Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fall Portrait Sessions

Hi friends! I have had a lot of people asking if I am doing fall portraits this year so I decided to open up a few sessions for my friends, family, and previous clients. First of all, I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has asked! After taking such a long pregnancy/baby break I wasn't expecting to have many inquiries this fall, so I am super appreciative of the support!

I have availability on the weekend of October 8th and 9th and the weekend of the 15th and 16th. I will be hosting these sessions on my property in Kiowa, Co, so if you have been wanting to visit the farm this is a great time to do it! It is a bit of a drive to get here (we are about 30 minutes east of Castle Rock) but it is gorgeous out here and I promise it is worth the trip!

If you want to get scheduled please send me an email to and I will get you all of the details and secure your time! Thanks again friends, and happy fall!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from a session here last weekend to give you an idea of what to expect! :-)

Friday, July 22, 2016

We Have a Baby!

I am so happy to finally be writing this post! Partly because it will be full of squishy baby photos, but mostly because it means that I'm not pregnant anymore! ;-)

We welcomed our sweet Bennett into the world on the morning June 22nd at exactly 37 weeks. We were nervous to induce so early, but anyone who saw me during the last few weeks of my pregnancy understood the need to do so. Those last few weeks were spent in countless doctor's appointments and hospital stays as my gestational diabetes and hypertension spiraled out of control. I could barely stand (let alone walk) because of pain from SPD, which actually made bed rest easier at the end since I couldn't move anyway.

Back to June 22nd **and if you don't love labor details, please feel free to skip this paragraph!** I can't say enough good things about my doctor and the nursing staff at Castle Rock Adventist--they were all incredible. I had my hopes set on another natural birth (I had all 3 girls without interventions and epidurals) and I really wanted to have Bennett the same way, but inducing early made that a little less likely. However, my doctor completely supported my wishes and agreed to break my water but skip Pitocin, with the hope that labor would start on its own that way. It took about 2 hours, but once labor started it got real very fast and our sweet boy was born 3 hours and 2 pushes after my water broke. I was so thankful to have the natural birth that I had prayed for, especially considering all of the pregnancy complications that were working against me. The best news? Bennett was born completely healthy other than having a few hours of low glucose levels as a result of my gestational diabetes.

Today our little boy is one month old, and he really is a dream. I call him my little bonus baby because he has completed our family in a way that we didn't know we needed, and he has shown me (again) how much better the Lord's plans are than our own. As for me, I am so thankful to say that I started feeling better almost immediately after he was born, and I am off of all medications and no longer have hypertension or diabetes. I can also walk again, thank goodness!

Now on to the photos! Here are a few of my favorites from his first month...

Friday, June 3, 2016

Spring 2016: Smith Family Updates

I started writing this post over a month ago, but I am massively pregnant so things are moving much more slowly than usual around here lately. April marked several anniversaries and milestones for us, so I'll share those even if I am more than a month late.

Jason and I celebrated our SIXTH wedding anniversary in early April. It is crazy how time flies and we have crammed a lot into that time, but I can say that after 6 years and (almost) 4 kids he is still the only person I would want to walk through this life with! This guy is amazing beyond words, so I'll leave it at that. <3

April also marked our first full year on the farm, and for everyone who has asked: Yes we still love it! I will post more farm-related updates when I am done being pregnant and things slow down a bit. ;-)

I am so humbled to have so many people praying for my pregnancy and this little baby, so I want to share a (ridiculously long) update about that also. I am 34.5 weeks now and this pregnancy has proven to be by far the most difficult (and I didn't think that was possible!) The first 4 months were very similar to my pregnancies with the girls as I suffered with Hyperemesis Gravidarum. The biggest difference was that with this pregnancy most of those symptoms disappeared around 16 weeks, and with the girls they didn't go away until after delivery. I was feeling pretty good from about 16-24 weeks, other than lots of dizzy spells and being a little extra tired.

Then I was hit with something new: Gestational Diabetes. Although it is a drop in the bucket compared to what Type 1 and 2 diabetics have to deal with on a daily basis, it has opened my eyes to some of the struggles that they face. It has also been an unexpected blessing (although a super annoying one at times!) because it has forced me to overhaul my diet and I have learned a lot about how our bodies respond to the foods that we eat. The other new diagnosis with this pregnancy is something called SPD. In a nutshell: it is a condition caused by the pregnancy hormone relaxin, which causes severe hip and bone pain and at times makes it impossible to walk, bend over, roll over in bed, and other daily activities. If you see me in person and I am hunched over or trying to slowly waddle somewhere this is the reason. ;-)

We had our first early labor scare during a freak blizzard at the end of April. It was the absolute worst time to need to get to the hospital, but thanks to Jason, my parents, and the Kiowa fire department we were able to get to Castle Rock safely. We had another scare about 10 days ago, but luckily both times the contracting was slowed enough to be released with only fluids and rest. I am not officially on bed rest, but I am under orders to "take it easy" because every time I don't I end up at the hospital.

I'll end my pregnancy update by saying that despite the hurdles that have been thrown our way, I am doing my best to remind myself daily how lucky I am to be carrying this sweet boy. Feeling him move and imagining the day that we will see his sweet face in person makes this all worth it. My family and friends have been amazing and stepped up to help as I have been able to do less with each passing day. My doctors have been great as well, and have moved me up to 2 appointments each week including biophysical profiles so that they can keep an extra close eye on the baby and I. As much as that may feel like an inconvenience, it has been a huge blessing to be reassured regularly that our sweet boy is thriving in spite of my body failing in so many ways. Oh, and last but not least, we are anticipating baby's arrival sometime during the week of June 20th which is when I will hit 37 weeks. I went into spontaneous labor during the 37th week with the girls, and it looks like that will be happening again this time. If not, I will be induced that week due to all of my complications (gestational diabetes, pregnancy induced hypertension, SPD.)

I will end this post with some of my favorite photos of Jason and I. Last summer we had a couple's photo session with my beautiful friend Lizzie Randazzo, and since I never blogged any of them this seems like the perfect time!

Friday, March 25, 2016

2016: All of the Updates

It has been a reeeeeeaaaaally long time since I updated this blog (October to be exact!) but I am here today to fill in the blanks. The fall season is usually the busiest time of the year for photographers: I was swamped with family sessions, finishing up the wedding season, and taking school photos for 150+ preschoolers. Once things started to settle down I got to work preparing for 2016. I was busy setting goals, updating marketing materials, scheduling social media and blog posts, and tons of other things that are probably boring to everyone other than me. ;-)

One morning in November as Jason and I were playing with the girls and making plans for our 2016 family vacation, I realized that I wasn't feeling right. I will make a very long story short: we found out that we are expecting baby #4! To say that we were shocked would be an understatement. For a lot of people a pregnancy wouldn't alter plans and goals, but for me it was a giant sign that I was supposed to step back from my business for a while. My history with pregnancy isn't pretty: between suffering from Hyperemesis Graviderum (throwing up to the point of needing to be hospitalized for malnutrition and dehydration) and dizzy spells that cause me to randomly faint at inconvenient times, to preterm labor and preeclampsia, I am just not at my best when I'm pregnant. Add in the normal symptoms and fatigue and I'm basically a hot mess right now. However, I'd be lying if I didn't say that we are completely over the moon excited by this incredible blessing. I've shared before, but I wasn't supposed to be able to have children at all, so to have FOUR completely blows my mind! I am now 6 months pregnant with a little BOY and we CAN NOT WAIT to meet him this summer! 
Now for the business update: I'll be honest and say that it was a bit of a struggle to figure out what my pregnancy would mean for my business. I have worked so hard over the past few years to build momentum and a solid client base (plus, I LOVE what I do!) so it's tough to have to step back and turn business away during this season. But the truth is that I don't have a choice, because it is a struggle to keep my head above water right now with just day to day living. Jason and the girls have been amazingly supportive and helpful, but they deserve so much more than the scraps of time and energy that I may or may not have left after my photography jobs, and my clients deserve better than someone who can't be fully present (mentally or physically) on their wedding day. So during this time I have chosen to refer my wedding clients and inquiries out to some of my close photographer friends, and I trust them 100% to do an amazing job in my absence. Check back here and on my Facebook and Instagram accounts for updates on portrait session and wedding availability! As of right now, I am planning to offer some portrait sessions this fall and I am hoping to be back up and running with weddings in 2017. 

I have been so blown away by all of the support and love that our family has felt over the past few months! I'll never be able to thank everyone enough, but I want to send a little shout out anyway... 
To my amazing husband: You are the best. In every way possible. I love love love you. <3
To my family and friends: You have blessed me beyond belief over the past few months! Thank you for your help and support. :-)

To my incredible clients: I can't thank you all enough for your support and understanding during this time! Some of you have been inconvenienced, and yet you have shown me grace and for that I am so grateful! 

If anyone needs me during the next several months, you'll find me on the farm. I'll be praying for the energy to play with my kids, dreaming of all of the projects that I want to do but have no energy for, and "helping" Jason with the Spring planting. And I'll try to blog about anything interesting that happens. I would add some photos to this post, but I haven't touched any of my cameras since December, so I will try to take a few photos soon too. :-) 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Mary + Rafa: Littleton Wedding Photographer

I am so excited to share Mary and Rafa's summer wedding at the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms! This was such a stunning and all-around awesome day full of beautiful details, friends and family who flew in from all over the world, and a bride and groom who were completely in love.

Rafa and Mary fell in love in his home country of Spain, so their day was a perfect mix of Spanish and American cultures. Their ceremony was translated into both English and Spanish, and the day was full of Spanish traditions as well as a laid back Colorado feel. They also had some of the most incredible first dances that I have ever seen! From the upbeat choreographed father-daughter dance to the mother-son flamenco dance a fun time was had by all!

To my amazing friend Amy Caroline Photography: thank you for allowing me to second shoot this beautiful wedding with you! I love you girl! :-)

And now to some of my favorite photos from their day...enjoy!