Seattle Family Photography ~ Taylor is One!

This sweet little girl turned one almost 10 days ago.  Look at this sweet face!  I’ve just been waiting for my chance to photograph this little cherub.  Taylor’s mama, Lauren, is my cousin.  For her baby shower gift I gave her a photo session.  I figured she might use me for newborn pictures but I am SOOOO glad she waited.  While I love newborns, I really love photographing babies.  I love the little sparkles in their eyes and seeing their personalities shine through.

And seriously, that spout on top is just the cutest thing ever!  We tried out a new park for me because it was part way in between my house and Taylor’s house.  Juanita Bay Park did not disappoint (and neither did Mother Nature)!

Here are my favorites…

 

Seattle Family Photographer ~ Flat Jill

This is the first year we have done spring break without Jill.  Of course it’s been a year of firsts but, for some reason, this one hit harder than most.  We have a lot of traditions and things we do as a family on this trip.  One of the biggest ones is the family pictures we take on the golf course every year.  How can I take a family picture when my oldest girl is missing?!?  (Answer…we didn’t)

I’d been running that through my brain for quite a few weeks before our trip when suddenly it hit me.  I knew just what to do to put a spring in my step.  I printed out a picture of Jill from last year’s spring break so I could bring her along with us and include her in some of our adventures.

At first I was texting the pictures to Jill because I wanted her to know how much I was thinking of her.  But then it occurred to me that maybe it would be hard for her to see all those traditions without her.  Turns out I was right.  I’m so glad I asked!  I immediately stopped sending them to her and let her just go to Facebook if she wanted to see them.  Sorry kid!

Of course we had a great trip.  The weather was amazing (maybe even a little hot for these cold blooded pacific north westerners) and we had some fun adventures.  We spent some time shopping (the flea market and the outlets), some went to the zoo, some went up on the tram, some played golf, some drove the golf cart, some went to the air museum and all of us played in the pool.

Here are a few pictures from our adventures!

Seattle Family Photographer ~ Kate’s Epic Adventure

Allen plans a special Father Daughter trip with each of our daughters for their 14th birthday.  This year was Kate’s turn.  Kate is our special Guest Blogger today as she recounts her trip!

My birthday present for 2018 and my 14th birthday was a trip to Burbank, California with my dad!

Trip Hollywood Day 1:

After we arrived and dropped off our things at the hotel we were off! First we headed to a secret stop at Unique Vintage headquarters. Unique Vintage is Ellie’s new favorite store so we thought we should stop there and pick something up for her!

After that we drove to the Santa Monica Pier. While we were there we looked for keychains and successfully found 5 of them! After shopping for keychains we had lunch. I had pizza and dad had a quesadilla!

Moving only a couple of miles down the beach we went to Venice Beach or Muscle Beach. There we found 4 more keychains and a pair of sunglasses.

We continued on our trip to Hollywood Boulevard were we saw the Hollywood stars. We even got a selfie with Ellen! And bought a sweatshirt at a souvenir shop.

For dinner we went to a 50’s themed dinner with giant records on the ceiling!

Trip Hollywood Day 2:

We started off our day early at 7 AM. Once we had breakfast and got dressed we headed off to Six Flags Amusement Park. We stayed at six flags from 10 AM to 7 PM. A total of 9 hours!

 

At 7 Pm we headed to diner at a gourmet burger place. The Lazy Dog. Once dinner was done we headed back to our hotel for the night.

Trip Hollywood Day 3:

The day started with us waking up at 6:30 AM! So that we could try to get onto the The Ellen Degeneres Show! However, as hard as we tried (and we did) we were not successful in getting on. So instead we walked a couple of blocks a took a warner bros studio tour!

At the Warner Bros studio tour we learned all sorts of cool facts about all of the films produced there! One random fact is that if you have the money to replace an item in the prop house (a giant building full of all props used on different sets) then you can rent out that prop! If you are ever in the area for Warner Bros studios I would definitely recommend a tour!

We even got to hold a real Oscar!

That concluded our trip so we headed off to the airport from there.

Overall the trip was super fun and amazing! I got to spend lots of quality time with my dad and even got to miss a day of school (another awesome part).

 

Seattle Family Photographer | Operation Fool’s Egg

We have lots of traditions surrounding Easter but almost nothing for April Fools.  What to do when they happen on the same day?  After doing the regular Easter gig for almost 20 years for my kids it was kind of fun to mix it up a bit!

The first thing we did was switch the jelly bean trail for something much sadder…RAISINS.  (For those who don’t know, a jelly bean trail is a trail of jelly beans on the floor leading from the kids’ bedrooms and down the stairs to the rooms the easter eggs are hidden.  This is something my Mom did for us and now my sister and I do for our kids.)  It looked like bunny poop!

Instead of hiding the girl’s eggs with the lovely things the Easter Bunny got for the girls he hid the eggs with a variety of random things including old socks with holes, seltzer water and old dog toys.

Finally, THIS Easter Bunny spent about a half hour unwrapping chocolate and rewrapping grapes to make them LOOK like chocolate eggs.  (This was the most time consuming part and least satisfying because the girls guessed the eggs were fakes after they saw all the rest.  Boo!)

The funny thing about this is the girls forgot that it was April Fools so they really couldn’t figure out why the break from tradition this year until I mentioned that the foolish bunny was doing the same thing at their cousin’s house too!  Ha!  Loved seeing the dawning of recognition on their faces.

Here is a picture of what the bunny really brought them.  The Easter bunny had some extra time on her hands and needed a project so she made new bags for the girls.  She also found some neat socks that are a nice little anchor for a challenging day.  Jill’s say ‘I have FAITH’ (because of all her church activities but to remind her to have faith in herself), Ellie’s say ‘I am SMART’ (because she is taking a lot of standardized tests for college and junior year is HARD) and Kate’s say ‘I am AMAZING’ (because all middle schoolers need that reminder).  Finally, the golden egg brought the girls The Greatest Showman.  That was a given because it will just save us money in the long run if we don’t have to keep seeing it in the theater.  Ha!

 

Seattle Family Photographer~ Spring Fling

The sun is back! Hooray! Let’s celebrate with some fun new pictures of your kids or family. These make great Mother’s Day and Father’s Day gifts. Mini sessions start at $175 and include the photo session, an online gallery for reviewing your images and a $75 credit for extra prints at your ordering session.

Seattle Family Photographer ~ Psychos

 

How have I not done a Psych birthday party yet?  My girls are huge fans.  We worked our way through all of the early episodes and started watching them live mid season 7.  When the last episode (season 8) ever was on TV my girls cried when it ended.  (While laughing, of course, because it is just so funny!)  We have eagerly awaited all extra episodes or movies and replayed our favorite episodes many many times.

Most of the kids who attended Kate’s party had not ever seen Psych. What?!?  How can that be?  Well, it’s probably because they are all first born kids and Kate is a third born.  Meaning…she has been watching more adult type shows for a lot longer than they have!  No matter.  Kate was VERY happy about all of the details and we were happy to explain to the other girls what everything meant.

Let me explain it all to you too!  Pineapples appear at least once in every episode so they featured heavily in our decor.

Psych has a lot of phrases that they became famous for.  Here are just a few…

There are lots of things to explain in this picture.  ‘Suck it’ (often said melodically) was said in many episodes.  Clearly that had to go with the straws.  ‘Boom boom boom…muffins’ is from another episode.  I made blueberry muffins because Gus’ car was bright blue and always called The Blueberry.  American Duos is the name of one of Kate’s favorite episodes.  Plus, the white chocolate dipped dark chocolate cookies is a nod to the very last episode of Psych where Shawn tells Gus that they will always be together…just like these cookies.

The final detail that I should mention is the name tags.  We had them all over the place!  Shawn introduced Gus by all sorts of crazy names.  Rumor has it that James Roday (actor who played Shawn) made them up on the spot and Dule Hill (Gus) never knew what was coming.  We all got to pick our favorite and wear it for the night.  Allen was ‘Trending Ontwitter’, I was ‘Gus Sillypants Jackson’, Ellie was ‘Nick Nack’ and Kate was ‘Hollabackatcha’.  Even Poppy got into the fun when we gave her the ‘Ghee Buttersnaps’ tag!  (She was spayed a few days before the party.  Hence, the ‘cone of shame’.)

 

For once we had fantastic weather for Kate’s birthday.  The party started late but it was nice and dry and even warm for the scavenger hunt.  This hunt was a REALLY tough one.  Since Allen has not watched as much Psych as the girls we had Jill and Ellie come up with the clues for the hunt.  (Allen just cleaned them up a bit and made it so the other kids could help answer the questions without knowing all of the Psych trivia.)  They were ruthless!  I don’t think we’ve ever had a hunt that took so long.  1.5 hours!

Some of the clues the kids just guessed at and then, Kate with her vast Psych knowledge had to fine tune the answer.  For this clue the kids wanted to call ME (imagine my surprise if they had since I didn’t know the clues before the hunt!) but Kate realized that it was Jill who needed to be called.

Clue 7:

Where did Shawn and Gus first meet “The Greatest Thief That Ever Lived”, Pierre Despereaux? You will have to do some detective work to find your next clue. Call a witness closer to the scene of the crime to find your next clue.(The scene of the crime is British Columbia and Jill’s school is not far from there.)

 

Clue 5:

Who knew they hired freelance psychics and pharmaceutical salesmen?  (This clue was hidden at the police station because Shawn and Gus worked for the police to solve crimes.)

 

Clue 10:  Video Clue

Season 3, Episode 7, Minute 40:55   This was a video clue that ended with one of our favorite Psych phrases.  ‘Nailed it…Almost nailed it…definitely didn’t blow it…I don’t think’  That led the kids to a clue on the work bench.  With the nails of course!

Many of the hunters thought for SURE Mr. Fun had put the scavenger hunt prize in the laundry room.  Not because the clue led them there but because he is a creature of habit.  They guessed wrong!  Ha!

After the scavenger hunt was done the kids settled in to eat pizza and fries (such a strange request from the birthday girl and her friends), open gifts, eat cake (helpfully decorated by Ellie) and then head upstairs for a Psych marathon.  Kate had a long list of her favorite episodes and happily shared them with her friends.

A big thank you to Ellie for capturing the crew while I was out on the pizza run.  A fun time was had by all!