Thursday, August 19, 2010

Good Bye Summer (And Good Riddance!)

Let me just start by saying this summer has been hard. Like 5 year old jaw breakers hard. It all started back at the tail end of May when the night before Joey and I were flying out to photograph the coolest weeding in North Carolina. (insert harp sound and blurry fade dream sequence here) I was driving alone (Joey was meeting me the next morning) to my Grandparents to spend the night before our flight out the next morning when I pulled off the freeway and stopped at a red light at the bottom of the off ramp. I'm waiting and waiting for the light to turn green when all off a sudden this loud beeping noise starts going off in my car. Finally after looking everywhere I see that there's a message on my dashboard telling me to change the oil. "Whew" I think to myself, for a second I thought the car was going to explode, I leaned forward to push the button to turn off the beeping when BAM, all hell breaks loose. I remember the first thought that went through my head was "Oh no, I didn't change the oil soon enough and now my car is exploding!". I wasn't really sure why the explosion would have come from my trunk, but heh, I'm not one of those car girls. I can change a tire but that's about all I've got. Slowly the daze wore off and I looked around a realized I'd been rear ended at about 60mph and my car was almost 40 feet from were I had been stopped. The next thought I had was "Oh no, all of my photo gear to shoot the wedding with was in the trunk of the car!" at that point I went into panic mode. I managed to pry open the back seat of car crawl into the trunk and extract all of our gear which in some miraculous way was all fine. Sadly, the car was not. I watched it get towed off into the distance that night to be totaled, surrounded on the side of the road with all my belongings I had to pull out before they took it away. I managed to get a hold of my brother-in-law to pick me up and finally get me to my grandparents that night, where I discovered a treasury of pain pills they had stored up. You see I knew I had been hurt in the accident, but I was afraid to get taken to the hospital because I didn't want to miss my flight early the next morning and miss the wedding I had to photograph. So I had just sucked it up. The discovery of the pain pills made everything better, we managed to make out flight the next day, shoot the wedding and come back before the real pain ever set in. But the moment we got back it was doctors visits night and day, I was going three times a week to two or three different people trying to get everything fixed.

Slowly I was getting better and by our 5 year anniversary on July 9th I was feeling way better. Joey had planned such an amazing day for the two of us to spend filled with adventure.... all of which came to a screaming halt after I got a very bad case of food poisoning at lunch. I couldn't move more that a 1ft away from a trash can or toilet so my awesome hubby improvised and set up our camping tent in our living room and rented tons of movies and we spent a very memorable anniversary curled up on the air mattress inside the tent with me puking every couple minutes... this lasted about a week and a half before I was fully recovered.

Toward the middle of July I was finally feeling better, my stomach wasn't so queasy anymore and my body was on the mend from the accident when I got a call from my mom in Hawaii to tell me my dog Shelby was very sick. Now, you have to understand about me and my dogs. They aren't dogs. They are my children, my best friends, my playmates, my counselors, my therapists, my everything. The day we got Shelby I remember I was about 11 years old and had just got done playing a soccer game when friends of ours invited us to come see some puppies their weimaraner had just had. I guess some rouge dog had gotten into their back yard and gotten her pregnant so they weren't super sure what breed the puppies dad was. I remember on the car ride over there my dad saying "Now remember guys, we're just going to go look! We're not bringing one home today!" We go there and all the puppies were in a little playpen in the front driveway and they were the most beautiful jet black and jumping around crawling all over each other. I remember looking down and seeing one puppy sound asleep in the midst of all the chaos curled up in the bottom of the pen, I reached down picked her up... and that was it. My heart melted. My dad even melted the moment he saw her and she came home with us that day. When we got home we named her Shelby (to remind my dad that he was supposed to build me a Shelby Cobra for my 16th birthday... that plan didn't really work out but the thought was there at least lol). I had never really had a lot of friends growing up, and Shelby quickly filled a hole in my heart that needed it very badly. She became my best friend. I know a lot of people say that about their dogs, but she really was in so many ways.

The first night we had her, she was supposed to be getting kennel trained so I put her inside and went to bed, when she started to cry my heart broke and I remember crawling inside the dog kennel and sleeping in there with her all night long. Not wanting to sleep in the kennel anymore Shelby started sleeping in the bed with me, under the covers, with her head on a pillow curled up with me like a teddy bear. I've always had trouble sleeping, but never when I slept with her. I would listen to her rhythmic breathing deep long breaths and it would put me at peace in a way nothing else ever has. As she grew up she never really realized she was a dog, or that she was to big to be a lap dog.

She hated the dirt. When we'd go camping she'd have to have her own lawn chair or she wouldn't ever lay down. She hated to be separated from us and would go crazy if she couldn't be with us. I remember one trip while camping my dad and I were fishing in our boat on the lake and my sister and mother were walking along the shore with Shelby. She looked up and saw us out on the water and jumped in to swim out to us, half way there she realized that Mom and Kasie were still back on shore and just kept going back and forth wanting to be with all of us.
Shelby was also my first model. She was so patient. She would just sit and pose (often times sporting some ridiculous costume) while I worked on my photography. She also had this hilarious habit of going catatonic if you put a hair scrunchy around her snout until you took it off. She was one of the most beautiful dogs I've ever seen. Eventually we deduced she must have been mixed with some sort of black lab and ended up looking more like a petite jet black weimaraner. She was always there, and she knew me so well.
I remember he licking the tears from my face when I was sad, curling up with me when I was lonely and having adventures with me in the woods. I would grab one of the quads out of the garage and sit her up on my lap, drive the two of us out the the woods, let her down and then blaze through woods a full speed. Me being a dare devil, doing jumps and her gracefully gliding through the forest keeping up with me like it was second nature to her. We spent a lot of summer days that way together. I even got in a fight over her once, one of my friends didn't really care for her and told me so and I proceeded to scream at them at the top of my lungs... her father didn't really like that. I got it trouble, but I loved my dog. Like I said she really was my best friend.
When I got married and moved away I wanted to take her with me, but we had gotten another dog for my sister a few year earlier and the two had become the best of friends. Separating them just seemed cruel. So she stayed with my parents. Then when my parents went to Hawaii the dogs went along too.
I was sad that I couldn't see her as often anymore but loved her just as much as the day I had screamed out my friend for saying bad things about her. Then I got that call. She was sick and there was nothing I could do. I couldn't even be there for her, to hold her and tell her it was going to be ok. I couldn't do anything, I don't think I've ever felt more helpless as I did then. After two days I got another call from my mom telling me that she had passed away. My heart broke in my chest and couldn't do anything buy cry for hours. It's amazing how much someone can touch and change your life with no words. How much an animal can mean to you. And all I can say as I am trying to write this, tears streaming down my face onto the keyboard is that I miss her. I miss her so much. But when I do I am thankful for Audrey, and we cuddle up together like I did with Shelby and I pretend she's still here, still breathing those deep rhythmic breaths and putting my soul at peace.

So that was my summer, not the best one I've ever had by a long shot. So I'm excited to get away. Friday morning I fly out to visit my parents in Hawaii for two weeks and hopefully detox from the event of this summer. Although I know it won't be all palm trees and blue Hawaiians because Shelby won't be there when I arrive. I know that's going to be hard. But hopefully it will also give me some time to morn, and to let go.

Wow. That was a WAY long post just to let you know I'm off to Hawaii for a few weeks. Sorry if I went sort of over board with my story. It's just been such a long summer and I finally feel like I am in a place where I can start talking about it. I've tried to write before but the words just wouldn't come. So if you've made it through this novel of a post God bless you, and thank you for listening. And if you have a pet, make sure to give it a long hard hug from me before you go to bed.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Workshops, Oh My...

A few months ago I had the awesome pleasure of teaching a photography workshop at our studio, it was so much fun we've decided to do it one more time this year! And not only that we're adding even more workshops too! We also are going to have a 1 day advanced workshop and private workshops available as well! If you've been thinking about taking a class but have just never had the time then one of these might be fore you!

We'll be teaching the two day beginners workshop Oct 23rd + Oct 24th and the advanced Oct 17th, space is limited since we want to keep these small so if you are thinking about coming sign up sooner than later.

To find out more information and to sign up for the classes check out our worshop website:

Here's a few images Joey snapped from the last one we did:

Melanie + Dave: Married

I'm so excited to finally get to blog this wedding! Melanie and Dave are two of the sweetest people I've met in a long time, and I just fell in love with them and their family's. There is so much love and support that surrounds these two it's amazing, it was a blessing to just be there.

I knew the moment I saw this dress it was going to be a good day :)

These shoes were so cute!

I love these two images of Melanie getting into her dress, they have such a beautiful classic feeling to them...

Seriously... Melanie was stunning... like super model stunning...

Her and Dave decided to do a first look and we were able to walk all around La Paloma and get some gorgeous images.

FAVORITES!!!! Seriously straight out of old hollywood, these two are gorgeous...

This is probably one of my favorite bride coming down the isle photos ever...

Did I mention the whole day was beautiful... the light was amazing!

I love this one of Melanie's sister...

Melanie and Dave had one of my favorite wedding colors combos ever: Lime Green and Navy! Yumm!

First dance!!! Anne Bryan did an amazing job on this room...

Wedding Planning and Event Design: Creative Events By Anne Bryan
Location: La Paloma Country Club
Videographer: WAM Weddings

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