Scott and I visited my niece last night. It's hard to believe it's been four months since she was born and how fast she's changing and growing. I remember being at work, answering a call from my mom and hearing that Elvira was pregnant. I'm pretty sure my cubicle neighbor thought I was crazy because of how excited I suddenly got. My sister was finally granted the baby she and her husband had hoped for, and I was going to be an auntie again. A few months later, Elvira asked me whether I could take her maternity photos. I was a little hesitant, since I had never shot a maternity session, but since she's my sister, I figured she wouldn't be overly critical. Elvira, I'm sorry I was grumpy that morning. I was worried we were too late to catch the perfect light, but you reminded me that it wasn't about that. Thanks for reminding me of that and thanks for letting me capture these precious memories. Tell Gabby I love her, and that I'll visit her again soon.
Our trip to Washington was a COMPLETELY unexpected experience. Last year Scott and I backpacked through 30 luscious miles of Olympic National Park and this year, we planned on taking our friends along the same trail to witness the beauty we did. Unfortunately, things fell through the day before our flight and our friends couldn't join us, so Scott and I traveled to Seattle without a plan. As amazing as the rain forest is, we wanted to experience something new, so we decided to stay in downtown Seattle and wing it... and it was seriously one of the best experiences ever. Things worked out so perfectly; it was unbelievable. The the sun was out 90% of the time we were there (otherwise, it barely sprinkled); we went to restaurants at strange times of the day, and it happened to be happy hour; we visited the Seattle Art Museum, and it was free entry day; we got to the Pike Place Starbucks, and the line was only to the door. I mean, it was nuts. It was refreshing to be in a completely new city with so much to explore and no schedule. And as much as I love spending time outside, it was nice not having to worry about bears, elk, and killer goats. Last year, Scott and I ate our dinner back-to-back for 360 visibility, just in case. This year, our biggest problems were not having sufficiently large stomachs and bladders to try all the food and drink all the coffee.
I stayed home sick today so I decided to finally work on these quickly in between naps and before I move to my new apartment this weekend.
I had the opportunity to visit Maui earlier this year and I still think it's so strange how a completely unknown place immediately felt like a second home. When I'm on vacation, I try to balance capturing the moments and actually being present in them, but I kind of regret not taking my camera everywhere. I'll be back though.
Until then, here's a tiny piece of the island that stole my heart.
No language can express the power, beauty, heroism, and majesty of a mother's love
wasn't able to be with my mom this Mother's Day, but I thought of her just the same and called her on both American and Mexican Mother's Day.
I always knew she's amazing, but it wasn't until I began my own journey as an adult that I really understood and appreciated her courage, patience, perseverance, and love. In the face of hardship, she wholeheartedly dedicated her life to my siblings and me-- to provide for us and to care for us. Her example and her selflessness are unparalleled and they have shaped me to be the woman I am today and because of this, I'm more than proud to be her daughter and eternally thankful she's my mother.
One weekend I visited her, I decided to photograph her yard, and it prompted me to dress her up, drive her down the street and take her portraits. She's always loved plants and I see them as a testament to her tenderness.
Diana and I have been friends for almost 20 years, specifically since Mrs. White's second grade class. She's the friend I don't see too often, but when I do, we can pick up like we just saw each other yesterday. She recently moved to Oregon to do all sorts of great things, and I admire her for it, although I do miss her. A while back she let me take her photos, and I really hope I was able to capture her adventurous heart. I played around with this one more than I normally would, but I kinda like it.
I'm proud of you, amiga! Don't stop chasing your dreams so fiercely. Your ferocity inspires those around you.
Sometimes, weekends are for chores and errands, and sometimes weekends are for Rocky marathons and adventure planning.
Now that Spring is here, we decided to take a break and plan our backpacking and camping trips through Fall (I hate freezing temperatures so we don't really go outdoors during Winter).
Working a cubicle job makes me so excited to be outside in the sun, and we're going to get plenty of it driving up and down PCH and exploring more of Yosemite, Big Sur, Pinnacles, and Big Pine Lakes.
This one's pretty close to heart. I met David at church when I was about 12, and we've stayed friends ever since. He has been a faithful friend through pivotal moments, and has become a brother to me, so when he asked me to photograph his wedding, I was SO excited. But I didn't fully grasp what an honor it was to be able to do this, until he first laid eyes on his GORGEOUS bride and I saw the look on his face. In all the years I've known David, I had NEVER seen such love and tenderness in his eyes, and it was beautiful. At first, Miriam and David didn't exchange too many words, but I imagine it's because sometimes words aren't enough. I felt like an intruder during this quiet moment, but I'm glad I was allowed to witness it and capture it.
The rest of the day went by too fast! Thanks to Pacific Hills Banquet for putting on a great event!
I don't think I could ever explain how thankful I am that you were born. Not only because of how you make me feel, but because of who you are. I may be biased when I say that you're hilarious, handsome, smart, and charismatic, but what amazes me the most about you is how selflessly you give.
That time you bought and installed a water filter for my mom without anyone asking you to; that time you made sure the Easter egg hunt was the best it could be for my nieces; that time you were the friend Mitchell needed; that time I brought Charlie home and you took her in as your own; the times you help Brian with homework and text him to make sure he's okay. These moments and SO many others are the ones that make me sigh. You have a heart that helps build up others, the kind of heart that makes this place a better one. It's what caught my eye about you, and it's what I admire the most.
The world gained so much when you were born. Happy birthday, Scott.