Just {Breathe}…

Over the past 2 months, I’ve been raising money for the American Lung Association so that I could participate in the Detroit Fight For Air Climb. Let me explain a little bit about it…I basically raised money to get my ass kicked! But it was worth it, and it was a small price to pay considering the thousands or millions of children in this country with asthma, teens who are pressured to start smoking, and people with lung cancer and emphysema.

You’re probably thinking…well what did she climb?, well…we climbed all 1,035 stairs of the GM Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit. I had a very difficult time doing it this year compared to last year, I actually added about 5 minutes onto my time from last year! I definitely didn’t train hard enough!

You’re also probably wondering why on earth I would willingly subject myself to such torture. The reason is simple, My aunt Sandi died in August of 2010 from small cell lung cancer. We climb for her. She was a smoker of 50+ years, but by the time she quit, it was much to late. I also handled and dealt with the situation very poorly…my idea of dealing with it was to pretend it wasn’t happening and to totally remove myself from the situation. I thank God every day that my mom, my now late grandmother, and two cousins (her two daughters) have forgiven me and that we were able to move on and have a fresh start.

My cousin, Sarah, and her boyfriend, Keith, couldn’t climb with us this year because they’re having a baby any day now!!! AHHH!!! But my other cousin Sam, two of her friends, Joe, and myself did the climb. I think next year we’re going to just volunteer, and luckily they need photographers…so sign me up! 😉

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Yes, this is me [bragging]…

When Joe and I first got engaged, I dove head first right into planning. But holy crap was it hard! As much as I loved planning every detail myself, and loved that Joe wanted to be so involed, I totally see now why people hire wedding planners (and appreciate them more too). But luckily, the only aspect of planning that ended up being an issue was trying to find our flower girl, Summer, a dress…who woulda thought? So we just ended up having one made! Which was also less expensive than purchasing one.

The way God has blessed my life never ceases to amaze me, because our wedding day was absolutely perfect in every way shape and form. The only thing that could’ve been REALLY bad was a few of us almost getting arrested, but we didn’t! PHEW… 🙂 I am a former pessimist, and kept waiting for something to go horribly wrong, and the closer the wedding got, the worse my anxiety about it got. But of course it was perfect and we had a BLAST, and went by in the blink of an eye like everyone said it would.

The first vendor I booked was obviously our photographer, obviously. This was easy, because I am lucky enough to work for the wonderful Jason Samkowiak of JS Photography. He is such an amazing boss, it’s crazy. He frequently throws things at me that I’m not sure I can handle, but then I tell myself…he clearly has faith in me and that is a big deal and must mean I am capable. Which I always find out that I am 🙂 Being a “wedding vendor” myself, I simply must shout out my other vendors right now because they all totally kicked ass. Rod Burnette of Music Box Productions kept everyone shaking it on the dance floor all night long. Amy from Shutterbooth kept our guests having a blast all night when they were off the dance floor. And Andrew Dubats of Platinum Inferno Entertainment captured our wedding day perfectly.

At the moment Joe has this scraggly beard and way to long of hair, so looking at these makes me happy because it proves that he cleans up good when he wants to 😉

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{Seniors} Jeff & Jason – 2013

I frequently tease Joe about how when it comes to siblings, I got the short end of the stick when we got married because I ended up with three new little brothers. I can’t deny the fact that I got blessed with wonderful in-laws though, including my 3 new little brothers. Now, when I say “little” I don’t mean that they’re babies…John is 21 and goes to college at Marian University in Indianapolis, and is hands down one of the funniest people that I know. Jeff and Jason are the babies, they’re 18 year old twins and in their senior year of high school. They couldn’t be more different though, besides the fact that they aren’t identical, their personalities are also totally different. I do love all three of them though, and wouldn’t trade them for anything! And I had the honor of taking Jeff and Jason’s senior pictures! Jason’s shoot was super fun because he was down for anything, he was scaling buildings to get up to a fire escape, and climbing HUGE trees at a park that we went to. Jeff gave me a harder time…LOL. He wouldn’t smile with teeth unless Joe was in the background doing something goofy (which isn’t out of the ordinary). Both (well all three actually) are handsome little devils, so naturally the photos turned out great 🙂

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{Married} Nick & Andrea – 8/25/2012

I have had the pleasure of being friends with Andrea and Nick for about 6 years now. They were actually friends of an ex-boyfriend of mine first, but I got them after the break up 🙂 They are two of the most genuine people I have ever met, and both of them would give the shirt of their back to a loved one in need. And I was lucky enough to have them ask me to photograph their wedding, which I totally did.

The ceremony and reception took place on Nick’s family farm in Owosso, MI which I believe he said has been in his family since, like, the 1800’s or something (how cool is that?!). Now when I say “farm” you’re probably all like “omg they got married on a farm?! ew.” Well let me tell you it was already a beautiful piece of land with a beautiful farm house BEFORE it was transformed into this GORGEOUS venue that they could honestly start renting out for other weddings. This is like no farm you are probably imagining (no farm animals in sight)

Andrea looked like a Disney princess as she came down the road in a horse drawn carriage with her dad. The ceremony was set up in the front yard of the farm house, and they stood under this gorgeous wrought iron altar that was hand made my a family member. After the “I do’s” I hopped in a horse drawn wagon with them and the bridal party and we were off to take photos! And I will say this, I wouldn’t survive a party with that bridal party! (from what I hear, they partied until the wee hours of the morning) Once they got introduced and the reception started, I got to quickly eat dinner with Joe and my parents before the party started. After a couple hours of dancing, there was an incredible fire works show put on by Andrea’s brother, Lucas, and it was spectacular!

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