Archive for 'Personal'
Never could I have imagined a more perfect little girl for our family. 2 years came and went and I have no doubt I’ll be sitting on our front porch, waving goodbye as she’s off for her first Homecoming so very soon. Let’s not forgot after the endless amount of photos I make her take! Poor child! 🙂 Here are some of my favorites from our short studio session last week and from her small family birthday party. A big thank you to Melissa Harris for the extremely yummy birthday cake Olivia couldn’t keep her fingers off of! 🙂
** And I’m excited to announce another special for studio sessions, just like the one I did here for Olivia – Bring in your kids around their birthdays for a mini session just for them, to celebrate turning another year older (and yes you can throw in your other children for a few just for fun)!! email me at email@example.com for questions and bookings!
I’d say I fell in love pretty quickly with my first newborn shoot in the studio. The light was controlled and beautiful, therefore I could focus on the kids and helping their Mom and Dad. Newborn shoots are some of the hardest, but my absolute favorite, especially when the entire family is involved. And come on, look at that dreamy light dancing off of their new baby and Mom.
I was asked by a mentor of mine in my first year of business where I saw myself in 10 years. Not really a huge fan of questions like that, I gave a some fluffy answers that were enough to appease him. Then at the bottom of the page, where no one could see, I wrote to have my own studio before my 10 year business anniversary. I was too afraid to even share my dream back then, in fear that it wouldn’t ever really happen or that my business wouldn’t even last a whole decade.
Fast forward 9 years. In this year, my 9th year to own and run Brittany Dawson Photography, all on my own, I’ve checked off a big dream of mine. Something that I’ve wanted for so long. Just a space, outside of my own home, to call my own.
I’m thrilled with the choice of space, the natural light and huge windows. I’m excited to make it even more my own that reflects my photographic style. But in the meantime I would LOVE to photograph you all there!
All summer I’m offering some beat the heat specials – All ages and styles of shoots from Maternity, Newborn, Children, Family, Boudoir and Headshots – I’m down for it all!
Since having the keys as of June 1, I have shot 9 shoots already and learning how great the space is with each one.
Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information! I can’t WAIT to see what is store for my new studio!
What’s better than two baby besties wearing bows and bloomers? Well nothing really but add in bright red watermelon and it’s even more adorable, plus it helps the little movers sit still for 10 minutes. I’ve been thinking about doing a little summer shoot with Olivia at our new house for awhile and adding Audrey to the shoot was the cherry on top. Plus Olivia questioned the watermelon a little but Audrey tore it up. She probably ate three pieces and wanted everyone to share in on the fun, including the chickens.
* I’m thinking about offering some summertime watermelon shoots just at my house in the backyard! Would anyone be interested?!
Time heals all wounds. We’ve all heard that saying time and time again. But it’s so very true. Well maybe time doesn’t heal every wound, there are always scars left behind, however time gives you the opportunity to create new joy as well.
I’ve been sitting here reading my birthday post from last year. It’s been a year. When you really consider it, a year is relatively short when comparing it with an entire lifetime. This past year for me, the entrance into my 30s, felt like a lifetime.
The three months after we lost Shea was all a blur. Sometimes I go back through my texts and re-read the loving and thoughtful things my friends and family wrote to me. How they helped celebrate his due date by sending off surprise balloons. How they checked in on me and made sure I was surviving. Some I never even responded to. Some I don’t even remember getting in the first place. Grief is a weird thing. It has a way of taking over your life, but slowly helping you though the other side of it and all those texts and emails helped when I emerged.
Three months after we lost Shea we got a little surprise. I was pregnant again, a little sooner than we planned, but I didn’t care. I told Bryan and we stood in silence. I was worried about the baby and Bryan was worried about me. I didn’t want to tell anyone and let them worry as well. So we waited in silence for 10 weeks before I even told my family. As the weeks went on everything seemed to be Ok. I had lots of checkups and I saw a specialist regularly.
The baby was growing and my body was responding correctly. But oh my goodness how the weeks drug on. At 17 we found out it was a girl. Best moment ever. With my first pregnancy we didn’t want to know the gender. But this time we needed to hear it. Needed to feel a connection. And I was right. When I read those words, “it’s a girl” I finally felt a real connection to this baby and pregnancy.
At 20 weeks the specialist confirmed my cervix was pretty weak and short (old term is incompetent cervix) so I was scheduled for a cerclage and sentenced to bed rest. The weeks between 20 and 30 were the slowest most dreadful weeks I’ve had. ever. My doctors were constantly giving us the “best case” outcome at each week, trying to prepare us for another pre term labor. At 24 I had steroid shots to help strengthen her lungs. At 28 we reached a huge goal where the outcome of survival was much higher. Then after that we just kept going. Each week I got another progesterone shot, another sonogram, another update and each week I could breath a little easier.
“I highly doubt you go past 35 weeks so be prepared” – That’s what my specialist told me. Then 35 passed, and 36 passed and out came the cerclage, 37, 38… and on a late Thursday night, at 38 weeks 4 days pregnant my water broke. And this time we were thrilled. I’d say the one positive to having a weak cervix and a pretty stressful pregnancy – a just shy of 5 hour labor. With the intensity and speedy labor I didn’t have time to worry or overthink. I didn’t have time to relive what my previous labor was like or remember the stillness of the room. This time, there was hustle and bustle and PAIN, really bad pain (but in a good way) and pushing and smiles and hand holding, and dirty looks given to Bryan. And then the moment. The moment she was laid on my chest. Just like before with Shea, only this time I won’t ever forget hearing the sounds of her cries and seeing her big eyes so curiously taking her new world in.
Olivia Shea Kerr was born on September 5th at 4:40am. Weighing 8 pounds even and 21 inches long.
So I’d say a lot can happen in one year. Obviously saying goodbye to a son and welcoming a daughter were the worst and the best of the year, but I’d say the amount of growth I experienced was just as signifiant as the other two. I’ll never be the same, feel the same or be as carefree in my thoughts as I use to after losing a child, however through that loss not only did we make the most beautiful little girl, I will not ever, for even one day, take for granted how precious life is.
And now since it is 1:30 am and this little one will be waking me up to eat in just a few hours, I’ll be posting her newborn photos tomorrow, or whenever I get a nap after staying up so late! But they are really cute so you need to come back and see! 🙂
I thought my 30th birthday post would look a lot different. I had one written up on being proud of 30. Being happy where I was in life at 30. All the things checked off – a house, husband, puppy and most exciting, a growing baby bump. Three weeks ago 30 looked a lot different than where I am sitting right now.
On October 1st, 2013 I gave birth to our son, 19 weeks early.
From that moment on my life changed course. It’s like going from the highest high to your lowest low in less than 24 hours, one you couldn’t even fathom the day before. Where we were planning showers and choosing a crib one day, the next we were calling funeral homes and preparing for goodbye. A son, which we didn’t know we were having. It was to be a surprise. A sliver of joy on the worst day of my life, was finding out he was a boy. I’ll quickly share what happened, because slowly as I venture out of my house to see friends, I can tell they all want to ask. It’s a tragic thing and a sad story, one that I don’t mind sharing if only to give his life meaning. I want to share his birth story with people to let others know he wasn’t just tissue that passed. He was a baby with perfectly formed feet and hands, little fingernails and toenails, an adorable nose and an uncanny resemblance to his Daddy. He was tiny, so tiny that I could hold him in my hand, and perfect in every way. So in sharing this with all of you, I can still be that proud mother, of our beautiful baby boy, who’s short life touched me in so many ways.
At the dog park with Mabel my water broke. Not realizing it at the time, I knew something was wrong and rushed home to Bryan. Arriving at the hospital and seeing my Doctor, it was confirmed that indeed the water had broken and my placenta had hemorrhaged. Two really bad things, but the baby’s heartbeat was still there. I was told I would be staying at the hospital until delivery, not realizing the delivery would start the very next day. Waking up to hear that your baby had passed away during the night was and will always be the most life altering moment of my life. I was calm and felt like I knew it was coming. Maybe it was that I felt like I had work to do. I needed to deliver my baby, sleeping or not. I wanted to be his strong momma and get him out safely. I never thought I would become a mother in that way, giving birth to our stillborn son at 5 months, but that’s what I felt like. I’d say the worst moment was the moment he was delivered. I didn’t want it to be over. Strange as it sounds, I felt like my courage and strength was being drawn from the hours of delivery, still bonded with him by housing him safely in my womb. The moment he was out felt too real. Holding him in my arms. Checking all his fingers and toes, and comparing his features with ours, while never hearing the cries that should have been heard. That silence was deafening, so unlike the past births I had been a part of.
I’m thankful for the hours we shared with him and the pictures that were taken. Without those two things it would have felt like it never happened. Like he never existed. But he did. Shea made us parents in those moments. We were loving and protective and showed him our strength and how badly he was wanted. He made us understand how it is to love a child. For a child is attached to your soul, and that day I learned that breath does not confirm life. For that little boy was alive and well in me, blessing me with constant little kicks and rolls, sharing moments with me that I will remember for as long as I live.
I feel as though my heart weighs a ton, as though the world is not revolving and the days are not numbered. But in moments like this I am blessed with the people that are in my life, constantly lifting me up with prayer and love. Having faith is the only thing pulling us through. Knowing he’s with our Heavenly Father, without any suffering, gives great comfort and I am so blessed to know this. Bryan, however, has been my saving grace. He’s shown the depth of his love for me, only making me love him more. The way he loves our son, makes me even more thankful for the great father I already knew he would be. I’m so grateful that during the moments of my rambling thoughts and sorrowful memories I turn to my husband, let him hold me in his arms and know that what I feel in my soul, he shares in his.
Losing Shea is like a love affair that has gone in the worst possible direction. One that I am thankful for having despite the outcome. I know the pain won’t always be so raw, and the ability to live life won’t be so daunting. Those little triggers, a constant reminder of what I lost, stinging less and less each day. I can only hope that one day we will be blessed with the ability to see our first son in the eyes of our future one.
It was a hard decision. Deciding on whether we should allow Grady to meet his cousin, but he was persistent and wanted to see me. Children are amazing. He wasn’t told why I was in the hospital, only that I was sick. As he entered the room he immediately asked me where my baby was. As if he knew. Even children need to know the truth, that our baby was in Heaven and was now an angel, and he accepted it. The picture below is such a powerful image. It makes my heart swell with pride and break into a million pieces all at once. That is the power of photography and why I am so grateful for Mel, for the ability and willingness to capture it.
A friend wrote in one of our cards, “your trial will be your testimony, and one day your testimony will help another.” I’d like to think this is true. That through my loss and suffering, I may one day help someone through theirs.
To our son Baby Shea, we will love you, honor you and remember you always. xoxo
“God heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
Pregnancy is such a beautiful thing, but motherhood, even a second time around, is even more remarkable. I had the privilege, once again, to document my sister’s birth last week. Seeing Karissa carry this child with such grace and ease, I often would forget she was pregnant. When you have another child demanding your time and attention, the second pregnancy isn’t at the forefront of your mind at all times, unlike the first. I’ve said time and again that having Grady in our lives has been such a blessing, so with the addition of a second little boy, we were all
impatient ecstatic for him to arrive!
Karissa, two days before her second son was born, looking radiant and calm.
Small beeps and muffled heartbeats from the fetal monitor filled the room with quite anticipation of what was to come. After the birth experience of Grady, we were all a bit nervous on how this birth would unfold the second time around. Grady was a big baby, and the fear of the same situation had us all a bit nervous.
Luckily, Karissa had her husband, Eric, by her side,
cracking jokes helping her breathe and feeding her ice chips through the hours of labor.
And finally, at 5:19 in the afternoon, on March 28th, Zach Avery Kocian, weighing in at only 6 pounds 12 ounces, came whaling into our lives. The beautiful joy when you hear that first soft cry, unexplainable emotions of happiness and gratitude and an all encompassing pride in the little man that just made his way into our hearts, and for the woman that brought him here — that is God. Experiencing a birth, the first breaths of a new life, is when I feel closest to God – the one that creates us all, pure and beautiful and like him in every way.
I can’t imagine what this moment feels like. Feeling the warmth of the baby laying sleepily on your heart, healthy and happy. Fear of the childbirth behind you, pure relief and gratitude and a pride in the strength it took, that you overcame.
Finally it was time for Grady to meet his little brother. Overwhelmed at first, and only making side eyes to check him out, Grady, I think, was happier to see his momma.
It only took a little while before Grady warmed up to his new little brother.
He checked out his little fingers and toes and kept saying baby brother was so little. If you asked him to hug him, he’d say nooo baby brother, he’s too little.
I think it’s pretty remarkable for a three year old to recognize the differences in a newborn, knowing to be gentle and sweet. Later I asked Grady, “Do you like baby brother?” Grady said “No, cause he whines too much”
My mother is such a special woman. She took care of Grady for days, all the while dying to get in some cuddles with her newest grandson. I’d say Grady and Zach are pretty lucky for Grammi and the three other grandparents they have.
And I’ll end with my favorite photo of the day. My mom, holding Zach, beautiful light, and the sweetest face you ever did see.
As the hurricane like winds tore through Austin yesterday and the threat of fires closed down major highways, an unexpected thought crossed my mind. A new beginning, a release, a complete baptism by way of wind overtook my emotions. After a long lunch over chopsticks and tea, a sweet phone call and a longer dinner over apps and wine, I felt refreshed and heard after what feels like a really long time. It’s funny how things go. Unspoken truths that surface. Things that could have been said before, or things that you’re only now willing to accept become clear. This thing we call life. This beautiful, complicated, undeserving, remarkable thing we call life. Yeah it can be hard at times. But at other times, tucked away from unexplained wind in a small corner of a room, new hope blooms.
With the trepidation of an approaching season of change, of new beginnings and hope, I look forward to not always leading my life in the transverse path, but the path worth taking. The path that will ultimately lead to honest happiness, not chasing the past, but looking out towards the future. And this new hope – this brings me happiness.
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”
– Jim Rohn
A year ago, at this very moment, I was walking towards a tree with the man I was soon to marry, waiting for me. In that walk over, I had no idea that in a year’s time, I’d love that man more now than in that moment. We have built a wonderful life together. A life I can’t wait to start living even more.
Here are my favorite images captured by Rebekah Westover, on the very best day of our life. Since I never blogged my own wedding images I’d thought I should. Watch out there are lot. It was a good day.
You can also watch our wedding video by CLICKING HERE! password: Photo
We choose to get married at Hackberry Hill Farm in Round Top, Texas on a windy November day.
Our invitations were done by Little Owl Letterpress.
This is such a great memory. All my favorite girls helping me into my dress.
It was only a zipper but it took forever to zip me in it.
Besides my engagement ring, I wore my great aunt’s promise ring or engagement ring. Since we can’t ask her, we won’t know for sure.
Meanwhile, Bryan and the boys were off in another cabin getting ready.
I love these images of him getting into his suit.
This was the moment. Walking towards my groom.
Having a first look was the best decision we made on that day. When I get nervous I get snippy and I didn’t want to be biting off any heads of my loved ones. There was one incident on the 30 second car ride over that a little snip came out, but after I saw Bryan the rest of the day was all smiles and laughter!
Plus, images like these were captured during that first look!
Bryan and his handsome groomsmen.
And me and my most favorite girls!
Our bouquets were designed and made by Melanie Tipton of Last Petal. Her work amazes me everytime.
The flowers matched every one of my bridesmaids dresses – and she didn’t even know what they were wearing!
We had the most windy day ever.
I will always love this tree.
Bryan will hate me for posting this picture. But I love it. In this moment we were so so happy.
Stacy helped me with all these windows by painting the wording on all of them.
This was also a favorite moment.
While my Dad escorted me down the isle, my cousin in law, DJ on the sax and Sarah on the piano, played the Adele version of Make You Feel My Love.
My Mom’s Dad, my PawPaw, married us. I will forever cherish his words that day and for the courage to preform his first marriage.
When we exchanged rings, Bryan was much anticipating what his ring would be since I wouldn’t allow him to see it before the wedding. I had asked his Grandma for his Grandpa’s ring that Bryan had no idea even existed. The bond Bryan shared with his Grandpa was so great, I knew no other ring would make him happier to wear. I also knew he would tear up, but I didn’t expect the emotion he felt for the absence of his Grandfather that day to come through so strong. I was told even my Dad had shed a tear or two!
Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Kerr!! That was fun, except when I tripped! Don’t worry I didn’t fall, my husband caught me!
So my most favorite moment of the day was right after the ceremony. I was so happy and giddy and all Bryan wanted to know was more about the ring. He was so touched that it made me love him even more.
These benches were quite the labor of love. My Dad cut down the dead pine trees caused by the drought off their land. Bryan and I sanded the seats over and over and over again to ensure no ladies would get a snag in their dresses. Then stained them. My whole family and Tommy came out the weekend before and rolled the very heavy stumps to their correct spots. Then we cleaned them again after Eric mowed between the rows. Whew. But I loved the way it turned out!
The original hand that first put the ring on her groom. Grandma was so proud to see her grandson wearing her husbands wedding band.
These four people deserve the biggest credit and the most thanks for making our dream day come true. Without them the day wouldn’t have happened.
My favorite little man and my momma.
We were so glad that Bryan’s Dad and family were able to come all the way from Albuquerque!
I can’t thank DJ enough for playing during our ceremony. He is the most talented musician I know, so having him be a part of our day meant the world. I used to tell him back in college that one day he’d play at my wedding. It was fun to see that come true!
Oh these girls. Some of the most amazing woman that I had the pleasure of growing up with.
I wanted a little living room set up so I brought some of my furniture and borrowed some others. I think they like it, because it was never vacant.
My sister and I spent hours at the antique fair collecting glasses and vases and linens for the wedding. I love the way Melanie and Deborah made it come together!
Speaking of Deborah Bradley, the day ran so smoothly with her and her team around.
Our cake was made from one of my past brides, Holley Quijano.
We enjoyed some great toasts!
All of Bryan’s Dallas friends made the trek down!!
And one of my most favorite people, Leann Neal, came all the way from Cali for our day! Love you!
Oh and on the right, that’s Joey, Bryan’s bro, breaking it down with his sister Leah.
Jason and Bill!
We have a photo like this from all of our weddings so far!! Just three more to go and will all be old married women!
Dance off between Joey and Grady! It was a close one but I think Grady took it 😉
So my Dad does NOT dance. But who can say no when dragged out on the dance floor by the most awesome little two year old? Nope, no one. Not even my Dad.
This is us… doing the meat grinder.
Here’s to one of the best nights of our lives so far!!
You can also watch our wedding video by CLICKING HERE! password: Photo
Such a huge thanks to all our venders!
Venue: Hackberry Hill Farm
Decorating and Coordination: Deborah Bradley Events
Dress: Romona Keveza
Catering: Bistro 108
Flowers: Last Petal
DJ: Val Ramirez
Music: DJ Eisenhart and Sarah Bertsch
Officiant: Alec Mayfield, PawPaw
Marquis Burkham: Piano Rental
Video: New Road Productions
I am so excited, happy, but mostly relieved that today, on my 4th anniversary of starting my business, I get to release my new website! For years I have tried to decide what kind of new site I would want, who could build it and worried about the process. When I discovered showit, I realized I would be able to build my own website all by myself from the ground up, using their program, and it was the best decision! For the last few months I’ve been on a mission to make this website perfect, but I realized that’s not going to happen. However, I do feel like this new site is 100 percent me, with a look into what I love and who I love, and why I do what I do! So I hope you all take the time to click on all the little links, tabs and pictures to and experience what I’ve been working so hard on!!