A san diego wedding for Angelica and darrel

Color! Hello friends look at all this color.  Angelica and Darrel have such a vibrant sense of style.  Maybe Angelica with her gorgeous red hair was just made to make an impression in the world.  
Personalizing your wedding day by tying in some things that you love is so wonderful. 
There’s love, magic, friends, personalized cat portraits, gorgeous crystals and a heck of a get a way car.
Enjoy thins charmer friends!
Xoxo suzanne

Venue: Bali Hai
Coordinater: Le’ Marie Events
Florist: Anette Gomez
Photographer: Shewanders
Video: Quixotic Weddings
Cake: Getting Caked
Hair: Debbie Ballow
Makeup: Brian Bond
Ceremony Music: Eliana Strings
DJ: DJ Daniel
Rentals: Concepts Event Design
Officiant: Jeffery Price


Dear 2018,

Dear 2018,

Please don’t break my heart. I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve. I’m looking at you. I’m staring at you right in the face. I’m begging you not to break my heart.

We are going to try iVF again.  Is three times the charm?  I guess we are about to find out.  I want to know, will our hearts be broken again?

Some questions aren’t necessary.

Will it be worth it?  

Is it worth having our hearts broken?  

Yes, it’s always a resounding yes.  

Of course it is.

Because what if . . .

What if  . . .

We have a little babe come safely into this world?  What if we are those people wearing matching pajamas by the Christmas tree.  What if we get to call our parents and say the baby is coming . . . The baby is here . . .  It’s a boy or it’s a girl . . .

Every year I wish for the same sort of things. To hold Mike’s hand as we walk around new cities and small towns taking photographs, finding the best cappuccino, exploring museums and the outdoors, listening to music and having good times with our loved ones.  It’s always the most important aspect of my life to celebrate our lives together - to be grateful for what we have.

But lately I’m not myself. Lately, I’m so focused on the baby we don’t have instead of all the blessings we do have. It’s such a painful way to live.

Maybe there will never be another Ofelt, but 2018 will get us one step closer to knowing - yes or no. I hope I find myself again at the other side of this journey. My greatest hope is that there are three of us, but if everything fails I hope there is at least two of us.  Not the scared reaching version of myself I’ve become, but the vibrant grateful person I used to be.

So 2018, let me be her again. Let me find myself. Let me be grateful, kind, and healthy. Let me rally the strength, hope and beauty in this world. It’s such a worthwhile cause. It’s our most beautiful life.  Let me lift myself up. Let me be the Suzanne that began this journey.

xoxo

Change me Universe into one who is willing to receive all the right help, knowing each person, animal, thing is a form of you.  Let me feel deserving of Divine assistance in every way.  Open me to receive.  -Tosha Silva

 

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Fertility Vacation 3.0 // What if it works out?

If I could read your mind love,

What a tale your thoughts could tell

Just like a paperback novel

The kind the drugstore sells

When you reach the part where the heartaches come

Come the hero would be me

Heroes often fail

And you won't read that book again

Because the ending's just too hard to take

-Gordon Lightfoot

Some people wonder why we keep trying. Why, when we can do whatever we want with our lives, would we choose to keep putting our hearts on the line?

That’s such an odd question to me. I think of our friends with kids, and the families we photograph, and see certainty there. Of course we would dedicate our lives to these little ones. We would do whatever it takes.

This is our third and final swing at the ivf game. Here we are - our lives still in tatters from round one and two and here we go again. Here I am knowing this is our last shot down this path.

I’m asking my spirit once again, help me be strong enough to make this happen again, and let it be ok regardless of the outcome. We are looking for hope, faith, belief in trying to be steady, stable, and strong. Searching for the how, but clear on the why.  

I’m sadder and more afraid than I’ve ever been, but what if ultimately there’s a baby to have breakfast with, and someone to share in the delight of life with?

What if it works out?  Would you still think we are crazy for trying?

 

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Fertility Vacation 3.0 // Stronger

IVF is hard. This is not what I thought it would be like. It has made me examine so many aspects of myself, and redefined my place in the world.

I used to trust I would be a mom, and there would be three Ofeldts living in our house. I don’t have faith in that idea anymore. Now, I have faith in myself to accept that I can find peace, and joy in my life regardless of the outcome.

I am getting stronger. I’m healing. Finally.

It took awhile. I had to allow space for grief. It felt endless, and I wasn’t sure there was another side. I was shaken to my core, but I reached out for help and so many people held me up.

Above all, I reached out for Mike. He is always a steady, and magical part of my life. I met him and the word home came to mind. It was loud, and clear. I trusted that voice in me. I’m glad that after a decade my intuition and mind have finally got on the same page. Win or lose it’s ok to try, or give up, because Mike and I are going to stand by each other, and that’s a safe place to be.

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Fertility Vacation 2.0 // So many questions

I want to be a mom, I’m unwavering in this idea. My most beautiful dream is sitting with Mike on a couch, playing with our baby in pajamas by a Christmas tree. I know this is what I want. The will is there and I am strong. I’m balancing the hope of this dream against what I can survive and still keep of myself; my mind, my spirit.

I don’t really understand what happens to me when IVF doesn’t work. How do people survive multiple attempts? How are people made that strong? I’ve never seen myself as weak until we started our fertility journey. Not one day.

Why can’t I handle this? Every month we don’t get pregnant I’m sad. Just because you try IVF doesn’t mean you get pregnant. After the first attempt I was sad for a few days. Every day got a little better.

And then it didn’t. For seven weeks I felt like someone had died. Not uno and dos, not our pregnancy. It didn’t appear to be related to anything. The moments accosted me randomly and constantly. I felt terrorized by grief. I didn’t understand a grief that didn’t feel like mine. Why? Why does it feel this way? I know why I’m willing to risk feeling this way again, but why does it happen?

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6 things // August Feels

Photographing: lots of engagement sessions. Portraits are my jam. I had a fun time with Alyssa and Krystel in North Park. The murals and the neighborhood in general are inspiring. - Suzanne

Watching: Game of Thrones. I'm so in love with Sunday. - Suzanne

Girl crush: On my acupuncturist Laurie Morse. She is such an extraordinary person and healer. She has taken me places I've never gone. I really value her perspective. I'm so appreciative of having someone so high vibe in my life. - Suzanne

Photographing: Working with Suzanne from Crown Weddings and Annette Gomez at last weekend's wedding was a great experience.  - Mike

Reading: I'm reading more. More about philosophy and listening to podcast on mindset and detachment. Really a turning point for me in this mid-life crisis. - Mike

Preparing: For our next Europe trip. Many hopes and dreams lingering in the air. Life changes seem to be always right around the corner. - Mike

xoxo

Suzanne & Mike

4 Things // Beautiful Celebrations

Celebrating : Family dinner celebrating my brother's new license as a massage therapist. Oysters at Beer Fish is the way to go! I love celebrating. - Suzanne

Meditating : Jess Lively guided meditation is so interesting. It's a wild idea to choose your feeling for the day. I like to start mine as if I'm in Santorini, Greece after a bike ride and a swim in the ocean. - Suzanne

Dreaming of : Getting back in shape. Looking to clean up my diet and get back to a good clean eating routine. More hiking, running and boxing. When my body is peaking, my creativity peaks as well. My endurance for long wedding days and difficult situations are all positively effected by my fitness levels. - Mike

Photographing : Alexandra and Geoff's beautiful wedding day :)

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4 Things // Tropical Love

So much goodness. 3 weddings and an epic event in two states. Mike and I are having all the fun this week.

Dreaming of: Today's Maui wedding for Francesca and Matt. It was so fun to photograph their proposal and now I get to meet all of their friends and family and photograph them getting married with my awesome sidekick Deme. - Suzanne

Listening to : So many podcasts as I drive around the island searching for the best coffee in maui. If you have any tips send them my way. - Suzanne

Photographing : Some people plan their wedding for over a year, and some people are so in love it takes a week.  I can't wait to set sail this weekend for a wedding on the bay. - Mike

Family : Twice a year my mom comes to visit from New York. She gets here on Monday for two weeks. My mom is one of my best friends. She's so cool and fits in wherever we go. I can't wait to grab a beer with her and try to find something new to show her. 

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4 Things // Pride & More

Photographing : Friday was a 25 person wedding on a 90 ft yacht. It was amazing to float around the bay and be part of an amazing party. I was treated like one of the guests and the couple had the best sense of humor! The always amazing Annette Gomez did the florals. - Mike

More photographing : On Saturday I shot an event that had over 2,500 people. Very mixed cultures with a live band and crazy dance party. What a night! - Mike

Talking to: Gaidin Nordic Warrior the last week. This little guy has been so chatty. I've been waiting for so long to hear what he thinks and all of a sudden he is sharing a little more. It turns out he wants to go to the park or go swimming. These have been his most common thoughts. I'm in Aunt heaven.

Dreaming of: Alexandra and Geoff's beautiful wedding at the Grand Del Mar. I just love Alexandra and her whole family. We met at a gala at SDMA and she also modeled for me for Exquisite Weddings a couple of years ago. It's all going to be a dream. 

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Creativity Tell All // Luna Wild Design

Aly with Luna Wild Design fills me with wanderlust and a laid back vibe that inspires me to be more creative and design my life with greater possibilities. You can often find Aly on some exotic beach in Mexico making couple's dreams that much cooler. I once asked her a dream related question and she said she'd like to spend a couple months of the year working remotely practicing yoga in a jungle in Central America dreaming up designs for cool people. Yes to that!

How do you continually stay inspired and creative?

Traveling and making sure I'm always exploring is one way to always stay inspired.  It's hard not to feel inspired when you're visiting new places; a city, restaurant, coffee shop or the outdoors. I also learned early on that overbooking myself and being too busy is the fastest way to kill creativity for me.  I need time to breath, think and process my ideas rather than rushing through them. I find that my best designs come in my 'slow' seasons because I have more time to truly dedicate towards each idea and the client, instead of treating creativity and design as a check list.

Is there anything special or unique about your morning routine?

My husband and I always get up and make coffee and breakfast together. Especially Monday through Friday. I need an hour of slow time just sitting next to him on the couch with coffee before I get started with anything. Sometimes we'll go on runs, and sometimes we'll just sit in silence, but I love starting off my day with quality time with him.

If someone wanted to break into your industry, what advice would you give them?

That's a good one. Start connecting with your fellow industry-mates. This industry is so personal and for the most part very supportive and helpful. Truly get to know those around you and treat them with mutual respect. Naturally, if there's a connection, people will want to work with you because they like you. I would suggest working your butt off and start helping people and learning from them. Connections and opportunities will naturally happen when they're supposed to.

Did you always know this career path was ‘the one’?

I knew from pretty early on (when I was about 20 years old) that I loved this career.  I still haven't gotten sick of it and I don't plan on doing so. The best part about the design and wedding industry is that it's so big and there are so many different areas and types of things you can do that it never gets boring.  I love that I get to start fresh every year with new clients and new challenges.

What season inspires you most?

I'm a summer girl through and through, but I would say my soul is drawn to spring. Fresh life and the muted tones. I guess I'm a spring/summer mix. :)

Do you have any funny short stories or embarrassing moments from when you first got started?

My most embarrassing moment was setting a center piece on fire. The centerpiece had pampass grass wildly growing to one side of it and right after I lit a candle, the wind guided the pampass grass to the flame. I'm terrified of fire, so I just stood there paralyzed and I couldn't move or speak.  One of the guests saw what happened and ran over and dumped his drink on the fire in front of me. It was so embarrassing because everyone saw it and all night I was that girl who lit the table on fire.

What is the best advice you have been given?

I would say to know that you're worth it. I struggled a lot first getting started about discounting myself and overworking myself, but a few people told me to stick to my prices and know my worth.  Telling myself that my time is valuable and that I deserve to get paid my set rates allows me to be more selective, work less and truly enjoy my clients and my life more. I'm more focused, more inspired and I feel respected and appreciated.

What is your dream project?

My dream projects are design projects where I get to travel, and use local sourcing and vendors to create experiences. I love the pressure and excitement of sourcing things locally and creating something that's truly unique. And, of course, traveling is always an added bonus of fresh inspiration and materials to play with.

If there was a song that played every time you worked on your craft, what would it be?

I love listening to Buena Vista Social Club when I'm working or cooking. It's soothing yet playful and always puts me in the best mood.

Is there anything in particular you are obsessed with these days? 

Definitely Frosé, but what girl isn't!? I'm also obsessed with cold brew + lemonade - I love the bitter mixture and have been drinking it nonstop to get me through busy days.

What would you do if you had $40,900 for a vacation?

So much! I would spend one month traveling in Central America, two months in South America and one month in Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and some other places around there. I would spend my time exploring, finding local spots and getting to know the culture. I'd probably sign up for some cooking classes, run, do yoga a lot, walk all day and eat and drink a lot too.

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4 Things // Hey Hey Summer

Hey hey summer, goodbye June gloom =)

Dreaming of: Body surfing with Maryanne. I want the thrill of the waves washing over me bringing summer into my body and mind. - Suzanne

Photographing: My first homecoming. Mike has photographed a few, but this was my first time capturing someone get off a plane and come home to their family. It was so thrilling to  hang out with Katie and her 2 and 4 year old daughters waiting for their dad to finally come home. What a joyous moment. I felt so lucky to get to share it with them. - Suzanne

A corporate event at Estancia. Sometimes an event can be as grand as a wedding and it was fun to apply my wedding skills to a weekday event at one of my favorite places. - Mike

Hiking: I finally got one of those toddler backpacks to take Gaidin hiking just in time for his third birthday. Adventure is ahead for us. - Mike

Watching: John Lovell on YouTube. He's an interesting guy who links health, fitness, self defense and morals all in one. 

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