Make it right

Friends, the official news broke last night. I got a message first thing in the morning, asking if I had seen the preview on Monday morning. Of course I did. I had been warning about Bella Rose Photography for over 2 years. Unfortunately, too many people were snowed and taken advantage of by this company. Wedding days. Newborn moments. Last days in high school. Family gatherings. It’s horrible. To me, unthinkable. (Not to mention how upset I was that they were the “Official photographers” of my favorite hometown team, the St. Cloud Rox) while balking their contracted duties.

Those are moments you can’t get back.

And they were CHEAP, as far as professional photography goes. $1000 for a whole day wedding, with prints and album. SHIT. I can’t feed my family on that! Think about it, you saw the best of the best they had. They hired out photographers, ones with openings still on their books, at ridiculously low wages. The outsourced photographers are pissed. In forums. In messages. They are enraged that the work that they were hired to do, work they put their hearts into, got gobbled up by greed and no bride or groom saw their images. OR, they were handed RAWs (you should never ask for those, trust me) and the couples were sitting there with a dud, no editing, no culling…nothing to show for their investment.

I couldn’t compete with Bella Rose Photography if I had wanted to. I’m not a networking person. I’m not a sales person. I’m an honest person who just can’t make idle small talk and false promises. I cry when I get sick and can’t deliver on deadline. I don’t submit to all the publishing places, I don’t do bridal shows. I instagram, facebook, meet people over coffee. I carve out space in my heart for every single client I photograph. I keep anniversaries and birthdays on my calendar. And still miss them by 3 days.

But I’ve NEVER not delivered a wedding.

I’ve missed Thanksgiving with my family, Christmas time prepping for feasts, to deliver client packages. I’ve been called horrible, nasty names. I’ve been groped, fallen off docks, climbed on top of rooftops, hiked, and frozen my toes.

But I’ve NEVER held clients’ memories hostage.

My heart aches for all of the special moments, lost now, to so many people. I can’t go back in time and make them happen again. But what I can do is pull together with other vendors in the St. Cloud area and have a styled wedding session for those who want one. FREE OF CHARGE. This is a HUGE undertaking, and I’m hoping some other generous souls out there want to instill some happiness and spread love where there is so much hurt. If you are willing to help, please comment or shoot me an email. Let’s stop the hurt and start the healing.

Our vendor list:
event space TBD
florals TBD
hair/makeup TBD
linens TBD
Formalwear TBD

Late April/early May


Keep on putting love out there folks. You never run out and we all could use more of the good stuff.


not a weed

not a weed

Spring has FINALLY arrived! After what has seemed like an unending dance in the 40s, then a 90 degree day, then 60s, the weatherman assures us that spring is finally here.

Green grass.

and so are my violets. weeds

Johnny Jump-ups. weeds

Creeping charlie. weeds

and ankle deep green splotchy patches of green, so green, grass.

Now, I was raised to take pride in a carefully kept lawn. Yes, I lived in the country and yes, it took around 3 hours to mow EV-ERy-THING, and yes, I was am terrified of that gas powered trimmer, the one that needed a harness and had actual plastic BLADES instead of string. So, of course, my younger brother and sister did the trimming, I chose the push mower on the “steep side” of the house as my chore, and we divyied up who got to ride mow the orchard/backyard/drainfield.

Two nights ago, I dreamt I was mowing the woods. The woods where we’d build lean-to forts, lie in the decomposing bark and twigs and pretend we were living in our own kingdom. I can still smell that slightly sweet, earthy musk that made summer days so magical. I felt like this WAS my home and I didn’t give a rats’ ass what anyone else thought. And it was bliss.


Flash forward 20 or so years; today, I looked out my front window and realized that I have a MN jungle on my hands. Horsehair and purple flowers dot the outer banks, announcing the woods that surround us. Some ducks wandered in and must’ve found a feast of something since they hung out for quite awhile (until Priya thought her mastiff jowls were wings and attempted to fly).

And the ADULT started to creep in.
what will everyone think? they know i do the yard work. they all drive by, knowing who lives here. i cant believe that i’ve let it go this far. a lawn care company will probably door knock today. this is embarassing. all those WEEDS.

Then I got mad. At myself! After I had told my daughter that the definition of a “weed” is just a plant that is undesirable in the place it has taken root. And I gasped at how this whole dream-reality came full circle.

we’re all weeds.

In some way, we all are weeds, somewhere in our lives. We irritate others around us, we conform, we struggle. But some of us-those of us who are brave and strong and resiliant-we keep pushing out faces to the sun and refuse to let a title crush our spirit. I’m a weed, here in central MN. I speak my mind (sometimes rather brashly), strap on my political boxing gloves and fight the close-mindedness that surrounds me, and I’m still working on that whole “blooming” thing.

I’m constantly trying to figure out where I “belong” while, at the same time, shushing my inner voice-
you weren’t meant to fit in. you were meant for more.

because no one wants to be a weed.
its only a weed if you deem it one. you’re not a weed. you are worthy. you are beautiful. you matter.

If you ask my daughter, she’ll tell you my favorite FLOWER is a dandelion. It’s NOT a weed to me. It is sunshine scattered to walk upon. It’s the honeybees’ first meal. It’s soft and fuzzy and glorious.

i may be a weed to you. but I KNOW, i’m a flower. you’re just not ready for those like me yet.

Soon, inner voice, I’ll be blooming and strong enough to say it aloud. But for now, I’ll keep that a secret to smile about.

Listen to this song, and tell me you didn’t smile too.   


not a weed

When all you see is grey

When all you see is grey

It’s been a really rough week.
Liam has decided that it’s time to start our day between 330AM and 5AM everyday, testing the limits of my patience and lack of sleep makes me more emotionally vulnerable. So, since it was ass-crack-of-dawn early, I scrolled through Facebook, checking in on a friend I hadn’t heard from in awhile.

the post from her brother says she has died

It’s not real. No. I refuse it. I’ll take a minute and reach out to her mom.

I google for updates. Nothing. I am telling myself that it’s not true.

the post gets updated with the murderer…DEPRESSION

But I knew. In my heart of hearts, not wanting it to be true, I somehow intrinsically KNEW.

I’m raw. I compartmentalize and get through my days, always thinking “If only…”

If only I had reached out that day she posted the knitting groundhog meme on my wall.

If only I had sent a “Hey! Thinking of you today” when I was thinking of her.

If only I could have given her more strength to fight off that ugly, life-stealing asshole that Depression really is.

Angela, know I love you. Know I will forever miss you. And I will fight Depression even harder to honor you. I wish I could have fought that battle for you, rather than just WITH you. This is going to be a really fucking hard month for the rest of my life. The life that was enriched and emboldened by having you in it. Shine bright, beautiful soul. And I’ll always think of you on my “good boob” days oh how you laughed whenever i said that or on Redneck Range evenings that blowgun still cracks me up or whenever I’m out hiking in nature i’ll hear your voice and cursing your boots.

Depression steals. It kills. It rips open old wounds and they fester forever. Please, please, PLEASE know that you are not alone. That voice in your head is an asshole. Those chemicals need some balance. Reach out. Humanity is here for you. And we love you. Scream into the void with me and find that little glimmer of self-love and let us help you.

this week really sucked. next week will be a little better, right?































Fight Depression with me
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1 (800) 273-8255