Rikki Rivera | Photographer » Wedding & Portrait Photography

Michaela is one of my dear friends. In fact, she is one of the sweetest people I know. The end of the year proved to be a great time for us to get together to capture this time in her life. We didn’t know it at the time, but it ended up marking a big milestone in her life as well. I’m so thankful for friendships like this, and to have a friend who is genuinely beautiful inside and out. We had so much fun exploring Tacoma! We’re lucky to be close to such a beautiful city.

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A very merry holiday greeting to you, as well as a huge thanks for all you loyal blog readers and a warm welcome to all those who are visiting the blog for the first time! There’s no greater place in Washington than the beautiful mountains in the summer, and then covered in snow in the winter. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, we explored state parks, lakes, rivers, mountains, and small towns. We had a blast! To help ease the deployment blues while missing our loved one, the outdoors certainly helped! These are my favorite things, and all that I’m thankful for this season and always.

eastern washington, wenatchee, mountains, reflections, lake

This is the first view we stumbled across. These are the first photos I took. It was so incredibly amazing! We hiked around the lake front and trekked through some snow. It was so beautiful, and a lot of fun!

eastern washington, wenatchee, reflections, mountains, lake

Dressing in warm layers for the cold and snow makes for a whole lot of fun! It’s a blessing to see my children revel in the wonder of snow, big mountains, an open sky, and a happy mom. Even though dad can’t be here with us now, we keep on going and exploring just as we always have. We bring our babes along for as much as we can, as it’s a crucial part of their growing up, experiences, and understanding in life.

family photos

family photos

We explore from the coast to the mountains, and everything in between. There’s no shortage of wonder here in our beautiful state.

family photos

Even though we’ve had Bear for a few years, before Kate was even here, they’ve just began bonding with one another. I love seeing them together, he’s very gentle and you see how sweet he can really be when she’s next to him.

family photos

The view only got better and better as we found our way around the shore.

family photos

Alyx has been hiking with me for quite a few years now. He’s been going since about the age of three when my love for exploring the outdoors was finally settled in Washington after my first deployment to Cuba landed me here. It’s been the greatest pleasure watching him take in every place we go with the greatest amazement and tackle it like he’s done it many times before!

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Bear has taken the lead as he guided us through most of our hikes and took good care of us :). He’s such a wonderful pet! Even if he rolls in the worst smells he can find lingering in the dirt and snow and stinks for days.

family photos

Jeremy and I found this bridge over the river and hiking spot during our last trip to Leavenworth. It’s so beautiful here, and the hike goes on and on!

easter washington, photography, professional

eastern washington, landscape, professional, photography

Snacks make every adventure better for baby :). I try to remember to keep things at their pace, and stop to enjoy the moments as needed for their little feet and tummy’s.

family, hiking, photography, eastern washington, icicle river

The Northwest is undeniably picturesque with it’s roaring waterfalls, rivers, snowcapped mountains, and majestic bald eagles. Trees as high as your eyes can go, and the untouched scent of nature, plants, and views for miles.

eastern washington, mountains, photography, icicle river, river

With the weather feeling the effects from the incessant rain and snow, the bridge was nearly impassable. Someone went through the trouble of placing rocks all the way across, and if you could manage, you could get across. It wasn’t easy, and Bear wouldn’t have anything to do with the water.

eastern washington, pet, dog, bridge, photography

rain, eastern washington, photography, hiking

After enjoying authentic German food and errands in town, we found a nice little spot on the side of the road and stopped to capture these beautiful stars. The first night we drove in, it was snowing and the sky was less than clear. I couldn’t resist as I don’t get to see stars like this in the city.

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 We really couldn’t resist when I came across a candy store! There were rows and rows of fresh local candy and fudge. To say I left with a little would be a slight understatement!

eastern washington, jeep, candy store, photography, professional, christmas lights

We just couldn’t leave with out a little more exploring and playing in snow. We were greeted with bright sunshine and even slightly colder temperatures, but we had a great time.

eastern washington, river, sunshine, professional photography, water, trees, landscape

eastern washington, wenatchee, landscape, professional, photography

eastern washington, landscape, professional, photography, trees girl, baby, professional photography, child photography, children, kid, cutest baby, adorable

child photography, kids, eastern washington, wenatchee, playing, playground, children playing, professional photography

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ski resort, eastern washington, sunshine, snow, snow covered houses, winter

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The property of the cabin we stayed at was incredible! So we explored around there too! Like I said, there’s never a shortage of things to see and do around here.

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Can’t leave the snow with out some volley ball!  They were constantly wide-eyed as we found ducks, a rooster, and toys. My kids had so much playing, being in the snow, and spending time with one another was more than what we could’ve ever asked for!

eastern washington, child, child photography, volleyball, play, children playing, winter I love finding gorgeous sunshine, especially behind evergreens as the snow melts off.

eastern washington, sunshine, winter, evergreen, tree, ice, snow, professional photography

We took our time as we journeyed home. It finally came to a point where we were overwhelmed by Bear’s stinki-ness, and we all needed a good stretching out. I love their smiles and ability to have a good time anywhere! By far, this is one of the mottos we keep our life by; finding wonder in anything and everything, then taking it all in every moment we get.

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My favorite!

children photography, child photos, children playing, brother, sister, kids, professional photography

Since we were nearby, I couldn’t resist stopping by Snoqualmie. The lower falls were closed, which was a major disappointment, just to encounter massive fog, mist, and rain as the sun was setting. There was still some beauty to be found.

snoqualmie, winter, mountains, snoqualmie falls, sunset

Jeremy proposed to be near here nearly four years ago. This is by far one of my favorite places. I’m ready for the construction to be over to hike around again! And of course, for February to roll around for our next trip here, and to get some skiing in!

snoqualmie, snoqualmie falls, sunset, misty, mist

This was a memorable trip for us for sure. We were all so mesmerized by the snow, stars, mountains, and of course, our time together. Christmas season photos are on their way! Stay tuned for our end-of year adventures, time with family and friends, and my first very green newsletter!