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!

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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Cara: Old Town Alexandria Maternity Session

You may remember Cara and Mark from their Old Town engagement session a couple summers ago. They were so much fun to spend the day with, so I was beyond excited when Cara reached out to me and said they wanted to get together for another shoot – because they were going to be parents!! So it was back to Old Town with Cara and Mark, and this time we added in their chocolate lab Hercules, who was looking forward to being a big brother and hoping his new sibling is as entranced by squirrels as he is.

The day we met up with SO COLD. I have to give major props to Cara and Mark for being real troopers and sacrificing the warmth of their coats for a few shots. It’s also a good thing we got these photos done when we did, because their daughter made her debut just over a week later!

Cara and Mark, thanks for letting me be a part of another momentous event in your life. I look forward to meeting your expanded family!

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I love Herc’s adorable bow tie! He will be a dapper big brother for sure!

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Cutest. T-shirt. Ever.

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I loved this so much – Cara got an engraved spoon from Etsy and served dessert one night with the spoon, to tell Mark “You’re going to be a Daddy”!

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Jhonna, Ryan, Quinn & Riley: Northern Virginia Maternity and Lifestyle Newborn Photography

Jhonna and Ryan first appeared on my blog in 2012 (!) when they were expecting their first baby, Quinn. Now Quinn is turning into an adorable young lady and is officially a big sister to baby brother Riley!! I got together with Jhonna, Ryan, and Quinn in October for a maternity/family session and then got to see them all again when Riley arrived in November. This is a compilation of both those sessions – they were keeping Riley’s name a secret until he was born and the maternity photos would have given away the first letter of his name, so I couldn’t share some of these until after he arrived!

Needless to say, I adore this family and am so lucky to watch their family grow! Thanks again to all of you for inviting me into these special moments.

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Justin, Sara, Sydney & Rootbeer: A Burke Lake Park Family Session

I always love seeing this family! They are SO much fun, cheerful, wear wonderfully coordinated outfits, and consider their chocolate lab part of the family – and if you know anything about me, you’ll know that makes them awesome in my book! We met up early on a Saturday at Burke Lake Park and had fun exploring (and avoiding a disc golf tournament!) to get these shots. Thanks again, guys, for sharing your family with me for a morning! I hope you had as much fun as I did.

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Sara, Justin, Sydney & Rootbeer: Burke Lake Park Family Session

So I am informed there is some big football game going on Sunday…? I admit I am not a football person; I am definitely one of those people who watches the Super Bowl for the commercials and halftime show and I get way more excited about the Puppy Bowl than I do for the actual game. But I know a lot of people go all out for the big game (and ok, I admit, it’s a really good excuse to eat a lot of nachos) so I figured it was appropriate to share my shoot with this football loving family (and there is in fact a “puppy” as well, as a bonus!) Enjoy, and have fun this upcoming weekend, whether you’re cheering on a team, rooting for the underdog pup (yes, bad pun intended), or ignoring it all and doing your own thing.

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Kendall, Bill & Sadie: A Claude Moore Park Family Session

It’s been a gray, dreary, rainy day here in Virginia. I think my dog has had the right idea – he’s been snoozing pretty much all day, sometimes even under a blanket! (Spoiled? No way!) So it was really nice to put together this blog post – from a sunny and warm fall day, with an adorable little pup included! Sadie probably stole the spotlight at this session (look at those soft, floppy ears and big brown eyes!) but I have to say Bill and Kendall were both looking pretty darn good as well. Thanks to all of you for having me out for this – was a great way to spend an afternoon!

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