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    You never really know  how much a person who serves in the military sacrifices until you experience  it or watch someone close to you go through it. I will briefly describe how I met the Wood’s Family and share the beautiful homecoming of Cody Wood. Jenna Wood is wife to Cody Wood (a U.S. Coast Guard who just returned home from serving two terms in Afghanistan)  I was a DGL for Valley Baptist MOPS ministry and Jenna was assigned to my table for this 2015 MOPS year. I knew that Jenna had a daughter Ila who was three and that she was currently expecting her second baby this year, and that her husband was currently serving overseas, that is all I knew about her.


    Shortly before the new MOPS begin I was told that Jenna had been placed on bed-rest toward the middle of her pregnancy, Jenna was alone, with a three year old who needed her care (anyone who is a parent knows how hard it would be to cope with bed-rest and have a toddler to tend to)  and all I could think was that her husband was so far away. Jenna never complained, she was always strong, positive and understanding of her situation. Jenna welcomed me a stranger into her home, trusted me to babysit sweet Ila along with  other amazing MOPS Mom’s from our ministry
    ( thank you ladies for loving on Jenna during Cody’s leave, thank you). I would go to her apartment and pick up Ila so she could rest. We would talk about Cody often and I asked a lot of questions about how she felt doing this alone? How Cody was holding up being across the world unable to be there for his family physically?  she said this was just a decision they had made and they had to get through it. I never realized how much a person sacrifices being in the army until spending time with Jenna. They cannot be there psychically for their loved ones, they miss the birth of their children sometimes, they live in extremely dangerous situations, they go without clean clothing, a warm- cooked meals, they miss dropping their kiddos off on the first day of school, they miss birthday’s, anniversary’s, and life moments,  and never know what tomorrow may bring. I truly will never understand fully what Jenna and Cody felt during their time apart but I know I felt for my friend. The moment she went into labor and had to Face-Time the birth of their son so Cody could experience it, even via Ipad screen (which is amazing, technology has come so far)  she was so strong despite her husband not being there to hold her hand and talk her through labor, she just had to get through it.


    Jenna adapted to being a new mother of two those first few months all alone until Cody was able to take his leave. I admire her so much for her strength and ability to keep it all together, never once breaking or having a pity-party. You have to be strong when you’re a spouse to someone serving in the military.


    I was asked to photograph Cody’s last home coming from serving in Afghanistan and decided since it was Memorial Day this would be such a perfect blog post. The night Cody flew home his connecting flight to San Francisco was cancelled, he rented a car and on the freeway it broke down in the storm California was experiencing. Cody ended up getting a tow back to the airport and sleeping on airport chairs until he could catch a flight home. What a mission to get home but he finally did God willing.


    The Wood’s family is off to a new location (Families in the service move every few years) I am not sure when we will see each-other again but I am so thankful that God placed Jenna at my table. I have grown to admire her family immensely and will truly miss them. Wood’s Family thank you for allowing me to capture these intimate moments, I love you guys and you will always have a special place in my heart. Lastly to Cody and ALL Men and Women who have served and are actively serving thank you a million times for your service, I am forever grateful.


    Happy Memorial Day.

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    Kari and Gus tyed the knot at a private residence surrounded by close friends and family. Their country themed wedding was perfect from the creative hand-made details, beautiful decor and personal touches. The weather was amazing with a sunny cool breeze. Kari wore a fitted lace gown with cowboy boots and Gus wore a traditional cowboy hat and boots. The couple danced the night away celebrating as newlyweds, it was such a fun wedding!


    We enjoyed capturing your big day Kari and Gus, thank you so much for allowing us to be there, we wish you a lifetime of happiness!




    J.Michelle Photography



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    The Bond’s family are expecting a beautiful baby girl this spring and I am in love with how their maternity session turned out. I always feel so honored to capture important moments in my returning client’s lives.  Andrea is such a gorgeous pregnant mama, congrats to the Bond’s Family on their new little one!

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    My baby is officially FIVE today.

    Happy 5th Birthday to my Holden… I remember thinking he was never going to come out, almost 2.5 weeks over due and the quickest labor ever (2 hours) he finally he made his debut. Holden is such a caring, sweet, good natured little boy. Loves going to the movies, baseball, skateboarding and his big brother Parker, Sadie our lab, & can eat an entire pizza by himself (no joke)

    Has to give me at least 20 hugs before I can leave him at school, tells me how beautiful and pretty I am just when I need to hear it the most, Prays for everyone and everything , has the best random knock knock jokes even though they don’t always make sense:)

    Loves to skateboard and do “guy stuff” with Dad and brother whenever he can. He is such a blessing to our family, I know God has big plans for him! I really cannot believe he is 5, time truly flies.

    We Love you so much Holdie!

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    Over ten years ago Keenan asked Lana to be his girlfriend which has now blossomed into an amazing love story, they are getting married this fall at Rio Bravo Country Club. During our session the dark clouds hung over us with sunlight peeking through somewhat making our lighting perfection. I just love how colorful the day became for their engagement session, they totally rocked it too, I can feel their love in these images.


    We look forward to being a part of your big day, enjoy some previews from our session.



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