Chad - Gretna High School Class of 2017

Senior photo sessions are so fun for me! 

I spend much of my time chasing a toddler and listening to a very talkative 5 year old. So, shooting senior pictures is like a mental break. I get to explore beautiful locations, talk to interesting high school students and their parents and do what I love (photography). And the best part is that seniors sit still and do what they are told, unlike my own precious children ; ) 

Chad is a pitcher for the Gretna High School baseball team, and we were lucky enough to have access to the school's baseball field right at sunset. Loved it! Here are some of my favorites from Chad's senior photo session:

Spring is my favorite

Beautiful colors, baby animals, dyeing eggs, Easter baskets and Easter church service, chirping birds and sunshine. I LOVE Spring!

Here are some highlights from the past week of Easter festivities.

Dyeing eggs is just the best. Quinn had fun experimenting with rubber bands, tape and plastic wrap (his idea). Next year Beck can join in the action!

On Saturday we headed to Nebraska City to visit Arbor Day Farm. They were having some special Easter festivities (including baby animals!!). We had never been and I was completely amazed at the whole park. They had cool structures for kids to climb on and tons of educational stops on the all the trails. I would highly recommend it!

Baby chicks! Soooo cute! Beck really wanted to get his hands on that fuzzy little chick. He loves animals.


Your admission to the park includes a free tree and this is where they are born.

Listening to nature...

We had a great time and the boys both fell asleep as soon as we drove away. : )

Easter morning began at 4:15 am when Quinn stormed into our bedroom telling us that we had to "get up and hunt for eggs!!". We were able to get him back to bed until 6:30, but I don't think any of us were able to sleep much in between. But the Easter bunny delivered and we spent the morning hunting for eggs, going to church and having brunch with family.

Happy Spring everyone!

Life Updates (and a fun video)

A lot has changed since my last post! I know that many of my readers follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram as well. But for those of you who don't, I'll get you up to speed.

We had a new baby in July! His name is Beck Grayson and he is the best. Here's his birth announcement:

Then, when little Beck was almost 2 months old, I got back to work and this fall was one of my busiest photography seasons yet! Here are some of my favorite photos from September, October and November:


It was fun! And a little crazy! BUT because of all the fun craziness this little blog went dormant for a bit. And I'm perfectly okay with that. I knew I'd get back here eventually.  : )

Moving on...

Over the past few weeks I've been playing around with the HD video function on my camera (super fun). I'm not sure why I haven't used it much before now, because it produces stunning video! So I decided to put together a video of baby Beck at 6 months old.

It's a little lengthy for the average viewer, but it was made for my own selfish purposes! If you don't want to watch the full 5 minutes, you must watch the first 30 seconds, and 1:15 for a funny cameo from big brother Quinn. Check it out!

Time is flying with baby #2 and I don't want to forget this age! Or any age, for that matter. Which is why next I'll be working on a video of Quinn in all his three-and-a-half year old glory. That one might be a little more involved (what with all the talking and moving that he does), but I'm excited to get started!

New room for Q

As we await the arrival of our second little boy, we recently transitioned 3 year old Quinn into his big boy room. He moved in last month, and seems to love it! He is proud of his bed and has done pretty well going from a crib to a twin bed (although he loved to test out his new freedom at bedtime by coming out to chat).

We didn't have much of a budget for this room, but I acquired certain things over the course of the last 6 months knowing that I wanted to colors to be navy blue, gray and orange. There is a very slight "truck motif" with the sheets and a couple of items on shelves, but mostly just a color theme.

The best thing about the room is that the beautiful bed and rails were designed and built by my husband. The rails just slide under the mattress on each side and can be removed at any time. I LOVE the design, and the rails have worked out wonderfully to keep Quinn safe.

The dresser and nightstand were garage sale finds and John painted them white. The golf ball basket on the dresser was also a garage sale find and was already the perfect color of orange! It holds socks : ) The lamp base (Goodwill) and the "Q" on the wall were spray painted bright orange.

We knew we needed some additional storage for books and toys, but really didn't want to spend the money on a brand new piece. Then we remembered that we had a really cool  cabinet in the garage that had been waiting for a home. We picked it up about 5 years ago as we drove through small town Wahoo, NE. Someone had set it out by the curb and it was free! The owners told us it had come from the Wahoo library. I love the mid-century design and am so glad we finally found a use for it.

The painting above the cabinet was made for Quinn by my dad a couple of years ago when Q was particularly fond of the moon. I love how the colors work in this room.

I think he likes it : )


Now that Quinn is comfy in his new pad we are ready for baby #2!

Springtime School Activities

As the wife of a teacher, our family calendar runs from August to August. I have never been into New Year's resolutions or gotten too excited about the start of a new year because nothing really changes for us in January. I love the fact that we get more time together in the summer and that the start of a new "year" comes in the fall.

So as the 2014 school year comes to a close, there has been a flurry of springtime activity for Quinn and I to enjoy alongside Mr. Balcer. A couple of years ago he started a boys running club at his school called "Gents on the Go". Some of you may have heard of "Girls on the Run", which is a national organization. John thought it would be fun to start up a group for boys at his school that teaches running and also emphasizes gentlemanly behavior. So he chose the name, wrote the curriculum, and organized the group. Fast forward a couple of years, and the other schools have created similar groups and joined the girls in a culminating spring 5K.

It was a gorgeous morning to be outside!

As the music teacher, Mr. Balcer also directs the school choir. And interestingly enough, his sister is the music teacher at the neighboring elementary school. So this year they decided to collaborate on their performance at the school's annual carnival. We lucked out on more gorgeous weather and Quinn had a blast watching the choirs and checking out all the fun activities.

These were only two of the many activities that we've attended recently. I'm constantly amazed at how hard this guy works for his students and how incredibly creative and talented he is. He SO deserves this upcoming summer break!

The "real" camera

My dad came to visit last weekend, and it seemed like a perfect time to break out my "real" camera again. Although I use my iPhone a LOT for day-to-day photos (see my Instagram feed to the right), it's been a while since I've used my beloved dSLR. 


We were glad to get outside on a warm day and play with snowballs. Above, you can see the shock on Quinn's face as he held the cold snow in his bare hands.


I think I have witnessed the scene above a million times since I've known John. He and my dad get along great. And once they get started talking about tree species or tools, I prefer to hang back and just observe.


Snowball fight! He never saw it coming.

Clearly, Quinn and Papa Steve have a great time playing together and hanging out. We were all glad for the visit.