Business

2018 Personal Highlights

I could write a 100 blog posts about 2018. Becoming parents is more than we could have ever dreamed, and I think you all know how I feel about our little man. Leland Theodore is just pure perfection. I have so many favorite moments, so creating a top 10 is tough. If I could bottle up this year and keep every memory perfectly without fading I really would. God was so gracious and kind and we have a million big and little things to praise Him for. Don’t get me wrong, it was also tough. The sleepless nights kicked my butt this fall, and getting past the postpartum blues was real, but that all kind of fades away with time and baby giggles.

So here it is- my top 10 memories of 2018!

Being pregnant. I absolutely loved being pregnant. Watching my body grow and change was such a joy. For a person who often takes her body for granted I loved feeling more connected to my body. I felt so grateful for what my body was able to do. And feeling those baby kicks- there is nothing like it!

Hot air ballon festival. We’ve talked about going to a hot air ballon festival for years. We have even driven all the way there in years past to find out that it was canceled because of weather. Not this year! This year we made it to the festival and the balloons actually took off. I think there is just something so magical about hot air balloons!

Baby showers. We were seriously spoiled by our friends and families before Baby Beatty arrived. The ladies in my family threw us a “Next Big Adventure” themed shower, Ted’s mom and sister planned us a backyard “Baby-Q” celebration and the girls in our bible study group helped us celebrate with a poolside bash. It was so fun to celebrate with everyone and all of the details that went into the celebrations made us feel so loved and known.

Leland Theodore’s birth story. I haven’t share too much about Leland’s birth story. I hope one day to write a whole post about it, but for now I can tell you that it was perfect. I had a long and difficult labor, but the memories we made during those days in the hospital are some I will always cherish. I welcomed my sisters and our parents in to help while I was laboring and after Leland made his entrance into the world our room was a constant stream of family and friends. It was loud and a little chaotic, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way!

Our little beach babe. We love the beach around here. So it didn’t take us long to head to the beach with our little guy. Ted’s family planned a little getaway on Lake Huron. We spent our time BBQing, exploring the beaches and climbing the local lighthouse. I may have cried at the end of our beach day because I was so happy. My little family with the sun setting behind us on the Great Lakes- yup, a dream of mine coming true.

Pool days. My parents have the best pool, and my favorite memories from childhood are the memories we made as a family in the pool. It has been so much fun to watch the pool transform over the years as a place of our family, and then a hangout spot for our friends and now the gathering place for all of the cousins. We couldn’t let the summer pass by without taking Leland for her first dip!

Our first flight with Leland. Ted had a work conference in Portland, Oregon so we added a few days on both sides of the conference and spent some time exploring Portland and the surrounding area and then we headed up to Olympic National Park for a few days. Some people may call us crazy, but we took Leland on his first plane ride at just 6 weeks- and hey it all worked out! We had the best time taking Leland on his first hikes and teaching him the art of adventure. Olympic National Park was absolutely stunning and watching Ted hike with Leland tucked in close in the rainforest made my momma heart explode.

Learning to be a full time work at home mom. Yes, I still work full time- I photograph over 100 sessions a year and up to 12 full day weddings. This year I took about 2 months off from work, but was back to photographing for the fall busy season. We get sitters when necessary, and we have the most amazing support system, but Ted and I do our best to balance our work and home life between the two of us when possible. That meant a lot of baby wearing, waking up before our little guy and quick baby hands offs when one person was home from work and the other needed to head off to work. It has been so fun to see our marriage flourish as we focus on this new stage of life as a stronger, more unified team.

Road tripping along the coast of Maine. We joined my parents for a road trip along the coast of Maine to check out the fall colors. My parents love Maine, so I grew up hearing all about it- and it truly was gorgeous. We loved stopping in all of the little fishing villages, walking along the harbors and eating delicious seafood every night. Our trip finished at Acadia National Park where Ted and I were able to have a little day date while Grandma and Papa hung back with Leland. We hiked the Precipice Trail, which is basically iron rung ladders that you climb up on the side of a mountain- it was terrifying and incredible!

Turning 30 in St. Augustine, Florida. We typically head south for my birthday, but skipped the tradition last year because pregnancy was kicking my butt. Ted went all out this year and surprised me with the most amazing trip to St. Augustine. We spent lazy mornings with coffee in bed and snuggles with Leland, enjoyed long walks and picnics on the beach and explored downtown. The highlight had to be the spa day Ted planned for me. An entire day of pampering- I couldn’t have asked for anything more! 30 sounded a bit scary, but celebrating it with my guys certainly made me ready to welcome it with open arms!

There you have it, the top 10 moments of 2018! Thank you so much for following along. Your love and support of our little family means more than I could ever say. We hope this year brings you lasting memories with the ones you love- and we can’t wait to capture some of them along side you!

2017 Highlights- Personal

2017 was quite a year.  Every year around this time I sit down to write out our story to put in our photo album.  When I think about writing our story for 2017 it has a lot to it.  Ted and I both grew so much personally, spiritually and in our careers.  The year was filled with some awesome adventures with some of our favorite people, slow mornings at home, and more time spent with family and friends.  I really, really loved the way this year challenged us and I am hoping for a 2018 that brings more adventure and growth. 

So without further ado- 1o of our highlights from 2017! 

Our year started out with our biggest adventure! We visited Iceland with two of our very dearest friends and had the time of our lives.  I have about a million photos to share from this trip, but they are still in my editing queue- yikes! Iceland is so beautiful and unlike anywhere I have ever been.  We hiked on glaciers, soaked in hot springs, stayed in little fishing villages, visited waterfalls, and watched the Northern Lights!  Those Northern Lights are something else, and I am already plotting a way to get back to Iceland to see them again! 

Just like we have every year since our wedding, we celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary in Petoskey.  Our trip almost always looks the exact same, and I think that is why I Iove it so much.  Our first stop is at the church where we were married, where we read the bible readings from our wedding and pray for our marriage.  Then we make our way to the Perry Hotel where we celebrated our wedding reception.  They always treat us like royalty and gift us with champagne and put us in the room with the best view of the bay. I really love that place, and it is by far my very favorite tradition.

Next up- our chance to be lighthouse keepers! I had been looking forward to this trip for a whole year! Ted and I got to be lighthouse keepers at Crisp Point Lighthouse in the Upper Peninsula.  We took care of the lighthouse, opened it for guests, cleaned the area, and ran the gift shop. We invited some of our family to come Up North with us for the adventure and had so much fun camping on the beach with them. One of my very favorite moments of the entire year was rock hunting with this bunch in our pajamas at sunset.  I hope I never forget how much fun we all had together doing something so simple! 

I know this is a work highlight, but it is also a huge personal highlight for me! Ted started shooting with me this year, and it has been the very best.  I could go on and on about the ways he serves our clients, but you have probably already heard me do that.  Another way it has blessed us is in our marriage.  We have had so much fun growing and learning while working together, and I love the new element it brings to our relationship. 

We finished the summer with one last adventure to Northern Michigan with family and friends.  The highlight of this trip was watching Ted compete in his first triathlon.  This guy has so much heart, and it was so cool to see his summer of training pay off during the race.  He also has so much physical endurance, and I could never do something like this so it's fun to live vicariously through him! The atmosphere around the race is so fun and we had a blast chasing him around the course and cheering for him at different spots.  We rented the prettiest little beach house in Northport and once the triathlon was over we visited all the local wineries and breweries to celebrate! 

Clearly we are all about traditions in the Beatty family.  A few years ago we started a tradition to take a big road trip every October.  This year we headed out to Utah.  We visited Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, Capitol Reef and Zion National Parks.  We hiked every day, cooked over a fire, slept in our tent most nights and the cutest little cabin one night, and totally disconnected from the world.  Utah and its National Parks absolutely stole our hearts and we had one epic road trip! My favorite memory was hiking The Narrows together at Zion, something I think everyone should do once in their life! 

Every year we try to get at least one photograph with everyone from the Miller side, but somehow one person is always missing.  This year we actually got together with the sole intention of taking a family picture.  I know we will all treasure this picture for years to come and I can't help but laugh when I look at it, because how are there really that many of us?! 

Our last trip of the year was to San Diego.  We left the day after our last wedding of the year, and it was such a sweet way to celebrate the end of wedding season.  Ted actually went on the trip for work, but a whole lot of it felt like vacation.  We watched incredible sunsets, ate delicious seafood, and even tried surfing- which was on our bucket list! 

This year we became an aunt and uncle to three new little humans! We welcomed Alicia, Colin and June to our family and we think they are simply the greatest.  There isn't much that we love more than being an aunt and uncle and these three have already stolen our hearts! 

The stomach flu struck our house the day before Christmas Eve so we had a very low key Christmas celebration.  The day after Christmas I was finally feeling better, and we got our booties outside for some snowshoeing.  It was the perfect way to celebrate Christmas together and after being sick it felt so good to get outside and get moving! And that snow! I love the way that white stuff looks right after a big snowstorm.

Well there you have it! A few of my very favorite memories from 2017.  From big adventures to Iceland to just finally getting outside after recovering from the flu, I am so thankful for all of the big and little moments this year.  

What should I bring to my family shoot?

I don't typically address this topic with clients, but as I started thinking about it, it is so important.  What do you need to carry with you during your photoshoot? We typically wander pretty far away from our cars, so we only have what we are carrying with us.  How frustrating to be carrying around more than you need or to be missing the few things that would be useful during your session.  So here we go, let's dive into the topic of what to bring with you to your family shoot. 

Pack everything into one small bag that can get tossed on the ground without fear of getting dirty.

A small snack and a drink for your little ones.  Something that isn't messy or creates crumbs, like string cheese or dried fruit works well.  You may have just fed your kiddos, but they can be absolute ninjas at getting out of photographs- and their go-to tends to be, "I am hungry.  I am thirsty." So let's just bring something just in case that complaint comes up, so we can address it and get back to the fun! 

A treat! Your little ones are working hard and staying focused, and it is okay to reward that.  Their favorite gummies work well and keep everyone mess free.  Even better- surprise them with a gummy shape they haven't tried! 

A favorite blanket. I always bring a blanket with me to shoots, but if you have a favorite blanket please feel free to bring that.  Or if you have a blanket you think will work particularly well with your outfits I would love to use yours! 

A stuffed animal or small toy.  Your child probably has a favorite stuffed animal that travels with you everywhere, and it is okay for that animal to join the photoshoot.  Just please make sure to let your child know their stuffed animal is going to spend some time with Caryn.  I will take good care of him while your little one takes their photographs and said stuffed animal might even end up doing something really silly like sitting on my head or trying out a new dance move right behind my camera! 

Men- Please take your wallet and cell phone out of your pocket.  I know, it feels natural and you may not think you are wearing skinny jeans or tight pants ;) but I can see your phone in your pocket and trust me, it isn't flattering!

Lipstick or lipgloss.  I totally get it if you love your lipstick and you haven't found that exact brand that is suppose to stay on all day, let alone for one hour- I haven't found it either! Throw it in your bag just in case you want to add some extra color! 

Leave everything else in the car!  Trust me you don't want to be lugging extra bags around the park.  We are constantly moving and the extra time to pick things up and put them down takes away from the time that you get to enjoy just being with your family.  So remember simple is best, and less is more when it comes to bringing things to your photoshoot.  Your family's smiles and interactions are all we really need to truely capture the season of life you are in.