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INSPIRED BY NANA | a newlywed prom


INSPIRED BY NANA | a newlywed prom

I grew up with a framed, black and white portrait of my grandparents hanging on our living room wall. It was right by the family computer desk, where I spent too many hours playing, so I was very familiar with that picture. He was in a suit, she was in a white formal gown. There are hints of fancy decor around the edges. For the longest time, I figured it must be a picture from their wedding. I was wrong! Years later I learned that the picture is from their 1956 prom. But the thing you ought to know about the prom photo is….

… that they were already married!

He was senior class president, she was class secretary. Together they were a part of the morning announcements, senior prom committee, and were in the running to be King and Queen.

GRAMPS: My best friend was the king and Nana’s best friend was the queen. [But] of course, all the kids, all the members of our class, were all upset because they wanted it to be us. But the school didn’t want it.

Because, they were married.

In December, they had been married in a small wedding ceremony where Nana wore a white dress suit and the next month they attended senior prom where she wore a formal white gown. Since they were living together, there was no need for Gramps to come pick her up at the door of her mother’s home. They simply hopped in backseat of their friend’s car (they themselves carless) and made their way to Milford High’s “Stairway to the Stars.” They would have walked in to see the spiral staircase that Gramps’ recent stepfather Carl made for the event, complete with “wire netting and cotton candy stuffing for clouds” so that the seniors “could really walk up it into the clouds [where] we hung stars”.

Being the married couple at the senior prom wasn’t all hearts and stars. I asked Gramps if he had any particularly fond memories from the event (he said the afterparty) and then if there were any particularly negative memories.

GRAMPS: I think the only negative thing was [the papers] made a big deal about us being married, you know. They would come in... and want to take a picture of the married couple. They would try to get in there, make it a big deal, trying to capitalize on the event. We made the newspapers. I think my mother somewhere probably has an article from the newspaper (laughs).

Nana’s presence at the prom as a married woman did not go unnoticed and it did not happen in vain. In that time, married women had not been allowed to continue school. Using their connections in the community and being in the class presidency, Nana and Gramps petitioned for her to finish her senior year. They brought the issue directly to the Board of Education - and they agreed. Not only Nana, but another female student who was married that year was allowed to stay as well. One student who left to have a baby was permitted to return. The norms were changed.

GRAMPS: All because of Nana.

GRAMPS: The thing is that if you look at that picture, I think, mom’s hand, you can see the wedding ring on her hand.

And I am fortunate enough to be the recipient of that ring after Nana passed away in 2007. I kept her ring in the red, velvet mortuary bag since the day it was handed to me when I was sixteen. I always knew that I would use it as my own wedding ring one day. And I did! I should add that in true Gramps nature, he approached me after my wedding ceremony and said, “You know, I’ve been trying to remember what I did with that thing!”

We were able to use Nana’s original ring from that original prom picture in this photoshoot. To add another layer of connection between her marriage and mine, we used my original veil from my 2012 wedding in the shoot as well.

I searched high and low for the perfect vintage dress to go with these pictures. Something that felt “prom” just as much “wedding” like Nana’s prom photo does. I was only working off my memory off the prom photo, which I hadn’t seen in years, but when the listing for this dress came up on my screen, I knew it was the one. A month later I was able to track down that original prom photo and it truly was a perfect match.

If the thought crossed your mind, “My goodness this girl looks to young to be modeling a bridal look!” 1) you’re right but also 2) I purposefully chose someone the same age Nana had been when she was married in 1955.

We drove out to a quaint historic schoolhouse for the shoot. It’s all a little bit prom, a little bit bridal, and all at a little pink school house. This was the project I set out to do this summer and I’m so happy it’s all here.

INSPIRED BY GRANDMA | Grandma Kaiser and the nudists


THE BABY CLOSET | the cozy thrifted baby space with no emotional damage


THE BABY CLOSET | the cozy thrifted baby space with no emotional damage

I love thrifting, tiny things, cute things, naps, small spaces, coziness, forests, sleeping, art, cats, and my baby. Combine them all together - we’ve got the baby closet. While our apartment IS actually a two bedroom, why would this new tiny person need a whole big room? We figured we’d much rather use the big room for storage, projects, an office, an art space, and guests, and give the little space to the little baby. So far there’s been no emotional damage from being put in the closet every night and it has become my favorite room in the whole house. Time to share!

The baby closet is roughly 4.5 feet by 7 feet in size. This is the view you’ve got of it from standing in the shower. Yes, I’ve put him in there while I’m in the shower. It’s a walk through closet - the other door leads to a spare room.

Sometimes we turn the ULTRA NOISY POSSIBLY BROKEN bathroom fan on as extra white noise for him. Well, we did until the neighbor complained about “a vibrating noise on the wall all night long” -_- Have tried to avoid using it since that.


This blanket was a baby gift from our dear friend Loie. She crochet it herself! Loie was kind enough to let me pick the design and colors. I like the look of those Hudson Bay blankets so she made it similar to that! I sewed the pine tree pillows from a thrifted green bed sheet and strung the pom pom strand myself. I was listening to a depressing podcast episode about Elvis as I put the garland together and that memory still comes to mind every time I look at them. It’s weird.

This little gallery wall opposite the crib is the main reason it took me almost ten months to share these pictures. It’s just never DONE done, you know? I finally had to say, “Okay, it’s done enough that I should take some pictures” but I can definitely see myself adding to it here and there when inspiration strikes.

We actually never have the overhead light on in the closet like you see in these pictures, partially because the light switch is inside the spare room rather than the closet itself. Too much effort. The Hatch nightlight/white noise machine is what you’ll typically find going on and it the coziest, most soothing little closet space at night.

There are a couple of cat elements to the room (how could it not?). As a tangent, why are cats found on baby GIRL things but not baby BOY things? This huge grey striped cat was a baby gift from my sister who honestly didn’t know how huge that cat was going to be when she opened up the pattern. We are incredibly grateful for its great size!! We found this nightstand at our beloved fake Target thrift store in downtown Minneapolis.

That’s us! Just know that getting Jason’s hair perfectly accurate is probably the thing in this whole room I’m most proud of. On the right is Spencer’s Korean name, which is legal middle name. In English it’s spelled Taeyoon. Jason wrote it down for me on a piece of paper so I could practice writing it in Korean to make this little framed piece. My ignorant American brain looks at it and sees “EH” followed by a smirking face with a halo.

And there he is!! I found a little mini decorative cutting board at the thrift store, took off the loop of twine from the top, and painted it over with the cutest little baby face in existence.

I received this gold foil print from a past photography client who opened the most beautiful church-themed print shop! The shop is W Paper Co and I knew it would be perfect in a baby room!! The frame, and all the frames in his room, were thrifted and painted white. So. Many. Layers. Of. White.

While we’re on the topic I’ll tell you these striped jammies are also thrifted.

This cat has a nice little backstory. When I was in my second trimester, one of my grandfathers passed away in Connecticut (see his wedding picture in this post). We didn’t fly out to attend Pop Pop’s funeral because coincidentally we had already booked a trip to CT for a week and a half later. So when we arrived, the funeral had already come and gone but my mom had a bag of Pop Pop’s clothes she was going to donate after we went through them for anything we may like. I took two old, soft, polos - one orange and one blue. I brought them back to Minnesota and carefully turned them into this cat you see here. I was very nervous to mess up and ruin the fabric forever and knew I couldn’t just ‘wing it’ like I usually do (and often fail) so I purchased this cute cat pattern on Etsy. Pop Pop didn’t vocalize many strong passions or opinions, except that he absolutely loved his cat. In an additional homage to his time in the Air Force in the Korean War, there is an airplane on the back of the cat’s blue shirt.

I loved creating this little space bit by bit, usually by hand with a paint brush. The little mushroom and acorn paintings were finished literally two days before he was born! I love when art, even just simple decor for a baby room, means something. A connection to a story, a family member, or even just an interest. I hope one day Spencer will ask, “What’s that?” about the space around him and I can share all the reasons I made this space for him.


FREE PICTURES | to the best Halloween costume because I LOVE IT


FREE PICTURES | to the best Halloween costume because I LOVE IT

Here’s the thing. The amount of effort I put into our costumes every year FAR surpasses the amount of hype we’ve got for the actual night of Halloween. We don’t really do much..? But for that relatively low-key night, we’ve got RAD costumes. Honestly, I’m perfectly content doing our costumes JUST FOR THE SAKE OF RAD PICTURES.

So, I wanna start offering the same thing for you. Your awesome costumes deserve awesome pictures, not just an iPhone picture handed off to your neighbor before you go trick-or-treating! (Your neighbor will get his thumb in the photo ~ trust me) HERE’S THE DEETS!


Are you in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with a RAD family costume planned?! MESSAGE or EMAIL ME if you’re a FAMILY or COUPLE with a themed group of costumes!!! I’m going to choose my most favorite one and do a ONE-HOUR FREE PHOTO SHOOT of you guys in your costumes the weekend before Halloween!

Aaaaand if you’re just here to see some pretty pictures, here are our Halloween costumes from last season. TWO SWISS MISSES. :)

Follow along with all our costume adventures on the Insta! Or other blog posts here!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! | our costco sample lady + hotdog costumes that we can never top and I'm fine with that
KAYLEY+JAKE | if the Von Trapps really went to Switzerland