This is my $1,200 lens after a no good very bad accident on Sunday.

tragedy. kind of.

The part that is broken? A $40 UV filter.

I have one on every lens I own.

You should too.

Because $40 is far less money than $1,200.

I also learned that when it comes to getting a broken lens filter off entrust it to someone who is either A) a professional or B) not emotionally attached to the lens but still values its importance.

The sounds that led to this were horrifying.

I sat across the table from Cody as the most horrible noises known to my ears came from him breaking and prying off the filter. It’s a barbaric process no camera owner should have to witness but take heart that when it is all over your actual lens is still in one piece, unscratched and unscathed.

It took at least an hour for my pulse to slow down.

The guy at the camera store is not trying to steal your money when he suggests a lens filter (UV or skylight is all you need…nothing fancy.) Don’t make me send my mom after you, she’s the one who scolded told me about them in the first place. You can find some for $10 and some for $100. The size you need will be printed on the inside of your lens cap. The one above is a 77 mm.

Lens filters.

Don’t leave home without them.

the one where I sing for my city.

I don’t sing unless it’s in front of a room full of very drunk people at a karaoke bar, a room full of children that I’ve birthed, or for my city and no one else is around to sing for me.

I love it here.

Here’s to hoping this is the best Super Bowl ever. (Aside from the fact that Tebow isn’t in it.)

the fourth seven days.


baby paul

baby paul.


immunizations. wah.


my giant seven year old.




addie doing gymnastics


playing piano.

playing piano.


toe sucker vivi

my baby and me.


The weather wasn’t as cooperative this week.

The baby didn’t feel well for most of it.

But it was still a week full of an awful lot of lovely.

the third seven days.

the second seven days.

the first seven days.

(big babble) dining, lice-ing, losing and photographing

addie doing gymnastics

(baby babble) reset, redo and regurgitate

immunizations. wah.

I got a 32 on my ACT but that’s not the point.

(For those of you who are not from Indy, could care less about social media and/or the Super Bowl, please bear with me, I plan to get very philosophical towards the end.)

Through a very convoluted process, 46 people in Indiana were invited to be a part of a group to help promote the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.

I didn’t think much of it, I saw one passive aggressive tweet here, one snarky response there…then I started to look into it. I’ll admit, when I found out the group was selected using Klout, I was a little confused. While Klout may be considered a bit of a joke in the social media community, my Klout is pretty darn high (70/100) so that I didn’t make it into a “Klout thing” with such a high Klout score? It felt like getting a 34 on my ACT and not making it into the college of my choice.

There was a lot more involved in selecting the 46, however the explanation of the entire process left many social media people in Indy reeling. One of my most favorite things about Indianapolis is how tight our social media community is. Everyone watches out for everyone else and very rarely is there contention.  The Indianapolis Social Media community helped me win $5K from Quaker for Gleaner’s Food Bank. We have an entire group of girls that gets together on occasion to do various dorky and amazing things. No one is excluded, if you can make it? Great! If you can’t? Maybe next time! Didn’t know about it? We want you to join us!

Back to this 46 thing.

I infiltrated.

Dear Ex-Boyfriends, NEENER.

Instead of stewing, I found out who it was that I needed to talk to. I composed an email with links to posts on my blog about events I’ve photographed and attended in Indianapolis.

I know what I’m good at.

I’m good at taking pictures of things and I’m good at telling a story with them.


Apparently it worked. (Or as one of my friends commented “I guess all that stuff you speak about at conferences about selling yourself actually works.“)

If you think you’re perfect for something but were overlooked? Don’t get mad, get active. Find out who’s in charge…tell them about your interest. You may not be included right away, but you’ll be on their radar.

In 1989 my dad said I should work for Hallmark and I truly believed him.

In 2007 I wrote a post about how fantastic Hallmark is, at the end I suggested that one day they should hire me and that they wouldn’t regret it. I emailed a link to my post to Hallmark Customer Service.

In 2009 I got an email inviting me to Hallmark world headquarters.

In 2011 I worked with them on six month campaign.

In 2012 I signed a contract to work with them for another year.

If there’s something you really want? Grab it by the (proverbial) balls and (nicely) tell it why you’re the best choice for the job.

Believe in yourself.

Because I believe in you.

The Super Bowl in Indy is going to be amazing because the people here are amazing. All 781,870 of them.

I hope you can make it here one day, because this city is amazing.

(Now if someone knows someone who could get me a real! live! media! pass! to the Super Bowl? THAT would be my ultimate success next to tricking Cody into marrying me.)

((One more request, there’s a local all girl rock band I really dig called Neon Love Life that has a chance to get into the Super Bowl/Rolling Stone concert line up but they need our help with votes. Even if you’re not local...could you spare a vote for them? They help with a girls rock summer camp in Indy that Addie will hopefully attend next year.))


story pictures. story words.

Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. ~ Barbara Kingsolver

I looked out at the class I taught in church today, a room filled with about 20 women of different ages and backgrounds. I doubt many of them are familiar with what I do, let alone do it themselves. I told them there is validity in all of their stories and that they need to tell them. To each other, to themselves, to their children, to strangers…they never know when their story will touch someone or bring someone back from the edge. You may think you have nothing to add, nothing to say, but you do…you have you to add.

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. ~ Anaïs Nin

I have dark hairs that grow from strange places. Unmentionable things happen to me on treadmills. I sweat far more than should be considered ladylike. I think Tom Selleck is outrageously handsome and yet I would want him to be my dad all at the same time. Up until yesterday I hadn’t cleaned my shower for months. I hate tampons. I spell things wrong on purpose to make sure spell check is actually working. Maybe that’s not what Anaïs had in mind when she wrote that, but C.S. knows what I’m talking about:

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one” ~ C.S. Lewis

vivi and the mirror

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~ William Wordsworth

OH YOU GUYS. The breathings of your heart? That is just lovely and wonderful and I hope one day to do just such a thing, it sounds wonderful.

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs.  When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.  ~Ansel Adams

Photography has carried me few the past few weeks in a way it never has before. I don’t see it as a chore, I see it as a privilege. I was given a gift to be able to see things differently than the other people around me, but I know there are moments that cannot be captured by a camera, or moments I cannot do justice to, so I just enjoy them. If I have to interrupt a moment to get a photo? I’m not doing my job right.

If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.  ~Lewis Hine

There was one particularly intense moment of Emily’s labor last week where I’m not sure anyone knew what to do, especially me. It was moments before Paul was born and I didn’t know where I should be or what I should be doing, she was in so much pain. “Do I take a picture of this?” I wondered to myself. “It’s not like she invited you here to do her nails.” my brain replied.

So I took the photo.

I could tell you how hard Emily’s contractions were, or I could show you this photo.


Even *I* could feel that contraction.

Try different ways to tell your stories. More words, less words, more photos, no photos, all photos. Every story can be told in a hundred different ways but only your story can be told by you.

So do it.


I’m excited to be a part of Blissdom this year as a photography community leader, I’m also excited that Hallmark will be back at Blissdom for the third year in a row to help you tell your own story and focus on the little moments that make everyday life a special occasion. It’s a literal dream come true to partner with Hallmark in 2012 on their “Life is a Special Occasion” campaign again and I thank them tremendously for believing in me and for sponsoring this post.

the third seven days.


you know you live with a gymnast when...

a baby and her cat.

addie coloring.


addie and vivi look at our wedding album


Oh Ken, don't be bashful

sleepy vivi


Disney on Ice


darn cat.




percy's little teapot


vivi and the mirror

vivi and the mirror

(Ignore the lice and this week was tops.)

Vivi’s third week in 7 different photos on babble.

see the first seven days here.

second seven days here.