Drum roll, please...

I feel like Clark Griswold.

Clark spent hours finding and sorting Christmas decorations. Untangled every strand of lights. Checked every single bulb. Painstakingly hung lights and decorations. And then… it was time. He called the entire family outside to unveil his creation. All that work built up to one moment of anticipation. Certainly deserves a drum roll.

So here I am. Asking ya’ll to come out to the front yard in your pajamas to watch as I hit the switch.

Go visit my new site!

It’s taken me months to work through this new blogsite. I researched hosting sites and available domain names. After a little digging, I looked up and realized I was in wayyy over my head.

I had no desire to tackle the technical aspect of the conversion to the new blogsite. The thought made my eyes hurt. One of my last posts was about finding other people who enjoy doing what sucks you into the mud. Enter Anitra, stage left. Anitra is my friend and former editor from my newspaper days. Recently she struck out on her own to start Blue Lake Websites. Um… HELLO! She did this sorta thing on a daily basis.

Enlisting her help was the best. decision. ever. I gave her my passwords and presto! Less than two weeks later, I was ready to start the design process. Anitra does some pretty amazing web design too. That just happened to be the part I was looking forward to the most. If you’re looking to create a website, check her out! You won’t regret it.

I knew the design was going to be a big task for a marketer and a perfectionist. And I love how it turned out. Love. it. A longggg time ago I surveyed (yes, I’m a nerd) my family and friends. Among other things, I asked them to pick a color that makes them think of me. Obviously green was the winner. And the second I heard green, I saw grass. Reminds me of all things happy: Summer. Adventure. Walking barefoot. Catching fire flies. Exploring.

The new logo might be my favorite part of all. I’m slightly obsessed with signatures. In high school I used to create signatures for other people. The margins of my notes in college were full of names, scribbed in various styles. Any name would do. My professors. My friends. My name along side the last name of the boy I was crushing on at the time. Needless to say, I perfected the signature of my married name before I was even engaged.

I’m completely smitten with how it turned out. Months of work totally worth it.

No longer will I be posting to this blog. So save to your favorites and change your RSS feed. Head over to the new site - and let me know what you think!


Going quiet

Here's the deal...

I haven't blogged much lately because I'm in the middle of a TOP SECRET redesign. With a real URL: And it involves switching from Blogger to WordPress, handled by my amazing friend Anitra at Blue Lake Websites. More blog-love for her to come after the new blogsite launch on June 1.

Anyway, back to my point.

Since I'm moving from Blogger to WordPress, anything I post between now and June 1 I have to post twice. Once here, and once on my new blogsite.

Considering the redesign is taking a massive amount of time on its own, I don't have a lot of time to blog... let alone post it twice. So I'm going to go quiet for a week.

I promise, it will be worth it!


Ariell & Jared: Part II

I can't believe I let a week slip by between posting the details of Ariell and Jared's day before posting the faces! I don't like how that happened. As a result, I'm thinking about changing the way I post. Rather than details and faces posts, I'm thinking I'll do everything in chronological order and just divide the photos in half where it makes sense. We'll try it for awhile and see if it works.

Anyway, back to Ariell and Jared... Like I said in Part I it was gorgeous day. And Ariell was a gorgeous bride. Obviously Jared thought so too!

One of my favorite parts of the wedding day is the time between photos and the ceremony. Everyone is having fun, and the energy gives you goosebumps. One final hair check and time to straighten a tie or two.

Then the ceremony starts. A father giving his daughter away is my second favorite part of the ceremony.

My absolute favorite part of any wedding day... walking down the isle into their new life as husband and wife.

Ariell and Jared, you are so blessed. For each other. For your families. And I am blessed to call you friends. Hope you had a sensational time on your honeymoon!



I imagine she held me like this... once or twice. While I slept. While I cried. While I was sick.

And now she holds my son.

I'm sure she rolled a ball to me too. And then when I was older she signed me up for recreational softball. I loved her for it.

Now that I'm a mom, I understand she probably loved it more.

She showed me the world in my backyard.

And then she showed me the world.
Most importantly though... she showed me how to be a good mom.

Happy Mother's Day!


Ariell & Jared: Part I

It was a gorgeous day. Not in terms of the weather, mind you. It was a gorgeous day... for love. For the love of two people getting married with a foundation firmly rooted in Christ. Not even cloudy skies and scattered showers can prevent that day from being gorgeous.

Ariell and Jared went calmly through the day with a ease that showed everyone they knew... They knew exactly what they were doing and what it meant. They knew it was perfect. It just needed to happen.

Like I said... it was a gorgeous day.

Here are the details of their sneak peek. Enjoy!

Ariell was surprised to discover her necklace came in a purple box that matched her deep purple perfectly!

I loved shooting in the Elkader Grace Evangelical Free church. Loved. it. It's extremely well lit. I was talking to Pastor Mark before the ceremony, and he explained a local photographer belongs to the church and provided insight when it was being built.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Every church that's constructing a new building should involve a photographer!

Another ring shot... I couldn't decide. After much debate, this is my favorite.

The people post coming soon!


Stuck in mud

Growing up on my parents acreage, spring was always a muddy mess. The ground woke up from it's winter hibernation and left a thick layer of mud underneath standing water. The slimy sticky mess sucked off more than one boot and ruined countless pairs of socks. The entire horse lot was dotted with pools of water trapped by banks of mud. I say mud, but considering the horses spent a lot of time in there, it probably wasn't just 'mud'.

These days I feel stuck. Mired by my 'day job' and honestly... my photography business. Meanwhile, my most important jobs as wife and mother have barely been treading water. And let me tell you, "housekeeper" succumbed to the mud months ago. This post needs photos, but I'll spare you from seeing the mountain of laundry waiting for me or the dirty dishes piled on our end table.

Everyone's been there.

When we were little, my mom showed us kids how to use the heel of your boot to make channels in the muddy horse lot. Doing so let the standing water escape, and the ground dried up faster. For us it was pure fun. For my mom it meant not having to trekk through the muddy mess anymore.

The lesson here... find someone who enjoys doing what mires your life. I am.

One more, unrelated lesson, let go of the guilt.

I really hoped to get the photos from last weekends wedding posted tonight. But playing outside with my son this gorgeous afternoon was more important today.


Stationary love

We just got a invitation to my cousin's wedding... and it is flippin cool! I had to share asap. The two sides fold in together with this cool square smack dab in the center.

Love that shade of blue and the monogram "T". I might be a little biased... you know, since Tucker was my maiden name for 20 some years of my life. I almost miss it. Until I remember I moved up in the world. From a "Tu" to an "Sc". And then I get over it. Oh, and there happens to be a pretty amazing guy attached to "Sc" as well. ;-)

Anyway, back to the invitation... all of their information was so well displayed without any extra cards or inserts. The accommodations and gift registry on one side...

With the main invitation and reception information on the middle panel. And an adorable engagement picture on the right side. (Note, photo NOT taken by me. Bugs me that I can't give credit to the photographer. I'll find out and update: Photo taken by Milestone Portraits)

Super cute invitation! Might just be my favorite one to date. And I'm super excited to attend their wedding in a little over a month!



I haven't blogged in awhile. But it's not due to a lack of content. Quite the opposite actually. I've been so busy DOING things worth blogging about, I haven't had time to blog about them. How's THAT, internet?!

1. Jubilee Wine Tasting event
The Jubilee Committee is a group of volunteers in our community that plan the various celebrations in our little town. I was on the committee for 2 or 3 years, and let me tell you this group is small but mighty! After our son was born I stepped off the committee, and since then I try to do what I can to support them. So when it was time for the second annual wine tasting and silent auction, Tracy Anne Photography donated a portrait session. And I stopped by to support the fundraiser by drinking my share of wine samples. Anything for a good cause. :-)

2. Meeting other photographers
Last week I met with two amazing Des Moines area photographers. I caught up with Caryoln Vaughn over lunch. Lovely lady. Much of her time during wedding season is spent in Okoboji, a place very near and dear to my heart after having lived there for almost 3 years. And I met Amy Allen at her (amazing) studio in the East Village. She's full of fire and fun. We talked for an hour - but I could have sat on her couch all day. (That was not a therapist reference by the way, although maybe it should have been becauses she gave me some pretty terrific advice!)

3. Easter and ear infections
After a sleepless Friday night, we took O to the doctor Saturday morning to find out he has his first ear infection. After a nap in the recliner, both of us were feeling a little better. O is a little fussier than normal, but considering his laid back personality he's tolerating it better than most. We struck out for Grandma's house on Sunday for Easter. O was such a trooper for not feeling well. Grandma saved the day and had an Easter basket for O since I didn't a chance to put ours together after an all-nighter and trip to the doctor.

Photo courtesy of Aunt Michele. I brought my camera, but with a sick little boy - it never made it out of the car.

4. Upcoming wedding
Jared and Ariell are getting married this Saturday! So there has been a flurry of emails, and my brain is starting to draft mental to-do lists. It's going to be such an amazing day. Can't wait.


Under a rock

I heard this song for the first time today.

Yes, I live under a rock.

Anyway, I'm completely obsessed with it. Even more so now that I've seen the video. The slow motion dancer in the sand... the water glasses... and her voice. Oh, her voice! Melts my butter.

In a completely platonic way of course.

So for those living under a rock like me:



Today is perfect. Warm. Sunny. A rare spring day in Iowa. Yesterday I noticed this...

Hello spring bud! Hang on. It's going to be a rough week for you. They're forecasting highs in the 40s and snow later this week. When that happens, I will remember today. And I will look forward to May.


My latest addiction

If you know me, you know I am addicted to chapstick and lip gloss. I'm willing to try just about any brand and flavor. But my go-to has always been Dr. Pepper Smackers. I keep it everywhere. One in my purse. One in my winter coat and my spring coat. One in my car. One in Ryan's truck. I cannot be without my Dr. Pepper lip gloss.

Oh, but recently I may have found a new love. . .

This is eos.

This is pure natural (90% organic, 100% natural) bliss for your lips.

My co-worker came to work one day with this tall tale about a guy throwing her favorite chapstick in a container of Ranch sauce at a restaurant. He pulled out one of these crazy egg shaped things and told her it would be her new favorite. Apparently he was the creator. She got his business card. One email later he sent her a few samples.

And she gave me one.

I bought another one.

And since then I've seen them at Walgreens, Target, and Walmart. I went back to my hometown over the weekend, and even my small town pharmacy carries them!

It hasn't replaced my Dr. Pepper addiction quite yet. . . but it's been the closest thing so far!



This photo has nothing to do with this post. It's just pretty. And makes me think of spring.

Anywho. . .

My sister and I were married less than a year apart. She got married in October, and Ryan and I got married in September the following year. If there's any chance you can arrange something like this, I highly recommend it. Just make sure you're the one that gets married second. Why? Because I learned so much from her experience.

One of the biggest things we learned from my sister's wedding. . . no RSVP cards. Whhhat? No RSVP cards? But how did we know how many people were coming? Without a head count how did the caterer know how much food to make? How did the baker know how many servings to make the cake?

After my sister's wedding we learned RSVPs just aren't accurate. Typically RSVP cards are to be returned 3-4 weeks prior to the wedding date. That gives vendors enough time to work with the final head count. But in the world of life, 3-4 weeks is a long time. People who RSVP'd and said they were coming to my sister's wedding didn't. And people who said they weren't actually showed up. You can't fault people for it. Things come up. Life happens. Not much they - or you - can do about it.

Matter of fact, the last wedding I RSVP'd for was wrong. At the time I RSVP'd for 2.5 (although adorable, Owen doesn't exactly count). And the week before the wedding the weather changed Ryan's plans, and he wasn't able to attend.

My recommendation - trust your vendors. They know what to expect. If you give them the total number of people you invited, they'll be able to estimate the number of attendees based on a percentage.

And it might just save you some stress in the process. Especially if your guest list is approaching the maximum capacity for any of your venues. If most people RSVP saying they're coming you may panic thinking you won't have enough room, when in all actuality some of those people won't be able to make it last minute. In some aspects of wedding planning, ignorance is bliss.

Not to mention, it saves you money on printing, paper, and postage!


Rural Route 1

I grew up in the middle of no-where. Okay, not really. My playground was 11 acres in northeastern Iowa. We were about 10 minutes from our small town and 20 minutes from a fast food place or a retail store. It took an hour to get to a mall.

And get this. . . the gravel road that ran in front of my house didn't have a name. I didn't have a cool street name like Adams or Maple. . . or even the somewhat less impressive numerical streets.

Nope. My address was:

RR1 Box 65

Rural Route 1.

I rode bikes and horses along that road. I dug tunnels in the drifted snow along that rural route. I considered the ditches my Terabithia and built bridges over the water in the spring.

When I was in middle school our street was named. A requirement of the 911 system. And then I lived on Crystal Road. Looking back. . . RR1 was way cooler.

*Note: this barn is not at my parents place, but rather my aunt and uncle's who lived just down yet another name-less road.


Wedding invite

Two. The number of weddings I will attend this year and not photograph. I'm kind of excited. As much as I *love* photographing weddings, it will be a nice change of pace. Just for a couple though. And it's not like they can make me leave my camera at home.

We got an invitation in the mail for the first one, and my obsession with stationary means I have to share! This invite is very traditional. There's a second envelope with metallic purple lining. The invitations themselves were on a beautiful silver card stock. The semi-abstract hearts and design looks like it might be hand drawn.

Additional information included a reception card with details for the party and an RSVP card. The font matched the flowing artwork, and the purple matched the envelope lining.

Doesn't it look very elegant together? Really looking forward to J & A's big day!


. . . of my son's eye lashes.


Amber and Dan: Part II

And now Part II of Amber and Dan's fabulous wedding. . .

The handsome fellas. . .

I'm so fortunate in that ALL of my couples opt for a 'first look.' It's really common here in Iowa. Makes for really great photos.

The gorgeous ladies. . .

Anti-photo ring bearers make for some pretty cute pictures. . . whether they want to or not! Kyler walked out on us. ;-)