Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Happy Birthday Jesus, Daddy, and Moi!

Whew... what a whirlwind the past week has been. Yet, such a whirlwind of blessings. Here's my life in a pictorial nutshell:

First, my dad's birthday. Birthday's have always been important in our family, but the past year, we have suddenly discovered the art of the SURPRISE! My mom, dad and I are all naturally competitive by nature, and we've almost started this competition of who can out do each other's birthday surprise.

This year, because it was my dad's 60th birthday, we wanted to do up something EXTRA special. My mom and I schemed up to take my dad to a restaurant he has always wanted to go to his whole life. However, this restaurant was across the state, which means we had to fly and pull off buying plane tickets without him knowing, packing our bags in the car without him knowing, book the reservation at the hotel without him knowing, book a hotel without him knowing, take the dogs to the vet for overnight kenneling... with out him knowing. Finally, in the car on the way to the airport, we spilled our secret and told him to get ready to celebrate in style at the famous Bern's Steakhouse. He was thrilled needless to say! :-)

Bern's is the kind of place that you dress to the nines and feast like the kings. Now you see where I get my model talent from, ha ha!

Bern's is famous for its warehouse of wine collected over the years. After dinner, we took a tour of the kitchen and the wine cellar with our waiter, Andy Martin, who, funny enough, turned out to also be a wedding photographer in the Tampa area and took this great shot of all of us!

After our tour of the wine cellar, we headed up to Bern's "Dessert Room" to finish our celebration. They brought dad a surprise dessert to blow out his candle!

When we came back to the hotel, my mom surprised my dad one last time by laying out silk pajamas, another thing my dad had always wished for but never had. When he put them on, he loved them so much he was literally dancing around the hotel room. I couldn't help but laugh at how funny he looked with his red socks still on from the suit.

Fast forward to Christmas!! (a.k.a. my birthday) Every year my mom always decorates the house so beautifully, but this year I was excited to have a great camera to truly capture the beauty of her heartfelt decorations. Also, for her Christmas cards, I created a "Thomas Kincade" like portrait of our home. Here's the card and some of her decorations:

To continue the surprises, something my mom had really been needing was a new computer because her current one had recently died. She knew it was a big expense and didn't want to burden my dad around the holidays with such a big request. But when dad told me he wanted to surprise my mom with something special this year for Christmas, I knew exactly what to help him get!

Here's mom excited opening up her new iMac and printer!

Something I really wanted to participate in this year was helping to cook the Christmas dinner. I never really learned how to cook before, so I figured, better late than never. We sort of started backward and started with dessert, but I was excited to learn my grandma's secret recipe for her famous fudge!

Caught licking the spoon afterwards.

The feast we prepared: Turkey, ham, baked macaroni & cheese (my fave!), green bean casserole, rolls, apple pie, greens, creamed spinach, and the fudge. My mom finally taking a rest in the background.

And just when I thought the surprises were over, they brought out a half-birthday cake (because you know, no one ever eats the whole thing! ha!)

Yes, my birthday is on Christmas, but honestly, I love more the reason for the season... Jesus' birthday! His ultimate message was to love one another, and I love how the celebration of His birthday gives us an excuse to bring family together and share gifts with those we love most of all. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my world this year. Your friendship is the best gift of all!

And to all the couples I have worked with this year, it has been an honor to be a part of celebrating your union! I pray for God's continued blessings over your marriage!

Now I'm off to New York City with my cousin Becky to shoot a New Year's Eve wedding for Julie and Robert with the fabulous Jason Groupp!

I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas and I hope you have a wonderful and fun time bringing in the New Year!


Blogger Shyla said...

Happy Birthday Darling!!!
Can I just say how hot that little green-turqoise-ish number is? you look fabulous!!
...simply stunning!

4:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fabulous photos! It looks like your dad felt really special on his birthday. I'm glad you had a wonderful holiday. Happy New Year!

9:45 AM  
Blogger Captivating Studios said...

Haha, thanks Shyla!! It was fun to have an excuse to dress up for a night!

1:47 PM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

Happy belated BIRTHDAY! You happen to share a birthday with one really cool guy ;)
Have fun in NYC and post your pictures!!

10:40 PM  
Blogger Carla said...

SCARLETT. The pictures of your dad's surprise birthday are so great I'm almost tearing up. That's so sweet - I can just imagine his excitement.

(I meant to ask why y'all had gone to Tampa!)

It was so fun to see you, even only for a few hours! (I loved that movie.) I'm hoping to go home again sometime this spring -- maybe then we can hang out a little longer!

3:25 PM  
Blogger SwellWomen's Blogging Bliss said...

Hey Scarlett,
I just started with Blogger and was shown your website by my 'photographer' fiance. How did you get all those beautiful images onto your blog? Did you have to change the file size? Any info would be appreciated...love your blog.

12:45 AM  
Blogger Captivating Studios said...

Thanks Jasmine! I do share a wonderful birthday.

Carla- Ha ha, yeah my dad was excited. It was great to see you too!!

Me-Shell- Hello! Thanks for stopping by! Who is your fiance? I'd love to check out his work too, send me a link. I checked out your website, and what a small world. I've been wanting to do one of those surf safari things. If I ever make it to Maui, I'll definitely be in touch. As far as pictures in the blog, there is a button you press on top of the place you enter text to bring up an option where you upload images. I do custom size mine b/c I like them bigger than Blogger gives the option for. I size it in Photoshop and them correct the size in the Blogger HTML. Hope this helps! Keep in touch!

9:14 PM  
Blogger Bumatay said...

Hey Scarlett
Happy (belated) Birthday! These are really nice pictures. I love how you're close to your parents and you seem to have a lot of FUN with them!

God bless.

1:12 AM  

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