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Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Tuesday, April 14, 2009 | personal           

As so many of you know, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition came to Tallahassee to build a home for a very worthy family.  I was so honored to be a part of it.  Inga Finch and I were invited to join the EMHE team to spend time with the family creating portraits to hang on the walls of their new home.  We instantly fell in love with the Kadzis family.  A big thanks goes to Susan Stripling for giving our names to ABC.  

If you missed the show be sure to watch it online.  Their story is truly inspiring.  


One of my favorite projects of the day was the sign language project.  Julia signed each letter of the word "family".  The letters were printed on 8x8 canvas gallery wraps with 2 1/2 inch sides and hung in Mrs. Kadzis' room.  

I also had a great time shooting with my very dear frind, Inga.  I think we make a good team!

We were able to travel down to the family's beach house to spend more time with them getting pictures on the beach.  Inga included the pictures she took from that day in her slideshow.  Be sure to check out her blog!


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Kristal: I cried my eyes out when I watched this episode! It was so sad that their dad/husband died shortly after getting into their new house. But at the same time it was like he waited until they were in the new home. (04/21/09, 09:44)     
Rae Leytham: I am so impressed!  These are amazing.  I am so proud of you and a little envious too.  That one of you and Inga is fantastic!  Gorgeous! (04/15/09, 09:03)     
MJ: Mary Beth, what a beautiful gift to be able to give back to this deserving family!  You and Inga should be terribly proud!  Congrats! (04/15/09, 10:03)     
Ashley: Amazing pictures! (04/15/09, 07:40)     
Melanie Little: Holy cow, girl!  Amazing! Those kids are so beautiful and you captured them perfectly! (04/15/09, 07:40)     
Courtney: Amazing job Mary Beth! What an unforgettable project! (04/14/09, 09:08)     
Kimberly Jarman: LOVE them!!! Made me cry all over again. (04/14/09, 11:49)     
Jen Davis: Congrats Mary Beth! I know they will cherish those photos forever! (04/14/09, 10:59)     
Rob Munroe: Congrats Mary Beth!!!  Awesome job.  If you ever get the chance to shoot Vanessa Williams I´ll hold you bags, and get your coffee. (14.04.2009 ,10:59)     

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 | personal           

I rarely ever post anything too personal on my blog but I'm breaking the rules for this one.

Mother's day came and went this year while I was away, yet again, and wasn't able to be home to celebrate with my mom.... A lady who avoids any and all celebration on her behalf.  

When I sat down to write a few things about my mom I realized how completely impossible it is to do so.  There really are no words to sum her up.  If I tell 100 stories you still won't understand how special she is. She is someone you just have to know and you have to experience.  After you've gotten to know her you still won't understand completely. She is a rare gem.  I'm amazed every day by her wisdom, loyalty, dedication, selflessness and kindness. She is a pillar of strength that encourages greatness.  I can't remember a time when she chose her own desires over the desires of those she loves....  and if I think hard about it I still won't be able to come up with a story because there hasn't been a time.  

The hardest thing for me is to think of all the times I've completely taken her for granted - but my thanking her for the sacrifices she's made and the person she is to my brother and I isn't why she does it.  It's just in the fabric of her being.  She knows no other way then to be the person she is to us and those around.  

If you know my mom you will understand how amazing she is.  If you don't know her, she just can't be explained.  

So Mama, thank you.  

Thank you for the millions of hot meals and I'm so sorry that yours were probably never hot by the time you sat down to eat.  

Thank you for allowing me to follow ALL of the dreams I've had in life, even those that turned out to be more of a phase.

Thank you for working all night at the hospital and then driving hours to my basketball game before you had a moment to sleep.

Thank you for saying no and then for punishing me when I didn't quite understand what that word meant.  

Thank you for the whistle that stands out in the football stadium, basketball gymnasium and track field.  

Thank you for teaching me the importance of family.  

Thank you for the countless hours you spent with me on the phone while I was homesick in Texas.  Thank you for not letting me come home.  

Thank you for my wedding and the work you put into giving me the day I wanted.  

Thank you for creating a home that was a shelter and haven of rest and peace....  and a lot of fun too!  

Thank you for listening to my petty problems and concerns but NEVER letting me know how petty they were.  

Thank you for crying with me and for me.  

Thank you for all of your prayers, praise, critique, guidance and wisdom.  

Thank you for being my fighter when I needed a fighter.  

Thank you for being my best friend and my mom and knowing that I needed the two roles at different times.  

Thank you for the sure steady voice that is always dependable and always home, regardless of where home is at the time.  

Thank you for teaching me to drive when I was 12 and not getting too upset when I ran that stop sign and pulled over at 15.

Thank you for rebounding my basketball, pitching the softball and....  what mom teaches her kids to throw a perfect spiral pass!  

Thank you for painting boxball on the city street even though that HAD to be against some law.

Thank you for being the ultimate example of a wife and mother.

I truly believe that Jarret and I are the people we are today because of who you are.  I hope that one day I'll be just like you.
The Amazon River - 2007

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Kay : Hey MB, Thinking about you and read your Facebook. What a beautiful thread. As a mother it is just perfect. How lucky she is to have you. K (05/19/09, 07:24)     
patsy: That is just the sweetest thing ever.  I so wish I had a relationship like this with my family.  So WONDERFUL Mary Beth! (05/19/09, 12:52)     
ashley bartoletti: loved this post!!   (05/19/09, 12:52)     
Ida Marie: As someone whose love for your mom is 2nd only to yours and Jarret´s this was great. She truly is an amazing woman and a shining example of what we should all strive to be.  I love you Aunt Aida.  Your one of the great ones!!! (05/13/09, 09:08)     
Joanne DeYoung: A lovely tribute to a truely beautiful woman. (05/13/09, 09:08)     
Micha Everett: Too sweet! Your mom has to be fabulous because she raised a fabulous daughter :) (05/13/09, 09:08)     
Rae Leytham: Well, that was sweet!  I want to meet your mom now. (05/12/09, 08:38)     
Amy Martin: Happy Mother´s Day Mrs. Johnson!!!  :)  Great post, MB! (05/12/09, 02:49)     
Jackie Ihnenfeld: You took my breath away with this post. What a great way to pay tribute to your mom. I can tell by what you´ve said that she must be one amazing woman. Happy Mother´s Day! (05/12/09, 11:56)     
christian harkness: Hi Mary Beth, Loved the tribute to your Mom - you are so right! It was a total coincident that I just sent you the e-mail with the photo - sent that before I saw your blog entry! (05/12/09, 11:56)     
erin harvey: Deep breath... I´m sitting here fighting back tears for someone I´ve never met, but she must be a great lady to have put up with you. =) (05/12/09, 11:56)     
Stacy: This is so sweet and beautiful! I hope that one day I´ll have this kind of impact on my daughter. :) (05/12/09, 10:12)     

Extreme Makeover Home Edition
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 | personal           

Every once in a while I get to do something that really pulls on my heart strings and reminds me of the reason I originally fell in love with photography.  

This week Tallahassee is buzzing with excitement over the fact that Extreme Makeover Home Edition is in town working with Myddelton Parker Builders building a new home for a very worthy family.  I was so honored when ABC asked Inga Finch and I to spend time with the family to create portraits that will hang in their new home.  We arrived on the first day and spent countless hours with the kids not only photographing them but also enjoying their personalities and introducing them to addictive iPhone games - Sorry Mrs. Kadzis!!  Each member of this family of 9 is incredibly unique and special.

A big huge thanks goes to Susan Stripling for passing our names on to ABC.

Images of the family and first day coming soon....

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Armin: Just saw the bittersweet episode, congrats and great job! (04/13/09, 12:12)     
Ashley: I just saw your pictures on the show and they are gorgeous! (04/13/09, 12:12)     
chr: Hey MB, Sure wish I could talk you into doing a Pecha Kucha Night presentation about this!!! chris (03/10/09, 07:19)     
Lynn@CHRIS+LYNN: So exciting! Big, huge congratulations to you! Can´t wait to see you rock Extreme Makeover Home Edition!!! (03/09/09, 04:32)     
Rae Leytham: You dog!  I know you had a blast! (03/09/09, 12:37)     
Leslie Roark: Oh that is SO amazing! Congratulations!!!! I love that show! (03/02/09, 09:46)     
Melissa Beard: That´s amazing Mary Beth!  What an incredible opportunity.  I´m so proud and excited for you!  Congratulations big time! (03/02/09, 09:46)     
Micha: This is such a blessing Mary Beth I can\´t wait to see what you guys came up with!!! (03/02/09, 09:46)     
Rob Munroe: Congrats Mary Beth, and I see you´re passing your Iphone addiction to others. LOL (02/25/09, 02:51)     

Out of Town
Monday, November 24, 2008 | personal           

With Thanksgiving coming up this week and the end of my busy wedding season last week, Ryan and I flew up to Baltimore for a few days to visit my brother and sister-in-law, Jarret and Anna.  I'm a self-proclaimed heat lover so the cold weather up here has been a really interesting experience.  To top it all off we spent a solid 7 hours in the freezing weather yesterday when we went to the Ravens/Eagles game.  Burrr....

The best part of the game, other than the win, is that Jarret intercepted the ball and ran it back a ways. Unfortunately he was run down by a Eagles player who apparently was a bit speedier than him.  Regardless we still screamed until we lost our voices.  Like any proud sister I have to post the video....  

Click Here to watch the video!  It's a must!  

and a few pics that I completely stole off of the Ravens website.... shhhhh....



Many more fun pictures coming soon.  After that, back to business as usual!  :-)


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Megan Zeller Photography: I´m a big Ravens fan from PA.  You must be proud!  My husband is a Dolphins fan- there´s going to be some fighting going on this weekend when they play eachother in the playoffs! (01/07/09, 08:39)     
Armin: Yes that was an awesome game. Great play! (12/05/08, 03:24)     
teresa: That is awesome!!!  How great that you were there to see it!  Have a great happy and safe thanksgiving!! (12/05/08, 03:24)     
Rae Leytham: That is so awesome!  I love his catch....so smooth!  And, Mr. Eagles #81 didn´t have to be so mean and push him like that!  haha!  Great job Jarret!  MBT - I know you are so proud! (12/05/08, 03:24)     

Lobstering in the Keys
Monday, August 11, 2008 | personal           

As promised I finally have some pictures from our trip to the keys.  We try to make a trip down every year to see family but aren't always so successful.  This year we were able to make the lobster mini-season which is a two-day mad house!  It's fun though.    

Half way to the keys I realized I forgot my little camera.  So I had to borrow my aunt's and I have to say that her camera takes the WORST pictures I've ever seen!!  Sorry Aunt Mary Ann.  It's sad but true.  :(  Unfortunately her camera closely resembles the underwater camera so it no longer works...

The first day we went dolphin fishing.  Photography and fishing don't mix so this is all I have to post from that day.  If you know me well you know that there isn't anything I love to do more than fish.  

My uncle ready to dive for a deep lobster.  

At the end of a long day and wearing all that gear I love to get rid of my flippers and mask and just swim around while everyone else works.  This was taken during that time and probably the last picture that sorry little camera took.

Proof that the Polaroid point-and-shoot is the worst camera ever created.  Either way here's a pic of me and Ryan.



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Daryn: But it´s a cute picture of you and the hubby anyway!!I miss going lobstering!!! (08/12/08, 10:44)     
Rob Munroe: what are the chances of you guys putting that lobster on ice and sending it up here to NY on vacation. (08/12/08, 10:44)     
Chris Harvey: Sharpening not work to well on that picture? Looks like you printed it at Walgreen´s,then scanned it, then took a picture of your scan, and then scanned that. High quality stuff. Great low noise in the bright sunlight. Just messing with you. Glad to see you had a little fun at least. We all know your real stuff rocks. Later girl. (08/12/08, 10:44)     
Teresa: UGH, little cameras do suck sometimes.  They are so easy to carry vs. the dlsr, but the pics aren´t always great!  It looks like ya´ll had a blast. It´s nice to get away sometimes!   (08/11/08, 05:50)     

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