Thursday, May 29, 2014

My 18th Birthday

Earlier this month I celebrated my 18th birthday with my wonderful family and sweet friends.

Would you believe I didn't take a single picture for my whole birthday weekend?! It's okay, though, Allie & Trina had me covered :)

The morning of my birthday we enjoyed a birthday brunch on our back porch before going on a city-wide shopping trip.

We feasted on quiche, strawberry salad and baked brie. 
The Marshall ladies brought delicious grape soda :)

That evening, we celebrated my birthDAY with a chocolate cheesecake.

The next day, we invited a group of friends and my grandparents to an Kentucky Derby themed party! All the ladies dressed up in their finest Derby attire...

A gluten-free Derby Cake!

We made alcohol-free mint juleps to enjoy during the festivities.

For the race, we each drew a horse's name out of a bowl, and that became "our" horse to root for in the race. We had three extra horses: two for each of my grandparents (they came later) and one for our dog, Tori. Guess who won? Tori's horse, California Chrome.

So, we handed out the prizes to second (a rose plant), third (mint-flavored candy) and fourth places (two bars of dark chocolate). We then enjoyed dinner together, and headed out to the back porch for dessert and gift opening after it cooled down a little outside. 

I asked my two sweet little friends, Sophia and Sammy, to help me open my presents. :) All of my cards were full of kind and encouraging words, and the gifts were so thoughtful.

The biggest surprise was yet to to come. Let me also say that it is difficult to truly surprise me, because I have been known to accidentally find out about the surprise before I was supposed to. My friends and family were able to keep this one from me for about 5 months! Turns out my friends had been using the code word "belt buckle" for this gift, in case I overheard any conversation.

So, the last gift I opened was a gift bag. I pulled out the tissue paper to reveal a box from a friend's soap company. I thought, "Oh, cool! I love their soap!" 

But then I opened the box to reveal a set of keys on a keychain. I held them up to show everyone, and, not knowing what else to say, said, "Oh look, keys... what are the keys for?" (I will never live that question down.) Then I looked up and saw an ice-blue cello case coming out the back door... and I'm pretty sure I still have a bruise on my chin from how hard it hit the floor. (okay, not really.)

At the time I had been renting a cello from our local music store, so I was pretty sure they wouldn't give me a case for my rental. So I said sarcastically in my shock, "I wonder what's inside?"

And there it was. My own, beautiful cello. 

It formerly belonged to my friend Annick, who was at the party. I had played it before, admired its sound and tone, and I had often thought, "If she ever sells this thing, I want to buy it." Apparently she had connived with my parents to sell it to them to give to me. She had told me she was going to re-paint the case, and asked if I had an opinion on the color. I NEVER suspected anything... 

It took me several minutes to recover from the shock of that wonderful surprise.

I decided later to call it Camille YoYo Casals, a compilation of the names of three famous cellists: Camille Thomas, YoYo Ma, and Pablo Casals.

So, here are my cellos and me, the day before we took my rental back to the store. Camille is on the left, and Stephane (the rental) on the right.

I generally say every year that that birthday was the best one yet, but this one really was. It was spent with my favorite people in the world. Thank you to everyone for your gifts, your presence and your encouragement & example to me. I love you all so much.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Somebody's New Here

Isaiah Hudson Bridges
Born April 28, 2014, 3:33 AM
7 pounds, 11 ounces

Holding my hand. 
He has his Daddy's hands and feet for sure! :)

Nana is in love...

...and so is Auntie ;)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Shooter Bean

Everybody, meet Gun Powder N Led, or Shooter Bean.

I wish this next sentence said, "this is my NEW HORSE!" but it doesn't. :) For now, I just pretend he's mine... I ride him and work with him about twice a week at our local barn! I had been wanting to take some pictures of him, so yesterday morning I brought my camera with me and had some fun with Shooter!

You hardly have time to unclip the lead rope before he's tearing around the roundpen!

Isn't he handsome?

By the end of our session, he had kicked up a ton of dust from the sand in the roundpen, and the morning light was filtering through... and this happened...

I also threw together a little music video with him using footage I took that morning... 
here it is.

Hope you like Shooter as much as I do :)

~ Hannah ~

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Food Photography Experiment

Just popping in to say hi!

Allie posted some food photography tips last month, and after reading them I attempted to capture my lunch. I think it turned out pretty well, and truly, my right-brain self really enjoyed arranging the food :)

Hopefully I'll have some new photos to post soon!

~ Hannah ~

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Golden Anniversary...

Guess who just celebrated their 50th Anniversary?

My Grandparents! It has been a joy to observe in my lifetime their love and faithfulness to one another and God's providences to them! 

The day of their anniversary, our friend Allie arrived at our home and we headed out for pictures! The site we chose was covered with bluebonnets, Texas' state flower.

The weather and lighting were lovely and the newlyweds were perfect models!

After the photos, we enjoyed a special dinner out, and Allie & I hurried home a bit early to transform our dining room into a lovely little celebration... and so, my Grandparents came home to this:

Copyright Allie Dean Photography

We were thrilled to see that they were happily flabbergasted! We'd managed to keep a wonderful secret for over a month. :)

During the upcoming weeks to their special day, we secretly collected over 40 anniversary cards from their friends & family all over the country, as well as several members of their wedding party. They were thrilled to receive a full box of letters and cards!

Of course, it would not have been a reception without a cake cutting!

I put together a slideshow of their 50 years together, which we enjoyed watching!

~ Hannah ~

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Melvin & Nathalie - Maternity

Remember these two?

Well, things have changed a bit. Now, these two have been married about 8 months, Melvin is now a member of the US Air Force, and...


now there are THREE Navarros instead of two! They are expecting a little girl in June! Having had the pleasure of taking their engagement pictures, I now present... their maternity pictures!

And of course, in keeping with tradition, Miss Allie Dean came along as my 
amazing second shooter. :) 

Allie perfectly captured the super-cool ninja moves we photographers perform to get the best picture ever, JUST FOR YOU. Yes. I really did crawl around in the dirt. It was fun. :)

And to finish, Allie's and my cute & comfy converse. #alliterationscore

~ Hannah ~