..Kayla Marie | Naples Senior Portraits..

It’s hard to believe sometimes that I am almost to that big 3-0 mile marker.  I don’t feel like it.  I still feel young at heart, and I’m still head over heels in love with the boy that I fell in love with at 14.  He makes me laugh, even when I’m mad at him.  Sometimes I still feel young when it comes to making “big-kid” decisions, like buying a new car.  And I still love watching Disney movies and singing along to every word of every song.

Then there are the things that put a flag on your timeline.  For me, those days have been graduating high school, then college, getting engaged, married, and having my babies.  Two of them.  It’s still baffling to me that I have two kids.  But if I reach back further on my timeline, to the days of middle school, I find the birth of this special little girl.

I remember the day she arrived.  I was suppose to be helping my older sister, Denise ready her nursery.  We were going to wash clothes and have a bonding weekend together, while my parents were out of town.  And then I got the call that we wouldn’t be doing that.  Denise’s water had broke, and she was headed to the hospital.  On October 25th, 1996, Kayla Marie joined us in the world.  That day, I became an Aunt to my first niece.

I can’t help but get teary just thinking about the fact that she is graduating this next year.  I feel young at heart, but these days right here… These are the days that make me feel old.  Babysitting her was my first job.  Her and her sister, Paige were so small when they would come to watch me play volleyball.  {And now I’m bringing my kiddos to her games.}   And the hardest?… Watching her get her driver’s license and the keys to her new car.

I’ve watched this tiny little girl morph into a beautiful woman with long eyelashes, curly hair that any girl with straight hair envies, and most importantly a fun-filled unashamed personality.  A beautiful personality that magnifies above and beyond her outward beauty.  When I asked her 5 random facts about herself to share, she said, I am mildly obsessed with Finding Nemo, I’m 50% hispanic, I have stars on my ceiling {I love the illusion of the night sky}, I don’t have any intentions of living in Clyde, and my car’s name is Shakira {Because her bumper doesn’t lie.}  I laugh every time!

She has excelled in school, sports, and any art project she puts her hands on.  She is the Varsity C President, plays Varsity volleyball, on student council, and is in the art club.  Her senior year is going to be busy through her extracurriculars, and she plans on maintaining her 4.0 to the very last day.  I’ve visited three colleges and loved each and every one of them.  So I still have a lot of exploration to do and then start narrowing it down from there.  She is looking into Radiology Technology, although I wake up every morning wanting to be something different!

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you may remember her older cousin, ..Seth.. and our trip out to the Grand Tetons.  While we were out that way, we decided to give him senior portraits no one else would have!  Which then got us thinking about Kayla ‘in a few years.’  Well, that time had came, and around Christmas time last year we landed on Naples.  I’d have to say it worked out pretty nicely and fit her personality perfectly!  It was a great way to get away with family and give her unique portraits that no one else in her class would have.  Check out our time in sunny Naples!

My dearest, Kayla!  This next year is going to fly by, just like every one before it.  Soak up every volleyball game, every Friday night football game with your girlfriends, your Senior prom, and every single moment in-between.  The days seem long and you wish for that graduation day.  You count down the days until you are finally “free.”  But don’t count down the days too fast, because these are some of the best days in the world.  The days that even though you may not think so, you will miss.  After graduation, friends separate, some are lost and forgotten, while other’s you pick up right where you left off.  Before you know it you will be packing up everything you can and squeezing into a dorm room of a building with hundreds of strangers, and then you will start a new chapter of life.  One with much more responsibility, and you will be reminded that these are the days you will miss.

Now that I’m crying, all in all, I am so, so, very proud of you!!  I can’t wait to cheer you on this year in volleyball and support you afar on all of your other accomplishments!  I love you so much, and I wish you nothing but the best this year and that you truly enjoy each moment!

..THE DAYS YOU WILL MISS..

love, aunt echo

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echoes of love

Therese Farster - August 8, 2014 - 4:38 pm

Echo you did an amazing job with the photos,I also got a little teary eyed.

..Caleb + Emily | A Kingwood Center Wedding Part II..

Some were lucky enough for shade, while other’s were seated getting toasted by the June summer sun.  Emily and her father had just seen one another for the first time, and their sweet tears together were enough to keep me melting through this already toasty day!  He then escorted her to her happily ever after, they were about to make their grand entrance down the gorgeous brick steps.  Caleb waited on the Alee lawn.  Filled with pride and adoration.

The officiant greeted everyone and thanked them for coming to celebrate Caleb + Emily and the union that they were about to enter into.  The ceremony began just like any other, they recited their vows, exchanged their precious rings, and then began the sand ceremony.  The words that he spoke to them struck me.  As Caleb + Emily each took their turns pouring the sand into the hour glass, he mentioned the fact that their lives were being poured together.  They were uniting and taking pieces of Caleb, and pieces of Emily, and becoming one with the other.  As the hourglass ran it’s course the sand from each of them, mixed.  He challenged them to flip the hourglass on their anniversary each year as a constant reminder that their lives would continue to mix together.  That as time went on, the more their individual colors of sand would become a unified color.  It’s own color.  Creating something so beautiful.

As soon as the officiant had finished his final blessing, the couple, now wed, shared the kiss that Caleb was waiting for.  To Emily, the wait was worth it!  Their long walk down the aisle, now husband + wife, began a night to remember!  Serious storms brewed in the distance and we raced to finish family portraits and a few more creatives.  With a tented reception, a backup plan for escape to the mansion was announced.  The rain stayed clear through the announcements, toasts, and the blessing.  Everyone kept an eye on the radar as a slight patter hit the top of the tent.  Ironically as we were talking to some of Caleb + Emily’s guests, we realized that it was raining on one side of the tent, but not the other.  Only a few feet of distance!  Lucky for us, everything that was severe missed us and the night brought on many memories for the new couple.

Caleb + Emily!  I am soo overjoyed for the both of you!  I will never forget where our journey began together and how you entrusted your wedding day in my hands.  It’s only a true testament and a charge to continue to offer only the best for my couples!  You guys have been nothing short of amazing and I am overly blessed to know you and have celebrated right along side you on that beautiful day.  I wish you all the happiness in the world and pray that that hourglass of yours creates the most wonderful color in the world.

..HOURGLASS..

love, echo

Photographers | Echo + Nicole

Venue | ..Kingwood Center..

Event Planner | Lisa with Kingwood Center

Brides Dress | ..Wendy’s Bridal..

Bridesmaids Dresses | ..Wendy’s Bridal..

Mens Tuxes | ..American Commodore Tuxedo..

Decor | DIY by Emily

DJ | ..Hitman Entertainment..

Cake Artist | ..Cakes by Wen..

Florist | ..Forget Me Not..

Officiant | Pastor Ronald Daley

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..Caleb + Emily | A Kingwood Center Wedding..

It was one of those days that everything just felt like it stuck to you.  As I stepped out of my air conditioned ride I was pretty happy I wore all black for obvious reasons.  It was going to be a steamy one for sure!  Nicole and I met up at ..Kingwood Center.. for Caleb + Emily’s day.  It was a gorgeous venue and we couldn’t wait to get started.  We hitched a ride from a hostess with a golf cart up to the mansion, getting a ride with a breeze and a small tour of the estate.

We cruised right past the guys on our way up to meet Emily.  As we arrived, we learned that the girls hadn’t quite made it yet.  Nicole and I then took a few minutes to photograph some details and since the guys were already there, we optimized our time and got Caleb ready.  He was so sweet, asking Nicole and I a few times asking us if we needed anything.  I’m here for you guys!  I could tell he wasn’t nervous, just excited.  He was ready for that first look.

After he was ready, we went up and joined Emily and her girls.  I couldn’t get to her fast enough.  A bit frazzled and feeling behind, I reassured her that we were still on schedule and we had just flipped a few things around.  I watched her take a deep breath, and let herself be reassured that we were indeed perfect on time.  She couldn’t wait to get dressed, and as we captured the sweet moments that followed.  I watched momma go from that moment of elatation as she fixed her daughter’s veil and her grandmother’s pearl necklace, to that sentimental moment of My only daughter is getting married.  I love those moments.  I’m going to have one of those one day.

Once Emily + Caleb were both prepared, we made our way into the gardens for the first look.  I watched Caleb take a deep breath, his bride was headed his way and he was more than ready.  Emily, like Cinderella, descended the steps ever so carefully.  She looked beautiful.  Behind the camera I made this squeak, it gave Caleb a little chuckle as he knew she was almost to him.  The touch of her hand was enough for him to spin as fast as he could on his heel.  He looked his bride in the eyes, and I witnessed the most joyous smile spread across his face.  He didn’t hug her right away as he took her all in.  They marveled over each other and how amazing they both looked.  She showed him her dress and she fixed his tie.  A sweet moment for them.  Caleb then pulled Emily close and hugged her, and the blushed cheeks and boyish grin was enough to make my heart skip a beat.  Emily went to give Caleb a kiss, and to both of our surprise, he pulled away!  In exclamation, she said, Your going to make me wait?!?  And in the most ornery way, he said, Yup!

We then joined the bridal party for some portraiture before the wedding, and everyone was in high spirits for as uncomfortable as it was in the heat of the day.  I kept the pace, brisk and fast to give everyone  a chance to freshen up before the ceremony started!  As I sent everyone off into hiding, we all secretly hoped that the storms that were brewing would stay away!

Caleb + Emily!  We are only getting started, because the best of the ceremony and reception is yet to come!  I was so blessed to join you on your perfectly hot day, stay tuned for Part II!  It’s going to be just as good.  Thank you times a million for asking me to be apart of your celebration!

..ORNERY WAY..

love, echo

Photographers | Echo + Nicole

Venue | ..Kingwood Center..

Event Planner | Lisa with Kingwood Center

Brides Dress | ..Wendy’s Bridal..

Bridesmaids Dresses | ..Wendy’s Bridal..

Mens Tuxes | ..American Commodore Tuxedo..

Decor | DIY by Emily

DJ | ..Hitman Entertainment..

Cake Artist | ..Cakes by Wen..

Florist | ..Forget Me Not..

Officiant | Pastor Ronald Daley

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..The Purkey Family | Portraits + A Surprise..

My husband doesn’t talk about work much.  Mainly because he is in the government and is required to keep his projects under wraps.  He is also the kind of husband who would much rather leave work at work and then be daddy + hubby when he comes home.  Oh how I have been SO blessed by that accomplishment.  It’s a lot harder with my job since I work from home, so I appreciate that he wants to be present with us.  What he does talk about when he comes home, is the people he works with, and the interactions that he has during the day.  Which happens to not always be work related;)

With being in the military, everyone is known by their last name, so I heard the name Purkey float around in conversation for a long time.  It had become especially known when Brad told me that this Purkey “guy” wanted to write a letter to my nephew, while he was in Marine bootcamp.  I was surprised and thankful.  My family means the world to me, and the fact that a complete stranger to Seth would be that willing to do something like that, it filled my heart.  But it’s a Semper Fi bond, that only they understand.  So when Brad’s program had a get together to go bowling to create team building, families were invited too.  Matt was there, and I finally got to meet the man behind the inspirational letter.  We didn’t get to chat long with me chasing a 1.5 year old around, but I thanked him for his letter.

Fast forward to a year later.  Two of Brad’s buddy’s wanted to meet up for dinner with significant other’s and the children.  The choice of the night was Mexican.  {I knew our friendship was on the right track!}  I re-met Matt and his wife Amanda, and their daughter Micah.  I was just weeks away from giving birth to Ayla, and we talked over loud kiddos, and the hustle and bustle of ordering and getting our food!  It was a fabulous time with a scrumptious meal, and I knew that I had made some new friends that night.  Since then, we have had so many great times together, and I was honored when they asked me to take their family portraits!  And who wouldn’t want to capture this little beauty?

Amanda says, I could not have asked for a better husband, parenting partner & friend.  Micah was quite the surprise but the moment we found out, he was so excited to be a dad.  Life certainly changed once Micah entered our world but we can’t imagine our world without her!  We love to spend time together as a family, whether its playing on the basement floor or exploring the city of Dayton.

Micah is our angel. She is such a good-natured baby and just goes with the flow. She has recently learned to pull herself up on things and cruises along the furniture. She’ll be walking in no time I’m afraid. She loves to sit on the floor to play with her toys, but really loves to crawl to things she shouldn’t play with, so mommy or daddy will chase her. Little stinker. When she’s in the mood, she likes to be read to.  And when she is tired, she grabs the softest thing she can find & rubs her eyes while simultaneously melting her daddy’s heart.

Oh, and wait until 12 weeks to tell people about pregnancy? Not my husband.  You will be seeing these three in the future, with Amanda sporting a TWINS baby bump!!  Yep, shortly after these photos, they found out they were expecting, and the ultrasound showed TWO little miracles!!  SURPRISE!!!  We are enjoying every moment the 3 of us get to spend together.  I’ll be heading back to work in a few short weeks & after Christmas our 3 will become 5!  So we’re trying to make the most of our time as a family of 3 before Micah has to share us with her twin siblings.  Whether it’s finding the time & energy to get things done. Or cleaning & laundry, food truck rallies, & the zoo, somehow we make it happen.  But with M working full time & pursuing his PhD and me and my pregnancy nausea/exhaustion, we definitely have to take things one day at a time & not look too far ahead.  Because that view can be OVERWHELMING!  I keep telling myself that The Lord brought us to it, so we need to trust in Him to get us through it!!

Matt, Amanda, + Micah!!  I have been sooo blessed in getting to know you, and even more thankful to now call you friends!  You have such an adorable family and I CAN.NOT.WAIT. to meet those twinsies of yours!  I pray that any overwhelming feeling is replaced with just what you need on that day!  I wish you nothing but happiness over the FIVE of you and here is to our continued friendship!!  Much love!

..SURPRISE..

love, echo

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..Majewski Family | A Naples Mini Session..

Two years ago Aaron + Carly came to Toledo, Ohio to get married and I was blessed to have covered the occasion!!  So when they found out that I was on vacation in Naples, Florida {their neck of the woods} they got ahold of me!  They had just made an addition to the family and wanted to see if we could grab some portraits while I was in town.  Unsure if we were going to be able to make it happen, we found a time when both of us could meet.  The only thing was that there was a storm about to push through, and this wasn’t just a little bit of rain.  It was going to be a torrential down pour, and it was about to be on us.  With my hubby on the weather channel and radar apps, we had about 20 minutes to get what we could!

It was a quick hello after not seeing them in so long, but I got right to work!  I chatted and snapped as Eli + Brad played on the slides and Ayla lay milk drunk in her stroller.  I kept an eye on the storm that was brewing behind me, the wind began to pick up and I captured as much as I could in the short 20 minutes I had.  Brad had taken our kiddos to the car and got them packed up before the rain started, and as soon as the drops began to fall, we ran to the shelter!  We sat there finally getting to catch up, hoping the rain would pass and we could squeeze in a few more portraits, but it didn’t cease.  So while we didn’t want to call it quits, mother nature {or Florida nature, whichever you prefer,} had her own plans!

So a little about this new little girl! Sophie’s arrival was unlike what I expected! I thought for sure I would go post dates(which made me nervous as a NICU nurse). However I was 39+4 and my water broke at 6am! It was a Monday morning and conveniently Aaron’s parents had arrived from ohio the day before! Labor went from 0 to 60 with the majority of it happening between 130pm and 806pm! I was in the hospital I work at so it put me at ease knowing there were nurses and respiratory therapists right around the corner that I trust!! Sophie came pretty flawlessly with just a few pushes. She was born on May 12, 2014 at 806pm weighing in at 7 pounds 8 ounces and 19 inches long. She was perfect. She came at the perfect time because I was able to have some of my closest NICU friends there to take care of her and reassure me that she was indeed, perfect! Honestly, one of the best parts about it was the look on Aaron’s face. He just kept looking at her, smiling.

We are blessed. We have our little girl! Sophie has been a good baby from the start. She let’s you know that she wants something….sometimes loudly Eating, playing, pooping, hiccuping, and sleeping are her main priorities! Being a parent is the most rewarding job. It’s been a learning experience since day one. It is definitely different when it is your own and you don’t get to give them back at the end of the day! Seeing her grow and develop her own little personality is so awesome. Watching her calm and smile when Aaron or myself pick her up or walk over and talk to her makes my heart melt. She is like the perfect fit to our puzzle. The perfect mix of Aaron and myself. 

And isn’t she?!  She is an absolute little doll baby and she was so good throughout our little session!  It’s just a snippet of what I could have gotten, but love what I did have the chance to get!

Aaron, Carly, + Sophia!!  Thank you so much for thinking of me, and for contacting me for a quick session!  Yes, it was last minute, but it really did work out perfectly…despite the rain!  And as Florida would have it, the sun came out as soon as we were down the road!  I was so blessed to photograph you guys again and I know it will happen again in the future!  Congrats on your little sweetie pie, and enjoy all of the sweet moments that come along with it!  Until next time!

..MOTHER NATURE..

love, echo

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