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marriage



One of the most inspiring aspects to owning a photography company is being an intimate part of a bride and groom’s wedding day.  As the photographers, we get the privilege of being behind the scenes.  We are given the honor of following the bride all day long to capture the event as it naturally unfolds in front of her eyes.  Because of this proximity, we get to know the couple quite well. 

Hands down…my favorite part of the day…is being the only person who gets to observe a father and daughter before they walk down the aisle.  I try to remain still and inconspicuous during this magical moment filled with brewing emotion.  Nate positions himself in the church during the processional.  The fathers are sometimes speechless, sometimes nervous, sometimes humorous but always in awe of their daughter’s beauty donned in their finest.  I imagine it is a moment all fathers kind of dread in a way but at the same time they cling to the last moment alone.  Even writing this it gives me goose bumps. 

Naturally, our children are surrounded by the wedding industry.  So, it should not come as a surprise that Emerson and Gage pretended to get married last week.   But it was especially sweet they entered into fake matrimony because these two were like oil and water from the beginning.  In fact, I caught Gage dragging Emerson by the neck down the hall at age two weeks.  As they have been in Montessori together this year, however, their opinions of one another have changed….thankfully! 

On this particular rainy day they decided they wanted to both get married to each other AND go to the prom!  Not sure where they even learned about prom?  The video must be their first dance?!? Nonetheless, it made me think about how someday Tim will have that MOMENT with our girls that he will get to treasure forever. 

P.S. I do wonder where Emerson learned to ‘bat’ her eyes.

michael lives on



Briggs discovered Michael Jackson’s music literally two days before he passed this summer. Since then we rarely listened to anything else. It is as if I am reliving my teen years all over again. In fact, Briggs even has a small poster of Michael in his bedroom (a young, handsome Michael, pre-plastic). The Michael Jackson fan club has trickled down among the younger siblings.

So this is the conversation I had with Gage as we are sitting at lunch today.

GAGE:
So was Michael Jackson murdered?

ME:
Ah…well not really. Someone contributed to his death but he was not murdered.

GAGE:
Was he on druggies?

ME:
Yeah…he had a problem.

GAGE:
What was his problem.

ME:
Well, he was sad and no hugged him.

GAGE:
If you would have pointed him out I would have hugged him. Where was his wife? Does he have kids?

ME:
He didn’t have a wife but he had three children.

GAGE:
So why didn’t they hug him to make him not feel sad.

ME:
They probably did hug him but he was still sad.

GAGE:
Do you think I could be a singer when I turn 17?

ME:
Sure, I bet you would be a good singer.

GAGE:
I think I would need to change me name.

ME:
CHANGE YOUR NAME! To what?

GAGE:
Gage Michael Jackson Stoner. Do you want to see some of my moves?

THREE (thank goodness)



The twins turned three…thank goodness!  I am hoping this new age of maturity brings along less destruction. Can I even hope for less drama? I doubt it.

They sure are fun though. They are a giant ball of personality…a mixture of aggression, sweetness, humor and inquisition.

It goes without saying but I will anyway…our lives wouldn’t be the same without Campbell and Emerson. Before they were born I just didn’t feel whole. With them I feel like our FAMILYPRINT is complete.

like father like son



It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Gage wound up shooting in the Governor’s Twenty someday.  The kid is just like his dad.  This image was printed in the Madison Courier this past weekend at the Regatta Boat Races.

regatta

blue eyes and baby legs



We found a new use for Baby Legs from Ballerinas and Bruisers owner and good friend, Steve Schwartz.  Besides that I had seen it in a magazine.

P.S.  Don’t tell Gage…he thought he was superhero cool.

lr

spy, sneak, or loiterer



Call it what you will but I fully intend to listen in on the ‘goings on’ of my kids and their conversations.  I even kept a baby monitor should I ever feel compelled to stick it under their bed during their teen years. 

But for the first time last night, Briggs asked me to leave his room so that he and Gage could have their privacy.  I was slightly offended but more elated that they were actually getting along. I agreed to depart.  After pleading to them on their intentions.  I got a ‘none of your business’ response. 

I pretended to leave and hovered outside the door. 

It was very interesting. 

I discovered the Gage has an unknown talent.  Briggs bribes his little brother to rub his head. 

YES!  Apparently, the headrubbing talents of Tim and I don’t hold a candle to that of our four year old.  Briggs was even willing to pay him!  Briggs even designed a contract for Gage’s ‘Headrubbing Company’ and signed it.  His payment…Star Wars books. 

So, later I wandered in to find Briggs half comatose on the floor of his room after a full treatment of Gage’s ultimate headrubbing abilities. 

Gage shared some of his secrets with me. 

So tonight, I tried using the Gage technique on Briggs before bed.  He said, “It isn’t quite as good as Gage.”

Oh well…maybe I should start having Gage put me to bed.

could i be any cuter?



This is the drawing Gage handed me as I picked him up from school in a mad rush today.  He was so proud of his work that it made me turn to Mommy Mush.  I just stared at it knowing he had taken a long time to draw my YELLOW teeth and my BLUE earrings and my PURPLE hair.  I especially love that BUTTON nose and those LONG eyelashes.  These are the kind of moments and gifts that make it worth being a mom.   Happy Mother’s Day!

me

family dynamics



I will never forget catching Gage drag Emerson down the hallway like a caveman when she was only two weeks old.   He had snuck in the twin’s bedroom and grabbed Emerson with a barbaric clutch from her bouncey seat.  After my initial frantic reaction, I figured infants are far less fragile thank we think.  I still installed a hook-and-eye lock to the bedroom door to prevent further attacks.

Anyway, the personalities of Gage and Emerson don’t necessarily ‘click’ all of the time.  He simply prefers Campbell more.  However, a friend of ours invited Campbell to her house for a few hours last week.   The switch in family dynamics was instantaneous.  On top of that, our house was noticeably more quiet! 

Moments after Campbell departed, Emerson and Gage were buddies!  They got dressed up in superhero gear, decided to play outside in the rain, and fight bad guys.  There played wonderfully together. 

It made me consider the power of family dynamics.  Remove one child and the household is entirely different.   I was so glad to see that these two may be unlikely pals but buddies, nonetheless.

pals

photographer?



If Gage doesn’t have a weapon in his hand, he has a camera.  These are the kinds of images I find when I download my point-and-shoot.  Does he want to follow in his uncle’s footsteps?  He may, in fact, have talent.  However, as you can tell for now he is focusing on self-portraits.  I won’t even mention what he decided to photograph behind his closet doors.  Let’s just say, it is inappropriate for the internet.

a smart boy



Gage turned to me moments ago, and stated quite out of the blue, “Womans are tougher.”   That was it.  Just a simple statement of truth.  I think he might make a woman very happy some day.   Regardless, he is a smart <moldable young> man.

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