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Inching Along…


Slowly, slowly, inch by inch, moving along.
Sometimes is seems super fast. Like when I look at my little man, who is not little and is in full blown teenager mode and talking about cars and driving permits.
Other times it seems that the inch is ten miles long and we will never get there. Like when driving from the east coast to Texas and being excited to cross the Texas border and still having 8 hours to go. (I almost gave up road tripping forever that day!)

Things that have happened in my absence from this little space:

I’ve become soul-mates with “Uncle Sam” our new home, spending lots of time within his walls making this house “ours” and a “home.” Which is fine. I’ve always been sort of a homebody of sorts anyway.

I said good bye to Charlotte and hello to Delilah. Going to the grocery store is an adventure now. Seriously. So, so, so, awesome.

There has been busyness and there has been boredom. There has been despair and deliverance. Mostly deliverance.

Reading, lots of reading, and cooking and planning and “togethering.” Of course the “togethering” is my favorite. Not sure if that’s a word, but I’m making it one now if it’s not.

Traveling with lots of traveling planned.

Gardens have been planted and harvested and planted again. I have found real love in my small garden. Growing and canning.

Settling in and finding “our” place here. Missing our old life a lot and trying to add those favorite things into the hustle and busyness of America. It’s harder than it looks, but we are making it.

Basically, Life. Everyday, ordinary life, has been happening here.

I did put my camera away for a while. I wasn’t exactly sure how that was going to fit within my life now. There were days and weeks even when I didn’t think about it, but there were days when I wouldn’t put it down and I would day dream about projects and wall galleries. I’ve missed it. Now that we seem to have a rhythm and routine, I’ve realized that I need it.

So I’m working on the new website. Seeing all of my old clients faces and portraits is so exciting and I miss all of them. Reconnecting with them is inspiring. Truly.
Building websites is slow work, and not my favorite at all.
But slowly, slowly, inch by inch I’m moving along with it.
I can’t wait to show you and I’m beyond excited for what’s to come.


So far the count goes like this:
Three continents
Two islands
Ten apartments/rent houses/homes
Two homes owned and in a few weeks we will close on one more.

That’s a lot of moving folks, but most of the people I know have done twice
That is also a lot of paint parties, scraping wallpaper off weekends, vinyl
letter placement afternoons, and stenciling/sponging nap times. And by a
lot, I mean years off my life ya’ll. Years!

A few months ago, I had the great pleasure of having my Mom and sister visit
for one last European jaunt. I had the guest room all set up with my tea
cups and an old German buffet, the wall a nice sunny yellow. As I’m doing
laundry, Mom comes in with the wall art that was hanging above the bed.
“What is THIS?” she asks me.
“Um, DUH, it’s a flower vase,” I say.
“Well, WHY is it hanging in your house? Cause really Staci, it’s the
ugliest thing ever! Why isn’t YOUR art hanging there?”
I will admit, it was pretty much just a piece of dollar store art. I was
just never down in the guest room much.
Honestly, upstairs my home was full of MY art. I truly believe that the
most beautiful thing in the world is my family. I believe the most
beautiful places on earth are the places we have visited together. And
having lived in all those houses and homes, the most beautiful one is the
one I’m living in now, cause we are together. (Even though we currently
have no furniture and are sleeping on a mattress on the floor. We have been
doing this for the last 3 months, but the end is in sight!) Don’t get me
wrong, I appreciate a great piece of art and there are a couple of Thomas
Kinkade’s in my storage unit;)

When I walk into someone’s home, I don’t gravitate to the paintings, I head
straight for the portraits! It’s the smiles and the memories held in those
shots that tell me about you and your family. Nothing thrills my heart more
than to walk into a clients home and see a fabulous piece of portrait art
hanging on the wall! Yes, ART! Your family is YOUR greatest Masterpiece!
That masterpiece should be front and center!
Of course we will paint, and wallpaper, and stencil. Just make sure that
your masterpiece shines!

I love what Heather did with her images from our recent photo sessions.
A 24 x 36 canvas of her favorite! And another canvas with all the best from
the session.

Aren’t they just stunning! A timeless treasure of memories!

Now wait a sec! Don’t freak out! If you are unsure of which image or how
you would like to display it, just talk to me. I have ways to show you
exactly how your image will look, which size would be perfect, and what
placement would best suit the needs of your home and vision. We go over all
of this at your “view and choose” appointment.



My new Eiffel Tower

When I walked outside and there were boxes scattered all over the drive way, it became real.  I just sat on the one little step that led into the doorway and watched, as what felt like our whole life,  packed into moving crates and trucks.  I remember thinking, “Well, this is it!  The end of the awesome.”  Inside my head, a little movie was playing in which it was pouring down rain and I was in the middle of the street on my knees with my hands clutched to my heart, screaming NO towards the heavens.  Yes, it was just like that.

Over the course of the next week several amazing things happened, (including a ride back to the States in First Class) in which God was trying to show me that it was just the beginning of the awesome, not the end.  I was blind, people. Blind!   I was pouting in the corner going through a mental check list of cities that I would never see again.  No longer could I hop on the train and be in Paris under the Eiffel Tower in less than three hours.  The little movie inside my head was now taking place in front of the Louvre.

We landed in America on a Monday morning, and by Monday afternoon as we were driving through D.C. I was totally over it.  I’m not sure if it was driving past the mall that did it, or the second Bed, Bath and Beyond.  All three of us were just randomly shouting out restaurants and shops as we drove past them.  Oh yes, we have arrived and here to stimulate the economy.

If you know me at all, you know that I’m the most patriotic person ever.  (Yes, the house we are building is actually gonna be Red, White, and Blue and I’m totally thrilled by that fact!  Plus we get fireworks here every weekend during baseball season, and that alone is enough to plant me here and I may never ever leave.)  So to be in the Washington D.C. area is actually a dream come true.  A dream I didn’t even know I had.

I have a new Eiffel Tower.  This one is closer, and means a lot more to me.  Oh sure, I’m gonna miss the old one, but not that much.


**word art by Paislee Press**

September 26, 2012 - 2:36 am

Eric and Heidi - A dream you didn’t even know you had. I love that. I honestly and truly am so excited for you!

We are OPEN!!

Here we GO!
Simply Taken Portraits is open!  Open in Maryland (that’s in the U.S. of A. Ya’ll!) and serving the Washington D.C./Metro area!
To say that we are excited is beyond an understatement!  (More on that later, cause we are in the U.S. of A. Y’all!!)
We have lots of exciting things planned for the next several months including a website update, new blog design, more video fusion, and sweet fall mini sessions with the beautiful fall foliage of Maryland (cause we are in the U.S. of A. Ya’ll!)
We have a new contact number which is:  301-266-1570
and in cause you didn’t know, I LOVE to talk, so give me a call! ;)

Thanks everyone for your patience as we made the biggest move ever across the water to a whole new country.  We still have a few months before we are in the house, but we are settled in and soaking up every second of this beautiful area surrounded by friends, family and new neighbors!  We feel truly blessed and know we are in the exact place that God wants us to be.
Can’t wait to meet some new faces and catch up with a few past clients.

Right before we left Germany, I had one last session with some very dear friends.  Donna snapped a few of these pics of me “doing what I do” and I just laughed when I saw them.  Cause that is totally ME!
Flip flops, holes in my pants, sun glasses on my head.

Here is what I was shooting at the time.

I’ll have more from this session in the next couple of days.
Until then, why don’t you book a session before October 1st, and I’ll give you an extra $25.00 print credit!



I had no idea what I was getting into.  Seven years ago, when I stepped off that plane.  I had no idea.
I honestly thought that I was moving to Hawaii.  I don’t know why, I mean, Hawaii was never in any conversation.  For eight months I was in total denial, and just pretended that I wasn’t moving at all.  There were lots of complications with orders and what not’s, so it was pretty easy to just pretend that it wasn’t happening.  Then one rainy morning, five Japanese men showed up at the apartment and within three hours my whole life was packed away in crates headed across the world.  When I say I was in denial, I mean that I didn’t even have a suitcase packed or the dishes washed when the packers arrived.  Nothing.
I really didn’t even know where Germany was in relation to any other country except France.  I just knew that it wasn’t Okinawa.  There was no beach out my window and Lord help us all, it was gonna snow in the winter!
Yes, I had no idea.
I remember being in the car on my first drive into the area and I just looked over at my husband and said, “Is THIS Germany?”
I had no idea that the landscape would be a patchwork of fields and color.  Little villages would be nestled in the valley’s and perched on the hill tops.  Rows and rows and rows of grapevines would be scattered up the cliffs by beautiful rivers.  I had no idea that the leaves would change and really make the mountain look as if it were on fire.    The most beautiful sight would be my own little village covered in white with smoke rising out of the chimney tops like something from a storybook.
Wheat fields, old barns, tractors, dark woods, curvy roads…all woven together to create this texture.
The old with the new.  The hard with the soft.  The light with the dark.



**This post is part of a circle of friends and other military photographers from around the world sharing their thoughts on the “texture.”  Please click to follow Amy next!

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July 20, 2012 - 8:30 pm

the texture of us » meredith novario - [...] of talented military spouse photographers who are sharing their take on the theme TEXTURE. Click HERE to see Staci’s post. And then click on from her post. Infinity. Posted in kiddos, MSP Blog [...]

July 20, 2012 - 11:57 pm

Meredith - I like your description of denial. I get that. I swing one way or the other. Research it all or pretend it’s not happening. I cannot imagine having gone from Okinawa to Germany. They both seem magical.

July 21, 2012 - 8:24 am

Kricia Morris - This is GORGEOUS! Love the softness of the grass and the rough contrast of the chair, absolutely stunning!

July 21, 2012 - 10:54 am

Serena Nicole - This picture is SO you. It shows your beauty and creativity all in one. Germany is hard to leave, but I will say, you will love the convenience of the good ol’ USA! That I can promise.

July 21, 2012 - 11:48 am

Lea - I love the personal story you’ve shared here. :)

July 23, 2012 - 9:18 am

- Thanks Lea! Moving is HARD! Sniff, sniff!

July 23, 2012 - 9:20 am

- Every single Sunday it seems I just want a soda. I always think about all the soda machines on the corner of EVERY street in Okinawa. Then I realize that EVERY store is open on Sunday’s in the states, and I get a little happier about leaving DE. (but only a little!)

July 23, 2012 - 9:21 am

- Thanks Kricia! This Texas Ranch girl finds it so fascinating that there are NO fences around the fields here. Wide open spaces for sure!

July 23, 2012 - 9:22 am

- Our AF Career has been blessed for sure! I have found that maybe I’m not all that fond of change after all, and that I’m in super denial AGAIN!

July 23, 2012 - 12:03 pm

Melanie - I feel you 110%, maybe more. I really don’t want to leave here. At all. It might just be because I lived 6 years of my life here so this country has become a huge part of me, or it could be that we’re moving to the desert – nothing AT ALL like the green and amazingness that Germany has to offer… but I do look forward to the convenience that Serena mentioned. *sigh*….