Introducing Owen Edward

Owen Edward was born Saturday, August 21. After nearly twenty hours of labor he arrived at 7:03 pm weighing 7 pounds even and stretching out at 21 inches. We came home Monday and have been adjusting to our new - drastically different - life.

Things I know about him so far... he has a lot of hair, even on his ears! He really enjoys falling asleep on his daddy's chest. Unfortunately, he's most hungry around 3 am. And he has completely stolen my heart.

Meet Owen Edward.


Amber and Dan: Engagements



Amber and Dan. It just fits. She's an artist and a dreamer. Seriously... when I met up with them for photos, she had an old 1950s television. Why? To retro-fit with a digital photo frame of course. She saw it in a magazine and thought it would be cool. That's all.

Dan, however, is a thinker. He doesn't say much; he's too busy listening. And doing. Amber dares Dan to reach beyond the clouds, and Dan keeps Amber from floating off the ground. They are... perfect. And I'm lucky enough to call them friends.

On March 5 these two will become the perfect team. We met for engagement photos at the Guthrie County Historical Village in Panora, Iowa this week. The place was a photographer's gold mine!

A little close up of the 'bling'...

Amber was wearing the cutest shoes! And I was super impressed with her ability to maneuver around the rocks along the river in them (photos later in the post).

I wish every town had an old train depot...

Amber is a teacher so the one room school house was a must visit on our photo excursion...

Hello beautiful silhouette!

After a quick trip to the general store we headed around the corner to the river access.

March 5th seems SO far away! With Amber's creative streak I can't wait to see what she's got in store for their wedding day. And I got their 'save the date' in the mail earlier this week - so I'll be sure to post photos. It gives a great hint at what to expect from their big day!


Building an ark

It was a typical Monday morning. My brain and my body weren't ready to start the week. I hit my snooze three times instead of two. I was running a little behind, and I had to grab my shirt out of the dryer. I walked to to the top of the basement stairs, rubbing sleep from eyes along the way.

When I flipped on the light switch to head downstairs, I saw this...

Nothing like 10 inches of water to wake you up in a hurry. At this point I shouted up the stairs. "Uh, hon. You need to get up. Like... now." Last time (when we got water in 2008), I waded in right away to start pulling stuff out of the water. However, this time I had a baby to think about and mixing water and electricity isn't exactly safe.

Instead, I marched back up the stairs. After a quick cry in the bedroom closet, I called my office to let them know I wouldn't be coming in.

We got seven inches of rain over night, and our sump pump died. The benefit of being married to a firefighter... he has plenty of water pumps and hoses. So while Ryan set to work pumping out the water, I ran out to buy a new sump pump. It took a couple hours to pump out 1,100 square feet of 9 to 10 inches of water.

Once the standing water was gone, we hit the remaining puddles with the wet dry vac. And as soon as we confirmed the washer and dryer were functionable, I set to work washing and drying the soaking wet clothes. Every fan we own went down stairs and the humidifier was running on high.

It was a long day. Followed by a long night. Another round of storms kept us awake with worry knowing the ground was already saturated.

We are very lucky to have great family and friends. So many people offered to help, so we had a demolition party Tuesday night.

Less than 36 hours later, the basement looked like this...

It's a look we're all too familiar with - and one I'm really starting to loathe. It'll take a good week for everything to dry out. And then we can start the remodeling process.

Sure it's frustrating. And the timing isn't the greatest with this baby due any day. But, it could have been worse. We have neighbors who had 7 feet in their basements. Others had raw sewage. And still others in town had a few feet of water on their main floor.

It's all about maintaining perspective, and counting your blessings - even if you have to force yourself to think that way.


DIY Wedding Invites: Part III

A little more wedding invite fun on the blog. This is the last in a three part series where I decided to show you three invitations we received recently. I've gone on and on about my love for all things paper and stationary related in the previous two posts. Since you're all well aware that I'm obsessed... I won't make you hear it again.

Instead we'll skip right to the last invitation - Allison and Terry. They're getting married in October. Their invite is the most formal of the three, again setting the stage for their big day. A gorgeous chocolate brown envelope with a hint of metallic gold started things off right.

Inside was a second envelope - a sign of a more formal invitation - sealed with a gold sticker embossed with their monogram "M".

The invite was printed on a beautiful gold and copper colored paper that reminded me of fall leaves.

The third panel was a pocket that held a card with the important information as well as the RSVP card - both printed in chocolate brown.

I really love personalized weddings when the couple infuse as much of themselves into the day as possible. And it all starts with the invitation. These invites are all so different, and yet absolutely perfect for the couples they're designed to celebrate. I absolutely ADORE it when couples send me the invitation to the wedding I'll be shooting. Not that they're "inviting me" to the wedding necessarily (although that happens frequently too). It gives me a sense of what their big day will be like which allows me to brainstorm photo options.

Do me a favor? Leave me a comment and let me know if you felt these posts were helpful, entertaining, or just plain boring. This way I'll know whether or not I should do stuff like this in the future. -Thanks!