Hi! I'm Holly Brimhall, a newborn photographer in Gilbert, AZ. I am the mother of 4 and a lover of ALL things baby. This blog is where I share the life of my family and favorite pictures of my newborn photography sessions.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

January 18, 2009

I've been cleaning out cupboards and organizing storage (it's WAY overdue) and found a stack of CD's that weren't labeled. Some with pictures of my babies, some with music, and one with a talk I gave in church over 8 years ago. I still remember writing the talk and feeling so overcome with the Spirit. So here it is...so I can come back and read it again and again and again....

I’m grateful today for an inspired bishopric and for the opportunity to share my testimony and talk about my Savior, Jesus Christ.  As I spent some time in the temple, pondering about exactly what to talk about, I realized that exactly one year ago, today, I lay in a hospital bed recovering from my accident.  My accident that left me with a broken jaw, part of my head shaved and stitched up, a mouth full of loose teeth, and many bumps and bruises.  Three short weeks later, my mother in law lost her year long battle with cancer.  5 months later my father suffered a heart attack, quadruple bypass surgery, and other hospital stays during the next few months.  As I sat in the temple, I was overwhelmed with love as I reviewed my experiences of this past year.  Overwhelmed, as I realized how deep my relationship with my Savior had grown in one short year.
As I’ve searched deep in my soul, I’ve been unable to come up with words to share the feelings of my heart.  How do you sum up feelings of such gratitude and love?
Index of Scriptures – different topics of Christ: Advocate, Creator, Good Shepherd, Immanuel, Jehovah, Lamb of God, Lord, Mediator, Messiah, Only Begotten, Redeemer, Savior, Son of God.  He is the place that all healing begins.  The place where we can feel His sweet peace pour over us and heal our souls.  He is my confidant, my comforter, my healer, my peacegiver, MY Savior.
Alma 7:11  “And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of this people.”  He has suffered all of our pains and understands us completely, understands us as no one else can.  The Savior’s loving embrace provides shelter through any trial and love in any circumstance.  There is no reason to ask WHY we are given certain trials, we just need to remember one of Neal A. Maxwell’s favorite scriptures that helped him through his battle with cancer.  1 Nephi 11:17 “And I said unto him: I know that He loveth his children; nevertheless I do not know the meaning of all things.”
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said, “No grief is so great, no pain so profound, no burden so unbearable that it is beyond His healing touch.”  No grief, no burden too much – He can heal me.  He can heal you.
D&C 78:17-18  “Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you; And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along.  The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.”  He is telling us to be like little children.  To show more faith.  Telling us that we cannot bear everything right now.  Telling us to take Him by the hand and to let Him lead us.  Telling us that many, many blessings are waiting for us.  The gospel teaches us about perfection and the joy that comes with it, but some of us expect perfection of ourselves instead of seeking to be perfected in Christ.  We must become partners with Christ.  The Lord can strengthen us to meet our challenges.  Light will replace darkness, despair will give way to hope, and life will regain its meaning.  When we try to go through life, trying to do it all on our own, trying to be perfect on our own, we feel alone and frustrated, but it we become partners with Christ – ask Him for constant guidance, seek to close to Him, our relationship with Him is strengthened and we are given power from on high.
As Elder David A. Bednar spoke of the sweetness of the Lord’s tender mercies he said, “When words cannot describe the solace we need or express the joy we feel, when it is simply futile to attempt to explain that which is unexplainable, when logic and reason cannot yield adequate understanding about the injustices and inequities of life, when mortal experience and evaluation are insufficient to produce a desired outcome, and when it seems that perhaps we are so totally alone, truly we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord and made mighty even unto the power of deliverance.”
As I sat to prepare my talk, words to many different songs and hymns flooded my mind.
“Tender Behind The Mercy” by Hilary Weeks:
A candle sits in darkness until there burns a flame, And a river dry and barren must wait for the gift of rain.  Like the river I have thirsted And He has filled my cup.  Instead of just one tiny flame He gives me the sun.  He’s the tender behind the mercy.  The unconditional in love.  And when I need forgiveness He’s the redeeming in Son.  More and more I see He’s the tender behind the mercy.  I’ve had moments in the spotlight And days I’ve wished to hide.  In sunshine or in the shadows He is by my side.  More than once I’ve added to the pain He bore in Gethsemane.  Yet gentle as a morning breeze His love reaches out to me.  He’s the tender behind the mercy.  The unconditional in love.  And when I need forgiveness He’s the redeeming in Son.  More and more I see in the blessings all around me.  I can’t help but see in the way that He loves me.  More and more I see He’s the tender behind the mercy.
I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord.  
No tender voice like thine can peace afford.
I need thee every hour, stay thou nearby.
Temptations lose their power when thou art nigh..
Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!
Even though it be a cross that raiseth me.
Still all my song shall be nearer, my God, to thee,
Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee!
Jesus, my Savior true, Guide me to thee.
Help me thy will to do.  Guide me to thee.
Even in the darkest night, as in the morning bright,
Be thou my beacon light.  Guide me to thee.
Through this dark world of strife, Guide me to thee.
Teach me a better life.  Guide me to thee.
Let thy redeeming power be with me every hour.
Be thou my safety tower.  Guide me to thee.
When strife and sin arise, Guide me to thee.
When tears bedim my eyes, Guide me to thee.
When hopes are crushed and dead, when earthly joys are fled,
Thy glory round me shed.  Guide me to thee.
Precious Savior, dear Redeemer, we are weak but thou art strong;
In thy infinite compassion, stay the tide of sin and wrong.
Keep thy loving arms around us; keep us in the narrow way.
Precious Savior, dear Redeemer, let us never from thee stray.
Precious Savior, dear Redeemer, Thou wilt bind the broken heart.
Let not sorrow overwhelm us; dry the bitter tears that start.
Curb the winds and calm the billows; bid the angry tempest cease.
Precious Savior, dear Redeemer, grant us everlasting peace.
The Lord is my Shepherd; no want shall I know.
I feed in green pastures; safefolded I rest.
He leadeth my soul where the still waters flow,
Restores me when wandering, redeems when oppressed.
Restores me when wandering, redeems when oppressed.
Our Savior’s love shines like the sun with perfect light,
As from above it breaks thru clouds of strife.
Lighting our way, it leads us back into his sight,
Where we may stay to share eternal life.
Come, yes disconsolate, wherever ye languish;
Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.
Here bring your wounded hearts; here tell your anguish.
Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.
Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace?
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart, searching my soul?
Where, when my aching grows, where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand? He, only One.
He answers privately, reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind, Love without out end.

I’m grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ and for the relationship that I have with Him.  I’m grateful for the experiences that I’ve been given that have helped me to turn to Him for understanding, for love, for support, for peace.  He is my safety tower.  He is my constant, kind, and loving friend who offers unending peace and love.  There is absolutely no earthly sorrow that He cannot heal.  I know that!  I’m grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who provided a plan for us to be able to return to Him.  I’m eternally grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ, who suffered for our sins and gave His life for us so that we might be able to repent and find forgiveness.  I am grateful for temples – for the overwhelmingly sweet spirit of peace felt there.  It truly is The House of the Lord.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017


One year ago I pulled up to a hotel in Scottsdale with Savannah, ready to take her to her first dance convention/competition. She had tried out for the dance company at Dance Republic earlier that summer and made it, but she had never competed. We really didn't have a clue what we were in for. We found the dancers from our studio and were handed a number, "Here, pin this on her."

" What's the number for?"

"It's for auditions."

"Oh. Okay. Auditions for what?"

We were clearly a bit on the clueless side. Luckily, I did know she had days full of dancing ahead of her and had packed lots of snacks and water to keep her going.  Each class was filled with new choreography and then they'd split into groups and perform. The teacher would write down numbers in their notebook while they walked around and watched the dancers. Towards the end of class, the teacher would "call out" the number of the dancers they wanted to see again. Those dancers would come to the middle and dance while everyone else watched. Scholarships were given to the best of those dancers called out. I watched throughout the year, as we attended different conventions, as Savannah would timidly find a place towards the back of the room, desperately trying to learn the choreography and doing her best to perform. She was competing against girls who had been dancing company basically their whole lives. She was brand new. She was never called out all year. Not once.

This past weekend, we went to the first convention/competition of the year. We walked in the doors a bit more sure of ourselves this time. She put her whole heart in to her dances. She fought for a good spot to be near the choreographer. She felt the music. During closed auditions, her number got called out! The teachers get to watch closed auditions. They told me she was so excited when they called out her number but then she didn't take the closest spot to the choreographer. Two other times during the weekend her number got called out! Once she was even invited to dance with the choreographer on stage! The cherry on the top of the whole weekend, was getting FIRST overall in every dance she competed with her studio, also earning an "Over the Edge" award (only given out a few times over the weekend) and a Best of Radix....AND getting a scholarship for her performance in her musical theater class (the one she got to dance on stage with the choreographer).

As we walked to our car Sunday night, I was overcome with how far this hard working girl of mine has come in just one year! Can't wait to watch her learn and grow even more!!!

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Christmas Break is Over

It was a little rough getting out of bed this morning as alarms started going off at 6:00 am. The hustle of showers, making breakfast, packing lunches, finding backpacks, picking out clothes, finding socks...I wasn't ready for it! Not at all.

I LOVED having the kids home - even if a lot of the time it was just me running them to and from different friend's houses. We squeezed in as much family time as we could - going to see the new Star Wars movie, the movie "Sing", a hike to the Wave Cave, sitting in awe at Symphony Hall in Phoenix where Sav and I watched "The Nutcracker", making gingerbread houses, driving around to see Christmas lights, acting out the nativity at my parents house on Christmas Eve, etc. It was great!

 (Don't mind the marshmallow man eating yellow snow....boys...)

Christmas Eve the kids all got new Christmas pajamas and a new book

Sure do love these crazy little (or maybe not so little....wah!) monkeys of mine!

Christmas morning was magic...it always is, isn't it? The kids opened our door at exactly 7:00. Pretty sure they'd been waiting outside our room for a bit. Ha! I only snapped a few pictures that morning, but I guess it's better than nothing. I wish every Christmas could be on a Sunday...and having church at noon could NOT have been any more perfect! We ran downstairs to see what Santa had brought, emptied stockings, opened gifts, and made the most delicious breakfast! Hash browns, bacon, eggs, waffles, whipped cream, strawberries, ebelskivers (pretty sure that's going to be our new traditional Christmas morning breakfast), and buttermilk syrup. While we were making breakfast and the kids were laughing and running upstairs to put their gifts in their rooms...my favorite moment of Christmas day occurred. One by one the kids and Brett surrounded me in a group hug...and everything seemed perfect! I stood there and squeezed them all and soaked in the love. I'll admit it, I cried...knowing next year will be different. Jarom's plan is to be on a mission and it will be so weird to be missing him in our home. Man, I love these people! Nothing makes me happier than to be a wife and mother!

Some things the kids got for Christmas:
Jarom - Elite Xbox controller, waterproof camera with wi-fi so he can email me pictures from his mission, gas card, socks, etc
Bryson - funny t-shirts, crazy socks, bluetooth speaker, watch, mousepad, a "make America great again" Trump visor, etc
Savannah - clothes, dance clothes, jewelry, etc
Grant - Dak Prescott jersey, NBA 2K17, tickets to a Suns game, football gloves, etc.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

{Picks up mic}...tap, tap...is this thing still working?

I cannot believe it's been over four years since my last post! Where has the time gone? Four years ago Jarom was in junior high. Today he's half way through his senior year in high school and talking about starting to fill out his mission papers. Every time I think of him leaving, my eyes fill up with tears and spill down my cheeks. I honestly don't know how you spend 18 years raising the most beautiful baby boy into such a great young man...and then let them leave. And maybe go to another country, speak another language, learn another culture...and get to talk to them FOUR times over the two years they are gone. I don't think I've taught him how to make enough dinners. He's a great breakfast maker...but dinners? I have so much to teach him and not nearly enough time. Four years ago I still had a little munchkin at home with me, making runs to Costco, and living it up with daily dates with my little boyfriend. And now Grant is in the middle of third grade, playing basketball and football every spare second that he has or watching sports or memorizing players stats.

I'm a little mad at myself for letting four years of our lives go partially undocumented (thank goodness for Instagram)...yet showing compassion for myself as I think about all that I've been through, experienced, overcome over these years away from my blog. And someday I want to write more about that journey - more about what I learned about myself as I went through some pretty intense counseling once I finally decided it was time to get professional help for my depression. After I listened to Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's talk "Like a Broken Vessel", I knew it was time to get PROFESSIONAL help.

One thing I know for sure...is that writing is good for my brain, good for my heart, good for my soul...and I want to do more of it. I often find Savannah reading through old blog books and I want to have more of those. More books with my writings to remember the good, the bad, and the ugly. Reading the good brings me joy beyond measure and reading the bad and ugly reminds me that I can do hard things. And I want more books filled with pictures, pictures I've taken that have captured my family and life. I cannot even tell you how I sadly never take out my big camera to take pictures and be creative anymore. I'm determined to take time for me to take pictures and write again! Thanks Kristal for the nudge...it's been on my mind for a long time...

And here's a picture of me and my sweet Jarom from family pictures a few months ago, who really is growing up to be such a fine young man...

Monday, December 17, 2012

Brett's seminars made life crazy...

But we decided to try to make the best of it all. Having him work Monday through Thursday and then head straight to the airport to catch a plane and teach a seminar Friday-Sunday, just to fly home and start it all over again started to get a little old....especially when it was week after week after week. With no break. Okay. I'm not gonna lie. It started to get a LOT old. So I tagged along to a few of them. One time we went to Denver and a few weeks later I tagged along to New York City. C'mon. You know you would've too. New York City? Heck yes! I need to see if I can find the pictures from NYC. Apparently they never got downloaded. I must find them!

But a different weekend, we decided to take the whole family to his seminar in Los Angeles. Grant had never been to Disneyland and we thought it would be the perfect time to go. The day we were leaving I got these texts from Jarom at school....and they are too funny to NOT include....ha ha!

J: I'm not going to Disneyland because I have to much homework.
Me: Whatever. Yes you are.
J: I swear, I have SO MUCH homework...I can't go.
Me: You're going. Period.
J: Then I'll get 9th hour. The reason is I just have too much homework. Please understand.
Me: You're just going to stay home by yourself? Nope.
J: Can't go. PLEASE! I have so much homework I can't stand it. I can't go. I can't miss a day at school. Please let me be able to do my homework at home. I just have to much. Please understand. Work comes first, than play.
Me: Oh my heck. Knock it off. You can do your homework in the car and then play at Disneyland.

I was literally laughing out loud. What kind of kid BEGS to not go to Disneyland so that they can do their homework? I mean I know his grades are important to him....and I'm super glad about that....but c'mon, bud.

Needless to say, he went to Disneyland and had a GREAT time! We all did! Friday, September 28th, Brett got to join us...

 Grant, our little Lightning McQueen addict, LOVED "Cars Land"!

 I was too lazy to carry around my big camera, so my trusty dusty little ole point and shoot got the trick done for our whole trip :)

 Grant was in heaven when he got picked to do the Jedi Training!
 Except he was having issues "activating" his light saber....

The next day, Brett was off to teach his seminar and the kids and I enjoyed another day together at Disneyland and California Adventure!

 Passing time, posing for pictures, while waiting to ride Radiator Springs Racers...

 Savannah got soaked on Grizzly Rapids. Ha ha!

Hey, Nan. What do you think about the ferry ride? Yah. Me too.

And Sunday, we spent the morning at the beach, before heading back home that afternoon. It was a quick trip, but we loved it!

This picture cracks me up! The water was cold...um, really cold. Love Jarom's face....and Savannah's silly dance moves in the background :)

I'm pretty glad there are NO MORE seminars until the end of January! We needed a little bit of "normal" back in our lives. Not that life has been normal. It feels like it's been anything BUT normal. We bought a new building for Brett's practice and are remodeling that and working on cleaning out the old building and trying to get that sold. We are hoping to open the new office mid-January. We are pretty excited about it, because he will be SO much closer to home! Close enough to run home for lunch. Close enough for me to drop by when I'm out running errands and steal a kiss. Close enough to have him home earlier every night. Yay!

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