Jasmine came in a few weeks ago for her high school senior session. Her favorite color is pink and she is planning to enter the nursing field. Congratulations Jasmine on your graduation and I look forward to hearing about all of your accomplishments in the future!
I also put together a short video of images from her session. Check it out!
Even though we followed the urban legend to guarantee a snow day the kids still had to go to school today. We wore our pajamas inside-out and backwards and flushed 3 ice cubes. The only step we left out was sleeping with a spoon under the pillow. That could have been the ticket! I’ll make a mental not for next time.
As beautiful as the morning drive was, I hope this is the end of the snow. I am ready for spring flowers and the return of our green grass.
The kids being at school gave me a chance to stop and take in all of the beauty. You know what they say, take a picture… it’ll last longer. So, I did.
Dena contacted me last fall and was interested in scheduling her twin boy’s Senior Portrait Session. We discussed her session options and she wanted to make sure I would photograph them together. I wanted to be sure that I was careful to give both guys the individual attention they deserved. As a High School Senior, having your portraits taken are almost a right of passage. I strive to ensure each senior session is unique, and the kids have an enjoyable time. One that they will remember when they are taking their own kids in for Senior Photos.
Nicko and Costa are twins but are truly two unique individuals. They are both talented kids with a passion for soccer and are both looking forward to playing in college. In the evenings and weekends they can be found helping out with the family’s Greek restaurant (Mykonos). They work as servers, manage the cash register and I have even seen them behind the grill. They both have such outgoing personalities being servers and working with people comes naturally to them.
Help me wish them luck as they start the next phase of their lives. Wherever they land, I’m sure that their family and a soccer ball will not be far away.
A friend and neighbor of ours is a Matilda Jane Clothing representative and has once again asked us to host a trunk show. If you have girls that are under the age of 10 years old you should check them out! The clothes are awesome!
We invited our friends into the new studio to shop, snack and also to have a “Mommy & Daughter” portrait taken. The kids had a blast, the Moms got a first look at the new spring line and everyone had a great time.
If you are interested in having a party of your own you can contact me and I will get you in touch with Wendy.
In the last few months a lot has changed. I have a new studio, new responsibilities and adjusting to an all new way of life. I actually have an office that I’m going to on a daily basis. It’s a dramatically different scene then this time last year. Last year, I would drop my son off at preschool and head back home for a run or a spin on my bike. This time last year I was training for the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike race. A race that I also participated in 2011 and came just 12 minutes short of the coveted “Belt Buckle”. Even more back story… The Leadville 100 is a 100 Mile mountain bike race in Leadville Colorado. The altitude doesn’t drop below 10,000 feet (which means there is 30% less oxygen than where I live). Add in 2 no.. make that 3 major hill (mountain) climbs and you have yourself a recipe for torture. The goal is to finish the race in under 12 hours. (yep… I said 12 hours). Finish in under 12 hours and you get to awarded a Silver Belt Buckle and know that you are amongst the few to have finished this ultra-race.
In 2011, I rode in the Leadville 100 also dubbed as “Race Across the Sky” because of a series of documentaries about the race. (go watch the movie trailer, I dare you) It was easily the hardest race of my life. I crossed the finish line just 12 minutes too late. I won’t lie, I shed a tear when I called Emily (my wife) to let her know I was safe but didn’t get the buckle. I should have been overwhelmed with joy that I even finished the race! There are hundreds of racers each year that don’t even get to ride across the red carpet to the finish line, but I did. There I was, sitting on my bike looking at the “finishers medal,” and I knew that I was going to be back in 2012 to race again.
In the weeks after Leadville 2011 I committed myself to do whatever it would take to train and race Leadville in 2012 AND get that belt buckle. I started working with a strength coach, a cycling coach and really hit the ground running (or riding). In the winter months I would train on my bike in the basement, watching everything from spinning DVD’s to old episodes of “The O.C.” I would run when the weather was descent and was out on my bike way past dark a few too many times. Train, train, train. Oh yea, and train some more.
All of that training wouldn’t have been possible without my support team. My wife, my co-workers, my kids and my friends. They were all there to support me with whatever way was needed. Encouraging me by simply saying, “go get that ride in, you will be glad you did!” It was enough to keep me in the saddle. I had to cobble numbers together but I have a rough estimate that I rode my bike 4,500 miles (give or take about 50) during my training. Nearly the same about of miles I put on my car in the same time period.
We decided to turn the Leadville Race weekend into a family vacation to Colorado. I was happy that my wife and kids were going to be able to see the fruits of my effort and watch me cross that finish line in under 12 hours. As we rolled into Leadville and checked into the Delaware Hotel, I started to panic a bit. Everyone was counting on me, watching me and expecting me to do this. What if i couldn’t? What if my training wasn’t enough? What if I crash? What if it rains and the course gets slow? My cycling coach was giving me estimates on my finish line based on my training numbers and he thought I should roll across the finish line at about 10 hours. I had my doubts. I didn’t think it was possible. I’m usually the guy who is so confident in myself that I KNOW I can do anything. Not at that moment and especially not when the downpour started the night before the race. I said to myself, “Oh, great!” Now, I’d have to tack on another couple of hours fighting through this sloppy mess.
Race day came. Luckily, it wan’t raining and the weather was much warmer than 2011. I barely even needed my gloves. Standing in line, I looked over at Emily holding Finn and Camille standing next to her. They were all smiles and so excited for the race to start. That’s when I knew. I knew at that exact moment there was no way I wasn’t going to get that buckle. Even if i had to carry my bike up every climb. (Sometimes carrying the bike is faster than riding it!). Yep. I knew. It was mine.
There are far too many details about the race to blog them all but if you want to know more about it, ask me sometime. I love telling the race story. I did get to the point where I bonked last year. Bonking is the same as “Hitting the Wall’ but in cycling terms. When I came around the corner around Turquoise Lake, I was 100% sure that I had it. The only thing I had to do was make sure I didn’t crash. Every corner was taken with care and the descent off St. Kevens Pass was a brake burner. I drug those guys the whole way down! Riding back up 6th toward Harrison to cross the finish line, which they layout the red carpet for the finishers, was exhausting and one of the most satisfying points in my year. I did it! I (pause for effect) DID IT!! I crossed the finish line in 10:54 and couldn’t have been more happy. My time was a little long because I was overly cautious over the last 25 or so miles. I took it easy and enjoyed the ride to the finish.
Crossing that finish line and seeing Camille & Finn duck under the baracade to come out and greet me was unreal. One of the happiest moments of my life. I can’t even type about it without tearing up. They got to see me do it! I showed them that hard work, dedication and determination will help you achieve your goals. 106 Miles in under 11 hours! Heck yeah!
Leadville was one of the most challenging things I have taken on. It took me 2 years to finish it, but you know what? I finished! There wasn’t any other option for me. There were too many people counting on me and I wasn’t about to let them down.
So fast forward to March 6th, 2013. What now? I’ve embarked on a whole new set of challenges.
Personally, I have a few events like a Trail Running Marathon on the calendar and knowing myself I’m sure I’ll sign up for more races this year.
Professionally, I have reconfigured my business and opened my own photo studio. Robb Shirey Photography (the studio) opened its doors on January 14th and is ready for sessions. This year, I’m hitting the ground running and working on this business. This year my business will be my Leadville 100. Blogging is one of the first things on the list so expect to start seeing more of my photography work and a little personal stuff too.
One of my favorite quotes from the founder or the Leadville 100 Race series, Ken Chlouber – ”You are BETTER than you think you are! You can DO MORE than you think you can!” Words to live by….
These were the finals that mom selected. She had trouble picking which ones she really wanted, I think she did well! I love the drip of drool in the image on the left.
Happy Easter little dude! Don’t let your brothers eat all of your candy.