Spring Sunshine {Family Photography}

You know how there are people that you feel immediately drawn to?  That’s Felicia.  I met her at my niece’s birthday party almost four years ago and she hired me that summer to take their family portraits. Through the years, I’ve loved every opportunity to photograph them as she so gets me and the way that I photograph and is so natural in her love for her family.  Even more,  I’ve enjoyed getting to know her as a friend  She has a very, very beautiful heart and is clearly a lovely person too.  I so appreciate her warmth, encouragement, and generosity.

I think it was a little over a year ago that she tackled photography herself.  She’s always had an eye for beauty but within about six months mastered her camera, composition, connecting with subjects and editing…whew!  She takes images that capture the essence and are so engaging.  I know she’d smile and shake her head that she has a long ways to go…..but she’s also exceedingly humble.

Before our last trip up to Vancouver, I wanted to get some updated shots of our whole family to blow up for my parents for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  I suggested a swap…really fair, right??  She got to wrangle twelve crazy people and I got to spend time with just the four of them in the sunshine.  Of course, she was gracious and went way over my request of a few shots of all of us with our eyes open.

For my time with her family, we got some fun family shots together, but I also really wanted to focus on her relationships with her girls, since she is the one observing them from behind the camera most of the time.  They are lovely, wonderful girlies who are very different but both respond so warmly to her.  The day after this we got together and she treated me to a wonderful lunch at a dumpling house (yum!!) and to a few hours of conversation about motherhood, marriage, balance, fulfillment.  It was so good to be honest and talk and be heard and understood.

We had a lovely night for photos, full of light and warmth and joy. I hope you enjoy these images of Felicia and her family before she donned her gum boots and chased after our family.  Thank you, my friend!  Let’s do it again!

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Tulip Fields

Every time spring comes, I feel like I’ve been holding my breath for a long time and catching my first breaths of fresh air again.  I just love this time of year, from the first bits of green I see in February to now when things are in full bloom. Being 100% of Dutch background I think that tulips especially are in my blood and I always remember my  mum planting lots of bulbs each year.

We went with the family to the tulip fields in Mt. Vernon this year.  We went mid-week during our spring break as the last time we went on the weekend it was crazyville. The Roozengaarde Tulip Fields are so very beautiful with every variety in their robust show gardens to the fields of flowers that take your breath away with the color.  I was laying in the pathways to get just the right angles and trying out my new lensbaby lens for some fun blur (and totally got carried away with it…you’ll see!) while depending on Ben to keep the boys in check.  I bought myself some time with kettle corn but two hours were just about all they could handle in the fields without launching themselves into the mud.  Next year, I’m going with some girlfriends and spending some more time there. The beauty filled me right up.

Here’s a few of my favorites!  Color. Warmth. Growth. Hope.

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I Heart Faces Black and White Challenge

I heart black and whites so much!  I also love my friend and this image we got last summer when driving by a graffiti garage in Tacoma.

I HEART FACES is having a challenge this week. Here is the I HEART FACES FACEBOOK PAGE as well.

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Tymen Christian is Six

Almost every day I make the rounds with our kids and ask them what they are thankful for and the responses are as varied as they are.  With Tymen the answers are always the same….Mama, our family, Jesus.  He is a loving  heart who engages enthusiastically and wraps his arms around anyone who shows him some attention.  He wiggles and gets distracted but he’s quite bright and breezing through reading and loves math.  His favorite activity right now is building for hours with a bucket of legos and it’s a relief for me to see that he loves to create things as frankly, he takes things apart with alarming frequency and always has a shocked and regretful look on his face when confronted.  From plugging in the hand mixer with the blade and wielding it at his brothers, to throwing rocks around in the backyard and breaking lights, to pulling the stuffing out of pillows…and the list goes on…he’s all boy. And though he wears me to a nub at times,  I love him for it.

I adore this little guy and am so glad for the time I get with him.  Though his school went to all day kindergarten this February, I have opted to still keep him at home with me in the mornings.  It probably was about 20% because I feel like he’s still a little guy and sitting all day is a challenge plus he’s tracking well with the material.  80% was for me so I’d have these last few months to savour having him home for part of the day.  I love buddying around with him and Theo, taking trips to the library and park, baking, and letting them play together. In a few months he’ll be in first grade.  It’s hard to believe this little crazy is growing up and though I see his interests grow and questioning develop, it still makes my sentimental mom’s heart glad when he picks me flowers, asks for bunny pancakes for his birthday breakfast in bed, and slips his hand in mine when we walk together.

I’ve shared before about how Tymen was the surprise of my life, coming along 13 months behind Jasper.  Though he’s created his fair share of messes and craziness, he’s also caused my cup to overflow.  I always wanted children to love but experiencing that love back is such a gift and this boy has a heart a mile wide.

Happy birthday, Tymen!  We love you, son!

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Six Times Twelve {March 2014}

The family photo challenge (a family picture of the six of us for twelve months) can be a bit difficult between the rain and busy schedules.  We were down to the wire…March 31.  Ben was absolutely glued to his computer and I think didn’t get up for about 15 hours yesterday, solving some important issues, but I pried him out of his chair for 20 minutes.  It was enough time to pick up my awesome friend, Michalina, who shot these off for me.  I absolutely love the ones of us all loving and squeezed up together with the cherry blossoms surrounding us but I also am sharing what a lot of the messiness that was going on.  This, my friends, is family photography!

The cherry blossoms.  We didn’t have time to drive to a wild field with flowering trees and had to find one in our neighbourhood that didn’t have houses directly behind it.  Not easy but I scouted after school.

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Ben, ever the good sport for  the wife with the photo ideas, checks his phone and puts off the problem people for 15 minutes.

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We try grouping number one but Theo keeps lunging at Ruby or choking me and Ben looks pained as he keeps the boys balanced.

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Configuration number two allows Theo to grab a branch and whip his siblings.

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Mummy takes the branch away and Theo pulls Daddy’s hair. Mummy tries to keep things happy and not get too bossy.

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Ohhhh, the group hug idea starts to work, and the magic starts to happen. Cassandra appreciates that Michalina is shooting away! We got it! We got it!!!06-Marchfam-1307-Marchfam-1108-Marchfam-15

Then the hugs get too intense and squeezy.

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Injuries begin to take place.

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And….we’re done! Five minutes of pictures and we have a good one and a bunch that will make us laugh!

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