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letters to our sons | 2013 | monterey family photographer

letters to our sons | november 2013 | superhero

i’m extremely thrilled to join another group of wonderful women for a “letters to our sons” blog circle.  i am excited about the opportunity to capture moments in time- not only for my son- but for me…as we all know, the older you get, the faster it goes!  please check out my friend Tracy’s letter to her son- as well as all of the other talented women in the blog circle when you finish!


Dear Finn,

I can’t believe that you will be six this month! The time has flown by- even though you would disagree, as evidenced by your whining that your birthday is never going to get here! There are so many things to say, and I am not sure where to start…so, I might as well just start with you and your superheroes.

I blame your Godfather; however, I must admit that I have enabled your love of superheroes. You have worn nothing but superhero t-shirts for the past- dare i say- years?! You have memorized superhero names, their powers, and of course, the villains they fight. You have a collection of costumes (you actually wore your Flash costume underneath your clothes to church on Easter…and then proceeded to take off your civilian clothes and run as fast as you could through your dad’s office!). You even inspired your Pop-Pop to don a Captain America costume (thankfully, he refrained from walking from the hotel to our house in it and just changed at our house).  To say that superheroes influence your life would be an understatement!

But the more I think of it, it makes complete and total sense to me. After extensive research on the internet (ok- a few minutes on wikipedia), I learned that superheroes have certain traits or characteristics: extraordinary powers or abilities, a strong moral code, a secret identity, a distinctive costume, a cast of supporting characters, a rogues gallery, independent wealth, a base of operations, and a backstory.  Here is how I see you…

Extraordinary powers or abilities: Aside from your super-speed (obviously), you have the extraordinary power to make one person- or an entire room – forget about their troubles with one of your infectious giggles.  You can leap- not tall buildings- but sidewalks and any other obstacle in your path.  You have amazing strength as demonstrated by your monster hugs. You can lift my spirits and let them fly! You are skilled with numerous weapons and are quick to improvise with whatever’s available if your handy swords are not by your side.  I believe your powers are sustained (and perhaps amplified) by your diet of noodles and Pringles.  However, similar to some superheroes, we believe we have discovered your kryptonite…Pluto!  What can we say, a tickle of Pluto’s whiskers at Disneyland sent you running.  Don’t be ashamed, everyone has their kryptonite…just be glad we discovered yours early on!

A strong moral code: You know right from wrong.  You are quick to let us know when someone has done something wrong or been wronged themselves, and you take action to make it right. You will not back down from a battle…even though I like to call it stubbornness, for the sake of this letter, we’ll call it your strong moral code!

A secret identity:  Only those close to you know who you really are as a person.  At first meeting, you are reserved and quiet- your secret identity.  However, once you are comfortable, you let others see your powers!  You will talk, sing, even do the robot! Like a superhero, people know about the myths and legends, but very few get to experience the reality of your powers…and they leave their mark!

A distinctive costume: I think this is something you are still working on…but that’s ok- you’ve got time!

A cast of supporting characters: You have your family and friends. You have dubbed your dad as Batman or Aquaman, me as Wonder Woman (I might have encouraged this one just a bit!), and your sister as Flash. Know this, you will always have your cast of characters supporting you!

A rogues gallery: Yes, there are bad guys out there.  And while I wish that you don’t encounter them, I know that you are strong enough and good will prevail.

Independent wealth: Well, you think you are rich when you have a dollar…so, we will just go with that! However, if you do become independently wealthy, I hope that you use your wealth for all things good (and remember your parents who surely set you up to be successful!).

A base of operations: For now, it’s your house in California…but to keep the bad guys on their toes, we will make sure to move every couple of years so they won’t figure it out!

A backstory: Alas, this is your story….the one that makes you who you are.  I know that your story is still in the beginning phases, and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds!

So, to you, my Super Finn, you are my hero!



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letters to our daughters | 2013 | monterey photographer

letters to our daughters | october 2013 | brave


Dear Maddy,

This month, we finally took our family trip to Disneyland.  I always knew your were brave and somewhat fearless. However, after riding California Screamin’ our first day at California Adventure, the roller coaster got the best of  you!  It was the first time, in a while, that I could observe your fear.  As our last night in the park- and our trip- was coming to an end, I could see the internal struggle going on inside your head as you debated riding the roller coaster for your second and final time.

After you watched your Dad and me return from our quick trips on the ride, I could tell that you really wanted to go, but the fear of the second drop was tearing you apart.  I finally convinced you to “just let go and enjoy the ride”, and we made our way through the line.  You kept yawning and shivering.  Yes, I did have a fleeting moment of mom guilt, but I had nothing but confidence in you to tackle the ride.

It was a quick line- down to a ten minute wait.  We made our way to the fourth row of cars and waited a brief moment for our car to pull up…deep breath!  We sat down; we pulled the overhead bars down; we clasped our hands and tightened our grip on your handle; we took another deep breath.  I asked you to trust me and just let go.  We made our way to the launch point, and then that all too familiar announcement came through on the speakers….5….4…3…2…1…scream!  We were off!  Up the hill and down our first descent…deep breath…twists and turns…and then we approached our second hill…the one you feared…and you look at me from behind the overhead bars and say, “I’ve got this!’…and you let yourself go!  By the end of the ride, you even managed to put your arms in the air and smile brighter than the surrounding lights!  You are my brave girl!

At the end of the ride, you told me that you had made a wish earlier in the day that you would “overcome your fear of riding roller coasters”.  Well, you know what they say about Disney…it is a place where your dreams come true!  Although, I knew you had it in you all along!

I Love You, my brave girl!



You also said that you should always trust your mother! (Just putting this in writing!)

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please check out all of the wonderful letters- and see some amazing pictures- from this incredibly talented group of women…starting with my friend, Kim!

Letters to our daughters: October | Linda Hooper Photography - […] up in the Letters to our daughters blog circle is my friend JoAnna. Please click on over and see what she has to say to her daughter this month. […]

full circle | september 2013 | monterey family photographer

full circle | september 2013 | humanizing a non-human object

this month’s focus was humanizing a non-human object…please forgive me- for some reason, i tend to go for the creepy on this subject (see my screaming tree from last year’s creativity challenge). however, since it is october…bring on the creepy!

please be sure to check out Erica’s take on the subject, and remember to go full circle!

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Deb - Creepy, for sure. His eyes make me want to look away! Funny that he’s just a statue and he gives me such a strong reaction.

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