Travel Series: San Diego

Every summer we try to escape the heat to sunny, breezy San Diego. We spend time making memories as a family and enjoying God's goodness and creation. There are some stops that we usually tend to make in the way of food/entertainment, and some new ones we've just discovered. Below you'll find a round-up of some places we've enjoyed and I hope you will too! 

Places To Explore

La Jolla Coves - a gorgeous view of the ocean with seals playing & sleeping nearby, depending on when they decide to visit!

Liberty Public Market - A fun shopping & walk-up restaurant plaza, there's food, clothing, jewelry, live music, art and more! 

Belmont Park - A rollercoaster, arcade, rides for all ages, and a great family time! 

Balboa Park - This is a great place to stroll through an indoor tropical garden, walk through art galleries, listen to the live organ being played outside, see street performers, and enjoy a little bit of science/nature/culture all in one place. 

 

Places to Eat

Pho Point Loma & Grill - Our friends introduced us to this the first time we had pho some years ago and we just love it! Plus they have a big fish tank kids are sure to love. 

The Cheese Shop & Sandwiches - Their tuna salad on sourdough is quite a tasty treat if you'd like something quick and casual! Plus they have an assortment of unique candies that can be a great take home for a little one. 

Walking on Water Cafe - A great place to get food while you wait for fish to take the bait, they serve clam chowder in a bread bowl, giant stacked nachos (see picture!), chili, and more!

 

Ice Cream - I thought this should have it's own category, with some favorite flavors mentioned! 

Scoops in La Jolla - A newer shop with some fun, inventive flavors. My personal favorites are Earl Grey & Honeycomb! 

Bobboi Natural Gelato also in La Jolla - Last year I had their Meyer Lemon, I'm not sure if they still carry it but it was absolutely delicious! 

Salt & Straw in Little Italy - my favorite icecream parlor ever, so of course it goes on the list. Grab a waffle cone and fill it with Salted Carmel, Butcher Block Chocolate and Lavender on top! Or if you try something else, leave a comment below!!

Lighthouse Ice Cream - They have hot waffle ice cream sandwiches and cookie cones, enough said!  

Do you have any favorite local SD spots? Let me know in the comments below! 

Sessions: Bark & Brittle, Part Two

Back in April I was privileged to capture the Bark & Brittle candy line, and taste many of these fantastic treats as well! I had tried some of Lynn's work before ever capturing them, and they are absolutely amazing. I was so thankful for a second round of capturing (and tasting!) these toffees, chocolates, nuts, caramels, and more. She is inventive with her flavors, and they are the exact right blend of sweet, with balanced notes of spice/depth/savory, depending on which one you try!

Do you have a birthday, anniversary, or date-night-in coming up? Email Lynn at barkandbrittle@gmail.com to order some delicious, local made candy, and let me know which one you try!

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Sessions: Baby H



Following the life journey of client's is my most favorite part of doing this passion of mine.
I have had client's of whom I've been blessed to capture their story from first love,
 to first baby & beyond. 
This precious couple are some of the souls whom I've been privileged to walk with through their engagement session, wedding, family, and now the anticipation of their first little babe. 
What a delight and honor, and what a fun couple these two are! Since day one they've always been up for anything, which makes it fun accepting the challenge of finding exciting and beautiful places to capture! 
If you follow along on Instagram, last Saturday I got in the water with this couple and grabbed some gorgeous water maternity images, the light and the glow reflected this mama so well. 
Being pushed, leaping in fully and challenging myself to adventure in the middle of capturing beauty are job requirements I couldn't do without. I'm grateful for client's who perpetually keep me "diving in"! 
Praying many sweet blessings over this beautiful new family!







Sessions: M & N, Desert Love



Every time I walk into a shoot a hundred variables are at play - the cloud cover, the lighting, the landscape, the vibe between the couple, just to name a handful. For this session we went east, to the mountain that rises tall, full of legend and folklore. 

There, beneath the early summer sun, all of the variables passed away. This couple made it easy, the adventure, the communication, everything. They worked so well together, so well with me, it was more fun than work. We laughed and joked and even teared up a minute, this love so full of emotion. I cannot wait for their big day, what joy lies ahead and all the adventure to be had.

Congratulations, M & N, on the beautiful life you'll build together.

 





Sessions: D & J ❤



 This wedding was an honor to photograph, to say the least. This is a family whom I hold a great deal of respect for, whom I have had the privilege to grow up around and see their lovely daughter, now a blushing bride, mature into the beautiful woman that she has become. In fact, the first time her parents met me she was in her mother's womb, and now here we are celebrating the marriage to her beloved, and I am blessed to have captured it. 

So many hands came together to work and rejoice, and most importantly pray over this marriage and this day. There was so much lightheartedness, so much fullness of life, and so many God gifts multiplied throughout this memorable morning. 

May God mightily bless D & J as they begin their lifelong journey of serving Him as one, 
and may He multiply their gifts and blessings in the years to come! 





 XOXO,

Tamara 










Sessions: Lilac & Lucy Studio



This spring my sweet friend Lauren moved back to the Southwest and brought with her a beautiful brand she's created, Lilac and Lucy Studio. I am so excited to have had the opportunity to capture her line and capture my little nieces wearing her onesies in the middle of it :-) 



Check her out on Instagram, Facebook and Etsy for onesies, tea towels and more!




XOXO,

Tamara


Sessions: L & Q


These little babes are the 5th & 6th loves of one of my best's households, and not only that -- they share a birthday!! What a special thing to share with your closest sibling! Little L is just so sweet with his baby sister, and seeing the many faces of Q added so much personality to our shoot!






Sessions: Sweet Visitors



Getting to know this family recently has been such a joy and an honor, as they are staying in town from overseas and the time to get to know them is short and precious! The two babes are just darling, and already are such little world travelers. Looking forward to more time together this month before we plan our visit to their side of the ocean!



Sessions: Senior Adventure


A few years ago I met the amazing woman behind Redemption Market, a fair trade and gorgeously handpicked shop. We exchanged information and two years ago I photographed her beautiful eldest daughter's senior session. Here we are, two years later and I had another opportunity to work with this sweet family, capturing their middle daughter, another sweet and stunning young woman. We headed out to the desert and enjoyed capturing different aspects of the suns rays, moving and chasing light, as it were. I just loved the positive atmosphere around her, the laid back way in which she was up for any capture. It was an honor to photograph this young lady, and to hear about her college goals - I'm sure she will do much for the Kingdom with her pursuits!




Sessions: Baby G




 Last week I had the enjoyment of capturing a new babe of an old friend.
I had so much fun capturing his little expressions, only three weeks old and he is so full of life and personality! He is definitely a very loved little boy. Congratulations to this darling new family <3





XOXO,

Tamara

We Are Family!


Last week we finally finalized Little Miss' adoption in the U.S.!
The judge who finalized was fantastic, and at the end called us all up for pictures (yes!!!!)
She had us all loudly proclaim together, "WE ARE FAMILY!" - the moment will forever be sealed in my mind of how special it was letting the whole world know that our baby girl is forever ours. A day or two later, my mom just happened to find shirts that said that beautiful phrase, so I had to take some snaps of the kids wearing them - how adorable are they?!?!?



 


XOXO,

Tamara

Happy Birthday, L!



Today is my favorite nephew's birthday (he's my only, but still!), and we are just so blessed to have him in our lives! I remember the first time I saw him cuddled up on his mama's chest and it was pure love at first sight, he is such a doll. Looking forward to many more celebrations, making each other laugh and light saber fights with the kids ;-) Happy birthday, little guy!!! <3

Daughters

Minutes ago I was editing images to submit to a client. And now seconds ago my heart was warmed by a kind of love people spend lifetimes searching for. 
While I've been working, my Spotify has been crooning melodies to me, helping keep me focused and my heart full as I edit away. Some of these tunes that have come along to breath life into my soul have been worship based, ones that make the heart still quieter. One such song came on, so full of life was it that I had to call my love in to listen with me, to kneel our spirits before the King and hear Him whisper within the subtle power of the music.

Today was Mr. Abear's first day home from a week long business trip; and as I've been working most of today he's been loving on our two babes, playing with them and showing them the many misses his heart felt for each day passed. He came with both little ones and sat, savoring the words with me. During the song my love turned to our baby girl and asked her to show him some of her ballet - to dance for us. He then proceeded to dance with her, in his own larger than life way he moved delicate and turned - spinning, showing her something for her to emulate. He then got down on his knees and tenderly took her, asking her to dance with him. 
He looked at her softly and said, "You are my daughter, Ella."

It doesn't matter whether we've had good parents or bad parents. It doesn't matter if we've been loved well by another human, we all have this insatiable desire to be desirable. We are all spinning, clumsily at first, searching for Someone to show us that we are wanted enough to be shown how to do it well. And there is joy, oh! so much joy in the learning. We have this Heavenly Dad, One Who never has to leave on business trips, because we are His prized work. He never has something else on His mind, because His mind is holding together 7 billion beings by the very unfailing thought and breath of His lungs and He is still available. 

Have you wanted to be lovely? To spin soft, to be held tenderly and told that you were a wanted child? Have you ever wanted someone to pursue you with such determination that hell itself would shudder at the love spent? To be sought after because you, even though you have shown every kind of ugliness and unworthiness were still desirable? Even though I am generally secure in the eternal love credited for my soul, every time I have ever acted out with selfishness, jealousy, or any form of control, it has shown my doubt for that love. But still - He kneels down and tells me to reach out, to hold on tight. He shows me how to do this life well. He gives me a better way. God alone has the power to make me a beloved daughter. He sways the lilies of the field with a sigh and exhales, "Tamara, you are my daughter."

Brothers and Sisters, you are wanted. You were bought with a price, it's never too late to humble yourself and take hold of the holy embrace. Receive the grace that has been given through toil, tears, blood and water. Receive that love, because it brings freedom. That grace, friends, is all-fulfilling. 
Here I sit in the beginning of the year wanting to run well, lose weight, eat healthy... I want more of this life. But what happens next? I become everything I desire... and then what? I pass along and my name becomes a vapor only a few generations down. 
No beloved, I run because I want to run the race well. I want to be healthy to love my children, to show them God in me. I want to be more so that I can give more, because I am gratefully indebted - something I never could've understood a few years ago.

And so I sit, blessed because I am a daughter of The Living God. I am apart of this two fold dance, one that finds me a clumsy participant, but also shown a better way. Stop for a moment, listen to the Good News that sings sweetly a sound of hope and embrace the One who has already knelt from Heaven to earth to call you His own.

Sessions: New Year, New Life

A handful of times I've walked into moments where it felt like Heaven and Earth were about to join hands and all the world would skip a heartbeat so that one heartbeat would come and beat among us - last week held one of those days. 
The "R" family walked into the sacred space of new life and held their little boy, giving him a world of love long awaited. I was honored to be there to capture those sweet moments of this family, as I have breathed the thought so many times I say it now - I hold these moments of bearing witness as an undeserved privilege. 
Congratulations, sweet friends, on the new gift of new life you hold today. 
May God bless your little one and hold him always.

XO,

Tamara












Sessions: Z & A



What a treasure time is, and how very sweet when the accumulation of it results in something as pure and as beautiful as this. I've known this gal since she was a small one; and just past that I took care of her and her sisters and fed them mac & cheese with frozen corn mixed in, listening to their hearts and guarding them dearly every time I was asked to babysit. Then I met a boy who stole my heart and they made him their own, too. I watched as one by one they became young ladies, then young women with dreams that will change our world. And, as it always seems, not so long ago I began to hear about a boy that The Lord called forth. This precious girl and her sisters moved with their sweet parents last year to follow God's call, and so I heard about this boy from a distance. How marriage was in their future - and then how it became quite a near future. 

I came home tonight amazed by the woman that this little girl became, by the joy and maturity bubbling forth. And this gal who said she wanted to be like her babysitter with the ripped jeans, well she certainly makes me want to be a whole lot like the young woman she's become. 

Congratulations, Z & A, for accepting the invitation of Christ to walk in a marriage bound by Him. Wishing you many, many years of walking that road in submission and joy with one another.

 



Deeply Grateful

Friends. 

This year you allowed me to capture your children and hold a moment precious before time slipped on, childhood joy and giggles in all their glory. You invited me to your weddings, to captivate the sacred space of love binding within the Heavenlies. You trusted that I would be there in the seconds that mattered, the love poured out on a new life. I haven't taken those moments for granted - they have humbled and grown me. I sit here awed because I know you could've chosen anyone else, but you allowed me to rejoice with you, even make a memory or two together. Thank you, truly. God is so, so good to have allowed me this last year with you all. I pray He allows me many more, for this is no job - it's one of my greatest loves and joys to spend this time together. 

With a grateful heart, 

Tamara