insta-summer and a quick hello!

It's been a while! My kids (yes, both kids! Ah!) are back in school and I'm attempting to get back at blogging! My computer has been gone being fixed most of the summer, and I haven't even touched my camera, *but* I have been keeping up on Instagram so I thought I'd share some of my faves from this summer.
.summer_instagram_00 opening night at my end of the year show for school! i only took one class last year and i worked on a self portrait project called "portraits of motherhood" which pretty much sums up the emotions i've felt over the past year: exhaustion and introspection. i was glad to be chosen for the show and to catch up with my artist friends.instagram_summer_1 the angels seriously sing for me when the weather warms up and i can get these rambunctious little boys out of the house and to the park every evening!instagram_summer_2colorado summer skies are my absolute favorite. i can't even; they are so special to me.
sillouette shots at the park are also my favorite.instagram_summer_3weekend trip to breckenridge, a ritzy little ski town.instagram_summer_4
we spent a good amount of time down at the river this summer. there is nothing more magical that sparkly summer water, especially nestled within the mountains.instagram_summer_6
lots of splash park nights this summer, and it was so sweet to see asher finally get the courage to play in the water! <3instagram_summer_7neighborhood bike rides, more park nights... ok we basically *live* at the park.
my sisters came to visit this summer! our trip was perfect. these girls are such a big part of my heart and we had an amazing time being our ridiculous selves as usual!instagram_summer_9 
we took a little day trip into Cheyenne with my sisters, such a sleepy old town. we went on a carriage ride, had lunch and adventured around.instagram_summer_8 
with my sisters we also hiked to the top of a waterfall and oh my goodness came across this dreamy pool at the top.instagram_summer_10 
we ended up taking an impromptu family trip to ohio. these pictures were taken in nebraska/eastern colorado. always nice to see the fam!
the boys and i on our way to a friend's house for a cookout. 
we loved having wednesday night cookouts at adrienne's!instagram_summer_13 summer grass // green tea frapps 
both summer staples.instagram_summer_12dandelions are forever my favorite flower // my own little flower turned *5* and we had an aboslutely wonderful day celebrating our asher.
we had lunch at a janky little restaurant in ault. there were flies everywhere and sticky syrup dripping on the walls as expected but dang this mural wall - worth it. IMG_6482
this picture was taken the night that the boys and i went back to school shoe shopping at Kohls/Famous Footwear and had dinner at iHop. i'm actually tearing up just looking at this picture. i can honestly say that this night was just perfect.
i hope you all had a beautiful summer!
i'm excited to get back into this space and also to catch up on reading all of my favorite blogs as well!
happy friday!


here's to the lilacs.


hillary's graduation w/dad.

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six weeks.
( baby Asher, 6 weeks old! )
     I'm partnering again with LifebankUSA again on my blog to share a little bit about their company with you today!
     LifebankUSA is a private cord blood bank that offers stem cell preservation services to expecting parents. It's becoming more well known that stem cells can be saved from the umbilical cord at birth and later be used to treat an illness in the child or family member but did you know that stem cells can now be saved from the placenta as well? Storing cells from both the umbilical cord and placenta increases the number of life saving stem cells that are stored which also increases the possibilities to use them later on. Ongoing research has shown that stem cells saved at birth can be used to treat up to 80 diseases so far!
     LifebankUSA is now offering placenta banking as well. Possibly therapeutic uses of placental tissue are in early research stages and LifebankUSA now offers placenta banking as one more layer of protection and peace of mind as part of their complete banking services. Seeing that stem cells preserved from cord and placenta blood have successfully been used to treat patients, who knows what technology will be able to do in the future!
     Be sure to check out LifebankUSA and learn more about their services if you are expecting a baby. I'm curious to know if any of my readers have experience with cord blood banking. Did you know that placenta banking is now an option? If so, what do you think?
Thanks for reading; have a great week!

six weeks.


snow globe childhood.

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My blogging / photography life is kind of all over the place right now. (As usual maybe?) 5 years ago my goals were working in portrait photography. Once I started getting clients and trying that out though, it didn't really feel like my passion. Last year I decided to step away from taking clients so I got a part time job and went to school full time. Honestly it was the best decision I could have made during a hard year in my life and I felt so filled up there. I was able to branch out and focus on some really cool projects that made me feel a little more alive art wise. I was able to see through my teachers' and fellow students' eyes what my style was. I have found that sometimes it's hard to see your style even when you're creating and staring at it everyday. I always wanted to be a blogger and over the summer I started focusing more on the Instagram community as well. I remember dreaming of being able to work with a company through those outlets and now I've had many opportunities to work with some awesome big companies and small business alike. I've made money and received all kinds of cool packages. I've had an outlet to write and I've built special memories doing photoshoots with my boys.
So, now what? I'm not sure. I only took one class this past fall and now I'm taking a break from school. Is this the best decision - I'm unsure. I was planning to transfer to an art school, now I'm unsure. I think, no I know, that I can be really hard on myself artistically. Which is so silly. Art is a lifestyle and it should be something I enjoy and breathe not something I put pressure on myself about. At the same time, I'm the kind of person that needs a little pressure or I kind of just exist in my own world for too long.
So yeah, there it is. A bunch of rambling that doesn't really amount to anything. I guess I'm trying to think, "what do I want to do in 2016?" I think I want to rebrand my blog a bit which is something I've wanted to do forever. I'd like to have a new photography website that serves as a more cohesive portfolio of all of the work that I've done. I don't have huge blogging plans right now but I would like my sites to be updated and more professional so that they are there for me when I need them. I'd like to try new things, maybe sell some prints in town, maybe upgrade my camera. These are the ideas going through my head right now. End rambling.
Here are some photos I took last spring when I was focusing on a free lensing project for school. Honestly I didn't put much thought into this series of photos because it was just me messing around with the technique of free lensing in the beginning but I'm very in love with them now. I clearly have a thing for white space and kids jumping on the bed and I love how free lensing abstracts that, kind of like looking at childhood through a snow globe.
Thanks for reading, friends. Words of wisdom/advice more than welcome!
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little style: FamLove Clothing

    Okay, so I'm secretly obsessed with Valentine's Day. I'm not really a huge holiday person honestly but it gets me every year when stores start filling up with all the cute heart things. As if the Target dollar spot could even get any more tempting!
    FamLove Clothing sent us this adorable tee shirt and it's absolutely perfect for Asher to wear this year for Valentine's Day! I love that it has the sign language sign for "I love you." We taught both of our boys some sign language when they were babies and the "I love you" sign has lasted all of these years and they still use it to this day. FamLove is a family owned brand run by 3 cousins whose mission is to spread positivity and love through trendy clothes! Their shirts are super soft and high quality and of course absolutely adorable.
You can use my code: bygillianclaire to get 20% off  your purchase!
Be sure to check out their site 
and grab one of these adorable shirts for your little one's Valentine's Day. 
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shirt: c/o FamLove Clothing
camo jogger pants: Old Navy clearance (sold out, similar here)
car slip ons: Old Navy clearance (sold out)
*I received this shirt for free as part of my work as a Brand Ambassador for the FamLove Clothing brand. I never accept clothing from or support brands that I do not honestly admire and love! 
Thanks for reading along!*

roman turns 8.

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Can hardly believe that this little ( BIG ) boy turned 8 in December. The time since he was born has gone by so quickly yet at the same time feels like an eternity. I can barely remember Roman as a newborn, Roman as a 2, 4 or 6 year old. Other than today, all the other days feel like a blur of memories swirling around somewhere high above me out of reach. There are millions of little moments that stick out in my head, playing back in my mind like clips from a movie. That's how I feel as a mother. Their story is playing out fiery quick as I to grab onto a few bits and beautiful pieces to play on repeat in my mind, trying to preserve some of the miracle that is happening right in front of my eyes.
The sweetest you see in that photo above truly personifies Roman exactly. He is sweet and sentimental and wise beyond his years. He feels deeply and loves passionately and I couldn't be prouder or happier to call him mine.
Last night we laid in bed together when I was putting him to sleep. 
He says, "I love you." 
I say, "I love you more." 
He says, "Don't get me started." 
I say, "I love you moon." 
and he says, "I love you star," just like he always has. 
I'll finish this post here before I dip in too deep into that realm of loving my babies so much it hurts. Too late, I'm already there. <3
Here's to the best 8th year for my sweetest boy. 


2015 in pictures.

     I hadn't really put much thought into the new year this time around but the other night I was looking through old blog posts and it filled me up with happy feelings and gratefulness. It's been a rough year for sure. I'm so happy that I took the moments to pick up my camera and remember the good things. Looking at the year through some of my favorite pictures makes it easier for a while to look past the hard things and see the beauty that was growing alongside me all along.<3 
Happy New Year, friends. Thanks for spending 2015 with me. 
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