TJ + Andrea {boyfriend + girlfriend}

Her brown eyes sparkled and her lips easily widened into a familiar position - a big beautiful smile - as his arms wrapped around her tiny frame to gather her close. TJ's soft touch and Andrea's shining joy were most apparant as I watched the two of them interact. TJ and Andrea have been dating for two years, and by the way they treat each other I can see why they are so happy!

When Andrea contacted me about doing a photo session with her boyfriend TJ when they were at her parents' home for Christmas, I was thrilled! Andrea and her family have been long-time friends of the family, most of them ranking brown belts with my husband's martial arts school. Andrea has been gone with school and world travels for a few years, so it was good to see her and meet TJ last Tuesday, only three days before Christmas! We had a great time tromping through the pastures and woods of Andrea's childhood home; it was special to her to do the session where memories of all good things abound!

Since TJ and Andrea met while dancing, I thought it would be appropriate to start the session with some dancing pictures. In a pasture. In barn boots. Yes, I have funny ideas, but I am thrilled with how they turned out! SO fun, don't you think?! :)

TJ and Andrea, Thank you both so much for spending some of your precious holiday and family time with me! I had a wonderful time laughing with you both! I hope you enjoy this little peek into your session!

Edited to Add: Congratulations to you both, TJ and Andrea! I just heard of your engagement on Christmas Day!! You make a beautiful couple and I wish you all the best in the world!! :)



Kevin + Kathie + Family

The sun was lighting up the landscape of autumn of colors as I pulled up to the park at Larson's Apple Barn in Apple Hill on Monday afternoon to get together with some of the sweetest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. I've known this family for a few years now, and ever since the first day when I laid eyes upon their two gorgeous girls I've hoped to be able to photograph their beauty one day!

Kevin and Kathie were college sweethearts, and the way they still look at one another you can tell their love is like a deep pool in a stream - never drying up, always constant. I love the way Kathie tilts her head to look at Kevin with a special smile reserved only for him, and how when they walk beside each other they instinctively reach out to clasp their hands together. Their daughters Shannon and Brittany are two very sweet girls who are out to change the worldview on teens... they get along with their parents famously, are quick to smile, serve others, and both bake the most scrumptious concoctions in their kitchen!

When Kathie and I discussed doing a family session she told me that she was hoping to get some good photos of the family, since in most of her photos she blinks... even her wedding photographer years ago managed to somehow take 80% of their photos with her blinking. Well, after our session on Monday, I'd say it was the photographer, not Kathie's blinking... because as you can see, these people are not only beautiful on the inside, but not so shabby on the outside either!! :)



The End of a Landmark

As we near one of my favorite holidays, I've been reflecting on what I am thankful for this year and as trivial as this may seem to some, I am thankful for a normal amount of leaf raking this fall, which makes it fun again!

The huge old sycamore in our yard spread it's 70 foot plus crown of leaves over our yard, our neighbor's yard and house on one side, and the road on the other. The seemingly innocent tree presided over the entire neighborhood with the air of one who belonged. It did belong, but the disease that had overtaken it did not. Most positively did not. Anthracnoses was not a welcome intruder... it made the stately tree lose it's leaves ALL summer AND fall. The dust that the disease produced was enough to induce asthmatic coughing fits. After debating for more than a year, we finally decided that the tree had to go. It was sad to see a neighborhood landmark go (the original land owners' son planted the tree in the 30's), but we have never once regretted our decision. It took 3 full days of a skilled tree trimmer, a cherry picker truck, and finally a crane to get the sucker down, but we did it, without loss of life or limb!

This cartoon was featured in one of our local papers a few years ago and I clipped it out to bring a bit of humor to our days of raking the myriads of trash bags with face masks on... Now it just makes me thankful that I don't have to rake more than the usual amount of leaves, at the right time of year!! :)



Jude {9.9.09}

Through a twist of events, I was attending her 15th birthday party even though we'd merely briefly met a few days prior. When she opened her gifts to reveal the newest craze in perfume, "Tommy Girl" and a bunch of cute clothes, I knew we were going to be great friends! Yes, I do judge a girl's personality by her clothes and the perfume she wears! Don't laugh, you do it too! Elizabeth and I did hit it off that day, despite the fact that I crashed her birthday party. We have now traveled many miles of our life roads together, and each milestone that comes has been hidden in my heart's keepsake box of memories. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding in 2003; then her wedding 2 years ago was one of the most original and beautiful weddings I've been to... not a detail overlooked! This September, Liz and her husband Andrew welcomed what is probably one of the biggest milestones in life can bring... a BABY! Jude Martin was a few days late, but only because he chose to make his appearance on one of the coolest dates around these days... 9.9.9!

When little Jude was 3 weeks old I spent some time with him and his beautiful mommy... what a sweet thing it is to hang out with such a tiny person! It was so special for me to watch my friend, no longer the cute 15 year old but now a beautiful mother, whisper sweet things in her small son's ear, hush his little cries, and look at him as only a mother could!

Li'l Jude did a fantastic job modeling for these pictures - I hope you enjoy them, because he worked it hard! :)