At Peace… | {A SPECIAL Place}

It hardly seems possible that we are in week four of this amazing class with Brooke Snow – the process has been encouraging, inspiring, motivating and very educational! The process she’s taken us through has been just perfect and I LOVE the format of this class – I will be sad to see it end, but know that it has brought me SO much more than I ever expected from the process.  Thank you, Brooke…and everyone in class, I love seeing what everyone’s vision is and being inspired by all of you…and hope to stay in touch after the class ends!

Week four…the goal was to photograph something that “inspires” us, but is not really related to photography. I thought long and hard about this and had many ideas bouncing around in my head, but once I received a call from my (favorite) cousin in the middle of the week, I knew instantly what I would do and where! My cousin, Tara, lives in Seattle in this AMAZING location, along the Salmon Bay, which links Lake Washington to the Puget Sound, just down from the Ballard locks and literally, right on (and over, depending on the tide!) the water! Whenever we visit, I instantly feel at peace, relaxed and as though nothing else matters at that moment. The views are incredible, sunsets gorgeous and watching the boats go by on a warm summer afternoon from the deck…oh my, this is truly heaven! The reason for Tara’s call was to ask if I’d take some photos of her as she is opening her own counseling practice and needs some photos of herself (which she usually doesn’t like!)…so what a perfect opportunity to complete two tasks in one afternoon. As we wandered down to the beach, we talked about what each of our visions were for our own “projects” and it was interesting that our ideas both melded together since she is wanting to present and image to potential clients of inner peace and self confidence…it couldn’t have been more ideal! We had a gorgeous, bright day (rare lately around Seattle!!) and I embraced the sunshine, using it to create some photos that I feel are calming and peaceful…of course, water, at least to me, is a very peaceful element, so I knew that there had to be an image including it. Tara has a couple of dogs, who are very sweet and loving, so we used them…or I should say, tried to use both, but one is young and had a bit too much energy for the photos, but as you can see in the one photo of her with “Merlin,” both of them are at peace as they gaze off to the water and horizon. My final image is inside their home, which is mostly glass across the front (you certainly wouldn’t want to limit the views!!)…and it is Tara’s favorite place to relax and find peace after a busy and hectic day…a book, cup of coffee and a view that can’t help but relax one…are all elements that create peace for her!

Just wanted to share this photo from later in the evening (after a wonderful dinner with Tara and her husband)…taken from the Ballard Locks, looking at the Salmon Bay Bridge. A little ways beyond the bridge is where their home is…as you can see, a beautiful location!

New Found Love | {Life Continues on…}

Lesson three for this amazing course I am taking, that inspires, encourages and pushes us to do our best when photographing people. I must say that for this week’s lesson, I was thinking I would have to do it in the make-up week since I would be on vacation, visiting my mom in California. Time would be busy, some shopping, a visit to a winery, hiking with a friend, walking on the beach and of course, spending time with my  mom would keep me on the go. As I sat one night at dinner with my mom, Sis, and her “friend” I was talking about how wonderful this course has been and how much I’ve learned from this…and that I’d have to skip this week’s lesson. My mom asked me why and who or what I was suppose to photograph…I told her either a couple or children. Much to my surprise…she offered for the two of them to be my “subjects!”  Pleased and excited, I had two days to do a bit of research on photographing senior citizens…that was helpful and I found some ideas for poses, which I felt might work. I knew the location would be the back yard of the house my mom was renting in the retirement community…I didn’t want to push my luck and take them somewhere they would feel anymore uncomfortable than I felt they would already feel. Also, I knew it would be limited…time, that is, and needed to move them quickly through the session, so needed to be efficient!

A bit of history…just over four years ago my dad passed away, he and my mom had been married for 48 years and had been incredible role models for us kids as to what a happy and healthy marriage is all about. Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult, but my mom is extremely strong and has kept busy and enjoyed life in the past few years…although I knew she missed having a companion. She winters in Southern California every year (she lives in Spokane, Washington the rest of the year)…and last year she met someone who caught her eye and the two of them found they enjoyed spending time together. Her friend (my mom’s term, not mine!!), Philip, had recently lost his wife to a terrible illness and seemed to enjoy my mom’s company, as well. Fast forward a year…they are still enjoying time together, traveling some, golfing, sharing meals, going to movies, walks and even beating my husband and I at Words with Friends (they are tough competition!)…and are so darn cute together. Once can see the spark they have for each other and it’s great to see that even after a wonderful marriage, life does go on and you can find someone to share your time with again. I’m very happy for both of them and know that their loved ones who are no longer here, would be happy to see them happy!

One thing I found to be a great way to help them (mostly Philip) relax was to ask them what each of them saw in the other when they met a year ago. It took their focus away from myself and the camera…to the other one and they each seemed to relax. Hearing their thoughts and the wonderful qualities that brought them together…it was heartwarming and so nice to know that my mom has found someone to share her life with, who cares about her and enjoys being with her. It’s a blessing to find the “love of your life” and when you lose that love, to find another to share life with is truly an extra blessing!

Happy Birthday, Abigail!! | {Puyallup Children’s Photography}

This A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E little girl certainly has the personality to win over anyone who meets her…Abigail is not only cute as a button, but a smart little one as well…the things she says (and let me tell you, she talks a LOT!)…will amaze you and entertain you…and today is special because she is turning TWO!!! She’s been on the blog before and I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to do her two year pictures for her! It hardly seems possible that it’s been two years since she was born and I remember the day she entered the world…although she entered it in Tennessee, where her parents are from and the rest of their family lives…so sadly, I didn’t have the opportunity to do her newborn photos. Over the past year and a half, I’ve visited out there (we used to live in Tennessee!!!) and her grandparents are very dear friends of ours…so I’ve been lucky enough to occasionally get my “hands” on her for some photos. As luck would have it…her dad got a new job…in Seattle and they now live in OUR town…how fortunate am I!! Not only do I get to regularly photograph Abigail, but I love spending time with she and her parents…they are like family to us and in my opinion, the “more the merrier!” Oh, and did I mention that she will be a big sister this summer…SO exciting!!  It seemed fitting that her post go up today, in her honor and as a gift to her grandparents and other family who are not able to see her as often as they’d like (although she’s heading out there SOON to see all of them!)…so Happy 2nd Birthday Abigail…you are a sweetheart – as are your parents!! Here’s to a wonderful day filled with love, giggles, cupcakes and everything else you can imagine (and with her…that is a LOT!!)

LOVE this photo…she has so much personality and it shines through all the time!!

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That smile and those eyes…they are priceless and amazing!

Baby Marzano on the way | {Puyallup Maternity Photography}

Watching family and friends go through the various stages of relationships and life is so rewarding and to be able to follow clients as well…it doesn’t get much better than that! Nearly four years ago, Jerad and LeeAnn were married and I had the pleasure of photographing their wedding…sharing in a very special day for the two of them, as well as getting acquainted with their families.  Meeting people, getting to know them, creating friendships…those are the best parts of my job! Of course, I must confess, I’ve known LeeAnn since she was in junior high school…she and our son were good friends and have remained so over the years and to see her now…well, I love seeing what a beautiful woman she’s become, a great wife and now, soon to be mother…SO excited!!! We had a chance to peek at the nursery before our session and share some stories of preparing for a child…and this little boy (yes, it’s a boy!) is going to be one very lucky little guy…he’s going to have awesome parents who couldn’t be more excited for his arrival!

LeeAnn and Jerad have done everything they need to in order to prepare for their son’s arrival…and as with all expected moms, reading about what is ahead is a big part of the plan!

Lots of laughing was part of this session…let me just say how much fun I had with these two on this afternoon!

BEAUTIFUL…LeeAnn is truly glowing and looks great…I’m so happy her pregnancy is going so well!

Jerad is quite the artist, much to my surprise! We brought chalk for the chalkboard and he decided to create a bit of his own art in honor of Carson…wow, what talent and he had a good time “designing!”Besides being an artist, he’s also a good sport and helped carry things, including LeeAnn’s coat…we told him he was Little Red Riding Hood…or maybe that would be “Grey Riding hood!”

Did I not say beautiful…she’s a beautiful woman and pregnancy is only enhancing it!
LLOVE LOVE LOVE this photo…their expressions and they were having a good time!!

I think my absolute favorite from the session….LeeAnn, you are stunning!!!!

Jerad and LeeAnn, you two are a really neat couple and I’m so blessed to know you two and be able to be a part of the exciting times of your lives! I’ll be anxiously awaiting to hear of Carson’s arrival and so very excited to capture some special photos of your son once he arrives!!

Princess Lily turns SIX | {Cinderella’s Party}

Little did I know last weekend when I arrived at Lily’s birthday party, just how magical the whole event would be! I knew it was special…it was Lily’s sixth birthday and the theme was princesses, but wow, what a GREAT party and the memories that were created for Lily and the other princesses that attended…amazing! Besides Lily, there was another “guest of honor” who arrived shortly after all the girls had gathered…it was Cinderella, herself! And, you should have seen the faces of the girls’ – it was truly priceless and heartwarming! And, let me tell you just how talented Cinderella is…she did an amazing job of face painting for the girls and her creations with balloons was magical! Of course, there was the usual, snacks, opening of gifts, birthday cake with candles and Cinderella led everyone in a great round of “Happy Birthday” for Lily! The girls were so sweet, beautiful and awe struck by Cinderella and I must admit I was as well!  What a treat it was to be able to capture some very special memories for Lily and her family on this exciting day in Lily’s life!

They all got a lesson in spinning and dancing from Cinderella and as you can see, they were quite eager to learn all they could!!

Such a special photo…and look at Lily’s costume, it’s practically identical to Cinderella’s dress!!

Abby, who is Lily’s little sister was rather “star struck” by this very special princess!

The girls could choose their design and were very patient in waiting their turn…and it was a delight to see the art each girl chose…such talent Cinderella has!!
This beautiful princess chose a magical wand for her balloon art…quite impressive!!

Oh, and a fountain of pink chocolate…what a great idea…along with marshmallows and graham crackers…a perfect treat for princesses!!

A couple little ones…Prince Charming (aka, Max, who is Lily’s cousin) and this adorable little ROCK princess who was a little sister of one of the guests…seemed to enjoy the party as much as the older ones!

We just couldn’t let Cinderella leave without giving her a chance to have “Prince Max” have his photo taken with her!

Sadly, it’s time for Cinderella to say goodbye…she said her Fairy Godmother was expecting her back home and Prince Charming would be missing her…I know the girls sure were sorry she had to leave…

Beautiful Lily…she is a stunning princess!!

Six is the magical number for Lily, I’m certain this will be a day she will remember for a lifetime!

Lily with her little sister, Abby, and cousins, Maddy and Max…a ROYALLY great group!!

Lily….I wish you a lifetime of magical moments and hope that all of your dreams come true!!!

If you are interested in the services of Cinderella or any of her other special friends, I recommend you check out Wishes & Dreams, Children’s Entertainment!!

Week NINE of fifty-two | {ROUND the house}

Time never seems to slow down and a new month has arrived! March…which should bring hopes as spring will begin this month. It seems we are usually eager for a new season about this time of year – ready for some color to brighten our surroundings, more daylight each day and hopes for some warmer temperatures. Living in the Pacific Northwest, that’s not always the case, although there might be signs of new growth and quite possibly some early flowers starting to bloom by the end of the month, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll be warmer or even dry…we never know what we’ll get in the next month…or maybe even two months…winter could still show up, as it is threatening for tomorrow morning! Since we have no control over the weather, we just have to embrace “whatever” the weather is and make the best of it…and find some news ways to make the best of the time and for me that means finding something new, different and unique to photograph until we see new “life” shining through in the spring. This week I look aROUND the house and was amazed at all of the round shapes there were. Now, I could have included even more, but you get the idea…it’s everywhere…literally, every room in our home, I stepped in and quickly found circles, whether it was light switches, sinks, door knobs, clocks or even our Keurig coffee cups…they were everywhere…inside and out! Look around, pick another shape, if you’d like and just see where you can find it…it definitely makes you start looking at things differently than you typically do!

The last photo is part of a collage I received from my kids a couple of years ago…love seeing my kids every day in this photo and since there was an “O” in the photo, I had to include it this week!!

Here’s to a wonderful week ahead for everyone…make the most out of each day because you have no idea what life has in store for you…live life to the FULLEST!!

Preparing for Baby | {Jess’ 1st Baby Shower}

This post is a very personal one for me…it’s the first baby shower for my daughter…who is my baby, our youngest and it doesn’t seem possible that she’s old enough to be starting a family of her own! While I know she IS old enough, has been happily married for a few years, is teaching first grade (and has ALL my respect for that!)…it still is hard to think of my “little girl” getting ready to have one of her own…a little girl, yes…as you will see, PINK is the theme of shower, indicating it is a girl! Emma Lynn will be her name and needless to say, we are SO very excited for her to arrive…when it’s time!! Jessalyn, or Jess as we call her is our youngest (of two children) and after testing us the first year of her life (cholicy, hated riding in the car and liked to keep us awake at night for hours!!)…we aren’t holding that against her as she has been a wonderful daughter and to see her blossom and grow into a very lovely young woman and soon to be mother is heartwarming! It brings tears to my eyes, thinking about just what an incredible mother she will be, as her husband will make an AWESOME dad…we love Sean dearly and couldn’t be any happier for the two of them. As Jess tells the story, the day after they were married, Sean asked when could they start their family!! Jess had other ideas and plans – to finish school and start her career, which she did, but now the time finally arrived and besides my husband and myself…and Sean’s parents, as well…we all couldn’t be any happier for the two (soon to be three) of them!! Miss Emma is due the end of April/first of May…and as that time nears, we’ll all be excitedly running to our phones each time it rings…waiting to hear someone is on her way!

Sean’s mom, Lorraine, along with her aunt and some friends, threw this shower for Jess…it was lovely and what great gifts Jess (and Emma!) received…can’t wait to see her in the outfits or wrapped in the blankets!! As you can imagine, there will be more of this family on the blog in the months and years ahead….and I’m sure you’ll hear quite soon after Emma makes her entrance, that she’s here!

undefinedSomeone didn’t guess very well on the circumference around Jess and Emma!!!undefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedA lovely homemade fleece blanket for Emma…I am thinking her mom and dad might just use that on cold nights before she arrives!!undefined

Lorraine made an absolutely darling diaper cake…so creative!!!!undefinedIsn’t the cake beautiful…and delicious as well! Almost too pretty to eat!!!undefinedJess is truly glowing…she looks fabulous and certainly “carries” pregnancy quite well!undefinedOur other granddaughter, Jayden, sure enjoyed the shower and didn’t waste any time digging into her piece of cake.undefinedSome lovely favors for the guests…to enjoy during a nice soaking bath on what was a rather cold winter day!undefinedJess with her generous hosts, Amy Weisbeck, Lorraine Patterson, Aunt Rainy and Jordan Weisbeck…with the guest of honor, Jess.

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