Ah, senior prom day. A day that has been looked forward to for quite some time and I would have to say that it was a success, at least from my vantage point. My daughter looked positively stunning (and more importantly to me, very happy), her friend that was her date was very nice and very solicitous, and the night exceeded her expectations. She also got ready and took pictures at the house of one of her best friends so she had all of these gorgeous friends to go with as well.
All of that was more than enough to ensure that it was a wonderful day for me but then I got some extra added bonuses. I got to hang with the girls in the morning and help them out with their running around and their errands. It was so nice to be included and to help, you all know how much I love to help. Then later at the before the prom gathering at the high school, the class asked me if I would take some green screen pictures. I was happy to help and it paid off, I got to see a bunch of my seniors. It was so nice to see them all again, and to see them all looking so beautiful and handsome, well that was awesome! I got to take green screen shots of Tori, Victoria, Rachel, Jamie, Evan, Sarah. Diksha, Mackenzie, Kate, Abbie, Courtney, Shannon, Kristina, Michaela, Aastha, Shannon, Ashley (all in one shot, no less!), Sam, Bianca, Ashlyn, Sarah, Kati, Rachael, Brittany, Allison, Sammy, Jon (it was also his birthday, so happy birthday, Jon), Emily, Brandon, Ashley, David, Courtney, Danielle, Devin, Joey and Brittany. By the way, I know that is called a green screen but can't they (whoever they is) come up with something more attractive than that green?
I am still processing the green screen shots so I used the originals instead of the finished products but you can see some of what I have finished here. Congratulations to the Class of 2015 and thank you for taking time out of your night to come and see me. I look forward to sharing this next week with you.
Today my throwback is a picture that I took when the girls finished up middle school. At that time, I had a hard time getting my daughter to pose for pictures so I came up with the idea of having a photo shoot with her and her friends to celebrate middle school. Fast forward 4 years and I had another idea for a photo shoot. They have gotten their caps and gowns already so I thought it would be fun to take a morning and do some pictures. I was so right, it was fun!! Here's a throwback to that long ago shoot (although it seems like just a blink of an eye) and a sneak peek from our shoot yesterday. Happy Thursday, and happy senior prom day to the SHS seniors, I hope that you all have a magical time!
I don't think that I have hidden the fact that I have loved the time that I have spent this year with the Class of 2015. I have loved it for a variety of reasons, some of the kids have been family members (both the kind of family that you are born with and the kind that you create for yourself as you journey through life), some of them because I have seen them grow up and some of them because they are just awesome! One thing that stands out about them as a group was their willingness and eagerness to cooperate with a project that I was working on in memory of one of their classmates, Marissa. Our community always seems to comes together when needed, in good times and in bad, and this class was no exception. They lived "Once a Knight, always a Knight". This brings me to a story that I would like to share with you all. Well actually I have 2 stories, one is my own and one is someone else's. I will start with my story. Just this past weekend, a friend and I were talking about how a dragonfly is seen by many as a symbol from heaven. Well this morning, I took Kate and her friends out for a cap and gown photo shoot (it was so fun, I cannot wait to show you all the pictures). As we were shooting, we spotted this beautiful creature:
I explained to the girls what dragonflies are said to symbolize and one of the them said something to the effect of, "Well it is Marissa's anniversary and you know, once a knight, always a knight." When I went to work and told my friend the story, she told me that it gave her the chills. She also said that she couldn't wait to read it on my blog. At that point, I wasn't sure if I should write about it on here. Then I went to my car and a huge yellow (yellow like this yellow) butterfly fluttered right in front of me. Since butterflies are also considered by many, including me, to be a sign from heaven, I took it as a sign that I could share my story. My other story is one that I found as I was looking up dragonflies as symbols. I liked it so much that I thought it would be nice to share it on here.
The Dragonfly Legend
In the bottom of an old pond lived some grubs who could not understand why none of their groups ever came back after crawling up the stems of the lilies to the top of the water. They promised each other that the next one who was called to make the upward climb would return and tell what happened to him. Soon one of them felt an urgent impulse to seek the surface; he rested himself on the top of a lily pad and went through a glorious transformation, which made him a dragonfly with beautiful wings. In vain, he tried to keep his promise. Flying back and forth over the pond, he peered down at his friends below. Then he realized that even if they could see him they would not recognize such a radiant creature as one of their number.
The fact that we cannot see our friends or communicate with them after the transformation, which we call death, is no proof that they cease to exist.
- Walter Dudley Cavert
I absolutely love this time of year. It is just so awash in new possibilities, new opportunities, and... new clothes! Well not really new, I haven't really bought anything this year but they feel new because I haven't seen them since last fall. I have been so sick of looking at all my clothes and now I get to change them up, yay! So much more variety and it is so much easier to get dressed when you don't have to worry about being cold (I am always cold so this is a huge concern for me). I also love that I spent the majority of this weekend outside starting Saturday morning with a hike up Blue Hills with one of my dearest friends and concluding with a night by the fire with several more great friends.
I love that we spent an absolutely fabulous day and night in Plymouth on Sunday. I love that we got to have drinks on the lawn at East Bay and then some dinner and entertainment at Cabby Shack.
Although I think that we were the entertainment at the Cabby Shack when we tried to take a selfie. No worries though we got some help from some of the younger members of the crowd, help and the use of their selfie stick, so fun!!
We also got a picture of the guys and of the moms of the soon-to-be graduates which reminded us of a picture that we took at their 8th grade graduation. That seems like just yesterday, how is possible that the years have gone by so fast? It was such a great weekend all the way around although we were missing one couple for our Plymouth jaunt. Don't feel bad for them though, the reason that they weren't able to join us is that they were in Bermuda!!
Happy Tuesday, everyone, it looks like it is going to be a beautiful week, enjoy.
Pictures really do say a thousand words, don't they? I think that the dignity and reverence shown by this young man as he readied himself to play "Taps" at a Memorial Day observance a few years ago serves to remind us perfectly what this day is all about. Thank you to all who have served, especially those that paid the ultimate price, we owe you more than we can ever possibly hope to repay.
Memorial Day weekend starts today and I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend of fun, friends and family, I know that I have some of all on my weekend menu. But before it starts, I wanted to take a moment to pay my respects to our fallen warriors and to remember all that they sacrificed for us. And what better way to do so than with a hauntingly beautiful bagpipe rendition of Amazing Grace.
"Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come,
'Tis grace has brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home."
Happy Memorial Day, everyone! As I spend time with my family and friends this weekend, I am going to try my best to be conscious of the fact that the reason that I am free to do so is because of the sacrifice and grace of others.
It was such a pleasure to hear from Brianne's mom recently about doing some senior portraits. Brianne had them taken with her school in the fall and she put one of those in her yearbook, but she wasn't really blown away by any of them. I had seen Brianne's mom over the winter and when she had mentioned this to me, I immediately offered to take some when the weather finally cooperated. The weather is finally starting to cooperate on a regular basis (May has been outstanding, by the way) so we set something up for last Thursday and boy, am I glad that we did! It was a gorgeous day, brilliant sun and 70 degree temperatures, just perfect. You know what else was just perfect? Brianne! She was a wonderful subject and so pretty too, don't you think?
The park that we went to is such a picturesque little park. It is not terribly big but it sure packs a lot into its little space. It has a a couple of waterfalls, a covered bridge, post and rail fences and many rock walls and steps.
Like I have often said, I love when seniors bring items with them that have meaning so I was thrilled when Brianne brought one of her soccer jerseys and a sweatshirt from the college that she'll be attending in the fall.
Brianne took the time to meet with me even though her senior prom was the next night. I don't know if I would have been able to do that, I would probably have had too much to do and to plan for the next night. But I guess that when you are this naturally pretty there isn't much that you have to do! I haven't heard yet if she had a good time but I am quite sure that she looked absolutely stunning.
Thank you, Brianne for being such a great sport, and subject!! It was such a pleasure to see you and to spend a little bit of time with you. I wish you much fun and joy in these very exciting weeks, and months, ahead. Please click here if you would like to see the rest of Brianne's pictures.
This is a bonus throwback post because not only are we continuing our all Kate month of throwbacks but Brianne, the friend with Kate in this picture, is the senior that I got to work with last week! Aren't they just the cutest? I am hoping to have Brianne's pictures ready later today or tomorrow so stay tuned. Happy Thursday, everyone!!
So I as mentioned earlier this week, I was lucky enough to take pictures for the CF walk at Borderland State Park on Saturday. It was a beautiful day for a walk (and a perfect day for pictures). Although I have to say, I did work up a sweat because I didn't really plan it too well. I took a team picture right as people were setting off on the walk so then I had to really put a move on to make sure that I got pictures of all the walkers. I probably should have went in the opposite direction but I was halfway through the course before I thought of that! But even with my shortsightedness, I still managed to get photos of all the teams, some before and some after.
And I got some candid pictures of the walkers, including one of a group of lovely young ladies that I later found out are part of a book club!! I loved it when they told me that, especially when some of them also told me that they have read and loved The Fault in Our Stars. I tried to think of some suggestions for them but I totally blanked out, of course. I don't know about you all but that happens to me all the time! I did mention a couple of favorites Flipped, and another by the same author, The Running Dream but I forgot to mention another of my favorites, One for the Murphys.
I also took some fun ones of everyone hanging out after the walk was over.
It was such a fun day and I am so thankful that I was asked to help out. Oh, and by the way, this walk raised $ 116,000, fun and impressive! Doesn't get much better than that! I'm going to leave you with some thoughts for the day, one from the course and one from the "Why We Stride" board.
Please click here if you would like to learn more about the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and all of the tremendous work that it does. Have a great day, everyone!
So a couple of weeks ago, Jenica, the mom of the fabulous Leo sisters, sent me a message and asked me if I would be available to take some pictures for an upcoming Cystic Fibrosis walk. Well she didn't know it but the day that she asked me was my birthday. When she found out later that it was my birthday, she immediately sent me this message, "Wait a second, you let me ask you for a huge favor ON YOUR BIRTHDAY??" Honestly I didn't think that it was a huge favor, I thought it was more of a gift. I was thrilled to be asked and honored to be entrusted with the task plus I was available so it worked out for both of us. Remember a couple of months ago when I posted "I Lived" as a Friday night video? As I said then, I often feel lucky and blessed when I get a chance to help so how could I pass up this opportunity? Plus as I was telling my husband the other day, the Leo family was the very first family to take a chance on me. Brendan (well, his mom) was my "guinea pig" but that was different, I am very good friends with his mom. Jenica was my first customer that I had never met at all, and through it all she has stuck with me, I think that she is the one that has been doing me the favors. Plus look what I get to work with...
So now I ask you all, favor or gift? Not that you need any swaying but before you answer, you should know that the last time I met with them, they brought me the most delicious, homemade lemon poppy seed bread! Have a great day, everyone!!
What a wonderful week, photographically speaking, last week was. Well it was wonderful all around, but especially photographically. On Sunday, my kids agreed to cooperate for a photo shoot (although as you all know, teenagers have their own definition of cooperation so take that with a grain of salt, ha!) Then later in the week, I heard from a friend about doing senior pictures for her daughter. This is a friend that I met when our daughters were in preschool. Essentially I have seen her daughter grow up, so of course, I was thrilled by this. Then on Saturday, I was lucky enough to be asked to document the Cystic Fibrosis walk in Easton. Such a great week!. As a matter of fact, I felt compelled to go to church yesterday all by myself, simply because I feel so blessed lately and wanted to say thanks and what better place to say it! Anyway, as far as sharing, I guess I will start at the beginning with the shoot with my kids. It was a beautiful day so we decided to take a ride to Colt State Park in Bristol. (Kind of a cool connection because the reason that I discovered the park in the first place is the Leo girls which is also how I happened to take pictures at the walk later in the week). The park was packed which made maneuvering around a bit difficult but still worth a visit to the bridge and the pier down there.
After pictures over there, we decided to switch up our location, but not before we took a break for a picnic lunch. My husband is half Italian so a picnic with him is no peanut butter and jelly affair. Nope, no sandwiches for us, we had his famous chicken wings (famous to our friends and family anyway), fried tortellini, another family favorite, a tomato mozzarella salad, cheese and crackers and some watermelon. After our break, we took some more pictures including one of my husband with the kids and one of me with the kids. We thought about getting a whole family picture but figured best not to push our luck.
After we finished the picture taking, some of us decided to take a walk on the shore while others chose to soak up the atmosphere in other ways. It's funny, I look at everything in my world as a potential picture, well for my gymnastically inclined youngest child, everything in her world is a potential place to do gymnastics. Case in point, who doesn't look at this giant piece of driftwood and see a balance beam?
It was a wonderful start to a wonderful week, here's hoping this week is just as sweet, happy Monday, everyone!
Today is my daughter's last day of high school, well sort of. Next week is a mixed bag, there are finals but she doesn't need to take any and then on Monday, there's a class trip and she may go on Tuesday because "they are having an ice cream social". But for all intents and purposes, this is it. I know that teacher appreciation week was last week (how appropriate that Mother's Day and teacher appreciation week are the same week) but I am going to extend it to this week and thank all of the wonderful teachers that she has over the years. She would not be the person that she is today without all of their support, guidance and inspiration. From her kindergarten teacher (I'll have to thank her quite often in the next couple of years since she is the only teacher to have all 4 of my kids) to first grade teacher (I talked about her last week) to her 2nd grade teacher (she liked them enough to have them in 3rd grade too) to her 4th grade teacher (she was so inspired by their class that she left to become math and science coordinator for the town and is now the principal of the school) to her 5th grade teacher (she whipped my daughter into shape, so much so that I remember my daughter coming out of school on Valentine's Day crying, "Not only we were the only class to not have a party, we had a test!) to all of her fabulous teachers in middle school and high school. You always had her best interests at heart and you were always there for her, and you wrote fabulous recommendations for various applications and scholarships. I will always be so grateful that she had such phenomenal people in her life, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
On last week's Thursday post, you know the one where I warned everyone that it would be an all Kate month of throwbacks, my mom commented that I needed to use her favorite picture. The picture is one of my daughter being held by her uncle Brian with her head cradled in his palm and her body on his forearm. Umm., confession time, I admit, I freaked out a bit when he did this but I really shouldn't have because one, he is an orthopedic surgeon and two, he is 6’3” and she weighed all of 6 lbs. at birth (actually not even, she clocked in at a hefty 5 lbs, 12 oz.) My mom was right though, I do need to use this picture because beyond being a great picture, it also has the potential to be an all-time classic. Why? Well, my daughter’s dream is to become a doctor so this picture will end up being Dr. Jolley holding the future Dr. Jolley! How cool is that??
After 2 dreary months of little to no picture taking, I didn't take much except for a few stray pictures of the snow and my daughter's award ceremony, April and May have brought the return of pictures to my life and I am happier than ever! As a matter of fact, usually when I don''t post it is because I don't have anything to share but this week, it has been the opposite, I feel like I have too much!! Since April first, I have taken pictures of Stoughton's junior semi-formal, Easter, Confirmation, the Turner sisters, some of my son's baseball games, my nephew going to his junior prom, First Communion, my niece going to her prom, and a Mother's Day "shoot" with my own kids, whew so much fun!!
Today I am going to share with you my prom experiences. I was lucky enough to see my nephew off to his junior prom a couple of weeks ago and my niece off to her senior prom last week (and in a couple of weeks, my daughter will be going to hers!) it is so much fun to see them all dressed up and looking so grown-up. I love getting to be a part of things and I love that now I have built up a trust level with the kids so that they want me to take their pictures. My nephew is such an impressive kid, he's a great student and a great athlete. He has been on the varsity hockey team since he was a freshman and was recently named to the Brockton Enterprise All-Scholastic Hockey team for winter 2015. He's a really great kid, very polite and respectful and a great big brother. He also cleans up pretty nice, wouldn't you say?
Then last week, my niece was going to her senior prom. You all may remember Marissa and her gorgeousness from last fall since I did her senior pictures. Well she looked even more stunning all dressed up. She went with her long-time boyfriend and they are still as cute together as ever! Marissa is also a very impressive young lady, she is just finishing up her final lacrosse season so that means that she was a 3 sport varsity athlete this year, soccer, basketball, and lacrosse. I should say final lacrosse season for high school,. she is been in contact with the coach about playing next year at Westfield State. And oh yeah, she has been accepted into their nursing program, well done! You may also recognize Stephanie from last fall, I also got a chance to see her, bonus!!
I do have one funny story. The house that they met at was the same one that they met at last year for her boyfriend's prom. There was a barn there that I insisted on dragging them over to even though it was raining last year. This year, we decided that we would head back over to the barn to recreate some of the pictures. Well as we made our way over there, we happened to glance back, only to realize that everyone was following us! It did make a really nice backdrop for a group picture!
To my mom, thank you for guiding me and making me the best person that I can possibly be. I would not be where I am without your love, support, admiration and guidance. You have always been there for me and I knew that I could always count on you, no matter what. You were instrumental in helping me transition to the role of mother, I learned so much from your example and you were always so generous with your time and your advice. And as a bonus, you have provided all that to my children too!! I love you so much (and owe you so much more).
To my mother-in-law, thank you for raising a hell of a guy. I would never be able to do this journey without him and I owe that to you. He is the man he is because he had you to raise him. And your love and guidance doesn't stop with him, you are always there for me too (he actually thinks you love me better than him, ha!). You are an inspiration to me, and I love you. Just like my mom, you are wonderful role model and grandmother to my children, they have benefited from that more than I can say.
To my stepmother, I am so grateful that you became part of our family. You always take such wonderful care of my dad (and us) and he would be lost without you as would we. Knowing that he is happy has eased my mind often over the years and we owe much (if not all) of that to you. You are a terrific grandmother and my children are better people for having you in their lives.
Thanks to my kids for making me a mom and giving me the best job that I could ever, ever ask for. I love you all so much.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers that I know, my sister, step-sisters, sisters-in-law, my aunts, my friends and their mothers! You are all wonderful women and mothers and I have learned so much from you all through the years! I hope that everyone has a wonderful day.