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Monday, June 25, 2007

Paola & Steve

Paola & Steve's wedding was an incredibly fun and intimate wedding. It started off in the Embassy Suites downtown where Paola and her girls got ready. She donned on one of the most gorgeous wedding dresses I had ever seen and looked absolutely stunning in it. The girls then headed over to the Emerald Hornblower where the wedding would take place.

Paola & Steve wrote such powerful vows to one another that it made me want to cry when I heard them. I'm sure if I didn't have a camera in front of my face, I would've been bawling.

Paola, Steve, and their friends & family were a very friendly, funny bunch. I felt like I was in Borat the Movie, and every time I heard "I liiiiiike!" or "Let's make sexy time!" I couldn't help but laugh.

Here are Steve & his guys, trying to get some shade and showing off their legs - maybe hoping to get some "sexy time" later. ;)

The happy couple had their first dance together as husband and wife to the song Spend My Life with You by Eric Benet.

Another tearful moment was when Paola danced with her father. Just from the look on their faces when they were dancing struck a chord in my heart. You can tell that this is daddy's little girl.

To lift everyone's spirits again, they had the money dance afterwards & the guys were all ready with bills in their hands.

Look at all that money on Paola's veil during her bouquet toss!

Alas, the fun had to come to an end and everyone walked ashore with big smiles on their faces.

Congratulations Paola & Steve!

Baby Clara

Right after I came home from shooting Paola & Steve's wedding on the Hornblower, Drew tells me that Anne just delivered her baby girl. We went to see her that evening and she is as cute as a button! See for yourself & I know you'll agree. :)

I really have to give it to Anne. She was in labor for 12 hours & no epidural! Mom, Dad, & Baby Clara are all doing well and I'm so happy for them. Congratulations Anne & Ken!
Saturday, June 16, 2007

Baby Shower

My friend Anne had her baby shower a couple of weeks ago and there were babies everywhere. They were so adorable that I wanted to just pick them up and hug & squeeze them all! Not that I have baby fever or anything. Anne's been trying to get me to hang out w/ more pregnant women and moms so that I'd hopefully see the light. One day...

At the shower, they had one of the best cakes I had ever tasted - and everyone raved about it. (In case anyone's wondering, it's from a Korean bakery in San Diego, and it doesn't come cheap.)

Now here's something I had never seen at a baby shower - beer bong! I think her husband Ken wanted to go out with a bang.

Here are those adorable kids again helping Anne & Ken open up their gifts without anyone having to ask - what good kids. I can't wait now!
Sunday, June 3, 2007

Kari & Erik. May 26, 2007

Two days after I got back from Belize, I photographed Kari & Erik's wedding. Theirs was one of the most magical fairytale weddings I had ever seen! The ceremony and reception were held outdoors at the lush Paradise Gardens in San Luis Rey.

There was a horse-drawn carriage, a beautiful lake and waterfall, gorgeous orchids hanging down the aisle, and of course, the golden couple themselves. Kari (& maybe Erik) had planned out every little detail and it all looked so perfect.

What I especially loved were the personal touches that she put into this wedding, like hand-making the bridesmaids' jewelry and the candles that sat on the reception tables.

Their wedding was a ball! Kari is one spunky gal and Erik's groomsmen were just goofy - and according to Erik, not drunk when they acted so either.

Here's a race they all had on the lawn, and what do you know, the bride, the one with the heaviest outfit on, beat them all!

One of the funniest moments of the wedding was during the cake cutting. Here's Kari & Erik pretending that they were going to smash the cake in each other's faces, but instead, they turned around and smeared cake on the maid of honor and best man. Don't they just look like they're up to no good there?

After the sunset, the magic continued as the Japanese lanterns lit up the dance floor and rope lighting accented all the trees.

Kari had said when we met 2 weeks before the wedding that she had always dreamed of having the Japanese lanterns at her wedding, but they weren't sure if they would get them or not. Once she uttered those words, I could tell by the look on Erik's face that there would be lanterns at the reception. So, good job Erik, because it looked magnificent at night!

And with that, I will leave you all with one last image of the lovely couple. You can check out a lot more of their wedding images on my website too.
Friday, June 1, 2007


Well, it was a fabulous 13 days that Drew & I spent in Belize and although I'm glad to be back and no longer needing to spray every inch of me with insect repellent 24/7, I do find myself missing the traveling life. I felt so free and loved the fact that all I had to worry about was where to sleep when we got to the next town and what fun adventures we wanted to embark on when we arrived.

We started off in the northwest region in a town called Orange Walk. From there, we took a riverboat tour down to Lamanai to see some Mayan ruins. It was an amazing ride downriver. Along the way, there were tons of white lilies that opened up just around noontime each day.

Lamanai was not a huge Mayan site, but it was interesting to know that it dated back to 1500 BC! We climbed the tallest structure there (125ft) with the help of a nifty yellow rope. The top offered great panaromic views of the jungle & the New River. Below is a picture of one of the stelas, an upright slab of stone on which inscriptions were carved.

After two nights, we took a 4 hour bus ride down to Ian Anderson's lodge near central Belize. Almost all the buses in Belize are old U.S. school buses, so it was one hot ride. We stayed in a cabana with no electricity and no curtains, just screens on the windows and door so that you could feel the breeze pass by. Our only source of light was oil lamps. We had no TV and loved it! The only thing that bugged us were the troops of howler monkeys that screeched and growled at high volume in the middle of the night.

My favorite part about this place was the outdoor shower. You go into this open-air hut basically and warm water trickles down from holes on the bottom of a tin pail as you stare up into the jungle. A very unique experience!

Here's Drew taking a nap after a long day's play. (Side note: He won first place in the Biggest Big Toe contest during freshman year in the dorms. I'm so proud.)

On day 2 at Ian Anderson's Lodge, we booked the River Cave Expedition and lucked out with a great guide named Vida. He was knowledgeable about the plants, animals, and history of the place. We river tubed down to the mouth of the cave. The above images were taken while I was laying in an inner tube. :)

Here's Vida and Drew during their rock skipping competition. I ended up beating them both with 6 skips! Ha ha ha!!

Inside, the caves were pretty extensive. We followed Vida around in the dark cave with headlamps on our foreheads as he showed us various animals and cave structures. The most amazing one was this Mayan carving (apparently the only Mayan cave carving in all of Central America) of the rain god, Cha.

On Day 5, we headed back to Belize City and took a water taxi over to Caye Caulker. This was a small island where the primary form of transportation is either by golf cart or bicycle on the white sand streets. The island is so small that there are only three main parallel streets -Front, Middle, and Back. Drew and I biked around to explore the island.

The crooked dock - I think it took a beating when Hurricane Hattie hit the island back in '61.

Our friends Tho & Marissa joined us on Caye Caulker midway on our vacation. We took a snorkeling trip and swam with sharks, sting rays, and...drum roll please...MANATEES!

That's Marisa saying hi to the nurse sharks before she dove in. Isn't the water incredible?

For lunch we stopped at another island, Ambergris Caye, and had some well-deserved margaritas. Yum.

The above image is the Split on Caye Caulker. It's where Hurricane Hattie split the island in two. It's also where everyone goes to swim on the island.

Well, there are more stories to tell - like the tick that sucked my blood for 3 days (thanks Drew for telling me it was a scab!), but I must be off to bed now as it is an unspeakable time of night by now. I think this is going to be one of my longest blogs ever. Hope you guys enjoyed it!