New Baby Slade – A Birth Story

I really love shooting birth stories. It may be my favorite thing to shoot. There is just so much emotion and beauty in a room when a new baby comes into a family. It also doesn’t hurt when that new baby is coming into MY family! My amazing aunt Jaimi gave birth to her fourth baby girl last week and I was so excited that I was home and able to shoot the birth. She also was a TOTAL ROCK STAR and decided at the last minute to have the baby naturally. And she was incredible! So strong and powerful… it made me proud to be her niece, and a woman. We are awesome ladies! And of course, she looked beautiful through the whole thing. There were so many beautiful images to choose from for this blog post. I narrowed down as best I could…

Tell us how you really feel about it Tyler!


Yes, she really does look this amazing after just giving birth naturally! I know, it is totally unfair, but I love her anyway.


Not the baby sister any more. She doesn’t look sad to lose her title.


Life With Boys: Magic Touch

This conversation just happened:

“Mom, I’ve been thinking what kind of magic touch I want and I want the kind where it makes everyone my friend and nobody bes mean to me.

And also nobody ever has to go potty anymore and nobody gets sick from the wind when I touch the trees.

Wouldn’t that be a great magic touch to have?”

Me: “yeah bubba. That sounds great!” (Thinking of the make everybody my friend part)

J: “yeah then nobody would have to go pee or poop! That would be great!”

…life with boys…

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Mark and Emily Engaged!

I can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly excited I was to do this shoot!

There aren’t words that really describe what Emily is to me. Best and friend just don’t quite seem to cover it. Emily and I lived together for a few years in school at BYU-Hawaii. There is nothing quite like a roommate. She is the one person who has always had my back, been truly happy for me when good things happen and a support when things fall apart. She has seen me at my best and worst – literally and figuratively. I have always wanted and prayed for all the happiness this world can offer for my dearest friend.

Mark has been the love of her heart… well… always.  I am so honored that I get to be a part of their wedding process and thrilled to be able to capture a little glimpse of their love for them to treasure. I think these images are gorgeous. You can see how much these two love each other, and there is nothing more beautiful than that.

Back in college, we found a song called “Unsent” by Alanis Morisette. In it, she writes brief, but poignant letters to the lost loves of her past. At the time, I was playing around with writing – songs, poems, really bad essays etc. I decided to write an “Unsent” verse for several of my roommates, and a few for myself as well. I found them the other day.

Dear Mark,

You’re my best friend.

I want to thank you for the times you let me sit on your couch and bawl my eyes out.

I’m not sure when it was that I fell in love with you. It must have been a gradual thing that took years to happen.

I know our timing has never been quite right, but I dream about the day when I can just hold your hand…

…and tell you without resignation that I love you…

…and I want to spend forever in your arms.

Someday I’ll have the courage to say this all to your face, and until then I’ll patiently wait.

All my love,

Your Best Friend.

Thanks for letting me be a part of your love story Emily and Mark. I adore you both and am over the moon happy for you! I can’t wait to capture your wedding day next month. Love love love! -Parky

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Christmas time is here

I really love this time of year. I know, I know… so does everybody else right? Blah Blah Blah…

But it seems like I have had a hard time getting into the FEELING of Christmas this year. Maybe it is because it is still over 50 degrees outside. And it has been raining the last few days… RAIN? Really? And I had thecoldofdeath last week so I was a little out of the picture.

I mean, I put my tree up the day after Thanksgiving. I’ve been listening to Christmas music in my car. I bought an “evergreen” scented wallflower since we have a fake tree right now. I put ribbon on the Costco wreath my mom bought me (moms are great aren’t they?) and hung it on my front door. I have all the nativities out and have been replacing our usual bedtime songs with Christmas carols.

Still, I was having a hard time feeling it.

Fortunately there have been 2 things this week that have helped me get back to that Christmas feeling.

1) The LDS First Presidency Christmas Devotional. I don’t care who you are, if you love Christmas you should find a way to watch or listen to the broadcast if you missed it. Those men are so full of the Spirit of Christ and Christmas. You will FEEL it. They spoke of simple gifts, of the goodness of children and the light in their eyes at Christmas, the wonder of giving, the beauty of receiving with grace and the true message of Christ’s birth. I was all misty-eyed. And the music was, of course, breathtaking. In particular I thought of some wonderful empty-nester neighbors we have who absolutely adore my wild and crazy boys and spoil them like another set of grandparents. There are so many days we come home to a surprise on our porch from Peggy. I mean, the woman came and played trains with my children so I could go get myself a treat and read a book for an hour on my birthday. While I listened to the message of Christmas many ideas were popping in my head of how I can teach my children to serve our neighbors and maybe give them back a little of the love they shower on us.

2) The annual Nativity in the Glen. For the last 10 years or so, my LDS stake, along with the help of some other community and religious organizations has but on an amazingly beautiful live nativity. We are blessed in Salt Lake City, and particularly in our Salt Lake Bonneville Stake with some very unique buildings and grounds. Our stake center happens to have some property along the emigration creek that we call the Bonneville Glen. There is a little amphitheater/fireplace area, and some just beautiful grounds. Some really inspired person decided we should use it to create Bethlehem. It is truly magical. It has become such a major community event that there are lines around the block to get in and walk through. Live animals (a camel, sheep, goats, donkeys… last year there was a YAK!), people dressed up as shepherds, wise men, and a few truly brave new mothers and fathers who wrap their newborn child in swaddling clothes and take turns as Mary, Joseph and the beautiful baby Jesus. I have never seen the baby Jesus crying, despite the cold and I’m sure scratchy hay in his manger! It is masterfully done. The Market Square with hot cocoa, bread and bagels, angelic singing from local choirs and groups and of course, the nativity scene – complete with music and narration from the scriptures. The crowd is large, but silent as they watch and the feeling of peace that overwhelms is unmatched.

I know it really happened. I told that to my young, tired, son last night as I held him and we watched in silence as the true story of Christmas was told, and shown. It was beautiful. My son being silent… miraculous! It happened, and that is why this season is so wonderful. We can feel it. Sometimes we have to find it amid the noise and bustle, but it is there. I am so grateful.

May you have a Merry Christmas filled with peace, love and family. And a few well-chosen delicious treats. I will be making fudge next week if you need something!

Also – THIS happened the other day:

Jack is playing with his little people nativity set. It plays “away in a manger.” While it softly sings I hear:
“Hello baby Jesus!”
“I’m not baby Jesus I’m a STORMTROOPER”
……machine gun noises……




Simple Gifts

Finally enjoying the nice spring sunshine, I was reading on a blanket in the back yard. Jack played quietly in the yard. I lifted my head from my book to see…my.heart.just.melted. I have the sweetest boy. He is full of energy… all the time. He is rambunctious and loud and a wild wild man. And he is sweet, kind and compassionate. Love you bubba.

Miss Banana … and … East High School Dance Company Concert 2012

I was 13 when Anna was born. Oh how I loved her. She spend Wednesdays at our house while my aunt was working and I would rush home from high school to hold her on my lap through hours of Barney and teletubbies. When she was crawling she would go to me over ANYONE else… sometimes even including her own mother! She gave me my nickname – Toe. I love it.

When I went away to school in Hawaii, Anna was 5. She would draw me pictures and send them in the mail. When I called home during family parties she would steal the phone and go off to another room “because I can’t even hear in there!” Oh how I loved that little girl.

She was the cutest bridesmaid at my wedding. After I was married, we would have awesome slumber parties with Mcdonald’s Happy Meals (PLAIN cheeseburger, nothing on it please!) and makeovers. Anna is AMAZING with nail polish!

Anna is 16 now… and is beautiful, kind and talented in so many ways. I was fortunate enough to photograph her Dance Company Concert this year. It was a blast. She is amazing. So this post is for her. I love you miss Anna Banana.. and it is for her inspiration, my sister Brooke who is also incredibly talented and who we miss terribly while she is away from us in California.

To see more pictures from the EHS Dance Company Concert, or to order prints click here: