Things in our lives are never spaced out. They happen all at once, all the time. I've grown used to it, and I'm completely okay with the patterns of our busy family. So it came as no surprise that our biggest dance competition of the year also fell on PROM weekend!

It's officially dance competition season! If you don't know, we have TWO professional dancers in our house. Our youngest daughter, Jessie, has been dancing for almost 10 years, and our son, Alex, is following closely in his sister's footsteps! Dance competitions are a big part of our lives. We even schedule weddings around them. This past weekend was one of our first ones, and we got lucky enough to be able to take photos!

One of the best things I ever learned while becoming a photographer, and to this day, one of my favorite lines to recite, is that the best camera you could ever have is the one you have with you. Such great advice for any photographer! Hell, great advice for anyone. Also, it could not have been more true for our latest trip to New Orleans, especially since we forgot to pack our cameras.

We live in the South, and we like it here. We don't get much snow, and we like that too. I'm not a big fan of snow. It's cold. It's wet. But I do have to admit that it sure is pretty! Last week, the kids were out of school for one day during the blizzard snow. I wasn't feeling well, I was swamped with work, but I went outside for photos anyway. And I'm so glad I did! Today, I'm sharing a few tips about how to get great snow portraits that I learned along the way.

I love photos. That might seem overly obvious, since I am a photographer and all, but what I mean is that I love not only photography, but actual photos. Physical, printed ones. I could sit and look through photo albums all day. A photo captures a moment. It keeps your kids young forever, when all you want is to stop them from growing. It tells the story of all those minutes and hours that seemed so ordinary at the time, but later prove priceless. It stops time. For those reasons (and many, many more), I make documenting our memories a priority. Or, at least, I try to.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm having a slow start to the New Year. While I'm eager to see what 2016 brings, I'm just not quite ready to let go of 2015. Which is surprising, actually. 2015 was a little overwhelming, and I thought I'd be ready to jump into a new year. Instead, I'm feeling a little under the weather and still haven't written down my 2016 goals. Shame, shame. Instead, I find myself just wanting to rest and enjoy the quiet for a bit longer.

I am not handling stress well this year. We don't have time for anything these days, much less decorating the house for Christmas. Even though I didn't think it would happen, the house got decorated anyway! And it was probably the quickest, most stress-free holiday decorating we've ever done. Come on in for our Christmas home tour, and I'll let you know how I managed to do it!

We always try to do too much. We try to squeeze in 14 bajillion things into the 2-3 days that we're together before the madness of Christmas really hits. This year's Christmas family photos came with the usual rushing and bickering, but I love them anyway. Read on to see how they turned out, and laugh at the outtakes!

I seem to be notorious for getting into a groove with my obsessions. For a few weeks at a time, I'm completely absorbed by my latest extra-curricular activities. Then I'll find something else and move on. It's hard to play favorites, but I seem to have so many! They change all the time, though, so I like to call them my "right now" favorites. Continue reading to learn about a few of mine this month!