My Grandparents Celebrate their 70th Wedding Anniversary

My Grandparents Celebrate their 70th Wedding anniversary

On June 26, 1948 Alvin Johnson and Elsie Ekberg, my wonderful grandparents, were married in Milaca, Minnesota. Both from Swedish families living in the Milaca area, Alvin “Bud” and Elsie pretty much always knew each other. They grew up in the same church and both enjoyed being involved in music. A few years after Bud and Elsie were married, they moved to Rockford, Illinois where they lived for several years. They had three children Sharon, Norris, and Linda.

As job opportunities changed, Bud and Elsie decided to move back to Minnesota. They opened up a general store in Estes Brook in 1961 which ran for 16 years. It was during this time that my grandma started making her infamous banana bread, or as some of the great-grand children call her “Banana Bread Nana.” Whenever the bananas would start to brown in the store, grandma would walk home to bake. To this day, she always has a loaf on her counter and spares in her freezer to give to family and guests.

My childhood memories of grandma and grandpa are still vivid. Grandpa always had a new Ford in the garage (as he liked to trade them in every couple of years)—he is now on number 28 with a bright red Ford Edge. And Grandma was always busy entertaining people or working on crocheting blankets for her grandchildren or great-grand children (she’s where I got my love for fiber projects). They always had—and still have— an open door to friends and family.

Their family has grown from three children to 11 grandchildren and now 20 great-grand children and spread all over the United States.

My grandparents are now 90 and 91, still living in their little yellow house they built in the 60s and enjoying every moment of their lives. It’s crazy to realize they have been married for 70 years. I asked my grandma when she knew grandpa was “the one” and she told me she looked at him one day in Sunday school class at age 13 and thought: “I think I’ll marry him.” I then asked her what the secret to 70 years of marriage was … she looked at me and replied blinking back the tears, “keep family first, have a good church community” and then she paused, and whispered with her hands cupped around her mouth, “and take lots of vitamins.”

Still single at 29, I don’t think I’ll make it to 70 years of marriage one day, but I am beyond blessed to have such wonderful grandparents that model each and every day what it looks like to love one another and those around them.

A Bride, A Groom & a Canoe

a bride, a groom, a canoe

I met Andrew and Kelly earlier this summer through a fellow photog referral. We sat down for coffee to discuss wedding details and I instantly knew I wanted to photograph their special day. The simplicity of their day showed me that they really just wanted to have a good time and enjoy their wedding. Heck, Andrew even got his ring for free on an Instagram giveaway and Kelly got hers for fifteen bucks at a Wisconsin Dells gift shop! When they started to describe their wedding day to me, they used words like canoeing, camping, farm, apple orchard, dancing outside, Wisconsin ... sounds so lovely, right? I drove out to Osceola, WI to tour Lily Springs Farm and I could see how this sweet little venue perfectly fit their wedding dreams. Everything seemed so simple and stress-free--the way weddings should be, if you ask me...

Their big day was on Sept 9th, 2017. The weather was perfect. The guests were lively and relaxed. Everyone had a great time! 

Everly LuAnn Will Be Here Soon...

Everly LuAnn will be here soon


One of my absolute favorite things about photography is getting to be a part of such special moments throughout different seasons of my client's lives. I was honored to photograph Benn and Celia's wedding two summers ago, and now, two years later, they are expecting baby girl, Everly LuAnn! Celia is a hair stylist, so it was no question she was going to show up to her maternity sesh looking gorgeous. 

Riebe Family

Riebe Family

The Riebe family is one of my favorites. I got to know Rachel a few years ago when I went with one of my friends on a girls backpacking trip. And let me just tell you -- she's got skills! From camping to parenting to cooking and writing -- Rachel is amazing! Check our her awesome blog

When Rachel asked if I wanted to do a family session for her, I was so excited! The Riebe's live on a little hobby farm in Taylor's Falls, MN. They recently found out that their barn or "backyard playhouse" needed to be torn down and wanted to capture their family photos in front of it one last time. Rachel and Jason have four kiddos--all full of life! Ellis, the oldest, told me that she was excited to see the beautiful sunsets once the barn was torn down. I got to spend a couple hours takings photos in their dreamy backyard. Capturing families is one of my favorites--I feel as though I'm just out having fun! And this was by far, one of my favorite sessions. 

Scott, Kari, Evelyn & Baby #2

Scott, Kari, Evelyn & baby #2

Being a photographer, I am always thinking details for each photo session. Sometimes I overthink them and get a little anxious before a shoot.  ...Will the weather be good? Will their outfits photograph well? Will the clients be photogenic and fun? Will the kids cooperate? What if it rains? What if it snows? etc, etc, etc until my head spins. 

Well, this photo session was planned via texting, we picked a location a little unsure about where exactly we would photograph, and being March, I had no idea what the weather would do. BUT, it all turned out incredible (minus the patches of mud we had to walk through). Little Evelyn did a fantastic job for the camera! 2-year-olds are always so energetic, but I was able to play off of her energy and get some great candid shots. 

Welp, pretty much the cutest family ever!

Welp, pretty much the cutest family ever!

The Welp family has been kind enough to let me photograph them from the very beginning of my photography pursuits. And I'm glad they kept me around! ...considering I slightly cringe when I look at some of my very first photo shoots, having no idea what the heck I was doing...

It's so fun going into a family's home that has framed the photos I've taken over the years. I was so excited when they asked me again to do a fall family session! We went to William O'brien State Park in Marine on the Saint Croix--beautiful location! It was a lovely evening, with autumn colors just at peak. Plus, it's always a bonus to have a good-lookin' family to photograph! We set out just before the golden hour & I'd say all in all, it was a success! 

Emily & Tyler

Emily & Tyler


Emily & Tyler

Emily & Tyler planned their wedding in just a few weeks & pulled it off 110%. I had a blast photographing this sweet couple. Their wedding and reception were in Southern, Wisconsin, close to my hometown, so it was nice to be in a familiar area. At each wedding I photograph, I try to find 1-2 unique details that stand out--this one: cotton candy machine!

A Jack Daniels' Wedding

A Jack Daniels' Wedding


A Jack Daniels' Wedding

Sure, backyard barn weddings are popular, but how about adding a touch of Jack Daniels? Mitch & Becca love Jack Daniels & they decided to throw it in the mix of their wedding decor. I love being a wedding photographer & being able to see & capture how each couple decides to put together their big day. From the corsages to the wedding cake, it always tells such a fun & beautiful story giving everyone who attends a glimpse of the couple's own style.