At the end of last month, I participated in the Tough Mudder in Black Diamond. Well, to be honest, I participated as a spectator, not as an actual participant.  I am not that crazy, though apparently, the rest of my family is that insane.

They did the 1/2 Mudder – a 5-mile course with multiple muddy obstacles. Here’s what they looked like in their excitement to get started.

Starting the Tough Mudder

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the day.

They ran, they crawled, and they got dirtier than I have ever seen them before!  The teamwork they showed throughout the event was so fun to watch. 

And after 5 miles and 13 obstacles, this is what they looked like.

They made it

There were showers at the end of the course. Look at how the water that runs off of them is really just very thin mud. Several days after the event, I noticed mud in my daughter’s ear. Yuck. I’m still not sure they are clean!

Really cold, really ineffective showers.

Maybe they will finally get it all off of them before next year’s event.  I know that they’ll be doing this again!

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I recently received an email from someone I had not heard from in a few years. Janice the assistant band director for the school my oldest daughter attended back when we spent a few years living in Tennessee.

Her daughter, Jennifer is expecting their first baby in October, and the army has brought her and her husband out to the great Pacific Northwest.

Jennifer wanted her maternity photos to showcase not only her and the little baby they are anxiously awaiting, but she also wanted to include a little of the beauty of Western Washington, their temporary home.

We decided to do her maternity session outside, and kept our fingers crossed that we’d get a nice fall day. We lucked out and met at Glacier View Middle School grass field for our session. And Mt. Rainier was showing her beauty!

And now, Jennifer, I can’t wait to meet your new little beauty, Ellie!

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My daughters and I recently attended a 4 hour truffle making class at Dawn’s Candy and Cake in Lynnwood. This was a bit of a drive, but so worth it!!! We each made 3 dozen truffles, so we came home with quite the treasure!

We got to experiment with flavors – dry seasonings, oils, liquors, and more, mixing them into chocolate, white chocolate, or caramel ganache. Then we piped them into chocolate shells, and dipped in more chocolate!  Some of the flavor combinations we came up with were simple – coconut rum, caramel pecan, cherry almond. Others were more creative – peanut butter curry, blackberry balsamic, hot pepper. OMG!!!   Fortunately, we were able, and even encouraged to taste test, so we were sure that our creations were good before filling the shells. (There were a couple of flavor combos that made it as far as the garbage can.)

So much chocolate!

Dawn was funny, super helpful, and encouraging. We learned how to temper chocolate to get this beautiful shine to the truffles and picked from a huge selection of toppings to decorate our truffles. I was so excited about the very professional looking candies we made. And I highly recommend this class to anyone who wants to learn about candy making! Or even consider taking the class before Christmas and using your creations as Christmas presents!

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I’ve known Kevin since he was in elementary school and his mom contacted me recently to schedule his senior session. (Yep, that’s how it usually works for senior guys – Mom is nearly ALWAYS the one who initiates these sessions!) I hadn’t seen Kevin in some time, as he goes to a different school than my kids. I wondered if I would recognize him. No doubt about it – he looks exactly like a grown up version of the 6th grader I knew. The biggest change I noticed, besides his height, was that his voice is now crazy deep!

Kevin loves dirt bike racing, so he brought his bike along as a prop, hoping for a casual and fun session. Although, the bike wouldn’t start (I learned later that there were some loose wires on the battery), we got some awesome shots of him on it!

This was printed on metal and looked amazing!

We shot these images just outside of Emerald Ridge High School.  They chose this location because, “We chose his high school because the surrounding property was a good backdrop for photos with his bike and the campus shots are familiar and sentimental.”

Next year, Kevin will be attending Pierce College, with plans to transfer to a university.

I asked Jeanne (mom) and Kevin what their favorite part of the session was. They told me, “It was easy and we laughed a lot!”

Kevin’s girlfriend, Vienna, came along too, and she definitely encouraged the laughs. She was fun to have alone for sure!

Summer is a great time for senior sessions, for those of you who just graduated! Schedule your senior session before the summer is over.

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Puyallup School District has a unique tradition. All 9th graders in the district are invited to a Ninth Grade Dance at the Western Washington Fairgrounds. The dance is the night before the last day of school and then everyone wears their fancy clothes to school the next day for the awards ceremony.

My youngest daughter, Krista attended the dance with 3 of her friends, Hannah, Abby, and Kaila.

These girls looked amazing!

The girls got ready, for the most part on their own, came to our house for dinner, and then we headed to South Hill Park and Nathan Chapman Trail for some photos. More can be found here.

Four beautiful girls

We got some beautiful shots of each of the girls, and of the group.

Love the silly photos!

But the silly photos are some of my favorites. Their personalities really show through with these!

The girls left the park in a limo, which took them to the dance, and then back to Hannah’s house afterwards. They spent the night there, and Hannah’s dad took them to school in the morning. (Brave man!) And I was pleasantly surprised when Krista was not a tired grump the next day!  🙂

Notice that she ditches the cute sparkly heels!

And here’s one last photo that I LOVE. Brian came along to watch the photo session. I snapped this one just as the girls were about to hop in the limo. This one captures their relationship.

Click to see more photos in the gallery!


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