May 17, 2017

Photography | My Purpose


A couple of weeks ago, I had the incredible experience of shooting a birth. Han and I first met at the CrEATe Donuts get-together almost two years ago in July and have strengthened our friendship via social media since. When we got together a couple of months before her due date, we decided to do a birth shoot together. I'd never done a birth shoot before but was excited to give it a shot (you see what I did there?)


It ended up being a totally unforgettable experience! Watching a birth is so much different than doing it yourself! When you're in the throws of delivery, you really don't notice who's in there or what they're doing. All you know is that there's a baby coming and you've gotta push. So when Han's MIL pressed the red button and about 7 people came running in, literally running, it was the perfect example of the phrase, "organized chaos."


And then he was here! And I got to capture it ALL! I got to see the transition from laughing between contractions to desperate concentration on staying relaxed and just breathing. I got to see the bond between a brand new mother and father with their child and I got to see the love, support, and amazing teamwork of Hannah and Stephen.


Ever since I started getting more serious about my photography and offering sessions, I struggled with figuring out where I "fit in." I enjoyed photographing newborns and families and had considered doing more with bloggers, but none of it really felt right.


I walked away from this shoot hours later and felt that I was meant to do this, not because I thought I did an amazing job or was super talented or anything, but because so much of what is required of a birth photographer aligns with everything that makes me, me and brings me such joy! I felt a real passion for it. I loved cheering Han on and encouraging her and watching the relationship between her and her husband. I loved capturing those moments and didn't mind at all that a lot of the time I was there was spent just waiting (I've always been good at waiting).


In short, I feel like taking these photos for Han and her family helped me realize my purpose, and it feels good to feel like I know where I belong and who I am and what I love. I am a birth photographer, and I can't wait to do more!


If you're pregnant (or know someone who is) and are interested in booking, please let me know! I'll only be taking 1-2 due dates per month. I'm still deciding what my rates will be, so stay tuned and send me an e-mail or PM on one of my social media interfaces if you'd like to set up a shoot or are just so excited to be pregnant you want to tell someone who will be equally excited!!!


Love you all so much and thanks for your continued love and support! And don't forget to visit Han at Merry Happy Blog and on Instagram to show her some love and say congrats!
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April 24, 2017

Life Lately | Catch up!

What with the online classes I've been taking and trying to get this new house under control (and feed my family on occasion!) it's been hard to give this corner of the internet some love and attention!

But just like the middle child, even though it gets sidelined every now and then, it's never forgotten!

So let's do a little catch up and life lately, shall we?

**Disclaimer! This post is REALLY long and is basically all photos and some captions, so if you're not into that, move along... to the next blog, because, let's be honest, that's pretty much what every post is on here anyway! ;)


A N D E R ' S  B A B Y  B L E S S I N G

March 4-5, 2017 | We decided (sort of last minute!) to make the 7-hour trip to Denver, CO for the blessing of our nephew, Anders. Even though it was a quick trip (hardly even 24 hours!) it was worth every minute to meet such a sweet baby boy and show our love for Lauren and Josh. And with perfect photo ops like what I got all weekend plus some hot dang good hot dogs, how could I complain?

I got the BEST photos of Alexa walking down the sidewalk on this trip. Click here to see!


 C O L O R

March 6, 2017 | The drive back from CO was kind of a terrifying experience! A blizzard decided to hit as we were driving back, and I won't lie. I was pretty scared and was praying my heart out! Thank goodness that prayer was answered, and so was another! I'd been wondering what to do for my "Color" photography assignment and as we drove through that white wall of blizzard, the idea just came to me! As soon as we had service, I texted my good friend Lauren from Hello Whimzy to see if we could get together the next night to pull this off, which we did, and it's my favorite shoot I have EVER done!

Click here to visit Lauren at Hello Whimzy. You'll love her every bit as much as I do! Did I mention she's a mermaid?


B I K E  R I D I N G

March 14, 2017 | We were outside playing and she ran over to a neighbor's house to say hi. There was a bike there and she asked to ride it. The neighbor looked at me and I said it was fine, expecting her to try once or twice, then go back to her balance bike. I ran inside for just a second and came back out to see her zooming down the street like she's been riding a bike all this time! She is one athletically gifted child!


C O U R T N E Y

March 10, 2017 | This photo shoot was strictly for fun, and it was! I loved getting to know Courtney better! She is fun and hilarious and just a sweet girl!


P H O T O G R A P H Y  F I N A L

March 26, 2017 | The title of my photography final series was "What are you missing?" My goal was to get people to think about how much time they're spending on their electronic devices and decide if maybe there needs to be some change. The most difficult part of this assignment was definitely getting the focus right since I used a tripod for all of the shots, but with the help of my cute little assistants, I was able to manage, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. It was a great way to finish off the class and I feel like I've learned and grown so much! I'm sad it's over, but am really excited about the graphic design class I'm taking now!


S O C C E R

April 1, 2017 | It's the Stange family's favorite time of year! SOCCER SEASOOOOOON!!!


B A B Y  J O H N S O N

April 12, 2017 | Lyssi is already a talented photographer herself, but sometimes it's nice to have some photos that YOU'RE in, too! Taking these photos and editing them was an absolute pleasure! Little Spencer is just the SWEETEST! Welcome to motherhood, Lys!

E A S T E R  D R E S S

I wasn't going to make one this year, buuuut... the fabric just called to me! And it was the perfect project to dip my toe back into designing and sewing again! It had been a while and it felt good to be doing it again.


R A I N  P L A Y I N'

While the mamas were talkin', they were jumpin'! Nothing beats a best friend who will jump in the rain with you! My only regret is that Mckenzie and I didn't jump in on the fun, too! We are so grateful for our family's friendship!

We aren't awkward at ALLLLLL... Haha! But you know what they say! Friends who Swig together, stay together! I love you Mckenzie!!!

And that's it! There's our life in a nutshell! Of course, that doesn't include the whining and the screaming (on both ends, unfortunately!) or the chore charts and bribes. Haha! I'll have to tell you about that later. For now, I'm content saying that life lately has been filled ups and downs. Oftentimes I feel like I'm riding a particularly exciting roller coaster that rarely follows a straight track, but no matter how bumpy, the coaster continues onand even though I don't know what's coming next, I look forward with anticipation and hope that whatever loop I'm thrown into next isn't the one that makes me hurl. :)

Have a great week!

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March 29, 2017

NEW FLOOR! | Rug Pad USA

 **Rug pad c/o RugPadUSA. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

If you follow me on any of my other social media interfaces, you might have seen updates within the past couple of months of our house! We've done so much since we moved in that it looks like a completely different home!


Actually, come to think of it, we didn't do a lot. In fact, we only really did two updates, but they were HUGE changes. The biggest of the two updates was the floor. We ripped up the carpet in our living room and hallway, PLUS laid new flooring there as well as the kitchen, entryway, and mud-room/laundry room.

It. Was. Crazy. But we're so happy with it!

Of course, with hard floor comes the extra necessity of a rug, and with a flat weave rug like ours, a rug pad is kind of a necessity.


We needed something that was non-slip and provided a little cushion, and getting one that's eco friendly, made in the USA, and reasonably priced was pretty important to us, too.


I was a little worried about choosing the right pad because I wanted cushion, but I didn't want my rug noticeably lifted off the floor. Luckily, each product comes with a grip and cushion rating so it was really quite easy to make the right choice.

We went with the contour lock pad and the girls thought it was juuuuust right!


We couldn't be happier in our new home and love that it's a place we can pour our whole hearts, hard work, sweat, and finances... in to (because I don't plan on moving or re-doing floors again for a looooooonnnnng time.)


If you're in the market for a good rug pad, tell Rug Pad USA that Susanstange123 sent you for an additional 5% off the sale they have going on right now!

And a HUGE thank you to my cute little helpers. :)
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March 13, 2017

Chocolate Pretzels!

Hey everybody! How ya been? Good? Good. Remember the chocolate bear from Barrett's smash cake in my last post? Well, I had leftover melted chocolate and about a million pretzels so I decided to cover those babies with the liquified deliciousness! It wasn't hard at all and, of course, I had a little help!


This activity ended up being perfect for me and my girls! Obviously, this it requires some supervision (we're working with a stove here!), but the heat level needed to melt chocolate/almond bark is really low, so you don't need to be too worried. Just be vigilant!

*note: my four-year-old is pretty trustworthy and helps keep everyone else in line, which is why I was able to take photos

The best part of all this? The kids had fun doing it, and Chelsea doesn't even LIKE chocolate pretzels - which means more for me and Alexa and Barrett... maybe... #selfishmom

Alexa's better at sharing than I am.

So if you're looking for something to help you pass the time with your kiddos that's fun and delicious, give this a try! Although, with Spring *finally* on its way, I don't know how many people are wanting to stay indoors right now. It's so gorgeous out there!


Anyway, thanks for stopping by!

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