Cuzzin' Time

My Aunt Wanda and I have the same type of furniture, the same decorating styles, the same singing voice, the same goofy expressions...the point is, we have a lot in common. And I love her so.  I still remember when she taught me to braid hair...and when she played guitar...and when she and my mom rented a house together...and...and...she's just fun:)

She and Uncle Jim have 3 boys...and somehow they have grown up and I blinked and missed it.  I hardly recognized them with all their facial hair and having them tower over me.

It's not a secret that I sorta like being her "adopted" daughter.  So, when she was inquiring about family pictures, I was happy to oblige! 

Well...except that it's below freezing outside and "OH MY GOODNESS" I don't think I could feel my fingers...but, hey...we all have dreams of being Kate Winslet looking wistful through chattering teeth and frozen hair...we just traded the Titanic for a large red caboose:)  Enjoy a sampling of our cold afternoon:)

Once we were frozen to the bone:)  We headed over to the church I was married in and got a few inside shots.  And though I joke about the weather, this really was a first Winter Photo Session that I've had and I was so over the top happy with the result!!! Thanks again Uncle Jim, Aunt Wanda and the guys for letting me spend the afternoon with you!  Please jump over to my facebook page to see even more images in an album:) 



It was a year last September that CTPhotoMemories has been in exsistence.  It was born out of a love of capturing memories and personalities and a love of people.  I had NO IDEA what it would entail with regards to the business side of things and I had no direction in what to actually hope for...

Although, deep down, being the people pleasing person that I am...I secretly hoped that people would like what I captured...that they'd be giddy over pictures of their children and happy that they had chosen to use CTPhotoMems...

And it seemed like God just started blessing it...I had an abundance of family photo sessions (sometimes to the point that I was overwhelmed, but not quite)...then came a couple of weddings...then senior photo sessions and now the opportunity to photograph's been an amazing journey. 

In this, I've been able to purchase my camera, a Nikon a new lense that affords me the opportunity to photograph batteries that seem to die fast when my finger starts clickin' the button:)

Outside of these purchases, my family is not in great need...God has allowed my husband to remain in a job that is able to support our family and even extras:)

Because of this, I told God and my daughters that profit that was made from Mommy's christmas card designs/sales this year would be going for those that didn't have all that we have...

And can I tell you, that once you start down this road of giving...your heart runs the risk of being burdened and blessed all at the same time?  Burdened, because you realize that you can't even make a dent in the needs that are out there and Blessed, because even just one person's life can be changed...

Because so many of you entrusted me to take your family photos and turn them into christmas card gifts to all of your extended family and friends...we were able to give to some needy children and families in different parts of the world. 

I wanted to share with you what your moneys have done...

First off, the girls and I went a little crazy on putting together shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child  If you aren't familiar with this organization, please feel free to peruse the link.  We crammed dolls and toothbrushes and headbands and gum and strawberry shortcake toys and just all sorts of things that we thought some little children might enjoy into a few shoeboxes.  We sent them off with a prayer and a hope that it will make someone who doesn't have all the things my girls have, feel special and loved.

And then we went scrolling through World Vision dot com and after a longggggg discussion about what we might like to give...(let me tell you, it was a long eldest was set on getting  a bike for an exploited girl in India, my middle child wanted to support a child going to school for a year in Africa, and my youngest thought a cow was just cool!) 

I'm happy to announce that your moneys provided for a goat, 2 chickens, 3 ducks and 2 rabbits.  You can go to the link to read how these animals help to provide not only food, but a way of income for those that have next to nothing. 

THANK YOU a million times over for using CTPhotoMemories...I am praying and looking for other ways for your moneys to be used for 2011.  It has been a privilege and blessing to be able to do this this year.  I will be expecting great things in the new year...anticipating what God will do and how He directs me! 

Merry Christmas...hope to see you again in 2011!!!


Best Friends

We've known Graig and Sara since college...back in the "good ole days"...back when we had "rio" good times, when the guys were "wooing" us without us really knowing it, and Sara & I scribbled in blue books and ran across campus to turn them in... if you don't know us, NONE of that stuff is really funny to you or really makes any sense...but, if you're ME or're totally cracking up and getting all the inside jokes:) 

However, since I hope hope hope that people other than myself and Sara actually read this blog, I will cease with my trip down memory lane and continue on with the present day story...

Remember this little girl?

My youngest was (and still is, quite frankly) completely obsessed with little Macie...
We took care of Macie for a, I don't capitalize YEAR because it was some long, arduous task for us to care for Macie...however, a YEAR is a longgggggggggg time for Graig & Sara and their little girls to live in Kenya, Africa! 

They went there to adopt THIS little sweetness!
And YES...her cheeks ARE that kissable...
She now has 2 big sisters...although one only has her by about 10 months...Let's just put it this way... Sara has her hands full!

And now their family of 4 has grown to a family of FIVE!  We love them sooo much!!!
Come back to see us soon!!!


Baby Z

There is something so very special about newborns...their sweet smell, their tiny cries that are quickly soothed by Momma's voice, tiny toes, big eyes...the whole package really...

Beau & Amy received the most incredible gift this holiday season with the birth of their daughter. 

I had the utmost pleasure and privilege to come to their home and photograph their tiny bundle....and I must admit that I had such a wonderful time. 

As any new princess, she had lots of "wardrobe" changes...which basically included a plethera of hats and bows and blankets and the ones that loved her most vying over who would be in the picture with her next:)

Her Daddy had a special wagon that was handcrafted for him as a youngster...and she fit right inside.

Since she had just been born a little over a week prior to my arrival, Grandma was still staying on to get to know her sweet new granddaughter (and to help out her Momma just a bit:) 
Amy's Dad passed away very recently and it meant a lot to her to somehow allow her dad to have a part in his granddaughter's beginning...we took a few pictures with Grandpa close by...

I just remember hearing Amy telling Beau that Baby Z was the BEST Christmas present ever! 
I couldn't agree more...

Merry Christmas!

Please enjoy a few more pictures in the slideshow below by clicking PLAY. I thought it only fitting to share some Christmas music as well. 


It was a dark and stormy...afternoon?'s November...and weather in the midwest, especially in the autumn time...well, it can go from 60s down to the 30s in about...ohhh, 3 hours!

Michele so desperately wanted her parents to be apart of this photo session and they were only flying in over the Thanksgiving weekend...and so I was willing to do everything I could to accomodate...

Unfortunately, the weather was not so cooperative...We arrived at the Barn at 4pm to dark clouds and freezing rain...this does not bode well for outdoor photo sessions! 

Fortunately, there is an overhang with beautiful white washed walls...and so we got creative and bounced some light and were able to capture some fun memories...These are just a few that I thought were living room wall-hanging worthy:) 

 I had to add these in b/c "Mom" wanted her eldest to "show some teeth"...
 This is what I got:
Not sure that's what she had in mind...but it sure made me laugh!

Thanks again Michele, for trusting me to take your family photos again this year!  Even through the cold and rain, I enjoyed being with your family!  Hope you enjoy!


My Boys

Okay...they're not REALLY MY boys...but they're the closest thing that I'll have to boys...considering we have a household of estrogen, princess-crazed girlies!

At the risk of sounding all sappy and emotional...I just want to say that I love my brother.  He and I have not only grown up together, but we experienced life in a similar fashion...As children, we were each other's playmates and friends...I remember bike rides, make believe and campouts in the backyard...I remember fighting and arguing and pulling his hair until he let me have my way (Mom if you are reading this, I'm very sorry...not really, cuz I ultimately got my way and obviously didn't get in trouble for it...but still...)

As we got older, although he was my younger brother:) , I depended upon his advice and input...I remember late night talks ...into the wee hours of the morning.  We are a lot alike...even today, to be in the same room with us as we "debate" something...bring earplugs...our voices tend to escalate when we get excited about a topic...and man, when we get going...

Well...let's just say that our spouses..our dear, wonderful spouses, have great patience with us...

Speaking of spouses...Don, although I love him dearly, certainly married "UP"!  Laurie is incredible.  I loved her from the moment I knew my brother loved her...but, now I just love her cuz she's Laurie.  She is a wonderful wife to my brother, an phenomenal mommy to their FOUR..yes I said FOUR...BOYS! And, she's just an awesome friend.  I appreciate her personality and her friendship.

And then we come to the BOYS!!! These sweet little things definitely keep their parents on their toes...they are well-behaved and obedient...but, they are also all boy!  (as evidenced by some of the pictures as you'll see)

I have a GREAT family!  Thank you all for letting Aunt Colleen stick a camera in your face for awhile!! 

 I love how my brother & sister in law have taught them to "never leave your wingman!"

Oh Laurie...I don't know HOW you do it!


The Little Gym and Soccer

I've known Lori since my eldest was about 2 years old.  Lori opened a Little Gym in our area and we were one of the first classes to try it out! From then on, we've been friends. She's such a sweet person and loves her husband and kids with all that she has in her!

Once our girls were old enough, they started playing soccer...this is where Eric comes in...He has been coaching with my husband for nearly 3 years now.  The two of them are opposites in personality, which makes for some fun conversation and entertainment on the sidelines of the soccer games. 

We have so enjoyed getting to know their family over the years and it's always my pleasure to take some photos for them to capture some memories!

Here are a few!

Be sure to stop over to my facebook page to see these photos processed slightly differently...such fun what cropping and photo editing can to do enhance images...


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"Teach us to number our days, (savor the moments) so that we may gain a heart of wisdom" ~Psalm 90:12

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