Reading For Kicks

While I’m capable of being a thought-out planner, I find that some of the best things happen spontaneously – when you try something in a general direction and just see what happens. I took my boys to the Lunar fest last year and we stumbled upon a Karate dojo offering free training in exchange for reading. What?!? I was sure there was some sort of catch. I had looked into martial arts lessons of all types and in despair surrendered to the belief that they were out of my budget, especially for three kids. But there they were – insisting that I wouldn’t pay a cent. So -we had to check it out. And – let me tell you – it’s REAL! My boys and I are one year in and we love our dojo! Sensei Will has been teaching Shotokan Karate for years and founded this visionary program to encourage people to become disciplined athletes as well as habitual readers. He was quickly joined by Sensei Kenny and Sensei Phil and together they have trained dozens of people in Shotokan. The quality of the training does not suffer due to it’s non-existent cost. Instead, those who have stuck with it the longest have truly earned their belts— no paying to test here. I have had the great privilege of looking up to these advanced belts over the past year and recently had the opportunity to convince them to come “play” photoshoot with me. You can tell from the photos that these guys know their stuff. If you want to join us, look up more info:


The Taynton 5

It’s a good thing you can’t see me because there’s no way I’ll get through this post without getting a bit teary. For whatever reason – I know some of the coolest people in the universe. I have several close friends who have expanded their families through adoption in the last couple years – all for different reasons, but with the common desire to father the fatherless, to make a permanent home and family for a child who has none. After much waiting, the Tayntons recently became the official forever home of Marc! There’s much I could say about the huge need for healthy families to foster and adopt kids with a range of abilities, past hurts, and potential… but I think I’ll just let these photos do the talking. Thanks Pete & Mary for candidly sharing the good, bad and ugly of this process and for being the best parents for all three of your kids! (Also – on a less mushy note…. how fun is it to take pics when one of your kids is a legit acrobat? :))


Blake + Laura {Backyard Bliss}

In October I had the extreme privilege of witnessing Blake & Laura’s simple, yet beautiful backyard wedding. Turns out all you need is a handful of flowers, a few dear friends and family members, some thriving greenery, and warm golden sunshine to make a gorgeous wedding ceremony. The low key, intimate setting was just what this bride and groom needed to seal their long awaited vows with sincerity and joy. Before their luncheon reception at the bride’s favorite spot, we wandered the streets of Downtown Riverside, highlighting the Metropolitan Museum where Laura interned in college. Blake is the sweetest husband, smitten with his little darling Laura. The two of you are beyond precious. Thank you for allowing me to document this amazing day.


The Cornelius Crew

Oh my sweet sweet friend Anissa, Benjamin & Co. I could fill this blog with a billion mushy sentiments and still not quite aptly express all my “feels”. So – just the one thing. Thanks for loving each other and loving your kids. The world is lighter and lovelier wherever you go. Keep it so.


Oh What Fun…

‘Tis the season to wear cute, coordinated outfits and hang out with ME! This fall shoot season has been so great. My job is really, really fun. I love working with kids (even when they don’t like me :)) and seeing them grow and change over the seasons is an absolute privilege. It was so great to note the difference in little Murray #3 this year as he has had over a year to get settled into his forever family. Oh my heart could burst with all this cuteness. <3




I have the absolute privilege of working with all sorts of people in my awesome job but I have to admit that the whimsical, carefree, and good-humored people have a special place in my heart. Sydney and Robert – your day was full of joy, whimsy, fun, COLOR, unique details, Jesus, love, and just enough silliness. I’m not sure the world has ever seen a more infectious laugh than yours Mrs. Baum. And your faces… lol. So much greatness. Thank you so much for giving me the honor of being with you. I hope you enjoy reliving your big day as much as I did.

Thanks again to my best girl Lori-lynn for shooting this with me and keeping my head screwed on straight.






Hello Madeline

Sometimes I get to be one of the first to meet new people…. new tiny people. People who are new to the world. I absolutely love this honor. Congrats to the B fam on their second gorgeous girl.