Belize | TravelMarch 26, 2015

Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge Belize
Belize was hot and humid, and it was glorious! Right smack-dab in the middle of our Arctic winter, Nathan and I got to escape to Central America and visit both the ocean and the rainforest. I say this every time I post travel photos but I think it’s worth repeating: Traveling is so good for the soul. We pinch pennies throughout the rest of the year so that we can visit truly inspiring places and meet people we would never meet otherwise! These experiences and the beauty we’re lucky enough to witness keep me dreaming all year long.

I hope these photos bring you some warmth today since we aren’t all lucky enough to live in a Caribbean climate. ;)

Jaguar Reef Lodge Belize
We started our trip on the coast in Hopkins, Belize. We didn’t have much planned for the first half of our stay … just lots of relaxing, reading and exploring! The only bummer was the insane amount of algae in the ocean that made it hard to swim and snorkel (you’ll see it in the pictures below!). Nathan’s personal snorkel set went unused, but I’d say that’s a small price to pay for such a great trip! (And it should be noted that the algae is a rare occurrence. Don’t let it deter you if you ever want to visit the area!)

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Somehow every time we go somewhere that requires lots of sunscreen, Nathan forgets to apply it to majorly exposed body parts. Our first day in Belize he realized he forgot to cover his legs. You can bet a whole lot of money that they were real red.

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And then it was off to the rainforest, which Nathan and I agreed was our favorite part of the trip. Not only was it gorgeous, but the people we met during the second half of our trip made it so fun! I can’t say enough good things about the staff at Sleeping Giant Lodge. I wish we would have gotten photos with all of them!

Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge Belize Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruin Belize
I didn’t realize how breathtaking the Mayan Ruins would be! It was so surreal to walk on these structures that the Maya people built so long ago. (Our fun guide played paparazzi for us and worked my film camera like a pro! :) )

Xunantunich Mayan Ruin Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruin Belize Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge Belize Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge Belize Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge Belize Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge Belize
At the top of the gazebo! Swift, the bartender at Sleeping Giant and also our guide for the hike, taught us so much about the plants and animals in the rainforest. It also made us realize that we sit inside at our computers way too much; we need to get out in nature more! (If any of my gymnastics friends are reading right now: Yes, I DO still have my districts shirt from 15 years ago. I should probably invest in some better workout clothes.)

Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge Belize
Where we stayed: Jaguar Reef Lodge (Hopkins) and Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge (near Belmopan)
What we did: Bicycled into Hopkins, visited Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, went cave tubing and visited St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, hiked to the gazebo on Sleeping Giant’s property (much more intense than it sounds!)

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Baby Leo | NewbornMarch 25, 2015

Cleveland In-Home Newborn Photographer
It was the moment Leo’s dad, Del, turned to me and said, “You should get yourself one of these,” (as in the sleeping baby he was holding in his arms) that I truly understood the depth of love Del and Andrea have for their sweet baby boy. This is why I love photographing newborns just as they are … wide-eyed in their cribs, cuddled by mom and dad, contently sleeping in their swaddle. The first days of life are so precious and innocent and exciting all on their own. These sweet and simple photos say it all.

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Rhiana & Joe | PhotoboothMarch 24, 2015

Cleveland Wedding Photobooth
Rhiana and Joe used our rockin’ photobooth at their wedding reception. Nathan and his assistant, Matt, agreed it was the busiest photobooth they’ve ever run! Check out some of the photos!

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Chrissy & Justin | Coffee Shop Engagement PhotosMarch 20, 2015

Cleveland Art Museum Fine Art Engagement Session
I am smitten with Chrissy and Justin … and their cozy engagement session! I know that photo of them up there surrounded by snow probably doesn’t look like your definition of cozy, but just you wait until you get to the ones at Coquette Patisserie–the cutest French cafe and wine bar (macaroons, anyone??). I could have posted about twice as many photos of this cute couple, but take a look at my very favorites.

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We got lucky with only a medium cold day in Cleveland (medium=more than 10 but less than 32 degrees ;) ), and Chrissy and Justin didn’t complain once! I love, love, love how clean and bright the snow makes these photos look. If it wasn’t for frozen fingers, I would shoot in the snow all the time.

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Gosh, you two are so classy.

Coquette Patisserie Cleveland Engagement Photos
Then it was time for a little warm up! Note to future couples: Documenting the two of you doing something you love makes for the BEST and most unique photos.

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Cheers! Happy weekend, everyone!

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