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photography

Here's to another great season spent at the Happiest Place on Earth! To the memories and photographs, to the friends and laughter. See my 2010 year at Disneyland. January 28 First day of my new pass! February 11 A full day with my grandma and sister! February 23 March 11 Not only was this my first time taking pictures of Rachel at Disneyland, but we also saw my friends Lauren and Kellen along with Lauren's nephews. And Lauren's nephew Micah rapped. Good times were had by all! April 8 Riding Dumbo! May 15 Checking out the Art of Mary Blair exhibit at the Disney Gallery. June 2 Girls trip! June 6 First time riding Ariel's Undersea Adventure! June 12 A photo taken for our little friend Eli! August 31 First time on Star Tours 2.0! More photos here. September 9 A fun photo sess with Rachel in the Disneyland parking structure. More here. September 14 Yummy gumbo bread bowls for dinner with Amie while watching the Mark Twain Riverboat. October 17 A reunion of Elsinore High ladies at the Jazz Kitchen, Downtown Disney. October 30 Oh that guy, my favorite during the Sounsational Parade. November 4 A trip at sunset with an old coworker, Melanie. December 12 A trip for Rachel's 19th birthday, an unexpected rainy day. And when I say unexpected, I mean that neither of us had checked the weather

Another day with Rachel, another day of photos to be taken! I am still learning how to properly back light a portrait so this wonderful evening of sun was perfect for the occasion! After I picked her up from University of California, Irvine, we made a quick stop by a local nature preserve. It was an adventure as neither of us knew what was back there but it was totally worth it! Then we drove over to our happy place, Disneyland. We took a few more pictures behind Grizzly Rapids and then went on some rides ourselves! A good night was had by all! Many thanks to Rachel for appeasing my need to photograph someone! Anyone! I am desperate to learn more and more and she is always up for new pictures to add to her portfolio. And also thanks to her for this lovely photo of her view! To see more of Rachel, visit the following posts: Disneyland Next Top Photographer Rachel's Senior Prom and Graduation Parking Structure and Downtown Disney A Year Spent at the Happiest Place on Earth Third Annual Rachel's Birthday at Disneyland Adventure!

Oh how I love Colorado! We went there twice last summer, once for my family reunion/cousin's wedding and then later in August for a BBQ competition. But we haven't been there winter for five years. Unlike previous years, there wasn't that much snow. If Summit County always got that much snow, I could actually live in the mountains. But since Dillon got 4 inches of snow just the night after we left, it just won't work, so we settle for visits

I have been so antsy to post these pictures but as they were a Christmas present for my friend Amie's mom, I had to wait. And wait. And wait. I took them just a week after Courtney and Andrew's maternity photos, so it's been quite awhile! Amie and I have been best friends since April 10, 2000, at least that's what we like to tell people as that was the day we left for our eighth grade trip to Washington DC. Who knew then that 8 years later we'd be back there again, but this time for Amie's graduation as she completed her bachelor degree in political science. I certainly, never ever, would have guessed that! In those eight years we have taken thousands (literally) of photos together, documenting all of the big life moments and all the ones in between. And now, here we are again, taking photos of moments in between. These aren't engagement pictures, they are pictures just to document life as it is now, Amie and Matt, together with their new puppy Bonnie. As a photographer of Amie since middle school, I can guarantee you, I have never seen her happier. Thanks Matt, for smiling for the

On Christmas Eve, three years ago, Andy and I were driving home from my parents. I was dressed in my Christmas jammies, as my sister and I had just taken our annual sister photo. As we are getting close to our neighborhood, my husband tells me, let's stop by this house in Menifee Lakes. It has the coolest decorations. Obviously, I am paraphrasing as this did happen quite some time ago. He had gone with the church's youth group to Menifee Lakes, a neighborhood that has a giant contest for Christmas decorations. On Christmas Eve, there are even horse drawn carriage rides! This family, on Calle Pompeii, sets up a Christmas village in their garage

A few weeks ago I announced that I was partnering with J. Rose Photography this Christmas by custom designing her several Christmas cards. Each card can be personalized with a color scheme specifically chosen to your photo and the wording be updated to your liking. As Christmas comes closer and closer, I wanted to post the card templates that you can choose from. But first, let me remind you of the deal J. Rose Photography is giving to my readers, 10% off her Christmas special which includes 1 8×10, 2 5×7, 8 wallets, and 25 Christmas cards with your portrait session. This is an amazing deal for $135! So please call her to schedule an appointment. However, if you have already taken your Christmas portraits, or have a photo in mind, you can still order Christmas cards through us for just $32.50, which includes 25 one-sided cards with envelopes. You can email me your photo and information at samhatesbirds@gmail.com to place this order. All payments will be processed through Paypal. Anyway, onto the pretty Christmas cards

Remember when I told you about my aunt-in-law's garden in Utah? Well, she sent us home with a giant banana squash! While we were staying at her house, she fed us so much food from her garden and one such item was her delicious squash. I didn't think I liked squash but I was willing to try it, plus she covers it in brown sugar and butter! So it turns out, I like squash! Or at least, I like brown sugar and butter with some squash on the side. I don't ever remember my mom making squash—sorry if you did Mom and I forgot!—so I never knew what to do with one even if I bought one at the grocery store. Anyway, this "recipe" is super simple! All you need is an hour's time to bake. Here's a step by step of what I did. I started with just half the giant banana squash and cut about a 6 inch wide ring off the end. And then cut the ring into four smaller pieces. Next, I used a spoon to scrape the seeds off. Then placed them with the rind facing up on a cookie sheet in the oven, setting the oven to 350º

One of my oldest and dearest friend's is having a baby in just a little over a month and I CAN NOT WAIT! I am so excited! Courtney and Andrew are going to be amazing parents! They love their little Jameson so much already and Andrew may be one of the most excited man I have ever seen to be a dad. The way he looks at Courtney is so genuinely sweet and he would just randomly reach over and rub her growing belly throughout the evening, even when I wasn't asking him to. Courtney and Andrew have been together since Courtney and I were sophmores in high school. Since then, Courtney and I went to junior college and then both attended Cal State San Bernardino together, majoring in graphic design. Throughout it all, Andrew was there by her side, being her biggest supporter and encourager. Then, two years ago, I was a bridesmaid in their wedding and got to stand up with them when they pledged to love each other forever. And here we are, awaiting their first child. So needless to say, I feel like we've all been waiting for this moment for 10 years! And now you've

1. DIY Stamps My lovely friend Kathleen posted a little DIY on making your own stamps with foam board. This has perfect timing for Christmas cards and gifts! Check it out. 2. Maternity Portraits I am taking one of my oldest friend's maternity photos tomorrow and I am so stoked, yet so nervous! I went a little pinning crazy this week and saved lots of posing ideas for it! Yay! One of my all time favorite photographers, Amelia Lyon, was a natural source of inspiration and this is one of my favorites

On Monday night, we got home from a quick 4 day trip to Utah. 2 days there, 2 days driving. My hubby's cousin Brook just had her third little babe, a boy, Levi, and we were driving out with his parents to meet the little guy. The trip was filled with food, family, and fun. My very favorite things! I am warning all you, if you don't like pictures of babies or little kiddos, this post may not be for you. But if you love little kiddos, like I do, then you'll love this post because that is all I did for 2 days is take pictures of Brook's little ones. And once you see how adorable all three of them are, you'll understand why! We were staying at Andy's aunt's house who lives about an hour south of Salt Lake City, at the entrance to a very awesome nature filled canyon. She made so many yummy meals for us, mostly all made from her very large (the size of a small home) garden. Their property also gets visits from the local deer family too. Saturday, we drove up to Salt Lake to see Brook and Jason and the kids. We played