Family. Fotos. Food. Friends. Fun.

never a dull moment. ever.


HOLIDAY Sessions are Full. Taking appointments for February 2013.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wall Gallery Ideas

Today's wall gallery is brought to you by ME (and my blue/green obsession :)
As the saying goes, "the shoemaker's kids go shoeless...."
It only took me 9months to get my OWN pictures on the wall (yet another argument against offering digital images on a CD - they NEVER get hung let alone printed!).

I'll admit to scrutinizing EVERY single centimeter of the images when I took them out of the box. I was a bit overly critical - holding a 16x20 up to my nose - as if every person that walked through my house would do the same??!! I finally had to give myself the talk that I give to all my clients. JUST HANG THE PICTURES ON THE WALL! Walk away. Check it out over the next week - I'm willing to bet that by the end of the week - you'll be in love with the images you ordered. No more nit-picking tiny things that don't matter.
Does the image make you smile? Does it bring joy? Does it capture your life at that time and bring back vivid memories?? As human beings we can be way too hard on ourselves. Enjoy the success of having finished a photo session from the beginning stage of planning to the end stage of hanging your gallery on the wall.

I cut out pieces of paper that were the finished size of my prints. I taped them to the wall. I moved them around and re-hung them differently. Notice the end gallery is a bit different - too bad I have no idea why!! :)

I chose to do gallery wrapped canvases so that I could put a bit more color and design into my room. I love the finished result!

And, if Matt gets his way - someday there will be the words from the Naval Boys Academy in Carlsbad, CA (the one we threaten Indy with we he tries to give us attitude!)

Heat Wave.

I saw that Arizona (Phoenix in particular - and I'm sure Yuma too) will be experiencing a heat wave the next few days. I was reminded of this particular session that I did a month ago in Phoenix.
Yes. We were hot....really really hot. I even stepped into their pool during part of the shoot and there was no temperature difference between the water and outside :) BUT - they smiled and played and had a grand ol' time - then afterwards went inside and quickly passed out.
(And yes - I was completely obsessed with their beautiful daughter - is it obvious? Maybe because she sat/stood so perfectly still - and neither one of us had to have any reason to sweat any more :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Russell Carlson Hansen

Russell Carlson Hansen

"All gardeners live in beautiful places, because they make it so."

June 22, 1924 ~ September 19, 2010

Russell Carlson Hansen, age 86, passed away September 19, 2010 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was born June 22, 1924 in Salt Lake to Peter Raymond and Mary Matilda Carlson Hansen. He married Naoma Drechsel on March 3, 1946 in the Salt Lake Temple. Russell served in the Air Force during the Second World War flying B24 bombers. He graduated from the University of Utah in Business, working 17 years for International Harvester, and 24 years at Commerce Clearing House in retail sales.
His life of service in the LDS church included Bishop, High Counselor, Scout Leader, and 2 missions with his wife, serving in the Mexico Guadalajara, and The West Indies (Barbados) Missions.

His achievement as a Master Gardener qualified him to serve in the gardens at Temple Square, and as a host at the Conference Center.

His favorite things were family, church service, and gardening. If you were lucky enough to have enjoyed his flowers, his bountiful harvests, his pool and beautiful yard, you were lucky enough.

Russell is survived by his wife Naoma Drechsel and five children – Kent Hansen; Kathy (Wade) Noble; Marsha (Rod) Nelson; Ross (Janice) Hansen; Alisa (Paul) Canova; foster child Anita (Tom) Leak; 22 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren

My sister Tia, cousin Taylor and I drove up Friday morning. I had all my kids dropped off by 7am (this fact alone caused rejoicing and tears - all at the same time - Matt was still in Alaska and my To-Do list was very overwhelming.) Once we were all in the car it was good. Tia supplied us with good humor and stories and "Conversation Cards". I'm not kidding on this one...she read off conversation topics to Taylor and I, and MADE us answer them. Taylor was actually really good. Taylor supplied us with the 90s on 9 channel and we all named the memory that popped into mind the second we recognized the song. A road trip was a good way to start the weekend.
The service was wonderful and yet another reminder at how they give us each an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of life, and to bask in each other's company. I love my family. I am so thankful that we can pick up right where we left off (which happened to be only 8 weeks ago.) As the family walked into the service we were greeted with lovely harmonica music - a passion of my grandfathers'. My mother gave the eulogy and she was beautiful and eloquent. She told stories of my grandfather's hard upbringing and how he was able to shed a somewhat rough life and start a new one with my grandmother. He was a master gardener and we all obsessed over the fruits and vegetables that he would grow. He always had a book that he was reading - this obsession with reading stems from both my grandmother (who would like to come back in her next life as a librarian) and my grandfather. Following the eulogy, the grandchildren were coerced into singing - we did this ONLY because our grandmother requested it of us, and all said a silent prayer that the congregation would forgive us our singing shortcomings - I think everyone had a secret plan to just start crying so they could blame the Tone Def-ness on the tears.
My uncle Ross also spoke. He gave several wonderful stories and managed to even work a river-rafting story in complete with a nudist colony as one of the elements of the story. (It also occurred to me that he is similar to my Father-in-law when it comes to outings and NOVICES. "It's just a small _____ (insert torture of choice: hike, canoe, raft, walk, swim, biking) expedition." The next thing you know - you're scaling the side of a mountain...He quoted poetry a favorite in the Hansen family - where anything other than a degree in English - is ridiculous! He spoke of my Grandfather's favorite poem by Myrna Welch "The Touch of the Master's Hand". I'm sure that as everyone sat and listened to him, they also tried to see how much of the poem they could recall from memory - without having to turn the program over to check their lines. It's a status symbol to be able to throw down on the poems ya know. A sister in the ward sang "Goin' Home" and it was stunningly beautiful. It made me think who I could recruit for my own funeral to sing such sweet, beautiful, comforting lines to those in attendance. Funerals are like that - they make you reflect on your own. (Taylor and I have ours all planned out - I prefer Invictus for my poetry- Scatter Sunshine for my hymn - and we both would like a tasty machaca throw-down dinner to follow - in case anyone is interested.)
The rest of the afternoon was spent in wonderful company. Laughing, storytelling, eating, internet searching and enjoying family. As I was browsing through my vast photographic history of my family - I couldn't help but smile at the wonderful relationships that we share. I am grateful for the legacy that my grandfather has left us and for the family that he and my grandmother have raised.

Tonight - we will be having a family home evening dedicated to Grandpa Great.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


A week of GONE.

Matt left us for the wilds of un-Alaska - Dutch Harbor. 7 days. No phone service. Very hard.

My dear sweet grandfather Hansen is GONE as of Sunday evening. I will be GONE this weekend to attend his funeral.

(I had to leave to a Dr. appt for Mac - now I'm back)

I was going to write that MacDoodle's cast is GONE, but apparently he has a reputation that somehow reached the orthopedic surgeon - who, after hearing from another doctor about his rascal ways, suggested that we put on a "protective" smaller cast for an additional 2 weeks. It was either that or keep him from falling, running, jumping, wrestling - basically any moving to ensure that we don't re-break the healed arm. I went for the cast. So at least the black bionic ninja arm is GONE and has been replaced with a tiny HULK green cast. Images to come when the insanity of life slows down.

Ella's infancy - GONE. The past week has been full of astonished gasps whenever Ella opens her mouth to yell, talk command, demand etc. She thinks she rules this house and as she walks around (crawling is officially GONE) with her gut hanging out (because with Matt GONE - so are the good and properly clothed children :) barking out gibberish - we think we might just listen to her 'cause she's so stinkin hilarious!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Teeny Tiny Tucker.

My friend Nikki (way back from Yuma days) had her 4th little one. He was such a sweetie and did such a good job (except he didn't like me putting him down in any buckets or baskets...he'd get really made at me!) He was happy as can be when I wasn't torturing him and he could've cared less that there were 5 other kids running around in the background. We have to break him in sooner than later :) He looks like a Sandberg - I told her husband that he only got 1 out of 4 to look like him! :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How To Guide: Surviving & Enjoying Family Photography Sessions

This one is for all the mother's & father's out there who may be gearing up to tackle the FAMILY PHOTO SESSION beast.
Step 1. Take a deep breath (remember to let it out)
Step 2. Go through your closet and your friends closets - you don't need to purchase a whole new wardrobe - just get a good funky mix of clothing - it photographs me on this. No freaking out while getting ready. Remain calm, and no bribing BEFORE the pictures start (we use this as a secret weapon if we have to)
Step 3. When arriving at the session - be ready to PLAY. Get a smile on your face and get ready for action.
Step 4. Occasionally the need might arise for a "good talking to"...don't worry... it will be captured on camera.
Step 5. Normally animals and small children don't always mix for a photo shoot (there's not much difference between the energy levels of the two...) However if you have a massive dog that doesn't move, then by all means...

Step 6. Let the photographer take the kids out ALONE - without any parent interaction....they'll get what they need...TRUST ME.

Step 7. A carefully placed "grab" works wonders on uncooperative spouses and it helps to ditch the kids for awhile.

Step 8. It helps to ditch the spouse AND the kids for awhile.

Step 9. A good "kid chuck" is sure to bring squeals of delight.

Step 10: A heavy railroad tie dropped on the foot is a definite session ender...but never miss an opportunity to still look good :)

**Special thanks to my little sister for unknowingly (sorry T) providing the material for this How To Guide. Give her a shout out - after the session we were ALL worn out, and I'm sure she was taking deep breaths telling herself that we had to have gotten at least ONE decent image! A little time after the session does wonders for forgetting the insanity. You'll be rewarded with the wonderfulness of YOUR family, TOGETHER, living life...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Novice Camping

My father-in-law planned a fishing trip to somewhere in southern Utah (even though I drove there and back - I still couldn't' really tell you exactly where it was - and if I did I would be forever banished from his presence for giving out top secret location information. Let's just say I drove through Escalante Grand Staircase and some beautiful Bryce Canyon scenery...after that it was confusing.)
Matt had to fly to California at the last second for work, but I decided to stick with the plan (heaven forbid I allow myself to ever budge from the plan!!). The modified plan now entailed me driving, with 4 children, to Flagstaff and following my father-in-law for 7 hours to somewhere (that resembled a bit where we started...back in Flagstaff).

He assured me there would be no NOVICES around.

We set up camp the first night in a drizzle of biggie.

When we woke up the next morning it was sunny and beautiful. Grant told us about the "little hike" we needed to take to get to the lake. I hopped in my brother and sister-in-laws car and we followed Grant for a few miles. We encountered an insane BOULDER MOUNTAIN and Ray and Hez's car didn't have a prayer of making it up over the rocks. So we all piled in with Grant and shoved the 6 kids in the camper of the pick-up. We bounced for about 20 minutes and made it to the begin the hike.

Did I mention the STEEP terrain? Or that it was about 45 minutes up - one way? Oh and Laina was hiking in galoshes! Good thing we're HARD CORE!

But it sure was pretty...

And I got the image that I drove 16 hours round trip for...

Out of all those boys...Lee-lee was the only one to catch a fish!

Of course Mac has no shoes on...why would we need shoes when climbing over boulders??

Take note as to how many pictures Mac ends up in...he's taken "posing" to a whole new art form.

Hezzie had the uncanny ability to lie down on a bed of boulders and take a nap. Wow.

Indy found this little shangri-la and begged me to take pictures of him...I must say he picked some gorgeous light.

McLaren's face is worth a thousand words - and just about sums up the remainder of the trip...Indy and Max kept begging me to take more pictures (they must have been desperately bored :), but Mac was crying about something and the next thing I new....brown water.
Yup...the kind that isn't convenient when camping...and it's raining...and won't stop raining.

After spending most of the next day huddled under the make shift tarp-thing...and throwing down on some mean ol' navajo tacos - then heading to the car to read to the kids while it rained and rained - Ray, Heather & I decided that we were definitely NOVICES and threw in the towel. We had camp packed up in record time and bailed all the way down the Grand Staircase to sleep in our beds that night - Grant was still out fishing in sub-zero rain :)

Grant, is an avid sportsman - in fact he's in Alaska this very moment way out on the Bearing Sea - in UnAlaska - Dutch Harbor - where they film the Deadliest Catch. Matt (who chickened out on our family fishing trip with his dad) is flying out to meet him this weekend....and there's no way home...for NOVICES!