the h family

It was a super sunny day when I met with the H family last fall. Luckily we were able to find some shade while we walked the trails at Retzer Nature Center. 

Gavin was a sweetheart - just look at his adorable smile in these photos! I think he got bored of me taking pictures after a little while [no hard feelings - I'd probably feel the same way if I wasn't behind the camera!] but that changed when he got to hold his dog Max. I loved to see the interaction between Gavin and Max. 

The session ended with Gavin getting a ride on his dad's shoulders as we walked to our cars. What a lucky kid and what a wonderful family.

the l family

I met up with the wonderful L family on a chilly fall morning last year. Aiden was still getting ready while his older brother Chase hid from me. As soon as everyone was ready we were out the door and across the street at the most perfect location. Birch trees with yellow / green leaves? Yes, please. 

We walked the neighborhood a bit more and at a small park, Chase decided to get a book from the little library. The book he picked out had a giant jack-o'-lantern on the cover which seemed appropriate as Halloween was drawing near. 

Both boys did so well and were so much fun! By the end of the session Chase even had ideas of where he wanted his picture taken AND he really wanted to show me how he could smash a pumpkin with some gardening tools. I call that a pretty successful session. 

the r family

I met the R family last fall at their home. They had a wonderful yard, made even more spectacular with the leaves which were all turning color. It started out a little chilly, but warmed up as the sun came out. 

Baby Clayton did so well. He was wide awake and did not fuss one bit. That little boy is sure a cutie. 

And as if this family couldn't get any better - they had three dogs! Have I mentioned I love taking pictures of animals? [Yes. The answer is yes.] 

I guess I should be thanking the R family for providing the perfect location and wonderful subjects to work with. THANKS you guys!!

santa cruz, part 3

On our second full day in Santa Cruz, we left the hotel early in the morning. The last two nights of our trip we stayed at Hotel Paradox. It was not on the beach, but it was a nice hotel none-the-less. The check-in desk was part of a huge redwood and there were nature-esque decor all around, which I'm a big fan of. 

The morning was cloudy and rainy but we were hoping it would clear up by the time we got to our destination to do some sight-seeing. 

Our first stop was at the Baylands Nature Preserve in Palo Alto. It was not raining, so we got to walk around for a bit. The goose below did not like me taking pictures and tried to attack me. 

Because we were still craving tacos, we drove to downtown Palo Alto to go to Tacolicious for lunch. It was still a little early, so we browsed the farmer's market and did some window shopping before making our taco stop. 

The drive to Big Basin Redwoods was beautiful. VERY curvy roads and almost every other vehicle we passed had a Christmas tree they were hauling home. We didn't get to hike that far into the woods since we didn't have much time before we needed to head back. Also - surprise! It started to rain again. 

The only thing I'm bummed I did not see was a banana slug. Maybe next time. 

Before heading to supper, we went to watch the sunset at Steamer Lane. Many others had the same idea and the beach was filled with couples and families trying to soak up the last of the sun before it set. 

Finally it was the night I had been waiting for - the Aimee Mann Christmas show. It was held at the Rio Theater [iPhone pictures below] which was a bit smaller than we had expected. There were a bunch of seats in the middle-front which were reserved but all others were general admission. We decided to sit on the right side, second row. Yes, we were right by the speaker but knew it wasn't going to be deafening. However, we overheard countless people complain before the show about how it was going to be too loud, or they weren't even going to chance it. Wimps! 

Also pre-show, I enjoyed other overheards like:

"I think it's a small band, her husband is here.", referring to Ted [not her husband].

"Who's the opener?" "I don't know but it will be good since she's a music snob."

The show was filled with both comedy and music. The main story was that Santa was murdered backstage and it was Aimee and Ted's job to find the murderer. The opening for the show was an amazing video of "Murder, She Sang". [I just tried to search for the video since I keep hoping it finds its way online. It hasn't but I found the skit from Wits which must have started this idea?]

Along with being excited to see The Both [Aimee and Ted] I was also excited to see comedian Tim Heidecker. I'm pretty sure no one at this theater understood his humor. We, along with maybe one other guy, were the only ones laughing. Santa Cruz - stop being scared of loud music and comedians! 

Anyway, I just want Aimee, Ted and Tim to know - we enjoyed the show! We laughed with you and also at you [well, mainly just Ted in his baby New Year outfit]. 

a short minnesota trip

I completely forgot to share some pictures from our MN trip last fall. I can't believe I forgot - especially thinking back about the beer. We arrived to Minneapolis in the afternoon and my brother Ben was working on some projects so before we met up with him we decided to go to Bauhaus Brew Labs

This place had just about everything I like - great colors, great design and great beer. 

After sampling four of the beers they offer, we walked around the premise and I took some pictures [obviously].

At this point it was time for supper, so we met up with my brother and Christine at a farm-to-table restaurant named Wise Acre Eatery. We had a delicious meal and maybe loitered a bit too long in order to catch up with one another .

The next day we met Ben at the Minnehaha Park where we saw the falls and walked on the trail a bit before it got too muddy. 

After our mini walk, we ate lunch before walking some more around Minneapolis. 

We stopped at Forage where I wanted to buy everything. Since Forage is connected to Dogwood Coffee, we sat and had coffee. I'm sure we talked but I was probably drooling over the stools I wanted for my house. Even though my house doesn't have a spot for stools. But I could make a spot, right? 

After coffee we went downtown and took quite a long walk around. I think we passed three wedding parties getting their pictures taken. We also ran into a group of people ready to start their segway tour. One lady had her helmet on backwards and after none of her tour-mates nor the instructor told her, Eric was kind enough to tell the lady. She was both embarrassed and mad no one else told her. 

It was a short trip, but still fun. I guess we'll see you again next fall Minnesota since that seams to be the tradition. 

[2013 fall MN pics here]

angela + curt

Last summer a few friends from high school got together to catch up. On that day we asked our friend Angela if her and her fiancé had set a wedding date. She giggled and didn't answer right away, so we knew something was up. Turns out she was planning on getting married the following week! 

She and her fiancé Curt didn't want a huge ceremony, so they decided to get married and celebrate with the couple that had set them up. They then spent the following weekend up north. 

Soon after they were married, Angela asked me to help her with invites for the reception. I gladly obliged and created the following invites for their fall reception in Madison. 

The reception was held at The Bayou, a New Orleans inspired restaurant in Madison. It is one of Curt and Angela's favorite restaurants. I arrived early to help them set up some autumnal decorations which included vases filled with pumpkins and pinecones, leaves and awesome slabs of wood that Curt and his son Owen cut and finished. There were also little matchbook paper crafts that Angela had made, each which held a mint inside. 

The afternoon was filled with friends and family talking and drinking. Many of the kids hung out upstairs running and jumping around. 

Dinner was amazing. Eric and I got to choose different meals so we could try each other's. He got the chicken pasta in creole sauce while I got the crab stuffed salmon. 

After dinner the couple showed a slideshow which included pictures of both Angela and Curt over the years - both their individual lives growing up until the time they had spent together over the past couple of years. Unfortunately the slideshow kept going silent every now and then and since my husband Eric was sitting next to it, he was in charge to fix it. Every time the music would stop, you'd hear Angela and others yelling across the room "ERIC!" to remind him to get the music started again. 

After the slideshow, Angela's three brothers gave speeches. Each speech was very heartfelt, especially her youngest brother Jordan, who probably made everyone cry. 

I'm glad we were able to celebrate with this wonderful couple. Angela and Curt are perfect together. They are going to have so many fun adventures together! 

sisters kate + charlotte

I'm happy I was able to take pictures of this family a few months before they moved out west. We had a perfect fall day to walk to a park near their house. The oldest, Kate, is quite an adventurous little girl. She was climbing, swinging and running around, nothing would stop her! Then there's the littlest, Charlotte, who loves to laugh at her sister, but I'm sure she won't be too far behind her racing around soon. 

Thanks for inviting me over last fall. Eric + I are eagerly awaiting you to buy us plane tickets to visit in Oregon! ;)


I had a lot of fun meeting up with my friends Jim and Akiko last fall to take some family pictures. I've known their son, Soma, since he was just a few days old because I took some newborn pictures of him. It's always fun photographing him, although this time he was a little shy when I first arrived at their house. Eventually he came around when I said he could help me take some photos of his trains [his most prized possessions]. 

Their yard was filled with beautiful yellow leaves. We all thought he'd love playing in a pile of the nice crisp leaves, but instead all he wanted to was ride his bike through them. After some pictures in the backyard, we decided to walk to 4&20 Bakery & Cafe to grab lunch. Of course Soma's bike came with us until he ditched it to run around the tennis court. 

Thanks again guys for having me over and introducing me to a cafe with amazing food and coffee!