Newborn Session with the “S” Family

Family of four on couch

I was pretty excited to do a shoot with this family and their new little girl.  I could tell as soon as I walked up to the door I was going to have fun with big brother too…he waited for me with a big grin and played peekaboo through the door!

After getting some sibling and family shots I was able to capture some images of Mom feeding her little girl.  I love to get these moments and show context in the nursery!

And after bit of a cluster feed, baby drifted into a deep sleep and we were able to get some cute shots of her alone.

Thank you to the S family for allowing me to share a fun morning with them!family reading together on couch



Lifestyle Newborn – The M family


I had so much fun catching up with this family!  I did some extended family photos with them last summer in Denver, so it was great to see them again and meet their newest little one!

These big sisters were so great…sweet with their little brother, and nice to each other too!

They showed me their rooms and we did a mini shoot with them while Mom got the baby to sleep.

I was even treated to a concert…This family loves making music together and I had fun shooting something different!

A big thank you to the M family for welcoming me into their home and allowing me to capture a glimpse of their lives with their new little boy.

Biking the Dirt Trails – George Wyth State Park

boy wearing ninga turtle bike helmet on dirt trail


For my family, spring brings with it an urge to get outdoors, breathe in some fresh air, and stretch some under-used muscles.  Last weekend we headed out to George Wyth State Park in Waterloo to hit the trails for some cardio/family time!

We ended up parking in the lot outside the campground, walked through checking out the sites (for later this summer), then hooked onto the paved multi-use trail.  Maybe a hundred yards in, a dirt trail veered off to the left, and on a whim I asked the kids if they wanted to try it out.  The boys (my son and nephew) jumped at the chance and took off, my daughter running alongside them.Biking-George-Wyth-Park-Waterloo-Iowa-2

This was soo much fun!  There was like…joy, radiating off those kids!  There were huge grins as they flew down the hills and made it back up, bounced off roots and managed to recover balance, even as they stopped to look back and check on each other (and us slow poke adults), or pick up their bikes and dust off their hands.


Along the way, we somehow managed to see (scare up) 3 deer, saw lots of big holes dug and several trees downed by beaver, and had an interesting conversation about litter, flooding, and water contamination.

Exercise, wildlife watching, environmental responsibility lessons, and family time; I’m calling that a good day!Biking-George-Wyth-Park-Waterloo-Iowa-10

Kids and Bubble Gum

packages of bubble gum on white background

My son loves gum.
He is also notorious for getting into trouble with it.  I have cleaned it off of sleeping bags, clothing, car seats, and tried to get it out of his hair (we ended up cutting it). I don’t know how many times I have said “no gum in the car for the next month!”  A few weeks go by, we are out running errands and you know what the easiest, cheapest, non-cluttering up our house treat is when we are checking out?


So…today I’m sharing with you an awesome trick I learned for getting gum off of fabric.  This even works when someone has smeared it around and attempted removal in secret before admitting where their gum has gone.

Heat 1/2 cup of vinegar in the microwave until hot (40-60 seconds).  Pour a small amount onto the gummy mess.  Using an old toothbrush, brush the fabric and work the gum up and off the surface.  You can re-wet the surface as needed, or work on a small area at a time if necessary.  This pair of jeans took less than 30 seconds to get clean…way better than the freezing and scraping method (which never worked for me)!

I have used this on flannel, nylon, and denim fabrics with great success, but I’m still open to suggestions for the best hair removal method!

The “M” Family: Lifestyle Newborn Session

sleeping newborn face overhead perspectiveThis was a day I was glad to be doing an indoor shoot with this family and their newborn!  The weathermen had been predicting high 50’s for the weekend in Northeast Iowa, but it just wasn’t happening…it’s early March after all.

When I got to their house, the girls met me at the door, watched me unload my stuff, and showed me their new room while mom finished nursing little brother, then we jumped right in to “picture time”.


After the sibling and family shots, the girls were thrilled to be allowed to put on their lip gloss…of course I had to capture their glamour!

The girls played while I spent some time with the little guy alone and with each parent.  I love seeing how the baby just grabs their attention.  It’s like you can’t help but talk to and stare at these new little ones!

Thank you “M” family for welcoming me into your home to capture this time for you!

Adorable 9 Month Old

I am reminiscing about one of my favorite sessions…and waiting anxiously for warm weather!

little girl on quilt outdoors in fall

I have done a few sessions with this sweet little girl now and she is such a good sport about getting her pictures done! I remember being so excited at this shoot to be outside on a gorgeous fall day with beautiful light to play with.

I just love the variety here; of backgrounds, expressions, and light.  Those cheeks and eyes are just so adorable and of course, her mama picks out the cutest clothes!



Amish Country Experience

draft horse in amish country

We spent a recent morning visiting the shops in “Amish Country” between Fairbank and Hazelton, IA.  Driving just a few miles east from Highway 63 you’ll soon encounter buggies alongside the road, a sure sign that you have entered the Amish area.  There are several shops in the surrounding miles with offerings ranging from baked goods, bulk foods/spices, and discount groceries, to kitchen equipment, homeopathic remedies, work boots, fabric, and furniture.  In the spring, the nurseries and greenhouses will be open as well.

You’ll have fun exploring the shops, spotting the different types of livestock, and explaining to your kids a bit about Amish culture.

If you are planning a trip there, the Independence Area Chamber of Commerce has a great map and list of the shops at their site.