April AND May.... combined because of a secret

Well, the secret's out! 

If you haven't seen my Facebook/Instagram posts, I'M PREGNANT!!! 

Our Little Frog (we call it that because we don't know the gender aaaannnd it looks like a frog in the sonogram ^^) is due to join us December 15! The photo was taken right after I told Nick that he was gonna be a dad! Friday, April 13th is supposed to be a bad luck day but I'd say it was a pretty dang good day! I woke up that morning convinced I was pregnant because I had had some tenderness, fatigue, and hunger (every 4 hours.... on the dot) and I was even more convince when I realized Aunt Flo was 2 days late on her arrival. So I took the test (Nick was already off to work) and hurried to get ready. I spent at least 2 hours wandering Target trying to find something good to announce our Little Frog to Nick! I found a set of onesies that were pretty unisex and said, "Let the Adventure Begin" and then decided to make the mugs pictured. Of course I also got the streamer thing and balloons! 

I set up my camera and phone to record two different angles when Nick walked in so I could capture his reaction... But the thing is that he doesn't like surprises and isn't very expressive. So while the video is fun for me to watch, it would probably be a let down for ya'll. He just needs time to process I guess... 

That was really all of our April news! Oh! JK! Some of you might remember that nasty rash I had for 6 weeks and the doctor couldn't figure it out?? Well... we figured it out.... BED BUGS! Barf! I normally wouldn't talk about this but it was SUCH a big part of our lives that it took over them for a bit! I found one one night when I was reading in bed and one crawled past my eye on the pillow! I FLIPPED!! I woke Nick up and we CLEANED as much as we could, found a 24 hr Walmart, bought pillow covers and everything else that we could that was helpful, spent HOURS researching what to do and generally panicked... Needless to say, we only got about 2 hrs of sleep that night. 

The start of our sleeping arrangement for the next month.... 

The start of our sleeping arrangement for the next month.... 

Luckily, management was able to get pest control out there that next morning and verify it and give us instructions on what to do... VACUUM EVERYTHING AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AND THEN RUN WHAT YOU CAN THROUGH THE DRYER FOR 60 MINS. And lucky for us we were headed out of town to San Antonio for a few days so we could essentially ignore the problem for a bit while the professionals handled it. 

San Antonio was a BLAST!! We stayed right on the Riverwalk and hung out around there the whole time. Of course we visited the Alamo which was REALLY weird because it's literally in the middle of the city! Like, Ripley's Believe it or Not museum is RIGHT across the street from it... I was definitely expecting to have to drive out to the country to see it but it was only 2 blocks from our hotel. It was SO gorgeous there though! It was drizzling that morning but it cleared up the rest of the day! 

We had such a blast! Our favorite local restaurant was Açenar (TexMex) but we had some DELICIOUS places! Although, we did go to this German restaurant to humor my dad (he's OBSESSED with all things German) and it was NASTY (the food photo)... but their ceiling was really cool! The restaurant was really cool, it's the oldest in San Antonio and was almost like an Irish Pub but I definitely could've don't without the food (never been a fan of German food). You can tell my hair didn't want to cooperate after the first day because I pulled it back. It was a FRIZZ FEST that no one wanted or needed to see.... 

But our favorite restaurant that we visited was Fogo de Chão (translation: Fire Pit). The meat was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOD!!! Tender, juicy, and FULL of flavor. Hard to beat. 

We saw the light show at the Cathedral of San Fernando but mostly hung out on the Riverwalk. We did a boat tour and stopped to see all of the little signs as we walked it! San Antonio doesn't really feel like it's in the US. It's so tropical and magical that we compared it to Disneyland's Adventure land. And I know all of SA isn't that way but where we were was and it was beautiful! 

Other things that happened in April: I second shot a beautiful wedding with my friend Lexie from Lexie Krug Photography , got in my base burn while walking White Rock Lake with my mama squad, found the giant eyeball with Nick while exploring DT Dallas, and had an afternoon picnic with my love at our beloved White Rock Lake! 

Got to shower Brooke and her twins with lots of loves and lots of laughs!

Got to shower Brooke and her twins with lots of loves and lots of laughs!

May came with a lot of fun things and a lot of battle tactics to fight off the Bed Bugs... We discovered that not only was vacuuming our best friend but that the bugs don't like double sided tape and are smart enough to go around it. **Disclaimer** We did not get bed bugs because we are dirty, messy or anything of the sort. Bed Bugs do not care if your house is clean or dirty, rich or poor, they are wingless vampires that like to nest in a dark, cozy, preferably-fabric place close to where their victims sleep. Nick thinks he picked one up in an Uber on his way home from work one day... so be careful my friends! If you want to learn more about BBs just ask, Nick and I have done SOO much research and talking with professionals that we could literally write a book on it. 

Nick trying to "lure" out the bed bugs one afternoon so we could kill them...

Nick trying to "lure" out the bed bugs one afternoon so we could kill them...

I hit 8 weeks in May and of course had to take a "bump" photo lol.... there's nothing there yet but I could definitely feel my pants getting tighter. I also discovered that my dad randomly has a restaurant for Chicken Fingers-why he never told me, I'll never understand haha. 

I also had my first (and only (so far)) hormonal breakdown. It's actually a pretty funny story. I found this random account on Instagram (click here to see for yourself... You're welcome) that has all these really funny animal memes. They posted this one video that kept getting funnier as you watched it... then I of course started laughing hysterically at EVERY meme that I saw after that until I finally realized that I shouldn't be laughing as hard as I was. I was laughing so hard that tears were STREAMING down my face. And Nick just sat there. Staring at me. As if I was slowly morphing into an escaped convicted murder. And then I started crying. Because I couldn't stop laughing. And then I cried harder because I couldn't stop crying... freaking hormones. 

Nick's cousin Jackie came out from San Francisco to visit us for a weekend! We had so much fun exploring the city, eating amazing food, and binge watching 'Safe' on Netflix (SO good but has a LOT of cussing... you were warned). Of course the only photos I got that weekend were of our last meal together, and binging Netflix lol. I totally forgot to get photos at the DMA, Dealy Plaza, JFK Memorial, Outlets, and everything else that we did. 

Nick's work can be really amazing sometimes! We've got a regular date for working at the pool on Monday's since he doesn't need to be at the office. We figured he could work on his tan as well... 

Memorial Day weekend was a BLAST!! We went with friends out to Possum Kingdom Lake and boated all weekend! I wish I could easily post videos cause Nick has a great wipeout and Justin surfing to Whitney Houston is something that should NOT be missed! So grateful for these amazing friends! 

That weekend was also SUPER hard because my puppers of 13 years died suddenly from a stroke and internal bleeding. Scottie was such an INCREDIBLE dog. He was so well behaved, loving, ands incredibly scared of everything... it was hilarious! It's so hard to be without him now. He was there for half of my life. I know a lot of you know what this feels like! It's a new thing to me because he was the first to go for us. It's SO hard to lose a member of your family like that. RIP Scottie. I love you! 

May ended with me getting some genetic testing done for Baby K (when the results come in we'll have a little reveal party! Watch IG!) and me flying home to visit for a few days! It was surreal walking in the house and only having my puppers Jazz there to greet me! But the rest of that story goes into June so.... CLIFFHANGER!! lolz 

XOXO meli

 

p.s.

The Bed Bugs are GONE!!! Pest control cleared us the last Wednesday in May! Only took a MONTH!

Keep on MARCHin

And just like all months, March went by in the blink of an eye (wow, I’m an amazing poet ;] ) 

We started March off strong with VIP tickets to our favorite band’s concert, The Classic Crime! They seriously have the BEST shows! I’m not a fan of concerts unless it includes an orchestra and padded seats but I will go to a TCC concert EVERY. TIME. This time we got VIP tickets which meant we got to meet them and have a bit of a Q&A with them. So, Robbie, the guitarist, is basically my new bff. He’s also a wedding photographer (He’s got MAD s-kills!) and I had chatted with him on good ol’ FB about it once last year. Well, in the Q&A I asked what everyone else’s day jobs and mentioned that Robbie had helped me out with something because he’s such an amazing photog and HE REMEMBERED IT. **FANGIRL MOMENT** And then AFTER the Q&A he talked to us for 15 mins (while everyone else went backstage) and gave me more adviced and then showed us pics and vids of his adorbs corgi. COOLEST. GUY. EVER. 

One of the things I learned about Nick’s family early on is that there is an unspoken competition to find the next coolest/next family favorite musical artist. I still haven’t brought one to the table yet (it’s incredibly difficult) but Nick brought them TCC and we discovered them at the EXACT same concert back in high school so I like to think that if I had been apart of the family back then that I would’ve gotten credit for them. haha - The story goes that we both went to this Reliant K concert our Jr. year of high school-not together, but with the people we were dating at the time (and my BFF Lacy). We joke that we fell in love that night the second we saw each other but truth be told we don’t remember meeting until Freshman year of College. Anyway, TCC opened for Reliant K along with OWL CITY (remember him??) and we both liked TCC better than RK (but don’t tell them that lol). 

‘Back to March... Actually, the next day we got to spend our first day this year in the sun with a bunch of our friends from Nick’s work to celebrate birthdays!! They’re seriously the coolest people! We went downtown to Klyde Warren Park which is a park that they built on top of a freeway (how cool is that?!) and enjoyed the food trucks and frisbee as much as we could, it was REALLY crowded (I think everyone has the same idea). Oh, and that delicious cookie thing in Nick’s hand is the most amazing ice cream sandwich ever! It’s a double decker cookie-wich (cookie-ice cream-cookie-ice cream-cookie). Drool. 

A week or so after that Wayne and Susan (the best in-laws EVER) came to visit! We are so lucky that Wayne travels to Dallas for work and brings Susan with him sometimes! We ate SO much amazing food! We showed them this place called Maple Leaf Diner that has the craziest, most intensely LARGE, and delicious food you’ve ever had (see photo of “Carnival Burger”)!!! We also took them to see the Bloom Festival at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens which was STUNNING. I think it was particularly stunning in contrast to the rest of Dallas that was just barely starting to green up. The Farmer’s Market was really fun and we found a delicious and quite amazing hot sauce made out of THE CAROLINA REAPER PEPPER (aka: the HOTTEST PEPPER IN THE WORLD). Not too hot, but VERY delicious. Oh. I just said that. Lol. 

TWO DAYS after Wayne and Susan left we went to UTAH for a jam-packed weekend! It started off with a recruiting event for Nick’s work that was for interested recruits and their spouses to learn about the lifestyle and what life really looks like day-to-day with such an intense job. It was really fun talking to a ton of people and seeing some amazing friends that we hadn’t seen since we moved!! The next day started with me, Ethan, and dad going to the Salt Lake Library to do his senior pictures (coming soon!) while Nick was at another recruiting event in Provo. Right after that we headed to the Bountiful Temple to go through with Alissa for the first time! It was great to have the whole family together for the first time since Christmas! The next day we got to spend a little time with my family before flying back to Dallas! 

March was really a great month which was VERY needed! 

 

 

XOXO meli

Dear January,

This is going to be a real, honest, and most likely, emotional post because our January was AMAZING and awful all in one. So if you're not wanting to see a bit into our lives, you may just want to skip this post. I warned you. 

January started of great! It was full of promise and excitement! We started it off by seeing the MOST amazing movie!! (The Greatest Showman). If you've seen it, I think you'll agree with me when I say the production value was INCREDIBLE! I could go on and on about it but I won't. If you DO want to chat about it LMK and I'd be all over that!

The second week of January was the BEST week of our lives! On January 11th we found out that we were GOING TO BE PARENTS!!! We were shocked! We definitely didn't think it would happen as quickly as it did (only a few months). And Nick came up with the best way to tell our families! Since we're in Texas and they're alll in Utah (and one in Idaho-rebel ;p) we got a family Skype session planned. Nick and I made these t-shirts and when we gave them an update on our lives we started talking all about how Nick is "on track for getting a promotion" and I am "starting a new position soon" and that we made shirts to celebrate (kind of a weird thing to make t-shirts for buuuttt... hey. Don't judge.) We had made sure that no one could see our shirts up until we told them about this and when we panned down to show them our shirts everyone went WILD! It was the best, most exciting time! Luckily, we recorded their reactions and I think I watched each family's reactions at least 5 times right after we were done talking to them. 

We were allll in. I started taking photos to show the progress my belly would make over then next 9 months (first photo I didn't really understand how to pose like a preggers but I was making progress by the second). We started planning family vacations around it and figuring out when my mom would come to help organize my house to get ready for baby. I started getting the low down from my good friend who just had a baby on what to expect and which products I just HAD to get! I even started reading What to Expect When You're Expecting and alllll the pregnancy apps/articles I could find! 

I had 2 wonderful, long, glorious weeks of being pregnant (and knowing it) before I miscarried. But I need to be clear about something. I'm not writing this and telling ya'll about the worst thing that's ever happened to me in any plea for sympathy, encouragement or anything of the like. I'm sharing because THIS IS MY LIFE. It's important to me to share it with my family and friends and maybe because I share my life (even the bad) it'll help someone. 

Nick and I were DEVASTATED. This Little One. This baby the size of a pea had become our ENTIRE LIVES! All we could think about was this baby and then suddenly, it was gone. It was so extremely hard and I can't begin to tell you what it is like going through that. It's still hard. I find myself distracting myself so that I don't have to think about it because the second I do, I'm a mess reliving it all over again. 

But for as hard as this experience is, we have been immensely blessed. Our families and friends have rallied around us, supporting us, bringing us meals, sending us flowers, visiting us and just letting us know how much they love us. And we have felt an enormous peace through it all. 

When I was little, I remember my mom asking me if I could keep a secret. Of course I told her yes because I wanted to know what that secret was SOOO badly! She told me that I was going to have another little sibling soon and I was sooo excited! I wanted a baby sister soo bad! And then a little while later she came back to me and told me that the baby had died. I remember so vividly my mom explaining that the baby couldn't come because they needed a perfect body and the body that had been growing wasn't perfect so it needed to start over again. And a little while later she did get pregnant and had my perfect baby sister!

My baby sister & me ^^

I have clung to that experience as I've gone through my own miscarriage. And as I've talked to people I've realized that my outlook might be a little unique. For many people miscarriage means the baby just simply isn't coming. For me, I prayed every day that I knew I was pregnant for my Little One to have a perfect little body and my prayers are being answered. This body wasn't going to be perfect and my body knew that so it simply hit the "Start Over" button. And you might be reading this, having experienced a miscarriage and felt like you lost a baby that isn't going to come. And you may be right. I really believe Mothers have an intuition and know. But for me, this isn't a goodbye to the most precious little person that I've never met before, it's a "we'll see you soon because I'm going to do everything I can to get you here." 

 I'm extremely grateful to all of my friends and family who have experienced this loss and have reached out or even just shared your stories. I don't think it's talked about enough. ONE in every FOUR pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth. It's a startling fact and I understand why it's not talked about. It's HARD to open up about your loss. It's HARD to relive it. It's HARD to admit that every time you watch a show and a woman finds out she's pregnant/has a big bump/has a baby you find yourself bawling with grief and envy. I went to the doctors and on the elevator it opened to a woman DAYS away from having her baby in her arms and I LOST IT. Nick had to stare me down so that I didn't break down in front of the whole (crowded) elevator but the second I got to the car you bet I was done for. It's just not something that we want to go through over and over again if you don't have to. 

But I wonder if talking about it and being open about it would help us heal. I'm not sure if it will but this is me trying. I've been dreading writing this post because I didn't have much to share about my January besides this and I'm STILL not sure if I'm ready to share this with the world, but I want to heal. I want to be excited to start my little family again. I want to ONLY feel joy and peace holding my friends' adorable babies instead of a mix of joy, peace, and outrageous envy. (I'm honestly surprised I haven't turned into the Hulk yet.) I know it will happen but being patient has ALWAYS been hard for me and it's especially hard now. 

Nick and I have experienced a MILLION tender mercies though this hard time and want to thank each of you for your love and support! My wish is that I can help someone somewhere though a hard time as well. If you need to talk, PLEASE reach out!! Let's fight the good fight together!

 

XOXO meli

Pierre Family

Meet the Pierres! They are such a fun couple and their little girl could NOT be any cuter!! This session was soo fun to shoot! And the location (Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden) is to DIE for! I STILL have yet to think it's ugly (even when there aren't any leaves on the trees and everything is brown). 

One of the challenges I face is photographing little babies. You wouldn't think it would be hard since they're just a sleeping-mush-of-joy but it can be hard to position them just right! So my go to is taking a documentary-style approach! Have Mom & Dad hold baby however they normally do! Or pose Mom & Dad and then have them hold her however is most comfortable for them! You might be surprised and how photogenic people are naturally!! 

Another thing that has helped me is something my film professor, Brenda, taught us (film as in 35mm black & white not video). She taught us about Robert Capa, a FAMOUS war photographer. You might know him from this photo: 

D-day

Click the photo to read about his experience in WWII. 

So here's a guy who PHOTOGRAPHED June 6, 1944- one of the SCARIEST experiences I think anyone could ever have (but especially a photographer) and what did he say? 

If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.

Like, WHAT? Here's a guy that wanted to get CLOSE to war to get good pictures. That's dedication! So if you're thinking, alright Meli, this is cool and all but HOW does a photographer from WWII help you photograph little babies? 

If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.

Just get closer! Closeness increases the sense of familiarity, intimacy, emotionality, and if nothing else, envoys a reaction from it's viewers. It may be a different reaction from every viewer, or a different one than you expected. But good photography ALWAYS evokes a reaction. So GET CLOSER. 

XOXO meli