Business highlight, Uncategorized

clara b. – Local Small Business Feature – Stephanie Garr Photography

One of my awesome tween clients from last year told me about clara b. and I was excited to visit. I went in to clara b. to look for client gifts for this years tween sessions.

Alletta was so helpful and wonderful to visit with while we looked for a few things my clients might enjoy. She helped me pick out great gifts for my upcoming tween sessions. And I loved looking at the other things in the shop.

Alletta started clara b. last summer after trying to find fashionable and age appropriate clothes for her tween daughter. Her goal is for you to enjoy shopping with your daughter. She curates clothes from the latest designers in LA, NY, and London.

The clothes are so fashionable, I wish I could shop there for myself! Ellie found a few items she loved as well. She would have gladly picked up a few extra purses and necklaces, and she fell in love with a large stuffed penguin who became her new friend.

I loved visiting with Alletta. She is sweet and kind and very knowledgable. She will help you find what ever you need for your tween daughter and you will have a great time shopping at clara b. I highly recommend checking them out. You will not be disappointed!

 

clara b. is located at 5716 Patterson Avenue, near the intersection of Libbie and Patterson.

Visit shopclarab.com to find out more.

Follow them on Instagram and facebook.

 

Stay tuned for next month’s featured business, Perk! Coffee and Lunchbox.

And if you know of a local small business we should check out, let me know!

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Tween Photography, Uncategorized

“Who I Am” project – Richmond Tween Photographer

hutchinson-120w2I am so excited to photograph tweens for my “Who I Am” project!

Babies are so cute, new and squishy. Toddlers have those big, bright eyes and can give you a run for your money with their sass. But those tween ages are often forgotten, they are sort of… inbeTween. At ages 10-12, kids aren’t children anymore but aren’t quite teens.

I’m making it my personal mission to capture those lost preteen years. The goal is to help tweens look and feel beautiful and have unshakable confidence in themselves when they hit junior high.

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Last year these sessions were a HUGE hit! I loved getting to know these lovely individuals. I was quite impressed with what some have already gone through and achieved in their few short years. Each person has his or her struggles, yet they continue to press forward and improve their lives and the lives of those around them.

And what talent! I photographed dancers, athletes, artists, and inspiring young people who are making a difference in their communities. One young woman spoke before her city council and urged them to design sidewalks in to their community planning so they had a safer way to walk to the library. Each draft prior to her speaking never included a sidewalk, despite many adult community members pleas. She spoke, the city listen and the next draft included a sidewalk. One young woman sews items to sell and donates them to her favorite charity, Autism Speaks. She also raises funds for another charity, the March of Dimes. One loves piano so much and has practiced and practiced to achieve great strides in a short amount of time. One is on a traveling soccer team. One has major medical complications, but she is the spunkiest and most full of life young woman and was a delight to get to know. One struggles with speech and dyslexia, but continues to be an inspiration to her teachers and classmates. She is always trying to help her classmates with what ever they are struggling with despite any challenges she faces. I photographed tweens who love to write. And I photographed a few comedians who kept me laughing our entire session.

I can go on and on. This project has been one of my favorite things to work on and I am so excited to continue the project this year. If you have or know of a tween you think would be great for this project, please read more about it here, and send me an email, stephanie@stephaniesportraitdesign.com. I will be photographing these sessions in the next few weeks and can’t wait to meet more amazing young people!

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Follow me on Instagram and facebook!

 

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Welcome Back

I seem to have disappeared off the face of my blog. Since my last post, I have been busy chasing after two little monkeys. We now have two delightful little girls who keep me busy, on top of taking care of my wonderful clients. My goal this year is to get back to keeping up with my blog to tell you all about the fun sessions we are having in the studio and around RVA and much more.

Stephanie Garr PhotographyOur cute little monkeys :)

Last year I started the “Who I Am” project, photographing preteens, working to instill them with confidence as they transition to their teenage years. It has been a very fulfilling project that I will write a post about soon. And I’m planning to do the project again next month.

You can find out more here.

See you soon!

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Feature Family: Perkins

Post by Stephanie

So I started this post a day or two before I had our beautiful baby girl (the end of June) and have not returned to it until now.  I apologize.  Time flies when you are taking care of a newborn, as many of you understand.  Even as I type this now, it is with one hand, as are most of my typed communications these days.  Anyway, here is the post as was written.  Also note, Haley had a beautiful baby girl the end of July.  We are so happy for them and their growing family.

First of all I want to say a huge THANK YOU to Haley for helping out with the blog the last many months.  There have been so many things I’ve wanted to talk about but did not have the time while photographing all of my wonderful clients.  She is having a baby in July so will be quite busy with her two adorable children.  So I will miss her, but have greatly enjoyed having her on my team.

I am also expecting to have this baby any day now that we have been anticipating.  Well, baby was due last week, but is not in a hurry, so we are just waiting it out.

Something I have been wanting to do is feature my wonderful clients on my blog.  You all have so many amazing talents and fun things happening in your lives that I would love to share your stories.  So here is our feature family for the month, the Perkins Family.  I hope you get a kick out of some of the fun stories they have to tell.

Eric and Chrissie have two beautiful daughters, Alexandra and Madison.  They were so much fun in our session.

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Eric and Chrissie got engaged on top of the Empire State Building, have dined at the Eiffel Tower, and gone scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef.  Eric once matched five out of six numbers in the Virginia Lottery and is a whiz at magic tricks.  I know who is going to be the entertainment at our next party.  Now if only Eric’s magic tricks could make the baby appear.

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Together as a family, they like to play tennis, go to the movies, go to Disney World, and Dave and Busters.  I think these guys have a lot of fun together.  I tried to get them to take me along on one of their next adventures, but I don’t think I was convincing enough.

Alexandra is active in competitive gymnastics and tennis.  She finished second overall at her biggest gymnastics meet ever in Tampa in February 2013 and won her first tennis tournament in May 2013.  Congratulations Alexandra!  I am amazed at Alexandra’s tennis skills.  I think I should have her teach me because I can not get the ball to land in the court on the other side of the net.

Madison dazzled the audience at her first ballet recital in June 2013.  She enjoys swimming, ballet, gymnastics, and tennis.  And she has a great sense of humor.  She kept us all laughing during out session.

Both of them dearly love their “third parent” Keri.  We had so much fun creating images with Keri in our session.  I love the interactions between the three of them.

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Something that I really admire about Eric is that he co-authored “Richmond-One of America’s Best Tennis Towns” chronicling over 100 years of tennis history in Richmond.  The book is a community service project with all proceeds going to the Richmond Tennis Association and has been nominated for a Library of Virginia Literary Award.  Visit www.richmondtennis.org for details on how to purchase a copy or just drop by your nearest Barnes and Noble.  Really, check it out.  There is a lot of great tennis history from here in Richmond.  I know, who knew.  Okay, you probably did.

Chrissie is working toward a Ph.D. in nursing education while also working full-time as a member of the faculty at Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing.  As a busy working mom, Chrissie is still managing to work on her Ph.D.  She is amazing.  She also enjoys teaching children’s Sunday School and going clothes shopping with the girls.  I can just see the three of them out clothes shopping.  A fun adventure to be sure.

Where do the girls love to eat?  Alexandra loves eating at Osaka and Baker’s Crust.  Madison loves Chik-Fil-A.  Both of them are die-hard Sweet Frog fans.  All of them devour Keri’s yummy cupcakes.  I have yet to be a recipient of these yummy cupcakes.  Ahem…

Stephanie's Portrait Design

So every child needs a pet and I love the pets in this family.  They had a lovely group of Sea Monkeys for about three months and a hermit crab that lasted about two weeks.  Now, I don’t know much about Sea Monkeys or hermit crabs, but they seem like fun pets to me.  I am a fan of thinking outside of the box.

Eric is a business attorney with Perkins Law, PLLC (www.ericperkinslaw.com).  He focuses on business startups, acquisitions, and other business transactions and compliance, franchising, capital raising, and nonprofit organizations.  His clients include entrepreneurs, executives, accountants, financial advisors, engineers, architects, physicians, real estate sponsors, and professional wrestlers, among others.  He is also chair of the national tennis rules and regulations committee for the United States Tennis Association.

It has been fun getting to know this family and I am grateful for the honor of creating timeless memories for them to cherish as the girls get older and they continue to have more and more adventures.  Thank you to you all for allowing me to share your story.

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Best Parks To Visit By Haley Roberts

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Post by Haley Roberts

The weather the past few days has been WONDERFUL! Spring is finally in the air, the flowers are blooming, and the days are perfect for long hours at the park!  Virginia has great parks for playtime- I love going with a group so my girl gets to play with other children and I can spend hours talking with my friends as well.

Here are a few of my favorites in the Richmond Area.

“A PLAYGROUND FOR KATIE AND FRIENDS AT HUGUENOT PARK”

10901 Robious Road, Midlothian, VA 23113 

This park is great for  many ages, but particularly those with toddlers. Created with handicap or wheelchair bound children in mind, it  is easy for the smaller children to climb, walk, and run around the multilevel play-set in order to get to the slides. It has “lazyboy” swings intended for easy use for those with handicap and those are HEAVENLY. My child could swing in these recliner swings for hours. It includes multiple swing sets, a sandbox, multiple size slides, much more. There are also picnic tables for snack time, basketball courts, shelters for grilling, restrooms, a soccer field, tennis courts, and trails for biking, and running.

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BRYAN PARK

4308 Hermitage Rd., Richmond, VA

My family loves Frisbee golf and this park has an 18 basket Frisbee golf course that we love to play. (Make sure you bring your own Frisbees) It also has a swing set play area, although I would not go there for that. It includes walking, running/ biking trails, an azalea bush area (beautiful this time of year), grilling shelters, restrooms (warning- these are not the best), a duck pond, and soccer fields. This park is best for older children who can participate in the Frisbee golf. SO much fun. Don’t know what Frisbee golf is? Learn about Frisbee golfing by clicking HERE. It is easy and fun for an older family- although my toddler loves playing with the Frisbees as well.

OTHER GREAT PARKS IN THE GREATER RICHMOND AREA

Deep Run Park 9900 Ridgefield Parkway, Richmond, VA 23233

Lombardy Park  1500 Hanover Avenue at the right at Lombardy Avenue/Hanover Avenue/Park Avenue.

Rockwood Park 3401 Courthouse Road, Richmond, Va 23236

Meadow Farm/Crump Park Playground  3400 Mountain Road,  Glen Allen, VA 23060 

FEELING ADVENTUROUS?

Two of my most favorite parks in the WHOLE WORLD are not in the Richmond area, but they are in Virginia.

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MUNDEN POINT, Virginia Beach 2001 Pefley Lane, Virginia Beach, Virginia This park is BEAUTIFUL. It is located on the North Landing River, and is just lovely. The 2 lane drive is so picturesque as well. Be sure to stop at one of the fruit stands along the way! This park has multiple  new play-sets, baseball fields, soccer fields, picnic shelters and tables (on the river!!), an 18 basket Frisbee golfing course, nice restrooms, horseshoe pits,  boat ramps, and so much more on its 100 acre park. You can also rent all types of equipment for the various activity you want to participate in!

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Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton, Virginia 600 Churchville Ave,Staunton, Va 24401

This park is AMAZING! Complete with multiple new play-sets, restrooms, tadpole ponds, duck ponds, soccer fields, baseball fields, a community pool, walking and biking trails, a community center building and famous for it’s Gypsy Express train ride during the summer.  We had hours of fun at this park and it is well worth the trip into the mountains!

I hope this will help kick start your spring! Please note* I am not a professional photographer- Stephanie is. All of these images were taken by me, Haley Roberts, the blog writer, not Stephanie, the amazing Certified Professional Photographer.

We hope you can take some time to enjoy a little time with your family at a park during this beautiful spring time!

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Infant Series- Strollers By Haley Roberts

Post by Haley Roberts

Today we bring our Infant Information Series to a close. It has been such fun researching the best baby products out there and I hope that there has been something among the various posts you have found to be helpful!

ALL ABOUT STROLLERS

Did you know the first known stroller to be invented was used in 1733? Designed for the third Duke of Devenshire by William Kent, a garden architect from England, the first stroller was designed in the shape of a shell and pulled by-wait for this- a GOAT! Soon all wealthy families were requesting mini baby carriages of their own and it wasn’t until many years later that they came equipped with a handle for parental or nanny guidance. So what that means is the “nanny” dog seen in the Disney Classic “Peter Pan” was not too far from the truth in the late 1700’s. The dog, or small pony truly was responsible for pulling the baby in the carriage. Interesting! To find out more about the history of strollers CLICK HERE.

FOUR ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN SHOPPING FOR A STROLLER

1. What do you need a Stroller for? List out all possible uses and intentions. 

There are millions of brands and styles out there on the market. It is important to make a list of what and where you intend to use your stroller in order to purchase the best one(s) for your family. Here are a few examples of what I mean.

For the active, outdoors family. If your family is very active and you plan to run, hike, off-road, etc with your stroller in tow you will want strollers specifically designed to be used with these types of activities. Off roading bikes typically have shocks in place so that the baby will not be jostled as your make your ways over uneven rocks/dirt areas and a five part harness for safety. They also glide like a dream. The wheels have heavy duty tires for better traction. The BEST brands for this type of stroller in my opinion are the off-roading strollers made by BOB and the Chicco S3 All Terrian 3 Wheel Stroller.  Jog 2_BOB SUS Single Stroller_big

The Traveling Family. If you are a high travel family that has many airplane, train, or bus trips in your future, you will likely want to invest in a umbrella stroller. Compact and lightweight, they meet the TSA standard guidelines, fold and unfold easily, take up very little space, and they get the job done. I also love mine when shopping. You never realize how small the aisles in the store are until you try to maneuver your off-roader through them. Any basic one will do. I like the ones from Target for this type of stroller because they are cute and basic.

The ALL purpose Stroller. These types of strollers typically grow with your child. They have the ability to have the car seat attached or snap into the stroller while your baby is still young, but as your child grows, they can sit comfortably in just the stroller itself. There are so many types of this stroller! You can get it as a double seat, single, with swivel front wheel or stationary. You name it-it’s out there! For an example, CLICK HERE. Note* I found these strollers to be cumbersome and not lightweight. Be sure to test your stroller before buying and save yourself the frustration.

2. What is your current or future family planning? Think about how many children you are having or plan to have. If you are having multiples or plan on having another child in another year or so, perhaps you should invest in a two-seater rather than a one seater. And for daycare or moms who have many more kids-CHECK  OUT THIS STROLLER! I found that fascinating! six_seat_stroller

3. What is the safety rating, durability, and quality of the stroller?

Harness: Is it a five point or 3 point? It should be easily adjustable but also not loose. It should also be easy for you to open and close but not for your child. If you have an all-in-one stroller your car seat should securely attach to the stroller.

Reclining Feature: How far back does it go? Does it recline at all? Will it hold up over time? Is it easy to adjust? Is the baby protected from the sun in the reclining position and it the upright position?

Creature Features: How is the storage? If there is not enough storage you may be tempted to place things unsafely on the stroller, causing it to tip. Is there a drink holder? Does the handle adjust up and down for different parent heights? Is there a rain guard/Shield included or as an option? Does it come with a sun shield?

Footrest: Footrests for children are not only more comfortable but they keep little feet from potentially being scrapped or run over by the wheels.

Brakes: Safety and durable brakes are a MUST. The brakes can keep your sweet baby from rolling away from you on uneven surfaces. The best brakes are linked to the wheels on both sides.

Collapsability: How easy is it to collapse the stroller? Will you fight with it constantly? Is it secure or can it potentially collapse on your baby. Practice with the models in the stores.

*Read ratings and reviews online! They are a great resource for you and your family!

4. How does the stroller you have selected move? Do the brakes constantly get jostled down causing you to trip up. (There are strollers out there that do this. Keep in mind you get what you pay for!) Are the wheels able to move in all directions (swivel) or are the stationary in one direction? Again try them in the store and weave them through the aisles.

The good news is there are so many options on the market you will be able to find the right product and brand for you and your growing family. Best advise I can give is take your time. Allow yourself to go see what products are out there and do not buy the first one you look at. Unless it is a Bob stroller. There is no denying how wonderful those strollers are. They are so lightweight and they glide so smoothly, I am telling you  it feels like they walk themselves.

Again, we have enjoyed sharing this series with you and hope you have enjoyed reading it.  Please provide us with feedback about what you would like us to research next for you!

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VPPA review

Post by Stephanie

Last week was the Virginia Professional Photographers Association (VPPA) annual convention.  This year I was in charge of registration.  Which is always fun to get to know more of the members.  Next year will be my turn to plan the entire convention.  Wish me luck!  I’m going to need it.

We always have a good time visting and catching up with our photographer friends from across the state, learning from other professional photographers across the nation, and entering our images in print competition to see how we can improve.  This year I was awarded Court of Honor in the Pet/Animal category.  It was a wonderful surprise.  With the struggles I’ve had with this pregnancy I have not been able to dedicate much time to other things so I was excited the judges enjoyed this image.

Stephanie's Portrait Design

Piper is so sweet and beautiful and it was a pleasure to photograph her.  I really love this image and it is one of my favorite pet portraits.

I was also honored to received the Virginia degree, Fellow of Photography.  It is truly an honor and privilege to learn and work along side some of the best and most talented photographers in Virginia and around the country.

View more of my work at stephaniesportraitdesign.com

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Infant Series-Finding the Right Car Seat by Haley Roberts

Post by Haley Roberts

As mothers, the safety of our child is our number one concern! Finding the perfect car seat is a must before your newborn makes their grand debut. One, hospitals will not let you leave without first presenting a car seat for your little angel to ride in. Secondly, you do not  want to send out your husbands last minute to find one “that looks good.” Who knows what they might come back with! With so many options flooding the market, how do you know which brand or style to choose?! We can help.

KNOW THE LAW

First and foremost you should be familiar with the law in your area. Each state is different. In Virginia the summary of the law is that all children age 7 and under must be restrained in a child safety device and that rear facing car seats must be placed in the rear seats of the car. To Find out more CLICK HERE.  I have also included some car safety basics for you to review. CLICK HERE.

WHAT TYPES OF CAR SEATS ARE OUT THERE?

*Special Thank you to Britax website for the car seat specifics. This is one of my FAVORITE car seat brands.

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INFANT CARRIER: This type of carrier has a handle and can double as a infant carrier. It has an attachment base that stays in the car so you can cart baby to and fro with just the carrier. Most are intended for infants up to age 2 and can only be used for rear facing position. See the specifics instructions for age and weight requirements on your car seat. “BRITAX supports the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics that children ride rear-facing until the age of 2 or until they outgrow the rear-facing height and weight capacity of their car seat, but at a minimum, children must remain rear-facing until they are at least 20 pounds and one year old. That means that if your child reaches 20 pounds at 9 months, she still needs to remain rear-facing for at least one year.”

Positives: Easily portable and many come with complete travel systems where you never have to move the baby to be on the go! (Converts to carrier, car seat, or stroller). They provide the best fit for your infant because they are made specifically for infants.

Negatives: They can get heavy and cumbersome to cart around as the baby grows. The strollers are not always the best (wheel wise/glide wise-particularly if you run)

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CONVERTIBLE CAR SEAT: These are an all-in-one car seat where you can use it as a rear-facing infant carrier and then convert to front facing  as your child grows. For many you can use until them until they turn 8 and are no longer required to sit in a car seat. This is what is pictured above.

Positives: You only have to buy one car seat that grows old with them. That means less junk in the attic- yes please! I did not use mine for rear facing but I love it for front facing. The one I have is SUPER comfortable! My child loves it and it has been easy to use and convert. And it does not move once installed. It is super safe.

Negatives: It is cumbersome to move between cars. SUCH A pain. Typically they are large and heavy. Not a good choice for a small car needing to fit multiple car seats. Cannot use as a carrier.

FRONT FACING CAR SEATS:Can only be used as front facing car seats. Many parents like them because they grow old with a front facing child and keeps a child in a 5-point harness for longer. 5 point harnesses are recommended as the safest way to travel.

Positives: They can be smaller than the convertible so they fit better in small cars. They are safer than base boosters that do not have 5-point harnesses.

Negatives: They cannot be used for infants.

COMBINATION CAR SEATS: Are intended for toddlers and older children. They provide a 5-point harness for a younger child that can be removed as the child grows older and uses the actual seat belt while still sitting on a booster.

Positives: This car seat covers you for both toddlers and your 7 year old. Again less junk in the attic! Why buy multiple when you can get what you need in one?

Negatives: Cannot be used for infants

BELT-POSITIONING BOOSTER SEATS: This car seat is intended for older children and is meant to be used with the standard seat belt of a car.

RECOMMENDED BRANDS

Check out Consumer Reports for more information. Also be sure to read reviews, and reviews, and more reviews before you buy!

A few of my favorites are Britax, Chicco, and Clek. I LOVE them for their high safety ratings, rewards, and history. But on top of being safe they have attractive/stylish looks and my Britax is SO comfortable! I had to sit next to it in the back one time and even I fell asleep leaning on the side padding.

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A Baby on the Way

Post by Stephanie

We are so excited to announce we are going to have a baby in June!

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Isaac and I are so so excited to become parents in a few months.  One of the greatest joys of my work is that I get to capture the special moments in my clients’ lives.  I have enjoyed watching many clients go through pregnancy and eventually welcome a bundle of joy into this world.  I enjoy watching my clients’ families grow and being a part of that.

Keep a look out, we have been working on a fun maternity project so keep an eye out for that this summer.  Since this is our first baby I wanted to see the progression as my body goes through these changes.  It has definitely been an experience so far.

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your joys and we hope you will continue to be a part of ours.

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Master Photographer

Post by Stephanie

The Professional Photographers of America (PPA) created the Merits and Degree program in 1937.  Those who choose to progress in their art and attain a degree show they have met PPA’s standards of excellence and service.  Only about 4% of members have earned a degree.  Working toward a PPA degree helps you grow as an artist and your work improves.  To earn a degree you have to earn merits by advanced education, service to the industry, and excelling in photographic competition.  Most photographers work toward a degree for numerous years.  And they continue to work on improving their craft beyond earning their degree.

I am honored to finally have earned my Master of Photography Degree.  The Master of Photography Degree is awarded in recognition of superior photographic quality.  It is a rigorous process of submitting your images in international photographic competition and being awarded based on 12 elements of a merit image.

PPA President Tim Walden, M.Photog.Cr., F-ASP, describes photographic competition, “Competition is like exercise.  You don’t jog to jog; you jog to get healthier and stronger.”

As I have gone through the process of earning my Master of Photography Degree, my images have become better.  I continue to improve as an artist and that in turn benefits my wonderful clients.  I love creating beautiful images for my clients and going through this processes has allowed me to give them only the best.

DA4_9692DA4_9698Images by Don Aittama

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Thank you to all who have supported and encouraged me through this process.  It is a long, hard process and I could not have done it without you.  And especially thank you to my wonderful husband who has been there when I thought I wouldn’t ever achieve this goal and who always encourages and believes in me.  It is wonderful to have you by my side.

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