Never Stop Exploring.

We recently had the opportunity to take a family vacation to the Pacific Northwest.  This sweet corner of the US has been a longtime favorite for my husband and me, but we were really looking forward to taking the girls there.  We absolutely love traveling with them, who, with their own cameras in hand, are always up for an adventure!  We covered an impressive (if I may say so myself) amount of ground and because there is just SO.MUCH.TO.SEE there, we were never in the car for more than 2 hours at a time because we always found something else to peek our interest. Again, perfect for kids.  

One of our family bucket list items is to see as many national parks as possible, together.  Last month, we checked three more (plus one historic NP sight) off our list - Mt. Rainier, OlympicNorth Cascades and Lewis and Clark!  It's getting hard for me to pick a favorite because they are all just breathtaking in their own way...but I have to say, Olympic is right up there at the top.  Mountains + the ocean + the rainforest...  I'd be pretty hard pressed to find anything else that encompasses so much beauty in one protected space.  

We were also so lucky to visit Portland, Seattle and the areas along the Columbia Gorge such at Multnomah Falls and Hood River.  A portion of the trip of our trip that was extra special, not only because we were with great friends, but also because the very ground we walked on was recently making headlines as firefighters fought for days to save it.  While so much burned, I'm so relieved that the falls and it's lodge were spared.  

To my friends who haven't ventured into this part of the world, I can't recommend it enough.  We all left a little piece of our heart there.

This is the longest blog post ever, and it's just a few highlights from the trip. 

Water and Sand.

These three little guys brighten up my day every single time I see them.  They are So.Much.Fun. Major props to their awesome parents for letting this happen! 

Two.

Bubbles and a sloth named Itch with my buddy Will.  What could possibly be better than this?  

Chasing Fog.

One of my earliest memories with my mom was when we were driving along the road and I noticed fog rolling across the grass as I peered out the car window.  As we drove, I asked her if she knew what it felt like to touch fog.  She looked at me and immediately pulled the car over to the side of the road and said "let's go find out".  30+ years later, it's still one of my favorite memories and one that we still talk about. I think it's part of the reason that I still am awestruck by fog.  Maybe I'm just being nostalgic or maybe it's because it's like a super power with it's ability to slow down life and drown out the everyday distractions blurring past.  Maybe both.  

My girls are now very familiar with my love affair with fog so when we saw the most amazing milky sky rolling off the lake last week, they weren't at all surprised when I asked them to go take photos.  They are rapidly approaching 10, and the idea of a photo shoot is way less appealing to them these days, but I could tell they had a little bit of excitement in their eyes. I found myself putting the camera down for a bit and stopping to watch them become little girls again, running through it and loving everything about this little phenomenon.

Hopefully these are the memories that will stick with them just as they have me.  

Making wishes.

After canceling...um, I think four times due to wind, rain or cold, we finally got this session in!  Of course, it was 90.  Because, yay Wisconsin!  That's how we roll.  

But, because of the rescheduling, we now had flowers and dandelions, and dandelions = wishes.

And wishes are magical.

Brothers.

I feel like it was just yesterday that we were taking this sweet guys newborn pictures...

Now he's a big brother!  And a great one!

New York, New York

A few weeks ago we had the amazing opportunity to head to New York City!  The purpose of the trip was to visit the headquarters of a non-profit very near and dear to our hearts, Smile Train. Since my little ladies (who are both cleft affected) entered our world, we've been doing what we can to help spread the word about Smile Train and their tireless work to provide free cleft surgery for hundreds of thousands of people (actually, now over 1 million) in developing countries, who would otherwise be unable to afford this surgery and any necessary follow up care.  The impact on the individual families and communities where Smile Train works is immeasurable.  Having followed them so closely for nearly a decade now, I truly had no idea of the amount of work that goes into making every single miracle happen.  Needless to say, our visit was a truly humbling experience and I hope to share more about them and their mission in the future.  

Unfortunately I didn't take my photos while at Smile Train, but this is the best one I could gotten anyway.  If you'd like to take a peek at a brief write up they did on our family and fundraising, you can click here.  

We also hit the town and soaked in as much we could before heading home... a good portion were on the trusty iphone, but here are a few highlights from the real camera.  

Hellllllo there!

Welcome!

I am *so* excited to finally be sharing my new website!

I hope you will stay a moment and look around.  In addition to a whole new look and name, I have simplified my session pricing!

I will eventually be moving more of my featured blog posts over to this site, but in the meantime, you can check them out over at Songbird Photography, by clicking HERE !  

I am very excited about this fresh start and wanted to thank you all for joining me here! I hope you all had a great holiday season...we certainly did.  

Cheers to a new and awesome year!

Love,
jenna

Snowfall

I love the first snowfall of the year.  It's always so magical, especially when you're a kid (or a puppy).

Miss Maisie

This sweet little muffin arrived just in time for the holidays.  Best present ever, I'd say.

Will.I.Am is 18 months!

Time sure does fly when you're cute and having fun.

Family

Beautiful family.  Beautiful day.

By the water

In the midst of countless cold and rainy fall days, we finally lucked out and were graced with this amazing backdrop. It was hard to believe it was Lake Michigan out there.

I loved seeing this beautiful family again...and meeting their newest little gem.

Ellie Friends

The hair, the wrist rolls, the smile, and then...elephants!  I mean, what more could I ask for?

songbird_tollefson_web-41

Sights of Summer {3}

My little rockstars both (yep...both) had bone graft surgery last week (which, in layman's terms, means they took bone from their skull and grafted it into their gums to fill in the spots where they had deficient bone growth secondary to their cleft lip/palate).  They did amazing and are recovering really well, but the rest of our summer is now dedicated to recovery, which means very limited physical activity and a soft diet (not fun when you're 8.  Or 37).

If you've noticed my posts have been a bit sparse, that is why.  We dedicated our extra time to helping the girls have as much fun (and eating all of their favorite foods) as they could prior to surgery.   They did humor me by allowing me to take them on a little shoot prior to the big day though (if we promised to let them go swinging).

I cannot say enough, how proud of them we are.  They've handled this entire thing with more grace than I ever could have expected and I can say, without a doubt, that I shed far more tears than they did throughout this ordeal.

I'm truly the luckiest mama. <3

But those cheeks...

I feel like it was yesterday that I was taking this little man's newborn photos.  Time flies...and cheeks become even more fantastic. ;-)

Four and Fabulous.

I love getting to see this cutie every year around her birthday and to see how her sweet little personality changes.  This year, she even drew me pictures for my refrigerator <3.

The River

When I start my family portrait sessions, I always stress that natural interactions are more meaningful than getting the perfect smile or the perfectly posed shot.  This family was the epitome of those beautiful, natural interaction with their little guy (who rocked the most amazing one tooth smile, may I add).  Such a joy to work with these three.