Want some portraits?

my monkey

Then I want YOU!

I am offering a thirty minute portrait session for either your family group (up to 8 people), individual child, or maybe just some pictures of you (since I'm a mom too, and I know exactly how often we are in front of the camera versus behind it)!

The session will be on-location, somewhere fun. And it will be a no-pressure situation, so don't be worried that you don't know how to pose or anything like that. :) Trust me, it's all about having fun and getting a couple of great shots.

Included in the session price is a CD with your 5 best images, completely retouched and ready for printing, sharing, online posting, etc. I'll make sure to give you a signed photographer's release so that you don't receive any flack when printing the photos at your local photo lab! Trust me, I've been there and it's not a fun thing to deal with. :)

So what do you have to invest?

The whole package is only $40! That includes my time and talent on the day of your shoot, as well as the completely retouched finished portraits (meaning teeth whitening, blemish removal, and overall amazing-ness) available for you to print, share, use however you want. Trust me, the labor it takes to retouch the images themselves is worth the money!

I mean, come on, what do you have to lose?

To schedule a session, please email me at laurel dot lakey at gmail dot com, with the subject line Fall Portraits. Availability will be from between October 15th and November 1st. So don't wait, book your session today before it's gone! I can't wait to hear from you! :)



Oh my goodness, I'm feeling so overwhelmed with love and gratitude right now. The Lord has really shown me and my family how much He loves us today. First of all, I had a most sweet and touching spiritual affirmation in Primary today (I am our ward's chorister, which means I teach singing time to the children ages 4 to 11).

After listening to the children sing "If the Savior Stood Beside Me", I was overcome with the Spirit and a sense of great love for these dear, dear children that I have been teaching for over a year now. I started to cry and could barely communicate how I was feeling with them. That's never happened to me before. And I'm sure it was a combination of the Spirit being so strong, the realization that I will most likely be moving away from these precious children very soon, and my hormones being out of whack because of the pregnancy. :)

But no matter the reason, I was just so grateful to have been given this feeling of love and accomplishment. You see, I've been feeling really down about this calling lately because I have felt like I am so not qualified to teach these children music, and that I have been failing miserably. So it was a tender mercy from the Lord today to hear these children singing a song that I was able to (finally!) teach them, and to feel the Spirit that they brought in because of it. So I left feeling so grateful for that moment.

Secondly, after we got home from church, we got a call from our realtor. The bank accepted the offer we made on the house!! Which means that we have actually done it!! :) We're going to schedule the inspection for sometime this week, and if that all checks out, we're going to be moving at the end of October!! I am literally just in shock right now. I can't believe we actually got this house -- it's big, it's got a big yard, and it's everything we could have wanted. PLUS, we got it for a screaming deal and so we just can't believe it. I know that those of you who were praying for us certainly helped this process along, so I am extremely grateful to you all. And thanks for being so supportive and putting up with my back and forth posts about the stressful situation. :) Here are some pictures of our new house (barring any scary inspection findings, lol):

Oh, and the comments were meant for Nathan -- I saw the house while he was out of town, so this was me telling him about it. You can just disregard unless you're really interested. :)


Front view of the house. What you can't see is that it's a 3-car garage.



The kitchen. And yes, we'll be changing the backsplash
(much to everyone's chagrin, I'm sure. LOL).



(Rolling Hills was another house I looked at that day)


Upstairs view

So needless to say, I am praying that everything will be perfectly fine with this house and that the inspection will turn out great, so that we can move quickly. And I know it's going to be a lot of stress, but I'm just glad that we have finally found somewhere and we acted fast enough that we didn't lose out!

Thanks again to everyone for your great comments of encouragement and support. I'm so grateful for you all!

And last but not least, I'll include one of the cutest pictures of Eli in the last while. I got lucky enough today to have this one turn out great. :) Love my 50mm lens!! :)

My little love



Wearing Mama's shoes

The other day, Eli decided he wanted to put on my shoes. He came up to me (wearing them) and in his cute little voice he says, "I'm ready, Mama!"

Gotta love this kid.


Say "Click"! Take a pic!

Eli likes a show called Go, Diego, Go, because it deals with lots of different animals and such. So when I saw this little toy "Click the Camera" at the store, I knew he'd love it. He goes around the house taking pictures of scarlet macaws, llamas, pygmy marmosets, and tapirs. These shows are getting so sophisticated, LOL. :) Whatever happened to a dog, a cat, and a horse?

Anyways, I thought I'd snap some pics of my own, of my little guy enjoying his new toy. He's getting so big, I don't know what to do with him sometimes. He makes me laugh in the most unintentional ways and I just love him to pieces. We're lucky we get to have another one. I can't wait. :)

My little angel

Say Click! Take a pic!

Also, one day I realized after getting out our little alphabet puzzle for the umpteenth time and being asked to spell "Good Morning", which we didn't have enough letters for, that Eli needed some letter of his own. So I just typed out some letters in a cute font on a page in Word, printed them out, and cut them up. Then we've been playing with them on the floor for the past week and a half.

Eli loves letters and words. He's seriously got his dad's brain chemistry because he's a 2 1/2 year old that can spell stop, cat, dog, pig, Eli, Mama, Dada, read, boots, Joe, car, Blue, map, and ball. It's incredible and I'm just as awed as you are. :) I had nothing to do with it, besides going over his letters with him while waiting in restaurants to eat or while trying to distract him from a hurt he just got or something. So yeah, proud Mama moment here. :)

So here are some pictures. :)

Spelling the word 'car'

Spelling CAR

Then spelling the word 'carjoe'

Then spelling JOE, which turned into CARJOE. :)
Must be a new Blue's Clues model or something.
Happy Birthday Summer!

I should have posted this yesterday on her actual birthday, but I'm a dork and forgot. :)

My best friend Summer had her 26th birthday yesterday, which is crazy to me. I can't believe we're that old! She is my oldest friend and we have been through so much together. And now she has moved out here closer to me! Yippee! I am so grateful that she married a guy from Los Angeles. :)

So yesterday Summer and I went out to lunch to celebrate her birthday. We went to the Cheesecake Factory and got some good food and some cheesecake to take home to celebrate with. It was so nice to just catch up, as she got married last month and it's been a whirlwind of traveling, moving, receptions, unpacking, new jobs, starting school, and more. So we haven't had a chance to get together. But it was so nice to do so yesterday and to just have some girl talk and enjoy each others' company. I am excited to have my buddy close by. (Now if only we could cut down the driving distance, it would be wonderful!)

Here are some pictures, although I forgot to have our waitress take one of all of us at the restaurant. Ah well.


Blowing out the candle

Happy Birthday!

It was a fun day!

PS: So here's to being positive! :) We put an offer in on a house yesterday afternoon and are waiting to hear back whether or not it has been accepted. We have a really good feeling about it, but would still love any positive thoughts or prayers directed our way. I'll definitely keep you updated and post photos as soon as we know. I'm trying to be cautiously optimistic. :)


Be positive....be positive.....be positive

Gosh, I need to be positive! I've been bummed today because of another lost house. I really need to stop getting emotionally attached to these places, as it's just too hard to watch them slip right out of our fingers over and over. But then it's hard for me to not want to just give up and not care about anything, for fear that I'll then get just any house and not love it.

Ack, I hate this process! The Lord must have some great lesson for me to learn -OR- (and I'm really hoping for this one) He has an amazingly perfect house waiting for us and it's just not the right time yet. I know that's a possibility, I'm just impatient. Ha, what else is new?

So yeah, that's what I've been dealing with today. Nathan has been a rock, as usual, but I'm sure that he's just as disappointed as I am. Luckily we have each other to lean on (although only in spirit because he's gone on business this week, wah!), and I know we'll get through it together.

In other, more positive news, Eli and I got the chance to do some fun painting the other day. He loved using a brush to paint on paper, but he absolutely DIGGED getting to put paint on his hands to do handprints. Note to self: Never let paint out of your sight or else your whole house could quite possibly become covered in Eli handprints. He knows what he's doing, by golly!

So here are some pictures to tide you over. :) Enjoy!


Gotta love that face


Working very hard on getting just the right amount of paint...


Obviously pleased with his work


Pushing really hard on the canvas to make sure his whole hand gets on there


Loving that Mom is letting him paint on himself!


Showing off his beautiful work

Gosh, I can't help but be happy with my life when I look at these photos. I know I whine a lot and complain too much. But in reality, I am so blessed in my life. I get to stay home with my sweet boy and watch him discover new things every single day. He makes me proud and pushes me to be a better person and mom. I am blessed with a husband who has my best interest at heart and who knows when to turn off the computer game (most of the time, lol). I am blessed with close and far away family that loves me and supports me in everything that I do.

I certainly have a lot to be grateful for, and it's because of my Heavenly Father who pours out His blessing on me. I'm going to be consciously thankful for that every day.


First ever tag!

Can you believe I've never been tagged before? Wow, I must be one pathetic loser! :) (Thanks, Dumb & Dumber)

Four Random Things you love about your husband:
1. He likes to try and make me laugh. And when he succeeds, it's hilarious.
2. He humors me by looking at my digital scrapbooking pages and giving his honest opinion.
3. He can fix my computer anytime it is acting up.
4. His grilling skillz.

Four jobs I've had:
1. Lifeguard
2. Sonic waitress (no, I didn't wear skates)
3. Swim Lesson teacher
4. Clyde Building supervisor

Four movies I've seen more than once:

1. Sense & Sensibility

2. The Dark Knight

3. Finding Neverland

4. The Man from Snowy River

Four TV shows I watch:


2. House

3. America's Next Top Model

4. Project Runway

Four places I've been:
1. Italy
2. Australia
3. Cozumel
4. New York City

Four of my Favorite Foods:
1. Cream of Wheat
2. Mashed potatoes
3. Crunchy Shrimp roll sushi from Riptide
4. Anything chocolate

Four places I would like to visit:
1. New Zealand
2. England
3. Scotland
4. Tahiti

Four Things I'm looking forward to in the upcoming year:
1. Buying a freaking house!
2. Bringing home our second baby
3. CHRISTMAS! (my favorite holiday of the year)
4. The Scrap Girls Convention

Four People I tag:
1. Shayne Dickson
2. Jessica Price
3. Erin Askar
4. Pixel Fairy Princess :)


My little Elder Busath! :)

elder busath

Well, it's official. My 'little' brother Tom went into the MTC (Missionary Training Center) today and he is now on his way to teaching the good and deserving people of Boise, Idaho.

elder busath2

I can't tell you adequately how much I love my brother Tom. He is inspiring and goofy and spiritual and fun all at the same time. Ever since I left home I have felt like I've missed out on knowing him like I used to, which is very sad to me. But I do know that he's always been extremely smart, popular with the ladies, and genuinely kind. He is going to be an amazing missionary, of that I have no doubt. I am just sad that I won't get to see him for 2 years!

Tom, if by some fluke you get to read this: good lucky, girl. :) I know you'll be awesome and I can't wait to hear some of your great mission stories. I love you!



Yes, we are having a new baby in January. I'm excited, although I'm not as obsessed about this baby like I was with Eli. Is that bad? I mean, I know I'll love this little guy as much as Eli, it's just hard to imagine that just yet. Anyone else feel like that with your second child?

ultrasound layout

Anyways, here is the cool profile shot that we got of the little one. When we had the ultrasound, we must have caught him right in the middle of his practice to be in Cirque d'Soleil, because his foot was up by his face. That's crazy! :) And don't worry, I will spare him the humiliation of showing everyone in blog world the confirmation that we got of a boy. Just trust me, it's there. :)

For the layout I used Mandy Steward's Home Life Collection, and Keri Schueller's A Collaged Holiday Collection.


Drum roll, please....

...so on Tuesday we found out that we're going to be adding some more testosterone to our familial mix! That's right, we're having another baby boy! Yippee!

Sorry for the belated post, but I've been battling (and losing, obviously) with the scanner hooked up to Nathan's computer. That's the reason I have no ultrasound photos to show yet. (And they are cute!!) Hopefully that will be remedied soon.

Also, we've been dealing with lots of frustration lately with the house hunt. We're trying to put an offer on a house, but found out that the tax rate plus additional mello roos payment will be way more than we thought. So we're going back to the drawing board, trying to figure out what we can find in our comfort zone that we can also afford. Why does making one of the biggest decisions in our lives have to be so frustrating?? ;) And that leads to me taking it out on Nathan for hardly any good reason, which makes me and him upset and then it's just a big ball of stress. Ugh.

I know we'll look back on this someday and be glad that we went through it because it will probably make us stronger. But that's annoying to me right now in the thick of it. ::wink:: I'm sure no one knows how that goes, lol.

So anyways, now on our to-do list is thinking of a suitable boy name for our impending arrival. Let me know if you have any good suggestions!!


I just love my husband. He made me a great lunch today and helped me clean up the house yesterday when I went on a cleaning rampage. He's always thinking of me and how he can make me happy. We're matched together so well and I know without a doubt that we're meant for each other.

Love you, SMR! :)


Vote for TODD!

Hey guys, I have a quick request that will not take much time, if you have a spare second. Nathan's good friend Todd has a band that is in a contest for an LA radio station here, and he needs your votes! Click here, then find The Vignettes and vote for them. It will ask you for your email address, and it has to be a valid one because you have to then click on a link in an email to 'count' your vote. The video features Todd, his wife Mary, Nathan's friend Chris, and his wife Mary (I know, they're both Mary's, it's cute). It's pretty fun.

Thanks! I really appreciate it!

{If you vote, I'll reward you with a hug. Or maybe just a handshake if I don't know you. :) }


Blessed by long-distance friends

Nathan arrived home from work yesterday with a package for me. It had the cutest address label I had ever seen! (Forgot to take a picture before I cut into it, darn.)

Inside the package was this.
With this adorable card...

And inside the cute present was this! :)

A piggy bank for the new baby!

Debbie, I can't thank you enough. You're so sweet and kind and have really become a friend. I love working with you and I'm constantly amazed by your talents. Thanks for thinking of me and my little family. I hope I can somehow return the favor for you and yours. Ladybug hugs! :)


This is the life!

Be warned -- this will be a picture-heavy post! :)

Okay, so living in southern California certainly has its perks. For instance, my sister and her cute husband came down to visit us this past weekend just because they wanted to come to California. Yeah, that's nice. :) We were lucky enough to go out to Newport Beach and had a blast swimming, digging in the sand (mostly Eli), and building sand castles. Ali and Jed almost got eaten by some big waves, but they narrowly escaped. We had a great time with them here. Here are some pictures to share!


Love the fun houses on the edge of the sand. Man, someday....


Ali and Jed on the boardwalk. It was such a beautiful day!!


The last picture I got of the unfinished sand castle before "Hurricane Eli" got to it. LOL.


Eli likes to lay in the sand, as evidenced by the sand covered face. Typical. :)


Getting buried alive!



He was okay with being buried alive, but the best part for him was getting out and kicking all the sand into the air! :)


And yes, we did forget his swimsuit. It was a hectic morning! Luckily he's not afraid to show off his muscles and diaper.




These are my little boy's footprints!
I can't believe he's a little boy now and not my baby. He's growing up so fast.

I have to speak out

For anyone who lives in California (and for many of those who don't), you are probably aware of an important Proposition that will be voted on this November. It is called Proposition 8, and it is a state constitutional amendment that will specifically define marriage as between a man and a woman.

A little background: In 2000, the voters of California (by 61% in favor) passed an initiative defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. Four extremely liberal judges in San Fransisco recently ignored the will of the people and declared the initiative unconstitutional. Recently the California legislature authorized gay marriage. Gay marriages are currently being contracted in California. There is a new proposition on the November California ballot which would change the state's constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman. The idea being that the courts can't declare the state constitution unconstitutional. (Although I wouldn't put it past them!!)

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I strongly believe that marriage is sacred, is ordained of God, and should only be between a man and a woman. I am not saying that same-sex couples should not be allowed to have a recognized legal union, but I do not believe it should be called marriage.

"Why should I care?" you may be asking yourself. Well, here are 7 consequences that will take place if this proposition is not passed:

Children in public schools will be taught that both traditional marriage and same-sex marriage are okay.

The California Education Code already requires that health education classes instruct children about marriage. (§51890) Therefore, if the definition of marriage is changed, children will be taught that marriage is a relation between any two adults. There will be serious clashes between the secular school system and the right of parents to teach their children their own values and beliefs.

Churches will be sued if they refuse to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their religious buildings that are open to the public. Ask whether your pastor, priest, minister, bishop, or rabbi is ready to perform such marriages in your chapels and sanctuaries.

Religious adoption agencies will be challenged by government agencies to give up their long-held right to place children only in homes with both a mother and a father. Catholic Charities in Boston has already closed its doors because of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts.

Married couples will no longer have preference with regards to adoptee placement in spite of the fact that almost all experts in this field agree that children are best raised in a home with both a mother and a father.

Religions that sponsor private schools and which provide housing for married students will be required to provide housing for same-sex couples, even if it runs counter to church doctrine, or lose tax exemptions and benefits.

Ministers who preach against same-sex marriages will be sued for hate speech and could be fined by the government. It has already happened in Canada , one of six countries that have legalized gay marriage.

It will cost you money. A change in the definition of marriage will bring a cascade of lawsuits. Even if courts eventually find in favor of a defender of traditional marriage (highly improbable given today's activist judges), think of the money – your money, your church contributions – that will have to be spent on legal fees.

If you're concerned and would like to see the passage of Proposition 8, many California churches are working to pass the Proposition. You can volunteer to help or donate to the cause even if you do not live in California, by going to www.ProtectMarriage.com.

I sincerely hope that this post does not offend anyone. That is not my intention. I know this is a sensitive issue for many, including members of the church.
But I will stand by what I believe and make no excuses for it.