Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Fundraiser for Sacred Beginnings

My good friend (and bride-to-be) Meghan contacted me a few months ago asking if I was willing to be apart of an awesome fundraising event to benefit the grassroots non-profit organization, Sacred Beginnings. As Meghan began to share about Sacred Beginnings, I couldn't wait to hear more about the organization and the event!

Sacred Beginnings was started by Leslie King in 2005. Leslie is a former drug addict and prostitute herself, with 25 year of experiences on the streets. Nine years sober, Leslie has turned her life around and decided to give back to women who are the same struggle that she was once in!! Sacred Beginnings exists to help women transition to a healthier lifestyle by providing a unique opportunity for women in recovery to live family style with other women who are experiencing the same challenges. Leslie started with one house in 2005, and she now owns/operates four recovery houses for women who she personally rescues from the streets of Grand Rapids. At these houses, the women live together and learn how to get their life back together while looking for employment or taking classes. Leslie works tirelessly around the clock to maintain this growing non-profit and also relies on volunteers to help get these women on their feet again by teaching them valuable life skills like building resumes, budgets, etc.

The fundraiser was organized by a few local, influential women who had heard Sacred Beginnings' story and insisted on helping them fund their efforts. Well, a couple weeks ago, the fundraiser took place in Grand Rapids and I attended in order to support the event and also document it! :) It was an evening for women to come and eat chocolate, drink wine, do some shopping and meet some of the women who are in the program or have graduated from it. All proceeds from the evening went directly to Sacred Beginnings to help fund existing and future needs. An exciting event to be apart of, needless to say!!

All that said, here is a sneak peek at what the evening looked like!!

The event took place at my new friend, Sue's house... Sue also let me take some of Mandy & Kris' engagement pics at her house the next day, too... she has a fabulous piece of land!! Thanks for opening up your home, Sue!!

Some of the Sacred Beginnings ladies helping host the event!Local women donated gently used goods for our own little secondhand sale!
One of the SB ladies sharing her artistic talent!
Our youngest attendee! How cute is he??
Leslie, sharing her story!

I love the interaction in this picture! So fun!My beautiful friends came out to support SB! Here is Rori and you may recognize Bride-to-be, Lauren!
Leslie and her women of Sacred Beginnings! What beautiful women :)
Great fundraiser, ladies! Thanks for letting me be apart of it!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mandy & Kris - engaged!

I am sooo excited about this post! 

The minute Mandy contacted me to do her engagement session, I was thrilled! Mandy and I go way back, I mean wayyy back... all the way to sharing popsicles for Kindergarten Round-Up when we were just about 4 or 5 years old. Haha! So needless to say, I was excited to meet her fiance, Kris and spend some time catching up and capturing their love! We had a great time trekking around some of my favorite Grand Rapids locations - new and old! They were so natural in front of the camera - I could've shot them all day!

Mandy & Kris - it was a joy to spend the afternoon with the two of you! Thanks for letting me share a little bit of your journey! I hope you enjoy your preview :)

Hellllo, bling! :)
One of my favorites!!

Another favorite!! Love the expressions in this one!

I was having too much fun with the sun flare! Gorgeous!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

T-ball Champ!!

I was so happy to be able to make it to at least one of Matthew's t-ball games this season! He was a star out on there on the field! He was by far my favorite player :) Ok, maybe I'm a littttle bias, but really... he is such a great athlete. I'm so proud of my nephew!

You're a great player, Matthew - I can't wait to attend many more games in the future! I love you!

Ohhhh yea - he got a double!!Gettin' the scoop from his coach!
Playin' shortstop!
His little sister, Julie
Photo cred: his dad, my brother, Peter
Matt's cheerleaders! Sisters - Kayla, Julie & Aunt Jenn!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

alex - 7 years old!

A couple weeks ago, I spent sometime with Alex and his mom for a JWP {lifestyle} portrait session in Grand Rapids! I met them at their house and then we walked over to the local park. Alex and I played together for a while as I shot. He was such a great little model - not shy in front of the camera at all!! On our return trip, his mom jumped in a few pictures as well! It was a beautiful day with wonderful clients!

Gretchen & Alex... I'm so glad I got to meet the two of you! Enjoy your preview!He was trying to fit in the frame! haha!

I love this one!! So sweet!