Meet Courtney Carlmark

Today I have a very special 5-4-F!  It’s a first ever NOMINATION!  Yep, I’m a little excited about this one!  The lovely Suzanne (from this 5-4-F), sent an email nominating the beautiful Courtney Carlmark.  I’m so glad she did.  THIS is a good one guys.  If you would like to nominate a mama for an upcoming 5-4-F, email me at mamamomtourage {at} gmail {dot} com.



Suzanne’s ridiculously adorable son Trey with a pretty fab head of hair.

Here’s what Suzanne has to say about Courtney…

I met her in January in the mother’s room at Babies R Us in Folsom. She commented on Trey’s crazy hair and said her daughter was jealous, because she’s bald. So, we had a great conversation. After she said she was getting into photography, I decided I wanted her to do Trey’s first photos. She did an amazing job and I’ve referred a ton of people to her. And we’ve become good friends. She’s an incredible stay-at-home mom that is a rock star and runs her own business too. I envy her! There is a light about her that is infectious. You can’t help but smile when you’re around her. And, her husband, Rob, is awesome and super funny!

Meet Courtney

Carlmark -29

Samantha Holmes Photography

Hi Momtourage readers! Thanks for taking some time out of your day to meet me: wife, mom and photographer. Those are the top three things that define “me” at the moment. My husband and I have been married almost four years now and our baby girl turns one in October. Oh how the time flies! I met my hubby in San Luis Obispo, CA seven years ago. He was a weather guy and I was an intern! Uh oh! No, we were actually just friends and didn’t start dating until a year later. It was long distance for awhile because we were both working in TV news and under contracts. He eventually made the move to Montana. It took me about a year to realize not only could I live with him and all his annoying habits, but I couldn’t live without him.


 Tracy Moore Photography

We got engaged, moved to Arizona, bought a house and got married all in five months. Yes, we’re go getters! 🙂

2 Lovesee Photography

We moved to Sacramento about a year and a half ago. Although Montana will always have my heart, I love living here! I love our neighborhood, my friends and the tight-knit community we’re creating. Laken was born in October and experiencing life through her eyes has been the greatest gift ever! Not only did becoming a mom make me a better person, but it helped me sort out my priorities and gave me the courage to not go back to work in news. Instead I went out on on a limb and started my photography business, Courtney Carlmark Photography.

18 Lovesee Photography

Being a photographer allows me to stay at home with her and still be creative, tell stories and meet amazing people. In a way, I still feel like a reporter. Some may call me a “momtographer” but my journalistic background really set me up for photography. Videography and photography are surprisingly similar and my reporting skills help me tremendously when working with clients. 


That’s me in a nutshell but I’m not complete without my other passions like being outside! I love to walk, run, hike, camp, boat, walk the dogs, whatever! I like to cook and bake, although it’s hard to find the time with a ten-month-old. I also ride horses when I’m home in Montana. Family is very important to me and I try to see mine as much as possible! I love music and one day will learn to play the guitar hanging on my wall. I also like to travel and explore!

By now you’ve noticed that I have a hard time narrowing things down. Those who know me, know I hate making the final decision. That’s why I apologize in advance for giving several answers to the following questions. I’ll try to make them brief so I don’t bore you! P.S. My hubby and I had fun taking some photos for this blog!


Currently Coveting:


Oh so many things! Nine or eight or seven hours of uninterrupted sleep. Will that ever happen again??? A vacation with air conditioning!  A gardener, house cleaner, pool guy and masseuse. A new camera lens and second camera body. Oh, and a haircut and color. Ha ha, that’s a long list! Doesn’t hurt to dream, does it? 🙂

I really love…


My camera! It’s a Canon 6D and awesome! (I noticed a recent momtourage guest blogger loves hers too) Photography makes me feel alive! It’s reinvigorated my inspiration, creativity and curiosity! Taking pictures makes me happy, looking at them afterward makes me happier and sharing them makes me the happiest!


I also love…my front porch! It’s one area in my abundantly green and overgrown yard that feels almost complete. I think a person’s entrance to their home says a lot about them and when we moved in ours was kind of scary. It weighed on me everytime I walked in or out of the house, but with a new baby I couldn’t find the time to do anything about it.


Solution?  My super mom came for a couple weeks this summer and we went to town on that front porch!

garden collage

We picked weeds, unearthed pavers, planted flowers and found some pretty accents. Now my porch feels clean and inviting, bright and cheery and very relaxing. I like to sit on my fun sunflower bench (Walmart, no longer available) in the morning and drink coffee while Laken explores or drink a glass of champagne and spy on the neighbors at night. Just kidding neighbors! 🙂 Not only do I now have a “happy place” to go in my home, but it reminds me of my mom and the fun we had fixing it up. Maybe someday soon I’ll paint the doors and fix the fountain and fence and it will really feel done! Mom, want to visit again? 🙂 

Guilty Pleasure…


I have two: petite brownie bites from the Nugget and champagne! Okay, these brownies are so amazing, it’s bad! We have a saying in our house, “Whoever invented brownies is an a**hole!” Seriously, you cannot just eat one. I get so mad when my husband buys these brownies because they are going to be the death of me. Secretly, I love it though because they are irresistible! They are soft, chewy and chocolatey and have a lot of crust because they’re round. I’m sorry to those of you who get hooked because of this blog! They aren’t bad with a glass of Champagne either! Lately, champagne is my drink of choice because it’s oh so effervescent! Every day is a celebration, right?! I like prosecco and you can get a pretty good and affordable one at Costco. It could be the bubbles or it could be the friends and family I drink it with that make it so sweet, but either way it’s very enjoyable!

Fave beauty items:


Burts Bees Beeswax Lip Balm $3.29

I am an addict! I do not go anywhere without out. It’s by my bed, in drawers and in my bag. It makes my lips feel super soft and kissable and gives me minty breath. Other chapsticks just don’t do it for me!


Great Lash Maybelline Mascara $5.99

Yes, the one in the bright pink tube with a lime green lid! As a reporter/anchor I use to wear a ton of makeup. Now it’s hard for me to find the time to put it on everyday. No matter though, I try not to leave the house without mascara! Great Lash mascara may be one of the cheapest, most old school mascaras you can find. I have tried many other brands but keep coming back to this one. It doesn’t make my eyelashes clumpy and it doesn’t leave that flaky residue below my eyes at the end of the day. You can usually find it at the checkout line too, which is great for the moms who’ve lost their minds and memories like me!



Now that I’m a mom, I have “mom hair”. It’s always in a ponytail, even though I said I would never be that mom. Ha ha! I said so many things pre-baby that make me laugh now! Anyway, headbands are totally in right now and you can get them anywhere in any color and any style. They add just enough flare and fun to make it look like you at least tried to put yourself together. 🙂 They dress up a tank top or t-shirt and keep your hair out of your eyes. Fun yet practical, two of my favorite things! 

Recent mommy moment…

I have to take you back to that HOT Mexico trip for this one. This was a group vacation and we let our husbands, who are old college buddies, plan it. That was the first issue! The second problem was they picked July. We knew it would be hot, but we looked up the resort and saw a beautiful pool and the ocean, so we thought it would be okay. What we didn’t realize is that this July was way hotter than normal, humid and our casitas had NO air conditioning. We bought fans and slept like starfish! Let’s just say it wasn’t a relaxing and refreshing vacation, just hard, especially for the five little kids. We spend a lot of time driving around in the air conditioned car so Laken could sleep and to top it off she got sick on the last day. We were ready to go home! 


Our first flight landed in Phoenix and we had about an hour to go through customs, recheck our bags, go through security and get from one side of the airport to the other. Laken was in the Ergo, the diaper bag was on my shoulder, I held her little bobbling head and we ran! We got there like two minutes after last call and the gate lady said she already closed the door and wasn’t going to open it for us. I was panting and staring at our plane just sitting there. I definitely raised my voice, threw my arms in the air and maybe even said an obscenity.  I don’t like confrontation, but my baby was exhausted and sick and all I wanted to do was get her home. Needless to say my rant got us nowhere and we had to catch the next flight which put us home at 11 instead of 7 p.m.


The plane ride was pretty intense too. Laken has flown more than a dozen times and this was the first flight where she cried. I didn’t make eye contact with anyone! I got her to sleep and we made it home, but it was tough. Something very positive came out of the whole experience though. A lady on the flight wrote us a note that said this… “I remember how hard it was to fly with babies. I have 2. They will be 12 & 7 this August and leaving them to fly on a leisurely trip was harder than any on the plane with them. You did great! 🙂 There will come a time when you can’t hold them anymore. P.S. Never let anybody give you negative looks. Smile back at them! :)” It made my husband and I cry. Even though everything about that trip was hard, I’m glad I didn’t miss the “mom moment”. I’ll keep that note and remember her message forever.


Ummmmm….I’ve never even met her, and I’m kinda in love with her!!!  A few thoughts on this: I’m sooooo sad that adorable yellow bench isn’t available anymore.  I also love me some Burts.  And that note made me cry too.  Check out Courtney’s photography biz website to see more amazingly beautiful images and like her on Facebook to get some photog envy right in your newsfeed!  Thanks so much Courtney for taking a some time out of your life to share your secrets with us!


If you want to read more Five for Friday posts you can see them all here.   If you would like to nominate a mama for an upcoming 5-4-F, email me at mamamomtourage {at} gmail {dot} com.
Have a great weekend!



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