The Library of Congress

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, containing over 164 million items, including over 38 million books. The Library is the research arm of Congress, but anyone 16 and older can register for a reader card and have access to the Library’s resources for doing research. Twice a year, the Library opens its main reading room to the general public for viewing. Being such a huge bookworm and having Columbus Day off work, I headed down there to check it out.

I am embarrassed to admit it, but I have lived in the DC area for almost 15 years, and this is the first time I’ve set foot in the building. And I was really missing out. Aside from the reading room, the whole building is really a work of art. I was so happy to be able to spend some time enjoying such an amazing space that houses so many treasures. I hope you enjoy some of the photos I took, and if you are ever in DC when the reading room is open, I highly recommend taking the time to take a peek.

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Yep. They have a *real* card catalogue.

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Most of the items they had on display were (really impressive) facsimiles, but this is the real deal – a Spanish dictionary from the 1600s. They have others in storage so are allowed to have this original out for people to touch. The librarian who showed it to me said a lot of people who do research on that time period will use the dictionary so they are getting the original meaning of the words. So cool to be able to see and touch a book that old!

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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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Carlos, Karissa & Cristabel: A Tidal Basin Family Session

Making plans to do photos outside starts getting dicey towards the end of October. You just never know what the weather is going to do. So I was a little nervous when Karissa and I made plans to do a photo session with her, Carlos, and Cristabel over Veteran’s Day weekend. What if it was freezing? Or windy? Or snowy? Or rainy? Or all of the above? I needn’t have worried, however – the day was bright and sunny and 70 degrees! I’d be happy if it stayed like that all winter long! We met up at the Jefferson Memorial and took some photos by the Memorial and along the Tidal Basin. Good thing they all brought their sunglasses with them!

Her dad’s going to be in trouble when the boys start knocking at the door ;)

What a good looking couple!

You’re never too old to have your dad give you a lift

Simply gorgeous

Steve, Lisa & Christopher: A Gravelly Point Park Family Session

I met Lisa, Steve, and Christopher on a windy Saturday afternoon at Gravelly Point Park in Arlington for their family photo shoot. This is one of my favorite locations in the area, so I was excited when they picked it. This park is neat because it is right next to Ronald Reagan National Airport, so planes are often taking off or landing right overhead. The Mount Vernon Trail runs through the park, so it’s a great jumping off point for walking or biking, and as you walk towards the city, you can get some great views of the monuments in DC. It’s a great mix of urban and nature and one of my top places to hang out in the area.

I was also excited to meet this family because they came to me in a special way. I’m a big proponent of supporting causes that are important to you, and one thing that means a lot to me is finding a way to support our military members and their families (which is why all current and former military members and their families get a discount if they book photography services with me). A few months ago, I donated some photography gift certificates for use by the Yellow Ribbon Fund at some of their charity auction events during the year. Lisa and Steve graciously bid on and won my gift certificate at one of the charity events, and it’s a win-win – they support a charity that is doing great work, they get family photos taken, and I get to spend an afternoon with another fun family!

Christopher was all about exploring at the park

Why walk if mom and dad will just swing you along?

Or if you can catch a ride on dad’s shoulders!

Talk about perfect timing – just as we walked under this bridge, a train came along, so we stopped to watch

Someone was clearly excited for the train :)

It’s not like dad really needs to see where he’s going, right?

Thanks so much, B Family, for letting me spend the afternoon with you all, and for supporting the Yellow Ribbon Fund!