Wastchak Family Fun

I had been looking forward to my photo session with the Wastchak family for quite some time. Joanne was the winner of my facebook contest and won a free family "mini" session, which actually turned into more of an extended evening of ice cream, great conversation and just fun company. We have some history with this family as Ricky, well, "Mr. Wagner" taught Jessica for first grade at Hanock Elementary. He said she was already reading the Boxcar series when she *came in* to first grade! What! Talk about smart! And Megan entered kindergarten this year and is mirroring her sisters' success already with a love for school! I had met them all back at an event in the fall and they are a great family to be around.  Okay but back to the session. : )

What a blessing this family is! Its so fun to be around families, you can tell a family dynamic very clearly when you are on my end of the camera. The love that Devan and Joanne have for their girls is so abundant. They were so laid back and had these genuinely joyful smiles. The kind that all kids have when they are safe and loved.

Okay but my favorite part of the session: this moment. Now hear me out, I had said that we should do a pose where Joanne was kind of leaning on Devan from behind, like on his shoulder. Well i think they thought I said something different, cause we got a *FULL ON PIGGBACK* from this spritely couple! Aren't they adorable?! love it. I couldn't help but crack up as Devan trotted with his beautiful wife just laughing in tow. Hilarious.

Jessica and Megan were just precious and so themselves in such different ways. I really like to let families and especially kids bring things to the session that will allow them to be themselves. It brings out personalities and I get genuine smiles! So for Megan that was cartwheels handstands and very impressive backbends. For Jessica, that meant bringing along one of the books she is in the middle of now. Joanne told me that Jessica was thrilled when she learned she could "bring a book to the photoshoot." Of course! I want to capture the girls for who they are right now.

I think this one might showcase their difference in personalities best. : )

But in the end, they get along great and their smiles were abundant.

The girls did so good that at the end we strolled down to a nearby ice cream shop and snapped a few more :)

It was a genuine sad goodbye when the shoot was over.

Thanks for letting me capture your family! See you soon!

Blast from the plastic past

I've become quite attached to that niece of mine lately. Maybe it has something to do with her saying my name when she see me, (full name mind you, "Jennifer", and not just Jenn), but the fact that when she sees me, her eyes really look into mine and she recognizes me. Really *knows* me now.

and i love it.

So when I got a text from my dad on Saturday telling me Caridee was over at their house for a while and I could come over too, I did what any awesome aunt would do and postponed my trip to Fry's (for some way overdue groceries)  and Chandler mall and headed to those sweet knowing eyes.

She greeted me at the huge iron doors my dad bought on craigslist. Instead of the huge hug I was craving, she quickly led me back back to the spare room. post haste. and with good reason. The floor had dissapeared into a sea of toys; crayons, plastic people, and books littered the floor. She's grown up so much in the last few months and her newest thing is to have conversations between her little toys, where she picks up a toy person and then you pick up a toy person and they have a dialogue. Ours was something to the effect of  going to the park and then sleeping in what must be the most uncomfortable plastic green beds ever.

The cool thing about this playtime with my blonde little relative, is that its a clash of generations; a colored plastic blast from the past if you will. The old Sesame Street house that i played with when I was a kid, complete with Oscar the Grouch trash can that pops up when you push a button on the sidewalk. (Anyone else have one of these? anyone? Bueller?)  A  plastic Big Bird with paint coming off talks with Woody from Toy Story, plastic people from the 80's slide next to the shiny girly legos she just got for her birthday. Its suprisingly refreshing to see this little girl with the toys that her dad (my brother) and I once made fake conversations with, slid our fake friends down the slide, and answered doors in the Sesame world.

[caption id="attachment_35" align="aligncenter" width="472" caption="Didn't notice till after I took it, but that chair in the background was my brothers when he was a child."][/caption]

Yes, this little girl has captured a place deep within the hearts of all us Gills. Deeper than I knew existed. I can't imagine how it is when the little knowing eyes are of your own child. An even stranger phenomenon is how your heart just seems to open up, shuffle things around a little bit and create room for these new little creatures. . And I await for the day, just a few in fact, when undoubtedly our hearts will awaken and  stretch once again as a new Gill baby leaves its cozy cocoon and braves its way into this world. A piece of our flesh, traces of our very DNA come to life right before our eyes. We await that moment with great excitement...

but until then... we'll just make some more wiggle room for the love of this one.

Why'd he put it on the ground?

Well i didn’t exactly make it to my goal. I was hoping to save up everything  I needed to buy the the Canon 50mm 1.4 lens. But with a new Gill baby on the way, i just couldn’t take the chance that i wouldn’t have it before Heather started the birthing process. which could literally be any moment.

So after passively implying dropping huge hints to Ricky for the past week that I was becoming impatient waiting for the newest lens, he finally saw the light. Besides i had learned most of my lesson about patience and waiting since i’d saved up the $250 on my own… right? I wasn’t EXACTLY impulsive. I’d been researching and reading all about which next lens was right for me.. and my 50mm was ready to make its postal journey to our house. and fast. i overnighted that baby and tracked that package online each step of the way, as if i was actually had some control over how it was handled. i wish.

I race home from work, check the porch to see if Mr. Man has arrived with my package, and nothing. So an hour goes by and  I'm in the bathroom washing my face when the doorbell rings, I drop what Im doing; water dripping and mascara running down my face, grab shorts and *hop* my way in to them as i race for the door. I swing open the door to find a guy standing there with postal paperwork.


" I see you've got a package"

He points to the ground.

thats weird, why'd he put it on the ground....?

" yeah! so excited thank you!"
"So your name is Jennifer Wagner right?"


" Formally Jennifer Gill?"

"Yes" again kinda weird, but so excited to bust into that box and snap on that new lense that i don't think much of it.

Meanwhile, he's fiddling with papers.... and just as i am craddling my new camera in my arms

"Alright so you are scheduled to appear in court on August 21st, or you can just pay the fine".


yea. he was.


[caption id="attachment_10" align="aligncenter" width="573" caption="i mean there are tons of people in phoenix driving a 10' civic.. can we really be sure that is even me.... : )"][/caption]

talk about a slap in the face! Here I am all excited to get my camera and this ups imposer  hands me a a ticket ciation. lame.

but as my gentle and loving husband reminded me, i did break the law.*true*

So after getting over the shock of the $250 fine and swearing i will never speed again,  i finally got to rip open the shiny tape and crisp packaging to reveal my newest member of my canon family

and. i. love. it.