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August 2010



with emotion at the moment...

I had a shoot today.. that will undeniably brand my heart with the overwhelming feeling of appreciation for those that go above and beyond to help those in need. I had the privilege honor of photographing this family and just capturing this little window in time for them. I could've shot all day. What I wouldn't give to enter their home and capture them as a family, in their own environment, to witness the interaction, and most of all the love between all of them.

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A family of (counting) 11. Eleven! The minute we met them till the last shot, they left me speechless! The kids were so well behaved, helpful, sincere, and overall just kids. And mom and dad.. ahh, mom and dad, simply amazing. (That word will be over-used in this post, btw). I literally felt like crying the entire time.

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I came out of that shoot wondering if I have or am I doing enough in my time here on earth. Some days I get so wrapped up in the little things, the everyday problems, money issues, things I want but don't need. The need to want to become bigger and better. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with any of that. But my focus on life just shifted a bit today (okay a lot). And I'm left looking around my house and my options and feeling a bit selfish to be honest. Sure I'm not gonna be the next Queen of Humanitarian, but I'd like to touch that surface. I'd like to give more than I take. I'd like to use my talent/gift and give back 100 fold to those that don't get the opportunity to do so.


I've always had conversations with my husband about the thought of expanding our family. (Which he relates to my girlfriends having babies all around me) I know that medically, we can't. But I never shun the idea of adopting. I'm sure my husband would prefer we were in a better place. We can barely make it to the next paycheck these days. But I think a lot of our issues are more of a discipline issue. Now don't go on texting me, calling me, asking me if I'd just gone insane. I'm not headed down to the adoption agency tomorrow. I'm speaking hypothetically. I have to say, I do enjoy the peace and quiet in the house now that they are all in school. But I do admit, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for children (babies). I love them to pieces. I am a nurturer, by heart. I find total satisfaction in caring for my family. Even to this day, I could literally feed them with a spoon if they weren't so independent and grown. The point? Is that there is always room in my heart if I am ever faced with a situation that I would need to extend my heart and home to another. 

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We've placed hope and given our own kids a solid foundation for a great future.. why not extend that love? I look at this photo and think, who knows what kind of life she would've had if not for these amazing people. 

(tear) I totally could've just added the whole "For just 30 cents a day.. you could save a life.." quote in there. But all kidding aside. These people are truly amazing with one of the biggest hearts I've witnessed in a long time.

My Morning (In Pictures).

So I decided to take my Lil' Point & Shoot with me today and just take a few snapshots here and there of my morning.

After getting the boys off on the bus and Izzy awake eating breakfast, I take a stroll with Kai.IMG_3177



It's a lot colder in the morning nowadays. But I'm still embracing that sunlight bright and early.



I'm not the cheeriest morning person, all I can say, is at least I'm up.

I'm so glad that Kai is so well behaved on our walks, he rarely uses a leash unless there are too many cars around.

The girls getting ready to get on the bus.

The view of my work space. I didn't say I am the neatest person or well organized for that matter. 

And Kai makes it upstairs for his quiet time in our room. I'm glad he understands the idea of "fending for yourself" when I am indulge in work. There's fresh water available, the door is open for him to go potty, and of course our bedroom door is open for him to nap. I usually don't see him till 2pm.

And I didn't get to put away, nor fold, or even wash more laundry. Well, tomorrow is another day.

My Feeble Attempt... trying to get back to blogging and getting back to the things that I used to enjoy, which was writing, about anything and everything.

What I've Been Up To (The Bullet Form Edition). Gotta LOVE the Bullet Form Editions.

  • I have been glued to my computer watching Jasmine Star LIVE in her 3-day workshop and her live wedding via creative live. I've always admired her as a person and her work of course and I've always wondered what the "Behind The Scenes" would look like. And even though I have not met her in person, this was just as good. I learned quite a bit on her flow and her thoughts on certain areas. I just love her outgoing personality, her laugh, and her ability to move 100 mph!
  • "Katniss Everdeen"  I just finished the trilogy to the Hunger Games series... and ahh.. it was so good! I just about bawled at the very end. Now I almost feel empty.. like what do I read now?
  • Focusing... on the business that is. It is really nice to be able to have the time to devote more time to other things than just photo editing. There is so much more to keeping the ball rolling when you are doing a small business like this. I feel like I've only scratched the surface. If it's one thing I've learned from Jasmine Star, is she uses the internet to her advantage. She mentions blogging a lot to. And I have not focused on the business blog as much (let alone my personal blog) but would like to see that slowly change. Facebook is a great way to get connected too. Through these social networks I want our clients to feel connected to us, not just as photographers but as someone they could relate to or feel as if we are just the "gals" next door.
  • Fall is just around the corner. Well more like right there staring at us in the face saying "I'm coming and Winter is with me..." The leaves are quickly turning, mornings are chillier (I've regressed to putting my Uggs back on), and well there's no denying it... Fall is right there, literally.
  • Been trying to find that balance (aren't we always) but for me, it's learning to let somethings go and to not drown myself in my work but to come to the realization that "There's always tomorrow..."  I still have a hard time with that one. Will attempt to enjoy a day off in between the work.
  • Been doing a whole lot of "thinking of scrapbooking" rather than actually doing. I really need to start the process again. I really miss it. I can already feel like there's something missing... a hole inside of me or more like a yearning to create again.
  • Loving on my 4-legged family pup. The first week of the kids in school and the house so much more quiet in the day has led to him following me around like a helpless little puppy for the past week. I think he just about had a "hissy-fit" when I put him in his kennel to have breakfast with Erica. You'd think I just sent him to the pound. I'm hoping this week will be a little easier, well the whole not following me around thing.
  • This will be a short week for the hubby, he's back in the day job so he actually gets a 4-day weekend. And plans to go the State Fair. 


I'm hoping to bring out the camera out a little more this week on my own family. It's been a while since I just captured the everyday. Hope everyone has a fantastic Monday.  Mondays are not my usual cup of tea, but it's a new day we are blessed with. I may just make it to the book store to find another novel to indulge in. Let me know if you guys are in love with any new series.

A Week Since + Revelations. started.

And I have sort of developed some sort of routine/normalcy. It's not an easy one, but I'm not complaining.  My goal (now that our routine is set in motion) is to blog more. I do have a lot to capture and whole of nonsense to say.. it's usually in my head during my 7 am walks with Kai.

My day usually looks a little something like this: (which reminds me, I will be doing A Week In the Life again.. probably in Oct, it was the same time I did it last year)

  • 5 am - Wet kisses from Kai who happily strolls in our room, ready to start his day. He does not sleep in his kennel or go in very much since I am home with him. But he has been right on the dot, well some mornings were more like 4:30am. The house is quiet, it's getting cooler, and the sun rises later.

    There are times I am running around playing tug-of-war at 5 am wondering what the heck am I doing? But it seriously is so hard to get annoyed at him, when a new day for him is always so exciting. They just don't wake up on the wrong side of bed. His tail wags and he's so stinking excited that I'm awake.

    I cook Breakfast for the kids.
  • 6am - Caelan is finally awake, gets ready. Followed by the hubby (who is adjusting to his day job quite well.. and I'm loving it too). They both leave before 7 am.
  • 7 am - Ethan is next to get ready. His bus leaves at 7:30pm. I usually just heat up his breakfast and while gets ready, I will get Izzy up, get her breakfast going and she will sit and watch TV while Kai and I head out with Ethan to the bus stop.

    We usually take a short stroll since I got to head back for Izzy or play catch.
  • 8:30 - Izzy is off to catch her bus. And I usually take Kai on our 2-3 mile walks. I try to throw in a few running intervals in there to have him get used to it all. And he's doing so good. But being only 7 months, I know he's not quite ready for a good solid run just yet. 
  • 9:30 - 2:00 pm I've been putting a lot of hours working lately... Editing, marketing, promoting. And just today I spent the day watching Jasmine Star's live Workshop which was amazing. When I decide to give myself a break, I run errands meet girlfriends for breakfast/lunch. 

I usually say by 2pm, it's all downhill.. My oldest get's home at that time and then Ethan follows at 3pm and Izzy at 4pm. Domino effect really. This is the hustle and bustle time for me. I get dinner started, hang outside with the dog waiting for the kids to get home.. Or sometimes have photoshoot scheduled.

So far this has been the routine in the house. I'm a stickler for knowing what to expect. I still plan my meals 2 weeks out. 


Life is flying by. Days are turning into nights quicker.. and I'm in getting that itch to scrap again, more so to capture these moments.

Yesterday Paula and I went on a plane ride for our Senior Session



And although we were nervous as heck to have a "17" year old fly us out to the location that was 45 minutes out, (I mean, Paula and I pretty much looked at one another and expressed our gratitude for this friendship, cause you never know..) I managed to set my worries aside, and looked out that window and soaked it all in.


Breathtaking. The way the glaciers carved through the mountains creating this vast maze that nature created. Seeing Alaska from an aerial view... simply amazing. This literally was a once in a lifetime chance and we took it straight on.

We arrive to our destination knee deep in freezing glacier waters (no waders on) walking on murky mud/sand that literally sucked our keens off our feet. You'd step in and sink in and it took all the leg muscles and then some to get me out of there!


The location is literally in the middle of nowhere, the sun is blaring, it's bright out and we've encountered every photographers nightmare.. too much sun and not enough shade. I'm literally frantic because this is all new to me. What settings to use, get the reflector, and the diffuser. How am I gonna display the different angles/heights.. there is no way this stool will stand in this mud?! Panic! New place, new surroundings, new situation!


But if it's the only thing I've learned in this job, is to never show your clients you are "unsure" or even nervous, because then that sets the mood between you two. Instead I took all of this unfamiliarity and enjoyed it. I laughed so hard when our senior guy had to literally carry me off to shore, or when we lost my keens in the mud. Paula and I ran around like fearless teenagers along the shore laughing and having fun. Then it just came to us.. the "visions" the "technicality" of it all. We shouted our settings to one another. We basically took control of the sun using it to our advantage.. getting natural sun-flares, back-lighting, and reflecting like crazy. I balanced on logs and had him deep in the bushes somewhere to get the right shot.


And we had fun with it all!




And the revelation? Simple. We LOVE what we do. The sincere gratification we get from a day of shooting like this. The intense passion we have to strive to get "the" shot. And the willingness to make it work even though it meant I had to defy gravity by balancing on a very narrow log.

This shoot, that was completely a complimentary session for probably one of the sweetest, most well rounded 17 year old we have met, a shoot that took us 5 hours to wrap up and then some when you get home.... left us rich in our souls. It's really the kind of stuff I dreamed of 5 years ago when I started this path. Flash forward, I'm sharing one of the best life experiences with one of my best friends. I wouldn't have it any other way. 


We all want to be remembered by something when our time is over. I want to be remembered by my fierce desire I have for capturing life. My sincere passion that's constantly challenging me to new heights and not being afraid to take heed. And my ability to be able to share them with everyone through the lens of my camera.


They're Back...

In school that is.  And just like my FB status said:

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I truly felt like Supermom.. or just a sucker for routine and the idea of "the sooner I get them out the door, the sooner I will enjoy the peace and quiet!"

These past few days weeks were... unbearable. I'm not sure if you heard.. but it rained for nearly 30 days straight. Don't get me wrong.. I love an occasional down pour and listening to the rain outside my window and feeling that cool breeze.. but seriously? Not for 30 days straight. And you know what happens? Complete chaos in the house! What else can these kids do but annoy one another in the house? My sanity level went through the roof!

Then the one day we get a break from the downpour, the dreary feeling, the gray clouds to actually catch the sun and see blue skies.. was today, the kids first day of school! It was next to perfect, that weather stuck with us till sunset.

So my morning started very early with an eager Sophomore! 4:45 am to eager! I wake up to the sound of "Teach Me How To Dougie" and "Pretty Boy Swag"

Breakfast burritos in the works and a very happy dog that gets to eat at 5 am and play.



He's officially Sophomore Status...

And I've spent this summer trying to remember what it was like at his age.. cause there are times where I just don't get it. This boy has got "teenage angst" written all over him, right down from his lingo to his somewhat "not so skinny" jeans.. cause he gets them a size big so he can "sag". Who wants to see your boxers? I don't get it. 

Not to mention that this guy is driving now... (insert long sigh) I'm a nervous wreck when he gets behind the wheel. I actually wonder what happens if we don't return in one piece. I sit in the back with Izzy and we hold hands.. (I'm secretly praying while clinging on to the doors).

And then there's the girlfriend, the on and off again, the I'm not sure what the heck is going on drama. But we (Erica and I) keep tabs on him via his FB status updates. (Insert another big sigh).

I'm hanging on to the edge of my seat to see what his Sophomore year brings forth.





Ahh.. Ethan, Ethan, Ethan.. This is my "baby"... He's officially not in Elementary School anymore. He's in the cool, Middle School.. He says they're referred to as "Sevies"

I admit, I underestimate him.. and probably don't give him enough credit. I worry to much about him when in fact, he's got this under control. During his orientation, I went through this lengthy explanation of how to unlock his locker... going through the steps.. reassuring him that it's okay if he doesn't get it the first time and I hated my locker, blah blah.. and in 2 seconds he opens his locker. Then Caelan and I were shocked.. thinking, beginners luck. So we clear it and tell him to try it again. And to take his time, think about what direction you are going.. blah blah and again, he opens it.  Touring his middle school (cause Caelan knew this place like the back of his boxers) he's explaining to him where the classes are worried that he is so gonna get lost. But he proved us all wrong.

He came home, ecstatic as can be. Elated even. He said he had so much fun and this school was so cool. And his favorite teacher so far is his Integrated Science class. He talked so much to me when he got home, I had to slap myself to see if I was dreaming. Nope, he really was telling me how his day was.

He even mentioned that a girl was staring at him and "checking him out". And here I thought he was daydreaming.. but his friends came by the house and I heard them say.. "Oh Ethan, remember that girl that was staring at you..

I know he's gonna do fine. (I just don't want any girls looking at him.. he's mama's boy). 



My Izzy.

She's a 2nd grader. Still spunky, sweet, thoughtful, and oh so sassy. She's quite the splitting image of the only female in the house.. me! Somedays it's a sweet compliment and others.. well, I like to be alone. I think that the third child.. or the last child for that matter, grows up way to fast and becomes particularly independent all to quick. It's her way of telling us she's not the baby of the bunch. And being the youngest, that's a hard thing to pull off. I never worry about her as much as I do with Ethan. She's self sufficient.. almost to adequate if you ask me. She's totally my girl though. 

This year she finds her BFF Jazzy in her class. She squealed with delight! And the first thing she said is "Mommy I promise I won't talk too much, I will save it for when we get home."

This year I found school shopping with her to be quite different. Well in a sense that I picked out all the wrong outfits. She simply has her very own sense of style.. which she likes to say is a replica of the lovely Selena Gomez. Which by the way, according to her, I am not. She says I wear to many Nike stuff, Selena does not wear those things. But I do get praises when I throw something cute on.


That's the latest on the kids. Me? Same ol, same ol.

But it's time for me to head to bed..

Selling My Scrappy Stuff.

I've been doing some "summer-cleaning",  de-cluttering, rearranging, and rethinking...

Just to clarify to all my scrappy friends.. I am NOT giving up on paper scrapbooking... I'm just downsizing my products. Lately I've realized that I do love to scrap.. just minimally keeping the idea of less is more. I've been happy with some words and a photo to be honest, because ultimately it's the story behind all the photos that matter the most. But I don't think I could ever let go of all the pretty stuff I have. So don't count me out as a paper scrapper just yet!

It started out as an idea.. from Erica who "de-cluttered" her paper stuff last year and at first I didn't think I had a whole lot to sell. But the more I dug out what I had.. the more I realized.. I don't think I'll ever used these. 

So I've set up a Craigslist which you can find


And since it doesn't allow me to publish all the kits, and I am still working on them. I think I am half way done.

You can view the kits via Facebook. Because what better way to advertise then with FB & Craigslist! 

You can view the Facebook link



In other news with our Lil' Ohana.

Hubby is officially in a day job!  He works Monday thru Friday till 4-5pm.. He's home for dinner (well most nights.. he's been doing a lot of fishing after work...insert grunt).  And of course I just learned that his job will allow him to travel quite a bit.. Lucky him (insert sarcasm). But I'm happy. It's different because now I have to pretend I've been busy all day when it hits 4 pm.. so that's when I hit the dryer button, start vacuuming, and cooking dinner :) 

And the dog... oh the dog. Let's just say.. he's been feeling a little ill this weekend. I won't paint you a clear photo but he must've got a stomach bug or what not and ... yeah, I found myself steam cleaning at 4 am this weekend..  (Arrgh) Lucky thing he's so darn cute and obedient...

School starts on the 18th (?) I'm excited. I see many days.. just "being".

I've started going back to the gym and working out again.. which explains the hop in my step or the smile on my face lately. It's what I've been missing.. yet again, I just realized how unfit I've become. I've started running again.. slowly but surely. 4 miles max.. I still can't believe I used to run 8.. Phew.

Oh did I mention school starts soon?

This weekend was relaxing.. I actually stayed off the computer.. other than for my phone.. T'was nice.

Behind The Wheel.

I remember when he was excited to crawl into this "Flinstone-mobile" back in the day, 1996 to be exact.


Fast forward, 2010... it's a whole new kind of ride. And let me tell you he didn't push it with his feet.


You know I had to catch this moment, even if it's with my iPhone.


This was a LONG process to finally get his permit. (The story of the change in last names) But I'm glad it took this long (one month later) because I think it taught him a little patience. Eh, who am I kidding, he was anxious every single day awaiting for the arrival of the mailman! 

I really tried to remember what it was like when I got my permit and drove home... Yeah, I couldn't. All I could see in the reflection was my mom staring right back at me saying "I told you so!" She was right. I would have never said that when I was 15... but that woman knew what she was talking about. Those were the thoughts that went though my mind as I held on tight to the sides of car and as I pressed my "pretend" brakes every time he was going a little to fast for comfort (although I hardly think going 35 mph on base is fast). My heart was pounding as I tried to relax my smile. I tried to shut it, but found myself talking faster. 


Where does time go? 

I'm just glad to say, despite the minor teenage-angst and the fact that he seems like a reflection of my brother (which irritated me growing up) I see so much of "me" in him as well (self absorbed teenager who could not see beyond tomorrow or even next week, but then again, all teenagers are like that) and that worries me at times :)  But he is a good kid. Respectful, while testing his borders. And sweet with a touch of defiance. 

And when he pins me to the corner where I could literally grab every piece of his faux hawk and pull it out of his skull, I have to remember today.. where I found him sitting with his sister drawing... together... laughing.

All I can say.. is please give me a few years to digest all of this before the next kid goes through this...

And of course I could not resist a little video footage of this moment.  This was literally the FIRST time he has ever driven a car. And (silly) me, I just threw him on the road, no parking lot to practice.