The Burtis Boys: Christmas Edition

Got to do some family photos last week of the boys. I find that taking photos of them is as good of an excuse as any to go visit and spend the day with them. I wanted to wait until I got Chere and Michael all the photos before posting them here. These are just a few of my favs and believe be, it was hard to choose. I’m excited for Chase’s first Christmas and for Ryan to really be aware of and thinking about Santa and the magic that comes with him. Happy Holidays to everyone!

Chase's 1st Christmas photo at 5 months.

Chase’s 1st Christmas photo at 5 months.

Chase - 5 months.

Chase – 5 months.

Chase.

Chase.

Brothers don't shake hands.  Brothers gotta hug!

Brothers don’t shake hands. Brothers gotta hug!

Ryan - 3 years old.

Ryan – 3 years old.

Ryan.

Ryan.

He's either going to be a firefighter or just look good in the calendar.

He’s either going to be a firefighter or just look good in the calendar.

T-rouble.  Keep your 3 year old daughters locked up my friends.

T-rouble. Keep your 3 year old daughters locked up and off the playground my friends.

Posted in babies, Baby Ryan, Boys, Christmas, Family, Home, kids, Marysville, Portraits, Washington | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A loss in our volleyball family

I know I normally post happy picture related things here, and I’ll go back to that. Promise. But my Rain City volleyball family suffered a great loss this week in one of our club co-founders, Brian Anderson. And I feel that the more I sing his praises and remember him for the great coach, mentor and teacher that he was, that his lessons and dedication will stay with me as I move into our next club season this month. I’ll miss him a lot and I hope that I can continue to do him proud in moulding these young minds and carrying on his amazing values.

Here is the write up I did for the Rain City website with a couple of borrowed photographs from his family.

Rain City Volleyball lost a dear member of our family this week. Brian Anderson co-founded Rain City with Jenny Vogt in 1990 with the goal of passing on their love for the sport and creating a family friendly atmosphere to teach the game in.

Brian lost his 10-year battle with leukemia Tuesday morning surrounded by his loving family. Those that knew Brian would describe him as an amazing father and grandfather, loving husband, dedicated coach and mentor, and as someone who would always give without being asked. Brian was “a good man and a great example,” said Rob Moya.

“He lived his faith and leaves behind a number of memories of lives he touched,” Jenny said. “He led by example, not by preaching.” Brian’s love for family and volleyball will always be remembered not only with Rain City but also around the Puget Sound region. He was a coach, an official, a tournament director, a setter, and a gamer. He loved volleyball and shared it with anyone who wanted to learn.

The first flier that Brian and Jenny created for Rain City said: “We love playing volleyball, do you? Come to Rain City.”

We wish that more of our current Rain City members could have known Brian and experienced the passion and dedication he brought to the sport and to our kids. We hope that Brian’s love and passion for the game will live in all of us and we can share it with this new generation.

Brian will truly be missed.

A recent family photo of Brian and his wife Carol, and all of their children.

A recent family photo of Brian and his wife Carol, and all of their children.

Brian circa 2009.

Brian circa 2009.

Posted in Family, Seattle, Volleyball, Washington | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Pumpkin Patch

Last Sunday I took a trip to Stocker Farms in Snohomish, Wa., to hang out with the Burtis family. Ryan got to pick his pumpkins out and Chase got to hang out on a very crisp and foggy fall morning. We were supposed to do some family photos but weather dictated otherwise. I haven’t seen my boys in about 6 weeks, so this was a great outing for me. Ryan is officially 3 and I’m pretty sure Chase has doubled in size since the last time I saw him. Hopefully, family photos will happen soon, at least in time to make some Christmas cards!

Ryan is a hammering machine!  I'm not sure he got a nail all the way in, but there was some good effort.

Ryan is a hammering machine! I’m not sure he got a nail all the way in, but there was some good effort.

Ryan picks his pumpkin!  "I can't pick it up, it's too heavy!"

Ryan picks his pumpkin! “I can’t pick it up, it’s too heavy!”

Pulling the wagon with Daddy.

Pulling the wagon with Daddy.

Chase.  Love that face.

Chase. Love that face.

Handsome boy.

Handsome boy.

Riding the tractor pulled train with Uncle Brandon.

Riding the tractor pulled train with Uncle Brandon.

Posted in babies, Boys, Dad, Family, Feature, Halloween, kids, Pumpkins, Snohomish, Washington | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Great Wheel

Got to take a little trip downtown on Monday to visit Seattle’s Great Wheel. I needed to see what all the hoopla was about! And despite the bipolar weather on Monday, it was well worth the trip. The views are spectacular! You can see everything and I can only imagine how fantastic it is when the weather is actually cooperating. It makes me wish that I had gone on the ferris wheel at Navy Pier this summer in Chicago so I had something to compare this to. Alas, it will be relegated to the Chicago bucket list that I keep adding to – sorry Joel. However, this is one more thing that’s been knocked off the Seattle bucket list even though I feel like i should put it back on there just so I can go again on a day where it’s beautiful no matter the direction I look.

The Great Wheel.

The Great Wheel.

Looking South at the Stadiums and potentially Mt. Rainier if the weather were to cooperate.

Looking South at the Stadiums and potentially Mt. Rainier if the weather were to cooperate.

Looking North at the Needle and Pike's Place.

Looking North at the Needle and Pike’s Place.

The Bainbridge Island ferry leaving the downtown pier.

The Bainbridge Island ferry leaving the downtown pier.

Don't look down.

Don’t look down.

Posted in Buildings, CityScape, clouds, Ferris wheel, Seattle, sky, Travel, Washington, Weather | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baby Carter

2 babies in 1 week? Madness! I got to meet my friends Sara and Steven’s little man, Carter Joseph, while in Phoenix last week. Even Steven can’t help but to pinch this kid’s cheeks. It was awesome getting to catch up a little and hear about their experiences as new parents and how blessed they are to have such a mello kiddo in their lives. Carter was three months old to the day when we got together on Sunday and it’s amazing how time flies when they are this little. The next time I might get to see this little guy, he’ll probably be a walking, babbling 1-year-old. Congrats on your new addition to the Casamento family!

Sleepy Carter.

Sleepy Carter.

Baby feets.

Baby feets.

Angry face while sleeping.

Angry face while sleeping.

So hungry!

So hungry!

Posted in Arizona, babies, Boys, Family, People, Phoenix, Portraits | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Old friends, New babies.

I got a surprise visit from old family friends while visiting my Grandma in Phoenix this week. We grew up going to Grandma’s house in the summer and across the street lived a family with kids our age, so of course we all played together. Now it would seem that we’re all grown up. Ryan and Emily both teach at the school down the street and just had their first baby. Braeden was born on Sept. 9, 9 lbs. 9 oz., and a whopping 23 inches. I think he’s adorable – but we all know I’m a sucker for a newborn. It was great getting to meet Emily and seeing Ryan and his mom, Kathy. I know my Grandma was excited to see them all too since they are family to her. It’s always awesome to see her face light up even for a just a minute these days.

Braden - 2 weeks.

Braeden – 2 weeks.

My Grandma holding the little guy.

My Grandma holding the little guy.

Proud papa Ryan on a surprise visit during his lunch break.

Proud papa Ryan on a surprise visit during his lunch break.

Braden inspecting the big camera.

Braeden inspecting the big camera.

Grandma Kathy with Brayden.

Grandma Kathy with Braeden.

New mama Emily holding her little guy.

New mama Emily holding her little guy.

Posted in Arizona, babies, Boys, Dad, Family, Grandma, Mom, People, Phoenix, Portraits | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An evening stroll

Ok, stroll is a little misleading. Hike, perhaps? All I know is we ended up doing about 3 miles tonight on the Meadowdale Trail, watched the dogs run around on the beach, and 3 hours later am concerned that I forgot to stretch when we got back. Good thing I planned to move furniture tomorrow… Oh man. I love this trail though. It’s beautiful through the woods and then you get rewarded by ending up on the beach. Downfall is the climb back up, but well worth it in the end. If you live out in the Northwest and are looking for a quickie hike or afternoon at the beach while we still have the weather, I highly recommend it. There’s even a sand volleyball court at the bottom of the trail. Here’s to a great evening with good company and to hoping I can move tomorrow!

Oh! And a photo nerd P.S. I borrowed my friend Aaron’s new lens to play with tonight. The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8. Very sharp and faster than what I was anticipating. I usually try to stick to my Canon lenses and this one surprised me quite a bit.

Looking down the beach at sunset.

Looking down the beach at sunset.

Lebowski posing for a photo.

Lebowski posing for a photo.

Lebowski chasing Baxter down the beach.

Lebowski chasing Baxter down the beach.

Time to go.

Time to go.

The tunnel that goes under the railroad tracks to the beach.

The tunnel that goes under the railroad tracks to the beach.

Posted in beach, clouds, dog, Edmonds, Feature, Landscapes, Nature, ocean, Reflections, sky, Sunset, tree, Washington | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Baby Chase: 6 weeks

I go on vacation for 2 weeks and the kid just grows and grows! I didn’t get to spend much time with him, but he felt huge in my arms. At least 2 pounds since I left. Ryan is still much happier pushing the buttons on the camera than being in front of it or so it seems whenever I get it out. Not living there limits the number of frames I take of the kids so if you were tired of the babies, there will be less of them. However that may mean that there are more puppies and beaches since that’s what I’m close to now….Sorry.

Chase sleeping on Chere's shoulder after being fed.

Chase sleeping on Chere’s shoulder after being fed.

Posted in babies, Boys, Family, Feature, Home, Marysville, Mom, People, Portraits, Washington | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Postcard Chicago

My last day in Chicago Joel and I slept in – oops – and then went into the city for Geno’s East, Navy Pier and a water taxi ride. We were going to hit the Shedd Aquarium, but it got too late and we didn’t make it. Next time. This was my first trip to Chicago and I can’t wait to go back. I don’t know when, but I still have a big to do list there. Thanks to Joel for playing tour guide and letting my crash on his couch for a few days.

The Lighthouse in Lake Michigan off of Navy Pier.

The Lighthouse in Lake Michigan off of Navy Pier.

The Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier.

The Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier.

Buckingham Fountain.

Buckingham Fountain.

Rain storm.

Rain storm.

Posted in Buildings, Chicago, city, CityScape, Ferris wheel, fountain, Illinois, Lake Michigan, Lighthouse, Navy Pier | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

#JBx2

Two of my favorite people got married last weekend and I got to go be a part of the fun on my Tour de Midwest. It’s been an amazing journey for these two and watching their relationship grow has been inspiring. I remember when they broke up for a little while after graduation and Josh was the most miserable I’d ever seen him. Watching Josh and Jackie together on their wedding day (8/10/13) could only put a smile on your face, the service given by our good friend Phoebe brought tears to our eyes, and the love permeated the venue. Columbus showed us a good time, a beautiful and fun wedding, and enough liquor to satiate the onslaught of journalism friends that these two keep around. Cheers to the Bride and Groom and a big thank you for being a part of my life!

JB2's first look photo session - I'm a stalker.

JB2′s first look photo session – I’m a stalker.

Jackie and her Dad.

Jackie and her Dad.

Giving away the Bride.

Giving away the Bride.

Lighting the unity candle.

Lighting the unity candle.

Ring time.

Ring time.

Married!

Married!

Phoebe and Steph.

Phoebe and Steph.

Becky really liked the bells.  A lot.

Becky really liked the bells. A lot.

Posted in bride, Columbus, Dad, Family, groom, Ohio, Portraits, Rings, Wedding, wedding dress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment