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August 15, 2013

Western Wanderlust // Lisa in South Dakota

Oh, how do I introduce Lisa, except to say that she's an angel? 

I was so miserable being pregnant (don't get me wrong, I wanted Maile, but I hated pregnancy) that I didn't even want to have maternity portraits done. I didn't feel like my body was doing something beautiful, I just wanted to meet my baby girl! My mom, and Tim, somehow managed to convince me that I'd regret not having pictures of myself pregnant. "If not for yourself, do them for Maile," my mom said. So, I started searching. I searched, and searched, and searched some more -- and I didn't like any of the local photographers I came across. I'd almost given up on finding someone, when I saw one of Lisa's Facebook ads. I spent over an hour pouring over each and every picture. "Yes," I thought. And that's how we found our official family photographer.

We've now done three sessions with Lisa ... all different, and all amazing ... and will be shooting our 2013 family photos in just a few weeks! Eek! I also took an introductory photography class, taught by Lisa, which was basically life-changing, for me. She definitely deserves some credit for all those photos y'all love! 

Without further ado, a heart-warming post from Lisa about creating new families, and her gorgeous trip to South Dakota.

For many years now I have had this dream to go to South Dakota.  I felt it was just wrong, that we had lived in Colorado for 15 years, and had never even crossed the Wyoming border. Sad, but true.  My ex-husband was so-not-a-driver and so road trips were just not something we did.  Fast forward one divorce, a new husband, a new life and I thought this summer would be just perfect to make my South Dakota dreams come true.

So of course I will tell you about all the stuff we did, that everyone should check out while in South Dakota:
- Mount Rushmore (duh)
- Cosmos Mystery Area-kind of weird and kooky and will give you vertigo, but fun!
- Bear Country - the girls' favorite stop on this trip -a drive-thru animal park where you see all sorts of wildlife, not just bears!
- Camping in Custer State Park - my kinda camping - showers, toilets, and a restaurant that serves Starbucks
- Needles Highway
- Deadwood - fun, old western town

But what I did not anticipate was how great this trip was for us as a family.  Bringing a new parent into the mix is not easy, I ain't gonna lie.  When you are dating someone, it's all rainbows and unicorns, but then you bring your children into the mix, and they might not be seeing all those hearts and flowers.  They may not be so keen on this new person in their lives and their home.  Having a happy step-family doesn't just magically happen.  It takes work, and it takes time.  So after our first tenuous 9 months together, this trip came at the perfect time. We realized that we are, indeed, a family. We realized that hey, we like each other and we have fun together. We laughed a lot.  And we didn't even hate the driving.  So much so, that we decided to drive 12 hours to see my sister & her family for Thanksgiving this year, instead of flying.  We are road trippers!  And we like it.

Hope you enjoyed this sampling of pictures from our trip.  Some are from the "big camera" and yes, some are just the old iPhone.  Even as a professional, sometimes it's just easier! 

And thanks to Katie for allowing me to share this story here.


  1. although,the driving i don't particularly enjoy, the whole experience of a roadtrip, i love. looks like a wonderful vacation!

    1. Yes, we're very much the same way! I'd like to follow in Lisa's footsteps to South Dakota someday soon, and head to South Dakota. :)