A Tamarack Thanksgiving

As I explained in my previous post, our family spent three fun nights at a Tamarack Resort townhouse over Thanksgiving. The kids had the most wonderful time doing crafts every day, sledding, hot tubbing, watching endless movies, having books read to them, snacking, eating candy, and eating wonderful meals. Oh wait, all the big people got to do those things too (with a bit more work added in). 🙂 On Thanksgiving day we did have turkey and some of the trimmings, but scaled it down so as to have a more relaxed day. It worked and no one went away from the table hungry that’s for sure.

The townhouse had four bedrooms and three bathrooms on three levels. The living/kitchen/dining space was a bit small for the number of people and all our “stuff” but no one ever complained. The hot tub was right out the front door and the sledding hill right across the fence from the hot tub. Pretty convenient. The two dads, Robby and Matt, were the best dads ever, taking the kids sledding any time they wanted and for as long as they wanted, only to be rewarded to the hot tub afterwards. Great weekend, great memories. 🙂_mg_7153_web_mg_7176_web_mg_7171_web_mg_7136_web_mg_7141_web

Simone was so proud of her icicle._mg_7147_web

But there were tears when it broke on a sled ride. Even daddy couldn’t fix it. _mg_7158_web_mg_7150_web

Jayden is a sled sandwich in this next picture. He’s wedged in between Robby and Syd._mg_7151_web_mg_7154_web_mg_7165_web_mg_7169_web_mg_7166_web_mg_7183_web_mg_7447_web

The kids made snow globes, Christmas ornaments, gingerbread houses, and reindeer drawings.


Cole got to stay in his jammies all day one day. 😉


On Thanksgiving afternoon we went to the hotel area to go sledding. The snow had melted too much over by the townhouse, so we ventured out. It’s so sad what a ghost town this place is. Many of the houses are still studded walls inside only and the hotel is fenced in and unfinished while being somewhat protected from the rain and snow. Over three days I saw a small handful of people and a few cars in the driveways. It was crazy quiet, a little eerie, but nice at the same time. I was re-reading about Tamarack on-line today. It’s been in bankruptcy for about 10 years now. Anyway, these next pictures are taken over by the hotel. There was a service road with a few bumps and some frozen snow. Everyone was flying down this hill and I was at the bottom taking pictures of their “fun”. This smart girl stayed off the sleds. I think you’ll understand why._mg_7245_web_mg_7244_web__mg_7254_web_mg_7255_web_mg_7250_web

Cole: “You going to do that Grampa?”

Grampa: “I guess I will. It looks easy enough.” (“Oh s _ _ _!”)




That evening a few “I dare ya’s” started, and this was the result.


All I can say is “the family that hot tubs together, stays together?” Love you all and thanks for a fun and memorable Thanksgiving weekend kids. (Grampa seconds that.)

Kathy - December 7, 2016 - 8:22 PM

What a wonderful Thanksgiving you all had. Thanks for sharing.

Megan - December 7, 2016 - 8:35 PM

Oh I just love G-babe posts. So fun to finally see what sweet images you captured while watching you snap away. Although we all need to be better about getting YOU in some of those pictures. Sorry about that!

Great weekend- thank you for giving us smiling memories to savor!

Megan - December 7, 2016 - 8:37 PM

P.S. The photo of Cole and Grampa and then the next two of Grampa made me laugh out loud. I can still see you crying from laughter when Dad came down that hill.

Fairly Candid - December 8, 2016 - 9:33 AM

Thanks Kathy for checking in (I love you for that) and Megan, I was sure your dad was going to biff it like the rest of you, but the look of terror on his face was what made me laugh. I laugh just thinking about it! I still can’t believe none of you got hurt (besides a little soreness and a few bruises perhaps). And I still have no regrets for not doing it.

Vince - December 9, 2016 - 10:49 AM

FUN!! Looks like everyone had a great time. I think the third pic is my favorite. Mikey, the first one of you is a good portrait.

Becky - December 11, 2016 - 6:38 PM

Love the pictures. So many smiles.

The Mouser’s

We got invited by Matt and Danielle to have Thanksgiving at Tamarack Resort this year and it took about one second to think about it and say YES! The Gerichs were invited and said yes as well and what a great, noisy, fun, tiring, relaxing time we had for three (sleepless) nights with our whole family. Some pics of the weekend will come in the next post, but this post is about Matt, Danielle, MJ (now 7), and Jayden (4½) who braved the snow and cold the second year in a row (see last year’s) to capture some winter wonderland Christmas card pictures. Bowie is their lab who got to come for the holiday also. The kids bought her shortly after their April wedding almost 9 years ago. She was so interested in things going on around her when she was in a picture, but didn’t always want to be left out either. Love you kids!


Danielle - November 27, 2016 - 6:40 PM

Welp… looks like everyone will be getting mini Christmas card books, because how in the world will I be able to pick just a few???
The picture that made me laugh hysterically was the one of us all sitting on the ground and Bowie is peeking at you from behind. Crazy dog!!
Thank you so much for doing these!!! Love every single one.

Fairly Candid - November 28, 2016 - 8:03 PM

It was fun taking them. You guys are always up for anything — like freezing your butt sitting down while I wore snow gear. ?

Tracey - December 1, 2016 - 8:49 AM

These are such nice photos. Can’t believe how much the boys have grown. Merry Christmas to you all.

Fairly Candid - December 2, 2016 - 9:58 AM

There’s something nice about kids growing up … and sad all at the same time. Thanks Tracey. Merry Christmas to you as well.

Vince - December 4, 2016 - 8:55 PM

I especially like the last one. Reminds me of a Bergman film.

The Gerichs {with cousins added in}

The photo season has come to a close and what a better way to end it up for me than with some of the people who give me the most joy — my kids and g-babes! We were babysitting the boys on this day so I told Danielle to put them in something red/black/gray and it worked out great. I got my Christmas card photo taken (thanks Megan) and we got the Gerichs and some cute cousin photos taken along the way as well. We missed Matt and Danielle but the plan is to take some pictures of their family at Tamarack over Thanksgiving. We might be doing falling snow pictures — which I would love actually. Now a big shout out to the Severns family for their color ideas. Megan just loved what they did and so copied it — the best compliment right? Love to my kids and to all you readers as well. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We all have much to be thankful for. Mary



Sydney turns 7 on New Year’s Day and she is in first grade. She loves when I come to volunteer and has even opted to miss recess to help me with teacher’s projects. Megan told me the other day that she came squealing to her after school saying the teacher told her she was good at math. Only my Sydney can get so excited about stuff like that. The teacher called her an “old soul” because of how she picks up the classroom, organizes books, etc. without any prompting. She is the best second mother to Cole too. She loves that boy and the feeling is quite mutual. I can hardly do anything right with Cole when she’s around because she likes to tell me how she does it. Ha! She cracks me up. And if you want a good chuckle, sit next to Sydney when watching a funny video or movie. Her laughter will make you laugh. She definitely got Grampa’s gift of laughter. She is loud and spirited, moody at times, loves to wrestle, and almost always dresses in dresses or skirts — rarely pants — and that’s how she’s always been. She definitely has an opinion when it comes to fashion. She knows what she likes. Some day this girl is going to conquer the world and I’ll be right there cheering her on. 😉 _mg_7023-1_web_mg_7087-1_web_mg_7090-1_web

Simone is 4-½ and the middle child and is gracefully outgrowing her defiant ways. She always has a hug for me and she wants to help, loves an adventure, and still has the grandest imagination as she plays house or dolls – often alone and content in it. Her favorite thing at my house is my old iPod so she can listen to music and play with doll figurines, both soldiers and princesses (sometimes tying them up together). The opportunity to watch a movie will motivate her to get anything done. Books are her friends too. Read a book to her once or twice, and she’ll repeat it back. She has gone to the library every week for 3 years + now. She is a sponge when it comes to learning but doesn’t really know she’s doing it or think it’s a big deal. Sydney told me the other day that Simone is better at some things than she is (and Sydney doesn’t always appreciate that). Simone is humble — doesn’t even know what bragging is. She and Cole tussle at times. She gives him the business and he gives it right back — just like siblings do — but for the most part they tumble and rumble with each other all in good fun. This girl has a spirit inside and it is lovely.


Cole is 18 months old now and still addicted to his mom, but for the first time the other day, he didn’t fuss and run to her when she returned to my house. I celebrated that! He just looked at her as if to say “I’m not ready to go yet.” When he and I are alone we get along famously as we play trucks together or take walks as he pushes his bear or doll in a doll stroller. But I have to be careful how far we go because when he is tired he just sits down and won’t budge so I’m left carrying him, bear, and the stroller back to the house! He loves his pacifier still but Grampa has a way with him. He just says “Cole, give it to Grampa”, and Cole comes right over and hands it to him. Of course he might want it back the next second, but it’s pretty darn cute. He is saying all kinds of words now and is the best kid I’ve ever known to be put down to sleep. He gets all wound up at night and runs in circles giving everyone the boom as his family calls it (wrestling). He loved being at the Farmstead for these pictures as he got to feed the goats and see all the free range chickens. He’s at such a fun age and time is flying quickly.




These next two pictures prove that if you can’t convince your cousins to do what you want to do, it’s best (and more fun) to just join them. 🙂



MJ is also in first grade and turned 7 in October. He’s a sweet kid and always has a hug for me … except at school when I come to volunteer. He’s become a bit shy about it but we have a bet going so this gramma is going to turn that cart around. Ha! I love helping in his and Syd’s class. Watching their teachers teach is just amazing to me. MJ’s class is so diverse with kids from all countries and he is so kind and helpful to all classmates. He has a competitive streak when it comes to reading that I hadn’t realized. The kids are broken up into different reading groups with other first grade classes and his group was timed to see how much of a story they could read without mistakes. He did awesome but when another child beat his time he wanted redemption to try and beat it. All the kids were doing it and it was all in good fun. Jayden is 4½ and still a lover and just goes with the flow. He talks consistently when he is with me and has question after question about whatever it is we are doing or where we are going. He goes to school with Danielle when she goes to volunteer so he’s excited for kindergarten next year and will no doubt be as helpful as MJ. Cole is smitten with him and it’s no wonder why. Love you boys!


And this next picture is going on the wall in a big size and will be the cover of my 2016 photo album. What joy these kids give Mike and I. We get pooped out by them too, but mostly because I’ve been so busy this fall with photos so give me a long Thanksgiving nap and I’ll be ready for you kids! Love you all, Gramma


And last my favorite blooper of the day. “PLEASE! NO MORE PICTURES!”


Vince - November 22, 2016 - 3:03 AM

What an attractive family. I think one of your gifts is to create an atmosphere of joy and comfort. All of your subjects look so comfortable and happy. I’ve never seen one who appeared stiff or uncomfortable.

Megan - November 22, 2016 - 8:22 AM

First, the last picture. Oh my goodness. It’s perfect.

And jump, squeal, boogie! I LOVE mine! The candid ones of all the kids together and separate and it will be hard for me to choose one family picture. I’m thinking the second or third for my wall. Hmmmmmm. Rob and Simone is amongst my favorites, with the the kids on the tractor a close second. And yes, thanks Lori! I LOVE the colors!

Thank you thank you thank you. I know it was a busy season and you worked extra hard to get these done for me. You’re the best, and so loved!

Megan - November 22, 2016 - 8:31 AM

And, as always your descriptions and quick notes about each kid is so spot on. I think that’s always my favorite part of the posts that you do on my family. Yes, I love the pictures but the words and how well you know my kids definitely touches my mommy and daughter heart.

Fairly Candid - November 22, 2016 - 9:56 AM

First off, the color scheme gives credit to Nicole Severns this year and secondly, thank you Vince and Megan for the sweet words. My gramma heart is full.

Rob - November 22, 2016 - 10:28 AM

Great job Mary!!! Thank you for the wonderful pictures and words. I’ve already emailed Megan my order. :o) My Favorites are Cole pinching Syd’s nose, the family pic with Mone on my shoulders, and the one where Cole was standing on the fence. Thank you for all the time and energy you put into this, you are awesome!

Lori - November 22, 2016 - 6:48 PM

Mary, these are gorgeous! I love the first family picture, the black and white of Robbie and Simone, the gorgeous picture of you and the grandkids (!!!), and all of the amazing pictures in between! You all did such an amazing job! Nice work!

Tracey - November 25, 2016 - 4:41 PM

Mary I love these pictures. Your Grands are so cute! So happy you can have so much fun with them. Hope you all have a wonderful Holiday Season.

Fairly Candid - November 27, 2016 - 3:26 PM

Thank you Tracey for your comment that I just happen to agree with … that the grands are so cute. Their little personalities are all so fun and different.

The Reed’s

Sarah is an attorney at Hawley Troxell where I used to work and is one of the kindest women you’d have the pleasure of meeting. Her and Greg were last on my blog two years ago when they just had Ellie, but they are now blessed with Oliver who turns one in December as Ellie turns four. To put it mildly, Ellie is very social and a bit dramatic especially in her singing and story telling. She had me in tears laughing over her very long and detailed rendition of “Let it Go” and when we all thought it was over and started to clap, she gave us very definitive eyes and said “I’m not done!” to which we said sorry and listened till she was. Too funny and too cute this girl. Later on I found some glitter on a rock and said it was pixie dust to which we got a whole new story that went on and on again. The girl has a wonderful imagination I’m telling ya. Oliver was pretty darn serious for most of our session, but I eventually got to see that adorable smile. He was so content to just do whatever we were doing — unless you put him down — then he liked to crawl away. 🙂  Beautiful children, beautiful family. Love, Mary


Tracey - November 25, 2016 - 4:47 PM

Mary, The Reed’s are such a cute family. You have so much fun with them and all your Clients. I am so happy you keep in touch and up date their pictures.

Fairly Candid - November 27, 2016 - 3:27 PM

I agree Tracey, I am lucky to get to photograph these fine fun people. 🙂

The Clark’s

The extra cool thing about repeat clients is you get to see their kids grow. Sheila and I used to work together and the first year I photographed Sammy and Lexxy (now 8 and in 3rd Grade) they were just turning four. Four years is a huge difference in maturity for kids, and seeing Sammy and Lexxy this year was extra fun. They were outgoing cooperative kids, ready for adventure and they never once complained. Come to think of it, neither did Sheila or Kevin. Ha! (Ok, that implies that they used too, but that’s not true.) Nice work Clark family. 🙂 As always I have a blast with your family and it was so great catching up a bit with you Sheila during the chaos. Your girls are just the greatest. Having two sets of twins in our own family, I know the joy they bring. Love ya, Mary

Sammy is in Black/Gray and Lexxy is in Gray/Burgundy



Tracey - November 25, 2016 - 4:51 PM

Precious. Those Girls are just darling. Love seeing their pictures.

The Johnston’s

It’s always a good time when I get to spend time with this family. James and Cassi attend our church (and we took these before church) but with three services, we sometimes don’t run into one another, but it’s also a bit intimidating now because Cassi is a photographer herself with a brand new website up and running (CassandraJohnstonPhography.com) so congratulations Cassi! It’s always my joy and privilege to capture a few images for them. Cooper and Paige are now 3-½ and growing so fast. Slow down! Something Cassi and James are probably saying too. 🙂 It was one of the last beautiful weekends and I am grateful for it. Who can remember when we had so many annuals still blooming mid-November! Love you all, Mary


Kids will be kids and my “plan” was for Paige to sit down amongst the flowers (where you will find Cooper sitting) but no, she wasn’t having it and wanted to stay on the bench, so I’m thinking if I ask Cooper to sit down there, then she will want to. Well, my trick didn’t work. She outsmarted me. 😉 These are two sweet kiddos.


Cassi - November 17, 2016 - 2:08 PM

Love, love all of them! What if I can’t pick a favorite? Thank you so much, Mary.
It is always so much fun spending time with you and your handy dandy reflector guy 🙂

Fairly Candid - November 17, 2016 - 3:26 PM

Cassi, It’s always great hanging with you and the kids. You guys are so easy going and just let me do my thing … which can be hard for another photographer so kudos to you! And yes, that reflector guy is pretty handy when he’s around on sessions – like never. It’s only because we were headed to church that he came, but I sure appreciated him! Mary

Linda - November 18, 2016 - 9:12 AM

Aww, be still my heart! Some of my favorite people on the planet, my sweet Johnston Jr. family captured by the best friend a girl could have, who just happens to have mad photographic skills. I love the photos and all of you!

Fairly Candid - November 18, 2016 - 9:36 AM

Linda, you know how to make a family and a best friend’s day! You’re the best! Mary

Vince - November 25, 2016 - 4:28 PM

Love love love these! Now it’s Cassi’s turn to photograph you.

Tracey - November 25, 2016 - 4:58 PM

This family is so Photogenic. James & Cassi have beautiful smiles. Paige and Cooper are darling. Good luck to Cassi on her voyage through photography.

Fairly Candid - November 27, 2016 - 3:25 PM

Vince, I know, next year we need to do a trade again. We did it last year but this year I had my grand boys when I did Megan’s family so put Mike and I and the boys in the same colors and made it happen. One setting and done! Tracey, thank you for your comment as well. I’m sure Cassi appreciates your well wishes.Mary

The S Family

This is my second visit at the S family home — well actually third since I accidentally left my spare memory card behind and ran out of memory before my session was finished. I returned a few days later and grabbed a few more shots which allowed them a wardrobe change and me a little lower sun. They are busy people but couldn’t have been more gracious so thank you Jenny and Drew! Sydney is now 3-½ and she met me at the door as soon as I arrived with the revelation that “she was bigger now!” She is a social butterfly and is silly and helpful and everything in-between. She’s also a big sister now and was anxious to let me meet petite little Sierra now 6 months old. She is an adorable little peep with big bright eyes and sweet expressions and I think these two sisters are going to get along famously. 🙂 Here’s to another lovely family. Enjoy. Mary

Jenny - November 15, 2016 - 8:32 PM

Love, love, love them!!! Thanks so much for your hard work, adaptability and beautiful art! What talent you have in capturing sweet moments and memories. Excited to print some of these to treasure for years to come. Thanks again and see you around FBC!

Fairly Candid - November 16, 2016 - 4:31 PM

Jenny, thank you so much. Really. You made my day. 🙂 Mary

The Condel Family

This was the coldest morning I have been out in this year — a numbing 36 degrees. Brrr. It hardly fazed Brooke and Jon, but then I’ve always been a super wimp when it comes to the cold. Harper, now 2-½, is so cute with her blonde hair and big blue eyes, and has changed so much since her last year’s photos. They said she woke up wanting mommy so she did lots of snuggling to stay warm and still gave us some pretty sweet smiles doing it. Her Grammy Linda was visiting for two weeks from Virginia, so she braved a few pictures then skedaddled back to the warmth of the car (because it was 80 degrees in Virginia that day). No matter the temperature, it’s always a pleasure being around this family. You guys are great! And wonderful to meet you too Linda. 🙂 Mary



Aww, who doesn’t love a baby?! I do and here’s a happy one. This is Weston at 6 months, youngest of three with two big sisters before him. It’s his show today, however, and his mom, Jen, and I met at a subdivision park. To show you what a small world it is, Jen used to live in the subdivision and knew right where it was. She even had her first child, now 6, photographed there when she was 6 months old. 🙂 The day was expected to be sunny and beautiful and two hours before our session we had rain and strong winds so we rescheduled. But then, Boise weather being what it is, it cleared up and we were able to still meet and get this happy boy’s pictures taken! If you look real close at his bib overalls, you’ll see a white tag that says: Super Awesome Handsome Little Guy. I think that fits Weston perfectly. So nice meeting you Jen, and a big shout out to Lori W. for the referral! Mary


These next few pictures may indicate Weston is not a big fan of the grass. Just saying’.



Lori - November 3, 2016 - 8:36 PM

Mary, you did a beautiful job with Weston!! These pictures capture his sweet, wonderful personality! Such gorgeous photos of Jen and that sweet miracle boy! ❤️

Theresa Safley - November 4, 2016 - 12:35 PM

Awwww I just love the photos of Westen and Jen. You captured the love and happiness in their smiles. Such a happy beautiful baby and mommy!

Vince - November 5, 2016 - 12:42 AM

So wonderfully expressive!

Tracey - December 1, 2016 - 8:57 AM

Weston is such a cutie. Sure wish I could hold him. His family will have a real fun time ahead.

Daddy’s Girl Sophie

It’s been two years and several months now since we’ve been in our new home and it’s all because of this guy — Larry Fields of Silvercreek Realty. We looked for an existing home to buy after selling our last one, but in December 2014 there weren’t many on the market. Months passed as we lived in a small apartment and it was Larry who found the option to build with Tresidio Homes and everything just fell into place. These pictures are Christmas gifts so if you know his wife Galen, mums the word! Larry walks Sophie — 5, in Kindergarten, and a little ray of sunshine to be around — to school each morning with half the distance her walking and the other half on his shoulders. He also says he volunteers in her class several times as week and loves every minute of it and the feeling is mutual. She’s a daddy’s girl for sure and he soaks it up.

A recent quote I read: Being a daddy’s girl is like having permanent armor for the rest of your life. 🙂


Megan Gerichs - November 2, 2016 - 9:02 PM

Her teeth are AMAZING! What a gorgeous smile!

Tracey - December 1, 2016 - 9:10 AM

I hope her Father has a big stick. He will be beating those boys off when she gets to be a teen. Ha. Glad to see a caring Father.