Hudson, on your 8th Birthday

Hudson, on your 8th birthday, there is so much tell you.

I want to tell you first that I think that you might be one of the most interesting people I have ever met.  You are quiet and reserved, and I can actually see you thinking.  You think far more than you speak; which is a trait that I am jealous of because I am the exact opposite.

What I also want to tell you, Hudson, on your 8th birthday, is that our relationship is something that I never expected.  When you’re preparing as a young adult to have children, you never really think of the fact that your babies are actually going to grow up.  I never thought while I was pregnant with you… “hmm… I wonder what he will be like when he is 8 years old?”  My brain skipped from imagining changing your diapers to sending you off to college.  The in-between never really occurred to me.   So, now that I’m here… in the in-between with you… I am astounded at how much I like you.  I know this sounds weird, Hudson, but I never really imagined what it would feel like when you really started to become your own person.

I have spent the last several years cutting your grapes in half and potty training you.  Teaching you how to tie your shoes and pour your own milk on your cereal, but we’re passed all of that now.  Now, I hear myself teaching you about kindness, respect, gratitude and love.  I’m teaching you how to care for your classmates, and protect your little brothers at all costs.  I have to tell you, Hudson, that you are coming along as a human quite nicely, and I’m not sure that your Dad and I can take all of the credit for that, because it seems as though you are figuring things out far faster than we are teaching them to you.  It is a given that I love you with a mad, fierce love… but it is a huge bonus that I really really like you.


Before I end this letter to you… (because… holy crap, you can read really well now, and you’re actually going to read this… ) I want to document something that happened in your class the other day.  I know that you still remember this story because it was just a few days ago, but I want this memory to sear into your upbringing.  I want you to lock this memory away, and be able to access it for years and years to come.

You hopped into our car the other day after school, and you promptly requested $3 for school the next day.  This was the first time you had ever come to me to ask for money.  You understand the concept of money, but you have shown no interest in actually collecting any of your own money yet, so this caught me off-guard.  I asked you what you wanted this money for, and you said that you wanted to buy three Gobble Grams for school.  One for you and one for your brothers.  I smiled, and thought that you were the most adorable 2nd grader, and how could I have been so lucky to have you?

The next day, I gave you $20 because I was coming to school with you for your book fair, and I told you that you could keep the change for your Gobble Grams.  You had $4 left over, and you tucked it safely into your backpack with excitement.

When I picked you back up later in the afternoon, you had a Gobble Gram with you, but you only had one.  I asked you if you got two more for your brothers, and you told me no because they were limiting the purchase of Gobble Grams to only one.  I immediately thought that you had purchased the Gobble Gram you were carrying for yourself… but for the first time, though, you elaborated further.  You rarely ever tell me more than one or two sentences, so I listened intently.  You told me that your friend had actually bought you the Gobble Gram that you had now.  So, of course, I became confused, and asked if you bought any Gobble Grams, to which you answered that you had decided to buy a Gobble Gram for one of your classmates, Holly.  This struck me as very odd because I had never heard this girl’s name from your class but, I kept listening, and what I heard next welled my eyes with proud tears.

You told me that your classmate Holly had received a Gobble Gram, but her older brother had thrown it over the fence, and she was really sad that she didn’t have one.  So, you gave the only one you were allowed to purchase to her so that she wouldn’t be sad anymore.  The other friend in your class saw that you gave her your Gobble Gram, and then he repaid the kindness to you and bought you one.  If, my son, you learn nothing more during this life, I can feel confident in knowing that you have learned to care for others, and that you are going to go far in this world.

So, Hudson, on your 8th birthday, I would like to tell you that I love you.  I like you.  And I wholeheartedly respect the person you are becoming.

(Photo Credit: Rachel Solomon Photography)

Las Vegas Wedding Photographer :: Belinda & Dennis

We started early on May 30, 2015… because Dennis and Belinda planned a gorgeous brunch wedding at Four Seasons Las Vegas.  In Las Vegas, planning a wedding earlier in the day will usually mean that the heat hasn’t had a chance to rise yet; however, that wasn’t necessarily the case on this specific day.  The heat blanketed the city.  It radiated heat not only in the air, but it also cooked the concrete beneath your feet. (Insert a funny pun about cold-feet here if you’d like).

In stark contrast to the weather that day was the cool as a cucumber attitude that both the bride and groom exuded.  There was not a moment of worry or a fleeting concern from either side of this wedding party as they prepared for the day.
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Belinda.  There is nothing more that I need to say to you about Belinda except that she is freaking amazing… and she owns insane shoes.  Insane.
Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0005 Oh, wait.  So does Dennis.Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0006 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0007Here is another thing that I am going to tell you about Belinda.  She spoils the hell out of everyone she loves.  Dennis is obviously at the top of her list because not only did Dennis give Belinda a beautiful Tiffany bracelet, but Belinda knocked Dennis’ socks off by buying him a new ROLEX to wear on his wedding day.  Yeah.  A freaking Rolex.
Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0008 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0009 This couple decided to do a first look because it worked better with the timeline for their day, and their reactions to seeing one another was one of my favorite moments of the day.  Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0010 The best thing about the Four Seasons in Las Vegas is that they have gorgeous nooks and crannies to shoot every moment of the day, and these balconies are so perfect for a round of gorgeous bride and groom images!Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0011 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0012 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0013 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0014 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0015 Naakiti floral was on hand to create beautiful florals for the bridal party and gorgeous arrangements for the reception, as well!Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0016 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0017 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0018Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0019 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0020 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0021 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0022 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0023 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0024 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0025 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0026 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0027 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0028 The most amazing part of Belinda & Dennis’s day was that they completely threw away the idea of having a standard wedding timeline.  Traditional elements were forgotten, and they completely and unapologetically planned their day exactly the way that they wanted.  So, instead of going straight into a reception following their wedding ceremony and brunch they decided that they wanted to rent out a Vegas rooftop, and then treat their guests to a bus tour of the Las Vegas strip!!  Which only meant that we got to have a spectacular roof-top photo session… but only after Belinda changed into a STUNNING black sequin number.


Belinda, I love you.  And Dennis.  I understand how you feel.Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0029 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0030 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0031 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0032 Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0036Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0034Four Seasons Las Vegas Wedding Photographer _ Belinda & Dennis_0035Belinda & Dennis.  You seriously blew my mind with your amazing wedding, but you continue to blow my mind DAILY as I see you travel the world together and capture so many beautiful images of your own!!  Thank you so much for allowing me to share part of your memories on your wedding day, and for allowing me to truly call you friends.  xo.

Las Vegas Elopement :: Lauren & Darrik

I’ve been playing with these photos for over an hour now.  I know what I’m doing.  I’m fiddling with photos to keep myself from having to do the real work.  The real work being, finding the words to describe Lauren & Darrik’s wedding day.

I usually like to tell the story of a wedding day from my perspective, because really… I don’t know it from any other point of view.  But to tell this story from my perspective would require backing up several months to let you know just how easily Lauren slid into my life.  Sometimes you run across people in life that just get you.  They know your language without ever have spoken to you.  They understand your world without you even welcoming them into your home.  That was Lauren.  Late night text marathons happened often.  Details of their wedding day were hashed out around every corner.  And when those text conversations turn into late night video calls with no makeup, in bad lighting… you know you have met one of your soul-people.

So, knowing this, you can only imagine the embrace that occurred as I walked into Lauren’s hotel room at the Bellagio so that we could ride out of town together.  It felt like my arms were around a best friend.  A sister.  Whom I had never met.

To be truthful. I don’t really know Darrik all that well.  I only know what Lauren has told me because they live in Denver, so I only met him on the wedding day.  But I don’t actually need to know Darrik to understand him.  I understand him because I see the way that Lauren looks at him.  She looks to him for comfort for herself, and for protection for her and their beautiful daughter.  Lauren wrote her vows to Darrik in the limo on the way out of town, and had them completed within twenty minutes.  When you love a man so much that words spew from your heart onto paper that quickly… it’s likely a love that you can only find once in a lifetime.LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0019LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0010LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0001LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0003LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0002LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0004LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0005LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0020During the ceremony, Angie of Peachy Keen Unions quoted a verse:  Ecclesiastes 4:12  “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. (But) a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”  I know that this verse is meant to say that Lauren & Darrik’s unity is not quickly broken when their faith is considered the third strand, but I couldn’t help but feel as though their third strand is also the love they share for their daughter.  A family of three was made under this beautiful tree.  LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0006 LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0007 LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0008 LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0009 LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0011I joked with Lauren & Darrik that I was going to take them out into the desert with a shovel and some duct tape in the trunk.  They giggled briefly, but after riding in the limo for yet another thirty minutes out of Las Vegas… they may have started to get a little bit more concerned about my ominous threat.LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0017 LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0012
LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0014 LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0015This tattoo on Lauren’s arm is just one of many tributes she offered to her late Grandfather on her wedding day.  Lauren’s Pa raised her.  And her heart was just as broken on her wedding day as it was overflowing.  She longed for Pa to be able to see her be married, and the tears didn’t stop flowing throughout the day.  The photo below is both my favorite photo from the day, and the one that breaks my heart the most.LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0021 LasVegasElopement_LaurenDarrik_0016 Lauren and Darrik, superficially I wished for three things on your wedding day, pretty light, swarms of geese and wild horses.  I got all of those things, plus two more added for the cherries on top.  I got two lifelong friends.  Thank you so much for trusting me with your intimate ceremony, and for letting me witness the first day of your marriage.  xo.

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