I hope all of my friends and family had a wonderful Christmas!

The Jeters definitely had a good one - Thaddeus was spoiled with monster trucks, clothes, shoes, books, and an awesome new basketball game that he loves. Tom finally got some jeans without holes in the ass (WooHoo!) - ok, and maybe he got a few other cool things as well. ;)

Me? My parents and my husband knocked it out of the park.

A new 50mm/1.2L lens, a Flip video camera, boots, money, and a whole bunch of little things that I just needed.

I am so blessed. :)

As far as the rest of the year is concerned, Tom headed back to Michigan yesterday to begin his Bar Prep class. Two more months before he sits for the biggest exam of his career! I have been working on my pricing structures for 2012, and am also putting together a weekend in Minneapolis, where a group of photographers has invited me to come and host a boudoir workshop.

I feel like 2012 is going to be such a great year. 

By this time next year, our household will have two attorneys, a full-time photographer, and who knows what else.

I'm excited for what the future has in store. :)


I'm on my laptop right now so I don't have access to all the photos I took while Tom, Thad and I were in Chicago with family. It was so much fun, though - we took him to the Museum of Science and Industry, saw the Tornado Alley IMAX show, had the most fabulous dinner at Bucca di Beppo (or however that's spelled), and hit Navy Pier.

By the way, when I say dinner was fabulous, I mean I haven't stopped thinking about it since we left the restaurant last Saturday night.

It's the small things that excite me, really. Lol.

After that family trip, we had two days off.

When I say Tom and I sat around and did nothing, I'm not exaggerating. I didn't get up and get dressed or anything. It was wonderful. I wish every day could be like that.

Now, we are in Colorado. We got in yesterday morning, and almost right away it began to snow.

You like Thad's new jacket? Go Broncos. ;)

Anyways, we didn't really do a whole lot today because of the snow, but Thad did get the chance to go sledding. He, of course, was in Heaven.

Tomorrow, Tom and I are braving the crowds so he can finish his last-minute shopping. :)


Well, my trip to Dallas went off without a hitch.

That's not true. There were a few hiccups here and there.

You know - the usual. Missing flights. Fighting with French cab drivers. Rain all day, every day. Severe Wegener's pain in all of my joints. 

No but really, I had such a fun and amazing time.

Of course, it wasn't all play.

While Danielle and I were there, I had several sessions lined up.

One of the sessions was with Karly - a sorority sister of mine who wanted photos taken with her love, Slew.

When Karly contacted me, my first thought was, "Gorgeous girl and a horse. SOLD." And then I remembered I was terrified of horses and my next thought was, "Oh fuck."

I was a little nervous, needless to say. Lol. But Slew was the sweetest, most gentle horse I have ever witnessed. He followed Karly around like a puppy and he never once intimidated me. I told Karly that he kind of restored my faith in horses. ;)

Finally, I entitled this post "favorites." As in - this was my very favorite shoot.

But I have to move on to a new favorite - the man in my life.

It's  no secret that Tom and I have been thru our ups and downs. Well, let's be honest. We only got to experience very brief ups before the downs just really started rolling in. We were both at fault, but life was as well. It's difficult marrying into things like a newborn baby, a threatening diagnoses, a cross-country move, loss of loved ones, and a few other less than stellar things within the first year-and-a-half of saying, "I do."

But thank God - we pulled through. And we pulled through a long time ago.

Because now I find myself in a position where I am in need of a lot of help. I have been experiencing a pretty awesome flare-up of my disease which has meant chronic, sometimes debilitating pain. My joints are consistently on fire, and while I was in Dallas I needed help getting dressed. It happened again yesterday, and Tom had to put my shirt on - much like he does for Thad.

It's sad, really. I'm what? Twenty-nine years old? It may as well be in dog years, the way my body is slowly falling apart.

Anyways, we went to Cleveland yesterday for some answers. I had been avoiding my doctor for awhile because I knew what she would say, "More steroids. More chemo. See you in a few months."

The problem with this - aside from the obvious - is that Tom and I had just finally decided to start trying for baby #2. 

So when my doctor says, "More steroids, more chemo," she is also saying,"No babies for at least another year."

I was pretty devastated. 

On one hand I am thrilled to be getting the treatment I need to put my body back into remission, and to be pain free. On the other hand, I am crushed at having to wait yet another year to start trying for another baby.

I promised Tom I wouldn't lose hope, but it felt like a pretty low blow.

Anyways, the amount of love and support I have seen pour through the eyes, lips and arms of my husband has been beyond measurement. He is facing exams in only a week, and yet he refuses to wake me in the mornings, knowing I need my rest. So while he should be studying, he is instead playing Mr. Mom to Thad - watching Up, and making PBJs.

He continues to encourage me to go to the mall and shop until I drop. He seems to be the first man who understands that when I am really upset, I need to just spend money. I think that's why I had so much credit card debt in my freshman year of college - I was sad to be away from family and friends and the only thing I knew to do was buy, buy, buy.

Every night I have come home since returning from Dallas, he has had dinner and a bottle of wine waiting just for me.

And yesterday, when I cried because prednisone was going to make me even fatter, he insisted I wasn't fat. When I replied with, "No really. I am 40 pounds heavier than when you met me," he said, "You're right. You've only gotten sexier and more beautiful since the day I met you."

I am so fucking blessed to have this man in my life. I can't think of any other man who would have stuck right by me through all of this.

So yeah. Bad news from the doctor. But what can you do?

Apparently the Wegener's is presenting now in my joints and on my skin, instead of staying localized to my airway. This scares me...because it means my disease grew a pair of legs and began to walk around. He got curious, and he found something else to destroy. Now we pray that he doesn't ever get curious again, because I'm running out of "things to be thankful that Wegener's has affected instead of x, y or z."

Prayers would always be appreciated. But just know - I'm in good hands. :)

My favorite session ever.

It's no secret that I dread photographing newborn babies. They are incredibly unpredictable, and I always feel like mom and dad are secretly wondering what in the hell I am doing to their poor child.

Yesterday, I drove up North to do some photos for a family whose little man came about 2 weeks early.

I set up my stuff, mom put the baby in the middle of the bean bag, walked away...and that was that. There was no one staring over my shoulder. There wasn't constant concern that the baby might fuss.

It was just me and the baby.

And I must say, we made quite a team.

Once Tom gets home from the gym this afternoon, we're going to turn on the football games and set up the Christmas tree. I can't wait! There's nothing I love more than sitting at home in the evening, curled up on the couch with Tom, watching TV and simultaneously admiring the twinkling lights on the tree.

I love this time of year. :)

T-Gives and other things.

I was pretty thrilled this year when my good friend, Stephanie, invited Tom and I over for Thanksgiving dinner with her big ol' family.

First of all, I love Stephanie.

And I love her family.


Good people. Awesome food. No cooking or clean-up involved on my part.

But here's the problem.

No leftovers.

THAT is pretty uncool, I have to admit.

So today, I was forced to be productive and eat leftover pizza.


Oh well.

I placed orders. I edited photos. I mailed photos. I created Christmas cards. I ordered Christmas cards. I wrapped gifts. I paid bills. I threatened the lives of all big insurance companies under my breath. I drank wine. And after I write this post, I'm going to sit on the couch with the most wonderful man in the world and watch Courage Under Fire.

Happy Black Friday.

Let the Christmas festivities officially begin.

(Tom's making me keep this picture because he believes it to be a perfect capture of this kid for most of the day. In other words, Thaddeus is usually pretty pissed off that I'm trying to take his picture.)

I'm alive.

A certain friend of mine continues to hound me to update my blahg, and while I keep insisting that I will, I never find the time to follow through on my promise.

To be honest, my business more than tripled what I had last year at this time. I hope the trend continues, but I never expected such a rapid growth. Needless to say, I have often found myself over-whelmed (lest we not forget the hard drive that totally crashed on me...thank God for that last minute back-up I had run on my external HD), over-booked, over-promised, over the whole law school thing...

...you get the idea.

Tonight I finished up my last session of the season. Aside from a trip I have planned to Texas for boudoir photos and an old friend's wedding, I have nothing more on the books and am not taking any more clients until 2012.

That actually sounds really good to say.

I'm extremely grateful for the boom in my business, but I'm also extremely grateful for a little vacation.


I say that word lightly.

The next 6 weeks still entail final exams, a visit with Craig, Sharon, my sister and my brother, a trip to Texas (with Danielle - holy hells balls this will be fun), a road trip to and from Colorado, a trip to Chicago, and I have about 14-dozen gifts to buy before it gets to the point where the mall makes my head explode.

But I'm still looking forward to it.

For those clients who have stumbled upon my personal blahg, I thank you for your continued support of my business. And for those of you who aren't my clients, but read my blahg because you're infatuated with my honesty or detest my every word, I thank you for your continued support. 

Every visit helps my SEO. ;)


I'm not going to lie.

Newborns are difficult for me.

They are my nemeses. 

I don't know why.

I can get perfectly strange women to take their clothes off in front of my camera for money, but I can't get a newborn baby to close his eyes and sleep for a few pictures.

It challenges me to a point where sometimes I think of excluding myself from that area of the market. Focus more on my strengths.

And then I remember why I love this job. This hobby. This passion.

Because it's not the same version of the story for everyone.

Every photo tells a different story to the person next to you.

Newborn photos don't have to be squishy little babes or heads in hands. 

I suppose it's a bonus, lol, but it's not a requirement.


Newborn photos can also be crazy toes, and laying on the couch together as a family.

Because at the end of the day, isn't that what it's all about?


I am officially aware of a photographer's "busy" season.

FYI - it's the entire month of October.

I sponsored the local high school's athletic department this year, and I also hired a few girls to be my senior representatives for the 2012 class. Between those two things, I have scheduled 13 senior sessions this season.

In addition to that, I've been shooting families, toddlers, a couple newborns, and everyone else who looked outside and realized how beautiful the changing colors were.

Needless to say, I've been a tad on the busy side. :)

If my business could be this busy year-round, I'd let Tom stay at home and do all the Mr. Mom duties so he wouldn't have to worry about the Bar exam. ;)


I posted a bit about this on Facebook, but was suddenly compelled to blahg about it. Mainly because (1) I like to blahg, and (2) I am 150% sure that my target audience will read this. I know who reads my blahg. I have a stat counter. I also have friends who tell me who reads my blahg. So it all works out. 

The right people will receive this message, I am sure of it.

I have always been very sarcastic. Some people think that sarcasm equates to bitchiness, so I've also been told that I'm very bitchy. That's fine. The people who matter don't mind, and the people who mind don't matter. 
And I can be bitchy. No doubt about it. But I am often mistaken as being bitchy when I'm not trying to be.

Just a heads up - I am not intending to be bitchy in this post. But I am sure it will come across that way.

In high school, I had a large circle of friends. The odd thing was that while there were about 30 of us, we still ran in smaller crowds. So while we might all meet up for a New Years party, or a birthday dinner at Red Robin, we weren't having slumber parties and divulging our deepest secrets.

Part of me didn't even like several of the girls in our crowd because I couldn't trust them. I saw how they treated others, and it made me wonder if they treated me the same way behind my back. Well, and to be honest, I had seen the way they treated me in earlier years, before we ever even started hanging out together.

Eleven years since high school has ended, a lot of things have changed.

We've graduated from different colleges.

We've married and had children.

We've moved.

We've started new careers.

We've moved on. High school is a moment in time where most of the general population can look back and laugh, but the rest of the population wishes they could stay there. They don't want to grow up. They don't want to move on. They want to cling to the same friends they've always had, and dislike the same people who they always disliked.

Now, I am not claiming to be perfect. I am the polar opposite of perfect. Ask my husband. He'll tell you.

But one thing I am proud of is the fact that I have been so forgiving of my younger years. I find myself establishing friendships with people who once tried to burn my house down. I confide in people I once made fun of (thank God they have been so forgiving of me!). I'm more open-minded and understanding of others because I realize that while I may be struggling, there is always someone who is facing a greater struggle.

In other words, I've grown.

(Please pause for this brief moment where I show you a really cute picture of my son.)

Recently a random string of miscommunications ended up with a friend of mine and I being angry with one another. Our argument lasted for awhile, and got pretty heated at times. But the nice thing is that since then, we have been able to apologize to one another. We've spoken and forgiven one another and moved on.

Our friendship has grown.

Those who haven't grown, however, were the bystanders. Those girls who watched over us the entire time with the impression that they were invited to do so. The same girls who never passed the "Smell Test" - as they like to call it in law school - in order to gain my trust to begin with. It was those high school girls.

Eleven years later and these girls are still behaving the same way they did in high school. They are petty. And rude. And two-faced. And opportunists. And mothers.

Ugh. Typing that last line breaks my heart. They have children.

And their children are girls. And as parents, our actions speak louder than our words. So while we can cry, "Do unto others!" the only thing they will hear is what we, ourselves, are doing unto others. Or have done to others.

Thus, the cycle continues. And my poor child(ren) will go to school with their children. And he will have to deal with that same, petty bullshit all over again.

Hold on, buddy. You're in for some rough years.

The good news is, when you grow a little older, you'll wise up. And you'll forgive them of their immaturity and lack of general apathy.

Because you'll understand that it wasn't really their fault in the first place.

Sometimes socialization can be a bitch.

And the winner for the shitties blahg-er goes to...


It's me!! It's me!!

Sorry I've been kind of in and out these days. I'm up to my eye balls in editing photos. I just finished up with one wedding, and now I've got to move on to another.


But I wanted to update everyone on how things have been going in the Jeter household since the infamous crafting projects. 

First, one of my very best friends (and former college roommate) visited Michigan with her husband, on their way to move to Rhode Island.

They brought their dog, whom I love.

We had a ton of fun, even in a short time, and I wish they could have stayed longer. The good news is that they are moving back to Seattle in a year, so maybe we will get another visit next Fall! :)

Then, Thad ended up in Urgent Care with pneumonia.
That wasn't fun. Not even a little bit.

The nurses had trouble with his IV, so he ended up being poked twice. UGH.

No pictures - for the first time in my life, I didn't think to bring my camera.

He's feeling a lot better now, thank God. In fact, he got a good report from the doctor yesterday and is allowed to go back to school and play outside with his friends. He's hardly even coughing, which is awesome.

Over the weekend, I did a couple of senior sessions.
Hello, gorgeous.

I also spent some time with the neighbor's dog (because I suddenly have an obsession with pet photography), and a random frog in the yard.

I'm putting this on record that Thad was afraid to touch the frog. I'm hoping that someday his wife will read that and then tease him mercilessly.

Finally, today Thad and I went out to ride his bike and I made my first attempt at photo panning.

It was a half-success and a half-fail. But practice makes perfect I suppose.

I have several more shoots coming up in the next few weeks since the Fall colors are so damn brilliant right now.

But then the leaves will turn. And they will fall. And the snow will begin.

And I will cry.

Cry, cry, cry.

The Crafty Mom

It's Wednesday, which means one of two things:

1. I will be entirely productive because I have a whole day to do absolutely nothing but catch up on school and editing. 


2. I will nap for a few hours, watch a movie with Thad, play outside with Thad, and maybe eat too much junk food.

Today was, thankfully, one of the productive days.

I've known for awhile now that I wanted to hit Hobby Lobby and get a bunch of shiz for my kid to do in the Winter. It gets arctic-like here in Michigan, and the first time Thad asks if we can go play in the snow, there's a really good chance I will laugh in his face.

I hate the cold.

So I needed some things to entertain my child.

I got a whole lotta stuff that will help to keep him busy in the coming months, but I did pick up a few things that we were able to work on today.

First, let me start off by saying that this was not my original idea. I got it from Pinterest which, if you don't know what that is, I challenge you to Google it and then try not to spend every waking hour searching for awesome stuff.

Second, I have to say that while I have high hopes for Thad and his crafts, he absolutely hates crafts. 

They are boring to him.

I am pretty sure he isn't my child, but that's for another post.

Anyways, today I picked up some things to make Halloween decorations, knowing full well that I would probably be doing them by myself.

It was super easy and ALL CRAFT ITEMS ARE 50% OFF AT HOBBY LOBBY right now. So, uh, take what you would spend and cut it in half.

Then use the leftovers to buy something really delicious, like a Big Mac.

I am seriously craving a Big Mac right now.

Ok, here is what you need:

- Mason jars, big and small ($2 each, $1 after discount. I bought 6).
- Acrylic paint. ($1 each, .50 after discount. I bought 7 colors).
- Paint brushes. (1 pack of crappy brushes is $2, $1 after discount).
- Tea light candles (these weren't half off, so I paid $6 for the whole pack of like, 100).

The first thing you want to do is put some paint in some bowls, after figuring out what you want to make.

By the way, we're making tea light candle holders.

I made 2 ghosts, 2 pumpkins, a vampire and Frankenstein.

Paint your mason jars. They will dry super quick, and don't worry about making the paint even, that's the beauty of acrylic paint - it dries nicely, no matter how shitty of a painter you are.

 Then, put a tea light candle in each one.

When you are finished, place them on your mantle, and admire your work.

These will actually find their home in our front windows at night, but I placed them on the mantle so I could look at them. I'm vain like that.

This one is my favorite.

Voila! Awesome craft and fab decor for super, super cheap.

Total cost: about $16.

Not bad.

Hands off.

Thaddeus and his friends went to a local apple orchard today for a class field trip.

Just so you know, in case you were ever wondering whether or not you wanted to start your own apple farm and let kids visit, if you insist that they keep their hands to themselves and don't allow them to pick any apples as you force them to walk over a mile through the trees, it is inevitable that, at some point, one of them will shout, "Mom, I'm BORED."

It's also inevitable that the child who shouts that will be my own.

These kids are four years old. 

They don't care about the Japanese pronunciation of your over-sized green apples.

They care about mud and dirt and worms and picking apples off of trees and using them as weapons or balls.

So next time, Mrs. Apple Orchard lady, plan accordingly.

Boys will be boys.

I love these pictures.

I look at Thad, and I can see at least 10 or 15 years into the future. While it makes me sad, it also makes me look forward to so many years to come with my favorite little guy.