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Wow first off it is AMAZING how long it has been since I have blogged. Both babies have had birthdays, Grammy came for a visit, Easter. I need to get busy. But this post is about none of those it is about friendship.

Last weekend I left for my first girls weekend in over 5 years.  Only the second time I have left one or both girls for longer than 6 hours (not counting the three times Larry and I have been briefly away together).  I have to admit I was worried I would not be able to detach enough.  That should not have been a concern I had no problem.  This does not speak to how incredibly much I love my children it speaks to how incredibly badly I needed this break.

LA recap:

Two friends.  25 years and counting.  Some friendships truly are forever.

My two friends, Heather and Smita are two of the most beautiful people I know for more reasons than I have words.

As it turns out the word AMAZING can be used, a lot.  I mean A LOT! It can also be said several different ways and once exposed, as I was by an “Amazing” expert, you too will find many more reasons for said word than you ever thought possible.

When one friend does not drink coffee in the morning you need another one to walk down the street with you, Thanks Smee!

Sample sales are an LA wonder, that I for one, would not be opposed to experiencing again!

Lunch in LA does mean a celebrity sighting!

Having a friend who is a make up artist is not too shabby.

Having a friend who is a week away from owning a vineyard, not too shabby either.  I have already offered my children up for child labor in return for lodging.

A tree filled with Chandeliers is a pretty awesome sight.

I can still walk in heels!

The super sunny weekend in LA may have resulted in a cold and cloudy day at the beach but luckily, good company and food made up for the weather crisis. Along with some tasty white sangria.

I have a totally new appreciation for intstagram.

The entire weekend was perfect.  In fact the more I think about it perfect is not quite the right word it was, AH-MAAAAAAZ-ING!

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Christmas Morning

So surprise a belated post! Ha like that ever happens here!

I love Christmas Morning. I love it. Ella woke up before Ava while it was still dark so I ran her past the tree and into the TV room so she would not see anything until Ava woke up. My sleepy girl. It was still dark so I took a quick picture of everything untouched. LOVE it!!! Impatient I actually had to wake Ava up!

Ava’s favorite gift: Her scooter! Ella: not sure she loved her new toothbrush, a spin top that lights up a lot!
Really though they loved everything. New chairs from Grandma and the new doll house gets TONS of play everyday!

A perfect morning.

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Well I think it is safe to say that I am obsessed with capturing my kids.  Truly.  The perfect moment the perfect outfit the perfect setting.  I love it all. But there are moments when I choose not to have a camera at all.  I leave it behind.  Ironically these seem to be the same moments that EVERYONE else around me is staring through the back of their camera or iPhone.

OK here is where I may sound a little judgmental and condescending.  I do not mean it to come off that way but this is my opportunity to explain to my children why there will not be many pictures of them on stage or scoring their first soccer goal.  I want them to understand that these moments are ones I do not want to miss waiting behind a camera to press the shutter at the perfect moment, angry because the light is wrong or because there are noticeable distractions.  These are the moments I want to live, I want to remember forever.  And despite the fact that we think the only way to preserve something is to capture it either in photos or video our brains are actually remarkable tools we should trust more.  Our heart does not soar quite the same while looking through a camera at the amazement of our children.

This year we went to hear Ava sing for her Christmas program.  I left my camera at home and my iPhone in my bag.  I sat next to Larry, with Ella on my lap and with NO camera.  I sat and smiled at my girl, giggled at the adorableness of her little four year old voice as she introduced herself, listened to each note of song, and watched every movement.  I was present, fully present.  There are no pictures or videos but I do not need them because I was there, truly there.

Here is Ava at home singing her songs.

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I LOVE Christmas Trees

I love Christmas trees. I love the decorations, I love the lights and I am always sad when it is time to take them down.

Meet Wilford our Christmas Tree~

We had such a lovely night of Christmas music, hot chocolate, candy canes and decorating. Ava even wore the santa hat a small miracle all by itself!  Man photographing with no light is not a small challenge but I love tree light pics.

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The Tree Hunt

Our annual tree hunt was blessed with no rain. After a morning of downpours we arrived to the tree farm for about 45 min. of dry weather. Ella did not want to walk at all, until she found the rain puddles! Ava was a wonderful tree scout with Larry and they found the PERFECT tree, Wilford! It started raining again as the last rope was tied to the car. Not bad timing!

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Is it December?

Oh my. I had planned on actually sharing Christmas pictures and stories on Christmas. I guess I did not make it. I am still stuck in October. I am almost grateful November was uneventful and I may get to December before it is over.  At least there is a small sliver of hope.

In Michigan we went to one of my favorite fall spots, The Franklin Cider Mill.  It reminds me of high school, fall and Michigan in general.  There really is not much to do, it is over priced but hey that is where nostalgia gets you!  Pa and Uncle Chris joined in and it was a perfect fall day.  The girls fed the ducks and we all enjoyed cider and doughnuts.  Over all a success and the next fall we are in Michigan we will be back!  Cheers!

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My Fall Beauties

My favorite time of year, by far, is fall. The colors, the crunchy leaves, the brisk air. I love it all especially when I get to head to Michigan where I rarely have to contend with rain. Well this year there was plenty of rain. I expected lots more time to shoot my own kids but only got this one chance. I took them to a location I was shooting at later that week to test it out. I got no cooperation from the subjects which lucky resulted in beautiful candids! No sibling shot or at least not one that would make the mantel but the weather, well, the sun made up for it all. And here are the wonderful results of 30 very frustrating minutes of a photographer motherhood. All you other photographer moms know exactly what I mean! And for any of you that follow my business page this is an exact repeat but with a few special family shots thrown in!!!

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