12 on 12: one day

For the last six years, a group of women photographers and myself have shared our five favorite photos from the previous month on the fifth of the month. We called our project “5 on 5”.   We loved the project, but this year wanted to try something new.  This year we will be posting 12 images on the 12th of the month.  I am choosing to take a photo an hour from 7am to 7pm.

My day started quite normally.  I woke up and made myself a  cup of coffee.

After enjoying my cup of coffee and doing my morning chores, I usually sit down with my practice.  Right now I am going through the Spiritual Disciplines.

Because she was still on Christmas break, Kyle and I were able to go on our walk together.  I love this time with her and I have missed it since she started working as a teacher.

I had a big party for my friend the next day, so I went to the grocery store for a few items that I needed.

We were going to be out on an adventure before the party, so I had to make dinner beforehand.  This big blue pot is our camping or party pot.  I can make four batches of soup in one pot.  I love it.

Laundry.  Let’s be honest… this happens every day.

Birthday cake for the birthday girl.

By the afternoon I was tired.  I sat for a bit and read while Sam played one of her new video games.

Then I set myself to make dinner for the family. I usually listen to a book or podcast while cooking.  On this day, I was listening to Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson.  It was a fantastic book.

Dani and her friend started a sewing project.

It went well into the evening.

After my long day, I took a shower and went to bed.  Good night!

I am doing this project with some amazing photographers.  Hop on over to Vanessa’s blog to see what her day looked like.

sweet dani sara

My middle daughter, Dani Sara, has a birthday today.  She is a woman that continues to enlighten, inspire, and encourage me to be a better human every day.

Here are some of my favorite photos I have taken of her in the past.

While she is lovely on the outside, to me her soul’s grace and beauty outshine even when she is most put together.    She fights for the justice of others, she loves her friends deeply and honestly, and she seeks to love God, herself, and the world better each day.

One thing I love about Dani is her fight to end slavery.  She will only buy items that are ethically made.  As you can see from these images, she also loves to dress adorable (and she loves yellow).  She does both these things by buying a good deal of second-hand clothing.  She has an IG account that motivates and informs others how they can do the same.  Head on over to @ethicalfashiononabudget to check it out.

And don’t forget to wish her a happy birthday!

friends, family, tribe

I have some amazing friends.  We are part of a group of six couples that have been doing life together for the past 18 years.  We have been through so much together, both good and bad.  We have laughed, cried, yelled, prayed, hurt, healed, played, and rested together.


My life is in a big transition, but I am somehow not afraid.  I feel excited and confident.  As I was thinking about it this morning, I decided it was because of four truths for me. I am sure of the love of my a good and gracious God.  I know I have the full support of my husband who sees the amazing in me, usually before I see it myself.  I am finally in a space where I know myslef and my strengths.  And lastly, I am surrounded by people that love me. They are more than my friends; they are my family and tribe.


As I look back at this last season of life, being in and fighting for this tribe was one of the bravest and the best thing I have ever done.  I am looking forward to the next 18 years with them.  And they 18 years after that.


So, to Andy, Barry, Cristin, Matt, Susan, Alli, Brian, Susan, Daniel, Nigel, and Megan- thank you. You mean the world to me and I am thankful for your love and support.


All photos were taken with my Mamiya 645 on Fuji Reala pushed two stops. 



eyes wide open

I have had a full day. 
It started with making pancakes, berry syrup, and bacon for my family. At breakfast,  I talked my husband into staying home for the holiday.  After breakfast, I got talked into a hike by my sweet and convincing husband. We came home and edited more of a wedding we shot last weekend. I took care of my poor, sick teenager.  I folded and put away two loads of laundry that had been sitting at the end of my bed for days.   I fed my sick daughter’s gecko.  I finished the day by tackling the sink full of dishes.
And throughout the day, I was searching for what I was thankful for.  I kept waiting for a big moment that would stand out.  I was waiting for the extraordinary, but the extraordinary never came.  Just the ordinary, everyday things.  While at the sink with far too many dishes, my eyes were opened.   Asking what I am thankful for throughout the day made my day full of thanksgiving.  The act of searching for the wonderful makes the ordinary things extraordinary. 
Today, I am thankful for eyes wide open and sinks full of dishes that allow you time to think.   


There is nothing like homemade sauce and meatballs.  They take some work, and things can get messy… but in the end, they are worth it.  
Friendships are like that.  Parenting is like that.  Marriage is like that.  Life is like that. 
Today I am thankful for the messiness that is in my life… in my kitchen, in my relationships, and in my heart.  I am also thankful for the grace that comes with it.  

5 on 5 september

Where did September go?  I feel like it was it was just August!

At the start of September, my family and I went camping. We stayed in Morro Bay. It was beautiful and peaceful and fun… everything I love about my sweet crew.

Yashica LM

Then I went to Hawaii with my mom, aunt, and cousin.  I think we saw a rainbow everyday.  My cousin had a moment with her father, who passed away last year.

My next two are iPhone photos.  I love that I can capture life as it happens because of my iPhone.

Here, my middle daughter had climbed into bed to cuddle.  She was so tired, she fell asleep. It is her first year in college, so I don’t get to see her as much as I would like to.  When I see this, I see the four year old that she used to be.  Once my baby, always my baby.

With my two oldest in college, I have only one student left to homeschool.  While I miss the other two, September has really given Sammy and I a taste of what it might look like the next three years.  It has been fun to go on field trips just the two of us.  Sammy gets to decide what to do and how long we do it.  It took her about 20 minutes to get this bird to climb up on her.  

Three years ago I lost my mentor and friend to cancer.  I miss her.  Her oldest daughter is getting married and asked Andy and me to be the photographers.  To say I am honored is putting it lightly.  We did an engagement shoot on the pier her fiance purposed on.  It was a beautiful evening.

Please head on over to Second Spring and see what September held for her. 

welcome, samara dawn

Last night I had the honor of documenting a little girl as she came into this world.  While I have watched in awe several babies being born, I have never been the photographer for one.  For me personally, to watch and record such a sacred event was one of the most holy of nights.  The mama was strong and graceful.  The daddy was kind and calm.  The midwife was supporting and gentle.  I felt like I was watching a beautiful dance that had been rehearsed time and time again.

hello, baby girl

mama’s milk
daddy’s girl

at peace
little toes
wrapped around his finger already 

how much do you weigh?
5 pounds and 11 ounces, 19 inches long
great set of lungs

little heart beat
she is perfect
beautiful ladies
welcome little one