Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Back by Popular Demand {holiday mini sessions}

(click on photo to make larger)

The session fee is included in the price of the collection.
$100 is due at the time of booking to secure your session.
Mini-sessions are for individuals or families (up to 4 kids and 2 adults from the same immediate family).

To schedule a session, please call 480.710.0750 or email jdavisphoto@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Secret Pop Star

Brooklyn is IN LOVE with Hannah Montana. Yeah, I know most of the words to her songs because that is all she ever wants to listen to in the car. I don't know when Brooklyn grew up, but it happened. I mean, she is 4 yet she acts so much like a teenager. Shouldn't she still be into Cinderella and Snow White rather than one of the biggest pop stars out there?

It should have come as no surprise when Brooklyn told me that she wanted to be Hannah Montana for Halloween AND wanted to have a Hannah Montana birthday party. It is sad in a way not to be doing the princess thing anymore, but she is so stinkin' cute that it makes up for it. So in order to get ready for her small party we had a mini-session (and in mini, I mean like literally less than 10 min) of her dressed up like Hannah Montana.

So, without further ado, here is my Secret Pop Star...Hannah Montana!

This one makes me laugh. She kept flipping her hair around and said "Mom, let's pretend that Oliver is walking by and I do this."

I told you that she was cute. She LOVED taking these pictures and we were both sad that it got dark so quick. Oh, and this is just me playing in photoshop. As if I have nothing better to do. Oh well, the house can always be cleaned tomorrow, but I don't want to miss a moment with my pop star.

Star of the Week

So Brooklyn was the "Star Student" at school this week and she could not have been more excited. For an entire week before she kept asking if today was the day and when are we going to make her poster. We put it off until the end of the week (I work well under pressure), but we got her down and I must toot my own horn and say that it turned out awesome. I remembered why I used to love to scrapbook. I haven't done it in forever, but I just might have to after this.

We had fun making it together. I put all the pictures on and then she ran around the house collected things that she loves. I plan on hanging it in her room when it comes home in a few days so we can look at my cutie everyday! Don't be surprised if the next time you come over she drags you to her room to show it to you! I am so proud of you, Brooklyn, you are my STAR everyday!

Friday, September 19, 2008


Doesn't Brigham make the cutest SK8R DUDE ever?! He LOVES his helmet, skateboard and showing me his tricks. I am a little nervous for him to get bigger. He already does everything he can for a "thrill". He stands up on the seat of his bike, goes down the driveway on his skateboard and constantly wants to watch the motocycles on TV (X Games). I guess you could say he is all boy. Man how I love my little skater boy!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Village, Water Cube and Night Views

Sorry to have disappointed my fans with my lack of blogging, but we have been on the go so much that I have been completely exhausted. I was so tired yesterday that I wanted to just sit in the corner and cry, instead I slept for nearly 12 hours last night and then took a nap this afternoon. I am feeling MUCH better now and so we can get back to the regular scheduled programming of blogging my adventures.

Yesterday Erik competed in the 200m semi-finals. He once again had a good race, but these guys here are crazy fast so he didn't quite make it to the finals. There is a Chinese guy here that nobody has seen before, but has broken the World Record in every event that he has raced in. He is absolutely amazing! Erik seemed pretty bummed, but is focusing his attention on his upcoming 100m and 4x400m relay.

After the races we headed over to check out the Paralympic Village. We had quite the adventure in the taxi trying to find the correct entrance to the village. Nobody understood where we were wanting to go and with the language barrier it can get pretty frustrating. Luckily we had a taxi driver that was patient with us and we were all cracking up laughing. After getting Aunt Sunny on the phone multiple times to speak to the driver and police and after asking many volunteers we FINALLY found it and we had a wonderful time.

Here is where the athletes stay in the village. After the Paralympics are over they will be converted into apartments and be sold off.

After visiting the Village, we were heading over to the Water Cube to watch some swimming. When we walked out we were trying to get a taxi when Collin (below in red) told us that it was only a 5 maybe a 10 minute walk to the cube so we decided to walk. Over 1 HOUR and a few blisters later we finally made it to the Water Cube. It was worth the walk because the Cube was amazing inside. We watched a little swimming and then walked around to get some beautiful night pictures.

After coming out of the Water Cube we were leisurely walking and enjoying the beautiful surroundings when, with no warning at all, water started coming out of the ground. Luckily I was able to move and not get my camera wet, but Troy was not so lucky. After he got wet he decided to just have fun with it and wheel through the water. Yep, Troy and a ton of little 5 year-olds played in the water. It made me miss my kids even more because they would have had a ton of fun with Troy.

I am headed home in the morning. I will be sad to leave Beijing, but I can't wait to see my kids. I miss them like crazy. I am ready to sit and cuddle with for sure. 10 days is too long to be away from them. I will get updates from Troy on Erik's upcoming races since he is staying for a few more days so I will let you all know how he does! Thanks for keeping up with my adventures in Beijing!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Great Wall

Today was another beautiful and eventful day in Beijing. We spent the day at The Great Wall and at the Ming Tombs.

The Great Wall was absolutely amazing. I cannot even begin to imagine what it took to build this hundreds of years ago. And I have to say that I feel horrible for the poor guards that had to walk to the top of the wall for their turn on duty. I think that we should all be very grateful for our jobs. Can you even imagine having to do that every day?

We took a gondola ride to the top and then Troy and I hung out while our friends climbed to the top. I did walk a little ways because you can't come all the way to China and then not climb the wall. It was breathtaking looking over the wall through the mountains.

Even now, I can't believe that I walked on The Great Wall of China. I NEVER thought in my life that I would be standing there on that wall. I mean that is something that you learn about in school or see in pictures, but to be standing there in person was wild. I have seen so many things this trip that I will never forget. What an opportunity this has been. I am loving this!

See what I mean? It is gorgeous and these pictures don't even begin to do it justice.

My daily picture of my crazy husband in his rice hat.

After a long day we went to dinner tonight at the BEST place. The shrimp, chicken and noodles were delicious, but the dumplings were my favorite of anything we have eaten so far. I ate more tonight than I have all week I think. When I get back home I am calling my sister-in-law Debbie so she can teach me how to make them. Mmmm, Mmmm. I have also learned how to use chopsticks for the first time since I have been here. I have always been chopstick challenged, but I am so proud of myself that I used them all day today without a problem. I don't need no stinkin fork. And then after I completely stuffed myself at dinner, Troy's aunt who we are staying with took us for shaved ice. I was thinking that it was going to be like a sno cone, but these things came out and they were huge and delicious! I didn't bring my camera so we may have to go back just so I can get a picture. At least that will be the excuse that I use. So are you all hungry yet? You should be.

Erik has more races tomorrow, which will be nice because I am ready to relax and watch some racing rather than climbing all over China. Talk to you tomorrow!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Blue Skies in Beijing

I can't believe it--the skies were beautiful and very blue today here in Beijing. The entire time we have been here they have been grey from all the moisture in the air, but after all of the rain it was a nice sunny day today, which made for some nice pictures.

We visited the Temple of Heaven today and it was very interesting and beautiful.

This man was 98 and still so energetic.

This is the Echo Wall and it is pretty cool. A person standing behind the building on the East end can speak into the wall and be heard by a person standing behind the building on the West end. Here is Troy attempting to sing like a Mexican Mariachi into the wall. Leave it Troy to get the attention of every person in the entire place.

Troy and I standing on what the Chinese believe to be the "Center of the Earth." I am trying to be one of the locals putting up the peace sign. They all do it, even tiny little kids.

As is typical in China, Troy and Erik were stopped once again by the news to be interviewed. They are celebrities I tell you.

Troy being Troy and making me laugh!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Best Day Yet

Today was a very eventful day. My favorite so far. We did some sightseeing in the morning and then spent the evening at the track.

Troy has been wanting to see the Forbidden City since he saw it on TV during the Olympics so we headed over there first thing this morning. This place was gorgeous. The first part was covered in gardens and very interesting buildings. It was a photographers dream. I would have LOVED to have a photoshoot there. Man were there some locations that were to die for. Troy was a wonderful husband and humored me while I spent some time taking pictures.

We then walked through to the other side which was about 1 km. Not bad if it was a straight path, but there were HUNDREDS of stairs. They had added a few ramps along the way to make it easier, but these ramps were practically straight up and down. Luckily for me, someone would always run over and help me up. Apparently they could tell that there was no way that I could do it on my own. Troy, on the other hand, they saw his muscles and didn't give him a whole lot of help. I guess there is an up side to being wimpy :). Needless to say, after pushing on cobblestone and going up and down for several hours, I am quite sore tonight. But it was worth it because it was an incredible sight.

All along the path both sides were lined with this beautiful mosiac of small stones that were made into various pictures. I can't even begin to imagine how long that it took to make these roads hundreds of years ago. Incredible, not fun to wheel over, but incredible.

You would think in a country that has 1 billion people they might know what an elevator was and have a need for them, but apparently that is more than they can handle. Elevators are few and far between here in China. Even in the stadium the only elevators are behind closed doors that you have to be escorted to. All the people walk up the 5 or more flights of stairs to get to their seats, which is totally unheard of in the US. Maybe that is why the Chinese are so much skinnier than all of us back home. Since we have been here we have had some interesting lift rides, but this one takes the prize for the most creative. Seriously this is how they took us up a flight of stairs today. No, this is not connected to anything other than the man that is walking with it. Yeah, kind of scary, but it did the job I guess. The Chinese men were laughing at me that I was taking a picture of this, but come on you would never see an "elevator" like this in the US.

The Chinese Elevator:

So after the Forbidden City we decided to hop on the subway and head on over to the Bird's Nest. 2 hours later finally made it--it probably would have only take 20-30 min in a taxi, but you have to experience everything in a new city right? Yeah, that will be the last time we take the subway.

Being at the Bird's Nest tonight was a spectacular sight. The stadium holds 91,000 people and nearly all of the seats were full. You don't understand, I have NEVER in my life seen anything this. I think I mentioned it before, but people unfortunately just don't watch disabled sports events in the US or pretty much anywhere else for that matter. The Chinese were going crazy and seemed to be loving every minute of it. I am still in shock really. I don't think that another Paralympic Games will ever compare to these because the people have been SO amazingly supportive. You would think that they were watching the NBA finals or the Superbowl. I am so grateful to all of them that have come out to support the games. You can't get a ticket to most of the events which has absolutely shocked us.

We watched a lot of exciting races, but they saved the best for last. Erik had his 400m semi-final. He had a great race and pushed very well, but he ended up in 10th place I believe and only the top 8 advance. He was still very happy to though because this is his weakest of his 4 events. Even better things are yet to come. Unfortunately, it was raining pretty good by the time it came for him to race and you know being from AZ he is not used to pushing in the rain.

I love this picture of Troy. He was looking out over the track watching Erik race. Being in the stands as a coach rather than as an athlete on the track is totally new for Troy. I think that he has been more nervous for Erik this trip than Erik has been. He has gotten heartburn before each of his races and has lost his voice screaming for Erik. Heartburn is common before he races, but I didn't think that he would have the same reaction for Erik. This is a sign of a great coach. He definitely cares a lot about Erik and wants him to do well.

After the races I took a few quick pictures of the Water Cube from the stadium. It is such a beautiful building at night with all of the changing lights. Awesome!

I am now absolutely exhausted so I better head to bed so I can get going again tomorrow.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Beijing Rockstar

Another exciting day has come and gone here in Beijing. We had a great time today. We started the day by going to the Bird's Nest and watching Erik compete in his first race--the 400m. He looked really nervous to all us, but he keeps assuring us that he wasn't. Either way, he did a great job and advanced from the prelims to the semis which will be held tomorrow night.

It was really cool to see him down on the track. You know how Troy is, he was screaming at the top of his lungs so that Erik would hear him and hopefully calm his nerves a bit. The Chinese got a kick out of how loud he was. I told Troy that I wasn't sure if Erik could hear him or not since Erik didn't respond, but a Chinese man next to us assured us that the entire stadium could hear Troy yelling. He probably wasn't too far off.

Here is Erik on the big screen. It is so cool to see him larger than life. This one is for you Erik!

The Chinese people are AWESOME! They have really embraced the Paralympics and came out in full support. I have never seen anything like it in my entire life. The stadium was 3/4 full which in a stadium that seats 91,000 people that is incredible. Usually at a disabled sporting event you have a handful of people in the stands, even in Australia there were probably only 10,000 at a day of competition and we thought that that was a lot. It really made the events that much more special to have that many people watching and cheering. And talk about cheering whenever a Chinese athlete was competing. The roar of the crowd is exhilirating.

Here at the Paralympics if you are in a wheelchair you are a celebrity. So as we were sitting at the stadium talking after the events hundreds of Chinese people were waiting to take pictures with us. I guess we looked like official athletes sporting our wheelchairs and USA clothing. At one point we had at least 30 cameras in our faces and we definitely felt like ROCKSTARS. It was a pretty cool experience. People stop us constantly on the street to take pictures with them as well. We really can't go anywhere without getting stopped. I can see how celebrities get sick of getting stopped when they are going places. It is fun at first, but it would get old real fast.

This guy was my favorite though--Introducing...MR. BEIJING!

Here are a few more pictures that I got of the Bird's Nest today. I just can't tire of taking pictures it. It is spectacular. Tomorrow I am going to try and get some pictures at night so this will not be the end of these for sure.

Tomorrow morning we are going to do some sightseeing which I am excited for. We miss all of you back at home and think of you often, but we are having an amazing time!