If I can be honest…. 2018 has been a blur…. really, the last two years have been a blur. I think back to my life, my business, and my work load before having Evy and I was a different person. So much has changed…. so much has happened to me… so much has made me see life differently. I’ve learned to be ok with not getting as much done as I used to. I’ve also learned how to recognize what fires me up and what weighs me down in business and in my personal life. One thing that I had to step back from this past year during our season of losing Baby James was my ability to keep up with our personal family photos.
Keeping up with family pictures is something that I really love to do. It makes me so happy to have beautiful images of Evy and our life together. However, when you’re pregnant with a baby that is not going to survive and each day it feels like a success just to get out of bed, editing and organizing your monthly family photos just can’t happen. I hated falling behind in business, but I REALLY hated falling behind on family stuff like this. I knew that it was just a season… and while I was still taking photos, I wasn’t editing them. I was just doing my best to document the happy moments when I could and I hoped that, one day, I could get caught up again.
Well, over New Years, I worked really hard and now I am completely caught up on our family photos from 2018. Not only did I edit all of our photos, I actually switched to a new gallery system that is absolutely amazing and all of my 2018 personal photos are organized by month. Not only are they organized for me, because of the way that this gallery system works, I was also able to send custom gallery links to different members of my family with just their images inside… and it wasn’t any extra work. I’m seriously so relieved and thankful and excited about this new part of my workflow personally and professionally. If you are a photographer and you want to know more about this change, I may blog about it soon!
So, this is a MASSIVE blog post and if you feel like you can’t make it through all of these images and you’re wondering “Why in the world would she blog so many pictures”…. I’m doing this because it makes me happy. I love saving the story of our life online! I was doing posts like this every month when Evy was younger but today, I’m catching up from June to the end of DECEMBER! That’s half a year’s worth of memories to share!!
So what do I want to remember from this season of our life? Well, it was so joyful but also so hard. These images capture the JOY that helped us make it through our months right after losing James. We were so relieved that we had survived, but I know for me, once August hit, I felt the weight of what we lived through. The joy of Evy and Micah was the greatest gift to us. They kept us entertained and laughing! Also, seeing Evy grow and change was a reminder that we can have healthy children and it was ok to hope again.
In August, I found out that I was pregnant again. We were so thankful but we also held the hope of this pregnancy very loosely during the first trimester because we knew that my body has just been through a lot and that there is always a chance of loss. However, as we moved into October and got closer and close to the 12 week mark, we started to allow ourselves to celebrate this new baby without as much reservation. We told the world in October and we have been so thankful to have healthy, normal ultrasounds ever since.
June through December were full of new things. Evy and Micah started talking up a storm! Their personalities really let loose and they started fighting like siblings. Lots of hair pulling and biting and screaming…. but also a lot of hugging, kisses and wanting to see each other all of the time. They both started Gymnastics in September and it’s a blast! They love coloring, play dough, playing with the hose on the front porch, reading books, going on walks to see the horses and playing in the basement!!
I wish I could remember all of the hilarious things that Evy started saying from June to December but I can at least share the things we’re loving right now! :
There is so much more to these past six months but I’ll leave it here because you have about 300 images to scroll through. So embarrassing!! But I just love it!! Enjoy!
Working with Mimi in the flowerbed… Working with Grandaddy on the minivan… This is their reaction listening to Whitney Houston! Our trip to Florida with Michael’s family!
Back to the lake for the Fourth! This is proof that I got up…. I just didn’t stay up. ha! Then we headed to Wisconsin with my family! Daddy baptized my cousins Paige and Steph in the lake and it was the sweetest day… followed by a double rainbow! My cousin Paige had TWINS! And they are identical!! Just the cutest! Evy loved them! Oh my….. Micah and Evy with their Mimi blankets! Bahahahaha! We got a Grover visit at the lake!!! In September, we lost Michael’s beautiful Grandma. She was 90 years old and lived such a spunky, active and joy-filled life. All of the family was together and so we took a picture of all of the boy cousins because they have a picture like this from close to two decades ago…. back when Michael was the tallest! Evy’s face…. this picture gave us all some good laughs in our family group text! In September we also started construction on the pool! It will be ready in April and we’re so excited! This was a celebration of an amazing year in business but also, it feels like a fun thing for our family to enjoy after living through the hardest year of our life. Play dough on the porch! They call this “Bo-doh”! The Gerald twins came to visit! That face! Aunt Sarah’s Christmas gift from us last year was horse lessons! She’s great at it! Also, Evy had her first close encounter with a cat and it looks like she froze! In October we announced baby number 3. I got pregnant three months after giving birth to James which is a lot physically, but I’m currently 25 weeks and feel great. We’re so thankful for another chance at having a baby boy here on earth!
This was Joe’s 30th birthday at the Pumpkin Patch! Our 8th anniversary! We may have waited 6 years to start a family, but we have sure been through a lot in these last two years when it comes to babies. So thankful for Michael and the way he has loved me through all of the different mountaintops and valleys we have walked through. Evy and Knox got to go to the Safari Park in Lexington, VA! I promise he had a good time! ha! She hated the birds! Their first day of Gymnastics! Best investment of the fall! They LOVE Miss Holly and they are doing different tasks every week! It never gets old to them! I included this one because Evy looks like she needs to pee and it’s cute! Proud mom moment. This is her face when she says “Ummmmm… no momma”. Her new best girlfriend. She is obsessed with “Baby Roe”. This is one of my favorite pictures of the year! Halloween!!!!! That image on the left? ha!!! We just wanted one decent picture! Thanksgiving at our house! Playing with Sarah’s sticks! I love these portraits so much! No idea what’s going on here! Evy was having a hard day. Not the biggest snow fan! We celebrated Micah’s second birthday! “Christmas” morning on the 24th! Christmas morning at our house!
I’m so excited to share this final 2020 Wedding with you all!! It’s a special one! We photographed this beautiful wedding day on our own 10 year anniversary! Ten years ago on this day, we were celebrating in my parent’s backyard under a massive white tent too! This was my brother-in-law’s baby sister’s wedding day and celebrating with the Malizia family was such a treat! They are a family MADE for weddings!
Well, I realize this isn’t normal for KJ! I don’t shoot portraits these days but this session was my first non-wedding shoot with my new Canon R6 and I’m obsessed with how these images turned out! It was the most perfect evening for this early fall shoot and the light was incredible!
I’m so excited to share another addition of Student Spotlights from our KJ Education community! It’s so funny to us, but quite often, we find that our friends who know us in everyday life but aren’t in our industry really have no clue what we do! They think we shoot 10 weddings a year and that’s the extent of our work these days but oh… that couldn’t be further from the truth!
When we first decide if we’re a good fit with our potential KJ Couples, we’re looking for a few things…. one of those things is that this couple keeps joyful! We’ve found over the years that couples what take themselves super seriously aren’t always the best fit for us! We love it when couples let their guard down and allow us to get to know them during their engagement session.
For some photographers, bridal details seem like a fun part of the wedding day… but for many others, it’s stressful. It’s the part of the day that throws them off, makes them wonder if they’re actually artistic and leaves them feeling flustered and panicked because they never get everything done in the time they have allotted for detail shooting. In my opinion, this is a REALLY tough way to start a wedding day.
Oh, this wedding day!! What a beautiful Texan dream! I met Melanie when she attended one of our workshops years ago in our home. She had the sweetest spirit and such a kindness about her. I remember loving how she made personal marketing her own and did headshots in a pile of Skinny Pop!! I loved her creativity and her ability to envision what she wanted in her brand.