Friday, July 31, 2009

Minnesota Trip | Day One

Our Minnesota trip came around so fast. We started our journey up north last Friday... got up early morning drove to the New Orleans airport and had a connecting flight in Memphis to get to the Minneapolis/St.Paul Airport. Our flight was pretty quick and we had no delays - thank goodness. First stop: Mall of America. Probably my favorite place in all of Minnesota. So many stores, so little time. We had lunch/dinner at the original Rainforest Cafe. The Nickelodeon Theme Park [ Nickelodeon Universe ] inside the mall was huge. They had a new attraction opening that day - The Flying Dutchman Ghostly Gangplank - totally awesome. The tallest Sky Trail rope course attraction in a theme park in the world! Over 54 feet high and 4 levels of 28 different challenges. So for being one of the proteges of the attraction - we definitely rate it 2 thumbs up. At first it was like "Oh that's easy, look at all the kids on it". Soon after first getting on and going through the easy challenges we thought quite differently. I guess it has to do with your weight - the more you weigh the more the ropes move. No wonder the kids were zipping by. I was the only fearless one... I wont lie - the first couple of tries I was a bit shaky - but after that, the game was on. James did pretty good as well. Lydia on the other hand.... she was one of the cocky ones saying that it looked easy.... well she really didn't get on any of the just rope ones. Scaredy cat! I handed the camera over and look at the shots Stephanie [ Lydia's sister ] took. SO MUCH FUN!
We didn't get to see much of the mall - because you would really need a week or so to go into every store and look around at everything there - but we were really happy with the rope course attraction. Then we were off to Hoyt Lakes ... Lydia's home town [3 1/2 hours away from the city]. That will be tomorrow's story. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Maternity Session Preview | Houma, LA

Right after James and I came back from Miami, I had a maternity session with a family in Houma. It was my first time in that city. It was so nice to spend a day with the Kennedys. We had some extra help from the aunts of the family to make sure little Sam was entertained during the session. He behaved so good - we didn't need to bring out all the treats/gifts that Mom had bought for him. Sam really likes dinosaurs - so Mom bought the little box with all the tiny figures - great idea for parents - *the kind of toy that extends the giving part a while*. He was so sweet - hugging and kissing was something very normal to him - there was no bribing there. I loved it!
I loved the energy he brought to the shoot - I was constantly taking pictures because every now and then he would give me one of those "melt my heart" looks. The whole time I kept calling out his name it reminded me of when I was around my younger brother Samuel. I can't wait to see what he will do when we have little brother Luke home for the newborn shoot. I know that he will be just as loving as he was with Mom & Dad. We will also attempt to have the Labor & Delivery session - as long as everything goes as planned - I'm so excited!
I hope you guys enjoyed your preview via Minnesota - I will be coming back Saturday so I will get to show you all the pictures... and my, there are plenty to choose from. I bet you guys have been excited to see something... See you soon!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

some Miami time

So, what happened other than the wedding? James and I had a blast this trip in Miami. Coco came along as well. My parents are officially infatuated with the pup. He is the grandson that they have so long been waiting for [yeah right] babies will come soon enough. Well for starters we stayed in South Beach's Loews Hotel for a couple of nights. It was awesome - no pictures of the Loews because we truly disconnected from everything those days. The hotel is beautiful - pool area was awesome. Definitely recommend it if you are looking to visit Miami sometime. Sleeping in - walking down to the beach - brunch - beach/pool - shopping - dinner & dancing - typical Miami adventures. We had brunch one day at Emeril's - muy delicioso - that's all I have to say. James had his first Salsa class by the folks over at Latin Groove Studio. We laughed and had so much fun - ready to continue onto the next levels in Louisiana. Meanwhile, Coco was with my family back home enjoying the sun and the tall thick grass at their house. These were taken one morning at my Mom's. I love it when he squints his eyes when I kiss on him - some times he even closes his eyes - total bliss.
James loves to race with Coco - I love this devilish look he's got while running full speed. That's my little menace dog - ready to scare everyone with his freakish looks. I love him though - bug eyed and wide open mouth and all. We have decided that Coconut will travel everywhere we can bring him from now on - it was really nice to have him come along with us on our trip. My family loved having him there too - they kept feeding him all sorts of Cuban stuff - he doesn't even want to look at his plain dog food.
Coco posing for the camera as always [ a photographer's well trained dog ]. We had a family BBQ our last day there. My dad's awesome and famous ribs & some fillets. (yum) That's one thing that I truly miss from being back home - all the good Cuban food and mom/dad's cooking. We will be there again - soon enough before the year is over. I already have some shoots planned... some family vacation time - maybe Disney? visiting the newlyweds (Rex & Denny), Key West.... so until then - [Miami - Hialeah] I miss/heart you... nothing like being back home. [ for James - I heart you is I LOVE YOU - its a school girl thing]

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rex's Wedding

By popular request of my dear friends... and of course so that my family - here are some pictures from Rex's wedding day. July 18,2008 - Rex & Denny's wedding... it came so much faster than I expected. We arrived to Miami to visit a week before the wedding to make sure that everything was ready for the big day. We ended up making all the flower arrangements and decorating the reception hall on Friday. The arrangements came out beautiful - if I dare to say so myself. It only my first time to make a bridal bouquet. You will see those later on... So we woke up about 9ish and went off to get our hair done. Rex was just a ball of nerves and I tried my best to keep her stress-free. With a couple of Advils and some coke... we managed to be nice and dandy. It was killer hairspray time - its a miracle we didn't get intoxicated.
The hair-do process took forever... and having only slept a couple of hours [ we went to bed after finishing the last flowers at 2 AM! ] we were all super tired. Janet took a long nap in a very uncomfortable position... I wanted to do the same so bad, but my turn came so no ZzZz's for me.
Rex looked so stunning - like a princess. The dress fit her so perfectly. I loved it! This was Rex's bouquet that a friend and I designed and put together for her [ made up of a collection of assorted pink roses with lilac wax flower stems]. Gorgeous and super heavy according to Rex. The one below our picture is my bouquet - pink and ivory roses. We went on a major scavenger hunt to get all these roses. Driving all over Lehigh Acres and going in to every flower shop and grocery store we found. It was so worth it - especially when we found the light/hot pink stripped roses. They were breath taking!
Cuban Brides have a bad reputation for always being late... well in Rex's defense - this time it wasn't her fault. The flower girl was the one setting everyone behind in this wedding... so we waited and took lots of pictures at the house. I can't remember the wedding photographer's name - and I'm sure Rex doesn't want me to bother her during her honeymoon to ask- but he was a really nice guy ... I'm sure that he's got some really good ones. By the way - or most of everything here- were all taken by my husband, James. I put him in charge of the camera this time. I couldn't possibly attend to my matron of honor dealings and play photographer as well, too stressful. Whenever Rex's gets her wedding pictures I will make sure to put some on here and show off her photographer's work.
Definitely our signature pose - we have so many photos that look just like that throughout the years... it's nice that we now have one at each our our weddings. The ceremony and reception was at the Spanish Wells Country Club in Bonita Springs, FL. Very nice & open and with lots and lots of windows- just how Rex wanted.
Jael and Samuel grow so fast - my little boogers are getting so old! OK - this next picture... it was my job to bustle the dress... IN 103 DEGREE WEATHER... let's just say that I wasn't too cool hiding under that dress. Yeah, I am in that picture under Rex's train probably having a fit with so many buttons. Funny thing was that I didn't go to the bridal shop and see how it was done... so we winged it - and it worked.
I have such a weakness for father-daughter dances - always will and always have. In my own wedding, we knew it was going to be a tough experience to get through the dance with out crying. So, I decided to play a 'What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong - a song that my father didn't understand the lyrics to and never heard of before - to help the cause of fighting back the tears. In my case... it didn't work - we had an emotional breakdown. Anyways, my dear loving Rex decides to play a very emotional and touching song in Spanish that is often used in father-daughter dances. I couldn't hold myself - James caught a few of me wiping off the tears... & the tears just kept coming. The mother-son dance wasn't a whole lot different, Denny's tears made us all cry all over again. All very emotional dances... for such a happy day.
Soon it was party time. James and I had our first couples salsa class while we were on vacation - it was awesome. I've always wanted James to take interest in dancing - since its my favorite hobby/past-time. The wedding was his first official showing of what he had learned.
These dancing pictures are my favorite - even though technically they are the worst I guess in a photographer's point of view. The blurriness of not using flash and the nice low lighting [and probably it being James taking them... LOL.. he will get me for that one] addedu to the party mood. I know that when I look back at them in a couple of years I will remember all the fun we had in Rex's wedding.
The very long awaited day soon arrived and went away with a blink of an eye. Rex is now Mrs. Sanchez... & they are off on their honeymoon in Disney World. LUCKY!! I will post more pictures of our Miami trip soon. James and I are currently in Minnesota with our friends Josh & Lydia. I have a lot to say about my experience up north... :) but that will come later along with all the pictures that we have been taking. We will be here for a week, so if you try reaching me its best to send me an email - my cell phone reception is not so good in town. The weather is really nice - 60 degrees or so. Such a great change from our 100 degree weather in Louisiana. We are loving it!