29 June 2012

Summer Lovin'

There isn't much in life that beats a hot day running through the sprinkler in your swimsuit without a care in the world.
Cue... it's great being a kid.
And I am hell-bent on giving my kids the conflict- free, lovely childhood that I had.
The older I get and the more people I meet who have a laundry list of issues associated with their childhood, the more I am determined to provide this for my children.
That's not to say I want them to be naive or unexposed to real-life... but for the time being, they are doing exactly what they should be.... living their lives in a little, happy bubble.

Cue... the quintessential summer pics.

Another amazing thing about my childhood.... lots of memories made with my cousins who are still my dear friends today. Add that to my list of "must-do's" for my kids.

Dear Mara... On your First Birthday

Dear Mara,
It is so cliche to say... but I can't believe how fast the year has gone! One, already!
This has been a neat year.... thank you for morphing us into a family of four.
At this one year mark, we are beginning to see your personality peek through and I am excited to report that I think we have one fun girl on our hands.

Your smile is quick and contagious. You have a great disposition ... you like a good meal every few hours, you enjoy a good nap, you like a nice diaper change and as long as we throw in some good snuggles in between... you are one happy kiddo. 

You are cruisin' around furniture and have even taken one bold step but that's about it in the walking department. I am hoping you hold off until after our camping trip in two weeks... the thought of chasing you around a campsite makes me want to take a big snooze. 

Not sure what your official weight and height is at exactly one year but according to our home scale, you are just about 17 lbs. Petite, like your sis. 
Three teeth are in (one of them is a snaggle - tooth which is kinda weird), but I think about five more are on their way based on how you knaw on your pacifier like a dog knaws on a bone. 

Mara LeeAnn, you are a lovely addition to our family.
You are the perfect fourth member and you are my favorite second daughter.

I love, love, LOVE you my baby girl so big. 

P.s. I insisted that your dad and I take a photo with just you on your first birthday. We have one with your sister on her first birthday, too. The second kid always gets "jipped" on something (and believe me, you already have which you will notice when you look back at photos of your sister's extravagant first birthday and then... ahem... at photos of yours... sorry, honey!) but I thought this would be one tradition I would try to continue. Hey, it's the least I can do. X0X0

28 June 2012

Big Sis.

Of my two daughters, Mara is currently the more photographed child.
This isn't intentional or due to lack of effort on my part... the truth is that Mara is just easier to photograph.
She sits and grins and claps at me, making it quite easy to snap frequent photos of her.
Kennedy, on the other hand, is going through a phase when her pictures are just downright goofy most of the time.

So I was thrilled tonight when I caught this completely natural, real shot of my big girl.
This is her in her 3 year old glory ...and looking more grown up than I would like.
She may be the big sis but she's still my babe.

19 June 2012

Mara's Baptism and Birthday

We had Mara baptized this past Sunday, Father's Day.
As with Kennedy's baptism, I can't seem to get it together enough to get my kids baptized before they are a year!
It was a busy, chaotic day but we had a great time hosting a lot of family for a post-baptism BBQ after Mass.
Mara's real birthday is not until the 28th but it seemed silly to have another party in two weeks so we decided to celebrate her birthday along with her Baptism!

Mara wore the baptism dress that I wore THIRTY years ago!
My mom happened to come across it and I was so excited for her to wear it.
As you can see, it is a little snug on her... I was only a month old when I was baptized so squeezing her into it at almost a year was probably pushing it but I thought it looked so cute!

These are our "quick, snap a few photos as we run out the door to Mass 10 minutes late" photos!

We chose my Aunt Jeanie and Uncle Ray to be Mara's godparents.
When I think about the people in my life and who has been most present through my entire life, these two  always makes the top of the list. Aunt Jeanie is an amazing aunt who would do absolutely anything for me and since I have had kids, she has made such a great effort to know them and be a part of their lives. So it was an easy choice to choose both she and Uncle Ray to play this special role in Mara's life.

After the baptism, everyone came back to our house for a fun BBQ!
We sang Happy Birthday to Mara and let her attack her first cupcake.
I will post more on Mara's 1st birthday in the next couple of weeks... you can expect a sappy letter and her one year photo shoot! :)

 Baptism and birthday decor:

 Yeah, baby.  

We had such a fun day and loved celebrating both Father's Day and our very special baby girl.

18 June 2012

Father's Day... 2012

I came across this poem and thought it was so fitting for the Daddy in our house. 

A father is a source of strength,
A teacher & a guide,
The one his family looks up to
With loving trust & pride. . .
A father is a helper
With a willing hand to lend,
A partner, an advisor,
And the finest kind of friend.
A Father means so many things...
A understanding heart,
A source of strength and of support
Right from the very start.
A constant readiness to help
In a kind and thoughtful way.
With encouragement and forgiveness
No matter what comes your way.
A special generosity and always affection, too
A Father means so many things
When he's a man like you...

Happy Father's Day, Sean.
The girls in this house couldn't love you more if they tried.

15 June 2012

Friday Photo

Bringing back the Friday Photo after a long hiatus.

"A Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. 
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. "

13 June 2012

Well Hello, June!

I've been a bit of a blogging slacker lately.
I haven't felt like I've had that much to say but now that I am looking through some recently uploaded photos, I realize that, as usual, we have been quite busy!

The first weekend in June, I hosted a baby shower for my lovely cousin, Rachael.
Rachael used to work at Children's Hospital in Seattle and though she has moved back home to Montana, she still has lots of friends out here so I thought it would be fun to throw her a shower with her Washington peeps (plus... this was a GREAT way to get her out here to visit me!) I have been dying to see her pregnant (she did not disappoint, she looks adorable!). The next time I see her... at our cousin Bryan's wedding in August... she will be a mama! I can't wait to meet her new little one... I have a hunch it is a boy, but we shall see.

A few photos from her shower ( I didn't take any artsy ones of decor and food... it is soo hard to do this when you are the host!).

"big Rach and little Rach"... beautiful, beautiful blondies! 

Rachael and Aunt Judy

Rachael and her grandma Rosie! 

Rachael with her mother-in-law, Joan. Truly, one of the nicest ladies I have ever met. 

Two of my favorite girls. 

Rachael and her friend Jenny who is also pregnant ... this picture makes me laugh. 

The day after her shower, Rachael and I went to a local park and I took some maternity photos for her.
This was my very first maternity photo shoot and I absolutely loved it!
I think there is something so beautiful about a pregnant mama.
Well... I think there is something beautiful about other pregnant women. I, myself, did not feel too beautiful during my pregnancies! Must have been the  unnecessary weight gain and fluid retention! :)

Most of her maternity shots are posted on my photography blog or on my photography website but here are a couple little peeks. If you are not following my Junebug Blog, add it to your feed! I have four shoots booked before the end of June so I will be updating often!

Speaking of photography, I recently placed an advertisement for my business into the Puyallup Passport which is basically an entertainment book for residents of the Puyallup area. They will be sold this weekend at Meeker Days in Puyallup. I am offering a great deal on family sessions and 20% off A La Carte prints and albums if you buy the book. If you live in Puyallup, pick one up this weekend!

Other June happenings include Kennedy starting soccer (no photos from that yet as the first day of practice included a massive torrential downpour and we left early). We are prepping for Mara's baptism and Father's Day this weekend! A certain little one in our family is quickly approaching the one - year mark so stayed tuned for party pics and her one-year photo shoot.

A few weeks shy of her first birthday, and this little lady has two bottom teeth and one side tooth on the top. This look has prompted the nickname "snaggle-tooth" by her mama. Oh well, at the one year mark, she beats her sister by three teeth! Kennedy was all-gums on her first birthday!

She's not walking, but she is definitely getting around.
This reminds me, I need to post video of her "crawl," and by "crawl," I mean frog-hop.

"Who Me?" 

 This smile cracks me up! 

She is certainly not above a little "peek-a-boo" either.

While I am constantly able to snap cute photos of Mara, Kennedy proves to be a bit more challenging.
More often than not... I get THIS:


But every so often, she's flash me a semi-natural smile...

Kennedy is quite a character these days though I often think she has multiple personalities... hoping this is just the age. One minute she is sweet and cuddly and the next she is S-A-S-S-Y.
Sean is constantly saying to me "I don't like her attitude. We can't let her get away with that." Why do I feel like these phrases might be repeated in about ten years? God help us.

She has a killer sense of humor and when she outright laughs, it is contagious.
It is one of those loud laughs that is so authentic and real, there are barely breaths in it.
She loves her friends and her auntie... and she really loves this guy... our little neighbor. ;)
We like him too.

I have officially resigned my teaching position.
I feel pangs of sadness about it but mostly I am excited about the now.
Teaching will always be there.
I am loving my photography business... and mostly, I am loving these two.

Happy June.