Rachel Elizabeth Photography: Blog https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog en-us (C) Rachel Elizabeth Photography rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) Sat, 19 Dec 2020 18:11:00 GMT Sat, 19 Dec 2020 18:11:00 GMT https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/img/s/v-12/u410992401-o132087807-50.jpg Rachel Elizabeth Photography: Blog https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog 120 81 Raina's 48 hour EEG https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2020/12/rainas-48-hour-eeg Raina is totally fine. The giant bandage on her head is just holding all the electrodes onto her little noggin (and itching her like crazy!)

We didn't really get any answers from this testing, only that her tremors are probably not related to epilepsy, which is a good thing. 

But I knew I would have an extended period of time in a little room with my cute little sweetie (but without the ability to do any work during my busy season) so of course, I brought my camera.

She's a rockstar.

 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) 24 hour eeg east mesa photographer epilepsy mesa ASD photographer mesa special needs photographer phoenix childrens hospital special kids special kids photography of america https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2020/12/rainas-48-hour-eeg Sat, 19 Dec 2020 18:02:34 GMT
Endless Summer...or was it Spring Break? https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2020/8/endless-summer-or-was-it-spring-break We started in-person school this week after a 2-week online version of school that kinda worked. The teachers at the kids' school were AWESOME and so well organized with great material and engaging videos and lessons. But, here we are. Day 2 of the kids being back in school. We also are under a heat advisory so there was no recess yesterday which sparked Darius to ask if he could switch to online. I explained what that would be like (through the district's Virtual Academy) and he said he would decide after a few weeks. HAHA! We chose in-person over the Edgenuity online school that the district offered because Raina needs to be in school. The online stuff was pretty pointless for her. She needs her therapies and her teachers who went to a whole bunch of school to learn how to teach kids like her. 

That being said, we have reached what appears to be the end of this endless summer...or spring break. We were on spring break when this whole thing went down/got real and we just never went back. It has been a long, stressful, lonely, quiet (other than the kids screaming at each other) couple of months. We finished last year online the best we could and I spent every evening out in the road with a lawn chair, a beer, and our amazing neighbors while the kids rode their bikes and other wheels around while screaming their heads off and burning off energy. 

We took a lot of pictures, we made a lot of things, we gained 2 pets (a fish and a hamster), we grew some really tall sunflowers and a few veggies, baked a little, built a lot of Legos, swam for like 5 hours each day, built a lot of forts, watched a lot of TV, played lots of video games. We didn't venture out into nature enough. I had good days and bad days and probably could have used some outdoors but a lot of days were a struggle to do anything really. I knew that if I got the energy up to out to the mountains or to the river that I would be frustrated with the crowds (there has been an unprecedented amount of litter, etc in our parks and rec areas during this time). and wouldn't be able to get the peace that I had gone there for. The lows were lower than anything I have ever experienced and the highs were moderate. The highs were pretty much all due our neighbors...if it weren't for them it would have been so very much harder for me. Friends are my oxygen.

We were able to continue with Raina's horseback riding without interruption, thankfully. And we were able to travel to NJ several times to look after the farm. Djavad kept working this whole time, which is much better than I can say for a lot of aviation families. I have had a few sessions here and there but didn't have a whole lot of time to work/edit outside of refereeing the kids arguments and keeping them on track. I used the time I did have to work on my website and SEO and marketing and even take a few more photography classes! I am hoping for a super fall!

Here are some of our memories from this time at home:

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) covid photography east mesa photographer family at home family photography lifestyle photography mesa photographer quarantine photos storytelling photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2020/8/endless-summer-or-was-it-spring-break Tue, 18 Aug 2020 19:11:26 GMT
New Jersey Summer 2020 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2020/6/new-jersey-summer-2020 We have been doing lots of work on my husband's dad's farm in New Jersey this year. There is definitely something special about the farm in the summertime! Last week Raina and I flew to meet the boys who had already been there for a few weeks. We got super lucky when my best friend since forever loaded up her family and headed south to hang out with us for a bit. The kids caught frogs and jumped in the sprinkler and bounced on the (death trap) trampoline and swung on the swings and played in the dirt and picked honeysuckle and chilled in the hammock and ate lots of sugar and had a ton of fun...and so did the adults. ;) 

 

 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona arizona child photographer arizona family photographer arizona farm photos backyard backyard wedding mesa arizona backyard weddings catching frogs east mesa family photographer east mesa maternity photographer east mesa photographer east mesa senior photos east mesa storytelling photographer east mesa wedding photographer family photography family photos in queen creek arizona family photos mesa arizona farm photography gilbert senior photos gilbert storytelling photographer lifestyle photography maternity photos mesa arizona mesa mesa arizona family photos mesa child photographer mesa family photographer mesa lifestyle photographer mesa maternity photographer mesa senior photos mesa storytelling photographer mesa wedding photos mesa" newborn photographer mesa arizona newborn photos east mesa newborn photos mesa phoenix storytelling photographer phoenix wedding photographer photographer photographer" photography queen creek family photographer queen creek lifestyle photographer queen creek senior photos queen creek storytelling photographer senior photos in mesa arizona simple weddings arizona small weddings in arizona storytelling photography wedding weddings https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2020/6/new-jersey-summer-2020 Tue, 23 Jun 2020 05:50:28 GMT
Isla's Cake Smash! https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2020/6/islas-cake-smash Isla is turning ONE!

Isla's party is going to be WATERMELON themed so naturally we did a watermelon themed cake smash! 

Usually my cake smash sessions are part of my one-year photo sessions but Isla's mom just wanted a white&simple cake smash for the party invites, etc so we went ahead and just did the smashing of the gorgeous cake. Isla totally rocked it and LOVED the cake (provided by Devonn'es Delights -  https://www.facebook.com/devonnesdelights/ ). She wanted to eat it, hug it, and pick it up and walk away with it. 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona cake smash photography arizona child photographer cake smash cake smash photography cake smash session family photography first birthday lifestyle photography mesa cake smash photography mesa child photographer new hampshire family photographer storytelling photography watermelon cake smash watermelon first birthday https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2020/6/islas-cake-smash Mon, 15 Jun 2020 21:17:32 GMT
After school fun https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2020/2/after-school-fun So I need to blog more. And I need to be more wordy in my blogging. Ugh. I'd rather just say it all with photos, but here we go anyway. When the kids come home from school each day there is usually an activity (horses, basketball, piano, etc) but sometimes we are lucky enough to just have chores and playtime. The weather is awesome right now...not quite pool weather yet, but great for riding bikes and playing either out front or out back. Usually there is at least a neighbor or two who is looking for company as well. While Darius is at piano (and really every chance she gets) Raina likes to put on her headphones and an old broken mp3 player (it only plays the 1st 10 seconds of each song) and make a huge mess in the backyard with Marvel. When Darius gets home we usually move it to the front and meet up with neighbors till it's time for me to go in and make dinner. So yesterday was one of these days but we added in a Kiwi crate robot that Aunty Brooke got for Darius for Christmas. 

 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona family photographer arizona lifestyle photographer arizona storytelling photographer family photography in-home family session arizona lifestyle photography photography skateboarding kids storytelling photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2020/2/after-school-fun Wed, 19 Feb 2020 16:21:29 GMT
Winter hiking (so far) https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2020/2/winter-hiking-so-far Djavad has been gone for work and in NJ handling his father's estate for...I forget how long...maybe a month (?). It took a minute to remember what it's like to have a Skype daddy and husband, but we figured it out and are getting by okay. It's a little reminiscent of before we moved to Phoenix and would only see him for short spurts here and there.

Anyway, so Raina has been joining Darius and I on our hikes. She has totally been rocking it! She definitely complains for the first half mile or so, but she motors those little muscles up the trails and the scrambles and the loose rocks and I am so proud of her hard work. 

Here are some photos from our recent hikes.

Treasure Loop (just Darius, Marvel, and I): This trail might be my new favorite. I freaking love the Superstition Mountains and this hike brings you really close to the incredible rock formations and provides stunning views. Darius and I left this hike feeling so awesome. Marv needed a nap. What a fun day we had. 

Praying Hands: I didn't have much of a plan on this day, other than to revisit Treasure Loop and try to get to a cave-like place that Darius and I had noticed on our previous hike. It was a rough one for Raina (this was before I got her hiking boots) but she powered through amidst a bunch of falls and little bit of blood. It was only when we finished that I looked it up and realized what hike we had done. 

Stargazer Trail: On this day we decided to venture south the San Tans. It was only after I paid the entrance fee that I realized it was a Maricopa County park and that my annual pass would work there. The nice dude at the entrance gate gave me a refund when I told him that I hadn't realized. The trail was short and easy and we saw lots of people on horses and a different kind of landscape. Keeping it real...the kids bickered the whole time and Darius sang, "My sister got peeeeed on by a cowwwww" (where does he get this stuff?) like the whole time and I was ready to chuck him off the hill. 

EJ Peak (Lone Mountain): Another awesome one! Parking for this trail is free which was great...and we went on President's Day which is apparently a big day for hiking. We only encountered 3 other groups on the trail though. The views were beyond amazing. The trail was tough and a little slippery (loose gravel), especially for Raina on the way down. There were some wildflowers already which was a nice treat and a good excuse for Raina to stop every few minutes (so she could smell them...haha!). The kids did not like that the gun range was so loud and frequent but they did like watching the ATVs and Jeeps navigate the trail to Bulldog Canyon below us. 

 

I should probably start lugging a tripod along on the hikes so that I don't have to find a spot with a rock to set the camera on. ;) Perhaps next time. 

 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona arizona family photographer arizona storytelling photographer family photography hike arizona hiking hiking with kids hiking" lifestyle photography storytelling photography superstition mountains https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2020/2/winter-hiking-so-far Wed, 19 Feb 2020 16:06:53 GMT
Thank you, 2019! https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/12/thank-you-2019 What an awesome year! 

Thank you to all my clients, old and new.

Cheers to 2020 ~ Happy Holidays!

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona arizona family photographer arizona" backyard backyard wedding mesa arizona backyard weddings east east mesa family photographer east mesa maternity photographer east mesa photographer east mesa senior photos east mesa wedding photographer family photography family photos in queen creek arizona family photos mesa arizona gilbert senior photos lifestyle photography maternity photos mesa arizona mesa mesa arizona family photos mesa family photographer mesa lifestyle photographer mesa maternity photographer mesa senior photos mesa wedding photos mesa" newborn photographer mesa arizona newborn photos east mesa newborn photos mesa pet phoenix storytelling photographer phoenix wedding photographer photographer photographer" photography queen creek family photographer queen creek lifestyle photographer queen creek senior photos queen creek storytelling photographer senior photos in mesa arizona simple weddings arizona small weddings in arizona storytelling photography wedding weddings https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/12/thank-you-2019 Mon, 23 Dec 2019 19:22:17 GMT
Pumpkin Smashing 2019 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/11/pumpkin-smashing-2019 This year the neighbors let us smash their pumpkins too. ;)

(Raina is totally fine...she just didn't want her pumpkin "to die".)

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona storytelling photographer family photography halloween photography lifestyle photography photography pumpkin smashing storytelling photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/11/pumpkin-smashing-2019 Sat, 02 Nov 2019 02:08:16 GMT
Payson Camping 2019 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/10/payson-camping-2019 We shot up the road to Payson this weekend to do a little hiking and camping over break before things get crazy busy for me with work this fall. 

The events in the above photo were not mom approved...dad hopping over rocks above the rapids.

The "tattoos" were all Darius on the drive up. Thanks dude. The critters were discovered and caught (and released) by Darius and Djavad.

Darius has discovered the lost city of Atlantis as proven by this fossilized trident.

The Payson Airport was having an open house so of course we dropped in. :)

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona family photography family photography houston mesa campground lifestyle photography payson arizona photography storytelling photography water wheel falls https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/10/payson-camping-2019 Sun, 06 Oct 2019 03:12:42 GMT
Djavad turns 50 and Raina turns 6 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/8/djavad-turns-50-and-raina-turns-6 August Birthdays 2019.

Crazy fun.

 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona arizona kid photographer birthday party family photography lifestyle photographer" storytelling photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/8/djavad-turns-50-and-raina-turns-6 Thu, 22 Aug 2019 04:32:43 GMT
Bean https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/7/bean I don't really want to go through and make these all the right size and perfect and in a good order. It was nice to go through some old photos and have a look back on her beautiful life.  14.5 years, 8 moves, 4 states, 100s of friends. She was the Cactus Moon mascot for a while, the inspiration for the acquisition of many a Boston Terrier across the land, my sweet and loyal companion, a diligent lifeguard, and a fall-asleep-aide for both kids. As Raina is putting it this morning, "She is off to play with Piper in the sky".

Bambino "Bean" Longaker Covey Mostofizadeh

December 4, 2004 - July 23, 2019

 

 

 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) family photography lifestyle photography photography storytelling photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/7/bean Tue, 23 Jul 2019 18:47:27 GMT
Summer Adventure https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/7/summer-adventure We took off this weekend to explore around Cottonwood and Jerome while celebrating our 9th anniversary and to show Bean a great time as she nears the end of her wonderful little life. (We have discussed this at length with the kids and when Bean stumbled into the river (see photos), Raina thought that was the end and she was so very upset about it...thus all the terrified faces towards the end of the photos).

We had a great time relaxing, swimming, exploring, and kayaking. We had never been to Jerome before and it's one of my new favorite places! What a cool town. 

We also went to Out Of Africa (Bean stayed at the cabin) and had an amazing time there. 

In our first 5 hours at the cabin we encountered a cardinal, a rattlesnake (like up close and personal...there's video on one of our phones but no photos), and a skunk. The skunk returned nightly and really just kind of hung out with us.

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona campground arizona family photographer arizona photographer cottonwood arizona family photography jerome arizona lifestyle photography out of africa arizona photography storytelling photography thousand trails verde valley https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/7/summer-adventure Tue, 16 Jul 2019 20:21:44 GMT
Spring Break 2019 - 1 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/3/spring-break-2019---1 We are 3 days into our 2 week spring break. We went to the zoo with friends, we made a puppet theatre, we played with water marbles, and we played hard in the rain and hail. 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona family photography arizona lifestyle photography east mesa photographer kids in the rain lifestyle photography mesa family photographer photography rainstorm photos rainstorm photosession storytelling photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/3/spring-break-2019---1 Wed, 13 Mar 2019 17:58:44 GMT
Kid Cameras 2018 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/1/kid-cameras-2018 Year three of giving the kids a disposable camera to help with Christmas morning.

And year two of Darius wanting one for his birthday festivities as well.

Darius's Birthday:

Raina's Christmas Camera:

Darius's Christmas Camera:

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) disposable camera family photography kid cameras lifestyle photography photography storytelling photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/1/kid-cameras-2018 Wed, 23 Jan 2019 21:10:47 GMT
Raina Joy loves to party https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/1/raina-joy-loves-to-party I think Raina's whole class was born this month...so many parties! But she is not complaining.

 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona family photographer birthday party family photography mesa family photographer photography storytelling photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/1/raina-joy-loves-to-party Sun, 20 Jan 2019 17:45:37 GMT
Bringing in 2019 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/1/bringing-in-2019

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona family photographer arizona photographer family photography lifestyle photography new years eve phoenix photographer photography playing in the rain storytelling photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2019/1/bringing-in-2019 Wed, 02 Jan 2019 15:52:56 GMT
Christmas 2018 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/12/christmas-2018 Christmas in Phoenix 2018

Trains with Vegas friends on Christmas Eve Eve and then...no plans at all.

Just books, games, fires, BBQ, presents, and hanging out. 

I have been wearing the same PJs since Sunday night I think.

...And there is a photo in here of our kids drinking out of "dog bowls". I was laughing too hard to get a better photo.

I do wish I had gotten photographic evidence of the "booby trap" Djavad set for the kids on Christmas Eve using string and just about every pot and pan he could find in order to prevent early Santa-seekers from making their way downstairs without us. It was tripped around 330am and again at 615am. ;)

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona family photographer arizona storytelling photographer family photography lifestyle photography mesa family photographer photography storytelling photographer storytelling photography trains https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/12/christmas-2018 Wed, 26 Dec 2018 04:00:34 GMT
Fall in Phoenix https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/12/fall-in-phoenix Normally I am just way too busy this time of year to blog client sessions. And it is not that I am NOT busy this year...it's just that I am not AS busy being in Phoenix as opposed to Vegas where all of my long time clients are. :)

Here are two sisters, one of which is longtime client and friend, and the other came to me this year because she lives right down the road from our new home. 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona photographer at home family photography desert family photos family photography lifestyle Arizona lifestyle photography photography storytelling photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/12/fall-in-phoenix Thu, 06 Dec 2018 16:36:26 GMT
Mostofizadeh Thanksgiving 2018 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/11/mostofizadeh-thanksgiving-2018 We kept it simple this year. The four of us (plus Bean) and one of Djavad's co-workers just hung out in the backyard. We planted some fruit trees, grilled some food, and roasted marshmallows with friends. 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona family photographer family photography lifestyle photography phoenix photographer photography storytelling photography thanksgiving https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/11/mostofizadeh-thanksgiving-2018 Fri, 23 Nov 2018 18:47:32 GMT
Pumpkin Smashing 2018 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/11/pumpkin-smashing-2018 New town...we had to find a new place to smash our pumpkins. Luckily a neighbor told us about a great spot during our neighborhood potluck on Halloween night. This is the first year that Djavad got to join us and he had some fun ideas of his own. 

Here's a photo of our costumes from the night as well (Pikachu, Dr Pointy (from the mind of Darius), Daniel Tiger, Dr Terror, and Wonder Woman).

The final two photos below were taken seconds apart (...Miss Raina Joy when she isn't feeling great...).

ENJOY!

 

 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona family photographer family photography halloween tradition lifestyle photography photography pumpkin smash smashing pumpkins storytelling photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/11/pumpkin-smashing-2018 Fri, 02 Nov 2018 02:05:46 GMT
Fall Fun https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/10/fall-fun We thought we were running out to get pumpkins.

We failed to get pumpkins.

 

 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona fall photography arizona lifestyle photographer arizona october arizona storytelling photographer family photography lifestyle photography photography storytelling photography vertuccio farms https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/10/fall-fun Mon, 22 Oct 2018 04:35:23 GMT
Europe Summer 2018 Part 7 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/7/europe-summer-2018-part-7 Djavad finally got some time off and we went to Vienna for the day. 

Darius had a kinda wiggly tooth when we left the states. He was biting a water bottle on the train and wiggled that thing to full-on-loose. These were the only tears. So, he lost his official first tooth in Vienna. (He did lose the one next to it when he was 7months old...he knocked it out while cruising around the laundry basket.)

Due to the spontaneous nature of the Vienna trip we hopped on a double decker tour bus and got a overview of things to stop and see next time. 

Not only did he lost a tooth in Vienna, we discovered his first gray hair. 

See all those people back there? They are ALL looking down at their phones. There were HUNDREDS of people at this park on their phones. We couldn't figure it out at first but it turned out they were all playing Pokemon Go...something about a Squirtle or something hiding in the park. Anyway, Darius was excited and got to play a bit. 

We happened upon the Riesenrad and adventured around there for the better part of the day. My legs are still bruised from the bumper cars and I might be suffering from a bit of whiplash. 

Again, my awesome husband took the kids so I could explore a bit (faster) on my own in Vienna. Nothing was open by the time I got to it, but it was gorgeous anyway. 

When I met up with Djavad and the kids after exploring they were at a cafe wiggling the tooth. And that's where Darius finally pulled it out. Lucky for him, the tooth fairy had a little foresight and packed a silver dollar. 

This skips ahead a few days, but here are the kids in London...so excited to ride in a 747. 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) family photography family vacation kids in europe lifestyle photography photography riesenrad storytelling photography travel photography vienna austria https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/7/europe-summer-2018-part-7 Mon, 16 Jul 2018 17:09:19 GMT
Europe Summer 2018 Part 6 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/7/europe-summer-2018-part-6 It rained a bunch when we were there and the kids made a not-so-fun little game of fighting over the umbrella. 

Another zipline!

I didn't read much about this statue but it sure was cool!

You can see Darius's eye but can you see the bug he put in there? He thought the bug might like a new house.

The interval timer strikes again!

More treasures!

This little pony and his buddy were often tied to a tree in the park just grazing...cheap lawn mowers? I don't know but Raina loved them. 

Here we are saying goodbye to the fort and to the sticks. 

So, with Djavad being in Europe so much this year he is going to miss some events including Raina's birthday and his own birthday. So, we had a little joint party at our (my?) favorite place to eat. I snuck off to buy some candles and the store only had a 7 candle...Raina will be 5 and Djavad will not be 7 or even 27 or 37 or 47. It worked though. 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) brno czech republic europe vacation lifestyle photography phoenix family photographer photography storytelling photography travel photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/7/europe-summer-2018-part-6 Mon, 16 Jul 2018 16:55:40 GMT
Europe Summer 2018 Part 5 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/7/europe-summer-2018-part-5 This was all one crazy day or exploring, being tourists, and lots and lots of walking. First, we went to the Brno Zoo. It was awesome. The bear cub got super friendly with Raina and the kids got cotton candy.

After the zoo we walked to the reservoir and took a water taxi to Veveri Castle. I was bummed that it was closing as we arrived but hopefully I will get to see it next year. Regardless, the whole day was incredible...and I think I got like 27,000 steps that day on my FitBit. 

Their little legs earned these treats after the zoo and castle day!

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) brno czech republic europe vacation family photography lifestyle photography photography storytelling photography travel photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/7/europe-summer-2018-part-5 Mon, 16 Jul 2018 16:32:01 GMT
Europe Summer 2018 Part 4 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/7/europe-summer-2018-part-4 More days in the park and evenings in the square.

When you spend your days collecting sticks and naming them and coming up with games to play with them, and building homes for your bugs with them, you need a place to hide them overnight. This was our spot. But don't tell Darius I made the spot public. 

More treats!

More bugs. 

More bubbles. 

This was "the fort". I am pretty sure homeless people used it for shelter at night, but by day the kids made it their little house. 

Another bug house. 

That's Spilberk Castle on the hill. 

Darius loved these statues.

On this day at the park, another boy had accidentally left his shovels behind. His mom did come to retrieve them, but Darius and Raina played with them while they could. 

This is a clock in the middle of the square in Brno. It does not look like a clock and it spits out a little glass ball every day at 11am. You have to stick your arm in to get it and there are usually people standing there as early as 930am to stick their hands in and wait. We attempted it one day but, much to the dismay of the kids, we were not the lucky ones (there are multiple holes it could emerge from). Djavad better get one before her comes home...HAHA! The story of the clock is pretty cool. It has something to do with the war and how the people of Brno outsmarted the Swedes. 

There was a glass elevator that went one floor down to breakfast each day and I let the kids ride it themselves. It was a big deal when Darius wasn't with us at breakfast one day and she got to do it all by herself. 

Another spot that I toured while Djavad had the kids. Petrov. It was super creepy in the belltower and the stairs gave me vertigo but it's so beautiful!

More from around Brno.

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) brno czech republic europe vacation family photography lifestyle photography photography storytelling photography travel photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/7/europe-summer-2018-part-4 Mon, 16 Jul 2018 16:24:50 GMT
Europe Summer 2018 Part 3 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/7/europe-summer-2018-part-3 More from around Brno, Spilberk, and the square.

The kids favorite place to eat...a restaurant where the drinks arrive via train. 

Daddy stealing Raina's bubbles before heading off to work. 

Oh, the treasures you find when you have no place to be.

An absolute highlight for me: the Macocha Abyss.

A wide angle lens would have been super to have in the castles and stuff, but these photos do this place absolutely no justice with this lens. When I walked out of the cave to see this (the actual sinkhole), I teared up. It is breathtaking in person. 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) brno czech republic family photography lifestyle photography macocha abyss photography storytelling photography travel photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/7/europe-summer-2018-part-3 Mon, 16 Jul 2018 16:03:57 GMT
Europe Summer 2018 Part 2 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/7/europe-summer-2018-part-2 After a fun train ride we got to Brno, where we would spend the bulk of our time wandering around, jumping, cartwheeling, chasing birds, and collecting stuff. 

The first of many trips to the Cabbage Market (farmer's market with a cool history and a literal labrynth - that I got to tour - underneath it).

The kids did eat some McDonald's...(well they played with the toys and picked at the food anyway)

Thanks for grabbing my camera Djavad. 

Brno has some cool stuff happening underground. This is the old mint. 

I decided to buy sketchbooks and some pastels to occupy some of the time. This was a frequent activity while Djavad was flying. I am in some of the photos, thanks to my interval timer.

Spilberk Castle and the Casements below it (dungeons...). Djavad and the kids left me at some point down there and I ran like hell to get out. Freaked me right out.

This is in Spilberk Park, which was across the street from where we stayed (castle at the top of the hill). We spent most days in this park at the playgrounds, picnicking, collecting sticks and bugs and wandering around. 

I loved all the doors. More from around Brno...

Raina REALLY loved the street musicians. 

The Cabbage Market. 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) brno czech republic europe vacation family photography lifestyle photography photography storytelling photography travel photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/7/europe-summer-2018-part-2 Mon, 16 Jul 2018 15:55:00 GMT
Europe Summer 2018 Part 1 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/7/europe-summer-2018-part-1 Djavad's job landed him (and us) in the Czech Republic this summer. He's there for 3 to 4 months and, between the move and school and everything, we were able to join him for about 3 weeks. I can't list everything that I loved about it because there is just so much...but here are a few things: 1. Getting to see Djavad every day. 2. Getting to meet some of his co-workers. 3. Getting to go to Europe with the kids (DUH!) 4. Getting to travel a bit but also getting to stay in one place long enough to really get a feel for it. 5. Appreciating Europe's appreciation for JUST sitting, having a drink, and watching the world. 6. Appreciating Europe's appreciation for coffee and beer. 7. The architecture. 8. The history. 9. Watching the kids entertain themselves without their toys.  10. Consuming some wheat without consequence. 11.  The farmer's market withing walking distance. 12. I have to be honest...not doing laundry or making breakfast or cleaning for 3 whole weeks. 

Here are some photos of our adventures. I do regret not bringing a wider lens...next summer I'll remember.

This post, part 1, is the first few days in Prague.

Here the kids are killing our Madrid layover with their brand-spankin' new tablets that I gave to them after we were airborne out of Phoenix. I seriously thought Darius was going to cry with joy when I handed it to him.

 

we are at Prague Castle! Djavad took the kids to a park while I toured the castle, thus the many photos of armor and the toilet (to show Darius).

Raina wanted a turn with the camera. 

Lots of photos at cafes and of the kids eating and drinking. They got a LOT of treats. 

Bubbles, so many bubbles. This is right as those two blondies plowed into Raina. The bubble guy had words for them but I didn't understand them (HA!).

Bubbles, bugs, and sticks were the Mostofizadeh toys of Europe 2018. They caught at least 5 of these little guys a day. 

Another thing I loved about being there: The parks have things like zip lines and other things that would just never fly in the US.

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) arizona lifestyle photography europe family vacation family photography kids in europe lifestyle photography photography storytelling photography travel photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/7/europe-summer-2018-part-1 Mon, 16 Jul 2018 15:41:12 GMT
Easter 2018 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/4/easter-2018 Welcome spring 2018.

Our Easter weekend.

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) family photography henderson libraries las vegas family photographer lifestyle photography nevada family photographer nevada lifestyle photographer photography storytelling photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/4/easter-2018 Mon, 02 Apr 2018 20:58:12 GMT
Forty. https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/1/forty Big thanks to Sara for taking these 40th birthday photos for me. 

Another big thanks to my buddy Karina for the delicious and wonderful gluten free cake.

I was too busy mom-ing to complete the shirt change before the cake, thus the cami. Oops. 

 

I spent my 1s just bugging my siblings.

My 10s carving soap, making eerie charcoal drawings, and oozing wildly unnecessary teenage strife.

My 20s were spent mostly revolving around alcohol; Living 32 paces from the tide in Mexico, up the road from Fenway, and at the Cactus Moon.

My 30s were for getting married, having kids, and lactating.

My 40s...maybe they are for settling in and traveling around. ;)

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/1/forty Thu, 01 Feb 2018 04:06:18 GMT
Mostofizadeh Christmas 2017 - by Darius and Raina https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/1/mostofizadeh-christmas-2017---by-darius-and-raina Christmas morning from their persepective...and a few of looking at houses in Phoenix...and a few in the car and some other random stuff. 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) family photography lifestyle photography storytelling photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/1/mostofizadeh-christmas-2017---by-darius-and-raina Fri, 26 Jan 2018 19:14:46 GMT
Florida Recon Mission https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/1/florida-recon-mission Tons of driving and googling and navigating and inspecting and exploring.

We wrapped up the Phoenix mission before New Years and went off to Florida's Gulf coast to do the same last week. A move is on the horizon! Stay tuned.

The kids are TROOPERS! And grandpa&grandma proved to be awesome troopers too...they joined us for a few days of the mission!

 

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) beach photography family photographer florida photographer lifestyle photography photography storytelling photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2018/1/florida-recon-mission Sun, 14 Jan 2018 05:24:18 GMT
Mostofizadeh Christmas 2017 https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2017/12/mostofizadeh-christmas-2017 Stay tuned for the kid camera photos but here's what came from my camera. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) christmas 2017 family photography las vegas family photographer lifestyle photography nevada lifestyle photography photography storytelling photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2017/12/mostofizadeh-christmas-2017 Tue, 26 Dec 2017 20:14:33 GMT
Darius's 6th birthday party https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2017/12/dariuss-6th-birthday-party We opted to bring in Darius's 6th year at the park with science and about 30 of his closest friends...HA! We had a blast! We did it 4 days early so the most important of the important people to him (daddy) could attend. 

(and yes, that's him with a disposable camera directing his friends for photos...)

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rachel@rachelelizphoto.com (Rachel Elizabeth Photography) birthday party family photography lifestyle photography nevada photogapher photography storytelling photography https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2017/12/dariuss-6th-birthday-party Sun, 10 Dec 2017 04:36:09 GMT
Thankful for Zion https://www.rachelelizphoto.com/blog/2017/11/thankful-for-zion Thank you, Djavad, for being home and being you.

And thank you, Zion for being incredible. 

Till next time.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

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