How do you go on?

I saw a play in October.

It was called

Failure: A Love Story.

It was brilliantly performed by a group of high school kids.

It told the story of the untimely death of 5 people.

Parents, and their three daughters.

Not all at once,

but in stages.

One line in the play stood out to me the most.

How do you go on?

With a story,

A memory.




That is where I leave this blog tonight.

it has been 4 years

since she left us.


And yet I go on, with  a memory

and a story,


I will continue to do this everyday,

because thats what she would have wanted me to do.


Learning to Live.


“Someday you will be faced with the reality of loss. And as life goes on, days rolling into nights, it will become clear that you never really stop missing someone special who’s gone, you just learn to live around the gaping hole of their absence. When you lose someone you can’t imagine living without, your heart breaks wide open, and the bad news is you never completely get over the loss. You will never forget them. However, in a backwards way, this is also the good news. They will live on in the warmth of your broken heart that doesn’t fully heal back up, and you will continue to grow and experience life, even with your wound. It’s like badly breaking an ankle that never heals perfectly, and that still hurts when you dance, but you dance anyway with a slight limp, and this limp just adds to the depth of your performance and the authenticity of your character. The people you lose remain a part of you. Remember them and always cherish the good moments spent with them.”

~Christopher Walken

We experienced life today. Whether we went grocery shopping,

hunting, or fishing.

Maybe we practiced for a Jazz audition that is looming in the wings for tomorrow.

Whatever we did today, we lived. It may have been simple, or complex.

Maybe we shed a tear.

Happy or Sad,

we lived today.

We did exactly as you would have wanted. We laughed at something that was funny,

and tried to breathe in the cool Autumn air that is rolling in.

We thought of you today.

Every Day.

With a smile.
With love.

You will always be a part of who we are.

Just Beyond….

Yes I do,

I believe
That one day I will be,

where I was
Right there, right next to you.
And it’s hard, the days just seem so dark
The moon, and the stars, are nothing without you.

Your touch, your skin, where do I begin?
No words can explain, the way I’m missing you
The night, this emptiness, this hole that I’m inside
These tears, they tell their own story,

You told me not to cry when you were gone,
But the feeling’s overwhelming, it’s much too strong

                                               Can I lay by your side, next to you.

And make sure you’re alright?
I’ll take care of you.
And I don’t want to be here if I can’t be with you tonight.

I’m reaching out to you,
Can you hear my call? (Who’s to say you won’t hear me?)
This hurt that I’ve been through
I’m missing you, missing you like crazy.

You told me not to cry when you were gone
But the feeling’s overwhelming, it’s much too strong
Can I lay by your side, next to you, you
And make sure you’re alright
I’ll take care of you
And I don’t wanna be here if I can’t be with you tonight.

Sam Smith~Lay Me Down


~I imagine, as the door creaks open that she’s standing just beyond my sight in the dining room. She is setting the table for dinner. We have come a long way and she is excitedly preparing for us.
But the room is empty.
 Sun shines through the giant pane windows and you can see the dust flecks settling to the  floor.
She’s not there.
So I walk on towards the den. Surely she is just beyond the door leading into her bedroom. As I cross the threshold of her bedroom, the hardwood floor creaks. I can smell her face cream. It is sticky and sweet and floral. Her lipsticks are scattered on the dresser laying open, without a top. She always lost the tops. 
I laugh at that memory.
She’s not in her room.
I continue though her house. It’s dark, but I know she’s there just beyond the hallway. I can hear her and granddaddy setting up the Christmas tree in the living room. They purchased a giant one this year. The tree scrapes the ceiling.  She has a handful of tinsel and is gingerly draping it on long fir branches. Her fingers are delicate, but strong.  The logs in the fireplace are gas, but roar with life. They decorate with a fever of excitement knowing the house will soon be filled with grandkids and love.
She’s not there.
The gas logs have a layer of dust on them I can’t seem to clear. The pine needles from the tree have long been swept up and the decorations put away.
Her house may not be filled with her body any longer, but her spirit and memories live on. I can close my eyes and visit every room and she is in each one, bustling around. Asking for help with odds and ends. (Knowing I love helping her with anything)
Her memory lives on within my soul. It is a part of me, of who I am.
And she is just beyond the door. ~


Death is nothing at all. It does not count.

I have only slipped away into the next room.

Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was.

I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is

untouched, unchanged.

Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.

Call me by the old familiar name.

Speak of me in the  easy way  which you always used.

Put no difference into your tone.

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed with each other.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.

Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was.

There is absolute and unbroken continuity.

What is this death but a negligible accident?

Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you, for an interval,

somewhere very near,

just around the corner.

All is well.

~Henry Scott Holland



I can’t believe it’s been 5 years.

I remember how I cried for 2 weeks when I found out I was pregnant

with our 4th child.

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How could I split myself between 4?!?!

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Somehow your heart just grows

and this new tiny person fits so perfectly into your heart

it’s like that space was saved for them.

Like they had always been in your life.


I remember when I brought her home.

A week she had to stay in the hospital.


When I was finally in our home her brothers gathered to see their baby sister.

Laying eyes on her for the first time and holding that memory of them

and the wonder and excitement they felt

will always be engraved in my memory.


She was so tiny.

6lbs, 1.2oz.

They were in awe.

Their lives were forever changed.

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Tea parties, and pink.

Tutus and glitter.

Babies dolls, and lets play pretend,

Dancing, and twirling


She is so full of Sass and spunk,

energy and life.

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I watch her in her first year of school.

Making friends, learning to write her name

and again, I am in awe.

Today she turns 5.

Tomorrow, she rules the world.

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Learning to breathe…

One year.

I still lose my breath,

when I think about that day.


I wasn’t there


hold her hand,

caress her face,

tell her

one last time

how much she meant

to me.

To, my children.


She was my best friend.

My mother.


The one woman in my life who made me believe that there were good women on this earth.


The one I aim to be like.

She taught me love, compassion,

The Lords prayer, and


It’s been one year and a day since I heard her voice.

We talked of Thanksgiving, and Christmas,

and a Hello Kitty necklace she bought for Bella.

We talked frequently about how I didn’t know what I would do without her.

I lost my breath that day.

The miles between us seemed infinite,

never ending.

The car ride was painful.

Memories flowing like burning tears on my cheek.


To survive without this person in my life was impossible.

Yet here I am,

a year later.

Able to laugh, in spite of the pain.

Listening to saved voicemails,

her voice preserved forever.

Listening to my children tell stories with smile and not tears,

watching them remember her the way she was meant to be remembered.

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She was right.

in the stories she told me,

How she was able to deal with death.

You don’t get over it.

You won’t.


Learn to breathe again.


Changing of the Seasons, like the ebb and flow of the tides.

A blogger I read is having her 6th child.  I’m excited for her. Even though I only know of her through the words she puts on the screen, I genuinely love it when someone has a baby. New life and all.  I use to see a baby and could hear the clock ticking in my ears. for-get-about- it if I heard one cry, or HELD a tiny fresh outta the womb, smells like heaven baby.

Now in this, what I call new season of my life, I am not phased by babies anymore. Do I still talk baby talk when I see one, or goo-goo my friends babies? You bet. I am a mother after all. But my clock no longer ticks, I no longer have the urge to rock an infant, change diapers, or be up all hours of the night. (who has that urge anyway, to be up all hours of the night ? Unless you are a hungry infant or a teenager looking for trouble. I’ll stick with my ten o’clock bedtime thankyouverymuch)

In this new part of our lives we are now learning how to say the pledge, and write our name. We are running EVERYWHERE for a teenager, and listening lovingly to a first time trumpet player. We are reading chapter books and doing long division. We are using graphing calculators, learning about human geography, and how to march on the football field during halftime. We take fewer naps, but still snuggle. We are making new friends, new memories, and new plans .

We are ever growing and ever changing. Like the seasons and tides.

I myself and making big changes. I hope to show them to you soon.

It’s all a blur…

I never really understood the saying, “Time Flies” until I had children.  Nowadays I find myself remembering in years rather than in weeks, days, seconds as I did when I was a child. I think time can put things into perspective, yet make you lose your breath.


I remember the day I started dating Chris, 17 years ago. To help draw a picture, my baby brother who is now 25, was a mere 8 years old. Chris and I were fresh out of High School and living a summer of freedom. He was a boy scout camp counselor, and I was, well, a graduate waiting for my next adventure. He swept me off my feet and the rest was history.



17 years.

2 years after we started dating, we got married. I remember the day well. I got dressed in the back of my grandmothers grand old farm house. We got married at the little home town church I grew up in (while I was with my Dad) and it wasn’t anything fancy. I had a bouquet of roses, because the florist looked at me crooked when I told her I wanted cala lilies, (because in 1999, a flower like that was hard to come by, *eye roll*). I wore a beautiful dress graciously purchased by my new mother-in-law, and my precious sister-in-law stood by my side.


We had no photographer. No cake. No first dance. At the time, none of that mattered, and I guess it still doesn’t, except we deserved to have it.




In the 15 years we have been  married we have done so many things. Moved to Dc with one child where we knew no one and had to rely on each other to get by.  In the 5 years we were there we welcomed another child to our little family, and Chris grew in his career. Chris was offered a job in Ga, and we decided it would be a great opportunity for him and for our family. Moving back to our home state meant we were closer to family.


In the next 8 years we have, added 2 more children to our now big family, Chris has taken a permanent job here in Ga and we bought a house. All of our kids will be in school this year, and a new adventure is before us. Every day is a new adventure. Every chapter in our lives is the start of something new.

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To say that I have matured in these years would be an understatement. I grew up with Chris. We grew up together.  We have fought through the tough times and celebrated our victories. We have leaned on each other, and pulled one another out of the dark. When he was called to move forward in his career, I was there to support him. We have cried and rejoiced in the birth of our children, and held one another close as time had us say goodbye to grandparents. We have watched our siblings grow up, graduate, get married, and have children.

We have lived life. Lived life to the fullest.

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I wouldn’t want to live life with anyone else. You rescued me from a life of unknown and showed me a future I had only dreamed of.  You make me laugh until it hurts and you make me cry happy tears. You have given me four of the most beautiful children, and strong arms to run to. We have always figured things out, even when those things were tough to swallow. Coming out on top is what we do best…together.

Time is light speed, the blink of an eye. I plan on enjoying every second of it, with you.

There is no one alive who is youer than you…

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

                                   ~Dr. Seuss

Ten years.


Double digits. 



It’s hard to believe we went from this:



To this:





and now, 




Guitar Hero is your favorite right now. 

Throw in a little Lynard Skynard

and Metalica, 

making you one heck of a musical nut.  

Minecraft takes a close backseat, as does Youtube videos. 

5th grade isn’t going to know what hit it. 

I love you through the universe, and beyond the stars. 

I hope the next decade is just as wonderful as this one has been. 

Facing the negative, in myself, from others.

I’ve lived with criticism my entire life. I would say it stemmed from my over critical mother who made it very plain to me that I wasn’t something I planned in her life, to the way I colored in a coloring book, did my hair, or even my choice in clothing. Nothing was ever good enough. Even now, in my adult life, her critical eyes point out that my laundry isn’t white enough, my weight isn’t low enough, or my time isn’t as precious as hers.

Yet, I digress.

I started photography in 1999. I had a lovely film SLR that took beautiful pictures of my sweet baby boy. My goal wasn’t to become a professional, but to every now and then, have a picture of my kids that wasn’t just your run of the mill snapshot. A picture that made me smile a little bigger, make my heart beat a little faster and a picture that could catapult me back to that exact time that I had captured, remembering my chubby baby and his sweet toothless grin.


A couple of years ago I got my current DSLR. A little Canon Rebel XS EOS. It makes me very happy. With this camera I completed a 365 project, where I took one picture every day for an entire year. I am self taught, I have read countless hours of blog after blog, learning what f-stop meant, what IOS was, what speed I should shoot to capture a running child and what it meant for “noise” to be in a picture when clearly it makes no sound.  I have taken thousands of pictures and messed up millions of times.


My first real shoot was of my then, 8 yr old Wyatt. I loved every picture I took of him that day. I still fought with the critical voice in my head telling me, that it wasn’t good enough. My family and friends seemed to love the pictures and that was a boost to my confidence to help me take my next step.


My brothers engagement pictures!

I was so excited that he and his precious fiancee wanted me to take their pictures. We trekked out on a very hot summer day and went from location to location working on some of my favorite photos to date.

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After taking my brothers pictures, I purchased lightroom and watched video after video, read article after article, on how to understand the bones of the editing program. I’m still so new to it, but I like what I can produce with it. I’m not a photoshop person. I’m not going to be able to make you look like something you are not. That’s not the point of photography. I want to capture a genuine smile, a laugh that comes from your soul, the look a man has for the love of his life, or the careful touch of a mother and her newborn.

061-2baby Jack, and Jake 033-3 baby Jack, and Jake 167-3As time past,  I had more and more people telling me that I should consider taking up photography as a profession and not as something that I do as a hobby. I really wasn’t sure people would want to pay me to take their pictures. I started a Facebook page, got a few likes and posted some of my favorite pictures so potential clients could see what my work looks like.  I got a few bites. Enough to keep my fire burning and make me want to continue on.

My self criticism knows no bounds. I am constantly questioning my work, wondering if it is different, not just run of the mill. I like natural light, I love a good sunflare, and my favorite pictures are the pictures that weren’t meant to be. My favorites are the pictures that most photographers think are meant for the trash bin.

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Let me give you a definition.

Constructive criticism is the process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work of others, usually involving both positive and negative comments, in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.

I accept constructive criticism. Humbly.  What I think is often forgotten about this type of help is a positive force balances a negative one.  We all learn this way. We can help each other grow and change, but not with nothing but negative comments.

What it boils down to is this.  I’m human. When someone is critical of my work it stings. However just as in life, I am a work in progress. I am a sponge for knowledge and I will continue to educate myself to further my art.  Photography should be a community of people who help each other learn grow and change. Photographers shouldn’t belittle you with a negative because your work isn’t what fits into their frame.  My work is no more cliche than the next person.

My clients love the work I have produced for them. I am in the business of putting a smile on someones face and creating a memory for them. I will never be done learning. There is always something new to learn. I am proud of the work I have created, even with a little part of me always ever so critical and I won’t let someones negativity hold me back.

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When you think you are ripe, you are rotten. It’s only when you know you are green that you can grow” ~G. T. 

Moving forward.

Just like that.

You were no longer a baby,  no longer connected to the last of something that tied you into the same category as your sister.

We’ve heard this before, (especially at dinner time) “I’m not a baby, don’t feed me like a baby.”

Yet you still held tightly to that tiny piece of babyhood by not letting go of the pacifier.

Anytime you were tired you would find that paci, get your blanket and come snuggle with me.

I love the snuggle time. I know these days are limited. There is no way I could get your 12 yr old brother to snuggle with me. He is too cool for that.

I love the smell of your hair as your head lays on my shoulder.

I love how you are still tiny enough to fit in the crook of my arm.

The other night you went to bed without your beloved paci. I didn’t even notice until I was on the way to bed myself. There, sitting on the counter, was one of the only two pacis you have left. I know the other one was in a basket in the kitchen, but this blue one sat all alone on the counter in the dark.

I knew that at some point during the night I would hear, “Mom, I can’t find my paci.”

But I didn’t. You never stumbled into my room at 3am wanting to snuggle after a bad dream, and I never heard you utter a word about the paci.

The next  morning, you woke bright and early and never looked back. When I asked you about it, you simply said, “I”m not a baby anymore. I don’t need it.”

And just like that. You weren’t.

You let go of that last bit of babyhood, and you did it on your own terms.

I know the “experts” say that a child shouldn’t have a paci after about a year.

I also know that your brother Wyatt let go of his on his own as well and it was a beautiful transition as well.

I will always say that letting a child let go of something they hold a particular attachment to on their own terms is the best way to go.

No child has ever taken their pacifier to college .

I’m loving watching you grow right now.

I love seeing you letting go and moving forward.

I wish I could handle is as beautifully as you do.