Sunday, April 26, 2009


Last night was the much anticipated Mrs. Utah pageant. I am super proud of my dear friend Heather for picking something totally crazy and "out of the box" for her and going through with it 100%! I was really impressed with the really beautiful married women of Utah. Unfortunately, the judges did not pick Heather as the winner, but I am sure that in about 6 months Heather is going to be on to another ten projects and will be quoted as saying: "I am so glad I didn't win that pageant. My life is just too busy for that nonsense."

Heather had me as her official photographer. Unfortunately, I do not have the best lens for this type of thing, but the pictures still make memories to last a lifetime.

Contestant #18, Heather Barber!
Pageant wave:
Our entertainment was Courtney and Kev from So You Think You Can Dance. I wish that they had done more dances, because they were totally fun.
You will always be our Queen Heather! You put the "Mrs." in Mrs. Pageant!

Friday, April 24, 2009


Wednesday night my incredibly talented BFF had her big night. It was the 2009 Mayor's Scholarship dinner. Being the official photographer of the event, I flew up to Idaho Falls to take pictures and see everything come together. This is the fourth year of the program. Heidi has been involved every year, but this was the first year where she was in charge. I was impressed, but not surprised, by how she put the whole thing together.

This is a really great program. Most of the kids that get the scholarship are not the ones that are usually the stand-outs for such accolades and honors. Two of the kids that got the award last year spoke about how receiving this scholarship really gave them a boost of confidence and a new drive as they finally felt like someone really believed in them.

Heidi was a stunner in her unforgettable dress we bought at Banana a few weeks back. I loved watching her walk around during the event in a flurry of orange.

The best part of the night for me though was seeing the picture I took on the cover of this year's program. It looked totally amazing, and I couldn't help but think that a year ago, if you had showed me that and told me I was going to take a picture that would look that great as the cover, I would not have believed it. Kudos to me!

Dinner was great, but dessert was better. I was going crazy for the fresh berries. I spent the end of the night grabbing the uneaten desserts and gobbling the berries. Proving yet again to myself and others that I have no shame.

Check out the Photo blog in a few days to see my favorite pics from the night.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Today is my little baby's 10 month birthday (sigh). Stella is really fun right now as she seems to be learning something new everyday. Last night I went out with my parents to take her pictures, and she started to scream. We tried again today, and she started fussing again, but I had a secret weapon: a tulip. It seemed to fascinate her, and she became her photogenic self again.

Last night:
Anyway Stella does lots of new things. Here is a sampling:
  • She is exploring the world of new foods, and seems to recognize her favorites when they are presented to her. What are they? Gerber puffs and yogurt melts, string cheese, yogurt, and pears.
  • She is still dancing, but suddenly has gained a great appreciation for her mother's dancing as well. I turn on the hits, dance, and perform for her while she rocks, claps, and laughs at her silly mom.
  • She lived through her first medical procedure, getting her blocked tear duct un-blocked. It worked out great, and people don't always ask me if she has a cold anymore.
  • She has not only improved her communication skills by saying "da," but now also clicks her tongue all the time like a Kalahari Bushman. She also makes this mysterious sound like she has pop rocks in her mouth. We CANNOT figure out how she does it.
  • She has two top teeth.
  • She has perfected several waves. Her bye-bye wave, her hello wave, her good morning wave in the crib, her queen waving to subjects wave (Brent holds her up high as she goes to bed, and she waves down at her followers), and the rare double arm wave...which looks more like flying, but is still waving.
It is fun now that it is spring and we can enjoy more walks and other outings. Spring with Stella is going to be awesome!

Friday, April 17, 2009


This year the Easter Bunny brought Ava some bubbles, which would be a cherished toy for most babies. But she doesn't like them--she goes to grab them and they just disappear! Who wants to play with a toy that just vanishes in thin air?!

While Ava was napping, we thought we would see what Stella thought of the bubbles. She was extremely expressionless. She would watch them fall, and then wait for her auntie to make some more. So I guess she liked them. Either way they did seem to mesmerize her.

By the way, Ashley didn't know I was taking her picture, and does not like the one of her blowing the bubbles. But I think it turned out way cool, and am posting it against her wishes.


The Bookers went to Florida a few weeks back, and Ashley bought some Mickey Mouse ears for the girls. Finally we were able to get some pictures of both of them wearing their hats.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009



Special side note: The ONE time Brent went with me to Babies R Us he saw this bib, and he just HAD to have it. I thought it was stupid and silly so I put my foot down, and we left the store without it. So for Father's Day last year, Stella bought her daddy this bib. She wasn't even born yet--wasn't that amazing of her?! She has so many gifts and talents!


Last night I had the opportunity of a lifetime: to see Miss Britney Spears in concert with the Pussycat Dolls for FREE! Heather's friend got all these free tickets through her work and wisely distributed some of them to us.

OK, so I don't like to admit that I am a Britney fan. However, I was notorious for my "Hit Me Baby One More Time" lip-sync performance as a sister missionary. (I even performed it at one of my ward's talent shows.) And who doesn't love to dance wild once and a while to a pop song? Ashley is a huge Britney fan, and I realized this even more while watching the concert as she shared with me tidbits about the songs.

The show, my friends, was AMAZING. There were people flying from the ceiling, there was fire, and there was some actual use of the mic that Britney was wearing when she made her "Hey, Salt Lake" shout out. So in case you were wondering...the night will go down in history as one of the greatest of my life.

The rain didn't dampen our excitement!
Here we are dancing to the Pussycat Dolls. After they performed I was already completely satisfied with my evening since I secretly love all their radio hits. (I guess it isn't so secret any more though.)Here she comes!
The concert was called Circus, to which Ashley stated: "That is the perfect theme for a concert, and also perfect for Britney, since her life is a circus." Well stated Ashley.
Britney's tour bus! If only she were inside!

Sunday, April 12, 2009


It is no secret: I love Easter. I love all the churchy stuff plus all the Easter Bunny stuff. It is just a super great holiday. When deciding what dress should be little Stella's first ever Easter dress, I didn't have to go to a store. I just took a short walk to her closet to discover this gem I had bought for her when she was just brand new. Doesn't it just say Easter chic?

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Happy Easter!
Love, Stella, Michelle, and Brent

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Today is Brent and I's fifth anniversary. It is crazy to think that when we got married I felt like an "older" bride, but when I look at these pictures I think we look like a baby bride and groom. I was terrified to walk into that temple and vow eternity to one person, but I went through with it since I knew Brent was the fellow for me. Five years later, I haven't ever regretted it. It was both the scariest and the best thing I have ever done in my life.

Thank you Brent for being such a wonderful husband, who talks me through my crazy times, works so hard, and loves his baby girl. Happy Anniversary!

Pictures by Jonathan Canlas Photography who is my idol and inspiration (in photography at least).