Victoria and I met in an online class Flow With Intention Online. Shout out to #fwio2018 When she reached out to me looking for a wedding photographer I nearly lost my mind. I was so stoked to get to meet this high vibe lady and get to share in her wedding day yay! She and Travis met less than 7 months ago and tomorrow is their wedding day. I would have married Mike month 4. So I know what it’s like to have a knowing about someone. It’s beautiful and these two are beautiful. They also practiced their first dance during our session. It was the first time they had danced together. I can’t believe I was able to capture their first dance. The air felt electric. Victoria has an amazing smile that draws you in - in an incredible way but then her face softens when she looks and Travis and I can tell she’s feeling how extraordinary he is and somehow she looks even more beautiful. Being a portrait photographer is a powerful way to get to know someone. I can look, I have full permission to observe and watch the play of emotions on their face and know a little bit of what it is for them to love each other. And to top it off they showed Detroit to me for the first time. Believe me - Detroit is for photographers!
Since the last round of negative pregnancy tests, I've been doing pretty well. No ptsd so far. My life has been coming together in the most beautiful ways. I spent a week in Maui with friends and photographing Taylor and Mike's epic day. I spent a week in Nyc and the Hamptons again with friends and museums and photographing Stephanie and Ryan's wedding. I just kept filling up my cup. The last 10 days my nephew was in town. Heart explosion.
And now... I'm good most of the day but suddenly there is a shadow. A little sadness is sneaking in. I was listening to a podcast with Jenna Kucher and Melissa Ambrosini and Melissa said she is really good and calling things in. Calling in what she wants from the universe.
I used to be that girl.
Now I guess I'd have to say that I'm good in some areas - especially love. But somehow not good at calling in a kid. I'm not sure what's next but I hope it's me figuring it out because today I noticed it's hard to sit up straight. Today I need a break. I'm going to go walk in the sun and see if I can find my way back to being ok.
This picture is from Maryanne McGuire of me in Hydra, Greece. I choose it because I want to be that woman. The woman on the edge of the ocean - grateful for what she already has and not what she doesn't.
There is no chance I can explain how fun this weekend was. Seriously zero. I knew Mike and Taylor would be the coolest. From the first time I met Taylor, I knew I wanted to be around her and share in her and Mike's epic day. These two adventurers were laid back and had awesome priorities. From the welcome party to the sunset cruise to the wedding day - I had a smile on my face. Taylor and Mike told me they were really close with their families. It is one thing to hear that and a whole other thing to witness it. So much love. Seriously, all the love. This blog post could have been twice as long. It's already way to long, but so much love and beauty happened it's hard not to make the world's longest run on sentence. It's been hard since my family moved away. Sometimes you get exactly what you need. After IVF didn't work out once again, I really needed to fill myself up emotionally. A week in Maui with Morgan, Laurie's family and all the people surrounding Taylor filled me up with everything I needed. I felt so grateful. I'm so incredibly grateful to Laurie from the Creative Clique for being my friend, referring me to these two beauties, and making incredible invites for me to photograph.
I can't even try with words but here is my love letter to Taylor and Mike.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” — Lao Tzu
It's complicated but our lives are still beautiful. IVF didn't turn out the way we dreamed. We are not pregnant. In some ways it's as simple as that. I don't want a big story about it. We tried. It just didn't work. Our hearts didn't change. We still want to be parents. Mike and I have had weeks together in Europe trying to will this dream into existence. We had a week with Jake Washington at home waiting while every pregnancy test was negative.
We have each other to keep each other's hearts. We have Jake to shower in love. We have one embryo and dream of a surrogate. We have plenty of dreams for our life and I believe that they are trying to come true. I'm still a little bit quiet. I know I'm not communicating the way I usually do. It is because I'm repositioning myself. I'm looking for who I might become. I'm asking myself how can I move forward from a place of hope? Since I already believe this is going to work out for us, how do I reconcile the failed attempts with what I believe will eventually be a positive outcome. My only answer so far is to be a little bit quiet. look inside, and pay attention to who I am becoming.
Mike and I are wildly grateful for all of your love and support. We couldn’t have done it without you. It feels so good to know that we are trying to make our dreams of adding to our family come true and that we have the love and support of all of you. Thank you.
Sometimes when I’m traveling I wish I could bring you all along. I want to show you every quiet corner I see and every ray of light. This “sometimes” happens so often that I forget to show you even just a slice of a month photographing.
So for today here is a slice. 7 frames of Prague. A mini adventure inside of a grand one. Believe me when I tell you, I wish you were here.
My world has been colorful buildings along the river, a blank winters sky, and Mike.
After the embryo transfer everything about me slowed down. We stayed in more, I felt sleepier. Maybe I had a cold or allergies. Maybe the hormones just knock me out. Maybe the winter finally made me slower.
The last week or so has been slower and full of naps and rain but in between there is beauty. New cities and buildings and art museums. New feels like creation to me. New is allowing me to hold space for hope while I follow Mike Ofeldt around.
When you think of planning and making decisions for your wedding there’s plenty to think about, and so many of those decisions depend on one thing: your budget. This can be overwhelming , but it’s important to know the things that you should save or splurge on without regret.
A recent survey showed that 22% of newlyweds wish they’d spent more on a photographer on their wedding day. It can seem tempting to cut corners on certain things to make everything fit into the budget that you and your love have set, but photography isn’t one of those things and I’ll tell you why.
You only get one chance
That’s it. Just one. That’s why splurging on a photographer for your big day is one of the best decisions you’ll make, besides saying “I do!” of course. A good photographer will capture your personality, emotions and share your vision in the tender moments on the big day. And that is what makes spending my days behind the lense so special. I love that every event is different because each couple is so individual in their own way.
These last forever
Time flies when you’re having fun, right? I love being able to share the stories of newlyweds because while you’ll be telling stories of your wedding day forever, you’ll truly be able to relive the moments with photographs. The cake gets eaten, the music will stop playing, but you can relive the day vicariously through photos displayed around your home.
You get what you pay for
This might be the most important for why you should splurge. This is our job, not just a hobby. We want to deliver you truly the most amazing work that we can. The shots you didn’t know we got, the frames that were set up perfectly, the smiles, the happy tears, and the sneaky kisses. Online wedding registry sites like Zola even let you put a cash fund for a photography on your registry! That’s a great way to help it fit in your budget.
So when you’re planning your wedding and get to the point of booking a photographer, I hope you see the value in splurging! We get to do what we love through our cameras and in turn get to narrate your wedding day through photos.
Lately I’m not writing anything at all. In the mornings, I often ask myself what’s going on? How am I? I usually write until I run out of time not thoughts. I’ve had a cold for the last week. Maybe that is why I have nothing to say. Maybe it’s because I’m constantly out shooting. Maybe it’s because I’m meditating so often.
I’ve been visualizing my future in so many different ways. Trying out different scenarios and seeing what could be a happy Fit. I guess I want to be happy no matter what the outcome. In 8 days I’ll take a pregnancy test. I don’t want that test to decide whether I’m happy or whether or not I’m a mom. A part of me would like to stay in this space of not knowing for months because if I don’t know the answer can’t be no.
I’m incredibly focused on my thoughts but have so little to say for now.
Here we are friends. Thank you. Thank you for your generous donations to our GoFundMe account. Without you we would not be here. Our time for IVF would be over. But instead here we are. I’m following Suzanne around in her red jacket capturing her joy and struggle in this undeniably romantic city. Prague has taken unexpected meaning in our lives and so have all of you. We will learn more in the coming weeks. So far we have passed every test but I guess there is only one that matters.
We will keep you updated and appreciate all of your love and prayers. It means everything to us. Thank you.
Mike, Suzanne and the Wanderers
Some weddings make you fall deeper in love with your craft. Teal and Derek wow'd me. It's nothing I can put into words but I hope that I've put it into pictures. Their spirits are so magical and finding each other was equally magical. Maybe one day I'll be able to tell all of you how they had a meditation at the wedding ceremony or how Teal sang for Derek but I think it would take me weeks to be able to say it all, so for now here is a beautiful day that I'm still smiling about.
Venue: Luce Loft
Coordinator: Soirees With Grace
Photography: She Wanders
Hair: Thorne Artistry
Make Up: Lindsay Jones Makeup
Florist: Teal Zeisler
Rentals: Abbey Party Rentals
Videographer: Nena Films
Catering: Wild Thyme Catering Co.
Musician: Jim Vita
Dj: Scratch Weddings
Cake: Large Marge, Nonna + Zucchero
What is it like to not give up? Sigh, exhale.
Today it looks like getting up early, instant coffee, meditation, 3 minutes of yoga and writing in this journal and not wanting to know what's in my mind. Today we will walk around Vienna and photograph this vibrant city. We are even taking an airbnb photography tour. It's confusing. Is should be a highlight of the year. I love Vienna. Vienna is a dream of mine. I should feel incredibly blessed and grateful to the travel gods. I am and I'm not. It is wonderful and it isn't. Some moments I can forget and some moments I'm terrified. So for a few minutes I try to drop in, feel it, and hope I can shake it off.
What I want to feel.
I'm exactly where I should be. The universe is unfolding in my favor. I am lucky to have someone who would fight this hard with me. This could be the most beautiful journey we ever walk on. This could change our lives. Being strong now could lead to magic. We could add another Ofeldt to our home. Wow nothing seems worth more.
and I do feel that way.
I also feel this way.
I'm cold. I'm hungry. This airbnb only has one chair and no hair dryer. I keep ordering the wrong thing. Mike and I are tired and bickering. I hate being home at 8pm for shots. I hate injecting my body with hormones. What if we aren't able to retrieve any eggs this time? What if we can't make any embryos? What if I put myself through all of this anguish because I'm too greedy at this game of life? What if I can't accept a clear no from the universe.?
So enough. I think I need to accept that it's ok if we don't create perfect embryos this time. I will heal, I will let go, I will find another path. I need failure to be an option I can live with. I need it to not matter. I feel like it's the only way to take my best shot, cut out the noise in my head and be peaceful. I know that peaceful is a place we can move forward from. A peaceful knowing that our family is steady, stable and strong. We have time to make our way to each other.
So today we will walk around on this finally sunny day and take pictures. We will find moments of happiness in between our moments of doubt and that will be our best effort.