Lately, we’ve been doing lots of running. I’m finishing up editing, working on taxes, while attending every Christmas program and party we can.

The other night, Michael had a musical. So as the cool aunt, I brought the camera and flashed away just like the other hundred parents in the room. But I couldn’t help but smile when I pulled out my big camera and flash and the dad next to me pointed to his wife and said, “we should get one like THAT.”

We were sitting pretty far away, but I still got some super awesome shots of my favorite six year old.


When I first met Montgomery, I was small and he was 11 years older. Therefore: he was AWESOME.  (Aside from the fact that he’s pretty cool anyways) But in my eyes, watching him play baseball was like watching Zac Hanson on tv.  (And back then, Zac Hanson was IT. Freal.)  Growing up I pretty much thought the two of them hung the moon, my brother and his wife.  It was SUCH a blessing to get to inherit a brother along with my new family, and then a new sister when he married Molly — and now, it’s a blessing to watch them raise two precious girls.

I’ll never forget walking into my grandparents house a few years ago right before Christmas when Molly and Montgomery told us they were having a baby!  Little did we know at the time they were having TWO babies!

It’s not that often we get to see one another, but when we do, the time flies.  Laughter echos through out the house and the sound of kids music coming from the plethora of toys in the living room floor drowns out the television playing a football game.

I went to Mom and Dad’s one night this weekend for the first time since they left, and the house was quiet. There was a bowl of toy lady bugs still sitting on the counter in the kitchen.  I couldn’t help but tear up and think that the next time we see them is SIX whole months away.  They’ll be another year older and we’ll have a one month old. <—whoa.

Our time together as a family may be short, but we make memories that last the whole year.  I was thankful for a minute to capture this precious family after church one Sunday afternoon while they were here.

I love you all! xoxo


It’s said that if you crave sour, it’s a boy.

I crave pickles.

It’s said that if you have breakouts, it’s a girl.

I have the skin reminiscent of my junior high days.

The chinese gender calendar says it’s a girl.

My gender prediction quiz online says it’s a boy.

I got a feeling that it was a boy.

I had a dream that it was a girl.

There’s no fool proof method to find out what you’re having. Clearly. Else we’d be having one of each. (And we know from the head count, there’s just one baby in there.)  So, we’re patiently waiting for our gender revealing ultrasound to come around next month to find out if Baby J is a boy or a girl. Either way, we’re excited.  And either way, there’s a pinterest board ready to be excited for the cutest nursery in the world. (In my personal opinion.:))

But, in light of finding out who’s in there, I decided to make a little game.  Please leave your vote in the poll box below — and if you want to be entered to win a free session, also leave your vote in the comment section below along with your email.  When we have our gender revealing ultra sound, of the ones who get it right, there will be  a drawing for a 15$ Itunes giftcard.

That’s right. 15$ of Itunes goodness.  So, get your vote on and drop a vote like it’s hot!



  • Diana Camacho - if you have a feeling it’s a boy! It probably will be! :)ReplyCancel

  • Bethany Cox - itll be a dude. totally.ReplyCancel

  • Mark Gregory - Yep… You’re having a boy ;).ReplyCancel

  • Amanda Livingston - I have a strong feeling it’s going to be a boy, but my strong feeling is always wrong, so I’ll vote a girl.ReplyCancel

  • Chelsea Patricia - I vote girl simply because I want a girl myself. There. Scientific.ReplyCancel

  • Jamie Bohan Hudson - Such an exciting blessing either way! :o)ReplyCancel

  • Diana Rush - Girl.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley S. - Whatever you have, y’all are gonna be great parents. Freal. :)
    (But I’m secretly hoping it’s a girl) ;)
    And I want to enter for the free session. ashelton@harding.eduReplyCancel

  • Emma Smith - A girl is my feeling. Using the Chinese gender prediction both my kids were the OPPOSITE. hahahReplyCancel

We were cool that year.  Why? Because we had our Doc Martins, we rocked side ponytails and it was the year we all started wearing clear mascara.  Clearly, we were adults now.  And- we could write in pen.  Which also meant, we could carry around that all-important tool in our trapper keepers.  White out.

I loved it.  Any time I made a mistake or wanted to re-wind words I’d spelled out on paper, I’d just paint over them.  As if they were never there.  No evidence was left behind, unless of course you painted out of the lines– but not even those pen scribbles that indented your paper were left.  The mistake? It never happened.

If only we could white out life, right?  We could paint over our mistakes just like they’d never happened and all evidence would be history and we could party on like it’s 1999.

I used to wish I could have re-do’s.  But not anymore.

As I’d flip back through photos from my first weddings, from my first sessions, I cringe and think, what was I thinking? But now, now that I’ve gained a little perspective, I’m thankful for the mistakes.  For the things that taught me how to be better.  For the things that inspired me to change. The things that grew me.

Embrace the mistakes you’re making now.  They’re just one step closer on that journey to making dreams a reality.

  • Kim - Wow…..clear mascara! How could I have forgotten about that!!! :) Love the perspective you always throw out there for us. Thanks so much for always speaking from your heart! BIG HUGS!!ReplyCancel

  • Jillian Tree - Cassie this is wonderfully written & def a great lesson :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim Smith - Funny you should say this… I had this very same re-do wish yesterday when I ran into my very first bride, and she now has TWO young kids. Wow. Time flies. I look at her images and really truly wish I could have done more for her because they were hardly worth putting on a disc.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Kathryn Sullivan - Great post! I already ask myself, “What was I thinking?” but I agree. It is the mistakes that are the opportunity to change, grow and get better.ReplyCancel

The sun was sinking and the street vendors were closing up their shops.  We’d walked the cobble stone streets of Florence all day and we were tired.  Ready for a big supper and a good coffee back at the Bible School.

Bus 6 B in Florence takes us almost directly to the Bible school, with only a short walk from there we would be home.  We’d be there in 25 minutes, tops.

We boarded the bus, which was crammed full of Italians– so much that we were all smushed together like sardines in a can, people tripping over one another and others unable to board because of it’s overwhelming fullness.  The bus was about to burst at the seams, but we headed along our way.

Thirty minutes later, we’d lost half the people, found seats and began to look out the window.  But nothing looked familiar.  We began to question one another.  We knew we hadn’t missed the stop, thanks to the screen at the front of the bus that plainly spells out each stop and Scandicci had yet to be on it.

A woman near to us noticed we were worried.  She tired, in her best English to ask us where we were headed. “Scandicci,” we tell her.  Her eyes widened and she shook her head.  “Oh no, no, no.  This bus not go to Scandicci.”

It’s bus 6.  Every bus 6 goes to Scandicci.  We didn’t understand.  Clearly.

“Bus 6 to Scandicci, right?” We asked.  She speaks to the driver in Italian and then tells us, we were on the right bus, but he wasn’t going to Scandicci.  He was going home.

The sweet woman helped us find a bus stop to get off of that another bus  6 would pick us up at.  We had absolutely no idea where we were, we were at the mercy of a strange Italian and waiting on a bus we hoped would come.

Two and a half hours after we first boarded the bus, we arrived at the Bible School.

BUT — we had a good story to tell. We met a stranger who helped us and showed us one more time the generosity of the Italian people.  We saw more of Italy. And we got to witness the beauty of young kids giving up their seats for the elderly, as tradition in Italy.  We got to see even more of their culture.  We had something to laugh about.

Several people have emailed recently with a “what would you do in this situation,” email.  Every situation is different, and sometimes, it’s just having another set of eyes to look at the situation and help figure out the best route to go.  Photography, as a service can be difficult to manage sometimes when there are problems.  But one can view a crisis as a life ending situation– or you can view it as an opportunity.

It’s not what got you into the crisis that matters.  It’s how you come out of it.

If you’ve got the right attitude and a little faith, you can come from the crisis so much stronger.  With different experiences.  With happy memories.  And with great stories to tell.

Dont’ be afraid of crisis.  Attack crisis.

“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters — one that represents danger, and one that represents opportunity.”  John F. Kennedy

  • Samantha Lord - Such an amazing post! And I love that JFK quote!ReplyCancel