Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Eve at our house

Christmas Eve at our house is always a fun time.
We usually have an assortment of appetizers in place of a real dinner.
Someone (I won't say who) ate their body weight in spicy chicken wings.  :)
Every year the kids are allowed to open one gift.  
This gift is their Christmas PJ's.
Jack kept asking if we were getting PJ's again this Christmas.  I said, "well, you will have to wait and see."  His response was not what I expected.. He actually said he would be disappointed if he didn't get new PJ's on Christmas Eve.
I'm happy the kids are liking the traditions I have set up for them.  
These aren't the greatest quality of photos. 
The light in this room is awful, but I managed to capture some fun shots.

Thanks Target for the awesome selection of coordinating PJ's in all sizes.  :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A little black and white...

Lately, I've been trying my hand at black and white photos.
I love the timeless feel of black and whites.
Here's just a few from recent months...
all of my Lucy, she's the only one who still likes me to take her photo.  :)

I realized I never posted this photo from Lucy's 11th birthday.  
I'm hoping to get caught up before the new year.  

Sunday, December 14, 2014

France Photos... (finally)

I was able to sit down an edit some, not all of our France photos.
I swear, I will never again shoot RAW on a family vacation, JPG would be so much easier.
I decided to divide our photos into two groups..
Places and People...
Here are the "places" photos.
I'm going to try to get the others done this week.
There are too many photos to upload here one by one, so I made a collage.

This one is my favorite collection of homes, doors and pathways...

This is my fav collection of Eiffel Tower photos..

 This is my favorite group of "around Paris" photos...
I was blown away by the architecture.. truly beautiful!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A little photo fun...

I finished up 4 senior sessions last month and I'm currently finishing up a family session.
It's been great to be busy, but I'm ready for a breather.. 
I still need to finish up our France photos and I've begun working on my photography website...
I took Lucy out yesterday morning to get some photos in the fog. 
Lucy wanted to wear her Halloween costume.. 
She was Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty.
I love this series and I had fun trying out some new editing skills. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Catching up...

I'm so behind in blogging...
it's been crazy around here!
I am going to catch everyone up in one post.
Here goes...
10 days after returning from our vacation to France my father passed away.
It was not unexpected... he had cancer and suffered for nearly 18 months.
I traveled to Kansas City for 10 days for my fathers funeral and to clear out his home. 
While I was there I also had to make arrangements for my 90 year old grandfather to go into a nursing home.  He has dementia and is no longer able to care for himself.
I'm not going to lie, it was the hardest 10 days of my life, very stressful and emotional.
Jeff stayed behind to hold down the fort and keep some sort of "normalcy" for the kids.
My father and I were never close and his passing has brought up lots of hard feelings.
The day before he passed I told him I forgave him.
Whew.. not easy.. 
Here is a photo of he and I when I was about 2-3.  
I may blog more about this later, but right now it's just too hard. 

Soccer season is upon us.
Both Olivia and Jack decided to play soccer this year for their school.
Olivia was at practice (the night of my fathers visitation) and dislocated her knee and suffered a bone bruise.  She has to wear a brace. 
She had to have an MRI.. and now has to start physical therapy.
Her soccer season was very short lived. 
Jack wanted to play, but our school (K-12) does not have a middle school team.
Jack asked the HS coach if he could be the team manager or water boy.
Well, the coach saw Jack play this past summer at camp and told Jack he could play up...
which means Jack is now playing on the HS boys JV team.
I have to say, he's rocking it.
I love watching him play.  He's keeping up with boys twice his size.
There's 4 more games left and I'm hoping to get out there with my big camera and get some photos.
Until then, here's a little iPhone photo.
Jack is #17

 Speaking of photos..
I'm have 4 senior sessions this month!
One is complete, one is in the editing process and I have 2 more to shoot and edit.
I still have to edit my France photos too, but it will have to wait.
I'm hoping to come up for air once October is over.
Here's a photo from my one of my senior sessions.
If I could build a business on just senior photos, I would. 
Hands down my favorite genre. :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lover of light...

I have begun editing our France pictures.
This is a photo I took in Paris.
The way the light was coming through the window stopped me in my tracks.
I told Lucy to run over and look out the window.
I plan on having this enlarged on canvas to hang in the house.
I hope to post more photos soon..   :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to Reality...Back to School

We arrived home early Sunday morning.. about 1 am.
At 10:30 am we picked up our newest exchange student, Jennifer.
And this morning, (Tuesday) the kids started school.
We are back to reality.. bam! 
I'm hoping to edit our France photos this week...
As you can guess, I took a ton!  
We had the most amazing time, it was truly magical!
Here's a little sneak peak of the Eiffel Tower taken with my iPhone.

First day of 11th, 8th, 5th and 11th!  
I'm hoping these kids have an awesome 2014-2015 school year!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Photo editing..

I have been an editing fool this summer.
Trying to learn tons of new techniques.
Here are two images taken recently that I had fun editing.

This one was a photo taken during the day and turned into a night look.
This was taken in my backyard.  :)

This photo was one I took and I tried to edit it an artistic, almost watercolor feel.
I love photos of Olivia even when she has a serious or pouty look.  :)
I still have a ton to learn and I'm going to keep going.
My goal is to have a website up and running by the new year! 
I'm both excited and nervous.
It's not easy for me to put my work out there.  I have a little FB photography page and I hold my breath every time I post.  
The more creative I get the more personal it becomes.
I heard the saying,  "do something everyday that scares you." Well, I'm doing just that.. and I'm loving it. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mt Rainer

A few weeks ago we took off for a weekend adventure.
Our dear friends from Tennessee were on vacation in Vancouver and we decided to meet up at Mt Rainer.
We really enjoyed our visit, it was short, but very sweet.

 This is Lucy with Zoe. 
Lucy and Zoe lived together in the orphanage in China.   They have such a beautiful, sweet bond.
They always pick up right where they left off.
You may remember their reunion last year.. HERE

We are busy preparing for our next adventure... our BIG vacation is in 11 more days!
Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Walk beside me...

"Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.  Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.  Just walk beside me and be my friend." ~ Albert Camus

Thursday, July 24, 2014


We have this darling cupcake shop close by and I've been dying to get in there and do a fun photo shoot.  
I wanted to take Olivia and do some "sweet 16" photos, but it just never worked out.
I had some time earlier this week and took Lucy for a "sweet photoshoot"
Of course she was excited... who doesn't love cupcakes?
I have a dream, a BIG dream of doing commercial photography... I would love to do these types of photo shoots everyday. 
It was SO much fun!  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Happy Birthday!

Last night we celebrated Big Daddy's 44th Birthday!
Grammy joined us for a yummy Mexican fiesta complete with homemade guacamole and pomegranate margaritas!
And of course, a yummy homemade double layer chocolate cake.   :)
After dinner we took the celebration out to the cul-de-sac and shared remaining cake and margaritas with the neighbors until almost 11:00 p.m. 
We love our neighbors... we are right where we are supposed to be and it's a great feeling!
I took this of Jeff and kids with my iPhone.  
We love you Big Daddy!
Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

Our 4th of July

We had a fun and relaxing 4th of July.
We had friends in town from Denver... I plan to post those photos later this week.
We hung out here at home and watched the fireworks at the Indians baseball game.
Living in the Northwest, you learn quickly that summer doesn't start until the 4th of July.
It's almost as if someone flips a switch and it's summer, hot and dry. 
You cannot beat a Spokane summer, it's perfect!
We plan on enjoying every minute because it's going to go by fast.
I had so much fun taking 4th of July photos last year that I decided to do it again this year.
I wanted to take some fun sparkler photos, but didn't get around to it.

This might become my new obsession... 
underwater photos!
I recently purchased a little waterproof point and shoot.
I took this photo last night at our little neighborhood pool.  
I can't wait to take more underwater photos, they're tricky, but fun!

Sunday, July 6, 2014


I wanted to do a fun photo shoot of Lucy tubing in the little Spokane River.
It took a few days, but I found a tube and a fun hat.  
The swimsuit is a hand-me-down from Olivia. 
We set out early Saturday morning before the trail was crowded to work on my photography assignment. 
We have a beautiful hiking trail just 1/2 mile from our house that leads to the little Spokane River.
I love incorporating natural elements into my photography. 
It was fun to do a series a photos, rather than just try to capture that one perfect shot.  
I have a few more projects in the works that I'm super excited about.  
These were all taken with my new 85mm.  

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Updates from Olivia

 I've been in touch with Olivia just about every day of her China trip.
She is having such an amazing experience.  
Here are just a few of the photos she has sent me. 

Olivia texted me last week and said she had fallen in love with a "little sister." Yes, that's right... she feel in love with a little girl named Rose and begged us to adopt her.
Well, luckily we didn't have to make any decisions on whether or not to bring home child number 4.   Rose already has a family in the process of bringing her home.  :)
Rose will have a permanent place in Olivia's heart. 
Olivia sent me this pic and my heart melted too.. What a little doll!

Olivia and her group went to the Agape Children's Home.  This is an orphanage for kids who have brittle bone disease. 
At this facility they have children's artwork hanging on the walls for sale. 
The money for the artwork goes to support the children's home. 
Olivia bought this painting and they asked her if she would like to meet the little boy who painted it.  She of course, said "Yes!"
She met this budding artist and had him sign the painting. 
She can't wait to hang this in her room.  
Olivia's room is done in aqua blues and I think this pop of orange will be gorgeous in there. 

Olivia also had the chance to meet up with Jing Fei (Jennifer).  Jennifer is our newest exchange student and will be joining us for the 2014-2015 school year.  
Olivia says Jennifer is super sweet and is looking forward to her staying here. 
Olivia arrives home tomorrow afternoon.
I cannot wait to see her and hear more about her trip!

Friday, June 27, 2014

My Boy!

My boy...
Jack rarely lets me take his photo.
My girls are all about getting in front of my camera, but Jack avoids it.
I had a photo assignment last week.. "close up, raw, unfiltered"
I knew I wanted to capture Jack for this assignment.
It didn't take too much convincing, especially when I told him he didn't even have to smile. :)
I did have a small window of opportunity... after a sleep-over and before heading to the lake with a friend. 
I took this in my office at about 11:00am.  I have 3 beautiful floor to ceiling windows and the lighting is perfect.  This allowed me to capture those great catchlights in his eyes.
I did minimal processing and converted it to what I call "dirty black and white" 
I added noise to give it more of a film look.
I love my boy, his witty personality makes me laugh everyday.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

She's off...

Olivia left for China yesterday morning!
This is a photo of her and I taken at the airpot.
I cannot tell you how excited I am for Olivia to travel to China for two weeks and serve in 6 different orphanages!
Not to mention, this is a perfect chance for her to use and improve on her 5 plus years of studying Mandarin.
I already miss her like crazy and I know these next two weeks are going to seem like two months. 
Olivia is also going to be able to meet our new exchange student who arrives the end of August.
How cool is that?   
I know this trip will leave a permanent marker on Olivia's heart. 
I cannot wait to hear all about it and see photos!
Jeff and I are passionate about raising our kids to have hearts for others and to think globally, despite the nay-sayers!  
I have a feeling.... this is just the beginning! 
Go Livs! 


 Jack had a solo again this year in the school choir concert.
He sang Benjamin Calypso from Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. 
You may remember this post from last year... when Jack was Mr Morton from Schoolhouse Rock. 
This year he told us himself, we didn't have to hear about it through the grapevine.  :)
He did awesome!  
Right when his group came out to start, the microphones stopped working... he had to grab a handheld mic, but it didn't phase him... the show must go on.  
I'm so proud of my boy and his love of performing! 
I can't wait to see what he does next year!