Wednesday, February 20, 2013


If there was a month I could choose to skip each year... it would be this one.  The shortest month of the 12 drags on for us every. single. year.  Part of it is  longing for the West Coast where we grew up and having so much opportunity to be outside... and part of it is the fact that our work is also our home.  While that is part of the reason we love what we do so much... it's also hard to be confined to these four walls... since one of us always has to be here during after school hours.  The winter is ESPECIALLY hard.  We are so thankful for our Saturdays off and the chance to take Carter and Claire out to explore.  A couple weeks ago we were desperately feeling the need to see some wide open space... so we headed about 30 minutes out of town to the banks of the Mississippi River.  Dan has spent some time out at the Riverlands Bird Sanctuary with his students over the past year... and had talked a lot about how awesome it is.  It was freezing cold... but just the medicine we needed!

While we were enjoying looking at bald eagles through the telescopes... this girl was requesting a check-up.  Still just a LITTLE obsessed with the doctor kit she got for Christmas.

So much drama... all the time!

Friday, January 11, 2013

A favorite...

Dan and I were explaining to someone recently how we are so thankful for the life our kids have had.  When we moved into Joe's Place 6 years ago Carter was just 7 months old... and we had no idea if this idea of a home would even work.  We thought through a lot of things... but I guess I hadn't really processed what raising kids here would REALLY look like... or how it would change how they looked at the world.  Six years later... and they have only known a life with MANY "big brothers."  Their perspective of people is so different than mine was at their age... I love that!  

These are two of my favorite pictures.  Claire has always had a special love for Robert... or Bob Bob as she calls him (one of her first words).  Today we are celebrating 19 years of Robert and his last official high school birthday.  Excited for what is next for him... and praying in the years to come that his heart is always healthy!  :)  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mr. and Mrs. Petke

Love this one!  Michelle... you are beautiful!

We have had some crazy warm weather the last few winters.  Not so on Dan and Michelle's wedding day!  It. was. SO. cold.  Thankfully the wedding party was staying at Union Station so we were able to do a lot of the portraits inside!

Lookin' good guys!

I loved all the red!  These girls were rockstars that day!

This was one of the most beautiful wedding ceremonies I have been to!  Dan and Michelle were so thoughtful in what they wanted communicated during their wedding day.  Speaks so much about this amazing couple!
Husband and Wife!!!!

Did I mention that these girls were rockstars!  They braved some amazingly cold weather!  This was one of Michelle's top shots.  We got to Kiener Plaza... and the waterfall was off!  Michelle totally took it in stride... and it turned out AWESOME!

Hello St. Louis!

The red hats were groomsmen gifts.  Dan found each of their favorite teams!  Love it!
One of my favorites!
The snow is for you, Michelle!  :)
This dude could dance... and was out on the dance floor almost the entire reception!
Let it snow!!!  And it did... the next day!  :)

Congrats to an INCREDIBLE couple!  Hope Costa Rica was awesome!

~Dan and Alyssa