New family additions of the four-legged variety

Liza Minelli (because honestly she looks like a drag queen and she also looks like Liza Minelli)


Doesn’t have a name yet

Casper the friendly goat.

On top of these four who came home with us yesterday, there are three more who haven’t adjusted enough for me to get pictures who came home with us today.


Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on

Lots and lots happening in our household lately. I took some time and took pictures of baby things that either I or someone else has made for the little one

This lovely blanket was knitted by my cousin who has her own little one on the way just a few weeks after ours is due to arrive.

The jacket and hat were made by her mother

This blanket was made by my aunt- it is beautiful and so intricate

These next two were made by Jarell’s great-aunt. This little one will be her great great niece- how awesome is that?

I love the granny squares

Here’s the changing table all set up for the homebirth with blankets, towels, clothes, diapers, and a whole bunch more.

Close-up of a few of the newborn diapers I’ve made

One of the fleece skirty soakers complete with owl applique

Hand cut applique of the ninja turtle, Donatello because he was always my favorite

More diapers in one-size

And a few more soakers.

I’m excited to see all of this coming together at long last!

Johnny and Jessi- a wedding story

Just shy of a month ago, I had the extreme pleasure of being able to capture the wedding of my husband’s childhood best friend. It was a beautiful day and I loved every minute of it. (despite being nearly 7 months pregnant at the time and on my feet for about 7 hours)

The day couldn’t have been more perfect- it had been windy and cool the night before when they had their rehearsal, but the sky was just barely overcast the day of the wedding, with temperatures in the mid-70’s. Perfect for pictures, perfect for a wedding, just perfect.

I thought I’d share a few of the pictures from that day.

Good Day :)

Had a really nice walk with my dogs in our field today. I haven’t had much energy since the advent of the baby so the mile or so that I rambled around in the field while my babies ran to their hearts’ content was wonderful. I sat on the ground and soaked up the sun and the warm (50 degrees or so) weather while they raced back and forth between me and their adventures.

They’ve grown so big in the past year- they’ll be a year old on Valentine’s day and they have grown to be such beautiful animals. This picture is Chowder (he’s my Chowder-head) and Betsie running to me on one of their rounds

We went down into the woods to get them a drink from the creek that runs through our property. This pool and waterfall (mostly dormant with this dry weather) is my favorite spot on our land, but thanks to poison ivy, its only accessible in the cold months so I always try to get out there several times in the winter and fall.

Turns out the dogs thought it was pretty cool too- they all went for a swim

On my walk back to the house I snapped this shot of one of the mini ponds that has sprung up in the terracing on the fields where the water collects when it rains. I love the way each one makes a beautiful oasis in a field otherwise covered in tall grasses. One such pond even boasts a tiny willow tree that has sprung up in the last couple of years.

I took these pictures with my cell phone because I didn’t take my camera along, but good news! My sweet husband must have found my lens when he was cleaning (doesn’t remember, but I know it wasn’t me) so that’s one less thing on my mind for Monday.

Finally Some Pictures

You’d think with me being a photography student there would be more evidence of my chosen profession around here, but lately sitting and laying down are about all I’ve had energy for. Yesterday tho, we sent my brother and his girlfriend back to California after their visit for the holidays and I was able to muster the energy to take a few pictures of them back in our woods before we took them to the airport.

This is E and along with being my brother’s partner in crime, I’m totally claiming her as my newest sister- she’s an absolute sweetheart! She and my brother took care of me while Jarell was in Iowa this past week and we had so much fun learning all the thins we have in common.

K and E

Aww young love 🙂

He was opposed to having pictures taken and the sun was in his eyes so this was the face I got

Love this one the best

All smiles after he made a bunch of silly faces and I got the good shot with a rare real smile from him.

In other (i.e. baby) news, I have learned to truly dislike morning (read: all day) sickness, but I am more than thankful that I don’t actually throw up when I’m sick. The one downside is that I’m losing weight due to having food aversions to almost everything. Its got me and even my husband who’s normally unflappable a bit concerned because the weight lost is visibly noticeable. Fortunately I’ve decoded my latest cravings and there is a pot of gluten free pasta cooking on the stove with homemade crab alfredo sauce all ready to top it.

Guess that about does it for this evening so I’ll sign off and wish you all a good night 🙂

Christmas is coming

I’ve been crafting up a storm getting ready for Christmas, but despite the fact that I’m supposed to be a photographer, you wouldn’t know it because I just haven’t been taking pictures much and the few that I have are taken with my cell which makes for less than quality pics. So because I love you my wonderful (albeit mostly silent *hint hint*) readers, I decided to dig up the camera, find my lenses, and take some pictures. I took pictures of all the hair and jewelry pieces I’ve made and as a bonus, I got shots of our newly remodeled guest room just for giggles. The crafty shots don’t include then knitted items I’ve made, but that’s because the ones that are finished have already been wrapped.

If you’ve seen the show, The Walking Dead, you will appreciate the significance of these ears, but if not, I’ll let you assume that I’m just crazy and decided to make my husband a necklace of ears….

$150 bed from Craigslist equals a beautiful guest room that seems almost too good to be true not to mention nicer than my own bedroom set *sighs*

Pardon the blurry shot- ornaments and paper cut outs hanging in a frame from an old mirror courtesy of my step-mom

Who would want to leave a room with a tv this nice? I need to figure out how to hide the cords, but I love it.

I would so sleep in this room myself if it weren’t for the fact that the paint is still off-gassing and its probably not a good idea given that I’m incubating a tiny being. (I’ve got another ultrasound appointment early tomorrow morning so we’ll be one step closer to discovering if it is a human or alien being)

So the pictures are not even remotely what I’d consider photographer quality, but nevertheless, they are pictures 🙂

Busy Bee

I’ve been one. Multiple shooting assignments each week for this most recent class have kept me running and family stuff in between has taken up the rest of my time. I’m finished with shooting for this class tho- it ends the day after tomorrow and then I move into…. College Math *dun dun DUUUUNNNN* Not excited about that at ALL but at least it’s the last math class I’ll ever have to take so once its over at the end of September, I’m done with math forever which I’ve never been able to say before. I have a new project tho and I wanted to stop by to share it with you. Its a big deal- like bigger than the vow renewal ceremony (plans for which have kind of stalled until I get some more money together *sighs*)

This big deal is something I’ve been wanting most of my life and I finally talked my husband into it. I’m the proud new owner of 4, that’s right 4 new goats! I know, I know- what am I going to do with goats? Well we raised them when I was little, for milk and for meat, and I was so sad when my dad finally sold them off because they were my escape as a  very lonely child living in the country. I would play with the goats and my dogs for hours at a time and when he had to sell them I felt a little lost. Fast forward to two weeks ago when I finally got my husband to agree to let me have a few. (he’s the one paying the bills and adding an extra expense is always something I let him make the final decision on) I immediately got to work finding some for sale on Craigslist and found two that I thought would be a good start. I put up a fence, vigilantly searched out and destroyed as many of the poisonous plants as I could, and cleaned out the freezer truck box that is now their barn. If that sounds weird to you, think about it- its the perfect size, seriously well insulated, has not one but two doors, and its totally water proof. It works out great and there are even raised wheel wells that are flat and make perfect feeders because they have a low ledge all the way around them.

The day before I was set to go pick up the two goats I found on Craigslist (65 miles away in my Hyundai Santa Fe that now smells like goat pee *sigh*) my husband saw a flier for some Fainting Goats for sale in the local feedstore. I called the number because he liked the idea of the fainting goats, and the woman was selling them for $50 each because she just wanted to get her herd down to a more manageable number. These goats generally sell for $2-300 so I was all over that idea. I went and picked out two of them with plans to pick them up the next day (yesterday) after I got the two that were farther from me.

The trip home with the first two was uneventful aside from the mama (hereafter known as Madeline or Rotten) peeing on my seats twice. Her baby (two week old Marshmallow) even got friendly enough to come sit on the console between my front seats near the end of the trip. She’s about 10 inches tall and as precious as can be. Her mother is a Nigerian Dwarf/Pygmy mix and she’s got a bit of a bossy gene.

Picking up the fainting goats- Mabeline and her baby Oreo- was also uneventful and she didn’t pee in my car. Getting them all accustomed to each other and to me has been the challenge. I ended up chasing Oreo all over our field after she got out of the electric fence and the only reason I caught her was because Jarell brought Mabeline out on a tether so baby could see mama. Madeline is bullying Mabeline and poor Mabeline is having a hard time of it because she can’t just run away- her legs stiffen up and then she falls over when she gets excited because of her Fainting goat heritage.

I spent the night having terrible nightmares about all sorts of horrible things happening to them, but as of this morning, everything was still okay.

Images from Michigan


I realized that I had posted briefly about my trip to Michigan but failed to post any pictures. Today I have overcompensated for that oversight.

Sign at my great-grandmother’s house (she passed away just after I got home at the age of 100)

My grandfather with his birthday cake

Blowing out the candles- he’s 90. The woman on his right is my grandma

My uncle with my oldest cousin’s daughter (another cousin in the background couldn’t resist the photo-op either)

Beautiful cappuccino art at a coffee house in Grand Rapids

My first Mimosa

Paella, mimosa, and plantain chips- yum!

Me on the left, my cousin in the middle, and a friend of hers on the right

Amazing sandwich *drool*

The free screen printing booth at the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts

Sleeping off his Sprite

Stars and stripes forever

I love the architecture downtown in GR

Getting ready for a concert

Lead singer of a group called the Potatoe Babies


Steam Pig

Another picture post

I haven’t been around much on the internets lately- the weather has either been great and I’ve been outside, or its been terrible and I’ve been hiding in the basement. Add that to me not being a shut-in any more since I got my own car again (finally!) and keeping busy with school and its no wonder I’m hardly around any more.

This business also explains why I haven’t gotten around to getting to meet one of my fellow bloggers for the first time in person last week. We got together and did a photo session and I must say it was a lot of fun meeting Miss Toi. She’s every bit as sweet and funny in person as she seems online and I had so much fun hanging out with her and her dog Lucy while we explored the area around my home and did some picture taking.

Back tracking a little more, I had an interesting assignment for my final for the last photography class I took. We chose a word at the beginning of the class and then we were supposed to illustrate the feeling of that word. My word was ‘discarded’. I’m very literal and this assignment was therefore pretty tough for me. I want to take artistic photos but I’m not sure I get the psychology of it all and that is honestly a little daunting for me. In the end I halfway figured it out tho and the professor gave me some good pointers to get me closer to where I need to be. With that in mind, I think I’ll be doing some self-imposed assignments along the lines of this assignment to broaden my base of experience.

Discarding the trappings of society (no models were naked or harmed in these pictures- she had shorts and a tank top on but it sure looks fun, huh?)

Discarded life, discarded prom queen, discarded love, you pick the discard

Childhood discarded and growing up. J12 was great at riding off on his bike over and over for me until I got just the right angle for this one.

Left behind (this one wasn’t used in my final, but I love the feel of the picture) J14 with her little dog, Dirty Dan, was so helpful and she’s the model in the other shots as well 😉

Still alive

I swear I’m still alive. Its just been a very busy and messy year so far. Its almost April and we haven’t even sent out the yearly invitations to the family reunion! (oops!) My grandfather died in January and while that was sad, I knew he’d lived a long and productive life. I’ve been busy with classes but that’s not much of an excuse. I was sick quite a bit for a while there. I’ve been working on my photography business (yes business! I’ve currently got two paying gigs lined up in the next month!!) And then on Friday, my dog was sick. My 11 month old Bessie who had puppies on Valentines day. (yes she was too young, I wanted to get her spayed, but we were low on funds when it came time to take her to the vet due to my husband’s job not paying him for almost a month and it was too late by the time we had the money) I planned to take her to our vet on Monday because she had thrown up a couple of times and wasn’t eating much. Saturday night we kept her inside so she could get some rest and when I went to check on her Sunday morning, she was dead. I have no idea what made her so sick that she was gone so fast and I can’t help but blame myself because I feel like I should have known if something was that badly wrong with her, but aside from a worried sick feeling in my stomach, I had no idea. I took her to the vet after the puppies were born. He checked her out, sent her home with some antibiotics and she seemed fine. Its still a shock to me and now I have 8 orphaned babies to watch out for. Thankfully I have 2 adult females who tolerate the babies because they still need someone to show them how to be dogs.

For those of you who have dogs who are like your family (or closer for some of you) you understand what a blow this is I’m sure. It has me off-balance but playing with her little ones has been some of the best medicine. They’re precious and irresistible and I will be keeping at least two of them. We will be setting aside a nice chunk of our tax refund to take care of all the vet bills (spaying, shots, etc) so that I don’t have to worry about this happening again.