.be juicy!. {Redding, CA Family Photographer}

Hello!!! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!! We had a beautiful day! Celebrated with lots of friends & family! The kids, of course, made out like bandits! Ben spoiled me with several pieces from one of my favorites, Kelly Rae Roberts!! I will post more pictures once they are all up & hanging on my wall!!!! Here is a quick one I took with my iPhone….

Yesterday Ben & I celebrated our FOURTEEN year anniversary!!! Such a miraculous day! I just lift my hands for the LIFE of our marriage & our family!!! We went to dinner at my favorite restaurant in Redding, Nello’s, and then watched The Tourist. Very different to watch Johnny Depp as a normal character, and not a pirate!! LOL! Really enjoyable movie!!!!

& to continue the process of blogging!!! I do love to blog. Someone just helped me get the Google Analytics set up. So interesting to see how many of you visit my blog each day! Thank you! Thank you! It really means so much! & thank you, to those of you, who continually leave comments!! It means the WORLD!!!

& now the Cortopassi Family!! Mandye is a dear, dear friend of mine. We were supposed to take her photos in San Francisco, but it got rained out, along with three or four other re-routed photo sessions, but hallelujah, we were able to fit this one in before Christmas. I think we took them on the 21st. Yes, cutting it super close!!! I absolutely LOVE this family! They mean so much to me!! I have to say that Mandye is a huge part of the growth of my business!!! She has really brought some amazing clients into my life & continues to bring new clients! Thank you, Mandye, for all of your LOVE & SUPPORT! I am so thankful to have you in my life!!!! Oh… & “Be Juicy?” You might ask why?? Manyde LOVES Juicy Couture, and for her, I titled it, “Be Juicy!”

.My Favorite Things #25 2010!. {MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!}

AHHHHHH!!!! Happy Day 25!!!!!!!!

My favorite thing #25 hands down are Christmas Cards! I look forward to Christmas Cards EVERY year! I always wished I would’ve started the process earlier, but, I don’t, & I smile & tell myself to start the process earlier next year!!!! As much as I love receiving them, I love to give them! Every year it’s a challenge to myself to out do the year before!!! Wanting to schedule a full on family-session I had Kara Stewart & Taylor McCutchan photograph the fam! They did an fantastical job & in turn, making the creating of my card a delight!!!

Happy Christmas to each of you! I hope you have the most beautiful day! Happy Birthday Jesus!! Thank you for being born, for coming, and for Your life!!! Happy Birthday!! So happy to celebrate YOU, Jesus!!!!!

I also enjoyed putting together a few cards for a few clients!!!

To hold the cards, I love my Pottery Barn Card Holder! They no longer make the one I have, but found this one! Thank you, to all of you who have sent me a card!!!! It makes my heart soo happy!!

& just have to show off the pics from our FAMILY SESSION!!! 1st round are all photographed & edited by Taylor McCutchan! He is a brilliant photographer! I know that one day he will be extremely FAMOUS! Absolutely incredible artist!!!! Be sure to book him for a session! Thank you, Taylor, for capturing  us so perfectly! I will treasure these images forever!!!!!

and Kara Stewart Photography! My eyes well up with tears as I think of Kara & the sweet friendship that we share! We can start where we left off, literally! I am continually in awe of her joy, her spark, her happy, her inspiration! She is one of Redding’s finest photographers!! If you haven’t had Kara take your pics, book her! I haven’t had many people take just “me”, “by myself”, pictures, & Kara broke through!!! Honestly, it was just so weird being in front of the camera, instead of behind the camera. I had to tell my mind to stop thinking if this was a good pose or not… let it go, & had a BLAST!

All of the below images were taken & edited by Kara Stewart Photography! Thank  you, Kara!! Love, Love, Love them!!!! You’re AHHHHMAZING!

and me…. Kara truly captured the essence of my emotion! Thankfulness that my family made it! That the journey we’ve been on was worth every tear & every victory!!! Thank you, Kara!!!

and one of my faves from the session….

Make-Up: M-A-C by Michelle Gallagher

Head Piece: Which Goose

Girls Clothes: HTG81

.My Favorite Things #24 2010!. {Redding, CA Photographer}

Happy Christmas Eve!!! I cannot believe Christmas is here tomorrow & I cannot believe that I have blogged for 24 days STRAIGHT! AHHH!! & I still haven’t gotten up all of my shoots!! Guess I’ll have to keep blogging!! LOL!

This season is always super busy! Sometimes it just seems like there is always another something to go to, to do, to get, forgot, take back, wait in line, lose a parking space to the person who really wasn’t there before you, but took it anyway, patience is a virtue season, merriment, excitement, love, family, fun. Sooo many things! I could go on & on! I have to be very intentional about making time for family, for merriment, & time to make those special memories! Today was very intentional about memories!! It was so beautiful!!! We went on a family walk over to my mom’s to see my sister & her husband, who are visiting from Virginia!! Sooo great to see them! The kids were sooo excited!!! & then this afternoon we made Gingerbread Houses! I have purchased them every year from Trader Joe’s & we love them! I, especially, love the kit!! LOL! Tonight we went up to Ben’s Grandparents house & had the most beautiful Christmas Eve!!! So memorable!!!! I hope  you day was filled with beautiful memories & tomorrow, even more!!!

Happy Christmas Eve!!!

and beautifully completed!!!!

and a few from tonight.. I mostly took video, also shot these in black & white, it was kind of fun!!!!

mom & dad– love you so much!!

and my sister-in-law, Alisa, with Grandma Armstrong!!!! So thankful to spend Christmas Eve with the Armstrong Family up in Weaverville!

and the Hostess of the party, Auntie Amy with Sweet Santa Mimicha!!!!!!!

Thanks for the lovely Christmas Eve, Auntie Amy & Matt!!!!

OH & I almost forgot!!! Favorite Thing #24!!!! Meyer’s Hand Soap!!! I am in LOVE with this Hand Soap…. It doesn’t leave my hands feeling dry! Love! Love! Love!

.My Favorite Things #23 2010!. {Redding, CA Wedding Photographer}

My FAVORITE Thing #23 is the movie ELF! If you haven’t seen it yet, buy it! Our family watches ELF year round! I have watched Elf more than any movie, maybe not as many times as Nacho Libre, Napoleon Dynamite, Ever After, Anne of Green Gables, or Sweet Home Alabama, but it’s definitely been watched a lifetime worth!!! Buy it, watch it again with the family…. & Snuggle!!!!!

I decided to brag on my husband! He has been my 2nd Shooter this year & is absolutely amazing! He is so thoughtful of me, always making sure I’m taken care of, as well, capturing beautifully! These shots were all taken by Ben from Adam & Monika’s wedding in Piedmont, CA!!!!! Thank you Ben for being the best 2nd Shooter!!!! I love each wedding that I get to capture with you & look forward to 2011! It’s going to be so much fun!!!!!

I have to thank Alli for referring this wedding our way!!! Alli has been a dear friend for many years now & it was such an honor to capture this wedding & to get to capture her as well! Thank you Alli Girl! Love you!!!!!

In love with this moment!!!!!! Just married!!!!!

Ben!!!! You’re AMAZING!!!

Sweetest Father-Daughter dance. Tears!

.My Favorite Things #22 2010!. {Redding, CA Photographer}

Trying to finish strong!! Whew!!! What is my favorite thing today I wonder!!! Favorite thing #22 are the Cake Candles from Stephen’s Candlery!  There is nothing like the smell of Creme` Brulee, Raspberry Cobbler, or Apple Pie filling every inch of my home! They are both beautiful & scentful, and last down to the itty bitty part of the wick. A must!! You can purchase them locally, here in Redding, at the Candy Shoppe over on Hartnell or at the Candle Connection on Churn Creek, right next to Sugar Plum Cottage!!!!!

People often ask me who watches my kids when Ben & I shoot weddings. We have been very blessed to have family so close. Both of our parents help continually, and a wonderful family, the Larson’s! Our kids LOVE their kids & we just LOVE them! They have become family to us! Absolutely think the world of them & are so very thankful to have them in our lives!!!

A while back we did some lighting practice together & took a few crazy fun Secret Agent  shots. We had been talking about capturing our boys in their “stage of life.”  Here are just a few. I really haven’t spent time working/editing through them, but want to share. It’s so fun capturing kids in their favorite element of life!  Both our boys love to have air soft and paint ball fights & now the dads are getting involved, so to do a fun shoot, we threw in some air soft guns!!! LOL! Boyz & their Gunz!! All the weapons & guns in this shoot were air soft/paint ball/or just plastic.

charlie’s angels…..

& to show off the beautiful Larson family!

.My Favorite Things #20 2010!. {Redding, CA Photographer}

I couldn’t live without favorite thing #20!!! If I’m lost, it helps me find my way. If I am visiting a big city & want to find Anthropologie, it leads me right to it. I can check & update facebook. I can read, check, & respond to e-mails any time!  I love the way you can see what voicemails you have or need to get back too… Love taking notes, reading the Bible! Taking pretty good pics (i really need to upgrade to the 4G)! Yes, even can find myself being so distracted by it that I am lost in another world. Ben helps remind me to come back to earth! I have had to intentionally leave it behind, because I like it so much. Have you guessed it yet?  Yep! Its the iPhone! I love it!

My favorite apps & games are:

1. For movie times & whats playing: FLIXTER

2. When dining out & I want to make sure to leave a 25% tip: TIPULATOR

3.  For fun, amazing, OMG photos: HIPSTAMATIC

4. To flip my photos: PHOTO FLIPPER

5. When I’m in a store & LOVE the song that is playing: SHAZAM–it’ll change your life!

6. Sunrise & Set: For photographers this one is a MUST

7. Wanna know how many calories are in the burger you’re about to bite into? I love MY FITNESS PAL app!

8. Favorite Game: DOODLE JUMP

9. I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE  YELP!!!!!!

I just have to share this shoot!! As most of you know, I have stopped offering newborn/maternity sessions to new clients, only to my current clients. I was excited to get the call that Macyie was going to be a big sister & that I needed to be ready for newborn pics!! Chloe was born & thanks to Gramma, we were able to have a really successful shoot!!!

I got to take a few pics of sweet big sister first…

she was excited for me to meet her new sister!!!!

She even wanted me to meet & take pics of Boots!

and baby chloe!!!!

.My Favorite Things #19 2010!. {Redding, CA Photographer}

My favorite thing #19 is Apples 2 Apples!! We are just starting to get into games a bit more with the kids, and I had a few rounds of this game at a party  a while back & fell in LOVE! Guess one thing that the kids are getting for Christmas, & are going to be playing this Christmas Break! Yep!! That’s right!! Apples 2 Apples!!!!

and a few of my favorite people!! The Gill Family! I’ve know Tammi for almost fourteen years now!!! She has continually been such a loving friend!! So happy to see her family growing…. yep, baby #2 is on the way!! So exciting!!! Congrats Gill Family!!! Thanks for the fun mini-session!! Love you!

& because she was just toooo cute in this lil’ ladybug costume that Tammi made…..

.My Favorite Things #18 2010!. {Redding, CA Sweet Spot}

So, I’ll have two favorite things today!!!! I have been pretty on it, I can tell it’s catching up to me, this blogging every day thing!! LOL!

My favorite thing #18 is Sweet Spot!! It is a Dessert Shop located at 930 Hilltop Drive, Suite B, by Chuck-E-Cheese! Everything is made from scratch, and uniquely designed with a delicious flavor. They carry everything from cakes, cupcakes, gelato, frozen yogurt, cookies, and lots of little trinkets & sweet things! Be sure to stroll in for a Sweet Treat at the Sweet Spot!!!!!

I did this shoot quite a while back, with the girls having fun with all of the yumminess of Sweet Spot!!! I cannot believe I never blogged it, so perfect timing, I suppose!!!

.My Favorite Things #17 2010!. {Redding, CA Engagement Photographer}

& by the hair of my chinny chin chin!!!! Goodness! So glad that Friday has come & almost gone! I have been telling myself, “Just get to Friday….” AHH! We have had something every night this week & the days full with parties & field trips, and meetings, & deadlines! It has been a week! Looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow!!!!!!! Hopefully!! It’s always the one day you get & want to sleep in that the kids get up at the break of day for some reason. LOL! No, the kids are pretty worn out & said they were going to sleep in… We’ll see!!!!

So, my favorite thing #17 is Kelly Rae Roberts art & designs!!!! I just recently found her stuff in a local boutique & instantly fell in love. I ended up giving some of the wall art to the kids teachers! Absolutely beautiful & moving!!!! Her site & store are down right now, but you can find it on amazon!! So wonderful. Oh, & if in Redding, you can find it at the downtown Dandelion Boutique!!!

It’s amazing who comes into  your life & the friendships we make along the way… The Kreider’s are friends who I thank daily that they were put into my life! This last year Michelle was an angel. She would just text randomly, stood by me & encouraged me to fight for my marriage! Who so lovingly has loved US!!!! Thank you Michelle for the difference you’ve made in my life this year! For ALL of  your support, for being there, & for most of all loving!!! You are so dear to my heart!!!

We got this shoot in literally last minute, but managed to pull it off!!!! Thanks Kreider’s for the wonderful shoot!

…and getting away…..

.My Favorite Things #16 2010!. {Redding, CA Engagement Photographer}

Soo, favorite thing #16 is MAC Make-Up! It get’s me every time! I walk by the counter & I am drawn to all of the color, the sparkle, the shimmer, the “I wish I had two hours every morning JUST to get ready!”, the lines of eye shadow, blush, powder, the packaging, the brushes, OH I LOVE MAC!!!

& my favorite MAC Make-up artist is Michelle Gallagher! She is absolutely AMAZING! Seriously! She does amazing artistry!! She recently did Lauren’s make-up for her & Jason’s engagement shoot! There is just something about having your make-up done for a photo shoot ! I would highly recommend it!! The smoothness, the colors, the added drama!! LOL! Always worth it to have your make-up done!!!!

Totally enjoyed capturing Jason & Lauren! We had an adventurous time along I-5!! Gotta love the random spots you can find as you drive along!! Looking forward to capturing their wedding in June!!!! Congrats Jason & Lauren!!! I’m so happy for you two!!!!! Thanks for the awesome “e” session! I had a blast!!!!!