~Goodbye to the beautiful Florida beaches for this sweet family…. soon they will be headed for new and exciting adventures in a bit cooler climate!
Family photos on the beach can be so much fun and man – can you believe those colors!!!! Seriously this is honestly the true and beautiful color of the sky just as the sun set! I couldn’t make this up if I tried! Though the wind was not our friend that day – it was worth it just to have a relaxed and fun time on the beach together 🙂
Good luck in your upcoming travels Kelly and family! I know you will be sorely missed here in Saint Johns!
Can you see the cool moon rise just above them????!!!!????
When you are facing the camera and don’t see the waves coming…. tehehe
I haven’t done many of these lately since they are definitely a bit tricky but there is just something magical about a beautiful back lit image (or at least there is to me!)
Even though the rain won out and we had to move the ceremony inside at the last moment – you would never had known it because this crew were so happy and knew that the “where” was not the important part of the day. Lauren and John I am so happy for you and your wonderful new families! I wish you all the happiness in the world. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your beautiful day!
While I have been working away on some beautiful beach family photos I realized that I never shared my cute crew from our visit to Virginia last November to Grandaddy’s house. So here you go – a quick snap of my crew and our entire crew together for the holiday (done with a tripod and a remote trigger for those big group shots).
I’m sure you are guessing that I’m referring to how much in love these two are….but NOPE! When I say “love at first sight” I mean for me! (well I’m sure for the two of them too). I just have to tell you all how much I LOVE this woman. If anyone could be a super hero in disguise – it would be this woman right here!
Meet my youngest son’s 1st grade teacher. She is just the most wonderful human being. Her heart is clearly two sizes too big and I am fortunate enough to reap the benefits.
For those who know me personally, you already know that poor sweet D has seen countless speech therapists since he was about 3. We have had an uphill struggle with his speech/articulation/annunciation and since he has started school we have had to add on reading and writing therapists as well. We had an educational evaluation done this summer that shined a light on the evidence of dyslexia and dysgraphia.
I’m telling you this because we feel like we have hit the lottery by getting Mrs. L as his teacher. She has helped us navigate through all these learning issues and calls me (with out me requesting) to keep me in the loop on how my little guy is progressing in school. I am fortunate enough to get the opportunity of spending every Wednesday morning helping in her classroom and seeing first hand her patience with all these energetic and affectionate children 🙂
To say that she goes above and beyond is an understatement! My little guy just had to have his tonsils removed and guess who shows up with ice cream and a bag full of get well cards from his classmates – yep! Not fibbing – she really took time out of her day to stop by and personally wish him well. Wow. right? WOW!
I am over the moon happy that I was able to give her and her family their first ever family photo session. I can’t express how wonderful it feels to give even something tiny back to someone who does so much for others. We are so lucky to have you Mrs. L. You have a beautiful family!
And to all of the wonderful teachers that have graced our lives – thank you for all that you do!
Well as much as we have enjoyed our move to the beautiful and lovely Florida, I can not say goodbye fast enough to 2016. It’s been one tough year!
This time last year we had just spent Christmas alone for the 1st time in as many years as I can count. My parents usually spend it with us but last year threw us all for a great big loop. We almost lost my mom after she hemorrhaged at home after a routine colonoscopy while at the same time my middle son was battling a rare illness (HSP – I wrote more about this in previous posts if you are interested) that swelled his entire body including his spinal cord that sent us rushing to Wolfsons ER and visiting a battery of specialists in Gainesville Fl.
I am happy to share that this year was much different and not only did I get to share it with my parents but my brother and his kids were able to join us from chilly Chicago! (Doesn’t my mom look so cute!)
There simply is NOTHING more important than family and I am so thankful that I have mine and that both my mom and son are doing better. O still has bad days that have the doctors scratching their heads but my mom seems to have made a full recovery after a bumpy road of a blood transfusion and gallbladder surgery. Whew!
I am really hoping that 2017 shines a bright and sunny light on us and I will finally be able to get my small little portrait business back on it’s feet!
It’s been a minute or two since I’ve posted any portrait work – though I have taken it slow since our move – I did do a bit of family portrait work this year 🙂 Here is a beautiful session of a wonderful family.
Whew – what a year! Yep, it’s been just over a year since we moved from Charlotte, NC to Saint Johns FL! Crazy doesn’t even begin to cover it! I am happy to report that O has been doing great and has been released from all his various doctors! Whoot whoot! Turns out that they feel his arthritis was illness induced and no reason to think he should have any future problems! After a month of gluten free he seemed to be free of stomach aches so he’s now back to eating gluten and doing fine. Placebo effect or not – who knows but I’ll take it!
I’m planning on ramping back up this fall with some family photo sessions now that our life has some resemblance of normalcy! Yay! So to start things off I’m going to honor national photo day with a little post featuring some dear friends who were all dressed up for his Navy commission. That 4 o’clock Florida sun made for a very short and quick session but a successful one all the same!
Hopefully more to come soon. Wish me luck! It’s hard to rebuild!
Well the cardiologist appointment went very well and O’s heart looks great – just a false positive from the EKG so YAY!!!! The nephrologist (kidney specialist) we saw in Gainsville gave us all on clear on his kidneys and verified that he did not have lupus and told us the key words we needed to use to get into Rheumatology (joints/bones/autoimmune specialist)! Apparently you CAN NOT mention HSP or they will keep sending you to nephrology – you have to say joint pain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It took us several months (yes I called every morning to see if they had any cancellations) but we finally got into pediatric rheumatology! We had a good visit for the most part. She watched him walk/bend/run and pressed all over his legs and feet and knees. She found that he is favoring one hip and walking a bit funny, that he has flat feet and that he has some muscle weakness when he bends (his knees bend in toward each other vs straight ahead) and that he has tight achilles with pain when squatting. She took x rays of both feet and ankles and we are waiting to be scheduled for an MRI on the feet and ankles as well. She is looking for arthritis/inflammation though she says his symptoms are not in keeping with the typical arthritis since his swelling comes and goes and does not have a “hot” feel to it. She is thinking that maybe his tendons are connected to bone? In the meantime she would like him to do physical therapy to help strengthen his muscles. She feels that the month of not walking (he didn’t walk for 4 weeks during the beginning of HSP) and then the following months of little to no activity (he missed 44 days of school – some of those days he did go for a few hours but came home early) and sitting in a recliner or bed has left his muscles weak.
Gluten Free – out of desperation I decided to give the old gluten free a try again. Since let’s be honest, I didn’t try very hard/very long before. If I’m being honest with myself – I don’t want it to have any effect on his health and I don’t want him to have to eat gluten free. He’s been through enough already! After several weeks of gluten free – I have to admit that he is doing better than he had previously. Could this be a coincidence – sure! But it’s the easiest (ok – not that easy ) and least side effect thing we can try right now. He still gets some abdominal pain but not as severe and the headaches and joint pain have gotten better. We let him cheat a bit this last week and it didn’t happen immediately but that evening or the next day his stomach would hurt (keep in mind he hasn’t had bathroom issues to make us think he had any food intolerance)….sooooooo…..why not just keep the with the gluten free for now.
Overall – all but one Dr. says that his abdominal pain, joint pain, headaches and swelling are not from HSP but that HSP possibly triggered some other autoimmune disease. We disagree since he basically had no health issues before the HSP. The GI Dr. still wants us to do an endoscopy and colonoscopy but we are skeptical since O would have to be completely put under anesthesia and we almost lost my mom in December to a “routine” colonoscopy. We are still weighing the good/bad of this recommendation. They mostly want us to do it to rule out other possible issues but we would have to put him back on gluten for at least 2 weeks before the scopes so they can test his tissue for gluten issues.
Until this morning we did not have a full family history from my husbands side of the family. After contacting his Aunt we learned that my husband’s mom had arthralgia (form of arthritis) at age 13 but was treated and recovered. Unfortunately her father at the age of 17 (my husband’s grandfather) had a sports injury followed by 3+ weeks of high fever that turned into the beginning of his battle with debilitating juvenile rheumatoid arthritis of the spine, shoulders, hips, and knees. This caused him to spend lots of time at Johns Hopkins (and included two metal rods in his spine) – a battle he fought off and on for the rest of his life. I’m trying to not freak out and go down that rabbit hole – trying to be patient and see what the Dr. has to say from his xray and mri. Unfortunately it will take several weeks to get in for an mri (apparently it takes a long time to get insurance approval) and then they only review mri’s twice a month 😦 We are stuck with the waiting game for now (and some physical therapy!).
If you are a parent with a child going through this – keep a log of EVERYTHING! Try to get and keep copies of all recommended procedures/dates and lab results. Each time we see a new Dr. they seem to not have all the lab results or information so I’ve started trying to keep everything in a binder. This is like a job – trying to get all the forms and records from each provider and they aren’t easy to obtain half the time but it’s worth it – this has been a long journey and we are STILL trying to get all of my son’s lab results in print. They will ask you for dates of when each lab was done and what labs – like you are a tech and have any clue what these lab results are! It’s hard and frustrating but the more organized you can keep your information (think timeline too) – the easier. I find that sometimes I forget to mention something to a Dr. because I forget myself!
Thanks for taking the time to read this super long update!
Yep – we are offering a new service! Since we moved I have yet to fully reopen my family and child photography business in Jacksonville Florida but would love to find a little something to fill my days while the kids are at school. I was asked by my sweet friend to help her with some of her vacation pictures. She needed me to photoshop out a tourist or two so she could frame her beautiful picture without the distraction. Sooooo that got me thinking. Maybe other people out there need a little help with their already awesome pictures! So we are now offering to pimp your pictures! We will edit them in a variety of ways depending on your need. Some options for the editing of your vacation or family pictures may be:
removal of an object
a general spit polish to give it that wonderful professional look
dodging and burning
help with framing or creating collages
professional printing on a variety of papers, wood, glass, metal
Please contact us if you are interested in this service since each job will be quoted individually depending on the scope. (ie. how many pictures, the type of edit etc). We are happy to simply edit and return digital images or print them professionally for you at an additional cost. Thank you for your interest and support!
Here are a few samples to show you what a little photoshop love can do for an image 🙂
Skin retouch (knees)
We printed this above image on a velevet paper and oh my goodness it looks just stunning! The sky with the white clouds – just gorgeous!
So people – hit me up if you need some photoshop goodness done to your own images! Or hit me up if you would like to learn how to do this on your own! I will be posting about mentoring opportunities. I will be offering photoshop classes (sorry – in person only at this time – I’m not that tech savvy) and general photography mentoring/teaching from beginner to advanced – depending on your needs 🙂