Filed under: just because,my town,newsworthy,project — admin at 11:46 am on Sunday, June 30, 2019

POST & BEAM!! Absolutely GORGEOUS!!


Did I mention that ALL the cabinets were hand-made – EXACTLY for this home!?

This is their FRIDGE!! Isn’t it AMAZING!?



Joyce & Ron – THANK YOU SO MUCH for asking me into your home!! It’s SO AMAZING!!


Filed under: just because,my town,portraits,project,promotional photography — admin at 11:17 am on Saturday, June 29, 2019

A friend of Jared’s asked me to take photos of her parent’s house – a labor of love and celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary!



The pantry!!

Those cabinets!!

Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL!?

Stay tuned for the rest of the house!!


Filed under: an hour in the life,family,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,portraits — admin at 12:36 pm on Friday, June 28, 2019

Kelly & Dane have two beautiful kiddos – and typically they are NOT excited for pictures!


And SO excited for pictures!!


Such sweet moments!

Kelly & Dane – thank you SO MUCH for asking me into your lives over and over again! I LOVE YOU BOTH!


Filed under: an hour in the life,family,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,portraits — admin at 11:36 am on Thursday, June 27, 2019

I met Kelly & Dane when I took their engagement photos TOO long ago!

I was scheduled to photograph their wedding but instead – I had a baby! Which means I’ve known them for more than 8 years!

I’ve met and photographed Kelly’s family but never Dane’s!

The WHOLE family!!





Stay tuned for more of Kelly & Dane!!



Filed under: bardenisms,just because,wedding — admin at 1:04 pm on Wednesday, June 26, 2019

15 years ago we said yes. i do. always.

he loves me so well and the depth of my love for him is so different than that moment.

our lives are so different yet the same in some ways.

we’ve changed and grown. together.

it’s been happy and sad. fun and scary. slow and fast.

i wouldn’t want anyone else by my side through everything life has thrown at us.

we’ve gone through 5 vehicles. we’ve been in times of want and times of plenty. unbearable physical pain. losing jobs. moving in with parents. self-employment. one puppy. 3 miscarriages. infertility. 2 miracle babies here on earth. depression and mania. my love languages aren’t his strong points. his love languages aren’t mine. getting too close to someone else. skunks. raccoons. sleepless nights. babies in our bed. addictions. doubts. moving into this house and all that comes with it. moments of heartache and moments of heartburst.

we were supposed to be sitting somewhere with our feet in the ocean and only each other. but. this house happened. so instead we sit on the deck with our children and the people who have stepped into our lives. the people who have been in our lives. the people who have listened as we cried and said STAY instead of LEAVE. choose love. choose grace.

15 years. we cannot be old enough to be married 15 years.

he loves me at my worst and holds me at my weakest.

i love him.


and now – a few things have changed!!

i miss those people in the pictures from 15 years ago so much!!

it’s amazing how life doesn’t look anything like i thought it would yet i wouldn’t change it because it’s made us who we are.

and i’m so thankful for the people in today’s pictures!


Filed under: bardenisms,farmlife,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,my family — admin at 11:50 am on Tuesday, June 25, 2019

We’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for babies!!

AND WE HAVE ONE!! Red had a baby!!

My dad wasn’t sure if Red would have a baby since she’s getting older!!

And these barn kittens!! HE LOVES THE ANIMALS!!

We LOVE having a farm to love all the animals!!


Filed under: baby barden,bardenisms,family,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,my family,my town,NCA — admin at 1:25 pm on Monday, June 24, 2019

Enoch went to preschool last year – for one day a week once March came around – so I could go back to work as a secretary for our contractor!

He went to school this year – three days a week – and he loved it SO VERY MUCH!

His 5 1/2 years have FLOWN by!! I can remember wondering what grade Fitzy would be in when Enoch went to Kindergarten – and it’s HERE NOW!


This year they came dressed up as what they want to be when they grow up!

Enoch wants to be a basketball player then retire and be a farmer!!

My sister surprised Enoch and brought Jack to graduation!!

Enoch received the PRAISE & WORSHIP award!! He LOVES to sing his little heart out for Jesus!


I’m sure you’ve read about the journey with this guy. Parenting is an amazing – beautiful – exhausting – frustrating thing!

And we’ve had our hard hard times with this guy. Partly because he’s a strong willed one. Enoch means dedicated and he certainly is. Determined. Stubborn.

School has been so good for him and for me. We can spend our days together actually enjoying each other instead of fighting.

In August – I wasn’t sure we would both make it out alive. He defied everything I said. His eyes burned with anger at me. He woke up telling me how much he didn’t like me.

He screamed and threw himself. He yelled and hit. He told me he hated me and cried. I cried. It was so very hard.

School started and we weren’t together 24/7. I wasn’t telling him no ALL THE TIME. It helped.

But what also helped was just old-fashioned determination and love.

I loved him. I cried as I held him while he kicked. I cried as I told him no over and over again. I cried as I followed through on the threats I made.

If I told him no video games – he had no video games. And when he begged for video games – I still said no. Lots of times – it’s so much easier to just say YES – have it already and stop asking me.

But that teaches kids NOTHING. Well – except that the more you ask – you’ll eventually get what you want – just wear people down. Mom’s word means NOTHING. THAT is what you are teaching them.

I told him I loved him when he told me he hated me. I hugged him when he kicked me. And did I mention I cried. A lot.

I’m fully convinced that he was growing in August – and his little body and especially his little brain didn’t know how to deal with SO MUCH growth in such a short period of time.

It hurt. He was hurting physically and emotionally AND he was hurting the person he loved the most. Because I am his safe place. And he knows that I will always love him – no matter how mean and ugly he is to me.

And my job is to love him and teach him. Not to tolerate the bad behaviors but to figure out WHY they are happening in the first place.

So we pushed through and cried and prayed and cried and endured. Because there’s nothing else I can tell you we did except endured. Fought the hard fight.

And in the end – we made it. And we aren’t just surviving anymore – we are thriving.

The other day I was helping him put his shoes on and he stopped me and said – MOM. I know you and I see you. And I just want to tell you that you’re the best mom I’ve never seen (he means ever but he says naybe instead of maybe and adds an n to the start of ever almost every time and I love it) and I love you. And you’re my best mom because you help me through my frustrations. Thank you mom.

I cried. And I hugged him and said – THANK YOU BUDDY. I thought that maybe God gave you the wrong mom because I couldn’t help you. And he said – oh no mom. You help me so much and God gave me the prefect mom for me. And we hugged on the kitchen floor and cried together. But not because I couldn’t do this anymore. Not because I didn’t understand this little boy in front of me. Not because the frustrations were spilling over. Because we made it to the other side of the ugly.

And I’m not naive. I’m not dancing because the hard things are DONE. OVER. CONQUERED. They’re not. They will still come. There will still be ugly times when he is growing and his brain is trying to figure this whole thing out. I’m praying for the teenage years – because that testosterone flowing through those veins – whew. Jesus help me. Help him.

But right now – we’re in a good place. A GREAT place. We had dinner with some friends the other night – and they haven’t seen Enoch lately – but had been in our lives on a consistent basis in August and they saw that Enoch. They saw the tears. They heard the cries for help – from him and me. They prayed with us and for us.

And she cried with me at dinner. She saw a little boy changed. She had brought basketball cards for them and she asked her son to put them behind his back in each hand. Then the boys had to pick – but which one would go first!? So I told him it was paper – rock – scissors. And Fitzy won and got to pick first. And Enoch last summer would have screamed and thrown himself and hit his brother. It would have been a half an hour to get him calmed down again. But he said – okay. And he patiently waited for his turn. No screaming. No tears. No hitting.

And I’m not saying that I am the perfect parent. I know exactly what to do EVERY time. I am the parenting model to follow. Nope – not saying that at all.

What I am saying is – I did it. I said what I meant and I meant what I said. I told him no and he didn’t get the marshmallow at the end of the night because he cried about it and asked over and over.

In fact – he got marshmallows taken away even longer. And when he asked that next time – he didn’t like the answer but he got it. No means no. And no amount of crying and begging will get you anything except more days without marshmallows.

We just had an amazing weekend. We hung out with our friends Friday playing in the creek for hours. Getting muddy and dirty and making rock paint. Going to a baseball game.

Creek exploring with dad and swimming with our friends Saturday afternoon. Family movie night and tossing the baseball around in the backyard.

Church and a birthday party and meeting the new baby cow. Creek exploring with Nan and hanging out with her while the night cooled off.

While we were creek exploring last night – Enoch told me he loved me about 2 million times. He told me how much he loved that I got excited because he learned how to swim. How much fun he had with his friends creek exploring and at the baseball game. How much he loved playing baseball with our family. And what are some things he can do to be nice to others.

He’s thanked me for helping him when he is hurting. When he is frustrated.

He still gets mad when he doesn’t get his way – but he hasn’t said he hates me in a VERY long time. And I still get mad when I don’t get my way – so …

MOMMAS – if you are going through the hard parenting things right now – KEEP ON. Keep setting and KEEPING boundaries.

And remember that God didn’t give you the wrong kid. He didn’t give your kid the wrong mom.

He’s shaping your child AND you – maybe you a little bit more even.

YOU CAN DO IT. YOU WILL MAKE IT. It’s not easy. You will cry. It will hurt. But the beauty from pain is more than worth it.



Filed under: family,friends,just because,lifestyle,newsworthy,seniors — admin at 11:21 am on Friday, June 21, 2019

We were waiting for Amy to come out with the crowd of people – but we had to go in and FIND her! And I am SO GLAD we did!!

It’s been an emotional year – to say the least – and the tears flowed!!

AMY!! Thank you SO MUCH for asking me along to capture these AMAZING moments in your life!!

And Allison – whatever you do – make sure you LOVE it!!


Filed under: an hour in the life,family,friends,just because,lifestyle,my town,seniors — admin at 11:10 am on Thursday, June 20, 2019

I met Amy last year when she asked me to take senior pictures for her daughter and her friends – do you remember the BREAKFAST CLUB session!?

Well – a year has passed already – and they’re graduating!

Amy asked me to come to graduation and photograph her daughter and their group of friends!

As I was sitting in the stands – looking at the program – I realized that I graduated high school 20 years ago that week.

And I had written a letter to my grandmother about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic (I had no interest in photographing people)!!

Not only was I sitting in a gymnasium full of kids exactly where I was 20 years ago – but I was also hired to take their photos! SURREAL!!

Stay tuned for the rest of graduation!!


Filed under: . babies . babies . babies .,an hour in the life,babes,family,just because,kiddos,lifestyle,portraits — admin at 11:34 am on Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Ericka and I have known each other for nearly TEN years!

I’ve never taken photos of her WHOLE family!




I MIGHT take too many pictures of her!!


ERICKA! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!! I hope you love your photos!!!

Next Page »