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Monthly Archives: September 2009

tammy…pt.1 :durango photojournalism:

when i was a senior in high school my mom found out on valentines day that she had breast cancer.  i was 17.  it was terrifying.  i wondered if she would see me graduate, get married and meet my children one day-thank God she has done all of those things!  she had surgery, did chemo & radiation and is cancer free to this day.  it was a long, hard road.  she was a single mom of 2-my older sister already off to college, so i was the only one at home with her.  she worked just about everyday through the entire process, i have no idea how she did it!  i remember things about her journey through cancer like how she’d take off her hair when she got home because it was summertime & her wig was hot & itchy.  how sometimes very late at night, when she was finally ready to eat something after a whole day of hugging the toilet she would call me and ask me to go to the store and get things to make her a dinner of sour kraut & hot dogs-at 3am.  i remember getting a slight fever a few times which made me stay away from our home for a few days so that i wouldn’t make her sick.  i remember her drinking ensure & going to braum’s to get a banana milk shake to ease her raw throat.  i was happy to do everything i could for her and looking back i’m not sure that i was much help.  a month after her treatment ended i, myself had a bit of a scare with a lump…it turned out to be a fibroadenoma, but thank God i found it before it became something else!

fast forward a few years…

i move to durango and start a photography business.  i meet jen, & a bunch of other amazing mommies, and join their mommy & me group.  i go to a baby shower where i meet tammy.  she is very friendly & familiar with her sweet, gentle way & southern accent-you aren’t human if you don’t love tammy!  a few months later tammy is diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer while struggling to nurse her newest pride & joy, baby girl brooklyn faith.  at the young age of 34 this was not expected!  i ask tammy if i can record her experiences with an all-access pass to her journey as she fights this thing.  tammy & her family accept.

here we go, you’re invited too…

our group went to her home before she started her first round of chemo to have a pizza party & shower her with gifts…

some of the girls from our little group…
she’s determined to go through this with a smile on her face…
tammy has this board at her front door…you have to write down something you’re thankful for…
she wore these gloves into her first treatment & she’s getting a matching robe…stay tuned for that…
please pray for this sweet family!  no mommy or daughter or son or husband should have to be going through this & they are…so many are!  there are ways that you can help this sweet family too…please email me if you’d like to help them & i’ll put you in touch with tammy’s team!

also friends…october is breast cancer awareness month…check yourself!!!

Heather Thorne - October 4, 2009 - 9:33 am

Praying for Tammy and her family Jan! What a great friend and encourager you are. Love that you are doing this for her. xoxoxoxo!

Stacie - October 3, 2009 - 8:26 am

We are praying for Tammy and her family. Lifting up prayers of His miraculous healing…we will be a generation that calls on His amazing power and we will see her cancer healed!!

fun mommy tip…#8

drink your ovaltine!  now, listen here…you better for real ask your midwife, m.d., d.o., or lactation consultant before just listening to me on this one-it’s not highly recommended where we come from to drink at all while you’re nursing, so go ask someone first, please!!  i had a horrible time establishing breast feeding with livi.  the hospital where i had her (not in colorado) had very nice, but very pushy lactation consultants and they totally stressed me out!  so, when i had harper here in durango i had a completely different experience!  they made it easy and made me feel relaxed and nursing was totally easy this time!  between our wonderful midwife and the awesome baby nurse at the hospital i had lots of little tips to make it successful!  it was recommended to me that i drink ‘mother’s milk tea’-so yummy with a dab of honey, ovaltine-mmm, hot or cold with milk, and dark beer!  yes, that’s right friends, i was told to drink beer to help establish my milk supply!  now, i like dark beer and would maybe have about 1/2 a beer, so it wasn’t that hard for me.  i had a super duper milk supply and got to drink lots of yummy treats too!  you should run out and get approval from someone else before you go swigging the bottle-please!  happy nursing friends!


DISCLAIMER (because my hubby is a lawyer): my advice is simply that!  it’s not sound medical advice or approved by anyone else but me!  you should really ask your doc, midwife, local pd, dog catcher, fish hatchery, lactation consultant, fireman, meter maid, or someone else you trust before just doing what i say-unless you’re olivia or harper lynn!

ellzabelle. :durango, colorado commercial photographer:

this darling new line has just hit etsy & is super awesome!  it is hand made here in durango and has something for boys, girls, & mommies!!  the designer/maker of this line does t-shirts, onesies, aprons, nursing covers, lavendar-scented door hangers, dresses, changing pads, wipes cases, headbands, barrettes, even stationery…and they’re all so darling!

sets for the twins…
coordinating onesies, diaper/wipes cases, & changing pads with cute embellishments…
this bird is my favorite…so darling in this cool corduroy fabric & the button eye!
these are just a few of the appliques & fabrics that ellzabelle offers…
the aprons are perfect for chefs of all sizes…
go checkout ELLZABELLE on etsy…buy something cute for you & your little one!

Ellen - October 11, 2009 - 7:27 pm

Thanks Jan! You were amazing to work with and really made my products look beautiful. Thank you so much, you are so very talented and FUN!!!!

a wink & a prayer…

say hello to baby kaiden…

he’s just hatched & super cute!  you’ll be seeing more of him soon!

meet beautiful tammy, sweet justin, wild hunter, & precious brooklyn…

tammy is in the fight of her life with breast cancer & bravely allows me to follow her around with my camera to capture her treatment!  say a prayer for her for a miraculous recovery…more on her soon!

news you can use…

hi friends & clients!

it’s september, so naturally i’m getting geared up for the christmas season!  as usual, i’ve got a lot of things coming at ya that i’m excited to share:

MINI-SESSIONS: 10/10/09 if you want holiday card photos without the fuss then a mini-session is for you!  contact me asap to grab your spot!  mini-session clients get a discount on holiday cards!

WINTER SESSIONS: it’s starting to get nippy out here in colorado!  i have plenty of spots left for sessions prior to christmas, but if you’d like an outdoor shoot then please contact me asap!  i’m not dying to freeze my tush off or watch your precious kiddo scream for an hour because you waited too long to book your christmas card session…however, i do love the winter here so i am willing to pack on my best wooly-warm gear & head out there with you!

SAMPLES SITE: my samples site is on the verge of being finished!  on it you will see samples of the gorgeous albums available for purchase-they’re custom made for each client and the possibilities are really endless, baby announcements, christmas cards,  & holiday cards.  it will go live in october, clients can email me for the password!

HOLIDAY CARDS: i have a wonderful assortment to choose from, there is something for everyone!

WEDDINGS: it’s fall…i planned to post wedding pricing, a portfolio, basically all things wedding.  this fall & winter are jam packed with travel, sessions, two destination weddings to shoot, & schill family activities.  so, i’m pushing official wedding hoopla back until the spring!  if you want wedding pricing & to see my portfolio then please contact me!  i am willing to book 10 weddings/year in addition to the 2nd shooting i do for other photographers-and i require 2 pieces of cake (1 for me & my hubby, 1 for my girls)!  i love weddings, i just don’t want to marry them yet!


  • 12/1-sessions booked after this date will require rush editing for images needed before 1/1/10 & will be $225/session!
  • 12/4 5pm-card orders placed after this date require rush design & delivery if they are expected before by 12/20.  they will be charged an additional $.25-.50/card to ensure delivery prior to christmas in addition to delivery charges from the printer
  • 12/20/09-1/8/10-it’s family time…cooking…snowshoeing…christmas parties…playing with my girlies…skiing…shopping…giving gifts…celebrating the birth of jesus!!!  i will be unavailable for sessions and product orders, but will have access to the internet to answer questions & book sessions or place product orders for dates when i return.

i will be in europe for two weeks in november shooting a wedding & visiting friends and family overseas.  if i’m unavailable please contact me to see if i’ve had a schedule change, can squeeze you in, or refer you to another great photographer in the durango area!