For those of you who have been following this blog from the beginning, you’ll remember Alyssa. I was excited when she contacted me again! She had gotten married in a small ceremony and was looking to get wedding photos with her new husband. Wedding photos with now timeline?! Yes I’ll take it! Since horses are a passion for Alyssa, we thought of ways to incorporate that in to her photos. Check out what we came up with! Congrats Aaron and Alyssa and thanks for thinking of me again to capture such a great event in your life!
I’ve had the privilege of photographing quite a few seniors this season (I’ll be posting some soon!) I had fun shooting twin sisters Adri and Alex. We scheduled an perfect day for our session! This March warm weather has been so nice to shoot in. Here are a few from our fun session
My HS classmate Stacie contacting me about a photo shoot for her sons and nephew I was really excited. I’ve shot a handful of my classmates over the years. I was extra excited to hear about her great ideas. Golf is a huge part of there lives so naturally our session was held at Wauseon Ironwood Gold Club. We had to rescheduled a few times due to the weather but it was worth it! It was picture perfect. Here are just a few of my faves…
Mr. Cutie Pie
Playing on the green
Brothers. LOVE this!
Wow! It’s hard to believe that “T” is now two years old! It seems like yesterday I was posting his newborn photos. When his mom contacted me to schedule his two year/family portraits, I had the perfect location in mind. I just love how I was able to capture Mr. “T” in action and sweet family moments all in one. Take a look at just a few of my faves
The Langenderfer family
Mr. ham for the camera!
A kiss at sunset
Amanda and I played email tag for a few days before we were able to secure a session for the newest addition to her family. Amanda is a dental hygiene pal and I actually took her sisters senior pictures a few years ago. I’m honored she thought of me for baby “G”‘s first photo session. When I arrived, baby “G” let us know who was in charge in that house and managed to fight the sleep off for a while. She finally drifted off and became the perfect model. Here is a sneak in to our session. Thank you Aaron and Amanda for welcoming me into your home and allowing me to capturing your precious gift!
Baby lashes are so cute!
This is where she was the most comfortable….a basket
Look at that precious face!
This June wedding was perfect all around! Andy and Taylor couldn’t have planned a better day. The weather was picture perfect. They were surrounded by their friends and family to witness and celebrate the joining of two lives. I am honored and blessed to document two best friends saying “I Do”. Here is a quick glance into their special day. Feel free to leave some comments! I’m sure Mr. and Mrs. Rogers would appreciate it!
Wedding Dress details
The lovely Taylor
Exchanging of the rings and the kiss
The awesome wedding party
Andy and Taylor
Mr. and Mrs. Rogers
Some wedding details
Sweet wedding rings
Here is one of the weddings I shot over Labor day weekend. I had the pleasure of preserving Mary and Adam special day. The hotel where the wedding party stayed and got ready had some awesome backdrops for photos. Here are a few and I hope you enjoy. Congrats again Mr & Mrs Burley!
After our awesome maternity shoot, I knew I wanted I to featuring Kendra and her amazing story here on my blog. She has traveled a long road to get where she is today. Here is the story in her own words. This may be long but the length is necessary to appreciate how far she’s come. So please take a moment to read how anything is possible with the right attitude and determination…and if you feel inclined, leave a comment. Please cross your fingers that things will work out so I can be present to photograph the birth. So that means she has to have the baby on the weekend or evening…work on that Kendra!
“Basically I found out I had cancer after finding a lump on self exam the first time I ever did it. I had just started working for Dr. E (an obgyn) and she really drills it into peoples heads to do it, so I did and found a lump. I went to her and said I have this lump…I’m sure it’s nothing, but what do you think? Since I was a new employee of only 2 months, I guess she didn’t yet feel comfortable checking it for me, but urged me to make an appointment with my family doc and if he blew me off to let her know and she would check it out. I made the appointment with him and thankfully, he said you know, it is probably just a cyst (which is what I figured it was based on my 10 can per day diet Mt. Dew habit), but just to be on the safe side, he said, we better get an ultrasound. We did within a week or so and it came back a category IV finding…suspicious needs biopsy. I freaked the heck out! Dr. K asked me to make an appointment with Dr. P, the surgeon, and I saw him in his Toledo office because he could get me in the following week. He did another ultrasound in his office and found the same almond shaped pain in the ass that the hospital ultrasound found and he says to me, this must come out…all out, not just biopsy. He assured me that it was probably just a cyst or “fibroadenoma” which is a fiberous benign tumor, but he wanted to make sure. I had the damn biopsy and then began the wait….kinda like the two week wait, only possibly a little worse…really hard to say!
Well 10 days goes by and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law are getting married this weekend. I am mopping the floor at my in-laws for the rehersal dinner tomorrow and Dr. E calls me…hey are you concerned that it is taking so long to get your biopsy results back. HECK yeah I was going crazy so she said, if you say it is ok, I will call the pathologist at the hospital tomorrow and see what the hold up is. I had already called Dr. P’s office 3 times by now and they just kept saying no it’s not back yet (I knew better), so I gave her the go ahead to call and she did. That was July 21st 2006. She called from her little office and was on there for a long time. I tried to keep busy around the office, far away from her office, but I was failing miserably. I walked to the front of the office and there she was staring at me. She said, lets get out of here and get some lunch. I knew it wasn’t good, but I didn’t know any of these people I worked with so I didn’t cry. I just got my stuff together and we left…and drove and drove until we were in Maumee at Mancy’s Blue Water Grill and I looked at her and said fancy place…I’m not dying am I?? We left it at that until I was finished with my shrimp linguini and we were back in the car. She said, well I talked to the pathologist and it was taking so long because they sent your sample out to John’s Hopkins in Maryland for confirmation before they contacted you. You have breast cancer. Wow….WTF…I was 25.
I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma of the left breast.
The surgeon called me that night to relay the news I already knew and also told me that my margins were not clear so I would need a revision surgery to remove more breast tissue and the lymph nodes from my armpit and arm or I could opt to have a mastectomy. I preferred the lumpectomy, but if I had it to do over, I would have just had it lopped off like a tree branch! No radiation that way! Anyway, they did the next surgery, cut open my armpit, mangled my boob and injected my nipple with dye that turned my nipple forever blue…it helps make the lymph nodes glow so they know what to remove (I even peed blue after surgery for a few days!) Big deal was that they got it all this time!
Now for a reality check again…to chemo or not to chemo?? One doctor says yes, the other no. Tumor was .9cm and anything over 1 they do chemo for. As you know, I’m sure, chemo frys your little eggies faster than anything! Defiantly something I didn’t want to happen since we had already been trying for 2 years (unsuccessfully) before my diagnosis. So off to U of M for a second opinion. Here they herded me into a room filled with other “breast cancer patients” all much my senior where they talked about hot flashes and cosmetic results and how to tell your kids you were fighting the beast…none of which really interested me that much at all…what was I thinking…I don’t even have kids to explain this stuff to…lets talk about that. Needless to say, after 4 hours, I saw a resident…not even a doctor doctor who proceeded to tell me that my Clomid (a fertility drug) may have caused my breast cancer (she was totally wrong…in fact they use a Clomid-like medication called Tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer) …she looked at her Fellow and said “you know those fertility medications and the hormones” “she should just be happy she caught it so soon.” Right I get that but then I asked well when would it be okay to try for babies in the future? ”Oh…that is way too risky…all those pregnancy hormones will just feed any remaining cancer and since you had it before at such a young age, you will probably get it back again if you decide to get pregnant. WE will never clear you to do that.” What did I do?? I bawled there in front of all those strangers and my whole support system who were all crammed into that stupid little room. And I mean bawled…ugly like! I decided U of M was not the place for me and I would come back to good old Wauseon and my lovely surgeon Dr. P who said NO chemo. Yay! Then boo…I soon met with the only person I encountered throughout all of this that I ever really had such aweful distaste for in my life, the medical oncologist who told me I needed to have my ovaries removed to reduce my risks of recurrence. Not to mention put me into premature menopause.
Did I cry?? NO, I got mad…boy did he really torque me! You have to realize that I had been through the worst 2 months of my life by this time and this guy just peeved me off! Who says that? Does this guy realize that I am 25 not 55 and that I have my whole life ahead of me…a life that includes having kids…my own kids…and that that would not be possible without…say…my ovaries? I switched oncologists!
Fast forward through 3 more surgeries to reconstruct my mangled mound and I underwent 33 rounds of radiation over a 6 1/2 week period of time and I met the woman of my dreams! My new medical oncologist at UTMC/MCO. I dragged my mom to my 16th opinion with this new lady and it was like we fit together like some kind of weird puzzle. She finished my sentences…she answered all my millions of questions and most importantly, she asked…”when will you have babies?” I just bawled! I loved this Jordanian blessing in disguise…veil and all! She said “you must take chemo drugs (Tamoxifen…like clomid as I mentioned before) for a while and then you go ahead and try for that baby…that was July 2007. I had clean scans, mammos, x-rays, blood, all that jazz and so she said, “do it” and boy did we…and we did…and did…and nothing. I spent hundreds…thousands on fertility meds, scans, ultrasounds, office visits with the fertility man and still nothing. I was getting frustrated, our marriage was strained beyond belief, I believed God was punishing me for something of which I didn’t know and we were running out of time. I met with my favorite medical oncologist again and she said “you are running out of time. You have been off the medication way too long and it is too risky..what are you gonna do about it because what you are doing is not working. I give you two more months and then you must go back on the Tamoxifen. That was October 2008.
I hadn’t even thought about it…I found strength in a friend who introduced me to the option of IVF (Glo!)…I knew we couldn’t possibly afford it, but we met with a new doctor anyway and she assured me IVF was the way to go, but that it would cost $8500. Nice…where do I get $8500 from? No where. I had all but given up when I was scouring the internet for freebies, medical experiments, anything and I came across a program called Partnership for Families and it was right here in Ohio…at Cleveland Clinic. This program was designed for people who have paid for a round of IVF that did not work and also for cancer patients wishing to harvest their eggs and make embryos prior to having chemotherapy. I thought, well it was worth a shot in the dark and I emailed the director. Technically I was having to restart chemo drugs although not the traditional kind and I figured what would it hurt to check into it?? Well low and behold someone actually called me back the very next day and told me that Dr. Goldfarb (the man responsible for Ohio’s first IVF baby) was looking at my information and would make a decision by the day’s end. I was exstatic!! What did this mean?? It meant a FREE round of IVF with all the meds, labs, ultrasounds, visits and anything else included! When she called me back that night, I felt like I had won the lottery, she said you are in!! You have qualified for a free round of IVF no strings attached. Just pay it forward! Yes! It was November 2008..one month before my ultimate deadline.
We did all the crazy stim meds for a month and went for our egg retrieval 12/18/08. Everything went beautifully and we retrieved 23 eggies. 15 fertilized and 11 made it. We transferred 2 and have 9 beautiful frozen totsicles! The day after Christmas 2008 (I refused to test on Christmas just in case it was another BFN), I, for the first time in my life saw TWO…count em two beautiful lines on that little pee stick I had prayed over so many times before. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life and it was all mine. The flood gates opened and I called everyone in my address book to share the news and it was at that time that I realized what this life was really for…my baby…our baby…Delaney Jane. This is why this maternity shoot was so super special to me because you know what a blessing all of this is!
I first would like to say I love shooting weddings! So I was all about helping Amy shoot a wedding last weekend. She failed to tell me how beautiful the bride would be! We had a lot of fun with this group of people and I just wanted to give Justin and Krista a few teasers. Congrats guys and good luck in the future!
This is Charlie. They told me he didn’t like to have his picture taken, but I couldn’t tell. He was a good sport about it all and I think he may have had some fun. Congrats Charlie!!