Oh Geez..

Okay, so it's almost midnight and this {used to be} night owl is tired... But, I had to share a few of these before I hit the hay!  This little tweenie-bopper is getting braces tomorrow, so we went out and shot a few "pre braces" photos.  Oooohh braces... I remember those days.

Headgear and all, no lie.  Yikes.

She-man Woman Hater.. {Soapbox engaged.}

Parenthood is such a lesson in self sacrifice. I think it’s a tough road if you are a stay at home mom, a working mom, if you have a partner and even if you don’t. It’s the best job in the world and the toughest job in the world all at the same time.
— Angela Kinsey

How many of you have read THIS article featured on The Thought Catalog?  I stumbled upon this website and article when I saw someone post it on Facebook.  I normally don't follow the links very often, but I chose to do so this time.  I can honestly say that after reading this article, I won't be returning to the website - but it did spark the inner "bull shit caller" in me. 

I am not one to get on my soapbox in front of an audience.  I choose to do so in the privacy of my own home.. Sorry, hubby.  However, this article really struck a few chords.  

Dear Blogger,

I don't think calling you a feminist is really even adequate.  You are more like a she-man woman hater in all sense of the phrase.  I feel sadness for your mother.. The woman who more than likely put all of her dreams on hold to give you life, even if just temporarily.  Maybe she was a woman who endured numerous struggles and strife just to be called "mom", maybe she passed away during childbirth - sacrificing her own life so that you may have your own or maybe, just maybe, she was one of the many mothers who had to choose between putting much needed food in her belly or yours.  I feel badly for you not seeing what a miracle it truly is to be part of something as important as raising a child.  That child will have the chance to grow up and be anything that he or she want to be.  Those doctors, lawyers and big corporate CEOs that you speak of?  Well, they wouldn't exist without their mothers and fathers, and neither would you.

We have baby showers and wedding parties as if it’s a huge accomplishment and cause for celebration to be able to get knocked up or find someone to walk down the aisle with. These aren’t accomplishments, they are actually super easy tasks, literally anyone can do them. They are the most common thing, ever, in the history of the world. They are, by definition, average.
— Amy Glass

I think you are a bit confused as to the norm and social understanding of "average" activities such as marriage, birth and family life.  We don't celebrate those things because we are astounded that they were accomplished.. We don't throw showers to say "yay, congratulations on the accomplishment of actually getting a guy to marry you".  We do these things to celebrate life, love and happiness with the ones that we hold dearest to our hearts.. It's not like passing a test or getting into law school, we celebrate these things because they excite us, they symbolize two people choosing to stand by one another's side 'til death do them part.  And as a woman who has been married less than a year, I can honestly say that I'm not so convinced that being a wife and mother can be referred to as "doing nothing" anymore than running a NASA space station can. 

Women endure pain, grief, depression, ridicule and total life transformations every day to have children of their own - but in the end, it's all worth it because I cannot imagine anything more rewarding (and emotionally trying) than being a mother.  I have 2 amazing step children, but I have yet to have a child of my own.. A little one to have my blue eyes and my husbands big ol' heart.. Maybe one day.  I also know that in my younger years, I caused my parents a few gray hairs.  I was far from an angel.. 

I know, shocker right?  

My parents sacrificed a lot for my brother and I, so that we could have what they never got the chance to have.  They provided for us and loved us, and we rebelled as children and teenagers often do.  To this day - even though we are grown, they would do whatever was humanly possible to help us out no matter what we did or needed.  Children are needy.  They need food, clothes and water but they also need love, support and guidance.  Simply birthing a child doesn't automatically make you the Patron Saint of Mothers (St. Anne is who Google told me fit this title, but I'm not Catholic - so don't hold it against me if it's incorrect).  

Maybe that is the case with you, dear blogger?  Maybe you had a rough childhood with dead beat parents and thus you justify your doubt in the family system by ridiculing the one thing that makes you fearful.. Fearful that you too, will turn out just like those who raised you?  This makes my heart break for you.  Even the busiest bustling cities filled with all kinds of amazing and interesting people, thousands of restaurants and Broadway plays are still lonely without someone who truly knows you and loves you no matter what your faults are.  

Do people really think that a stay at home mom is really on equal footing with a woman who works and takes care of herself?
— Amy Glass

All I've got to say on this topic is that I spent the majority of my twenties single and taking care of myself.. Drinking wine for dinner, grocery shopping once a month and only putting on pants when I wanted to was a piece of cake compared to taking care of 3 humans and 3 fur-babies.  

No, marriage and families aren't for everyone.  But who are you to ridicule those who so selfishly give their entire life to another?  You are never done being a parent just like you are never done being someone's child.  YOU are still someone's child.

The good news (<-sarcasm) is, you only turn up your nose at the middle-working class Americans that choose to have husbands and raise families.. The ones who don't actually have to balance cooking, cleaning, working an 8-5.. Never mind the fact that most children in the limelight suffer psychological disorders, scrutiny, eating disorders and substance abuse.  

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Someone brought up Beyonce and how she is so successful with a child. Do I look down on her? Of course not, she is massively successful. She has the resources to have a child without slowing her life down. She can have nannies to help her with her kid while she works and managers that deal with the things that normally a wife would get saddled with. That’s definitely a woman worth looking up to.
— Amy Glass

So Ms. Amy, what you're trying to tell us is that it's okay to have babies robot style.  Make 'em, bake 'em and toss 'em off to someone else to care for.  I'll let someone else tackle that one... 

Until next time, 

The happiest little wife, step-mom, house-manager, full-time working fulfilled life enjoyer there is.

(Suck it.)


BIG News.. BIG!

So, many of you might recognize this place... 

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This is The Barn at Twin Oaks Ranch, aka, where I married my lumberjack.. I loved it soooo much, that I decided to be part of their team!  You are looking at the new Barn at Twin Oaks Ranch Staff Blogger, and now..

THE BLOG IS LIVE!!! 

 

Please take a few minutes to go on in and check it out!  These girls do AMAZING things, so it is such an honor to be chosen to write about them all.  You will be seeing tons of kick booty weddings crossing these pages as well as one on ones with our upcoming Brides!  So, what are you waiting for?  GO!

*With all that being said, I pinky promise that I will in no way shape or form be abandoning my personal blog.  I will still be shooting portraits and blogging, girl scout's honor!

29, You're lookin' mighty fine..

Can you believe it?  2013 is long gone and today marks the beginning of a brand new year.  2014.. I hope you're gonna be a good one because you've got a lot to live up to.  2013 was a good year, a great one actually.  So here are a few of my favorite moments..

This is one of my favorite images from all of the little ones that I shot this year.. Little Emi Ann is about to turn 6 months old next month, and she is one blue eyed bombshell already.  Dad, prepare yourself because you're gonna be beatin' the boys off with a stick!

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This is one of my favorite little couples, and so it only makes sense that they have a place in this post of favorites from 2013.. Courtney and Chris are adorable, full of faith and love and so stinkin' cute to boot!

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And the 2013 cutest family award goes to.. Drumroll please....

Okay, I can't just narrow it down to one... So, here are a few...

2013 was super good to Wendy and her handsome hubby.  They were blessed with Baby Nixon, and now their hearts are full.  Don't ya just wanna pinch his cheeks?  

The last three images are from when I got to photograph one of my very best friend's family as a surprise for their mom for Christmas.  I loved being able to give them the gift of long overdue family pics (especially printed on a big 'ol canvas!).. 

Bo + Chase are also pretty high up on the super awesome client list.. They froze their booties off for this December session, and I know Chase was ready to cut me when I said "Ohhh can we do just one more?"  Thanks for being troopers folks!

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This little family also had an awesome 2013!  Congratulations to Katy + Joey on your engagement.  She's gonna be such a beautiful Bride!

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My favorite totally unplanned shot of 2013 goes to these cuties... 

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Luci was super shy but adorable.. Give her a little glitter and this session turned up my favorite Mom + Daughter image of the year.. 

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Father + Daughter goes to these two.. So stinkin' cute.. This is little Emi Ann when she was just a little sweetpea.

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Sibling Duo.. 

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This is my favorite styled session of the year.. Christin also had a spectacular surprise to 2013.. She got engaged to Devin, and I cannot wait for their 2014 wedding!!!  Also, they are related to Courtney + Chris.. So they automatically kick booty.  

Aaaand my hands down most favorite image of 2013... I know you've seen it 1000 times already because THAT is how much I love it... I don't do a lot of black and white because hey, color is kinda my thang.  But this black matte rocks my socks off...  

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I had a great year with my little photography business.  It has really grown, and I have an amazing group of clients.  No lie.. I know all you other photogs say that but I win.  

I also have the most amazing family, an awesome husband and a peaceful quaint little life up on our mountain.  I leave 2013 as a married woman with a whole new career path ahead.  

As I was writing this post, I got some pretty exciting news.. On the first day of 2014, which also happens to be my birthday.. You are now looking at the new Staff Blogger for The Barn at Twin Oaks Ranch!  If you don't know about the Barn, you need to.  They are an up and coming premiere Wedding and Event venue and also the place where Derrick and I got married!  I am so excited to be part of their amazing team, and I cannot wait to start sharing with all of you.  Lesleigh is the brains behind the barn, and it truly is an honor to work for her.  The new blog is currently in the works, so stay tuned!!  

So, Happy Birthday to me and Happy New Year to all you folks!  I have a feeling that 2014 will be the best year yet!  29, we've only been together one day.. but you are already lookin' mighty fine.