turned out to be unseasonably warm and sunny, I ran to Target to piece together outfits, picked Pacey up at the bus stop, and zoomed over to Stumpy Lake in hopes of catching the sun before it dipped behind the trees. I know how hard it is to take pictures of your own kids. It’s so much easier to get frustrated, and funny how your kids find it easier to not listen because “it’s just mom.” On the way, I explained to the boys that I needed them to be as cooperative as they could because recently Rowan is a little stubborn when it comes to pictures. I had been talking up our pictures all day with Rowan, and she seemed on board, but three year olds… well, you know! I may have also bribed with ice cream. You have to do what works, right?! For all of the pressure to make it to the park with enough time left with the sun and the few moments I had to firmly get the boys back on track with me, I am so glad I took advantage of the chance to get these photos of them. I mean the sunlight! Seriously, Stumpy Lake is where it’s at for long grass and gorgeous glow at sunset!! 2014-12-01_0001 2014-12-09_0005 I sersiously couldn’t love them more!! Can you tell how much Rowan adores her big brothers?!2014-12-09_0003   I cannot get over how old they are looking. Gage still has a tiny bit of the little kid look, but Pacey is all teenager.2014-12-09_0010 2014-12-09_0009 The purples and pinks that came out when the sun started dipping below the tree line… Love!2014-12-09_0011 After the sun went below the trees, we hopped back in the car and drove down to the fishing/overlook bridge that runs alongside the lake’s edge. The post-sunset blue hour was so, so awesome! I had gotten into a rut of starting sessions too early for fear of running out of time, but the result has been fighting a too strong sun. I’ve finally trusted in my abilities to capture what I needed during the true golden hour and twilight hour, and it’s been so worth it!2014-12-09_00042014-12-09_00122014-12-09_00132014-12-09_00062014-12-09_0008 Only her big brothers can get smiles and laughs like this. I probably don’t want to know what they were doing over my head!

And yes, we are going to have our hands full in about ten years. This was entirely her idea!2014-12-09_0015 Which of course led to this, and it might be my favorite from the night. It’s captures the three of them perfectly!2014-12-09_0014

Right Here, Right Now | Personal

Today I was on the treadmill… walking. Yes, walking. If your newish around here, I like to swim, bike, and run. To me it’s fun to race triathlons, and I’ve written about it over and over. It gives me goals to reach for and a chance to prove to myself that I am strong and capable. Now that we are caught up, back to walking. I completed my third half-ironman in September, which is 70.3 total miles of swimming, biking, and running, and I am registered to complete my first full ironman (140.6 miles) in October of 2015. I have several small stepping stones along the way to that goal with the first being the Shamrock half-marathon that I race just about every year. And this year if I don’t beat my ancient 13.1 personal best time, I might just lose it at the finish line!

After giving myself an extended break from structured training through October and most of November, I felt ready two weeks ago. And what a week! I was focused; I had great workouts. I was excited to be back, and I capped the week off with nine fantastic trail miles on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. That was the last real workout I’ve done. For whatever reason, I woke up with a tweaked lower back on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and it won’t quite go away. The chiropractor helped yesterday, and I felt good enough to do a very short and easy swim (eight laps). Today, he suggested I try some walking.

Which is why I found myself at the gym this morning stifling giggles while I walked on the treadmill. I’ve been through the injury cycle enough times in the last several years to know it isn’t worth being frustrated. It is what it is, and it’s where I am right now, so instead of fighting it, I’d be much better off embracing it. Instead of being annoyed I was only walking two miles, I chose to enjoy the fact that I was finally moving. Slowly and not as far as usual, but at least I was moving.

That long thirty-five minutes also lead me to think about photography, and how it’s so easy for me to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. I might wish I could pose like that or catch the sun like this or edit like that. I might come home from every session with a million “wish I would haves” and maybe a few more failed images than I would like to have. I’m relatively new to this game. I always try to remember that I’ve improved in leaps and bounds, but I can’t compare someone’s three or five or twenty years in to my now.

Because right here, right now, when I can be honest with myself, I’m pretty happy with where my images are. I’m happy with my progress in learning to run a business, and I’m happy with what I’ve learned (sometimes painfully) about running a session, but the perfectionist in me wants to get hung up on not being perfect. That is the struggle, isn’t it? I know I still have so much room to improve, but I also have to know that right here, right now is just as good as what will be comparatively speaking.

So whatever journey you find yourself in the midst of– whether it’s creative, athletic, or something else, take a quick moment to smile at where you are right here, right now. All of the treadmill walks and failed images are leading you to an even bigger level of greatness.


virginia beach wedding photographer

Below Our Feet | Personal

2014-11-20_0002Two weeks ago, Jon and I had the opportunity to schedule a couple’s session with Tiffany of Tiffany Joyce Photography. I’ve been so lucky to meet several incredibly kind and supportive photographers, and Tiffany is no exception. I was really excited for several reasons. I knew we would have a lot of fun. And I know Tiffany’s style of photography is very similar to mine. Plus I knew I could ask a million nerdy photographer questions, and she would understand!


Since our wedding in 2009, Jon and I don’t have many pictures of ourselves other than iPhone selfies. And while I adore the photos we have from that day that Jeff of Calma Photography took for us, we were definitely due for some updated ones!


And you know, life definitely has changed quite a bit since then. We’ve added Rowan to our family; I stopped teaching and began staying home with her; Jon’s position has changed at work and has brought with it more responsibility and stress; Lexus has gone off to college; we now have a newly minted teenager in the house; and Gage is almost finished with elementary school.

Listen to the river

Does it make you wonder

How anything could ever stand still?

-Brett Dennen

2014-11-20_0005Right. Nothing stands still. We are really shadows of who we were during our whirlwind dating story. We’ve grown and evolved. We’ve endured job and new baby stress and the growing pains associated with bringing together two families. We’ve found the beginnings of the middle place of a marriage more lived in than new. And sometimes we struggle to maintain the magic, the beauty of our relationship that pulled us in to begin with.

But our experience with Tiffany reminded us that underneath it all, underneath the late nights at work, the triathlon training, the kids, the house, the stress of a new business; that if we peel back all of those layers and expose the us that so often gets brushed by, we find that we still are the young and crazy couple that probably moved way too quickly because we just couldn’t stand the thought of being apart.


Watch your step

Walk softer, softer

‘Cause dreams are growing below our feet.

-Brett Dennen

Sometimes we forget to walk softer. Sometimes the magic becomes a little distant and hazy, and we become consumed by the mundane day-to-day, and we can’t see how much we really have. But we always come back. We always rediscover each other and continue tending our dreams.

And if you’re thinking a couple’s session might be a good idea, stop thinking and do it. It totally is! I am so incredibly grateful to Tiffany for completely capturing our relationship; I will definitely miss her– she’s moving to Connecticut, so if you’re from that area, look her up!


I’ve been obsessed with Brett Dennen lately. Here’s where I pulled the quotes for this post. It’s my favorite song of his!