Sunflowers and Life Updates!
If you've been around here for a while, you know by now that I'm not great at keeping up with this blog (scroll down to my last blog post from FEBRUARY to see what I mean.) I would blame it on the fact that this year has been so crazy, but my last post before that one was last summer, and I don't have an excuse for that.
I've taken a lot of pictures of some wonderful people since then though, and over the next few weeks I hope to share some way-out-of-order-and-long-overdue galleries.
But first, some updates and fairly vulnerable thoughts!
This year has been wild for everyone, in so many ways.
In early March, just days before the first case of COVID-19 was reported in our community, we learned our year was about to be a whole lot more wild than we imagined - I was pregnant! To say we experienced a whirlwind of emotions is an understatement. On top of the normal anxieties of pregnancy, we were navigating a pandemic that no one knew how to handle.
My favorite side-note about my pregnancy: I was basically in denial about the whole thing. After several "inconclusive" tests (lol) I was going to wait a few more days before trying another because I "probably wasn't pregnant."
On the evening of the last Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders made a face that struck me as particularly sad at one point, and I could. not. stop. crying. I had to leave the room! After that episode, I told James that we should probably go buy another test. That one was definitely not inconclusive.
Soon after we found out, my work transitioned to a work-from-home plan. This was great for peace of mind health-wise and also for the fact that I got to endure the first trimester of pregnancy from the comfort of my home! Honestly, I had it very easy; I felt nauseous for about two weeks but never actually got sick. But, I was more tired than I have ever been, and it was pretty nice to sleep until a few minutes before work started and get to stay in my comfy clothes all day!
It's been a strange journey for sure. The timeline of my pregnancy and COVID-19's impact locally have lined up almost exactly, and it's created a very strange and surreal time-warp bubble. Thinking back to the beginning of it all feels like a different lifetime, but it has also FLOWN by. It's honestly mind-boggling to think about.
We've been able to see our parents a couple times since finding out, but we still haven't hugged them. We told family and friends (parents included) our exciting news via FaceTime and GoogleHangout calls rather than in person. We won't have an in-person baby shower. We have lots of friends and family that we haven't seen since before the pandemic began, and the next time we see them we will have a baby. What?! It's been nothing like I imagined my first pregnancy being, but fortunately so far I've had a very healthy pregnancy and we'll have our little Florence Elise joining us before we know it! Even in a strange time, there is so much to be thankful for.
We're still feeling a lot of anxiety over bringing a new life into the world during such an uncertain time, but we're also feeling so much excitement and so much love. It's really easy right now to feel isolated and alone, but we've had so many reminders that we're not alone in this, even if we can't physically be with most of our people right now.
If you've read this far, I'm impressed!
Now I'll share some fun pictures!
These aren't technically our official maternity photos; my 24-week bump isn't super impressive yet so we'll have a professional photographer take the real ones a little later on, but I've dreamed of wearing this dress in a field of sunflowers and their blooming season only lasts so long! James was a great sport and let me lug my tripod around this massive field of flowers to get some fun self-timer shots.
These were taken at a farm about 30 miles away from where we live called Green Acres. It's awesome! You can take your own photos (or pay a little more to have a session with a professional photographer) and cut your own flowers! Basically a dream come true. Also, even with a lot of people there was PLENTY of room to spread out and hardly cross paths with anyone else, so definitely a safe outdoor activity to do right now!
After around an hour of taking pictures, we put away our photo gear and walked around for a little while cutting a massive bouquet of sunflowers and zinnias that are still brightening up my kitchen. If you live in West Tennessee, I highly recommend checking it out - but hurry! I think they only expect the blooms to last through this weekend.
These photos are super special to me for a few reasons.
This dress actually belonged to my mom! I'd seen pictures of it and it was always my favorite. (Scroll to the bottom of this post to see my mom and cousin lookin' real cute in these matching dresses circa 1996-ish!) I always wished she still had it but thought it was long gone. Surprise, this past fall it was found in a closet at my grandma's house!
I've also always loved sunflowers. If you've been around for a long time, you know that my first photography "business" was actually called Sunflower Photography for no apparent or logical reason; I just loved sunflowers. Not the best way to name a business but hey, it worked!
Finally, I think and hope these photos will mean a lot to our daughter one day. Pregnancy is changing my body in some ways that are cool and some that are not so cool, but I am trying hard to break old habits and thought patterns and establish new ones regarding my own self-image so that by following my example our daughter, hopefully, will love who she is and not judge her body harshly as she grows up. In some of the photos I'm sharing, I was tempted to not like them because of how I look for x, y, and z reasons. Ultimately, though, when Florence looks at these years from now, I hope she sees her parents, happy and in love and excited about her existence, not caring if their pregnancy cheeks look chubby or neither of them have had haircuts in months because of a pandemic. I hope that's what she sees, so that's what I'm sharing with the world.
I've probably over-shared, but maybe pregnancy just does that to a person.
If you've made it this far, thanks for sticking around!
And now for a bonus, as promised. Look how cute!
I hope all of you reading this are doing well, staying healthy, and taking breaks from social media when it gets to be too much! ❤️
In late March, I got to take maternity photos for this awesome couple who's now just a few days out from their due date! I had the privilege of taking their photos sans-baby bump this past summer, and I don't think I ever shared those on the blog! I'll have to do that at some point, but for now enjoy the Guinns - pregnant and very cute!
Kathryne was literally glowing. It was pretty incredible!
These might be some of the most fun photos I've captured on a maternity shoot! These guys are gonna be such great parents to baby Malcolm.
I had so much fun with these two. I'm so glad to know them and to be able to help capture some memories from this exciting time!
Congrats, you two. Can't wait to meet your little one!
I have been excited about these photos since before I even took them and I'm so happy to FINALLY share them!
My friend and co-worker, Courtnee, found out she was pregnant back in the fall and we've been talking about these since then.
We decided on a sunrise shoot, which was a big feat for me - I am NOT a morning person - but it was so worth it.
Courtnee and Caz decided to do their photos at a nearby state park on the newly rebuilt bridge. Caz proposed to Courtnee on the old bridge, which was a really sweet and sentimental touch added to this session.
How great are the flower crown and dress she chose? They fit so perfectly with this setting in the early morning light!
I made them tell me embarrassing stories about each other to get these smiles. I'd say it worked pretty well. :)
This is one of my favorite photos from the day! I love capturing genuine happiness from couples.
These two are going to be such great parents, and I cannot WAIT to meet baby Asher in a few weeks.
You'll see his sweet face here soon!
Thanks so much to Courtnee and Caz for letting me document this exciting chapter of life!
Amber | Snowy Maternity
I have always wanted to take beautiful portraits in the snow.
Living in West Tennessee, where it snows twice a year if we're lucky, that hasn't been easy to accomplish.
Luckily, my sweet, beautiful, pregnant friend, Amber (who lived in Alaska and doesn't mind the cold too much), agreed last-minute to let me take what might be the last photos of her pregnancy!
Enjoy my very first blog post, featuring this beauty being almost 39 weeks pregnant and absolutely gorgeous.
I'm really glad we were able to get these gorgeous shots before baby Patsy makes her appearance.
Stay tuned to see that little one make her debut on this blog soon. :)