Monday, February 20, 2012

Pure Chocolate

"Man cannot live on chocolate alone…but women can!" That was our motto last weekend at “Pure Chocolate” – a women’s event held at Redeemer Lutheran Church. If that quote held true, I believe we could have survived for weeks on the goodies that were available! Oh my goodness, I have never seen so much chocolate in one place!

Besides enjoying all the chocolate, it was an occasion to celebrate the special relationships we have with the women in our lives, and to thank God for all the blessings we receive through them.

The event was put together fantastically by my good friend, Cindy Sewell, and her very talented team of helpers. Because it was all decorated and laid out so beautifully, photographing it was a real "TREAT"!

I hope you enjoy the goodness, but I need to warn you: it’s possible you could gain a few pounds just by looking at the pictures!

Cindy and her team put SO much time and effort into making the day special.


Yes, this was my plate - don't judge.  I had to get a variety of goodies for the sake of the photograph.  And then, well you know, my mom always taught me to clean my plate. 

Jane was responsible for most of the adorable paper crafted decorations and other pretty things.

Ashley did a super job with the children’s message. And get a load of that little girl’s hairdo! I wanted to get a close-up shot, but she was bashful. So cute.

Our special guest of honor - the lovely Katie Stam, Miss America 2009 – was an inspirational speaker and a beautiful singer!

Thank you again, Cindy & team, for all your hard work!  It was a very fun afternoon.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Connecticut coast tour

The awesome "Walk Through a Wedding" workshop ended on Sunday evening and people gradually began heading for home.  A few left Sunday evening to catch the train, a couple headed back by car, several were catching early flights Monday morning.  Well, I had scheduled my return flight on Tues morning so I could spend Monday doing some sightseeing, but when Monday morning came around I was sitting in my hotel room feeling a little intimidated by the idea of renting a car and navigating this little self-guided tour on my own.  But I printed a couple Google maps in the hotel lobby and headed out...and I'm SO glad I did.  My first stop was in downtown New Haven on the campus of Yale University.  It was a beautiful sunny day (tho chilly) and it was such a cool feeling to walk amidst those very large, very OLD buildings.  It's a hard feeling to explain - just felt like I was taken back in time and was in the midst of history.  I REALLY loved it!
I hope these photos allow you to share in that feeling a little bit.  There was so much intricate architecture...fences, archways, doorways, was just all very cool.

If I were doing a photo shoot on Yale's campus, this is where I'd start.  The light was so warm and swirly in this walkway.  I really kinda wanted to stay there for a long time.

 This girl with the red coat walked out at the perfect time.  I think it makes this image much more interesting.

Then I headed to the Lighthouse Point where there is this cute carousel house...

...and a very tall lighthouse that looked so beautiful against the deep blue sky.

 From there I went to Mystic, arriving at the harbor as the sun was starting to set...very pretty.

I finished my evening with a visit at the home of my cousin, Phillip and his wife, Donna.  It's unfortunate that it was getting dark and I didn't take any photos, because I wish you could have seen the flock of turkeys (is a group of turkeys called a flock?) that waddled up their front yard looking for food.  Donna makes sure none of the animals - wild or domestic - go hungry in the winter. :)  I also wish I could show you the adorable little individual heart-shaped cherry pies that Donna made for our dessert.  Thank you, Phillip & Donna, for having me for dinner and for the wonderful visit.  It was great to see you both.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Walk Through a Wedding

You may remember that I posted a while back about buying myself a Christmas gift on Black Friday (from the comfort of my home). The gift was a seat in a photography workshop called “Walk Through A Wedding” by Justin & Mary Marantz. Wow, it was a great weekend, stuffed full of very helpful tips and information about everything from the technical “how-to’s” to the philosophical “why’s”. Justin and Mary so graciously hosted us in their home and generously shared their wealth of knowledge and experience.
The bonus was that I met some really amazing people and made some great friends.  You know, maybe more important than the photography lessons were the life lessons I took away from this weekend.  On Sunday we shared what photography meant to us and described a photo that was meaningful to us.  I was so touched by the way people opened up and shared themselves, and I felt like I was smacked in the head with the realization that every person has a story.  They're all important.  Everyone has something to offer. Every person has value.  Thank you Justin & Mary, thank you to everyone who worked hard to put the workshop together, and thank you to my new friends.

I've watched J&M's "Live Chats" before, which are filmed in their home, so it was really fun when I saw this fireplace mantel in real life and recognized it.

Some of my faves from the photo shoot...

Be sure and check back in a couple days, because I spent the day after the workshop doing some sightseeing in CT and I have some pretty cool photos to share from that!