September 1, 2016

Last night was a typical evening for us. The kids were finishing their homework and chores, while the three of us checked on the chickens and picked vegetables. These photos I captured from last night reminded me of something I wrote around this time last year...

"I stroll down the driveway with June in tow, she's attached to me inside her ergo carrier and grasping my shirt. A glass of white wine fills my left hand and the other gently rubs the back of her tiny, soft haired head. Two houses down there's a swarm of school aged children on the front lawn, two of them belong to me. I holler to mine "dinner." Joe speeds towards me on his red scooter and Jubilee races behind him on her bike she's already outgrowing. In the backyard, meat and vegetables are sizzling on the grill and ready to be plated. We all find our seats around the espresso wood dinner table centered in our dining room. The kids have only ever eaten their meals at this table. I used to frown at the imperfections it's collected over the years, and consider replacing it with a newer, prettier table. But those thoughts have passed. The marks are my marks, each one with a tale to tell. Turquoise plates and cloth napkins line the table this night. The conversation usually begins with one question "what was the best part of your day?" The kids' answers are mostly predictable. They speak over one another, excited to be the first to share. Joe's usually involves math or music, and Jubilee's is almost always reading. When we get to me, it's truthfully always this moment. This time of day when my family is here, it's certainly not perfect, but it's my ideal. My home and heart is full. It might be messy, loud, chaotic at times, and even hold it's unhappy moments, but it's full of life and togetherness. It's full of growing pains, and lessons learned, and dinner-time giggles, and eager eyes on the bright future. 

If in my old age I ever have a moment I wish to relive, I'm certain it will be from these days I am living right now. It won't be from my twenties, it won't be when the house is paid off, it won't be when I'm traveling to Iceland, it will be this right here. Realizing that has been both emotional and freeing. I know to be more present. I'll miss looking down to see June's pink painted toes beneath me and little arms reaching around to give my legs a hug. I'll miss Joe coming down from cleaning his room with an eye patch, a bandana, and a necklace on because he's eager to wear his long lost treasures. I'll miss Jubilee drawing in her notepad and singing her favorite songs a little off key with her head phones in. I'll miss new table marks. 

I've finally done it, I've reached that point in my life when I look around and say to myself, "these are the best days of my life." 

Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL Newborn
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Family Photographer Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Family Photography
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL Urban Chicken Farming
Jennifer Lee Photography Family
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL Urban Chicken Farming
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL Urban Chicken Farming
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL Urban Chicken Farming
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL Urban Chicken Farming
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL Urban Chicken Farming
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL Urban Chicken Farming
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL Urban Chicken Farming
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL Urban Chicken Farming
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Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL Urban Chicken Farming
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL Urban Chicken Farming
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL Urban Chicken Farming
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL Urban Chicken Farming
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Photography Quincy, IL
Jennifer Lee Quincy, IL

FALL MINI SESSIONS - ANNOUNCED!

Last year ignited a passion in me for mini sessions. Why? Let me count the ways...

1) I got to see lots of familiar faces (growing too quickly) all jam-packed in one weekend. It was kind of like a family reunion for me!
2) These sessions were perfect for little ones who didn't have the patience to be photographed for an hour+ (I know some adults who appreciated it too!)
3) I got to meet new clients who've been thinking about working with me and finally did it!
4) My images are displaying brightly on Christmas cards, gifts, and walls!
5) It's an overall win: clients got their family photos updated with a budget friendly session, yay!


I opened up the sessions to current clients and newsletter subscribers first. Now it's your chance to fill in those empty spots! The mini sessions will be held on the weekends of: October 28th-29th and November 4th-5th. I have a few spots available, but they're going quickly so contact me today to lock in your session time! 

 < < < < < BOOK HERE > > > > > 

Jennifer Lee Quincy, IL Fall Mini Sessions

MIDSUMMER ARTS FAIRE 2016

I start looking forward to this as soon as May flips over to June. If you ask me, it's the best annual event in Quincy. Depending on the day you go, there's always something wonderful happening. On Friday night, the park is alive with the blue's from Blue's in the District. You'll have to find your way through a sea of families and friends enjoying the food, music, and some BYOB.

If you have a child, or know one, you must bring them Saturday morning so they can become little artists! There is a tent dedicated to hands-on activities for children, and a children's art gallery where they can buy inexpensive art. While the children make masterpieces, you'll enjoy some excellent listening music from various local artists. You might even find yourself in a drum circle, or cooling off in the splash pad.

Of course, don't leave until you've strolled through the art booths and made your wish list. Our dreams came true when we got to take home some of that beautiful blue pottery you'll see later... After you've shopped your heart out, head on over to the food court where you can indulge in some kettle corn or spoon wave and stay hydrated with a lemon shakeup. And if all this isn't enough convincing, come for the love of community. Come for the impromptu entertainment on a park bench, for running into an old friend who always feels like a fresh friend, for the fluffy dogs, and for the smiles. See you next year!

Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Fiare
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
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Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL
Midsummer Arts Faire Quincy, IL

June 1, 2016

Looking at these photographs now I already know I'll ugly cry when I see them years from now. Age one is mostly fun. Every day has it's own ups and downs. But one quickly turns into two, then three, then thirteen, so I'll take in every moment of one while I'm here. 

At one she is loving kitties, chips, saying hi, reading books, and petting her chickens. She dances to the same Sesame Street song every day. She picks up sticks outside and makes tiny shooting sounds with them like her big brother. She gets all dramatic when you rinse her hair or when she sees a bug or when you're eating a chip and she should get one (or ten) too. She squeals when she sees babies "BEBEEE," and plays mommy to her (thankfully) fake baby at home. She likes to take all the underwear out of my drawer and wear as many as she can around her neck like jewels. When she's feeling generous she'll give out a few kisses and a hugs and giggle about how excited we get over them. She has the most expressions of any child I've ever seen. We're all on the edge of our seats to hear the thoughts behind her expressions. 

But my all-time favorite part of one is just before sleep when she let's me cradle her body in my arms while she drinks her bottle. I take in her smell, her sighs, her little fingers on my face, and heavy eyes almost shut. It's the one moment of the day when there's nothing but stillness and quiet between us, but so much felt and mutually understood. Cheek to cheek she finishes her milk and slips into milky dream land. And I say to myself, I'll just steal one more kiss, one more smell of her hair, one more time to put my cheek on her cheek, and then I'll lay her down. Because soon she'll be two, then she'll be three, then she'll be thirteen and I'll take in every piece of this moment while it's here. 

Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
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Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
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Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
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Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
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Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
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Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer
Quincy, IL Family Photographer

THE HAPPY PLANNER

This planner makes me deliriously happy. The moment I held it, some part of my soul awakened. I was finally holding in my hands the answer to all my life's organizational quandaries. Where have you been all my life, you nifty little thing? This isn't your ordinary planner. Come see what I mean!

Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create

Right away, you can tell this is something special. The cover is shiny, it is held together with pink hearts, and it's covered in peonies. I am happy.

Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create
Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create
Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create

It has a place for your john hancock. You get to remind yourself everyday that this gorgeous planner is allllll yours.

Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create

It has the month view split into two pages so you have plenty of room to fill up your happy days. Phew, look at my August. I'm going to need a vacation after all that vacationing.

Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create
Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create
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What crazy person doesn't stop to smell the peonies?! This would complete me if it had an everlasting scratch n' sniff right here.

Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create

I believed I could be organized, and so I am!!

Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create

Here's the daily & weekly view. I can't wait to fill up this space with lists, lists, and more lists. Really, my life is one long list.

Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create

Has your planner ever made you blush? Mine just did

Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create
Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create

Birthdays, important dates, holidays, it's all here. Heck, it even asks you what you're drinking, pinning, & dreaming... well since you've asked: wine, wine slushies, & wine on my patio while everyone naps :)

The Happy Planner Create 365
Me & My Big Ideas The Happy Planner 365 Create

This organizational bliss can be yours too. The planner is called The Happy Planner and is made by Me & My Big Ideas company. I got mine at Hobby Lobby using the amazing 40% off mobile coupon they're always accepting. But HERE is their online store which has a bigger selection and a variety of accessories.

This particular planner comes in lots of different themes. It is an 18 month calendar that takes you from July 2016 - December 2017. It has a laminated cover and the monthly tabs are laminated which makes finding each month very handy. There are so many little details and nice touches that make this a planner you'll look forward to using every day. 

Something that I did not realize when I first purchased this was that the binding makes it so that you can easily remove and add pages to your planner. I am so freaking excited about this feature! I design pages often in Photoshop so I will be designing my own pages like Meal Planning, Workout Week, Grocery Lists, Client Workflow, etc. I purchased the paper puncher to add in my own pages, along with some sticky notes, highlighters, and elastic bands to keep my place. I haven't been this excited about a purchase in a long time. It is a little bit of a splurge up front, but for under $50 including all of my accessories, I'll be happily organized in style for the next 18 months. YES!!

Let me know if you have The Happy Planner in the comments!

I am not affiliated with The Happy Planner and received no compensation for this blog post. I just really love this product so far and hope it makes someone else just as happy as it makes me.