The Year of the Squish: Our Adoption Story Part 3


So I left off the story in Part 2 (click here to read!) with Brian holding our daughter for the first time. I can freeze that memory in my mind and remember every detail.

I really don’t know how to proceed with the story at this point, because as much as I would love to tell you that we spent the afternoon playing and laughing and crying…it was actually probably one of the weirdest, hardest days I have ever lived through.

I want to first of all say, that I want to be honest about the facts of how difficult the next 2 weeks was. I was in no way prepared for how complicated and emotionally intense it would be to transition EJ from her foster home to our home. It’s not something you can prepare for, there is no manual or book that can lead you through this process. You have to remember as you read that adoption is a team effort, that you can’t isolate the child or children from the influence, jurisdiction, and attachment of foster parents, foster siblings, case workers, and anyone else on their team. (In our case, this includes a pretty large group of doctors and specialists too!) Everyone’s experience is going to be different, and I hope that what we learned and what we experienced during this process can help others maybe go through it a bit more gracefully then we did.

And so Brian held his daughter for the first time and we both just looked at her like we have never seen a baby before, and we all sat down in the living room for a chat. Me, Brian, Christina, Fran, and foster mom. Without missing a beat, foster mom launched into a lengthy explanation of Emmi’s medical history, her past ER visits, her daily perils, and all the worst-case-scenario information. I grabbed my ipad and started taking notes, because…WHAT IN THE WORLD IS HAPPENING AND WHAT AM I DOING HERE. I’M 12 YEARS OLD AND I’M TRYING TO CONVINCE YOU ALL THAT I CAN DO THIS. 

It was a weird way to meet my daughter (whom I had not gotten to hold yet at this point). It was a very Anne of Green Gables moment where I had made castles in the sky about this experience and it turned out very differently

So, I did finally get to hold my Squish. She was kind of confused about what was going on, but was content to just be held and look at everyone with those huge eyes. Then I was told that I was holding her wrong. Ok cool, I just messed up this very magical moment by holding my medically fragile daughter wrong. Ok. Great. I don’t even know what else I can say about that. Squish, if you are reading this now as a teenager. You know we are good. I was super happy to hold you and look at you and I just kind of tuned out everything for a while and looked at you. Also, I will still call you Squish, just maybe not in front of your friends. 

Meanwhile, the stream of information never stopped. So much information. So much to process. I think it lasted about 2 hours. Meanwhile our case worker Fran had to leave, but promised to be in touch and help us along. Fran is the greatest, and we love having her in our life! She was our fierce advocate during this process, and she’s definitely someone you want on your side.

Finally, we had a chance to kind of relax more and ask questions about her daily routine and how she liked to sleep and how to feed her and all that. This was a welcome relief from the flood of medical information, not gonna lie. EJ kind of perked up and we got to see her laugh and giggle and just be a squishy 6 month old baby. This is the first photo I ever took of her, and I got to send it to all my family that day. IMG_2747That smile made this day a ton better. We were in love.

We spent the afternoon getting familiar with her life with her foster family, and we were able to really connect with the foster parents by telling them about our own journey up to this point. I told them that EJ was already covered in the prayers of our family, friends, and church…and that we had a beautiful community just waiting to welcome her home and help us care for her. I could see foster mom visibly relax, and with tears in her eyes she told me how much she loved EJ. Squish, if you are reading this as a teenager, know that you were loved deeply by this family. They brought you home from the hospital, saw you through many dangers, and saved your life. They will always be a part of you. 

The next 2 weeks were a blur. Christina (EJs case worker) wanted us to be absolutely sure we could handle her medical needs, so we drove an hour away almost every day for two weeks to do bonding visits and go to doctor’s appointments. It was so exhausting, and we often didn’t know what we were supposed to do or where to go until the last minute. Brian still needed to work, and I was frantically trying to get our home ready for a baby. My best friend drove here from Georgia and helped me clean the house and get ready to bring EJ home. My sister ran around and organized gifts and got me a pool pass for the summer. People started dropping off diapers and clothes. It was insane.

During that time we brought EJ to our house for two overnight visits. The first one, we kind of sneaked her in and didn’t tell anyone but a few people. During these visits she met her Auntie Apa, Uncle Twent, and Auntie Wissa for the first time! Oh, and also Lucy. (Apryl is my sis, Trent was our housemate and our dear friend, and Elissa is my bff)

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And so we slept little, drove alot, and fell in love with our little Squish.

About halfway through the transition process, Brian and I decided to get away for a night and go downtown to spend the  night in a hotel. It was our “babymoon”-our last chance to get away by ourselves for a while. It looked like it was going to be a few weeks before we could bring baby girl home, so we grabbed this one chance. It was a gift from God, because things got suuuper intense after that.

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Our downtown getaway. Also the same day as the Ironman competition so getting to our hotel was basically impossible without the help of some of Raleigh’s finest.

We got word the next day that EJ was sick and that we were to meet up with her and her foster mom at the pediatrician’s office. So our little babymoon was cut short, but we were grateful for it. There were and still are concerns about EJ’s kidneys, so they wanted to make sure she didn’t have an infection. During the visit, I spiked a fever and started feeling really unwell. We had just decided that EJ would come home with us that  night for a visit so we could experience what is was like to watch over her and get her through a sickness or infection. Brian then had to take ME to the urgent care and make sure I wasn’t sick with something I would give to EJ. The doctor took one look at me and said he didn’t think I was sick, I was just really really really stressed. When we told him our story, he lit up and said “I was adopted!” He got it, he was kind, and he was actually from our same town and was working the clinic that day randomly. (Looking back, I’m pretty sure that me and Ej were both sick with a little virus…and that we probably picked it up at the doctor’s office, and that the stress wasn’t helping us fight it off.)

So, after some drama with lots of people trying to make decisions and lots of emotions involved, we took a sick Bonnie and a sick EJ home to our house for another overnight visit. I’m indebted to the foster mom for teaching me how to pack a hospital bag. She was stuck at the hospital with EJ one time during a snow storm and had nothing with her and no one could bring her anything. She always had a “go bag” in her car from that point on. So that night, I packed a hospital bag just in case and we all went to sleep. Early the next morning, we realized that something might be wrong, and we were instructed to take her straight to the ER. Here is where I nearly had a panic attack. Up to that point, I had never been in the ER before that I could remember. I hate hospitals (though now I’m super comfortable at our Children’s Hospital and Clinics). I was being thrown waaaaay outside my comfort zone on so many levels, and at this point I thought it would break me.

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Emmi and DaDa at the ER

That was the longest morning of my life. I was sick, Emmi was sick, and we were stuck at the ER because it was taking forever to get an ultrasound done. Thankfully, she was ok and we actually got some good news about her kidneys. I’m so glad we had that experience, but at the time it really shook my confidence. Emmi and I went home and were sleepy and miserable together, while poor Brian actually had to go to work for the rest of the day.

I could probably ramble on and on about those days. They were days of intense spiritual battles- you could feel the war being waged around our family. We were simultaneosly so happy and so fearful and doubting. I was often just paralyzed by the fear of the unknowns in Ejs life. We had to have a serious conversation with Fran about the possibility that we would not get to see Emmi grow up. We had to decide that she was worth the risk. She was. She is. That was always true in our hearts. Always. Fear tried to make us stumble and made us second guess ourselves, but God was already writing our story and knitting our family together. No papers or people or doctors’s guesses or bloodwork or ultrasounds could say or do anything against his plan for us. God was unshakeable in this, and always has and always will be.

So let’s skip to the good part. The part where Brian came home from work on a Friday afternoon and we decided to go see a movie. We were so weary. We had been going back and forth with our team about our actual “coming home” date and nothing had been decided. Everything was ready to bring our baby girl home, we were just waiting. We figured a little distraction would be good, and it looked like it would be the next week before we got any answers.

Then there was a text from Christina. Brian froze and looked at me for confirmation about what it said. “Does she mean she wants us to move EJ tonight? This was not the time to miscommunicate over text message, so Brian asked her to clarify.

“Congratulations, it’s a girl” she said.


We grabbed Lucy, got in the car, and posted this photo for all our family and friends to see.

IMG_2871With this caption: “WE ARE GOING TO PICK UP OUR DAUGHTER RIGHT NOW! We are bringing her home TONIGHT and never letting go. Thank you Jesus!”

And so tomorrow we celebrate our 1 year Family-Versary. God’s timing is perfect, his gifts are so good.

There is more! Part 4 is coming soon!

(I have been walking down memory lane a bit on my Instagram account. You can see the Instagram feed right over there ——–> on the right side of the blog, and you can follow me @iambonnieb to see a bit more of the story. If you don’t use instagram on your phone or tablet, you can see my photos with this link

You can also see these posts on my Facebook page here: Bonnie B. Photography on Facebook

The Year of the Squish: Our Adoption Story Part 2


Oh wow, I am lame. I promised Part 2 would be last week and then I just got caught up in stuff and more stuff and deciding last minute that working is not fun and that me and Emmaline should go to the pool instead. You can also blame my brother for getting married on the same day we closed on our new house. It’s pretty funny to sit here and edit his winter wonderland wedding photos while it’s 90 degrees outside. That experience is definitely a whole other blog post! The moving to a new house with a toddler experience should be wiped from my memory and we shall never talk about it henceforth.

Part 2: We meet the Squish.

As you well know from Part 1 (click here to read!) we got THE CALL on a Wednesday and were told that we would get to meet baby girl on Friday. My last day of school (thursday) was a COMPLETE blur and I smiled blankly at all the parents when they asked me if I was teaching the class again next year. (Can I just stop here and talk about how much I love my students’ families? Some of the moms and dads have become dear friends, and they have been so supportive. There is no place like TCK.)  At the end of the day I looked very dramatically at the 3 ladies who knew what was up and then RAN THE HECK OUT OF THERE. I laugh now, because the other teachers were probably super confused about my behavior. Whatever, they love me. If I let them, they would spoil the Squish rotten and ruin my life allowing her to run wild and eat candy and ice cream all day and let her stay up til as late as she wants.


We were told by our case worker that on Friday, we would meet with baby girl’s case worker first, chat with her a bit, and then see if it worked out to go over to the foster family’s house to meet the Squish. No big deal. We were just going to meet our DAUGHTER and somehow convince all these people that they made the right choice in choosing us as her parents.

So on Friday we drove the longest hour of our life to a little town where we would meet “Christina” who had watched over Emmaline since she was born. Our case worker “Fran” was having car trouble, so instead of having Fran with us to tell us WHAT IN THE WORLD WE WERE SUPPOSED TO DO…. we kind of had to fend for ourselves at first. We navigated the perils of the DSS facility and finally somehow made it back to Christina’s office. I liked her immediately, at first glance she was friendly, competent, and passionate about her job. She doesn’t play around, and I loved (and still love) that she was very honest with us in a kind, straightforward way. In so many words, she didn’t mess with our heads or hearts with the typical Southern passive aggressive stuff. I could tell that Emmaline was special to her, and that she was anxious to see her settled in a loving home. She sat us down and started talking to us about Emmaline’s medical conditions.

See, this is where it got complicated. This is where a “normal” adoption placement became a commitment to a child whose health was compromised, and who might spend a ton of time in the ER or admitted to the Children’s Hospital. This was when the words we read on a bewilderingly long profile became more real and more scary. This is the part where I can recall the absolute terror I felt at some points in this process.

Christina explained to us that there were 3 main issues when Emmaline was born. First, she was born at 32 weeks and was considered a preemie. Second, that she was born positive for cocaine, and third, that she was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Beckwith-Weidemann Syndrome. (click here to read about BWS)  The complications resulting from all 3 of these issues meant that even though she was in decent health on a daily basis, she was in danger of having serious health issues-especially as pertained to her lungs and kidneys. She had been admitted a couple times, and had several ER visits in her history when we met her at 5.5 months old.

So, Christina gave us time to ask questions and try to process the new information, and when Fran arrived we made a plan to visit baby girl. We had to wait a while for the foster mom to be home with the kids, so Christina suggested we get lunch.

Get lunch? Get LUNCH? Eat food?

This woman is insane. I’m about to meet my daughter and you want me to eat at Wendy’s for GOODNESS SAKES.

Again, small town…so limited options. Thankfully I like Wendy’s and it was one of those newly renovated ones. We walked in, and we were so giddy and happy and scared. I wanted to stand up and shout DON’T YOU GUYS EVEN KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE??!!

We ate something…I guess. Then we took this picture outside Wendy’s so we would always remember what a weird, funny, scary day it was.


And then we drove to the foster family’s home.

We pulled up, got out of the car, and the lady who met us cheerfully in the driveway was holding a tiny, squishy little brown-eyed baby girl. She invited us inside, and I suddenly forgot how to walk or put words together. This little baby was looking at us with the BIGGEST EYES EVER and she had the flattest little head. It was so flat you guys. After a million years, the foster mom asked who wanted to hold her and my very own BRIAN HORTON stepped up and grabbed her. (Are we surprised at all that Daddy is a rockstar and it’s all about Daddeee Daddooo Da Da all day long until he comes home from work every day? Now you know why. )

And so we laid eyes on our baby girl for the first time, and Brian held her and looked at her like he had always known she was going to be his Squish. And I looked at them and I was in awe that he was holding our daughter.

Stick around for Part 3!

The Year of the Squish: Our Adoption Story Part 1


Last night, a very tired and emotional toddler cried her way upstairs to bed after a long day of well…being a toddler. She’s a pretty typical 18 month old with dreams of endless snacks, chasing the dog, and running wild and free across the church gym. She’s our Squish, our Emmi Boo, our Princess Cupcake, our Baby Girl, our Emmaline Jane. Today we celebrate the 1 year anniversary of THE AWESOME PHONE CALL that brought the Squish into our lives. This date marks the beginning of our first Family-Versary celebration, so I thought it was a good time to fulfill my promise to actually sit down and write out the whole crazy story. Some things are left out-things that are for her to tell when or if she wants to. The conversation about how much of our story to tell has been ongoing for the past year. We have finally settled on this one truth: It is God who wrote this story for our family, and ultimately it is for his glory and for our good. We hope it is for your good as well, so here it is!

May 21, 2014

It was the day before the last day of school at the preschool where I taught 2 and 3 year olds. Teachers, you know….you just know. I was ready for school to be over, I loved my kids, and I was ready for summer. I also knew that a really important meeting happened the day before, and I was wondering if maybe we would get word sometime that week about whether we had been chosen or not. We had been waiting 3 years to adopt, and we were tired and discouraged and unsure if we were still on the right path. A couple weeks before, we had been sent a profile of a ridiculously cute baby girl with pages and pages of information about her rare medical condition. We told our case worker that yes, we wanted to be considered as her adoptive family….and also decided that if we were not matched, then we would quit for a while and regroup. (I don’t know how I feel about admitting that we were just DONE…but there it is.) This profile was different though, because unlike the other profiles that came across our screens, this one was really well-written, and ACTUALLY had a date on it telling us when the adoption placement committee was going to meet and choose the family they thought would be the best fit. Often, we would submit our interest, and then never hear word about the kids again. (Let me be clear, this is not the fault of our fantastic, amazing, superhero case worker. It’s just the byproduct of a huge system with lots of work to be done and not enough people to do it.) We were relieved to have a date and a promise that we would get word. It’s hard to explain how much power is in just knowing these kids through their profiles. You wonder if they are your sons and daughters, you read their (often) heartbreaking stories, and you worry about them and whether they are finally in a forever home. And so, this little squishy baby girl with her tongue hanging out and a gigantic goofy grin was on my heart that morning on the day before the last day of school.

I watched my director and friend Amy walk down the hallway with the school phone in her hand and a wide-eyed look. My heart basically jumped out of my chest when she handed it to me and told me that there was a call for me. This was actually kind of weird, because my case worker knew to call my on my cell…but for some reason that day she called the preschool phone instead. I knew it was our case worker before I even spoke to her. I felt the world changing around me already, as I put the phone to my ear and quickly asked Amy to go watch my class. I sat down in a chair, and I heard the voice of my case worker saying “Congratulations! You’ve been chosen!!”


I have no idea what she said next, I just kept saying “I have to call Brian, I have to call Brian” and I did, and I choked out the words to him as best I could. I told the best guy in the world that we had been matched, FINALLY!

Then, I called my mom and my dad and my sister and brother and my best friend and I choked out the words that finally, FINALLY it was our time. I ran back down to my class and hugged my assistant Rosemary and Amy and told them I would be taking a year off because I had to be a mom. I love that these two special ladies were physically there to share in that moment with me! They are priceless, and they are still here as the best supporters and the biggest fans of the Squish. We told our assistant director Tanya, and then kept it a secret from the rest of the staff.

That. Was. So. Hard.

Sorry guys, I hope you still aren’t mad at me for that. ❤ 

Meanwhile, Brian was at work trying to process it all. (I kind of always dreamed that we would be together when we got the call. Boo.) He put down the phone in shock, turned around and looked at his assistant Leah, and said “That was it, that was the call! We’ve been matched!” He got to share the news with his two awesome coworkers, tried to work a bit, gave up, and then decided to just go home. He got on the phone and called all his family members and shared the news all the way home on his 45 minute commute.

We both got home later that afternoon and finally remembered to call our case worker back at some point! Oops. We got word that we would get to meet Baby Girl just two days later on Friday. TWO. DAYS.

And so we met our daughter two days later. Our daughter. Our Emmaline Jane.

(Stick around for Part 2!)

Now is the Start


I feel that familiar “I’m such a failure at blogging” feeling as I just looked at my last post from OCTOBER 2014. Granted, there has been tragedy and upheaval and sadness and joy and stress and traveling all stuffed into this 5 month silence. There is a giant lump in my throat as I try to type words about losing both my paternal grandparents 49 days apart. The holidays were tough and joyful and fun and somber all at the same time. We just bought our first house, and I’m literally having regular nightmares about it. My little brother recently got married to his perfect match, and I smile and laugh out loud as I edit those photos. Our little Emmaline Jane is growing and talking and learning and defying the odds every day. YOU GUYS, SHE IS SO HEALTHY! There are more words to say about her, and I am working on writing our story. She needs me to write it, and every day I become more sure that God wants us to be very vulnerable and share the story he wrote for us. The photos above are from Easter Sunday, and like every other poor child in the Southern United States….she was forced to take photos outside instead of being allowed to eat and take a nap. It’s a long and glorious tradition. Look at those curls! We didn’t know they existed until the good old North Carolina humidity set in last week. The dress kills me, and she loves her disco shoes and the way they throw sparkles on everything. She’s a mess. I love every bit of her.

I opened an Etsy shop, and I’m still doing sessions and weddings and events! Running a small business and taking care of a family is a hard balancing act, and I’m ok with working less and pouring energy and creativity and love into fewer sessions and events. Many of the people already on the calendar for 2015 are those who have stayed with me for years! I love getting calls and emails and texts from clients who have become friends. They are the heart of Bonnie B. Photography and I could not stay at home and watch my little girl grow up without their loyalty and support. It’s an honor to watch their children grow up, to document their memories, and to be a tiny part of their family history.

I’m dreaming up new ideas and projects! The need for foster families and adoptive families in the US is so great, and I’m looking for ways to advocate and share and hopefully use my words and any influence I have to encourage families to bring home these sons and daughters. I’m also hoping to branch out and help families preserve their memories by offering a photo archiving service. It’s hearbreaking to sort through a loved one’s belongings and find photos that we will never know the story behind. I would love to help families tell those stories, preserve them, and have a family narrative to treasure and read and look at and show to their children and grandchildren.

Well, that is a random assortment of what I have been up to! How about a song?

This song is one of my favorites from A Fine Frenzy. The lyrics are all about a fresh start and renewal and pushing forward. I love the line that says “Unafraid you can name your scars.” You can watch the video if you want! Thanks for being a pal and reading all this.

Bonnie B.

Stuff I Like or “High Fives”


I’m terrible at titles, so whatevs. This is STUFF THAT I LIKE and HIGH FIVES TO ALL!

Before we begin, I solemnly swear that this will not turn into a mommy blog. I am a mom, it’s awesome, no denying that. Being a mom is not my one and only. I like stuff that is not baby-related, and apparently even though I was supposed to check my interests at the door when the Squish rolled into my life…I’m a rebel and I refuse. There are some awesome baby-related items that make our lives easier, more colorful, or have helped the Squish so I will feel free to mention and adore them along with my latest food obsession.



I love reading, but the days of sitting for hours and devouring a long book are kind of over. It’s all good, because I can now listen to those really long Lord of the Rings-type epic 900 pagers and get to tune out the 12 and a half chapters where they slowly and painfully describe ancient swordmaking. I’m sure there are lots of people out there (cough: Husband) who are spellbound by those descriptions, yet I feel no shame for not listening to the boring parts and swooping back in when the best buddies go out adventuring together and save the world. I’m currently listening to the 3rd book in the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. Each book is roughly 25 hours long. Yup. That’s twenty-five. Hours. This series is really fun to listen to, and Brian and I actually talk about these books in depth like REAL ADULTS.  (even though he already finished the series on his commute, yet still attempts to talk to me about these books as if he doesn’t know how it ends.)

2.) Skiphop Water Bottle

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BABY ALERT! If you don’t care…just scroll right by. The Squish was taught by our awesome feeding specialist how to drink from a straw at like 7 months old. I then became obsessed with finding her the perfect water bottle with a straw. She loves the hedgehog, they are $6.99 a piece, and you can get them at, Target, or Baby’s R Us. It’s possible that we named it “Hedgie” and she does a little dance when we give it to her.

3.) Ipad Mini

The mom in me is like “MAKE ALL THE THINGS ABOUT BABIES” and I’m trying you guys, I’m trying. I need to work sometimes, so maybe sometimes I cue up Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on the Ipad mini, set it somewhere in front of the Squish, and see how much work I can get done in 26 minutes. It’s also awesome for traveling, since I can download The Proposal and watch it in the car and not bother the husband while he drives. This is how we like it. I don’t bother him, he doesn’t mention my slight infatuation with Ryan Reynolds. It also fits in my purse…and NO I haven’t forsaken my purse and thrown all my belongings into the diaper bag. The very idea.

4.) Trader Joe’s Popcorn with Herbs and Spices

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It’s $1.99 for a bag and you can eat it in the car on the way home from TJ’s with zero guilt. Can I make herb popcorn at home? Yes. Does it taste as good as TJ”s? No.

Get some. You won’t regret this decision. Actually, do what I do and just buy 2 or 3 bags.

Apparently they sell it on Amazon now.

Edit, as I was doing my final edit of this post, the Husband brought me a bowl of this delicious snack. Keeper? Yes.

5.) The Honest Co. Diapers

BABY ALERT! If you don’t care…just scroll on by.

We were in a fight with Target diapers. They turned on us. It was not pretty. We had to go out of town unexpectedly, all the cloth diapers were dirty, and the disposables we had were basically toxic to her. I spent the money on a box of the Honest Co.  expensive diapers, hoping they would help the Squish with her ish. They did. The lovely people at Honest sent me a super awesome coupon and I got a bundle of diapers and wipes for suuuuuper cheap. A bundle includes 6 packages of diapers and 4 packages of wipes, and you save over $20 when you subscribe to the bundle. This is a fantastic fit for us, since we cloth diaper at home and use disposables at night and when we go out. These are the gentlest diapers and wipes, and the designs are super freakin’ adorable. This company is for real, and for us it is worth the investment to have products that we know are safe and gentle. If you want to save $10 on your first order, click here! 

6.) Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

I crave this soup. It has a chicken broth and coconut milk base and it tastes way different than you imagine. It almost has a cheesy taste to it, and it’s imperative that you get fresh basil to put on the top. Make a ton, freeze it, and hoard the leftovers. It’s one of those recipes that tastes a million times better the next day, especially when you mix in the leftover rice and just let it sit. I’d imagine that it would pair really well with millet too. We added sausage to the leftovers last week and it was ah-mazing.


What are you high-fiving lately?


Bonnie B.

I’m Back!

Excuse me while I dust off the Bonnie B. blog and remember how to write posts! Wow, I mean wow. So much has happened in that silent period since my last post. We have one happy, squishy, hilarious, loud, special, smart 11 month old ruling our world right now. I wish this post was full of photos of her. (Trust me, I have gigs and gigs of photos on my hard drive and I’m constantly backing up my iphone to make more room!) Brian and I are discussing how we will handle online exposure, and since the adoption will be finalized any day now, we will probably wait a bit until she is officially a Horton. Crazy times, God is so surprising in how He works out the glorious details.

Many of you have asked if I’m still doing photography, and the answer is Yes! I took the summer off (though I still did the sessions already on the books) and I’m back behind the camera! Juggling mom life and wife life and small business life and church life is quite the interesting thing, but we are slowly making it all work out.

I recently did a session with the sweetest senior girl, have I mentioned how much I LOVE senior portrait sessions? So much freedom to really take some risks and make the session unique to the client. Mary and her mom contacted me through the brilliant Angey Price, and we scheduled a face-to-face consultation to chat about who Mary is and what kinds of things bring her the most joy. We ended up in a super fun (secret) location and Mary brought along her vintage typewriter. I was basically in heaven. Here are a few of my favorites, and stay tuned for a full post of Mary’s session!


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Our New Summer Jobs

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We are pleased to announce an addition to our family through the blessing of adoption.

She is coming home next week!

We can’t wait for you to meet the  happiest, squishiest baby ever!

She is a gift.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

(More details soon!)

Brian, Bonnie, and Lucy

(photo cred goes to the amazing Angey Price, thank you for helping us share the news!)


Photography Classes with Bonnie B.


I had a lovely time this morning with a sweet couple who wanted to really learn how to make their cameras work for them. My classes are fun, practical, and there is always coffee and a snuggly dog to play with. Need a last-minute gift? You can pay online and I will send you a printable gift certificate!

Email me for more info!

Bonnie B.

Brent + Nina Preview //Wake Forest Wedding Photographer

Brent and Nina are Married!

I had the very awesome privilege of documenting this great and glorious day. The weather was gorgeous, the bride was gorgeous, and the groom couldn’t quiet smiling.

It was pretty special to be there to document the new beginning for this amazing little family.

Here’s a little preview of Brent and Nina’s wedding, I can’t wait to share more!

I’m off on a vacation next week (Praise the Lord!) so I wish you a very Happy Easter!

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Friday Favorites: Duke/Ogburn Photobooth Fun!


This past Saturday I had a blast partying with the guests at Ethan and Casey’s wedding reception! I’ve known the bride’s family since I was in high school, so I was so so happy to book this event last-minute and put together a photo booth for their reception! The photo booth remains a fantastic way to keep the party going at your reception, and once you get a couple brave souls to get the fun started at the photobooth….well you end up with delightful images like these! If you were a guest at this wonderful reception, head on over to and check out all the images! Use the code DUKE329 to get 15% off your print or digital download order (plus shipping!)



Congratulations Ethan and Casey! You are so blessed to be surrounded by friends and family who love and support you.

Bonnie B.

Here are some amazing vendors who made the day a success!

Trevor Smith Productions —
Lauren Winstead Photography —
AAA Entertainment (DJ) —