Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Batter UP! Baby Gender Reveal

6am.  I woke up.

Today was the day.  This was the day I would find out what the gender of my final child would be.  Not that I needed some ultrasound to tell me- I already knew: Jeffe and I could only make boys.

I had spent months convincing myself of all the reasons a boy would be amazing.  
1.  Our three previous boys are adorable and so sweet
2.  He would make the perfect play-mate for our little Kenton
3.  Our line-up would be 2 boys, 2 girls, 2 boys- ideal for room assignments

and so on, and so on.

These thoughts all crossed my mind throughout the morning as Jeffe and I prepared for my ultrasound appointment.

10:15am.  As Jeffe and I sat in the waiting room, I turned to him and said, "nobody would ever know if we just found out.  I'm good at acting, I could totally pull off a surprised look when blue dust comes out of the baseball!"

Jeffe reminded me of how much I wanted to share the moment of the gender reveal with all of our friends and family and how much time I had already put into this big day.  

10:30am.  The Ultrasound Tech rolled her eyes at me as I explained that I wanted her to put the gender announcement in a sealed envelope.  "your generation and their obsession with gender reveals- I will never understand."

We laughed and cried as she showed us every last finger and toe on our sweet baby, twice slipping up and saying "he," which, of course was no surprise to me!

11:30am.  As we sat in the driveway of my dear friend, Cammie, I once again asked Jeffe if we should just take a peek at the gender, before resolving to leave it sealed and hand it over.  Patience is not one of my strong-suits, so handing that envelope over was excruciating!  

I must also insert the agony Cammie endured as she opened the envelope alone and had to keep the secret for 6 hours.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

1:30pm.  Sometimes I have genius ideas.  A week prior, I decided to schedule my hair
 appointment for this day to keep me occupied.  HALLELUJAH!  My amazing stylist was so good at keeping my mind off of everything and making my hair amazing! 

4:30pm.  My husband took his turn to distract me and we went to Target.  

7:00pm.  This was it, the moment I had been waiting for!  As my friends and family began to fill the stands, I was so humbled.  My husband pointed out that it was game 5 of the warriors series, so we would be lucky if anyone came.  But, they did!  They came and they cheered with us!  I split them up into two stands: boys and girls.  It humored me that so many chose girls, but, one can hope, I guess!

Cammie arrived with color-filled cupcakes dressed in blue and I squealed!  "Well, now I know for sure it's a boy, since you're wearing blue!"  All well, it wasn't like I didn't already know!  

Jeffe and I took to the field to take some pictures and practice a few pitches before the big moment.  This was exactly why I chose this particular way to reveal the gender of our baby: my husband is amazing at baseball, and I love to watch him play.  No matter where I threw the ball, he hit it, and hit it far.  We were ready!

Cameras were ready, we went live to Facebook, and then this happened:

Now, I must give a HUGE shout out to my sweet friend Lisa Seeley!  She teamed up with me to do these photos and took all the photos after the 5th one for me to edit.  Isn't she AWESOME!!  I can't wait to see what amazing things she will do in her photography career- I will seriously cherish these images forever and am SO grateful she agreed!!

To say I was shocked when pink dust filled the air would be an understatement!  I was so sure it was a boy!  All I could do was hold my husband and cry.  I had been saying to everyone how I didn't mind what the gender was for so long, that I hadn't realized just how badly I wanted it to be a girl.

Sometimes, dreams come true.  This day was a dream for me.  

I am so grateful to everyone who shared this dream day with me, from those who were in attendance on the field, to those who tuned in live or even who watched later and commented, called and texted with so many loving words.  I had a vision of how this event would go, but thanks to our amazing friends and family, it turned out better than I could have ever imagined!!

Everyone asks how we could possibly manage 6 children.  This is how.  With an amazing group of supportive people cheering us on!

I hope you enjoyed this gender reveal as much as I did!

Thank you for tuning in!


Monday, May 9, 2016

A Fairytale Senior Session

Graduation is upon us.

Parties are being planned, announcements made, gifts bought, and...



I've been having fun prepping, planning and shooting!

When I asked this senior where she wanted to take her pictures, she had no ideas.  So, off to google I went.  Beautiful places to shoot in East Bay.  I scoured image after image of all that this beautiful place has to offer.  Then, I narrowed it down to two:

*an old washed up ship

*a garden of redwoods 

When I sent her my ideas, I sat back, hoping she picked number one patiently waiting to see which of these two amazing options she would choose.

Number 2.

Ugh.  The trees looked pretty and all, but, A SHIP!!!  Come on!

Alas, it's her senior portraits, so we packed up and headed out.  As soon as we stepped foot on the grounds of this beautiful park, I knew she was right.  


Tranquil, calming, and gorgeous in every way.

There was even the remnants of what looked like an old castle tower near the parking lot--- SERIOUSLY?!?!  Prom dresses like hers were MADE for old castle towers.

As we strolled around talking, taking pictures and laughing, I found myself in awe.  The beauty was breathtaking.

Well, don't take my word for it, see for yourself!!

I hope you enjoyed your trip through this beautiful Senior Session!

Wasn't it magical?  

What would you have chosen: ship or fairytale garden?

Until we meet again,


Monday, December 7, 2015

It's beginning to FEEL a lot like Christmas!

Hello December!

Where did you come from?!!  Wasn't it just February!??

Alas, the holidays are among us, in full force!

Halloween has come and gone, we've been grateful over turkey for Thanksgiving, and now it's time for the grand finale: Christmas!

I love holidays, but I especially love Christmas:
cozy clothes
decorating trees
hot chocolate
lights, lights, and more lights,
giving gifts

But, what I love most about Christmas are the things you can't see: 
the spirit of Christmas
the joy of Christmas
the love and laughter
the bonds that are strengthened

It's such a magical time of year!

This year, I wanted to spread more than cookies and gifts, I wanted to spread Christmas cheer (ok, I promise, I'll cut back on watching the Elf...)  But really, I wanted to spread the spirit of Christmas.  I came up with this idea last year, but since we moved Dec 19th, December was just too crazy for me.  So I was SOOOO excited to get my Christmas-joy-spreading-jig on this year!

What was this idea that I've been obsessing over for a whole year you ask?


Forget the sneaky, naughty elf that sits on a shelf..

I bought 24 Helpful Elves. (on amazon, of course, here)

Each night, we choose an elf, name it, choose an act of service, and a family and deliver Christmas cheer!

So, far we've taken out trash, done dishes, swept, picked up dog poop, delivered dinner... the ideas are limitless!  And, at each house, we were greeted with smiles, love and laughter!

After doing the service, we leave the elf with the family, along with this note:

We ask that they take the elf to a new home the next day and give a new act of service to someone new!

We've calculated that if each family contributes 1 act of service and keeps the elf going, our 24 acts of service will turn to 300 acts of service through December!

While that sounds totally awesome, we thought we could do better!!

If you're touched at all by our #projecthelpfulelf, we ask YOU to start one in YOUR community!  Be sure and post pics with that hashtag, so we can see how far our idea has reached!  Find our project on Facebook and Instagram as we hashtag our way through December with small, loving acts of kindness!  

Spread the word and spread the love!

And, because this is a photography blog, I'll leave you with our family pictures this year!

Merry Christmas!

**If you're wondering why our precious girls have their faces blurred, we are currently at the end of a long adoption process, which has not quite finalized, so we must maintain their privacy!  ;)  But, I couldn't resist giving you a glimpse of what our WHOLE family looks like!

Thank you for taking the time to step into the world of Christmas with our family!

From our home to yours,
Have a Very Merry Christmas!


**Here's the poem in double version, in case you want to use it to print!  :)