Merry, Happiest of Holidays to You and Yours

I want to wish you a magical holiday season filled with all things merry and bright!  I apologize that I haven't been blogging more these past couple of months since prepping for and then opening my portrait studio, but you all surprised me so incredibly much by keeping me on my tippy toes, my camera strapped to my neck and shutter-bugging like there's no mañana!!!  Whew... what an AMAZING fall photography season it was for me!  I simply cannot tell you all enough how much I appreciate your business, your kind support, your words of encouragement, your hugs and your smiles.  I feel incredibly blessed to have you all in my life and to do the work I do - showing you how beautiful you truly are!   

Merry Christmas Blog 2017-1.jpg

Our Christmas/Holiday greeting card:  

Read from top left to right-  Kurt, me, Alanna & Emilia at Universal Studios Orlando (March 2017); the girls swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, Boca Grande beach (March 2017); the girls dancing in Disney's Magic Kingdom (March 2017); my models in the new studio (Oct 2017); Kurt and the girls as they entered Harry Potter World at Universal Studios Orlando (March 2017); and Chelsea (27), Alanna (11 in the photos, now 12) & Emilia (8) on Mother's Day in our backyard (May 2017). 

I was so busy photographing my local families this fall that I didn't get a family photo for our holiday cards!  So, I fell back on our Mother's Day portraits together while Chelsea was with us visiting from Colorado.  A few months old, but, hey, it still works.  It's us.  And I love us.  :)     

Merry Christmas Blog 2017-2.jpg

From my family to yours:  May light and love surround you this season; may the New Year ahead bring you a wealth of opportunities and good health, enough creative juices to inspire your soul and more love to overflow your heart with like never before!  With heaping amounts of gratitude, Thank YOU so wonderfully much!  Here's to all of us!!!  Cheers!!!  

Merry Christmas and a beautiful New Year! 

Signature for Blog.png

Saying Good-bye to 2016

We haven't had such a memorable New Year's Eve in a very L O N G time!!!  Normally, we enjoy a quiet evening of board games and dinner and a 9pm bedtime.  We're just that exciting over here! HA!  (not!).  

This year was the exception and we stepped up (and out!) our game!  We had more family to help us celebrate and ring in the New Year!!!  My sister, Laura and 2 of her 3 kiddos are still in town,  visiting with family - how wonderful for us!  Everyone was more than willing to comply with my suggestions for games, food and a ceremonial-of-sorts campfire.  

After dinner, we all took post-it notes and not-so-quietly and quite vigorously wrote the things that we Do NOT want to welcome into 2017.  The things we'd like to say "Good riddance!!" to - the unwelcome things that may have either happened to each of us or as a family that we weren't happy about in 2016.  The kids really enjoyed this exercise - they took it to a whole other level that I was not expecting!  I was a bit surprised by many of their items listed -- we parents learned more about the inner workings of our children!  Some of the listed items the kids came up with were:

Pollution;  Global climate change;  the letter M;  intake of sugar;   Mean people;  Bullies;  Mean teachers;  a political/business person that shall not be named;  Poverty;  Pain & suffering;  Disease;  Pokemon-Go;  Voldemort;  WAR;  Hard math;  Bad dreams;  The dark;  Unbelievers;  Fake Santas;  Holes in the ozone layer;  Debt;  Natural disasters . . . 

For me, it was my Alanna's Crohn's disease and the worry, the poking and prodding, the suffering.  Done with it!!  Threw it in the fire and let it go!!  In the words of Tolkien's Gandalf the Grey, "You. Shall. Not. Pass!!"  :)  This felt absolutely invigorating, therapeutic for me!  And I'd say that everyone around the fire who cast their own sorrows/worries into the flames felt the same.  We're adopting this New Year's Eve ceremony from here on out.  Give it a try - I think you'll love it, too!! 

After we finished our toasted marshmallow desserts around the campfire, we headed back inside for Charades!!  Oh my goodness, friends, we laughed so hard at some of the shenanigans and our acting abilities (me as a Ninja!! hysterical!!)!!!  The kids also had a dance party!  Anything and everything we could do to stay awake until midnight!  We all (minus Alanna) made it to the stroke of 12:01am and welcomed 2017 outside, in the cool, night air looking for fireworks over the PA hills and through the trees!  We heard lots of them and plenty of gunfire, too!  We sang and hooted and hollered and hugged and kissed one another in celebration of the new year upon us!!!  It was the best New Year's Eve in the history of our little life here on this great-big rock floating through space.  

Here are some of the highlights from our night together...    

I see hearts in those fireworks!  Do you?  

How was your 2016 New Year's Eve, friends?!!  Tell me, what are your traditions, new or old?!  Do you have a fire burning ceremony to let things go - releasing those sorrows/worries to make room for potential, love & light?  I'd love to hear all about your celebrations!  Thanks, as always, for stopping by.  May our New Year reflect all the Good in each of us, more brightly and better than ever!  Here's to us!!!  H A P P Y  2 0 1 7 !!!!!