• Why, Hello!

    Thanks for stopping by. My name is Melissa and photos are pretty much my love language. I picked up a camera about five years ago and fell in looooove. I am always learning more about this beautiful thing called photography, it turns out that the more you know..the more there is to know! It's one of the few things in my life that I don't mind constantly learning, relearning and educating myself on. Life is precious and so, so sweet. It's important to have memories you can cherish for years to come. Thats why I think photography is so valuable. I want you to love the images hanging on your walls forever.

    I also want to know you and your story! Where'd you come from? What do you do? Do you prefer hot or iced coffee? What do you want to name your next dog? Do you want to be friends? If someone dared you to hold a tarantula in your hand, would you? Because I really for sure do not think I would ever. Like never ever.

    Here's my story. I'm 29 years old. My husband's name is Josh. He's a hunk. We have two adorable children, Lillian (3) and Micah (9 months) and a cuddly pup, Wrigley. Originally from Chicago suburbs, we moved to Phoenix shortly after we got married in 2009 just to see what would happen. Cut to six years later, my husband is an executive director at our church, I stay home with the kiddos most of the time, we have a house, we heart our crossfit box and have lots of friends...so it seems as though we're staying in the desert for a while! All of those facts tell me that I am a responsible adult which is just odd, that seemed to have happened over night. My husband and I are borderline addicted to crossfit. I never pass up a good iced coffee drink. I love organization once it's finished. I hate socks. My heart yearns to travel. Anywhere, really. Ireland, Italy, Greece, New Zealand. Also, one day, my heart says we will go to Africa and bring home a baby.

Sauer Family

I got this year off to a fresh new start with the Sauer Family!

Christmas season was SO jam packed, we decided to do family photos in January:)

Marcus, Terri, James (and James’ friend, Travis, tagged along too for the adventure)
We went to a park in Glendale which is beautiful and I enjoy because it is a nice change of scenery.
The boys enjoyed all the tractors and trees that were perfect for hide and go seek!

Terri is an old coworker and a friend of mine!
She is a beautiful inside and out, and always knows how to make people laugh.
I miss the joy of being around her every day!

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!)