I first met Team Touponce 8 years ago when I made the transition from dairy to small animal practice. I was inexperienced, to say the least... and totally lacking any self-confidence. Chris and Lanette were two registered veterinary technicians who worked at my new job. Chris was larger than life, if his nickname "the Chrissiah" was any indication. He positively reeked with the confidence I so desperately wished to have. His wife was his benevolent counterpart who, while equally experienced and confident, had a way of putting me at ease. These two helped raise me up into the veterinarian that I am today.
As time passed by, Chris and Lanette became my friends. Lanette usually greeted me at work with a "hey sexy!" which always started my shift off in a good mood. And there was the momentous occasion when they announced they were expecting their first child... I practically forced Lanette onto the ultrasound table so that we could all get a glimpse of their new baby, who was promptly nicknamed "the grape". Lanette tells me that she still has the ultrasound photo in her son's baby book.
After a few years, I ended up taking a new job. We drifted our separate ways and I received the occasional update from a mutual friend (a quick hello to Tina, if you are reading this). It wasn't until I discovered Facebook last year that we were able to catch up... Chris and Lanette were about to earn their RN degree from Sacramento State University. Their little grape is now a young man named Aiden and he has a little sister named Jillian. Lanette asked me if I would come photograph their pinning ceremony, a wonderful tradition in the nursing community: each graduate selects a nurse who has been inspirational during their schooling, and that nurse presents them with their pin.
Chris and Lanette, aka Team Touponce, thank you so much for inviting me to document your pinning ceremony. I feel like a proud mama watching her babies grow up...
Without further adieu, here are some photos from the Pinning Ceremony. We met before the ceremony to get a few shots of the family, which was not easy with two little ones running every which direction. And since Chris, Lanette and I have rarely ever been serious, it was really hard for me to direct them in any sort of "traditional" pose. So we ended up with this:
Although I did get a couple of sweet photos of Lanette and the Grape, this one being my favorite of the bunch (ha ha, couldn't resist the grape reference):
The Grape sure does look a lot different from the last time I saw him. Well, he was a 6 week old fetus living inside Lanette's uterus... He has grown up so much and is such a handsome little man!
And little miss Jillian is such a cutie. She had just recently developed a new pose which she used throughout our session. Yes, her finger pointing would do John Travolta proud!
At one point, we sent the kids off in search of flowers so that I could get a few shots of the graduates. Which of course set up a whole new set of portraits: Chris, with foliage.
Alas, we were able to get a few shots of the grads and lovely couple:
It was time to move inside for the ceremony. There were several very nice speeches and some awards handed out. Then finally it was time for Team Touponce to receive their pins. Chris and Lanette came up together and received their pins as just that, a team. Ladies first:
I love this shot:
Next up, Chris:
And introducing... Team Touponce, RN
In case you are wondering, Chris will be working in trauma and Lanette will be working in intensive care. Which I would consider to be two of the most stressful and demanding fields of medicine in which to work. If their performance as RVTs is any indication, I have every confidence that the pair will be stellar in their new careers.
Congratulations Team Touponce!!! What a wonderful career path you have selected... even if it is working on humans! I wish you the best of luck and know you will do me proud.