Life Stories: The Story of Getting Our Christmas Tree | San Francisco Bay Area Family Photographer

Traditions build memories.  Every year, when you do the same thing, it helps strengthen a memory.  I don’t remember lots of details from my childhood.  I don’t remember what I got for Christmas when I was six.  I don’t remember which ornaments I hung where or if my presents were wrapped in red or blue or white. But what I do remember from my childhood is we did things together as a family.  We went to Christmas tree farms and cut down trees.   We had hot apple cider with oranges and cinnamon sticks floating in it.  We crawled through a Christmas tunnel every year… a tunnel that brought us to our Christmas tree with presents underneath.

I remember these things because they were our traditions.  We did it every year.  That repetition makes memories stick.

I want sticky memories for my own children.  So, every Christmas, we go and cut down a tree. We go out to lunch, get treats, and we cut down that tree.

This year, we changed things up by going to a different place.  We found ourselves in Half Moon Bay at our favorite restaurant, The Flying Fish Grill.

My goal was to be as unobtrusive with the camera as I could, which is kinda sorta hard to do when you are taking pictures in a restaurant with your big ol’ camera.  But I tried.  Minimal direction from me…. just watching my family interact.

My goodness, look at my son’s and husband’s lips.  They look so much alike.

I love watching my husband play with our kids.  He does so many things just to make them laugh.  Here, they were adding all sorts of weird stuff to his water and then he would drink it.  As you can plainly see, Daddy is hilarious.

My loves….

Daddy love is awesome love.

And then off for treats.  Seriously.  This cookie was enormous.  And my daughter is part monkey.  She is always climbing.

And finally… to the Christmas tree farm.

It wasn’t long before we realized, these trees were seriously UGLY.

Look at this one.  It was missing a whole section in the middle of the tree.

My daughter was less than thrilled about the choices of trees.

My son didn’t seem to mind.

The dude is slightly insane.  And no, I didn’t ask him to pose.  He does this all by himself.  haha.

He’s so cute.

But c’mon…  Look in the background at the choices.  I’m telling you.  Pickings were SLIM. Good thing my cute daughter added some beauty to the place.

As the search went on…and on… crazy started to set in.

And daddy made an executive decision.

“We’re getting this tree.”

I was too tired to argue.

My boy hurt his knee but quickly recovered so he could watch his daddy cut down that tree.

But how would we get that tree onto the car?

Daddy lifted the tree.

By himself.

Cuz he’s wicked strong.

See?  Look how strong he is.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!  Sorry.  This was taken earlier in the year, but I just wanted to show him off.

OK, back to the regularly scheduled program….

My son

My daughter

My family

I’m a lucky girl to get to build these traditions with this bunch.

And if you don’t know what this whole Life Stories is about, you’re about to be in for a treat.  Click on this link right HERE to see another amazing photographer, Claire Hunter.  She’s participating in this big ol’ circle of Life Stories.  You can see her amazing pictures, and she’ll link you to another amazing photographer.  If you keep on going through the circle, you’ll find your way right back here.  I’m doing this all year.  If you missed my last Life Story, you can see it right here and here.  And you can follow my work on Facebook.  Thanks for looking!…

Love and Laughter | San Francisco East Bay Family Photographer

The parents were still pulling their stuff out of the car, and I grabbed this beauty.

First picture, and I pretty much knew this session would be magical.

Yep.  This was gonna be fun.

I love this family.  Like, really.  I love them.  Their love for each other is so evident.  You can tell the parents are soul mates.  You can see the love they have for their children.  And they are all really wonderfully incredibly FANTASTICALLY good looking.  :)

We played.

The stars aligned….

They hugged.

SHE hugged.

I swear, she’s beautiful.  Crazy crazy beautiful.

And his hair…. his eyes…. his smile…. his soul….  Such a doll.


OK OK OK.  I’ll stop.  No more sharing.

Thank you, M family for allowing me to capture the love and laughter that surrounds your family.  My heart felt joy throughout our session and as I edited them.

Just one more… to say goodbye.  You can follow my work on FACEBOOK.

Life Stories: The Story of Best Friends | San Francisco East Bay Children Photographer

When I look back on my childhood, besides my family, the people that had the biggest influence on me were my friends.  Friends make you laugh.  Friends understand you.  Friends… they’re always there, through the good and the bad.

My kids have some really awesome friends.  And so this is the story of them.  The story of the kids that make my kids better people.   My daughter’s best friend just happens to be the sister of my son’s best friend.  And guess what?  Their parents are pretty awesome too.  It’s just a huge gigantic friend jackpot!

We had them over for the entire day this week.  They got here right after breakfast and stayed until right before dinner.  What a day!

This pretty much sums up the day:

The kids were pretty excited.  Where to start?  All kid visitors always want to start in the kids’ secret room–a crawl space, converted into a fun area for the kids.  Adults have to crawl in.  I painted some of the walls with chalkboard paint, which makes for fun times.  This particular day the kids were not allowed to look at what was being drawn on the wall behind them until we were done drawing.  Ha!

But no playdate is complete without playing in their rooms.

And no playdate is complete without a fun new art project.  This one was extra fun.  My friend had shared this idea with me and the kids were eager to try it out: handprint snowmen on ornaments.

Step one: paint hand with white acrylic paint.

Step two: hold an ornament and carefully place your fingers along the sides of it:

Step three: let it dry while you play Twister.

Yes.  Really.  If you want your snowman ornament to turn out right, you must go play Twister.  I know it seems weird.  But it’s true.

I can hear their giggles.  I love how well they play together.  I actually get a little emotional looking at all of these.  Friends rock.

We wanted to be sure that the paint was dry.  So they had to play a little more.

All this waiting for paint to dry can make you crosseyed.Is it time???  Yes.  It’s time for Step four: draw the faces on the snowmen.

Aren’t they cute?  I  think we’re going to have to do this again.  I see grandparent gifts here, don’t you?

And now, time to go outside.

I MADE them take a nice picture.  Well, I TRIED to get them to take nice pictures.  :)

I love how much they love each other!

And I have a little something to tell you.  I know some cool kids.

Cool girls….

Cool boys….

Cool kids….

Hope you enjoyed this episode of Life Stories as much as I enjoyed shooting it.

And if you don’t know it, well, you’re in for a surprise.  Click on this link right HERE, to see another amazing photographer, Leah Jent.  She’s participating in this big ol’ circle of Life Stories.  You can see her amazing pictures, and she’ll link you to another amazing photographer.  If you keep on going through the circle, you’ll find your way right back here.  I’m doing this all year.  If you missed my last Life Story, you can see it right here.

Hope to see you back here really soon!

And I love new Facebook fans!  Feel free to like my Facebook page!