Nora G. I don’t know if there is a sweeter name. I fell in love with this little family the minute I talked to her momma. We have too many things in common and her outlook on motherhood is just spot on. It is so clear that this little girl has two wonderful parents who have as much invested in helping the world as they do in this little gem. I spent an afternoon with them in the city in their beautiful apartment and I couldn’t have enjoyed our conversation more. And the nursery… such a perfect combination of delicate baby and aspiring world changer. I look forward to seeing this little lady grow!

Traditions are a huge part of our family. Some revolve around meals, others revolve around places we visit at different times during the year. To give you a sampling, every Valentines we head to our favorite local spot for Chinese food. The kids come with us and we go home and watch a movie after. Every spring we host a traditional Seder dinner with as many friends as we can pack in our house. We go through the Haggadah and enjoy each others company. During birthdays we make special place mats, a tradition my mom started with my sister and I. For Sean’s birthday he must have his favorite homemade blueberry birthday pie and a trip to the Shenandoah for tubing.

The official definition of tradition is ” a way of thinking, behaving, or doing something that has been used by the people in a particular group, family, society for a long time”. We have many of them and chances are if you are friends or neighbors or even aquaintences we have brought you in to be a part of traditions at one point or another.

Knowing this, it is no surprise that we were excited when Jill and her family invited us to Lakeside, Ohio for a week. Lakeside, Ohio was founded in 1873 and generations of her family have spent warm and steamy summers on the cool shores of Lake Eerie. It was truly unlike any place we have ever visited. Everything was within walking distance. There were kids riding bikes up each street in a way you can only imagine in the movies. There were arts and craft projects during the day, concerts every night, and everyone in town gathered on the pier for a 9PM sunset. It was like summer camp and even better, each camper/person you spoke to had a family member that had come to Lakeside generations ago that started the tradition of heading to this tiny town each summer.

One afternoon, Jill and I headed to one of her family members cottages and peered at all of the black and white photos of her relatives standing on the same big porches we were. I was in love with the fact that it didn’t matter where you ended up living, that is was important that each summer you ventured back to Lakeside. As a family we soaked in the history of this tiny town. We went fishing early in the morning off the dock, ate at the Patio for donuts, collected lake stones to paint and took day trips to nearby Put-In Bay. I fell in love with the tiny streets lined with by historic vibrant cottages decorated with buntings,and twinkly lights and American flags. I left Lakeside with such a deep thankfulness for how traditions shape us and our family and how when we share them with friends we welcome the opportunity for new traditions to begin. Until next year Lakeside…

It is the season of sparklers. They add to the magic of any celebration or ordinary day. Whether you are eight or 80, you probably love them. Andrea and Brooks loved them too and this little dip and kiss at the end of the night was perfection. I want this lightning bug, steamy nights, big starry, sky sparkler season to last as long as possible.

When you start the morning of your engagement session by signing a contract for a beautiful new home, that is quite the start to an all-american day. And lucky for me, Michelle and Tyler chose Frederick to call home. Frederick is known for its rich history and with this classic couple, To celebrate their new home we traveled off the beaten path to take in the beautiful views Frederick offers. Michelle and Tyler are such a fun loving pair and we had so much fun enjoying the sunset together. With the apple tree, the mountains and the fields, I am a true sucker for this backdrop. Michelle certainly added to the fun with her classic style…the white tulle skirt, pearls and heels. And fortunately Tyler has some great taste too! If the session isn’t proof enough, just take a look at that gorgeous custom quatrefoil engagement ring!! Michelle and Tyler congratulations on your new home and welcome to the neighborhood! I can’t wait for your wedding!

When Meghan first contacted me she told me two things… her wedding was going to be romantic…and her dogs were going to be there. She is someone who knows exactly what she wants and her wedding was to her exact specifications. Fortunately for me she has impeccable taste and shooting her day was absolutely wonderful, pups and all. The guests were led from the ceremony to the reception by a bagpiper where they were greeted with a live band and great food. Of course the wine was wonderful too. Maryland is not the first place that comes to mind when you think of vineyards and at times I wasn’t sure we had left the land of crabs and Old Bay for sweet southern California. Meghan and Brett recently left the Old Line State for a new adventure living in Texas. Congratulations you two…Maryland is going to miss you!