Monthly Archives: October 2009

it’s all about who you know

When I graduated from college, I took a job with one of the (then) Big Five accounting firms (I’m a little bit left-brained and little bit right-brained, what can I say … it makes running a business a little easier, at least).

I won’t tell you which one, but here’s a hint:  the firm doesn’t exist anymore because its Texas office had a tiny problem with a little company named Enron.


The good news is: I met some really nice people when I worked there!  And one of them with whom I’ve kept in contact all these years happens to live in a wonderful lake home and have two wonderfully cute kids.


I am guessing this is the kid who makes it hard for her parents to say “no” to her.



Although, the other kid might give her a run for her money:


With the blonde-hair/blue-eye thing goin’ on? … definitely.


These kids were both so great the afternoon we hung out.

They were fun…


… and just generally content to be outside, enjoying the fall weather.


And I, of course, had a nice time chit-chatting with their mom.

I am pretty happy that I’ve had the experiences I’ve had and met the people I’ve met so far in my (relatively) short life.  And in that respect, this great family makes me feel both happy and lucky.  Because the world is better with people like these in it.


One of the things I did while I was gone was FINALLY move my family into our new house.

Now, I have moved many times in my life.  But always when I was young and spry and had nothing but crappy college furniture.  Honestly, the last time my husband and I moved, I think we had a couch, 3 boxes of CDs, a toaster, and a cat.

This time, we had a whole four-person household to move.  Plus the cat.  And you really just don’t realize how much STUFF you have accumulated at this point in your life, you know?  I kept thinking, “Where did all of this heavy furniture come from?”  “Why are there so many pairs of little girl shoes?”  “Do we really have 84 board games?”  “Whose idea was it to buy this WEIGHT SET?!”

But we’re all settled in now.  Mostly unpacked.  Well, sort of unpacked.  The essentials are out, how ’bout we just leave it at that.

One thing I found while unpacking was my little box of sentimental items that I keep hidden in my closet.  I’m not a big pack-rat, but these are things that I just can’t bear to part with.ring5

On the left is the necklace I wore when I got married.

I got it at the Southdale JCPenney, if I remember correctly.  It’s true.  Remember that I was only 20 years old when I planned that wedding, people.  I mean, I’m in my 30’s now.  I shop at Kohl’s.


And that is my high school class ring on the right.  The ring that I “haaaaad to have, Mom, puh-llllleeeeeaaaasssseeee!”

Of course, I only wore it for one year and then after high school was over, it went into the bottom drawer of my jewelry box.

Sorry Mom.

There are lots of little things that I’ve kept in that box for years.  They each have a different meaning and bring me back to a different time in my life.

But if someone said, “You can only keep one thing from this box,” I know what I would choose.


That is the little hospital identification tag that was fastened around my son’s ankle when he was first born.  You can see my larger wrist band behind it.  Both tags have my name on them to link the newborn and mother together for hospital staff.

But that tiny, plastic ankle band is what I would choose to keep.

It makes me think of everything that was wonderful and frightening and life-changing about that once-in-a-lifetime moment of going from “life without kids” to “life with kids.”  Those first few hazy days when the nurses keep referring to this brand new baby as your child, and keep referring to you as his mother.

“But I’m not a mother … I don’t know the first thing about being a mom … how will I ever care for and raise this baby without screwing it up?”

I wish I could go back to that time and hold my son as a tiny newborn again — just for a minute or two — and see that little band fastened around his ankle.

And I wish I could turn to my brand-new-mom self and say, “Don’t worry.  You are going to do a good job.  And this is the beginning of the best part of your life.  It will get better and better as each day, each week, and each year passes.  And there will be times when you feel so lucky and so happy that you think your heart might actually burst.”

Wrapped up into that tiny piece of plastic are all of those thoughts, emotions, and experiences that helped shape me into who I am today.  And I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

i do

“Do you do weddings?”

People ask me that sometimes.

“Oh no.  No weddings.  Just little kids.  I sit on the floor with tiny, cherub-faced children and I keep Dum Dums and Smarties in my lens bag.  I wouldn’t know the first thing about shooting a wedding.”

That was the response I gave to a friend of ours who lives in California, too, when he asked me about taking photos at his wedding this summer.

I gave him that response a few times, actually.

But boy, is that guy persistent.

The wedding was actually in Iowa, on our friend’s family farm.  It was a very intimate affair with just 30 guests.  Well, 30 guests plus my husband and me (my husband was my second shooter and general moral “you can do it” supporter … I couldn’t have done it without him).

The farm, the ceremony, the reception — everything was just so beautiful, I can’t even explain it to you.  I feel so lucky that we got to be there.  Lucky that the couple was so easy-going, even though I hadn’t taken wedding photos before.  Lucky that they managed to somehow not only let me take pictures, but also include me as a welcomed guest.  And lucky that I got to take photos of a wedding where the love absolutely pours out of each image.


The dress.  The beautiful, gorgeous dress.

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The beautiful, gorgeous bride.


She was just stunning.

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I love the 2nd picture above.  They look like people you would just want to be friends with, don’t they?

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Yeah, a farm with a red barn is pretty awesome, I must say.

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Just the farm in general as a backdrop — pretty awesome.

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(psst … this is where the love radiates off the page)

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Pretty good lookin’ groom, too, eh?

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It was actually his awesome idea to bring the tractor out.  And I’m so glad he did.  There are even cows in the background.  They weren’t there when we first arrived, but they strolled over later, right on cue.

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The brother (who is a great toast-giver, by the way).

pos (12)I couldn’t resist posting the bride with her mom.

Now the next three shots were taken by my husband.  And I can’t tell you how jealous I am of that 3rd one he got of the bride getting ready to walk down the aisle with her mom.

(soooo glad he caught that … I missed it from where I was standing)

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And pretty much all of the next ceremony pictures make me weepy.

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The reception was at an extremely nice restaurant in Des Moines.  I know wedding photographers aren’t supposed to eat at the reception, but I’m not really a wedding photographer, remember?  So let me just tell you that I had the best steak of my life at this reception.  Perfectly done with blue (bleu?) cheese on top.  Soooo good.

The reception was just so intimate and so relaxed for everyone who was there.

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The wedding cake was a delicious cheesecake handmade by the bride’s mom.  Her mom actually made me a little, separate mini-cheesecake to bring back to my kids, too.

So, basically, she is the best mom ever.

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So … I guess the answer to the question is still, “No, I don’t do weddings.”

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But with a little asterisk that says, “although I’m so incredibly glad I did this one.”

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