Turning lemons into lemonade. Sweet. Pink. Lemonade

Dear Vivienne

April 8th, 2015 | Posted by Noelle in Family - (0 Comments)

In light on my due date passing yesterday, I have decided to share a letter I wrote to Viv a few days ago. The end of pregnancy can be so hard and trying, but it is also so special. Before you know it the baby is here, and turning 7 years old (like my oldest waaa!) so I am savoring these moments, and sneaking in some extra cuddles with my girls.

Dear Vivienne,

Your tiny squishy face is breathing in my ear. You just fell asleep twirling my hair with your chubby little fingers. You are so full of life. Joy. Excitement. You haven’t the slightest idea you will be a big sister soon, or the attention Mommy gives you now will be divided even more. Right now you’re my baby. And I’m your mommy. You don’t really like to share me, with your big sisters or even your daddy, but you will have to learn to share soon little one… Like super soon. Your new baby sister will be here any day now, no matter how much you deny it and say “no baby!” while blowing raspberries at me when I tell you, she is indeed coming. My ever expanding belly that has been pushing you off of my lap and out of your favorite little spoon snuggle spot, yep, that’s her. Charlotte. She may push you out of my lap but let me tell you sweet girl, she will never push you out of my heart. You will always be my baby.

Mommy is uncomfortable, and tired. And although almost everything in me wants your baby sister out, there is you, and that makes me feel ok with her staying in. We won’t get these moments back. When she is born, you will change. You will become a big sister! And though it is exciting, Mommy always gets a little sad when milestones are met and change happens, because, well, that means you’re growing up, and I just want to freeze time and keep you forever. Your tiny curls. Your cute little toes. Your squishy lips and cheeks. Your own little language. All that is so sweet, and fades so fast as you turn from baby, to toddler, to little girl. I know it’s coming, I’ve watched your big sisters before you go through it too, and it also equally broke my heart and made me swell with joy.

So let’s snuggle Vivienne. I’ll keep smelling your hair, and kissing your cheeks. And holding on to you as tight as I can before the next phase of our life comes. Right now, you’re the baby. That’s all you know. And that’s all I know too.



My Angel

May 13th, 2014 | Posted by Noelle in Lemonade - (1 Comments)

Most of you have read the story about my car accident by now.. What most of you don’t know is, the man who picked me up off of the side of the road, well, I never knew his name, or maybe I did, but I never remembered it.. until a few weeks ago.

After I wrote down my story, I decided it was time I read the car accident report. I wanted to know everything, I needed to know everything. After all, it is my story. What if I didn’t remember it correctly? What did I see as a child that the adults involved may have interpreted differently?

My mother hesitantly handed it to me in one of those off white, paper folders, and I clutched it tight in my fingers. All the answers, all of the facts, were in my hand and only a mere piece of paper separated them from me.

I tucked the folder away, not knowing what to expect, but expecting it to not be any worse than my own story. The girls were awake and wild, I needed to focus on the report to be able to get through it and absorb all of the details I so desperately longed to know. But first, I needed the girls to go to bed.

The afternoon crept by, I found myself glancing to the bookshelf, where the folder lie from time to time. My heart would skip. So close, yet so far away. I finally got the girls to bed and sat down on the sofa. Clock ticking overhead, the seconds seemed to be going faster than usual. It has been so long since I have read an actual sheet of paper.. lots of sheets, this report is thick and stapled together, most pages I read these days require scrolling, not flipping. I opened the folder and the ink and paper smelt so nice and familiar, almost comforting. I nestled deeper into the sofa, and started reading.

If you have ever read and autopsy and you are not a doctor, you will know what I mean when I say I googled most of the words on the pages. It was both devastating, and almost easing to find out I was right about the condition my father was in, and how every detail I remembered about the car accident was 100% accurate. It felt like an airplane at take off, because we were indeed flying through the air. Amazed at my memory, I didn’t know if I should smile, or cry, but I had the facts, and the facts supported my story.. and that felt good, well, sorta. I took in each word of the report. The EMT’s, the coroner, the sheriff, my grandfather, my own, and finally, my angel’s.

I have always called this man an angel, my angel. Several cars passed, he stopped. I felt so safe with him. He stayed with me, comforted me with his presence.. I was finally able to read his story, to learn his name….

Most of you also know I have a beautiful daughter named “Georgette.” People often ask why we picked her name or who she is named after, “a name like that has to be a family name.” Until now, I have never had an answer..

The only part that brought me to tears while reading the horrid, factual, scientific, and testifying report was learning that my daughter, my sweet, sensitive, intuitive, baby girl is not named after a member of our family, but rather she is named after my angel. Her soft brown hair and honey brown eyes, now every time I say her name a new gift and a new reminder of God’s love and grace.. she is every bit as much an angel to me, as George is.


Sew Sister Sew

April 19th, 2014 | Posted by Noelle in Photography | The girls - (0 Comments)

Sooo, did you know the Sister’s from Sew Sister Sew, are my sisters? Or were, or are… it is confusing, I will explain in great detail in another blog post. Anyway, these sisters are pretty cool!! They are crafty, they are healthy, and they are so (sew hehe) sweet!

They sent me these dresses for my girls to model longer ago than i would like to admit. The package arrived and the girls were ecstatic. They tried them on immediately and after we were done ooo-ing and awwww-ing, I tucked them away for pictures on a nicer day. Nicer as in above freezing and maybe some sunshine. Skip the sunshine how about just a day without rain or snow. In March/April, those days are far and few between up here in North Idaho. The sun finally came out long enough for me to plan Easter Mini sessions and buy ducklings, then it went away again and we had to do them indoors. So, for now, I give up. We will have to get these cute dresses out again when it is green and warm, but the girls sure had fun modeling in the studio!!

Sew Sister Sew makes lots of other adorable things too, mason jar cups with straws, crochet items, quilts.. to name a few. Check out their Etsy shop and like them on Facebook!! They can do pretty much anything custom! I love how they made all of our dresses coordinate!













You Are My Rainbow

March 17th, 2014 | Posted by Noelle in Uncategorized - (5 Comments)

Miscarriage, a silent death. How can somebody know how bad you are hurting if they never even knew you were pregnant? How do you hurt so bad, when you hardly knew the life you lost? Was it my fault? What did I do wrong? What would they have looked like? What day was supposed to be their birthday? The due date comes and goes, and instead of holding a precious baby, your arms and womb are empty. Your soul is heavy. No one knows.

Another positive pregnancy test. Can I be excited? Should I tell anyone? Everyday wondering if this baby too will pass. Wondering what it is like to live and grow where another has died. Wondering if they somehow know each other. Missing the one you lost, then feeling guilty, for if not lost, you would not have the one you have. Your rainbow baby.

Dear Vivienne,

You are my rainbow baby.
Mommy loves you.
My precious gift of life,
After someone lost you never knew.

An empty heart you filled,
In an empty womb you grew.
You are my miracle,
You helped me make it through.

I felt you kick and flutter,
I watched you stretch and grow.
Every moment dreaming,
Of the life I hoped to know.

You were with me ’till the end,
You waited well past due.
You assured me you were perfect,
My soul was touched by you.

My calm beneath the chaos,
My comfort in the storm.
My angel straight from heaven,
I never felt alone.

A year ago today,
You came into my world.
Nothing was ever so beautiful,
As my sweet baby girl.

You have blessed us with your smile,
Your laughter, and your love.
Every day I hold you,
I give thanks to God above.

I know there’s someone in Heaven,
Waiting near the gates,
To meet Mommy and Daddy..
He sent you in her place.

He knew I needed you,
He must have missed my smile..
You are my rainbow baby,
You are my precious child.




It’s A Boy!!

March 15th, 2014 | Posted by Noelle in Uncategorized - (2 Comments)

The ultimate Gender Reveal session! First, we put candy in the cotton candy maker, if it turned pink, girl, blue boy!









Then we had a war with blue silly string!




Big Sister got to have fun with some blue confetti!





I just know this little guy will be as gorgeous as the rest of his family! Can’t wait to meet him!!


Jaxen 7 Months

February 27th, 2014 | Posted by Noelle in Photography - (0 Comments)

I had the privilege of photographing my good friends baby the other day. I could not believe how happy he was to sit there and let me take his picture. He is such a sweetheart and has big, dreamy blue eyes to boot. These were my favorite images from his session, enjoy!














You Better Hurry Up

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by Noelle in Family | The girls - (1 Comments)

It had taken forever to get all three girls, my mother, and Charlie out the door between going potty, finding matching shoes, and finally buckling up in the car. When we arrived it was below freezing. Fresh, crunchy snow crumpled under my feet as I stood at the car door trying to hurry everyone out and into the restaurant. We were going to Tomato Street, one of my family’s favorite places to eat. I held Georgie’s hand so she wouldn’t slip on the ice beneath the snow in the parking lot, the baby on my hip, as we slid across the parking lot to the entrance.

After all six of us piled in the door bringing some of the cold air in with us, we were quickly taken to a table on the far side of the restaurant. We piled into the red, booth seats and sat down. The Big Girls were handed some string, uncooked noodles and play dough while our server scribbled his name upside-down on the white paper table cloth.

“Would you like anything to drink?” He asked.

The Big Girls ordered their usual, huckleberry lemonade, and Charlie ordered a soda. He normally has at least three refills before his food comes to the table, filling up on bubbles and needing to pack most of his food up to go.

Along with our drinks we ordered some tomato soup. You have not eaten tomato soup until you have tried Tomato Street’s version, Campbell’s will never taste the same.

As we waited a few minutes for our soup and drinks, we talked and helped the girls string necklaces and make creations with their play dough. Emma made her necklace for Charlie. She sat next to him on the booth, bouncing with joy as she tied the necklace around his neck. Emma has held a place in her heart for her Uncle Charlie since she was a baby. Every time I ask her what I should pray for, she says him. The innocent love she has for him is a constant reminder of God’s love, the way He wants us to love one another, and the way he wants us to love Him.

My stomach was grumbling as we waited. It was about 2 p.m. and I had not eaten yet that day. My blood sugar was a bit low, giving me a slight headache. I was happy to have food coming my way and looking forward to sitting down with my family and eating a warm meal that I didn’t have to cook, and wouldn’t have to clean up.

Finally the waiter brought us our soup and bread. No sooner than I broke away the first piece of hot buttery bread and dipped it into my mouthwatering soup, Georgie announced, “I have to go potty!”

“Do you want Mommy or Nana to take you?” I asked, hoping she would pick Nana.

“You!” She was pointing at me, her huge brown eyes sparkling.

More as a thought that accidentally came out of my mouth instead of staying in my head, I grumbled, “but my soup just got here, and it’ll be cold when we get back..”

Emma overheard me and said, “well then you better hurry up.” She wasn’t being rude. She didn’t have an attitude. She was simply giving me a solution that I would have given to her had the situation been reversed, and she was right. I better hurry up.

Funny how sometimes it takes a five-year-old to bring you back to the moment. We get so caught up in wanting to do what we want to, right now, that we often forget we can still have warm soup (so to speak,) even if we have to hurry to the bathroom first. The longer we drag our feet, the less chance our soup will still be fresh and warm, leaving us even more upset that we would have been, had we hurried along with a good attitude and returned to warm soup.

When I decided to change my attitude and help Georgie to the bathroom, I was able to make it a pleasant experience for both of us. We laughed at the automatic toilet then at the hand blowdryer that tousled her soft, golden-brown curls before we hurried back to our table, when otherwise, my bad attitude could have easily sent her to tears, and in turn make me even more frustrated. Like life, we can grumble and complain our way through unexpected bumps in the road, or we can take them as they come, with a better attitude, helping us stay focused on our ultimate destination and reaching it with a better frame of mind. Often times these bumps also have hidden blessings if we are willing to slow down enough to receive them.


A Colorful Experiment

February 11th, 2014 | Posted by Noelle in Family | Homeschool | The girls - (0 Comments)

Homeschool is such a beautiful experience. A hidden treasure that is often misconstrued. I know my girls, and I know what they are capable of. I know what they are interested in, and how to make things that are otherwise “boring” to them, fun. I can push them to excel, and purchase the proper curriculum to help them do so. Emma is about 20 lessons from finishing up an entire year of math, and she could finish up these lessons in 20 days (a lesson per day), or in less than a week. She will be starting the next grade level as soon as she completes this book! I can slow down when I sense frustration, or push on when I feel the material is too easy.

I get to be the one to see the pride in my daughter’s eyes as she masters reading. I get to memorize her concentration habits, (she sticks her tongue out just like her dad!) I get to see her excitement when addition and subtraction “click.” I get to be the one she comes to for answers, for help. The one who decides if it is pajama day, or where we will go for a field trip. I get to see her giggle as I teach her silly songs about months in a year, days in a week, the environment, the Preamble.. I get to observe her fascination and love as I teach her how to multitask, nursing her baby sister while explaining today’s lessons. I see her determination as I teach her self discipline and routine while we do our daily tasks together. I get to experience our relationship blossoming as I focus hours each day on just my children, teaching them about the world, while I am ever learning more about them. A new connection I wasn’t expecting to find less than a year ago.

Homeschool is also messy. Our classroom is often the sofa upstairs, or the one down stairs, the living room floor, the reading corner in her bedroom, the coffee table, the kitchen table, pretty much anywhere we are comfortable, we learn. Homeschool books, papers, folders and crafts own our home. They are stashed in every closet, every drawer, on most countertops, and hung on most walls. I had expected homeschool to consume our house, but it has also filled my heart.

Today, after completing 7 lessons in math in about 40 minutes, we decided to do a science experiment. Experiments are so much fun for Kindergarten and preschool. The girls are always so amazed, and ready to learn. The experiments are fun for me too! I love the girls’ excitement, but the projects are often so simple (sensory bins, painting ect..) it is almost therapeutical.

While Emma cleaned up her math supplies I got our experiment ready. I decided today would be a fun day to teach the girls about primary colors. I filled clear jars with water and added red, yellow and blue coloring. I lined them up placing clear empty jars between them so when we mixed the colors together they would be in the order of the rainbow. Then I drew two big overlapping circles with the same color of marker for each new color we were going to make and asked the girls to predict what color the water would turn when we mixed them.




I started with the red and yellow water and poured a bit of each into the jar between them, and asked the girls to tell me what color it made and to color the portion of the overlapping circles the same color to show that when the two colors mix, they become a new color.





They had so much fun combining the colors and stirring them up with a spoon. When they were finished examining the colors I let them use the water to paint a picture.







Sweet Daisy Defense

February 10th, 2014 | Posted by Noelle in Photography - (0 Comments)

It was below freezing, and we had a few minor setbacks, but Holly braved the cold for me to get some amazing shots with the conceal carry bags from Sweet Daisy Defense.

I don’t know when, or how it happened, but a photography job evolved into a business partnership and I am proud and excited to say that Johnny and I are teaming up with Tyson and Stacy again, but this time for a long haul! We are now helping promote, design and create conceal carry bags!

Sweet Daisy Defense is a great and practical concept. Today, more criminals have guns than the other way around, and it is getting less and less safe for females to be out without a means of protection, whether it be in company of another person, or a weapon. Because the first scenario is not always an option, the next best thing and the most practical, is to carry a weapon.

There are several types of conceal carry bags out there, but there are next to none when it comes to trendy style or fashion. This is what sets Sweet Daisy Defense apart. Our, (I can say “ours” now right?) bags are up to date with the latest trends, and we are constantly updating styles. Because they are hand made, pretty much every option is able to be customized to your hearts desire!

So that is the important part right? If fashion and safety is all you care about, scroll down, look at the pics, click on the link. and order one! If you would like to know the specks, continue reading. 🙂

The conceal carry bag is different from the other styles from Sweet Daisy Designs in the sense that is has an extra, hidden, padded pocked sewn into the side of the purse. The pocket comes in two options, velcro or a zipper. In my own opinion, velcro is the more tactical option not only because the pocket looks like it is part of the seam, but because in a sticky situation you know it won’t malfunction, you can rip it open and your gun will be ready. A zipper would be a bit more tricky (especially for my shaky hands) but some people prefer it, so we offer it as an option.

The bag is completely ambidextrous, you can wear it on either side and draw your weapon with either hand.

There is velcro inside the concealed pocket on both sides, perfect for a velcro holster, and a portion of the velcro is left open at the top for you to slide in a clip style holster if you prefer.

If you would like to read a more detailed description click here.







Sweet Daisy Designs

February 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Noelle in Photography - (4 Comments)

I know a lot of my followers are women, and I know women love purses. I just got an awesome chance to team up with military family Tyson and Stacy from Sweet Daisy Designs and photograph a few of their bags for their online shop. I was pleasantly surprised when they handed me the bags I was to photograph. They are beautiful, and made with quality, thick materials. The tones work well with EVERYTHING, and if the removable flower isn’t your color, there are 9 other colors for you to choose from.

There are a few different styles of bags to choose from also. The Cross Body bag is a functional every day bag that has adjustable straps, 2 inside pockets perfect for keys & cell phone, and plenty of space for your wallet and extra miscellaneous items!









They designed a diaper bag that is stylish and doesn’t scream “baby!” It has 3 regular pockets and 3 elastic pockets inside perfect for bottles, wipes, toys ect. There is plenty of room left for blankets, extra outfits, and other everyday baby items.



Last but not least is the concealed carry bag from their sister company Sweet Daisy Defense. Yes, they have designed a concealed carry bag that is both functional and cute with a padded compartment that has the option of either velcro or a zipper! Unfortunately due to the weather, I don’t have pics with a model yet. I will be posting lots more very soon, but here is a sneak peak.


So check them out! There is a bag for everyone. They are affordable, adorable, functional, and best of all they are hand made by an inspiring military family.