Archive for February, 2012

I remember the first time someone asked me how far along I was and I immediately turned to Adi with a panicked look on my face. Can you really tell already? Yes, hunny, you can tell. But, what if I’m just bloated or had an extra burger for lunch? I mean, how could they know?! Seems like a risky question if you ask me. To which my ever so sweet husband replied, you don’t look bloated, you look pregnant. Enter glare.

Truth is, I thought I could get away with no one knowing until I was at least 6 months. I naively thought I could wear flowy tops and avoid the stares, belly rubs, and the realization that life was going to drastically change forever in just a few short months. I thought I could buy a little more time where life was just as it was before and the only thing I needed to worry about was my business, what was for dinner, and what will happen to Christina’s marriage on Grey’s Anatomy. I wanted to put away thoughts of strollers, cribs, diapers, sleeping schedules, pacifier theories, and the endless birthing plan opinions until I had no other choice but to face those scary things. Scary, not because I wasn’t excited about our little baby, but scary because the idea of one choice affecting a life so much was terrifying to me. I was (and still am) scared that I wouldn’t be a good mother. I was scared of failing, of not having prepared enough, of the baby not loving me back, of choosing the wrong bottle. Good Lord, the fears are endless and at times, ridiculous. But our darling little jellybean doesn’t seem to care much about my fears and continues to grow and amaze us each and every day. This little bean has been happily kicking, flipping, and softly reminding us that in less than four months, we will be parents… ready or not. And can I just be completely honest in saying I know we won’t be ready. I know there will be 10 other books I should have read and plans I should have made. But I also know that all the information in the world couldn’t possibly prepare us for the immense love and protection we will feel. Through a few of the panicked tears I’ve allowed myself to shed, our baby has nudged me reminding me of how utterly in love I already am and just how okay we’ll all be.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve welcomed the stares, advice, and have been loving the belly rubs. Really, if you see me in public and you read my blog, rub away. Baby bean loves it. ;) I’ve welcomed questions that I have no answers for. I’ve come to accept that there is no right or wrong way and that through all the fears, and all the endless to-do lists, we’re happier than ever. Terrified, yes, but over the moon, cup is spilling over, happy. I’ve made peace with Adi’s theory which is very scientific and brilliant in nature. He thinks that we’ll have a good year or two to make mistakes before our child figures out that we’re pretty clueless. Oh, and by then, Dr. Google will have trained us pretty well. Oh, how I love my baby daddy.

Life has been busier than ever, and though I’ve looovvvedd being pregnant (hello glowy skin, healthy hair, and stronger nails), I’ve had a hard time remembering to take photos. Crazy, I know. Here are a few recents… Happy Tuesday to you! 

I have a soft spot for New York… particularly, weddings in New York. The busy streets made from cobblestone, the architecture, people, hustle and bustle, beauty in the most unexpected places, the light… I could go on with many more commas but I’ll refrain myself. Wait–one more. The street food. Excellent.

When Lauren asked if I wanted to come out to New York to shoot a Tribeca Rooftop wedding with her, I told her I had to think long and hard about it. About a nanosecond later, I said something along the lines of “heck yes!”. Jocelyn & Kevin were married on a gorgeous and unusually warm day in the city after a hurricane by the name of Irene forced them to change their original date. They infused modern, loft-like details into their day while still maintaining a few traditional touches. Though a few changes needed to be made, the couple’s main theme was letting go of things beyond their control and instead focusing on each other. Kevin recalled that after months of $300 cell phone bills, he picked up and moved to NYC for a girl, then a job — in that order — and has never looked back. No hurricane, travel plans, floral adjustments, or change in plans would ever come between their love. Underneath the sparkled lights of the city and surrounded by those they loved most in the world, they danced the night away knowing this to be more true than anything they had ever known.

If you’d like to see even more photos of this gorgeous wedding, make your way over to Style Me Pretty.

The modern design of their hotel provided the perfect backdrop for Jocelyn’s delicate and romantic wedding gown by Watters.

I just about fell over when I saw these sparkled beauties by Giuseppe Zanotti. In the words of Mrs. Zoe, so major! Oh Jocelyn, even with pins in your hair and your makeup half-way done, you are still breathtaking. Jocelyn had a group of fiercely fabulous girls who rocked navy blue and gorgeous smiles all day long. I could have shot the lovely florals and details all day long…As Kevin waited patiently for the first look to take place, I grabbed this shot and it’s become one of my most favorite groom shots. Not to mention, his Zegna suit? Navy blue. Swoon.First looks are hands down the best. I know, I say it every time, but I always feel it bares repeating.
Kevin lights her up with his charm and sense of humor… We walked a few blocks to the ceremony (something that never happens in Florida), and I gladly went along to snap a few photos.Cobblestone streets, great light, and too-beautiful-for-words couple, I heart you. The ceremony at the Tribeca Rooftop was right up my alley. Contemporary, loft-like windows gave in just the right amount of light and the views were spectacular. Seriously, NY brides, you have it so good. Their florist, Design by Ahn, combined a perfect color palette of navy blue, green, cream and touches of purple for their centerpieces and I j’adored photographing them.
Then suddenly, the most glorious, golden light began to shine through those windows making everything look that much more magical.  We ran upstairs to the rooftop where the cocktail hour was being held and convinced Jocelyn and Kevin to take a few more formals in this amazing light. Luckily, they happily agreed and we got these stunners below. Sidenote, how darling is Kevin’s bowtie? And don’t get me started on how stunning Jocelyn is…Two favorites below:The end to the most perfect night…

 

 

As we all know and are reminded daily, life is short. Sometimes, too short. Every moment, every passing day, every spoken word is a gift that we have no control over other than to be thankful. As our moments pass us by, I’m constantly afraid of forgetting. I sometimes wish to hold on for dear life but before I could even engrave it deep within my heart, another comes to replace the last. Before you know it, your heart swells up, spills over, and makes room for new ones and when that happens, I’m reminded of how beautifully fleeting life is.  I’m reminded that our minds, our hearts, our souls could never truly hold all the gifts, love, blessings, hurt, pain, tears, the beauty and the not so beautiful moments in one safe spot. We are created to forget, to move on, and to store only what is necessary to continue. It is my belief that we are created for a purpose that is much larger, much more important, and much more desirable than we even know. I often think to myself, are we really put on this earth just to create moments for ourselves that come and go or are we created for something so much more? I believe in so much more. I may not know every purpose, destination, or reason, but what I believe with all my heart, is that we were created to love. Not ourselves, but others. Not just when it’s simple, but when it’s difficult. Not just when it’s beneficial, but when it’s selfless. Loving not just those in our lives, but those around us. The greatest example of love in my life has been that of God laying down his son for an undeserving person like myself so that I can live moments for His purpose. So that I can experience true love, forgiveness, and have a chance at this fleeting thing called life. And so, because my heart and my mind cannot comprehend or contain the kind of love we are shown each day, I wanted to write down a few that I’d like to try and hold on to… a few that I’ve recently heard, seen, or felt and never want to forget…

An older mother walking with her daughter and granddaughter to the store and seeing a homeless person shivering in the cold, only to take off her own jacket and hand it to him.

My husband’s labor of love in the kitchen and his humbling himself to serve me as I serve him: with joy, no matter the outcome.

A young man that has left behind his meaningless fortune and has instead dedicated his life to helping others find clean water, something we never even think about in our country.

My mom buying my dad a card and a box filled with chocolates for Valentine’s Day in a heart shape because “she loves him”—a simple way to show him her heart.

Being given the opportunity to buy someone groceries and that person’s only request being a box of cherries… not wanting to burden us for anything more and finding gratitude in the smallest of things.

A 65 year old couple adopting 11 foster children in California and being upset that the state won’t let them take more in, when they have more space in their home and hearts to love.

Being awakened at night by tiny kicks from our baby, reminding me of the beautiful miracle of life that is growing bigger and stronger each day.

A couple on their wedding day selflessly donating all gifts to charity and instead spending their honeymoon serving others as they embark on a new “adventure” together.

Hearing my husband’s grieved prayer at night for those that are lost, alone, and afraid and his desire for God to use him to reach out.

A family pulling over their car to speak to a boy on a bridge, only to find out that after 78 cars had passed him by without a care, he had vowed to throw himself off at the 79th car, feeling that no one in the world cared. That family was the 79th car.

Moments like these are all around us and we can choose to keep them for fleeting memories and hearts, or we can choose to spread our love and give it all away. Happy Valentine’s Day and may you celebrate love today and always.

 

 

The other day, I came across a wedding that I realized I never shared on the blog and couldn’t believe it. Let’s just chalk it up to pregnancy brain, k? This particular wedding meant the world to me and I’m so excited to finally share my friend’s beautiful day with you all. My dearest and loveliest friend, Amy, had her fairy-tale wedding this past year when she married her best friend and her soul mate in what was a truly magical day. I had the joyous opportunity of participating in her wedding as a bridesmaid/photographer and witness firsthand the intense love and joy that surrounded her on that beautiful day. With the ocean and sunset serving as a backdrop, Amy and Bill were married in front of all their loved ones in what felt like a dream come true. Adi second shot most of the wedding alongside my good friend, Ozzy Garcia, and of course, whenever there wasn’t a bridesmaid duty to fulfill (you know the kind… lip gloss! cold water! curler!), I made sure to document every moment I could for her. That was the least I could do after all the advice, shoulder to cry on moments, and crazy experiences we went through together. Amy, you will forever be my sugar-pie, my favorite person to eat sushi and shop with, my sanity and voice of reason. You will forever be the sister I never had and the best part of all my college memories. I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate our friendship and here’s to living through your wedding one more time together.

When Adi and I arrived, I immediately knew I wanted to start taking photos of Amy’s g.o.r.g.e.o.u.s Amsale Wedding Gown. I remember helping her choose it and from that moment on, we always joked that this stunner deserved it’s own photoshoot. While I hung out with Amy in her suite and took photos of her getting ready, Adi continued shooting details outside against beautiful backdrops…I’m proud to say that my husband knows that a girl can never have too many photos of her shoes… especially when they’re Jimmy Choo’sBreathtaking…
An emotional, beautiful first look and of course, my favorite part of a wedding day. My view below:And here’s Adi’s angle:Some individual portraits of this oh-so good looking couple: The Boca Raton Resort is a dream location to shoot weddings in and the light was exceptionally lovely on that day.Amy being fierce and gorgeous… as per usual. Because Ozzy and Adi were shooting, I was able to relax more and get different angles that I wouldn’t normally get like these below:
Amy & Bill with the bridesmaids… oh, how I loved our dresses. Fun fact: by coincidence, these exact bridesmaid dresses were also the ones my sister-in-law chose for her wedding so I wore it twice. Score! I caught this sweet moment between Amy and her mom just before Amy walked down the aisle…I couldn’t take any photos of the ceremony since I was in the bridal party but I squealed in delight when I saw Adi’s view of this picture perfect wedding:The happy newlyweds! And they danced the night away…

Yesterday, Adi and I went in for our big reveal ultrasound and I just about died of cuteness overload. Seeing our little baby flipping around, waving two tiny hands and feet at us, and shyly covering his/her face brought tears to my eyes and feelings I didn’t know were there. I looked over at Adi and gave his hand a squeeze because I just couldn’t believe this was ours—such a large piece of our love. A creation God has so richly blessed us with. After we counted ten fingers and ten toes, the ultrasound tech proceeded to examine baby’s face to which baby promptly flipped on his/her little tummy and buried its cute little face in me. After a few jumping jacks, our jellybean flipped back to a good position but covered its face with his/her little hands. And that right there was proof this baby was full on stubborn like mommy. Deep breaths and tons of uh-ohs followed from my poor husband. On the way home, we stared at every picture and Adi worried there wasn’t enough room in my belly for comfort. We called our family, sent picture texts, and talked to the baby. We laughed, I cried (again), and we made our way over for a wonderful celebratory dinner. I’m savoring each and every moment and as I felt two strong flutters and what I swear was a tiny karate flip, I vowed to remember it all. For those of you wondering why I’m still saying he/she, it’s because we asked the tech to have the gender written down and sealed in an envelope so that we can celebrate the news surrounded by those we love most. I’ve had a pretty strong feeling about the gender from the beginning but I’m known to have not-so-great instincts. Of course, we will share pictures and the big reveal, but for now, we’re just enjoying knowing that he/she is perfectly healthy. Happy Friday everyone!