I seriously can not believe we have just a week ’til Christmas!!! To be honest, being in Kenya has lacked a lot of Christmas spirit. There aren’t any decorations at the Children’s home.. No picking out a tree, hanging countless strings of lights, or driving to see all the decorations. It’s not cold here.. So there is no bundling up and drinking hot chocolate, ice skating, or making snowmen. We don’t have an oven, so there has been none of the normal Christmas treats, or decorating cookies. We don’t have a radio, so there is no 24 hours of Christmas music, and without Netflix, no endless stream of holiday movies. Yeah.. In a lot of ways it hasn’t felt much like Christmas here, which is a bummer because it is my favorite time of year! But there has been one thing that has held us from being too upset we won’t be spending Christmas with our families under sparkly lights. In fact, we are SO excited. Maybe more excited than I have been since I was a little kid. It’s because of the gifts. No, Michael and I haven’t bought awesome gifts for each other, in fact, we aren’t exchanging gifts at all. It’s the gifts for the kids. A few weeks ago we thought how awesome it would be if these children could have a true, big Christmas celebration. How much fun it would be to see them all be able to open a gift and see their faces light up. To give them something that may let them know how very loved they are. The problem is, Happy Life Nairobi has 45 children living here. And another 52 at their location in Juja. There was no way Michael and I would be able to get gifts for 97 children. So we thought maybe we would narrow it down to just the children we spend every day with here at the Nairobi location.
But still 45 gifts would be way more than we would be able to pull together. So we decided to reach out and ask for help getting a small gift for each child. And we have been blown away. The amount of generous donations we have receive has brought me to tears. We have had so many sweet people share our registry, donate, or write us really encouraging notes. So many generous hearts that our registry for the 45 children here was completely filled. And then even more people who contacted us saying they wish they had been able to contribute. So we added to it. There are a couple things here that the house moms could use to help provide for all these children. And then those things were filled. So we added again. We thought of a few things that could make their play areas so much more fun. And then those things were filled. And we were shocked. And overwhelmed. And overjoyed. So we thought of the 52 beautiful faces at Juja and how exciting it would be for them to have a little something too. That having a few recess and after school play things would be so exciting for them, or even a few things to have a school to make the day a little more fun. So we added so that these faces may have a beautiful Christmas too.
Even though we are missing out on some of the things that make this season so much fun, we couldn’t be more excited for Christmas to get here. An old friend of ours, and one of our biggest contributors (who decided instead of giving gifts this season, she’d donate to kids here in people’s names) posted this video she helped create this Christmas season. And we are really feeling it. Watch, enjoy, and get excited for this time of giving. And if you feel inspired, consider giving $5, $10, $20, or whatever feel like to those beautiful faces above.
When I got an email from Kelly’s mom to set up Kelly’s senior pictures, I was so excited. Curt & Julie are good friends of ours and I was so excited to get to see them again! Honestly, I had met Kelly a couple times, but never had a chance to really spend any time with her, so I didn’t have a good idea of what we were getting into. In retrospect I should have know that with Julie as her mom and Curt as her step dad, she was going to be the sweetest senior ever.. but we figured it out pretty quickly after meeting up with them! She was such a natural and so much fun to have in front of the camera! Thanks you three for a wonderful shooting day! Enjoy some of our favorites.
I wish I had this model face!
Seriously though.. how cute is she? Shooting at Virginia Beach was a blast! It was way hotter that day than it was supposed to be, so we had to go stick our feet in the water, but since I haven’t been to VA beach in quite some time, it was super fun spending the day there.
I asked Kelly if she had ever had pictures taken of her before.. she said no.. but I couldn’t believe her. She was such a natural, we barely had to direct her.. and her smile was INSANE!!! Such a beauty. We figured out that her perfect smile might come from years of cheerleading..Kelly has been going to this school her whole life!
And we had to take a few with the family.. how cute are they!?
We just love these two.. couldn’t help taking a few of them.. such an awesome couple..
Good luck with everything, Kelly. It was so much fun spending the day with you! Have an amazing last year and enjoy every little moment, it goes by in the blink of an eye.
When I got the text from Audrey & Doug that their son had arrived I was sitting in church. My phone had been glued to my hands, I was so excited to hear that this baby boy had come into the world. I about squealed out loud in the middle of the sermon. And we were absolutely thrilled when these proud parents asked us to capture their little newborn! He was just 7 days old when we went to do his session. They asked us to bring along some props they thought would be good.. and boy did we! We took over their morning room/dining room with buckets, blankets, luggage, and more. It was so much fun setting up these scenes for Elijah, I’m so happy Audrey didn’t shut the door on us after our third trip to the car to get more supplies! Doug and Audrey, thanks for letting us take over, and thank you for trusting us with your little bundle of joy!
Doug is a serious fan of planes. It was so much fun using that love in our shoot! Just check out that hat!!! Thank you etsy (and Grandma!)!
They just happen to have this amazing propeller to use!
What. AMAZING. Parents.
AH! I’m in love.
The nursery is so perfect.
Doug MADE that plane! And Grandma made that awesome bunting.
Gah. So perfect. So tiny. Don’t forget to leave some love for this lil’ guy in the comments!
Thanks again Audrey & Doug! We loved being there!!!
I love a good deal. And love not waiting in line even more! Soooo.. here is the best of both worlds. We are offering a few holiday deals this season! Enjoy and give a gift of memories by December 25th.
– Portrait Session Special
– $150 50% off (originally $300)
– One photography session gift certificate, gift wrapped and sent. Includes 1-2 hours of on location portrait photography (families, couples, etc.), edited digital images (both sent and online).
– Printing and Albums
– 25% off professionally printed flush mount albums
– 15% off canvas wrap prints
Order Now (limited quantities available)
Michael and I have never had an infant session so I was THRILLED when Danielle contacted me about little Ayden. He was turning six months and she wanted to document how big he has gotten (and I mean seriously.. they grow so much in those first few months.. Danielle and I work at the same elementary school.. and I remember him being so tinny when she first brought him in for a visit).
We were a bit nervous about this first infant shoot, but once they got to Downtown Hampton where we were shooting, our nervous were eased. This family is a so photogenic and so, SO loving. They made it a wonderful day, even though Ayden cried about the whole time. But let me tell you, this little champ couldn’t take a bad picture if he tried.. he is a natural in front of the camera! Thanks again Danielle & Nate for including us in documenting little Ayden’s milestone.
Ayden was grabbin’ Momma hair the whole time- So cute!
AH look at that face!!!
Why are you doing this to me?
LOVE the ampersand.. such a little M&L baby!
We planned the shoot in Downtown Hampton so we could go on the antique carousel…
but Ayden didn’t like it very much..
But he loved looking at it!
A wonderful family/engagement shoot is coming..
I’ve had some trouble trying to come up with what to write for this amazing couple. Maybe I should start with how I meet them just weeks before their big day and I immediately fell in love with them. They work so well together and it was evident from the hour I spent with them hearing about their story and how wedding planning was going. I could write about how Andrew is in the military; how they started their life together with a big move, and they now live in Alaska together! I could easily tell you how from the moment I walked into the church I could feel the love. Nina’s bridal party was amazing, her maid of honor, Alex, would do anything for her, and her little sister, Piper, was running around so excited for her “Sissy”. Or I could tell you how their relaxed, backyard reception blew me away – completely gorgeous – horse farm and all! I could talk about these two for a loooong time, they are wonderful. Nina & Andrew, thank you for letting us spend the day with you – it was an honor. We hope you are enjoying Alaska!
How adorable are these sisters?
Seriously, how gorgeous is this bridal party?
There are few things I love more than a “I am about to shove this cake all over your face” picture.
Ended an amazing day with a little bride v. groom corn hole game.