Category Archives: families

the lake house and the 20/20 hindsight of photographs .

You know those times in life where something really tough was waiting just around the corner but you didn’t know it? And maybe you see photographs from just a few days or hours before that rough patch, and think, “my gosh, what beautiful ignorance to not know what was ahead..”?

A couple of months ago we went to the lake house. This is a place that has become so dear to our family and each year its owners extend a gracious invitation for us to go make it our own retreat place for a few days.

I share these photographs here on our WATP blog for a couple of reasons . first, I am aware that, since we vacated social media almost sixteen months ago, people are seeing way less of our lives and I want to find ways to continue to share openly and authentically here, not just on the family blog. but mostly I share because of what came after these photographs. Just a day after this trip to the lake house, our youngest son Zion would have a health crisis that would land him in the ICU, and in the children’s hospital for a week (more about that here), only to go home with a very tricky diagnosis of epilepsy, and on anti-seizure meds. If you haven’t ever heard about Zion’s story, you can read about that on our family blog but our little boy has fought for his life many times in the past five years and this was no exception. Ever four days or so now he has some kind of incident that has the potential to turn into an emergency. Life is not the same as it was  at the end of May.

So I guess I share these images here with you mostly because of all that . because photographs matter. These were days we can’t ever get back. This was a pace and style of life we can no longer take for granted. These were the last moments of “normal” before we entered into a new normal as a family and I’m so thankful we’ve got them in our pockets now. I’m so thankful photographs have the power to honor the normalcy we had no idea we were about to lose. It makes us all the more resolute to do exactly what we believe in most for our people and our couples each time they invite us to tell their stories . to tell the truth.

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Mornings with you . the adventure continues!

Hello there, dear ones .. ash here.

Some lovely things have been happening over at Mornings with you since we launched this beautiful little side project just a couple of weeks ago, including 2 new mornings with you shoots. One is a  sleepover session with artist and brave single mom warrior, Stephanie, and her three kiddos in Ohio (click here to watch the film and see the photographs).

Another is a morning session with the lovely Becca Spears and her two youngest littles in their mid-century modern home in Kansas, a few images pictured below. (click here to see the full post!)

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I am so incredibly proud of these stories and this work. As someone who is always battling an image in my head of stories I’ve told in the past, and trying to live up to them, Mornings with you is giving my head and my heart a wide open field of creativity to play in. There are no rules and no pretense, and in that environment I’m able to make something true. Not only that, I’m able to tell stories that are potent enough to bring vitality and joy to these souls who are giving away large portions of their lives to mother little ones. In the end, we all win. Or as Stephanie recently wrote to me after seeing their story,

“I started writing everything I love – all the bits and pieces – then I realized I would have to write a whole novel to tell the story of my heart. You have given us more than I hoped for and everything I wished for. When I look at these images I feel so proud of my little family. And now you are included in that fold of family love. I can’t thank you enough. I love you. We love you… you are such a blessing.”


click here to visit Mornings with you and take in a little bit of the magic. And contact me at today if you want to talk about scheduling your own mornings with you session. I’d absolutely love it and I know you will, too.

with much love and heart,