Mom guilt, the Summer Break edition....on a personal note...

Every mom has experienced this thing called "the mom guilt." It's the overwhelming feeling of:

  • Gosh, I wish I could be better 
  • I wish I didn't do this/that
  • Why can't they just obey?
  • Why can't they just get along?
  • What am I doing wrong?
  • It doesn't seem to matter which way I do it
  • I could've said it better 
  • I could've taken more time to deal with that the right way...

The list goes on and on...

Summer break is TOUGH! This is my first one, like legit break, and I'm alone in it for the first time. They're bored, they're not used to just hanging out and finding things to do in the house because mom has to work, they're not used to seeing each other all day every day. They're strangers to each other in two different stages in their life with all the growing pains and testosterone and lack of schedule or structure or normalcy. Summer camps were made for a reason and clearly created by mothers lol. SO what happens? You literally pull your hair out and feel like you've been thrown into the loony bin with really tiny bi-polar drunk people. Yep, I said it, we've all thought it, at least I know of a few for sure lol. 

We try, all moms, single or not. You start off the day right. For me, I start the day early, before everyone gets up in the morning, with at least a half cup of hot fresh coffee, I get in the Word, I pray, I read my devotionals, and I ask for God's help and guidance for that day, but before any requests, I repent for all the things I know I could've done better the day before and the areas that I know I failed in. I humble myself and usually cry.

Then I remember that God's mercies are new every day and I'm so thankful, because carrying around that heavy mom guilt is just too much for us to bear on our own. It's also, wait for it....NORMAL. News flash! We're sinful! Just because we're mom's doesn't mean we still aren't guilty of acting out of our flesh! God WANTS us to go to Him with alllllllllllll that guilt and unnecessary shame. Why? Because of his wonderful and painful process of sanctification. Just don't ever stop believing that He's with you in every tantrum, every fight between your kids, every heart break, every doubt, every time you're drowning in laundry and house stuff and work and amidst the juggling game of all of it, He is with you! Take the breaks, take the time, pull up old videos or pictures of when they were little and cute without so many opinions, trust me it makes them cute again and softens your heart. Know that you'll get through it and they won't be scarred and just make sure to love on them in the end. Tell them they are loved and precious in His sight and it's ok to confess to your kids that mom's mess up too and use it as an opportunity to share the gospel with them. 

Cheer's to school starting soon!!!



My dream job...

Horses are incredibly special to me. They speak to my soul and are such incredible stress relief. So to have them intersect with my job and what I love to do, it pretty much made for the best night ever! It was also such a treat to meet a new friend as well! Shishana has Luke and George. George is her baby, he's the beautiful grey handsome fella that seems to love the camera. Luke is the kindest most mellow beast of a horse I've ever met. Thank you all for such a fun and educational experience!

Raquel Maternity

I don't normally do maternity shoots, don't get me wrong, I think pregnant women of all kinds are absolutely gorgeous, but I couldn't say no to Raquel. So we met at sunrise, which is more and more my favorite time of the day to shoot and she was absolutely stunning

Happy Mom, momma, mommy, mother's day!

Every year! I ask them for a portrait. Seems every year we're in a new home so far. Next year I'm hoping it'll be our last for a while! This year, Liam for the first time said "Happy mother's day!" Noah came home from school with an entire manila envelope filled with mother's day work he had done all week at school. Noah said "We have a prize for you! We're going to listen ALL DAY" ....yeah that didn't happen lol. We all went to church just like we do every Sunday and spent the day with family swimming and playing...As all mother's know, at the end of the day, you're spent, exhausted, emotionally drained, feel unappreciated, you name it. Then they sleep. You peek in on them and see their sweet little bodies just as they were as babies and your cup runneth over. It's the hardest and most unappreciated volunteer job out there and I wouldn't trade it for the world....and yes, my foot IS that big and Noah and I sit exactly alike pretty much all the time lol


This is Us

I mean have you watched that show?! Bawl like a baby every time. 

When we became the three of us, for a long time I was just grieving and had no desire to really have my picture taken. We then moved, life presented a whole new long, beautiful, hopeful, fun, exciting road of freedom ahead and looking through our boxes of things, I realized we had very to little wall art left. So I reached out and found the sweetest, most talented little pixie photographer I've ever met. Joanie Turner is a Godsend and I can't wait to have her capture my little family every year!

The Smith Family Mini session

I am soooo happy I get to start growing with a whole new set of families! What a blessing to be here and witness them all change from year to year. Let me introduce the Smith Family, so blessed to have met them!


I was honored when Jen came to me and asked me if I could do headshots for her as she launches into her new career. I mean, how could you not want to do a photo shoot with her?! She's bubbly, gorgeous inside and out, and allowed me to mold and poke and pick at her. I've known Jen for a long time and am so very proud to see what she's doing with her life! Please check her out on her Instagram @realisticholistic_Jen for everything from health and fitness, balancing mom-of-3 life, wife-life, homeschool-life, and most importantly, her faith journey. She's on her way to becoming an awesome personal trainer!

Tatum Family Spring Mini Session

When the Tatum family found out I was going to be in town to capture a wedding (see prior blog post) they reached out and asked if I had 30 minutes to spare to do a mini session for Jackson's first birthday. I have NEVER been able to turn down my repeat families. I adore them, I watch their kiddos grow, and I love to maintain clients as friends, so I said "I'll make it happen!" 

Happy first birthday Jackson!

Shaun & Cherianne

Ahhhh where to start! I met Shaun & Cherianne about a year ago when I was able to capture Shaun popping the question. We spent the entire evening shooting until the sun went down because my time clock went out the window entirely. Why? Because I adored them. I fell in love with these two. They met at a Cubs game, which for all of you who know me I think is the most awesome way to meet someone EVER. Shaun is in the Navy and Cherianne worked as a teacher in Chicago. The love and devotion they have for each other is so genuine and you believe it just from the first 2 minutes you spend with these two. I was soooo happy when they wanted me to come back to San Diego to shoot their big day. Lets be honest, I probably would've crashed the wedding anyway :)- 

Here is just a snapshot of the day...more to come on their big day

Elaine & Brian

We had such a clear and windy beautiful day at Klyde Warren Park for Elaine & Brian's engagement photos! The more I see of this city and meet it's people the more I fall in love!

Bo turns 3

Liam turns 3 today, technically tonight at 8:25. He came 3 weeks early at a difficult time in my life then with my marriage starting to be over essentially. I was in the hospital with him for almost 3 days before he decided to finally come earthside, mostly alone, quiet, watching the rain, Friend's re-runs, reading, praying, thinking, missing Noah, wondering what in the world the future was going to be. He came quick and easy. Fast forward 3 years later...He's a spit fire. Hilarious. Feisty. A total nut. Very strong willed. And a really excellent hugger on his terms. Every year I take portraits of the boys on their birthdays and Bo's perfectly give insight to his giant personality. Happy Birthday my little Bo, mommy loves you.

Hannah & Joe

This beautiful city has so many places to shoot! I met Hannah and Joe at Trinity Groves, which is a little pocket of restaurants and shops that are so awesomely put together. They were sitting having dinner one night and decided they wanted their engagement photos taken there with the beautiful skyline in the back. We had a cloudy cold day so we didn't get much skyline but we did have lots of snuggling! Very hard to pick favorites from this one!

Happy 1 month anniversary to us...

One month ago we were exhausted and emotional from the 3 days we spent in the car driving half way across the country. It's been a transition. One that on some days seems easy peasy and on others seems just as exhausting as that 3 day drive. We are back to homeschooling, back to play dates, and love being involved in our church. Life after this first month is finally starting to feel like it's moving forward. On top of new adventures, the boys got to experience their very first snowfall. Our favorite thing to do so far...explore!

The Scmidt, Slack, Greaney Family all wrapped up

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you and yours had a wonderful and safe close to 2016. I just missed the mark to wrap up the blog year, but I'm still happy to ring in 2017 with a family who is so dear to me. They were finally all together so we scrambled to get a shoot. Just a few of my favorites of these guys. Enjoy!

Meshot Family Mini Session

I began shooting the Meshot family over 4 years ago; the twins were in mommy's tummy. I've watched them all grow into the most respectful and kind little people. Adam and Rhi have such an inspiring marriage and their journey has driven them to raise 3 of the sweetest children. My hats off to you two! Love you all!

A parting gift to all you talented Photogs...

So as I and the boys embark to Texas on our next stage in life, I've been doing my homework on finding some favorite places to shoot over in DFW, and it got me thinking...why not share my favorite places that I had here! In no particular order, here are some of my favorite locations in this beautiful city.


Flinn Springs County Park

Mission Trails - the Old Damn side

The Old Cactus Garden - Balboa Park

Leo Carillo Ranch and trails


Museums in Balboa Park

All of Gaslamp & East Village - Downtown San Diego

The Salk Institute



Scripps Pier

Torrey Pines State Beach

La Jolla Cove

Wells Family Mini Session

I've worked with so many families over the last 6+ years of doing this. The Wells family is just so dang good lookin! The boys decided their cue for smiling was saying "cheesy dibbles" which made us all giggle profusely. 

Tatum Family Mini Session

The Tatum family and I embarked on a very early chilly morning mini session to snatch up some morning rays and keep little Jackson from being too tired. Such a joy you three! Have a wonderful holiday!

Greaney Christmas Mini Session

Oh how I love this time of year! Christmas is my favorite holiday and I love seeing clients I've had from the beginning every year for their Christmas Card sessions! Side note... Can I please have Keira's hair?!


I had the privilege of taking some portraits for a very close and dear friend of mine this past weekend who said he needed some head shots. Andy and I met over a year ago with a mutual love and obsession with opera. He is also an incredibly talented violinist for The La Jolla Symphony! Very hard to choose through these highlights, so enjoy!