Arizona Cousins

Whenever we’re out in Arizona visiting my husband’s family, we always get the kids together for a few pictures in my Brother-in-law and Sister-in-law’s front yard.  They have a beautiful mountain view from there.  Normally we are there during Christmas and are taking the pictures in the evening before church on Christmas Eve, but this year we were there for Thanksgiving.  So instead of dusk, we were dealing with bright, midday Arizona sun.  It was really too bright for the pictures, but I was hell-bent on on them being in that specific spot.  Here’s how they turned out.

All 5 Cousins Together November 2013 - Arizona Trip 350My Monkeys November 2013 - Arizona Trip 354My Nephews.  I can’t decide which of these two pictures I like better.  The one of them both smiling or little brother looking up to his big brother.  I think I’m leaning toward the latter.November 2013 - Arizona Trip 369November 2013 - Arizona Trip 368 (2)Family photo of my in-laws and nephews.  November 2013 - Arizona Trip 392Just the boys.  They are all such buddies.November 2013 - Arizona Trip 396When we got to my Father-in-laws house for Thanksgiving Dinner we got to also spend time with our other two Arizona cousins that we rarely see.  I really wanted a picture of all 7 together, but it never really worked out.  I did, however, get a couple outtakes of the little girls that still make me laugh!November 2013 - Arizona Trip 447 November 2013 - Arizona Trip 451

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Sweet Sisters, 6 Years Apart

When my oldest was about 9 months old I snapped a picture of her wearing a watermelon dress and hat in the backyard of our old house.  It’s still one of my favorite pictures of her.

Six-plus years later on the day after her 1st birthday, my youngest happened to be wearing the same outfit and I couldn’t help myself from trying to recreate the picture.

Here’s the side by side of the two of them.  My older daughter is on the left, and my youngest is on the right.Ella - ElinHere are some of my other favorites from the shoot:August 2013 - 1st day of school 476 August 2013 - 1st day of school 524Sometimes I love the pictures with no smiles. August 2013 - 1st day of school 535 August 2013 - 1st day of school 544Or goofy looks. August 2013 - 1st day of school 551and this one is just so innocent. August 2013 - 1st day of school 564

51 Weeks Old

I needed a recent picture for some decorations I was planning for my daughters 1st birthday.  So we headed to the backyard for a super quick impromptu photoshoot.  The winning picture went from camera to print in about 90 minutes!

This is the one I ended up using.  It fit better with the others I was using for months 1-11, but…August 2013 - Elin 51 Weeks 003This was my favorite, it showed off her spunky personality much better :-).August 2013 - Elin 51 Weeks 025

Texas Hill Country

In July 2013, my husband and I took a little weekend getaway.  It was our first since our youngest was born and we didn’t go far, but it was so nice!  We spent a night at a B&B in Fredericksburg, Texas and visited 5 of the local wineries in the Texas Hill Country.  I love the rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country and wine, well, wine and I are good friends ;-).  So it was a really nice weekend away.

Here are a few pictures from some of the wineries.  I don’t know what it is about giant live oak tree in the middle of an open field… This was taken on the lawn at Pedernales Cellars.July 2013 - Weekend Getaway 008

This also from Pedernales Cellars, Texas flag with the Hill Country back drop.July 2013 - Weekend Getaway 017 This was taken on the patio at Grape Creek Vineyard.July 2013 - Weekend Getaway 035This was also from Grape Creek VineyardsJuly 2013 - Weekend Getaway 041We also visited, Hilmy Cellars, Becker Vineyards, and Four Point Cellars.

The next morning before heading home we stopped in Luckenbach, Texas.  This was taken near the outside stage.  I liked the Michigan plate “TX TNDO”. July 2013 - Weekend Getaway 062

7 Cousins All in a Row

After 3 years, a wedding & 3 new babies, my family (mom, dad, sisters, brothers-in-law, and our 7 combined nieces and nephews) decided to take another road trip to the Sunshine State.  We, again, drove from Texas and they drove from Michigan.  This year we all met in Panama City Beach.  The drive was a little hairy with an 8-month-old, but once we got there it was well worth it.

These are the pictures from 2013’s beach photo shoot.  It was a little overcast and windy that day, so we were definitely fighting a lot of hair in the faces of the girls.

My MonkeysMay 2013 - Florida Vacation 666 Fuse May 2013 - Florida Vacation 724May 2013 - Florida Vacation 797Grandma & Grandpa with all 7 grandkids, this was definitely the best when it comes to people looking at the camera and smiling, BUT… May 2013 - Florida Vacation 730This “outtake” was my favorite of the day, all the personalities are evident in this one. May 2013 - Florida Vacation 774And then, drum roll please… 7 kids, 7 and under, in one picture.  I have an 8×10 of this one framed in my living room.       May 2013 - Florida Vacation 883 Fuse

Texas Traditions 2013

I’ve talked about Bluebonnet pictures being a yearly Texas Tradition a couple times now. In 2013 I was excited to take Monkey #3’s first pictures in the Bluebonnets.  For a camera toting mama, she was at an absolutely magical age… whenever she saw my camera she did a big old “CHEESE” smile.  I have some really fun pictures from about 6-12 months. We did these right behind my house again this year.

I was really happy with how this year’s pictures turned out.  I actually had 4 of them turned into canvases and have them hanging next to the front door of my house. April 2013 - Tball, Crawfish Boil & Bluebonnets 119  April 2013 - Tball, Crawfish Boil & Bluebonnets 128 April 2013 - Tball, Crawfish Boil & Bluebonnets 135 April 2013 - Tball, Crawfish Boil & Bluebonnets 142 April 2013 - Tball, Crawfish Boil & Bluebonnets 173 April 2013 - Tball, Crawfish Boil & Bluebonnets 200

Christmas 2012

It was our first Christmas as a family of 5.  My husband and I decided years ago to alternate Christmases.  We go to Michigan every other year to celebrate with my family and Arizona on the other years to celebrate with his family.  It’s just worked out that each of my kids celebrated their first Christmas in Michigan.  There is something really special about seeing the pictures of my kids (and nieces and nephews too) around the Christmas tree in my childhood home.

December 2012 - Christmas Trip to MI 213 December 2012 - Christmas Trip to MI 233 December 2012 - Christmas Trip to MI 238 All seven grand kids with Grandpa and Grandma, so special.December 2012 - Christmas Trip to MI 317

A Special Day

My daughter was baptized at my childhood church in Michigan during the week of Christmas 2012.  I didn’t take many pictures of her in her dress early in the day when there was natural light.  So later that evening, I tried to take a few with only the light of Christmas tree.  I really like low light pictures, but still wish I had some from earlier in the day.December 2012 - Christmas Trip to MI 127 December 2012 - Christmas Trip to MI 132

Growing Baby

I had more success photographing my daughter when she was a little older.  These were taken when she was about 1 month old.

The shoes were an extremely thoughtful gift from a co-worker of mine and beyond adorable.  I couldn’t help snapping a few pictures of them.October 2012 007 (2)She was born during the 3rd Quarter of the season opener, so it only seemed fitting to have some photographs of her showing off her school spirit. October 2012 046My beautiful baby girlOctober 2012 030