Monday, July 26, 2010


This weekend was the first weekend in as long as I can remember that we didn't have much going on. No plans Friday night, no plans Saturday night. Just what we needed.

I had a newborn shoot on Saturday morning. Fun client, sweet little baby girl. As I was helping them out to their car I felt a pain in my lower back. A familiar pain. It was the final piece of a puzzle. I had been feeling a few other weird things over the last week and all of a sudden I knew...kidney stone.

I told Shane that I thought I had a kidney stone but that the pain wasn't horrible and I wanted to wait it out and see if I could manage at home. I sent him off on a bike ride, put Marlie down for a nap and got ready for Nikki to come over and pick up her wedding proofs and CD. I knew she was probably already on her way and thought I could probably still meet. By the time she got here I was in a lot of pain, sweaty and nauseous. I felt so bad that I had to tell her what was going on and cut our meeting short.

Ten minutes later I was pacing around the house like a woman in labor, trying to breathe through the pain. My mom and step dad were on their way over, one to stay with Marlie and one take me to the ER. I have never been in so much pain in my life. I had a kidney stone when I was pregnant with Marlie. I remember it being horrible, but not like this. The 20 minute car ride felt like an eternity and I spent it rolling around and writhing in pain trying to find any position that would relieve some pain. Nothing helped. The pain was so intense that I spent my time in the ER waiting room in the bathroom, revisiting what I had for lunch.

The ER staff was awesome. They got me in a bed quickly and immediately got some pain meds going. I had a cat scan and x-ray and the both confirmed that I did have a kidney stone. The rest of the night is a blur. Lots of pain meds. In and out of sleep.

In the morning the Urologist came in and said that I could either wait it out and try to pass it on my own or they could go in and get it. At this point surgery sounded just fine to me. The knocked me out, took it out, and by 8:00 last night I was back home in bed.

Today has been a bit of a roller coaster. Mostly, I think because I was trying to be tough and not take the pain meds that were prescribed. I don't do well on those things. But, my kidney is still very swollen and painful. If you are the praying type please pray that it would heal on its own soon or they may have to go back in there and put in a stint.

Oye. Not exactly the relaxing weekend I had in mind. So, here I sit. A little groggy, but on the mend. I think a little Bachelorette will help, don't you?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

one light workshop

The day after we got back from our vacation was my b-day. I woke up to Monkey Pants and Shane waiting for me with a big box. Before I opened it Marlie proudly announced "Its a mixerchine!" ... and it was. I have been wanting one of these for a few years so I was pretty excited.

After that Jen and I headed out for the One Light Workshop with Zack Arias. I'd heard great things about Zack and his teaching so when I heard last year that he was coming to St. Louis I signed up right away.

I guess this won't mean much unless you know some things about photography, but we learned a ton about off camera flash. Its something I've been wanting to learn about for a long time so I was pretty excited. If you are a photographer, I highly recommend Zack's workshop. It was intense, 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. the next morning, but it was worth it. Everything I had heard was true. He is a really great teacher, very down to earth, transparent, and has a great sense of humor.

Maybe most importantly, he knows what is talking about. I admire his minimalist approach to photography. In the world of photography people tend to make it all about the equipment. People have told me on more that one occasion "Well, I could be a photographer too if I had a good camera like yours." Um...ouch. When Zack opened up the workshop with this quote, I knew I was in the right place...

"The fact is that relatively few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget, never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don't know what to do with it." - Edward Weston

I really don't want to be on a endless squirrel cage chase. I want to know my equipment, to know my craft.

I also watched this video that Zack created and could really identify. Again probably not really interesting if you aren't a photographer, but it really spoke to me.

I learned a lot at the workshop. Phrases and tips and hints from that day are still swimming around in my head. I'm looking forward to playing around with the lighting equipment more and putting what I've learned to work. I'm learning to be patient with myself. Perhaps my favorite thing Zack said all day was.."Try to remember that anything that grows slowly is usually pretty awesome." I'm trying to remember.

Here are some of my favorite shots from the day...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

It was so nice

I'm back from a much needed break. We saw good friends in Kansas City for the 4th and then headed to Wisconsin for a week. Life slowed down...

Marlie drove the boat.

We hung out with Gunnie and Papa.

The three of us went on a camping adventure in Michigan.

We watched the sunset near our camp site.

We discovered what pasties are, and they weren't doughnut holes with double sided tape like we guessed.

Marlie made lots of funny faces and poses for pictures.

She also caught her first fish.

Shane grew a mustache and took me on a date.

We rode our bikes in to town.. a lot.

Marlie had a blast with her cousins.

It was so nice.

Now its back to reality. I am still digging my way out of emails and phone calls so bare with me if you are waiting for me to get back with you. Thanks for your patience!

Friday, July 2, 2010

parting shots

Its July. What happened? The summer seems to be flying by. June was a really full month. It was my busiest month, business wise, for the year. So, I won't be around for a bit. I'm taking some time off to recoup, relax, and remember what its like to watch a movie without editing photos at the same time.

Before I go I will leave you with a few parting shots. There were lost of adorable boys around to photograph this month.

Jakob turned one and wore this adorable hat...

My friend Betsy had a baby boy and named him Taylor. Did I mention he weighed 10 lbs 8 oz at birth? Yes, that's what I said. I tried to put him in my new blue bucket and he got stuck. Good thing Betsy is a friend of mine :).

Little Henry came over for his first photos. He was really tiny and did not get stuck in my new blue bucket...

Catch ya on the flip side!