Blog

Posted in family, life, love, mother, parents, pregnancy, Rainbow baby, Valentines Day

To Be a Tired Mom-Part 2

The first time I found out I was pregnant, I was nothing but excited. My baby was due on Christmas eve and I seemed like each week took a lifetime. Until I lost the baby. If you haven’t read my post all about that, go take a look and meet back here.

As Christmas eve was quickly approaching I was so incredibly afraid. I cried. I was so scared that Christmas would be too unbearable because I would be thinking about the baby we lost that we would have been holding if the Lord had another plan for us. As Christmas got closer, my period got later. I didn’t want to get my hopes up because ever since the miscarriage, my cycles weren’t exactly regular. Christmas eve I woke up around 4am because I needed to use the restroom. I thought, “why not, I’ll take a pregnancy test”. The lights were off and the only light in the bathroom was coming from the street lamps outside. But as soon as I peed on that stick I looked down and could see a plus sign! I took it to the kitchen and turned on the range light to get a closer look and boy was that line DARK! I couldn’t believe it! 15731877_10154433811523935_4074080756517292044_oI couldn’t fall back asleep so I lay in bed and about an hour later I finally was able to sleep. But I couldn’t stay asleep so around 7am I got up and peed on another stick and the line was just as dark! I put two positive pregnancy tests in a plastic bag and  wrapped them in a box with Christmas paper and a bow. I could not wait any longer so I woke Derek and told him to get dressed. He kept bugging me wanting to know why (I just wanted him to be a little more awake haha). When he finally got dressed I gave him his Christmas gift. 16601737_10154586049833935_6686936804872790634_oMy Christmas was far from ruined. I found out the very day my angel baby was due, that I am pregnant with our rainbow baby. But with the scars on my heart of what happened last time, I had so much fear. Why was my morning sickness seeming to go away? Only to be answered the next day by puking up my breakfast at work. This happened for a few weeks. Time would pass and I’d start to get nervous because I hadn’t felt any nausea in almost a week, only to throw up the very next day. I’m very lucky that my morning sickness hasn’t been bad though.

At around 8 and a half weeks I had my first prenatal visit. I was petrified. I was so so afraid there would be something wrong.  My mom came with me because I was too afraid to go alone. I was very fortunate to get an ultrasound-which is not typical at a first visit- and was so relieved. As soon as the wand touched my skin I could see the baby, looking just as it should. “Perfect” was the only word my doctor said when she started moving the wand on my tummy. She pointed out to us the tiny heartbeat, flickering on the screen. Both me and my mom almost cried. I was able to rest knowing my baby was as healthy as it could be at that point.

As my second appointment drew closer, the anxiousness started to creep back in. What if they can’t find a heartbeat? The fear wasn’t as strong but it was there. Then my doctor listened for a heartbeat and there it was! Fast and strong just as it should be! What an amazing thing to hear that little heart fluttering inside my tummy!

When we found out, I decided we would announce the pregnancy to everyone on Valentines day! It is so crazy how fast time has flown. I feels like just a week ago that we just found out, but today was the day and the secret is out! As time goes by, I wonder if the anxiety will continue to decrease every time I hear the heartbeat, or hit a milestone. All I know is that I love this sweet life growing quickly inside me so very much and can’t wait for the journey we have ahead as a growing family!

16681921_10154583424528935_6734906854032412319_n

Happy Valentines Day from the 3 of us!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Things I Learned From Shooting my First Wedding

I can honestly say that at the start of 2016, I had no idea I would be shooting my first wedding by the end of the year. I was no where even close to being ready. I did a couple favors for friends and photographed sections of their weddings- mainly the getting ready part. But that was it. It wasn’t until around mid summer that things began to take a turn. A close friend was about to have a surprise engagement party where she would be proposed at. I got the invite and immediately asked if they planned for a photographer (I knew for a fact that was one of the things she would want-I was right) So I offered to capture the moment! I was so incredibly nervous even though I was doing it for free- that lead to a couple engagement photos. A few weeks later I had two sessions with my younger brother for his high school senior photos. They turned out so well that people slowly started asking. Of those people, a dear friend of mine, Monica, asked me to take her engagement photos! This was such a huge deal, I was so excited!9m9a2784After the engagement session was finished, I felt I was very ready to start my journey into weddings…But I was still not ready to do one on my own. So I emailed. I emailed so many local photographers asking if I could assist them or second shoot at a wedding or even just see them as a mentor! I was having no luck. So I thought, maybe if the photographer knows my friends or is working with them they’d be more willing to help me out. So I asked Monica for her wedding photographer’s contact information. We started talking about what kind of experience I have etc. but before it could even get anywhere, Monica reached out to me again. She explained that her photographer she had chosen fell through and she searched and searched but never felt like any one else was “the right one”. She told me how she really just felt like I would be able to capture her day and trusted my previous work enough to take the chance! I was so nervous but so excited! So I said yes. And then I realized… I need to start preparing NOW!9m9a1257I joined several local photography groups on Facebook. Pinterest also has a ton of very great blog posts about first time wedding photographers. So I read. And read and read and read and then I asked about a hundred questions in the Facebook groups. I sucked in any and all information like a sponge.

Despite all of the many many blogs I read, and questions I asked, there is still a lot I only learned by the experience itself.

  1. When I was preparing, there were so many guides I found for the gear to use and pack with you for the day. I felt like I was so prepared! But one thing sort of slipped through the cracks. All the advice mentioned to bring extra memory cards. And I had plenty. But they never tell you what kind of cards… I had no idea that the speed of the card would make such a huge difference when shooting in RAW. Or that certain cameras work better and faster with a CF rather than an SD card. My camera froze up on me for a few seconds during some of the most important moments! Luckily it unfroze just in time for me to capture the first kiss! Rookie mistake. 9m9a1338
  2. Speaking of gear, other photographers probably push this one more than anything! I remember reading and hearing “Always have backups- you never know what can happen!” I had to rent part of my equipment. I bought a 24-70mm lens and rented a camera body as well as a 70-200mm lens. Months before the wedding, I asked one of the local photography groups where is the best place to rent lenses. They all suggested a few websites or places in the area, so I went with one of the websites. I booked my equipment and waited for it to arrive. To my horror, there was a delay in shipping so instead of arriving a day prior to the wedding, it was due to be delivered halfway through the actual wedding! I was freaking out! I turned to the group once more telling them my situation and they recommended a local rental shop who just so happened to have only one left of the camera I needed! That was close. Next time I think I’ll be a little more prepared for things like this.9m9a1826
  3. Speaking of being prepared, half the stuff everyone else tells you you’ll need, you don’t really believe you’ll end up needing. Pack it anyways. I didn’t think i would need to bring wooden hangers. Doesn’t every bridal shop give the bride a pretty hanger? NOPE! They get ugly plastic ones! I’m so glad I decided to bring that hanger, it definitely helped during those detail shots of the dress! 9m9a2233
  4. Another thing they said to bring is a snack because you will get hungry and tired. BOY is that an understatement! I had plenty of snacks for the hunger part. But the tired part is what most blogs did NOT seem to cover very well. Working a 12 hour day is never easy. But you don’t really realize how tiring it gets to carry around all of your equipment during that time! By the end of the day I was so physically exhausted from lugging around two cameras with large lenses and a flash hanging around my neck! Which leads us to…
  5. The pain. OH THE PAIN! One camera is not that heavy on its own. But once you add a flash to the top and another camera with a telephoto lens, those suckers seem to weigh a ton! The straps were digging into my neck. But the pain doesn’t end there-in fact that’s more like where it begins! Pretty much the entire day, I was in a lunge position to get a better angle when shooting. The pain didn’t go away for about a week! If only I’d been warned of the burn! I just didn’t really consider any of that while planning. If you’re preparing to shoot your first wedding or all day event, work out. Every day. Do. Lunges. The next time I shoot a wedding, you bet I’ll be lunging everywhere I go in the weeks leading up to the event!9M9A3951.jpg
  6. Now one thing the blogs DO tell you is to bring water. Lots of water. For the first half of the day, I had a water bottle with me and I’m so glad I did. But by the time  the reception rolled around, I’d completely forgotten to put a new filled water bottle in my bag. I was so thirsty the whole night! Sure there was a water and drink area at the reception, but as the photographer, I was far too busy to go fill up a cup every 15 minutes.9M9A3482.jpg
  7. The very last thing I learned from my first wedding wasn’t until the wedding itself was actually over. My editing style. Sure I’ve photographed many people and things and developed a style throughout those experiences. But weddings are a bit different. My brother’s senior photos were not as soft and airy as the wedding photos. After looking through around 2 thousand photos and editing almost 500, I really was able to discover my wedding photography style! 9M9A4216.jpg

Being that this was my first wedding, sure I made a lot of mistakes. But I really and most importantly learned some of the biggest lessons to take into future weddings and that despite how physically challenging the whole day was, it was over all very rewarding. My photography greatly improved through out the entire experience from practice shoots and Christmas photos up to the wedding itself. I am so beyond satisfied with how the collection turned out and cannot wait to deliver them to Monica and her new husband Steven!

Time to find a new project!

Posted in faith, family, life, love, miscarriage, mother, parents, pregnancy, temple, trials

To Be A Tired Mom

You love your kids. They are your entire world. Being a mom is a job that does not get enough credit. You’re tired. You’re tired of scraping encrusted cheerios off the kitchen floor, you’re tired of stepping on Lego’s, you’re tired of you toddler throwing a tantrum in target.

I comment on your little girl, “Her little curls are just so cute! What an angel!” And you reply with something like “Oh she’s quite the handful, enjoy your time without kids!”

But you have no idea. I would give anything to be a tired mom.

Even though I lost my pregnancy months ago, it still stings like it did when I first received the news. I learned and grew so much from having to go through my miscarriage, but there is not one day that goes by that I do not think about it. What could have been. How big my belly would be today, If it was a boy or a girl, If we would have a name picked out yet…

I get more anxious as the days get closer to the due date:

Christmas eve. How will I feel? Will I be strong? Will it hurt just as horrible all over again? Will I be pregnant again? And if so will that make everything seem normal? Or will it hurt just as badly? Will I be able to enjoy Christmas?

And then there’s the thought of getting pregnant again. I yearn so badly to have a child…But what if I’m distant from my child out of fear I might lose them too…

Although it hurts even to this day, I still stink about everyone who lent a hand when I was in need. My sister was the very first to know- she called me after my ultrasound wanting a picture her niece or nephew…but instead I couldn’t stop crying because there was no baby. Just a black blob on the screen indicating that the baby had stopped growing at around 5 or 6 weeks. “I didn’t see a baby in there”-those words echoed in my brain the entire drive home and for the rest of the night.

But I was so surrounded by love. My sister, my mom, my grandmother- who has had 3 miscarriages, a loved and admired seminary teacher who also went through this, and a sister I will never forget inside the temple.

As I lay in our bed with my heart broken, I prayed. I begged my Heavenly Father to take away the pain. I was hurting so terribly. But He didn’t take away the pain. The doctor said there wouldn’t be a for sure answer until 3 days later when my blood test results came back. But I got my answer. I knew this was the end of this pregnancy. I knew it in my heart.

The next day I called in to work- I was an emotional wreck. After calling in, I told Derek that we needed to go to the temple. I knew it was the only thing that would help me to feel peace.

As I sat inside I felt calm. I thought that going to the temple would take away my pain but it didn’t. But I felt so much love from my Heavenly Father that I knew He was there. A sister sat next to me as we listened during the session. I couldn’t stop crying. This woman had no idea who I was or what I was going through, but she took my hand and gave me a hug and whispered, “This too shall pass” She held my hand and cried with me for the next hour.

It reminded me that we are all children of God. I always knew that, but this stranger’s love made me remember.

I knew right from the beginning that I had to choose how to fell about the situation I was in. I could either be angry and go through it alone, Or trust in God and rely on my faith.

I have never in my life been in more emotional or physical pain than I was then. I was so sure that because of the faith I had, that God would take away my pain. But that is not the point of trials. I know that I could not have gone through it without Heavenly Father because the pain was so intense. I had no way to ease the pain. I couldn’t sleep. Eating didn’t help, there was nothing that would make the pain any less severe. That’s when I realized- All I had left to rely on was faith. Having faith did not take away the pain. Not in the slightest. But it made me stronger. It made me able to bear the pain. It brought me so much closer to my Savior. I can not begin to describe how loved I felt during that time. I felt like God was holding my hand the entire time. Like he was giving me a hug and telling me I was going to be OK.

 

Posted in blonde, hair, inspired, life, platinum

Jealous

Inspired by my decision  to go platinum.

They say that blondes have more fun right? I wouldn’t really know otherwise since I’ve been blonde my entire life. But when ever I go lighter, it always seems to feel a little more fun.

So who’s jealous?

This isn’t about me being blonde, although after going completely platinum today at the salon and chopping off about 6 inches, I thought to myself,

“Sixteen year old me would be so jealous if we met today not knowing who I was”

This thought came as I was curling my hair in my apartment bathroom and remembering that this is the ideal hair color I wanted when I was sixteen. That thought lead to another forming an entire train and eventually this post.

Sixteen year old me would be jealous of my make up, wondering how I could afford it. Little does she know I spend about the same as her- I’ve just developed skills making that drugstore make up look like Mac (‘K’ maybe not quite- but she wouldn’t know).

Sixteen year old me would be jealous of my smile, “How is she so happy??” but she doesn’t know we both share the burden of anxiety… I am happy because I know that anxiety isn’t me just ’cause I struggle with it. But she  doesn’t see past the brace-less smile I wear so easily.

Sixteen year old me would be jealous I don’t have a curfew, that I live with my loving spouse who treats me so much better than all the boys she’s dated. “Why can’t I have someone to love me?” She doesn’t know it yet but she has already met him and just has to wait till he comes home from Mexico.

Sixteen year old me would be jealous that I bought a brand new car, that I have an apartment, that I live next to the ocean! She doesn’t know that I totaled my car a month ago, she doesn’t know that our apartment has popcorn sealings and no dishwasher. She doesn’t know about the thousands of sea gulls and the train and the puking neighbor that keeps us up every now and then.

Sixteen year old me would be jealous of my boot collection, my shoes, my style, my iPhone, my camera, my eyebrows, my skin, my eyelashes…

Sixteen year old me would be jealous of my confidence. My determination to make my dream a reality.  She would be jealous to the point of hating me because I am the girl she wants to be! But that’s just a fantasy- she could never be me… “Her life is perfect! Why  can’t I be like her?!”

Sixteen year old me…

And to everyone else

Who I appear  to be is only just the surface. Who I want you to see. No one is perfect! I am very fortunate to find such a loving husband and to know he’s the one at such a young age, and to discover who I am and what I want to do for the rest of my life and to be excited about it! I’m lucky!

But we all have our struggles. Who you see is never the whole picture. Don’t be jealous of someone just because their life appears to be perfect. I didn’t write this to brag about how perfect my life is. I wrote this post because I realized that my life is much better off than I thought. If my sixteen year old self would be envious of who I am today, I’d say that I’m on the right track!

Is your sixteen year old self jealous of you???

The only person you should ever try to be better than, is the person you were the day before.

blondie

 

Posted in apartment, budget, Decor, DIY, home

6 Steps for Decorating on a Newly-Wed Budget

Since at the end of this month marks one year since we signed the lease, I thought I’d show off our apartment! It started out just like any apartment- plain, dated, small…you get it right? So my goal was to  make it appear more modern, chic, and clean.

13599794_10153910416333935_6584081255504076960_n
It was’t much and needed some serious updating.

Consistency 

If there is one thing I have learned from scouring Pinterest, is that if you want your home to feel clean and collected, it is consistency. Your “style” needs to reflect in each room and for whatever look you are going for, you need to keep with it throughout.

Since furniture typically take up a lot of your decor, I feel it is important that it matches a theme. That theme could be that they are all from a matching set, matching colors, patterns and details, etc.

Decide on a base

Being on a newly-wed budget, Derek and I had to find a lot of miss-matched pieces from thrift stores. If you’re in the same boat, you don’t have to just toss your theme aside! You still need a base to work with- I recommend a neutral color that you can add accents to later.

Paint away!

To make my style work, I chose a color and painted everything that could be painted! My color of choice was white since it works so easily with other colors. Here are some of our furniture items I’ve painted to match my theme!

IMG_1556
Painted table and chairs
13615336_10153910423913935_1958596544693555085_n
Painted bedside table
IMG_1541
Painted (and DIYed) behind-the-couch table
IMG_1367
Painted dresser

Linens

Don’t stop with just painting though! Keep your theme flowing from room to room by choosing your linens to match your style as well!

Since I chose white for my base I also decided to extend it to our bedding, towels, and shower curtain! You can choose to add in some accent colors in these areas to add some fun if you want. I chose white for an extra crisp and fresh look.

13615227_10153910762998935_7097855277348439657_n
White bedding
IMG_1526
White (sheer) shower curtain and white towels

Accents

Time to accessorize! Now that I had a base established, I could now do so freely. Remember to make sure your accents play along with each other and your general style. For my accents I chose gold, plants, and geometric designs. Most of which are gathered onto a tray in each room (I love trays they make decorating so easy, guys!)

IMG_1541IMG_1491

IMG_1518
Work with what you got! -notice the cinder block;)

IMG_102013626401_10153910423953935_3409711000167943386_n13620856_10153910423918935_4549376327375596394_nIMG_1561

Wall art

Wall art is still important even if you are a newly wed! There are some pretty cool ways to fill your walls these days! You can hit the thrift stores for some frames to hang a gallery wall, an antique window,… I also discovered that you can get giant photos through ordering engineering prints from Staples for super cheap!

IMG_1540
My own photo turned into a giant print!

It has taken me a year to really establish a solid style in our apartment that flows, but once I figured out the look I was going for, it all came together very quickly and much easier!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Top 18 Favorite Wedding Photos

During the planning process of my wedding, I knew I wanted a great photographer. My first thought was my uncle- who  did my sister’s and many of my cousins’ weddings. But my mom suggested I find someone more local. I searched and searched and probably viewed about 100 galleries and nothing I liked fit our budget or even compared to my uncle. So I decided on him.

One of the perks of having my uncle photograph my wedding was that I got every photo. And I mean EVERY. SINGLE. PHOTO. Like, even the ones that typically don’t make the cut. Like a friend being cross eyed or my brothers laughing about their shoes during a family photo. But it also meant I could choose my very favorite photos.

After looking through each photo, I found my top favorites to reflect how fairy-tale-like that day truly was. From the rehearsal dinner to the getaway car, that day was a dream! I hope you enjoy!

_X6A2698
At our rehearsal dinner at sunset
_X6A2820
I love this one- it looks so calm and dream like!
_X6A2830
getting hair done
bouquet ring
To show off the gorgeous bouquet and rings
bridal
Classic bridal
bouquets r
This one was fun to show off our boots and bouquets
bridesmaids r2
Me and my girls in boots!

 

happy
Right after exiting the temple- so happy!

temple kiss

kiss
One of my favorite posed photos

 

rings
A classic of the rings and bouquet

 

_X6A3692
I fell in LOVE with this one! Instead of the classic cake photo, we had ice cream and it was a HIT!

 

daddy daughter dance
Father and the bride dance
mom son
Taking his mom to the floor for their surprise choreographed dance!

 

first dance bw
Bride and groom first dance-I love this one so much!
garter
He politely removed my garter- making for a very cute photo!
sparkler exit
The sparkler exit
car kiss
A kiss in the getaway car!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

The Best Day

Marriage. What a wonderful part of life! Derek and I officially met in 2013 after he returned form a 2 year mission in Mexico. He was tan, blonde, had a strong Mexican accent, and oh- those gorgeous blue eyes! I was 17 and had a boyfriend though, so I couldn’t let anyone know I was crushing on him!

A couple months passed and said boyfriend and I broke up…I was now 18 and summer set in when we found ourselves at a going away party for a mutual family friend leaving for college. That’s where it all began.  He needed a ride home and asked my parents, that car ride I wanted to talk to him but had no clue what the heck to even say! So I said nothing.  That night he sent me a message on Facebook.

A few weeks passed as our friendship grew and he asked me on a date! He took me to the Spaghetti Factory, then to a skate and bowl. The date ended with a hug on my parents front porch. I had so much fun with him and he treated me so kindly so I texted him that I had fun and couldn’t wait to go out again!
kisssA few more months passed and we talked about marriage… the talks became more and more serious. Eight months later, June 25th 2014, Derek proposed at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah!

We decided to have a long engagement to be able to have more time to spend in the “easy” part before life expenses came along.

On September 12th 2015, Derek and I got sealed for time and eternity in the Seattle Washington Temple!

I remember the day like a fairy tale. Everything was bright and perfect. The sky was clear, my dress was beautifully covered in lace applique with buttons down the back. The dress flowed beautifully into a fuller skirt covering my ivory and aqua cowgirl boots. My hair was curled and loosely pulled into a twist, flowing down my back.

bridal Our reception was in my parents back yard. I’m so happy I chose to have it there. My parents are moving to their dream home soon. I grew up playing in that yard, It was beautiful with flowers and trees all around. What a perfect way to leave home!

At the reception, we played the shoe-ly-wed game. Basically the bride and groom sit back to back and someone reads questions(funny questions!) like, “who sucks the worst at driving?” and you raise whoever’s shoe  is the answer! (In this case we both raised my boot)

We danced, I danced with my dad, Derek danced with his mom…but then they surprised us all with a crazy choreographed dance half way through it!

We ate ice cream instead of cake and then left with a sparkler exit to “Talk Dirty To Me” by Poison. We left our perfect day traveling in my dads Volkswagen bug to set off on our honeymoon!car kiss

This was the best day of my life so far and along with the wonderful commitment I made, it also marks the start of my new life. I’m a married woman and I’ve learned so many great things since I married this man!

Feel free to subscribe for exclusive content!

XOXO,

Mrs. Welton