Sarah + Matt | Seattle Wedding

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Sarah + Matt | Seattle Wedding

What do you get when you cross an intimate wedding atop Seattle's Queen Anne Hill with the quintessential the 'Father of the Bride' house's garage basketball court with the most beautiful couple of which the bride is a very talented artist?  

You get Sarah and Matt's wedding, that's what!  I wish that I could put into words the amount of amazing that I witnessed the day of their wedding, but I honestly can't.  It was an absolute dream wedding to photograph, and I feel so honored to have been a part of it!

Nothing was overlooked and every detail was perfectly executed (and the weather wasn't too shabby either) as Matt and Sarah said 'I do' in front of family and friends.  Guests were treated to a delicious backyard bar-b-que dinner, an epic dance party, and a hand-painted one of a kind wedding favor that was painted by Sarah ... absolute perfection!

Thank you Sarah and Matt for sharing your day with me, I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful occasion to cap off my wedding season!

 

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Kylie + Scott | Lafayette Gardens Wedding

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Kylie + Scott | Lafayette Gardens Wedding

Scott and Kylie's wedding at Lafayette Gardens in Burlington, Washington was absolute perfection from start to finish.  No detail missed as these two lovebirds planned their special day. From the absolutely perfect weather, the picturesque location, and the amazing party; I couldn't have dreamed of a better day for these two!

Thank you Scott and Kylie for including me in your special day, I can't wait to see where your new life as husband and wife takes you!

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Kate + Randall | Barnstar Events Wedding

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Kate + Randall | Barnstar Events Wedding

I first met Kate and Randall as they prepared for the arrival of their son, Dillon last summer.  I was blessed to not only take maternity and newborn photos of Dillon, but also captured his birth as well.  So to say that I was over-the-moon excited when Kate first emailed me about photographing their wedding!

They chose to say 'I do' in front of family and friends at the beautiful Barnstar Events in Ferndale, Washington; and the day could not have been more perfect.  Being present at their wedding was an absolute joy for me, and I am forever grateful for this job and the wonderful connections I make along the way.

Congratulations Reinder Family!  Wishing you a life full of happiness, adventure, and sweet snuggles with that darling boy of yours!

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Liddy + Andrew | Semiahmoo Resort Wedding

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Liddy + Andrew | Semiahmoo Resort Wedding

Liddy and Andrew tied the knot on the most beautiful August day, overlooking the gorgeous bay at Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, Washington.  From start to finish, this day was absolute perfection as the high school sweethearts recited their vows in front of family and friends then danced the night away.  Thank you, Liddy and Andrew for sharing your day with me, it was an honor to share your joy as you began your life as husband and wife.

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Kristen + Matt | West Seattle Wedding

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Kristen + Matt | West Seattle Wedding

Oh, where do I even begin?!  Kristen and Matt ... thank you.  Thank you for blessing me with the most wonderful gift of capturing your wedding day.  I don't know if I have ever felt so welcomed by a bridal party (I think I asked if I could be the girls' friend at least 8 times, lol), both families (again, I think I asked if they would adopt me a few times), and Kristen and Matt ... I honestly can say I feel like I have known this amazing couple for a lifetime, they are just that wonderful that they treat you as their best friend the second you meet them.

This wedding in West Seattle was a photographer's dream, from the location, the weather (the spring rain held off until after the ceremony ... amazing!!), the bridal party, the FLORALS (the groom's brother flew in from Ibiza and created the most beautiful arrangements that I think I have ever seen in person), all the way to the party ... oh my gosh, I didn't want to leave the dance floor!  so.much.fun.

Kristen and Matt, as I type this I honestly have tears in my eyes.  You two are amazing individuals, an even more amazing couple, and honestly have made me feel as though I am truly part of your tribe, for which I am infinitely grateful! This is the bittersweet of being a wedding photographer, saying goodbye to this gallery that I have been drooling over since your beautiful wedding day.  I just don't want to say goodbyeeeeeee!  So I won't ... let's say until we meet again ... because I'm sorry, but y'all may be stuck with me for a lifetime ;)

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Natalie + Grant | Cabo San Lucas Wedding

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Natalie + Grant | Cabo San Lucas Wedding

A few years ago, our dear friend Grant was sitting in our living room, and I was pestering him (as any friend's wife would) about his new relationship with Natalie ... he was grinning from ear to ear and was obviously quite smitten.  After he left, I looked at Luke and said '100% they're getting married.' ... so I'm not sure if that makes my psychic or something, but I was pretty jazzed the day that Grant called Luke and I up about a year later and asked us to help execute a perfect proposal on the top of Mount Baker ... and he even agreed to let me bring my camera and go stealth paparazzi in a tree-well to capture the entire thing!  It was so magical, and blizzard-like, and cold ... but so worth it :)

Fast forward to a balmy 90+ degree day in sunny Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Grant and Natalie exchanged vows in front of friends and family in the most beautiful setting.  I was so honored that they asked me to photograph their wedding day, and as I put the finishing touches on their gallery this morning I was overcome with the same feelings from that very special day in October. 

I say it a lot, but it is so true ... when Luke and I got married I seriously hit the friend jackpot, and whether they were ready or not they adopted me in as an 'Honorary Sehome-y' and I am so blessed by each and every one of them.

Thank you Grant and Natalie for allowing me the honor of capturing your wedding day, for giving me the chance to share in your love story, and for your friendship ... I love you guys!

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Veronica + Bryan | Lake Almanor Wedding

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Veronica + Bryan | Lake Almanor Wedding

When Veronica and Bryan got engaged, there was no question about where they would get married ... you see, Veronica's family has been vacationing each summer at Lake Almanor in northern California for nearly 30 years; and as a child she told her parents someday she would be married there.  Well 'someday' came on a beautiful September day, surrounded by family and friends in the most picturesque setting ... where Veronica and Bryan became husband and wife.

As Veronica's older ... but definitely not wiser cousin (y'all, she's a lawyer ... brains AND beauty, Bryan seriously hit the jackpot) I couldn't have dreamed a more perfect day for these two.  I feel so blessed to have been a little part of their day, and can't wait to see what the future has in store for Mr and Mrs Peterson.

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Duke + Kendra | Anacortes Transit Shed Wedding

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Duke + Kendra | Anacortes Transit Shed Wedding

It's not every day that your brother gets married, but on a sunny August day that very thing happened ... now you may be thinking 'Jessie, you don't have a brother?!' ok, fine ... so maybe I don't have a biological brother, but I do have Duke (which may very well be better than biological).  I have known Duke my entire life, and I forever have called him my big bro ... and I, his little sis; so watching Duke marry the love of his life made my little heart so, so happy!  And getting to photograph this beautiful day was just icing on the cake for me.

From start to finish the day was perfect; from the moment they set eyes on each other as Kendra stepped out into the aisle, all the way until the wee hours of the morning as they danced their tails off alongside friends and family.  I have so much love for these two, and can't wait to see where life as husband and wife takes them!

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Hi, I'm Jessie ... and I love weddings!

Hi, I'm Jessie ... and I love weddings!

Jessie_Bennett_Photography

When someone new finds out that I am a photographer, the first question is usually ‘what do you photograph?’ … I always have dreaded this question in a way, because to be quite honest, I didn’t really know the answer.  So I would end up saying something ultra-vague like ‘I photograph people’ … give a little chuckle, and try to change the subject.  Occasionally whomever I was talking to would press on, either they knew there was something deeper, or were completely oblivious to my insecurity … I’d like to think it’s the former ;) so they would ask additional questions, ‘do you photograph weddings?’ was a common question I would hear.  To which I would emphatically answer ‘NO!’

Obviously, I am super good at marketing myself, and sharing my passion for photography (and by really good, I mean HORRIBLE).

So on I went … building my little business photographing people … mainly young families and newborns, and I enjoyed it.  But I soon found out that I didn’t love it.  You know the saying ‘find something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life’ … well I wasn’t there, and for me this started to become toxic.  I became extremely critical of my work, knocking myself down instead of building myself up, and I started saying ‘I am going through an existential brand crisis’ to friends and family … but I didn’t know where to go, so I stayed the course.

I enjoy photographing newborns and families, don’t get me wrong … it is such a special time in life, one that I am forever grateful I have experienced twice with my own children.  And I can’t put into words the absolute joy I feel when looking at the photos taken by my dear, dear friends in those initial days of bringing our babies home for the first time.  But for my business, I found myself in desperate need of some soul searching.

So one night, I was scrolling mindlessly through my most favorite time suck … Instagram, when a photo caught my eye.  It was an image advertising a DIY Branding Checklist through Letterform Creative.  Thinking that sounded fun, I clicked on the link and signed up for the checklist … little did I know what a journey I was embarking on.  Megan at Letterform is amazing to work with, and asked questions that really made me think … what are some adjectives that describe your business, how do you want your business to be perceived in the market, and my favorite … if your brand was a person, what would they do, what would they wear, what would they love.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that where I was and where I wanted to be, were very different … and I was inspired to move forward, to grow through my insecurities, and the find true joy in my work.

Remember how I said that previously the thought of wedding photography sent a shudder down my spine … how I absolutely did not think that was where my focus would be?  Well, this past year presented me with some interesting opportunities, when several of our close friends and family members became engaged, and asked if I would be interested in photographing their weddings.  My response was always a very excited ‘of course!’ and in my mind I would legitimize my fear, telling myself that I was only doing weddings for family and friends … because surely, weddings weren’t my thing.

Well folks, I was wrong … I was so wrong. I love weddings.  I love wedding photography.  I love capturing the day that a marriage begins. 

When I really think about it, I find it somewhat ironic that I was so opposed to focusing my business on weddings … because as those who have known me forever can attest, weddings are in my blood.  Growing up, we would summer at our family ranch in Nevada, and my mom and aunts would buy a few Brides magazines for the girls to peruse, daydream over, and select ‘our dress’ each year (and let me tell you, my bridal style circa 1994 was on point … lol).  Fast forward to high school, when I was dead-set on becoming a wedding coordinator after college, I even had several three-ring binders categorized by dress, bridesmaids, suits, venue, flowers, cakes, etc.  Think Pinterest boards before Pinterest was a thing … they were really something, and I will thank Jennifer Lopez and The Wedding Planner movie for my choice in careers :)  And then, after a chance meeting at Jason’s Deli (where my Southern peeps at?!) I got a part time job at an upscale bridal boutique in Shreveport, Louisiana that had me forehead deep in exquisite wedding gowns during my 4 years of college … I was in heaven.

Looking back, I now know that my issue was not that I didn’t like the idea of being a wedding photographer … but it was that I was scared to make the leap.  I was scared of failure.  I was scared that I wasn’t good enough. 

‘Fear is a thief, because fear robs you before you even begin.’ – Bryant McGill

Well, I’m not afraid anymore … do you hear me, I’m not afraid anymore!  (I was definitely having a Home Alone scene flash into my mind as I typed that.)  And I am ready to shout it from the rooftops, I am a wedding photographer!!

Does this mean I won’t take on families and newborns anymore?  Absolutely not, because as an artist I think it is important to push yourself outside your comfort zone every now and again … and I do love a good baby snuggle :)  I will just be limiting the number of those sessions I take on, as I grow my wedding photography business.

I am so excited for this new journey and I am beyond thrilled with my new website … and let me tell you, if my brand was a person, I would TOTALLY want to be her friend ;)  So thank you Megan at Letterform … you have helped me more than I could ever quantify, not only did you create a kick-tush brand and gorgeous website; but you gave me back my confidence, you helped my find my voice, you showed me that I am good enough.

And thank YOU to my tribe.  My family, my friends, my clients … for coming with me on my business journey, I would love for you to stick around to see where the road leads … I promise it will include lots of laughs, lots of adventure, and lots of love.

xo, Jessie

Maplehurst Farm Wedding in Mount Vernon, Washington | Britni + Nick

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Maplehurst Farm Wedding in Mount Vernon, Washington | Britni + Nick

If I could sum up this wedding in one word, I think I would choose 'perfect' ... I know, it sounds so cliche ... but it's true.  I have known Britni since she was in grade school, and so capturing her wedding day was an absolute dream come true.  From the moment I walked into the bridal suite while Britni was getting ready ... to the last moments of the evening as we watched Mr. and Mrs. Harter drive off into the sunset, the day was like a dream.  Every last detail was beautiful, and the couple did not leave one stone unturned as they planned the day that their marriage would begin.

Thank you, Britni and Nick for sharing this day with me.  To say that it was a blessing to be a part of your wedding is an understatement.  The love and joy that surrounds you by both family and friends is a true testament to you as individuals, and more importantly you as a couple.  I can't wait to see what the future has in store for you as husband and wife!

 

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John + Carol | Montana Wedding

John + Carol | Montana Wedding

It wasn't long after John proposed to Carol, that the happy couple called Luke and I to share the good news ... John and Carol were engaged after he popped the question while camping in Death Valley!  As we giddily sat on speaker phone, John joked 'is it weird that I proposed in Death Valley?' to which I immediately responded, 'absolutely not!  Starting this next phase as a couple in the lowest point in the United States means that things can only go up from here!' (insert cry laughing face emoji here) Sometimes I say the dumbest things ... but thankfully these dear friends of ours appreciate my sometimes inappropriate sense of humor, and we got a good chuckle over this sentiment.

It was during this same phone call that they talked about getting married in Montana, at Carol's family property ... and they threw out the idea of me photographing the wedding.  I was so honored, and without thinking I pretty much screamed 'duh! Of course!!'

The next year flew by, and before I knew it our little family had turned off the highway onto a dirt road somewhere in the middle of Montana ... our final destination, the Wilderness Edge Resort in Cameron, Montana was just minutes away and I could hardly contain my excitement.  Spending a week exploring Montana with close friends, all while sharing in the joy that surrounded John and Carol's wedding was a dream come true.

The wedding was absolutely magical, as the pouring down rain showers and spectacular lightening storm broke just in time for the ceremony to start ... giving way to the most gorgeous Montana mountains, creating the perfect backdrop for the very special ceremony.  The tented reception with long rectangular tables was the perfect setting to enjoy a true 'Montana' meal complete with local eats, including bison ... my mouth is watering just thinking about it.  After dinner, guests were invited to the barn for a night of laughter, love, and dancing ... oh and let's not forget the whoopie pie dessert table, so.much.yum.

Thank you John and Carol for sharing your day with me, from start to finish it was nothing short of extraordinary and I am so blessed to call you friends.

 

Kate and Randall

Kate and Randall

Kate and Randall's maternity session was an absolute dream!  The weather was perfect, the location was gorgeous, and they wanted to be sure to include their vintage travel trailer ... I was in heaven!

The months leading up to your first baby's arrival is such a special time, and the love that these two share for their son is immeasurable.  I can't wait to see these two again when they welcome their little boy into the world in a few short weeks!

Blakely Jo

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Blakely Jo

Hello 2016!  Ok, so I'm just about a month and a half late ... but better late than never, right??  One of my goals for 2016 is to be a better blogger ... and I couldn't think of a better way to kick off the new year with this darling girl, Blakely Jo. .

Blakely was the sweetest little thing, and was so content in the warm studio ... she made my job way too easy!  During newborn sessions I invite parents to bring something special that they would like their new baby photographed with.  Blakely's mom and dad asked that we incorporate a handmade blanket that was a gift to them, and as soon as I saw it I knew exactly what I was going to do with it :)  This family loves everything outdoors and Blakely is sure to fall right in line hunting, fishing, hiking, snowmobiling, the list goes on ... so the elk print blanket couldn't have been more perfect!

Peter and Kaitlyn, thank you so much for sharing your darling girl with me.  I cherished our time together, and cannot wait to watch Blakely grow up as the newest addition to your wonderful family!

xo, Jessie

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Hembree Family | Bellingham Family Photographer

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Hembree Family | Bellingham Family Photographer

This sweet family is such a joy to photograph, and I feel so fortunate that photography has brought them into my life.  These boys are so lucky to have Sara and Chad as their parents, and the love they share shines through in every picture.  This session was an extra special one, as we brought along a small bouquet to honor Chad and Sara's little girl who was born sleeping.  She is, and always will be such a huge part of this family, and letting her spirit shine through was so moving for me.  I am beyond grateful for the relationships I have created with my clients,  and am blessed to call Sara my friend. .

xo, Jessie

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Harris Family | Bellingham Family Photographer

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Harris Family | Bellingham Family Photographer

Spending time with the Harris family is always such a treat, and the weather for our session could not have been more beautiful!  The Pacific Northwest isn't always kind to us in the Fall ... but thankfully mother nature cooperated (and then some) and this September evening had me clinging to Summer sun, warmth, and light!  These brothers are just the sweetest duo, and they kept me busy throwing rocks, running races, and laughing all session long! .

Thank you Bobbie and Jake for sharing your precious family with me, I can't wait to see you all again!

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xo, Jessie

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Barborinas Family | Bellingham Family Photographer

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Barborinas Family | Bellingham Family Photographer

As summer slows slinks away, and we begin to turn our heads to the fall and winter, I am so excited to be scheduling more family sessions.  I have to admit however, I may go kicking and screaming into fall this year, not because I don't love it ... but because I am not ready to let go of the gorgeous summer we were blessed with in the Pacific Northwest.  Oh well, the days pass by and I'll eventually come to grips with the changing seasons. .

Speaking of days passing by, I feel like it was yesterday that we were doing Lucas's 6 month session found here ... so when Adele contacted me about doing his 1 year pictures I nearly spit out my water; how can it be that in a blink of an eye, this little guy is ONE?!  Not to mention big sister Ashlynn who is already FOUR!  These kiddos are so close in age to my own babies, that I can't help but draw on the similarities between them ... one and four are such fun ages, and boy did we have fun at this photo session!

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I so enjoy each time that I see the Barborinas Family!  Thank you Zach and Adele for sharing your family with me, am already looking forward to our next session :)

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xo, Jessie

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Annie | Bellingham Newborn Photographer

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Annie | Bellingham Newborn Photographer

Oh my gosh, sweet Annie ... I just adore you!  Annie's beautiful mama is my baby cousin (seriously ... I used to play house and use Nellie and her twin sister as my real-life doll babies), and I couldn't be happier for this new little family.  I was so excited when they said they wanted to drive 2+ hours to Bellingham for a newborn session, and for the record ... they seriously made the whole traveling with an infant look way too easy!  I so, so enjoyed my time snuggling this precious new addition to the family while catching up with Nellie and Andrew.  If one thing is for certain Annie Girl ... you are one blessed little baby, you have the most amazing parents who love you to the moon and back! .

Thank you Nellie and Andrew for sharing your little darling with me ... I can't wait to see you all again very soon!

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xo, Jessie

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Maddy | Bellingham Senior Photographer

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Maddy | Bellingham Senior Photographer

Maddy is a senior at Stanwood High School, so I was so excited when she contacted me to do her senior pictures!  We had so much fun chatting about school, golf, dances, and the future ... it just took me back to my senior year, and I can't help but share Maddy's excitement for the next chapter of her life!  The weather was perfect on the Semiahmoo Spit and we capped off the night as the sun set at Loomis Trail Golf Course.  This sweet girl is as beautiful inside as she is out, and I am so excited to see where this world takes her. .

xo, Jessie

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Farah's Gardening Party

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Farah's Gardening Party

Yesterday we celebrated Farah's birthday with family and friends ... and as her 4th party has come and gone, I feel like I've finally got the hang of things.  After the guests left and we sat in our disaster of a living room, Luke looked at me and said 'I think that was the least stressful and most fun birthday party so far!' ... I'll chalk that up in the 'win' column! .

A few months back, I asked Farah what kind of birthday party she wanted, and she very quickly answered 'an airplane party!' ... well, ok.  That was unexpected, but nothing this over the top party planning mom couldn't handle!  I started to formulate ideas in my head, and was really getting excited about the theme when she walked in to the kitchen one morning and out of the blue said 'I've changed my mind, I want a gardening party.'

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About Face.

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Although I was bummed that the airplane party crashed and burned, I couldn't have come up with a better theme for Farah this year.  She loves to garden, and is constantly 'planting flowers' (in reality it's more like replanting the weeds that I pull out) anytime we are outside.  So I set out to create the perfect gardening party in our backyard.  There was only one fairly substantial problem looming as the party grew closer ... the weather was supposed to be dismal, so our outdoor fete was in jeopardy.  Although the rain held off, we ended up bringing the outside in just in case and we enjoyed friends, family, and fun inside :)

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You may notice that there is no pictures of 'Happy Birthday' being sung or candles being blown out ... after last year's dramatic episode (found here) I wised up and asked Farah if she would like us to sing and to blow out candles.  She said 'mmm, maybe next year' so instead we just said a quiet 'Happy Birthday' and everyone dug in to cupcakes :)

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I went a little overboard on flowers ... but in the end, I am glad that I did!  After all, it wouldn't be a gardening party without flowers!  I hit up our local garden/produce stand Joe's Gardens and swept up all the summer bouquets they had!  I displayed them in our watering can, mason jars, and tin cans that I decoupaged vintage fruit and vegetable labels on.  I kind of love the cans, and may see more decoupage art in my future :)

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We kept the menu super simple with bbq'd hamburgers and hotdogs, my mom's famous potato salad, fruits and veggies, and potato chips ... because let's face it, you can't have a birthday without potato chips :)  Being able to prepare everything before hand and then just grill up the meat (thanks Luke) just before serving lunch let us enjoy our guests and not be stuck in the kitchen with last minute preparations!

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The cupcakes came from an idea that I saw on the Today Show and was excited about how they turned out!  Farah was able to help me with them, and surprisingly enough they were very simple!  I think we both ate our weight in Starburst as I was shaping the veggies :)

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And of course, a gardening party has to include some gardening!  Because outdoors was out of the question, I set up a gardening station on our covered front porch where the kids could plant some succulents in a little pot to take home.  I love succulents, like LOVE them.  They're pretty much kill proof ... in fact, they multiply with neglect instead of die.  Seriously the.best.  Everyone got to pick a pot, plant some 'chickens' as we call them, and then choose a pinwheel for decoration.  Not going to lie, I made a few extras to put around my house ... because I think they turned out way too cute!

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And just like that, our sweet little gem of a daughter is 4!  We could not be more blessed by this sweet girl, and look forward to every day that we get to spend with her!

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xo, Jessie

 

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Happy Birthday Farah! | Bellingham Child Photographer

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Happy Birthday Farah! | Bellingham Child Photographer

Oh our sweet, sweet, Farah ... today you are FOUR! .

As I sat at my computer ... I struggled to find words that adequately describe our darling girl.  So I turned to her favorite book "Madeline" for some creative inspiration.

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FERRIGAN

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In a little house in Bellingham

that was tucked amongst the trees

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Lived a family of four and a million golf tees.

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This family of four made sure the books were read

they said their prayers

and went to bed.

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They smiled at the good

And frowned at the bad

And more often than not they were all very glad.

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They had so much fun, again and again

sometimes they'd grin

even over a bit of a sin

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the FOUR year old was Ferrigan.

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She was not afraid of slides

she loved summer, sun, and bike rides.

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To the neighborhood deer

Ferrigan said 'hey you, I'm over here!'

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And even when she was in a funk hole

She warmed our family's heart and soul.

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It wasn't that long ago

Although we wish the time would slow

The first time we got to say 'hello'.

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Little Ferrigan swaddled tight

Made everything in the world seem right.

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And soon after we brought her home

We knew never again would we be alone.

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We laughed

We cried

Every day our hearts were bursting with pride.

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Outside were birds, trees and sky

And so four years passed quickly by.

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One nice morning on August thirteen

It was time for a birthday fit for a queen.

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Or maybe a princess ... let's not be overly ambitious.

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'This little girl is FOUR'

Read a sign outside her door.

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Bounding in with balloons and more

So much love and giggles galore.

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So as this day comes to an end

And we wait for another to begin again

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This family of four makes sure the books are read

they say their prayers

and go to bed.

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But before we turn in for the night

We make sure to recite

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The last line of Ferrigan's favorite story

The one we have memorized in all of it's glory.

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'Good night, little girls!

Thank the Lord you are well!

And now go to sleep, said Miss Clavel.

And she turned out the light,

And closed the door,

And that's all there is, there isn't any more.'

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Happy, Happy Birthday to our darling Ferrigan Christine.

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xo, Mama, Daddy, and Deacon

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