We did take a couple summer trips this year -- one small and one big, but there was a bit of time in between when we just enjoyed unstructured time. There was a lot of playing with friends, a birthday at the beach, a bit of running through sprinklers, a lot of scooter time at the skatepark, a little tourist trip to AT&T park, Girl Scout camp, riding bikes and the annual block party. Sometimes the little stuff is pretty fun.
In support of the Lucille Packard Children's Hospital, the Domenici family purchased a photo session with me. They let me come to their home on what turned out to be a really hot day. They all hung in there, and the girls made the shoot so fun. I am very late posting this, but had to get these images up of this sweet family.
My parents live in St Helena in the Napa Valley. It is one of the most beautiful places, and is definitely my happy place. They have been lucky to be part of a circle of friends that are warm, supportive, and fun to be around. Most of the ladies in the group meet every weekday morning to walk. Then they have coffee, and maybe even celebrate a birthday here and there. They have been walking together for many years -- I believe I heard somewhere in the 30 years neighborhood. For this occasion five of the fifteen "walkers" and one of the husbands were celebrating their 80th birthdays. One walker was away on a trip, but all the others were at the party in a gorgeous setting on top of Howell Mountain in St Helena.
It's still a bit strange, at my age (which shall remain unspecified), that I can say I have known and been friends with a person my entire life. Someone outside my immediate family, of course. That statement is true of my good friend. We lived across the street from each other when we were born. She was the youngest of three, and I was the oldest of two. We had our ups and downs in those early years, but when my family moved 20 minutes away, and we never went to school together again, we managed to remain friends. We wrote letters, we talked on the phone (this was well before email and texting was an option), we had sleepovers, and generally stayed in each others lives all these years. Now that we're all grown up, and have families of our own we still get busy with our family lives, but always manage to stay in touch, and luckily live fairly close. Her children are growing up, and with one in college (with boyfriend in tow), and the next a senior in high school, the family dynamic is changing. There is less and less time together as a family of five. There was a short window this summer when everyone was home and together. They love to laugh, and their sense of fun shines through in these pictures.
I had the pleasure of meeting this family when my daughter and their youngest were in Kindergarten together. The girls are still friends, and I got a chance to know the rest of the family a bit when they invited me into their home for this shoot. Both parents have interesting jobs -- in fact Mom asked me to shoot fresh head shots for business purposes. And the kids are involved in all kinds of cool activities from fencing to gymnastics, rock climbing to art. They are a beautiful family.
I have wanted to go to BottleRock (a music festival in the Napa Valley) since it started a few years ago. My lovely husband had no interest, but at dinner with friends one night the other wives mentioned that they wanted to go, too. So the husbands got together, and got us girls tickets (VIP tickets, even!). Lucky for me, my parents live in St Helena, in the Napa Valley, so we had a place to stay. Unfortunately, our son had a baseball tournament in Half Moon Bay, and since my husband is a coach, my daughter was at loose ends. My parents were out of town, my nieces, who were both living with my parents at the time, were working (one at BottleRock), and so I wasn't sure what to do with Olivia. However, in researching information for our trip to the event, I learned that children of a certain age could get in free with a ticketed adult. So Olivia got to be a "Little Rocker" for the day. She was a trooper, and we all had so much fun. We got temporary tattoos, rocked the silent disco, ate good food, and more. I had contingencies for Olivia -- my aunt living in Napa, and my two nieces offered to take her home early, if she got tired -- but Olivia hung with the big girls to the bitter end. Singing and rocking with Walk the Moon, Michael Franti, and especially Florence + the Machine. It was really hot, and such a fun day! I didn't want to carry my big camera, so these are shots from my phone before it died -- I need a new phone....