We’ve been visiting my brother Raymond in Stockton for Christmas and decided to spend the day in Oakland. Celena and I both did a service mission in Oakland for our church, so it has a very special place in our hearts. We went to visit the Oakland Temple today…what a beautiful place. We weren’t able to take many photos, but here’s two of my favorite from today.
Meet the Hurtados. They were Kaniela’s babysitters while Cea and I were both at work and they’ve become such an important part of our family. They are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their little girl Megan. These are just a few photos from a shoot we did for their family pictures. Thank you to them for letting Cea and I take their pictures this afternoon…we had so much fun!
We spent the day with Cea’s family. Kaniela loves seeing his cousins and spending time with his Grandma and Grandpa Shaffer. He helped Grandma Shaffer wrap a present. She helped him unwrap it (it was for him). He has recently started to develop the cutest little personality and he is always so happy (except for when he wakes up and when he’s in his car seat). He’s an inquisitive little bugger, and I love watching him get in to things.
The young men in our ward took a drive up to see the lights at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. It gave me an opportunity to take some photos at night. I learned a lot about lighting and had a great time taking these photos. I think some of them came out pretty good! Temple Square is such a beautiful place, and I love it at this time of the year.
I think that Christmas is Cea’s favorite season. She’ll tell you it’s fall, but I think it’s Christmas and Winter. She loves to decorate the house, and honestly, I think that she’s given me the bug. We decorated the tree tonight, and Kaniela helped. As we kept pulling different things out of the boxes, his eyes would light up and get excited for all his new toys. It was fun breaking out the Christmas ornaments. The first year we were married, we made our own ornaments to save a little money…they bring back great memories. Since this is Kaniela’s first Christmas, it gives me the excuse to take and post a lot of pictures. 🙂
Football, family, food and fun. That’s what Thanksgiving is for me every year. In our local church congregation, I volunteer in our youth organization. For weeks, the guys have been talking about the Turkey Bowl. It’s a such a fun event, and we had a great turn out this year. I bought a new zoom lens a couple of weeks ago, and this was my first time taking pictures with it. The football was a ton of fun, and learning to shoot with the lens was pretty cool too. Hopefully I ‘ll have more opportunities to shoot pictures like this in the near future.
My sister-in-law Mandee absolutely adores her dog Coco (as most dog owners do)! She was recently involved in planning a Thanksgiving get together for her single’s ward congregation, and was able to buy all these pumpkins. When it was done, she asked what she should do with them, and was told to take them home. So now, my in-laws’ porch is covered in pumpkins. She HAD to get pictures with Coco in front of them, and I was lucky enough to be asked to take the pictures.
Nothing beats being at home in Hawaii for the holidays…but my in-laws’ home comes in a pretty close second. I love the familiarity of the holidays, the tradition and the memories. The holiday season in Hawaii is packed full of tradition, and it always brings back great memories and feelings of nostalgia. It’s great to visit my in-laws and be welcomed by sites like this: they bring back those feelings of familiarity and nostalgia.