Family summer fun

Last month my dad and all his brothers were in town for my uncle’s grand birthday celebration. It’s always a fun time when everyone gets together!

Every time all the brothers gather, they recreate a photo that was taken of them as kids. If one of them is absent, they simply use a broom or zucchini or something as a stand-in for the missing brother.

We took a trip down to Millennium Park

cousin Seamus!

A little playtime in the park with Vandhana and her sweet dog, Shivani

Careful of that beard, Mark

Violet is done for the afternoon

Seamus is fascinated by the iPhone, especially the bubble wrap app that dad had installed

Kitty time!

Aloha!!

Greetings from Hawai’i! I’m loving this warm weather (although it was warm when I left Chicago too!), and the scenery is beautiful. I’ll have lots of photos to share, but here’s one to hold everyone over.

Today I’m competing with my chorus at the Sweet Adelines International convention! If you’re online today, watch us at 3:05pm Honolulu time (7:05 central):
http://www.sweetadelineintl.org/webcast.cfm

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A family weekend

Over Memorial Day weekend, my aunt and uncle from New York came to Chicago for a lovely visit. I always love to see family! I didn’t shoot all that much, but here are a few to share.

The obligatory staring up at the Bean (Cloud Gate) with uncle Michael

We made an appearance to see little Seamus and Violet

Grandma Ruth

Yesterday I received the sad news that my Grandma Ruth had passed away. She had lived 95 great years on this earth and will be sorely missed by many. I went through my photo collections and found a few recent photos of her.

A while ago I did some photography for an animal shelter in Maine, for which Mom and Grandma and came along. Mom would often plop a furry critter on Grandma’s lap.

I’ve had this one hanging on my wall for a couple years – a nice day by a lighthouse in Maine.

Same lighthouse day, here walking with Mom

My parents took this, and I think it’s adorable. They had just found a new couch for Grandma for her apartment, and she was demonstrating how much she loved it.

My favorite one I’ve ever taken of her: four years ago, just after my cousin’s wedding ceremony.

Heather and Michael: family time

I spent the majority of my Kentucky time in Louisville visiting my college roommate Heather, her husband Michael, and their darling daughter Sophia. They’re expecting baby #2 any day now! Sophia is excited about being a big sister.

A fun-filled trip to Target!
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So cute…. Sophia was feeling a little sick while I was there, and Heather was comforting her
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Photographers go bowling

A couple weeks ago I gathered with a bunch of local photographers from a wedding photography forum, the DWF. One of the other members, Jason, had won a free game of bowling for 15 of his friends, and he invited all of us to join him!

I loved the colors at the bowling alley.
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This was a constant scene: one photographer bowling, at least three other photographers documenting the experience. We kept our flashes put away to be kind to the other bowlers (and to keep from getting kicked out).
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Our reigning champion Cindy! She took home the high score trophy (yes, there really was a trophy).
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Half my life

So back in high school I had a fabulous Creative Writing classes โ€“ one of my favorite classes by far. One of our assignments was to create an Inspiration Book at the end of the year with some of our major pieces we had written. The book itself was hand-made โ€“ making the covers out of wallpaper, sewing the pages together, cutting out each page to glue in the book.

The final chapter of this book was the best of all: we were to write a letter to ourselves that would be sealed until we turned 30. I turned 30 last September (yes, I know, I didn’t announce it). A couple months later after I found the book again (amazing, considering the lack of organization in my room) I sat down and broke the seal (created by stickers of toucans and lady bugs) of the green envelope. I had to laugh out loud with one of the first sentences: “I hope you are now some kind of doctor and are very successful”.

So I haven’t known my whole life that I wanted to be a photographer. My first photo class was senior year of high school, though my doctor phase lasted through freshman year of college (started school as a biology major). Funny how life takes different tolls. I wouldn’t have seen myself as a photographer back then, but it definitely fits now.

I also thought I would be married and have kids (preferable twins, as my 15-year-old self wanted) by now.

Another great entry in the book was our Wish List. What did 15-year-old Emily wish for? Some of the highlights that had come true:
I was a good photographer (I loved that I wrote this!!!)
I made more money (not too hard, considering babysitting was my only job at that point)
My family had a kayak (though I still haven’t used it)
I had more cousins my age that lived near me (even better – I leave near my 2 and 6 year old cousins and I get to watch them grow up)
I could go to Hawaii (going this fall)
I knew my relatives in Norway (went there after college)
I could travel to a foreign country (Norway and Iceland so far)

So there’s a tiny glimpse in my teenage life. And now you all know how old I am ๐Ÿ™‚

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A quick snap of Yulia

I was at a party last week and took my camera out for just a few images, and really enjoyed these two of my friend Yulia.

Lit by the screen of the laptop
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Singing along to the music
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New Year's Eve

A tad late, I know…New Year’s Eve!

I’m intrigued with this silhouette
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One of the highlights of the party… the ice luge! My engineering friends decided this year to get a 50 pound block of ice and drill carefully planned holes to pour shots through. It was very impressive, and provided much entertainment throughout the night.
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Naturally, glow-sticks have to be added to the ice luge
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I love the colors of this scene
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And one that wasn’t my photo (thanks Neal!)… this is me and Angela on our final night as roommates. She put up with me for almost eight (!!) years and is now making her way to Germany for a new job. Look at how snazzed up we both are!
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Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve with my family is mostly spent at church. My mom has been the organist and music director there for 21 years, and my sisters and I were always involved in the choirs. I now simply attend the 3 services and chauffeur family members back and forth.

The earliest service is the children’s one where the traditional pageant is performed. These little angels were so cute.
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There was a little girl in the pew in front of me who was fascinated by the pageant and just wasn’t satisfied with her view from her seat.
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Carra the pastor came up to point out a few things in the pageant to her.
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I love candles on Christmas Eve!
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Playing around with the spotlights after the final service
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Mom doing her best “yes, I’m wide awake at 1am” look
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