Rye Beach ~ NH Senior Photography

Living 20 minutes from Rye Beach has its perks. Being a NH senior photographer also has its perks!

I have had so many requests for beach senior portrait sessions and I just love it!

Danae loves the beach, and came complete with an enormous motor home to change in! She’s so fancy!

We had a beautiful day and a wonderful time. She was a little nervous at first, but relaxed really quickly and I was able to get some great shots of this beautiful girl!

Here are some of my favorites!

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Congratulations on your senior year, beautiful girl!

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Sometimes I eat healthy ~ Whole 30 Who’s your daddy?

So I am doing the whole 30 diet. I am on day 29, which means that somehow I have managed to survive it! It’s hard to believe, really…since I think I love sugar more than anyone in the world. I am not writing about what I learned from doing the whole 30 diet today, but I will write about it when I have finished it completely. And also after I use my groupon to Orange Leaf!!

Anyways. I really do love just about any kind of food, and I thought it would be almost impossible to be to do this for 30 days. But now I’m all come on, whole 30! Who’s your daddy?!  Doing a diet that restricts you from eating any grains, dairy, or sugar forces you to get creative with flavor and actually just work a little harder (and longer) at making meals.

I don’t love most soups, but I do enjoy anything that starts with cream of (which I can’t eat right now!) and I love thick, hearty soups. I decided to just throw a bunch of ingredients in a pot and see what I came up with.

I started by going out to my garden….just kidding. I ran to Market Basket. I got hamburger, sweet potatoes, zucchini, summer squash, avocado and onions. Every single meal I am eating these days pretty much starts out with extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of the pot. So I started there, then I threw in garlic, onions and some leftover peppers I had in the fridge. Let it cook until the house smelled delicious (or disgusting, depending on which family member you asked!) then threw in the hamburg. I think I threw in a whole pound, (I don’t care much for measuring my ingredients) and cooked it through. I added a few cups of chicken broth, a can of diced tomatoes, threw in all the veggies I had cut up and let it simmer for about an hour, until the veggies were soft. I would normally love some beans in there too, but again..not allowed right now!

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I love when I can throw everything in the same pot. Makes life so much easier.

I added an avocado to the top, because avocado makes everything better, and enjoyed it for a few meals!

eats1I will say that I wanted more than anything to throw a cup of cheese and maybe even some sour cream on top. But besides that, I was really happy with how it turned out!

By the way, is it the 31st yet? Just wondering. Girl needs ice cream.


Threads, Kicks and Frosting ~ Modesty is the best policy

I love fashion. I love checking out new styles, I love shopping and I’m pretty sure there is going to be an enormous TJ Maxx in heaven.  But I think a false misconception is that you have to dress like a frumpy, old woman in order to be modest.

I disagree. Now. I am not trying to open the can of worms that is the modesty issue. There are 2 different soap boxes that come with that.

1. A girl’s body is a girl’s body. It’s not her fault men are pigs and can’t control their thoughts.

2. A girl needs to wear a turtleneck and long baggy pants every day of every year and it is completely her responsibility to keep men from having dirty thoughts.

I’m gonna get all up on all ya’ll’s soapboxes for a minute.

Both of those attitudes are wrong.

Thinking that my actions only affect me is the problem with so many aspects of the world today. No one wants to take responsibility for any of their actions or any of their decisions. Your actions can affect other people. You can be (partially) responsible for the actions of the people around you.

Thinking that I am completely responsible for other people’s actions is another problem. Regardless of what a girl is wearing, guys still have a choice with what they will do with their eyes, and they still have a choice with what they do with their thoughts.

When you have an attitude that is thinking of others as better than yourself, or that is wanting to be above board and above reproach, when you have a heart’s desire to please God with what you do? You will have no problem changing your clothing or changing your attitude.

The reason I hate both sides of this argument is because in both cases, people are putting themselves higher than they should.

What kind of a person blames every girl out there for every poor decision a man has ever made, attack the girls dressing that way, and any other person in their way? A prideful person. A person who wants what they want regardless of how it affects other people. (sometimes, even convincing themselves that they are attacking for good reason because they are just trying to help their husband or other men!)

On the other hand, what kind of a person hears someone say that the reason their husband is struggling with lust is because of the way they are dressing and instantly start going on a rampage agains men, the person suggesting a change, and any other person in their way? A prideful person. A person who wants what they want regardless of how it affects other people.

Only by pride comes contention. Period. 

Try thinking about what the opposite reaction might look like. What if every girl stopped themselves before they left the house, took 2 extra minutes to examine what they were wearing, and maybe even asked their dad or husband if what they were wearing was ok? What if every girl stopped themselves before they started judging every other girl out there and instead prayed that their husbands, or sons would remain pure in their thoughts and actions?

A little different, huh?

In light of my love for style, here are a few tips that will show you how you can still dress in style without being inappropriate.

1. If you wear leggings, always have something covering your butt. There’s really no need for the world to see London and France. If you want to wear a shorter skirt that is hard to stay modest in? Wear leggings underneath.
You can still be stylish and be modest.


2. Never wear nude colored leggings. Ever. I mean for real now. Ain’t nobody got the stomach for that.
(don’t worry, there is no picture demonstrating this one!)

3. Wear a tank top under your shirts.

2014-10-28_0002 I wear a tank top under every single shirt I ever wear. It helps when your shirt is low cut, and it also helps when your shirt comes up in the back. We have all had the unfortunate experience of having someone bend over in front of us only to find out…ahem…they weren’t wearing a tank top. And unfortunately, London and France weren’t even around! I think you get my drift. Do everyone around you a favor and wear a tank.

Don’t forget. You can still be stylish and modest.

I just saw this quote that I liked…Instead of thinking if ya got it, flaunt it. Think: if ya got it, protect it.


Mommy Monday ~ parenting is wicked hard

When your kids are babies or toddlers your days are spent changing diapers, filling sippy cups, and getting very little sleep. It is totally and completely physically exhausting.

You know what I mean: It’s late afternoon. Nap time is over and you feel like you’re barely hanging on. Some days, you’re looking at the clock every 10 minutes and wondering if there’s any possible way you can pull of a 5:30 bed time!

When kids get older, parenting changes in a lot of ways. And in some ways, it’s easier. In other ways? It’s harder.

This morning, I had in mind what my day was going to look like. I had a list of things I had to do for the porch. I had a list of things I had to do for my business. I had a list of things I had to do around the house. I had a list of things I had to do for the boys school. I also had a few things I had to do just for my friends.

Before I could even start on list number 1? I found myself sitting on the couch with one of my boys having a deep, emotional talk. I tried to not keep looking at the clock, because the truth of the matter is: my boys have to come before any of the lists I just mentioned.

Here I was. With a decision to make. The easy choice? Tell him he’s fine and to move on and then go on with my lists.

The harder choice? Was to sit quietly and listen to everything he had to say. Then give godly advice that would help him get through these issues.

Dudes. Parenting is wicked hard.

Raising older kids is not as physically tiring but it is much more emotionally tiring.

It’s one hard thing. After another hard thing. After another hard thing.

And it’s tiring.

But it’s so rewarding. The way I go through issues with the boys is not a guessing game. It always goes back to the Bible. Always. It’s teaching them how to deal with a brother, which gives practice with on how they need to deal with coaches, teachers, other kids, refs, and on and on.

It’s the hard work now that pays off later when I see them handle a situation the right way on their own.  And even though I got only ONE (yes, you read that right…ONE) thing done on my lists combined…I had a good talk with my boy that is going to encourage him and bring him the validation he needs.

So was it the day I had planned? Not even close.

But was it a day doing the best thing I could do? Absolutely.

Lists can wait. Relationships are what really matter.

NH Wedding Photographer ~ Brookstone Event Center

Matt and Kristen got married on a day that was calling for rain. Right before the ceremony, the rain stopped and by the time the ceremony was over, the sun was coming out! It made for a gorgeous, fall wedding!

Every single detail was perfect and Kristen made an absolutely beautiful bride!

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2014-10-24_0039 2014-10-24_0040 2014-10-24_0041 2014-10-24_0042  2014-10-24_0044Congratulations Matt and Kristen! It was so much fun being a part of your special day!

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New Hampshire Senior Photography ~ Rachel

I have said it before, I will said it again. I love senior photography! I have shot a lot of senior photos at Rye Beach this year, but Rachel wanted her senior portraits done in a more woodsy-type area. So we headed over to Wason Pond in Chester on a beautiful day last week. The setting could not have been more perfect!

Rachel is incredibly sweet, so beautiful, and was so much fun to work with. Here are some of my favorites!

2014-10-23_0010 2014-10-23_0009 2014-10-23_0008 2014-10-23_0006 2014-10-23_0005This is one of my all time favorites. She is just stunning.

2014-10-23_0004 2014-10-23_0003 2014-10-23_0002 2014-10-23_0001I hope you have an amazing senior year, Rachel!

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What the teens are saying

Adam and I have been running The Porch for about five years now. The Porch is a drop-in youth center that is opened after school for a couple hours. We give free snacks and drinks and let the kids play pool, air hockey, watch tv, play video games and just hang out. It is noisy. It doesn’t smell the best. I spend a lot of time handing out snacks and then picking up the wrappers all over the floor. A while ago, I wrote about the reason I spend so much time with 12-year-olds. You can read that post here. There are definitely days where I really wonder if it’s even making a difference. If the kids even notice that we are taking time away from our own lives just to hang out with them. If it really matters. But there are two things that help me keep going.

Number 1. I am not serving the kids.

I mean, of course I actually am serving them. But ultimately? I am serving Christ. In Colossians, it says that whatever I do, I need to work hard, just like I am serving the Lord. Because that is who I’m serving, and that is who I am getting my reward from. I have got to remember that. Especially on the days I feel like I need to bathe myself in sanitizer, take a handful of ibuprofen and crawl into bed!

Number 2. If I make a difference to even just one kid? It’s worth it.

It has to be. I am not all about numbers. Never have been. I am all about reaching that one girl who just wanted to tell someone that she got a bad grade and not feel like she’s gonna get yelled at for it. I am all about reaching that one boy who just had to tell someone that the coach yelled at him during practice.

We are not an event based ministry, we are a relationship based ministry. We spend the majority of our time building relationships a little bit at a time. Listening to them talk. Helping with homework. Going to games. Leaving comments on their pictures on instagram. Driving them home.

And when the day is over, and all 30 teens pile out of the building, I feel totally and completely accomplished. Like I have done my job well.

I write a newsletter for The Porch and I have been asking the volunteers to write a few sentences about why they enjoy working and spending time with the teens. Well…when you only have a few volunteers, that is over quickly. So Monday, I asked a few of the kids to tell me in one sentence what they liked about The Porch. I expected a lot about the food and a lot about the games.

Here are a few of the answers I got from these 12-16 year olds.

~It’s another place to hang out besides your house and it’s cool. 

~I like The Porch because no one bullies you.

~I like The Porch because you guys are giving.

~I like The Porch because the food is really good. 

~It’s so fun to be at The Porch because everyone is so nice and it’s a place I go to get stress off my back.

~The leaders are wicked nice.

~The leaders all just give up their time and they don’t even have to. We like The Porch, but we just love you guys!

I was so happy to hear what the teens are saying, because it gave me a better idea of what they liked and what they think of the whole thing! I love and adore every single kid that has ever come through our doors. I pray for them and love being a small part of their lives.

the porch youth center

Because we are a not for profit, we are constantly in need of more volunteers, more donations (That shelf in the picture was FULL at the beginning of the day. These kids can EAT!! ha!) and more prayer! If anyone is looking for a way to serve, or a charity to donate to, please consider The Porch!

As we continue to grow, we are in need of a bigger space!!! I can not tell you how loud and full it gets real quick! We found a building that we really want. The thought of it gets me giddy. It is 4 times bigger than what we have, and it is on the same road which is what we wanted since most of the kids walk there from school. But here’s the thing. We don’t have the money to buy it. Now..I’m a big dreamer. I have bhags. And I am not afraid to use them. And right now, the amount of $219,000.00 seems literally impossible. To me. But not to God. 1 Corinthians 2:9 says that no mind has even imagined what God has planned for those that love Him! So I’m gonna believe that God is more than able to give us a place that will give us more space. That is my prayer, if anyone wants to join me in praying the same, I would love it. And if you want to see what goes on over on 131 Main Street in Epping after school? Stop by and check it out! We love visitors!

And whatever you are doing? Keep doing it just like you’re serving the Lord. And remember that if you make a difference in the life of even just one person, it matters.

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Threads, Kicks and Frosting ~ Super cute clutch

Things are a little bit crazy around here. I mean…that may very well be one of the biggest understatements of the century. Today, I let myself get away from my computer long enough to go to an antique store for about 20 minutes. While me and the boys were in the car, we worked on our family mission statement, then I had to get right back to work. This month has been one of the hardest to handle. With 2 businesses in their busiest time of year, it has really pushed me to the limit. I have had to make sure that I have been starting my day with prayer and reading my Bible. That is no joke. It is not something I can let slide because I know for sure that when that part of my life is slipping, the rest of my life is not far behind!

I have been trying to do a better job being organized with my blogging. Instead of just rambling one day, only pictures the next, family stuff the next and photography thrown in there too, I’ve been trying to stick to Mommy Mondays, and Threads, Kicks and Frosting Tuesdays. If I can at least get a couple days down, the rest should be easier to handle, and then my readers know what to expect.

So…even though I threw a little bit of rambling in for tonight, I wanted to show you this super cute gift I got!

I got it as one of my gifts for being a part of the Pursuit 31 Conference, and I really love it!

It is a really great size and perfect for grabbing just a few things, but still having enough room to throw your phone in it.

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Check out the website here!

Do you design something that you would love to have featured on my blog? Contact me for details on how to get your own clothes, jewelry, bags or accessories featured!

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Mommy Monday ~ Making a family mission statement

I consider myself to be a pretty intentional mom. I know how I want my kids to act. I know how I want them to treat me, treat others and I know how I want them to respect God. But I do not ever want to come across like I’ve arrived. Like I have it all together. Like my family is just one perfect little unit that needs no work.

Let me be clear: I work hard to be very purposeful about raising my kids. BUT: I always have a lot I can work on!!

I was so challenged by my good friend Angelsea who wrote a blog post about her family writing a mission statement. When I read it, I though…DUH!!!! Why have I never thought of this?! It’s so simple. But it’s so deep. And it’s so good.

So…here are her tips on how to come up with your very own family mission statement.

Does your family have a mission statement? 

If not, I have included some questions to help you create your own family mission statement. At the end of the process, you will be able to combine the answers to these questions to create a concise statement for what you (And more importantly, God) want your family to be. Note: if your kids are old enough, I would encourage you to include them in this process so that they have ownership over your mission statement. 

Step One: Mission Questions.

What is the primary goal for your family?

What family practices do you think would please God?

What family attitudes do you think would please God?

What are some things in your family that might displease God?

What are some of the core values you have?

What goals do we have for our children? For our family?

What would we like people to say about our family in 30 years?

Name some adjectives we would like to be able to use to describe our home environment.

Step Two: Summarize.

To write a mission statement, you simply need to take the answers to the above questions, and place them in a simple statement. You want this statement to be something you can remember. If it is too long, you will never refer to it. If it is unclear, it will be useless. It must be both concise and clearly practical. Here is an example of a mission statement:

To raise kids who love Jesus by practicing the gospel in loving service to one another, seeking to remove unloving language and actions, honoring and respecting one another as Christ has done in our lives.

The main goal: to raise kids who love Jesus.

The practices: serving one another

The attitudes: Love

The unwanted practices: unloving language and actions

The adjectives: honor and respect

Step Three: Display and Remind

Now that you have a mission statement, you can use this to help encourage growth in you and your kids. First, share it with your children. Have them agree to what you have written; perhaps even have them sign a sheet of paper with this statement on it. Second, write this statement on a piece of paper and put it somewhere where you and your family will see it consistently. Third, when someone does something out of line with the mission statement you can refer back to it at any time.

See!?! I told you it was so good! Thank you Angelsea for challenging me in this area. My family has already started thinking about what our family mission statement is going to be. I can’t wait to share it when we’re done!

Be sure to go and follow Angelsea’s blog here.

And just because…Here are a few pictures of my family from our day in Boston this weekend. (Thanks to my assistant,  Madeline, for taking most of them!)

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Making the effort regardless of the response

Sometimes you do the right thing. The hard thing. Take the high road. Go above and beyond.

And the response you get is…well. It’s not what you expect.

Maybe you don’t get a thank you. Maybe you don’t get big enough thank you. Maybe you don’t get a response at all.

Do the right thing anyways. Do the hard thing anyways. Take the high road anyways. Go above and beyond anyways.


When I decide to hold on to things that have happened in the past, or even that are happening today? It doesn’t add anything good to my life. If I decide not to forgive? I am the one who suffers. If I decide to not reach out and serve others who don’t deserve it? I am the one who misses out.

Being negative and critical comes far too naturally. And it is not becoming on anyone. It’s just plain ugly, and no one feels better after being around someone who is that way.

Don’t let that someone be you.

Take your life circumstances, your hurts, your sadness, your confusion, your frustration and turn it into something good.

God is the giver of joy. Satan wants to rob you of of it.

Don’t let him have it. Keep your joy and share it with everyone around you…

Make the effort regardless of the response you get. You’ll be happier when you’re serving others.

After all, it’s not about you.


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