Myself again with you still by my side

I’m returning to myself every day. I’m in such a good place. It’s been a tough road to balance out my hormones and to feel so much like myself. I have so many beautiful and peaceful hopes and dreams floating around in my mind. It feels like an exhale or a quiet and serene hallelujah after being away from myself for some long.  I’m meditating and being in a space that’s filled with so much more gratitude than the imbalance was. I can’t help but think of how changed our lives have been in the last few weeks.  How many walks Mike and Jake Washington (our dog) and I have gone on. How taking care of this little guy gave us something else to talk about. Something new and beautiful.  I’m grateful for the 3 of us.  I’m grateful for all this experience has brought us.  It taught me to trust Mike Ofeldt in a way I would have never known.  I’m always still composing my vows to him in my head. Lately it comes out like this. 

Oh Mike Ofeldt after 10 years I’d still go back in time and fall in love with you again.  Loving you has been one of the best things I’ve ever done.  I’m crazy proud to be your wife and often feel like a genius for picking you.  Life has challenged us in so many ways and when I get knocked down you pick me up.  You are so patient with me- not with leaving my laundry everywhere and forgetting to wash the dishes but the big stuff - waiting for me to understand a situation and coming up with my own conclusion or knowing I’m a little lost but I’ll get there eventually.  

I’m rarely lost in life.  I usually have clarity and strength in my convictions and if we weren’t challenged in so Many ways lately I’d never know that you can be there for me in this way.  

You have so much strength more than I ever could have guessed.  With all the disappointment we have faced and all of these hormones making me feel so unlike myself - you’re still here, still trying.  I’m wildly grateful for you. Thanks for being my love. 

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Fertility Vacation 3.0 // Why I Tell You Things

What if I collected images of when we were young, and now?

It’s been ten years, my love. We were young. The world was at our feet. One year, we traipsed around the globe so often, I begged you to leave me home for a trip to Australia, because I was too tired to go to the airport. Days later, we ran through the bush together, and marvelled at how wild the landscape became the second we got off the path. We were laughing, euphoric, and blissful to be in nature.

We realized, as dusk approached, that we didn’t actually know where we were. Eventually, you found our way back to the ocean while I came up with newspaper headlines about two dumb Americans who got lost on vacation one mile from civilization, and died.

The ocean was so loud and the moon lit our path. The strength of the wind made me grateful we had found our way back.

You couldn’t stop smiling, and kept hugging me so tight. We made out under the moonlight as the tide rose, and realized we were risking our lives for these salty kisses. We held hands, and continued on. It was one of the best days of my life.

We squeezed every last drop out of the day. That feeling of euphoria, gratitude, and wonder is the magic of falling in love with Mike Ofeldt. It is the grand adventure that is us.

I was at a party this weekend, and a friend of mine said he didn’t want to say how amazing his relationship with his wife is on social media. He just couldn’t see the point. It felt like bragging. What if instead, it was like shining a light on being wildly grateful, a snapshot.

Our fertility journey has taught me a lot. That life can be a mess, and there’s beauty in that too. This is our story. This is our heartbreak. There is an extraordinary beauty in telling people who you are, so they call you by your name. It’s tremendously difficult, but freeing. It helps me accept myself.

There is so much connection to the people who have read my story. I’ve shown them my heart. I’m wildly grateful for the outpouring of kindness and connection that I’ve received. For the friends that give me hope and strength to not give up.

This present moment holds an uncertain future, but ultimately some kind of knowing that we will survive it. Ten years worth of photographs of who we used to be when we were young. After awhile our memories fade, and then you might hear a song, and suddenly it’s like a movie is playing in your head. Falling in love with a man, and the whole world.     

Mike Ofeldt, you still look like a movie. You still feel like a song. Your voice is home to me. 

I love the things you do, the way you talk, the way you move. 

Let me photograph you in this light in case this is the last time. That we may be exactly as we were when we were young. You’re like a dream come true

Can I have this moment? 

I want to take this picture of you and I and Jake so later I can look back at it remembering when we were young, and scared, and planning our IVF dates. 

Wondering if there would still be eggs, wondering if we could ever finance a surrogate, wondering if we are completely insane, and preparing for the dunk tank of IVF hormones to come. 

Hoping I’ll still come back to you, to me, and still holding hands wildly grateful for each other. 

Wondering if we know anything at all other than fear and gratitude.

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We are happy to offer three photography specials as a heartfelt thank you to those who support our GoFundMe fund to add to our family. We don’t know how we are going to get there or make this happen but we are going to walk confidently in the direction of our dreams and try with everything we have.  Thank you from the bottom of our hopeful hearts. Please check back for regular updates to our progress. 

Good bye 2017. Thank you.

Good bye 2017.

Thank you.

Thank you for making us stronger.

Thank you for giving us 10 eggs and 4 excellent embryos.

Thank you for two chances at IVF.

Thank you for gratitude, getting up, and finding ourselves again.

I hope that we have the guts to go after 2018 the way that we threw ourselves at 2017.  I hope our family grows.

I hope I find the same joy and comfort in watching Mike sleep.  I hope we find time for each other as the pressure to figure things out seems to speed up time.  I hope we find less to argue about and more beautiful discoveries to share.

I hope IVF 3 works.  I hope there will be eggs, embryos, conception, safe passage and one day a baby.  A healthy safe baby.  And if none of those things can happen, I hope the hormones fly out of me and leave me safe and sound.  I hope I can digest healthy food easily and take pleasure in moving my body.  I hope I photograph, paint, swim in the ocean, feel my heart beat and gasp for air as a wave crashes over my head.  I hope I heal and get out of the house and find some safe space out in the world and not hiding in the house.  I hope after some time I recoup my energy and start on some other path.  I hope there’s always enough of me left to try again.

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.

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Best of Part 3

It is wonderful to follow people through all of life's adventures - engagements, weddings, babies, anniversaries, special family moments, and the list goes on. We photographed couples we have known for years and others we just met; building life-long friends in the process. We shot weddings with such unique and special themes - a midsummer nights dream, new age, contemporary, vintage, rustic, old world - and all were beautiful in their special way. We ended 2015 with a family road trip to the Grand Canyon and Arizona for one last exhale of 2015. 

Thank you for letting us share in your love and tell your beautiful story.