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.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So, here I am....

This past month and a half I've spent a LOT of time thinking, trying to figure out the what's and the how's and the why's of this whole mess.  I didn't sign up for this situation.  I just had to deal with it the way that I felt I needed to.  I HAD to stand up for my children and hundreds and hundreds of other children whose pictures were being used inappropriately.  This whole experience has been eye-opening for me in so many ways. I feel like I have a duty to share my experience, to share what I've learned, how deeply I've been affected, and how great it is to know that there still are GOOD people out there.  Thanks for the MANY e-mails of love and support!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

I felt like I couldn't write anything here for a long time... not really wanting to put my feelings out there.  I was receiving all kinds of threats.  I was still checking blogpatrol and was shocked to see what was being said about me... websites developed JUST to say how much they hate me. Really?  I don't understand who has the time for this... and I wondered... wouldn't your time be spent better doing something else?  Something to better who you are?  Maybe some time for service? Some time to do something good for someone else?  A hate website - just for me?  And while the traffic was still high here from "those places", I just felt like I couldn't put anything here.

I realized a few things, though.  As much as I want to continue to share my childrens faces...  I just can't.  Maybe some profiles or pictures taken from behind... maybe super close-ups of their amazing eyes.  But I can still share our stories and our love and our LIFE!  I hope this will push me to be MORE creative with my photography... to try something new, something different. But more than anything, I want to continue to share my love of life and my family here.  To share our traditions and what makes us stronger... what makes us happy... what makes us who we are.

So, I want to start by sharing our fun from this past weekend:

The Birthday Extravaganza!
The last few years I have tried to talk to the kids into having one HUGE birthday party and every year they have something different in mind.  Well, this year we FINALLY talked them into it!  We sat in a circle, decided to have a big carnival, and the kids gave suggestions as to what kinds of games they wanted at the carnival.  Little Miss wanted a duck pond, Moose and Bear wanted something to bounce in/on, The Hubs wanted a dunk tank.  The planning began!

We rented a HUGE bounce slide and a dunk tank, borrowed some games from friends, made some of our own, made a FUN photo booth for pictures, borrowed a cotton candy and popcorn machine.  We had face painting, a fish pond, balloon darts, cake walk, duck pond, "dunk the dentist", sub sandwiches, yummy cakes... WHAT A BLAST!

It was so much fun to see the kids enter the backyard and to see their faces light up!  To see them run around from game to game, collecting prizes.  To see them laughing and having the time of their lives!

When it was time for cake, we lined the kids up along the backside of the table - oldest to youngest.  Bear had requested an all white cake with some lego characters on top, Moose fell in LOVE with an all chocolate cake at Costco (yes!  One less cake to make!), Little Miss decided she wanted a cheesecake (Costco, again...whew!), and since Chubs couldn't tell me what he wanted - I took matters into my own hands and did a cake along the party theme - making it look like a big ole box of popcorn.  Fun!

It was fun having cousins come down from the White Mountains and having other cousins come that had just moved back from Ohio.  Yay for cousins!!!

At church the next day, so many moms came up to me and told me that their child had said that the carnival was the very best birthday party they had ever been to, that their kids had stayed up SO late after the party (apparently on a bit of a sugar high), that they just could not stop talking about it.

It was a little bit chaotic, with so many kids running around... but it was a whole LOTTA fun!!! And now we have a whole bunch of pictures, to remind us of our fun, fun day!

Chubs real name was on the cake... but I cloned it out (just so you know - it looks weird to me without it!)






My favorite picture of the WHOLE day!!!


StubbsFamily 8:42 PM  

I am so glad you are back! Are all of their birthdays close to the same time? It looks like so much fun!

Teresa M. 8:49 PM  

Glad to see you back--I've missed your blog. Pary looks so cute! Good ideas!

Holly 9:43 PM  

All 4 of their birthdays are within 6 weeks. Crazy, huh?

Karen 10:44 PM  

I just wanted to say "thank you" for sharing a few beautiful pictures. I happened upon your blog a few months ago and admired it in anonymity. I am so sorry that there are wicked people out there who ruin beauty for the rest of us. I never realized how touched I was by your photography and your sweet children until it was taken away. I respect and admire your decision to protect your family. As mothers we owe that to our children. I wish you peace and happiness.

Adrienne 1:41 AM  

Yay! I love your blog and the pics. you post! The pics. are amazing--you're such a gifted person! Thanks for sharing your stories, your ideas, and your life.

Blessings to you, from an orphanage in India... Adrienne

Jackie 4:14 AM  

I'm SO glad you are back as well - I've been checking daily (I attended one of your workshops last fall in Utah). Love the carnival idea - what fun!

Diana 6:51 AM  

Oh, I am so happy that you're back to blogging! Looks like a really fun party.

Nicki, 7:06 AM  

Welcome back! Party sounds like it was a blast. My neighbor and I have discussed something along those lines for a Halloween Party in lieu of the kids trick-or-treating (since ours have outgrown the door-to-door age). Again, so very happy to see you blogging again.

Lindsay 7:09 AM  

The party sounds amazing and your pictures are still so lovely. I love the clown one. Thanks for still being willing to share what you can.

southerninspiration 7:23 AM  

Holly, I realize I am a stranger and you don't know me, but I've been reading your blog a long time. I don't even know how I found it, but I so appreciate your creativity and your faith, and how you share them unabashedly both together! I am wowed by your talent. I am SO SORRY such things happened to you to have to change the way you do things. And to be so violated.....sickening.
so good to see you back and posting! What a fabulous idea for a party and you made it so FUN!
I know your kids loved it!
Take care,Suzanne

MMW 8:18 AM  

Hooray hooray you're back!

The pseudonyms are GREAT. And the pictures you shared are absolutely perfect. Your photos still capture the magic! Woo hoo.

Megan 8:35 AM  

I'm so glad your back.

Emily 8:58 AM  

Glad your back! Looks like the kids had alot of fun!

Poulsen Family 9:18 AM  

I really admire your photography, and I'm really sorry for the things that you've been through. What an amazing party, sounds like it was so much fun.

Michelle P 9:30 AM  

Holly I am so glad you are back and have decided to share your family joys with us. What a great outlook you have and I love to hear of your family traditions. They are so fun! You are such a great person, mom and photographer adn I am glad that we all get to keep on seeing that. And remember carma...enough said. :) Keep on being you...we love YOU!

Mindy 11:01 AM  

Thank you for sharing! Thanks for giving such a good perspective on "haters".. I think we would all be surprised at how many people deal with this crap on a daily basis.
LOVE that cake!!

Are You Serious! 12:25 PM  

♥ What a great idea! I'm so glad you're back! :) What a fun idea to have a big carnival! My 4 kids are all with in a 6 week time frame also...

ellen 12:54 PM  

Yay! SO glad you are back! I've missed seeing your gorgeous pictures. They give me such inspiration.

You are truly a class act!

Cami D. 2:54 PM  

B. That was the coolest party
C. That picture of "Moose" and the cotton candy is my FAVORITE!
D. Can i please be like you? haha
E. What a fun thing to be part of - it was fun!


Joneel 3:10 PM  


cara 3:16 PM  

Welcome back! What a fun party!
Thank you for sharing your photos. They said a ton even without seeing faces!

onehm 6:34 PM  

WOO HOO!!! I'm so glad that you are back. I love your photos, but even more I come for your uplifting, inspiring writing. Seriously. :)
This is one AMAZING party! I BET those kids were all talking about it!
Thanks for sharing. So so sorry that people have been so mean. I'm really glad that you decided to come back.

Debbie 6:48 PM  

Wow, seriously missed you and your photos (which, by the way, were very creatively taken... just love 'em!). I'm proud of you Holly. And thankful you're back.

Salsa Mama 11:23 PM  

Wow, what a great post! I've really missed your blog and it is as great as ever. I LOVE that cotton candy pic, too. Awesome party!!!!

Deb Hanna 5:35 AM  

YEAH YEAH YEAH! you are back- missed you so much. Love Chubs cake- and my little guy would love the Lego cake too. Welcome Back.

Life Is Beautiful! 6:33 AM  

Dear Holly,
I am you are back, I have missed you!!!! We pray for you and the safety of your family as well. You are right there are many good people out there, but it just takes one bad apple to ruin the rest. Welcome back!

Life Is Beautiful! 6:34 AM  

OOps I meant to say "I am glad you are back!!!"

Sharla 7:35 AM  

That party sounds awesome! You always have such great ideas. I love that clown picture!! I'm glad you're back. . . .

Karen 9:14 AM  

I seriously had some Holly blog withdrawls. I'm glad you will be at least sharing. I'm sad you have to deal with the craziness of this world we live in. You are amazing for doing what needs to be done even though it's so not fun. I will miss your amazing photos of your kids, but the ones you just included were great, too. I think everything you touch turns beautiful.

Shauna_Rae 11:51 AM  

I LOVE that last picture! That is too cute!

Anonymous 3:12 PM  

Good for you! Hurray you're back!

Renee' Dezember 5:34 PM  

Holly - I am so glad you are back - not full force but back :D Looks like you guys had a super fun party!!!

Mari 7:52 AM  

I am so glad you are back!! Thanks for sharing again. Your words inspire me so much. AWESOME bash you had going on!!

Jennifer 3:03 PM  

Hooray! So glad to see you're back! That party looks like it was the most fun!! Thanks for braving blogging waters again! We missed you!

Labyrinth Gal 6:18 PM  

YAY!!! WELCOME back! I'm so glad you've found a way to make it work for your family AND your fans.

I don't post photos of any of my nieces & nephews except for the backs of their heads. You have to be so careful these days and YOU helped to raise awareness for a lot of us.

THANK YOU, dear Holly for your brave spirit, and for continuing to inspire us! :-) Hali


yay pictures again, this is our birthday month too!

shannon 9:22 PM  

welcome back! You have been missed! You have such a sunny disposition! You are inspiring! Thanks for keeping us informed of the terrible things that can happen! Love the party idea! Keep on inspiring us with your wonderful ideas!

Norris Fam 9:24 PM  

Thanks for sharing! I was sad that a select few ruined it for the rest of us.

That party looks down right awesome!

Robin 11:03 AM  

Happy day! You're back! With a party like that, I can't imagine that they wouldn't want to do that EVERY year!

Ann 9:12 AM  

Yah yah!
I've missed you and your stories and photos!
And what a FUN party! Thanks for sharing with us.

Ann in SC

melanie liljenquist 8:10 PM  


I am so glad you are back I have missed your cute blog and experiences you share, I am so sorry there is such crazy's out there. The party looked like so much fun.

Take care

sweetsusan 3:58 AM  

Just awesome!!! Why couldn't you do this while you were in our ward!!! How creative and fun for all!!! You are fantastic parents!!

Karman 8:15 AM  

so glad your back!!! I'm grateful for the chance to celebrate your gift for life and love for living. It's great inspiration. Thank you for being brave and for living your life with such joy.

Denise 12:29 PM  

I am so glad that you are sharing a bit of your lives with the blogging world again. I have enjoyed following your family adventures, your amazing photography and your sharing of your faith with us. You have such a special gift and I am thankful that you are back :)

Kristina 9:17 PM  

I'm so glad to see you back. Love to hear your stories. Thanks for taking a stand for all us moms!

Angi 10:51 AM  

What a fun party. I am so glad you are back adn so sorry about what happened. I am not very comuter savvy so if you are willing to share would liket o know how you found the junk and what you did about it.

princessteach 5:41 AM  

I am so glad that you are back. You are an amazing mom and photographer. I love the pictures of your kids. The party looked like so much fun. Love the cotton candy picture. Welcome back, please stay.

Whitney 5:54 AM  

Really fun shots! Love the last one.

-Whitney Leigh

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Arizona newborn photographer, phoenix area newborn photographer, phoenix newborn photographer, mesa newborn photographer, queen creek newborn photographer, gilbert newborn photographer, custom newborn photographer

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