Lewis Family Session | Jerusalem Mill


It was wonderful to get the opportunity to photography my friends, the Lewis family, one cold day earlier in November. Look at all those pretty girls! Their crafty mama made them all their custom headbands and the baby her coordinating shoes.

I love how their different personalities came out--especially the sassy attitude of #3!




Thanksgiving Picture Books for Children

ThanksgivingBooks Lots of attention is given to children's Christmas books, but the spotlight is not as often focused on Thanksgiving picture books for kids. Over the years we've created a list of some of our favorites that we get out from the library every year. Some are fun and silly, others are historical, and others are religious. Here are the titles we enjoy to prepare our hearts and minds for a thankful Thanksgiving day.

Thank You, Sarah by Laurie Halse Anderson "Never underestimate dainty little ladies" is my favorite quote from this book that details the thirty-eight years Sarah Hale (of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and Godey's Lady's Book fame) lobbied for a national celebration of Thanksgiving.

Sarah Gives Thanks by Mike Allegrea Another picture book about the remarkable story of Sarah Hale and her dedication to the celebration of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving on Plymouth Plantation by Diane Stanley An entertaining but informative time travel book where the kids go back in time to experience the first harvest feast at Plymouth.

This First Thanksgiving Day by Laura Krauss Melmed A simple counting book centered on the first Thanksgiving.

Squanto's Journey: The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Joseph Bruchac A biographical story of Squanto's life and his involvement with the Pilgrims and how he taught them about how to survive in the "New World."

This is the Feast by Diane Z. Shore A gorgeously illustrated account of the Pilgrims struggle to arrive in America and their first feast.

An Outlaw Thanksgiving by Emily Arnold McCully McCully is one of my favorite writer/illustrators for children. This story is based on a actual events, although it's fictional, and tells the story of a girl who unexpectedly spent Thanksgiving with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

The Peterkins’ Thanksgiving by Elizabeth Spurr A hilarious and silly and slightly whimsical story of a Thanksgiving gone wrong.

A Thanksgiving Turkey by Julian Scheer A hunting story about a boy and his grandfather.

Thanksgiving is Here! by Diane Goode Another favorite illustrator, Diane Goode, captures the hilarity and chaos of large family dinners in this charming account of a Thanksgiving day.

Thanksgiving Treat by Catherine Stock A fictional story about a boy who wants to contribute to Thanksgiving too, like the rest of his family.

Mary’s First Thanksgiving by Kathy-jo Wargin A fictional story about an Irish immigrant family and gratefulness.

Over the River and Through the Woods by L. Maria Child A lavishly illustrated holiday classic.

Give Thanks to the Lord by Karma Wilson A beautifully illustrated poem that centers on thanking the Lord for the good gifts of food and family.

Does your family have any favorite Thanksgiving picture books?


Five Fall Favorites


I’m excited for the change of every season. With it comes a change in meal planning as well. Different fruits and vegetables are at their peak for harvest and our eating pleasure.

Here on the east coast where I live, the leaves are spiraling from trees, coating the lawns with a gold, red, and brown carpet. They crunch underfoot. The air has a fresh bite to it and the smell of smoke from fire pits scent the air.

It is time for comfort cooking at it’s finest.

But with autumn comes a full schedule of school, sports, art, and music classes. It can be hard to make dinnertime happen as a family, let alone make it nourishing, comforting, and easy.

Today I’m sharing five of my favorite fall recipes that are deliciously simple for those hectic weekday meal times.

To keep reading head on over to For the Family. And don't forget to leave a link of YOUR fall favorite recipe!

The Art of Saying "No"

(Image Credit: Ungrind.org)

Does anyone else have a hard time saying "no" at times? I sure do.

There was a time I was completely overwhelmed.

It was my first year homeschooling my twin boys, who were in kindergarten. I was running a part-time photography business and freelance writing gig. I’d successfully juggled both jobs before homeschooling, and I figured it would be easy to add kindergarten to the mix. How hard could kindergarten be, after all?

But it ended up being harder than I thought. I felt pulled in many directions and my scattered focus meant I didn’t feel I was doing any job well. I wanted to homeschool my kids, but was jealous of moms whose kids were in school and could devote time to growing their photography business during “office hours.” Yet I wanted to write and wished I had more time to do so during the late hours I stayed up editing yet another photo session.

Conflicted. That’s how I felt.

At last I had a light bulb moment and decided to no longer pursue growing my photography business. I continued accepting existing clients but did not add new clients or pursue business growth, but focused on only one part-time job: writing.

A burden lifted.

To continue reading please head over to Ungrind.org. And be sure to share if you struggle with saying "no" too!


The Maher Family | Hampton Estate Session

2014-11-10_010 Every year I look forward to this family's session. And somehow, each year, their session becomes a new favorite. It's been so neat to watch this family grow. Previous years we've done orchard sessions, Cromwell Valley Park sessionscousin sessions, and baby sessions. This fall we settled on doing the session at Hampton National Historic Site. A beautiful Georgian estate that was built just after the Revolutionary War, it boasts gorgeous architecture, gardens, and grounds. It took several tries to find a day with no rain, but at last we scored one of the warmest days of the month.

This year, there was a new little cutie to capture!


And this guy, always so photogenic!2014-11-10_0032014-11-10_0042014-11-10_005





Thank you, Maher family for entrusting me to capture your family for another year!