Tag Archives: family

What I Did During My Christmas Vacation

U9A0620_Christmas Tree Magic

I had planned on a relatively quiet Christmas, with 9 days left of vacation time to use up.  I figured I might venture out to the nearby national wildlife refuge and maybe a nearby state park to check out the birdlife, but other than that, I had no big plans.

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Back track to December 2010.  I was visiting my sister, brother-in-law, and assorted family members for Christmas in eastern Washington. We were standing around their kitchen island conducting a whiskey taste testing (Redbreast Single Malt won hands down).  Andrew and Julie (the sister to my niece-in-law) turned to me and said how much they would like to have me photograph their wedding…..whenever they set the date. I told them that would be awesome.  We resumed our whiskey tasting.

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Fast forward to late September 2012. While talking to my sister, she mentioned that Julie and Andrew had set the wedding date for sometime in early December. This was the first I had heard of their pending wedding, and I knew I would not be able to make it because my remaining vacation days were already committed to those last two weeks of December. Sigh.

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Fast forward to early October 2012.  I received an email from Julie telling me they’d set the date for December 28 in Tacoma, Washington and would I be able to photograph their wedding if  all expenses – including the plane flight – were paid?  December 28 was during my vacation, so I was beyond thrilled to be able to say “YES” after all! (It heartened me mightily that Andrew and Julie felt so strongly about having me as their wedding photographer).

We made the plane reservation with enough time for me to first spend several days before and after Christmas with my sister, brother-in-law, and assorted relatives in eastern WA.  I had a white Christmas Eve and and a White Christmas Day and a wonderful time while there.

H5T8422_Snow Line

H5T8437_Chimanea

H5T8433_Joe

H5T7671_Santas

H5T7748_Crystal and Bokeh

U9A0191-2_Crystal Ornaments

H5T7792_Looking In The Window

H5T8190_Casey and Logan

H5T8230_Grammy and Savanna

U9A0235_Stockings

H5T8881_Christmas Dinner Setup

H5T8911_Christmas Dinner Tablesetting

H5T8942_Second Christmas Dinner

H5T8808_Night Lights

Lights and ornaments and tinsel and pretty presents.   No arguments, lots of laughter, non-stop eating and a little bit of egg nog.  I soaked in the love and closeness and humor of family and the joyful screams of my great-niece and great-nephew  as they opened their gifts.  “This is the best gift ev-oh!   You actually listened!” (this coming from a 4-year old who received a pair of  Stompeez slippers).

It was a great Christmas!

H5T0451_Sisters

H5T8732-3_Becky and Friend

What did you do for the holidays?

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Filed under Christsmas, family, Holidays, Life, Photography

December 24

H5T7671_Santas

It’s December 24th. Christmas Eve Gift!

Since I was a toddler, it’s been a tradition in my family to try and be the first to surprise the other person by yelling out “Christmas Eve Gift”! The person who was “got” then had to give a little gift to the person who did the “gotcha”. As the years rolled by, it was not so much about the gifting as it was the “gotcha” part. To this end, family members would go to great lengths to surprise one another.

One Christmas Eve, I had gotten up very early to bake a huckleberry cobbler to take over to my parents next door, for breakfast. Nothing beats a nice, warm-from-the-oven cobbler. So I traipsed over to their house with the food, set it down on a chair outside, and unlocked their back door. The house was dark and I knew my parents (then in their early 80’s) were probably still asleep. As I entered the dark house, my parents jumped from behind the door (where they had been hiding in wait for me) and yelled “Christmas Eve Gift”, scaring the bejeebers out of me. They definitely “got” me! They were quite tickled with themselves, and I was glad I had put the cobbler on the chair outside…..otherwise we would have been eating huckleberry cobbler off of the floor Winking smile

U9A0647_Becky and The Tree

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Filed under Christsmas, family, Holidays, Photography

Reminders of Love, Joy, and Wonder

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I was originally going to post festive photos captured during this holiday season.  But after the senseless tragedy in a village in Connecticut on December 14, all I could think about was the total, desolate, dry heave devastation 26 loved ones will experience this Christmas and Christmases to come.

I am not a kid person.  I don’t have any of my own.  But I love my family which includes my great-niece and great-nephew.  I would be devastated if what happened in Connecticut happened to any member of my family.  Because this was on my mind all day, I found myself going through my photographic archives to find photos of my 2010 Christmas visit to my sister and brother-in-law’s home, when the entire family along with some friends gathered for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  I needed something to remind me to smile and appreciate just how lucky I am that my own relatives are still alive, and that my great-niece and great-nephew have their entire futures still ahead of them and are excited over what Santa will leave for them under the tree.

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Christmas Wonder

4675_The Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

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Focus on Playing

4932_Piling On The Cracker Crowns

Piling On The Christmas Cracker Crowns

4996_Watching TV With A Friend

Watching TV With A Friend

4585_Gammy and Granddaughter

Gammy and Granddaughter

4867_Mommy and Son

Mommy and Son

5003_Daddy and Daughter

Daddy and Daughter

5246_Family and Friends

Family and Friends

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Sisters

If you need reminders to help you smile, go pull out your own  photos, drawings attached on the fridge with magnets, and old holiday cards.  Smile, hug your family members, and count your blessings.

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Happy Mother’s Day, Mommy

Mommy Reading To Becky

I published a post honoring my father on Veteran’s Day, so in this post, I want to honor my mother on Mother’s Day.

I was what one person called “a mid-life surprise”.  Mom and Dad had two daughters already, and although they tried for one more  child, nothing happened, and the doctor told Mom to be happy with the two children she already had.  Fourteen years later, when Mom turned 36:  surprise!

Picnic

Mom and Dad were high school sweethearts who married while Dad was serving in the army during WW II.  During that time, she stayed with Dad’s mother (Granny) and Granny would take photos of  Mom to send to Dad.

Bicycling Mom

Moms Sexy Lingerie

During my years growing up, the family went through some difficult times, but Mom was always there to make things better.  Mom has always been an optimist.  Not the rose-colored-glasses kind of optimist, but more the practical kind of optimist.  I like to think I inherited my positive outlook from her.  Mom could always make me feel better back then and still does today, at 87 years of age.  Mom is the glue that binds our family together.

After Babys Bath

Love you, Mom! Red heart

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Filed under family, mother, Photography

Washington Vacation 2012 In Monochrome

94C0330_Ferry and Full Moon-BW

The other night, I upgraded to the most  current version of Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro 2.  LOVE this conversion plug-in.  My aim was to take selected photos from my recent Washington vacation (April 2012) and convert them to black and white.

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This software has a lot of very cool presets of which I made ample use, then tweaked here and there with my own changes.  One of the things that popped out immediately is how much black & white delineates texture, light, dark, shadow, and detail.  I saw things that I never noticed with the color images.  This is especially apparent with photos that have lots of clouds.

94C9612_Raincloud Tugboats Cargo Ship-BW

94C9932_Seattle Sky and Water with plane-BW

94C0549_Olympic Kind of Day-BW

94C0425_Morning Ferry Run PANO-BW

94C9594_Late Afternoon Clouds and Ferry Run-BW

6415-2_Deception Pass-BW

6329_Yellow Rows-BW

94C6563-2_Mountains And Valley-BW

94C6604_Wind Turbines-BW

94C3111_Mt Rainier-BW

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94C0353_Ferry and Full Moon-BW

94C0988_Plying The Waters-BW

5030_Running Water-BW

I’m also pleased with my black and white conversions of people and pet photos.

94C6778_Elsa-BW

94C7195_Friends-BW

6106_Gammy and Savanna REV2-BW

5969_Enjoying Himself-BW

6186_Niece and Great-Niece-BW

6000_Logan and Casey-BW

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Filed under Black & White, family, Photography, Travel, Washington State

Family Portraits (Through The Years)

My father was a photographer when we lived in Montana (actually, he had always been a photographer, but the scenery of Montana really brought out his talent).  He specialized in black & white landscapes and shot portraits of our family and other families (and got paid for it).  He occasionally sold images to the local newspaper.  He turned one of the rooms in the basement of our Montana home into a darkroom and put his Mamiya twin lens reflex camera to wonderful use.

Love of photography is genetic in our family, and I inherited my love of the medium from him.  Our homes were always filled with framed landscape and family images.  My home is filled with photographs, as is my sister’s home; framed images on every wall and every flat space (tables, mantles, bookcases, desks, windowsills).  My sister, mother, and I are so very thankful Dad took alot of pictures while we were growing up, because it’s wonderful to be able to look at a photograph and go back in time to that one particular moment.  I may forget what I had for breakfast the day before, but I remember what was going on when I look at old photographs of me (well, ok, I don’t remember what was going on in my baby and toddler photos, but Mom fills me in on the details).

I don’t recall what exactly I was looking for as I perused the box of photo CDs and DVDs, but I pulled out a large number of old family photos I’d scanned from negatives and prints.  All taken by Dad, and all pretty cute.

These two are “pre-Becky”

I’m in this photo – you just can’t see me 😉

See?  I actually am was a real blonde (once)

Yes, I went through a red-hair phase; it worked well during my Renfaire days.

Did your family take alot of pictures?  Do you take alot of pictures of your family?  If you don’t, then you should; your family (and their families) will appreciate it.

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Filed under Black & White, family, Photography, Portraits