I will try to keep this short , but no promises.

Since Sunday I was in bed for 3 days due to a migraine (usually get them often but I have not had a bad one in a long time) Then my throat started to hurt – felt like I was at a concert screaming. Now my throat is all raw. And after my doctor visit, I learned that I have yucky strep throat.  My desire to eat or drink anything is nonexistent. Nothing sounds good nor does anything taste good. My hubby has been sweet by keeping me in my room and not letting me stress about the way the the house looks. Bless his heart.


Today I woke up with another migraine and feel like I am toppling off a mountain because I feel like all I cn do is cry. I am crying because I hurt. I a, crying because I feel alone  and I am crying because I am worried if  I have so far given my kids a happy life of memories.


One of the movies I watched today to heep my mind off the pain was, “The Book Of Henry” Started out as a lovely movie. This mom was happy and not picky about anything it seemed. She truly just loved her boys and made it seem that they could create a life with such gratitude in whatever creative way they could.

Suddenly her oldest child passes away and that it when it all hit me. My goodness… I suddenly put myself in her place for a moment and I was overcome with such sadness and heartbreak. I truly do not know if I would ever be able to move on in live if I lost one of my kids. I know that I would have to, but I have other children that depends on me. I am their safety net, no way I could abandon them, but I truly have no idea how one can stand up and take the next step in life.


I suddenly started watching this movie with questions pouring down myself in puddles of tears. Am I enough for my precious children?Has my lazy moments in life cause them to feel unworthy? Have I smiled enough at them so while we are apart during the day, can the envision my goofy smile and my big rat teeth? Do my hugs I give them daily still make them feel safe in their moments of feeling alone. Have I made enough memories with them that will give them a happy heart. I want my children and husband to know that with all the materials in we are blessed to have, the most expensive and the most worthy, are the moments made with them. I pray that it is my laughter they can hear through the wind of the trees, or all those little kisses I love flutter around their face, that they can see and hear me. I pray that when the kids turn on the music, they take a moment to look back at me and see a mom with a smile on her face and a hand stretched out to them so we can dance together.

I am blessed, fully blessed for the things I have in life. A hard working man that does his best to provide a safe life for us. I am blessed that the children and I have a man in our life that will hold us close to his heart. I am so blessed that I get to her the sweetest “i love you mom” from the most beautiful little faces I am honored to call my children.

It overcame me in a gentle swoosh and a downpour of tears of how much I love my family and even more crazy than that… The the love God has for me is beyond something more then words can explain. The way I can see His eyes in moments, and that smile of happiness you can see as He looks right at you. How blessed I am to have my Father in heaven love me like this PLUS more.

But I can’t help to wonder and worry, if I am bringing happiness to my children  in the way that whenever my body leaves this earth, that they can still feel love I have for them so deeply. I pray that with every butterfly that crosses their path in life, in every gentle breeze and beautiful song they hear, that their heart burts with love they have from their mother. I never want to stop being silly, laughing, playing, being adventurous with them. I pray that a messy house won’t make them feel unloved but more so that they are cherished because we are blessed to have this mess and each other.

This Christmas, it will not be boxes I want them to unwrap. This Christmas I want to create a memory box for them. I want to help them have something so when they feel the little things that are fading away because the older they get, the more important life will take over, burying those memories deeper and deeper.

I know I won’t be able to let the controlling side of me ignoring messes around the house but I pray that the priority will shift a bit so that my family knows that they are more important to me then a clean house. That dancing together makes my heart flutter. My family is a blessing from God and I just want to love them all, the way the Jesus loves.


That is my Christmas wish.

This is probably my last session I will ever get with this amazing family. Sadly and yet, exciting, they are getting ready to plant new roots in a new home town over on the East Coast.

It has been so much fun watching this family grow and love from their first new baby to now. I truly am blessed to have such amazing families to photograph and document, but I do admit that this family really knows how to just have fun together, laugh, and make memories!


Recently they invited me over for some family time and breakfast. Here is a little Pure Moments Film of their morning together!


Rise & Shine with the Critchell’s from Jax Creations Photography on Vimeo.



I love making films for families and even for my own family. My kids will sit for hours watching their films and my clients films on the tv. I know this will be something that they will treasure for a very long time.

If you are a photographer and are interested in learning how to create your own films, I highly suggest Emily Mitchell’s class Everyday Films.

The class is full of information and is easy to follow. You can also find Emily on FACEBOOK

This year, my “baby” started school. It is hard to decide if it is harder to watch your first child or your last child get on the bus and be in school all day. I have high school kids now and one in kindergarten and neither one is easy watching them grow up. I have one that is just learning to be a big kid and the other learning how to be an adult.

I am sure I am not alone in dealing with this life season.

Recently I had a teen reach out to me to do her senior photos. This is not a session that I do often – truthfully, I am just not that hip or cool with the teens. I am still that parents that gets a kick out of fart jokes and loves to crack a smile to a little one when I break out in dance moves… teenagers, don’t really see the silly in that any more in me. I love using natural light and honest expressions in my photos – which again, most teens aren’t into. So when I do get a teen that reaches out to me for senior photos, I am flattered.

We live in a small town of Spirit Lake, just outside of Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint. It is almost like a secret little spot that is filled with old values and beautiful spots to walk, swim, hike and gaze at the scenery. For this session, we stayed local and had a beautiful evening.

This senior girl, class of 2018, has plans of joining the military and serving our country and attend collage to become a pediatrician. What amazing plans she has! It is so fun learning to get to know kids and hear about their future – hearing what they want to be when they grow up.

I can’t help but feel proud of her – for all her accomplishments she has made so far and for all of them that are to come.

jax creations photography, senior photos, timberlake high school, spirit lake, coeur d'alene idaho, high school


Congratulations C for making it to your senior year of high school. I pray that this year of school is full of excitement, achievements, memories and journeys!

  1. These are wonderful! Very relaxed and natural! Thank you for taking your time with our special senior!!! - Jackie
  1. These are wonderful! Very relaxed and natural! Thank you for taking your time with our special senior!!! - Carolyn Schwab

My nerves were all over the place – was I going to be able to capture moments that had meaning?

A few weeks ago I was asked by Susan from DS Connections NW, if I would come and do team photos for their annual Step Up to DS walk in Spokane. I actually met Susan last year when I was planning on doing a community event for down syndrome children, giving them a pirate party for fun! When the event was not published as it was suppose to, I took it very personal and felt terrible for these families that never got to share their story with our community. So when Susan asked me to step in to do photos for this year, I was very happy to do so.

The Step UP for Down Syndrome Walk (formerly known as the Buddy Walk) was developed as a way to reach out to friends, family, and co-workers to promote awareness and inclusion for people with Down syndrome. It is also designed to raise funds for local and national education, research and advocacy programs.

The Step UP Walk is an easy one mile walk in which anyone can participate without special training. Hundreds of thousands of people take part in different walks from coast to coast and around the world each year to show their support for Down syndrome awareness.

People throughout the Inland Northwest whose lives have been touched by Down syndrome will join with members of our local business community in helping to raise awareness of the many abilities that people with Down syndrome possess and to celebrate the many ways they contribute to the benefit of both our professional and civic communities.

The walk was held at Discovery Park in Spokane, which is an adorable park! There were all kinds of things for the kids and the families to do together before and after the walk started. Raffle items, American Ninja course, photo booth, arts & crafts, bubbles, a happy clown that makes balloon animals, hats and swords and a sweet little spot for the kids to be in the Hall of Fame photo wall. Each year they take a photo and each year they can look back to see how much they have grown. And then of course, the team photo area – which is where I was.

The families were all in happy spirits and it was wonderful meeting all these beautiful children that were full of precious personalities. Everyone played, danced, laughed, and joined together to help make a difference for DS Connections NW.

Here is a list of the vendors that also participated in the walk event.

Title Sponsors $1000+: CdA Peds | Kootenai HealthCdA Tribe  |  KLEW TV


Major Sponsors $500+: Mountain Power  |  Lakeside Pediatrics  |  Barrett Family Chiropractic   |    Jitterz  |

Lake City Rental  |   American Universal Storage  |  Isolutions


Supporting Sponsors $250+The Ugly Duck  |  Unlimited Marketing  |  Jax Creations Photography

The Inlander  |  Ruby Frog  |  Raptor Reef  |  Jeda  |  Northwest Restorations  |  Northwest Pet Resort

Periwinkle  |  Northwest Extreme Sports  |   Panera Bread We Got Wood Northwest  |

Sandy Zimmerman (American Ninja Warrior)  |   Northern Dance Academy  |  All Star Glass


Associate Sponsors $100+:  Verdis  |  Syringa  |  Centerplace  |  Bloom Dentistry  |  Spoelstra Chiropractic

Lost Moose  |  ICARD  |  Curtis Orthodontists  |  Pepsi  |  Buffalo Wild Wings  |  Centerplace



The next day after the walk I learned that there was over 700 registered Walkers, 48 teams and they raised enough money  to fund all of their programs for 2018! That is very exciting news!!!

Here are a few sneak peeks of the walk and these kiddos that I just wanted to scoop up and snuggle!