I have a friend. I’ve had this friend in my life for quite some time. I was there the day she got married, she was part of my wedding, and she has been a very strong support to me over the years. So when her husband asked for my help in planning a little surprise for her, I was more than happy to oblige. So we planned a surprise weekend in Hocking Hills, where Keith and I just showed up and surprised her on Friday evening. We had a fantastic time, the scenery was gorgeous, and I kind of wish we could do it again every weekend. Here are some of my favorite shots, and as always, the rest can be seen here.

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Tutu Time!

Posted: October 16, 2013 in Emma, Flowers, Nature/Landscapes

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful little girl with beautiful red hair and beautiful blue eyes and a beautiful little personality. This poor little girl was so horribly abused by her parents, in the way of not ever having had a tutu to play in. Of course, this little girl was being raised by a man who couldn’t care less about fashion, and a woman who wasn’t exactly a pretty, pretty princess type. One day, the woman met a lovely lady at her job who just happened to make tutus and was of the opinion that every little girl should get to have a tutu at some point. So she brought in the cutest tutu ever, and fun was had by the beautiful little girl.  Here are my favorites, but here are the rest. Most importantly, here is the lovely lady’s online tutu store!

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Cousins

Posted: September 13, 2013 in Emma, Family and Friends, Water

Emma has cousins. In fact, she has a much older cousin (Tay), a cousin about a year older (Paige), one about a year younger (Peyton), and the girls love each other. I took Em up to visit them a couple of weekends ago, and she had a ball running around the backyard and splashing in the wading pool with Rampaige.  Just a few cute shots to share, the rest are here.

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Doug’s Nascar Ride-Along

Posted: September 13, 2013 in Family and Friends, Sports

So there’s this dude named Doug. I’ve known him for…oh… like15 years or so. He’s been officially my step-dad for the last 8-ish years. He’s mostly pretty ok. I mean, we’re not THOSE kind of people who proclaim their love for each other in any way besides calling each other names and punching shoulders and generally giving each other a lot of crap.

If we WERE “those” people, I’d probably say something like this: He might be quiet, but he’s present. He might be gruff, but he’s strong. He might be young, but he’s an old soul. And he might not be a blood family, but he would shed blood for our family. He’s an amazing “gampa” to Em, a good husband to my mom, and a good man for those he loves. And we are lucky to be counted among that group.

But he’s still a dork, and he can bite me.  ::clears throat, sniffles::

Anyway, I digress.  Em and I decided to get Doug a Nascar ride-along experience for Father’s Day.  For a guy who stays pretty quiet, he was unusually effusive when he opened the card. And on a few Saturdays ago, I rode down to Kentucky with Mom and Doug so that I could take some photos.  I’ve narrowed down to some of my favorite shots, but as always, the rest can be viewed here.

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A couple of weekends ago, the 3 of us took a drive up to Columbus to visit with Em’s birth family. Her birthmom, birthdad, and birthdad’s parents and brother were all there, as well as a couple of friends.  At first, as always, Em was a little on the shy side. But she warmed up pretty quickly since she’s spent a good amount of time with her birthmother.  It was a nice, relaxed afternoon during which she got a ton of playtime, met several new puppies and a tortoise, had her first haircut, and got to play outside at a park. Another really good afternoon, all said.  Here are some of my favorites, but the rest can be seen here.

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Newport and Vegas

Posted: August 2, 2013 in Architecture, Water, Wildlife

Ok, well, I fail at blogging. Also, photography. I have had numerous opportunities to go out and shoot, but I haven’t done it. I’m going to TRY to do better – in the meantime, we took a family trip down to the Newport Aquarium, and then I took a girls trip to Las Vegas. I intended to take a ton of photos, but ended up too busy laughing and going out to really do much of any photography.  Anyway. Here are a few I like, here are the rest of the Vegas pictures, and here are the rest of the Newport pictures.

Las Vegas Venetian:

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Newport Aquarium:

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The airshow this year was gorgeous, but SO HOT. Emma got to watch the planes, play in a bouncy house, and meet a police puppy.

The supermoon was amazing. I am fascinated by stars and the moon, but since I live in a city it’s hard to catch things most of the time because of the ambient light.

The fireworks – well. I’m sure they would have been even more incredible had we not had a downpour that ruined most of my chances to get any shots, so I worked with what I had. I got a few shots I really liked.

Per the usual, all of the shots are here – but my favorites are below.

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