~ Allison and AJ ~ Married!!

I'm a sucker for a good story.  As Allison prepared to walk down the aisle on her wedding day her mother choked back tears and told the most captivating story.  When her grandmother (the brides great-grandmother) sent her husband off to war she kissed a handkerchief leaving an imprint of her lips and told him to carry it with him always, to think of her and she would always be with him.  He did, as he bravely fought for out country worlds away.  

Then her mom carried it on her wedding day, she carried it on hers, and it was time to pass it on to Allison, with her great-grandma's lipstick still on the delicate piece of fabric.

And AJ?  He is one cool dude.  Seriously, I could hang out with him all day.  I've never met someone with a more sincere, fun, and outgoing personality.  He is also a runner.  No, not a 5K runner, like a Boston Marathon "real-deal-holyfield" runner, with his eye on Olympic dreams.   With his attitude and focus I have no doubts about his success.
This wedding had an overload of really cute little girls.  I was in heaven.  Check out this one as I captured her at the ceremony (left) and reception (right) - I think she pretty much missed the whole day :)
More little girl cuteness...I wanted to take them all home and have a slumber party!
These are my faves, couldn't choose just one :)
Thank you Allison and AJ for your awesome-ness.  I know it was a little warm but we worked it out and got some great photos that I hope you will cherish a lifetime.  Thank you so much for choosing me to be the photographer to capture the most special day of your lives. 

~ The Klenke Family ~

You know, this is the perfect time to remind people, I don't ONLY do photos of little kids.  I do photos of big kids too!  Sometimes it's refreshing to take a break from chasing 3 year olds and have clients who don't stick their tongue out at me and run the other way!
I was really happy when Marlana e-mailed me and gushed about her beautiful family.   She is living the good life now as a writer on the West Coast and has moved very far away.  She was coming home to celebrate her Dads 60th birthday and wanted to get some updated photos of her family.  What Dad didn't know during these photos is that a fancy surprise party was just hours away, planned in his honor.
They are a lovely family who live on some gorgeous property with their own little zoo of horses, dogs, and a few other things I saw running around.
Thank you so much Marlana I was thrilled to meet you!  Go knock em' Dead in LA with your fancy new job on Army Wives!

~ Happy Birthday Luci Manno ~

Her real name is Luciana.  She has an outie belly button.  Little sparkly brown eyes that look like crescent moons when she smiles.   Free as a little bird, as comfortable on her couch at home as she is in front of a crowd.   Spends most of her time in her own imagination, and usually in costume.   A sweet little character not easily forgotten, and she is mine.   Happy Birthday Luci Manno you spin my world in all sorts of beautiful ways and I thank God everyday he chose me to be your mommy.  

And a song for you that I am sure Joe Nicols wrote for his wife, or girlfriend.  But to your mommy, it's like it was written just for you. 

Gimme that girl with her hair in a mess
Sleepy little smile with her head on my chest
That's the you that I like best
Gimme that girl 

Gimme the girl that's beautiful
without a trace of makeup on
barefoot in the kitchen
singing her favorite song

Dancing around like a fool
starring in her own little show
Gimme the girl
that the rest of the world
aint lucky enough to know

~ The Manno Family... on the other side of the camera ~

Shame on me...I spend my life making memories for other people, and freezing little moments in time forever.  Yet I rarely take the time to do it for my own family.

Sure, I take alot of photos of my kids.   And we did get newborn photos of Libby Lu.  But if you look at our family albums it's almost like Mom and Dad don't exist.

It was stupid.  Very stupid.  We have not had family photos taken since Luci was 10 months old.  She is now 4 years old.   The excuse was usually weight.  Always thinking "Next year I will lose those 20 pounds and well get photos taken then" My husband and I are both carrying some extra weight these days and aren't super happy with the way we look.

But you know what?  That is our fault, not the kids.  I cannot imagine my kids not having these beautiful photos with their parents because we were selfish about the way we would photograph on camera. 

Shame on me, because when I look at these photos I don't see the imperfections I expected to obsess over, I just see love.  Big, big love.   I'm so proud of these little people I've created and seeing them through someone else's' camera lens is awesome.  

It's no secret I am surrounded by incredibly talented photographers as friends.  I have my pick of the litter and rarely use the same photographer twice just because it's fun to see all the different perspectives.

This time I went with Christine Foehrkolb and sister-girl delivered.   Her work is amazing and my cheeks hurt from smiling so big when I see these.  She captured each of my silly little kids exactly the way they are.

If you would like to see some of the photos you can get to her blog by clicking here

You can also watch the adorable video below.

manno family from christine foehrkolb on Vimeo.

~ This is it, it's really it! ~

This is IT!

It's really it!

Your LAST CHANCE to register for the Shot Party 2011!  

Headcount must be turned in to Ameristar first tomorrow morning.  Registration will close tonight at 10:00pm   Hope to see your name on my list ;)

~ I love this baby ~ EVY IS ONE!!!

I love Baby Evy.  She rocks my socks.  I've been taking her photos since she was born 
and she is a pretty awesome kid.  
 She is a big one year old now so It was time to celebrate with some 1st birthday photos.

After we finished those photos we put on her little pink swimsuit and hit the splash park.  This is where girlfriend got a little nutty.  She went on this covert baby mission with fierce determination.  To crawl up to every single squirt hole...

...place her face directly on the hole...and wait to be squirted in the face.   She did this over, and over, and over.  Even the bystanders were getting a kick out of it.  

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