• Why, Hello!

    Thanks for stopping by. My name is Melissa and I like to take pictures...a lot of them really....of you. I am a semi- professional (that makes sense, right?) and am always learning about this beautiful thing called photography. Life is a bunch of adventures strung along together and it so important to be able to look back on, so why not have some photos of it? I love taking pictures, but I enjoy learning peoples stories even more.

    Here's my story. I'm 26 years old. I have a sweet husband, Josh, beautiful baby girl, Lillian and cuddly pup, Wrigley. Originally from Chicago suburbs, we moved to Phoenix four years ago for life adventure number one. During the day time, I teach children who are deaf and hard of hearing. I love that I get to laugh every single day. That also means I do know a decent amount of American Sign Language. I never pass up a good iced carmel macchiato with skim. I love organization...like a lot. I hate socks and if I must wear them, they have to be inside out. My heart yearns to travel. Anywhere, really. Ireland, Italy, Greece, New Zealand. Also, one day, we will go to Africa and then bring home a baby.

Joiner Family

We met the Joiner family when we first moved to Arizona.

Krista was literally one of the very first people to talk to us and be our friend
We were the odd ones out from IL and she made us feel right at home
plus her and I had the special ed connection thing going

It’s weird, and time warpish, that Ryan and Krista now have a 2 year old named Jonathon!

We met up at Anthem park for some photos, but I think exploring was the main thing on Jonathan’s mind.
He is one curious little man and I loved it!
Whats even greater is that he is just old enough to understand how to smile and look at the camera when needed
which makes my job just a little easier:)

We had a great time catching up with this family and enjoying the beautiful AZ december weather
(I still find it slightly odd that you can wear shorts and a t-shirt with flip flops in December. I guess I will always be a true Chicagoan at heart)

Thank you, Joiners, for choosing to hang out with us for an hour!

Bowman Family

These are our friends.

Oh, and Brian just happens to be our pastor. But whatever:)

We met Brian, Brooke, Bailey, and Brit early in 2011
They had just moved here from Oklahoma, with accents and all, to plant a church.

They very quickly became important people to us and close friends in our lives.
We joined the launch team and cut to 1.5 years later, we are holding community groups in our homes, and having Sunday services!

ValleyLife: Make Disciples. Plant Churches.
check it out

Josh and I love that we have a strong marriage right across the street that helps keep us accountable. The community, or dare I say family, that has developed within VL is amazeballs. I definitely think this is something that was purposefully created to experience.

They also have two dogs.
Bearclaw and Boaz.
They are a bit cray cray but we love them nonetheless.

Ansley Family

Hello, crazy week!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
We sure did!

It has been busy around the Duerr household
We had family come in and you just know how time disappears when your visiting with family:)

However, last week I got to meet up with the Ansley Family
Ben, Leigh & Jacqueline

what a fun and sweet family!
Leigh is originally from Chicago which means there is an instant connection that non-midwesterners just can’t understand
we had a wonderful time walking around Anthem Park
she recently turned one and just loves watching the world around her
(specifically the ducks!)
she is one adorable and observant little gal!

Swank Family

The other night we got together with the Swank family

I met them this past summer and tutored Emmalee

They are busy and fun loving family
there is never a dull moment in their household

Afterwards, we couldn’t resist some Grimaldi’s Pizza
(which if you have yet to try, you need to go stat. it’s delicious. Thanks again, Swanks!)

Worst DIY Blogger Ever

First of all, let me just say this

I would be the WORST DIY blogger ever.

I kept thinking “oh, I’ll take pictures with the next step. No one cares to see this”

Cut to our project is finished and no one will have any idea how we got there

This particular project started out as stairs for our dog to get on and off our bed.
a legitimate concern I’d say
We can’t have poor Wriggles trying to jump off our bed and be in a cast for a second time in his life
(yeah, that would for sure make me the worst puppy mama ever)

Then it slowly evolved into a project that could also prove useful for us as house owners with no real linen closet
enter “trunk”
or “hope chest”
or “wooden storage bench”

Between my design vision, some pinterested tutorials, and my hubsters know- how
we put this little thing together.

and, I’m not gonna lie.
I think it looks dang good.
Be on the look out for J&M Furniture Designs in the future

Josh and Wrigley enjoyed some serious cuddle time while I took some pictures of the finished product

October 28, 2012 - 1:03 pm

Brooke - All I can say is wow! That looks dang good!!