second annual gunnar week: day one

the week before larkin was born we decided to name gunnar week. i know it sounds silly that the week before one child’s birthday would be another child’s week, but we wanted gunnar to feel special before his little sis came and we decided it would be a cool tradition if each of our kids had there own week. larkin’s will be the week before another siblings birth (if we have another…), if there isn’t another sibling then she will get the week before gunnar’s bday. basically for one week we eat the meals, watch the shows, go to the places, and do the things that gunnar wants to do. it’s awesome actually, and it makes me stop and concentrate on him, which is important, and it makes him feel so cool!

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today, for day one, gunnar wanted lunch at wendy’s and a trip to toys r us. with our bellies full of chicken nuggets and fries we came home to play with his new transformer (we also bought larkee her birthday pressies while we were there…funny how she is going crazy for babies…so interesting how those things are so inherent…) gunnar, we love you so much son. dad and i fight over who gets to put you to bed at night, read you stories, and snuggle you. we love spending time with you; YOU are that cool!! here’s to you and your week; can’t wait to see what adventures we go on…

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aka connect

i am a bit of a feminist. there. i said it. it’s out there. i won’t go into all of the details or the feministic ramblings that me, myself, and i have at times, but i will tell you all this: i love it when i see women finding their niche and being just as if not more successful as men in the work place. just writing it now i get all sorts of energized and excited considering the thought of a woman making it in a man’s world.

while in arizona i had the pleasure of meeting three power-house women who are doing just that: making huge, successful waves in the world of business.

alyce:

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kim:

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and patricia:

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together they make up aka connect, a marketing and business consulting company that focuses on the architectural, construction, and engineering industry. they are, however, expanding their clientele by adding other business genres to their repertoire. their main goal is for people to connect with people (what a novel idea in our iphone/blackberry world), to unite related ideas and goals and then to  generate tangible opportunities for business expansion. They “develop core marketing strategies and then bring together the team, talent and resources to make your company successful.”

they are basically business miracle workers.

or angels, perhaps.

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i am fascinated by their work actually and believe that any business, small or large, could benefit significantly from their services.

they are articulate, knowledgeable, inventive, intelligent, confident, and capable women who enjoy their work and believe in themselves and the effects of their company.

they know what they are doing. they do it well. and they enjoy themselves along the way.

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the ladies of aka connect help businesses with their marketing plans by connecting them with people who are interested in their services. they write articles about the particular business and develop marketing collateral that can be sent to prospective clients. they also offer support in every arena the business might need. they are women after all; they understand the joy of work and success, but who also know what it means to nurture something and help it grow.

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it was a pleasure meeting these business women. i was inspired by their drive, motivation, professionalism, and courage to make a name for themselves in the world of business.

much luck to this business and all its endeavors. i see nothing but success for aka connect and its team.

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the business is located in arizona, but they have contacts outside of the state, and are looking to expand.

please contact them if you feel their services would add your company. they are talented women with much business perspicacity to share.

contact kim at kdhazlewood@gmail.com or call 480.205.1233 for more information on how aka connect can help your business meet it maximum potential.

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beauty school

larkee just started school too; this type of education begins early:

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la creperie: a dream waiting to happen

i was born and raised in the air force. my dad was an air force chaplain and we moved every three to four years. i lived in europe before i could even spell it. i went to three high schools. i have experiences and memories that are super distinct simply because of where i was raised. change has been a constant in my life. you would think that having been exposed to it so many times i would embrace it now, appreciate it more, understand its effect completely, and love it wholeheartedly. i don’t. i hate it actually. i am super afraid of it in fact. so when i meet people like kim, who pine for change, chase after it, and seek it readily i find myself so attracted to that quality because it is something i repel but want to embrace.

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kim is a successful business woman who recently started a small business with two of her friends (more to come on that later). she has great visions for her company and its future. there is no doubt in my mind that kim is going to take the company and herself to tremendous heights. kim is educated, articulate, friendly, warm, and has absolutely no fear of change or risk. that in itself makes her super, ultra attractive. not that you needed me to tell you though…just look at her.

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a few years ago kim felt the compulsion to spend an extended period of time in italy. she went where the wind blew her. the thought of this is so romantic to me: leaving everything familiar behind, chasing a new love, perhaps, learning new skills in a foreign land, discovering self free from extrinsic forces. although the thought of europe calls my senses (and my camera), it also whispers anxiety to my heart and head because of all the change it would entail. not for kim. she didn’t really know where she was going or how she was going to get there, but she knew she wanted that experience and the unwritten and unscripted adventure in her life. she made the dream reality, embraced the opportunity, and is a more textured and interesting person because of it. 

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she is also a girl after my own heart. she loves pastries and bakeries and all things found inside them. she someday would love to have a crepe shoppe (please insert the french spelling and pronunciation here). i have no doubt this ambitious and dream believing woman will have her little shop someday, nestled idyllically on the edge of some european river. locals and tourists will pop in and out regularly to experience her sweetness and to taste her ambrosial homemade-secret-recipe danish. i am sure kim and her shop will be listed in travel magazines as the magnolia of europe.

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 i really enjoyed our time together. she is super calm, peaceful, and relaxed. maybe it’s her ability to just accept things as they play-out, or her care-free spirit that made me feel like i was breathing mountain air while we walked, talked, and recorded this great time in her life.

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the thing that is really great about kim is that she is so balanced. she is capricious yet grounded. she knows when she can be sporadic and at the same time understands when she needs to commit and follow through. she seeks opportunity, makes opportunity knock, and takes advantage of every opportunity placed in front of her that will aid in her current circumstance or her future progress, both professional and personally.

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kim, thank you for the time we spent together. you inspired me to be brave. opportunities are happening all around me, i need to grab them and experience them like you do. thank you for reminding me of that. may you always chase your dreams. may you always find joy and comfort in change. may you someday have that shoppe you dream of filled with your future sticky- danish- faced children. thanks again kim for the opportunity to meet someone as interesting and cool as you, kj

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jones-ing for the jones: a sneak peek

when i was teaching i would have substitutes on occasion. i was pretty clear when i shared my expectations with my students concerning the sub. they knew what to do and how to behavior. they also understood that if they got a bad report there would be severe consequences. i used to say, “if the sub says jump; you say, ‘how high?’”

last week i told this totally rad family to jump… they said, “how high?”IMG_2784jonesjumpingforjoyblog2

and then some of them kept on jumping.

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can’t wait to share more from this very well dressed, very well behaved, and very well liked family. 

lucy: little lady luck

i got a facebook message from a friend telling me that my pictures had been featured on la ink. PICK. ME. UP. OFF. THE . FLOOR. PLEASE!! i surfed through all the youtube videos to see if it had been posted there yet. it was way too fresh for youtube so, knowing tlc is the god of re-runs, i found the episode and set it to record. meanwhile, several friends and blog readers sent me sweet notes to confirm if it really had been my pictures. i emailed, lyndsay, my client and friend to verify the whole story: a year ago we took some very special family pictures. lyndsay and mario had just adopted lucy, and they wanted to celebrate with an official family picture. i was honored they asked me to be a part of this historical time in their life. a year later lyndsay wanted to do something to commemorate the adoption; she decided on something permanent: a tattoo from the famous shop in la which has now inked itself into a major television show. i finally was able to see the show, and got all giddy when these two images displayed on the screen.

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i get emotional thinking about this little family, and how the fates brought them together at a certain moment in time, but how they were always meant to be.

as if that wasn’t enough…

a few days after linz and i had been in contact over the la ink sighting, she sent me another email: “Are you ready for this? I submitted your photo of Lucy on the steps to Adoptive Families Magazine’s photo contest and it’s one of the winners!!!!!! Are you screaming? I’m screaming!!!!!

It’s going to be in the Nov/Dec issue, with your photo credit, in all it’s awesome, beautiful glory! Woohoo!!!!! 

…. I’m so excited!!!! Your work is going to be in a national magazine!!!! Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!! Oh yeah, and they want me to send them more!!!!! Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!”

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linz…this is me…aaahahhahahahahahhahhhahahhhahahhhhhh!!!!!!…screaming!!

thank you so much for submitting one of my photographs; that alone makes me feel like a winner! ;) i feel so blessed to have people in my life like lindsay, mario, and lucky lady lucy. thank you for making some magic happen and for making me feel so special and so loved!! can’t wait to see you guys again. in the mean time, feel free to enter me in any contest you come across! ;) can’t wait to see that magazine!!

hope everyone is lucky today, enjoying a labor-free day with those you love, kj

cherry coke and root beer floats: a poolside party

i have always been interested with time: eras, periods, trends, social norms, expectations, etc. i love history and how it evolves. the roaring 20′s, the depressing 30′s, the war time 40′s, and the homogenous 50′s all fascinate me!

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the 60′s and 70′s make me sad; i just think those were dark times, on several levels. the 80′s, i might lose some readers here, i didn’t particularly care for, at all. and the 90′s well, were RAD! i do wonder what my children will think about when they consider “the past” as the time i grew up in. what will they be interested in? what questions will they have? i love asking my parents about their youth growing up in the 50′s. they have distinctive memories of where they were when historical moments happened; i listen, riveted, to their experiences.

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recently i have been considering the 10 years that make up the 50′s: america had just come out of a gnarly war where all the social roles had been altered. men went to fight and dig trenches and the women stayed home to support the war effort. many women had to work outside their homes to make do; many of them found themselves working just as hard if not harder than their men. children were sent home alone, to fend for themselves and create games in the back yard with their buddies whose fathers were also gone and whose mothers were working to contribute. after the war was over america wanted a return. a return to the way it had been before the men left. they wanted defined roles: men work, women stay home and tend to the house and children. they wanted things to feel safe, secure, normal, and predictable. if i had been born then with the same personality i have today i wonder how i would have fit in. i might have really struggled. good thing cherry coke was so popular… although i have an affinity for this time, i don’t know if my spirit could have with-stood the social role and expectation that would have been placed on me. interesting ideas to consider and ponder…

although i do think i would have loved 50′s fashion…maybe that’s how i would have come to terms with it all: i would have shopped!!

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speaking of ideas, when i get one in my head it is hard to get it out until i make it a reality. i have been wanting to do something different in terms of a family portrait session for a while now. something really distinctive, noteworthy, and cool. i thought trying to re-create a 50′s family, with all the little details and nuances would be perfect. all i needed was to find a family who would be willing to wear swimsuits, all of them, in their family pictures. when bethany and i started talking about family pictures i thought i would just throw it out there and see what she thought. she is a super fan of the vintage look and feel to pictures, and happens to be one of the most detail oriented people i know, who really enjoys finding vintage-y things. i knew she would be excited to gather our props; i was just hoping her excitement for gathering would pool over into her excitement to be photographed in a swimsuit. i was elated when i got the email that they were on board, had totally bought in to it, and would love to do their family pictures this year a little bit, “out of the box.”

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i met bethany through the blogging world. she also is a photographer specializing in family and children’s portraiture; her style is vintage and is saaawwww-ee-eeeet.  she lives in arizona in the surprise area. i  don’t know the geography, but if you are anywhere near her or in a reasonable driving distance from her you should get in contact with her for pictures. not only will she capture your children as they are, lovely and genuine, she will also make you feel like the most important person in the world. every time she and i have any type of conversation, she always finds a way of making me feel special and loved; i am grateful for her friendship and think she is wonderful, exceptional, sweet, kind, considerate, real, creative and so talented. 

i also think she is very, very, very brave. i love her for doing this. and doesn’t she look so fabbity fab fab in a swimming suit? i had to give her some extra blogger love for having such moxie and for donning a suit for family pictures. b, you are so rad!! and so gorgeous…seriously! you are one 50′s beauty!! (you are a 2009 beauty too, but you know what i mean.)

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this is one of my personal favorites. i loved her hair being swept across her face; the whole essence was exactly what i wanted to capture:

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rad water; super chic bethany:

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love the feel of this one:

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and that “excuse me? i am mrs. robinson!” sass in this one:

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so stunningly perfect; my little 50′s pin up:

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bethany and chris have two darling children who are no strangers to the camera. i loved what we got from them. every. single. shot. 

gentry, kind-of owned the shoot, and her turn was during the most phenominal light:

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love and love and love this one! bethany had every detail we needed:

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just. so. awesome. the duck floatie? seriously? so cool!

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she’s a kid sister to a big slugger brother, huntler:

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this chair and his hair couldn’t have been more perfect…he couldn’t have been more perfect! he’s so sandlot-esque!

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his muscles kept running out of air; so awesome:

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sweet, sweet big brother:

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i know she could have taken this one herself, but here they are together: darla and alfalfa (right? little rascals?)

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and a few of the man of the house, the bread winner, the bacon bringer, chris:

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just. so. cool.

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dad at the grill, quintessential 50′s:

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chris, you were such a good sport! 

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one with the mr. and his mrs.:

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every 50′s story needs a dennis the menace. you know the kid who invites himself over, raids the pantry, walks over the furniture and the freshly vacuumed carpet with muddied feet, and then decides to take a swim in the pool, in his underwear, and then decides to be a part of the family picture. that’s right. every 50′s story needs one of those guys:

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 one without a dennis appearance:

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the expressions here make me laugh, audibly. i love it so much:

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bethany, chris. gentry, and huntler, thank you for helping me realize a dream! these are some of my most favorite family photographs ever. b, may you always remember that you are beautiful, in or out of a swimsuit. chris, may you always celebrate the talents of others like you did with me. gentry and huntler, may your spirits always be filled with the timeless joy we know as childhood.

i loved that bethany personified carpe diem and her beauty to be a part of this shoot. i love that chris was so willing to be a part of this because he knew it meant so much to his bride and to a complete stranger who just had an “idea”. i loved that gentry and huntler really had no idea what was going on but were happy to have new friends over.

i loved huntler’s face here. loved it:

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i loved that this little family embraces life, and that, no matter what decade you live in, is living.

thank you all again so much for such a classic shoot experience!! xxx kj

p.s. chris thank you for holding my baby, and almost saving “dennis” from a near death experience; i am so grateful.

to be loved: a wedding remix

this is how we ended the shoot: the newlyweds walked amorously off into the sunset. how idyllic could we possibly be?

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and right before they walked off into the sunset, guess what we did? totally thrashed the dress, and i loved it! this image was supposed to be saved for a blooper reel, but i thought i’d just get it out there right now and show you the end at the beginning…rad, huh?

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anna and ben were married in january in the dead of winter in the frigid of utah. unfortunately, there was drizzle, drab skies, and dreadful temperatures. the drizzle lead to limp hair and leaky make up, the drab skies spurred-on darkish photographs, and the dreadful temperatures made for insincere smiles and poses. the couple decided they would create their own “retake” day. when anna approached me about pictures and shared what they were interested in, i became consumed with the shoot. what a great idea: wedding photographs without the stress of the wedding. that in itself makes for sunshine, clear skies, and gorgeous temperatures. needless to say, i was thrilled when their shoot day arrived; it was just as much fun as i knew it would be and anna and ben are so blissfully in love that being with them, and celebrating their wedding, 7 months later, was a total pleasure.

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i really enjoy the newlywed vibe. it is so refreshing. two people found each other in this big, big world and decided they wanted to traverse its rocks and swells together, realizing that no one but the other could bring as much happiness to his spirit, and no one but the other could make her heart spill with such decadent joy.

IMG_1432skipblogIMG_1042skaterblogIMG_0730tobelovedblogwhen i really consider it, i mean, really, really, really ponder it, it is one of the coolest things, to be loved, and to know you are loved. it brings so much understanding to know someone will always be there when your heart is hurting, or when you have need to celebrate, or when you want to be quiet, or when you want to shout out loud. loving and being loved and feeling all those feelings is a gift. a really cool one. 

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there smiles and laughter were so genuine, so tender and real. their love is in its purest form, and that’s where it needs to be- to start. now the love levels begin and deepen as they work through their sweets and sours. while we were shooting i was watching ben: he listened extra closely when anna talked; he took her hand as she crossed the street; he kissed her like it was the first kiss each time their lips met. this is true love: listening, protecting, and nurturing.

he also told me he wanted a lot of pictures of anna; he said that’s how it should be. i loved that, was touch, and totally obliged.

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the eternal bride, anna:

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after spending time with them i felt i needed to tell those closest to me that i love them, that they are special to me, and that i am grateful for their presence in my life. it was obvious these two tell each other and show each other often:

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anna and ben, may you enjoy the ebb and flow of marriage. may your heart always swell with joy for the other, and may you always chase the splashes… 

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and may you love each other more today than you did yesterday. thank you a thousand times over for this opportunity; i am so grateful. xoxo kj

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