des moines

The Latest

winter baby. //
Aug 21, 2013 / 2 notes

winter baby. //

May 21, 2013

wedding season //


i cannot wait // 

Apr 16, 2013 / 3 notes

the girl with lavender hair //

I see her every day. This girl with lavender hair, light lavender, as if someone maybe convinced her that dyeing her obviously light hair this pastel color would make her an individual. I am not one to judge, I come here every morning, get a black coffee, every morning, sit and read the paper before heading into my office. My daunting office that awaits me, with cases, heart-breaking stories, court dates and trials.  

So I sit. I drink my coffee, and enjoy the company of the lavender haired girl. Not really a girl, maybe 30. She doesn’t even know I exist; I come before her, sit in my spot outside the café, and wait. I don’t really think this qualifies me as being a stalker. I have a fiancé. She is beautiful and put-together, well-spoken and incredibly brilliant. I am not looking to take the lavender haired girl home, but just to sit in her presence. Her aura is alluring; her simplicity is breath-taking. She is mysterious and simple. Every morning, she orders the same items, a caramel latte, requested in a mug, not a paper cup and an apple pastry. She eats half the pastry and saves the rest, every morning. She never finishes it. I imagine she takes the other half to her roommate, or little sister, or grandmother, or maybe trashes it out before she heads into her profession. I am convinced she works with books of some sort, because without fail she has a stack of books, maybe 2 or 3 new books, always with her. Always perfectly bound, and opens them and turns each page meticulously as if looking for a hidden error or meaning.

The girl with lavender hair, has it loosely tied back, always revealing  perfectly shaped and tanned shoulders, generally in a sweater that is slightly too big. It is comforting, this girl with the lavender hair, she laughs loudly, at mundane things, a waiter cracking a joke, a giggling baby. Her denim jeans hold every curve of her body perfectly.

Why? I can’t get over this hair, and so I go, every morning, and every morning I see her, and every morning we don’t conversate, and I leave, refreshed, as if seeing this girl has had some small impact on my life. Is this who I want to be? The guy with lavender hair? Ridiculous. Am I not happy with my fiancé? I had never thought of that possibility, we were ‘us’, together since undergrad, we were comfortable and living together and already discussing the prospect of starting a family. We weren’t getting younger; I was almost 40, and she 34. She wanted to be a mother so terribly, and I wanted that for her, but we has  so many things left to do. We were young, we could move, we could leave, we could dye our hair lavender.

I love her. I do. I love her, she is my fiancée.

But this mystery woman, who I can’t seem to let go from the depths of my being has this power over me. I find myself questioning her life, and her past and future in my mornings with her. I imaging the passion and sensuality that could consume her, and realize that I want her. I want that girl in every way possible. I want to be with the Lavender hair girl.

But I love my fiancée.

So I continue to get my coffee, and continue to want this lavender hair girl for years, and years, never changing, continuing to have the same hair color, and an array of different guests, I continue to watch until one fateful morning, she until she stops coming.

My lavender hair girl is gone, and my coffee is bitter, the air is darker, my mornings aren’t as sweet. I go, every morning, for the next twenty years to this café, hoping to see her, hoping to say something, ignoring the past and future, I wasn’t young anymore, and I had three grown children, two in college, one married with a baby. I was a grandfather. I was tired, I was loved, and I had a fulfilled life, but always wondered about my lavender haired girl.

She laughed, she laughed at everything, and I imagine she was laughing with friends, and family, and at grandchildren, and together they were laughing, and I imagine she still has lavender hair. 

Apr 12, 2013

violet’s //

My brother and I would walk home from school every day. Every day it was the same. Of course, the seasons would change, but we would always walk. I am three years older than my brother. He is a gangly creature, with blonde hair, freckled face and searing blue eyes. His pants are always too short, and have holes in each knee, he plays until he passes out. He plays and plays, plays outside, plays with the neighbors, with me. We play tag, we play power rangers, and we make dinner out of anything we find outside. The menu usually consisted of leaf lettuce, with mud dressings, followed with mud pie.

We walked home, every day.

The bell would ring, and we would race outside meeting each other at the overpass to cross the busy street our school was on. It was a race, the beginning of our evening of fun. We held on to our backpacks, and raced past every other kid, hearing the buzzing of traffic below us. After our race, which I won, every time, we caught our breaths and walked a few yards to a small shack, the shack was directly across from our school. It was white, dilapidated and filled with heavenly treats.

Violets. That is what we called it; it was a small, shop, run by an elderly woman named Violet. Violet was sassy and angry and cursed like a sailor. She had the most wrinkles I had ever seen on a face and the whitest hair, which was always going in opposite directions. Violet, liked me. Violet could stand my brother, he grew on people,  it was the toothless grin. After our races we would walk into the shop, filled with other less important students, and parents waiting. It was the size of a glorified closet, but inside was an antique glass case filled with any imaginable candy one could want. My brother and I would search for loose change everywhere and anywhere and put our winnings on the counter, hearing it chime against the glass. We would opt for sour candies, chocolates and putting our money to a penny candies so we could have quantity. My brother’s heart, however, was in the old-fashioned pop machine, that kicked out crisp, cool bottles of his favorite soda.

We would feast, our own private feast, of candy and soda. We never asked permission, we never told a soul. It was our place. Our secret, maybe along with the rest of the student body, but it was our place. A place of solace and comfort, away from our other siblings, away from our estranged parents, away from reality, away from the daunting scare of growing up.

We would sit, and we would laugh, and we would fight. We would meet there after our races, almost every day, even after I moved to middle school I would meet him. Of course the racing stopped, and we accrued more money, we still walked home, and stopped at Violet’s first.

Violet was old, very old, maybe one hundred years old, maybe one hundred and five, she was always kicking rowdy kids out, cursing them as they laughed, but she enjoyed our company. She never said it, but we felt it. We were confused kids, but we were happy kids, and she let us use her shack as a place of sanctuary.

I am grown now, as is my brother. Our school still stands, the overpass still stands, but our shack is gone. Demolished sometime this year, it had spent the last fifteen years boarded up, and collecting graffiti, becoming more and more unusable. I drove past, with my brother a few weeks ago, on a trip downtown, and we both looked at that spot, where Violets stood in all her glory and remembered. We will always remember Violets.

It was our place. 

Mar 20, 2013 / 1 note

a little contemplation.


remember when we used to dress up? i don’t think i have ever stopped. 

this autumn, the leaves were just beginning to fall, and the air was thick and humid, and filled our lungs as we galavanted across rosewood park, in des moines, iowa. 

i look back at this image, taken by the wonderful alyssa smith of meow photography, and i am reminded of the constant beauty i am surrounded by. 

sure, i am in a dress from the goodwill, next to a pond a mutant green tone, but there is beauty. the broken dock, the warm sun, the dress we bought for $15 that someone probably wore on their wedding day and the beauty of my incredible daughter. 

i am thankful tonight. i am thankful tomorrow. i am thankful for all of you creative, and inspiring friends that i have crossed paths with. 

to always wondering, and always growing and learning. 





Mar 13, 2013

tenley meets maddie //


we got to hang with our friends garrett, theron and maddie before they kicked off a 50 state book tour and new photo project #whywerescue - be sure to say hi when they stop in your city! 


Nov 30, 2012

des moines juice magazine: november 25, 2012

grab your copy of dmjuice this week — and get some new baubles. 


Oct 27, 2012 / 1 note

winterbottom wedding.

i had the joy of shooting a wedding for dear friends of mine, a few weeks ago. 

their story is incredible. i was honored to be a part of the day. 

best day ever. 
Oct 1, 2012

best day ever. 

Sep 19, 2012

ice cream surgery.

just another day at the office.