Growing up, vacations weren’t a big thing.  When possible, we’d drive to Florida to see my mom’s family for a week, but that wasn’t possible every year.  The first time I stayed in a hotel with my family was on my 13th birthday when my grandfather was inducted at the State Commander for the American Legion.  We’d go on day trips, but to take 5 kids anywhere isn’t an easy feat.

Even though we’re all adults now, it’s still weird to see my family go on vacation anywhere!  But thankfully, they make the trek to Virginia each year to see us.  It’s exciting now that we have a house with a spare bedroom for them to sleep in!  Much comfier than an air mattress that deflates at night.

While they were in town, I made a point to work as little as possible & enjoy the moments with them.  My nephew, Aiden, is just 6 weeks younger than Hazel so we planned most of our activities around keeping them busy!

These two munchkins hadn’t seen each other since Christmas, so we weren’t sure how much they remembered. They were hilarious together!  Tickle fights & hugs were rampant throughout the week.

We have a great indoor carousel in downtown Hampton.  It was built in 1920, is completely restored and is one of only 200 antique carousels still in the US.  Despite the looks on their faces, the kids loved it!  We rode twice & then started to leave, but the kids begged to ride again, so we let them go for a third trip right before they closed for the evening.
Yes, that’s what happens when we have to leave something fun.  One time I asked her what she was doing & she said, “I’m snuggling the floor!”  Well, kiddo, that’s pretty gross.
Fun with Paw in downtown Hampton!
Ahh- these two are just too adorable!  I tell you, you never know what kids are capable of when it comes to posing unless you try.  I showed them where to stand and asked them to put their arms around each other and smile for a picture… and they did!  This is in front of the Virginia Air & Space Center.  I can’t wait until they’re older and we can explore this with them (& they’ll actually get it & enjoy it).
And they had the LOVE letters out front, too!  I’ve been seeing these go around to different cities in Virginia and was glad it was finally Hampton’s turn!
Smiling with the grandparents!
These two…
Every time they come to Virginia I make them smile for ONE picture together.  I mean, it’s my job, right?  So I should make sure to have pictures of my own parents!  You would have thought I was asking them to swim across the bay!  :)  But I don’t mind… pictures are important to me.
After all the fun we headed to get some ice cream at Old Hampton Ice Cream Parlor.  I mean, who needs dinner, right?  It totally made Hazel’s day to see Josh walk in the door after he got off work!
To round out the day, Josh picked up some shrimp & scallops from The Hampton Seafood Market to cook on his brand new grill!  It was a birthday present from my parents, and I lost count as to how many pounds of meat and seafood we grilled on that baby in the first week!
Meanwhile, the kids were still going full force…
I’m pretty sure Hazel took this picture!
Let’s talk about things that make my heart burst with joy… Seeing this little one take an interest in photography at two years old got me so excited, I gave her a $700 camera to play with.  We haven’t used it in years, so it didn’t seem like a big deal to me until Josh mentioned it!  Perhaps I’ll be more careful when handing a two year old equipment, but I am so excited that she’s starting to show interest!
Up next: The Virginia Living Museum, toddler style!  Wait… are they still toddlers, or are they preschoolers now?

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When Melissa first contacted me to take photos of her family on vacation my jaw fell open.  I tried to play if off totally cool, but she is a fantastic wedding photographer in DC, and she asked me to take her family photos?  Way cool!

Getting there, on the other hand, was quite a feat! The day we planned for photos had a horrible storm (maybe even a tornado?) come through.  It was a day where you don’t need to be outside at all, much less attempting family photos!  But the next day ended up being much calmer weather.  I suppose that’s why everyone on the peninsula decided to jump on 64E and drive through the HRBT that afternoon.  Seriously, I had planned for traffic but never imagined I would hit that much traffic!

But once we were all there things fell into place.  It was a cloudy day, which was perfect for Melissa’s 8 week old baby (who gave us a few precious grins!), and it was relatively quiet on the beach.  Now if only the wind had calmed down a bit, but hey, we can’t have everything!

There’s something about a new baby crying in its mothers arms that is just so precious in photos.  I especially love the heart tattoo– it was just perfect for this photo!

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You might recognize this couple from their wedding last year!  Nicole sent me an email awhile back to schedule this session & I got so excited!  I love working with families year after year- it is so fun to see them grow and change.

As I was driving to their session, something occurred to me.  We’ve always worked to be very open and friendly with our clients, and we love when we’re able to become friends with them and get to know them outside of the wedding vendor relationship.  For this particular session, one of our 2012 brides babysat my daughter while I photographed one of our 2013 couples.  That is huge!  It’s not always possible to be close friends with everyone, but we really do love keeping in touch and watching our wedding couples go through life together!

This beautiful momma is less than TWO weeks away from her due date here!

The schedule got a little behind on their wedding day and we didn’t get any close ups of their rings, so we took this opportunity to get some!

This little kitty kept sneaking around watching our session– I wanted to take her home with me!  Isn’t she gorgeous?

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After such a snow-filled winter this year, which immediately turned into a blazing summer spring, I think we were all a little terrified of what summer would bring weather-wise!  I have to say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised!  It’s almost as if spring & summer switched with each other this year.  Sure, it’s hot, but not nearly as bad as it usually is, and this past week has really cooled off and brought some amazing weather for sessions!

We were very thankful for the nice weather with these two little ones!  They are one & two years old and had really great attitudes for us.  Their momma somehow found the time to make an adorable little fruit stand for the pictures as well!  Our daughters are close to the same age & I can’t even imagine how they begin to juggle two so close in age, but they do it well!  Photo sessions with little ones can be super stressful, but these two held it all together as if it was the easiest thing in the world!

I love including outtakes for families who purchase the digital session!  There are some pictures that, while you don’t plan to hang them over the mantle, you still very much treasure them.  Little girls and their faces just crack me up!

Look at these two!  Ow ow!  And she has a gorgeous singing voice, as well!

Oh my goodness… can this mom & daughter combo be any more gorgeous??
Eeeee- so sweet!
And this, folks, means the session is done!

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