Wednesday, October 22, 2014


I'm linking up with Kiki from In Its Time today to talk about books.

Hands down, the best book I read this year is Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Nothing else even comes close. A true story of an olympian and WWII hero. I can't believe what this man went through and survived in his life! His story is absolutely amazing and I can't wait for the movie to come out. It opens on Christmas and one just might find me at a theater on Christmas day. Best book I have read in a long time. Couldn't put it down. Do yourself a favor and read the story of Louis Zamperini. You won't regret it!

If I Stay. I'm working through a list of books being made into movies this year. If I Stay was a good read and I'm interested to see how they adapted it for the screen.

Where She Went. It's the sequel to If I Stay. I'm half way through and have a hard time putting it down at night.

I picked up The Drop from the library. It's another book being turned into a movie.

I don't think I read much when I was a kid. We were always playing outside. I didn't enjoy reading like I do now. I'll say though, that my favorite children's book now is the one my husband wrote. :)

I don't know why this question always comes up in book link ups... but it does. I could give the cliche answer and say I would take my Bible... but let's be honest... I'm pretty sure I would much rather have a survival guide. It's just more practical.

What are you reading?
Recommend a book! I love trying new authors out!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rachel and Keith ~ Flying Dove Ranch Wedding

My cousin Rachel married Keith in August at the Flying Dove Ranch in Ridgway, PA. Once again, I had a day where rain threatened. Thankfully the rain had ended by the time the ceremony started and we ended up with a really great day for a wedding and outdoor reception!

I love the Flying Dove Ranch and it was fun to be there as a photographer and a guest. It was a day of a family, great food, love and a partying. Burlap and lace seem to be at every wedding I show up to this year but I absolutely loved the sunflowers!



























Congratulations Rachel and Keith!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Our Favorite Farm

Every fall there are plenty of farms for us to choose from. I like to try a new one every year but we also like to go to Metrick's Harvest View Farm and Market. It's our favorite!

The reason I love it so much is because it is simple and inexpensive. You can walk through the small corn maze and get a wagon ride for free. They also give us popcorn and hot cider, also free! The kids like to grab a bag of popcorn before heading into the maze and just eat along the way. Then we go for a nice ride around the farm and enjoy the scenery. Up next is shopping for pumpkins and veggies and apples and all kids of goodies in their shop. I love that they offer the maze and wagon ride for free because it leaves us with plenty of money to spend on their products. We loaded up when we were there last weekend and have been using all their produce in our cooking this week!

I think we might have to stop out again this weekend. :) Hooray for fall family fun!












Thursday, October 16, 2014

Transitions and Titles


All last year I dreamed about what it would be like to be a stay at home mom with both of my kids in school for 6 1/2 hours a day. I thought I would be able to relax. I thought I would be able to get stuff done. Go out with friends. Do the grocery shopping alone. Enjoy a few hours lost in a good book.

And then school started and life got weird.

For two weeks I felt like I just wandered around, lost. I didn't know what to do with myself and all that time! I had a TON of things that needed done but I just didn't seem to be able to organize my days in a way that would work for me. After two weeks I cried to Mike... I don't know what to doooo! I'm a mom! What am I supposed to do for 6 1/2 hours every day?! Alone!? While my kids are in school!? I'm lost! I have all this time and I don't even get anything done!

It was around this time that my friend rented the house next to me and I helped her paint the entire thing. I realized it was good for me to get up and have a plan. So I started planning my days before I went to bed. I figured out how to organize my time a little bit better and I found ways to still have purpose throughout my days... because purpose is what I was really missing.

Since then, my days have become much more productive. I have found the time to relax and read a book but I've also been able to cross a load of stuff off of my to-do list. It took a while... but I figured out what to do with all this time.

It was a tough transition for me but I survived it.

In the process of the transition period I also realized that I had to redefine how I labeled myself. All these years I have called myself a stay at home mom. I have work... but I never considered myself a working mom. But I AM a working mom. I work A LOT! Between photography and my crochet business, I have found myself working several hours a day.

The more I began to accept who and what I am, the easier the transition into my new role of a mom who is at home for 6 1/2 hours a day became.

It was a rough few weeks... but I'm ok now. :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

5 Days Old - Newborn Session

I recently had the privilege of snuggling up with this little guy to get some newborn pictures. He was only 5 days old on picture day and probably the smallest baby I ever held. So tiny. So light. So precious!!









Thursday, October 2, 2014

Don't Let Fear Win

This was the summer of bikes. We all finally had one and the kids could ride without training wheels. We have been taking bike rides around the neighborhood and on some rails to trails. A few weeks ago we drove ourselves to the middle of nowhere and found a place to get on the Allegheny River Trail. We had heard that it had tunnels and thought it would be neat.


If you look closely you can see the trail along the river. It was absolutely beautiful!


There is a section of the trail that is not finished and we had to do about a mile or so on a rocky, dirt road. It was definitely difficult for the kids but they managed and we met up with the trail again.

And then came the tunnel.


We turned on our lights and in we went... and then we realized we really didn't like it! At all!

This tunnel is about .7 of a mile long and it curves at one end. We were riding toward the curved end meaning we had no light at the end of the tunnel. We rode into complete darkness and our lights weren't really bright enough. The kids freaked a little and said they wanted to turn around. Honestly, I wasn't loving it either! But there was no way I was going to let the kids know that! And there was no way I was going to let them turn around.


We ended up walking our bikes through the tunnel because it was really hard to see. I think we all felt a little more comfortable with our feet on the ground.

There were moments where I felt like a mean mom for making my kids continue with something that they were obviously afraid of, but I knew we had to go through the tunnel. I knew we couldn't give into our fear. I knew that if we turned around the kids would never try a tunnel again. I had to push them through so they would know that they COULD do it. And then if they decided to never do it again that would be ok.

We couldn't let fear win.

There were some tears but we made it through and continued on with our ride along the river! Then came the time to turn around and go back through the tunnel. There was definitely still some resistance. Liza and Jason did not want to go back in the tunnel again. But we had to go through the tunnel if we wanted to get home.

The way back was definitely easier. We rounded the bend right away and we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was still really dark... but that light at the end was a great guide and I think it made all of us feel a little safer. We were able to ride instead of walking. And there may have been some "woo hoo-ing" at the end!


This was one of my favorite rides yet! The scenery was gorgeous and I enjoyed the challenges that we conquered as a family.


Overall we went ten miles. The kids pushed themselves to their limits and conquered fears. And then they slept really well that night!


And to end... Liza's thoughts as we walked through the tunnel into complete darkness...

There are four reasons I'm not really liking this!
1. There is something really REALLY heavy on top of us!
2. It's really REALLY dark.
3. There could be bats!
4. It's really REALLY DARK!

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