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5.29.2015

Maternity Self-Portraits | 36 Weeks

I was really conflicted over whether I wanted to do maternity photos.  As a photographer, of course I see the value in having documentation of this phase of life but, at the same time, as a woman it's really bizarre to watch my body go through all these changes.  It doesn't feel like my body anymore -at least, not the one I've grown accustomed to after 30+ years- and I wasn't sure how I felt about having images of this foreign vessel being preserved in pixels.  I am lucky enough to have some wonderful, awesome photographer friends who offered to do a maternity session with me but by the time I finally came around to the idea it felt like it was logistically impossible.  With all the working, moving, and traveling we've been doing over the last eight weeks, I just didn't have time to schedule something.  And then, all of a sudden, I was 36 weeks pregnant and feeling like I needed some photos now before I really regretted it.

I knew I didn't have the energy for a full session so, instead, I grabbed my camera, set up my tripod, and opted for a few selfies.  I shot them on the day I hit 36 weeks, and boy am I glad I did.  Just a few days later, the leg/ankle/foot swelling reached a whole other level that now means I have to wear medical-grade compression socks all day long for the remainder of the pregnancy!  Our freshly painted bedroom walls served as the perfect backdrop and after about half an hour of camera-remote clicking, I had quite a few photos I was pretty pleased with.  Focus is tricky when you're shooting self-portraits but other than that minor detail (who needs in-focus photos anyway?  I kid, I kid...), I'm happy with how they turned out.





Same pose, two ways.  I have to say, I think I like them both, for different reasons.
xo

Have you or would you do maternity photos, too?

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5.28.2015

Sneak Peek | Monica & Erick's Sonoma Engagement Session

"He felt now that he was not simply close to her, but that he did not know where he ended and she began." 
- Leo Tolstoy

sonoma engagement photography
sonoma engagement photography
sonoma engagement photography
xo

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5.26.2015

Gia's 2nd Gotcha Day

Two years ago today, this little piggy ran all the way home - to our home - and joined our little family.  On the one hand, it feels like the last two years have flown by, yet at the same time I can't believe it's only been two years.  Gia is such a sweet pet and it feels like she has always been a part of our family.  She was there to sound the alarm and alert us to Molly's first tumor and helped cheer up her little friend when she needed surgery again a few months later.  She patiently tolerated all our wedding planning DIY projects that filled her play space in the living room and even helped us open gifts after the festivities were over.  Even though she was a little shy when we first brought her home, she watched everything Molly did, and was eager to show off what she learned.  She even helped us announce the impending arrival of her first human sibling.  And though it took some time, she eventually warmed up to the idea of cuddling and has fully transformed into a lap pet, even falling asleep in my arms every now and then.

The loss of Molly was tough on all of us, but Gia taught us that a little extra love can make even the darkest times feel brighter, and that life is always better with a friend by your side.  She's sweet, gentle, resilient, funny, and just all around adorable and I'm so grateful she's a part of our lives.  So far, she has been a great big sister to little Juno and I can't wait to watch their relationship develop further and to see how she interacts with the Baby once he/she arrives.  I have a feeling she's going to like having a human closer to her size. :)

We'll continue to celebrate Gia's Gotcha Day with some of her favorite things: carrots, red bell peppers, popcorn, and lots of play time, which she happily shares with Juno.  And now that she knows the camera's not so scary, she even let me snap a few photos in between nibbles.  Happy Gotcha Day, my Sweet Gia!

guinea pig eating carrots
black and white guinea pig
black and white guinea pig

I just love her floppy ears and cute black button nose!
black and white guinea pig

black and white guinea pig

Sharing her Gotcha Day treats with her piggy sister.
black and white guinea pig
black and white guinea pig
black and white guinea pig


xo

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5.22.2015

Friday Five

ONE  |  I love seeing all your gorgeous flower photos on Instagram!  It's such a great way to brighten the day and kick off a lovely weekend.  Thanks for sharing!  Don't forget to use the hashtag #TSFridayFlowers to share your floral shots, too.  And if you're a day or two late, don't worry, I won't tell anyone. :)

Love the simplicity of this shot by Leigh Baker.



And the details of La Maman Heureuse's iris are simply stunning.



TWO  |  It's a three-day weekend!  At least, it is here in the US.  And I'm super excited about it.  The Husband and I set this weekend as our deadline for getting the new apartment all set up and we're almost there!  Tomorrow will be especially busy but it'll be such a relief to have everything in place soon, freeing up at least one more weekend (hopefully) for us to relax and enjoy some time together before Baby arrives.

THREE  |  My doc let us know at this week's appointment that Baby T most likely will not becoming in the next two weeks.  He/she hasn't even dropped yet and is sitting nice and cozy right up against my ribs.  Sideways.  So comfortable, right?  But she did say everything is fully developed at this point and Baby is just hanging out, practicing his/her breathing, which I totally felt and saw this week and it was the most bizarre thing.  Cool, but definitely bizarre!

FOUR  |  Milkshakes.  I'm craving one and I might just indulge and get myself one.  After all, I only have a few more weeks to indulge those random food desires, right?  And Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer so why not kick things off with a cold, creamy milkshake?  This salted caramel one looks particularly tasty.  Nom nom nom...

salted caramel milkshake
Photo from My Baking Addiction
FIVE  |  I delivered Bri & Kam's awesome wedding today and I'm super excited to share more of it with you soon.  I'm a little behind on wedding and engagement recaps but I'm planning to schedule quite a few for those crazy weeks coming soon when newborn chaos keeps me from posting regularly.  Get ready for lots of loveliness coming to the blog soon!

documentary wedding photography santa cruz
editorial wedding photography santa cruz


xo

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5.21.2015

Awkward & Awesome | Pregnancy Edition, Round 2

third trimester maternity selfies


Get it?  Round?  Like my big ol' belly?  Also, those are shadows, not sweat stains, thankyouverymuch.

AWKWARD
1  |  Pregnancy brain is real, folks.  I used to think it was just lazy/forgetful ladies playing the pregnancy card when it was convenient and to all you currently or previously pregnant women, I'm so sorry about my misconception.  It's a legit thing and I will never judge again.  While running errands to the grocery store recently, I managed to put my keys in the trunk instead of my canvas shopping bags, leave my purse in the car when I went into Trader Joe's even though it was sitting in the passenger seat right next to me, and then proceed to put my phone in the fridge while putting away the groceries when I got home.  All that in just one day!

2  |  So many grandma-like behaviors!  Besides the pregnancy brain that borders on full-out memory loss, I also find myself needing to wear compression hose to help with the swelling in my ankles and feet.  Which I not-so-lovingly refer to as my "feecankles" now because they're basically the same size from my calves all the way to my toes.  We're way past cankles at this point, people.  And if you've never had the privilege of wearing compression hose, the ones I've found that work best under pants are the glorious knee highs.  They look great with loafers and flats... Not really.  Add to that the fact that I can't bend over to save my life and I've got full granny status going on.  I'm sure my AARP card will arrive any day now.

3  |  The last few weeks, I've had to start sitting on the floor to eat.  It's so ... classy?  My belly is too big for the table, which means I have to sit so far away from it that food inevitably spills all over whatever I'm wearing.  So instead I eat most of my meals in the living room, where I can sit on the floor nice and close to the coffee table and keep my food on its plate where it belongs.  I supposed I could wear one of those full coverage lobster bibs at every meal but I'm dealing with enough uncomfortable/humiliating scenarios at this point, thank you very much.

AWESOME
1  |  While the swelling may not exactly be glamorous, and the compression hose leave a lot to be desired when it comes to style, swollen feet/legs IS a good excuse to lounge on the couch or bed and catch up on a few TV shows.  As per doctor's orders, I now get to take many breaks throughout the day to put my feet up and relieve the pressure all this swelling is putting on my nerves to watch some guilt-free TV.  Sometimes I read instead but, let's be honest, I usually reach for the remote over my Kindle.

2  |  At this point, everything -sitting, standing, laying down, walking- is so uncomfortable that all my anxiety about labor & delivery is pretty much gone.  That's a good thing, right!?  While I'm not necessarily convinced I'm ready to be responsible for a tiny human being, I am ready to not be pregnant anymore so let's get this show on the road!

3  |  Food.  And the excuse to eat random stuff I would otherwise probably never touch.  I haven't had too many weird cravings but I do get some "I must have that now" moments every once in a while.  A month or two ago, I had to have at least one cucumber sandwich a day for about two weeks straight or I couldn't think about anything else.  I also had a brief few days where apple juice was the only thing I wanted to drink.  I even woke up around 4am with this urge to run to the grocery store in my PJ's and get some rightthissecond until I remembered the store was closed.  The latest craving I've been indulging?  Hot dogs.  Don't ask me why.  I basically never eat them except for maybe at the occasional baseball game and even then, not really because of the whole gluten issue.  But for some reason, over the weekend, a little hot dog thought snuck into my brain and just would not leave.  So I bought some gluten-free/nitrate-free/hormone-free all-beef hot dogs from Trader Joe's (obvi), along with some gluten-free bread (couldn't find the buns and I was too lazy to try Whole Foods) and I've been eating them everyday for lunch this week.  I'm sure once this pregnancy is over I'll never want to see another hot dog again but for now, they're like manna from heaven.

Isn't pregnancy glamorous?  I am thankful that we were able to get pregnant without any issues and the pregnancy itself has been pretty healthy and complication-free but, let's be honest, not every aspect of being pregnant is sunshine and roses.  Being truthful about the awkward bits -and being able to laugh about them- in no way diminishes the gratitude The Husband and I feel, either.  We're human beings capable of multiple complicated emotions all at once.  No need to hide that or make excuses for it. :)

xo

PS - Linking up with Nicole today!

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