Christmas 2013

A few weeks ago there was a sole Christmas present under our tree.  It was wrapped in gold shiny paper with a pretty red bow, and all that it said on it was, “Hudson.”  I had seen him eyeing it for a while.  He would sit beneath the tree and thread his finger in and out of the bow, hoping… just hoping, that he would pull a little bit too hard.  On accident, of course.  He was hoping that it might just fall open on its own.  Until one day he couldn’t take it anymore.  Luckily, I saw his eyes bulge out and his anticipation get the best of him, and his fingers decide to rip into the gift with reckless abandon.  I stopped him right before any damage was done.

I swooped up his precious little body, and tried my best to explain to him the magic of Christmas.  I sat him on the edge of the dining room table and told him that there isn’t a gift in the world that could take the place of his friends and family, and as hard as it might feel right now, it is really important to wait until our family is here to open his holiday gifts.  I did the best that I could to teach him right then and there that Santa Clause not only comes through our chimney on Christmas Eve, but that he also lives inside of his heart, and the hearts of each one of us.  And just as he began to squirm to want to get down, I told him that if he opened that gift without the person who gave it to him in the room then all of the magic would be lost.  Because it is the magic of a family’s love that makes Christmas so special.

He returned the gift to its home underneath the tree, and hasn’t picked it up since.  I don’t know if it was the fact that he wanted my lecture to be over with, or if he really ‘got it,’ but either way… I know that something sunk in that day.

Wishing all of you, and your families, a very happy holiday season!!  And may the magic of this holiday season be present in each of your homes!!


Holiday card and custom stamp design by ShePaperie  :: Holiday photos taken by Natalie Ann Photography

Las Vegas Engagement Photography :: Marina & David

Have you ever had one of those moments when you felt like you met someone that you just belonged with?  Bumped into your counterpoint? Spotted a bird of the same feather, and you needed to flock together?  Or even found the other pea from your pod?  This all sounds very romantic, right?  And you might even think that I am buttering you up to get you in the mood for some romantic engagement photos, when really I’m just trying to elicit some excitement in you over how much I **adore** Marina and David!!!

Marina came to me from a referral from a friend’s mom to her mom.  When we began chatting over via email it seemed that our language needed no translation.  I never felt the need to apologize for my obnoxiously teenaged lingo, or my excessive use of exclamation points.  She didn’t steer clear of me even after I cyber stalked her for days, and maybe even single white femaled her a bit.  She actually might have one-upped me in one (or two) of these categories.  She is my sister from another mister, but yet I actually think that she might be my sister from the same mister and that my mom accidentally forgot to tell me that she had another child ten or so years after having me, and that she gave her away to the fire department, and then that baby was shipped away to a new beautiful mother who would someday find her way back to me, and then refer her daughter… wait… my sister… to me for her wedding photography.

Too far fetched?  I think, no.

I love this girl, and I swoon over the adorableness that she and David create together.

Marina and David are wine looo…vers, to the max.  So when they mentioned the idea of mixing in some elements of wine and romance into their shoot I was completely on board!  It is so awesome to walk into a wedding and see the engagement photos that were taken months earlier, and yet they still tie in so nicely with the wedding.


It is no secret that I am smitten by fresh flowers, and it is also not a secret that I think that Catherine at Layers of Lovely can do no wrong.




This girl is blessed with beautiful porcelain skin!!



And then this happened, and all was right in the world.  Oh Marina.  Sofreakinggorgeous!



April can’t get here soon enough, my sweet friends!!  xo.

Carmel, California Cliffside Wedding : Karen & Dennis

The energy was palpable.  I felt it the moment that I drove the narrow, sidewinding streets through the quaint yet luxurious town of Carmel, California where Karen and Dennis had decided to rent a beautiful house to spend the week of their wedding.

The driveway to the estate, which was nestled perfectly into the mountainside, opened to a beautiful setting for a cliffside wedding.  Karen and Dennis had decided to do a destination wedding in order to really be able to focus on their closest friends and family, and to celebrate their love for one another in the best way that they knew how.  The house, filled with a handful of Dennis and Karen most intimate friends, strummed with excitement the morning of the wedding.  Upstairs, Karen prepared for what would be one of the most memorable days of her life, matched only by the birth of her and Dennis’ baby daughter barely a year prior. And even though their daughter wasn’t going to be present for the cliffside ceremony, her presence was felt throughout the day.










After a morning of preparations it was time for Dennis to see his bride for the first time.  The couple opted to have a first look so that they could see each other before the ceremony and spend as much time as they liked navigating the gorgeous property for their bride and groom photos.  This also allowed them to go straight to their reception without the worry of doing any photographs following the ceremony.




Seriously, Karen.  You’re gorgeous.  Gorge!




Karen and Dennis both claim that they are not photogenic.  I highly disagree.






As mother and father to their sweet little girl, Karen and Dennis both wrote their daughter a letter that she will be able to read on her wedding day.  They sealed it into a bottle for safe-keeping until that precious day comes.  Karen also had a beautiful quote sewn into her handkerchief which she kept with her throughout the day.  She plans to give her daughter that gift for her wedding day, which will easily serve as her something blue… the colors  of her parent’s wedding.


Several of Karen and Dennis’s family members were not able to join them on their wedding day, including Karen’s mother, who was at home watching the baby… so, technology and our friend, the internet, stepped up to the plate and those key family members were included via the web.