The truck is loaded and the house is empty. The dogs are strapped in my back seat, and Pete’s car is stuffed to the brim. Today is the beginning of our new adventure!
Up until this moment, it was easy to dream of the positive points (warmer weather, a new start, no snow, a great career opportunity, exploration and change), and ignore the challenging points (saying goodbye, packing up the studio, and leaving family & friends behind).
It’s helpful to know that we’ll be back in just a handful of months, but it’s still hard to say goodbye to all of you! You have brought love, happiness, generosity, support and friendship into our lives, and you have helped to create the people we are today!
Thank you and see you soon!
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
I cannot believe our little lady turns eight years old today! I still remember the first time we met her. The family we got her from had nicknamed her “Sticky” because she had gotten herself stuck in a sticky mousetrap and had gotten sticky stuff all over her paws. From that day, and every day since, she has kept us on our toes!
Wherever I am, you can find Pebbles. One of the best games to play is to hide while she’s not looking and then listen to her search the house for me. The joy that crosses her face when she finds me is indescribable! If I even dare to go to the bathroom without her, and even go so far as to close the door, I get to hear her humphs and sighs as they echo under the door.
She’s a busy body, a know it all and a second Mother to her brothers, but she’s our Pebbles, and we wouldn’t know life any other way.
When she smiles, she does it with her whole body, from tip of nose to tip of tail! When she’s weird, she’s hilarious! And when she’s trying to protect us from the neighborhood dogs, kids, lizards, and birds, she’s showing us how much she loves us! And we love her right back!!
I guess Joey’s big birthday present this year is a stressful week of packing, road tripping and moving into a rental home! I know it’s going to be a rough week for him, but I feel confident that once he feels the warm Arizona sun on his back, he’ll start to relax and learn to love his new home. He’s always searching the house for patches of sun to lay in. No matter how small they are, he’ll curl up and sun bathe. Once he realizes he has a fenced in back yard that is full of sun, I imagine he will be spending a lot of time outside soaking in the rays!
Joey may be 13 today, and he may spend a lot of time sleeping, but he still finds time to be ornery, feisty and playful.
He’s not much of a kisser or a hugger, but happy tail wags…he gives lots of those, and constant companionship…he’s all over it! Joey’s best trait is that he’s always by my side. He has a bed or some place comfy to lay in every room that I hang out in. If I’m in that room, he’s there with me…in his comfy spot!
He’s our scruffy, silver haired, handsome, adorable, little man!
Drake, Malia and Pierce arrived at their portrait session dressed in their finest! From bow ties, to tulle, to vests and jackets…they looked smashingly fabulous!
As nice as it is to think that they got all fancy just for me, the outfits (and the kids) traveled to New York City right before Christmas. So, their stylish clothes got to attend the Christmas Rockettes show and see the town…in addition to a little time in front of my camera!
On Saturday, my little buddy Bruiser turned three years old! It is absolutely crazy to think that he’s already been with us for that long. I still call him my baby Bruiser!
Of our three pups, his puppyhood time has been the easiest! He learned great sleeping habits from the older two, and with the exception of a morning walk and a couple of breaks during the day, he’ll sleep the day away while we work. His jolt of energy comes in the evening when he must play fetch, over and over and over again. But, when it’s bedtime, he goes right into his kennel and sleeps the night away.
He has brought youth to our home…forcing Joey and Pebbles to play with him…keeping them active and fit!
He has brought laughter to our home…he has the quirkiest personality, and hair that does its own thing. So, when you need to smile or have a laugh, just a simple glance at Bruiser will do the trick!
He has brought love to our home…he’s a great hugger, kisser and snuggler…and he’s not shy about spreading the love around!
He has made our hearts fuller and our lives richer! We love the crazy little dude!
I got a big kick out of photographing Jaeger and Enye, mostly because, in my head, I was comparing them to my three rug rats! Jaeger and Enye are obviously quite a bit larger than Joey, Pebbles and Bruiser. But yet, their presence is so much quieter, softer and gentler. I’m sure there are times when they rough house and play and even bark, but during their session, it was almost like quiet time.
Their Mom spoke in a quiet, yet firm voice. They lightly walked around the studio, and at times Enye even had a little prance to her step. There was exploring and sniffing, but all done at a reasonable speed. They came up and checked me out, but no pushing, no shoving. A few kisses to the hand and then they moved on.
My three, they bark! They come running into a room full speed, announcing their presence! They do everything they can to make sure you notice them and pay attention to them. It’s a completely different world!
Although we are excited for our new adventure to Phoenix, we will miss our home, the beautiful fall colors and, most of all, each of you! We will forever cherish and hold dear all the memories that we have created here on The Ranch. Thank you for helping to make our lives full of love and laughter!
Brandi, Pete, Joey, Pebbles and Bruiser
The latest and greatest update on the big move to Phoenix is that we have a contract on our house. Of course, we’re still working through all the steps, so fingers are crossed that everything goes as planned, but it’s the first step in the right direction!
Assuming all goes as planned, we will be packing up and hitting the road in mid February. We are currently looking for a place to rent in Phoenix, so hopefully we can get that all lined up after the new year. Which will be another step in the right direction.
There are so many moving parts, and detail after detail to get lined up…if my head doesn’t explode before this is all over, it will be a miracle!
A big thank you to each of you for your constant support and encouragement! I will continue to keep you posted as we make progress and check off our to do list!
This was the scene I woke up to this morning…a white, winter wonderland. Undisturbed, the snow is beautiful and serene. Although, spending five minutes outside photographing in these cold temperatures was enough to send me back inside to the warmth of the heater.
The snow isn’t too deep, but I am glad the holiday season is wrapped up and I don’t have to worry about clients getting in and out of our driveway.
I’m secretly hoping this is the last snow fall I see from this view point! (I know wishful thinking, considering it’s only December, but a girl can dream!)
It took some extra work, a lollipop bribe, silly jokes and a goofy Daddy, but we pulled smiles and/or perky ears out off all four kiddos of the H family!
Little four legged Bella and big brother Aiden are total go with the flow kids! They work those eyes and those expressions that just melt your heart!
Four year old Morgan has come a long way since the first time I met her. She’s gone from no smiles to super cheese! Now the challenge is calming down the super cheese for a natural smile!
Two and a half year old Alex is still testing her limits! Once we had her relaxed, laughing and smiling she has the best twinkle in her eyes…it just takes some extra work to get that…but it’s all worth it!