Memorial Day is a day that commemorates all U.S. Service Members who died while in the military service. A day to recognize the fallen victims. My father, brothers and nephew have served in the United States Marine Corps, so I have a special place for those who have served our country. I know many people look at Memorial Day as the kick off to summer or a great day to go camping. But… let us remember the meaning of the holiday and let us give thanks to those who serve the good ol’ U.S.A. Also, let us pray for those families who have lost a loved one during their service. My heart and prayers are with you. l I took these photographs last year when I was in Santa Monica, so the while the numbers may not be accurate to date; I felt it was appropriate to post them today. Happy Memorial Day everyone.
Kai has been dancing and choreographing for years. Originally from Hawaii, this dancer started at Hypersquad, also known as The Hype. And for those of you wondering; members of the group Hype 5-0, that was on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew (Season 5) last year are members from the dance studio The Hype. Kai started his dancing career while he was still in high school before venturing off to dance and perform internationally for the last few years. This was my first love… my brother’s first son, Kai. I knew from the minute he was born and I held him in my arms, he would be someone I adore and care for my entire life. Many years have passed since that moment when he was a little boy, but my feelings for him have only intensified over the years. I remember that feeling he gave me when I held him tight in my arms. It still stays with me today. All of my nieces and nephews mean the world to me… I love each and every one of them immensely. They are all different. They are all special. Most importantly, they are ALL loved so much by myself. I don’t know how to explain the love that I have for all 6 of them, but it is a love that will always be forever strong. They are all “my kids”. I have different relationships with each and every one of them. Kai is the oldest, yet he is still my baby. When I look at him, I see the little 3 year old I took to the park and did cartwheels with, or the little boy I took to a kite flying contest and won! We used to have the best aunty/nephew days at Ice Palace skating and eating cheese nachos. Ah, those were the days. I have so many fond memories of this boy, who has since become a man that I love and adore. I love you so much my Kai, you are and will always be my Kai-Boy. Thank you for always being you. Love you much! xoxo
P.S. The tattoo is what prompted this mini photo shoot. On his inner arm it says” To Thine Own Self Be True”. Well said my love.
Yes, we’ve all known about it for a while. But… now that The Oprah Winfrey Show is officially over, I have a sense of emptiness. I sat and watched her last show today with such amazement, delight, happiness and yes, a bit of sorrow. To see what she has done in in the last 25 years is amazing and nothing shy of it. Incredible. I know she says the word is amazing is over used at times, but I think she deserves to be associated with it. The topics she covered, the places she’s gone, the stories she shared, is just down right amazing. I remember seeing her show back when I was in high school. Gosh, and that was ions ago.I grew up with her. She interviewed Michael Jackson!!!!
I am not home to watch the show live, so luckily my DVR has been my lifesaver and late at night, once I’m back from the gym, I relax in my bed and watch someone who totally inspires me. Knowing this day was coming up, I have been tuning in to OWN since it launched in January and thankfully, there is some amazing programming on there that will keep my Oprah fix going for a while. For those of you who haven’t checked it out, do so.
I could probably sit here for hours and write a book about this woman, whom we all seen grow and educate our nation. But, I won’t. I will simply end it with a thank you Oprah. Thank you for sharing your love, your wisdom, your knowledge and your light with all of us. Thank you for touching my life in so many ways and for bringing solid TV into a great show. You are simply beautiful. I will miss your show, but know we have not seen the last of you. We have all learned so much and you have touched so many lives. Thank you.
One quote from today’s show: “My great wish for all of you who have allowed me to honor my calling through this show is that you carry whatever you’re supposed to be doing, carry that forward and don’t waste any more time. Start embracing the life that is calling you and use your life to serve the world.”
Here is a link for those that want to read her love letter she spoke to us today: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/The-Oprah-Winfrey-Show-Finale_1
Check out my pictures of the celebrity poker night at The Hustler Casino in Gardena, CA that was hosted by poker icon Annie Duke. Celebrity players included: Jason Mraz, Shanna Moakler, Joanna Krupa,Mark Philippoussis, George Kozel, Erik Aude, and others. It was the first annual “Night of Poker”, a No Limit Hold’Em Charity Tournament which was held to benefit the Life Rolls On Foundation. There were some awesome prizes for those that made it to the final table, but the best prize was a seat in the World Series Of Poker!The prizes were:
- 10th Place: Red Light Management Music Package
- 9th Place: Two-Night Stay at The Inn at Deep Canyon in Palm Desert and Dragon Alliance Sunglasses
- 8th Place: Three-Night Stay at Embassy Suites in Denver and Dragon Alliance Sunglasses
- 7th Place: One Night Stay at the W Hotel in Dallas, Dinner for Two at Craft and Dragon Alliance Sunglasses
- 5th Place: Ziggy Marley Autographed Skateboard and Swag Bag
- 4th: One Year of Chiropractic Care Valued at $3450
- 3rd: Mytrle Beach Vacation
- 2nd: Two-Hour Private Poker Lesson with Annie Duke
- 1st: Seat in the World Series of Poker, valued at $10,000
Professional poker icon Annie Duke played at a table with poker personality George Kozel, which seemed to be the loudest table in the room! For those familiar with the game of Texas Hold Em, you’ll know that shooting a tournament like this is very unpredictable since there is no official ending time, which means you just kinda have to wait to see what happens. As the blinds went up and players got eliminated, the final table was set a little after 11:00PM. It came down to the last two final players at the wee hours of the morning, officially ending a little after 1:00AM. It was a very fun and casual night of poker. Singer Jason Mraz sat next to Jesse Billauer and did pretty well before getting eliminated. Supermodel Joanna Krupa and Actress Shanna Moakler looked beautiful as usual and had a wonderful time at the tables. Of all the celebrity participants, Shanna Moakler was the top finisher in 9th place.
When Steffani inquired about a maternity photography shoot in Hawaii, we talked about a few ideas that would be best suited for both her and Alfredo. I realized a street urban feel would be best suited for these two, since they are not your traditional photography kinda couple :-). We decided to do the maternity/couple photography downtown and it was awesome! Steffani was almost 37 weeks pregnant when we did this photoshoot, so I wasn’t sure how far we I could “push” her without pushing out that baby! LOL. Luckily, she is pretty athletic and was in great shape even at 37 weeks pregnant. She was a total sport for getting up trucks, laying down, climbing stairs and walking for a bit, which made for some awesome and fun photographs. My style is pretty non-traditional, so I opt for some crazy things and locations This couple came stylin’ to the photo shoot, sporting the GUCCI sunglasses and JIMMY CHOO bag, I came with my camera and snapped these two together!
We walked around for a bit and by the end, Steffani’s feet were uh……super swollen. YIKES. They both were super cool and a fun couple to shoot. While her baby was officially due next Tuesday ( 5/24/11), she gave birth exactly one week after this photo shoot to a beautiful baby girl, so a little over 2 weeks early. Congrats Steffani and Alfredo on your new baby!