Jesse | My Son

I almost feel like I need to stand up here and say, “Hello, my name is Chelle Nicole and I am a blog deserter…”  And, then you can all answer, “Hi, Chelle!”  hahaha!!! I am sure it is not as drastic as that, but, as I was preparing this blog I did have a quick moment of panic that after 10 months of not blogging, would I even remember how?!  But, I can’t think of a better reason to quit my blog fast than to celebrate my third child, my baby boy, and his EIGHTEENTH birthday!!!!!

Jesse!!!  I have called this little (big) guy my Joy Boy for as long as I can remember and he has lived up to that nickname in spades!  I can’t think of a man that brings me so much joy and love, even when he frustrates the living bejeebies out of me!
Even getting him to agree to a shoot was a miracle.  As many of you know, he is a little camera shy…although lately, he has really taken to being behind the camera.  The only reason he agreed to humor his mom for this shoot literally last night was if he could get his car washed and bring it with him!  He reminds me so much of my brother.  He loves a good joke and if you can make him laugh…he won’t stop.  But, making me laugh is way more fun for him!   And, I have to say, he is quite handsome!  My own dad’s mini me, for sure!He is a little bit messy at home, but his car he keeps pristine.  He LOVES his classes at Bates where he is learning Diesel Mechanics but he hates college History.  He will sing to me in the car anytime I ask him to…crooning out Frank Sinatra or my favorite song by Coldplay, but he refuses to stand on a stage and be in the spotlight.  He loves big and he hugs even bigger.  He is fearless and yet, he is tenderhearted.I love this man.  My son.He is SO goofy…almost all of the time.  And, there are black fingerprints on all my furniture…from his freshly washed, still black greasy hands.Sometimes he can be so juvenile and argumentative.  And, then the next moment he can realize that I am having a really rough day and he will just wrap his enormous arms around me and tell me it’s going to be ok.  And, then the next moment he will pull something so random out of his brain and make me laugh so hard.I can’t imagine our lives without him.He is eighteen now, which means a couple of things.  He is old enough to get a grown-up job and start having some grown-up responsibilities.  And, It also means that I succeeded!!!!!  All three of my kids survived into adulthood and my official job as Mama to little ones is over!  I know I will always be their mom…but, somewhere in my mind I always had this panicked prayer to God, “Please, help me get them to adulthood….” and, many times I doubted that it would happen.  BUT IT DID!  Today, I graduate to being a mom of adults!  WHEW!!!!!  (funny that I type that as I show you photos of my son standing on top of a car….so, maybe I didn’t do the best job…but, he is still alive.  A feat MANY people were worried might not happen!)A boy and his car!He wanted to take his photos in this spot because it was a spot that he found himself…and he loves showing me up as a photographer!  Jesse Donovan Velez. I love you!  We are all so blessed to have you in our family and I thank God every day that He allowed ME, of all people, to by YOUR Mom!  You are my Joy Boy forever and ever.  Happy Birthday, Chuy!  I hope you have an awesome year….and keep the tattoos to a minimum!  🙂  


Jeni Gregory - Absolutely wonderful to see you back at it again Chelle. Jessie you are more handsome and grown up than I’ve ever seen. Your joy of life and your humble spirit is really captured in these pictures. I’m so glad your mom’s posted them. You have so much waiting for you in your future. It has been an honor to watch you navigate your life to this point and I look forward to the continued photo documentary that will give us proof that you are doing very well 🙂

Rebecca turns ONE! | {Tacoma Family Photography}

I love seeing families from year to year!  This is a very special family to me…from the very first email that they sent me when their oldest daughter was still growing in the womb I was smitten!  Elizabeth is a wonderful writer and grabs your heart with her stories…and I couldn’t wait to meet her!  And, now look at them…two beautiful daughters later!  Time flies!This session was really for Rebecca…she turned one and it was the perfect celebration to be captured with a session!
But, of course, we captured everyone while they were there..including this beautiful little character, Kristin!Look at that smile!
Elizabeth wanted to make sure they just captured some of their family hanging out on the beach…I love a casual session….And, we had beautiful light!Aren’t they all so beautiful!Sisters!I love photos like these….these are the moments we want them to remember…..the joy, the connection….…the time spent together building things!Cutie!Kristin was not at all shy about the water…And, Rebecca just wanted to share!As always…we captured just mom and dad….
David and Elizabeth!  It’s always a joy to see you and your girls!!!  Thanks for a fun evening!


Selah Layne | {Tacoma Portrait Photography}

I don’t think that 21 years ago if you tried to describe to me as I was holding this precious little newborn with huge brown eyes and enough thick brown hair to put in a ponytail what it would feel like to be a mom to an adult daughter that I could have comprehended any of it.  This gorgeous woman is mine….she came from me!  She has things about her that I see myself in…and yet, she is so uniquely her!  I am in awe sometimes as I look at her!Selah is the one that started it all in my family!  She’s my first babygirl!  And, now…she’s all grown up!  Our last session together was for her senior session in high school.  It’s been too long, for sure!  So, when she asked if we could do a session for her 21st birthday…I was all in.  So in, in fact, that we decided to make a whole day of it and have a little adventure together, just the two of us!  That rarely happens…so, it was a treat!We ventured to Vantage, Washington.  We had a lovely little drive and then stopped for dinner at this hole in the wall steakhouse that we expected to less than stellar…but, was actually great food and even better customer service!Selah has always been a good sport about having her photos taken…but, there was always a little part of me that knew she wasn’t ever really happy with how they turned out!  But, this time…we did things a little different and she had more of a vision and we both walked away super excited about how they turned out!I know I am biased…I always say that…but, even if she weren’t mine, I would think she was stunning!Vantage is GORGEOUS!  We weren’t sure where we were going to stop, or what we would find…but, it made the adventure even more fun!Selah loves a dramatic black and white image….and so do I!This was one of her favorites!  With my own kids, they have the advantage of getting to pick the ones I feature in the blog post….and then I always sneak in a favorite or two of my own!I was a little surprised when Selah told me she had packed a dress…she’s not typically the dress type…but, boy was it so cute on her!  And, that hat?!  So fun!!!WOW!That’s my girl!  We joke around a little that she can be dark and twisty and that she loves the color black….but, look at that smile!  It still melts my heart 21 years later! As you have probably noticed…Selah loves tattoos!  I made her wait till she was 18 to get her first…but, she has made up for lost time since then.  I love almost all of them!  haha!  Just kidding!  I think they suit her.  This one of the girl on her arm is special to her because her close friend designed it….so we made to sure to capture a few of that one!I have never been to this part of Vantage..and I have to say, even though I think the Grand Canyon is beyond amazing…this does feel like we have our own amazing wonder of the world right here in our own little Northwest!It was hot and we welcomed the breeze.One last outfit change as the sun was beginning to warm up for it’s exit.  I wish there was a way to bottle up that golden warmth that just pours over the world at golden hour!  It makes me remember how truly loved we are by God that he displays such beauty for us…just because he loves us!One of my favorites!That’s Selah!  Open, honest, and authentic!  I just love her!  One amazing thing about her growing up is that while I still get to be called mom…I also see our relationship as more of a friendship now.  We can talk about anything…even fight about anything…and we always end up working it out, having a glass of wine, and moving on!  It’s a fun new experience!
Every once in a while when she thinks I am not paying attention I can make her laugh….and catch it in a photo!  Also one of my favorites!  As you can guess…she LOVES this one!  So artsy and dramatic!It was almost time to wrap it up……but, the memories of this night with my Babygirl will stay in my heart forever…and in the form of a photo!  I am grateful to have something to hold on to as she journeys on through life…just a small moment in time captured!Seaweed…I love you!  You are beautiful and so true to yourself!  I am so proud and grateful to be your mom!  Happy Birthday!!!!


Sherri Erickson - Wow! So much loveliness. Thank you for sharing your talent, and your love for your kids.

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