Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Coffee and Closed Doors

Whenever I drink coffee, I find it necessary to drink a huge glass of water.  It's simply a must.  And for those of you who know me well, this is a typical occurrence.
This also lends itself to needing to pee.
So, on Sunday, while my friend fielded an important phone call I went to alleviate my bladder.  I shut the door behind me, finished, washed my hands and then turned to the door.  I twisted the handle and...nothing.  We're talking door-would-not-move nothing.
At first I freaked a little. 
And then I just started laughing.
A lot.  (this is also a frequent occurrence for me)
I decided to get creative...
I physically tried to pull the door up as I pulled it back toward me.
I pushed down as I pulled back.
I twisted and used all of my body weight in repeated body jerks.
And then I texted my friend, "okay...I'm kind of stuck in the bathroom.  Like - door-stuck-and-can't-open...  Could you come help me?"
I paused, prayed and prepared myself for the hilarity and mild embarrassment of what was about to happen in the middle of this full coffee shop.
But I decided I'd give it one last shot.
And guess what?
No, really...guess.
It opened.
And then we laughed.  Really hard.
And yes, there is no point to this story.  At all.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I want my mommy

I didn't plan on being a mom. 
I figured if I ever had children I would misplace them. 
Not because I didn't like them.  But because I would get distracted and lose them like I lose my keys. 
So let's just say I entered motherhood with a lot of insecurities.  And a lot of - "this isn't the way my life is supposed to go."  Accompanied by a whole bunch of "I'll never be a good mother." 
And tears.  Lots of tears.
Add to that the fact that I'm ADD.  And let's just say an ADD mom is a hilarious notion in and of itself.  My "mother-hood" is a little different to say the least.  And if I were to be really honest, which I'm going to, I frequently feel inadequate and "less than" because I'll never be like these other mothers that I love and admire.   I forget my preschooler's assignments.  I celebrate birthdays a month late.  I struggle to get out of the house before 10 am because I usually can't find my phone or my keys.
My children?  They're great.  But I still feel inadequate.  I feel like I can't measure up to the mom I had.  To the other moms I know and adore.  To the mom they need.

This past weekend, my mom and dad-in-law graciously took our kids. 
I was burnt out.  And there were 1,000s of projects I've left undone.  And if I were to be really honest, that whole having Lyme disease thing really kicked my butt and made me feel like an even bigger failure as a mom because I've literally been knocked onto my butt.  And I've been working like crazy.  And I don't know the last time we've been on a date.  (actually I do.  It was our anniversary.  4 months ago.  And before that...  Yeah...)
And while they were there, my little lady got sick.  Like puked-her-guts-out-in-the-front-yard-and-cried-like-crazy sick.  And in that moment, she wanted her mommy.
My totally capable mom-in-law recounted this story to me at dinner.  She told me how Hannah amidst tears cried for me and said I'd know just what to do.
And as she filled me in, I fought back tears.
I know what it's like to want your mommy.  Especially when your sick.  As a matter of fact, I still do.  And for the past 4 years I was afraid I'd be the exception.  I'd be such an awful mom that my kids wouldn't need me when they are sick.  They wouldn't feel that desire to have me there.  That I would fail at what I saw as the core of mom-dom.
And in that moment my heart sang a little.  And I realized - yeah - I'm not a perfect mom.  But somehow - they still love me.  And they don't care that I'm different.  They are crazy enough to think that I know what to do.

PS:  Internet, I do realize that whole "they think I know what to do" thing will change in high school.  But I will enjoy this fleeting moment...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Amy and Nate: "Day After" Session at Oscar Swan

Sometimes it comes at the wrong time.
Like right in the middle of your outdoor wedding ceremony.
But...I have the best clients in the world.  The kind that take life as it comes.  And laugh.  And at the end of the day - they know what's most important.  Their love.  That they get to hold hands.  That they get to wake up next to each other.
So when the downpour came...in the middle of their outdoor ceremony, it ruined our time-line and our plans to take pictures of them by themselves.  And so...we laughed.  And made a new plan.  Right after their honeymoon, she put on her wedding dress, he put on his tux and we captured their gorgeous selves.  Here's a little snapshot of our time.

And yes, they are incredible and GORGEOUS.

Yes.  A miniature house.  With green hearts.  And I made them stand there.  It was too odd to pass up.

Makes my day.  Every.time.


Um.  WOW.  Amy... WOW.

Nate, you're adorable.  And I'm officially adopting you as a brother.  You are all kinds of sweet. 

Love these next two...

Nate brought it.

Okay, I am overwhelmed by their cuteness.


LOVE LOVE and LOVE some more.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Andrew and Nicole

When I first met Nicole, I figured we'd never be friends. 
(Keep in mind, I never wanted to date Ted)
She was just...so great.  So beautiful.  So kind.  And her kids?  Seriously...they belonged on a JCrew ad.  And my kids?  Well, hair has a tendency to look like it's running from their heads.  And so I just didn't think she'd want to have anything to do with a crazy, messed up mom like me.
(And yes, I was SOOOOOO guilty of judging.  And SOOOOOO wrong.)
But for some reason, they invited us to their small group at our church.
And they invited us into their lives.
And I've never been so thankful for such an invitation.

This couple...
Kind times infinity.
So real.

And so much more.

The past few years have been crazy for them.  Life has given them circumstances I can't even begin to imagine.  They had every reason to give up hope...to throw in the towel...to just quit trying.
And they didn't.
Because they have this hope.
Their lives are based in an understanding that love is bigger.  Stronger.  And it can defeat all.  Both of them base their lives on resurrection.  That even when the unthinkable happens, that Sunday is still on the way.  (This is a reference to Easter...to the celebration of Jesus dying on a cross and then 3 days later, rising from the dead.  If you have any questions about this or want to know more, you are always welcome to send me an email)  And though it has been an incredibly painful road, they know...hope is still the story of their lives.

So, after much harassment from me, they agreed to grant me their gorgeous selves to document this love, this moment and all the beauty of their relationship - complete with imperfect circumstances.  And Nicole still had her wedding dress and could fit into it.  (Um, yeah.  After 3 kids...)  And so they decided to go back to the beginning of their life as one.

Nicole and Andrew, we love you guys.  I don't think you can begin to know how grateful we are for you.  For sharing life with you.  For your laughter.  For the fact that you like Eminem.  For welcoming us like family.  For taking the time to get to know our craziness and not running in the complete opposite direction.  For making our struggles your own and carrying us through heartache and hard times.

(And PS: I'd be a bad friend to all of internet land if I didn't mention it - Andrew is an incredible financial advisor.  Times twenty.  If you'd like his information - just shoot me an email.  He rocks.)

And now do you see how gorgeous they are?


I'm not sure it gets much sweeter...  And Nicole, you are STUNNING.


I love this picture.  Times twenty.

To see more pictures and enjoy some incredible music courtesy of the ever-so-talented Devin Bustin, just click HERE.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Blah blah blah

Blah, blah, blah.  Yackety, schmakety.
That's what all of the lame blog post ideas that bounced through my head over the past five minutes sounded like.
A severe dose of lame.
Because they were all so put together.  So neatly packaged.  So. much. white. noise.

So...instead I'll give you a picture.  Or two.
Because those are fun.
And then when I feel like I'm ready to be me again, I'll write.  So enjoy these moments with some adorable people.

Superwoman.  AKA: greatest daughter ever.

Chubby thighs.

Awkward family photos.

Utter Awesome-ness.

The consequences of daddy breaking your sunglasses and only having a sister.  After this weekend I promptly went out and got him "Cars" sunglasses.  Mostly out of guilt.


Monday, August 9, 2010

A new set of rules

I shut the door and pressed the number 1.
Nothing happened.
I tried it again.
I tried pressing start.  Then cook time.  Then start again.
And still...nothing.
Microwaves are not supposed to mess with people early in the morning.  It should be a rule.  Especially when they are postponing said person's caffeine consumption.  And that person is a mom.
I couldn't figure out if it was me.  Or the microwave.  Such are the dilemmas I face before I've had caffeine in the morning.
Then it started.  Randomly.
I found it hilarious.
We all did.
Our microwave now has a serious mind of its own.

But here's what we've learned...
If you lean with all of your body weight into the microwave, it will usually work.  Usually.  And it seems to notice if you're not really putting all of your effort into it.
A random succession of number pressing, accompanied by opening and closing the door at least 5 times seems to convince the microwave to start.  Creative dances seem to also be helpful.
Even if the microwave starts, it may turn off at any second.
The time counting down is a good sign.  However, the timer can still stop at any moment and just freeze.  This is also something that strikes me as hilarious.  Especially early in the morning.
Just because the light comes on and it "sounds" like it's working, it may not actually heat said item.

So, the money we were saving for a new camera or new lens will be diverted this month.  Because it's probably never good when your refrigerator leaks and your microwave has a "personality."
Oh well.
It made for a good laugh.
So today I'll be thankful for the quirky little things appliances do (like Ted's possessed toothbrush that likes to turn on at 3 am...) and the stories I'll laugh over for a lifetime because of it.  And I'll be grateful for what I do have.

Like clients who were celebrating a love that has lasted through unbelievably hard circumstances, twists and turns, laughs, adorable children and beautiful moments.  And there is so much more coming, but in the meantime, here's a sneak peek of their couples' shoot.  And yes, she's wearing her wedding dress - and she's had 3 kids.  And she's my hero...  For lots of reasons.

Yes, they are ridiculously good-looking.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Today I am discouraged.
About photography.
About motherhood.
About my body ever feeling normal again.
About being registered for a half-marathon that is in a month when I am having trouble walking today.
About life.
About writing.
About my faithlessness to a God who has always been faithful.
About ever being completely out of debt.
About where I'm headed.
About my lack of friends.
So...basically, about everything.

So...where do I go from here?  I'm thinking self-pity is a no-go.  It never works out.
I'm looking into bearing my soul to the One who gave it to me.
And listening.
Yep.  Shutting my mouth.  And opening my ears.
Because I have a feeling He might be saying very different things than my mind is currently broadcasting.
And you know what?  It may or may not get better.  But I can.

Monday, August 2, 2010

25 years

Twenty five years.
Nine-thousand one-hundred thiry-one days.  (And yes I looked that up on Wikipedia)
Of falling asleep next to each other and waking up together.
Of holding hands.
Of loving words and sometimes not so loving words.
Of choosing to love when it was hard and treasuring that love when it was easy.

This precious couple has done that.  And they're not done.  But it was time to mark and celebrate this day.  This day celebrating that love.  The kind of love that chooses this amazing person out of everyone else in the world.  To do life with... 

I'm not going to lie: I LOVE couple's sessions.  It's a chance to stop.  A chance to hear their story - and to reconnect them with their story.  A chance to record this love.  This love that has endured time, pain and has come out even more beautiful.  (Because unfortunately, we all know we hurt the people we love the most at some point)

I left this session dancing.  Literally.  I tried to contain myself so I didn't terrify the people in downtown Wheaton, but nonetheless I danced.  Because of the beauty of the love these two share.  To hear how they've followed God.  How they weren't afraid to admit when they had made mistakes.  How love could literally cover a record of wrongs.  How God could take something already beautiful and make it even better.  I left with even more love for my husband and even more inspiration to keep loving.

Rick and Janice, thank you.  Thank you for sharing your story with me.  Thank you for being willing to be yourselves.  And thank you for entering into the love you have for each other and somehow managing to let go of the fact that I had a camera in front of my face.  You two are heroes to me.  Here's to twenty-five more years.  And more pictures all along the way.

And if you'd like, you can view their slide-show of more pictures from their session .  And the music?  That's the unbelievably talented Devin Bustin.  Rush over as fast as you possibly can and check out his music "Asher Lev" on itunes.  I'm in love. 

Yes, this is one of my favorite pictures. EVER.

And Janice, can we just go ahead and put it out there - you are STUNNING.
They are beyond adorable
LOVE this...

Again with you being stunning, Janice...

This makes me smile every time.

Oh how much I love their love for each other.

Love the expressions here.

And again, head on over to see the slide-show of their session!