Blog

Newlyweds | Allison + Paul

From the moment I received the email from Allison asking me to do her and Paul’s portraits, I was so excited. Allison is a Fiber Artist for Loopy Cat Crochet and I have been following her on social media for years and have become friends with her. She truly has a God-given talent that has been refined by many years of dedication and hard work. I knew without a doubt that Paul had to be an incredible person to win the attention of my friend. After all she is an amazing person. She is super friendly, intelligent, bubbly, excited, thoughtful, driven, and plus she makes the most beautiful things out of yarn that every fall and winter make me want to grab a hot cut of coffee and snuggle up by the fire.

I was completely surprised though when I received an email out of the blue telling me that her and Paul were eloping in less than two weeks and that she wanted to know if I was interested in taking portraits of her and Paul together post-elopement and what my pricing was.

I was OVER THE MOON excited. Seriously. I squealed because she and Paul were getting married. And I squealed because she said I was one of her favorite photographers she followed and that she has loved my work for years and then I squealed even harder when I received her follow up email saying everything was a perfect fit and within their budget and that they were eager to get started.

Jackpot? YES. So much yes. This session was this photographer’s ultimate dream.

Before we dive into their interview questions about their relationship though, I want to let you in on a few behind the scenes information regarding the location and a few session details because so many things really came together and it made everything feel so right.

Leading up to the session, I asked Allison to make a blanket or some kind of fiber arts piece we could include in their session to give Loopy Cat some attention. She was SO excited and immediately began to work and finished this blanket within 4 DAYS. FOUR DAYS. Y’all. It’s perfect. And it was all yarn from her scrap pile. It kills me how perfect it looks.

Paul was going to get a tattoo of a wedding band, but instead inherited his Father’s wedding band so we did not have to wait as long to pick a session date.

As for location, this dream place hand picked by Allison and Paul was at White Oaks Park in Dallas Ga. This was the place they had shared their vows about two weeks prior to this session. Prior to the shoot, I met up with her to map out our game plan of our time together.

During all of my sessions I aim to keep stress minimum as possible for everyone. Photo sessions can easily and quickly become stressful due to unforeseen circumstances, so it is part of my job to try and think of everything that could be a possibility happening. There is only so much photographers can control, but I believe it is our job as professionals to do our due diligence. Part of that also means trying my best to plan moments during our time together that will hopefully help everyone remain as “cool” as possible and sweat the least. I know that is a HUGE feat to attempt in Georgia, where it’s a humid subtropical climate and smoldering in 95 degrees for what feels like all of the time, but I try.

This location truly was perfect though and honestly the way everything fell, it wasn’t too hot for us anyways. Part of what made this location a dream to me though was all of the different options it offered. It has two lakes, several open fields, paved trails, valleys, stone, gazebos, ducks, and beautiful big trees. But the biggest part of it all was how much team work was involved.

This location is about an hour and some change for me away so I really couldn’t study it as much as I preferred, so Allison being about 10 minutes away would go on walks with Paul leading up to the days of the session and look at the sun and send me photos and keep me updated on her thoughts. I can not put enough emphasis on how much communication is vital for every session, so truly I mean it when I say this was every photographer’s dream situation all around.

Plus, the other big part I was majorly excited about was my husband was able to be my assistant during the session. This was the first time we had worked together professionally and so I was confident because we’re a great team together in general. After all, we are married and began building a house together BEFORE we got married and still chose to be together so I felt very confident… But my work and art is such a passionate thing for me that requires me to take the lead, so this dynamic was uncharted territory for us. All of which I had discussed with Paul and Allison pre-shoot and they were so gracious and encouraging to let me include him and to experiment with the lighting.

Let me just say: He did AMAZING. I had no idea how much talent he has for holding a reflector and getting the exact lighting I was aiming for and he was incredibly supportive. Paul and Allison also really enjoyed meeting him and loved seeing the light he was able to modify. Needless to say, I was in heaven.

Anyways, enough about me and all of my fan-girling moments. Let’s get to the interview. If you’re a photographer and are more curious about the nitty-gritty details, drop me a comment with any questions you may have.

KWP_5907
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
Katie: How did you meet?

Allison: Hilariously, we meet at our place of work. After some previous experiences at a different workplace, I swore up and down I would *never* date anyone I worked with again. We see how that worked out for me. But in all seriousness, we both used to frequent the work patio on our breaks. I noticed he had an unusual mutual friend on Facebook and we started talking. One thing led to another and suddenly we were staying up until 3 am in the morning on a hole-in-the-wall bar porch and having the most awkward hug known to this universe.


Paul:
I met Allison on my first day at work at Top Flight; I was going in the wrong door and she yelled at me to go in the employee entrance.

KWP_6024
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: What did you first think of your partner?

A:
So you want the actual first thing or after I actually noticed him in any way other than a co-worker? I first met Paul one fated day in June when he came in for his New Hire Orientation. My initial thought was “He smells.” HA! He was in the process of moving to GA from NC and it was the middle of that sweet GA heat season, what did I expect? As I got to know Paul, I quickly discovered that he was a genius, hilarious, and super sweet (three things I require in a mate).


P:
I thought she was cheerful and I could hear her smile in her voice.
KWP_6100
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
K: How did you start dating?
A: I did not know our first date was a date, hence the awkward hug comment above. One day on the work patio, Paul and I started to discuss our mutual love of Blues. I told him about a little (than) hole-in-the-wall Blues joint called Darwin’s. So on the following Wednesday evening, we went for a burger, gin/tonic, and blues. We stayed talking on the patio till almost 3am in the morning. The awkward hug, you ask? When we left, Paul walked me to my car in the dimly lit parking lot, and as we said our goodbyes, leaned in for a hug that took me completely by surprise, and I butchered. I am sure you are thinking what Paul likes to say, “How were you surprised?!? I stayed there till 3 in the morning!” He was smooth though. I said we should try it again sometime. He yells “How about now?” He is a super-duper hugger. Paul and I took it slowly when deciding to make is “official.” While he and I never even thought about seeing other people, it was about 6 months, a lot of deep discussions, and a whale of a good time before we were calling each other “girlfriend” and “boyfriend.” We both had disasters of previous relationships and wanted to be sure that this was it for us, that this was someone we wanted in our lives forever.
P: We started hanging out together at break times and learned we both had a lot in common, then went out one night to a dive bar called Darwin’s and hung out until after the staff had already gone home… on a “school night.” (We had to be at work the next day…)
KWP_6177
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
KWP_6188
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
K: How did you know that your partner was the right one for you?
A: I actually have two very specific moments. The first was just that soulful warm feeling when he gave me a Christmas gift shortly after we started dating. It was unexpected, so sweet, and he was so excited about the book. But I absolutely knew Paul was the right one for me when one day, about 4 months in, my anxiety got the better of me and I panicked because it wasn’t clear what we were doing and how he was feeling. In my panic, Paul took my shoulders, kissed me on the forehead, told me exactly what he was thinking, than gave me a big hug while I cried a little. No one had ever handled an episode so well. He doesn’t even know this…yet.
P: Every time we’ve faced challenges together I have had an utter sense of loyalty and devotion for her and from her, and I have this certainty that neither one of us is physically, mentally, or emotionally capable of giving up on the other.
KWP_6195
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
KWP_6248
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
K: Tell me three things you love about your partner.
A: I love that he is just as weird, nerdy, and wonderful as me. I could be a whole lot more specific but that sums it up with a perfectly tied, department store bow. Oh, and he will get my lazy ass glasses of water. I really love that about him.
P: She organizes and is organized– a planner. So she makes us “do the things with other people,” which is amazing since I forget about that stuff. She’s also got taste and class, which I don’t, so now instead of wearing blue jeans 3 sizes too big, she dresses me in clothes that look nice… The biggest thing though is that I’ve never felt like anything I do or like is something she would belittle/mock, or anything I need to feel embarrassed about. I can truly be myself around her without restraint!
KWP_6301-2
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
K: What are some of your partner’s quirks?

A:
He is a fidgeter, such a fidgeter.

P:
There are particular *ways* that chip and cereal bags must be folded (tri-fold, to seal freshness)/(shoved to the utter bottom of the box) to maintain freshness and so-forth. Also cannot Be In A Grocery Store Alone without considerable time to heal and recover from the trauma of Being In A Grocery Store Alone. Also loves vinyl records, which means on Sundays I get to listen to vinyl records.
KWP_6384
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto – Blanket by Loopy Cat Crochet
KWP_6393-1
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto – Blanket by Loopy Cat Crochet

K: What are things about your partner that drives you a little crazy? Things that only you could love.

 

A: His fidgeting. Lol. OMG, I could kill him sometimes. The way he answers me so truthfully and doesn’t bullshit or try to placate me when I am being ridiculous. For example, when I ask him the same questions a million times because *I* don’t believe the answer. Also, the way he just drops his clothes wherever he is when he takes them off…and leaves them there indefinitely. If I had a penny for every article of clothing I have picked up, I would be rich!

P: Her need to make plans and organize drive her into periods of incredible stress. Ever been mad at your partner because they are doing too much nice for everyone else and none for themselves? Isn’t that a crazy head-space to be in? “Hey, you gotta quit being so awesome to other people and start being awesome to yourself!”

How did the proposal happen?

A: There’s not sweeping tale or really super cute story to our “proposal.” Honestly, it is the exact *opposite* of what I used to dream about but it was perfect for us. I think this is because we had already committed to each other in our hearts long before we even discussed marriage. We had a unique situation which forced us to talk at length about getting married and what it would mean (no, we were not pregnant). This combined with the fact we had talked everything over in the first 6 months of dating, lead to a rather benign decision one day while hanging out. None of the excitement or magic was lost, it was just nothing spectacular. He did let me pick out my ring, though, and I really enjoyed shopping for it with him. Two weeks later, we were married. SURPRISE!


P:
Allison asked me directly one weekend afternoon in early spring of 2018 if getting married was something I wanted to do, and I said it was– though we had had a couple of drinks and neither of us thought that was an appropriate condition for the proposal to be official, so… I didn’t hear about it again until later, while we were on a 9 o’clock break together at work; she asked me directly. I said I would have done it much sooner, so we didn’t need to wait for a very long engagement, and if we could go make it official on lunch that would suit me just fine. But she said that we’d offend some folks if we did that, because they wouldn’t have a chance to experience and share in our joy/happiness. I thought that sounded reasonable.
KWP_6468
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto – Blanket by Loopy Cat Crochet
KWP_6507
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto – Blanket by Loopy Cat Crochet
KWP_6535
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto – Blanket by Loopy Cat Crochet
KWP_6608
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
K: Tell us more about your wedding day. Did it rain or was it sunny? Was the ceremony an intimate gathering or a large celebration? Tell us how you remember the details of your day.

A: Paul and I got married in a very intimate elopement ceremony on August 18th, 2018 at 10:00am in White Oaks Park. Since Paul and I are fairly simple when it comes to important events, we wanted it to be a family affair and later we would have a large backyard BBQ to celebrate. Renee Cannizzo, my oldest friend (other than my sisters) married us. Each of our immediate families were there (which ends up to be a large number on my side) as well as my other best friend, Elisma van Eeden, The Cayce Family (Paul’s extended family), and the ever talented Kristen Englez (friend and genius singer/songwriter). Kristen was our wedding gift from my sister Patsy. In about a week, Kristen learned our wedding song and played it for us at the end of the ceremony. It helped make our day extremely special. Both our families did a lot to make it special. Paul and I were just going to have a very casual thing, but both our sisters made sure we had special details. My parents gave me the most perfect, minimalist Hydrangea (my favorite flower) bouquet. I wore what I have dubbed a “70’s country chic,” lace, bell-sleeved, knee-length dress and Paul wore “his favorite outfit,” cords, his heather blue button up, and his dress shoes. We each wrote our own vows. At the wedding, we hadn’t decided who should go first, so he did. HUGE MISTAKE. I started crying and couldn’t stop, cried my way through my vows and the end. Afterwards, we had a small reception in the pavilions. After some rest, we went to Krog Market later that night to celebrate with some other friends. Perfect Day.

P: We had a small ceremony at White Oak park, which is near to our house. It was morning, though we wound up running a little late and started around 9:30. Our friend Renee performed the service, and Allison and I spoke to one another in front of our close and immediate families. It was clear outside and we had the service in a little gazebo on the edge of one of the ponds there. There were a couple of duck friends floating around, and it was fairly cool for an August day in GA, and mercifully light on the humidity. People wore nice, but casual clothes, and after the ceremony we had some brunch up in the little covered picnic area. I remember having trouble finding words to say to Allison for our ceremony, but found guidance in Corinthians 13, which speaks of authenticity and love, which are the feelings I will most closely associate with that day.

KWP_6652
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
KWP_6660
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: What were your firsts thoughts upon seeing your partner on your Wedding Day?

A: “Mmmmm…dat ass.” No joke because I saw his butt first. Lol. I rather enjoy his butt when it’s not smelly.

P: I thought she was beautiful; I remember being concerned that she felt as calm inside as she was showing outside, haha…

KWP_6690
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
KWP_6738-1
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
KWP_6817
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto – Blanket by Loopy Cat Crochet
K: Name three memorable experiences you’ve been through together as a couple.
A: (1) Our week long trip to New Orleans: This was the first real vacation that Paul and I took by ourselves. We got a little flat in the French Quarters, wandered around slightly buzzed all day taking in all the sights, and just enjoyed being. (2) Our first fight: I cannot remember what we actually fought about but it was memorable because of what it taught me about our relationship. It taught me that we handled each other very well, that the patience I learned in previous relationships taught me to handle it with love, and that at the end we were never truly mad at each other but instead frustrated about some miscommunication. It’s a lot easier to talk through a miscommunication than some intangible anger. (3) Our first time roller skating: There was nothing super special about it but it sparked a shared hobby that eventually lead to us buying skates. It is just one of those super simple, happy memories. These are my favorite type of memories.

P:
Well, our first date was pretty memorable. Allison says she didn’t think it was an actual date, but when the owner of the bar says he’s going home, and we can talk on the back patio for as long as we like, and it’s 2am on a Wednesday… well anyway maybe she didn’t think it was a date, because when I went for the hug it was crazy awkward… We’ve been on a few vacations together, but we spent a week in the French Quarter together in September of 2016– got an apartment BnB about a block from the river and hung out in New Orleans for a week. Highly recommended. We’re going to try to go back next year to the same hostess’ BnB. And though it had some rough patches (We had some really scary moments!), it turned out well in the end: The Saga of Samuel, or The Tale of the Golden Kitty. We adopted Samuel together– he’s our cat. He appeared one day at Allison’s apartment asking for social interaction, food, and water. So we invited him to move in, got him cleaned up and checked out by the vet and all was good… (But all was not good)
It turned out that Samuel had some complications with his neutering and developed “kitty crystals” which is sort of like kidney stones in cats, but the male urethra is somewhat nozzle shaped so it tapers. Samuel’s urethra kept getting blocked by the stones and he couldn’t pee, so we had to take him to the Kitty ER a few times. Ultimately he had to have a special (life-saving preventative) surgery so that he wouldn’t get blocked like that anymore, and obviously it was expensive and a hard choice for us to make because neither of us could save his life alone… so that’s why we call him the Golden Child sometimes.
KWP_6825
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: How would you describe the dynamic of your relationship? How would others describe it?

 

A: I would describe the dynamic of our relationship as equal. Paul and I look at each other as equals in everything we do. No large (or most small to his dismay) decisions are made without discussing it. We help each other but don’t coddle. We bring out the best of each other and help to better the worst. I truly am the best version of myself now because of him. I believe others would describe it in a similar fashion. Our family and friends are extremely happy we found each other. I think they would very quickly say “healthy” as another word to describe our relationship.

P:
We’re both very “chill” and accepting people by nature, though I think of myself as the lower, stable sort of energy and hers is the excited, more dynamic.
KWP_6849
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
KWP_6882
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto – Blanket by Loopy Cat Crochet
K: What values are important to you as a couple?


A:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7. I know that sounds corny but this Bible verse encompasses everything we value as a couple in any relationship, romantic or platonic. Loyalty, compassion, integrity.


P:
Integrity, loyalty, inner satisfaction/happiness.

KWP_6897
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
KWP_6913
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto – Blanket by Loopy Cat Crochet

K: When you’re looking back at these portraits, what would you want to remember about your life right now?

 

A: How cute we are together. :p Seriously, that was one of the goals but I also want to remember how happy and in-sync we are right now.

P:
The stresses in our life right now are not important stresses; we’re doing well in our careers, we’re relatively well off, especially in the larger context of the world and have so much to be thankful and grateful for.

Me: Whisper something sweet in Paul’s ear.
Allison whispering to Paul: What do you want to hear?
Paul: Tell me about Samuel. 


K: Where do you see yourselves in five years?

 

A: I see ourselves as happy as we are now, celebrating our wood anniversary (5th year). I hope that have purchase or are about to purchase our own little property that we can renovate and make our own. Personally, I desperately want open shelving in the kitchen.
P: At this point we better have another kitty and at least one puppy (corgi, in my opinion).

Celebrating the 5-year anniversary of you asking us this question! ~Mitch Hedberg Seriously though, our world is changing and it’s hard to take anything for granted. We plan to save and buy property, further our careers and so forth. Perhaps one day we will finish Doctor Who. Mainly, I hope and plan to see us healthy– physically strong and in shape, morally centered, mentally still and emotionally calm…

 

KWP_7090
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
KWP_7126
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

They specifically wanted to get a few portraits in “Blue Hour”, something I do not typically do but I loved the look!  

K: What are you most looking forward to in your future as a couple?

A: All the adventures with someone forced to share them with me. MUAHAHAHAHAHA!

P: Spoiling the next generation with awesomeness; taking our time to drink coffee in the morning with a record playing while the sun comes up because we don’t have to go to work if we don’t want to, having 6 cats, having 2 dogs (1 corgi and 1 doberman), teaching Allison how to play computer games better, and owning a house we can modify, renovate, and so on.

KWP_7207
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: Is there anything you would like to say to your partner to close out our interview? Any stories you would love to share about you two? Or possibly a story about your partner that you adore or think is the best thing?

 

A: Paul has been self-appointed a “Disney Prince.” When he told me this a few months into dating, I scoffed. Literally- scoffed. BOY! was I wrong. Animals *flock* to him. Those that don’t flock, eventually come around in about 5 minutes. Even our cat loves him more (I don’t believe it’s just because he is a heater). If he were a cartoon character he would have little birdie companions tying his shoelaces and pomading his wavy locks. Detect some jealousy? It’s there, he has the most perfect hair and lashes any gal would kill for. He loves the way I talk. Not my accent, the way I phrase things and the words I choose. I know I have a quirky way of speaking/writing, enjoying odd word pairings and sentence structures. Normally, people only mention it when they find it off-putting. He constantly surprises me when he quietly mentions how much he loves it. I’ve said a lot of things in here that I don’t think he knows. We kept most of our answers secret (all but one but we kinda discussed how to read another). This will be fun!


P:
Sometimes I forget a towel when I go to shower, and so I have to yell for a towel… which she always brings. Like they say in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “it’s a big universe, and if you want to survive out here, you better know where your towel is.”
KWP_7214
The Stewarts | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

 

To close out the session we played around with my beauty disc and battery strobe in the middle of one of the fields after sun hid behind the horizon. I told them that I wanted something a little different and interesting I love this shot so much that I had to include the two different looks and talk about it a little bit. In the color version I retouched Paul’s glasses so the glair wasn’t so intense because I felt like it was too distracting, but in the black and white version I really felt like it added something.
What do y’all think?

Loopy Cat Crochet Information
Instagram
Facebook

Fresh 48 | Baby Micah

I honestly don’t know where to begin this story. This story means a lot to me because Jess and Jared are friends of mine and while Jess was telling me about the birth of Micah, all I wanted to do was cry.

Originally I was supposed to photograph Jess’s labor and Micah’s delivery, but Micah had his own timeline. Every time I have the opportunity to photograph a labor and delivery, I always recommend planning for a Fresh 48 session. Fresh 48 sessions are a little different because I come in and photograph the baby and the new family within 48 hours of their new life. It’s significantly more low key, and a lot less stressful and bloody. (Sorry for anyone that might be squeamish reading this, but let’s get real.. Labor & Delivery is intense.)

On Wednesday January 3rd I woke up to an excited voicemail from Jess’s sister Jaclyn. “Hey Katie! I just wanted to give you a quick run down of what happened. Jess went into labor early on her own. She was scheduled to be induced this morning at 10am but was feeling a lot of pain/pressure, so she came in about an hour early and they had to do an emergency delivery because Micah was wrapped up in the umbilical chord. We thought she was going to be laboring for a little bit and were planning to call you when it was close, but then everyone ran in and then she just had a baby! Jess said she would love for you to come do a Fresh 48 session, but wants to wait until Jude arrives. We will call you to let you know a better timeline as soon as we figure everything out.”

So the next day, on a Thursday morning, I was able to come to the hospital and finally hear Jess’s birth story. I decided to record it and write it almost word for word interview-style.

KWP_9919
I mean, LOOK at the entrance way. It is stunning. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

Katie: Okay. It’s recording… Thank you so much for letting me do this. It’s my first time recording an interview. I just didn’t want to forget any details or leave anything out in your story, so I thought this would be the best approach. Please start from the beginning. How did everything happen?
Jess: 
We were scheduled to be induced at 7, but at 3 o’clock in the morning I started having contractions… I knew I was in labor… But it wasn’t quite go time yet, but it was definitely contractions leading up to go time. And so I kind of just labored until around 4:30am when Jared woke up. And he was like, “Are you okay?” And I was like, “I’m in labor… But we’re supposed to be induced at 7am anyway… So uhm… I’m just going to see if I can make up until then before I go in.” The contractions at this point weren’t super close together yet. And so at 5am they started getting really close together. I called Aunt Mary and was like, “We need you to come early.” Because she was going to sit with Jude. And so we got in the car at 6am ,when Mary arrived at the house, and then Jared drove me to the hospital. The contractions at this point were getting really strong and I knew for sure I was in active labor. At this point I just wanted an epidural. That is ALL I kept thinking was… “Once I get and epidural we’ll reconvene all the plans and all that kind of stuff.” So they took me back in a room while they went through a ton of paper work to check me in.

KWP_9934
Side note: I’m really big into light fixtures. Those above the elevator? So pretty. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: How long does that last??
J: 
It was probably 30-45 minutes trying to get everything filled out and the release forms signed. And I told them off the gun, “I’m not trying to be that person but I need an epidural. Like I’m in a lot of pain. A LOT OF PAIN.

KWP_9249
“It’s a boy!” Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: You’re like, “This is baby number two. I know what I want!”
J:
 Haha! Yeah, like I’m in a lotttttt of pain. I was throwing up before everything. Before they can give you an epidural, they have to put a liter of fluid in you just as a precaution and so before they could even get the IV in and the fluid bag, I was throwing up. I was in that much pain.

KWP_9290
Mama and her first born. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: Oh man.
J:
 So I knew things were progressing really fast on that front. And so when they checked me the first time, I was already 6. And they’re like, “Okay we’re going to get the anesthesiologist in here and we’re going to push these fluids.” So they checked me and I was 6. They pushed the fluids within 20 minutes. They said that’s the fastest they could get them in me. When the anesthesiologist showed up Jaclyn was like, “Should I call Katie?” And I was like “Well lets wait until we get the epidural cause usually stuff slows down when you get the epidural. I’m only 6, so lets get the epidural. Then we’ll call Katie and let her know that I’m 6 and go from there.” All I could focus on was: I’ve got to get out of pain so I can do something. I was in so much pain, my body couldn’t even let me go pee and I knew I had to pee.

KWP_9304
Jared is always making Jess laugh. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

Me: Yeah. At this point you were frozen with pain!
J:
Yes. So I’m throwing up… And so they got the anesthesiologist in there and he did the epidural and he’s like, “Okay. It’s gonna take about 15 minutes for this to fully take affect and you’ll start feeling a lot better in about 10 minutes.” They laid me back down, and then suddenly 6 nurses and my OB came into the room.

KWP_9340
Sweet husband kisses. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

Me: Oh my goodness.
J:
 And they said, “We’re gonna break your water right now.” And I’m feeling nervous because I had been told in the beginning of my visit that I had been tested positive for what they call STREP-B. Which is a bacteria of the vagina that is super common. A lot of women have it. And if you test positive for STREP-B, all that has to happen before giving birth is you have to have two bags of antibiotics in your IV before they break your water. Well lets all keep in mind that they had literally just pushed 20 minutes of fluids in me to get the epidural in me to start the IV bag of antibiotics. And they were starting the antibiotics as 6 nurses and my OB were running in telling me, “I’m breaking your water right now.” And they were supposed to do these antibiotics before they broke the water. So I starting thinking, “WHY?!” I’m thinking, “I want to take a nap. My epidural’s about to kick in. I’m ready to take a nap and like ya know not be in pain for a little while cause I had been in pain since 3am.” And so I told them okay. And what they thought was happening was… they called it a bulging sack…

KWP_9374
Eagerly waiting to meet little brother. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: I don’t understand.
J:
So when your water breaks it’s the sack that’s around the baby with the amniotic fluid. The sack is what breaks and the amniotic fluid flushes out. And then the baby’s pretty much ready to go for birth. With Jude that’s what started my labor, is his water broke, and then he started to make his way out. Usually your labor starts before your water breaks, but once your water breaks contractions reallyyy hurt. So I was like, “Okay. Go ahead and break my water. I’ve had an epidural” so I’m thinking I’m good, ya know?

KWP_9403
Relaxing. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: And you’re like.. “Oh. It’ll be fine.”
J:
 Haha. Yeah. But think about it… I’ve had my epidural for about 2 minutes at this point. I’ve literally just been laid down like it’s time to take it easy. Then they thought that my water was trying to break, but it was causing too much pressure on Micah and so it caused Micah’s heart rate to plummet. And so they thought that if they broke my water real quick it would cause his heart rate to come back up. Then they came in and broke my water, but his heart rate didn’t come back up. Everything got worse.

KWP_9413
Time to explore with Nana. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: Oh no.
J:
After they broke my water, they strapped an oxygen mask to my face. I heard my doctor saying, “No. No. I don’t like it. We’re going now!” and the next thing I know my feet are up in the stirrups, and my doctor is telling me to push because he can get him out faster vacuuming with me pushing than he can get him out with a c-section. And it was like do or die right then.

KWP_9415
Waiting for the sweet nurses to get done with taking care of Micah. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: Wow.
J:
And so I had my epidural for 5 minutes and it had not fully kicked in yet. In fact they never even hooked it up to the machine!

KWP_9417
He did so good! Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

Me: So they only had time to just pricked you?
J:
 When they insert the needle into your back they do an initial rush of meds but it only lasts a very short amount of time. It is just to numb you, since you’re in so much pain, until they can get the machine hooked up. But in my case, they never hooked mine up because at this point it’s only been 4 minutes since I got the epidural. They’ve busted my water, put my feet up in stirrups, and now I’m in an oxygen mask and I’m being told to push. So I had some meds in my system… That initial rush.. but that was it. So I’m screaming trying to push this baby out because in my mind.. And I don’t know how accurate this is.. but in my mind I’m thinking, “If I can’t push him out he’s dead. Because he doesn’t have a heart rate. Or it’s at least so low that it’s like my doctor was like we’re doing this NOW. Like right now. I’ve been in labor and at the hospital for 2 hours. Right now. This needs to happen RIGHT NOW.” And he’s being suctioned, as I push, and essentially from the time my epidural went in and I sat back in the bed to the time that he was delivered was about 6 minutes.

KWP_9455
Making sure his bracelet matches Mama’s. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: That’s insane!
J: Yeah.

KWP_9457
Snug as a bug! Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: That’s so fast!
J:
 It was CRAZY. It was so scary because during those 6 minutes I was not processing what was happening. I was thinking, “I want to take a nap.” I was thinking, “Why are y’all in here. I want to take a nap!”

KWP_9462
Nana beaming with pride! Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: And then I’m sure you’re thinking, “My baby might die!”
J:
All I remember is looking at Jared, through my oxygen mask, saying.. “What’s happening. What’s happening??” And they’re just going “Push. Push. Push. Push. Push. PUSH!” No waiting for contractions to push. No anything. It was just, Push. Push. PUSH! Push. Push. PUSH! Breathe. Relax. Push. Push. Push! Push. PUSH! Breathe. Relax.” We did that four times. And I’m screaming while I’m pushing because I’m in pain and I’m scared out of my mind. And I remember there came a point where I think my mind just blocked the pain out because I was so focused on if I can’t get him out then I’m going to lose him. And it was like the worst thing to have to happen because with Jude that was the problem. It was pushing him out. I labored just fine with Jude, everything was perfect, and then pushing him out took 3 hours. And in my mind I was like, “This can’t happen. He can’t take it. He has to come out right now!” Thank goodness they were able to help with suction and stuff so it wasn’t all me, but my doctor was like.. “You pushed PERFECTLY. I don’t know what happened before with Jude, but you pushed perfectly.”

KWP_9464
“Let’s see brother together.” Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: Was it the same doctor?
J:
Mhm. Yes. It was the same doctor that I saw with Jude and it was the same I’ve seen this entire pregnancy. He was going to induce me tomorrow so I could deliver. It was such a God thing though because my doctor never ended up inducing me. I never got the induction medication. I never got the antibiotics. I hardly got any epidural anything and BOOM.. Micah was here. It’s a miracle his head is not lacerated due to being sucked out by the vacuum. His head doesn’t have any cuts, only a bruise and it is a little swollen, but he didn’t bleed into my bleeding which could have caused an infection with the STREP-B and everything. From the time my water broke to the time he delivered was 3 minutes, so he was minimally exposed to the STREP-B. He had a very low risk of getting any of the side effects that would have happened if he was like Jude and was stuck for 3 hours on my pelvic bone and if I hadn’t had the antibiotics. It’s amazing it didn’t happen to Micah.

KWP_9472
Baby Micah. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: It’s a miracle. It’s a miracle he made it here.
J:
Right?! I didn’t have any time. I didn’t even get to call my mom. They were going to be here at 7 or 8 anyway.

KWP_9484
Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: So Jared and Jaclyn were the only ones here?
J:
My mom was here because Jaclyn texted my mom and was like, “Just let me know when you’re in the parking lot and we’ll walk in together.” And my mom, like everyone, didn’t know how fast everything was progressing was like, “Well I’m just now getting in the shower.” That was at 7am. And I was like “Uhmmmm. Just fyi…”

KWP_9493
Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: She might want to skip that shower…
J:
 Well we didn’t know things were going that fast at this point. He was born at 8:50. So at 7 we were still getting registered at the front desk and checked in. So I was like, “Yeah I went into labor in the middle of the night so we’re at the hospital already getting checked in.” And then my moms like, “I’m gonna miss the birth! Oh no!” And at this point I’m thinking, “Mommmm. Ya know I just got here early so I can get the epidural because I’m in a lot of pain and then everything is going to slow down like it did with Jude and then we’re still going to be delivering in the afternoon…” Ya know legit that is what I thought. I just need to get some meds and then I can take a nap and go on our merry way with this….. and…. BOOM.

KWP_9507
Peaceful dreaming. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: He had different plans.
J:
He had very different plans. Very very different plans.

KWP_9516
Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: How are you doing Jared? How are you after all of it?
Jared:
 “I was pretty much fine the entire time. I’m just tired because we didn’t get much sleep.

KWP_9521
Excited big brother! Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

J: Yeah Jared was super calm the whole time. I kept looking at him like what’s happening?! And he kept going, “The doctor’s calm. Everything’s fine.” And I’m like… Everything’s not fine! The whole 3 minutes we had to process this. I was like in complete shock.

KWP_9528
Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

Jared: Well obviously they were doing something very urgently, but they didn’t seem panicked per say. The doctor was telling Jess to push. It was time to keep pushing.

KWP_9537
Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K:(To Jared) You’re like the steady rock and the calm in the midst!
J: That’s exactly what I needed cause I was freaking out. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what was wrong and I didn’t know what was happening. And everything is happening to my body.

KWP_9540
Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: It’s like all the sudden you feel like you’re the science experiment and everyone is touching you. Everywhere.
J:
Yes! and they rushed in the pediatric people to make sure that he was good once he came out. He came out he was wrapped in the umbilical cord. It was around his neck and through his legs. Like he was tangle in the cord which is what was the problem.

KWP_9609
Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: Oh man.
J:
And he was sunny-side up. They supposed to be head down facing your butt, and Micah was sunny-side up.. So he was head down facing up.

KWP_9619
Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: “So it was even more painful?”
J: Yes. He was spun. I pushed him out in 2 minutes.

KWP_9656
Proud husband and father of two sweet boys. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: That is wild! 
Jared: (To Jess) You went from 3 centimeters the day before to 9 the next morning..

KWP_9672
Micah smiling in Mama’s safe hands. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

J: Yeah. That was crazy. That was what really surprised me was just how fast. Cause it I hadn’t been that dilated when they went to break my water the only option would have been they would have knocked me out and I would have needed a c-section. Cause it they didn’t get his heart rate up he would have died.

KWP_9701
Sweet kisses. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: Before we come to a close, I wanted to hear about how your first night went while my recorder it still recording. How did your night go?
J:
It was fine. I didn’t sleep very well because my body was still in shock… But because he had to come so fast…. Babies ingest the amniotic fluid and then when you’re pushing and you’re in labor it squeezes it out of them.. But because he was not quote on quote a “squeezed baby” because he had to be out so fast, or if they’re a c-section baby, then they don’t get the amniotic fluid squeezed out naturally so about 3am this morning he started throwing it up.

KWP_9714
Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: Is that normal? It sounds scary.
J: Yes. That is normal. There was nothing to worry about. But it was scary to us because we didn’t know. We called the nurse and the nurse told us it was totally normal. This is what happens and the whole shebang. But because it did freak me out, I didn’t sleep the rest of the night. He’s totally fine this morning. They said the more he eats and the more he poops then the more all that stuff will come out.

KWP_9729
Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: How was it when you were first alone? Like you three? Or was it four? Was Jude there?
J:Jude came yesterday, but it was never just the four of us yesterday. My parents and Jared’s parents came. Jude opened his present he got from Micah. He was happy to see everybody. He’s interested in Micah, but not overly in his face.

KWP_9841
Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: Which is probably a good thing.
J: Yes. Especially because it’s cold and flu season. I’m curious how he will react when we’re all at home, because we’re not in a familiar setting so everything is different. He was enamored that all of his favorite people were in the same place. Then Micah started crying and he walked over and had a look on his face like “what’s happening? Jude also walked over and looked at his brother a couple of time while other people were holding Micah. He’s at that age when he’s learning to understand.

KWP_9767
Tiny Toes. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: I just can’t believe how big Jude has gotten. I feel like it was just yesterday when we were taking his portraits. Did you have to be on bed rest or anything?
J: There was a couple of times that I had to be on a modified bed rest because I had some bleeding.

KWP_9778
Such a cutie. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: What does that mean? Modified?
J: I can’t lift a whole lot can’t stand for long periods of time. That kind of thing, so like there were a couple of photoshoots I had to reschedule because I had to go on a modified bed rest for a week and then I would be cleared, but I never had to go on full on bed rest.

KWP_9804
Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: I feel like that would have to be absolute torture. 
J: Haha, Mom had to do that.

KWP_9830
Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: Oh man. Becky, you had to do that? 
Becky: I had to for 6 weeks!

KWP_9835
Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: Thank you Jess for letting me record your birth story so I could include it with your blog post. I’m SO glad everything turned out okay and that Micah and you are safe and healthy. And I’m really thankful you had wonderful doctors and nurses with you. Thank you so much for letting me make a blog post and for telling your story.
J: I am so thankful too. Like I said, it was completely a God thing that we’re both here, alive, healthy, and safe. And of course. I’m pretty much an open book. You loose all modesty when you get pregnant.

KWP_9842
Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
KWP_9867
Nana nose nuzzles. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
KWP_9887
Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
KWP_9905
Big brother. Little brother. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
KWP_9910
Documentation. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
KWP_9912
I love this picture so much. Full on Proud Dad mode. Fresh 48 | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

I hope you have enjoyed this Fresh 48 session of Baby Micah. If you would like to find out more about Fresh 48 sessions, please feel free to contact me. I would love to talk with you.

-Katie 

Wildflower Field Engagement | Danielle + Jordan

 

KWP_3080-1.jpg

On April 28th, Danielle became my sister. I married her youngest brother, Asa. On the day Asa and I came back from our honeymoon, Jordan asked her one of the most important questions a man in love could ever ask the woman he adores. Immediately, my head and my heart was brainstorming ideas for their engagement portraits. Danielle knew she wanted a beautiful car in the session, and I had been keeping my eye on this wildflower field. So I asked a friend of mine to help me get permission to use their neighbor’s land.

Long story short, everything fell into place. Literally EVERYTHING. The weather was amazing. Light breeze, no bugs, no snakes or surprises, I didn’t fall off of my apple box that I enjoy standing on, the light and the sun was perfect…. Everything was perfect. This session was a blast to photograph. We danced in the fields listening to music, picking wildflowers, enjoying the evening together, and just took our time getting the shots we wanted.

I love my sister and very soon to be brother. Jordan is a wonderful man and I adore the way he loves Danielle.

So to make this experience even more fun, I asked them to fill out a questionnaire for me individually. To not share each other’s answers, and to wait to read each other’s response when this blog goes live.

Needless to say, I will probably be doing this again with any couples that are on board with the questionnaire. I loved reading their responses!

KWP_1691

Katie: How did you meet?

Jordan: We met at work, I saw her sitting alone in the break room and took the opportunity to introduce myself.

Danielle: We met at work. He sat at my table in the break room.

KWP_1751-1

K: What did you first think of your partner?

J: Speechless; she was dressed as Storm from X-Men and I was immediately drawn to her.

D: I just knew he had a thing for me right off of the bat because he would always stare at me. I thought he was forward and was just trying to hit on me when he talked to me. I was not interested.

KWP_2374-1

K: How did you start dating?

J: Took me six months of “woo-ing” but she finally agreed to date me and we went to dinner and a movie.

D: He kept trying to talk to me and throw himself in my conversations with friends for about 6 months. Eventually I got to know him and see his kind heart. There was something that made him different. He took me to dinner Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at O’Charley’s because he wanted to talk to me about something. We walked outside and were talking by my car. I was getting ready to leave when he asked me if I like him and I asked him if he meant as friends or something more. He looked upset and said that he hoped it was more than friends because he couldn’t just be my friend. I told him I liked him more then he said he was glad we were on the same page and that it meant we were now dating. I liked his forwardness. Most guys that liked me were never that bold and so it was refreshing for a guy to just put how he felt out there.

KWP_2443

K: How did you know that your partner was the right one for you?

J: God had answered my half sarcastic prayers to him about the type of woman I would have to meet if I ever wanted to be happily married, and that was Danielle. Seriously, I didn’t think I would ever meet somebody who could live up to my standards.

D: I haven’t met anyone like him and felt at peace with him. Whenever we had little arguments or whatever, I would have a peace that it wouldn’t end our relationship. It is hard to really explain. I have known many great guys that were my friends and all throughout the years through FCA, church and school. They were great guys, but there was a certain honesty that Jordan carries that none of them carried and a tender heart that I haven’t seen before. Jordan is a one of a kind and he loves me very deeply. Also, what is funny is that I made a list of qualities I wanted in a guy and Jordan is those things. He is awesome and we both know that we are the person that we prayed God would bring us one day. God led our steps to meet.

KWP_2579-1

K: Tell me three things you love about your partner.

J: How she looks at me and smiles, her family, and her outgoing personality.

D: Well, I love Jordan’s laugh when I do something ridiculous that he finds funny. I love how sweet he is and genuinely cares about my well being. Last but not least I love it when he prays or talks about what God is doing in his life. I have seen God do so much in Jordan over the past two years and it is awesome!

KWP_2625-1

K: What are some of your partner’s quirks? What are things about your partner that drives you a little crazy — things that only you could love.

J: The way she gulps every sip of whatever she’s drinking haha

D: When we go somewhere he has been many times, sometimes he for some reason chooses to take the long way there when we are in a rush. When we are not rushing he takes the quick way. He doesn’t walk around without wearing something on his feet. He is a floor/ground germaphobe. He is a funny character.

KWP_2752-2

K: How did the proposal happen?

J: She planned a major birthday party for me as I was turning 30, she literally invited everybody from my family and hers, and I proposed in front of everybody right after they brought out the cake and sang happy birthday to me.

D: I had planned a big 30th birthday party with our families and a few close friends. He planned on doing it then since we would be around family. He thought it would be the perfect moment and it was. I am a huge family person and really loved how he had them all be a part of it.

KWP_2999-1
Danielle and Jordan Engagement | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
KWP_2957-1
Danielle and Jordan Engagement | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: Name three memorable experiences you’ve been through together as a couple.

J: We have so many already…One would be the kickoff party the company we used to work for had thrown in Atlanta. She looked absolutely stunning and was the best looking person there. Another would be the family reunion I attended with her family in Oklahoma. The third would be the first FCA trip we took together to Myrtle Beach.

D: 1. I would say one was when we went to Florida and had an awesome trip. The food was great and we quickly found out that I am a terrible scooter driver. I looked like Donald duck trying to ride a scooter with my feet all over the place and swerving. 2. When I told him I loved him for the first time. He grabbed me and just hugged me for a long time. He already had said he loved me and I waited to tell him on his Birthday. He is the best! 3. When Jordan took me to the Biltmore for my Christmas present. He knew I really wanted to go. We drove up there and I felt like a princess. We had good food, laughed a lot, chilled out and just enjoyed each others company. It was a wonderful memory I will never forget.

KWP_2675-2
Danielle and Jordan Engagement | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
KWP_2670-1
Danielle and Jordan Engagement | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: How would you describe the dynamic of your relationship? How would others describe it?
J: She is extremely extroverted and outgoing, while I’m somewhat introverted and laid back. We’re almost complete opposites but we balance each other out.
D: I would say we are that solid and goofy couple. We are very opposite, but good opposites. I think that because of those differences, we help each other grow in areas that we were weak in before. We have a genuine love for each other and life. God has helped us grow and I see God do things in us all of the time. I enjoy every moment with him whether it be an argument or just laughing and having fun.

KWP_2892-1
Danielle and Jordan Engagement | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: What values are important to you as a couple?

J: God, family, and looking after each other.

D: God is important and we know that He is the one that brought us together and will help us on this journey we are about to go on. Fun and laughter are important too. Those things help us in the hard times and make our regular days even better.

KWP_2584
Danielle and Jordan Engagement | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: When you are looking back at these portraits in twenty years, what would you want to remember about your life right now?

J: The excitement we have about our future and the wedding planning.

D: I would want to remember the easy going love that we have right now and the feeling of freedom that we feel. The random date nights and conversations that brought us together and the sweet little moments like just dancing in the car, being silly to make each other laugh, the times of having sushi on stands and watching a movie. Those are the things I want to remember. I don’t want to get so caught up in everything going on that I lose sight of the sweet little moments that make you feel like a kid in love.

KWP_2800
Danielle and Jordan Engagement | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto

K: Where do you see yourselves in five years? What are you most looking forward to in your future as a couple?

J: In five years I see us with our own house and a few kids. Oh and a dog (or two or three)

D: I see us with a few kids, a house, still doing ministry stuff, maybe having a few businesses, and enjoying life as a family! “What are you most looking forward to in your future as a couple?” A family and the adventure that awaits us. I am ready to continually grow with Jordan on this journey and see where God leads us as a family.

KWP_3142
Danielle and Jordan Engagement | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto
KWP_3165
Danielle and Jordan Engagement | ©2018KatieWeeksPhoto