Todd, Whitney, Bailey & Peter: A Herndon, VA Family Session

OMG, guys. This family. So much fun, and the kids were a riot. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen siblings get along as well as Bailey and Peter did. Peter would just light up whenever Bailey grinned at him, and they laughed (and made us laugh!) so much.

I was *so* happy to get to do this family session. Whitney and I have been friends since shortly after I moved to this area. She and I were roommates when she began dating Todd, and I think one of the best things is when friendships last long enough to see your friends evolve through the different stages of their lives. Whit and Todd will be married 10 years this year, and it’s clear how in love with each other and their kids they are. I am so very grateful to be involved with this whole family, and am glad I got to capture the fun they have together.

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Riley’s Lock

There are no shortage of things to do in the DC area, and they aren’t all museums and monuments! When the weather is nice, we try to get out and explore, taking our dog with us as often as possible. Back in February, on an unseasonably warm day, we headed up to Maryland to check out Riley’s Lock. Riley’s Lock is located in Seneca Creek State Park and is part of the C&O Canal.  In this area, there are lots of parks along the canal, so plenty of great opportunities to get out and explore, walk, bike, or picnic.

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While we were walking, I was *super* excited when we stumbled across the remnants of the Seneca Stonecutting Mill. Abandoned building? Yes, please!

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On our way home from exploring, we made a quick stop at Glen Echo Park. It’s not a very hopping place in winter, but I’d love to go back now that summer is on the horizon and check out the carousel or some of the events they have going on.

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All in all, an excellent day of exploring places I had never checked out before. There is an advantage to being married to someone who grew up in this area and thinks of places to go that may never even cross my mind. I’m looking forward to our next adventure!

Celebrating My Best Friend

This guy:

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is Skylos. My furry best friend.

He’s TWELVE today!! Look at all the handsome gray on his chin.

Knowing my track record with goldfish and plants, I wouldn’t have put money on me being able to keep a living creature alive and thriving for 12 years, but…here we are. Every day I am grateful that I have him. For someone like me, who struggles with anxiety and depression, having this guy in my life has been a blessing from the universe. He makes me laugh, he gives great snuggles, and he makes sure I get out of bed every day.  I can definitely see that he is aging, and it hurts my heart knowing he won’t be around forever, but I am glad we are taking his journey together.

Now, like any good labrador retriever, Skylos eats everything in sight. But he’s also a weirdo. He absolutely *loves* bananas.  So he had a happy birthday banana this morning, but lest we be thought of as the equivalent of someone who hands out apples to trick-or-treaters, we will probably take him out for some vanilla ice cream this weekend.

Happy birthday, buddy! Here’s to (at least) 12 more, right?! We love you!

Oak Hill Cemetery

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I am weird in that I *love* cemeteries. I love exploring them and have ever since I was a little kid. I think my parents were quite concerned that anytime we drove anywhere, I asked to A) drive past the prison in our town and B) go look around cemeteries. (So far I have seemed to avoid the serial killer career these interests might seem to imply.)

So it shouldn’t be a big surprise that, for my birthday this year, my husband took me first to explore Oak Hill Cemetery, followed by dinner at my favorite tapas restaurant. Headstones and sangria? Win.

We didn’t have as much time to explore Oak Hill as it deserves, so I will certainly be making an expedition back, but here is what I captured for now.

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Fall 2016: A Summary

Yep. Totally slacking. My last post here was 9 months ago.
Oops.

I, for one, am glad 2016 is winding down. I can’t say I haven’t been doing any photography, but for most of the last 9 months, the thought of getting out and doing it has been, frankly, exhausting. Even just working on fun stuff for myself. 2016 was not a terribly easy year for me.

This was a year where I could feel the almost constant nagging of depression and anxiety. I’ve long struggled with those things, but sometimes it’s just a more frustrating fight than others. I hate it because it affects what I want to do, my relationships, everything. Then in August I cleverly managed to break my foot (hint: be careful stepping off curbs…no…really…they can just jump out from under you at any moment).  As soon as my foot was back to normal(ish), I was so eager to get back to normal I promptly messed up my shoulder at the gym and am still dealing with the consequences of that. So, needless to say, I am planning on 2017 being a better, less injury-prone year.

I wasn’t a total loss on photography, though. I did manage to get out and explore a bit, just in my own neighborhood. Fall is my favorite season, and when I do convince myself to get out and play, I am always rewarded by how much better I feel when I am done. So here’s some of my “just for me” work – I hope you enjoy!

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Washington DC Bachelorette Boudoir Marathon

I was *so* excited when my friend Cassie’s maid of honor reached out to me and said that, as part of Cassie’s bachelorette extravaganza in DC, they wanted to do a boudoir shoot. Of course, I said *yes!!!* and we spent an afternoon together having a blast in their suite. Plenty of champagne, laughter, sparkles, feathers, hair flips, and down right sexy attitude from all these ladies. They were all so supportive of each other, and I don’t think Cassie could have picked better women to be part of her bridal party. I’m so glad I got to be a part of her celebrations, and I hope they all had as much fun as I did with their shoots – they were no question a blast to work with! Thanks again for having me, ladies!

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Travel: A Family New York City Adventure

I was lucky as a kid – we went on family vacation together every summer. But until this past Labor Day weekend, I couldn’t tell you the last time we’d all gone somewhere together – maybe sometime when I was in college…? After this past Labor Day weekend, I remembered why it had been so long….

Kidding!

My dad is a huge folk music fan. I grew up listening to my dad play guitar while we sung along to John Denver, Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Woody Guthrie, and Peter, Paul, and Mary (“Puff the Magic Dragon” was a favorite song of mine, even though I cried (yes, really) whenever Puff slunk into his cave, sure it meant he shuffled his way off the mortal coil). So when my dad heard about an exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York that chronicled the blossoming of folk music in Greenwich Village in the 60s and 70s, it seemed a perfect reason to head to the city. My parents had never been to NYC and it had been almost 15 years since I had been there – why not go?

So we found an (overpriced) hotel a few blocks off Times Square and headed up for the long weekend. And we crammed a *lot* into those few days. And as much as I can joke about going on vacation with my parents now that we’re all adults, we really did have a pretty good time playing tourist in the city, and I figured I’d share a bit of our adventure with you. Hope you enjoy!

nyc4Times Square and Jared making friends with the T-Rex at the Times Square Toys R Us (which has since closed! So I’m glad we got to go there and poke around!)

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We drove up, but my parents’ flight was late getting in, so we headed over to Rockefeller Center for cocktails and people watching before stumbling across a delicious Cuban restaurant for dinner

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All ready to go on the top of the tour bus on the first day!

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At the museum. Someone was a little bit excited….

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The paper is the handwritten lyrics to Bob Dylan’s “Blowin in the Wind”

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I spent a disturbing amount of time being fascinated by this light fixture and the spiral stairs in the museum. I want them both.

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Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall at night

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The *highlight* of the trip for my dad – open mic at The Bitter End! This venue, which opened in Greenwich Village in 1961, hosted a ton of folk music artists during the height of the folk music revival. It meant a lot to my dad to get to sing and play at the same place as so many people who have influenced him – and he did a great job! (I admit it…I teared up a bit…)

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The city from the top of the Empire State Building

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The city from Liberty Island

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