Tag Archives: friends

Camera: Nick & Neha & Baby on the Way

Some of you may remember seeing Nick and Neha before on my blog. I took their engagement photos, photographed Neha’s mehndi, and photographed their wedding. Now, they are two months away from being parents, and they asked me to shoot a few maternity photos. One of the things I love about working with Nick and Neha is that they are not fussy people. They like simple and basic, and they aren’t afraid to try anything. I have so enjoyed celebrating these milestones in their relationship, and I look forward to meeting, enjoying and photographing baby Theo!

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Travel: Girls in Grand Rapids

My college roomies and I reunited for our annual Columbus Day weekend adventure. This year, we went to Grand Rapids, Michigan, home of the roommate I had all four years of college. This occurred during Grand Rapids’s famous Art Prize, so we, of course, ventured into the delightful downtown. We had gorgeous weather, art was everywhere we turned, and downtown Grand Rapids has many wonderful dining options and coffeehouses.

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Here are my girls on a rooftop, where an interesting exhibit commented on America and war.

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This wall reflected light and dazzling color. Upon closer inspection, it was all made of plastic bottles!

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I am always drawn to water for the peace it brings me, so I was naturally interested in pieces that evoked water. Below is a graphite pencil drawing. Please excuse the poor image quality, but consider the fact that someone has captured a substance that constantly ebbs and flows with a mere pencil.

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Beyond Art Prize, we enjoyed great food and a beer fest at Founders during their Oktoberfest bash.  I am completely ashamed because we went to this amazing coffeehouse and I cannot remember its name. All I can tell you is they handcraft each cup of coffee, and my life-changing cup was black with honey. HONEY. I had never tried this before, and I cannot tell you how much I loved the combination. Also, this coffehouse was super busy, so they apparently have a reputation for well-crafted hot drinks. We also spent some quality time at Robinette’s Apple Haus and Winery, enjoying an autumn lunch, cider, fresh, hot donuts, and, for a couple of us, the wine-tasting room. Our weekends are never super expensive or fancy, which is proof that with some research and know-how, you can have a great mini-vacation anywhere you go.

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Camera: Nick and Neha

I was honored to photograph the engagement session of my high school friend, Neha, and her fiance, Nick. They are a wonderful couple, who were so relaxed and enjoyable. I cannot wait to photograph their fantastic wedding! Keep an eye out for some sneak peeks of their wedding in the weeks to come……

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In Review

2011 was quite a busy years. Babies were born!!! Interestingly, all the babies born into my life this year were boys.

 

I played with friends.

 

Enjoyed our last family vacation as five in St. Joe, Michigan.

 

 

Spent some quality time in The District with my college roomie & bestie:

 

 

A couple of my favorite, dearest friends finally got married, and Kaye & Chad’s wedding was gorgeous:

 

Enjoyed my hometown, rediscovering our amazing zoo, having my artwork hung (and sold!) at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and becoming a devoted patron of such fabulous places as Firefly, Yum-Mees Bakery, the Acme Bar & Grill, Club Soda and Cocktails:

 

 

Displayed & SOLD at FWMoA:

 

       

 

Oh yeah, and my little sister got married, giving me another brother!!!  Here are Andrew & Maria, and my little brother, Zach, and I:

  

Lastly, I spent a few days in Manhattan, enjoying the Christmas sights and sounds of New York City with my aunts.  Here’s a teaser, but more on all that, later:

The year ahead is bringing a job promotion, a few exciting weddings, and some special graduations. I’m going into the new year with the hope that it is far better than this past one. Blessings to you all, and thanks for your continued faithfulness in following my sporadic posts! 🙂

 

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Camera: Giving Thanks.

I don’t have a perfect life, or even my ideal life for that matter, but I am so grateful for all the ways in which I’ve been blessed. I have a job while many of my fellow citizens still do not. It’s a steady job with fantastic co-workers, and though it doesn’t pay much, I’m thankful to be working with people who genuinely care about their co-workers and their clients. My parents are graciously allowing me to live with them rent-free; I recently realized, when going over my finances, that if my parents weren’t letting me live with them, I’d probably be homeless or living in a shelter. I’m so thankful for a family that loves me and supports me and enjoys having me around. I’m grateful for relatively good health, for the generous, funny, and compassionate people of Triple Pointe Church, and for my dear friends, near and far, who continue to maintain relationships with me despite the distance. I’m blessed by a God who continues to love me despite my fickleness.

Now, on to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and Papa’s slow-roasted turkey, and real mashed potatoes and Nana’s pies and naps and hauling up the Christmas decorations. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. You may not have everything you want, but you probably have everything you need.

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Valley Baby

She is a deep thinker, a child prodigy of sorts with an abundance of knowledge and eloquence.  She is a writer, a poet, and spins words on paper as easily as she speaks them.  She is fiercely loyal, compassionate, and a great listener.  She is also a science fiction-fantasy junkie, which is part of what balances the remarkable woman with childlike fun.  She is Valerie, one of my dearest friends, whose life I celebrate today: her birthday.

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Birthdays, graduation parties, bridal showers, a job, photo shoots, and my sister’s wedding.  That was my summer.  That’s where I’ve been.  It’s no excuse, but by the end of the day, I was just too dang tired to blog.  I had to pack up my studio space to make way for wedding gifts, so I don’t even have a painting to share.  Hopefully, the photos below will suffice.  Please forgive me; I’ve missed you all and I’ll try to be more consistent!

So. Many. Bridal. Showers.

 

 

PLENTY of opportunities to photograph food!

Family photo shoot for an adoption agency.

A peek at the second engagement session with my sister & (now) brother-in-law.

A rehearsal dinner……

……and a perfect wedding!

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Pasquetta

My favorite day in Italy was Pasquetta.  In Italian culture, this is the Monday after Easter, in which families picnic in the countryside.  Friends of our program, Kay & Chubba, live in a villa in the hills across from Orvieto.  They invited all of us students to join them at their home for Pasquetta.  The day after Easter, we all hiked up to their villa, carrying food and books and journals and cameras.  The weather was glorious, food was in abundance, and Kay & Chubba opened the wine made from their vineyard.  We ate and talked and ate and laughed and ate and took naps and ate and explored.  I just remember how incredible the weather was, how breathtaking the view of the city from Kay & Chubba’s villa, and how happy everyone was.  It’s a shame we don’t have such a tradition in the States: a day to simply do nothing but be together, enjoying good food and the beautiful world around us.

Buona Pasquetta!!!

Seriously, this is the view of gorgeous Orvieto from where all of us are sitting in the picture above.  See why we stayed there all day?!

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Before you judge me, know this:

I had this plan that I was going to blog much more regularly.  As with so many other things in my life, the unexpected came up and life got so busy and all of a sudden, too much time has passed for my liking.  The biggest factor has been wedding fever; the disease has taken over the household and isn’t going anywhere.  Don’t get me wrong:  I’m loving it and enjoying all of the fine detail planning.  My favorite part, though, has been the time spent with my little sister, whom I still cannot believe is getting married.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve done this, but I thought I’d put myself out there and expose more facets of my personality to you all.  Don’t judge too harshly. 🙂

I love cereal.  All kinds of cereal.  Not Raisin Bran, though; raisins and bran should never be in cereal.  I could eat cereal all the time.  And cake.  Oh my word, cake……

You all need to read The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.  I wasn’t even that far into it before I decided it was one of my favorite books.

I think about my college roomie at least five times a day.  She’s my bestie and I miss her all the time.

The cancellation of the whimsically delightful Pushing Daisies is still a sore spot with me, and I never tire of watching episodes on DVD.

Drivers who go flying around me only to turn in front of me drive me crazy.  So do impatiently angry drivers.  Are you in that big of a hurry?  Leave your house sooner!!!

Currently dominating my iPod:  The Civil Wars, Adele, the Angels & Demons soundtrack, The King’s Speech soundtrack, Sherlock Holmes soundtrack, Mumford & Sons, Ingrid Michaelson, and Coldplay (pretty much always on the dominant list).

I love going out and getting a cocktail.  I’m consistently a martini or red wine girl, but I have no interest in getting trashed.  I much prefer to nurse a drink over a great conversation with friends.  If you’re looking for a hard partyer, I am not your lady.

Speaking of which, I don’t have expensive taste.  I enjoy a great cup of coffee, a sunny day, running around in the rain, a good book, beautiful music, experiencing other cultures, art, films and history.  I don’t need expensive jewelry, fellas:  just give me some fresh flowers once in a while.

On that note:  I really want to be in a great relationship, and with my sister’s impending wedding, the little wish is becoming a nagging itch.  Although, if I had a choice, I think I might like to have a really small, simple wedding and a spectacular honeymoon.

I love local coffee houses and pubs/diners.  My favorite coffeehouse, Firefly, is an eclectic place with fabulous coffee and yummy food.  Local artists can sell their wares there, and you’ll find artists, theater folk, musicians, business people, and opinionated old men all relaxing for long periods of time.  As far as restaurants go, I’d much rather check out a little hole-in-the-wall place with amazing food and a great atmosphere than go to a well-known chain.

My biggest indulgence is a spa pedicure every great once-in-a-while.  My feet feel amazing afterward, and I love having painted toenails.  I can’t paint my fingernails because I’m way to rough on my hands; a manicure is just a waste of time & money for me.

The Liberty Mutual commercials in which people pay it forward by doing little things for strangers get me every time.

I adore babies.  I’m fascinated by their wonder at the world around them and they’re so cute and cuddly.

The Orthodox cross is tattooed on my right foot.  It represents both faith and family.

I’m easily over-stimulated.  I become anxious in big crowds or if I am in a place where I don’t have an easy exit.  I don’t get along with heights at all, though I love flying.  I’m very sensitive to textures as well, from food to clothing to wrinkles in my socks or bedding.  I’m quirky. 🙂

I love the beach.  Love it.  And, after living in Italy for a while, I am extremely anxious to experience the rest of Europe.

I don’t care what anyone says, I love Disney World.

If I had a million dollars, I’d pay off my school loans, help my brother & sister with theirs, and travel a lot more.

Whew, I’m exhausted.  That’s it for this post.  Oh, yeah, I can also be really flighty, as I get bored and distracted somewhat easily.

 

 

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