The coolest party EVER!! | Olympia Event Photographer

A month or so ago, I got to photograph one of THE coolest parties ever!

Krista over at Hoopla Events is a master party planner and is the nicest ever! She threw a birthday party like none other and didn't miss a detail. And she does not work alone. She has rallied a creative team of fabulous ladies that are amazing! I was so excited to photograph all the elements that made this party the best day ever for Ms. Kennedy!

Now the theme of this party was clearly a Pony Party. Krista worked closely with Kim Stoegbauer over at The Tom Kat Studio for all the printable party theme supplies. If you haven't made your way over to Tom Kat's blog and website, find your way there (think HGTV contributor and Pottery Barn styling consultant). She has so many great ideas and inspiration.

Krista and her team worked diligently to put on one heck of a party and it was an overwhelming success! And an added bonus? Kim saw the photos of Krista's rockin' work and decided to feature her party on her blog!!! WAY TO GO KRISTA and the whole creative team!! To check out the feature on Tom Kat and get more details about the team Krista put together, head over HERE!

I think this photo just sums up the adorable birthday girl!!

Heather and Jen, creative stylists over at Two Crafty Teachers, did not mess around.
Their details were AWESOME!!!
You should definitely go "like" their Facebook page and check out all their fun craftiness!

And seriously - these cupcakes....DELICIOUS!
Amanda over at Sweet Charlie B's Cupcakery knows how to do right! 

Now this is completely amazing! 
I went down to take some pictures of Kennedy a few weeks before her party. 
The picture on the left is mine. 
Now, what Vana over at LePapier Studio did with it on the right is beyond cool!
Such a great detail and forever memory! I love it! 

These adorable mason jars are just one of the elements Amy at Smashcake & Co added to the party!
So cute! 

Are you seeing how fun this was to photograph yet?

Wagner's Bakery (the cake) and Sugar Krystle's (the cake pops) are serious artists!!

Krista even made the fruit and veggies fun!

And what made the party complete? Pony rides of course! 
Well, and super cute kids all dressed up for the occasion! 

Krista - you SO fantastic at what you do. 
And your team is as equally amazing. 
I know you have MANY big things ahead! 

Happy Saturday!!


What it's like to go to Europe when you are 9 and 6 1/2 !!

Well, let me tell you....going to Spain and Italy when you are just turned 9 (so big) and almost 6 1/2 (which he often points out) is SUPER COOL! But let's be honest..... for these two, they really didn't have a point of reference. We'd look on our world map and note where we are and where we were going. They jumped around with excitement and thought it sounded awesome, but really, they had NO idea what they were about to experience. So this post is about Audrey and Nate and their first trip abroad (with many more travels to come, I hope)! 

New cultures, new people, new friends, new languages, different food, different ways of life.....perspective! 

They walked down colorful streets like this searching for Flamenco show tickets....

We found the tickets and Nate made a friend. 
Joaquin taught him how to play soccer in the tiny streets! 
We LOVED Joaquin. So kind. 

They went to Flamenco shows (which were a-mazing) and then had dinner at 10:30 pm 
**Audrey thought eating after 10pm was the coolest thing ever**
And they learned that ordering American food in a foreign country is probably not a good idea. 

She got lost in a fabric store full of beautiful flamenco fabrics, ruffles and bliss....

They discovered tombs in cathedrals all over and thought laying down to measure was the best thing! 

They walked....and walked....and walked...and walked....and walked....and NEVER complained. 
I swear I'm not lying! 

They kept track of how many modes of transportation we took! 
Buses, subways, trains, planes, boats, taxis, mopeds......

They window shopped, did every chore/job you can imagine to earn a few euros and my son learned the art of haggling/bartering/negotiating. 
I still have slight PTSD from Nate and street vendors!

They took cool boats like this. 

And ended up in dreamy places like this (Capri). 

These two waited for a tiny boat to take them to the Blue Grotto.

And she found a quiet little spot to have a break from her brother. 

He got his Italia sweatshirt and melted his mama's heart. 

Then caught a scooter home with his dad! 
When in Italy - live like an Italian!

They made friends. 
Friends that didn't speak a lick of English. 
And at the end of the week, my daughter excitedly came up to me and said, 
"Mama, me and Mariana - we understand each other - really - we may not speak the same language, but we understand each other!" 
(And at that moment, every wish of this trip came true for me). 

They learned that kindness and play are universal (as are sharing candy, Sprite and potato chips).  
They learned that no matter what language a person speaks or where they live....they get up and go to school just like you....they go to dance class just like you....and they play just like you!

They hung out in 2000 year old ruins, drank excessive pop, and reveled in the history. 
Well, and Nate obsessively wondered if Mt. Vesuvius would erupt while we were there. 

They passed this toy store every day for a week and every day for a week I had to go retrieve my son from the depths of the COOLEST STORE ON THE PLANET!

They took long walks down roads that led to views like this. 

Then they found the Mediterranean and played! 

They met little Italian ladies that made shoes right there in her shop and watched as she made these! 
And he talked to every souvenir shop owner he passed. 

They walked in here (St. Peter's Basilica).....

and were mesmerized just like us!

They wondered.

They found the Spanish Steps and thought everyone there spoke Spanish. 

They experienced parents that were t.o.t.a.l.l.y. unplugged. 
And these parents valued every second of that! 

Audrey practiced her photography skills and learned to use my camera!
She ROCKED! Thanks A!

She photographed.
He discovered matadors and gladiators. 

They stopped........sometimes......and watched. 

They got piggy backs rides....

They learned about siestas and lots of snacks on the patio (with their fav peeps)!

Their mom fell in love with streets like this. 

And they sported their Purdy Panther's t-shirt with pride! 
While just hanging out by the Colosseum!

Silly faces. 
They made lots of silly faces. 
And they played. We all played.
Day after day after day. 

I love the things I hear them talk about as we settle back into life. I hear them figure out what time it is in Italy and wonder what the girls might be doing. I hear Audrey share ideas for cooking club with a menu of Tapas and Spaghetti Bolognese. I see Nate draw pictures of the Colosseum and tell people his favorite part of Europe was souvenir shops.

I LOVE those things.

Going to Europe when you are 9 and 6.5 is cool.

And I can't wait for the next adventure!



THEN and NOW plus a few | Gig Harbor Family Photographer


He just turned 1. 

Not long ago - he was just a little 4 day old bean......

Now he's got teeth and has much to explore in this world! 

The boys always get the lashes. What is up with that?!

Cutest parents EVER!!! So much love here! 

I feel honored to document your "growing up" Olliver!

And then there is this c.u.t.i.e pie!
She is just big. 
And has so much to say! I adore her! 

Now this one. 
She is s.p.i.c.y
And would prefer to still be in her mama's womb! 
She doesn't like it much when she is put down. 
Someday she will get words and tell us ALL what is up!
Alia - we LOVE you and I'm so glad we captured this phase of your life.

And we end tonight with these cousins. 
Moments in time like this are priceless to me!

Wishing you a fabulous rest of the week.

Stay tuned for more European adventures to come.....