Soda Stop- Meridian Idaho

Soda Stop - Meridian, Idaho

We LOVE exploring new places as a family. This place in Meridian, Idaho opened up a while ago and we couldn't wait to go!

Soda Stop - located off Overland Rd. in Meridian, Idaho is the perfect place to go if you love soda and cookies!

We chose some fun flavors- but all three of my kids had the "fluffinator" - which includes Root Beer, Marshmallow, and Cream.

They were BIG fans! 

And the cookies didn't disappoint either! Perfect sugar cookies with pink frosting was what we all went with. My personal favorite!

Once we got there, we also realized they had a huge menu full of delicious looking salads, sandwiches and soups. I wished we hadn't eaten before coming- and next time I plan to try a few of those as well!  

We were having so much fun, I made this little video of our morning there!

Also, for those of you who are close but short on time, they also have a drive through!

I think this would be a great location for a documentary family session" - take your family out for a lunch date and have photos taken to celebrate the memory! I love capturing simple everyday moments and helping you preserve those memories.

Abena - a miraculous life

Meet Abena. She lives in a tiny village in Ghana and is one of the most pure, BRIGHT souls I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She shines with joy, love, and beauty.

Abena was born with cerebral palsy, most likely after a difficult delivery, and it's fairly common in Ghana to see children with similar difficulties. She cannot walk, and for most of her life has dragged herself around on the dirt. She cannot hear, or speak. She lives with her grandfather.

She has a wheelchair that Ghana Make A Difference has brought over for her, but where she lives it is so rocky and uneven that I didn't see her in it much.

Abena has an American sponsor now, which pays for her to have sewing lessons from a local village woman. The goal is that Abena will be able to support herself someday through sewing. She was SO proud of her little outfits she's starting to create!

When Abena would see us coming, she would get SO excited! Some of these photos almost look like she is crying, but she's not! She's just so excited! She wants to hold your hand, and hug you, and pass along her love.

She is one of the many people who touched my life in Ghana. Who changed me. Who made me realize that I can make a difference in the world, one person at a time. 

"Anything that has real and lasting value is always a gift from within." -Franz Kafka

I hadn't realized just how much this trip took out of me emotionally, until I arrived home. Physically and emotionally exhausted, I felt like I was in a fog for the first two week back in Idaho. I finally worked out my emotions, and I realized that I was struggling with a little bit of survivors guilt. I was happy to be home with my kids and my husband, but I really wanted to bring all of the people I had met, back here where it was safe, and clean, and so wonderful.

To find out more about how to help families in Ghana, go to their website www.ghanamakeadifference.org

If you would like to find out how to donate part of your portrait session fees to Ghana Make A Difference, contact me for more information.  camille@camillemariephotography or 480-340-4530.

Traveling through Spain

This October I was lucky enough to go to Spain, mostly to photograph my cousin's wedding, but I got to stay for about 9 days! 

One of my highlights from the trip was the day I spent in Segovia. My other cousin had just gotten engaged, and her fiance is from there, so we spent the day touring and finished it off with an engagement session (pics from that to come in a later post!)

Segovia is a historic city northwest of Madrid, in central Spain's Castile and León region. Over centuries of settlement, it's gained a rich architectural legacy, including medieval walls, Romanesque churches, a former royal palace and a Gothic cathedral. The iconic ancient Roman aqueduct has more than 160 arches, most in the original mortarless granite, and stands in the heart of the city.

Segovia was a MAGICAL city- so full of rich history, yet still quaint, in the middle of the beautiful Spanish countryside. My day spent there was definitely one of the main highlights of my trip. Also, because... I got to see a real CASTLE, fulfilling many childhood dreams!  

I cannot thank my Spanish family enough for being such amazing hosts and showing me their country. Madrid, Segovia, El Escorial - these places should ALL be on your bucket list! 

Also, some of the best food I have ever eaten, I discovered on this trip. Especially in a little Italian place off the beaten path in Madrid. Insanely delicious.

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Once you catch the travel bug- there's no way to be content with staying home all the time! Most of our goals as a family involve travel, and I can't wait to show my girls the world!