Monday, April 28, 2014

Michael | Senior Photography | Downtown Baton Rouge

My friend Amanda referred this family to me. She and Michael's mom went to nursing school together. I met them (along with his dad) downtown & we had a great time on the photo shoot! He was such a good sport, although I think he would rather be playing his guitar! Haha. Good thing he brought it along! ;) No, seriously... glad he did because we got lots of fun shots with that guitar!

At the end of the shoot I took a picture of Michael with his parents. When i got home i was going through the pictures, and Brad was looking over my shoulder. I got to the one of all three of them, and Brad looked at his dad & said, "Hey! I know him!" Haha. They work at the same place! Small world!

Anyway. We had a great time. And Michael's mom discovered my new favorite wall downtown. This one... never noticed it before! I love it! (This is what photographers get excited about: "cool walls".)


And here's another cool wall i found the same evening! Not really a wall... just a weird contraption in front of a building. Pretty sure it was put there for photographers. Ha!


 







Ha...this one makes me laugh. (The writing was already there so we used it!)

This was "Can we be done now please?!"! Haha. I promise I don't torture anyone, but this was the end, and guys can only be into photo shoots for so long!

My FAVORITE.

Senior sessions are so much fun!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Shelbey | Senior Photography | Rosedown Plantation | St. Francisville, LA

Last weekend I had a senior photo shoot! Shelbey's mom, Candy, was recommended to me and immediately got in touch with me for some last minute senior pictures! I was more than happy to do it. They chose to do them at Rosedown Plantation, since it is one of the few plantation homes here in Louisiana that doesn't charge too much to let you do photography sessions! I believe that is why we chose it for my bridal session back in 2008 as well! Anyway, i hadn't been in awhile and was so glad that was the location of the shoot. It is GORGEOUS! I cannot wait to do a photo shoot there again! :)

Most of Shelbey's classmates have taken their pictures already, she said. She wasn't going to do it but agreed to a session just a few weeks ago, right before her mom got in touch with me! She said it's just not her thing & that she's not photogenic. Okay, maybe it's not her thing, but I beg to differ on the photogenic part! She is beautiful! And i had so much fun on this session.

Enjoy!













Such a beautiful girl, and she and her mom were so much fun to hang out with! :)

Congrats on graduating, Shelbey!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

National Infertility Awareness Week (& a cool linkup)

As i mentioned in my last post, this week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Lauren at Our Crazy Ever After had the brilliant idea of pairing bloggers who are or were suffering with infertility with those that are not. This would give us infertiles the opportunity to share our stories this week with an even bigger audience, helping to raise more awareness.

I have to say, I think the idea was genius, and I really appreciate the girls who opened up their blogs this week for others to share their stories on infertility. If you want to read some of these stories, there is a linkup on Lo's blog.

Today my story is being shared on Melissa's blog, I Carry Your Heart. Check it out here! :)

Thank you, Melissa & Lauren!! :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

We are 1 in 8.

I love the idea of putting a face to it. One in eight couples of childbearing age in the U.S. face infertility. So, that may sound like a statistic... and it is... but let's put a face to that number.


Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system. It is defined as the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after 12 months of trying to conceive. If you are over the age of 35, the time of trying to conceive is reduced to 6 months. 

Infertility doesn't mean you will not ever have children.

I feel the need to make that clear because after i became a little more open about what we were going through (but before i went public, which i did after our miscarriage in March), i ran into an old boss at a store. I was buying a baby gift & she jokingly asked if it was for me. I said, "No... I wish!" (By this point of infertility, the filter was gone... i just told the truth.) So we got to talking about how my husband & I had been trying unsuccessfully for over two years and were seeking treatment. She said something along the lines of, "Oh, they say that when you're not thinking about it, that's when it will happen!"

When people say things like this, I don't get mad or upset. I used to, and i still might depending on what is said and how it is said. More often than not, though, I just enlighten them. Things like that are said out of ignorance. Knowledge is power. And let's be honest... if i wasn't go through this myself i wouldn't know either. So my response to her was, 'That may be true for people who have been trying for about 3 months, but when you are infertile, it's a little different. It's an actual medical problem."

Maybe i shouldn't have said "when you are infertile". Maybe that was a little too strong. It seems like if i had said, "when you're going through infertility" she wouldn't have reacted the way that she did, even though they mean the same thing. But i used the word INFERTILE & as a result, her eyes got REALLY BIG & she said, "OH. You're INFERTILE?!?!?!"

I just smiled and said, "It just means we have been trying without success for over a year. That's what infertile is. It doesn't mean we will never have kids. It just means we are going to need help to get there." And wow. The relief on her face was priceless.

You see, it's all about education. And i don't say all this to sound like I'm on some high horse. People just don't know. They don't know because they haven't been there.

Here are some other facts about infertility (taken from Woman's Health & RESOLVE)

-Approximately 1/3 of infertility is attributed to the female, 1/3 is attributed to the male, and 1/3 is a combination of problems in both partners, or is unexplained. (There are both female & male causes in our situation.)

-Most infertility problems in women are caused by problems with ovulation, such as PCOS or POI. Other causes of infertility are blocked fallopian tubes due to endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or surgery from an ectopic pregnancy, problems with the uterus, or uterine fibroids.

-Male infertility problems are caused by varicocele, or sperm problems such as low sperm count, morphology or motility. Sometimes a man is born with the problems that affect his sperm. Other times they start later in life due to illness or injury.

-Even though infertility is recognized as a disease among worldwide health organizations, most insurance companies do not recognize it as such. This is why infertility treatments are not covered by most insurance companies (although some states are better about it than others). My insurance covers ZERO, so everything we pursue in order to become pregnant comes out of pocket. (This angers me because we pay good money every month for health insurance, but the only things we have needed it for is RE appointments, labs & procedures.) Our insurance company calls infertility treatments a "life choice" & it's listed as one right next to liposuction!

As you can see this TRULY is a medical problem. Not just a matter of needing to relax.  Not just an issue of stress or bad timing or it not being meant to be, but a disease of the reproductive system. And this is why it is important to spread knowledge, to raise awareness. So others can have a better understanding of what it is.

Thank you for reading. By reading & understanding this post you have helped to understand those dealing with infertility. You are helping others who are, like us, that 1 in 8.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

5 Things for ya

I missed Five Things Friday. I always do. But here are five things for you anyway... :)

1. MELISSA V PHOTOGRAPHY

I am crazy-excited about photography right now. I did about a million shoots in October, November & December. In January, everything came to a screeching halt, which was fine & expected. People just did their Christmas sessions, everyone is broke, and spring picture time is just around the corner. In all honesty, I was glad for a little break. I did two shoots in January,  but then... the break went on. The weather was weird... i mean we had another cold day just the other day - It's APRIL! That is unheard of down here!

Well, now things are picking up again. I had the idea to do Mother's Day mini-sessions, and wow! Those things filled right up! I'm doing them the weekend of April 26, 15 minute sessions for two hours on Saturday & 2 hours on Sunday. Filled those things up, except for 8 am on Saturday. Guess that's just too early! :) I did a senior session last Saturday at Rosedown & was thrilled to realize i still knew how to use my camera. :) Can't wait to share those pics with you!

2. INFERTILITY

I'm doing really well, since the miscarriage. I am in a period of waiting, because you have to wait awhile after a miscarriage for your body to regulate again & to be able to start treatment again. But I have to admit... I am enjoying the wait. It is nice to just not have to think about it too much. Infertility is something that is just always on your mind when you are going through it, but for some reason, during this break, i have really been able to not obsess over how much time is being wasted, and instead enjoy my friends, my family, photography, theatre, and even work. When i realized how much time i would have to be on "break" i wasn't happy with it at all. But now, I've settled into it, and things are good. I am at peace. I don't know what the future holds, and there are moments that I wonder if children are in our future at all. (Of course they are... right?!) But mostly i am SO THANKFUL to God who has been RIGHT BESIDE ME during this entire thing! He is AMAZING!!! And so faithful.

Speaking of infertility. Did you know that next week is National Infertility  Awareness week? Well, it is. :) Lauren matched up bloggers going through infertility with bloggers who are not going through it, so that one can guest post on the other blog during National Infertility Awareness Week. Such a great idea! She put the two Melissas together, so I will be guest posting sometime next week at I Carry Your Heart. Will let you know when it's up!

3. TELEVISION

"My Shows" are the following & have been for awhile now: Parenthood, Law & Order SVU, Grey's Anatomy, and, most recently, The Voice. Thoughts on these as of right now:


Parenthood: I just love love love this show. LOVE LOVE LOVE! The only thing that ever really annoyed me is how Haddie disappeared (went to college) & not only never came back (until this week's episode) but WAS NEVER MENTIONED! Like Adam Braverman's oldest daughter never existed. That's not good writing, y'all. I'm sorry but that was a FAIL on the part of the Parenthood writers. And that show is very well-written! But you can't make a main character disappear without a good explanation. And if she just went to college she would just be mentioned occasionally, even if it's her calling home in a scene. Right? RIGHT. But i still love Haddie & am glad she is back. & (SPOILER ALERT) no, i'm not angry that they made her a lesbian. Parenthood deals with real life issues & you know what? That is real life these days.  (On Parenthood's FB page, christians were super angry about this, and their comments bothered me. So hateful, ignorant & homophobish. One reason this bothers me is because when another character had an abortion, nobody made a big deal.)

Rant(s) over.

Also, i love Adam & Kristina together. And Julia & Joel! And Hank & Sarah. But not Amber & Ryan. Amber needs to move on. He has done nothing but weigh her down! (Handsome as he is.)

I didn't mean to say so much about Parenthood, so i'll keep these short:

Law & Order SVU: I love it. I love Mariska Hargitay & every actor on this show. Just amazing.

Grey's Anatomy: Y'all. I'm done. I am so over this show. It's just not good anymore. I missed the last two episode & have no plans to watch them.

The Voice: This is my first season watching and I LOVE IT. So glad to have found a replacement for Idol! So much better! 

(I ALSO LOVE LOVE LOVE SCANDAL, and so does Brad, but we caught up on what is on Netflix & now are waiting for the next season to become available on Netflix. So we are way behind.)

4. The movie, GOD'S NOT DEAD


First of all, it was filmed in Baton Rouge!!!! Almost everything is on LSU campus, but i also recognized downtown areas & the old Woman's Hospital. And some extras! Recognized several people i know as extras. So that was fun.

The movie was good, i loved all the different storylines, especially the main one. However... i do think that it could have been better. I don't know how to explain it, but i didn't feel like it flowed well, for some reason. I don't know if it was the writing or what. I thought the acting was very good. Maybe it was the directing,but i think it was probably the writing. Obviously, i couldn't put my finger on it. We also thought a few moments were just a bit over the top. You'll know what i mean when you see it.

I'm not saying it was horrible & don't see it! Do see it! :) It's good. Just not, you know, the most well-done movie I've ever seen. But it had a great message. And i loved the storylines. 

5. Kari Jobe. More specifically, her new CD. More specifically, her new song, FOREVER. 

Y'all.

Y'ALL!

I heard this song & began pestering our worship pastor to let us do it for Easter. I mean... it talks about His death & resurrection. We HAVE to sing it. We have to!!!! The thing is, Billy gets requests from church members & praise team members ALL THE TIME, begging him to listen to a song. For some reason, he actually listened to this one that i was bugging him about. Later, i got a text from his wife, "You got him. We're doing it."

Here it is, live. He is having me lead the first two verses, and he is going to come in on the third one. Where she says "the ground began to shake". Good thing because that is right about where i lose it! FOREVER HE IS GLORIFIED! FOREVER HE IS LIFTED HIGH!


Happy Easter, y'all.

Monday, April 7, 2014

So much to tell you! {this weekend}


Friday night was our opening night of Frost/Nixon. It went well. Glad we are at this point. This means no more rehearsals, no more staying after rehearsal to fix/improve/discuss. Just do a show, wait for the cast to leave, lock up, go home. Done and done. Plus, the play is only 90 minutes with no intermission, so...it's just not bad at all!

Saturday i met my friend Brittany at Starbucks for a few hours before the show. So much fun! LOVE LOVE LOVE HER!!




Saturday night was fantastic. Two major mistakes happened with the actor's lines. At one point an actor skipped a few lines, which made me need to skip four light cues to get in the right cue! This was scary, because the light board on our second stage is just not my favorite. It also happened about 30 seconds before my "two pages of hell" that i talked about in my last post. But I DID IT!!!! Then, another actor skipped some lines, meaning the next actor would need to realize that & get to the stage SOONER than usual. I was praying, "please be there, please be there, please be there!" and he was. Everything went off without a hitch! I was SUPER proud of my cast for being amazing!! This is the kind of stuff that happens in theatre everyday, and it's scary/exciting. ;) I would not be talking about this all excitedly if we hadn't pulled it off! But we did. The audience never would have known the difference. ;)

The cast of Frost/Nixon, right after our Sunday matinee.

Sunday's performance was even better, because there were no scary mishaps. The play went off without a hitch! Yay!

So ... i am sure that's enough theatre talk for all of you! :)

Oh, wait! Let's back up to THURSDAY NIGHT, shall we?!

On Thursday night, i lost my keys. i realized they were missing AFTER everyone else had left the theatre. Oh, yeah. That was fun. Also, deserved, maybe? Karma? What goes around comes around? Something. Because see the tall guy in the pic above? His name is Jake. Jake lost his pocketwatch Wednesday night, and we didn't leave as early as i would've liked because we were looking for it. Thursday night, he lost his wallet, and i picked on him a little about it. I said, "Jake! I can't believe you lost something again!" Well...he found it...he left...and not five minutes later i COULD NOT FIND MY KEYS!!! Before the show, i changed clothes, went to put them in my car, walked into our main theatre to get some ice water at the bar, then went back to second stage (our studio theatre where we are doing this show). So i knew my keys must be in my car or on the bar in the main theatre. WHICH WAS LOCKED!!!!

Hubby had to come get me. He was thrilled, let me tell you! It sucked for me to have to wait 45 minutes later by myself for him to get there, but it sucked for him too to have to get in the car & drive all the way out to get me. Especially since he hates driving in the dark (bad night vision).

The keys were on the bar, by the way. Nice! Won't do that again!

Side Note: Most people are TERRIFIED to be at our theater alone. It's not in a good neighborhood, but i have never, ever felt unsafe. It also has a ghost named Rodney. He is why people hate being there alone. But I don't believe in ghosts. Which is a good thing, since i was the one left alone at the theater Thursday night!

(Rodney was a real life person that died during My Fair Lady in the 40's or something. Little bit of Theatre Baton Rouge history for ya.)

ANYWAY!
 *    *    *    * 

Sunday was AMAZING. Seriously, one of the best days I've had in awhile. Here's why:

1. I slept in. I normally don't do that on Sundays, because i have to be at church early for music practice. But after tech week, i decided to let myself sleep in.

2. I went to church & since i was late, i didn't sing with the praise team. Instead i worshiped from my seat. And it was really nice. I mean, i love leading worship, and singing backup, but sometimes a morning in the pew is needed. I honestly felt like my heart would EXPLODE with thankfulness to God. i'm not saying there aren't still moments of hurt & pain through this miscarriage, because there are - more than i would like. But lately i have been doing okay, and Sunday morning i poured out my heart to my God during worship. And it was awesome. We also had communion & then Billy led us in an old hymn,

There is coming a day, 
When no heart aches shall come, 
No more clouds in the sky, 
No more tears to dim the eye, 
All is peace forevermore, 
On that happy golden shore, 
What a day, glorious day that will be. 

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

There'll be no sorrow there,
No more burdens to bear,
No more sickness, no pain,
No more parting over there;
And forever I will be,
With the One who died for me,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

I was weeping y'all. Weeping. God is SO good & even though i have a lot more years i want to live here on earth... i cannot wait to see Him in person. :) I just want a big ol' hug from Jesus! :)

3. Our pastor preached a powerful word on obeying God. Church was over, and i had to get to the theatre, but i got to do a little visiting & then laughed hysterically talking to my pastor! (Long story - but it was a really funny moment!) 

4. At the theatre, as i said earlier, we had an awesome show, i didn't miss a cue, my actors didn't miss a beat, it was perfect! Also, another funny moment happened there, that had me laughing until my stomach hurt. So TWO times like that in one day? Awesome. 

5. Went to Whole Foods. Got some groceries. Saw a handsome guy in his thirties ask  an old lady where she was parked. She pointed far away. He said, "Let me take your groceries to your car for you." Y'ALL. It was raining. I am sure he had other things to do. This wasn't an employee. Seriously? Everyone is in such a hurry these days - including myself. I mean, i try to be considerate, but i wouldn't have done that. I mean, that was taking consideration for others to a whole new level!
*    *    *    * 

Um... i am sure there is more to share. But for now, a few links! (I'm pulling an Amy!)

My sweet friend Briana just had a miscarriage at 12 weeks. Please pray for her! It's her fourth miscarriage. We were both due in October, and she was a huge source of encouragement to me during mine a month ago. I really loved what she wrote in "The aftermath" of a miscarriage. This was so true for me. (Most of it. I didn't have maternity clothes yet, and i didn't have to have a D&C. But the rest is exactly it.) 

A really good article on taking baby steps towards a healthy lifestyle. 

Loved this girl's story. And love what she says about brokenness, and how it belongs in the church. I'm so glad i go to a church where it is accepted & understood. I don't have to fake it til i make it there. :)

I thought this post was really funny. :)

Dog-Lovers: I loved these. You will too.


If you are still here, thank you. You seriously deserve a prize!! 


Have a great week!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Why I've Been MIA {theatre life}

I have not blogged since the 23rd? Well, that's just ridiculous. I need to remedy that immediately! Now that i have a minute!

 our theatre...nothing to look at, but one of my favorite places to be! :)

I have been stage managing a show at our theatre called Frost/Nixon. It's about interviews between Richard  Nixon and David Frost (talk show host) after Nixon resigned from office. It's a 90-minute straight play (no music). The script is 83 pages & I have 195 cues. That's a lot. (If you saw on instagram i sad 192 cues, and then on Facebook 194 cues, I haven't been exaggerating. I counted them. They just keep giving me more cues! Ha!)



Anyway, opening night was last night. Final count for cues is 195. Whew!

cast during warm-ups

If you have never worked in theatre, stage managers call cues...basically saying in their headset, "Standby lights 34....." & then at the proper time (aka, their cue), they say, "Lights 34, GO" & the lightboard operator hits go & the lights hit the stage. Got it? But I'm not on headset because i don't have a crew, and I'm not actually calling cues since i am running it all by myself! :) I am runing lights, sound, live camera feed & pre-recorded video. Got all that? That's a lot!

Preparing my script. Orange dots are for lights, pink dots are sound 
& i have various green dots for video & camera!

It is doable, although pages 58-59 of my script are impossible!!!!

Anyway. That's what I've been busy with. Originally they asked me to stage manage it when i was pregnant, so i said no. (Some people do shows while pregnant, but i will not be one of them! I'm exhausted doing a show NOT pregnant, can't imagine doing one while being pregnant!) Two weeks later, they asked if i knew anyone that could do it because they still hadn't found anyone. This was after my miscarriage. I started thinking about it & after weighing the pros & cons, i decided to do it. I came in late, since they had already been in rehearsals for two weeks at that point!

(I'm just now realizing i may have explained all this in my last post. Oops!)

 taken from my little window of the sound booth during tech rehearsal

So anyway. That's what I've been busy with. Stage managing a show with 195 cues. I keep saying that number because that is a LOT! That is more than some 2 & a half hour musicals & this is only a 90 minute play! It makes me feel good that i am looked to as someone who can handle that many cues, and it makes me feel good that i can accomplish it! :) For a self-diagnosed ADD girl, that's a miracle... although I am a good multi-tasker...so that helps! (Although those two pages are going to be the death of me!)
 
That would be my "holy crap, that's a lot of cues!" face. 

Anyhoo.That's what's been going on. I've been working each day & going to rehearsal each night! Coming home & falling straight into the bed. Pretty much.

But things are going well & emotionally, i am doing a lot better. Thanks again to those of you that have been praying for me!! :)

We opened last night, so i only have two more performances this weekend, and 4 performances next weekend!

In other news...

I got a belated birthday gift from my good friend Patti... (HELLO, AMAZON GIFT CARD!)


AND i got really pretty flowers on my Trader Joe's run. I LOVE that BR finally has a Trader Joe's!



And my dog is still the cutest sweetest. :) He misses his mama though!

classic shih-tzu underbite. :) 

That's about it! Wish me luck on all those cues tonight, PLEASE! :)

Have a great weekend!