That is a very true statement in the blingy sense. Ask anyone that knows me and they will tell you that rarely am I seen without some big obnoxious necklace (often an owl, a turtle, the state of MN or some old locket). But ask those same people if I wear anything that sparkles and they will laugh. That is not me at all. But recently the few sparkly things I do have in my life have taken on a hell of a lot more meaning, which has led me here.
I  want to share with you photos and stories of a few of the most important treasures I am honored to claim as mine…

chocolate moose images, jewelry, iowa, minnesota, mom, mur chocolate moose images, jewelry, iowa, minnesota, mom, mur

This amazingly gorgeous necklace was my mom’s precious treasure and it was passed along to me after she was gone. The story goes that her dad gave her the beautiful pearl on a chain as a special present from a father to his daughter as she was to be married. She loved this necklace dearly and I really can not remember ever seeing her without it on. After she passed away my dad bestowed it upon me. Immediately, it was the most important ‘thing’ I had. It’s important to note that I put ‘thing’ in ‘’ because it was so much more to me than just that. Even at 11 years old it wasn’t just a necklace. It was so much more than that and felt like a piece of my mom I could carry with me every day… something that was so important to mom from her dad that someone dear to her would need to wear in her absence. It felt like such an honor to have it and be able to keep her so close. It was at that time my dad had the diamond added as a special gift to me, which makes this current piece complete. It’s so simple and so incredibly beautiful.

I love it. I wear it whenever I feel the urge to have family extra close. I feel like it gives me strength in tough times {a new job, an emotional battle, a big challenge} and it makes me even happier in times of happiness {weddings, photo shoots, family events}. I treasure it now and look forward to the time when I can pass it on to my own little one for her to treasure in her own little way.

chocolate moose images, jewelry, iowa, minnesota, mom, mur chocolate moose images, jewelry, iowa, minnesota, mom, mur

chocolate moose images, jewelry, iowa, minnesota, mom, mur

The blingy blingy ring above is my gorgeous and treasured engagement ring. Murray asked me time and time again in our 2 months if I still loved it. He would say “now, are you still happy with it? do you still want to wear that forever?” I would always look at him and roll my eyes playfully but reply “of course! it’s amazing.” Even though we looked at it together he was still so worried about whether he had made the right decision. For a while he thought he would pick out the ring on his own until I showed him one I loved – it was miles away from what he had envisioned. He really had wanted a “wham!” surprise factor to the proposal but I can promise that if he acted the same way that day as he did the day of the real proposal, even a ‘secret’ ring wouldn’t have kept my suspicions at bay.

There is a song that had recently started to be played on ‘our’ station that Mur thought described us so well. He even sent me a text one day to say when he heard it on the radio it made him tear up. The song talks about a ‘pretty girl’ planning a wedding for next fall and her ‘man’ thinks she is doing too much. She reassures him that it’s exactly what she wants and he should focus on other things. She says that…

“I think love is so much easier than you realize. If you can give yourself to someone, then you should … It’s a little bit of everything. The way you joke the way you ache. It is getting up before you so I could watch you as you wake. So on that day in late September it’s not some stupid little ring. I’m getting a little bit of everything.”

We sometimes disagreed on music but I would have to agree with him on this one. That song does describe us well. He had made it known to many people he was worried I would do way, way too much for the wedding. I think he even confided in his brother that “She wants to make napkins. She really wants to make NAPKINS!” Ok – I’ll admit it’s probably true. I thought of baking my own pies the morning of the wedding until Mur suggested I pass that duty on to loved ones with ovens at their disposal. Smart man – that’s part of why I kept him around 🙂

This ring means the world to me – then and now. It signified that we had finally decided it was time. It represented the years of love behind and ahead of us. It promised many, many good times. And it meant he would have to put up with my cats and I would have to put up with his Wii games forever.

chocolate moose images, jewelry, iowa, minnesota, mom, mur chocolate moose images, jewelry, iowa, minnesota, mom, mur

Now this ring? This is the first ring he gave me. It is wood and was hand crafted in our basement work shop. It took quite a few attempts to get one where the wood didn’t split so this was pretty special. He was so proud when he brought it upstairs and gave it to me. In some ways I’m surprised he didn’t propose with this one! The only thing about it is that it’s a smidge on the large side. Take a look …

chocolate moose images, jewelry, iowa, minnesota, mom, mur chocolate moose images, jewelry, iowa, minnesota, mom, mur

The sparkly one fits, the wood one? Not so much. But really, that’s not what matters. It is an amazing piece of work and I adore the story and love behind it.

As I said, this is a batch of stories and photos of the a few of the most important treasures I have. I feel like this might give you a peek into my life not only right now but in general. You may understand more about what I love and why. You may understand more about who I am. And you may understand that if you ever plan to give me blingy jewelry you have some serious competition to make it into the top two.


I won’t lie and say that I’m back. I won’t promise that I’ll post often. I also won’t say that things are fine. None of that would be true because my life is still upside down and my heart is tied in a big huge painful knot. It is hard to come home sometimes and it is hard to wake up. It is hard to cook something delicious and it is hard to have a fire in the fire place. I am so thankful to have my girls because without them this place would be far too quiet and full of those silent memories. They are just cats but they help me fill this place with life. They fetch their glitter balls and they curl up in my lap. They are my little shadows as I move from room to room and they ask me to let them on the square day in and day out. On top of my love for the girls, I really can’t thank my close family and friends enough – Nelson & Perdue clans you are AMAZING and I really don’t know what I would do without you by my side!! And anyone who has texted me more than 2 times in the last 2 months falls into this list as well – thank you thank you! I really look forward to the day when I have a spring back in my step and when I can take photos of goofy things and giggle.


What will be surfacing from here in the future? Well goodness, I actually have quite a few pups and kitties that need some blog love which I plan to give in the coming weeks. And surprisingly enough, none are my own (at least at this point)! I have 8 pups I get to play with before the snow flies and as always, I have lots of things to tackle in the New Year. As I’ve said before this blog is so much more than just a face to my business… I feel it’s a place to talk about me and my life – the good and the bad. If I didn’t do that I’d just be a lady behind a camera that always smells like dog treats. I love when clients reference posts on my blog – it shows that people actually care about what I have to say. It makes me feel good inside 🙂 Thank you to everyone who has been patient with me. Thank you to everyone who has stood by me. And thank you to everyone who has checked back in here from time to time to see if I have updated. I need that support!

If I can ask for a favor, I’d love for people to keep thinking about me during this hard time and I will pay you back in posts full of adorable pet photos. Deal? 🙂