Coral’s Fall 2011 Photo shoot

Here’s a sneak peak of some raw images from Coral’s photo shoot today.  She is always one of my favorite subjects to photograph.  Partially because she’s my niece and partially because she’s a TOTAL ham.

My Adorable Niece

Best part of photographing a 3 year old?  Inherent cuteness, no posing required, and LOTS of exercise.



There’s no place like home.

It’s true, sometimes there’s just no place like home.

Girls night with my Grandma.

Herb roasted SQUASH!

Free laundry, by the car load.

Cute puppies.

Homemade apple pie with ice cream.

Fresh vegetables from the garden.

Annoying little sisters, jk..

Tomorrow I’m taking fall pics of my older niece, Coral. and nephew, Alex.  Can’t wait to get the kids outside and have some fun in the leaves.

Isabella’s First Birthday (Part 3 – Seriously, I know)

or… How to party like a Rockstar!

After a quick wardrobe change, Isabella was back and ready to rock.

Party Time!  Excellent!


A toast and a Korean blessing by grandma, dinner and a slideshow of Isabella’s first 12 months, first steps and first time vomiting on camera.  I’m sure these cherished memories will be replayed for every boyfriend she brings home.

Izzy downed a gallon of miso soup, a cupcake and even helped eat her friends cupcake too.  Afterall, that’s what friends are for, right?

Then Izzy’s parents unveiled her brand-new, fully-loaded, luxury-class, sports tricycle.

“Yeah, check it, that’s a sunroof, rims and detachable snack bag, baby.”

Is it just me, or is this starting to look more and more like an episode of M.TV’s My Super Sweet Six.teen???

All that fun really wore her out.

But in no time she was up and ready for presents!and then daddy was all wore out.

Isabella’s First Birthday (part 2)

How to throw a First Birthday – Korean style.

You will need:

a cute kid


(It’s a shame no one took a pic of the rice cooker conga line)



vat of kimchi

(No Korean party is complete without this!)

and more food

a cake

or two…

party favors

some pretty hanboks

then just add your friends, your family and voila!  or shall I say 짜잔!

Phew!  Easy, right?
Now that the party is all set up it’s time to put the baby to work!

The Doljabi is a “game” *coughritualcough* where the innocent and unsuspecting little one is forced to choose his/her life destiny before a large audience of friends and family.  If the average American teen thinks it’s a lot of pressure to decide at 18… try being a Korean-American 1 year-old!

I kid, I kid.  It really is a game and it’s all in good fun.  Here are the objects her parents selected for her…

Yarn – Long Life
Pencil – Scholarly Ambition
Rice – Abundant and Fruitful Life
Artists Brush and Palette: Artistic Aptitude
Doctor’s Bag – Skill in Medicine
Bag of Coins – Great Wealth
Computer Mouse – Talent in Technology
Guitar – Great Mustical Ability
Bandaged Cat – Gifted Veterinarian
Judges Gavel – Cunning Lawyer

The stakes are high, every good Korean baby knows she is expected to be a doctor, dentist or a lawyer.

Will she honor her parents or follow her dreams?

That’s right go for the money.  It looks just like ravioli and auntie was tipped off on how much you love ravioli!  Grandma also sweetened the deal with 100 big ones…

The bribes are also high, little does she know that her friends and family have actually laid down bets on her choices.

After much indecision and several incidents of being startled by the public’s applause…

Her first selection:

Scholar! and lunch, mmm…

Yes, yes, that’s a good baby, now go for the money!

Tension filled the room again.  Izzy began to reach for an object, but right as the crowd was about to applaud she pulled back.  Again, and again, and again.  She had us right where she wanted us.

Then she choose…


Artist? wait… Huh?  It’s ok Izzy, no one’s disappointed…  Besides there are plenty of witnesses and undeniable photographic proof of your first choice.

haha, just kiddng, geez what is with me tonight?  But really, she’s a smart kid; pleases her parents and follows her dreams 😉

It will be fun to see where life takes her as she grows up.

Isabella’s First Birthday Party! (Part 1)

This post could have been titled so many different things like…

Surviving 21 hours in a car with my mom.


99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer…

A hobbits tale, or there and back again.

Let’s just say, I love my brother, but 10.5 hours each way is pushing it!

However, this little pumpkin?  Totally worth the drive.

Isn’t she just too cute for words?

After a seemingly endless car ride and a big family dinner –  Isabella decided to treat us all to a little piano performance.

such focus

After much convincing, she finally got her old man to accompany her for a duet.

“ok dad, take it from here”

I love how serious they both look

Can’t be serious all the time 🙂

After the evening’s entertainment concluded, the girls set to work finishing the party decorations while my brother and sister-in-law ran last minute errands.

Here is my sister hot gluing beans to an oatmeal cannister masterfully hand-crafting a Dol tower.

Dol towers are…  Well, I don’t know really.  Originally they were stacks of rice cakes that were passed out to guests as party favors.  Each color of the rice cake represents different elements of life: health, safety, purity, honesty, and of course a long life.  Sharing the rice cakes is supposed to help bless the child with each of these things.  Also, they are really yummy and just should be shared!  Today the more modern thing to do is create a series of towers that represent the child.  In our case we had three.  One that represented her chinese zodiac for the year she was born, one that had her Korean name and one that said first birthday.  They are more for decorative purposes and, in a way, maybe a little more practical than trying to consume/pass-off hundreds of rice cakes…

My Grandmother and I working on our tower

Here’s what the finished towers looked like at the party.  Not too shabby, eh?  This was the combined effort of 5 people and many hours.  Now, as long as my family produces female children, cyclically in the year of the tiger, whom all happen to take the Korean name of Min Young, we won’t have to do this again… ever.  Just kidding guys.  It wasn’t THAT bad.

Pics from the party coming next, but for now goodnight!


Weekend Whirlwind

내 조카,이지의 돌잔치 엄마, 할머니와 여동생과 함께 운전!

Roadtrippin’ with my mom, grandma and little sis to my niece, Izzy’s first birthday party!
We are celebrating with a traditional Korean Dol.   Mmm rice cakes, anyone?

Can’t wait to see her all dolled up 🙂

Isabella Sofia 1 week

10 months

Prepare yourself for loads of cuteness. Pending my survival of 21 hours in a car… AHH!