Thursday, January 29, 2015


He's one today.

He's the most amazing little thing and I love him so much that sometimes it feels like my heart can't handle it, like it might just explode. His sweet angel face, his mushy little personality. It's love like i can't even put into words.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Today I'm returning from a week long trip in Colorado. Boy did I need it, too. But as great as it is to leave, it's even better to be home. 

I returned some messages about some of my posts this past couple of months. These messages were from people struggling, trying and seeing themselves in my stories. I sometimes write about personal and very difficult things publicly for this very reason, and because it helps me as well.

There is power in transparency, being people who don’t hide or pretend or keep things tucked away. We see that when we do that, we get sicker. We compare and we doubt. We think we are alone. I know because I lived that for far too long in my twenties.

So many people feel less alone when I tell the truth.

Lastly, I want to tell you that if you’re confused about someone else in your life who is making decisions or changes or just running amok, the best thing you can say is, I’m here for whatever you need, and then live that support out. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015


We are enjoying some time on the Colorado slopes for the next week, and while I won't be blogging, undoubtedly I will be instagramming [new verb] some images of our travel experiences. So, come on over to my Instagram and let me know you're visiting!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Tuesday, January 20, 2015


When I first started out on my journey in photography I had no idea that I could shoot lifestyle with newborns and children. Like most of us do, I went out and bought some baskets, some cloth for a “backdrop” and a few other props. I see all these other photographers rocking baskets, bows, blankets, and I assumed that’s what people want.

I was already honing my lifestyle craft with families, seniors, brides, and miscellaneous events. Mudpie Photography’s motto is “organic moments” and I had nothing but intentions of a journalistic approach for my photography style.

Upon styling a newborn session last year, I asked myself “What am I DOING here? I am going against my grain to try and fit into a mold created by the masses.” While I enjoy looking at styled images of sleeping newborns in costume or appearing as though they are holding their own head up with the use of proficient Photoshop work, the emotions and stories captured in lifestyle photography images are what make my heart sing! So I stand comfortably and proudly on “side B” of the spectrum.

Having fun and “feeling” something when you shoot is critical in my book- unless you want to lead yourself down the path to burn-out in a flash. So, I shook off the “have to’s” and started to approach newborns the same way I approached my other lifestyle sessions. I began shooting with the same end goal–natural, candid moments of baby and family that literally looked like a ‘peek’ into their lives.

Here are a few tips to shoot lifestyle with newborns (even if you are, in fact, the master of newborn session styling!):

Natural Light
My numero uno priority. Flash can startle newborns, but it can also take away from the spontaneity and natural tone of the shoot.

Candid Moments

While most photographers may put their camera down for a rest or review images while baby is being fed, soothed or changed, these are actually my favorite times to shoot! Capture these very details. Whether the baby is crying, yawning or sleeping peaceful, they are all precious stages of the newborn days. Talk about lifestyle photos in their purest form! The day-to-day of baby life. Nothing is more beautiful or tells the true story of a newborn more than these moments, in my book.

The Crib

Don’t neglect to photograph and capture the one place parents see their baby a lot–the crib. Full sweeping photos of nurseries with baby in the crib or a “through the slats” (my personal fave) perspective is a beautiful way to tell a newborn story. Crib life is fleeting. Capture it.

Master Bedroom

A great way to get all of the family interacting with baby is by photographing them on the master bed. It’s big enough to accommodate everyone, it’s an intimate place, and usually has great light. It also means that every session will be unique since every home looks different than the other.

Different Angles

Everyone loves to capture those little toes, feet, ears etc. And rightfully so! The newborn yumminess comes and goes in a blink. Try however, to shoot these photos from different angles as you have baby on the bed or in their boppy

The simple change of an angle and a shallow depth of field can allow for these detail shots to be done anywhere, so you don’t necessarily need a black back drop. I’ve done them even on changing tables. Don’t limit yourself.

There are many different ways to capture newborns. Please don’t put yourself in a box or feel you have to emulate what is going on in the industry. Find your own vision of how you want to photograph newborns and start snapping.

Don’t Let Comparison Steal Your Joy
Shoot from the heart and don’t worry about what other photographers are doing. Your images will speak to you if you let intuition guide you.  

Please visit Mudpie Photography on all it's various social media:

Monday, January 19, 2015


"You may not know what your sweet spot is yet, and you may be worried you aren't good enough or you aren't smart or organized or talented enough, but I dare to bet that you are."

Serious inspiration happening reading "Living Well Spending Less." It is so easy to get wrapped up in comparison and wants rather that gratitude and contentment.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


I'm no beauty blogger and I don't stake any claim at being an expert in the subject matter, but I am often asked about my beauty regimen and the products I use, so this is my take on a beauty post. Looking back on the history of my blogging, this might be the first of it's kind. 

This is in no way an ad for Perricone MD though it may look like one. No, rather, this is just an honest share of my person skincare and cosmetics because my friends and readers inquire from time to time.

I am all about naturally beautiful, glowing skin. We all know that getting beautiful skin takes work and most likely a bit of makeup to look our best. Unless you are blessed with gorgeous skin, which I am not. Perricone MD cultivated what I consider the best skincare and makeup with a line called No Makeup Skincare. I've been committed to this line for 2-3 years now. I feel it's the first and only line that works for me, personally. I battle an orange-peel skin surface, a combination of oiliness and dryness, and the occasional rosacea. 

I start and end my days with a freshly cleaned face, courtesy of Perricone's Nutritive Cleanser. It's mild enough that it doesn't irritate or dry out my skin, but tough enough to remove makeup.

My makeup application literally takes 10 minutes in its entirety. I am a working mother of four, whose youngest still doesn't sleep through the night at 11 months, so every minute of zzzz's is like gold. I don't want to compromise my sleep because I have some long drawn-out beauty regimen in the mornings. I want to look put together but I don't want to spend a lot of time doing so. If you're like me, keep reading...

So, next I apply Perricone's No Foundation Foundation. It's a tad too dark for my skin, so I mix it a dime size amount of the No Foundation Foundation with a drop of the Firming Moisturizer, and literally rub them all over my face until it's fairly well absorbed.
With a Kabuki bruch, I lightly sweep Laura Mercier's mineral powder to set my makeup. It really is like a little pot of gold. With amino acids (15 of them, I add) to banish toxins and the zinc acting as an SPF, it seems natural really is best.

And lastly, mascara. Even on make-up-less days, I try to never leave home without a little mascara. And after spending $22, $25, even $35 on tubes of mascara in the past, I have found that Cover Girl's Lashblast Clump Crusher at $12 works just as well, if not better. It lives up to it's promises and separates the lashes well.

After this minimal application, my skin has the most gorgeous, suede-matte texture. My pores disappear. My face almost immediately looks firmer. And it still looks this good more than ten hours after application, without touch-ups. (Which is good, since I don't do touch-ups.)

I'd love to hear if you use these products or if you have a suggestion to make to my readers. Leave a comment below.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


It's refreshing to watch the wholesome goodness that is HGTV's #FixerUpper -- alongside their brilliance and eye for design, I admire Chip and Joanna Gaines for putting their love of Christ out there and giving America a wonderfully fresh show that reflects those values! So, to those who know the show, you will appreciate this....

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


In the mornings, while I wait for my coffee to brew, I might scroll through Twitter or Facebook for a bit, then hardly look again all day. Social media is kind of a floppy and slippery thing in my life. It is that fish that won’t sit still, one I cannot hold and need to set free. My part in the worldwide web’s collective voice, although it was always a bit squeaky in my opinion, is now almost completely quiet. I try to clear my throat and start again, but nothing happens when I breathe deep and try to speak, or yell. This tells me it is just fine to be quiet.
I’m sorta tired of my social media self, and wish to focus more on my writing. My blog. There are things that I write now, and have been writing all along, offline. Some of them will be shared someday, maybe? Some of them most certainly will not.
I used to care too much about this voice of mine. But like letting go of any habit, the trigger finger stills, and the need goes dormant.
It’s been a long time since I stepped back from the Internet, but I thought you should know that it felt more like a peaceful sigh than a worn out white flag surrender.

Truth be told, I’m a writer, so I still want to write every moment, tell every story, speak every thought and feeling into black and white on paper or screen. But this goal is too lofty, and yet tempting to chase, so I will say this for today and it will be enough.

Monday, January 12, 2015


“People…will spend hours launching prayers into the heavens. They will travel halfway around the world to visit a monastery in India or to take part in a mission trip to Belize. The last place most people look is right under their feet, in the everyday activities, accidents, and encounters of their lives. What possible spiritual significance could a trip to the grocery store have? how could something as common as a toothache be a door to greater life….the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggest that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are standing on it.” – Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World

Look first within yourself. You’re standing on the X. You are enough.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


There’s always something within us that craves new beginnings, a chance to right the wrongs and put into the universe something that’s stirring within our soul. The hurt, the struggle, the surrender – all makes us who we are. We laughed, we cried, we grew, we changed. My favorite sound, aside from my children’s laughter, is the cracking sound of a new book’s spine. That’s what a new year is like for me.

This is a great week to reflect on the year that has passed and consider what we’ve learned along the way….

Small is my new free. Regular ol’ small living is where it’s at. I discovered I don’t want to be big. Really at anything. I’m learning how to celebrate my smallness in the presence of Christ. It’s been humbling, quiet and life-giving.

I have found that overturning a lifetime of consumption while the rest of the world still screams at me to keep wildly spending does not come without hard work, serious soul-searching, and lots and lots of intentional prayer. I have fervently and frequently prayed for God to change my heart, to lead me where He would have me go, and to take away my desire for the things of this world. I want a different richness, the richness that comes from fullness in Christ.

I learned that saying no really is easy – and worth it.

This is the first year that the photos from my phone in my photo library outnumber the photos I took with my camera. I love my camera, but it can’t compete with the one I always have in my pocket. I’m not sure if I want to continue down that path in 2015 or if I want to resurrect the big camera in some way – maybe as a way to force myself to slow down? We’ll see.

2014 introduced me to my favorite drink at Starbucks – their Caramel Praline Latte. This drink powered many a shopping day.

I became not as fond of pregnancy as I had been in the past. Any new children in this household will have to be the adoptive kind.

Sometimes you have to start something even though you haven’t figured out all the who, whats, and wheres. We’re making it up as we go and sometimes it feels scary.

I learned that hospitality is not about the condition of our homes, but the condition of our hearts. I’m done apologizing for the state of my home. It’s lived in. Well lived in. Our living room is the kids’ living room, where the things in it make up happy. Toys and all. I’m no longer going to miss opportunities to demonstrate hospitality. Welcome to our mess!

“With people, you can connect or you can compare but you can’t do both.” That’s something I heard someone say this year and it’s changing how I relate with the women in my life.

Thank you for reading here. For following our journey, for letting us offer pieces of ourselves and our story to you. Having this sweet space to change and grow and process has blessed me in ways beyond what I can explain. 

I can’t wait to hear what you learned this year! Share what you learned in 2014. If you already shared this on your own blog, please add your link in the comments below.

Friday, January 9, 2015


Sometimes holiday gatherings are accompanied by a weird swell of doubting everything I knew about everything which happens almost every time I’m in the presence of certain someones. I used to think it was insecurity but that’s such a negatively loaded term to describe what’s really more of a necessary strip down to rawness, edginess, frustration and doubt that tells us something good about ourselves. Getting emotionally naked and keeping the lights on is something I am challenged with.

I’m learning more to lean into those feelings with a friendly hello rather than sweep them under the rug, ashamed of not feeling confident enough to confront them. Without fail, these swells are followed by peace and comfort and creativity, for which I think is sometimes a reward from God for being patient and tolerable.

To my fellow birds, doubters and emotional surfers….knuckles, high fives and hugs. There’s a big emotional wave in your future...go and ride it like the wind!

Monday, January 5, 2015


I’m working on many a blog post for this upcoming year, answering emails about how I do goals/planning/dreaming for the new year. But wanted to share some scripture with you.  So far, I’ve been in full on mom mode with no time to dream/plan/goal, but God has stirred up a bunch in my heart this past month.

“Search me O God, and known my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me to the everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).

To commit our plans to the Lords means that we give Him the say and seek His will in our life, not our own! It means trusting that God’s will is better than our own wants and desires. To commit our plans to Him is to genuinely want His plans for us to succeed, not the ones we have made for ourselves.

As we reassess our resolutions by committing them to the Lord, let us ask that He will give us the discernment to distinguish the goals and plans that are pure, noble, beneficial and honoring to Him, from those that are not in His best interest for the woman He’s created us to be. The result is success in God’s eyes – the modeling of our inner selves – lasting transformation that begins with our heart.

Saturday, January 3, 2015


Here I sit on the eve of you being fifteen. My heart just sunk while typing that. Fifteen! I could fill this space with an infinite number of pixels to describe the depths of my love and adoration for you.

Fifteen years ago tomorrow I saw your sweet face for the very first time. I kissed your nose over & over and felt my heart move in a way I had never experienced before that. For the first time I knew what it meant to love something so intensely. 

You have grown and changed and made this journey with you such a beautiful adventure. My dream of being a mama came true for the first time that day. I love you fiercely and couldn't be more honored to be your mama, Keegan Alexander, 

Happy birthday, love.

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