At 4:52 a.m. on January 26, 2016, you were born. 30 weeks. 3 and half pounds. The moment you arrived, a team of doctors and nurses whisked you away before I could even see you. In the flurry of it all, someone called out to ask if you had a name. Daddy and I looked at each other from across the room with eyebrows raised.... we hadn't decided yet!
But almost as instantly as they’d asked, we both already knew… “His name is Nolan. It means champion.” And, oh sweetheart, ARE YOU EVER!
We remember when we rejoiced that you took 1 ounce of milk off the feeding tube; and now we almost laugh as you eat overflowing platefuls of anything and everything we cook up for you. We remember when you literally fit in the palm of daddy’s hand; now strangers ask us if you were “just as big” when you were born. 😊 We remember when our biggest milestone was “only stopped breathing once last night”; and now you clumsily run around in circles laughing all the way while we try to keep up. We remember when we were so scared to change that gigantic preemie diaper covering your way-too tiny body; and now we basically have to tag-team wrestle you to the floor as you aggressively fight back against the tyranny of a diaper change! 😂
And we remember when we thought we thought we knew how much we could love you; and now you are here… and now we realize we never had a clue. Nothing and no one but you could ever prepare us for how much or how deeply our hearts were actually capable of loving you, son. Now a piece of our hearts lives outside our own bodies, in you, and we wonder how a day ever existed without you by our side?
You truly amaze us every second of every day, sweet boy. You are our greatest gift! From the moment you arrived in this world, you have been strong and independent and determined. You seek out adventure in any way possible! You are fearless. You are full of life and energy, and look at the world with eyes that genuinely burst with soulfulness, curiosity and wonder.
This was you on the day you were born, this is you today, and, if we had to bet – this will be you for always. Because no matter where life takes you, Nolan, we’re pretty sure you’ll always be exactly who you have always been: a champion.
We are so incredibly thankful that we get to be the ones to know you, to raise you, to care for you, to teach you and to love you. We are so thankful to be the ones who feel your laughter in the depths of our souls and the ones who get to share every single day with such a remarkable little man.
I’m certain the days and years ahead will bring countless adventures, surprises, and even challenges…
But one thing is certain, your mommy and daddy will ALWAYS be right by your side, loving you more than you'll ever know, and cheering you on every single step of the way!
Happy first birthday, sweet boy!!
Mommy & Daddy
Happy first birthday, sweet boy!!
Mommy & Daddy
To Alysia, Tyler and Nolan... thank you for welcoming me into your home to capture these special moments with you, your friends and family. I'm truly grateful to know you guys and can't wait to see you again soon.
To see more photos from Nolan's party, click here!
In the beginning of our planning process, Chase and I wanted to get married on New Year's Eve. It was the day we got back together, at the end of 2013, and it was the day he proposed to me in 2015. Coincidentally, NYE fell on a Saturday in 2016. It seemed right at the time. However, after contacting venues we were interested in, we realized that not only would it cost more to have a wedding on a holiday, but logistically it would be more challenging and expensive for our family and friends who would be traveling to be there.
We decided on a May wedding. 5/6/17 to be exact. Mhm, I in fact did do that so it'd be easier to remember the date.
Since we had a long engagement, 17 months to be exact, I was able to spend time on our save-the-dates and come up with something fun to do. Keeping with the NYE celebration theme of our relationship, we thought it'd be cool to get dressed up and go to the place where he'd asked me to marry him on NYE, Piedmont Park in Atlanta.
Chase and I didn't want to take a bottle of champagne to the park and potentially get in trouble. I'm not really sure what the laws are regarding that, so ginger ale was, happily, our beverage of the day.
I ordered a couple of affordable confetti poppers from a shop on online to use. I had never used any before but they looked really playful and that's right up our alley. Since I wasn't sure how the poppers would go, I made sure to bring some extra confetti. I know there are tons of confetti overlay options floating about in the world, but I wanted it all up in my businass. ;)
Getting the perfect shot took a lot of preparation and behind-the-scenes work that we couldn't have done without the help of my sister, Hillary, and her husband, Ryan. The day we spent taking these photos was incredibly special to us and I love the way it was captured, even the photos that we didn't end up using for our save-the-date. I waited so long to do this blog post and share these photos because I wanted to wait until after we sent the save-the-dates, which were delivered to our guests on New Year's Eve. ;)
These shots were taken consecutively as Ryan popped the first confetti popper. Chase's expressions in these are the BEST when he feels the confetti only popped on his arm and didn't do what we thought it would --- at all.
After the first popper delicately twinkled down Chase's arm, we tried again with the second but used a slightly different approach from a new angle, and well... keep scrolling and you'll see what happened...
Sometimes I wonder, who's more dramatic...me or him??? ;P
It worked out that we brought extra, loose confetti to use in the event the poppers didn't work out. Ryan was an A-class confetti sprinkler for us... what a great addition to add to his Linkedin.
And finally, the photo we used for our save-the-dates that we absolutely adore...
A shot of my ring amongst the confetti...
I'm fortunate to have a sister who is a great photographer and a brother-in-law who is awesome. They graciously agreed to help us bring our idea to life for our save-the-dates.
I put together our outfits based on a styled session I had seen online once. By the grace of God, I somehow found a similar dress on Rent the Runway and immediately reserved the gown. Ladies, if you've never used Rent the Runway, *gasp!* have a seat and prepare to be excited! To check it out, click here!
In conclusion, what I say to anyone who is interested in shooting with confetti is go for it. It's exciting, you feel like a kid and it's an easy way to get more natural reactions in a photograph. It requires patience on everyone's part, several tries, but if you're committed and stick with it, you'll be surprised at some of the cool shots you end up with. Confetti poppers can be rather pricey so unless you're just rolling in dough and wanna splurge, I'd say your best bet is to use loose confetti.
I am so excited to be sharing my wedding planning process with you guys, FINALLY! <3
Documenter of love
Wedding Photographer. Writer. Wife. Empath. Feels naked without nail polish.