Sunday Feb 6, 2011

A few of my favorite images | Des Moines Photographer

By | 2017-02-09T16:33:52+00:00 February 6th, 2011|Babies, Bellies, Families, Kids, Newborns, Portraits|0 Comments

One of my photographer friends posed a challenge to me and some other photographer friends to put some of our photos into a slide show and post it on YouTube.   This is what I put together, and you can find it on YouTube, but I also wanted to share it here.

Enjoy!

Wednesday Dec 15, 2010

The Joy of Shooting My Own Family for Christmas Cards | Des Moines Family Photographer

By | 2017-02-09T16:33:53+00:00 December 15th, 2010|Personal Insights|0 Comments

There have been years when I have actually made the time to have family photos taken by another photographer.  Then there are years when I didn’t make the time, so I ended up doing what everyone else does – using the camera remote and trying to get a photo with everyone looking at the camera and keeping their pose.  This year, I really had no choice because we are new to the area, and I have only met one other photographer, and didn’t really feel like I knew him, or his style, well enough to ask.  I also was hoping to wait until there was some snow on the ground to get some cool photos of us outside, in the snow, in front of our new house.  Well, it snowed pretty late in the season here, and then the temperatures dropped, and my family was unwilling to brave the sub-10 degrees for a photo.  So inside we were.  Here are some of the outtakes of us attempting to get just one good photo.  We started to shoot without the dog, but she insisted on being in the photo.  The challenges I encountered were  getting everyone to: sit up straight; tilt their head toward the family, not away from it; look at the camera; stop talking to the dog; to smile without looking goofy.  Those were in addition to the challenge of lighting since it was dark outside and the ceiling is so high in the living room.

And finally the one we’ll be using.   Considering there was no one behind the camera to get the dog’s attention, I think we lucked out.

Sunday Dec 12, 2010

Our First Snow in Iowa | Des Moines Photographer

By | 2017-02-09T16:33:53+00:00 December 12th, 2010|News|0 Comments

Our First Snow

Our First Snow

Last night, we had our first truly measurable snow fall since we moved to Iowa.  The Des Moines Register reported that Des Moines received a little over 4″ of snow, but the wind was blowing pretty hard and the drifts are much deeper.  The kids all spent some time sledding down the small slope we have in our backyard, until they either became too cold or decided it just wasn’t a fast enough “hill.”   I went out this morning to capture this memory of our home with our first snow on it.

Tuesday Nov 9, 2010

New location, new life

By | 2017-02-09T16:33:53+00:00 November 9th, 2010|News|0 Comments

It has been several months since I last updated my blog. A few days after I had posted, my husband received a job offer outside of California. He had been out of work for almost eight months at that point, and despite my part time work, we were in desperate need for him to be employed. We didn’t have to think about it too hard, he needed to take the job.  It was also a job he could do, and do well, and enjoy.  This new job is located in West Des Moines, Iowa. He started June 1, 2010.

There were some obvious downsides to picking up and moving. My family is in California. While I have lived away from my family before, this time it is different.

Last June, just 3 months before my husband lost his job, my mother suffered a debilitating stroke. I can’t even begin to go into how horrifying the experience was, mostly because of the doctors we dealt with in the hospital. The nursing staff was wonderful, as was the therapy staff, but the doctors did not give her any hope at all. After a month in the hospital, and a couple more in a rehabilitation hospital, she was able to first live with me, and eventually return to her own home. Here it was, almost a year later, and she has made an incredible recovery. She is able to walk with a cane, feed and care for herself. She can make her own food and do her own laundry, although it takes a lot out of her. She is living in her home with my father who tries to help her when she’ll let him. She still has much difficulty talking. She has severe aphasia, and while many words do come out properly and make sense, most of what she says is gibberish. This makes it very difficult to communicate with her.

I am very thankful for my family that is still helping to care for my mother – my father, my brother and his wife, are the only reason I was able to take this step in faith and know that God will provide for her as he will also provide for us. We use Skype to keep in touch with my family, and that has been a huge blessing. It’s much easier to communicate with my mom when I can see her.

The other downsides include leaving our friends, our church, and the wonderful school my kids have been attending. We had built a life in California, and we were in for a change.

One of the biggest upsides to this move is that my husband is from Minnesota, and his family is still there. West Des Moines is only a four hour drive to the Twin Cities area where his family is.  This was another consideration in his acceptance of the position in Iowa.

Also, the public schools have a higher rating than California schools.

So many people have commented how the cost of living is so much less in Iowa, but really, it’s not. Yes, the cost of a house is less, but the upkeep and utilities are higher because of the differences in the climate. Gas is less, as is sales tax, but everything else is pretty much priced the same.

The kids and I stayed in California until school was out.  I frantically tried to prepare our home and our family for this move, and I had to completely stop work, both at Disney and my photography.  My husband flew back for the 4th of July, and we left California with him after the holiday.

We’ve been here since July, getting to know the area, getting involved in a church, existing in a temporary, 2-bedroom condo, and finding a new home.

Home

Our Iowa Home

In September, we moved into our new home in Clive, IA.  We are still working on getting settled, but have really enjoyed living here so far.  We back to a wooded greenbelt, and have seen more wildlife than we’ve ever seen in our area of California.  The dog is especially excited about the squirrels.  We love the deer that walk through our backyard,  and the variety of birds who visit our feeders.

The kids are loving their new school.  They are in school an hour longer a day, and have virtually no homework.  Quite the change from the daily homework packets we had in California.  Mom is liking this part of school too.  They’re making new friends, and getting involved.

I am working on building up my photography business here in Clive, and my husband is enjoying his work.  We’re enjoying the fall.  And we are even looking forward to winter, and the first White Christmas for our kids.  Although they have been to Minnesota during the winter, and spent time playing in the snow in our local mountains, the kids have always spent Christmas in sunny Southern California.

We still miss all of our friends and family, more than we can possibly say.  But we are looking forward living our new life here in Iowa.

Friday May 14, 2010

The “A” family

By | 2011-12-08T09:10:10+00:00 May 14th, 2010|Families, Kids, Portraits|0 Comments

Today I had so much fun with an absolutely gorgeous family. The kids were so sweet and so much fun! All three were under 6, and they have another little girl on the way! She will be truly welcomed into a family of joy and love. Mom and Dad were so warm and nice, and full of love for their family. Thank you for letting me share in those moments!

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