July 2017 // Lake Itasca, MN


Someone tell me how July has come and gone and we’re well into August already!! HOOWW?

Fall is my favorite season of the year, but when school supplies and fall sweaters and pumpkin everything start getting advertised 2-3 months early, that is not okay, okay? I need summer – all of it! We don’t get a whole lot of it up here, so we try to squeeze in as much as we can in the few warm months of the year we get.

I’ve been trying to turn my camera on the most ordinary of days this year, because I feel like those are the things I will miss the most in years to come. I don’t spend a lot of time getting an “artistic” or “perfect” shot — in fact, I’m sure you’ll notice a good portion of these are just crummy phone shots, but I want to remember how much I love things like trips to Menards or the swimming pool (even if it is a cloudy day), melting ice cream sundaes, us in our Sunday morning best, afternoon walks through Minnesota trails, and bare feet in the backyard. So I just turn my camera on, take a few snaps and put it away.

Cedric has taken on all forms of encouragement the last couple months including, “Thank you, Mom!!” “I wuf you.” “Great job, Mom!” “Keep going…” and, “You look beautiful!!” He makes me so happy and thankful to be a mother… I can’t even tell you how much I love this stage!! He’s been working on responding to the question, “How are you?” by saying, “I’m fine, thank you!” but he usually gets it confused with the other most commonly asked question: “How old are you?”

So normally when someone asks Cedric, “How are you?” He’ll hold up all of his fingers and say, “Two.”

Before the fireworks show in Sioux Falls on the 4th of July, we spent the afternoon with my brother and his wife grilling out and the morning at a parade with my parents and sister (the cute one on the left… I’m older, in case you’d be the 6,378th person to ask).

Cedric kept pitifully holding out his hand for candy… had there not been so many firetrucks and motorcycles, he might have noticed he only collected about three tootsie rolls with this method. 😀

You know how your kid is so happy and giddy and full of energy and then you say, “Hey, let’s take a picture!” and then you get this face?


Cedric organizes everything, especially his much beloved cars. He asked me to count all of them after which he replied, “Ohh, great job, Mom!!”

He’s the sweetest handful of joy, but he knows how to keep me on my toes! He’ll help me load the dishwasher, cook dinner, sweep floors, put away laundry and any other task I can find a way to have him help, but still has the energy to run eight full blocks and beg to run some more. You can imagine how jobs I have that are less hands-on (like editing and emails) require a bit more creative mothering.

I’ll set up a toddler-sized table in my office with coloring pages, play dough, mixing bowls, books — anything at all to keep him busy while I work beside him, but on days when that’s just not enough, it’s not uncommon for Ben to come home with a special encouraging treat and whisk this boy away for a couple hours while I catch up at home… (I married up, I tell you!)

He’d rather be on the truck at the swimming pool than swimming at the swimming pool… no surprise there.

My oldest sister Sarah and her four kids stayed with us for a while in July and Cedric loved having the extra playmates AND extra carseats. He asked me to strap him in and then told me, “Bye Mom, going to get groceries.”

Ben has shot all but one wedding with me so far this year! It’s been a steady but manageable pace this summer of weddings, consults, engagements and other portrait sessions in the middle of all our summer activity.

Daniel is on Cedric’s list of favorites, which may or may not be closely tied to the fact that he drives “SEMI ‘rucks.”

We headed up north to Lake Itasca for a weekend to catch a music festival with Ben’s family and had such a great time up there catching up with friends we hadn’t seen in years, listening to fun music and camping out.

It was a short walk to the Mississippi headwaters from where we were camping!

Mountain Faith Band was a semi-finalist at America’s Got Talent, so pretty cool that they came all the way up from North Carolina to play for us!

Well that’s the end of this capsule look at our July! More to share from August soon…