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Holiday Traditions

Since the holidays are about tradition, I just wanted to share with you some new traditions I've been blessed with. Today I start cooking for our holiday festivities, Italian style. Tomorrow we celebrate Christmas Eve along with a birthday celebration, Dave's dad turns---older?! =) [let's check to see if he reads my blog] We are having the whole family over for the traditional Italian feast of seven seafood dishes... lots of side dishes... lots of sweets... lots of food!... and lots of family! [Have I mentioned how happy I am to be marrying into an Italian family?]

After the big meal and once everything's been cleaned and everyone's gone home, Dave and I get to open presents from each other (yay!) =) We decided to keep my family tradition going of opening gifts Christmas Eve. We usually stay up pretty late, exchanging gifts and then playing with our new toys! Then Christmas morning, we head over to Dave's parents' house to open more gifts and to share Christmas breakfast together. Then we go home with our newly acquired treasures, play with our stuff, relax a bit--- then head back over to the Newcomer's to have Christmas dinner.

So to sum it all up... our tradition consists of food, family, gifts, and even more food! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and have a lovely time with your family & your very own traditions... I leave you with some images of my niece and nephews =) enjoy!




I'm re-posting this one because I can't take the cuteness!






little boys always have a trace of dirt or food on their face... no matter what!


aww James being a sweet older brother...


I love them... so sweet!

Christmas at home...

Although Florida has been my "home" for the past 6 years, whenever I say I'm going "home" for Thanksgiving or going "home" for the holidays, "home" always refers to Michigan... I'm not 100%, but I think that might be true for most people who have moved away from "home"... "home" is where you grew up, your elementary and high school memories, sibling rivalries, and for me where my family is...Michigan is home... although my soon to be husband Dave, his family, and my friends have made Florida my new home... this time of the year makes you especially crave and miss your family...

This Christmas, for the first time, I won't be going "home" for the holidays... we visited last month when my niece was born and got to spend Thanksgiving with my family... but this time we decided to save for our wedding (68 days away) and to actually work on wedding "stuff"... "stuff" being everything from invitations, favors, hair&make up trial, to seating charts... {Deep Breaths} I have two weeks off to do all of this [while also revamping my website & working on photography projects], and I feel like I'm already out of time... {Deep Breaths}

Back to my family... I'm missing them so much... and having grown up in Michigan where it's snowing this time of the year, where you're bundled up, and the air is freezing... it's always difficult to feel like it's Christmas when it's 80 degrees down here in Florida...that's why I adorn every corner of my home with Christmas decor and music... here are the images I took yesterday... enjoy!










my salt and pepper shakers =) so cute...


I made these pillar candles a little more festive by adding some colorful pushpins...








I hope you all are having a lovely Monday =)

Cousins...in law =)

meet my future cousins-in-law, Erin & Aiden... their family drove down to spend Thanksgiving with the rest of the family... sadly, we missed the Newcomer Thanksgiving because we drove up to Michigan to be with my family... we were lucky enough to have shared a delicious Cuban dinner before we left... and Aunt Carol (their Mom) asked me to take portraits of her kids... so here they are... such smart, cute, and really good kids... enjoy!


















aren't they sweet? I had so much fun shooting them =)

Help-Portrait:: Behind the Scenes

Help-Portrait was a simple concept... a simple concept with such a profound impact on people... on both sides of the lens...

On 12/12 I got to be part of a historical day... maybe not historical for the history books (perhaps one day)... but quite historical to many... to the 17 photographers, make up artists, and volunteers in our West Palm Beach Group and the 153 subjects we gave free professional portraits to... Help-Portrait was a success! We partnered up with Foster & Adoptive Parent Association during their holiday party hosted by A Child's Cry for Help... in between eating, arts and crafts, and meeting Santa--- families came upstairs, got glamored up, and took some family portraits... to some, the only pictures they've ever taken as a family...

Help-Portrait became a world-wide event and even landed on CNN, CBS, and NBC news... all over the world photographers and volunteers were making people smile and laugh... making people say, "cheese!" or "Santa Claus!"... and something that will stick far beyond that day, making people feel special... as of today:: there were
36,000 portraits given by 3,002 photographers & 4,422 volunteers in 511 locations in 41 countries... that's the big picture... it was a very humbling experience... to be able to connect with people... not only connecting with colleagues in your profession, but connecting with people on the other side of the camera... I feel very special to be among an extraordinary group of such giving people... and that's what Help-Portrait is to me... it's about giving...giving beyond your services... your photography... your business... it's giving of yourself...

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give..." ~Winston Churchill

To protect the privacy of the families we captured, I can only share behind the scenes images... but just picture the smiles...and the excitement that day =)



make up artist Elysa, covering up this little guy's boo boo =(


a shot of Channel 5 camera man covering Help-Portrait =)


I love the look in her eyes... such pride and excitement as she got her make up done!




one of our photographer's, Freddy...






and our West Palm Beach Help-Portrait Group!! Can't wait until next year!


Thank you to Jeremy Cowart for sharing this brilliant idea with the world... thank you to my West Palm Beach group of photographers, make up artists, editing & printing crew, and the rest of the volunteers... Thank you FAPA for making us a part of your holiday festivities... and Thank you to A Child's Cry for Help for donating photo paper... it wouldn't have been a success without everyone's contribution... for that, I thank you!!

Siblings & Cousins...

So far this has been my largest family portrait session... I had a great time capturing these 6 kids... 3 of them are actually students in my elementary school where I teach (my day job =), so knowing the kids made it extra fun... especially seeing them outside of the school setting... that day, I wasn't Ms. Thet--their teacher... I was their photographer... (and actually, their mom still made them call me Ms. Thet =) here are a few samples from our day... enjoy!






three beautiful sisters...


and another set of cutie patootie siblings...


a fun shot... love the little one all the way in the back =)


a few solo images of my sweet students... Lauren...


Alexis...


and Anthony...




they are truly such a sweet family!! thanks Laurie & Nancy for the help =) xo

Jack & Susan:: Married =)

Jack and Susan had a beautiful sunset wedding on the beach a few weeks back...it was an intimate ceremony of about 50 attendants, their families and close friends... Susan was a stunning bride! it was a delight capturing such a sweet couple, finding love all over again... here are previews from the evening... enjoy!

the beautiful bride...


Susan and her son...


a tender moment with her late father's handkerchief...








i love the look on Susan's face... so sweet...




you may kiss the bride!






love this picture...


a shot of the wedding entourage...