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Photos: The Last Homecoming

This year will be filled with “lasts” for my son.

His last Homecoming. His last season of high school basketball. Last Prom.

My son has been blessed with a solid group of friends who have become like family. Some of them have played basketball together since Junior High (one of them since they were 8 years old.) They are all good students, they are smart, driven, loyal and they always have each other’s backs.

This weekend was their last Homecoming. Of course, I brought my new baby with me and well, I took over 270 pictures. That sounds crazy, but my son was with a large group and I took it upon myself to photograph all of them.

Here are a few of my favorite shots.

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I am honored to be able to capture their Senior year through photography, to share these memories with their parents (who are all awesome people) and to give them all something to take with them as they all go out into the real world to become the great men they are destined to be.

Time For a Change

I grabbed my camera and headed out for a drive last night because I was feeling restless and nervous about things. Photography always soothes my soul, so I thought I’d drive around with my camera, to see if anything photo worthy caught my eye.

I drove past a church parking lot that I used to go to weekly for boot camp. The sun was setting and I noticed how beautiful the tall, white cross looked with sunlight behind it. I turned into the empty parking lot. I sat there for a few minutes, just looking at the beautiful sunset, thinking about life and people and all of the crazy, fun, challenging workouts I’ve done in that parking lot.

“Life was really good 2 years ago.” I thought to myself.

I want life to be good again. Last night I realized I’m the only one in the way of that happening.

Sunset

“Modern Family” Fall Event at The Grove + a Giveaway!

Disclosure: I was not paid to write this post. I was, however, offered to gift bags to give away to two readers and I always love the chance to give cool things away. Also? I love Modern Family and this sounds like a fun event and I was happy to spread the word.

Next Sunday (October 26th) a Modern Family Fall event will be taking over The Grove. The event is free! There will be lots of fun activities for families, including an interactive corn maze, a pumpkin patch (with hundreds of art pumpkins) snacks, face painting and more!

(Read more about it here.)

I plan on taking the family for a few hours, maybe I will see you there!

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Now, for the fun part! I will be giving away 2 studio gift bags. Gift bags are valued at $200 a piece, and are each filled with lots of fun treats like Seasons 3 & 4 DVDs, branded clothing (black tee, tank top, and sweatpants), and more, all wrapped up in a fun reusable tote!

In order to be entered, simply leave a comment on this post. Please include your name and email address (in the comment.) I will choose two winners at random on Monday, October 27th. I will contact the winners via email and prizes will be mailed within 5 business days.

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Congrats so Katelin and Jessica! mf1

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My Best Girl

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I love her free, playful spirit. I love that she think she’s too “grown up” to kiss me goodbye in front of her friends at school, but not too grown to ask me to swing with her at the park. She is the perfect mix of little girl and young lady. I imagine us swinging together, laughing at life when she’s in college and I’m old enough for senior discounts at restaurants and that thought makes my heart soar with joy.

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Swings at sunset with my best girl

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Shooting and Swinging at Sunset

She turned ten in August.

I still find it hard to believe that my last baby is ten years old.

Time is a jerk, for reals.

Yesterday I asked her if she would go to the park with me so that I could take a few photos of her. I told her that by allowing me to photograph her, she’s helping me to learn how my new camera works and to become a better photographer. She’s not a big fan of having me take her photos because “I’ve been taking her pictures her WHOLE LIFE!” But she was so kind and said she would help me. But only if I let her play at the park after I was finished.

Always negotiating, that one.

Of course I agreed. Anything for my girl. (And anything to get to practice with my camera!)

Fall Photos

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Sunday Funday at Olvera Street in Los Angeles

This weekend we decided to take advantage of Metrolink’s Weekend Pass and take the train to LA Union Station for a day trip to Olvera Street. (Union Station is only an hour and fifteen minute ride from where we live.)

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It was a beautiful day that I enjoyed because a) the skies were perfectly clear b) it wasn’t 100+ degrees.

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Olvera Street is directly across the street from Union Station. It’s a cool, colorful little place that makes me feel proud to be half Mexican.

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Things to do while at Olvera Street include: Admire all of the colorful, adorable things that you don’t really need to buy but probably will buy anyway because those baby sandals are SO ADORABLE, drink (Mmmmm, Mega Margaritas) eat caramel stuffed churros, listen to live music, people watch and practice your People Maneuvering Skills (because small, tight spaces.) And of course, take a ton of pictures.

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Oh! Don’t forget to take a selfie.

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Pet Me?

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He waits for me to wake up each morning. He sits next to my bed, staring at me, sometimes with a stuffed animal in his mouth. Sometimes he’ll make this noise that sounds like a growl but is more of a pssst, I’m here, wake up and play with me! When I finally open my eyes, his little tail starts wagging, he starts panting and running around in circles. I’ll hit my bed and say “Here, boy!” He tries to jump up, but he usually doesn’t make it up until the third or fourth try. Once he makes it, he runs straight for my face to give me doggy kisses. Then he cuddles next to me and waits for me to pet him.

And he never wants me to stop petting him for the rest of the day.

Oh, sweet little Choco.

Introducing the Newest Member of My Family

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Meet my new camera, Canon 6D. Isn’t she beautiful?

I’m so excited to see what I can do with this camera.

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This camera is an upgrade from the 40d I’ve used for the past seven years. Full frame sensor, amazing low light performance.

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This photo was taken after the sun had set and there was very little light left in the sky.

I’ve only had a chance to use it a couple of times, but the plan is to spend a lot of time shooting, to get to know the camera, how it works and how to make it work best for ME.

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For those of you who are still checking here (you are the best, I appreciate you and thank you!) I plan on posting my photography regularly here. So, stay tuned for that. :)

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How to Make Adorable Bracelets Out of Safety Pins.

Last weekend I spent the entire Sunday making bracelets with my daughter. They turned out adorable. I posted a picture of the bracelets on Facebook and a few of my friends asked how we made them. I was all “I will post instructions on my blog tomorrow!” It is now a week later, but better late than never, yes?

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Supplies:

Safety pins
Elastic Cord
Glass Beads
Scissors
Jewelry Glue (optional)

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Step One: Bead the safety pins.

This takes a while, but it’s super easy. Simply open the pin, place beads onto the open prong. It’s important that you leave enough space to close the bracelet. After we beaded each pin, we added glue to the top of the safety pin to ensure that it doesn’t not pop open. This was very time consuming, so we gave this job to my husband to help cut down on the time. I’m not sure this is necessary, so you could skip this step if you don’t want to spend so much time with this step. (It took exactly 42 pins to make a bracelet big enough to fit my daughter’s wrists.)

Step two: String the safety pins together.

This is the fun part! (HA HA HA NO IT’S NOT) Cut two pieces of cord long enough to a) fit around the wrist b) have room to tie off string. (I taped the end of the string to a piece of cardboard so the pins didn’t slip off while I was working.) Start by putting the string through the top opening of the safety pin, then alternate and string through the bottom opening making sure the beads are facing the same way each time.

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Once you finish this, you will need to repeat this process to string the other side together. Be very careful to tie off the loose end so that the beads do not slip off while you’re working on the other end.

Step Three: Tying both ends together.

This is simple. You will tie the strings from the top row together, then tie the strings from the bottom row together. I double knotted each side and then added some glue to keep things in place. (I made the mistake of not taking a photo of this step. It’s pretty simple, but if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments.)

Done!

Simple and so cute, yes?

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