A Life in Love - My Homage to Gally

One year ago today, I had to bid a final farewell to the light of my life, my pup Gally. She introduced me to the wonderful world of unconditional love. The love I felt for her was so great, it was sustaining and I truly believed that without her, I would simply cease to exist. But that of course didn’t happen. While I was unbearably sad, in the days following her passing, I did continue to exist.
 photo DSC_1413.jpg
As the fog of grief began to lift, I started to remember all of the wonderful moments I shared with Gally, and the lessons she taught me about life and love. In time I grew to see her passing less as a devastating experience and more as a spiritually catalyzing one. In order to regain the sense of self I'd lost with Gally's departure, I began practicing the lessons she spent 11 years trying to teach me. With each passing day I watched my life become better than I ever could have imagined.

So, I’d like to honor her today by sharing 3 of her principles for living a happy life in love.

1 - Be Present. Gally lived in the moment, and continuously tried to keep everyone around her in the moment. There is a freedom in living your life mindfully, not bound by the mistakes or successes of the past, the unknowns of the future. I think she understood that life happens in the now, happiness is in the now, so the now is all that matters.
 photo Gally-0828.jpg
2 - Practice Forgiveness and enjoy your walk. Gally didn’t like being left at home for long periods of time. In fact she hated it, but we just couldn't take her with us everywhere. Still, she never took it personally. I’d come home after a long day, and as soon as I grabbed her leash, she’d forget all about my transgression and run to the door, excited for her walk. Could you imagine if you took your dog for a walk after a long day and the dog spent the entire time complaining about what an awful owner you were? Sounds ridiculous right? And yet, that’s what we do, all the time. We choose to complain during our metaphorical walks. Gally's advice: Accept that we are all flawed, forgive swiftly, and enjoy your walk!
 photo Gally-0365.jpg
3 - Love no matter what. Gally didn’t choose us, but she did choose to love us, unconditionally. That is often the case in life. We don’t have a choice in who comes into our lives, but we can choose how we engage with them when they do. Choose love, with no conditions or restrictions. Some will be deserving of that love, some will not, but in the end isn’t it better to have lived a life in love?
 photo DSC_4429.jpg
These are the lessons my amazing girl taught me. I used to think that it was Gally who brought out the very best part of me, but I later realized that she just shined a light on it. I still miss her every day, but am so grateful to have been blessed with her in my life. She was a beautiful force of nature who left me forever changed. We should all be so lucky to know a love this great.

 photo gally-1727.jpg

Amor a la Mexicana - Kirsten + Doug

Kirsten and Doug are getting married in the beautiful Cabo San Lucas this winter, and since many of their friends and family won't be able to make it, they decided to throw an amazing South of the Border themed fiesta to celebrate their engagement with their nearest and dearest. It was an evening to remember for sure.

Special thanks to all of the vendors who worked so hard to pull together this beautiful affair:
Churro and Margarita machine - Bart's Cart
Food - Wood Ranch BBQ
Rentals - Hillcrest Rentals
Bartenders - Host Helpers

 photo Kirsten_Doug-2783.jpg
 photo Kirsten_Doug-1.jpg
 photo Kirsten_Doug-2767.jpg

Doug loves Cornhole so Kirsten got custom made cornhole boards for their special day!

 photo Kirsten_Doug-2806.jpg
 photo Kirsten_Doug-2810.jpg

Kirsten looked absolutely stunning in her Show Me Your Mumu dress and colorful suede & canvas espadrille wedges by Valentino.

 photo Engagement Party 2.jpg
 photo Kirsten_Doug-2960.jpg
 photo Kirsten_Doug-3-2.jpg
 photo DSC_3133.jpg
 photo Kirsten_Doug_Collage.jpg
 photo Kirsten_Doug-2866.jpg
 photo Kirsten_Doug-2001.jpg
 photo Kirsten_Doug-2002.jpg
 photo Kirsten_Doug-3202.jpg
 photo Kirsten_Doug-6.jpg
 photo Kirsten_Doug-3171.jpg

Fate Finds a Way - Debbie and Zach

Debbie and Zach hadn't been dating long when a sports injury left her relatively immobile. Until the injury, Debbie was one tough gal to pin down. She was either on her way to work or on her way from work to a work function, and every weekend packed with one exciting group activity after another, leaving little time for anything new.

So, fate found a way to make time, and introduced Zach into Debbie's life at the exact time she was ready for him to be there. Wasn't exactly how either of them would have imagined the beginning of their story, but it was this twist that would prove to make all the difference.The two of them grew close during the time of her recovery. It was her hour of need and he made sure he was there for every single minute of it.

When they got engaged I couldn't wait to fly up to Portland to spend some quality time with the both of them, and photograph their engagement session. In a few short months I'll get to fly back up as I have the honor of standing along side of her as she says her "I Do's" to her husband-to-be.

Congratulations Debbie and Zach! Lots of love to you both!

 photo Debbie_Zach-2001.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-2124.jpg

 photo Portland Engagement 1.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-2257.jpg

 photo Debbie_Portland 1.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-2354.jpg

 photo Portland Engagement 2.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-2405.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-2476.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-2427.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-2503.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-2520.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-2527.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-2592.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-2634_1.jpg

 photo Zach Portrait.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-2651.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-2890.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-2940.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-3428.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-3370.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-3336_1.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-3092.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-3175_1.jpg

 photo Debbie_Zach-3087.jpg

Lacy Park at Sunset - Bergeron Family

I met this beautiful family at Lacy Park for our family session and it proved to be the perfect backdrop for sunset photos. I immediately fell in love with this location, landscaped with grand old oaks, sycamores, and palm groves, but the real treat was the rose arbor that filled the air with an intoxicating perfumed scent of roses.

The Bergerons were picture perfect and absolutely amazing to work with. Here are a few photos from our sunset session.

 photo Pasadena Maternity-3538.jpg
 photo Pasadena Maternity-3569.jpg
 photo Pasadena Family-1.jpg
 photo Pasadena Family-3874.jpg
 photo Pasadena Family-3895.jpg
 photo Pasadena Maternity-3541.jpg
 photo Pasadena Family-3840.jpg
 photo Pasadena Family-3757.jpg
 photo Pasadena Maternity-4065.jpg
 photo Pasadena Family-4246.jpg
 photo Pasadena Family-4286.jpg
 photo Pasadena Family-4308.jpg
 photo Pasadena Family-4382.jpg

Blogging tips