Thursday, October 30, 2008

Jayla, a Bella Session

I have had the honor to know Jayla before she was born. Her mom, Stacy, and I have been friends for a very long time. Fate reconnected us at a job at a local Graphics company where we sat with our cubicles beside one another. I am thankful for that year-and-a-half that I got to really know Stacy. We bonded on so many levels, and her friendship is something I will never take for granted. Now we get to share the love we have for our girls, and everytime we see each other, we pick up right where we left off.
Jayla is such a smart and beautiful little girl. The morning I met them at her grandparents farm, I knew it would be a successful shoot when Jayla grabbed my hand to lead me out to see Gidget, her miniture horse. Babbling all the way out to the pasture, in what I'm sure was a grand converstaion on her part, I nodded in agreement and couldn't help the smile that creeped across my face. She's such a doll.


Jayla and her pal, Gidget.

Thank You Stacy and Jayla!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Hey! We teamed up with the Vampire Ball in Van Wert, OH on October 31st at 9:00 pm to take professional portraits of people in costume! It's going down at the Van Wert Co. Fairgrounds in the commercial building and they are featuring such bands as Section Ate and many more! Come out and visit us!

New baby Adam :)

I am proud to annouce that Adam is here... finally! He is the son of Katie & Walt LaCourse. He is 6 pounds 7 oz. and was 20 inches long. I will post pictures later,as troy took my car and my camera is in it :(. We went and visited them last night, and he is so beautiful! I can't wait to show him off! He is my psuedo-nephew, you could say, as Katie was married to my husband's brother Ryan who passed away in 2006. I'm sure Ryan is looking down from heaven and sending love their way. Look for pictures later today! :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wyatt, QuickTakes Session

Wyatt is the son of James & Erin, and I am so happy to finally meet this little stud! James and I have known each other since grade school, in fact we had lockers side by side for many years. His wife Erin is so sweet and I'm honored to have gotten to know her through the years. These two are an inspiration to me, and they know why :) Here's a sneak peek of Wyatts QuickTakes!

I have always wanted to try this, I'm so glad it turned out so perfectly! :)

If we can't take Wyatt to the leaves, we will bring the leaves to Wyatt! <3

Eli, QuickTakes session

Eli's mom, Kate got ahold of me through my MySpace to schedule a QuickTakes session, and she is not going tobe dissappointed that she did! I tried to narrow it down to a couple favorites, but there were so many favorites I had to pinch myself not post all of them! :) You are going to have a tough time choosing!


Mothers, Lock up your daughters! This lil boy is going tobe a heart breaker!


The Painter kids...

The Painter kids are pretty special to me. They are my family, so I am a bit biased when it comes to how cute these kids are :) Lexi, Kenedy & Kamden are ornery and super-adorable. Their Mom, Mandy, has been wantingto get their pictures dones for a while and finally had an opportunity and I couldn't be happier with the outcome. Their grandma, my aunt Sherry, told me during the shoot that she wanted to see their personalities in the pictures. I'm pretty sure I captured that... especially with Kamden. This kid is the epitome of cute :) Enjoy!






Katie, Kyle & Megan







Well, I thought I had the hang of it... still having trouble.. bear with me!

Look MOM! I did it! :)



The beautiful Taylor & Sam... my test subjects :)

Now I just want them bigger but that will have to be for another day! Hooray! GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ha ha!

Some cool stuff is going down :)

I wanted to let some of you know about some cool happenings around here!
Right now we are offering Quick Takes for $20 per 15 minute session. They are filling up fast, so don't miss out!

Also, wanted to let you guys know that I am taking appointments and save the dates for weddings in 2009 and my Saturdays are starting to fill up! If you know of anyone recently engaged or looking for a wedding photographer, send them my way! :) You just might get a little bonus for doing so!

I am devoting my day today to figuring out (this is the last time too!) how to post pictures on here, so please keep an eye out for that.

This weekend I shot 2 babies for QuickTakes, little Wyatt (who christened me with some spit up!) and Eli. I am so happy to see some babies, I absolutely LOVE shooting babies. They are so challenging and exciting, plus it cures my baby fever :)
Eli was such a cool kid, and he was dressed to the nines. What a little stud! I am hoping to get a few on here today. Keep your fingers crossed!

Remember to get those QuickTakes scheduled, you don't want to regret missing out on this price :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I know some of my Myspace friends are getting sick of seeingthis bulletin, but it really is a steal!

I am offering QuickTakes Sessions now. These sessions are 15 minute sessions for $20!
You'd be surprised how many beautiful portraits are captured in 15 minutes! :) Please call me at 419.203.0889 or email me at to set up a session!

Also I wanted to let you all know that I am doing unique Christmas Cards this year. You can capture images with a regular or QuickTakes session and have them made into elegant Christmas Cards!

Hurry for some great Fall shots, the leaves are falling fast!

This morning :)

I am sitting here in my robe and pj's at 10:04 in the morning because I have been bombarded with emails and facebook emails and myspace emails and comments from people totally supporting me. I woke up at 7:00! :) There are tears in my eyes at how good God really is. I have been so down because I felt as though I wasn't getting the answers I needed, but God has spoken through all of you that is for sure :)
Proverbs 3:5 says: Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

I tend to not make decisions without guidance. This, however, was not always the case!
I am an emotional decision maker, a full-blown dreamer. So when I have passion about something, I tend to dive in head first and then when I pop back to the surface, I am gasping for air and end up disappointed.
It has been as of the Last 3 years, the absolute hardest years of my life emotionally, that I have come to know myslef more and have really come to know myself through God. He doesn't want me to fail. Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose." I know this is my purpose. I know I will succeed through God. And I hope I touch so many more through him, not only through my writing, but through my lens as well. <3
I'm living my life based on this one verse: Seek your happiness in the Lord and he will give you your hearts desire. - Psalm 37:4 This day has revealed this verse to me again. Thank you!

Monday, October 20, 2008

As of lately...

Ok, so I couldn't figure out how to post the Rachel's Challenge pictures, so you will see them as of a later date, when I call my Techie, Jake, and make a complete fool of myself... "Jake will you help me post pictures to my blog, please?" and he will roll his eyes at me as he always does :) lol...

I don't know if anyone really reads this blog, and I have been debating whether to post anything about this or not, but it's weighing on me heavily and I really need some feedback. So here goes....

I am looking to find a place for a studio. In downtown Van Wert. I don't want to find a place that I'm going to have to gut to get how I like, but I really want a place that I can call my own. The fundage front, however, is not looking so stellar. I found a place that would be cool, and the owner wants to sell it, but I'm not interested in buying ANYWHERE yet. I'd like to rent, see how it works for a while before I would even consider buying.
I firmly believe that God will provide if it is in His plans for me, but really, the money isn't there to do so right now, but if I don't have a place by winter, I have limited ability to shoot. Especially babies, which I already have some sessions for the winter scheduled. What have I been doing for babies as of now? Smack dab in my living room, or in the clients house.
I want a place so I don't have to work in my living room anymore. I want to seperate work from home, because when I work in my living room, I find myself sitting on the couch going, "Ohh i could get one more session in before bed", and my husband is saying "Hi. I'm over here again, by myself."
My daughter has become accustomed to saying "Please get off the computer and play with me." I sometimes feel like my work trumps my home time, because it's right there... staring at me... saying You know you want to get more done... just come over here. Come snuggle with Photoshop. :( Then I feel like a guilty cheater when I give in. Photoshop is like crack. Grrr.....

So anyways, I have been brainstorming about ways to make some money for the studio. I thought about hosting a Photobooth party for my Senior reps and friends. Charging to get in at the door, for refreshments, maybe hiring a couple bands or a dj for the evening, etc. I just don't know how far it would go over. Would I make money, would I just break even? On top of all this, we have a 4 day Hospital stay & ER visit to pay for, a new washing machine (broke as soon as we got home from the hospital, talk about bad timing), My car needs a new battery, and so so much more that I won't even get into because it just makes me depressed. :(

I have been dreaming of this studio, and I find myself drawing it over and over. I think my new studio's floor plan is in every notebook I own, i caught myself drawing it with sidewalk chalk the other day with Liberty! That's bad.

So I have a question for all of you readers (probably 2 of you! ha!):
1. Should I start a studio?
2. Should I have a fundraiser?
Leave your answers in the comments of this post!!
Thank you both for reading this- HA HA!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Rachel's Challenge continued...

I just wanted to start this out by saying a gigantic THANK YOU to all who came out to the Rachel's Challenge community program at Parkway High School this last Thursday. Your support is veryinspirational to me and I can't wait to get this in the other local schools (fingers crossed!).
The administrators at Parkway are just as excited about this message as I am and I am so happy the community & students responded the way they did to this. Amazing. This makes my faith in small towns so much more evident. :)

I have some pictures to post, but I am goingtopost them sepereately since I just can't seem to figure this out, and I will TRY TRY TRY to do it correctly. If you can't view them here, please look for them on my Myspace page and look for them on the Parkway Independent or in the Van Wert Voice, as I am sending them to these places as well.

If you haven't yet read about Rachel's Challenge, you can here and please be vocal toyour schools to get it there. It really is life changing, and not just for the students, for the teachers,a nd parents as well. You never think these things could happen to you or your child, but ask Darrell Scott, they can. With Rachel's program we can change this atmosphere and creat a kind and compassionate place to go everyday in your local school.

I also want to thank Kara Heiser and Josh Fisher, my Parkway senior representatives for being my go-to people to hand out my information to any peer in need. I also donated a book called "Rachel's Tears" to Parkway's Library and I will be making it a priority to be involved every week at the F.O.R. meetings that will be held during the school day at the high school. I am fully committed to making this program work, and I seeing as there were over 200 students who signed up for leadership, I feel I will be in good company. =)

I want to also thank Shane Hammon, the speaker for Parkway. I told him afterwards that he was the perfect pick to send to Parkway. He spoke right to these kids,and on their level. I am so grateful for Shane being the speaker on Thursday. No one was a better fit for this, than him. Shane told me after the community program that he sat with some kids at lunch, and that he was going to be doing that from now on. That he felt they got some more questions answered than they normally could, and he could feel the excitement of this program through the kids. So those of you who ate lunch with Shane, YOU INSPIRED HIM! Thank you!! :)

Ok, I am on to post some pictures if I can get it to work, and then I am going to be editing for a couple hours, and enjoying my free Saturday. I plan on watching movies, raking the yard and just hanging out with my famdizzle today. I'm so EXCITED!!!! :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rachel's Challenge - Middle & High School Program

I just got back from Parkway High Schools Rachel's Challenge program. It was absolutley amazing at how the kids resonded to this message. I am truly overwhelmed!

Sent to us by the RC people to speak was the amazing Shane Hamman, you can read about Shane here and here and here (BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THIS LAST LINK :))
H e was the perfect speaker for this group. He was very chill and spoke on these kids level. I think he was definatly what Parkway needed in a speaker.

I am devoting one day a week to these kids at Parkway for F.O.R. and I could not be more thrilled. I can't wait to help these students realize that they can CHANGE THE WORLD!!

Please join us for the community program at 7:00 pm tonight at Parkway High School, and to see Shane speak for yourself.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The scoop...

For anyone who has lived in a small town knows, if you don't know what you are up to, SOMEONE does. Sometimes more than others, it can turn out to be this ugly ball of gossip that is hurled in your direction, but others, such as right now for us, it is turning out to be OK. You see, when someone needs prayers or is sick, or needs help and this "small town talk" get started, the best comes out in some people.

Take for example, our situation last week with Troy and his illness. To start from the beginning is necessary, so here goes.

Two Sundays ago, my husband Troy,Liberty (our daughter),and I were at my nephews birthday party. Troy came and sat down beside me and said his chest was really tight like his sternum needed to crack. This did not signal anything for me, as there is always something in Troys body that needs to crack, his thumbs, his back, his knees, ankles... the list goes on and on. He said he just wasn't feeling well. We left not too long after this.

Monday, he ran a fever and felt particularly crappy. I babied him and made sure Tylenol was in him at all times,and his temperature was going down. He had finally broken his fever later that night.

Tuesday, was another Fever and chills. Feeling crappy and complaining about his chest hurting but more about body aches and the fever. Fever broke again around 8 that night.

Wednesday, more fever, higher this time and more achy, and chest tightening, I suggested we go to the hospital, he refused. Just the flu or something he said, I'll be fine.

Thursday morning around 3 am, sharp stabbing pains in his chest, severe chills and fever. I am thoroughly concerned at this point and get up to get ready to go to the ER. He warms up, and tells me to get back into bed, because even though I have brushed my hair and my teeth, we are NOT going to the ER. And that's final. This causes a sour mood between the both of us all day.

Friday Morning, at 4 am, Troy sits straight up in bed, declares his arms are numb, and is having chest pains. I tell him we are going to the ER. I'm not taking no for an answer. We load Libbie up and get Troy comfortable in the car and drive to Decatur. I am wrangling Liberty while he is getting a chest X-ray and EKG. I am thinking at worst it is Pneumonia or Bronchitis, maybe he inhaled soy bean dust while farming or a bad cold... little did I know that the world was to be turned upside down in mere minutes.

My mom came to pick Liberty up, seeing as we had been there alot longer than I had expected. We were waiting on labs to come back on his blood. At that point I wasn't sure why they took his blood, but I figured they knew what they were doing,a dn who was I to question. As I sat there waiting with him and joking and playing, a nurse comes in pulls the curtain shut, throws a gown at him and says, "Put this on, I have to start an IV", we are both in shock. "Why?" Troy asks, "What's wrong?" I say as the fear starts to boil inside of my guts. "Dr. Smith will be in any second", and with that she leaves. We kinda stare at each other in disbelief. Troy looked scared for a fleeting moment, but seeing me see him that scared makes me want to vomit, because Troy doesn't get scared. Troy is my pillar of strength, and my courage when I can't muster any. So him seeing me have a moment of doubt, he snaps out of it and jokes around.

Dr. Smith tells us that Troys blood has proteins in it that shows the same levels that 70 year old men have when they are having a MASSIVE HEART ATTACK. At this point, I am looking at Dr. Smith, and his mouth is moving but no words are coming out. When I snap back to reality, I catch what he is saying "You are going to be transported to Lutheran Hospital, by Ambulance. There you will see a cardiologist, have a Heart cathetarization, an echo and an MRI. You are going to be there for a couple of days."

Riding behind the ambulance carrying my husband is the most surreal thing in the world. We are 26. This isn't supposed to happen until we are old folks. What if he dies? What if I have to see him through that window in the back of the ambulance getting revived? I cannot do my life without him in it. PLEASE GOD, HELP HIM!
I prayed the entire way to the hospital, and I don't think I had a moment that I didn't pray in the car, or in the hospital or in my bed, or in the shower for the next 4 days.

Myopericarditis: When the pericardium around the heart has a virus in it and causes inflammation.

It was not a heart attack. It was this. And this is much better than that, and he has no damage. He has a weak left ventricle, and it can be treated.

I cannot tell you how many people, close friends, family, and people I haven't talked to in AGES, came out of the woodwork and wished him well,and asked if we needed ANYTHING. People whom I have had just brief conversations with were calling and asking if I needed a babysitter, or if they could bring us a meal, or if there was ANYTHING they could do. It was beyond amazing. It really makes me appreciate this small town so much more. There are prayers being said, thoughts being thought, good karma, and air-hugs being sent our way, and I couldn't be more thankful.

God has blessed us with so much, and I cannot begin to Thank HIM for everything this week. I am a firm believer in "How can we know Joy if we do not know Sorrow", and so this week and weekend past has really opened my eyes to how important this man is tome, to my life and to our family. He is a wonderful father, a loving and devoted husband, and an all-around great guy. There is nothing he wouldn't do for us, and there is nothing we wouldn't do for him. I just want to thank God so much more now, for bringing him into my life.

In our wedding vows, Pastor Anthony said, "You may think you cannot love Troy more than you love him today. But i will tell you that you love him the least right now. As you grow in your lives together, you will see that you learn to love him more than the day before or the day before that everyday. Tomorrow you will love him more, and when you have children, you will love him more, and when you retire, you will love him more, and when you are old and grey, you will love him a million times more than today. For this is the blessing God has given you today, on your wedding day, a single promise that if you stand firm in His promise to you, he will bless this promise you made before Him today." I have never felt more strongly about that as I have writing this today. And I can tell you, God has blessed our promise.

Friday, October 3, 2008


How can this be happening?

What if he does have a heart condition?

I can't live my life without him in it.

What if this gets worse?

I cannot believe I am following an ambulance for my husband.

I want this day to go away.

Calm down.

He has to be in for 4 days?



I cannot believe this is happening.

God please, just hold him in Your hands.

Help me be strong.

Help him to be strong first.

Oh God.

I have to sleep without him tonight.

What is Liberty going to think?

What if she asks where Daddy is?

Daddy has a ouchie on his heart.

The doctors will fix him, baby.

I know you want to see him, but he is having a sleepover at the hospital.

It's ok, you will get to see Daddy Monday.

You get to sleep with me tonight.

God let me sleep.

I love you Lord, please just hold him since I can't.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rachels Challenge

I am extremely excited to announce that Rachel's Challenge is coming to Parkway High School in Rockford, OH on Oct. 16th, and they opted to have the full-day program so that the public is invited to see it at 7:00 pm! I have worked so hard to get this program locally, so even if it is 1 out of the 5 schools I presented it to, at least it is one!! If you haven't checked out Rachel's challenge yet, the website is and you can check out the effect it has had on youth at

The premise of this program is to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion, and if we all do our part to uphold these values, we can change the world. It is an amazing story,and to present this to the youth in our community we will start to see a change in the way they live and make desicions.

I guess you can call it a testimony in how I got involved in this.

My mom and Dad went and saw "Columbine Redemption" in Ft. Wayne, Rachels brother Craig was the featured speaker. Mom told me about it and how awesome it was and how it changed her way of thinking. Columbine Redemption favors more of the religious aspect of Rachel's life, and the other students as well. I hope to get this to our community soon,and I am working with Denise Bills of "Tad Bit of Love" ministry to work on getting it at the Niswonger Center in Van Wert, OH.

So i started researching,a nd that is how I found Rachel's Challenge.
When praying for my purpose and just asking God to work in me and help me to stay on His path, I was given 3 answers. One was that Photography was my purpose, the second was to use Photography to spread God's message of Love, and the third was to influence young people, specifically through God. When I found Rachel's Challenge, a burden was lifted as though I had found the third answer remedy. Since we cannot talk about God in school, the people at Rachel's Challenge have modified the Columbine Redemption program in a way to bring it to the young people through school assemblies, training programs, and community programs.

I immediatly started contacting them, and I didn't get an answer. For about 3 months, I heard nothing. At the same time I was trying to get my business offthe ground,a nd had just started to get my name out there, and then the bookings started rolling in. I think God gave me that waiting period so I wouldn't beoverwhelmed having to choose to spend my time between two of the answers he gave me.

I started to get discouraged, and just prayed that I felt ready to do this, and I was patiently waiting for this to become fruitful. On that Sunday, our pastor took a vacationa nd we had a guest speaker at church. Minister Curtis Rayford was our speaker of Come See Ministries. Come See Ministries was part of bringing Columbine Redemption to Ft. Wayne, the one my parents went to. I spoke with him after the service, and he gave me the number to some people at Rachel's Challenge, and told me he would give Denise Bills my number because her ministry was the one who got them here, and she was the primary contact. I was overjoyed. My prayer had been answered partially and I felt I was one step closer.

My mom and I were on our way up to Antiques Roadshow in Grand Rapids, MI when Denise called. I talked to her for an hour about Columbine Redemption, Rachel's Challenge, and most importantly about how God was workingin our lives. We closed our conversation with prayer and I had never felt so rejuevenated inmy faith as I did at that moment.

Tim, from Rachel's Challenge contacted me a few weeks later and when he spoke who he was on the phone, I jumped up and down and was so joyus! I think he probably thought that I was crazy, but I was crazy for that moment,because it was all coming together, andin God's timing! We talked and made plans, and I started calling schools that afternoon and emailing information like a crazy woman.

Parkway was the only one to actually book, but I also found out that Adams Central, a school that is close to us in Indiana had booked a program as well. I was so excited about this!! An opportunity to take some administrators of the schools to a preview! I am still waiting tohear from some, but I have an administrator from Parkway going, and she is bringing a student! I am so excited!

I'm sure I will be blogging more, adn wehn I EVER figure out how to post pictures on this thing (thank you brandy for your help yesterday, I still don't have it figured out, and I am willingto cook you and Sticky a 3 course gourmet meal to just come over and do it for me, lol!!) I will post from the program.

Ihave learned through this journey that I need to be patient, and be prayerful. The answers will come, I just have to wait sometimes. Obviously my patience paid off! Please come support this wonderful porgram! Email me with anyquestions at or you can call me for questions at 419.203.0889.