When I got to Maria's house a little before ten, Maria wasn't quite ready but that was okay with me because it gave me the opportunity to get a picture of her dad and her brothers.
I have decided that I am going to split Maria and Steve's blog into 3 different posts: before the ceremony, the ceremony and the reception. Mostly because I think that I am going to have a lot to say about this particular wedding.
When I got to Maria's house a little before ten, Maria wasn't quite ready but that was okay with me because it gave me the opportunity to get a picture of her dad and her brothers.
Once Maria was ready, I went upstairs to get some special pictures of her cousins putting a penny in her shoe for good luck. I don't think that there was a dry eye in the room as Maria's mom explained how special this penny and this tradition were to their family. Her sister had put this same penny in her shoe when she had gotten married to Maria's dad. Her sister is the mom of 2 of the girls and she would have absolutely loved this (sadly, she passed away a few years ago, family traditions are always very moving but that fact made this one even more so).
Then Maria came down the stairs (which we had to document, of course):
No sooner had she come downstairs, when the maids of honor and Steve's sister arrived. And not only did Steve's sister arrive, she arrived bearing gifts from the groom!! Beautiful gifts, too!
Then we did some portraits: family ones, some with the bridesmaids and of course, Maria with her baby picture,
Then it was time to head to the church while the girls looked on (by the way, have I mentioned yet that it was an absolutely perfect day, not a cloud in the sky?):
Once they got to the church, they got a very warm and personal greeting from the new pastor. There were also some kids (some big and some little) inside eagerly awaiting their arrival!!
Most importantly (and perhaps most impatiently), the groom and his best person were also waiting!!
Oh gosh, this post is a long one, now do you see why I decided on multiple posts? Stay tuned for more tomorrow and If you would like to see more pictures from before the ceremony, please click here.
As I am working through Maria and Steve's pictures, I feel compelled to offer a sneak peek. Although the picture below may not be the best picture that I took all day, it is so indicative of Maria and Steve's relationship that I thought that it was absolutely perfect for a sneak peek. See, the thing about Maria and Steve is that, while they include everyone in their love and never make anyone feel left out, they truly only have eyes for each other. And I think that the fact that the picture doesn't take place in the perfect setting represents this really well. Although they are in the parking lot of the church and there's a telephone pole and all sorts of wires in the background, not to mention a street, they look as though they are having a rendezvous in the most romantic place on earth, which considering it was their wedding and they were just about as happy and relaxed as I have ever seen a bride and groom, I guess they were.
As for the other picture, well, that is just a bonus. We all know how much I love bonuses and no one deserves a bonus more than Maria and Steve!!
Today's video is in honor of a wedding that I am shooting tomorrow. As you know, I don't normally shoot weddings but I just could not say no to this couple. You may remember Maria and Steve from last summer, well they asked me a while back how I felt about weddings. Although I find shooting weddings to be nerve-wracking, I just couldn't say no to Maria since she is one of the kindest and most genuine people that I know. Plus she has done more for my kids than I could ever hope to repay (this may be a big start, however). So although I am certainly not a perfect photographer (I still need a lot of work when it comes to my technical prowess), I am hoping that the love I feel for Maria and the comfort level that they have with me will more than make up for any shortcomings. But, I have to say, I am not sure that thought will help me sleep tonight!!
Congratulations, Maria and Steve, I wish you all the best tomorrow and for your life together. I am incredibly moved that you have entrusted me to preserve your memories, I will do every thing in my power to live up to that trust!!
People that know me know that dance recitals really aren't my thing. I am much happier at a sporting event than I ever am at a dance recital. Well my niece had her dance recital last weekend and I am so lucky that I have a sister that completely understands this quirk of mine and came up with the perfect solution for me. By the way, she should understand me, she has known my total tomboy self forever and I haven't really changed all that much. Anyway, last year, my sister suggested that instead of attending my goddaughter's actual recital that I should go to the dress rehearsal and take some pictures. Talk about a win/win, I got to see my niece perform (she was awesome, of course!) and I got to take pictures in a situation that is way more conducive to getting good shots. We were in the very front row, a seat that I highly doubt we would have been in during the recital.
How adorable is she?? Happy Thursday, everyone!! Have a great day!!
This is one of my favorite days of the whole year. I have loved the last day of school ever since I was a kid and it's even better now that I get to share it with my kids (isn't everything better when you get to share it with your kids?). And it is really fun now that I also work in a school. Although I have to say, there was a period of about 10 years when the last day didn't really affect me: I was no longer in school, I didn't have kids in school and I didn't work in a school but that is obviously not the case now (I did have a job right out of college that closed for the whole month of July that was pretty close to the feeling,). The last day of school has such a feeling of freedom and air of anticipation in the air. It's like summer is a buffet of fun-ness, just waiting for us to bring up our plates and dig in. In addition, the weather has really been sensational lately. And after a long (long, long, loooong) wait, it's been a pleasure to get back to spending time outside.
To make this day even more special, my friends and I traditionally have a last day of school party. We have done this every year since my oldest was in first grade (you may have heard, she is about to enter her senior year). So really, today is the double bonus of all double bonuses, I get to hang with some of my favorite people on my favorite day!! And not get up early tomorrow (oh wait, that makes it the rarest of all species, a triple bonus)!! Happy summer, everyone, I hope that you have a great day and a great summer!! I'm pretty sure that I will!!
So the other night after I took pictures of the girls, I went to my son's baseball game. They ended up winning the game that night which made him happy which of course made me happy. But what may have made me even happier was how fabulous the light was. And the field was really dusty. Now the dusty field was not a big hit with everyone but I loved it because it was a great filter for the light and made for some really cool effects. But I will let you be the judge of that yourself:
All in all, it was a rather successful night photographically!! By the way, the kid on the left was called out at home. He didn't complain about it but when he went to the bench, he told the other players that he didn't think that he was tagged, I think he was right!!
So on Thursday I got a chance to hang out with 3 great girls (I also got a chance to watch my son's team win the first game in their championship series but more on that later this week). Gorgeous girls, gorgeous outfits, gorgeous weather, gorgeous light, as you can imagine, I was a seriously happy girl!!
The girls were great, so cooperative and natural. And just so you know, I didn't give them much time to get acclimated, it was pretty much park, hop out of the car and start posing!! And there are so many great spots at that park that it really was just like that. We got out of the car and saw the fence above and then a great tree. And then it was off to the races because right after that we saw water with a bridge of sorts on one side and a tunnel on the other:
It was quite obvious to me that these girls have a great friendship and thoroughly enjoy each other's company but if you don't want to take my word for it, then check these out:
Right before we finished up, we spotted a tree that seemed to lean back and we couldn't resist shooting in it (okay confession, I had just told the girls we were all done and then I couldn't resist the tree, although confession number 2, my friend came up with the pose of all three of them so maybe we were all struck by the power of the tree!),
I had so much fun, mostly because these girls were seriously awesome!! And double bonus, they got me shooting again. There are a lot of reasons to hate a winter like the one that we just had but after doing this, I realized that one of the biggest for me is that I didn't have enough opportunities for this kind of thing and I really missed it. So thanks girls, not only for your awesomeness but also for reminding me just how very much I love this!!
Please click here if you would like to see the rest of their pictures. By the way, here's to the end of the weekend and to the start of a new week. I hope that you all had a great weekend and that you all have a great week!
Hey look at that, another double bonus this week and two days in a row!! I am so happy to report that my outing was just as wonderful as I hoped it would be. So much so that I couldn't resist sharing a sneak peek. And in honor of friends everywhere, Count on Me by Bruno Mars. I think that the most important thing in choosing friends is choosing people that you can count on.. And like my own girls, these girls have chosen well!! They were friends in elementary school and they have weathered the middle school years with their friendship not only intact but flourishing (no small feat, as we all know!!) Congratulations, girls, on making it through middle school and for having chosen great people to do it with!! As I wrote back when we did this with my oldest daughter, "Just remember there is strength in numbers so if you stick together, then the sky's the limit."
Happy Friday, everyone, have a great weekend!!
Oh do I have something fun for Throwback Thursday today!! One of my daughters' friends is going to be going to high school in the fall. In the past couple of years when my daughters were finishing up middle school, I did a photo shoot of them and their friends. It started when my oldest was in 8th grade and never wanted to pose for pictures for me so I thought doing a shoot with her friends would be a good incentive. Who knew that I was setting a precedent? I didn't but my 2nd oldest daughter obviously thought I was!! So when she finished middle school, we did it again last year. Well unfortunately for one of their friends, she ends up in a grade with my son which if you knew him you would know that having his picture taken is very low on his priority list. But these kids are like family at this point so even though he is not participating, we are still going to and we have a date later today. I am so excited for it, one, because they are such awesome girls and two, I am sorely in need of some practice. That's a win/win, double bonus, and we all know how I love those. In honor of all this, throwback Thursday: By the way, I love these kids!!
Yes, I know I just posted this picture but I was looking at it again and realized that not only is it a cute Flag Day picture but it is also a great depiction of what being a teacher is. Lately there has been so much chatter about teaching that it's easy to forget what it's really all about. For example, there's chatter about contracts and what is fair and what is not and what is too much or not enough. There's chatter about the Common Core and standardized testing. Chatter about supplies and what is needed and what is given, about teachers getting burnt out and leaving the profession. All of this chatter seems to be trying its best to define teachers for us. Then I look at this picture and realize that this is what teaching is all about (sometimes both literally and figuratively): standing all by yourself on a chair that can tip over at any moment, hands by your ears to exhort your class to project for the crowd while wearing a silly headband, not caring who is watching as long as your kids are (make no mistake, someone else may be their parents but for that one year, at least, they are your kids) and doing it all with the biggest smile on your face. A smile that is there not only because you want your kids to smile but also because they are totally nailing it!! And that, my friends, is what being a teacher really is all about.
Yesterday we had one of my very favorite events at school, a Flag day celebration. The entire school, as well as many parents, gathered on the front lawn while we heard facts about the National Anthem, a play about the design of the flag, how to properly fold the American flag, Yankee Doodle Dandy performed on recorders as well as a patriotic sing-a-long. It was just a wonderful display of respect and patriotism. Although, I was a little disheartened when someone came up to point out to me that the flag was not folded completely properly because there was still some red showing. This upset me because someone chose to criticize the execution rather than praise the fact that the kids were being taught how to treat the flag with the respect and reverence that it deserves. And by the way, I thought that they did a fantastic job, especially considering the fact that they are just kids, after all!! Anyway, here's a picture of a friend of mine making sure that her second graders project loudly enough for all to hear (they did!!)
"A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life." Frank Abagnale. I am not quite sure that quoting a con artist (made famous in the movie Catch Me if You Can) is the best way to honor all the fathers out there but I do love this quote. I am very lucky that I have so many "real men" in my life and that my son has so many fantastic role models for what is like to be there for a family: my dad, my stepfather, my father-in-law, my brothers, my brothers-in-law, our friends but most especially my wonderful husband. I don't know what I would ever do without him. I hope that he and all the fathers out there had a wonderful day, the day that you deserve!!
By the way, I also got a special bonus this Father's Day (you all know that it is always all about me!!) and got to see the newest father in the family. I was lucky enough to hang out with my nephew and the baby for a couple of hours yesterday. The baby is so, so cute!! And so expressive with his big blue eyes!! Happy Monday, everyone, hope that you have a terrific week!!
A lot of people have been asking questions about senior pictures this week so I have decided to have a very informal information session Tuesday the 17th at the House of Brews. It will be following the Ring Night for Parents event that is taking place from 5:30 - 7:30 at the high school on Tuesday as well. I don't claim to have all the answers but I have been through at least one end of this process for the last couple of years so I may have some of the answers. I am also hoping that I can convince a couple of parents of my recent seniors to come along to answer some questions too. There is absolutely no obligation at all, I just want to help clarify things if I can.
In keeping with the picture theme, today's Friday night video is Photograph by Nickelback although I think only the title is appropriate since I am sure none of my seniors will have to "go back and try to graduate"!! Happy Friday, everyone, have a great day!!
Recently my daughter, Kate, got her license and the best part about it isn't that she can now drive herself around and pick people up for me, including me (although that is awesome!!). Nope, the best part of it is what it will do for her relationship with her younger sister, Kristen. They've always been close but I can see them getting even closer with this whole driving thing. Kate isn't allowed to drive while her friends are in the car for the next 6 months so when she wants some company, she'll ask Kristen (she did it twice last week alone). Plus the two of them have been joking around for months that while Kristen has an excellent sense of direction, Kate has none so Kristen will have to go with her everywhere to make sure that she doesn't get lost. By the way, Kate relying on Kristen is nothing new. Kristen could tie her shoes before Kate could and when we tried to use that fact to spur Kate on she simply replied, "Oh well, I'll have just Kristen do it." Yeah, as an oldest sister myself, there is no way that I would have ever done that!! Quick funny story about the whole age difference thing, one day when they were really little, Kate was teasing Kristen by saying, "I'll always be older, you can never catch up". Before the Kristen could say anything, I said to Kate that she should be careful what she says because one day Kristen will say the same thing about being younger. By the way, the age thing is so unfair, being older is really only beneficial until you are both 21, the benefit of being younger lasts the rest of your life. The younger benefit is so much longer!!. Anyway, Kate says, "You won't do that, will you Kristen?"', even though she was just doing the same thing. I thought that this was hysterical!! I was thinking about all this last weekend while I watched them go to the mall and it made me so happy. And then my feelings were confirmed when I went into work on Monday and mentioned to our wonderful school secretary that Kate and Kristen had gone to the mall together over the weekend. Before I could tell her my theory, she told me that her 2 daughters became really close when the older one could drive. In honor of Throwback Thursday, here are some of my favorites of these 2 together:
Happy Thursday, everyone!! Have a wonderful day!!
My cousin recently posted a link to this blog post on her Facebook page. Basically the main point of the post is why this mom is not going to make her kids the center of her world. Before you make any judgments on her decision, please take a moment to read the post. If you do not wish to read the whole thing, then I think that this paragraph really sums it up perfectly, "Parents who make their children the center of their universe are not doing anyone any favors. Obviously, as parents, we love our children more than anything. But dropping everything to cater to their every need is only going to lead to a very rude awakening once they enter the real world.." After reading this, I was reminded of a conversation that I had with a friend a couple of weeks ago. We were talking about an incident where a parent had complained about my friend because she had spoken to her child (a teenager) about her behavior. Now I am all for defending my children when it is appropriate but it makes me crazy when parents automatically defend their kids no matter what the situation. But more than crazy, I realized that it also makes me really angry, mostly because this climate of defensiveness about children is making people afraid of speaking up or disciplining. Actually afraid isn't the right way to put it, leery or deciding it's not worth the hassle is probably more accurate. I think that is so sad because raising children with good character is always worth the hassle, it is the most important thing that we can do. Personally I am grateful when others discipline my kids. The way that I look at it is if I want to have kids of good character, then I can use all the help I can get. Of course it is hard sometimes not to take it personally when others discipline my kids but when I feel myself taking it personally, I try to look at it as someone cares enough about my child (and me) to speak up and take action.. I firmly believe that most people have the best interests of my children at heart. I know that I feel this way myself with the students that I work with. If I feel the need to gently reprimand or discipline a child, it is because I genuinely want the best for them and I want to help them become the best person that they can be. So if you ever feel the need to yell at my kid, then thank you!!