Fertility Vacation // A Heart Full of Gratitude

“No one has friends half as good as mine or loves them half as much.”

I butchered that quote, but the people in our lives astound me and I am wholeheartedly grateful for them.

I often think we must have done something right to have such incredible people in our lives. Really incredible people like Cristina, Vanessa, Jenny and Janna who would fly out and meet us in Prague, Germany, and Iceland.

An amazing group of people in San Diego and scattered all over the world, rooting for us and our 10 eggs. Everyone has been so kind on Facebook, via text, and WhatsApp. It’s been good to share our experience. I feel so safe wrapped in everyone’s collective prayers and vibes.

I like to imagine our little eggs swaddled in a myriad of wishes and dreams; all of us collectively willing life into them. I want them to be safe and healthy and know they are loved. Four eggs growing strong, three slightly slower; seven eggs left in the race. They are small, but mighty.

While my mind is exploding with wonder, I am gently reminded of the song, “Que Sera Sera”.

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be.

I feel grateful for the opportunity to try IVF.  Some people never even have this chance. At the very least I can give it my all in the process and feel grateful for every opportunity. Grateful for IVF, for travel, for Prague, for the lower prices in Europe, for my translator, for amazing coffee, and for my handsome husband.

The $40,900 Question: Jesenia and Caroline of Ooh La Love Events

Jesenia and Caroline are the sweet girls behind Ooh La Love Events. Their close attention to detail and genuine love for weddings shows just how much they care about what they do. Read on to find out what inspires these girls and what they would do with $40,900.1. A piece of advice for brides to be? Don't try to plan your whole wedding in one day. Decide what is most important to you, and make that a priority. Surround yourself with wedding professionals who you trust, and who understand your style and vision, so that you can let go of everything and enjoy your wedding.

2. Something brides don't often think about when planning a wedding but should? As a bride, you put so much time and energy into the preparation for your big day and making sure every detail is perfectly planned, but it's also important to remember your guests. People travel across the country, and sometimes even across the world to see you say 'I Do', so it's always nice to keep their comfort in mind. Greeting out of town guests with welcome bags or small touches like providing throw blankets on a cold night, or flip-flops for ladies who just can't take those heels any longer are all great ways to make your guests feel comfortable and enjoy themselves.

3. What makes Ooh La Love Events so wonderful? Being partners, we bring different strengths and styles to the table, and we have so much fun working together. While Jesenia is super organized and drawn towards more classic and on trend designs, Caroline is a bit more creative and drawn toward bohemian styles. By working together, we are able to come up with both designs and solutions that one of us alone might not have thought of. We fully embrace the motto that two heads are better than one!

4. Is there a particular wedding tradition that you love seeing? As a rule of thumb, if your dad is crying, chances are we are crying, too. We just can't help it!

5. Color pallets that you are loving? Neutrals with a twist. Blush, ivory, and taupe, with a pop of something unexpected like emerald is always fun.

6. Three things that inspire you? It's hard to narrow it down to three! Fashion and nature are daily sources of inspiration for us, and we are always inspired by our brides (and sometimes grooms, too!). 7. What do you do to recharge? We are always trying to plan our next girl's trip! Getting time away together to brainstorm and have some girl time really helps us recharge. If we can't carve out a couple of days to get out of town, then a hard workout followed by a bottle of wine is a great substitute. 8. A tip for somebody wanting to go into the event planning industry? Find a planner who you admire and work for them, even if you have to intern without getting paid, to gain experience. This is a great way to get to know the ins and outs of the industry, build a solid foundation of knowledge, and really figure out if this is your passion.

9. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do? We would do a couples trip to the Maldives! It's rare that we get to have downtime together with our husbands, so a couples trip with beautiful beaches, relaxation, and a little adventure sounds perfect. Shewanders Photography, Shewanders, Wedding Photography, San Diego, San Diego wedding photography, Malibu, weddings, Ooh La Love Events

The $40,900 Question : Jen-Cake

Jen and Kimberly are the owners of Cake, a bakery located in Mission Hills, San Diego. Their talent and fun personalities are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this bakery. They take a vision and skillfully sculpt it into a reality. Read on to find out a little more about Jen.1. What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Creating custom designs for clients that are so into it. I like the personal collaboration aspect of it all.

2. What got you started in the baking business?

I was a chef in San Francisco for 10 years and decided to bake bread for awhile. The bakery Also made wedding cakes.  I ended up falling in love with them... They are one big giant pastry.  3. Most surprising client request?

We were asked to make a 7 tiered wedding cake with over 1,500 flowers and jewels-it was over the top. 4.  A piece of advice for somebody going into the baking business?

Really know your craft. Work in a bakery first to hone in on your skills and go from there. 5. Color pallets that you are loving lately?

Metallic and blacks are popping up everywhere this summer. I'm into it. 6. What makes CAKE so wonderful?

We are authentic. We have a happy animals menu along with a vegan and organic menu. We are also able to make designs in white chocolate.  What that means is no fondant.  We design the whole cake with delicious ingredients.  It makes a really big difference. Your mouth will thank you. 7. What do you do to recharge?

Have a glass of Jameson and a nice dinner. 8. Three things you can’t live without?

Analise, Abram, and Dave.  My two children and my husband. 9. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do? I would go on a rad trip and send anonymous envelopes of money to people.  I would pay for people's tickets into Disneyland, like "I got your ticket today, I got your ticket today, I got your ticket today." If I had that much money, I would impact as many lives as I could. It would be so amazing.



The $40,900 Question : Ashley Hizer

Ashley is a talented abstract artist living in Atlanta, Georgia. We had the pleasure of photographing her stunning wedding years ago, and her sweet personality is still shining on. When we interviewed, we found out a little bit more about her artwork, what inspires her, and what she would do with $40,900. Check out her website here to view her beautiful work.1. When did you decide you wanted to be a painter?

A: I started making art as a young girl – I’ve naturally always been creating in some form, but I started dabbling in abstract art a few years ago as time allowed, then decided to go full-time the fall of 2013. It’s been one of the most rewarding decisions!

2. What has been inspiring you lately?

A: Life itself inspires me. My husband and marriage, music, surroundings new and familiar (travels, my hometown, San Diego, and where I live, Georgia), architecture, nature, style, other art, the list goes on.

3. What medium do you prefer to do your work in?

A: I mostly work with acrylic paint followed by oils, and just lately I have been adding hints of charcoal, graphite and pastels. I love mixing it up and overlapping textures and colors.

4. Is there a specific color palette that you have been loving lately?

A: I tend to evolve with the seasons, so I’ve been particularly drawn to bright colors and pastel hues. Lots of blues and turquoises, pinks, greens, and peaches.

5. Do you enjoy listening to music or background noise when you work, or do you prefer

the quiet?

A: Music and painting go hand in hand for me. I cannot create without a soundtrack to accompany the process. I’ll often adjust the playlist based on my mood that day, which often impacts my art – lyrics, rhythms, melodies, and all.

6. What do you do to unwind and recharge?

A: I love to go on walks or runs with my husband and Goldendoodle, explore new places, read, listen to music, and eat delicious food.

7. What summer activity have you been enjoying?

A: My husband and I just moved to a neighborhood that has a pool, which I cannot get enough of. I do not know how I survived the humid Georgia summers before!

8. Do you have any advice for aspiring painters who wish to sell their work?

A: I encourage them to go for it, and as cheesy as it sounds, believe in their work, as it takes some time to get the ball rolling. Take advantage of free/almost free sites like Etsy and social media such as Instagram.

9. If you had $40,900 to spend on one trip, where would you go and what would you do?

A: Man, that would be nice! I would definitely get my travel on – namely Italy and Greece, the countries on my bucket list.



One PIc : Jen and Kombiz

 First of all, it's a big responsibility,

So think long and hard before deciding on love. But love gives you a lot of things…

On cold winter nights, love is warm. It lies between you and lives and breathes and makes funny noises. Love can wake you up all hours of the night with its needs. Love can give you a sense of security: When you're walking down the street late at night and you have a leash on love, ain't no one gonna mess with you.

-excerpt from "Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog" by Taylor Mali




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Hayley and Lito: A Blissful Aetna springs engagement

 "I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep you close your eyes." - Pablo Neruda


I had the amazing opportunity to go to one of Jose Villas workshops this summer.  Jose and his whole team are amazing.  They are all obviously talented but also incredibly kind and great mentors.  Here is a portrait session that Summer at Grey Likes styled.  Team Hair and Make up perfected their look.  I could not be more grateful to every one involved.  A big post is coming your way.




Team Hair and Makeup

Grey Likes

Laurie Arons

Jose Villa


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To see more of Hayley and Lito's engagement click








john and gillian : A Delightful Cardiff Engagement

“It was rather beautiful: the way he put her insecurities to sleep.The way he dove into her eyes and starved all the fears and tasted all the dreams she kept coiled beneath her bones.” ― Christopher Poindexter

John and Gillian have a playfulness within their relationship that makes anyone who spends time with them smile.  I know their wedding is going to maintain that same spirit and it will be pure bliss.


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one pic : Claire and Nic

It was a double wedding weekend over here at Shewanders Photography.  I'm headed off to photograph a wonderful family but couldn't leave without sharing at least one pic of these two.  Claire and Nic are two of the most gracious and loving people.  They were showered with love from their friends and family all day.  Thanks Susanne from Crown Weddings for absolutely everything.Claire and Nic I hope your life is filled with days as beautiful as this one.

xoxo Suzanne

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One Pic : Bayley Craig

"I love her and that's the beginning and end of everything" F. Scott FitzgeraldI fell in love with Bayley and Craig over champagne and cocktails.  I got to hear their love story over bacon wrapped corn dogs many months ago.  I felt humbled to sit with them and hear their story and I've been dying to share their wedding story ever since that day.  It was so special to put faces to names.  Bayley and Craig's friends and family are so kind and warm and they adore these two.  I know all of my creative partners were just as excited as I for this weekend to finally be here. Cheers to Bayley and Craig!

Much love,

xoxo Suzanne


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Laura and Jake : Coronado Engagement

I've got so much love for these two. Laura and Jake are the kind of people that you can tell from 200 feet away that they belong at the beach having a good time. Their wedding is coming up later this month and I have a big smile on my face. Although they only had a few months to plan it's going to be amazing. Alison Howard is on the case!coronado engagement photography, coronado beach engagement photography, shewanders photography, great abs, gorgeous couple in coronado shewanders.san.diego.beach.engagement26 shewanders.san.diego.beach.engagement27 shewanders.san.diego.beach.engagement28 yacht engagement shoot, coronado engagement photography, coronado beach engagement photography, shewanders photography, great abs, gorgeous couple in coronado shewanders.san.diego.beach.engagement31.ajpg

 To see more of Laura and Jake's engagement click

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Rachel and Cal : palm springs engagement

Tomorrow is the big day! I'm so excited about Rachel and Cal's wedding tomorrow. I can't wait to see Rachel in her dress and see Cal's face when she walks down the aisle. I'm looking forward to all of the cool paper products that Rachel has made. I absolutely love the save the date and you can see that below. I've been looking forward to meeting their friends and family for so long. I've been facebook stalking them but finally tomorrow is the big day. I hope it is everything they have ever dreamt it could be.Here are some photos of our escapades in palm springs earlier this year. Yeah yeah just getting around to blogging them now. I have a feeling this blog is going to be on fire over the next couple of months. I have so much to share, including my own wedding soon.



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To see more of Rachel and Cal's engagement click 

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