Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sneak Peek: The H Family

Greetings faithful readers!  I just want to start this post by saying "Thanks for tuning in!".  I really appreciate all of your kind words and support.  I couldn't do what I do without you and your referrals.

Okay, now let's get down to it.  I was able to meet this sweet family a few weeks ago.  They have been patiently waiting for....too long.  Sorry it took me so long to get these to you Dawn.  This is my busiest time of year and I have been blessed to be so very busy.

I love this little family.  I am a sucker for families with three boys!  I am not going to lie and say this was an easy shoot.  Three little boys under the age of 4 makes for a busy session.  But, I loved it.  I enjoyed chasing them around and trying to find that sweet little smile that is all theirs.

These little guys were particularly cute!  I can't believe how blue their eyes are.  I never enhance eye color in pictures, but these eyes are so blue that it looks like I did some photoshop magic on them.  NOPE, they are all natural.

Don't you love Dad's face in this one?

Poor little guy was really tuckered out.

I didn't get a ton of pictures with everyone smiling at the camera looking perfect, but let's be honest.  With three little boys.....that is not a true picture of your family at this stage.  With a 4 year old, a 2 year old and a 4 month old it can be tricky.  But I think it is just as important to freeze time and remember and look back on what it was like when they were this age.

Dawn, it was a pleasure to meet you and your beautiful family.  I hope to follow you guys and watch you grow in the years to come!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Davis-Miller Wedding: Loveland, Colorado

Weddings.  Such joy.  A lot of work.  But totally worth it!

This wedding was particularly special to me.  I have known the bride my whole life.  She is a bit like the little sister I never had.  You see, her sister and I are best friends and we lived across the street from each other growing up.  Now she is all grown up and finally found her perfect match.  She is wild and crazy and silly and funny.  He is quiet and shy but grounded and adores her!  What more could you want?

This family is big and fun and full of love and I just ADORE them!  What a privilege to be a part of this day and help this family celebrate Sierra and Allen.

It was amazing that all 7 of the Davis kids (and their wives and kids) were all able to be there to help celebrate.  Even the Arizona Davis family, whose 13 year old just beat cancer for the second time, was able to make it!

How's this for an immediate family?

Immediate family with spouses and children.  Love it!
I guess when there are this many family members there are bound to be a few hiccups.  By the end of the day I was laughing with one of the brothers when he mentioned that the day went a little bit like a country western song.

The Mother of the Bride and one of the brothers woke up with migraine headaches.  Ugh!  It was SUPER windy while we were trying to take pictures (also straight up noon isn't the best for lighting, but we made it work).  One of the flower girls got sick (luckily she has a lot of nieces and another one was able to step in). One brother was trying to get the doves ready for the ceremony (Yes, they trained doves for the ceremony. How cool is that?) and stood up quickly and cut his head open on the edge of the coop.  Probably should have had stitches, but who has time for that on a wedding day?  (By the way, you can't tell which brother it was because I worked some photoshop magic and you can't even see the wound).  Toward the end of the reception they noticed that one of the horses was laying down and wouldn't get up.  Poor horsey.  Didn't make it.  We were laughing (because what else do you do at a time like that) saying that Ray lost his horse and his daughter on the same day.  Hence the country song.

Despite all of the craziness.....Sierra never lost her smile and she didn't let anything get her down.  I was so proud of her spirit and that she enjoyed her day.

A few years ago, the family moved up to Loveland to be closer to work and to be able to have more property for their horses and their big family.  I love rustic and cowboy.  Perhaps because I grew up with it across the street.  But don't let the cowboy fool you....there was plenty of bling and sparkle at this wedding. Perfect combination!

The ceremony.  Short and sweet.  I by short, I mean 3 1/2 minutes.  What?  I barely had any time to take pictures!  They were just ready to be married I guess.  Check out the doves.  They let a bunch of them go and then they circled the wedding once and went to rest on the barn.  So cool!
Party time!

This girl loves the camera and the camera loves her!  She is so photogenic and knows just how to look at the camera.  It was so fun to take pictures.  Allen took a little more coaxing and he is REALLY shy, but I think his love for her shines through the pictures.

Despite all of the craziness, it was a beautiful day filled with love, joy and family.  What more could you want from your wedding day?  Congratulations Allen and Sierra.  I wish you a lifetime of love and happiness.

For more pictures, visit my website or my Facebook page.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sneak Peek: The Wallace Family

I have been dying for this photo shoot for several years now.  Finally, the time has come!  This is one of the nicest and best families I know (and they are adorable).  Melissa, I don't know how you keep with 5 kids and still manage to look so beautiful, smiley and skinny (and seemingly non-stressed).  You (and Josh) both have a light inside that brings out the best in those around you and I admire that.  Your kids are amazing and it is easy to see that God is a priority in your family.  I know you are only two years older than me, but when I grow up...I wanna be like you!

So when we chatted about our upcoming photo shoot, Melissa said that she got a Christmas card last year where the family was all on a vintage couch in the middle of a field and she wondered if we could try it.  After some finagling, I was able to find this cool chaise and with a little (okay, a lot) of help from Josh and Jackson we hauled this chaise all over Bear Creek Lake Park.

 Seriously.  Aren't these the cutest kids EVER?  And if you have should lock them up because Jackson is a seriously good looking freshman!
After I was done with the session (a record for a family of 7- but they had a date wonder they were in a hurry to get out of there), I wandered around the Park to view the damage that had been done 4 weeks ago during the flood.  They held back Bear Creek to prevent damage down stream so Soda Lakes rose over 50 feet!  You can see the extent of the damage.  Keep in mind, this is 4 weeks AFTER the flood waters and there is still a TON of water.

I am looking forward to having my own family pictures taken here on Sunday (not right here, but within the park).

For more pictures of this amazing family (and other families), visit my website or my Facebook page.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sweet Adley

I just looked at the calendar and today is the first Saturday I have been at home since August 24th.  Yes, that is over 6 weeks.  In those 6 weeks I have shot 2 weddings of my own, been a second shooter for 2 weddings, done 9 family/baby shoots and substituted 8 times.  There have been way too many 40 hour work weeks lately for this "stay at home mom".  That is all on top of being in charge of the Consignment Sale at JJ's preschool, planning/executing the women's event at church and planning a big outreach Trunk or Treat at church.  No wonder why I have been feeling so overwhelmed lately!  This coming week is going to be much the same.  3 photo shoots, subbing 2 days and working at the preschool one day.  I am more saying this for my benefit rather than trying to complain.  I (women in general, I think) tend to be hard on myself and feel bad when my house is a mess, the laundry is never done and there aren't as many home cooked meals as there should be. I take a look at all that I have been doing and I feel a little bit better about the condition of my house.

Now on to some cuteness.  I met Adley when she was just a few weeks old.  She was a perfect little angel in our newborn session and she proved to be the same in our 4 month session.  I am so glad that she is one of my "Babies First Year" and that I get to see her 2 more times in the next 8 months.  Another bonus to this session was the accessories!  Hollie.....Ah.Mazing.  When she brought out the the tutu and pearls, I just about swooned.  Adley was happy to pose, smile and show off her darling dimples.

Happy Saturday Everyone!  For more pictures of this sweetie, visit my Facebook page or my website.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Date Night Challenge

We have been married for 14 years.  Wait.  What?  I am not old enough for that.  Yikes!  Okay, well I guess I have to face the facts.  14 years is a long time. We have had a lot of highs and lows in the last 14 years, but I am so happy to be married to a man who still makes me laugh every single day and who was made perfectly for me.  However, there are times when we just go through the motions.  I have learned that you don't necessarily lose the passion, but instead the burning passion develops into a slow burn that keeps you warm and toasty and brings much happiness.

I also love to laugh and make sarcastic remarks to the people who say "you should go out on weekly dates with your husband to keep your marriage alive".  That is great...until you have children and/or one income.  Then those weekly "dates" become almost impossible.  You are in the trenches and you must hold on to each other for dear life.  It gets harder and harder to make the time and money to go out on a date.

Then when the date finally comes, you just stare at each other.  Not sure what to say.  However, as the night wears on it becomes comfortable and nice and by the end of dinner you are having a nice conversation.  And just when it is rolling....... it is time to go back to the trenches.

I am not sure how dates go with other married peeps, but for us they have been a little boring and predictable.  We both LOVE movies and when you have kids, it is always a treat to see a movie that is not animated or fraught with kid humor (aka fart/poop jokes).  So when we do get a night out, we like to go to movies.  That and we can never think of anything else to do.  But by the time our conversation got rolling, it is time to go to the movie and then it's the end of conversation.

We were in a rut.  My husband has so many wonderful gifts, but romantic dates nights has never been his strong suit.  It used to kind of make me mad.  But I have recently come to a startling realization.  Why can't I come up with a fun, romantic, out of the box date night?  I have always been frustrated that he didn't come up with a creative date night, but I never challenged myself to do it either.

So last Friday night, I did it.  I planned a date night.  Now I know why he doesn't do it.  It was really hard to come up with something fun, interactive, different and fairly inexpensive.

However, thanks to Pinterest and some added "free" time while I was subbing I came up with the brilliant idea for our date night.  I texted my sister to see if she could watch the kids (free babysitting always makes for a cheaper date night.  If you don't have family around think about hooking up with another couple and swapping date nights/babysitting) and I texted my hubby to let him know we were going on a surprise date night.

We got in the car and I told him what we were doing.  The great thing about C-Lo is that he is always a good time and was totally in for our night.  Made it so much fun!  Total participation from both partners is a must.

Our Date Night:

We did a photo scavenger hunt.  I came up with 14 things (one for each year of our marriage) that we had to do and take a picture of while we were on our date.  I decided that we would go downtown to the 16th street mall so that we could accomplish all of our "activities" in one place.  However, you could go to several different places.  I just wanted to get out of our "Littleton" bubble and try some new places.

Here was our list.  Take Pictures of us…….

1.  Celebrating being married.
2.  Sharing dinner at a restaurant that is new or out of the ordinary.
3.  Sharing dessert somewhere different.
4. In a store we have never been into.
5.  Posing with a mannequin.
6.  Our reflection.
7. In a mask or costume.
8.  Holding hands.
9.  Jumping.
10.  Finding the letters of our last name.
11.  With a book or music that you/we love.
12.  With something outrageous you/we want to buy.
13.  Trying on shoes/clothes.
14.  Kissing.

We spent 4 amazing hours downtown doing all of these things.  The best thing about it was that it gave us a purpose and we had 4 hours just to talk, laugh and be silly together.  I felt like a teenager again.  We have already said that our next date night will be very similar.  But next time, C-Lo has to come up with the list of things for us to do.  Much easier than coming up with a new romantic idea.  

Another rule that we had was that we had to share appetizers, dinner and dessert so that it would cut down on costs and to make sure we weren't going to kill our calorie count for the entire month!  We did this date for under $75 (with drinks, appetizer, dinner, dessert and parking).  Cheaper than dinner and a movie!

Another bonus of the night.  A photo diary of what you did.  Great for memories!  

Here is our photo diary.   I took the night off from professional photography and left the big camera at home, so please excuse the low lit iphone pictures!  I put them in the order we did them, not in the order of the above list.

I giggled and smiled my way through these pictures as I was editing them.  Another bonus to the night.....reliving it on the blog.

Ladies, if you are craving a fun night out PLAN IT YOURSELF!  You won't be sorry.
Guys, I just made an easy, creative, romantic date night plan for you.  DO IT!  You're welcome.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sneak Peek: Josh

Meet Josh.  He is a senior this year and even though his school doesn't "require" professional senior pictures, his mom really wanted some.  Being a boy, he didn't really want them....but moms always win in these situations.  There is no getting around it, boys!  Even though Josh wasn't interested in having his pictures done, he was a great subject and is pretty photogenic!  We got some great shots.

We also got some major mosquito bites.  I have never had that many bites at a shoot.  It was their last ditch effort before the freeze, filthy little blood suckers.

Josh- good work staying still even though there were mosquitos all over you!  I know you weren't super excited about pictures, but I think you got into it at the end.  Best "serious" face I have shot in a long time!

Thanks goodness it is snowing outside and those mosquitos are GONE!  For more pictures, visit my website or my Facebook page.

Fall Has Arrived!

Guess what?  Denver got it's first snow today.  Hard to believe when it was 80 degrees earlier this week.  I love living in Colorado.  But you know what I love even more than the snow?  When the sun comes out and dries up the roads.  I hate driving in the snow and love that it melts so quickly.

I have been bad about posting personal pictures as of late.  So, I thought I would share some snow pictures from March in honor of our first snowfall.

I also want to tell you about a revolutionary app that I have found that is making my life a whole lot easier!  There is great excitement in the Lord household as we have booked a family trip to Disneyworld this November.  The kids are pretty excited and we have told them that if they want any souvenirs, they have to use their own money.  So, we have started to try to do more chores around the house.  However, I have really struggled with how to figure out what chores need to be done and how much to pay them.  I also have had a hard time trying to figure out how to keep track of what they do and how much I owe them.  

Then on Wednesday, I found an article in a parents magazine that was suggesting some apps to make parenting easier and they suggested Choremonster.  So I downloaded the FREE app and tried it out. 
It's Frank!ChoreMonster

I LOVE IT!  It helps that my kids each have an ipod touch (except for JJ and he uses our family ipad) that they can use.  It takes some time to get up and running and input all of the kids information and choose chores, but it is very user friendly.  Once I add the chores and the "points" (which is equivocal for $$ for them) for each chore, it pops up on the kids' ipods and they can see what chores need to be done and how many points/money they get for it.  Once they have done the chore, they check it off and it sends me a notification that they have done the chore.  I approve it and then it lets them (and me) know how many points/$ they have done.  Genius.  I have never had so much help putting away laundry, emptying the trash can, vacuuming, setting the table and even putting groceries away.  It is awesome.  The only downside is that I am going to go broke!  I know that the magic will wear off, but for has been a great way to kick start their money earning and for me to get some much needed help around the house.

Happy Fall Y'all (or winter as today would seem)!  Here's to a Pumpkin spice Misto, warm sweaters, dry roads and getting the chores done!