Saturday, June 25, 2011

Go Kids Go

A few Saturdays ago I needed to photograph an event for the Junior League of Charlotte (JLC—my placement this year is Photography Manager for our quarterly magazine, The CRIER) and, fortunately, it was a kids event because Jonathan was out of town so Ella and Jack had to tag along with me.  The purpose of the event, Go Kids Go, which was held at beautiful Latta Park, was to promote a healthy and active lifestyle for children.  A trainer was onsite to take the kids through a warm-up and stretches, a workout, and then a cooldown.  A yoga instructor led a kid-focused yoga workout.  JLC volunteers played some fun activities with the kids including basketball, tug-of-war, hula hooping, jumping rope, and blowing bubbles.  And then, after two hours of exercising and having active fun, the kids made themselves a trail mix snack and then listened to a talk on healthy eating by a nutritionist from Presbyterian Healthcare. This was such a fantastic event, and Ella and Jack had so much fun, I hope we can attend all future Go Kids Go events whether or not I’m there to photograph it.


{warm up with the trainer and then off to do some yoga.}

{jack was the cutest little anchor ever in a game of tug-of-war.}

{more hard work with the trainer including navy seal push ups, lunges, frog hops, high skipping, sprints, and then stretches.  the trainer was always telling them how high they should be jumping or how low they should be squatting.  the kids (and volunteers) literally worked out for two hours.  the next morning ella and jack said their groin and quad muscles were sore—don’t think they had done too many lunges, etc. before this day.  just love how the volunteer is smiling big at jack in that last picture.  everyone had such a fun time, and definitely worked up a good sweat.}

{after the go kids go event ended, a reward for all of their hard work—the latta park spraygrounds.  ella and jack had earned it!}

{another series i’m in love with showing jack and ella playing lovingly together.  i’ve had to referee quite a bit this summer, so i truly cherish these moments.}

{another reward ella and jack had earned—some pinkberry frozen yogurt! :) }

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ella & Baden

Ella bought a little box of bumblebee chocolates for Baden over a month ago so she’s been asking and asking for us to have a playdate.  We were finally able to plan an evening together to play, eat dinner, and listen to some live music together.  Perfect Summer evening with great friends.

{ella, jack, and i have spent time together over the last month putting together outfits for some family photos in the near future (we finally have them all set and they’re kind of fun because the kids helped a bunch).  i was kind of thinking we should have our photos done before ella loses her top two teeth…and, then i saw this picture (and about 10 more just like it in the two weeks since this)—ella uses her bottom tooth to wiggle her wiggliest top tooth so often that she doesn’t even realize she’s doing it in smiles now.  so now i feel like I have to wait until they’re both gone.  thoughts??}

{hopefully we can plan a lot more play time for these 4 this summer.}

Field Day

It was field day time at Ella’s school a few weeks ago.  Ella had a great time, especially during the water activities, while Jack, unlike last year, was over it in about 10 minutes—he’s ready to not just watch the fun, but join in!  Well, take comfort, Jack, that this was the last time you’ll be on the sidelines.  :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I Heart Faces - Bright & Vivid

I just did a post on this year’s Time Trials for Ella and Jack’s swim team and it reminded me just how much I loved the shots I took at the Time Trials last year when just Ella was on the swim team.  The reds and blues were so vibrant and rich, and the strong and confident personality of my sweet girl just shined through.  This image is my absolute favorite.  The kids are warming up before their races, Ella’s first ever race, and, instead of looking nervous or uncertain, Ella looks like she could take on the world.  That is so Ella.  Love it.


Check out all of bright and vivid entries at I Heart Faces and join the fun!


Time Trials

It’s swim team season again and this year we have not one, but two swimmers on our neighborhood team, the Waves.  Jack was hesitant at first about joining the team, making me reassure him that he would only have to swim one length of the pool at each meet, but since day one of practice Jack has been thrilled to be a part of it all.  So this year Jack is in the Shrimpers (6 & Unders) and Ella has moved up to the 8 & Under group.  They’ve had practice each weeknight since mid-May and in that time their strokes have improved greatly.  Jonathan and I didn’t know quite how much each of their swimming techniques had improved until the team had their Time Trials event a few Thursdays ago.  It is run like a meet, but with no opposing team.  Jack swam in the second race and Jonathan and I were both speechless watching.  Jack didn’t break stroke once.  His breathed from the side with his stroke and he swam it to the end, tying for first.  This was a huge boost in Jack’s confidence and has further stoked his enthusiasm for the swim team.  We were so caught up in congratulating Jack on his race that we didn’t even notice that Ella was in the very next race, missed her start, and luckily caught the end (in our defense, we didn’t receive the race lineup that we typically receive for meets).  Ella swam a great race, too, coming in second in her field (among 7 and 8 year olds).  Freestyle is definitely her stroke.  Later she swam backstroke (the purpose of time trials is to set a time baseline for each stroke—Shrimpers only swim freestyle).  Unfortunately, the Time Trials were cut short by a storm, but Ella was timed the following week in breast stroke and butterfly.

{fortunately i snapped some shots of ella’s dives during warm-up (considering we missed her freestyle start), but unfortunately this was moments after we arrived and i had too tight of a lens on my camera for the seats we snagged.  kind of disappointed because last year i stood where i wasn’t supposed to be and got some of my favorite shots of the summer of ella.  same bathing suit this year, but definitely a much longer and leaner body…}

{waiting for his first race to start (furthest left, lane 1).}

{proud papa looking on.}

{set to start.}

{good start, jack.}

{check out my boy, way out in the lead.}

{and dad there to congratulate him on a great time.}

{a handshake and pat on the buns.  well done, jack!  …meanwhile, ella was already swimming her race…oops.}

{luckily, some other moms were there to congratulate ella on a great race…ella’s actually extremely social with all of the swim team moms (surprise, surprise).}

{and then she swam her backstroke race.}

{checking to make sure we were watching this time.  oh, the guilt.}

Monday, June 13, 2011


While the preschoolers were done with school before Memorial Day, the big kids were still in school until June 10th.  Jack and I happily filled one of our mornings together a few Thursdays ago hanging out with our good friends Noah and Griffin.  I didn’t take too many pictures, in fact I think I got a blog post done while they played, but these few shots did make me smile.

{jack doesn’t have a DS of his own, so griff’s giving jack some playing advice here.  love how griffin is just one of the boys now and no longer the baby.}

{if you want it done right, you just have to do it yourself… jack obviously has a thing or two to learn about playing the DS.}

{even though it was hot, hot, hot the boys insisted on playing outside.  my only picture of noah—i swear he was closing his eyes for my benefit! :) }

{fun morning, boys.  let’s do it again sometime!}

Landsford Canal State Park

Another holiday in May, another walk through the woods for us.  It wasn’t quite the hike we took on Mother’s Day, but on Memorial Day we did head down to a state park about 45 minutes south of us in South Carolina for a beautiful 3-mile-or-so nature walk along the Catawba River.  We chose Landsford Canal State Park for our Memorial Day activity because the rocky shoals along this park’s riverbanks are home to the world’s largest population of the rare rocky shoals spider-lily which are in peak bloom from mid-May to early June each year.  The nature trail in this park takes you to an observation deck to see the lilies, but, even with a zoom lens, this is about as close as I could get to the flowers.  It was a beautiful sight—but, next time we’re bringing our boats!    

{the park is also on the national register of historic places because the stone locks and bridges remain of what was a 19th-century canal system built along the river for cotton barge travel.}

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Party Girl

When I was in the mountains with Brooke to shoot a wedding, Jonathan was home carpooling Ella to party after party.  And apparently, Ella was doing some event photography of her own, or asking the hosting mom, rather, to take some shots of her with her friends.  Ella specifically requested that I make sure to do a post with all of the pictures she got from this fun day.

{first party, julianna’s luau (julianna is next to ella)—love the big brother in the back of the first pic.}

{the next party was margot’s spa-themed party.  ella got her nails and toenails painted, a massage, and a facial.}

{love the shot on the right that ella took of herself with her good friend taylor.}