Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mi Mejor Amiga

If you will, go back in time with 1993! I was in 5th grade. I thought it was cool to roll my pant cuffs into this twist. I would then take scrunchy socks and let the sock meet the twisted pant cuff. I had poker straight hair and would "foof" up the front with hair spray. Yea, I looked coooool!! :-)

And throughout fifth grade, I took in all the new things of being in middle school. I realized I was bottom of the totem pole. I loved Language Arts with Mrs. D. and my social studies (and homeroom) teacher is still one of my most favorite teachers to recall. I carried around my 40lb L.L. Bean book bag (that might be just a slight exaggeration) and remember getting my first solo in chorus - Hero by Mariah Carey.

And of course I had to make new friends. It was the first time we combined schools. The "valley" kids who went to Old Farmers Road School (like I did) and the "mountain" kids who went to Flocktown joined to go to Long Valley Middle School. And there was a moment (don't remember the exact one) where I met Jess.  She was a mountain kid. We became fast friends. And our friendship continued throughout middle school. We hung out after school. Had sleepovers. Then high school came. We went to football games. We went trick-or-treating together. We ate a lot of ice cream and went to see Yankees games in NYC. And then we went to college. And continued to remain friends. We visited each other at college, and would meet up at home over breaks.

Now here we are entering our 30s, and she is still one of my most dear friends. She got married to Scott - her high school sweetheart - in 2006. They have a dog Bean. They moved into her childhood home a few months ago. And last year they had their first baby - a girl, Danielle - who is just the love of their lives. And it's been absolutely wonderful to be back home for this past year and spend time with Jess while she's been on maternity leave. I've loved watching Dani grow and become this sweet little girl; I've mentioned to Jess numerous times that I love her big eyes and her sweet demeanor.

A few weeks ago, I called Scott and told him I wanted to come take some pictures of Dani when Jess wasn't around, so I could give Jess a pic of Dani for her 30th birthday (which was last week). Last night I was able to go spend some time with Jess and give her the pictures.

I am so grateful for Jess and Scott. She has been such a consistent friend and our friendship has been so easy-going. I know there have been times in our friendship where we've not talked as often - simply because of what we had going on in our lives, but she - even then - continued to remain someone I knew would ALWAYS be there for me.

(and to give explanation to the subject...Jess and I took Spanish in high school. We held onto a few phrases and words that we used casually over the years. When Jess traveled to Spain, she brought me back a fairytale in Spanish. It's been a running joke between us for years.)

Abrazos y besos, my friend. You and your family are so special to me. I am so incredibly blessed to have you as one of my friends.

And since every post is more fun with pictures, here are some of the pics I took of Dani... Isn't she just the cutest??

Pin It

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Walsh Family

Before I went to photography school, I had the opportunity to take engagement photos for Josh and Amelia. We spent a cold afternoon in February (2010) on Princeton University's campus taking pictures; we had a great time being together, laughing and enjoying each other's company.

Fast forward two years.... Amelia contacted me about taking some pictures of their now 6-mo. old son - Caleb. Caleb is an adorable little guy. Amelia has so faithful in taking and posting pictures of Caleb throughout the first months of his life.

I met up with them a few weeks ago for their photo session. We were excited about possibly taking some pictures outside, but I figured we ought to start inside their home first. Amelia was all set with multiple outfits, hats, and a special onesie she wanted me to take some pictures of Caleb in so she could send them to her brother, who left for Army Basic Training in February.

By the time we headed to a nearby park, the weather had changed drastically, and poor little Caleb was all done for the day. We got a few pictures, but headed back, calling it a day. When we got back to the house, Caleb fell asleep and I had the chance to take a few of Amelia and Josh alone. They are still very much in love and were really great about encouraging one another and saying "I love you" in affirming each other.

Josh and Amelia, your precious little Caleb is such a sweet little boy. You are great parents and are so sensitive to his needs. It was so wonderful to watch your journey through PBU, as you met each other and fell in love. Now it's so great to see you grow your family and to still be a part of your lives. Thanks for having confidence in me and asking me to document your wonderful family.

Pin It

Monday, March 26, 2012

Boys' Birthday Bash

I recently wrote about my nephew Dean's 10th birthday. A few days later, another of my nephews - Grant - turned 8. Since their birthdays are so close together, my sister has had a combination birthday party for them for the past few years. Each year they help in picking out the theme for the party and Dave (their dad) makes a cake fitting to the theme. One year he used icing that turned out lips, teeth, and tongue black. This year the cake was even more impressive and the boys had a fun time spending time with their cousins.

the themed cake - it looks very similar to the invite they used. Dave did a great job!

The birthday boys


Brothers three -- Gavin, Dean, Grant

Pin It

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spring Blooms

As many others have noted, spring has arrived early. Last week the temperatures were in the 70s and the weather outside felt very different than what is typical for this time of year. I think, though, that not many are complaining, and in all likelihood, hope that it continues. Sadly the forecast for tomorrow is 42 and windy here in NJ.

Today I went outside and snapped some pics of spring around our house. The bushy forsythias are bright yellow. The buds on the flowering bushes are starting to show their beauty within. The daffodils are standing proudly and showcasing their majesty. The blossoms on the dwarf hanging cherry tree add a beauty to the vibrant colors that welcome spring.

I can't wait for the tulips to bloom...

Pin It

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Today was a relaxing day. I went to church, then we had a big family lunch (Shepherd's of my favorites), and then some of my nephews went on a bike ride with their dad, and one (the youngest - Gavin) stayed behind. Three of us went on a quick walk (my sis-in-law Catania, Gavin, and me), then Gavin and I came back and made some chocolate peanut butter bars - yum! - and then I came in to do some computer work.

All of a sudden, my mom comes in and whispers, "You have to come see what Gavin is doing. He's taking trucks from the rocks and bringing them over into the yard. The dog is following his every move."

So, like a creeper, I go to the tiny window in the bathroom and watch my adorable little nephew - the one who held my hand for nearly our entire walk - moving trucks from one spot to the other, as the dog followed behind. I got my camera seconds after the dog realized someone was watching him from the inside, but did manage to get a few of Gavin...and then one of Rudy, as he realized I was spying along with the rest of my family.

I love lazy Sundays, full of good weather, good food, family, and my camera.

Tomorrow is the start of something new. I will be going back to desk work for the first time since the summer of 2010 -- before I resigned and went to photography school. This job is only temp. work, but it does mean I have to get up at 6:30am and wear dress clothes again on a consistent basis. I think that alarm ringing is NOT going to be the most welcomed sound I'll hear.
Pin It

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dean Turns 10!

It is incredibly hard for me to believe that my oldest nephew is ten years old today!! I think back on all the memories - the first day I got to hold him, the vacations we took as a family, the things he's played with or built over the years (Legos, trains, cars), the time in water, and the numerous ways I've seen him grow up!

Here are some pics over the past ten years. They don' even begin to cover the hundreds of pictures I have of him. And I wish I had a copy of the pic where I was holding Dean for the first time. But alas...these are the ones I picked.

Always playing or building

Picking pumpkins at Ort's Farm

Wearing his socks like Poppy

Even though not the best quality, still one of my most fav images of Dean

Looooved this kissy face he used to make for me

Yes, my hair used to be that short

And so last night we celebrated with a family dinner...on the eve of his 10th bday! He has grown so much - physically taller - but also is growing into a nice young man. But he'll always be my little love, my first nephew, and has my heart.

So here's some pics of our celebration from last night:

10 fingers for my 10-yr. old!!

biking gloves

There couldn't be a better gift....a book of Lego ideas

I guess this could be better....a huge motorized Lego set

$10 for the 10-yr. old

Blowing out 10 candles.....

The candles were the kind that keep re-lighting...Dean laughed and laughed!
Happy birthday to my special little man......I love you Dean-o!!!  Love, Aunt Sissy
Pin It