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Brody & His Run-In with the Police

This guy looks innocent enough, doesn’t he?  He’s just your run of the mill 4 year old enjoying a round of delicious Oreos… or so you think.  You see, this laugh right here, it’s downright evil.  On Brody’s 4th birthday I posted  the following:


Happy 4th birthday, my little love! Today, on this special day, I would like to tell you that I fear you may turn out to be a serial killer when you grow up. I mean, you definitely have a leg up on Ted Bundy, and you’ve only been around 4 short years.  
You have charm and charisma that rivals a french pool boy, yet I turn around often to find you sneak attacking your brothers.
Your smile can get you out of almost any predicament in our house, yet your cunning moves can send your brothers into tears.
There have been times that you have loved me so hard that you nearly strangled me, and many more times that your excitement has led to your fingernails drawing blood in my arms… neck… face.
You love hard, and you fight harder, my dear Brodrick. I wish you many more happy birthdays to come… and my fingers are crossed that none of them are behind bars.
PS. I’ll delete this if Dateline ever calls me for an interview. I’m ride or die for you. 

Brody’s birthday was in June.  My foreshadowing of his future run-ins with the law is both ominous and slightly comical given the fact that I thought his first face-to-face with the police might come maybe fourteen or more years down the road… not 4 months.

It was busy wedding season, and I had asked one of our young (high school aged) babysitters to have a daily gig at Larkspur.  She came Monday – Friday from 3-6pm as I had a shoot almost every day for 3 months straight.  She was/is a major help for our family.  The boys love her, and she has become a staple at our house!  Brody actually loves her the most.  He talks often about his love for her, and how he will marry both me and her someday.  I would leave Brody at home with the sitter each day, and they would walk the trail together to get the bigger boys from school.  Brody loved this routine.

On the day of “the incident”… I didn’t have a shoot.  I reveled in the idea that I could run to the grocery store while the babysitter did her daily routine.  The mistake I made was telling Brody that I didn’t have to work.  He lost his mind that he couldn’t go to the grocery store with me.  I had a TON of things to purchase, so going solo was really what I wanted to do.  I slipped out of the house even though he was upset, and figured he would calm down when they left to get the big boys from school.

Boy was I wrong.

While at the meat counter I get a text from the sitter that Brody had BOLTED from her care.  He had ridden his bike that day while she was afoot, and she just could not catch his little maniac feet that sprinted like hamsters around the circles of his pedals.  She had been looking for him for quite some time.  The neighbors were looking for him too.  They had received word from other neighbors driving in that they had seen him riding out on the street… towards the grocery store, of course.

I get a few more text messages that they REALY CAN’T FIND HIM.  At this point we’re about 20 minutes into the ordeal and I realize that this is pretty serious and that my FOUR YEAR OLD was roaming busy streets and intersections all by himself.  Smith’s (which isn’t the grocery store I was at) is easily 2 miles from my house and there are several intersections in which Brody would have crossed traffic ALONE!  I panicked.  The biggest fear, of course, is someone taking him.  I kept running it through my head that he can get hit (okay, maybe just bumped) by a car all he wants… break a leg… break an arm… I can handle that.  Just don’t let someone TAKE HIM!

I called the police the moment I sprinted out of the grocery store.  I frantically asked for whoever was patrolling the neighborhood to just have a look out for a little baby boy on a tiny red bike riding all by himself.

As I drove from the grocery store that I was at to the other store that Brody was allegedly barreling towards, I see a little tiny dude and a little tiny red bike being held by a crossing guard.  Bless that man!!  I was still on the phone with the police dispatch, and I yelled, I found him, I found him, but I don’t know if I ever even hung up my phone.  Brody was wriggling like a worm on a hook trying to break free.  My car tires screeched around the corner and I stopped… likely in the middle of the road.  BRODY FROZE.  I ran to the crossing guard, tears streaming, and swooped him up.  I checked his body for marks, made sure he was safe, held him long enough for him to know that his safety was my main concern… and then the switch flipped, and I got MAD.

The mother-scolding began, and you wanna know what that little punk kid did… HE YELLED BACK AT ME!  He was pissed that I wouldn’t take him to the store.  He yelled that it was my fault because if I had just taken him to the store then he wouldn’t have had to run away!!!  My mother-blood boiled.  I put him into his car seat knowing that I had to get out of there because if these people saw me lose it on my 4 year old after he had just RAN AWAY from my house… child protective services would be BANGING down my door.

We got back home, and within the 2 mile car ride Brody’s swagger wavered drastically.  He knew he was in trouble.  We stepped out onto our driveway when suddenly three police cars came zooming down our street.

I pushed Brody’s little back towards the middle of the driveway, and told him that those police officers were here for HIM, not me.

Hopefully, this is my little runaway’s last encounter with the police, but I have a feeling that this is jussssst the beginning.

Las Vegas Wedding Photographer :: Crystal & Jared

Crystal and Jared embody something amazing together.  They have a way about them that makes others in the room feel their presence, and their love… but yet… there’s something more.  Something mysterious about the way that they whisper to one another.  The way he can calm her.  The way she can give him a look, and he just knows.  Just knows that she is the one for him.  And him the one for her.  They move together.  Dance together.  And belong together.

They were married on a cloudy day in March at the gorgeous Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas.  It was a day that could not have been more perfect.  Effortlessly perfect.  Crystal and Jared threw a beautifully classic wedding for their guests.  A timeless quality blanketed the entire day… beginning with all of Crystal’s beautiful details!!

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I may or may not have squealed a bit when Crystal pulled out her Chanel wedding shoes!

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She added this amazing mesh-beading cuff bracelet by Anna Campbell of Australia, and she paired it with a custom belt, made by her Aunt Irene, specifically for her wedding day!!  I swoon.


Blossoms by Gayle was on hand to create a divine bridal bouquet of lambs ear and white peonies!


Crystal looked insanely gorgeous in this mermaid shaped, curve hugging, hourglass figure wedding gown by Robin Jillian.

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Classic black bow ties… get me every freaking time. Love love love.


Jared.  Seriously. You knocked my socks off.

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HUGE thank you to Janelle for risking her life for the shot below!  This is one of my favorite first looks.  Evah!

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Lavish Events by Lissa B. created the bridesmaids beaded bouquets along with the beaded boutonnieres for the groomsmen!

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The top left and this bottom photo are Janelle’s.  And it is the exact reason why she is my right hand whoa-man.  I worked hard for that pun.  Well, it’s not actually a pun.  Maybe a play on words.  But anyway, you get me.


Griffin John Stewart :: 3 Years

Today, on your third birthday, please know that you have completely altered my view of the world.

Please know that even though you are my second born, you are, and forever will be, first.  You are the first Griffin.  The first you.

Please know that you came into this world with no intention of allowing middle child syndrome to make you its victim.  You have pronounced your authority in our home since the day you arrived, and you continue to make sure that this is known.

Please know that every morning when you wake up before everyone else… and come stumbling into my bed… it is the happiest time of my day.  And even though your Daddy might seem really tough through your little eyes; I know that your cuddles are the first thing that he looks forward to in the mornings as well.

Please know that your voice.  That teeny tiny mouse of a voice.  Gets me every single time.  You have this way of saying ‘oh thank you, mama… Thank you for getting that for me!’  And you say this when I’m doing the most mundane motherly tasks.   ‘Oh thank you, mama… Thank you for wiping my bum!”  And for some reason, hearing that little voice makes wiping your bum actually enjoyable.

Please know that the last three years have NOT flown by.  In fact, it actually feels like I’ve known you for much longer.  It feels like you have forever been a part of me.

Please know that I’m crying while I type this.  Hot tears of pride are streaming down my cheeks.

Please know that you and your brothers are the only ones who have heard my heart beat from the inside… because each of you are the only thing that keeps it beating.

Please know that your cheeks are as soft as buttery pancakes, and even though I am sad that they aren’t as fluffy as they used to be, please know that this is still my favorite place to kiss you.

Please know that you run me ragged  It is you who screams all day… fights with your brothers… and demands my attention.

Please know that you are my shadow; constantly at my feet.  And constantly being tripped over.

But also, please know, that you are the one who wants constant love, constant kisses, and would be perfectly content being cuddled by me all day long… which is funny because it also feels as though you are the heart of the whole family.  You are at the core of everything.

Please know, on this third birthday of yours, that you make our house a home, and that you are insanely loved.

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Griffin’s 3rd Birthday Morning

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