Merry Christmas!!

I hope everyone who celebrates had a fantastic Christmas and Santa was good to you all!

Our cards this year. :D

Damon's Christmas Present -- 10x20 Storyboard

My husband, Damon, never checks this site so I should be safe in showing off his present. I hope. This was a total last-minute decision, so I'm thrilled I was able to get it in time. I so love that ProDPI moved to Denver! This is a 10x20 storyboard mounted on styrene and printed on metallic paper. I matched the background colors to their shirts. It's too bad the metallicness in the paper doesn't photograph well because it is GORGEOUS!


Emma checking herself out (she's on the right). :)




My Favorite Holiday Cookies ---No Bake Something or Other

Now for something a little different! The Curvy Girls fun recipe exchange finally got me motivated to do some baking. With illnesses, photo shoots, Abby's birthday, and our anniversary, I've had zero energy to do anything more than the bare minimum around here. At least I got all my shopping done! :)

Now about the cookies. They're called No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, or something like that. If anyone knows a shorter name for them, I'd love to hear it! When I was a kid, I'd spend a week at my grandparents a couple times a year. My Gumma was addicted to recipes, cookbooks, and cooking shows. And this was before the internet, and even the Food Network! I'm so showing my age here, aren't I? Because of her recipe obsession, I have no idea where this recipe actually came from, but it's so good! To keep me busy while visiting, we always did some sort of baking--or no-baking, in this case--and these were my absolute favorite cookies. They're quick, they're easy enough for my childhood self to do most of the work, and they're fantastic. When I got older and moved out of my mom's house, I asked my Gumma for a bunch of my old favorite recipes, and this was the first one I asked for. Now, I'm so fortunate to share this recipe and make keep the tradition going with my own girls. Two of my helpers:

Christmas Cookies

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies
(seriously, anyone have a shorter name?)

1/3 C. Peanut Butter
3 C. Quick-Cooking Oats (NOT Old Fashioned)
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 stick butter (her recipe was so old it calls for Oleo!)
1/2 C. Milk
1/3 C. Cocoa
2 C. Sugar (plain old granulated sugar)

In a big bowl, mix the peanut butter, oats, and vanilla, and set aside. It doesn't have to be mixed together evenly, just throw everything in the bowl and call it good.

Christmas Cookies

Lay out a bunch of wax paper on your counter for spooning out the "dough" later. You'll want all this stuff done ahead of time because it sets really quickly as soon as it starts to cool.

In a saucepan, add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium-low heat.

Christmas Cookies

You want it to get to a hard boil and stay there for a good couple minutes.

Christmas Cookies

It helps if you have some cute child labor handy you can outsource the stirring to because it's pretty boring. Getting the mixture to a hard boil is probably the most time-consuming part of the whole recipe. This is when we learned that Abby, my oldest, is now too tall to stand on a chair to stir. Sniff! Time to get out the stepstool.

Christmas Cookies

Scolding her sisters who wanted on the chair with her. :)

Christmas Cookies

I've never owned a candy thermometer, so I always do the cold water, soft ball test. Pour a little in a cup of cold water and move it around. If you can grab it and form a soft ball, it's ready. I'm about 6,800ft above sea level, so I've learned the hard way to not quite go that cooked with it or they end up dry and crumbly. If you're not up high like me, you'll want a soft ball. I have no idea what temperature that would be with a candy thermometer, but I'd love to know if you do!

This is what it looks like when it's NOT ready. My help got bored and disappeared at this point, so I wasn't able to get a soft ball picture. And mine wasn't quite there yet anyway so it wasn't pretty.

Christmas Cookies

3. Once you're cooked stuff is ready, you'll need to move fast! Dump the hot stuff in the bowl with the oat mixture and stir it until it's all combined well. As soon as it's done, spoon it out onto your wax paper. Again, you need to work quickly because it sets as soon as it cools. And it cools fast! By the time you're done spooning it all out and get all your cookie-making dishes washed, they'll be set enough to eat. Yum!

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

Wall Display Ideas

Displaying portraits in your home can be very daunting. What size works best on which wall? Should you group a ton of smaller portraits together, or showcase a few larger ones? Consider your portraits art for your walls--the most personal type of artwork. Also, remember your walls are much larger than they appear, so while a single 8x10 print seems large, it will actually appear tiny on a wall by itself.

You do not have to start with a large grouping, but rather you can build on that year after year. Eventually, your walls will showcase a lifetime of memories for you to share with loved ones. These images will be cherised for generations!

I hope these sample wall displays will assist you in choosing portrait sizes that work best in your home. They will make it a little easier to visualize the different sizes and groupings on your walls.

Mama's Got a Brand New Bag!


My husband went way above and beyond for our 7th wedding anniversary! A Kelly Moore "b-hobo" was the only thing on my Christmas wishlist this year, so I'd been dropping subtle hints (read: emailing him the link constantly) for weeks. Looks like he got the hint and decided to surprise me with it for our anniversary instead! He probably wanted to shut me up that much earlier. ;)

I am so in love with this camera bag! This is the mustard color (and only one currently in stock), and it'll be the perfect splash of color against my mostly black (and jeans) wardrobe. The first thing I did was remove the purse strap and attached the longer cross-body strap. I'm planning on using it as my everyday purse, so I need to be hands-free with my two year-old twins in tow. The padding feels comfortable and the bag sits snugly against my body. That was probably the biggest reason I wanted the hobo over the gorgeous epiphanie bags. While I LOVE the colors and styles (especially Lola), I worried they would be too wide for daily use.

The hobo is the perfect size for me. It holds my xti with tamron 28-75 2.8 attached and I still have plenty of room for my purse/diaper bag stuff. My twins are old enough now that I no longer need a big diaper bag. As long as I can throw a couple diapers, a package of wipes, and a snack or two, I'm set. This bag holds all that and my wallet/keys/purse stuff with plenty of room to spare! I love the phone pockets on the sides too. I do wish it was just a wee bit longer because the very top of my iphone sticks out just a tad, but it does feel very secure in there. I'm talking maybe a millimeter here, so in the grand scheme, it's not that big a deal.


Front of the bag with the flap pulled back.


Inside. My camera goes in the empty spot on the right. :)

I LOVE the purple lining!



Happy anniversary, Damon! Thank you for the most amazing, life-changing 7 years! I can't wait to see what the future brings for us. I love you!

A Family -- Colorado Springs Family Photographer

A few years ago, I met Susan at a friend's house for Bunco, and knew right away she's a riot! Her laugh is infectious and you can't help but have a great time around her. We lost touch after that, but she recently contacted me after seeing Vanessa's pictures and we did the whole "don't I know you?" bit. I was thrilled when she asked me to shoot her family because this was going to be such a fun, laid-back session. I was so right! Her whole family is terrific and a hoot to be around. And look how gorgeous they all are!





They decided on Garden of the Gods for their photo shoot. You can't ask for a more stunning background! The big mountain is Pikes Peak, and those rock formations is Garden of the Gods.

Visitor Center

If You're related to Damon or Me, AVERT YOUR EYES!

I was going to wait until after the holidays to share what I made for some family members, but I can't wait! It's just too cute! Rita, Paula, and my mom LOOK AWAY! Please don't keep reading. If you're looking for the girls, you can see pretty pictures here. That should keep you busy. :)

Are they gone?

I hope so!

I'm so in love with this accordion book! It's 3x3 square, so it's perfect to carry around in a purse as a brag book. It turned out even cuter than I'd hoped. The grandmas and Damon's sister are going to love it! If any of my clients would like to order one, contact me for pricing and details.

To the right is the plastic cover to protect it while it bounces around in their purses.

Front Cover

Back Cover

It opens up like an accordion so it's all one piece. This is the front spread.

Back Spread

Isn't it adorable! I can't to get their reactions to it.

My Girls

A few weeks ago, ok more like almost two months ago, we headed to the park during one of those perfect fall days where the air is crisp but not cold and the trees still have most of their leaves (with plenty on the ground to play with). I was determined to get a perfect Christmas card picture with all three girls looking at the camera and smiling serenely. Uh huh. This is our Christmas card picture this year:


I also wanted some "sisterly" shots of Abby with each of the twins (and the twins together if I could get it, but that didn't happen). Cora adores her big sister, so those two together were pretty easy. According to Cora, the sun rises and sets because of Abby. If Abby has it, Cora wants it. NOW. She's Abby's shadow and president of her fanclub!


Cora calls this her "pretty face." :D

Emma, on the other hand, much prefers to do her own thing. She was fighting to get away here.

Don't want to blow raspberries on that belly? I know I do!


Nailing Cora down once she started playing around was tough!