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August 2018

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My Online Photography Workshop

This is how I learned to edit my photos

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It is weird, this blogging thing. I feel like you are my friend, but would be creeped out if I said hey to you on the street. I have been reading your blog for a long time. I found you through photography somehow and you were kind enough to email me back when you were on vacation! I thought you were down to earth and real and that sense hasn't changed. I love how you write and I love your photos. I confess I don't understand why you are so honest with people you don't know, but I feel like I would lose a friend if you stopped. I read your blog with google reader so I don't comment on blogs. Just wanted to say that I feel the same way about this weird friend thing. Thanks for sharing your life.


I love reading your blog, getting inspired by pictures, learning how to take the ups with the downs, and basically just being entertained by your thoughts. Thanks for sharing.


I love you Karen! You're so kind and open and caring and real. And knowing you as I do - which is totally only through this crazy internet friendship, I know you didn't post this looking for anything in return, but I do want you to know that you are amazing! I love that I can send you emails when I take an awesome photo that I'm really proud of but don't really have anyone else to share it with that will really "get" my joy over it. I love that you take the time to respond even though I know you're swamped and even the kind words you sent me when we talked about my niece and her experiences (that you could totally relate to). I totally feel like you're my friend -even if only through the internet LOL and if I am ever in your neck of the woods and saw you on the street I would totally run up and give you a big huge hug and to me, it would feel like we were old pals who just happened to run into each other. In fact if I was in your neck of the woods, I'd probably try to find one of your local hangouts (like a hometown diner) and just park it there for breakfast, lunch and dinner just so I COULD nonchalantly bump into youe and be like "oh wow, Karen I'm so happy to just run into you here. And hi Cole, Courtney-Lee and Annie, I've heard so many great thing about you by the way your mom is like the most awesome person ever - you kids are so lucky to have a mom so cool!" haha but seriously, I TOTALLY would. Love you and all that share on this open book blog of yours!


I also love your blog. Love what God is doing in your life and that of your family. Love your encouraging words and sharing. And it is a weird friendship that I call you my friend from Oregon because I know you so well through your blog, but you don't know me. And it would be totally freaky if I said hello to you if I saw you on the street because I would totally feel like a stalker!!!
However, thank you for your friendship and your sharing. God bless you xx

laura j

i have been reading your blog for years ....can't remember how i came upon it but i feel that i know more about you and your family than some of my not so distant relatives! your blog is at the top of my list, my most fav blog ever! it's always great to see a new post -i think it's your openness (the good and the bad, the ups and downs) and honesty that keeps me coming back - when you don't post for long periods of time i stalk your blog because i want to know that all is ok in your world -thank you for being a blog buddy! from the bottom of my heart xo

Elizabeth B

HI Karen,
I'm really glad you posted this because I was starting to feel like a stalker. LOL
I have been around for a long time too. Now that I think of it, it's probably been 7 years? is that right?
I fell in love with your style because it suited me ike noone else's did when I first started scrapbooking and like others, I followed along to see what new products you had and what ways you would use them. ( It's funny because I still think of you as a scrapbooker although it just occurred to me that I haven't seen you post anything scrapbook related in a LOONNNNG time. I gave up scrapbooking 4 years ago. LOL ) I loved that you had a romantic style and you used Damask and shabby chic things and some of your products are still in my stash and still are my favourites, I can't use them up as I know they are the last of them. A friend of mine wrote to you and asked if you would scrapbook a page for my birthday as a surprise and you did and it is still one of my most cherished gifts. I thought, now how amazing is that, a "famous" scrapbooker took the time to make something for me? So I stuck around and read your stories and started a friendship with you too, although you didn't know it. I identified with your struggles as a single mom, I felt excited for you as your relationship with your husband grew, as you became a mom again...because I was going through similar things (single mom, two boys, blended family). And you were real. and I've said it before but it's worth saying again...the thing I love about you is that your flaws are human. We all have them but most people try to gloss them over with pictures or stories of their perfect families. Not you. (well your family pictures are pretty perfect lol) You have always kept it real, no matter the risk and I think that is very brave. I've always thought you were brave. I read your blog through Google reader too so I don't usually comment but I have read pretty much every post you've posted in the past 7 years and we've never met. GIven all of that though I would consider you a friend and I know you would have a mojito with me if we ever had the chance to meet. That's what I like about you. I'm sorry you don't know as much about me, I stopped writing in my blog a long time ago and have considered starting up again.
I'll send you the link if I do.
Thanks for everything Karen.


i love your blog! been reading for years!


And Thank You for sticking with it all these years! I get blue when you're in a dry spell!:)


I wish you lived next door :)

Rachelle S

Great post~ and LOVING the photo!!! Getting excited for the workshop! I liked the thought behind the post today because as a blog Reader (I have about 6 or 7 I check with frequency, yours being 1 of them) sometimes I feel like a stalker! LOL Checking to see what's new, so I'm liking the Friendship idea better than Rachelle the Blog Stalker : )


*wave* :-)


Gorgeous image of Annie! Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog and am always excited to see it pop up in my reader. :-)

Judy Webb

Hi Karen, Your friend "Judy Webb in Texas." I'm hear all the time, I do not comment for I am old enough to be your Grandmother!! Just know I am here, cheering you on, daily, wishing you encouragement. I know parenting is difficult but I admire how you approach it head on. And...I love looking at your photos. I've seen Annie grow from a baby. Keep your chin up. Love

Judy Webb

Yes, I know I used the wrong hear/here. LOL


I too started following your blog several years ago and it’s the first one I go to on my Google Reader feed. I love how down to earth you are and are willing to share all – both the ups/downs, good and bad periods of your life. You’re honest and real and it comes through in all of your writing. Plus your pictures are pretty amazing. I plan on still searching you out even when Google Reader fades away.


Thank you for this post. I sometimes feel a bit stalkerish when I post something on a blog written by someone I've never met, but who really does mean something special to me. I admire you and how you and Josh Downs are raising your family. I admire how important your faith is to your family, how you teach your children to be the kind of people their parents are, how you share your talents with others, how you inspire us to be better givers than we might have thought to be ourselves... Too mushy? Not between friends!

Kathy C.

I've been reading your blog for quite a while now from Canada. My girls are older, 21 & 24 and I know how fast their childhood goes. Honestly, everyone says it, and it's true. What I wouldn't give to go back and pay more attention to the little things even though I thought I was at the time. That's what I think your blog does. It is a precious gift to you and your family that can't be replaced. What I love about you is that you keep it real. What really shines through in your blog is your everyday gratitude. I love looking at your gorgeous pictures and the joy in your family gatherings. I look forward to your posts and hope you will continue. I will be smiling with your joys and praying for you in your times of struggle.


I have followed this blog for a quite a while and I don't think I have ever commented. I love looking at the beautiful photography and along the way I have kind of "fell in love" with your whole family. I keep following your journey because it is real. Never once has your blog made me feel less then, or bad about myself. I don't have kids and I am not married so I won't say that there is a lot about our lives that would be similar. But I do think that what is similar is that everyone goes through ups and downs and I love that you are honest about your ups and your downs. I am sorry I haven't commented in the past that there are many times that you have made my day. I will try to do a little better going forward. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


I have been reading your blog for about five years. I identify with you and Annie as my Tess has a 2/17/06 birthday.

Darn, I don't comment too much! I really should. I have taken your course, as has my friend Tracy - and we talk about you and your family every so often. We love your sense of being real, your faith, your imperfection, your honesty, your service/patriotism, your lovely, lovely family. As two single Moms, we feel Josh Downs gives us hope in men.

On a photographic note, I am digital scrapbooker and I often get comments about my everyday life photos, and how do I think of that or why do I do it? (They wish they did less posed.) I saw, well Karen Russell, of course - she inspires me. I want to tell that story for my daughter.

Thank you for sharing all this with us.


I love it here... I come by daily even though I don't always leave a comment. Your photography has been a go to for me for years for inspiration in mine. Your words for inspiration when I had very little. I always come back because you keep it real... whether you were feeling up or down, happy or sad, taking a break or blogging every day. The relationship with you and your kids, you and Josh Downs. You don't sugar coat. It's funny... or maybe a little creepy, but I have dreamed about you and your family. That I hung out one day and we shot images and talked and laughed. Haha! It was like being with family :) So anyway, without getting more stalkerish I will stop now. Haha :) One day I will be able to get in your class too. That is a definite bucket list check off I am hoping for!
Thank you for doing what you do. It's crazy how words or just a photo can touch someone or make the difference in their day ... Someone you don't know and may never meet.
So keep on keeping on :)


I'm one of those who've read for years and rarely commented (former student!) - thank YOU for sharing yourself with us. I'll try to comment more. :)

Lori Proctor

Hello Karen ,
Thank you for your blog which I love to read, I don't always leave you a note, but I want you to know that I'm always here. Love your pictures they make me happy and I love to read what you have to say. So thank you for just being you. Have an awesome week!!


Thank you for always being you. I rarely comment, but your blog is one of the very few I read. It's fun watching the kids grow up, and nice knowing my life is just as normal as most peoples, even when I think it's not.
Your writing is always like a conversation with a good friend, thanks for the conversation through the years.

Holly C

I love this! I'm one of your "lurkers", my best friend text each other when you write a new post, because we love your gorgeous pictures and kind words so much. :)

Shawn Girl

Thank you!!! I have been reading your blog for a couple of years, I know if we met we would be friends! I have never commented though.

Love your pictures, your stories, you committment to family, and to God! I love that you are human!

You have a beautiful soul...thank you for sharing!

jen r.

Lovely picture and beautiful words. Thank you for always sharing your heart.


I rarely comment, but read your blog faithfully. When Josh Downs was in Afghanistan, my heart ached for your family. I remember telling my family about his deployment and when he came home. When Ross moved away, my mother's heart was sad that you would be missing him. I love that you share your family through your amazing photographs. It's obvious that you guys totally love each other. I love that you share your faith. I think that is way cool. I love that you share the great and not-so-great times in your life. You are a gifted story-teller that reveals her heart through photographs and words. Thank you.


Oh Karen I look forward to reading your blog everyday, though I rarely leave a comment. I don't have google reader but I know your blog address by heart. You're one of those people I feel connected to, even if we haven't really met in person. I admire your photography, but most of all, I admire your honesty. You're a good and beautiful person, inside and out.

Tess S.

True Story:

One time I was describing something you wrote and started with "My friend was saying..." And had to back it up and correct myself. Cause truth be told you haven't a clue who I am. But I guarantee we'd be thick as thieves.

Shelley in SK

Hi Karen,
I am a Canadian blog 'peep'. I love your blog because you keep it 'real'. You show and tell about the good and the bad. I love that you are willing to put it out there...things in all our lives aren't always perfect, and it somehow makes it easier to cope with our own lives, when we know others have similar struggles, as well as similar joy in the everyday things. I guess it is about time I left you a comment. It's the least I could do! Thanks for sharing a bit of your life.

Sharon Clark

I don't leave a lot of comments but I have to tell you that I ALWAYS look forward to seeing what you and your family are up to!! I found your Blog when Annie was wearing those funky glasses and I have enjoyed your Blog ever since!


We are friends of sorts and we're the kind of friends that stay friends no matter how much time has past since they last spoke. You are one of those people who bring out the good in others. Thanks for being my e-friend!


hey there :)

nicole prather

i have been a blog stalker for many years. i thank you for your words and your amazing pictures. you have gaven me courage to delete my facebook and instagram. i feel like sometimes i am reading a book when i click on your blog. some people get starbucks some people drink beer some people watch tv to relax. i love reading your blog it is my relaxation time. to just be alone relish in the beauty of your pictures and read your words. sounds wierd. and when you take your haituses ( mispelled) i start thinking is this is the end of Karen's blog. What will I read now. You and Ali Edwars my two favorite blogs of all time. And I think it is just because I a picture horror !! And it is the fact that you can tell a story with your pictures without even saying a word. And that is what God has blessed you with. That natural ablility. Thank you for your honesty when it is needed. Thank you period.


Well, Nellie....I even have a nickname for you, so that's how deep our friendship goes!!! lol.

Reading your blog is like stopping by to check on a long-time friend. It's funny, I refer to you as "my friend in Oregon" all the time. That's just plain crazy, I know!! And I might have to go into therapy if you ever decide to quit, cuz that would be a sad, sad day for me and the rest of your cyber friends!

I guess reading your blog seems more real for me since I have met you in person and know you are as kind, funny, and genuine as you appear on here. And I just want to scratch my head when I hear you say you are "Socially Awkward"! That is so all in your head. You are the COOLEST and I love ya!!! Helga :)

Manon Keir

Love you Karen, when there is something on about Oregon (or the beavers) I always think of you and say to people I have a friend named Karen in Oregon.Crazy thing this cyber thing xxx


Hi Karen, I read everyday.....but don't comment often. I love reading about your family and your adventures. You guys are so cute.

Jennifer S

Love you too Karen....for years. You are more than a lovely blog with lovely photos. More than "just" a photography instructor. So blessed to have met you, so many years ago and extra blessed you created the Hometown Workshop opportunity. I'm feeling the love all the way across the country. :)


totally special photo! And duh- of course we're friends, bffo's right?



Lisa Adair

I'd say most days you make me feel a little more normal! :)
I may not comment often, but I read every. single. post. you write! sometimes twice, and love your photos.
And what do you mean, kind of feels like a friendship? Traditional is over rated! ha


well...I just happen to "love" you....and feel like it has been such an honor to have shared your life with you..shared your family..listened to your stories...and has been years for me....even before Josh Downs. Big hugs to you! Even though we did meet face to face at CKU in Provo....just for a few minutes... I can say..yes, I have met her "in real life", and yes, she is a "real friend". Hugs!


Hello friend!


I've counted you among my friends for many years. So nice to know that you kinda feel the same. :)


I've been reading your blog for years, but just been parade waving as I pass by. Here's a big thank you for inviting me to share your life.


I've also been enjoying your honesty, creativity and photography for years, but rarely comment. I admire and enjoy the warmth and humour you show through your blog. Thank you!

teresa b

I've been missing for awhile since my new job...but seems like these are the words I've been looking for. I truly have enjoyed your blog over the years. I shed a many tears..and caught myself laughing out loud. You give so much in such an unselfish way..and it's all just you. Thank you for all your raw and real as it needs to be...Keep on..keepin' on Karen Russell!! You Rock!!


HI Karen - I've been reading for years too - I think I found you through Jane Brocket's blog, Yarnstorm (as it was known then) as she'd listed you in her 'Top Ten Beautiful Blogs' - she was right!


You are such a good writer ( as well as photographer!) you're the best!! :)


Blimey, I feel like we are friends, having never met and living many thousands of kilometres apart! I loved taking your photography classes, and I love reading your blog posts. Thank you for being so honest about how life is:-)


karen! yours is my favorite blog and i always click on it first when i see a new post from you in my reader. i've been reading along for years now, from when my now almost 5 year old was an itty bitty baby when i took your class. we've since added our surprise #4... you always inspire me with your honesty, simple from the heart posts, and of course your wonderful photos. i'm so inspired by you that i'm too intimidated to comment! how's that for socially awkward? ;) anyway, just wanted to say i hope you'll please keep it up because i'd be totally blown away honored to count you a friend. so feeling like we're friends through your blog is pretty good too. :)


Yep... we're friends all right. We've never 'met', but still friends. Amazing and wonderful this world of ours. ♥


And Thank YOU for sharing your life with us!! It's just so fun to read about. One of my most favorite blogs ever!!!


Hey friend! I am so happy you are in my life. I have met you and spent time talking with you (Greece). I said hi to you on an airplane once as if I knew you. And you were so humble. You almost seemed thankful to see a friendly face on that plane. And shortly after that you were helping me to take a picture with my new camera. A life-changing moment really. You talked to me like we were friends - not student & teacher ... not fan & and celebrity blogger. You are warm and sweet and humble. I am thankful for you.


Hey there! Have been, reading your blog for years now and I can honestly say that I have enjoyed each and every entry. I love reading about your life and enjoy your photography. Dont ever stop, please. :)
Warm thanks from a wintery Cape Town.

Cathy k.

Been here for a very long time and always feel blessed that you let me, a stranger from the other side of the country get a glimpse of your life. I never thought when I was visiting a scrapbook designer's site that I'd be making such a long term "friendship." Over the years you have had me laugh out loud, cry along, cheer you on, wait out deployment to far away places (feeling blessed that the serviceman is there to protect our freedom, but worried that our loved one get home safe and sound is something I have done in my life too), admire your courage in being real and honest about you feelings. I appreciate that you're brave enough to tell it like it is and still find the silver lining. I'll keep visiting every day, checking in with my friend and keeping her and her family in my prayers because they've all touched me more than they'll ever know.

sasha farina

here's the 'parade style wave' for you.. i check your blog a few times daily. a little bit obsessive here.. just that I don't leave comments as often :)
thank you for keeping it real .. . . for all the crankiness and the not perfect moments you shared with us, for the nuggets of motherhood wisdom,
for the tips on what works and not, for being you.

from one sausage legs to another,
i love you Karen.



I've been stopping by for years, so here's a friendly parade wave :-)


I've been reading your blog for years! Thank you for sharing your life with us. Thanks for keeping it real. Reading your blog is sometimes the highlight of my morning! Thanks for being such an inspiration to me.


Hello from Québec Canada. I have been following you for years (when you were doing scrapbooking and Annie was about 2 years old). You are my reading pleasure every morning with my morning smoothie. You are funny, real and honest which is so refreshing. I also love your photos. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Merci !


thank you for all that you share :) I may not comment often...(like...never...) but love reading you and watching your stunning photos
thank you :)

Nicky from Okotoks

Have followed you for years Karen - love your work, love sharing your life and family and friends.
It so wonderful to understand and feel the things you go through, sometimes a bit different from what life brings us all - but it is wonderful to be able to reach out and know your friendship means the world to so many people and that you touch so many lifes.
I check in usually once or twice a day, now also checking in to my family on Snapshots of a Good Life which is bringing me back a true love of my life.
Love that life is normal and has ups and downs like I do. Love the giving person you are and watching your family grow and learn, it is wonderful to see your kiddies reach out and find their way in this world. Two of mine are now grown and out of the house and I am still amazed when I watch what amazing people they have become and I feel their dreams, their accomplishments and their sorrows. It is wonderful to watch your family grow and learn. Life is good.
Thank you for being you and giving your amazing gift of friendship!!
Love Nicky


This is a parade-style wave...I read every day yet do not leave comments. thank you for your posts.


Miss you!!!


Thank you for always sharing your words and beautiful pictures!


You have a lovely blog but more than that, you have a lovely soul. That's why I come by. I love your realness. I love the way you share the good and the bad. I love the way you capture the moments, especially the small ones.

Christine Mc

This is a post i needed to read! I regularly read about 15 different blogs (yours is at the top of my reader), but I very rarely comment. Well, I'm gonna have to change that. No more stalking for me!! Hope you have blessed day.

Denise W.

Your blog is such a favorite of mine...not only do I like to read about the places I have visited and lived, but I just love everything...funny, smart, wise, parenting ideas, spirituality, and your incredible photos.

christine weeks

I too am a long time reader, barely commenting. But you are one of my favorites, even though we never met. I love your honesty and sharing of your family life. This is me.....waving as I pop in each day! :)

Rachel Millington

Well thanks for giving me something to read when I'm drinking my coffee!!

Tonia Grant

I am definitely one of the silent but daily viewers and I so love your blog, photos, and inspiration. Waving all the way from Alabama! =)


Seriously? You're thanking US? We all keep coming back for a reason.... to laugh, to learn, to be inspired and to see ridiculously great pictures! Thanks for all YOU do and share with us! :)


Aw, Karen, such a nice blog post. Yes, I have followed you on and off for years. Way before Annie was even thought about. I have been one of those who gives you the queen's wave as I pass thru, but i do read what's going on with your life. So here's a wave as I pass by and a well done, friend. Yours, Sandy in Texas.


It' like "being in it to win it" as Randy Jackson says on Idol...I love rooting for you! You show all sides of you and how real you are. I love your family, admire your strengths and weaknesses, talents...YOU are a great person, one that I have had the pleasure of taking classes from in person and online. You have a lifelong friend in me chica.

PS: Thank you for turning me on to Tenth Ave favorite go to for making me feel good about life.


i am by nature an observer, and often do not have the words to comment. please know that i think if i ever met you we would be bff's! i'm waving from my little corner of chicago :)

Terri Garrett

I am not sure how I started reading your blog but have for years. I love your wonderful pictures and thoughts! You have a great family! God bless you!

Janet Knox

Karen, I'm one of those who has been here for a long, long time. Your blog is part of my every day. I've watched the kids all grow, you get married, move, and travel to all sorts of interesting places. I even stood by when you traded your Canon for a Nikon!

Your family is a reflection of mine, with a whole lot better photos!! Yes, I did take the Photo Workshop, but it did not turn me into a Karen Russell quality photographer. My fault, not yours. ;-)

Thanks, for all you share with us.

Amy Jacobs

Hi Karen,
I've been reading your blog for years and have loved reading all about your family adventures. I've sat on the sidelines for far too long and haven't commented. So sorry. I was a single mom too and was lucky enough to meet my prince charming about 8 years ago. He has since adopted my son and we are a happy little threesome down here in Atlanta. While reading about the Unplanned Plan last week, I thought "Gosh, I wish I could do that". I'm a planner too. Leaving the house without a plan would have driven me bonkers, but you guys made it look SOOOOOOOO fun. Next time you go, can I sneak into the back of the truck and go along for the ride? Just know that whether I comment or not (I plan to comment more) You always have a friend down here in the south. If you lived closer, I'd invite you over for some sweet tea and gossip. (Plus I make a killer banana puddin) :)


and thank you for writing and sharing so much of you! I check your blog everyday and do feel like you are my friend. I so hope to get to a hometown class if you continue for 2014!


Another long time reader but rare commenter here! I just wanted to let you know that like many of your other followers, yours is one of the first blogs I read when I see a new post! I appreciate how open you are about your life, and if you stopped blogging I would feel like I lost a friend. I love your photography and point of view, and am hoping that one day I will be able to take your class. Thank you for sharing yourself and your family with us all.

Jen Fike

Beautiful picture of Annie! I always enjoy reading your posts. I think I've been following you for about 6 years this spring. I came across your blog when I was pregnant with Boston, he will be 6 on May 3. I had just gotten my first DSLR and I fell in love with your pictures. I've learned so much from you. YOU were the one who has taught me how to capture beautiful pictures of my family. I'm not much of a writer so i envy the way you tell your family's story. I need to give up my fear of writing, and just start blogging! My kids will only be young once and I want to remember it...Thanks Karen for inspiring all of us and sharing your life with us. One of these times I'm gonna make it out to your workshop. I would really love to meet you and tell you THANKS! I love you Karen!


you are truly amazing.


Love the photo! Thank you for your continued friendship. You were there to offer words of encouragement to me throught the death of my father and I can never thank you enough for that. You have taught me not only about photography but also about becoming a better person. I treasure our friendship and wouldn't trade it for anything. I don't always leave comments but I am continually praying for you and your family and will continue to do so! Hugs


Big wave from Kansas! I love your blog. . . your photos, your words. I drive-by every single day . . wouldn't miss it :)


Beautiful! The photo and the post! And you too!
I was telling my other imaginary friend how if I email, you respond, and we've "chatted". She was surprised. We have both taken another photographer's workshop and I don't feel I can email her as freely and expect a response. I'm one of your biggest fans, because you are wise, funny, and friendly! I don't feel like it's a business arrangement because I have taken your class. It feels genuine.


Big wave here from Nashville friend! I've been with you for years and love reading about your ups and the downs. It makes me feel connected in some small way eve if you don't know me. Come visit Nashville some time!


I've followed you for YEARS..I think it's been 8 or 9...just around the time that I started scrapbooking. I've followed many blogs over the years but yours is the only I've stuck with, well that and Mish Mash's blog but I found hers a few years later. The reason why I keep coming back to yours is because you are so real, because you make me feel normal, make me feel that I will be redeemed one day despite my flaws. I started blogging again even though I don't know if anyone is listen but I really need to do something just for me. This past year has been a really rough one for me. Our youngest son was diagnosed with Epilepsy and then in March we found out he also has a rare form of Epilepsy and because it's such a rollercoaster ride I really feel like I'm floundering. Your blog keeps me going, keeps me doing something for myself because I try to sit with my cup of coffee and catch up on your blog and Mish's and just not think or worry for a little while. So Thank you! As weird as it sounds, it is a friendship thing and I hope it continues for many years!


I have been following your blog for years and years not sure how long. I love your photography and I love what you have to say. I don't always agree with what you say but I respect what you write and I do need to hear different perspectives so thank you.

You are to be commended for opening your heart to the world and sharing your experiences and perspectives so that we all can benefit. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I check everyday and am always thrilled when you have a new post (no pressure though).


Still here too Karen! Love reading your blog, having you as my friend (even if you're really more of a virtual one), and appreciate all that you do for us out here. :-) I am the one that met you at Jackson Creek Pizza a few years back, and ran into you again at one of the Women's Fight Night some time ago (I've been meaning to get back to one of those...). Anyway, God Bless you my dear. Tammie


Karen - though we've only met me once, I DO consider you a friend and you routinely "say something that makes me feel a little less lonely, or a little less crazy, or a little more understood, or a little more ok, or a little less down, or a little more beautiful." I appreciate your blog. I've learned so much from you. Thanks!

Sarah Edelman

Been following you for a number of years! I read your blog faithfully and hope to meet you in person one day! I am still crossing my fingers that "Hometown Workshop" in 2014:)


Karen, I've been reading your blog for several years now. I have gone from regularly reading dozens of blogs to just four blogs that I still follow, and your blog is still on that list. I admire your photography skills. I appreciate the glimpse into your beautiful family. I respect that you share your struggles as well as your triumphs. I enjoy you. Thank you for being who you are and for sharing yourself with us, my friend.


I am so thankful YOU blog because I am inspired every single time you post! You have such a REAL life and I can relate on so many of the things that go on! I am awed and in love with your photos-- so Thank you for Yapping at the wind! I love it!

Dawn Young

I think that the whole blog thing is cool/weird.
I have been reading your blog for years...I don't post much. I remember you redoing your scraproom and how my eyes tried to pick out all the details.

My words are not as nice or flow-ey as yours. I have read your blog and laughed and cried and thought that you were too nice or crazy or so funny I laughed out loud. I think that you are very down to earth and have the some of the same fears and dreams as the rest of us.

I have you on my favs and you are number one under the scrapbook blogs that I follow. I do realize that you have not posted anything on sbing in, well...forever. I hate when you don't post...I feel like a friend hasn't called me. I know so much about you and your kids and still would feel wierd if I saw you on the street to call out your name. Mrs. Russell??? Karen??? Anne's mom!!?? See...

Thank you for sharring...opening up the way you do. Makes me feel like some of my "uniqueness" is sharred by least you!

Dawn...currently the weird blog stalker!!

Paula S.

I don't know how long I have been following your blog, but I am a faithful reader. Your photography has a quality that I can not seem to pinpoint and it drives me nuts. I LOVE IT! When I found out that you were using Lightroom to edit your pictures and Erin's clean color I was so excited because I use LR too. I thought I was one step closer to figuring out what the magic is. Well, I have been editing in LR for a few years and I tried out Erin's Clean Color for LR, but I still don't have it yet. Anyhoooo...thank you for sharing your life and your gifts. I would really miss you if you stopped. (Sorry if that seems creepy - but you probably understand since you "do" this internet thing too!) :)

Kristi B

wave :)


I was chatting with a friend yesterday and started talking about something I read on someone's blog and I felt kind of lame talking about the blog like I actually knew the author (because if you follow someone's blog long enough you do feel like you know them...I probably know more about your kids likes and dislikes then some of my friends' kids). So anyway, thanks for your blog today pointing out that it isn't lame. Its meaningful. And no one gets embarrassed referencing an article they read in the Wall Street Journal, right. And what the heck is the difference?So no more feeling lame about blog reading! And cheers to your blog!


Hi Karen! I check your blog everyday and even though I hardly comment please know that your stories touch my heart! I laugh out loud, I cry, I share your stories with others. The way you are so real, it truly inspires me. Please keep doing what you are doing! I love your blog :)

Stacey from Texas Panhandle

Hey Karen, I just want you to know that I check your blog almost every single morning. What sets you apart from other blogs I read regularly is that you keep it REAL!!! The good, the bad and the normal. I can relate to so many of the topics you bring up!! I have learned many things from you! You inspire me weekly!!! I only wish I could do the same for you!!!

Thanks for sharing your life, your journey, your family and your wonderful photographs!!

And when I win the lottery I'm def. making a date to come see you!!

Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita

Thank you! for your knowledge, caring, sharing and so much more. And nope - definitely not one sided!

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