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!

my little sickie

My little one is still sick.  
I am thankful I can stay home with her and take care of her.
I am thankful that we have access to doctors and medication.  
I am thankful that we homeschool and that she isn’t missing a ton of school.  
Yep, I am the mean mom that makes her kids do school while they are sick.  They get the big red chair and I bring them all their work.  

nineteen things for my nineteen year old

This beautiful soul is nineteen today, and I am so very thankful for her.  When she was born she was so small, but I knew I held someone that was meant for big things.  Now my sweet Dani~Sara is taller than me and is in fact, so very wonderful.  Here is a list of nineteen things I love about her.

1. When she smiles, she lights up the room.  Seriously. If the room is dark, she can lead the way with her smile.

2. She loves her family deeply and with great joy.

3.  She is only nineteen and her Bible is falling apart. Now that I type this, maybe we should have gotten her a new one for her birthday.  She reads it at least once everyday.

4.  We share the same favorite book of the bible, Philippians.

5.  She coined a famous family phrase, “What is happening to me!”  It is used all the time.

6.  She has a heart for the Middle East and wants to serve as a pediatrician there.

7.  She is currently taking Arabic in college and is acing it. I love watching her write such a beautiful language.

8. She loves to teach music to children.  When she comes home from teaching, she is so proud of her students.

9.   She is a beautiful woman.  It is hard to believe, but her soul is more beautiful.

10.  When Dani forgives you, she forgives you forever. It is like it never happened.

11.  She doesn’t forgive easily and true remorse is always a criteria.

12. She loves her friends with passion and grace.  I have watched her weep because her friend was sad.  It is a beautiful thing.

13.  She loves to do her hair, wear dresses, and matching accessories … but hates pink.  Really, don’t ever buy her anything with pink on it.

14.  She loves music and loves to play her guitar.  She can play for hours and hours.  She has four guitars and an ukulele.  I have a feeling she will be adding the mandolin soon.

15.  Her laugh is loud and strong.  It fills the room… and all the rooms surrounding the room she is in.

16. She is the most loyal person I know.

17.  She is always herself.  What you see is what you get.

18. When my children were small, I would tell them they were my favorite.  One day, when Dani was four, I whispered, “Dani, you are my favorite.” She got very sad and replied, “Mommies don’t have favorites.”  It was so sweet, I stopped my little joke.

19.  If you ask her today, she will say she is my favorite.

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

Samantha Joy

With my two oldest in college, Sammy Joy is my only student this year.  We decided to go out yesterday and take some school photos.  I felt like so much of her personality was captured in one afternoon.  While I am a little sad that I only have one student left, I am also excited.  Sammy loves to learn and in a lot of ways is smarter than her mother.  I can’t wait for this adventure together.



questions everything 



Fave Five on Five ~ June

Last month, I was invited to participate in a new blog roll. The idea is seven women posting their favorite five shots from the previous month on the fifth of each month.  I am so honored to be included in such a great group of photographers.

It was interesting to look back and ask myself what I loved most of my own photography.  Not surprisingly, four of my five are film.  I have been trying to shoot my digital for pleasure more. However, I think that film has a firm grip on my heart and I hope it never let’s go.

the library | Mamiya 645 | 80mm | Fuji Reala

We went on a family vacation in June.  One of our stops was the Hearst Castle.  The rooms were dim and mostly lit with natural light, making it difficult to shoot with the Fuji Reala I had loaded.  However, the library had large wonderful windows, filling the room with wonderful light.  I loved this room and was thrilled this came out.

my family | Mamiya 645 | 80mm | Fuji Reala

 Another stop was Pismo Beach. We were able to drive onto the beach.  Here on the west coast, we don’t have many beaches with dunes, so it was a treat to see.   My family had gone ahead and were running about between the grass.  I looked up and thought about how blessed I was.  I asked them to stop their play so I could take a photo.  Sometimes it is the pause in time that makes me love a photo, and that is true with this one.

old fasioned | Yashica LM | Portra 400 

One thing I love about my TLR is it’s ability to shoot in low light.  I can get my shutter speed down to 1/10 without shake.  I loved the light hitting one of my favorite drinks.

stand out | Canon 5D | 50mm 1.4

 My only digital this month.  I just like the purples and the fun swirling bokeh.

my whole world | Land Camera 420 | Fuji FP 3000 

I have a thing for Polaroids.  They can be so touchy, it has been difficult for me to get what I am seeing and wanting to capture on the film.  As I peeled the paper back to reveal this image, I teared up a little.  As my kids have gotten older, I have watched their lives slowly separate from mine.  When they were small, we filled our day with most of the same activities. Now that I have two graduated from high school, their days are filled with work, college, friends, and boyfriends.  While on this trip, it was very clear to me that this just might be our last trip of just us five.  We may go on more trips together, but I can see one daughter being busy or a boyfriend coming along.  While these are not bad things, they symbolize an end of an era.  This feels like my family looking forward … and all at the same time, looking back over the years together.

Please click on over to Vanessa’s post to see her favorite five from June.