San Diego CA Child, High School Senior & Family Portrait Photographer | Jules Trandem Photography » San Diego Child, High School Senior and Family Photographer

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what life looks like now | december 2012

Thank you so much for stopping by and following the links around our circle.  We have lots of new, gorgeous talent in our group and I can’t wait to see all the posts.  🙂  You can find my link to the lovely Amy Grace, at the bottom of this post.  Each month I am blessed to share our days with a letter to Brooks.

Dear Brooks,

The month of December brings so much hope and wonder and excitement … I couldn’t wait to share this time with you.  One of our favorite traditions is our trip to Disneyland with Sky, Auntie and MomMom.  We were there on a perfect day … the on and off again light sprinkles kept the crowds away which meant no lines for our favorite rides.  We even had a chance to visit the new Cars Land and LOVED every bit of it.  A few other special first … first time riding the Monorail (we got to sit up front with the driver) and the first time to watch the fireworks show.  We figured out that 8 years old was a magical age for Disney because it meant that you were old enough to ride on any ride you wanted by yourself.  You could spin, flip, and fly to your hearts desire … and I got to watch the joy on your face as you rode the rides over and over and over.

While you were busy with the rides, I saved the perfect spot for us on the parade route.  Pretzels and hot chocolate were a yummy treat while enjoying the magic of the parade.

The hands down favorite part of the trip was the holiday firework show.  It’s been years since I’ve seen fireworks and I know for sure that no one does fireworks like Disney.  Simply spectacular!  I cried watching you watch the show.  And as soon as the show was over, it started to ‘snow’.  Pure Disney magic!

Our December traditions took a turn when you started basketball.  You are soooo much fun to watch.  You totally float down the court with happiness and a giant smile on your face.  Before the first game started, I panicked a little bit … there were 6 baskets around your court (from practice) and I didn’t think you knew which baskets you were supposed to take shots on.  You figured it out just fine.  We’re half way through the season and you haven’t scored yet, but that doesn’t get you down, you keep working and shooting.  I know you’ll get your first one soon.  Go Suns!

I love this image … the ref stopped the game to remind you that you had to dribble the ball down the court … not just run with it.  🙂

My little manly man got his first mani/pedi and you thought it was awesome!  Your nails look great and you’ve stopped picking at them.  I promise we’ll keep it up as often as you want.  I love having the company.

After feeling bad about not keeping up with our usual holiday traditions, I offered to pile 5 of your friends in the car and head out for a crazy night of fun.  Our first stop was Starbucks for hot chocolate and cookies and then we were off to check out all the lights in the neighborhood.  I nearly peed my pants from laughing at you and the boys as we drove around.  I think the fact that no one wanted to be dropped off meant that it was a huge success!  I’m not sure if I’d be brave enough to do it again, but I’m glad you had so much fun.

These next two make my heart swoon.  Finally!  You’ve always been a reader, you just never liked to read.  For the last couple of years, I had to fight with you to get you to at least read your books from your teacher.  Now I love seeing you all snuggled up reading in the mornings before school … every morning … without me ever asking you to do it.  I think my favorite is when you stop to share something funny that you’ve read.

On the Friday before we went on break, I walked down the hall and found you taking such care to make sure your shirt for your class readers theater was just right.  Thank you for always bringing a smile to my face .

The sad new reality … an armed police officer at our campus every day.

My favorite little Grinch!  You did such a great job!  My class loved watching you in the performance … they all idolize you.   So much.  It’s the cutest thing.

On Christmas Eve you found a very special note from Elfie!  He let you know that for just a few minutes the magic would be lifted and you could give Elfie a real goodbye hug.  It was priceless watching you say your goodbyes.

Only one more thing to before we tucked you in … cookies and milk for Santa and carrots and special reindeer food for the reindeer.

This year your Christmas wish list was pretty simple … army men and tanks, bey blades, ninjago lego sets and root beer.  As always, Santa did not disappoint … I think the root beer and hot tamales were your two favorite things.

What’s December without our family bowling day!  You were a great little bowler with a couple strikes.

The best part of our trip to Santa Barbara was the opportunity to meet sweet 5 month old Annie.  She loves to chase and play and snuggle with you.  We took her for a walk and snapped a few images of the two of you.

Another addition to our Saturdays this month was the start of indoor soccer with your travel team.  You love the fast pace and quick action.  This weekend your team had a tough loss and it didn’t help that I pulled you out to sub … you were not very happy with me.

Cousin Sky came back to SD with us for the second week of vacation.  One afternoon we got to hang out with my friend, Amy Grace, and her two gorgeous kiddos.  You loved the opportunity to share our field with them.

We are now on the countdown to Hawaii!  Santa gave you this gear so you’re all set for some fun in the ocean, checking out all the cool tropical fish.  However, on Friday we had a little bump in the road toward our trip.  You are well aware that I have been diagnosed with lymphoma.  We’ve talked about it on and off for the last few months.  I figure you’ll ask the questions when you’re ready to hear more.  I think you’re doing OK with this, but about once a month you ask the really tough questions that I don’t have the answers for.  Just know that you are so loved.  On Friday I found out that the cancer has been growing and the Dr. doesn’t think we’ll be able to take our trip to Hawaii.  I will probably have to start treatments soon.  It was a super big shock to me because, as you know, I’m so healthy and strong right now.  We are lucky to be surrounded by so many beautiful friends who pray for us.  We are truly blessed.

Part way through the month during a trip to the orthodontist, it was decided that you needed to have your front two teeth pulled to prepare you for an expander retainer that you’ll get next week.  Your teeth have been so slow to come out, you’ve only lost 2 others, so we were both super excited to see the big gap in your smile!  So darling.

I love you to the moon and back!


Be sure to continue on with my dear friend with Amy Grace | A Beautiful Life Photo.

If you missed the beginning, you can catch up on…
What Responsibility Looks Like
What the Last Days of Summer Looks Like
What Almost 7 Looks Like
What Making Memories Looks Like
What December Traditions Looks Like
What The Magic Of First Grade Looks Like

What Being a Tourist in My Own City Looks Like
What Easter Looks Like
What Remembering Looks Like
What A Day At The Fair Looks Like
What Our Everyday Looks Like
What Love Looks Like
What Choosing Joy Looks Like

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January 7, 2013 - 8:09 am

Ginger Unzueta - Jules,
I seriously have loved following this project since you started it and your letters to Brooks are just the most precious gift I could think of him to have. I cannot pick a favorite picture as so many grabbed at me this month. I loved seeing you guys at Disney…we did the Disney World version here over the holidays with all the cousins,so I know how magical it is. And wow, I loved seeing him and his interaction with Sky on Christmas morning. The grinch pictures are to die for..and of course, those sweet sweet puppy pictures..but i am left looking at the scuba pictures, and how awesome they are ..and left praying, praying you guys get to go. Oh, how I hope it all works out for you in so many ways Jules. Much love as you start this New Year. I look forward to continuing to follow this amazing project. It always blows me away…really! xo

January 7, 2013 - 8:47 am

nicole kilby - I love this project and would like to join. Would you be able to give me any more info? Ive looked around and cant find any details. thanks!

January 7, 2013 - 10:18 am

amy grace - jules, i could never, ever, ever tire of that sweet boy’s face. without the words, even without the story, the way he looks at you says everything about the love you two share, the way he trusts you, feels joy with you, can be himself…it’s all there, plain, miraculous, abundant, real. every simple corner of your life is lit with such light. i feel the happiness, the presence, the gratitude. you two are like sunshine, and you look like a gorgeous beach. i despise the news you’ve gotten, and i wish with everything in me that it will somehow change, or hold off, or disappear. there are all kinds of miracles, and you deserve every kind, but i know that you see your life as one. the way you live is such a gift to him. watching brooks throw his heart into his sports, his family, animals, disney, LIFE. it lifts me up. it really does. huge love, wishes, prayers, and admiration my friend.

January 7, 2013 - 10:48 am

Stacey Woods - Oh Jules. So much love. You are such a blessing to your son, and to all of us. Praying that it’s possible for you to make your trip to Hawaii, and that 2013 brings peace and healing to you. xoxo

January 7, 2013 - 11:10 am

Debbie W - I really enjoy staring (yep, not just looking) at each one of your image, Jules. They really capture the moment that’s happening on that time. Brooks is a handsome little lad and I so love his freckles! Hugs to you and your family. I hope to be able to do this project too someday.

January 7, 2013 - 11:25 am

Summer Murdock - Jules, Brooks is a lucky boy to have you document your lives in the way you do! “The happiest place on earth” images LOVE. I love that place and every time we go I never seem to be able to capture it. (might have something to do with the double stroller I have to push around hehe) But seriously, such happiness and life you always capture! The basketball, the dog and the light, the flippers and snorkel…love!

January 7, 2013 - 11:47 am

Kelsey - Love, love, love all that you shared here (and it was a lot!). What a full and special month you two have had. And it appears Brooks may be getting more mani-pedis than me, but whatever. 😉 Still hoping Hawaii is a go. Fingers, toes and anything else I have two of crossed!

January 7, 2013 - 12:25 pm

Kara May - Omgosh what a magical post with a letter to your sweet boy included. He’s going to cherish these Jules!! I love hearing such sweet things this festive month and the time you spent with your son. I think my favorite part was the commentary and the sweet look on Brooks face when the ref told him that he has to ‘dribble and not just run with the ball’. I laughed out loud…love that age. So so sweet. Can’t wait to get to know you better through this project!

January 7, 2013 - 1:18 pm

Wendy VonSosen - Jules, beautiful! A few things that I loved as soon as I scrolled. B’s scrunched basketball socks that are too long for his cute little legs. His tongue sticking out of the gap in his teeth. Your cute cute haircut. That beautiful light falling on his little freckled face as he’s reading. (How I hope for the day when W will have the desire to do the same). And those cute legs in the flippers. Precious. You both deserve that trip to Hawaii so I pray that it will work out for you to go soon. Love xoxo

January 7, 2013 - 1:28 pm

shalonda - oh jules…i smile each month see’ing the pure and utter “wonderful-ness” of childhood in mr b’s eyes…even though i have never met y’all i swear i can imagine the sound of his laughter (especially in that bowling shot, ha). what a full month y’all had…well actually what a FULL LIFE YALL SHARE! as much as i swoon at every image you post i can only sit in amazement as the though of brooks looking through them as an adult. i just love you jules and it tears me apart to hear that the hawaii trip might not happen now, as you had planned but no matter what know that YOUR LIGHT IS SHINING SO BRIGHT and so many are praying for you friend xoxo

January 7, 2013 - 1:31 pm

brenda - First and most importantly I’m sending you all the prayers I can in hopes that you can take the trip and you won’t have to start treatment. Please please let me know if I can do anything for you!!

I love seeing your world. Your photos just show how much love you both have for each other. Brooks is one special little boy and such a sweet soul. I swooned over his slouchy basketball socks. You capture those special details that will soon be grown out of.

And I may be pushing it but I think you all need a dog. Every time I see photos of him and a puppy, he is just beyond giddy and he would be so wonderful with on. Just saying…. 🙂

January 7, 2013 - 2:16 pm

shannon sewell - this is one of the most lovely “letters to my son” that I have ever seen!!! perfect!!!

January 7, 2013 - 2:41 pm

Jenny Cruger - Amazing! I loved reading this and staring at these images. so magical and I just love that he will look back on all of these letters and images one day and they will be so important and special to him. I love that words and images can hold such special value.

January 7, 2013 - 7:02 pm

Lindsey Bergstrom - Jules…these are so full of life and living it to the fullest. Brooks has THE best smile and I can see his love for you is bigger than he can comprehend at this age.

I am praying for you both that you can go on the trip together. Lovely captures and beautiful words.

January 7, 2013 - 7:06 pm

Adele Humphries - Jules you are the most amazing story-telling photographer. Your images and blog have kept me captivated each time i look. I am hoping and praying for positive news for you and Brooks in the coming weeks and months so that your dream vacation to Hawaii can take place. x

January 7, 2013 - 7:29 pm

Sarah c - I am always grinning ear to ear after reading through your posts. You really make me aspire to be a better mother. You have such an amazing way of making what might seem mundane to others just magical and I love seeing so much of you in all your photos!! It motivates me to be better about it myself!! Your little man is going to seriously be besides himself when he is old enough to really grasp how special these posts and images are!! Love you friend!!

January 8, 2013 - 8:28 am

Jasmine Sargent - Ahhh tears, Jules. This is such an amazing gift that you are giving to him. Every single shot is priceless and will always be priceless to him. Love to you both!

January 8, 2013 - 10:48 am

Jen - This has melted my heart. These letters are the most priceless gift you could give a child. So much love to you, Jules!!!

January 8, 2013 - 12:51 pm

gina - Beautiful, jules, simply beautiful.

January 8, 2013 - 1:18 pm

leah - i love seeing photos of your life with that sweet boy. hope to someday meet you two! love how you document your adventures together. what a fun month! too many faves to list…. xo

January 8, 2013 - 1:42 pm

Tamara - Jules you have a beautiful way with words and your images are priceless. Love your posts and they always bring a smile. Praying for you and Brooks that it is possible for your Hawaii trip to occur.

January 8, 2013 - 3:31 pm

Stephanie Moore {Tucson AZ Photographer} - Jules I always adore your posts. you and Brooks seem to have the time of your lives all the time. Brooks is so blessed to have you as a Mom, you are one cool Momma! Glad you had a great Disney trip, it truly is magical!

January 8, 2013 - 6:00 pm

tamsen - lov you Jules… I think of you and Brooks often and pray you’ll get the news that you can still go on your trip! XO

January 10, 2013 - 11:20 am

Jobrina Hofleit - can not believe i am just now getting caught-up on reading this post of yours! i never know what to say because i feel as if i’m always repeating myself (with much great reason to), you have been from day one such an inspiration to me jules, first as a colleague, then a friend and then as a mommy! the way you are able to put out there the words for b, always hits home for me, i feel like we have this bond because of our boys and it’s such a wonderful feeling!!!! you and b are constantly in my thoughts and i mean CONSTANTLY, and i will make us meeting up happen this summer…the summer of 2013, mark my words!!!! 🙂 i love and adore each and every image in this post, that image of b and your mom on the ride….so priceless!!!!! and seriously it snowed after the fireworks!?!? it does not get more magical than that!!!! and love b’s front teeth gap, another thing he and r have in common (raney to this day has still only lost his two front bottom teeth), so afraid the “pulling” part is coming for us also! and b hugging elfi, was am soooo stealing that idea….beyond priceless!!!!!! xoxo

January 13, 2013 - 3:50 pm

Leslie - Can’t say enough wonderful things about your letter to Brooks…WOW WOW WOW…and your photography of course is out of this world. Such great work. I just have to know…what kind of puppy is that. Could look at those photos all day every day. Thanks for being a little part of my Sunday.

February 4, 2013 - 6:07 am

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May 5, 2013 - 8:44 pm

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July 2, 2013 - 9:32 pm

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