Love Like Crazy – Susie & Billy’s 35th Anniversary

Sue and Bill's 35th Anniversary - Dance collage

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

On a sunny afternoon at Bendix Woods park, between the E and the R* of the pine trees that spell out “Studebaker,” my parents were married 35 years ago today.

Mom had a lovely dress and a bouquet of white and yellow flowers. Dad and the groomsmen had a snazzy white tuxedo, mom picked light yellow dresses and matching giant yellow sun hats for the bridesmaids. (Gonna have to get a bonus post to show off those stylish looks!)

Not sure if the next photo qualifies as their 1970s engagement portrait or not, but it’s still worth sharing.

Bill Sue dating photo from the 70s

* Fun fact – years later when I was born they gave me the same first and middle name initials as the tree letters they were married between – E.R. Also fun fact, Dad still tells that same story just about every time we drive by the park.

Happy anniversary! Here’s to 35 more and then some!

Home Office CFO Adrian – Creative Fun Officer

While finishing up some paperwork and scanning something for the Previously Unpublished category, my son Adrian dropped by to visit / play / shuffle through desk drawers. He loves seeing what miscellaneous hardware parts he can fit together with other parts, cameras, or his toys. “Hmm that gives me an idea!”

Home office toddler fun break with Adrian

Last night while rummaging the desk we discovered a real treat for playtime fun: sticky tack putty!

After demonstrating how it could be used Adrian decided it was more fun rolled into a ball. And from there that it should be flattened out. His imagination already in high gear, he ran out to get something. “George!” he shouted while running to the playroom. He came back with one of the Thomas the Tank Engine characters, George the Steamroller, to help with his brainstorm. I grabbed a camera almost as fast as he jumped back up to the desk!

Thomas the Train's friend Steamroller George versus sticky tack putty

Go George!

Steamroller George versus sticky tack putty

George (and Adrian) did it!

Steamroller George flattened the putty!

After an exhausting office playtime Adrian was ready to sleep, grabbed a blanket and laid down all by himself. I tucked him in and we called it a day, a very fun day all around! These little breaks for fun are some of the best parts of the home office work!

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Geek details: Shots made from top to bottom with iPhone 3G, wide shots with Nikon D700 at ISO1600 and Sigma 14mm F/2.8 lens wide open & hoping “closest subject” autofocus picked up the steamroller. Last shot with Nikon 105mm f/2.8 macro.

Think outisde the pouch

My son Adrian has a great imagination. Much of what goes through his toddler mind, aside from thwarting child safety devices and what to do with his near endless energy supply, involves things with wheels. Trains are on the top of that list.

The other day he got into of some of my spare camera pouches and came up with a new use for one of the Lowepro slip lock lens cases. I love seeing his imagination at work.

Lowepro sliplock camera case lens pouch

Free reminder from Adrian – think outside the pouch!

My First Letter to Madeline


Tomorrow’s the big day – Madeline’s first birthday!

For some reason I always feel the need to preface a post with a back story. When I found out we were expecting our first baby Adrian I grabbed a journal I hadn’t written much in since blogging came about and wrote my news in ink. Not quite two years later when I found out I would be expecting my second child I made sure to write again.

Since the firstborn already has his story on a few dozen albums, a birth video, and a fair amount of spoiling, I’m sharing the letter I wrote to Madeline when I found out she was joining our family.

March 28, 2009 – 2:25am

To my child, announced with joy and surprise this evening! Your mother and big brother Adrian are sleeping while I am awake late. We are all excited to welcome you to our family. You will love the snow this winter when you meet us face to face. It is chilly but it sparkles in the sun and makes for great snuggling weather. It is now spring and there is new life and new starts around every turn!

Already your mommy and I are talking about the fun we will have when we meet you, your baby smile and wiggly fingers and toes. We may not know if you will be a daughter or our son but we do know we’re excited that you’re part of our family!

For tonight, and until we meet you, stay cozy in mommy’s tummy while you grow. We love you more than there are words to explain it – that’s why there are snuggles, hugs and smooches!

Your daddy

Madeline almost 1 year old

Celebrating Grandma Eleanor today

Eleanor V Bucholtz 1913-2010

That smile and her laugh went with her everywhere, and was contagious.

Today we’re getting all the Bucholtz families and friends together today to remember and celebrate the 96 years of smiles she shared with us all. Family gatherings were never without laughter, and I don’t see us changing that tradition today either.

Eleanor V Bucholtz, at the age of 96, passed away at 8 PM Sunday, May 23, 2010. A two year resident of The Sanctuary at St. Paul’s Healthcare Center, South Bend, she was born June 20, 1913 to the late John J. & Blanche (Holewinski) Otolski.

On April 29, 1939, she was united in marriage in South Bend, Indiana to Remont (Joe) F. Bucholtz, who was the love of her life.

Surviving are three sons, Terry (Susan) of South Bend, Randy of Mishawaka, and Bill (Susan) of South Bend; 9 Grandchildren, Jeffrey Bucholtz, Lisa Bucholtz, Randall Williams, Samantha Hazelton, Eric Bucholtz, Aliya (Ray) Caldwell, Genna Bucholtz, Wendy (Francisco) Jaramillo, Zack (Alethea) Williamson; 7 Great Grandchildren, Olivia Bucholtz, Adrian and Madeline Bucholtz, Olathe and Davia Williamson, Leonardo and Gabriel Jaramillo.

Preceded in death:
She was preceded in death by her husband Joe, in 1961; her parents; and four brothers, Edward, Joseph, Henry, and Clement Otolski.

Eleanor’s devotion was to her family and especially her late husband, Joe. Her eyes would light up whenever she could share her memories of their life and travels together.  She taught the importance of family values, Sunday worship, and prayer. She enjoyed humor, was a great polish cook, loved reading, and prayed every day for her family and friends. She will be remembered for many things, but mostly for being a loving and compassionate mother and grandmother to all. She was loved and will be greatly missed.

A memorial and Celebration of Life Service will be held on June 6th 2010, 3:30 PM at Historical Hamilton Church located at 31519 Chicago Trail, New Carlisle, IN.

Why I love black and white photos

Remont "Joe" and Eleanor Bucholtz

Why is it I can’t get enough of looking at black and white photos from the early 20th century? These guys. Grandparents. Legends.

Last Sunday my Grandmother Eleanor V. Bucholtz passed away a few weeks after my 30th birthday and a few weeks before her 97th birthday. She was more than ready to meet her Jesus and see her beloved Joe again – the two people she never stopped talking about. Grandpa Remont “Joe” Bucholtz, a US Navy veteran of World War II,  passed away when my dad was just 6, 16 years after the end of the war. Grandma never ran out of stories to tell about him, and I never got tired of looking at old photos with her.

Grandma B -a name that stuck from before us grandkids could all say “Eleanor” or “Bucholtz”- was nothing short of an amazing woman. Friday I went to the hospital to be with her and my parents, aunts & uncles and 2 older cousins that live nearby when the family was notified that she was very near to going home to heaven. Even amidst somber moments reflecting on her life the gathering of family was the same ornery bunch and told the same crazy stories of our times over the years. It was there I realized it most that it had never taken a relative in the hospital to get us all together and talking on good terms; she had helped put so much love and care for each other into our family already.

That love and peace is a legacy and immeasurable inheritance to leave as an example for your family.

We’ll miss Grandma, without question, every time we think of her and tell her stories. She loved hearing about all the places I traveled so she was my pen pal when I traveled Scandinavia, Central America, and southeast Asia. I’m thankful for the 30 years I shared with her and all the time we spent together as a family. I’m grateful she was able to meet my 2 children, too. (My son Adrian even got to help push her “wagon” (wheelchair) for her when he visited.) Lots of her grandkids’ friends had her as an honorary Grandmother. She raised 3 sons and helped to weave a family together with genuine love for each other.

Also notably, she helped to instate the food groups of pirogi and Polish sausage as staple foods at family gatherings. Our matriarch Eleanor is the reason my family with a German last name calls itself Polish in honor of her heritage and various phrases said in Polish. (Mostly ones you’d say under your breath when you want to call someone a name they wouldn’t understand – told you she was ornery!) 😀

In closing, the only obituary she wanted: “Eleanor’s gone.”

If you listen I’m pretty sure heaven’s playing Polka this week to welcome her as we miss her and celebrate her life with us from 1913 to 2010.

Happy Half-Birthday Madeline!

While today is my youngest sister Genna and cousin Jeni’s birthdays, 5th wedding anniversaries of two cool couples (Kristin & Nate, Kristy & Matt – both with new little daughters!) it’s also MY daughter Madeline’s 6 month birthday.

6 month old baby portraits

She hasn’t wasted any time learning how to roll over, working on crawling, and gabbing away to let everyone know what’s on her mind. She’s not a fan of teething but likes the frozen fruit smoothies Dad made for a snack. When she’s not teething or napping she’s pretty much all smiles and giggles. Sugar, spice, everything nice, things like that.

Happy half birthday Maddie! Dad, Mom and big brother Adrian love you!

(She said I could have the last piece of chocolate cake, too.)

Day of Rest

My kids were snuggling up for a nap and one of those sweet, quiet moments that go by way too fast. It didn’t take me twice to think about grabbing a camera! Hope your Sunday is a restful, relaxing conclusion to the weekend! – Eric & the napping Maddie & Adrian

First Week of the New Year & Decade

The first week of the year and decade was, in a word, nonstop. Avalanche of snowfall in northern Indiana. Cabin fever. Car repair. More cabin fever. And lots of time with these two blue eyed kiddos. What better opportunity for a dad and photographer to spend time with and photograph two of his favorite people in the entire world?

Madeline’s eyes looked hazel when she was born but I’m pretty sure they’re staying blue like her big brother and her Mama’s eyes are. She was rather content to wiggle by herself a bit while I played with Adrian – a welcome break from wanting to be constantly picked up – so I let her stretch out on the turquoise blanket a friend knitted (crocheted?) for Adrian.

Adrian has always been my camera ham. He didn’t want to be left out and hopped right up into the chair when I got Maddie back to her crib. He was behaving so well and sitting still (at the same time no less!) I got Madeline to sit with him for some photos that have been favorites ever since. Two sets of blue eyes melted their father’s heart with a huge smile.

And just like that, they went back to playing. Madeline discussed with her older brother Adrian the finer points of taking extended naps. I think he listened, too, and Daddy got a few minutes to make phone calls while the kiddies slept. 😀

Beat the cabin fever – drop us a line or a call to set up a winter shoot for you, your family, your children or all of the above!