“Just us 3” Family Photoshoot

3 of Us in the Front Door

3 of Us Brand Fam in the Front Door

Thanks to the most wonderful friend and photographer Luis we got totally authentically us shots. We are so happy with the results and it was a ton of fun. Iza kind of hates getting her picture taken, so it was even more fun to see that the photoshoot was of a happy Iza.

Thank you to Bubby for the incredible DKNY tye dye dress that matched mine. It worked out so great. And to Luis for the patience and outrageous results. Perfect! And to Kurtis who I adore and who definitely only did this because it was important to me.

The reason for the shoot is more than just documentation: This shoot is part of my Bells Palsy recovery process to accept my permanent state and capture everything on camera to remember the moment. With Iza in the belly we have maybe 10 photos total from 6 months on because I was too overwhelmed every time I saw my face staring back at me. Now at 90%, it feels like the acceptance has come from a place of personal power. It was so much fun to take these shots and I see true joy in all our faces in the results. I really am so grateful to all my friends and family who have given me positive affirmation over the last 2+ years during recovery. Thank you!


From our Photographer Luis Pedro Gramajo: Un día lleno de sonrisas, amor y creatividad con esta hermosa familia, ya están listos para recibir al nuevo miebro de la familia… Los Brand son una familia muy divertida y sobre todo creativa, son fuera de lo común y estoy seguro que esta nueva vida que está siendo puesta en sus manos va a aprender disfrutar la vida cada moneto, espero que les guste…

Translated to English: A day full of smiles, good energy and love with this beautiful family, they´re ready to receive the new member of the family… The Brand’s are a really creative and fun family, I´m sure that this new life that is given to them is going to enjoy every day with them, hope you like it… ENJOY!!!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Laguna Lodge – Nature Reserve

Laguna Lodge

Saturday is family day, always. Today we decided to jump in the launcha and head to our favorite town – Santa Cruz and take a hike. We figured we would do this and then head to Cafe Sabor for lunch and then walk home via Jabalito. We started at the town dock and took a leisurely walk to a little place called Paxnax (pash nash). Here is home to the fanciest hotel on the lake called Laguna Lodge. We heard there was a nature preserve owned by the hotel, with incredible vistas, and wanted to give it a whirl.

We started at the hotel and had a little tea. Iza was sleeping so this gave us an extra minute to relax before we started our climb up. It was so much fun! We had a chance to just relax together – it has been forever – and have a check in on life and all the new challenges we have be going through with moving here.

Laguna Lodge Nature Reserve 1


The first vista that we found yielded this amazing photo. Such a sight, and using an iPhone nonetheless.

Laguna Lodge Nature Reserve 4


From marker “12” there is this view. Kurt stood at the end of the row and took the below photo. Pretty impressive, eh?

Laguna Lodge Nature Reserve 2

While beautiful, this eco lodge is seems really just crazy, outlandishly expensive… but after our hike, we can see why. It sits at the base of a private nature preserve. It is still hard to believe that in Guatemala there is a hotel for $450 a night… when that could get you an employee for 2-months at that rate! Worth it? Not sure, but really a wonderful day and experience.