2014 the highlights

I wanted to go through every month’s pictures and tell a bit about what happened like I did with the first part of 2014 review, but as things often do, stuff began to get in the way. I’ve tackled a lot of necessary projects during this winter vacation and haven’t spent much time writing at all here. But I couldn’t let 2014 be complete without talking about Hazel.

hazel & hank

We unashamedly loved her the best of all our dogs. She was a house pet so we got to know her quirks and mannerisms more than any other dog we’d had. And, she was especially close to Claire. Claire was very overprotective of her.

always smiling

She got hit by a car right in front of me when I was outside with her. I have no idea what made her suddenly run into the road that day in September. It was horrifying and sad. We were all changed by it. But we also knew we wanted another “Hazel” to love again.

I began searching for red merle Australian Shepherd females (with blue eyes) in October. I also prayed that we would get a good dog, one that would be compatible with our family, easy to love, and good-natured.

We found Dixie online in Arkansas. We went to get her the day before Thanksgiving and fought over holding her and what we would name her all the way home. I lost and they named her Dixie. But it’s growing on me.


She’s making her way into our hearts pretty quickly.

And making herself right at home.


A look back at 2014 ~ part 1

This is more of a personal look back than a business look back. I was looking through my 2014 family pictures and wanted to write something up, something to remember a bit about each month. It’s been a year of a lot of change around here, but not really so much you can see on the outside.


January was cold! We spent a lot of time either indoors with our gas fireplace warming the room, or outside in our coveralls taking care of puppies. We had Hazel’s first litter in November and the puppies were growing, hungry, and so busy. They loved seeing us each day and so we couldn’t ignore them just because it was cold. We played with them every day and I spent January getting them ready to head off to new homes. It was such a sweet time. We loved having those puppies. We kept one for ourselves, Nora. I loved her unique face, one side white, the other side gray, and her two different colored eyes.


In February we had snow! That’s always exciting for the kids and the dogs. I try to make it out just enough to take a few pictures then run back inside. I’m not a fan of snow.


Also in February I began getting the studio ready for clients. It was a weird time. It felt exciting, and overwhelming. I had a lot of ideas but no clue how I was going to pull it all together.


Over the year we painted the ceiling, added furniture and a television for viewing images, hung paper for backgrounds, and did many shooting and sales sessions in this dedicated business space. It certainly made things less stressful at my home, and it was often a fun place to escape to and work. I spent a lot of time rearranging and setting up the space to work best for my needs. It’s still an evolving process and I’d love to have all the brick walls painted white, but I’m not sure that will ever happen.


In March it began to warm up. I saw the first of many double rainbows. I think I’ve seen more rainbows this year than I ever have in my life. We also spent a day in El Dorado doing the senior model session. And, I turned 44.

My friend Ruthanne came for a visit and took some pictures of me. I realized how incredibly awkward it is to be in front of the camera instead of behind it.


I also took some pictures of my kids in the studio with Hazel. They look so much alike!


In April we had our first experience with raising ducks.


They were adorable and messy and stinky!


And Nora began to grow into a clumsy big puppy and spent a lot more time outside in the pen where she seemed content.


May brought baseball days and they first year of live pitching. We love baseball days and warmer weather and getting to spend more time outside.


And then June…the real beginning of summer with church camp, bible school, and swimming.



We added Johnny Cash to the family after many kitten losses, Johnny proved to be a cat that can withstand this rough and tough dog loving family and hold his own.

Then a week of church camp with our family and friends is always a fun time. This year was more rainy than others but we managed to have some fun.

june camp

During June I ran the Pink Tomato 5K again with friends, we kept doing school as much as possible, saw lots of beautiful sunsets, and read lots of books by the pool. And I have Instagram to thank for those memories because they are all recorded there and I can look back over my photographs and almost remember what I was doing each day last year. I’m going to finish this tomorrow because reliving the past year is more time consuming that you first imagine and I need to finish painting my hallway. One of many projects on my to do list for Christmas vacation.