The Adore's: What three little girls taught me about sisterhood {Tacoma Family Portrait Photographer, Tacoma, WA}

The title of this post is called "The Adore's," affectionately titled after the middle name that all three of these girls carry. Adore: love dearly, love, be devoted to, dote on, hold dear, cherish, treasure, prize, think the world of

These three girls.  These three girls who I love so much and who I absolutely cherish and adore.

Lyric, Honour and my Wisdom.

Wisdom turned three this summer.  All she ever wants is to be with Lyric and Honour.   Lyric and Honour are my nieces.  They came to visit, and we couldn't resist an impromptu photo shoot.

Lyric is turning 8 in January and Honour just celebrated her second birthday.  The bond they have.  It's almost like it was destined.

Lyric was born first, her mother, my sister Melinda, gave her the middle name "Sa'rah Adore."

When I became pregnant with Wisdom, as her godmother, I knew Melinda had to give Wisdom her middle names - and when she chose to include "Adore," it was so special to me.  I know the power of a name, and to have her be a namesake meant so much.  So "Melan-Adore" is what we got.  Melan, after Melinda and "Adore" after Lyric.

When Melinda became pregnant with Honour, it only made sense to keep it going, and so we get: Honour- Smile Adore.

These three little girls.  These three precious girls, who haven't been on this earth yet eight years have taught me so much about love.  Loving fiercely.  About commitment.  About devotion.

They see each other seldom, but they remember each other always. So many mornings, I wake up to Wisdom asking for and pleading to see Honour and Lyric, wanting her hair like Lyric's, her toys like Honour, wanting to share her food with two girls who are easily 800 miles and a 12 hour drive away.

It doesn't matter how long its been, or what has happen, they are ALWAYS ALWAYS her first choice.  No matter what friends she's around or what she is experiencing, she always wants Lyric and Honour to be a part of it.  And that devotion is not one sided.

There are letters sent with best laid plans of elaborate parties, and checklist, that include Wisdom as the number one guest.  There are voicemails left, VERY long voicemails, from California explaining what happened that day in school - all for Wisdom.

These girls teach me so much about relationship.  About friendship planted deep in your heart.  About moments, never missed and time that stands still.

Because even at their young age, there is something that has told them that they are better together than apart.  That they should look out for each other.  That they exist to stand together, instead of alone.

and these pictures, these pictures tell the story of their precious relationship.  They say what they may not be able to articulate just yet.  That they adore one another and that they are there for each other, no matter the circumstance or the distance.

Every year, Melinda and I take the girls on a "Mother-Daughter-Sister-Cousin" trip and it has become a tradition that I look forward to the most.

I pray that they ALWAYS have memories.  That they always delight in each other and that they ALWAYS choose to ADORE one another, the way I do my sister and best friend.

Cheers to girls who understand we need each other to make it.

I am so thankful.

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Her Success Is Not My Failure..... ever.

I recently had the opportunity to take a mini vacation to Lake Tahoe with 11 other amazingly talented and inspirational senior portrait photographers from ALL over the United States.  Each of these woman are GIFTED, gifted in what they do and are cutting - edge in what they do in their parts of the world.  Initially, I was nervous because I didn't really know any of the woman in real life and had NO IDEA what to expect.  When women come together;  it always interesting what can come out of it.  I don't like to gossip or to be in mess - so I was nervous that this would turn into that, but because I didn't know anyone I felt it was a risk I was willing to take.  There was no real history and only mutual respect so there would be very little foundation built for those things to take place. When I was picked up from the airport by four photographers I had never met (we had only shared a few encouraging posts back and forth on social media), I KNEW that it was going to be an amazing weekend.  There was such a fun energy, instant hugs and laughs and excitement for what was ahead.

Over the course of those four days in that cabin at Lake Tahoe, I learned so many things.  God originally put this concept in my heart last September after attending and speaking at Karen Stott's Pursuit 31 Conference.  Karen and I had been great friends, so great that she helped plan my baby shower for Wisdom, you can check that out here.  Time had gotten away from us and we weren't able to connect as much. She had really flourished with her Pursuit ministry and God gave me some things to carry out on my own.  It was the one of the first times, over these past couple of years where I was face to face with the great impact that she had made and I was so proud of my friend.  Although life had gotten busy, and we weren't able to as often come together, I could see that her "dream," her heart purpose,  had come true.  I remember her when it was just a idea and now she was/is impacting woman around the world and I was so so proud of my friend.  Her success was her success and my success was my success and standing before her audience sharing what God had put in me, didn't hurt her or take away from what she was doing and me being there in support or her wasn't hurting me.  It was real and genuine and I was so excited and inspired by how God had spread her wings to impact so many other woman towards their own.

Being in Tahoe reminded me of that moment.  No person in the room was better than anyone else.  We all had so much to learn from each other.  We all shared the same fears and frustrations and insecurities.  We all had "aha" moments and everyone was so humble.  Her Success Is Not My Failure.  Her Success is MY Success too.  That is what God kept stirring in me.   We all win when one wins!  We all do better when we are all thriving!

Your only REAL competition is yourself! People can't compete with YOUR anointing! They can't add or take away from YOU!What would happen if we really decided to embrace and believe this? What would happen if we showed love when we were impressed, rallied behind each other's causes, believed the best in each other, answered questions when they were asked, closed our ears to gossip, greeted people at face value without pre-conceived notions? What would happen if we decided to actually believe this to be true? And then we made the decision to act on it? When an incredibly warm and caring and comfortable and inspiring industry we would all be able to rest in. I had a little taste this weekend and I KNOW it is possible. There is room for all of us to be great because #hersuccessisnotmyfailure. A candle that lights another candle doesn't take away, it simply shines brighter! Let's choose to shine bright!   Run your race with blinders on and know I'm cheering for you all the way!

One of the coolest things that came out of this trip was the opportunity to meet two of the girls I was competing against for a national "Best of" competition.  Ideally, competitions are created and often turn people against each other, and have a divisive nature, but this competition put on by Denim and Grace magazine, only brought us closer.  The editor and chief, Heather Dunnigan, was so impressed by the sisterhood of the competitor that it inspired her to create a pledge "The Don't Hate Celebrate" pledge.

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Here are a few of Heather's words:

"We believe in collaboration. In lifting our industry up as a whole. In rejuvenating the spirit of those broken and burnt out. In restoring passion…

We believe every photographer is worth celebrating."

You can head over and sign the pledge and show your support by clicking here.

having confidence of this very thing, that he who has begun in you a good work will complete it unto Jesus Christ's day. - Philippians 1:6

Below, my friends, affectionally referred to as the Tahoe Twelve!  These are some of the most talented and amazing woman I know.  My career is forever changed by their support, love and encouragement of me!

You can head over to Instagram to check out the fun BTS of our trip by hitting one of these two hash tags - #hersuccessisnotmyfailure or #seniortogstaketahoe

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and if you want a more tangible reminder of our hearts moving forward I would LOVE to send you a "#hersuccessisnotmyfailure" bracelet.

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photo credit: Terri Baskin -  check out Terri's blog post about receiving her bracelet here.

Just leave your email below or shoot me an email directly to info@ikeandtash.com and I will send you a custom bracelet with this message and a love note to encourage you!

XOXO

Tash

Wisdom's Hello Kitty 2nd Birthday Party (Tacoma Portrait Photographer} Tacoma, WA

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Our little love just turned two. My mommy heart is so sad.  I can't believe it's already been two years!

Wisdom is pure joy and brings so much excitement and sweetness to our lives!

To commemorate her second birthday, we threw her a "Hello Kitty" themed party complete with the costume at a splash park!

This girl had a blast!

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"How We Wonder What You Are," a baby shower. {Sacramento Portrait Photographer, Sacramento, CA}

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There is nothing more precious than life.... except for new life.  I thought I knew all the world had to offer, until I became a mother and POOF my world was rock.  There is truly no sweeter job or role I know.  As you might remember, when I was pregnant, I had a little baby shower, well, little is a little understated.  The shower planned for me in honor of Wisdom was one of the most special moments of my 31 years on this earth!  Planned by my sister, and Wisdom's godmother, Melinda, it was a day, that even now, warms me up inside and brings a smile to my face. When we found out that Melinda was expecting early last year, I knew I had to be the one to repay that generosity.  If you follow my personal life at all, you know that Melinda is my partner-in-crime, my best friend, my sister.  We get together and magic happens and we LOVE making magic.  Events is something that Melinda is not only gifted at, but passionate about.  She has amazing vision and unique ideas.   I love bringing vision to life, seeing it all play out and come to reality, so the two of us together are kinda ridiculous.

When picking Melinda's brain about what she would want, she said she wanted it to be more modern, more sophisticated and glam- she had three requirements of me - black, white and gold color palette, that it had to be under the stars and that it needed to be fun!   Because Melinda decided to wait to find out the gender of the baby, we decided to spin a traditional nursery rhyme and make it our theme:  Twinkle,  Twinkle Little Star "How We Wonder" what you are.  She wanted very modern and clean aesthetic with touches of gold, and naturally, we had a dress code, as most our parties do, and everyone was asked to wear a little black dress for the ladies, and all black everything for the men.

I am incredibly sentimental, so I wanted to make sure every activity and every game had a significance.

When sending out the invitation, every guest was given a letter of the alphabet.  They were asked to customize this letter with special papers, materials or a note, so that the alphabet could be used to create an Alphabet Wall in the nursery.  Each alphabet would then have a special meeting and would be from the heart of all of the people invited to participate in this celebration.   Traditional to many showers, we also had a diaper raffle, any guest who brought diapers to the shower, were entered into a special drawing to recieve a prize.
We had a few special games, because the gender was unknown, the shower served as a gender guessing party as well.  When guest entered the soiree, they were asked to pick a side.  This was done by choosing a gender specific clothes pin, pink or blue,  to wear on their black dresses and suites during the night, they were asked to also suggest names for the baby, and to write them down in either blue or pink on a chalkboard.  As guest participated in the activities, they were able to choose a glass filled with sparkling cider, that also had the different "due dates" - that served as their guess for when they thought the baby would arrive.
During the shower, guest also had the opportunity to leave messages on a onesie for the baby to wear at their first photo shoot, when they turned one - with well wishes and hopes for the future, write messages in birthday cards that would be giving to the baby each birthday, from age one to age thirty, and write blessings and words of encouragement that could be put in the baby's first album.
We also did a Blessing Tree, stars were tied to string and hung from a large tree in the backyard.  Guest were able to go to that tree and write messages for both mom, dad and the baby, but also for the baby's big sister, Lyric, to encourage and build her up as she prepared for her big role, and hang them to add to the atmosphere, there was also a photo booth set up with large vintage frames, both ornate and traditional, that guest could have their picture taken in.
Some of the most inspiring and entertaining moments of the night included guest breaking up into teams and coming up with songs about the new baby to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."  It was both highly entertaining and incredibly special to hear so many beautifull and creative words spoken about this baby who had already rocked the world and hadn't even arrived.
The night closed out with each guest going around the table, to the glow of the moon and the light of the candles on the table, and underneath the stars they said how they knew the family and gave their well wishes in person.  The entire table was filled with tears of joy, laughter and huge smiles.
It was assumed for the nine months of Melinda's pregnancy that she was indeed carrying a little boy.  I could never quite put my finger on it and Melinda always felt so strongly that it was a girl. She never wavered even when folks had prayed and almost bet money against it.... well, I guess mommy knows best because, that sweet baby girl joined this world in November and things have never been the same.
From Melinda:
"While in college, doctors told me I wouldn't be able to have any children, but there I was getting ready for number 2! God is amazingly GOOD! We decided that we didn't want to know the gender and that we wanted to keep it a surprise. As much as I love doing events, I had no idea how to visualize a gender neutral shower. Needless to say, my shower was EVERYTHING I wanted it to be and more! My vision grew hands and feet with Tasha at the helm and we had a BLAST putting it together. 

 
 It was a co-ed evening with tears and laughter! Even Lyric had dinner under the stars with her special guest! Tasha had so many surprises and sentimental touches for us that I'm still beaming about today!  Friends and family made that night so very special to us.  Every idea and detail, from the invitations to the cupcakes were amazing. It was one of the most beautiful, meaningful and special evenings of my life. My little girl was loved so much even before she arrived! Now that she's here we no longer have to "wonder" what she is. Honour Smile is just like that evening..Perfect."
Check the images below to see that special day!
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and one more picture of my GORGEOUS niece, Honour-Smile at 4 days old, November 2013:
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Cake & Dessert Bar: Divine Cakes, Roseville, CA
Tufted Couches & Dresser: The Find Rentals, Sacramento
Vintage Chalkboards, Frames, Lanterns: Simply Country Weddings & Vintage Decor Rentals

 

"Train em up" : Life with Wisdom {Tacoma Portrait Photographer, Tacoma, WA}

This little one.  Really, that's all that needs to be spoken.  She is a game changer.  She is highly favored.  Her call is incredible.  She lights up a room.  She's changed my life AND she lovessss the camera, to be in front and behind. Can't wait to see what this means.

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