Tour of the station

August 15th, 2013

The kids and I went to visit a local fire station today. I was checking it out for a possible photo location and they came along for the ride, not expecting to enjoy themselves. Judge for yourself, I’m pretty sure they’re glad they came!

Thank you, station 55, for putting up with my overly engergetic little explorers!

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Noah couldn’t get enough of this pole! An adults weight opens the hatch so they can slide down from the second floor. Luckily, Noah had me to help pull on the pole! Kate finally got up enough courage to slide down but I was too busy catching her to snap a photo!

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While we were there, they recieved 2 calls. It was pretty exciting watching them head out!

Happy 4th!

July 4th, 2013

This is Kate’s 4th of July self portrait! I just love the fireworks and American flag!


Cheese Heads!

June 23rd, 2013

The kids hijacked my cheese grater after I made breakfast with it! They loved eating the rewards of their hard work!






Happy 7th Noah!!

May 21st, 2013

My dear Noah,
And just like that you’re seven! Six was a crazy year for us. You tested your limits, fought for independence, struggled between loving your sister and loving to torment her – and I wouldn’t want the craziness to be any less crazy.

So much has changed over the last 7 years. You were the cutest baby with tons of gummy smiles that was weary of strangers, the most adventurous toddler that would only wear orange and clothes without buttons, the fastest and most energetic but shy kid who was very stingy with your friendship and words, and the smartest, most stubborn little boy I ever did know. Actually, it turns out some things never do change now that I think about it.

This birthday was hard for me. I used to think that only grown up adults had seven year olds and the thought of that made me gray. I didn’t want to feel like I was getting old but now that I’m pushing closer to 40 than I was to 30, I realize that no matter how old I actually am, you will always make sure that all of us will forever be kids at heart. That we go outside to ride bikes and blow bubbles. That we put out our Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving and tour the neighborhood every night to see everyone else’s. That somedays we will sit on the couch in our pajamas watching movies and playing skylanders because everyone needs a day off. That putting dirty clothes in a hamper is overrated but we should never forget to pick all the stuffed animals off the floor so they can sleep in the bed. You will always be my wild. You will also be the closest thing to memories of my own childhood. We are so much alike, which causes some arguments, but almost always makes me laugh. I find myself apologizing to my parents (Grammy and Papa) whenever you get yourself in trouble for doing exactly what I would have done when I was your age.

I worried that at seven you would start forming forever memories. Before now I knew that if I hurt your feelings or sent you to your room, you wouldn’t remember. But by now I wondered if I had to be more careful with my words and decisions. I have decided that for better or for worse, I am your mom, and though I will always be the strict one of your parents you will always know that I love you. One great thing about forming memories you’ll have forever is the relationships you have with your grandparents. Your grandparents are older and not all of them are in good health. Since the day you were born I prayed you would remember how much they love you. I’m so happy for you to know them and love them so much.

This year we talked you into a trip to Blizzard Beach, Legoland, and Disney instead of having a birthday party. You really wanted to go on a Disney cruise instead but settled for this with the promise that someday we’ll make that happen. It is important for you to understand that some children won’t even get a candle to blow out on their birthday. Our conversations made me realize we need to work on humility, gratitude and whatever the opposite of entitlement is. Parenthood is such a struggle between giving you and Kate everything we can and spoiling you rotten. I’m sure we’ll have much different memories of which side of that line we teetered on when you are older but as long as you know that we did the best we could and loved you like crazy I will be a proud and happy mom.

Some of your milestones this year included losing your first two teeth (one I pulled out while holding you down MMA style and one the dentist extracted), learning to ride your bike without training wheels (two weeks to the day before your birthday), improving your handwriting and giving me “love letters” for every occasion, getting your first neighborhood friends (Marcus, Zack, and Ty from down the street), buying your lunch at school (that may sound silly but it was a huge struggle to make that happen; another fear out of shyness), embracing your ease of math in first grade, figuring out how to pump your legs on a swing so we don’t have to push you anymore, joining a competitive gymnastics team (because you’re crazy talented)…. the list goes on.

And while things seem to be moving full speed ahead, you still have bits of your babyhood that keep me nostalgic. “Monkey” is still your best buddy. While he may not be required at all times (like before), you still hold him tight in your sleep. You still hug me when I need one (but I don’t dare ask in front others and God forbid I want a kiss) and come to me for comfort when you’re hurt. You’ll still do anything to get us to stop for a playground, no matter how hot it is or how simple or rundown the equipment is. You still love money. As a kid you loved change. You collected it always and even got bags of coins as gifts. You’ve graduated to bills and I’m hoping the value of a dollar will never be lost on you. You’re still little. Everyone thinks you and Kate are twins, which you don’t love, but I’m convinced one day you’ll shoot up and none of your clothes will fit. It would help if you ate or slept (or both); one day you’ll miss sleep- I warned you.

This year you finally had a different answer about your aspirations. You’ve always said you want to be an instruction (construction) worker. This year you also answered that you’d like to work in a bowling alley and last week it was a soccer coach. Please, please, please – be the best at whatever you choose. Also know that someday you’ll need to move out and those choices might make that harder.

I could go on and on. I’m so very proud of you and I love every moment of watching you grow. I hope your journey to eight brings you even more joy, health, and success. I love you!


Playing dress up!

February 5th, 2013

I have always wanted to photograph Kate in my wedding dress. Not because it would fit, or because I hoped she’d wear it someday (I actually hope she doesn’t), but because there is nothing more special than to see a little girl play dress up – and this was the ultimate.

We had such a great time doing these photos, I was surprised that she thought is was so fun! Of course, that made my day!


The dress is so heavy, she had trouble standing up but she loved trying to twirl! I can’t get over how little she looked in it!

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I will love these forever! Someone suggested giving her these photos on her wedding day but I’m pretty sure they will never be as special to her as they are to me!

Family Photos

January 27th, 2013

I wanted to do photos for our Christmas card this year but it just didn’t happen. I refused to give up! Walter and I have been on a health kick, eating better and going to the gym, so I thought we should be in the photos instead of just using the kids.

This is “the” family photo. Too late for Christmas cards but perfect timing for a frame!


Here are a few other good ones from the day -

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Kate loves like crazy! She’s the strongest hugger I know!

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Here are the other family photos we liked, but they didn’t make the cut.



They do!

January 21st, 2013

Raven and Dave were married on Saturday!! We are so happy for them and it was such an honor to be a part of their day!

I stayed with Raven and the bridesmaids the night before and we all got ready together in the morning. We had a great time but we all knew that the big black cloud outside had nothing to do with the day, but everything to do with the weather. Before we could hope, pray, and will it away, the skies opened up and they just wouldn’t stop!

Luckily, the groom knew just what to do to lift Raven’s spirits -


And we did the best we could to make sure no one’s mood got dampened. We blasted the music, danced, put loads of makeup on, had fabulous things done to our hair, and dressed in fabulous gowns!


And I…. took pictures… of course. Walter stepped in with the camera once I was summoned by the bride, but it was fun to get all the candids before “go time”.



Raven and Dave were supposed to get married on a beautiful golf course in Palm Beach. Unfortunately, they could only snuck out every now and again between rain drops for photos. Instead, they were married in the entrance of the gorgeous Breaker’s Golf Club – under cover.


Isn’t she GORGEOUS!?!


Raven’s father collects old cars. This was his first and it is named after Raven’s grandmother (who has passed). Rose just HAD to be there, and so she was.


The groomsmen all received cuff links that were very fitting to their personality, relationship with Dave, profession, etc. Walter snuck in the locker room to get this of the guys between the candids of them goofing off!


The wedding party! You can see how wet the ground is here, but you can also see how happy we all were in spite of it all!


In the Jewish religion and tradition, you not only marry but you sign a prenuptial agreement called a ketubah. Not like one from the lawyers of today, but a document outlining the rights and responsibilities of the bride and groom to each other. Their Rabbi, parents, and a few select Jewish friends signed as witnesses in this small, pre wedding ceremony.




And then it was wedding time!


And after beautiful ceremony and a few “I Do”s, they were husband and wife!


Afterwards we bustled the bride, and my 5+ years of wedding planner experience paid off! We had her tied up and ready to mingle in no time!



Walter didn’t get much coverage of the ceremony since it was a tight space and she already had professional photographers to capture it all. After the wedding we agreed it was time to dance and party with the rest of the guests so we’ll have to wait for the photos from the pros to see how that went down.

I gave a speech as part of my Maid of Honor duties (actually Matron of Honor, but the other one hated that term). I wouldn’t let Walter video the “performance” just in case it went horribly wrong, but it actually turned out great! I was nervous and I’m so glad that my friends Grey Goose and Cranberry helped me through. I was quite impressed with myself and loved being able to share this with everyone that was there to celebrate with them -

Good Evening! For those who don’t know me, my name is Dawn. Raven and I met twelve years ago in college, we became instant friends and we’ve been inseparable ever since! I will always have such fond memories of those care free college days when we might not have been the most responsible kids, but man we had fun!

After college we had each other to navigate the beginning of real life with. The ups, the downs, the victories, the defeats, the loves and the losses. We had each other and, SHE was amazing.

Raven was my maid of honor.  She was there when I had my children, she’s been such a big part of my life. Through everything that matters, she’s been there. When I needed encouraging words the most she sent me this quote (which I still carry with me today) – “Promise me you’ll always remember: you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” Those words have become my mantra, I still hold them close to my heart.

My relationship with Dave has been tons of fun, naturally, if you know him you know there is no other option. When I met him, also in college, it was clear that he was not only the class clown and one of the most outgoing people on the planet, but also the love of Raven’s life. Way back in college, she knew. She knew that someday this day would come. What she didn’t know was that it would take Dave over a decade to figure it out! Dave has been a fixture for as long as I’ve known Raven. He’s also been the life of the party, the guy who hosed my kitchen down with a fire extinguisher at my son’s first birthday, and the guy that would make my best friend ridiculously happy!

So today I share with you these words, that I hope you will carry as your new mantra – May you share a joy that grows deeper, a friendship that grows closer and a marriage that grows richer through the years. May your good times be plenty and you sad times be few, may all your troubles be little ones, and at least one of them a girl!!

To love and laughter and happily ever after, to the bride and the groom!



Happily Ever After

January 21st, 2013

Raven’s grandmother had us to her club for brunch the morning after the wedding. It was a great way to sober up continue celebrating.




Wedding Bells!

January 18th, 2013

One of my very best friends is getting married!! Raven was my Maid Of Honor and now I am one of hers! The big plan is to have her hitched by Saturday evening in the most gorgeous gown but tonight we rehearsed for the big day!

As usual, Dave takes his responsibilities very seriously, including the art of photo bombing!


Sashaying down the aisle after the faux knot tying!


Yes, really.


Raven’s incredibly beautiful and supportive family!


The girls. Rachelle and I are in this together as Maids of Honor.



January 6th, 2013

Santa brought the kids a gigantic bubble wand contraption. We had so much fun making kid-sized bubbles but there is definitely some skill to the process. Of course all I can think is – PHOTO SHOOT, but I’ll have to work on technique (and sharing) first!