Homeless In San Diego – Pray For Pixie

Andrew and I had the opportunity to take Pixie to get checked into the Volunteers of America (VOA) Detox facility this morning.   Andrew met Pixie a few years ago on the streets of La Jolla and has gotten to know her and care for her as much as he could.  With a four month waiting list at the homeless shelter and a two week detox program prerequisite for entrance, the reality of getting Pixie off the street seemed far off.  With only 6 beds available for woman at the detox facility you can imagine it is not exactly easy to get one.  Thankfully, after weeks of calling every morning at 6:30a.m. Andrew finally got the green light from them this morning to bring her down.  At least with the detox program underway Pixie would be one step closer to getting into the shelter.  It was an eye opening learning experience for me as we both jumped in the car still groggy from waking up just moments before and set out looking for Pixie. At first we were not able to find her but then I peeked under a hedge and saw two skinny legs tucked into a pair of donated Ugg boots just steps away:) Pixie was thrilled when we told her the news that they had a spot for her. She kept saying, “It’s time for a new start, gotta sober up and I just can’t wait to be warm.”Our first stop was the Emergency Room at the UCSD hospital in Hillcrest. We were here for a few hours as they checked her out, asked a load of questions about her history and then gave her a tray of food to help settle her stomach from the first dose of detox pills.  I couldn’t help but laugh as she dumped 6 packets of sugar into her cereal…however, I can’t judge because I put a spoonful of peanut butter in my cereal:)  Along with getting sober she also plans on putting some meat on her bones. As I was helping her butter her muffin and slathering it silly with butter I told her she was a lucky girl to be able to enjoy a muffin heaped with so much butter Pixie really is skin and bones…no wonder she was unable to get warm despite the many layers of clothing she put on. Looking at her lying in the hospital bed I couldn’t help but think if this was my mom I would want someone to help her if I was unable to. It just breaks your heart to think that they don’t have family and friends to come alongside them and help them.I sat back and watched as each nurse and doctor approached our room in the ER and attended to Pixie. I was pleasantly surprised when each one treated her with the level of kindness and care I believe they would extend to anyone from any walk of life laying in the bed before then. I will be honest and say that it is not the easiest thing to be in an extremely close proximity with someone who doesn’t smell clean and who might be sick or infected with something that could spread. As many know, I have an EXTREMELY sensitive sniffer and I prayed my heart out that I would be able to support and love Pixie despite the odors assaulting my nose. You kind of have to take a step back before walking into a situation like this and tell yourself you are not going to die if you get lice or walk away smelling like something rather unpleasant.  Encourage yourself to resist the urge to pick up their belongings with tongs and gloves…chances are that though their belongings don’t smell like Bath & Body works, you probably aren’t going to get the plague :) I reminded myself that these people have feelings just like me and it is far more important that I get over myself and focus on loving them in whatever way I can…smells, lice and all.                                              When Pixie reached for my hand today I thought I was going to melt on the spot. My heart broke for her. Sure she made some bad decisions ETC but that doesn’t leave out the fact that she so badly needs love and a good helping of hope. When Andrew and I hugged her goodbye and left her sitting by herself with two long weeks of detox ahead of her I got a little flustered. I felt like we were deserting her in a way…it was weird.  Maybe it was because I can be such a nancy sometimes when it comes to the unknown that I tend to like to have someone by my side to go through hard times with, and yet Pixie sat there staring at us with all the confidence in the world. GO PIXIE!I know everyone has their own views and opinions about homeless people and that Pixie is just one in a population of many, and the whole homeless problem seems daunting/solution-less but despite all of that I think it is important to do what you personally can to help the people around us – homeless or not. It makes a difference in their life and it will make a difference in yours. This was definitely not how I pictured my Monday morning when I went to bed on Sunday night but it was a nice way to start the week…taking the focus off of myself and putting my life on hold while putting someone else first. While I am not one of those people that stops and helps every homeless person I come across – I am super thankful that God opened my eyes and heart to Pixie. Pixie has a long road ahead of her. After her 2 week detox at VOA we are hoping to get her into the San Diego Rescue Mission where she will go through a one year program and hopefully be able to start a new and better life. I am very much aware that this situation could go south very quickly but I am hopeful that Pixie will make it and will be praying for her every step of the way. Of course it is hard not get my hopes up that this whole situation is going to go flawlessly and that Pixie will never go back to alcohol and the streets but at least it’s a start.

Please remember her in your prayers as she embarks into this new season in her life!  One of the ways we are able to connect with homeless people like Pixie is when we are handing out sleeping bags.  If you would like donate to our sleeping bag drive for the homeless please CLICK HERE.

Family Photography – The Lovely Scarlett

As you can see from the photos below – baby Scarlett and her parents are a picture perfect family inside and out! What a joy it was to spend time with them and capture some of Miss Scarlett’s precious moments. I have never seen such beautiful blue eyes on a baby…they remind me of brilliant sapphires! Of course her outfits and accessories were perfectly just so and I once again fell in love with a pair of baby shoes…mini brown boots with bows to be exact.  We had to reschedule the shoot the first time because of rain or what San Diego people call ‘rain’:) Thankfully the day we rescheduled it for was absolutely beautiful and we were able to find some nice locations around Balboa Park.  Overall I must say that baby and family photography is quite simply one of life’s greatest joys!

baby kissesplaying with babybaby-girl-smilingbaby girl portraitpicture perfect familybaby framebaby in basketlaughing familysmiling familybalboa park familysweet baby facebaby boots

playingdad and baby girlcradling babyperfect baby facehappy baby girlfamily of threecutest baby

Maternity Photography – Perfectly Pregnant In Every Way

Maternity in the fallJoelle was my first friend in middle school and has been one of my dearest and best friends ever since. We met in our seventh grade math class when I mustered up the courage to ask if she wanted to eat lunch with me. I just counted on my fingers and figured out that was 16 years ago…good heavens that is a LONG time ago. I love that we have shared priceless moments together and have a bundle of memories that we both cherish more than life itself. I kept having to pinch myself while shooting Joelle and Jason to remind myself that she had not shoved a basketball under her shirt as a joke but this was in fact very real and she was going to be giving birth to my “new best friend” in less than a month. 16 years ago the thought of being married and pregnant seemed like a lifetime away and now here Joelle is just weeks away from one of the biggest moments of her life (I am sure coming in to a close second to the day we met in 7th grade of course).

Joelle is not laughing at me…she is laughing at the fact that Jason is chucking handfuls of leaves at her to “set the scene.”Said ‘basketball.’  I mean really…who looks like this when they are almost 9 months pregnant?!The mom to be be looking so peaceful and radiant!I think by the time we left there was a not a single leaf left on the poor little branch:)I just love the expressions on both of their faces in these photos.  Love.  Happiness.  Excitement. Here come the leaves!Thankfully Jason was there to make every picture perfect – he even offered to come along with me to my future shoots to set the scene.  Love him.The parents to be of my “new best friend.”A little ‘behind the scenes’ snapshot if you will.

Simply beautiful.It is really hard to take a picture of Joelle when she is not laughing – it is a good problem to have for sure!Kisses for the sweet baby girl.One of the things I like best about shooting maternity photography in San Diego is the fabulous weather and beautiful outdoor locations.

Newborn Baby Pictures – Little Austin

You experience a little piece of heaven when you get to hold baby Austin. God made him so wonderfully from head to toe! What a joy it was to spend time with Austin, Katie and Andy. He was such a good baby enduring the outdoor elements and donning his festive hat like a champ! Dexter the family dog even made it into some shots in between playing with his tennis ball and dousing himself in the pool! I was again blessed to capture such a wonderful family and take newborn baby pictures of the newest addition to the Darcy family.

Family Photography – The Sweetest Little Lady

Before the family photography session for this sweet family I knew that one day I wanted a little girl but after I snapped the last picture I was sure that if I didn’t have a little girl like Lauren my life would not be complete:)Lauren is the sweetest little lady I have ever met…I was helping her get down from a chair and the way she daintily took my hand and shimmied forward was just so perfectly ladylike. That mixed with how cute, fun and fabulous she is just solidified my desire for a little girl. It just can’t be helped. Don’t even get me started on her pink sparkly shoes that I seriously contemplated shoving my big toe in. Her parents are of course fabulous as well – what a wonderful family to have the opportunity to photograph.

The sparkly pink shoes that have since been added to my Christmas list. Hopefully they come in my big girl size!I love the look on their faces in these three photos…their expressions say so much.Family fun on the beach in Del Mar

Corporate Event Photography – Halloween Just Got Cuter!

When the Irvine Company asked me to photograph their Halloween festival I was thrilled…it’s not everyday that a client asks you to do corporate event photography of adorable kids in costume!  I think I died at least 10 times while shooting these cute kids decked out in their Halloween finest! I just love the expression on their faces as they trounced around in their costumes consuming inordinate amounts of candy and running wildly around on the sugar high of sugar highs. Oh to be a kid again…

I hope these pictures bring a big smile to your face…smiles and laughter bring joy to the soul:)Truly a kid after my own heart…he really knows how to enjoy a Twix and let everyone know it! Love, love, love!Ah Buzz, I will always have a special place in my heart for you…thanks for the peace sign.So sweet! There was a time when I was afraid to let go of my Mom’s hand and leave her side…sometimes I still don’t want to!The brave ones who crossed into the haunted graveyard.I love the intentness you can sense in this picture as the girls carefully select their candy. Is it weird that I want a pair of their shoes in the big girl size?

M o r e   i n f o