Mason + Selin: The Quarterdeck Resort

I first met Mason & Selin in Florida, of all places. They were guests at a wedding I was photographing there. Read more about how we met here.

I had been so excited about this wedding. Simply because of them. We have become so close over the last year and I am so excited to see how they grow in love and what they accomplish in this world. Because I know that they will do great things together.

Their wedding day was perfect! I felt like I got to be a part of their fairy tail day!

One of those weddings that I want to relive over and over again! You could feel the joy all day long.

Mason and Selin met as little kids. Selin actually told a childhood friend the day she saw Mason that she was going to marry that boy! How amazing, to know your husband since you were both so young. To literally, grow up together.

I hope you enjoy this beautiful lake side wedding at The Quarterdeck Resort.

More to come soon on Selin’s sunrise session the next day!








Mason and Selin chose not to see each other before their ceremony. They had a moment alone, with eyes closed to talk and pray. I could hardly keep myself together standing in that room. Sweet Mason wouldn’t even touch her dress, he didn’t want it to give him any hints of what it looked like before she walked down the isle.










I am So Embarrassed!



As I sit here typing this my mouth is still totally numb.

It’s numb from the root canal that I just had to have done…

I had to have the root canal because I haven’t been to the dentist in 7 years!!!! Can you believe that. I bet you can. Because somewhere out there another woman is reading this and thinking the same thing… “I really should get into the dentist”

I haven’t been because I have pushed it off. Because my mouth didn’t hurt and it would cost too much. I also never made the time. Finding time for yourself is hard enough as a mom, but time to actually take care of yourself seems even harder unless it feels urgent. About a year ago I noticed that my tooth felt funny. Turns out a piece had broken off. And then another small piece and another. But still I had no pain. So I actually made an appointment to get it checked out. Had I done the yearly dental checks they would have caught this and taken care of it with a small filling, but now I’m out a whole bunch of money and have a numb mouth. COME ON KRISTA!!!!

On another self-care tip. I have always had bad eyes…. I promise it does not affect my job as a photographer but it sure does effect my driving, reading, writing, watching TV and computer work! So I thought I’d get my eyes checked since night-time driving seems so much worse. And sure enough my eyes have gotten worse since the last check up which was… about 7 years ago. My right eye in fact has gotten 7 times worse.

When I covered my left eye at the appointment to read that handy chart, I could only see the very top letter. A big fat “E” the rest was a complete blur. I actually started crying. That poor eye tech guy didn’t even know what to do with me!

Are you seeing a trend here….

7 years between visits

7 times worse

Our oldest just turned 7

I really like the number 7, but not today.

Today I am so frustrated with myself.

If I am not taking care of myself how can I expect to take care of my family. The ones who need me most. In the past 7 years all I have done is make excuses for why I can’t go to the dentist or eye doctor. Why I can’t do so many things and that’s all they are, excuses.

The definition of excuse is…

  1. :attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify.
    For so long I sought to defend my reasoning.
    I don’t have time.
    We don’t have the money.
    Who will watch my kids.
    I don’t need it.
    It’s not a big deal.
    And now look what I have done….

What do you need to do today to stop making excuses?

To take better care of yourself so that you can then turn around and take the best care of those around you? I can’t stress this enough. 7 minutes is too long to wait to make that call. Set up that appointment, get up earlier, start fresh. You owe it to yourself.




Luke & Leigh – A Joy Filled Sioux Falls Wedding.

When Leigh reached out to me and asked if I would photograph their wedding I was mostly in shock. You see… Leigh was one of our youth students and how in the world is it possible that she could be getting married??? She was in my mind still only 15 years old.

Time has a funny way of moving faster the older I get.

She is  no longer 15 and in high school. She is in fact an amazing young woman. Who went off to college in Sioux Falls South Dakota and met an amazing young man named Luke who loves her like crazy.

The day was filled with so much joy! I don’t have many other words to describe it other then joy. As I go through the images that’s all I see. Big smiling faces.

Luke and Leigh had their wedding at the Leif Ericson YMCA Camp in Sioux Falls. Luke had worked there in the past and it was the perfect setting for their day! They were surrounded by the sweetest of friends who have walked with them through their story. Both together and separately. It was a beautiful day! It spoke so clearly to who they are as a couple.

My favorite part of the day was the vows. Luke and Leigh chose to write their own vows. I love when couples do this. Leigh had the entire church laughing and crying with hers. She promised to not only love Luke, honor and serve him but to also watch Star Wars with him until she could have intelligent conversations with him about it. That’s love for sure!

Thank you Luke and Leigh for having me. And so much congratulations on your wedding!











Reception Site: Leif Erickson YMCA Camp

Hair and Makeup: Beauty Lounge LLC

     Dress: Lace Bridal (Etsy)

Caterer: Rollin’ Pin Cafe’ & Grill



Ryan & Liz’s Stillwater Wedding


Ryan and Liz met in Florida of all places, on a work trip. They quickly hit it off and Ryan stepped out and asked for Liz’s number with the help of a friend. I think its such a cool start to their story having both been from Minnesota and then meeting in Florida for a conference! The perfect timing for sure!

The day of the wedding Liz walked into the church glowing. She was one of the calmest and happiest brides! Her joy radiated onto everyone else that day. We started the day at the church and then headed to Spring Lake Park Reserve in Hastings MN. A beautiful park over looking the river. The day was HOT… 98 degrees to be exact, but that didn’t keep us indoors. The heat plus the wind would have scared most people off from doing outdoor photos. But, not Ryan and Liz. We found the perfect little trail for their first look and the rest of the day flowed really well.

Their reception was held at the gorgeous JX Event Venue in Downtown Stillwater. It was the perfect setting! The vibe of this wedding was so full of life. I wanted to stay and dance the night away too. Ryan and Liz make everyone feel so welcome and so do their families. The day was absolutely perfect! Ryan and Liz are a couple that you want to know. It has been a joy getting to know them over the last year.

Flowers: Tommy Carver 

Dessert’s: Bread and Chocolate

Bridal Gown: Amelishan 

Bridesmaid Dresses: The Wedding Shoppe

Suits: Mens Wearhouse 

Brides Boots: Ariats 

DJ: Manny with Instant Request









Ben & Nikki’s Maple Grove Reception Celebration

Ben and Nikki got married last month in Cabo, Mexico. When I asked Nikki how it was she said “Perfect”

I love that answer, isn’t that how every wedding day should be.

Since Ben and Nikki did a destination wedding not everyone was able to attend. So when they got back to Minnesota they planned a big party to celebrate with all their family and friends.

I dont know about you but I think being able to wear your wedding dress more then once sounds pretty awesome.

They held their reception at the beautiful Elm Creek Park Reserve Chalet and the weather was magnificent! You couldn’t have asked for a better Minnesota day.

Congratulations Ben and Nikki!








Venue: Elm Creek Park Chalet

Caterer: Classic Catering

Dj: Scott Tuff

The Photo Booth Group


Welling Over

The woman at the well is a very popular story told all over church congregations and in Christian circles world wide. We have all heard it preached or touched on.

Jesus is at the well in Samaria resting while the disciples head into town to find food. Now, it’s the middle of the day in the desert, the sixth hour, that means it’s HOT! I’m not talking it’s a little hot… It’s the desert. I personally have never been to the desert, but I can imagine that it’s not very pleasant. It’s the kind of hot and dry that keeps us indoors in the summer. The kind of HOT that melts ice cream in a moment and leaves you sticky and unsatisfied.

So, it’s the sixth hour and Jesus is hanging out at this well. The women of the town have collected their water in the early morning when it’s not yet this hot. Smart women! Who wants to go carry heavy water in the desert when it gets warmer during the day? Not this girl! So along comes a woman, in the middle of the day, to collect her water.

Why is she coming in the heat of the day to get her water?

Because all of the other women have left at this point and won’t be there. She has no desire to be around them. To be around the women that would judge her; that would talk about her behind her back (or in front of her, for that matter). Have you ever walked into a room or conversation and all of the chatter comes to sudden halt? And you just feel icky, and know that the conversation might have been about you? That’s how I imagine this woman feeling when she goes to the well in the morning with all the other women. She feels alone, judged, misunderstood, and out of place.

Can you relate? I can.

You see, this woman has now had 5 husbands and the man she’s living with now is not her husband. In that time this was NOT OK. You didn’t live with men unless they were your husband or a family member. You also didn’t typically get married more than once. Also, women were not really spoken to by men. So imagine her surprise when Jesus starts speaking to her and asking her for a drink.

I could imagine her turning and looking around to make sure he was really talking to her, and not someone else. Like when you think someone is waving at you, and you wave back, and then realize they are waving at someone behind you, and it gets real weird for all parties involved…!

And then Jesus does the unthinkable by asking her for a drink of water. He asks a Samaritan (who the Jews did not speak to) woman (who the men did not speak to) for a drink. The crazy thing is that He knows all of her sins. He knows exactly who she is. He is God, He is all knowing! She doesn’t understand, and asks Him why he has nothing to draw water with himself? Jesus goes on to to say to her “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

The woman stands there dumbfounded! Not only does Jesus have nothing to draw water from the well with, but what “living water” is he talking about? She asks him if he is greater than Jacob, the man who built the well. Until this point, Jacob has been the one to look to. Jesus explains to her that “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”


This request is simple. She still has no idea that she is talking to Christ, but the idea of never being humanly thirsty again and never having to come to this well in the middle of the day again sounds so sweet to her that she asks for it right then and there. It’s then that Jesus tells her that he knows all her sins. About her many husbands and the man she lives with now. She thinks he may be a prophet. She knows that the Messiah is coming. She tells him this. She has a full understanding of what she has heard up until this point. That Christ will come and “He will tell us all things.” That’s what she says to Jesus.

John 4:25- The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.”

I can’t imagine what she must be trying to process in this moment. This guy knows everything about me and he says he has living water, that I will never be thirsty again??? Who is this man?

He then says (probably very cool-ly) “I who speak to you am he.”

This sweet woman then drops her water jar! Can you see it falling to her dirty and dry feet as she realizes who she is speaking to? The water splashing all over the ground and her taking off towards town? The NLT version of the bible says that she “ran back to the village, telling everyone.”

She RAN, in the heat of the day because she was welling over with living water. She RAN back to the town where she has been mocked, left alone, pushed away, disgraced, and unaccepted, to tell these people about Jesus! The very people who she made a point to steer clear of by gathering her water in the heat of the day.  She couldn’t contain herself. And they all listened. They all went and believed.

This woman was a sinner and Jesus chose her to RUN and tell everyone about him. He could have picked anyone from that town. He could have gotten there in the early morning and sat with all the other women who would have been there filling their water jars. But he waited for that sinner. That lost woman, needing a friend, a savior, and living water, so that she would never be thirsty again.

I love that Jesus uses the stories of the sinners to speak to this world. He wants your mess because he is BIGGER than it. He covers it and the moment you grasp that you will have no choice but to well over with that living water and splash it on everyone else. Oh my gosh, LORD give me that water! I don’t want to contain it! I want to drop my jar of problems at my feet, at your feet, in the heat of the day and RUN to the people who despise me, to tell them about you! I want to cast aside all my fear of judgment because you are the ultimate judge. Lord let my life well over with your living water.




3 is the magic number

A while back I got the privilege to meet baby Sawyer! I have been photographing this sweet family since Avery, their oldest was 3 months old! That was almost 5 years ago now!

I have always had a wonderful time with this sweet family. I was so excited to find out that they would be having another baby. And you guys, he is so crazy loved by his big sisters.

We did Sawyers session in the studio when he was about about 6 days old! The perfect age for a newborn session.

I love the light in the studio for newborn sessions. It is so fresh and bright and life giving. Happy spring!




Sweet Baby Hazel

I just have to share this session!!!! I love all newborn sessions so much, but I especially love when they are full of baby details! I am a self-proclaimed detail junky- I love homes and the things inside of them that tell the stories of the people who live there.

The walls covered in photographs of families and friends. Or art that means something. In our home, we have a small painting that was hand painted by Jason’s grandfather on our wall. It’s one of my favorite things. These are the little things that make a house a home to the people that live in it.

Hazel was born August 23rd, 2016. She is such a sweet little baby and so very loved by her mama, daddy, and big brother. Today, take time to enjoy the little things that make up your home, and this sweet session.




Jason & Amelia’s Engagement session

What can say about Jason and Amelia? They are just the best!!

After 7  years of dating this is a couple that knows who one another is, what sets them on fire. You can see it shine through them when they are together! They have the most genuine smiles towards one another.  They are just the cutest.

Jason and Amelia didn’t know what exactly they wanted for their engagement session so they gave me the go ahead to do whatever I wanted! So, I did. I set out to find a dress, a florist, a canoe, and a bunch of food to style their session to perfection. I love that they were open to anything. Even when that “anything” meant getting in a canoe, on a really windy day, on a cold lake and standing up in it while I shouted directions from shore.

It was such a fun shoot and I am so excited for their June wedding. They are a beautiful couple with so much life to give to those around them.

I hope this session inspired you to do something fun, and maybe even a little out of your comfort zone.

Floral Styling by : Cassie, of Two Designs











Bowdy’s Birth Story and a Lesson in Why God’s Plan is Better.

I have always loved St. Patrick’s day. I love the food, the music, the atmosphere and even the traditional Green Beer! And now that I know the real story about St. Patrick, I love it even more. If you don’t know the true story of St. Patrick I encourage you to do some research, or heck, just call me- I’d love to tell you all the details and about how much he loved Jesus and needed to share the gospel.

Anyway…last year on St. Patrick’s day is when I went into labor with our third baby.

Now, let me back up. A third baby was never in our plans. After Georgia was born, Jason and  I had decided we were done having babies. That our two beautiful and healthy girls were just what we needed. Also, we had been through 2 miscarriages as well and I just didn’t want to go though another one. And, I don’t like being pregnant. I get so sick and not just in the 1st trimester- like the entire time. So we did what all families do when they decide they are done having babies and gave EVERYTHING away!!!!!

Literally, a few weeks later I was feeling awful. I chalked it up to traveling a lot and being pretty busy with work and let it all just go. I never even thought to take a pregnancy test until I was about 4 weeks late. I know right, denial. I honestly thought the test would be negative, that there was no way I could be pregnant. That I would probably have to make a doctors appointment to figure out what was wrong with me.

I had been editing the day I took the test at 2 in the afternoon. I placed it on the bathroom counter, walked away to check my uploads and actually got distracted for the next 30min. I was that oblivious! So imagine my surprise when the test was a full blown positive!

I did what any rational girl would do and phoned a friend! Crying, and to be honest, I said some non-church words too. How could this be??? We are done? I don’t want another baby!! We gave EVERYTHING away!!! I don’t like being pregnant!!! On and on and on. Everything but excitement went through my head.

So for the next 7 months we rallied and gathered everything to bring home a new baby again! I was fairly healthy during this pregnancy and was only severely sick once, so that was a total blessing, and like our previous pregnancy’s we didn’t find out the sex of the baby and I honestly was convinced it was another girl. Which would have been fine.  I wrapped my head around the idea of 3 kids slowly and focused a lot on work up until the week before my due date.

A few fun pics from my pregnancy!


So there we were St. Patrick’s day 2016. In the spirit of the holiday my mom and I decided to order Ruben Sandwiches from the local restaurant here in Elko. They were so good- I thought I wasn’t hungry but soon had finished the entire sandwich, plus fries, and most of my mom’s soup too. When I got up to clean up from lunch I had to sit back down from contraction pain. Now some background: I have always had contractions with my other pregnancy’s that turned into nothing. I have also always been induced a week +1 day over my due date. So when the contractions started I didn’t think much of them, thinking they would soon go away and I would walk into the hospital sometime the week after and start the induction process.

Well, they didn’t stop!! I showered and Jason came into say goodbye to me to go pheasant hunting and asked if I was OK while I leaned over the bathroom sink to a contraction. I said “yes, just contractions, see you later” and off he went. Because this had happened with the girls he thought nothing of my calm state. However, when he returned to find my mom still at our house telling him to go upstairs and get ready to go he was a little shocked.

I had now been in early labor for 6 hours at home. The contractions were coming every 4 minutes lasting for a minute or longer and I still didn’t want to go to the hospital. It took some coaxing from Jason and my mom and my sweet birth coach Sandy to get me to leave the house. But we finally did.

When we got to the hospital though I was only at 2cm…

But, our nurse announced that we were going to stay and that we would be having our baby soon!!! Tears of joy started running down my face, and we sent Jason out to the car to get the bag. Because, like I said I didn’t think we would be staying.

I took this blurry but perfect picture of Jason as he came in from getting our bag. We were so excited! It was now around 7pm.


The next few hours as we got settled in we did all the tricks. Walking the halls, doing lunges on the stairs, using the ball, and even getting into the tub (which I was told was magic and would speed everything up). Well, it didn’t. So by 3am and only being at 3cm, they broke my water.

We thought this would really speed things up. But it didn’t. And from there is gets pretty blurry for me. I labored until around 5am when we thought I was displaying all the signs of transitioning! So, Jason called my sweet friend and birth photographer,  Kristen Dyer (who took all these amazing images) to come to the hospital thinking we would be close. This was a false alarm too. I was at 7cm and would stay there until around 10:30 am. Around that time I finally got to 10cm! Fully dilated now and feeling every need and desire to push! So we tried a few times and I was told to stop!!


After a quick check by the doctor it was determined that I needed to labor some more. The baby was not in the right position. So we waited. Which led to complete exhaustion on my part, my team’s part, and my uterus’s part. Did you know that your uterus could get tired and slow down? I didn’t. I have been in on a lot of births and never heard of this. So, the staff thought it would be best to start pitocin to help my tired uterus out. This sucked! A few hours later we tried pushing again with no luck. So then my doctor tried to go in and (stop reading here if your sqweemish) turn the baby to get it into the right position!!! I don’t know that I would wish that kind of pain on anyone… this also didn’t work. Since baby still looked good on the monitor we decided to try to labor a little longer and try a few more positions to get baby to move.

A few more hours later my sweet nurse returned to try pushing one more time. If it didn’t work this time the next step was to get an epidural and try turning the baby again!!!! Imagine the look on my face at that suggestion. I was like “where were you with that suggestion 3 hours ago?” I was so done!

So I gave it my all and, just like that, like it was no big deal at all, our sweet nurse Cristal says. “Stop pushing!!!!!!!!! The baby is coming”

Like a ninja Jason jumped on the bed behind me like he had done with Georgia’s birth and together we pushed. With my mom on my right and Sandy my birth coach on my left. 3 pushes later and we had a baby. Our reaction to the news of a boy is priceless. I was in total shock. And completely overwhelmed. A BOY!! A perfect, surprise, chubby, baby BOY!!!


A total of 27 hours of natural labor to get one of the biggest and best surprises of our lives. He was born right on his due date. The craziest thing!

We loved introducing the girls to him and soaking in every little piece of newborn goodness. And now he is going to be 1 tomorrow! How is this possible? How has a year gone by so fast? A big shout out to the team I had there that day. Jason, my mom Karen, Sandy my birth coach, Cristal our nurse, Kristen for your support and amazing, priceless images, and Marv and Vicki for taking care of the girls.

I vividly remember the ride home from the hospital. I sobbed, full on hard to breathe crying. I was obviously tired and hormonal but on top of all that I was so thankful. Poor Jason kept trying to console me as I cried. How could I have ever been upset about being pregnant again? How could I have thought that my plans where better? I was so overwhelmed with the thought that I had made God so small, that I tried to tell Him what I thought was best for me. When all along He was preparing this little boy for us. This perfect little gift that we didn’t see coming. It’s so hard to see the big picture when you’re in it. Deep in your own selfish desires and thoughts about what you thought your life would or should look like. It’s like God reached down and shook His finger at me in that car. Like an earthy father saying “I told you so, why didn’t you trust me.”

Bowdy has made me a better mom. Maybe it’s because it’s my 3rd time around. But, I am so much calmer, so much more delighted in every little stage that he goes through. We obviously can’t imagine our life without him. We are so excited to celebrate his 1st birthday. It will be St. Patrick’s themed with Rubens and all.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. My hope is that it encourages you to look beyond what you think your plans might be to see the bigger picture. His plans for you are so much better than you can ever imagine.


Happy Birthday Bo. You are so very loved.