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Jordan and Tyler

I get so giddy with excitement when its spring and wedding season starts. Not gonna lie, by December every year I have total creative burn out after the busy season and I am cursing my camera, but this is the time of year I love! Everything is starting to bloom, its getting warmer and we are finally getting to go outside after THE LONGEST WINTER EVER to do some sessions, and my mind is starting to rid itself of cobwebs and gets excited to get back into creative mode! Yes, spring is FINALLY upon us! Thank goodness! I got the chance to spend one beautiful Saturday morning with the future Mr. and Mrs. Brainard for their engagement session (my favorite kind of session) in downtown Guttenburg. We did manage to find a few trees in bloom and got some good shots along the Mississippi. I love spending this time with my wedding couples as it gives them a chance to see how I work, how quirky and strange I am, so it doesn’t quite as such a shock on the day of the wedding. Tyler wasn’t much into photo sessions, but he did suck it up as a good sport and did everything asked of him and even managed to flash me a smile or two. I tried to make it as quick and painless as possible for him. He did pretty good 🙂 And of course, I knew Jordan would be great and she was! Here is a peek of my favs from their session……



A few of my thoughts….

I feel today of all days, compelled to share a blog post, on a day full of its own “cliche”, the day known as April Fool’s Day. While I find this made up tradition to be somewhat silly and I don’t really ever participate in it other than maybe once or twice fooling my Haley into believing school was cancelled on account of a thunderstorm, I can’t help but see some of the back lash I have been reading on social media and thinking my goodness, People, LIGHTEN UP! What is our society coming too?

I have read posts that so many people are offended of jokes made on the internet such as Facebook posts of being pregnant-that being the REALLY big one. It shouldn’t be used as an April Fool’s joke because it is offensive to so many who are not able to conceive, have a hard time conceiving, or have lost a child. While I have never been in this boat, but have several close friends who have been, ( I have absolutely no problems conceiving whatsoever) nor have I lost a child, I must tell you I find these social media posts just as troubling. In the nicest way possible, and I do mean this nicely, please, GET A GRIP! Its a joke. Its a day of pranks. People seriously need to learn to not take every single thing in life so incredibly seriously and be offended so easily. Life will certainly be much harder when you do. Is my life all sunshine and roses? HELL NO! Let me put this into a little bit of prospective for you and maybe you will see what I am talking about. I feel compelled to write this, like God put me on this Earth to open peoples’ eyes so please, hear my side before you freak out on me. This is so not to offend anyone! My blog, my thoughts…..

I have watched ALL of you put pictures of your kids, told stories about them, posted videos of what should be my kids’ classmates on Facebook and Instagram saying first words, taking first steps, playing ball, in honor society, getting drivers license, singing, dancing, roller skating, even getting married…well you get the picture. Do I get offended when I know 2 of my 3  kids will NEVER and HAVE NEVER done that…NO!!!! Does it sometimes make me cry and make me feel jealous? I would be lying if I said no, but never offended. Would I be even more upset if you had to go through what we do everyday? Yes! I wouldn’t wish that on anyone! Feeding tubes, doctors, therapy, seizures and wheelchairs have become a way of life for me. But I don’t get offended because its not yours. I wouldn’t get offended if you used a wheelchair  for a day. Hell, try it a day and see how hard it is. I dare ya! Most of you know me, you know what I do. blah blah blah. I’m no superhero. I am a parent, just like most of you. I do what I do for my kids, just like you. God chose my path to be just a little different. Do I have bad days where I struggle?? Oh you betcha! I get down, I feel like a failure sometimes, we all do. Its what makes us GOOD PARENTS! I could get offended by all of you out there that put all those gushy things about your wonderful moms that you have, but unfortunately, I never had that either. I sit in front of my computer thinking how lucky you are you have such moms to fall back on. I don’t get offended you got a good mom and I didn’t. Life isn’t fair. I learned that. I encourage  you to instill that onto your kids as well. Its not always fair. LIFE WILL NOT ALWAYS BE FAIR!

People ask me all the time how Brian and I do what we do. Here is our secret. We DON’T take things so damn seriously! We laugh and make jokes (sometimes, privately inappropriate ones) but hey, whatever gets us through the day. If we were offended by everything that someone said or did to us we would be very bitter, angry people. We have a son with a disease that could kill him, we know that. We live it everyday. It doesn’t stop us from being us, from laughing, from being happy, from loving, but for also making time for just the two of us (all families need a good base). We use Peyton’s disease as motivation to find a cure! Sometimes not having a mom to fall back on gets me down, but we are turning that into a positive as well. Thus, why we are adopting, giving another child without a mommy a home and a family. See? Turn something bad into good. Be the good you want to see in the world. Not everything has to be so  offensive. Laugh people! Make jokes! Make yourself a drink! And just relax! Life is too incredibly short to be anything but happy. Sometimes things are good, sometimes things aren’t. Life isn’t always sunshine. There is rain too. When you fall down, you pick your ass back up, brush off the dust, and keep marching. 🙂 Peace out! 🙂



Thank you for a FABULOUS 2013!!!!

I am very humbled by all of you that trusted me to capture your memories this past year. My favorite thing about my job is watching my clients grow and change with each visit. As many people out there with cameras and social media business pages, I am truly grateful for all you that have chosen me to capture a time in your life that you cannot get back, to document images you can enjoy for years to come. Below is an image from each session and wedding I have had in 2013, all 119 of them combined!! With this being said, I am rewarding all my LOYAL and good standing customers in 2014. For all of my regular customers, who book with me in 2014, and by regular it means 2 or more sessions of any kind in the last 15 months from January 1, 2014 back, you will get 10% off any and ALL print orders in future 2014 sessions!!! (session fee still applies) This is my way of saying “thank you” to all of you that value my hard work and the quality I provide to you in your images, entrusting me as your photographer. Each one of you makes it possible to do what I love! So to ALL my clients, I wish you a healthy and prosperous 2014 and look forward to making many memories with you in the new year. God Bless!



Friday Hospital Update

What a difference 24 hours makes! Peyton is doing SOOO SOOO well! The catheter has come out today. We have FINALLY got him on the right pain medicine dose, which is only oxycodone and tylenol every 4 hours-He only needed 2 doses of IV pain meds right after his epidural wore off and then he hung in there for oral meds. His night wasn’t too bad other than waking up every 3.5 hours when his meds were wearing off. Once they got the doese adjusted he has been good. Of course he cries with diaper changes and movemement but that is expected. We got up in the stroller today and went for a walk! First time since surgery he has left the room! He still gets tired easy, but has been awake more and up watching movies on his kindle. He sure enjoyed looking out the big window in the lobby. The swelling is starting to go down and we started to increase his feedings this afternoon. This is what we will be working on this weekend, getting him back up to regular feeds without vomiting and so far so good! I am predicting a smooth evening. Dad went back home today so its me and Buck here this weekend and I am sure feeling the home sickness. I miss my girls terribly as well as my bed and my puppies. Discharge is still on track for Monday as long as nothing sets us back this weekend. He hasn’t ran a fever in a couple days so I anticipate we will get out on Monday! It just amazes me everyday how incredibly strong this 6 year old little boy is! Literally, cut in half on Monday and 1 pain med and he is golden by Friday, already on the road to healing. There is no way I could handle it as gracefully as he has!
I can’t tell you how much I want to be home. There is nothing like a hospital stay right before Christmas that puts everything into perspective or, for me, just gives me a reminder of how very much I have to be thankful for. I hope all of you stop and take a moment to reflect and do the same!!!! I am so thankful to report nothing but good news today! Here is to a smooth weekend! Thank you all for the prayers that got him through! I am so honored and blessed to be mommy to one of the strongest little boys ever! He is my hero!

Out for a walk in his stroller

tires easy-the photographer in me couldn’t resist taking a quick pic of those big beautiful eyelashes!

Toy Story on the Kindle jabbering away like Chubbaka 🙂

Caralyn Bechler Meng - December 13, 2013 - 7:47 pm

What an angel! So glad to hear he is doing so well!
Prayers for his continued healing!

Carolin Phippen - December 13, 2013 - 10:00 pm

He is getting so big and tall. Certainly a hero in our eyes.
Hugs and prayers!

Thursday Hospital Update

Hello everyone! It got to a balmy 21 degrees up here in Rochester today. No negative temps so it feels almost warm outside….I mean, I bet it does, I haven’t left the room today. Peyton had a better night, though he threw up at about 8:30 last night, he slept fairly comfortably through the night with no more incident. Today has been puke free as well. This morning we were sitting up a bit, listening to itunes, and we were talking and smiling!….and then they removed his epidural 🙁   The effects of the epidural had officially completely worn off by 3 this afternoon and he is NOT handling it the best. He’s on oxycodone (sorry if I spelled that wrong and yes, I know, I used to be a transcriptionist) and fentanyl in his IV right now as well as tylenol. We are trying to get the right dosage and and all that figured out for him, but he no doubt, is in a lot of pain! And this breaks Mommy’s heart. Every time he is crying, so am I. Its very hard to see him hurt so bad, but I keep telling myself this was necessary, there was no way around this and not having this surgery would just make things worse later and cause major problems…..and repeat……So I think tonight be bumpy. Good news is he finally pooped today for the first time since surgery which was one of our goals we met! So we were excited for that 😉  And his swelling is slowly starting to go down. Mommy is rubbing him every few hours in oils that Dad brought up with him today :)Daddy is back up here again today and tonight and we are celebrating his birthday with take out from the Canadian Honker across the street. A nice flourescent hospital light dinner is the perfect way to celebrate a birthday, right? 😉 No other new news other than they are going to try and take his catheter out tomorrow and increase his feeding rate. Hopefully he will start tollerating more food and we can get his pain under control over the weekend so we can go home Monday!! Lets all keep our fingers crossed! Again, if you are reading this, thanks for checking in our Buck and thinking of us. Thoughts, prayers and well wishes are always appreciated for our tough little man! 🙂 No pics tonight, nothing different, and this mom is a little drained. Dad is willing to stay tonight so I can get some sleep at the Ronald McDonald House, but we will see if I can leave him……I will post again tomorrow!

Caralyn Bechler Meng - December 12, 2013 - 7:13 pm

There seem to be baby steps in the right direction! Sad that he is feeling pain right now. Come on meds…get coordinated so Peyton will be more comfortable! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!

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