It’s been nearly a year since we shared our Mental Health Journey. A week after I shared that, we found out that we were pregnant with our daughter, Kira Lyanna. It wasn’t planned but it was a very exciting surprise as wanting a family was one of the things we had talked about in that blog, but never knew how to make it work with our life and business.
Everyone always says you can’t really “plan” for kids, you just have to do it — and being thrown into trying to figure out how to cover our weddings, how to pay the bills, and how to even survive in general with Kira was a few of the many things I just had to put my big girl pants on and try and figure out. The universe loves to test my limits — it aways throws the things I fear the most at me and in the end, I become stronger for it. This was just another big jump in my growth. I didn’t have a choice — we didn’t have a choice. Our life now circles around our daughter and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but it forced us to make a lot of big changes and hard decisions. If nothing else, this experience has taught me to take a step back from being a control freak and depend on others. I don’t have to do it all myself.
In theater I was taught the show must go on – to put on a big smile and jump right back into work. This year I photographed weddings until a few days before I went to the hospital to have Kira. At the hospital I was still bombarded with emails and Dave had to leave the hospital the night she was born to prep to shoot two weddings, leaving me alone at the hospital (Covid restrictions wouldn’t allow anyone else to come). I picked back up shooting weddings at 5 and a half weeks post partum. It was hard, but I am so thankful to have amazing friends and photographers who stepped in to help us and for our amazing clients that accepted and were so incredible about my absence, many of which even sent gifts for our little one.
One of the hardest decisions, but most financially responsible we’ve recently made is that we are currently moving out and selling our home and moving back into my studio with my parents. (Over the past decade, we have renovated a large portion of my mom’s house for our studio. It’s been the perfect location for us over the years as it’s located on 11 acres of wooded land to shoot on). The choice was difficult, but since having Kira it has been near impossible to get editing done alone. Selling our house is also part of our plan to cut out a lot of our debt so we can spend more time doing the things we love and being more present instead of our work consuming us to make ends meet. I’m a little sad to lose the space as we are turning it into more of a studio apartment to live in, but I am very excited to be closer to my family so Dave and I can help take care of them and they can help us take care of Kira. I want to be present in Kira’s life and have her family be there for her. I also look forward to partnering back up with my mom and creating epic outfits for fantasy shoots and photographing more art.
Starting Fox and the Wolf and finding the artist inside myself has also made such an enormous impact on my life and self esteem. Having the break from so many weddings over the pandemic and having to rely on family now that I have my daughter has given me time to mend relationships that I haven’t been able to enjoy in so long. For years I would skip family events in order to get more work done and I didn’t foster any relationships with friends and loved ones that care for us. One of our SCAdian family reminded me the simple adage that we don’t have to do it alone and that “It takes a village”. It was a good reminder of what I got a kick in the bum for when Dave and I got married and I went into therapy– that we don’t have to go at it alone and that we have help. We have people that love us and are there for us even if we haven’t been present for them.
We are working super hard to get caught up on editing weddings from a few weeks prior to having Kira forward and are currently reaching out to get some help with our backlog. We hope to start getting galleries and videos out very soon for everyone. We appreciate everyone’s patience at this time! We are looking forward to what the next year brings for us — we are hoping the move gives us the ability to have more time Serena Star, Fox and the Wolf, and maybe I’ll finally even get my book series published this year!