Another 5 months have gone by since I wrote – which would seem crazy – but it really doesn’t. I barely have enough free time to take a shower – let alone sit down and type!

Going from 1 to 2 children has still been crazy hard for me – like I said before. And sometimes I feel like I’m just a weirdo that can’t handle it. I can’t even tell you that it’s crazy hard sometimes – pretty much all the time. How do you attend to both? How do you meet the needs of a toddler and an infant – at the same time. How do you make time for your husband at the end of the day or the beginning of the day – or anytime of the day. Sacrifice is the only answer I’ve come across. You sacrifice the needs of one for the other. In every situation. I’m sacrificing spending time with Jared over sleep. I’m sacrificing sleep over taking care of a baby in the night. I’m sacrificing spending time with Fitzy over editing photographs while Enoch sleeps. I’m sacrificing a shower over dishes and a walk and picking up toys. Sacrificing spending time with God over wallowing about my situation. Sacrificing – balance – whatever – call it what you want – but it’s what I’ve discovered.

And I’d like to say that I suppose we are doing fine – but I’m not. I’m overwhelmed. Mostly with the lack of sleep. Fitzy has only started sleeping through the night since April – but he also gave up any naps then too. And by sleeping through the night I mean – he calls out anywhere from 11 to 5 and asks for daddy. Jared ends up in bed with him for the rest of the night. On a typical night – Enoch goes to sleep at 8 in his crib  and is up again at 11 – ready to be up – but I get him back to sleep – in our bed. Then he is up at 1 for about an hour most nights – rolling around and whining – if it’s really bad – I give him a bottle – but try not to. Then he’s up again by 4.30 and sleeps fitfully until about 5.30 when he’s up for the day. He takes two small naps a day. And I’m exhausted. I usually spend every morning sobbing – wondering how I’ll survive another day on this amount of sleep. And I do – but I’m quite sick of surviving and would like to start thriving. Because – believe me – it’s not fun for anyone. I realize that. We have two small bedrooms upstairs – so we share a bedroom with Enoch – because I can’t deal with two kids up all hours of the night. And so starts the cycle of waking up and being in a house all day that I don’t want to be in. I could list the reasons – but I’ll spare you. These two things are what keeps me from loving life. It might sound petty – it might sound trivial. I realize that LOTS of people have it MUCH harder. But that still doesn’t mean that what is happening for me is hard. I don’t think it’s right to say – well – just be grateful for what you have – it could be worse. I’ve been trying to push it down – trying to make it not matter – and it’s just taken a deeper root. I need to experience it – to somehow figure out how to get through this. Because it’s consuming me.

And as I look through my blog posts – I realize that it’s always a struggle about something. And then I think – I don’t remember reading many blog posts – from anyone that go on and on about their wonderful amazing beautiful lives and how they are just rocking everything that’s thrown their way. Struggle? What’s struggle? Isn’t it all about managing our way through the muck. Navigating through the ugly to discover the beautiful underneath? I say that to say this – if you think I’m complaining. I’m whining. I’m ungrateful. Please feel free to stop reading.

It’s hard for me to remember the days when all I wanted to be was a mother. The pain and the prayers – I seriously don’t remember. I mean – I know I felt that way. I know that it hurt – but it’s not there. I look at these two little boys and it’s hard to imagine a life – almost 30 years of a life without them in it. And for the past several years it seems I’ve always been wanting. Wanting pain to go away (it’s not – but much better). Wanting to be a photographer (and I am). Wanting to be a momma (and I am – twice). Wanting to be in a different house. Wanting babies to sleep better. Wanting a minute to write. Wanting whatever isn’t in front of me.

I want to embrace. Not want.

I want to embrace where I am – the pain – the trials – the joy – the beauty. These boys that I wanted SO badly. These babies that consumed my thoughts. To be a momma. A get on the floor and play with my kids momma. A look them in the eyes and LISTEN to what they are saying momma. I want to embrace it. This husband who is quite fantastic to me. Who deals with my dramatic personality. And loves me in spite of it. This guy that just loves me. I want to embrace it. All of it. But. It’s hard. Really really hard. A work in progress – which I will always be – but shoot – I want to be happier. I want to be happier because the truth is – Jesus is crazy awesome. Period. If nothing else. Jesus is awesome. And I need to see that. And hold onto that. Sometimes only that. I want to be happier because right now – it’s hard to live with me. And Jared is pretty awesome – because he is the heart that loves me at my worst and the arms that hold me my weakest. That’s how I can describe him. That’s what he is to me. I want to be happier because these babies are all I’ve ever wanted. And I’m missing out on happy times because I’m too sad to see them.

I want to be happier because I’m miserable. And I’m so tired of feeling this way. So tired of pulling into the driveway with wishes in my heart. Waking up in the morning in tears. And yes – I know. This too shall pass. But it really sucks while you are going through it. And I don’t know how to get over that.

I don’t do Pinterest. And the biggest reason is that it would suck WAY TOO MUCH of my time. The second reason is – I can’t stand seeing all these little improvements for your home all the time. Because it makes me even more frustrated with where I am. Everyone says – be content with what you have. Be thankful for what God has given you. But we all want more. Improved furniture. Better chairs. An updated kitchen. Fancier lights. It’s always something. Updating. Improving. Upgrading. Remodeling. And I get that – I really do. But – our treasures are in heaven. Not here. Yet we all want more. I want a different house – more than I can even express. And my goal – now – isn’t to stop wanting a different house – but to start realizing that it doesn’t matter what this house looks like – outside or inside. That it doesn’t matter that it’s nothing like I would like to have. But that I have it and I have to make do with what we have. I don’t like this. And I don’t think that I need to learn to like it. But I do need to stop allowing this to make my heart ugly – because it is. And it’s bad enough for me to deal with – let alone what Jared is dealing with. It’s hard to focus on building our treasures in heaven when we are so consumed with how our here on earth looks.

And sleep – well. Again – it is what it is. I’ve tried. And because we have tiny bedrooms and someone has to share a room – crying it out in the middle of the night means losing more sleep that what I am now. 5.30 mornings are getting old. Quick. And I know – someday I will say – remember when we didn’t sleep? Cus I don’t. I wish our biggest problem was sleeping at night – or the lack. Instead of mean kids at school. Instead of broken hearts. Instead of dating. Instead of driving. Instead of college. But – again – going through it is ROUGH. But it’s gonna be the way it is for a while – based on how Fitzy slept. And I’m doing it – so I’ll keep doing it. I just need to be happier.

And really – again – only Jesus can do that. Not a new house. Not sleep. Not Jared. Not my kiddos. So today – again. I’m making an effort. An effort to not be miserable. Because when you look around – life is pretty amazing. And be still – which I know is kinda impossible with a toddler and an infant on the move – all the time. But just not be in a rush ALL THE TIME. I feel like I’m always moving at high speed – which is normal for me. Slowing down is hard – because then I spend way too much time in my head. And it usually comes back to – if I slept more – if we lived in a different house. But sleep and a new house doesn’t fix an ugly heart. Jesus does.

And like I wrote last time – life as we know it – has changed. Again. And it will again tomorrow.


Filed under: babes,family,just because,kiddos,love,portraits — admin at 1:46 pm on Monday, September 15, 2014

I took Josh & Marcia’s pictures last November! I was SO excited to see them again this June!

BUT – the weather had a different idea! After rescheduling a few times and waiting for JUST THE RIGHT DAY – we got a BEAUTIFUL September evening!


I LOVE LOVE LOVE those shots!!!

There was a pink elephant in the cornfield!

Thank you SO much for having me over! I can’t wait to photograph you guys next year!



Filed under: . babies . babies . babies .,babes,baby barden,bardenisms,family,just because,kiddos,my family,portraits — admin at 11:30 am on Friday, September 12, 2014

I haven’t taken the time to photograph anything but clients and my kiddos – in a LONG long time!

These flowers were CRYING out to be photographed!

GORGEOUS! But still not as beautiful as these crazy boys of mine!

Fitzgerald – you are the sweetest and kindest boy I know. You almost always say please and thank you momma. You have your daddy’s sensitive heart and my dramatic flair. You smile and tilt your head and my heart melts. You love Star Wars and ask me questions all day. You love your little brother. Oh so very much. You teach him and help him. You are tall and strong. You have the brightest brown eyes. You made me a momma. I wish I could bottle up everything right now and save it for later. I cry at weddings – when the groom dances with his momma. Every time. Because I know that someday I will look up into those bright brown eyes and you’ll be holding my hand – instead of me holding yours. You’ll have grown into a wonderful man and I’ll still see that sweet baby smiling back at me. You are an answer to prayer. And you are loved. So very loved.

Enoch – you are the smiliest boy I know. You love your momma. And your pa trout and gramma barden. And your dadda and your brother. You love to eat. You love music and bop your little head to the beat. You would much rather giggle with your brother than drink a bottle. You babble and shriek. You say momma. dadda. baba. diddy (for Fitzy) – brudder (brother) – all done. i did it. thank you. You don’t sleep well or long. You smile at strangers but would much rather be attached to my hip than hug one. You are into everything and do NOT like to hear no. You have made my heart grow. You have deep olive brown eyes – ones that pierce right through you. You are dedicated. I cannot wait to watch you grow. You are an answer to prayer. And you are loved. So very loved.

I love watching these boys grow up together. Brothers. A bond like no other!

Enoch LOVES his Grandma!

Crazy babies!

What photo sessions REALLY look like!

Mine. I am blessed.

(thank you to my sister for taking the group photos)


Filed under: family,just because,kiddos,portraits — admin at 12:07 pm on Thursday, September 11, 2014

I had planned on holding mini sessions in August – but the rain had other plans!

Heather and I rescheduled – and BARELY – I mean barely missed the rain again!


Thanks so much for coming out!


Filed under: babes,family,just because,kiddos,love,portraits — admin at 11:20 am on Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I met Sarah at Katelyn’s wedding – and was SO excited to take photos of her little family!

We met at my parents house on a windy evening – but the sun was GORGEOUS and these pictures are some of my favorite shots – EVER!


PERFECT! I am so in love with this light and this field!

And photographing beautiful people!

Perfect end to a gorgeous night! Thank you again Sarah & Chris! It was great to capture your family! I hope to see you soon!


Filed under: . babies . babies . babies .,babes,birth,family,kiddos,portraits — admin at 11:19 am on Monday, September 8, 2014

I was SO excited when Amberleigh contacted me about newborn photos for her little boy!

I took their wedding photos almost 4 years ago!

Such a DARLING boy!

My sister found this cradle at the goodwill store – for $15 – and I HAD to borrow it! PERFECTION!

Amberleigh & Justin – he is absolutely adorable! I CANNOT wait to see you in six months!!



Filed under: babes,family,just because,kiddos,portraits — admin at 10:27 am on Thursday, September 4, 2014

I’ve known Courtney for quite some time now – but she grew up with Jared!

The last time I photographed their family – *A* was just a little guy – and now they have a new baby!

Courtney’s parents came along – so we took advantage!

Courtney – thanks again for bringing your sweet family up!


Filed under: love,marry me,portraits,wedding — admin at 10:06 am on Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Jill was at Stephanie’s wedding and called me about booking hers! I was SO excited!


We met on a rainy night – I had driven halfway to the location and then turned around and came home. About half an hour later – Jill called me again – and said – it’s SO beautiful out! Can we do this? Absolutely!

Absolute perfection!

Derrick’s nephews happened to be at our location – for a family dinner – so we had to grab a few shots with them! Such cuties!


OH MY HEART! He was so sweet!

Jill & Derrick – thank you SO much for asking me to capture your engagement & wedding! I cannot WAIT for April!