Thursday's Thoughts

I'm feeling better about NILMDTS. I've been pretty overwhelmed by the thought that my first time could really be at any time. I'm not sure how I will react when I do my first one, nor do I probably really know what to expect. Sure, I've seen some really graphic pictures, ones you could never ever even fathom imagining, but I still know it's nothing like being there in person with the parents who are in such immense grief. The emotions for all will be unbearable. But I'm ready. And that is partly due because of you guys with your overwhelming support. I've received a lot of emails and it's been so heart-warming. (Thank you.)

I think I've been prepared in a lot of ways for this. One, I know a little bit of what the grief and sorrow is like knowing that you lost your child who you will never get to share moments with ever. I lost three babies in utero, and no, it's not anything like having lost a child who you once held in your arms, but I've been through many of the emotions and all (or most of) the same questions, and so I hope just because of that, I can use what I've experienced as a way of helping the parents cope and as a way to do a better job at doing what I came for.

I've also been prepared through Alexis. And she talked to me last night about this in an extensive amount. She has been there. And as I told her, I know this is one of the reasons why God is having me do this. Because I personally know someone, one of my best friends, who has lost a child and who wishes she had had those pictures taken of sweet Allison. Because I have seen what she has gone through in preparing for Allison's problems before she was even born, to what she experienced in her short few months of life. Also because I held Allison in my arms once and I was there at the funeral, to see her one last time and tell her goodbye. (I know that Allison knows she has changed many peoples lives, like my own.) I didn't want to do that and it was hard doing it, but sometimes you just have to suck it up and go above and beyond for others. Wouldn't you hope they'd do it for you?

So Alexis, she will be my guidepost during this time. She's definitely going to get a call when I'm on the way to the hospital. (Thank you, already.)

To turn this into a Life is Good, I'm So Happy post, I have two cool things to also share.

One is this. I have a good friend down in Florida who makes really awesome handmade jewelry. Check this out, it's so beautiful and made entirely with love. (These are some of my favorites.)

And guess what?! Chel is giving it away!!! Go to A Gracious Home and sign up and you could win a really beautiful piece which is featured on the site. (I signed up!)

She also has a store called "Created by Chel", which I hope you will check out. She really does has some amazing pieces. She is so talented. One day I hope we can exchange services! (hint, hint!)

My other bit of excitement, well it is for me, anyways, is that I accepted one more wedding for 2008. I couldn't help it. I made an oathe to myself that I would not accept anymore for 2008, but, but, but, well, I guess I'm weak. I gave in. Only because this wedding is a dream wedding for me, oh, and because the bride begged (how can you turn down that kind of ego-booster?!).

Most dream weddings for me take place either in a great big city or on the ocean. I've had the chance to do both of them. One of my favorite dream weddings out of my 5 years shooting was Kristin and Chris's wedding down at Ft. Myers Beach, Florida. Everything about it was perfect. A gorgeous October day, only close family and friends (I was honored to have been included in the "close friends" category!), beautiful subjects, not to mention down-to-earth fun subjects (!), and so my imagination just went wild!

My second dream wedding was in Chicago, Johanna and Jason's. It was a dream wedding for me because, again, I had gorgeous subjects with great personalities with the desire to have fun and do un-traditional poses! It was also a dream wedding for me because the reception took place in a 1700-acre amazing arboretum. They had a trolley for the wedding party and we went all over the arboretum taking pictures. Then the reception itself was one out of Martha Stewart Weddings. No joke. It was fabulous. I want to shoot it again! ;)

So, that said, I think I may get my third dream wedding. After the pleaing (haha), she told me where it was, and I didn't hesitate. Forget the oathe!

The wedding is in St. Louis at the St. Nicholaus Greek Orthodox Church! It's a beautiful church! And I've shot a Greek Orthodox wedding before and the ceremonies are just amazing. Long, but absolutely worth it! Here's a picture. Can you say to-die-for?!

And then the reception is at the St. Louis Renaissance Grand Hotel Crystal Ballroom! Check this place out!

The bride agreed to have all the pictures taken before the wedding which also means, we have complete freedom to do some outdoor pictures . . . downtown! You know how old and beautiful downtown St. Louis is?! (Corie does!) I am just so so excited! Helps give me the fuel power to get the 4 wedding albums that I need to have done before Christmas.

So you made it to the bottom of my Thursday's Thoughts! Yay, you! Yay, me! Yay, everyone! Time to do more of what I'm doing in the Wordless Wednesday post below. Thank goodness for coffee . . . and you all . . . to keep me going! Thanks for reading ;c)


Jennifer said...

Your too funny...

yes that's a to die for wedding. I've been to both places several time, growing up in St. Louis myself...Your right both are beautiful.
I've been to weddings at St. Louis Renaissance Grand Hotel Crystal Ballroom...breathes MONEY!
Can you imagin the pictures you will get? Just think about it...oh I forgot I'm talking to Val...you have already thought about it.

when is it...maybe I can be your assistant..*hint*hint...you know my mom lives just 30 mintures from there.

lil ole' me..... said...

Oooh! The wedding will be beautiful!
And, if you need any company while you are in town, I'm in! :)

Johanna said...

Who knew that our wedding was such fun for you to shoot?!!! That is so sweet, Val. The photogrphy was one of the best parts. ;) That St. Louis wedding looks amazing!!! So fun!

Alexis Jacobs said...

What an awesome opportunity! I'd jump on that too. And I love the jewelery. Way cool.

Chel said...

Thanks for the shout-out! I'll be happy to make jewelry for you! :)

MP said...

Let me know if you need any help during the St Louis wedding..I'm thinking that it may take a whole..oh..5 minutes from my house to the church..labor day they have an AWESOME festival. I had my pictures taken at City Hall, it was early December and the Christmas Tree was there, I had photos down the marble stairs, it was beautiful, we also did pics at Tower Grove Park. I love my city :-)

oh amanda said...

Like I said, I'm jealous of your weddings! Isn't it fun to be involved?