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I Hope You Never Lose Your Sense of Wonder

“I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…

I hope you dance

–Lee Ann Womack

My baby at 11 months!

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Pasadena Maternity Photography – Tho and Dan

Oh how quickly time flies!

I photographed Tho and Dan’s wedding three years ago and a few months ago I photographed their maternity session. Over the years they have grown from clients to friends and I am so excited for this new chapter in their lives.

It’s so amazing how a human comes into this earth. One sperm has to meet one particular egg. Out of all the millions of possibilities…we are created. We are wonderfully made and the co-creators of our life with the ultimate creator.

If you ever feel down, think of the profound circumstances that brought you here. We are all here for a reason and our job is to play the music that lives inside of us.

May we live each day with wonder and joy!

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Maui

We recently returned from our trip to Maui. This was our first time to Hawaii and Maui did not disappoint!

We stayed at the beautiful Andaz Maui at Wailea resort and from the hotel grounds to the service, the place was a dream. This was a wonderful place to stay with a six month old. To our surprise, the hotel staff had provided us with a crib in our room along with baby bath supplies without us even requesting this. They also made pureed bananas for her at breakfast. It really is the small things that make a stay exceptional. The staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome. It felt like home away from home:)

These pictures was taken on instagram and was our view when we walked into the hotel lobby. We were so excited to be ‘lei’d’!

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We enjoyed time relaxing at the pool and the beach…

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We celebrated the hubby’s birthday. His first one as a father! (taken with instagram)

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We ate at Morimoto. In case you did not know, we love sushi:)(taken with instagram)

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I consider myself to be an expert on hot sauce and these Hawaiian hot sauces were amazing! My favorite was the ‘ghostpepper’ one. (taken with instagram)

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Endless ocean on the way to Lahaina…

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Over the week with our beautiful little six month old, we ventured to the Road to Hana all the way to the Seven Sacred Pools. I was so nervous about doing this trip with a baby but after asking people here who encouraged us, we decided that we had two choices: to sit it out or dance. We chose to dance.

Sahana hiked, saw waterfalls, and traveled some windy roads through a jungle. At six months old, I hope she continues to find that life really, is the greatest adventure!

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The sunsets in Hawaii literally take your breath away. Just like the sunsets in Greece (you can see photos from that trip here), they were like a river running through my soul. They were evidence that somewhere out there, is something much greater than myself.

(these are a combination of photos from my camera and from my phone)

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Mahalo beautiful Hawaii. I will be back!

Eight Lessons I Want To Teach My Daughter

Dear Sahana,

These are eight lessons I want to teach you. I have learned these through many mistakes and periods of introspection and learning in my life. My hope for you is to live your life authentically, passionately and gracefully. So here goes…

1) If someone hurts you, don’t take it personally

Chances are, they have been hurt themselves. In fact, never take anything personally. Don’t let compliments get to your head and don’t let criticism get you down. It is a known fact that most people can only give others what they have received themselves.

I want to fill your childhood with so much happiness that all your actions and all the words that you speak come from a place of love. But not everyone will be loving back. And that is okay. Because when you do not take anything personally, you are in a place of liberation. You can interact with the world through the lens of an open heart, not having to worry about what others will say.

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2) Keep a portion of what you earn for saving and another for giving back

Learn to see money as a tool. It is a tool with which you can achieve your greatest dreams and also a tool that you can use to do tremendous good in the world. If you are blessed with a lot of money, do not waste this opportunity. Use it to change a social condition, to uplift a community and to inspire others.

Someone once gave me some great advice about money that I want to share with you:

With every dollar that you earn, keep one third to spend, one third to save, and one third to give back to the world.

3) Live every day as if it was a Friday

Speaking of money, do not trade money for meaning in your life. Hopefully you will find a career that gives you meaning and all the money that you need. Finding meaning is the only way to live every day as if it was a Friday.

You cannot live your life just waiting for the weekend. Find something that excites you. As Dr. Wayne Dyer once said, ‘do not die with your music still inside of you‘. Your job in this life is to find your music and go about the business of sharing it with the world.

If you have not found your music yet, that’s okay. Keep searching. Do one thing everyday that makes you happy. Make it a Friday, every single day.

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4) You do not need anyone’s approval

Including mine. You may have to remind me that I actually said this. The need for approval is like an addiction. If you base all your actions on the approval of others, ultimately you will sacrifice your own happiness. Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket. Learn how to say no to people and obligations that do not add value to your life.

Your time on this earth is precious. You must invest your time like you invest money. Invest in people and activities that uplift you. As the saying goes, ‘What you do today is important, because you are exchanging a day of your life for it’.

5) In every tough situation, try kindness first

People may make ugly comments. The airline may lose your bags. Another driver may cut you off. These situations will happen everyday. How are you going to respond?

Although your first response like many others will be to get angry…why not try a different approach? Anger in these situations rarely solves problems. People are more likely to respond to kindness. And you can be kind and be firm.

Get your point across without sacrificing your integrity. It is the only response that you will not regret later. No matter how upset you are, always treat others with respect. You will be surprised at how much can be accomplished with kindness.

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6) Do not complain unless you can suggest a solution

Do not be a constant complainer. No one likes that person. If you do not like your current situation, work towards changing it. But don’t sit and complain about it. Complaining will get you nowhere. In fact, it will only make others not want to be around you. Be someone that looks for the positive in every situation. And if you do find a problem, be someone that can suggest a solution.

You will never get to where you want to be by complaining about where you are now. Each step in your life is preparing you for the one that comes after it.

7) Learn to be present

By the time you grow up, there will be much more technology than we have now. While technology can be life changing in many great ways, there is an aspect to technology that interferes with our relationships. Do not be so addicted to a screen that you miss enjoying real life happening in front of you. Learn to disconnect everyday.

The world is quickly becoming more fast paced. Learn to slow down. Give people your full and un-divided attention. Do not seek mindless stimulation on a screen and learn to make real human connections.

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8) Don’t let the world make you bitter

The world can be a difficult place. As much as I try and protect you, you may experience suffering, heartbreak or the loss of a loved one. All of these things can take a toll on your soul. But do not lose hope my beloved.

Think about the Yin and Yang in Chinese philosophy, which states that opposite forces are often interconnected. In suffering, you can find great strength, in heartbreak you can find resilience and in loss you can find a renewed appreciation for life.

Life comes with Yin and Yang. The two opposites are interdependent and interconnected. And I do not want you to be afraid. In every difficult situation, you are being tested. If you become bitter and angry, you have lost.

You must learn to find the beauty in every situation. This is why, even at your young age, I stop to show you each flower, each weed that is breaking through the cement to find the sun, and each butterfly that has found it’s wings. I want you to learn to notice the beauty around you.

Iaian Thomas wrote:

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard.

Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let bitterness steal your sweetness.

Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree,

you still know it to be a beautiful place.”

Keep your sweetness. Be soft. And know that the world is a beautiful place. Always.

Love,

Mom

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April 17, 2014 - 2:32 pm

Pooja - This is so sweet I’m gunna cry!! <3

Manhattan Beach Maternity Photography – Nisha and Mitul

It has been almost four months since my daughter was born and it still amazes me that my body was able to make a human being! Whenever I see another pregnant woman, I think back to when I could feel every move of my little one inside of me. It’s a feeling unlike anything else. It’s a beautiful bond that women have…to understand how you can love a person so much before you have even seen or held them.

There is a beautiful poem about motherhood that I really love:

Your Mother is always with you,

She’s the whisper of the leaves as you walk down the street.

She’s the smell of certain foods you remember, flowers you pick and
perfume that she wore.

She’s the cool hand on your brow when you’re not feeling well.

She’s your breath in the air on a cold winter’s day.

She is the sound of the rain that lulls you to sleep, the colors of a
rainbow.

Your Mother lives inside your laughter,
She’s the place you came from, your first home, and she’s
the map you follow with every step you take.

She’s your first love; your first friend, even your first enemy, but
nothing on earth can separate you.

Not time, not space…not even death.

–Unknown

Being a mother is a privilege, an honor and a part of my life that I will always cherish.

And I love to photograph those who are embarking on that journey soon!

Mitul and Nisha came all the way to LA from San Francisco for their maternity session and a baby moon. It was the luck of the Irish on St. Patrick’s day that brought them together, but it is their love for one another that makes this baby incredibly blessed to have two amazing parents!

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Reading a book about San Francisco in SoCal:)

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