Manic Monday: Birthday Steak!

Hello there! And welcome back for another round of my Manic Monday series! 

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and the Holidays are right around the corner, so ya'll know I am focusing on making sure all my clients got their holiday photos set for loved ones at Christmas time.  Speaking of, don't forget to contact me to book your Holiday Mini session! I have some slots available this weekend, and will have a fun little Hot Chocolate set up, along with Christmas treats for the kiddos! Hell, I'll probably make sure us grownups have some Christmas "Spirits" as well! 

Last week saw the official launch of the Apricot Lane Boutique Website, which was a huge, and fast paced project for me. But with the majority of Photos done on my end, It has been really cool to see my photos reaching such a wide commercial audience, and it could not be for a more worthy company! 

Being the main source of Photos for something as large scale as 3 Boutiques in NE Wisconsin has been an honor, and a privilege. So right now, I am really happy to sit back and be totally bombarded with the massive scale of photos I've curated for this amazing store! 

I mean, check this stuff out! I've gone commercial, ya'll! 

Okay, but on the serious, I am excited to have been able to practice my art, in all of its forms, but I am still just as loyal to my clients, and telling their stories. Like Jennifer Lopez, I'm real. 

This past weekend, I was invited to Celebrate a first Birthday, with the Robinson family, whom is frequently featured in blogs! I have been with them from their wedding, to a miracle pregnancy, birth, and ack, now Little Henley is One! 

I love my shoots with the Robinson's because they live in the darling little Wisconsin town of Chilton, the drive is 45 minutes from Green Bay, and is beautiful! Chilton has a lot of, I guess what we would call "Old World Charm", and boasts homes and business fronts well over a century old. 

Henley held her 1st Birthday bash at a local business that her Momma Rachelle, has frequented called Hilde's. I've become acquainted with this locally owned Business, ran by its Namesake, Hilde, who has created a very welcoming and unique deli that even offers eat in Bistro tables, as well as a room for large special events to be held. Definitely check them out if you are ever in Chilton, and "like" them on Facebook!

Little Miss Henley was showered with gifts at Hildes, and enjoyed her Birthday ca-- I'm sorry, Birthday Steak. 

You read that right. This kid is after my own heart, she is a tiny carnivore, and I adore her! 

 

After celebrating her Birthday, we headed to the Chilton Nature preserve to take Photos of Henley where it all started. 

Xo Xo

-B.L. 

 

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Tinsel Time Boudoir Special Event!

Ladies Ladies Ladies! Get ready to give your special someone (Even if that someone is you!) a gift they'll never forget! 
Thats right, I'm bringing Boudie (Boudoir) Back, ya'll! 
November 24th &25th, we'll be walking through a winter wonderland of mistletoe, stockings, and yuletide joy! 
In all reality, we are gonna get all gussied up, enjoy holiday snacks and drinks, and a merry old time!

As always, a deposit is required to book your spot, as they are limited and fill quickly! 
Sessions include all printing rights, 30-35 digital images in a personal viewing gallery, and edits will be ready in time to order (through the viewing gallery!) for the Holidays! 
Sessions are $275, deposit is $100, the remaining $175 is due 2 days before your session, or can be broken up into payments as needed. 
Hair and makeup is optional as an add on (do it, your worth it!)
So go forth, and make more sexy Christmas puns! And book your spot today! 
Xo Xo
-B.L.

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Manic Monday: Apricot Lane and upcoming Boudoir Bonanza

Hello! And a miserable, manic Monday to you all - I mean, happy Monday...no wait, I stand by what I said.

Even though wedding season is over, I've still got a TON of stuff to do in the coming months. The amazing and ever wonderful Apricot Lane has me shooting their entire incoming catalogue in the fabulous new mini-studio they set up for me in their warehouse, so that's ultra fun. If anybody's looking for some trendy new items for their wardrobe, check them out, and yes, I am a paid shill.

I'm gonna be doing some SUPER fun specials in the next couple months, and that's not hyperbole, they're going to be caps lock levels of fun. Ladies, get at me for my boudoir bonanza! Can you think of a better christmas gift? I didn't think so, and sessions come equipped with all kinds of vintage christmas swag for you to wear, AND a freaking mimosa bar. How cool is that? Also I might drink some mimosas also too. Details are coming soon.

Oh, and did I mention that the incredible AJ, of Vamp Artistry fame, is going to be doing hair and makeup? No? Well she is, so hold onto your butts.

ALSO, for a more wholesome special, keep your eye out, because I'm gonna be posting up some particulars for holiday mini sessions in the next few days! It's gonna be great.

In the meantime, fill out the extremely simple email form at the bottom of this to get updates on new blog posts, or just follow Facebook or Instagram

Xo Xo

- B.L.

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Emily+Luke: Hoppely Ever After

Talk about whirlwind romance!  It was early Spring of this year when Luke and Emily met, and they fell for each other, HARD!

Friends and family couldn't help but be totally supportive; it's obvious that their shared values, passions, wanderlust and certain eccentricities added up to a match made in heaven (actually Christianmingle.com, it's okay, you can laugh, they do!) 

And for me, a Single Goth-Mom of 3, meeting these barely 23-year old kids, whom shared so many common passions with me, was mind blowing. They're  analog kids, in a digital world.

Snapplefact: we all happened to be homeschooled for chunks of our school years. And Emily's middle name is Anne with the "E", as is mine. And we both feel really fiercely about that, because, Anne Of Green Gables, duh! 

Emily wore furs worn by her own Mother on her own wedding day, which was super duper neat. Their ride was an absolutely amazing  Vintage Ford CustomLine, with all of the original parts,  tweed seats, touches of Patina. The Ford was provided by Luke's Brother, Matt, who runs a rad vintage company, Fresh Coast vintage. Flowers were gorgeous, furnished by Petal Pusher of Green Bay. Monzu Bistro was the source of the fabulous cake, and the whole shebang went down at Celebration Church in Green Bay.

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Xo Xo

-B.L.

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Freaky Friday!

Happy Halloween weekend!!! It's so close, and actual Halloween is on a dumb, stupid school day, so just enjoy the weekend, especially if you're an adult, go get wasted, or stay home and get wasted, or just eat a literal pound of candy, dress up every day, scare children, hand out candy to strangers, do whatever.

Oh, by the way, this is a new, potential addition to the blog I'm messing with, so none of my beloved followers have to go more than two days without seeing new photos, hearing about what I've been doing, or just reading my amazing and genius ramblings.

Who else is planning to binge Stranger Things until they pass out tonight? Embrace nostalgia, watch children fight D&D monsters, stay current on a Netflix original, there's literally nothing to lose. No, but for real, I just rewatched the first season (which I recommend you do to, because damn, I forgot a bunch of stuff from the end), and I am PUMPED for season two! Speaking of, freaking check out Guinevere dressed up as Eleven!!!! My darling valentine can be obstinate, but she is ultimately my favorite muse (Nobody tell Preston and Bea). She has a remarkable ability to completely embody characters, takes direction like a boss, and poses with the fierceness and tenacity that only my daughter could.

My three little monsters are gonna be a unicorn, the mad hatter/Eleven, and (B)E(a).T. I will confiscate all their candy, so I don't have to buy any to give to trick-or-treaters (just kidding...mostly, I'm definitely stealing some of their candy, at least the Reeses pumpkin to make sure they're not poisoned). Chime in with your Halloween plans, and let's see those costumes!

Please feel free to comment, like, and subscribe to be notified of future blog posts!

XoXo

-B.L.

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Eli+Chelsie: Artists in love.

Here's the skinny:

I do not get paid enough for what I do. 

Neither do most artists. 

The truth of the matter is, that real, gritty, stupendous stories, screaming to be told, are undeniably priceless, and there's not enough money in the world for that (but I'll take a cool 100K, if you've got some to spare).

::::The Brass Lens enters stage right; CROWD GOES WILD:::::

That's not wild enough, GO WILDER, I'll wait...

Here I am, high-fiving a million angels. I'm like a less salty and suicidal version of Ernest Hemingway, and this is my Moveable Feast. 

But Holy-Mother-Of-Gnomes, this is not about me. This is about Artists, Artists who are in love. Artists who breathe inspiration into everything in their life and career- Artists, who have enriched and brightened my own career, simply by being who they are. 

(Yadda Yadda Yadda, back-story, some shit about our family connection- their trades, artistic mediums, current positions, interests, generally about being rad humans. Also, they have a company. Something something star wars. no, its something about rivers - @cityriverco) and Eli custom built my daughters floating bed frames. Is it relevant? I don't know, but pay attention to me anyway. 

Get your facts straight, dummy. 

Anyway, they throw clay, make pots, and are basically a cooler, less Patrick Swayze-y, modern day version of Ghost.  

Their mixed-metal wedding was amazing. Sugar Land Barn was gorgeous, and the B-Style Floral provided beautiful chocolate cak-oh wait, I mean flowers. I had an absolute blast shooting it, and I hope everyone has a blast checking out the photos. If a blast is not initially had, please ingest approximately four cocktails and try again. 

Please feel free to comment, like, and subscribe to be notified of future blog posts!

XoXo

-B.L.

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Manic Monday: Potpouri!

Hello and welcome to Manic Monday! Please check your coats at the door.

A little bit of everything this week after a short break!

So much going on with work, and as the fall winds into colder weather, I've been taking a whole lot of photos, shooting left and right and up and down while I prepare myself for Halloween!

Such a diverse week of work, including everything from family photos, weddings, concerts, and engagements!

And a very special session with Twin Boys who have overcome immense odds! It was a fantastic celebration of their victory over hardships!

I have another busy week coming up with a wedding this weekend, working to establish a super space with Apricot Lane, and hopefully figuring out how to make my furnace go before the weather gets too terribly cold again.

Be on the look out for another round of special Mini sessions as the Holiday season approaches, and so much more!

 

XoXo

-B.L.

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Manic Monday: So much to share!

A warm hearted Hello to all of you out there! 

It is yet another edition of my Manic Monday series, where I update the masses on all the goings on in my life, and business! 

I'll start by gushing about my Youngest Brother and Sister Tony and Emma, whom are Seniors in high school this year. 

Naturally, I took their Senior Photos, and omg you guys, my look at them, they are growing up, and I am in denial. 

And while my loved ones are growing up and I am feeling older, and less relevant than ever, I somehow find myself at the cusp of artistic movement in our Northeast WI area. I spent 2 weekends in a row at Art Gallery events, meeting talented artists in our area, and generally just playing with cool Camera toys, and even filming for the first time! 

The Homeland project was a fantastic Pop-up art event on Broadway, showcasing numerous Fox Valley based artists. I was honored to meet, and interact with the artists, and speak to patrons about the event. I look forward to more events like this, and am so excited to see an encore performance of the event this Sunday at Titletown roof tap! Event details can be found here

Here are some photos I shot from the last event! 

In addition to the Homeland Pop-up art show, I was invited by my dear friend, and insanely talented Photographer  Mark Mariucci, to assist in filming a Blacklight themed art show and concert put on by The Artory at Green Bay's Art Garage. 

Mark and I took turns shooting stills, and I shot video for the first time ever! It was a trip to work under Marks tutelage, and I am just enamored with the exotic nature of the Artory event. As you can see, the photos are positively dynamic, and simply fun to look at. 

This past weekend saw the launch of my collaboration with Fox Valleys most kick-ass Hair and Make up team, Vamp artistry for my Boudoir event. It was a 2 day event that felt more like a slumber party with girlfriends. 

Ladies were treated to a Mimosa bar, and personal stylist at my new home that overlooks the Fox River. Once the Hair and Makeup team got each client all glammed up, they met up with me at Aloft hotel, and things got saucy! The structure of this event was a huge success, and I am so excited to start planning the next one! 

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Emily+Luke: A simple Twist Of Fate

I am so excited to share this weeks special blog! 

Luke and Emily, are a young couple, at the cusp of their youth, at 22, and wildly in love with another. 22 seems so young, but their souls are old, and bursting with character and passion that inspires me to create. 

After scrolling numerous Photography websites for their wedding, they were referred to me, because I was that special kind of off-beat artist that might be able to appreciate their aesthetic and add my own flair. 

Upon meeting Luke and Emily, it was clear that we were a perfect match. We shared similar upbringings, all being homeschooled, and sharing a deep appreciation for Art, Music, and Film Photography. 

I was overjoyed to have been asked to tell their story, and even more honored when Luke pitched a concept for a photoshoot that immediately inspired a vision that ended up connecting with the both of them on a deep level. 

Lovers of all things vintage and folksy, I thought of Luke and Emily as a Young Bob Dylan, and the 1960's socialite who inspired much of Andy Warhols work, Edie Sedgwick. Dylan and Sedgwick had a rumored romance, both at the height of their youth, and creativity, so it screamed out to me that this would be a great concept for a shoot. 

Emily and Luke were not only on board, but completely overjoyed that I understood what they wanted without even verbalizing it. And as it ends up, Luke is such a huge Dylan fan, he recently saw him in concert! 

Within a couple of days from the conception of our idea, we pulled together outfits, props, and Emily and Luke came to my house so I could glam up Emily. 

The results, were magical. And shooting at my new home in Depere, ended up working out perfect. It certainly helped that Luke and Emily were like my own Barbie dolls, absolutely so fun to work with. 

I should really just shut my mouth already, ya'll gotta see this set. 

It really was a simple twist of fate that brought us all together, and Magic was the result. 

Xo Xo 

-B.L. 

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Manic Monday: Boudie short!

Hello out there on this Monday! 

The last week has been busy, with shoots, and booking up my Boudoir weekend at the end of September! 

Boudoir is a specialty of mine, and my Boudoir services continue to expand as word spreads! In fact, this Septembers event is nearly booked up, and client demand has allowed me to enlist one of North East Wisconsins leading hair and makeup teams, Vamp artistry! 

So if you have ever had a interest, now is the time to book! And always, feel free to ask me anything, I could talk about Boudoir for days! 

This Mondays blog is more or less an alert about Boudoir weekend, and a reminder to book your appointment while Customer appreciation month is still running! 

I have so much in store this week, and I cannot wait to share the beautiful and diverse photo collections! 

Xo Xo 

-B.L. 

 

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Manic Monday: Season Of Change

Hello out there, and welcome to another edition of my Manic Monday series! 

My Manic Monday series is a bit of a catch all of my recent shoots, and allows me to share some aspects of my personal life as well. 

And holy cats, ya'll, I have had some big changes as of late! 

I moved! I moved! And Lord, moving sucks. But its over, and now my Kids and I can proudly proclaim that we are residents of Depere! I snagged a darling 1947 stucco Bungalow overlooking the Fox River. 

Moving was bittersweet, and stressful, but it was a much needed end of one chapter in my life, and the beginning of another one. I look forward to the new beginning for my kids and I, and all the potentially awkward, and terrifying moments that comes with Single Mom-hood, and the perils of running a business, and keeping a home. 

You guys, just look, my house is just darling! 

As if Moving, and starting a new school year, I have been fortunate enough to stay busy with business too! I am not complaining, so hey, keep it coming! And as a quick note, I extended Customer appreciation month until the end of September! 

Last week had me shooting Fall Fashion on location with Apricot Lane Green Bay. We had such a blast, and got to romp around Botanical Gardens, and Hinterland Brewery, both of which were outrageously accomodating to our whole crew! And outside of of Apricot lane, I remain loyal to my clients, and loyal friends, who continue to book me for family shoots, and headshots. 

Its been busy, and I am positively grateful that I am able to surround myself with the wonderful people that have held me, and my business up. Much love to everyone, and without further ado- here are some sneak peaks! 

Xo Xo 

-B.L. 

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Paul+Dustin; Engagement session

Hello all! On Todays blog, I am featuring an engaged couple, Paul and Dustin, who became both my clients, and people whom I call dear friends! 

I initially met with Paul and Dustin at my home for a wedding consult earlier this year. We hit it off so well, Paul ended up throwing his debit card at me (no joke) and booking me to be their Wedding Photographer on the spot! 

It was easy to become smitten with this power couple, who both exude such compassion, and sincerity in their love for one another. 

Paul and Dustin live on the West side of Green Bay, along with their  Dog-child, Emma. Paul through himself into wedding planning with plenty of time to spare, and has integrated both he and Dustin's interests into every aspect of their wedding. 

Paul, being a lover of all things whimsy, and all things crafty, booked The Wedding ceremony to take place at Heritage Hill. In taking consideration into Dustin's love of Comic books, super heroes, and namely The Green Lantern, Paul found ways to work superhero themes into their wedding day, and into their wedding parties outfit selections. 

When summer came around, we discussed doing engagement Photos at Heritage Hill, which ties in wonderfully to their wedding. But with me on the helm, I suggested we have a 2 part engagement session, and head to Powers comics in Green Bay. Powers Comics is a locally owned comic book store that has been around for over 10 years now, and has been a family favorite for so many different families. 

We made an afternoon out of taking photos, gossiping, and creating memories at Heritage Hill, and Powers. I love the genuine chemistry Paul and Dustin share, and the photos truly speak for themselves! 

 What I cherish even more, is the spirit of adventure Paul and Dustin have! It is such a beautiful thing, when I get to integrate my passion for working with local businesses along with my clients. It was so much fun to make this connection, and I am totally geeking out about how much fun it was to make photos in a comic book store! 

Without further ado, the photos! 

Xo Xo

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Manic Monday: Viva Los Vegas!

Talking Vegas, and my discounted photography sessions!

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Wedding Wednesday: Kelly+Sebastian

ITS WEDDING WEDNESDAY, YA'LL! 

On todays blog is the Nuptials of Kelly and Sebastian! 

I was so excited when I was asked to capture Kelly and Sebastian special day. Kelly and Sebastian were not just uniting as husband and wife, but they were joining their families as one. This is something very special to my heart, having been raised in a blended family, and because I too have a blended family, and I understand just how special it is to truly be accepted as a whole unit. 

Kelly and Sebastian made sure that from beginning to end, the days festivities centered around their family as a whole, and included their children in every aspect, including walking their parents down the aisle! 

Heartfelt speeches, tons of laughs and the most warm and welcoming extended family and friends I have had the pleasure to meet. 

Secondary to the immense amount of gratitude I felt to be able to capture the days events, was the fact that the wedding took place at Lambeau field! Like, holy cats, should I have prefaced this entire blog with that? 

Well, at any rate- I love my clients, I love my job, and football Season is nigh! Get pumped ya'll! And now I present to you, the photos! 

Xo Xo 

-B.L. 

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Manic Monday: HOT HOT HOT!

Welcome back for a long overdue Manic Monday blog! 

My Manic Monday blog series is a great way for me to sort of catch up with my audience, and share with ya'll some of the work I have been doing, and share tons of exclusive sneak peaks of all the amazing individuals I have been photographing! 

As I mentioned before, this Blog is long overdue! My Summer has been a whirlwind of some unfortunate personal drama, and even death. I can say with all honesty, that this has been one of the most difficult years of my life; And that if it were not for my family, friends, and my business, I would probably be curled up in a ball outside of The Crisis center! 

In recognition of the wealth and support I have received from my family, friends and, clients, I am hosting my first annual Customer Appreciation Month, all through out August! You'll be able to book everything from family photo sessions, senior sessions, and even Boudoir, for the lowest rates I offer! If you are interested in booking your spot, please message or call me today! 

customer appreciation.jpg

 

It has been little thing lately that bring me joy, thats the weird thing about going through tough times, it kind of causes you to slow down, and appreciate every moment you got. For instance, I was honored to have been asked to take my dear friend from high-school's family photos. My Oldest Son whom is 12 tagged along on this shoot so he could meet my friend Stephanie and her family. Stephanie's family includes 4 kids, 2 of which she shares with her husband Sebastian, whom is a native of France, along with his 2  who visit from France each summer. I took family photos as I normally do, with the exception of Sebastian acting as translator for his French speaking Daughters. As I wrapped up the shoot and walked to the car with my Son, he looked me dead in the eyes and said, "If those girls don't speak English, how do their parents understand them?"  I looked back at him, waiting for him to realize what he had said, and replied, "Oh My Lord, Preston-Kids don't come out of the womb speaking some random language, honey, they live in France!" 

Preston realized his silly line of questioning, we laughed, and I proceeded to tell everyone I knew about that, and now I am telling you guy! Sorry Preston ;) 

In addition to my family shoots, I have had engagement shoots, and my weekly fashion shoots at Apricot Lane. I have also started the exciting transition into working with small business start-ups. 

My work with so many different people in the community on a individual basis, has led me to recognize how I have the ability to connect clients, to other local business's, and shine a light on how truly special our community is. 

And you guessed it, I have previews of all of it! 

Ya'll have been the Wind beneath my wings, and all that sappy crap. No lie. 

And now, for the photos- 

Xo Xo 

-B.L. 

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Duket Wedding: Way more, than 2 people uniting.

On today's Wedding Wednesday blog, the Duket wedding! 

When Laura and Billy met 2 years ago, it was a family affair from the very start. Laura has 2 lovely daughters, Rosa (10) and Lexi (7), and Billy has a Son, Tristan (5) from previous relationships. 

Both Laura and Billy, knew from the very start, that they were head-over-heels for not just each-other, but for one another's Children. Deciding to marry, and officially merge their families as one, felt like the most natural transition, as if if it was always meant to be this way. Both Laura and Billy made sure their children were apart of every step of both the wedding planning, and the ceremony itself. 

And so on July 1st, 2017, at Green Bay's always stunning Botanical gardens, two families committed themselves in marriage. 

Without further ado, the photos! 

Xo Xo 

-B.L. 

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Woller Wedding: Even the Sun aligned

On Today's blog, the Woller Wedding! One, of breathtaking significance, decades in the making. 

When Shelby and Ryan approached me, inquiring about whether or not I was willing to shoot a wedding that was broken up into 2 days, I was immediately interested. Being a story teller of sorts, I am always enthusiastic to shine a light on unique, and heartwarming stories to share with the world. 

Shelby and Ryan's wedding would take place on Tuesday, June 20th, at Pamperin Park. Their Wedding reception, would follow on Saturday, June 24th, at Downtown Green Bay's Lyric room

But, who gets married on a Tuesday, right? 

Shelby explained to me, that this particular day held a meaning that spans beyond comprehension, and that even the Rotational axis of our Earth, to our Sun validated this. 

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017, marked the Wedding  anniversaries of Ryan's Grandparents, as well as his great Grandparents. Shelby knew that Ryan's Grandparents shared these anniversaries, but she recognized that in this particular year, it also fell on the Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice has been recognized, and celebrated by cultures around the world since ancient times. It's importance is both rooted in the Astronomy, as well as the spiritual meaning of the Sun's ascension around our Earth. 

Individual beliefs, and interpretations vary from those who mark the day as being the longest of the year, or even the Ancient Druid cultures, whom constructed sacred sites (Think Stonehenge) for rituals and ceremonies to be conducted on the Solstice days. 

For Those in touch with the significance of The Solstice, its spiritual meaning can take on one of true celebration of , love, and enlightenment, and unity with the universe. 

For Generations, Ryan's Grandparents celebrated June 20th as the anniversary of their wedding, and this year, Shelby and Ryan joined in. In response, the Sun responded and gave us its highest solute. 

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Your Senior Photoshoot: 5 Things You Should Know.

5 Tips To Get Your Ready For Your Senior Photo Shoot!

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Ali+Matt: Downtown Green Bay Engagement session

On todays blog, we are featuring Ali and Matt! 

Ali and Matt are downtown Green Bay residents, and they have acclimated their work, and personal life to all of what Downtown Green Bay offers. 

Keeping true to their life, we all agreed that we would basically just start by popping open some Wine at their home, and continue our adventure to nearby taverns, and city walks. 

I love this sort of loose, and spontaneous experience created when I am simply able to hang out, get to know, and really become friends with my future Brides and Grooms. 

This young couple is just now beginning their story together! I am honored to share it!

Enjoy! 

Xo Xo 

 

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Now you are 12.

Hold onto your Butts, people. My Oldest is 12 today. Here's to you, kiddo. 

See the date Kiddo? October 4th, 2004; My 18th Birthday. 

That is the day I found out I was pregnant with you. You were due to be born on My Mother's (Mimau's) birthday. 

You have watched enough Teen Mom shows with me to know that 18 is super young to have a child. Your Father and I, were fresh out of High School, we had just moved into our first apartment together. I was in school for a Paralegal program, and waitressing 3rd shift at a Diner. Your Father had gotten a decent job at a factory, he also worked 3rd shift. 

 

We were scared to death to tell our parents we were having a baby. We knew how young, inexperienced and completely unprepared we were to bring a baby into the world. We were very lucky that our families chose to support us, and believed that though it would be difficult, we were capable of being parents. 

I had trouble throughout my pregnancy with you. I was in and out of the emergency room with various issues, and at times we were not sure you would make it. To complicate matters, my job was totally unforgiving, and actually fired me. Being on my feet all night, running around, lifting, carrying, it made my muscles tense up, I would bleed and end up in the emergency room making sure you still had a heartbeat. 

It was scary enough being so poor, so young, and now on bedrest. I cried a lot, I was terrified about not having any money, and I was not able to go back to work safely. Your Dad picked up as many hours as he could though, we occasionally got food from a Salvation Army, and your Grandma Patti had us over every Sunday, and always made sure we had a big dinner. 

I was really lonely, and because your Dad was on a 3rd shift schedule, I would be up all night, by myself. I had made lots of friends (Whom I still have today) at the Diner while I worked there. They were all upset, it wasn't fair I had gotten fired over medical issues. They started coming over at night, and keeping me company. We would listen to music, drive around town, plan fun dinners, and watch tons of old Movies. It was a great time, and it was so nice to finally feel positive again. 

Just as I settled into my life again, and thinking that my Pregnancy troubles were over, something went wrong. at about 20 weeks pregnant, I went into labor. Looking back, it is ironic you were in such a hurry to come out, because I don't think you have ever been in a hurry for anything at all. But at 20 weeks, you were not ready to come out, Babies that little just cant survive, and die shortly after birth. 

I had to stay in the hospital for over a week, while the doctors attempted to stop my labor. They put me on these crazy muscle relaxers that eased my body, and stopped the labor. The medicine made me feel like I was floating, I drooled because I couldn't control my facial muscles, and every time I tried to get out of bed I would just fall over. That probably sounds scary, but when I see the pictures of me during that time, looking like death, pale, and drooling, I laugh. 

 

I really had to take it easy once I was released from the hospital. I was on bedrest again up until a few weeks before you were born. Mine, and your Dad's family stepped up in a big way to help out during this time. knowing I couldn't work, and you were coming, I was thrown 2 baby showers. Your Dad and I were overwhelmed at the amount of love, and support we got. There was not a single item we needed for your arrival, the baby showers provided us with clothes, diapers, toys, and other necessary baby furniture. 

Because you are who you are, I had to be induced, meaning once it was actually time for you to come out, you wouldn't. To complicate matters, the fluid surrounding your little body had slowly leaked out, and you were at a alarming risk of infection. 

Once this was discovered I was admitted immediately to the hospital. hooked up to IV's, I waited for the labor pains to begin, family started pouring into the hospital to await your arrival. 

Annnnnd nothing. Nada. Zip. 

Little jerk. 

 

It took a lot of meds to get you to start moving your Butt, let me tell you that! What should have taken a few hours to kick in, ended up taking 2 days. But finally, FINALLY, after months of worry, we knew you would be coming. 

I initially insisted I was a big girl, and that just your Dad and I would be in the room for your birth. I said I didn't need any assistance from anyone else. But 1 hour into labor pains, I cried, and asked for my Mom. Then, in her infinite wisdom, Mimau pulled in your Grandma Patti to be in the room as well. 

Finally, at 5.25.2005, and 5:05pm, you arrived. All 6lbs and 2 oz of you. Secondary to mine and your Fathers glee, was the site of Mimau, and Grandma Patti, crying, embracing, and becoming the lovely Grandmothers you have today. 

 

Family poured in, almost immediately. Aunts, Uncles, friends. My Dad, your Grandpa Jon was in Colorado for a convention, he and Grandma Jenni hopped the next flight out,  arriving the next day. Your Grandpa Mark (Bukka) patiently waited his turn in the hospital, you know how he is, big, gruff- He patiently waited day and night for the chance to hold you, I think I saw his heart melt when he first held you. 

 

When we finally got home from the hospital with you, to our 1 bedroom apartment, we marveled at how perfect you were. How could you be so perfect? We certainly were not. Hell, we were messes. We loved you so much, but we kept screwing up. Newborns are tiring, kiddo. Like, up all night, up all day kind of stuff. Your Dad had to get back to work right away, leaving me alone with you, still recovering from your birth. I was sore, I couldn't sit right for a month, and there were times that I fell asleep sitting up feeding you. I swear there were entire weekends we wouldn't leave our room, we were just trying to sleep whenever you did. Then when we did get out of the house, we would forget the most basic things, like buckling you into the carseat, not just putting you in it. Or the one time we pumped gas with the car still running. 

 

Good news though, you survived infancy without any remarkable brushes with death! 

You survived, with tons of help from our families, but as you know, me and your Dad didn't. It was sad, and difficult. We were young, and were just learning who we were as adults. We both moved on, married, and got back to the business of building separate lives, and careers, with you in the center of it. 

Lucky you, you got 2 amazing Step-Parents, people that love you so much, and have had equal roles in raising you. I feel happy that I can say our lives are infinitely better, because of the people your Dad and I chose to Marry. 

So here we are today; Today, you are 12. You reside in 2 homes, in nice neighborhoods, you have 2 rooms scattered with toys, legos, and Pokemon cards. You have been on Vacations across the country with both of your families, you have gotten Tai Kwon Doe Belts, broken boards with your feet (The feet which once fit in my hands, and are now bigger than my own feet!) you have ran in marathons, begrudgingly completed track, soccer, and swimming, been featured on a magazine cover, been to Disneyland, and once one a costume contest at Comicon. 

You are exceptionally giving, wickedly funny, and absolutely, always true to yourself. A trailblazer in your own right, your interests sometimes befuddle me, but I love it. You are a great big Brother to your Sisters (when you can stand them), and I am quite certain your Obama care jokes will never get old. 

You may wonder why I need to tell you all of this, Momma is long winded, but is surely convinced of her mission. 

You see, Son, every Super Hero has a origin story. 

This one is yours. 

Happy Birthday, my Darling Son. I love you forever, I like you for always. And I also love you more than all of the Pokemon in the rolodex, or whatever thats called. ;) 

Xo Xo, 

Momma. 

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