stand your sacred ground

I happened upon Brooke Castillo’s 5-minute emotional makeover last week.  I listen to her podcast regularly but had never heard this podcast.  I decided to give it a try.  I had been feeling a lot of anxiousness lately and thought it would be great to get a handle on it. or understand it. or get to the bottom of it.  or something.

As I went through her steps, I noticed quickly that it wasn’t anxiousness at all, it was fear.  That seemed really clear to me- but what am I afraid of!?  I had done this in the evening.  The next morning, I still recognized the fear-but had no idea what I am actually afraid of.  What is the sentence that I am telling myself that is causing the fear that I am feeling?  I said my prayers, like usual, and pleaded, “please tell me the thought I am holding that is causing my fear.”  I began to journal and the thought came immediately-


Memories became clear.  Instances, especially growing up, where I was given a strong message…be small, be quiet, blend in, don’t stand out, don’t disrupt.  be small.  I think society, especially in my era, was  IS a strong teacher of this to girls…and some of us are really sensitive to it…and jump in…believing every lie it has to offer.  be small.

I thought about it for a few days.  What do I want to replace that thought with?  What is it’s opposite?  BE LARGE?  BE BIG?  BE BOLD?  maybe.

I ran across a thought (from Brene Brown) that I loved…here (who I didn’t follow by the way, and I am not sure how I got to her page. I follow her now!)IMG_2215

I thought of this photo I took of Kate and Ellie in Southern, CA.  I love their stances against the powerful waves coming their way.  It’s my new phone screen saver.

I look at it over and over again.  Every time I open my phone.  DON’T SHRINK!  Don’t make myself smaller than I am.  Don’t diminish who I am or what I want.  DONT’ PUFF UP!  I am not better than anyone else.  I don’t have anything to prove.  Give and love so that we are all standing together…being us-  STANDING OUR SACRED GROUND.

12 years old


An interview with Sophie after TURNING TWELVE YEARS OLD!

What is your favorite quote or thought to think?

“Actually, you are good enough.”

Is there anything that you do daily, no matter what?

“exercise…usually tumbling” (everywhere she goes!)

Is there something you couldn’t live without?



What is unique about you?

“that I can tumble”

Why do you participate in power tumbling?

“Because it’s something I am pretty good at and it is something different, that most people can’t do. And it’s really fun!”

Can you think of someone who inspires you to be a better person?

“Kara Chapman. Because she always shares her stories of her mistakes, how to improve and she’s really funny.  And my mom, because she always lets us do what we love. That she likes photography and has never given up on it”


What trait are you most grateful for in yourself?

“I like having fun!”

What is your favorite book and why?

“THE INVISIBLE EMMIE and POSITIVE IZZY because they are easy to read, fun and they cover how different people get through challenges.”

What is your favorite failure or mistake?

“When I messed up on my ball-out (at yesterday’s meet) because it was something I was scared to do, but I went for it. Even though I didn’t get a full rotation, I was happy that I tried it.”


What is your favorite space in our home?

“the fridge”

“and the guest bedroom downstairs…it is cooler downstairs and kind of a hideout.”

“and my bed”

If you had an extra hour everyday-what would you do with it?

“jump on the tramp”

Favorite dessert?

“all of them”


What does the world need more of?

“chocolate and less criticism and more praise”

What time in your life have you felt especially beautiful?

“When I am around people I love”

let bygones be bygones

20181105-_97A349350mm | f2.0 | 1/100 | iso250

In an effort to keep humans out of her candy, since she was the only trick-or-treater in our house this year, Sophie decided to tuck her Halloween candy in her room inside a gallon size ziploc bag.  On November 1st, she went to school…and left her candy on the ground, instead of that safe shelf in her closet that she had planned on.  When we all came home her candy was gone–and the incriminating evidence was all over the backyard.  It took a few days (maybe a week) but it looks like these two have patched things up.  Friends again.

a new partnership

K97A5675.jpg50mm | f1.2 | 1/4000 | iso250

October 25, 2014: It was the first day I had strapped a 50mm 1.2L Canon lens on.  I rented it for a photoshoot I had that day.  While still in my possession, I decided to try it out on my family members.  We went up the street and found a quiet spot…with autumn dressed trees all around us.  I loved that impromptu photo session…but this image motivated me to find a way to make sure that lens was in my own camera bag.  It is still one of my very favorites.

a few more from that day SOOC (straight out of camera) with the exception of a bit of cropping…

K97A5677K97A575650mm | f2.8 | 1/640 | iso250

K97A568250 mm | f1.2 | 1/4000 | iso250

K97A569250mm | f1/2 | 1/4000 | iso250

I loved the above image of Ellie…the hair is so soft…and the depth of field so shallow…the brim of the hat soft.  I loved her expression.  The drawback of shooting that shallow is that her nose is in perfect focus…but her eyes aren’t.  Generally, if your subject is looking at the camera…it is best to have their eyes in focus.  (oops!)

But…once I moved back a bit (moved myself back because it is a prime lens) we nailed the focus on quite a few.  The details above were the same (f1.2 | 1/4000, etc…) for the next image, but moving back changed the depth of field significantly.


K97A576650mm | f2.8 | 1/640 | iso250

This one will always be a favorite for me…it captured each of their personalities pretty perfectly. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Remember…those are all SOOC (with the exception of that first one…I am not sure about that).  I wanted to show what the lens actually does…without any Photoshop or Lightroom treatment on them.

Sadie’s 2018


(left to right) Maddie, Braden, Ellie, Jake, Elizabeth, Daniel, Ellie, Caden, Cami and Camden

Ellie has had the best time at the dances she has attended!  This was no exception.  This is one great group of human beings!  I am so lucky to call one of them mine.

I was so impressed with Ellie’s relaxed nature this weekend.  There were details that I was wondering about (trying not to add any stress to the situation…HA!) and each time Ellie’s response was, “it’s FINE”  I wish I had had her common sense and maturity at that age.  She amazes me.






These two bring us so much CHEER and FUNSHINE!  I can’t think of more appropriate costumes for them!  I am thankful everyday that Lucy’s family moved in “next door” a few years ago.  HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Sara (Lucy’s mom) said it best on IG-

Funshine Bear and Cheer Bear to brighten your day. 💛💕 The most spot on costumes ever…in our Care Bear costume research we discovered …”Cheer Bear makes up cheers on the spot for encouragement or to help solve a problem. Funshine makes the most of her days with sunny optimism and being fearless.” 💛💕 That is Lucy and Sophie to the max.