Home Office Problems | Madison WI Children's Photographer

Having a home office and a toddler is a challenge most days. I usually save my editing for late at night when both kids are in bed and I can focus at the task in hand, my daytime hours usually bounce between trying to answer emails, catch up on bookkeeping, and prep for my next shoot, all while making sure my daughter isn't tearing apart one room or another(spoiler alert: she always is).

Some days I feel like a crazy person for trying to pull this off, she doesn't let me get anything done and by the evening I'm too wiped to pull up my desk chair and start working again. Last week, as I collected ALL of my pens from the basement, I had a particularly lovely fantasy about working in a real office where no one throws your pens down the laundry chute while yelling "WHEEEEEEEE". 

Then again there are days like today when she made a coloring nook in the dormer window (a space in our tiny cape cod that we have repurposed as an open closet), she hauled in some pillows and set herself up on a storage bin, as I worked like mad to catch up on some critical projects, knowing at any moment she'd be climbing the cabinets or swimming in the dog's bowl again or begging me to come play with her.

But she didn't, she spent the afternoon making up drawings and stories and singing to herself and letting her imagination run wild in the fort she had made and reminded me that all too soon she's not going to need me every second of the day anymore, I am grateful for this time. 

Rustic Winter Wedding at the Barn at Harvest Moon Pond

The weeks leading up to this January wedding at the Barn at Harvest Moon Pond in Poynette WI had been unseasonably warm, and then Saturday came and the windchill was -15. While the wind was howling outside, inside the barn was brimming with warmth and a lot of love.

Many of the more intimate venues in the Madison area don't have space for getting ready as well as both the ceremony and the reception, which is important for winter weddings. At Harvest Moon Pond the old hay loft of this barn has been converted to hold ceremonies, and two ready rooms downstairs for getting ready when the weather doesn't play nice.

And there are cool spaces inside the barn that make for beautiful portraits as well.

But we also braved the frigid temps and stepped out for the sunset, between the sun's warm glow and the sweet love that Russ & Tiff have for each other, you'd never believe it was -15 degrees outside!

All around, a beautiful wedding at a stunning location, with one of the loveliest (and toughest!) couples I've ever had the pleasure to work with. 

Snowfall | Madison WI Childrens Photographer

Apart from a couple of cold snaps we've had so little winter this year, it's hard to believe it's already March and that by next month the first little green buds of spring will be appearing.

My daughter loves the snow, and I love her exploring spirit. I snapped these shots quick on the way to pick up her brother from school yesterday. In 2017 I'm working hard to remind myself to take real photos of my own kids because I was especially lacking last year.

Black Tea Fig Bars with Chèvre and Almond

I made up these delicious bars for an Oscar party (what punny movie themed food name did I come up with? 'Hidden Figbars") and they were a hit! They feature preserves from one of my favorite Madison WI food makers, Quince & Apple, with soft cheeses all wrapped up in a delicious pastry.  

You'll need: 

2 puff pastry sheets
2oz softened cream cheese
2oz chevre cheese
1/8 cup of sugar
Quice & Apple Fig & Black Tea spread (or other preserves)*
1 egg, beaten
Almonds (optional) 

Black Tea Fig Bars with Chevre and Almonds - Yum! YUM! #MadisonFoodie

Black Tea Fig Bars with Chevre and Almonds - Yum! YUM! #MadisonFoodie

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix together cheeses and sugar until well combined. Fold out your pastry sheets on parchment paper and spread cheese mixture in an even rectangle down the middle third of each sheet. Top cheese with Quince & Apple's Fig spread (I found 2-3 rounded TBSP per pastry worked well, adjust to your liking).

 *Feel free to substitute another preserve flavor, I also made a strawberry rhubarb version that my kids went crazy over. 

Slice the outer two thirds of the pastry in a diagonal fringe so you can fold the sides over the top in a braid (for more detailed instructions I used my friend Amy's method). Place both pastries on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and brush with egg.

Bake for 15-17 minutes, topping with almonds after about 12 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, sprinkle with powdered sugar, slice into bars and enjoy :)

My Daughter Is a Wild Thing | Madison WI Childrens Photographer

My daughter is a wild thing, an untamed spirit of wonder.
Her heart is deeply content, but her soul is not quieted. 
She announces her presence to the world in a cacophony,
Stomping, splashing, pounding, clattering, bouncing, spinning. 
She is an exporer and an adventurer. 

My daughter is a wild thing.