Engagement Session Fun

Engagement Session Fun

Over the weekend I shot an engagement session. My daughter, she’s 8, was my assistant. She came along to help me with my gear and hold reflectors, if needed. This session was not just any engagement session, these two are family friends as well. To top it all off, it was my very first one! I admitted to them how nervous I had been, once it was all over! They made the shoot so fun and so easy! The client mentioned a few times really wanting to utilize natural light as best as possible to eliminate the need for much post editing. I could not have been happier with these pictures! The lighting was great, my subjects were amazing and we had a lot of fun!

Here is a sneak peek at some of my favorites! I had a hard time choosing but I think these take the cake!

Ranching Happiness Photography

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Top 5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Portrait session

Top 5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Portrait session

This past weekend, I had an engagement session that could not have gone any better. We had fun and captured some great shots. Great portrait sessions don’t happen on accident, though, and here are the top 5 ways to make sure your session is everything you dreamed of.

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Kids and Kidney Disease

Kids and Kidney Disease

They don’t sit you down and tell you how to talk to your kids about kidney disease. We could probably seek counseling so we know the “best” way to validate their feelings. But, I know my kids pretty well. So far, we all seem to be handling the situation fine! Just because we handle it fine, does not mean we don’t struggle together.

Our oldest was eight months old when my husband began his hemodialysis. She does not remember a time when he was dialysis free. Our youngest has never been alive when her Dad did not have three day a week treatments. To the kids, this is life. They are so blessed to have a father that is not only a warrior for his health but also a hard worker who provides for his family. My husband is a healthy man. His doctors have said that if he did not have kidney failure, he would pass the physical for the Marines.

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10 FACTS ABOUT ME

10 FACTS ABOUT ME

I know, everyone is just dying to know all about me. And since I know this, I decided to share ten things you might not know about me:

  1. I had my tonsils removed when I was four years old. And this, as it turns out, is not a very common practice anymore. Our youngest was having sore throats regularly last year. She was the same age as I had been when mine were removed. My mom told me she was showing a lot of the same tendencies I had shown before they discovered my infected tonsils. I took her to the doctor to get to the bottom of it. His diagnosis was allergies. He suggested I try Claritin for kids. I asked about the tonsils and was informed they don’t remove them unless it is absolutely necessary. Alrighty then!
  2. I went to Europe alone. And it was not the scariest thing I have ever done. I regret not taking advantage of my opportunity more thoroughly. Even though it was not as scary as some things I have done, I think being alone was a bit intimidating. It was the trip of a lifetime for me.
  3. My heritage is Sicilian. My ancestors are from Sicily. My attitude is 100% Italian. My emotions, all Italian. I always had to spell my last name out, before I married and changed my name. I can’t keep calm, no matter how hard I try. I am obsessed with pizza. I have a large, loud family. None of us keep calm very well.
  4. I go to bed at night and can’t wait to have coffee the next morning. Sometimes, morning coffee is all I think about. This can make it hard to fall asleep at night. Without coffee, I don’t function well.
  5. I don’t drink. I used to drink and I used to drink too much. I did not quit because I was an alcoholic and I had a problem. I quit because, honestly, I like who I am much better when I am not drinking. I can be hard to get along with when I have been drinking. I get testy and sometimes, mean. I don’t miss drinking, at all. I do break the rules on Thanksgiving and Christmas to participate in our whiskey sour tradition.  My husband does not drink because of his kidney failure so it was an easy choice for me.
  6. My parents are the best! I was raised by two caring and compassionate people. They are my inspiration. They are both hard working and dedicated. They put their family first, no matter what. Without my parents, their love and never ending support, I would not be the person I am today. I thank my Mom and Dad every single day for raising me to be who I am.
  7. I would rather clean dirty stalls than go shopping. The number one best thing to happen to shopping is the internet. I can turn on my computer and order what I am looking for, in my pajamas, with my coffee and without any other people. I don’t stand in line, I don’t deal with traffic. It’s great. Please, don’t ask me to go shopping with you.
  8. I have three tattoos: a ladybug, a celtic symbol meaning “warrior” and a Kokopelli. I don’t regret any of them. I will probably not get another one, probably. I won’t encourage my kids to get them but I won’t throw a fit if they do, once they are 18, that is. None of them hurt enough for me to remember. They all have a special story to go along with them. My kids think it’s funny that a ladybug is always crawling on me.
  9. I am not a match for my husband. A blood type match that is. I was tested a few years ago because I wanted to donate my “extra” kidney to him. When I was not a match for him, we entered into the kidney exchange program to try and match me to someone else. Turns out, my blood type is hard to match.
  10. I am not bossy, I just know what you should be doing better than you do. And this is something I am working on. I have noticed a pattern over the last 33 years, I am usually offending someone because I am too pushy or too bossy. And yes, I am. I am vocal when it comes to my beliefs and my habits. Sometimes this spells trouble for the hubby and me.

There ya have it. More than you ever wanted to know about me.

So, what is a fistula?

So, what is a fistula?

This post contains photographs of my husbands arm during a dialysis treatment. If the sight of blood or needles is something you are not comfortable with, maybe this particular post is not for you!

When my husband and I were still dating he came over to my house one evening after a day long trip to the hospital and showed me why he had been there. He was still living with his transplant although his doctors knew it had rejected and it was only a matter of time before he would have to begin dialysis treatments.

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Why I LOVE our school schedule!

Why I LOVE our school schedule!

One of the greatest things about homeschooling is the ability to have a flexible schedule. We don’t have a late bell, early release for the football playoffs, lunch schedules, or pick-up times. I am in control of how we schedule our days and I can take the day off for someones birthday too!

But, having a flexible schedule does not mean we lack routine. Quite the contrary, actually. We have a wonderful routine that seems to work very well for us! In this post I wanted to share how we “schedule” our days to optimize productivity. Instead of a detailed schedule with hourly entries, we have guidelines outlining what we hope to achieve that day.

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Homeschool made me less stressed!

Homeschool made me less stressed!

At the beginning of this post, it was unnamed. Unnamed because, truthfully, sometimes it is HARD to name your feelings. When I first started looking into blogging as an option for me, my hangup was always the same: sharing my feelings. Exposing things about our lives. And, talking about dialysis. Kidney disease, dialysis, transplants, they are all so complex. And often, depressing to talk about. As I was trying to pick a topic for todays post, I decided we would venture over into the homeschool world a little! Get off kidneys for a while!

IMG_2450

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