elisalou designs & photography » Columbus, Ohio photographer | child and family photographer | senior portrait photographer

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End of the year

I can’t believe how quick this school year went.  Tomorrow is Super Games and like clockwork I have two kids not feeling so hot.  So it’s early bedtimes and lots of rest so they can have fun tomorrow.

Fortunately after a week of rain tomorrow is looking dry.  

Blake is away being a counselor at 6th grade camp again.  I miss him but got this pic today

Here is hoping Sumer is around the corner.  I am so ready for long nights spent outside!

Hoover Dam


After we went to the Grand Canyon we decided to stop at the Hoover Dam on our drive back into Vegas.


The water was so blue and pretty


A nice pop of color in an otherwise brown landscape


It’s a pretty amazing structure. I can’t imagine what it was like to work on it.


Fact checking as usual


Lots of people died while working on the Dam, including a dog


I’m not sure the younger kids would have enjoyed it, lots of walking and steps.


But a great trip with the olders 🙂

Laura - I really just love your blog! It’s so unpretentious, and your pictures are amazing! I can feel the love you have for your family! ❤️

elisa - Awww thank you Laura 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day!

I hope you guys are having a great Mother’sDay!  My kids got me this card.

Last night I finished reading the book Me before you (sniff) and started a new one.

Austin and Taylor celebrated their one year anniversary

I spent this morning watching Cole’s lacrosse game


They are undefeated. He is liking it more this year- his fave part is still the hitting/checking. Which is so him.

Blake’s season is winding down



I feel like it flew by. Along with everything else I guess.

Has anyone figured out how to get these kids to not grow up so fast? If so please share.

The Grand Canyon

When Andy told me he had to speak at a conference in Las Vegas, he asked if I wanted to tag along. He suggested we rent a car and drive out to the Grand Canyon. A few days later I was chatting with Austin after school and he said, “I would love to go to the Grand Canyon”.
So of course I started thinking, Senior year, last time our schedules will match up, he had all of his AP exams done except one…. I texted Andy and said, “we should take Austin”.

So we start planning our trip and every now and then Austin would ask “is Blake going?” or “can Blake go?” At that point to add Blake to our trip was going to cost a pretty penny. And I mean pretty.

So we said no.

I think it was the day before we were scheduled to leave when I texted Andy and said “can we please bring Blake?”


Taking kids to the Grand Canyon is something people do all the time but I have to say straight up I am not sure I would have gone with the younger ones. Well Cole maybe but not Eva.


It was big, and beautiful, and a little bit scary.


There were plenty of areas where you could get a great view that had railings for protection


But there were also a ton of places (actually most places) where you could just walk out into the great wild with great big drop-offs. It made my knees feel weird just being watching people out there


Fortunately Austin and Blake had no desire to venture out there


These guys…. I got a couple pictures but my stomach was flipping around like crazy hoping he didn’t fall…



We googled “how many people die at the Grand Canyon each year?” 12 is the average in case you are interested.


We stayed in safe areas



Until we didn’t


We decided to hike on the trails- it started out innocent enough



But then the trail had no protection- we hiked a little bit down into the canyon but the way back up was tough. Austin wants to go back when he can camp down at the bottom. That is at least a two day deal.





I am so happy we got to take the older boys and spend time with them on their own. It really made the trip something special


So glad this guy joined us at the last minute


The Grand Canyon is something that I think should be on everyones bucket list. It was a pretty incredible sight.



But don’t go when it’s prime season- those trails aren’t very wide!!

Missy Stephens - Wow…. Incredible photos Elisa! So glad you all enjoyed such an adventure!!

Cilantro Salsa

When we lived in Dallas there was a restaurant called Luna De Noche that had the BEST salsa. After we moved away we always talked about how much we missed it.

Somehow Andy found out that you could buy a calendar from them that had a lot of their recipes on it. One of them being the salsa.

Um, yes please!!!

We have been making it every since. We usually split it in half and freeze part of it and keep the other half in the fridge. Last time we went to Florida we threw the frozen one in the cooler and took it with us. It’s so good you guys.

My kids have always snubbed their nose at it because it is green-ish. But tonight both Blake and Cole tried it and loved it- even though it has a bit of a kick. (which you can kind of control if you choose).

Anyway- thought I would share because you guys might just love it as much as we do!


Photo by we heart food

Cilantro Salsa
2 32-oz cans Whole Peeled Tomatoes
3 jalapeño peppers
5 bunches of Cilantro
2 tbsp granulated garlic
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp black pepper

Boil the Jalapenos until tender. Drain. Remove the seeds and membranes.
Remove and discard the stalks off one bunch of the cilantro, then coarsely chop the leaves and and throw them in the food processor. I usually do two batches splitting the recipe in half each time. It’s super easy and super yummy!!