Personal: My Mari

September 4, 2010 at 12:29 AM (kids, personal)

I recently posted some pictures of Liana at the zoo.  I haven’t done an official shoot with Mari lately, but I do have glimpses of her from the past couple weeks to share.  I can’t believe my baby is 17 months old already.

Our playgroup recently visited the zoo, and took our inaugural ride on their new Conservation Carousel – Mari’s loved it, and was even happy to share her steed with her big sister.

An evening shortly after that Mari was in more of a mood to explore the many use of a popcorn tin than she was to sleep, and my camera was within reach.  It was used to barrel roll, beat like a drum, and at this point, as a comfy perch to read her book.

After she managed to get herself out of the tin, she found an even “better” way to use it – the reason it disappeared by the next morning.  After all, what toddler wouldn’t love a stool just high enough to allow her access to the TV controls?

Here’s Mari after feeding herself so much pasta you’d swear she was carbo loading.  This girl may have a Scandinavian first and last name and bear an oddly close resemblance to her father, but here my baby’s inner Italian shines through.

Like any mom I could go on forever with this post, like a digital never-ending brag book.  Before I stifle myself, though, I can’t resist squeezing in just one more shot.

I was observing the big kids when our playgroup visited the Beech Creek Botanical Gardens and Nature Preserve when I noticed Mari’s little spot in the shade.  This was taken just after she noticed her unsuspecting sister coming near, but just before she bounded out to yell “boo” to her Liana, as their near constant game of peek-a-boo demands. I love how her plan is written all over her face here.

Thanks for letting me share Mari’s world with you.  I hope she brought a smile to your face, too!


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Family/Kids Session: Lisa, Jason, and Jenna

September 2, 2010 at 9:37 AM (couples, family, kids, Uncategorized)

Happy 3rd birthday Jenna!

Jenna and my Liana first met when Jenna was three days old (Liana was all of two months old herself).  Jenna had met her parents only hours earlier and was ridiculously sweet, staring into her mommy’s face.  Poor Lisa probably couldn’t hear her baby’s gurgling, as I had screamed so loudly into the phone the day before when Lisa called to tell me they got “the call,” and Jenna was theirs.

Fast forward three years – and as all moms (and fake aunts like me) know it really does feel like life has been on fast forward – and Jenna has grown into a curious and beautiful preschooler.

We were also able to get some neat pictures of all three of them.  What a beautiful family!

Jason and Lisa will celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary soon, but sometimes they still look like they’re in that cute, exciting, everything’s new stage of dating.

These three are hoping to increase the size of their family soon.  They would love it if you keep the adoption of Jenna’s future little brother in our prayers.

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Personal: Liana at the zoo

August 7, 2010 at 11:50 PM (fun location, kids, personal)

This weekend we took the girls to the zoo.  Liana, our 3 year old, is normally stuck in the stroller during weekday zoo trips with me.  Dadda joining us today offered Liana a little more independence.  We have tons of the obligatory bear-over-her-shoulder picture, so today I snapped some different shots as we celebrated her strollerlessness.  This first set were taken in some of the few shady spots I could find today in the zoo garden.

Just past the eagles exhibit (one of Liana’s favorites) is the Eagles Nest exploration area.

It was almost time to head home for nap, but we had to visit the jellyfish, get our hands wet in the touch tank, and of course climb the coral reef climbing wall before heading home.

I love the Akron Zoo, and if you’d like to put down your snapshooter and have someone else document your family’s trip to the zoo (and maybe get some family portrait shots taken in the garden), I’m your girl!

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Family Session: Kat, Aaron, and Kids

August 2, 2010 at 5:17 PM (family, kids) ()

I was so excited to see this family.  Aaron and I actually graduated from the same high school, so it was neat to see him because we no longer live in that school district – or that state!  Kat and I met a couple years ago at a holiday party back in my hometown, and I’m so glad we did!  They came out to support Brooke Taylor’s family adoption fund, and take some family/kiddo shots.

Peyton is so much fun to be around, and he’s pretty darn cute, too.

Emerson is so adorable.  She was in a serious mood this day, so there was a bit of a game to catching her magical, twinkly-eyed grins.

Check out Peyton, a little linksman in the making.

Like father, like son.

Sweet siblings.

Next, it was time to hit the playground.

Last but not least, we checked out the duck pond and gazebo.

Thanks for coming out for the adoption benefit!  We need to get our kids together soon.  Last but not least, happy birthday Kat!

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Family Session: Laurel, John, and Kids

July 31, 2010 at 2:52 PM (family, kids)

Laurel’s been a friend of mine for years, and I can’t believe how fast her beautiful children are growing!

I love hearing about what her girls (Claire and Lilly) are up to about the joys and challenges of their age, because it reminds me that my own little ones won’t be small for too long.  Johnny is the same age as my Liana and they’ve been playing together since before they could sit up, so it’s been a special joy to watch him grow.

I love the father-son shots!

Want to make a 3 year old happy?  One word: playground!  (The promise of treats to come didn’t hurt, either.)

Lilly’s name fits her about as well as anyone I’ve met.  A few years ago she went from being the youngest to new big sister, and I think the role suits her well.

Claire has a disposition as sunny as her smile.  My husband and I can’t wait until this tween gets a little older, because we think she’ll make a great babysitter.

Thanks Laurel  and John for bringing the kids out for this “Day In the Park” session.  I’m looking forward to seeing your family – from behind my camera, and without it!

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Tracey, Michael, Xander and Drew

July 26, 2010 at 11:16 PM (couples, family, kids, Uncategorized)

These parents should be proud.  They look this happy and they’re facing the opposite direction of the playground!  Tracey and Michael have great boys.

They make pretty great models themselves!  Like so many other parents, these two haven’t taken a non-snapshot  “couple” picture since they were married.

Big brother Xander is full of personality, and had a great time on the playground.

My favorite part of this picture is that he was smiling up at his little brother!

Speaking of his little brother, Drew is adorable and I loved capturing his sweet smile.

Drew won’t be the baby of the family for long, though.  Their family is expecting number three in 2011.  Congratulations Tracey and Michael, and thanks for coming out for pictures!

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Family Session: Pam, Steve, and boys in a special session

July 23, 2010 at 8:15 AM (baby, couples, family, kids, Uncategorized)

This particular session was a special treat during this adoption fundraiser.  Pam and Steve are in the process of adopting one-year-old Joseph into their family.  What a sweet addition he makes!

I got some great smiles out of this little guy, but I find his “serious” face incredibly endearing, too.

Now we’ll get the whole family in there.

Just the boys.

Handsome and helpful big(gest) brother Justin is 11.

Christian has just celebrated his 9th birthday, and we took this opportunity to get some unique birthday pictures of him.

An important friend joined him for this picture.  Interest in this owl is something Christian shares in with his new little brother.

These were so much fun to take!  I loved his Dad and big brother standing by me, providing tips on what makes for a solid fighting stance, light saber maneuvers, and what makes for a quality game face when wielding a fictional weapon.  I was desperately trying to contain my laughter and not shake the camera too badly.

Thanks for bringing the family out, Pam and Steve.  Congratulations and good luck with the completion of your adoption.

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Family Session: Sandy, Steve, and kids

July 21, 2010 at 2:09 PM (couples, family, fun location, kids)

This was a fun picture to take of Sandy and Steve’s 5 great kids.  What you don’t see is the little boy (at Price Park) for a church picnic) who really wanted to be in this shot.  He really really really wanted to be in this shot.  The only way I was going to take a family picture that actually consisted of this family was to take one with him in it and figure out the rest later.

How do you add a touch of class to the “make a silly face” picture?  Convert it to black and white!

Here’s the respectable version:

Instead of my usual running commentary, I’m going to introduce these kiddos by name, and let their photos speak for themselves.  I will say that I enjoyed spending time with each one of them!

Here’s Katie





Thanks for coming out to support the completion of another family!  I hope to see you all again!

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Kids session: Alex and Anthony

July 20, 2010 at 12:03 AM (family, kids, Uncategorized)

Anthony and Alex are lots of fun.   This started out as a picture of Alex, but his brother jumped into the shot.  Now it’s a glimpse into a relationship.  It was a neat start to our Day In The Park session.

As you may have noticed, I’ve been really into this type of shot lately.  Let me know if you’d like something similar at your session.

I “elevated” big brother Anthony for this shot.  A lot of messing around before we got down to business here = genuine smiles.

Alex seems like such a nice kid.  As they’re going into 4th and 5th grade I couldn’t help but think of my classroom days, teaching those grades.  I’m sure I would have wished for a class full of guys like Alex.

From the brief time I spent with them, (it was only a 30 minute mini-session) I’d guess that if I Anthony was anything like he acted during our photo session in my classroom, I’d have to work hard not to laugh at his quips in front of my other students ( but crack up as soon as no one was looking).  Lucky for me, I didn’t have to set a good example this day!

Thanks Dianne for bringing your boys out.  It was great to end a fun (but long) day with a big smile on my face, too!

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Family Session: Lisa, Greg, and boys

July 16, 2010 at 1:27 PM (family, head shot, kids)

Is it ok to refer to a family that’s three quarters male as lovely?  If not, too bad, and sorry boys, because Greg and Lisa have a truly lovely family.

The adorable boys I’ve been taking pictures of for these family sessions has made me appreciate their gender a lot, and Brett and Ryan totally put me over the edge.  Who cares that they get the short end of the stick when it comes to who gets better clothes – little guys are amazing!

Brett is nearly 9, and a great big brother.

Ryan, aka Mr. Personality, is 7.

Watching brothers interact with each other is a unique joy for me.  Their play is so different from sisters, and I’m just fascinated.

For example – this was a genuine hug, and it was followed immediately by one boy taking the other down (though I’ll make you guess who.)

Then it was time to hit the playground equipment!

We had such a good time on the playground that we just kept going – but I’m going to stop this post right here, and say thanks so much Greg, Lisa, Brett, and Ryan.  I hope to see you all again!

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