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George’s 1st Birthday Party

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Excited to finally share a selection (though rather long) of our little man’s first birthday party! I thoroughly enjoyed every detail, smile, sprinkle and smash of cake!

Special thanks to all of our family and friends who came and celebrated George’s first birthday. Your love and support during our first year as a family has meant so much!

Cheers to your first year George! We love you more than we thought possible and are privileged to be your parents!

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  1. Qmb

    Great jarb… These are super

Baby Derkin #2

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We are excited to announce that Baby Two is coming mid November! We are looking forward to growing our family and snuggling our sweet #2 soon. #BabyDerkin (George) isn’t quite sure what to make of this announcement but is committed to rocking the role of Big Brother and @derksworksdog is still in shock and potentially denial!

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Thoughts on Father’s Day


I always grew up thinking that Father’s day was about the dad. Now that I’m a dad and celebrating Father’s day, I am overwhelmed understanding that I wouldn’t be a dad without my amazing son, I wouldn’t know what fatherly goals to aspire to without the kind and generous examples of my dad and father-in-law, and I would surely be a straight up dad-tastrophe without my amazing wife.

I have a long way to go on this journey of fatherhood, I know there will be twists and turns in the road, unbearable tears and unspeakable joy. Through it all I know two things to be true; I know that I will never be able to live up to the calling that God our Heavenly Father has set before me and I know that He will constantly equip, challenge and encourage me to try. 

Happy Father’s Day, to the ones that make dads dads.


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“Forward to the far horizon; Rise as men, be strong” – Hall S. Derkin

  1. Debra Meyer

    Beautiful Benjamin! Love the quote from Hall at the end! It has been such a blessing to see you become a father and watch you embrace it with gusto, humility, perseverance and so much love! May the Lord continue to bless you on this amazing journey! Love you! Mom M ????

Dads Are Rad – Father’s Day 2016


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I can’t speak from personal experience as to the feelings that go along with being the father of a bride or groom at a wedding, but I can tell you that I’ve seen a lot of love in the relationships of fathers to their sons and daughters. I’ve seen the pride in my wife’s eyes as she recalls the stairs and long walk down the aisle with her dad, I’ve seen the tears of joy in a father’s eyes as he recounts his little girl’s antics on the playground through to the beautiful woman she’s grown to become,  I’ve seen the slow dance cheek to cheek and the tears of gratitude that form as a daughter expresses her understanding of what a good husband should be because she’s seen it first hand. A dad listens, protects, admires, and gives all that he can, because he is made of love (and also probably some saw dust, grit, and a little beer… if we’re being honest). Dads are rarely perfect and often have trouble expressing themselves in words, but when push comes to shove we know that dad isn’t just the guy that’s there to shove that other guys back for us, he’s there to teach, love, and help us in every way that he can. From new new dads to old dads, or even dad’s dad or that guys that was like a dad, we want to say thank you. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to witness your loving vulnerability and your remarkable strength. Happy Father’s day.


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Wedding Playlist \\ Picking The Right Music

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We’ve all been to a wedding that was beautiful, full of life and great conversation, the food was fantastic, and the cake spectacular but the second the DJ told you to hit the dance floor, you could feel the room deflate because he decided to start the night off with a song possessing the energetic equivalent of a soggy pancake.

With so many psychedelic, make-you-shake-bust-a-move options, we thought we would create a guide to making a playlist that will make your guests party.

(Start like this… not like this…)

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People love group dances.

No matter how many times they are played, the group dance classics will get all of the people on the dance floor. Whether you like to slide or whip, getting a group to cut a rug together always breaks the party ice. Benjamin, also known as @derksworks, can be regularly found in the middle of a dance circle capturing action shots of your group’s best moves. His dad-dancin’ brings the party and his picture snappin’ brings the best music memories.

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Bring back the oldies.

This term is likely relative. Oldies can mean songs you listened to in college, music your parents played when you were younger, tracks you choreographed dances to and performed for your mom in middle school. Asking your guests to include an “oldie” they’d like to hear on their RSVP could be a special touch. If you happen to play Bob Dylan or Johnny Cash, we promise to hit the dance floor with you.

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Throw in some ‘you’.

This is your day so if you want to play Ke$ha, you play her. If you are All About That Bass, add it to the list. Throw in the song the two of you first danced to or the one that played on the drive to your family’s house last Christmas. Add songs you have had epic rap battles to (we know you win every time). This can also be a time to slow it down. Slow dancin’ is a must, so don’t be afraid to play a Mumford Ballad.

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Close it with a classic.

One word: Whitney. This is the perfect moment for your guests to close out the night by showing off their perfect pitch. I Wanna Dance With Somebody might be the best choice because it has an infinite amount of key changes. If this isn’t for you though, that’s ok. Benjamin isn’t a fan either. But if you want to see Jennifer (@mrsderksworks) getting down, all you have to do is press play on this one.

Finish the night with a song that everyone knows, ending the party on the highest note possible (literally).

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We aren’t playlist experts but we have been to some weddings. Music really can set the tone of your reception. Both you and your guests should enjoy the music and feel free to let loose. Need a suggestion for a great band or DJ in Columbus? Ask us! We know some great ones.

If you are loving these tips and are thinking, “I wish there was a Derk’s Works playlist I could jam to right this minute,” well you’re in luck. We went ahead a made one just for you with some of our everyday favorites. So turn it up and get to groovin’. Check out some DW good time jams here.

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A Mother’s Day Reflection

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A year later and it still surprises me to reflect on the fact that I am mom. I am simultaneously humbled and overwhelmed with the deepest joy each and every day of this journey.

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Words escape me when I try to explain the emotions of holding our child for the first time or seeing his smile when I walk into his room, snuggling him to sleep, adventuring together through the park or grocery store. He gives me so much.

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A friend once told me upon finding out that I was pregnant, that I will now forever wear my heart outside of my body. It is so true. My heart now crawls around the yard, snuggles in the morning with bear and blankie, hangs with the sitter, plays at the park, surrounding George each hour of the day.

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I used to marvel at moms who can jump out of bed when their child needs them, instantly calm a crying baby or patiently teach their children the simplest of task again and again, wondering, “how do they do it”. I now understand that it isn’t because when you become a mom you are instantly a more patient person, it isn’t because you magically love mornings or changing diapers either, it is because you love your child so incredibly much. A mother’s love is so powerful. It’s my love for George that fuels my strength each day or helps me laugh when puked on or simply just play on the floor for hours instead of working out or getting things done. Becoming a mother has given me a renewed opportunity to attempt to understand and experience a fraction of the love God has for us as His children. Motherhood is a humbling honor and an overwhelming realization of how intense and beautiful God’s love and provision is for us.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetThrough it all, Benjamin has been the perfect partner. He gives me such strength and support. He is always available for George and watching the father/ son relationship of joy, admiration and love that George has with his daddy is an incredible blessing to me!

I pray God will continue to guide me as a mother, that he would bless my feeble attempts and that George would know how much he is loved.

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George \\ 10 Months

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It truly is hard to believe George is now 10 months! Time is moving so quickly and we are grateful for each moment. George is an adventurer, courageous, curious, observant, funny, determined and so much more. He sleeps soundly, loves food with flavor, is mesmerized by Baby Einstein, adores his pups and strongly dislikes diaper changes, changing clothes and initially being strapped into the carseat. From smiling through his first split lip, to fake laughing at Benjamin’s dad jokes and giving slobbery, loving kisses to mommy, getting to know and see his personality and heart gives us such great joy!

In celebration of his 10 months and because we need to take pictures of our child with something other than our phones, Benjamin and I shot a few images to capture this special stage and time! Enjoy!

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  1. Tim

    These pictures sre awesome! Captured his beatiful spirit. #georgefan #georgeworries

  2. Qmb

    Your darling grandson are positively and perfectly wonderful…. And so say all of us !!

exploring RED ROCKS

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Denver, CO – the Red Rocks

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Simi Botic \\ 7 Tips to look and feel your best for your shoot

Today’s post is one to save! We are so excited to share with you some great tips to help you look and feel your best for your wedding day, family shoot, engagement session and more.

Simi is not only a dear friend, but has been my personal health coach! Her expertise and support have truly helped me and I am so happy to be sharing her voice and thoughts today on our blog. So as you prepare for your upcoming photoshoot be sure to review these ideas (#7 is a must!) and check out Simi’s blog for more healthy tips and ideas!

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7 Tips To Look & Feel Your Best For Your Photo Shoot – Simi Botic

So, you found the perfect photographer and booked your photo session… now what?! If you’re not a professional model (few of us are!), the pressure to look your best in the images can be a bit overwhelming! To help you prepare for your Derk’s Works photo shoot, here are 7 tips that will help you look and feel your best on your special day (make sure you read until the end, because we saved the best for last):

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#1 – Hydrate

During the days leading up to the photo shoot, one of the best things you can do is hydrate (boo, coffee and wine don’t count). Try warm water with lemon in the morning and refilling an icy cold water bottle throughout the day. This will help your body release toxins, eliminate bloating, keep skin clear, and brighten your eyes!

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#2 – Sleep

Not only will sleep reduce under eye bags, but a restful night will also help you to feel calm on your big day. If you’re not regularly in front of the camera, a photo shoot can feel unknown and a bit stressful. Showing up rested will help you to relax more easily, so you aren’t on edge.

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#3 – Eat foods that make you feel good

Does broccoli make you feel bloated? Then it probably isn’t the best choice the night before your photo shoot. Just because someone says a food is “healthy” doesn’t mean it works for YOUR body. Think about the foods that make you feel energized and comfortable in your skin, and enjoy those foods for a few days before the photo shoot. No need to go to dieting extremes (drastically cutting calories or avoiding carbs). Instead, be gentle with yourself and ask, “what would feel like the most nourishing choice to make?” Let that question be your guide!

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#4 – Take an Epsom Salt Bath

The night before your photo shoot, consider unwinding with an Epsom salt bath. Not only is this super relaxing, but an Epsom salt bath also sooths muscles, eliminates toxins, releases stress, and helps to relieve any bloat. It’s seriously magical.

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#5 – Try out your outfit, hair, & make up!

Opt for clothing, hair styles, and makeup that make you feel like the best version of yourself… not like someone else!  Do a “test run” with your hair, makeup and outfit to make sure that you feel comfortable and confident when the big day arrives. That way you have time to change an aspect of your look if it makes you feel weird or self-conscious before it’s photo time.

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#6 – Bring music!

Your photo shoot should be FUN!!! A great playlist can help you relax and enjoy the experience, so add your favorite songs that put you into an instant good mood.

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#7 – Be your beautiful, authentic self

If you do nothing else on this list, you absolutely must try #7. The camera captures what you show it. If you are stressed out, super tense, critiquing yourself in your mind, worrying about being judged, or wishing you looked like someone else, than that is what you will see in your photos. No joke: what you are thinking about will show up on your face. If you’re thinking “oh my gosh, I am so uncomfortable & hate the way I look” or “I should have lost 10 pounds” or “why can’t my kids behave for 5 freaking minutes,” you are going to see a stressed-out-deer-in-the-headlights look in your pictures. If you are thinking, “this is so fun, I love that I get to capture these special moments to keep forever,” you will look like a relaxed hottie.  You have full permission to just be yourself on photo shoot day! Nobody is perfect, so don’t put pressure on yourself to meet impossible standards. Benj, Jennifer, & the entire Derk’s Works team are experts at capturing magical moments. This means that you don’t need to worry about a thing. Let them handle the photo details and you focus on being your beautiful, real self. If you forget to drink water, have a crappy night sleep, and scarf down a plate of French fries before your photo shoot, let it all go. If your kid is screaming, or the dress you wanted to wear was too tight, or you got a zit on your forehead, let it all go. All you need to do is take deep breaths, smile like you just picked up a puppy, and remind yourself “I am beautiful just the way I am.”

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More about Simi: Simi is obsessed with coffee, beach vacations, & the 90s. A corporate attorney turned intuitive eating health coach, she now works with women privately & through Finally Free. Simi helps women learn to nourish & nurture their bodies + lives, so they can live FULLY! Get instant access to her free three-part Breaking Up With Binges video series here & hang with her at or @simibotic for more.

  1. I absolutely LOVE Simi! She always has the best and most insightful advice!

    ps: your photos are beautiful.

First Snow… EVER

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It’s not often you get to introduce someone to their FIRST SNOW EVER!!! I think it’s safe to say it was a big hit for all of us. We’re looking forward to many more family adventure in the snow days ahead. -B

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