Yesterday my dad and I did a bit of driving around during our vacation in Arizona. We visited Montezuma's Castle - a cool rock castle on the side of a cliff, and drove up and and around Sedona. Here are a few of my fav pics. The cactus are beautiful!
I LOVED the Pink Jeeps I saw! Might have to get one. We ended our hot day getting chocolate milk shakes!
As I describe on our website, I like to journal. But I've recently realized that I don't really share with you my personal entries. I'm recently reminded (and inspired) by Kelly's - Back in the USA post to share more of my personal feelings with you all. I give you Sneak Peak's all the time of our photography sessions and I thought I'd give you a sneak peak...into me.
My below post might be a bit unorganized, cluttered of random emotion, and snippets of passing thoughts...so just bear (or is it bare) with me. :-)
The part of Kelly's recent post that touched me was the following: "... I now appreciate down time. Sitting and talking, or sitting in silence with someone. I appreciate â??just beingâ?? and not feeling the need to â??doâ?? all the time. I appreciate simple things, simple life, and most of all I appreciate life. The fact that I am here, and that I can do, see, and be."
Just being. Not feeling the need "to do" all the time. I've heard repeatedly from Cory how I don't know how to relax. It's kind of true. It's kind of hard to admit. Kind of. I love to work. And I'm the typical Type A who has to always be doing something.
I really enjoyed our recent trip to visit Ashley and Reece. Ashley was worried that we'd be bored...you think she knows me? But I can say I thoroughly enjoyed doing nothing. I read a book. The whole thing. In just three days. Not a work biz book, but a fun book. We even went to a book exchange store to get more books...I forgot how much I love the smell of old books. aahhhh. We walked on the beach. All of us talked for hours. All together. Separate. Reece and Cory outside in the darkness, and Ashley and I in the kitchen. We laughed. I fell asleep leaning on Cory while we all were silently watching the Olympics. It was wondrous.
How easy it is to breathe. And yet that is exactly what we forget to do...just breathe. The most simplest of all things. Close your eyes and breathe. What do you smell? What do you see? What are you thinking? Where are you? Who are you?
Who am I? I am me. I love laughing. I love life. I love passion. I love Cory. I love life. I love my family. I love my friends.
I have made the decision this year to take more time for me. For Cory. For our lives together. For family. Not an easy feat for a admitted workaholic. I still need to work on this...daily... It's not easy for me. I'm a perfectionist...to a fault sometimes. But I realize it's also my blessing.
I can sit and work on images for hours on end. Why? I enjoy watching the expression that is caught in the moment jump off the page. Knowing that when my clients see their images, they will smile, laugh, and even cry. If only you'd see me as I prepare the slideshows for my clients...my friends...I cry and I smile. Remembering the moment...and feeling in the moment. I love what I do. I love my clients. And I love the friendships that we create together.
Kelly and I shared a few emails back and forth while she was gone and it reminded me of my time at Jesh de Rox's workshop. Check out this recent post by Jesh about "the world is a playground (life)" to get an introduction to this amazing photographer and friend.
From Jesh's post about playgrounds: "it is not what we do that makes something work or play, exciting or boring, it is the degree to which we are experiencing what we are doing."
Life is a playground. If you want it to be. If you try. Funny as adults it takes more effort.
I've been debating all week about whether or not I should take a trip this weekend to visit my Dad in Arizona (while my mom is in southern CA caring for my grandma) and I've decided to go. Nicole spoke simple words "if he passed away today, you'd regret not going". Thanks Nicole. I love you for your bluntness. And sarcasm. And your friendship.
It means that work won't get done as quickly as I would like (sorry Erika!) but I'm remembering to just breathe and to appreciate life.
I encourage those that read this post to comment.
And with Life in mind...I want to share a few more images from last weekend's wedding of Erika and Justin. (and since their slideshow will be a bit delayed!)
A moment caught by Anne.Don't you love that a total stranger had a smile brought to his face. Total randomness.Cory caught this image of Erika, Justin, Lulu, and Bentley! Tina's perspective.This last one I captured. Caught in the moment.
Yesterday we had the pleasure of photographing Erika and Justin's wedding. Tina and I worked together all day, Cory joined us for the ceremony, and Anne joined in at the reception. The day was full of sentiment, family, laughter, and a few tears. When we saw the home in which Erika was getting ready, we were like little kids in a candy store. We started with a fun ring shot amidst a beautiful piece of artwork - man and wife together seemed very fitting to me. The circular stairwell had the most amazing afternoon sunlight and the railings framed Erika's face wonderfully. Gotta love that light!We couldn't resist a few bridal portraits in the green outdoors. We arrived at Morgan Creek Golf and Country Club to take some detail shots of the elaborately decorated interior in shades of pink and brown. The tables were decked out in "Star Wars" themed names and flowers were placed on every table in varying heights. Cheryl, Erika's sister, did an amazing job of making this all come together, including doing all the floral arrangements!
There were many special touches for the day: gift bags for the kids were filled with coloring books, crayons, Slinkys, and other fun toys, during the appetizer hour pink cocktails were served, and a pink and brown candy bar was demolished by everyone craving sweets. Erika surprised all the girls with flip flops on their chairs in order to kick off those heels and dance all night long, everyone had a guest pass to the photobooth, and their favors were donations made to the City of Hope. Each napkin had a little card describing the foundation wrapped in a pink wristband with words such as Hope, Faith, Survivor, and Strength. Both of Erika's grandmas passed away this spring and she wore a ring from one grandmother, and from her other grandmother she was given a birth charm which she tied to her bouquet. Two special guests joined the processional: Lulu and Bentley - Erika and Justin's two dogs! Lulu took over the show for a moment just as Erika and her dad were walking down the aisle. She decided she wanted to join the golfers on the green and play "ball". Somehow Lulu managed to wiggle out of her collar and off she ran. At first we thought she was heading into the pond, but alas, she just wanted to chase the little ball that was being hit across the green. Never to be forgotten as we all smiled. The groomsmen took total control and off they went to retrieve Lulu. It was one of the most precious moments I will treasure forever. Justin thought for certain he'd be the one to stumble over his vows, but to his relief he recited them perfectly (and they laughed as Erika was the one who stumbled a bit.) After the ceremony, we took the bride and groom off for a few shots in the glorious sunset light. Justin carried in his jacket pocket a picture of his brother who passed away several years ago. We thought it only fitting to include him in a picture with Justin and Erika. Erika and Justin were troopers. They knew how we like to go on the hunt for the best light and when we saw this field, Erika didn't even hesitate. She lifted her layers of tulle and heels and trekked through the high grass. What do you think - wasn't it worth it? Back at the reception the party was started with the introduction of Mr. and Mrs. Justin Sizemore! Rich was one of two best men, and gave some funny (but true) advice to Justin. Erika's dad just yesterday cut the metal for their cake topper. Right as cake was being served, trays of cookies and shot glasses of milk were passed around for the guests. It was wonderful to watch the guests as the first dances were underway. The little ones sat at the edge of the dance floor in awe, and at times the crowd erupted into a roar. Erika and Justin hit the photobooth moments before we took our exit for the night. Tina, Anne, and I made sure to climb in so that we could add our filmstrip to Erika's guestbook. Erika and Justin - thank you for allowing us to be there with you on your wedding day. You made us feel like part of your family. When Anne and Allie were toasting you I had to blink back the tears in my eyes so I could see enough to keep taking pictures! There was no doubt how important family and friends are to you both. Everything you did was felt with love. We look forward to seeing you and your family grow! Congratulations!
At dinner last night, Kelly entertained us all with stories of her DR trip. She told us of her video of the tarantula and the pot holder. We told her to You-tube it....and she did so as soon as she got home. Here it is!
I woke up yesterday morning...a bit happier than other days. Why you ask? It was my birthday. And as birthdays go...it's a day that I get my way on everything. Or so I tell Cory! :-)
I had to work Thursday, yes - sad to say, I worked on my bday. But I decided to go ahead and dress up for the entire day since Cory and I were planning on going to dinner that night. It's not that often that I feel the need to dress up, but I had this summer dress just waiting for the tags to come off it and be worn.
When I got home at 5:15, I was ready to hit the restaurant. You see - we tend to eat by 6pm. First, "they" say it's healthier to eat at least two hours before bedtime and since I get up at 5am most mornings, I'm ready for bed by 10pm; and second, I'm usually starving by 5pm. But to my slight disappointment, Cory was on the computer, working "on a problem" that he had to finish up before we left. So I grabbed the book I was in the middle of reading, poured myself a class of BV 1998 Cab and settled down to read a few chapters while I waited. I was beginning to stress about getting into the restaurant since he didn't make reservations. Finally, at 6pm, he said we could go.
I grabbed my purse and asked if we were taking a bottle of wine with us to dinner, as we often do since we have many special bottles sitting in our wine rack for such occasions. Surprisingly, he responded with "nah...we can just order something off the menu."
We arrived to a packed lobby at Fat's Restaurant. I thought for certain we'd have to wait forever to get a table. Funny thing though...I could sware I saw by BFF Kerry at a table in the back of the restaurnt. Cory told me to go look and see if it was her. I turned the corner to a surprise group of friends waiting for our arrival. Happy Birthday they shouted. :-) It was great! Apparently Tina spear headed the idea, Nicole took charge of the planning, Cory was in charge of the delay, and everyone else did their job of keeping it a secret. Even Kelly knew about the surprise while she was still in DR last week.
Cory had ran back out to the car to bring in a magnun of Far Niente 2000 Cab that we had been saving for a special day. It was great to eat good food, drink good wine, and laugh it up with my close friends. Thank you all for making it such a good day.
As we waited for food to arrive, I opened a few gifts.And wine was poured. Don't you love Nicole's ring?Food was awesome as usual!Tina.Kerry and Kelly.Me and Cory.John and Nicole.There is a bit of a story behind the cake. I love swedish fish. And for over 4 years I wasn't suppose to have them since I had braces. I snuck a few here and there but for the most part, I was good. Nicole called Belinda at Ettore's and had her create a Swedish Fish cake - blue to represent the ocean. It was YUMMY! Kelly and I both had fun fondling the big fish. :-)