AKP 6380 6392I can’t believe handsome Colby is already one! A whole year has passed since I got to photograph his entrance into the world and he’s still just as precious as he was that very first day. He has one of the best baby smiles I’ve ever seen and working with his parents, Taryne and Jeff, has been a blast. I’m grateful that AKP seems to attract the sweetest families — I love watching them all grow! AKP-6252 AKP-6260 AKP-6309-6318 AKP-6328 AKP-6341 AKP-6360 AKP-6397 AKP-6404 AKP-6433-6454 AKP-6513-6497 AKP-6520 AKP-6535 AKP-6548 AKP-6554-6557 AKP-6564-6595 AKP-6574 AKP-6610 AKP-6625 AKP-6655-6629 AKP-6659 AKP-6670

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AKP-8440This is one of my favorite families to photograph. Well, actually maybe that’s because it’s one of my favorite families in general. We’re takin’ it back to May 2014 with this post, before my sweet friend Lauren had her little boy Colin. When the M. family was still a family of three. We ventured out to the Seattle waterfront and played around on the colorful boardwalk in beautiful mid-spring evening light. I’ve known Lauren since 2004 and she’s been a constant blessing and ray of sunshine in my life ever since. It’s always an unforgettable session when these beauties step in front of my camera and it’s always full of laughs, inside jokes, prayerful conversation and gratefulness for shared friendships. I’ve photographed the M. family since this maternity session but never shared my favorites from this day and since I’m having fun getting caught up on a few (very belated) blog posts, and because I’m currently pondering my own family maternity session coming up in a week, I thought this was a good one to share on a “Throwback Thursday.” Love you, M. family!  AKP-8453  AKP-8476 AKP-8484-8499 AKP-8515 AKP-8518-8519 AKP-8523 AKP-8549 AKP-8557-8560 AKP-8583-8571 AKP-8588 AKP-8604 AKP-8614  AKP-8620 AKP-8630 AKP-8640 AKP-8679-8756 AKP-8696-8710 AKP-8715 AKP-8730 AKP-8741 AKP-8772

AKP-4657blogWhen friends from high school contact me to take photos for their growing families, I get so excited! Not only do I get to photograph families in their special milestones (a blessing in itself) but I also get to catch up with old buddies. I met my friend Greg actually in elementary school and First Communion classes at our then-church, then ended up singing with him in high school. He played a mean Aladdin in our Disney medley. I was then ecstatic to meet his beautiful, kind-hearted and pretty darn amazing wife Andy when I did their engagement photos back in 2009. I got to photograph a few key moments at their wedding reception and then take their pregnancy announcement photos with their two firstborn canines in 2012. Then, more recently, I got to watch their adorable firstborn all throughout the first 12 months of her life in a series of Baby’s First Year photo sessions in 2013-14. When Greg and Andy contacted me about taking images for their newest addition, Brooks Gregory, I was once again thankful for this awesome job of mine that allows me to practice an art form I love and also spend time with cool people that remind me of fond memories from the past. I’m proud to have known Greg for so many years and also so touched to continue being asked to take their family photos. This is a sweet, unique family — thank you for always welcoming me into your lives, friends! AKP-4727-2BWblog AKP-4731blog AKP-4766blog AKP-4773blog AKP-4796-4809blog AKP-4823blog AKP-4836blog AKP-4860-2blog AKP-4871-4889blog AKP-4910-4938blogBW AKP-4958e-2blog2

AKP-7336-textblogWe have some news. The first half of this pregnancy has flown by at lightning speed (not without its share of morning sickness, exhaustion and aches) and all of a sudden, we found ourselves thinking about our anatomy ultrasound scheduled for May 22, 2015. The day before, I was talking to my sister-in-law Jill and told her that yes, we did decide to find out the gender, even though for awhile we toyed with the idea of not finding out until the birth. She asked how we were going to find out and I told her that the kids were coming to the ultrasound with us and that we just planned to find out all together and cherish the secret, exciting news as a family for a little bit. She texted me later that day asking me if I would be willing to wait until after the ultrasound to find out, if someone had a plan to set up a surprise gender reveal moment for us. Of course I was humbled and ecstatic at her suggestion and agreed. We’d tell the ultrasound tech we didn’t want to know but that we needed her to send a text with the gender to Jill so that she could set up her secret plan for us.

We had a wonderful ultrasound experience. Everything looked healthy and perfectly on track for where we are supposed to be in this pregnancy (21 weeks). Baby moved around like crazy but cooperated with everything and the tech was able to get beautiful pictures for the doctor and for us. She was more than happy to seal an envelope with the gender pictures and note and to send a text to Jill, which we also asked her to promptly delete after she sent so we wouldn’t accidentally see it. I can’t believe I actually didn’t look at the monitor when she was scanning around looking for the gender (she told us when to look away). I kept saying,”I’m going to look. I’m going to look.” And if James had said he wanted to look too, I totally would have. I can’t deny it.

After the ultrasound, we had to take Kasey up for his weekly visit with his beloved Papa and Emma to her tap and ballet classes. We ate a quick dinner beforehand and then dropped off the kids for their fun times. We went to Carter’s and I picked up some brother and sister t-shirts for the kids plus one little brother onesie and a little sister onesie, still wondering which one we were going to need. We went to Petco for cat food and to Starbucks for some drip coffee. The time actually went by quickly and soon we were picking up Emma and Kasey and heading back down 167-south to our house. We had to grab hair gel for Kasey and my external flash for my sweet, sweet, also-pregnant friend Stephanie who was coming along to take photos of our surprise for us.

Ultimately, we are SO HAPPY we chose to find out again as this helped create yet another extremely unforgettable moment for our family and to mark the exciting halfway mark in this pregnancy. The entire pregnancy I was positive we were having another daughter. I felt more than 90% certain it was a girl. Then at the ultrasound after seeing the pictures, I could only picture blue and the word “BOY” written on the gender picture. I wasn’t certain anymore. James said he was sure the whole pregnancy that it was another son but then when he saw the pictures of the face in the ultrasound, it looked like a girl to him. Emma said this,”I think it’s a boy but I WANT it to be a girl.” Kasey said the opposite: “I think it’s a girl but I WANT it to be a boy.” Well … thanks to the creativity, thoughtfulness, love and time given to us by our awesome Auntie Jill, we finally found out. I’ll just let the pictures, snapped by my talented friend Stephanie from my life group and edited by me, do the rest of the talking. 🙂

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AKP-4580blogFor his birthday last year (as in, 2014) James’ mom got him gift certificates for an indoor skydiving experience. We FINALLY made him an appointment over the holiday season (yes, this is a super late post). On the first day of 2015, my hubby took flight! We got a few fun pictures of his experience. From the huge grin, it looks like he had a great time. We all had a blast watching him fly!

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