It's that time of year again, one of my favorites (besides my ultra fav. Halloween) Christmas and Thanksgiving.  These holidays mean a lot to me and always have. All the lights, food, friends and family and if it ever snows in cincinnati... BEAUTIFUL SNOW - I know 80% of you will think I'm insane for loving snow. I don't care, It's BEAUTIFUL! 

During this season in particular I like to spend my Thanksgiving mornings volunteering for things I think are important. The past 2 years I've done portraits for any family who was at the Ronald McDonald House on Thanksgiving and it has been such an amazing experience each year. 

Every time I'm there to volunteer you never quite know who you're going to meet, the stories they are going to share and the things they have going on in their life and why they are there. Sometimes the stories you hear are sad and and you have to keep it together while they are in front of you. Sometimes they are amazing and incredibly exciting stories about how a treatment worked and they are being released from the hospital that day and you can see the relief and excitement in their faces. Either way it is an incredible, humbling experience. 

This year I spent my morning at the house in Columbus.  They took me on a tour through the building to see all of the amazing rooms they had for the families. There was even a stair case, called the tree house, that the Columbus Blue Jackets donated that was incredibly cool. It even had a slide at the top of it that went down a floor.  All the rooms were themed in some way or another with themes like The Princess Room, The Lego Room,  The Ohio State Room, The Red Shoe Room and an entire basement also donated by the Blue Jackets.  This house was just amazing. 

I got to pick the location I wanted to shoot in and I of course picked The Princess Room

- because the light was Stellar in there and I may have loved the chandelier... and the whole room all together. I also may have worn a princess crown. I did wear a princess crown.-

It was an honor to get to spend the afternoon with all the families there and photograph their day. There were so many sweet moments from the day itself and a couple new babies that were there to be photographed that were only a couple days old with some very proud parents. <3

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All in all the day was fantastic but since it is the time of year when people are more focused on giving, I urge you to find a charity, organization you like and can stand behind and give some of your time. I think that donating time is something people often don't remember they have plenty to give and it can be more valuable than donating money. 

If you're looking for a great organization to get behind The Make A Wish Foundation and Ronald McDonald House are great ones to start out with!   If you have questions about how to get involved reach out and send me a message! I'll be sure to point you in the right direction! 

Till next time!

Xoxo- Jess

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