Saturday, August 28, 2010


Blake accidentally posted this post a little earlier without all the pictures, SO... here it is in all it's ENTIRETY with all the juicy details!!

In college I had the opportunity to go on dance tour to both Islands of New Zealand AND Fiji (which gave me a huge love/appreciation for Polynesian Culture) but this was officially my first trip to Hawaii and did it ever seal the deal!!  It was AMAZING.  Huge shout out to Damon and Lahela for booking my Wedding Photography services and making it happen!  And of course to Marliss for the fabulous referral!!  I actually got to fly down w/ Marliss and little Mr. Banner and spend lots of time with the Manning family. What better way to make the most of your visit, then to spend it w/ seasoned Hawaiians!!

It was a lot of work, but a LOT of fun and so worth the trip!!  Here's the recap:

We flew in to Honolulu... 9pm local time - 3AM our time!!!  Ahhhh... we are looking a little shabby, but SO HAPPY to be there

Day one we started with the most delicious island breakfast buffet - my official introduction to Coconut Syrup (after that, each morning I spent inducing myself into Coconut Syrup coma... that stuff is so good! Anyway, we drove up to North Shore, hung out at Waimea Bay, got snow cones at Matsumotos etc... 
We drove around BYU-Hawaii and ended the day at the Polynesian Cultural Center.  Their new show "HA, Breath of Life" is INCREDIBLE!!  If you are in Hawaii, it is a MUST SEE!  I was choked up the entire time.

Um, Hi... can we get a picture with you?

Friday we hiked Diamond head... gorgeous views and not a bad hike at all.  We fit in some pool/beach time and some shopping before we did a little Island hoping.  We flew to the big Island since the wedding was the next day in Kona.  We stayed w/ Marliss' older bro's adorable family!  It was a blast, but it was also time for me to buckle down and get in wedding/photog mode

Saturday - the BIG day - was spectacular (I am running out of superlatives here!!).  The weather was great and we got some really pretty shots before the ceremony.  Durning the ceremony in the temple (they do not allow cameras) I stayed out side and took an hour to edit the pictures from the morning.  I pulled about 100 of my faves and made a slide show to be played later that day at the reception!  I was feeling super high tech with my makeshift editing bay.

Immediately following the ceremony and a few more pics, we hoped another flight back to Oahu for the reception that evening.  I'm going to give a huge thumbs down to "GO, Airlines" for their awful service, major delays and super HOT airplanes (yep, no air!).  The good news is, we made it in time for the reception and it was a gorgeous evening.  Can I just have this weather, lighting and location for every photo shoot?  Here are a few faves (Damon's Bro caught a few shots of me shooting hehehe).  For a few more collages, visit my H2H blog here

So, that was a pretty intense wedding day.  Between the early start time, the flying, huge families to photograph and a very active reception, it was definitely one for the record books!! And of course one of my all time favorites as well :)  THANK YOU AGAIN, for choosing Hart to Hart!!

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday went way tooooo fast!!  But I was/am so grateful and happy I had that time to relax and enjoy the Island.  Monday, I met up with Brandi - a great friend from high school in San Diego.  I hadn't seen her in 15 years, so that was a lot of fun!  Also, I would highly recommend staying at the Hilton Hawaiian!!  WOW, what an amazing place.  The pools, restaurants, beaches, lagoons... everything surrounding that place was heavenly in my opinion.  I had the best time floating back and forth from the pool, to the beach, to the lagoon and so on.

Can I just tell you how much I love the Ban Man.  This little chuberooni was so fun to have around.  This is Marliss' little guy and he is a doll.  Miss him to pieces even if he does eat sand!
Non-stop fun in the sun!!  I even tried a paddle board, which is a lot easier than it looks!!

Of course I have to end with a picture of my beloved CSP... Coconut Syrup Pancakes.  Yes, I think I had them everyday... mind you they were ALL YOU CAN EAT!!  Ahhhhh, can we say rolls.  But that's okay.  The last three mornings I took my laptop across the street the the Wailana cafe and sat and ate and edited for as long as the waitress would let me.  Then it was back to the beach... it's a rough life!
Marliss' sister Elaine and I flew out on Wed. We got to fly 1st class (A-MAZING) and it just so happened we were on the same plane that a bunch of pirates from "The Pirates of the Caribbean Part 4" were on.

I had actually heard that "Pirates" was filming that whole week we were in HI, but never thought anything of it.  Then, when we first got on the plane, I kind of felt bad for Elaine b/c she had to sit next to this guy that was at least 6'4", black hair down to his waist, long straggly beard and a bit of a scary face.  Well, as we joked by the end of the flight: never judge a book (or a Pirate) by it's cover!  This guys was seriously SO cool.  He gave us the inside scoop on Johnny Depp & Penelope Cruz and showed us some really cool pix.  We were surrounded by pirates, hahaha!  Now, I can't wait to see the movie and find him - he said he's the tallest pirate and you can't miss him.  They were headed back to LA to for some more filming.

Speaking of LA, we had a day/night in LA before my plane left the next morning.  Elaine and I decided to venture out and hit some favorite hotspots.  We drove down rodeo, sunset, hit Beverly Hills etc...  We were bound and determined to have a celeb sighting so when we saw a cluster of paparzzi outside of BOA restaurant, we had to stop!  Just so happened to be Enrique Iglesias.  Yes, I was too star struck to get my camera out in time. Oooopss... is he even really that big of a star?  What is my problem!?!  LOL, here's one of the paparazzi pics from that night!!  All in all a great way to end the trip!

Well, if you made it to the bottom, thanks for letting me share!!  I mostly wanted to journal all the details so I can pull them out on an off day and remember how lucky/blessed I am.  It's been a rough week getting back.  That 6 hour time change is a doozy... that and the Coconut Syrup withdrawals I was experiencing had me in a haze... BUT, the month of September (my favorite month) is almost here and I'm ready to be back to the grindstone!  I missed my hubby and kids like crazy.... next time we're all going... WHO'S WITH ME!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Leah's Baptism Day

In between Utah/Ca and Hawaii, we made a quick trip down to Atlanta for our nieces baptism!  We had a lot of fun... never enough time.  Braden loves his cousin Evan!!  It's so fun that they get along so well.

Monday, August 23, 2010


have been meaning to post these pics for weeks now.  Here they are finally... are you ready for a photographic overload?!?!  I HAD to do collages b/c there were just soooo many pictures.  And really, this post will probably only be meaningful to family, b/c the second part of this trip was ALL about family!

First, the fact that I even made this trip happen was such and amazing coincidence... I had a client contact me (after initially meeting him back in April) about shooting their July family reunion in Park City AND the dates happened to coincide w/ Tanner entering the MTC as well as my G-pa's 90th B-day celebration in San Diego!!  Wow... it would be a lot of work, but definitely worth it.

I wasn't sure my bid would be accepted b/c it included airfare & hotel while in Park City, plus all my photographic fees... and let's face it, there are a lot of photographers out in Utah.  Long story short they ended up flying me out there and thus the trip began!!  By the way, I have to give a huge shout out to Ashlee!!  I couldn't have done it without her.  She flew in the same day as I did and helped w/ Gavin for 4 days straight.  She was amazing.

After finishing up my work in Park City, Ashlee and I headed down to Provo/Orem waiting for my parents and Tanner to get there on Wed.  We hit the old stomping grounds at BYU, had a marvelous stay w/ Aunt Julie and ate our way through the entire Utah Valley (can you say Cafe Rio, In n' out, Magelby's Fresh, cupcakes and milkshakes etc...)

We brought In N' Out to Grandpa and Mamo one evening!  G-man had such a fun time w/ Grandpa Mackay and his talking/moving animal collection.

I met up with one of my favorite buddies from my mission in Bolivia.  Mao is from Columbia but has been in UT for the past few years!  Seriously, never thought I would see him again, so that was fun!

Thursday, Mom, Dad, Ashlee, Tanner, Gavin and I drove down to San Diego.  It was actually a BLAST!!  G did so well in the car.  Friday I got to see my beautiful high school friend Chelsea ... we met up on the old stompin' grounds in DelMar.  We saw other friends from PQ... good times!!

Of course, we had to do a drive by to see how our "old house" was doing!!!  

This is my Grandpa Clark.  He turned ninety and he is still alive and kickin'!!!  I love him.  He had no idea we were in town for his surprise party the next day.  Luckily when your 90 putting two and two together takes time!!
Above: We met up w/ the rest of my Dad's fam Friday night!  It was a lot of fun seeing everyone... of course we had to Mexican... is there really any other type of restaurant?

Saturday was his Surprise party AND SURPRISED he was!!  It was so much fun... a lovely tribute to his life and legacy :)  All the sibs shared memories and I had even made a DVD with photos and music from the past 90 years!!

Of course, the guitar cat was there to entertain us all.  Uncle "Guitar Cat" Brian is my Dad's older brother... he has rocked the mullet for the past 3 decades and it's looking better than ever.  I love the progression of these pics as he ends up playing the guitar w/ his teeth!!
More group shoots... look at G's face... aw yeah!
Again, this part is probably only enjoyable if you are family!!!

Getting crazy Sunday evening!  We come from a family of musicians so you know we were rockin' out to rock band!!

We drove home Monday and had a fun Mackay family party (wish I had a picture from that...) then I flew out Tues. morning.  Gavy was such a great little guy the whole trip!  I think this is the most "Gavin and Mommy" time that we've had since his birth.  Braden has a great time w/ Nana, Papa & cousins, a few days with Dad and a few other friends.  It was such an amazing trip... all in the name of Photography, b/c without that gig there was no way I was making it out :)  I'm still amazed and so grateful it all turned out!! 

Friday, August 06, 2010

Wrightsville Beach Getaway - July 2010

On the heels of our FL trip, I got to travel with Blake to a beach conference that he had planned for the NCLBGA.  JUST US TWO!!  We headed to Wrightsville Beach Tues, while my fabulous Mother in law watched the kiddies until Friday!!

I did bring my computer b/c I had a LOT of catching up to do, but working with a view like this made life a lot easier!!

We got hooked up with a beautiful jacuzzi suite complete w/ double balconies and more.  Ohhh... it was heaven.  

It did rain a bit here and there, but it was still a fantastic little trip.  We ate WAAAAY too much.  Every night!  And I didn't take enough pictures.  Oh well... I can't wait until next year's conference.  Thanks Honey :)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Tanner's Mission Farewell - FL July 2010

Though this was one of our quickest trips to Florida, we packed in a ton of fun and enjoyed some final time with Uncle Tanner, before he heads off the the Provo, UT Spanish Speaking mission.  The trip was a last minute decision, but we we got fly there AND Blake was with us, so it was a double whammy!!

Traines & Planes!!

Friday we headed down to Cocoa Beach... the day was PERFECT!
Of course we had to hit our favorite Resort Pirate Pool (I think I have pictures of this place on my blog at least 4 times...)
Saturday we went to the temple... almost ALL the sibs were there... we missed you Tiff... tear tear ;(  Tanner is the 6th out of 6 siblings to serve a mission and the 4th speaking spanish.  It was an amazing morning... so glad we were able to be there for that.  (btw, do you love Cami and my matching outfits?!!!)

Later that day we enjoyed some outdoor dock/fishing time.  Again, GORGEOUS weather.  Gavin ended up catching 4 fish... and no one else caught anything!!  That last one was a doozy!! GO G!!

Rescuing a turtle
Sunday was Tanner's farewell talk.  He gave a really great talk in church and of course the whole fam sang!!  Guess what... we got through it with minimal tears.  We were reminded of Taylor's farewell, where Ashlee ended up singing a solo b/c Tiff and I couldn't pull ourselves together!  This time around (minus mom) we stayed strong!!

We flew out Sunday evening.  What a memorable trip.  I'm so glad we were able to share the weekend with the fam.  BTW,  Can't believe Mom and Dad are going to be EMPTY NESTERS!!