So there are smiley babies…and then there is Nora.  Something tells me she is going to be a star because the girl knows how to work a camera!  She very rarely took her eyes off me and would literally smile every chance she got!  It was honestly the cutest thing ever.  And on top of it all, I got the chance to hang out with one of my very favorite families.  I’ve had the privilege of documenting Erin and Blair’s family as it continues to grow.  From their first pregnancy to Nolan growing into such sweet little boy to Nora making her entrance into this world.  It’s always my favorite when I get a chance to see them and capture all those special little life moments.  And it doesn’t hurt that they make extremely cute babies.  🙂

 

But enough from me.  Here’s a little look at Nora’s 6 month in-home lifestyle session.

 

 

I’ll admit it.  I typically make a huge list of all the things I am going to accomplish during off season and as the days click by I accomplish none of them.  Something about the fact that they don’t HAVE to get done messes with my brain.  Update website…or spend three hours flipping through Facebook.  I mean there’s an obvious winner in that scenario.  But something about this year really lit a fire under me and I have been quite the little productive over here.  Don’t get me wrong.  There have been plenty of days that I have stared at my computer screen until I finally gave up and went to watch the Bachelor.  Days I’ve decided shopping for things I don’t need trumped…well…everything else.  But more days than not I was cranking away at some stuff that has been looooong overdue.  The most exciting of those things being my brand spankin’ new Wedding Guides!!!!  I’m not going to lie…these were SO much work.  Turning my 7+ years of wedding knowledge into something that is cohesive and informational was incredibly hard.  But I did it and I am SO excited at how they turned out!  And I’m even more excited for all my 2017 couples to put them to use this year!  I realize I’m over-sharing these bad boys but I am just SO excited that these are finally finished!!!

 

 

I also gave my site a little facelift which was pretty eye-opening because I can really see my style come through in all my weddings (not just the ones with glowy sunsets).  It’s a hard process to figure out who you are as a photographer and what your “style” is but I feel more confident than ever going into 2017 that I know exactly what that means to me.  And I *hope* that shows from the outside in as well.  🙂

 

 

Off season isn’t over by any means but with warm weather on the horizon the lazy weekends are soon to be few and far between.  Which means the time for all the “extras” are coming to an end.  Part of me will miss the slower days but a much bigger part of me is super stoked to start it all back up again.  The first stop being my Spring Mini Sessions!  It’s not too late to grab your spot if you want to sneak in some family photos before the craziness of summer begins!

 

 

I’m off to conquer the busiest week of my life (okay that might be a bit dramatic) before we leave for vacation on Saturday!!!!  T-minus five days…but who’s counting.  🙂

 

Yesterday, I was driving back from Chicago down a very long stretch of 65.  A lot of people consider it the most boring drive ever but I kind of like it.  The endless fields and nothingness.  It’s like something about the emptiness allows my mind to take a deep breath.  Sometimes, yesterday included, I turn the radio off and just think.  I think about what I want out of life and how I’m going to get it.  Sometimes I think about all the things that are stressing me out and just let myself be in it.  My therapist told me once that I have to learn to sit through it.  The pain, anxiety, stress…as someone who wants everyday to be the best day ever, it’s a challenge.  So these drives give me that.  A little time to sit through it.  To let it work itself out and have some real, uninterrupted time to just be alone with my thoughts (which can be pretty frightening).

 

Yesterday was especially introspective because it was exactly one year since I packed up my life and moved it to Indy.  I made that same, long drive with a car full of things that somehow made up 11 years of living.  I felt this heaviness in my chest that I wanted so desperately to go away.  Was I sad I was leaving?  Was I scared at the unknown?  Was I sure this was right?  Whatever it was…I knew that drive was the beginning of a whole new chapter.  And virtually, a whole new life.

 

But yesterday wasn’t just one year since I moved.  It was also 5 years since I started chemo.  March 6th.  The day I walked into that scary place with my insides twisting and turning themselves inside out.  I knew I had to be there but I wanted so desperately to run away as fast as I could.  A million questions were running through my head.  Why is this happening?  Was I making the right choice?  Will it hurt?  It’s strange but I can literally remember everything about that day.  Every feeling and every minute like it was yesterday.  I was scared.  Like really scared.  But I smiled and hung out with my people and pretended it was all going to be okay.  I also remember the person I was when I walked in there…and what a different person walked out.  It’s bizarre to know 5 years have passed.  And still to this day I constantly go back and forth between it wasn’t that big of a deal and holy sh*t I had cancer.  Honestly, most days I just feel like I did what I needed to do and got through it.  And other days I feel like a superhero.  But despite what day it happens to be…it completely changed me.  And ultimately, changed whole trajectory of my life.

 

So yeah.  March 6th.  Just another day for most people.  But for me it’s a reminder to be unstoppable.  Not because I’m some incredible person but because I can.  Because when shit hits the fan that’s when you get to see who you really are and I’m willing to bet that person is way more of a bad ass than you could have ever imagined.

 

 

**I know the 5 year mark is a big deal for cancer survivors…but I’m not quite there yet.  June 19th is my official “cancer free” date and it will be here before we know it!!**

 

Usually I would be jumping up and down at the idea of Spring being right around the corner…but this very strange winter has basically been a Spring so I feel like I’m all screwed up!  Either way…this girl is ready for some warm weather and longer days!  Helloooo patio happy hours!  I’m holding out hope that the reeeeeally cold weather is done because otherwise all my flowers are going to die and as someone who has a black thumb…I need all the help I can get.  Anyways…with Spring being right around the corner it felt like the perfect time to do mini sessions!  Mini sessions are a great way to grab some quick photos of your family (or yourself or your dog or whomever you want pictures of!) without breaking the bank.  I have 7 slots available and you can claim yours here.  All the details are below but let me know if you have any questions.  I can’t wait to see you in a few weeks!!!

 

SUNDAY, APRIL 2ND

West Park, Carmel

20 minute session

$200

BOOK MY SESSION!

 

 

 

 

It was part of the bundle so we opted for the alarm system.  Being home alone all day in a house that is mostly surrounded by woods kind of creeps me out…so I liked the idea of knowing I had some sort of protection.  I didn’t think I would like it at first, but every time a door opens or closes there is a ‘ding’.  So if I was in my office and someone snuck in the back door I would ideally hear them.  Not sure what I’m supposed to do once I hear them…but at least they can’t hide in my closet.

 

So…it was the middle of the day and I decided to take a shower.  I let Goose out, made sure all the doors were locked and went on my way.  I finished showering and had just put on my Lush Coffee Mask (which looks like someone spread you know what all over your face – but man it’s the best) when I heard the ding.  My body legitimately froze and started violently shaking all at the same time.  I grabbed my phone and opened the app which tells us what time every door was open and closed.  ‘Sliding door closed: 2:05′

 

It was 2:05.

 

I shut the bathroom door and put my arm up against it to block it.  Like that was going to stop this serial killer form getting to me.  I thanked the Lord that Goose was in there with me and immediately called Gary.  My voice was shaking like crazy when I told him how scared I was and that I heard the ding.  He also checked the app and was in his car on his way to me within seconds.  I sat in the corner of my bathroom…shaking, completely naked with a brown mask all over my face…waiting for my impending doom.  I mean it’s one thing to be scared someone is in your house…it’s another to be scared someone is in your house while you’re naked.  Finally, Gary called me back and told me the police were on their way.  I reminded him I was naked and was not leaving this bathroom to rectify that problem.

 

Long story short, Gary and the police arrived at the same time (thank God).  Just for reference, Gary works 20 minutes away.  He was home in about 10.  Turns out our alarm system had malfunctioned because the sliding door was closed and locked.  But man was that an intense 15 minutes.  Gary checked the whole house just to make me feel better and ultimately, our lives went on.  Except now, I am a total scaredy cat.  I think I watch too much Criminal Minds because a car drives by and all the sudden I’ve concocted this idea in my head that this person is casing my house and knows I’m here alone and is going to come back and break in while I’m in the shower.  Then he’s going to torture me and ultimately kill me unless the FBI arrives in time which one can only hope…but you know there’s always the girl in the beginning of the episode who doesn’t make it.  I just have to pray I’m the one at the end.  The struggle is real.

 

In honor of my fake but oh-s0-real life or death story…it’s another installment of  **drum roll please** Random Thoughts of the Day (try to contain your excitement)!

 

  • When I was little, my brother and I were at a family friend’s house while our parents all went out to dinner.  A real life person broke in that night and it was legitimately terrifying and to this day our parents don’t believe us.  But we’ll always know the truth.
  • And if anyone asks this will also be the story of when someone broke into my house – you know, for the shock factor.  😉
  • Back to that coffee mask…seriously the best ever.  Go buy it.
  • I think in my old age I have become a crier.  I blame This Is Us and Michael Scott leaving The Office.  So many emotions!!!!
  • Speaking of The Office – best. show. ever!
  • I went through like 571 way to make coffee in the morning.  I was hell-bent on figuring out how to make the best coffee possible.  Pour over.  French press.  Finally landed on a good-‘ol fashioned coffee maker and Folgers.  I guess you just don’t mess with the classics.
  • Katharine told me the other day that I am in the center of her heart – and even when she’s old we can still play together.  I literally don’t think I could love something more (Emmy too).   I also think she might only love me because I bring her candy.
  • To anyone that hasn’t tried Halo Top ice cream…go buy it right now!  It’s delicious and you can *technically* eat the whole pint and not feel bad about yourself.  PSA: stay away from Mint Chocolate Chip…it tastes like toothpaste.
  • We had a mouse.  In our house.  A real…live…mouse.  And Gary decided not to tell me that he woke up one morning and saw it run across our kitchen counter.  He waited an ENTIRE DAY until he caught it to share that little tidbit.  I can’t decide if I love him or hate him for that.
  • I’ve been working on this Wedding Guide for my couples over the last month.  Talk about so. much. work!  If anyone would like to proofread it before I print it I would be forever grateful.
  • Oh…how about this crazy February weather we’re having!  I have been driving around with my windows open, eating outside and not wearing a coat.  I’m super stoked about it and also a little concerned for our planet.
  • I started watching Big Little Lies last night (read the book first if you haven’t) and so far am very impressed.  Highly reccommend it.
  • I’m off to take a shower….but setting the alarm first.  Obviously.