and i can see a lot of life in you

Let me just say that I have photographed my fair share of weddings. I consider myself a wedding photographer retiree these days but those exciting and stressful days of surmounting pressure to capture the beautiful bride's day just so are never far from my mind. Still, it's a whole new level of emotion and, well, awesomeness to be in charge of photographing the wedding of two of your best friends. Yes, two. Two of our best friends married one another this past weekend in a beautiful ceremony under cascading trees and the first beautiful Florida day in some time. It's like even Mother Nature knew that she needed to be on her best behavior or else she would have to deal with me. Josh and Ashley have been together for four years and I'll always remember that because I fixed them up. Yes, I'm bragging (because I obviously did something right!). Yes, I will celebrate being the yenta that I am and admit fully to meddling obnoxiously in the lives of two people who obviously were meant to be together. Everyone who hid their faces and told me to mind my own business when I gave Ashley the old "what if that guy over there wanted to ask you out on a date? Would you go?" in the middle of a Barnes & Noble work day as she rang up a customer? I'm sure now they're grateful that I didn't mind my own business and have pretty much no shame whatsoever. I know a good thing when I see it and these newlyweds? They're a great thing.

It was a busy week in ways that I'm not used to from the perspective of a wedding photographer. Normally I don't get to have a sleepover with the bride the night before the wedding, attend rehearsals and rehearsal luncheons, nervously do the bride's make-up and help her into her dress. The mix of friend duties and photographer duties made the day all the more magical for me because I felt the emotion in every part of the day. I loved when these two were announced into my wedding reception together, a bridesmaid and a groomsman, but it was even more special when they were announced as husband and wife.

I mean, weddings always get me emotional, but when I'm watching one of my best friends walk down the aisle as a beautiful bride while one of my other best friends is standing at the alter with his breath completely taken away? There are no words. I mean, there are tears, but no words.

Of course, Ethan also isn't used to me not spending a night with him and his confusion regarding his MIA mommy melted away once he saw me during the ceremony. He spent much of the ceremony pointing at me and yelling "HI!" with this big smile on his face while my husband frantically tried to distract him. In turn, I tried to not be distracted by how ridiculously adorable Ethan looked in his tie and Converse.

All that celebrating? It's exhausting!

After a week of driving and celebrating and seeing these the newlyweds off (to Jamaica! I'm jealous!), we've been home and hiding from the Florida heat and rain. We're all unwinding and adjusting and relaxing and trying to get back into the swing of things. Bear with me, dear readers. Our suitcase is still in the middle of our living room and I have nothing but kudos to people who have mastered the art of traveling with small children!



I know. I know. This blog seems dreadfully neglected. Trust me, though, when I say we have been busy. If I wasn't so completely exhausted, I'd show you a map of Florida and show you all the driving we've done this past week to defend my we have been so busy theory. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) for you, I'm too exhausted to bother. Trust me when I say we've been busy as well as absent for the very best of reasons: two of our best friends married one another this past weekend and we've been busy celebrating friendship and love. It was a week filled with wedding day preparations and parties and old friends and old college stomping grounds with our new baby boy and a beautiful wedding under the mossy trees and a pleasantly mild Central Florida sky. The wedding photographs aren't here yet (translation: I had the absolute honor of photographing the day and I'm still working on uploading the pictures) but you can bet I'll share them when they are ready. Is there anyone who doesn't love weddings? Is there anyone who doesn't love love? Is there anyone who doesn't want to see Ethan in a tie?

Until then, we've been busy unpacking and returning to the ever-growing laundry pile that is home. Ethan seemed almost eager for sleep tonight. It took only one reading of Bunny Cakes before he was out.

After all that overwhelming love and happiness, even He Who Requires No Sleep will require sleep. Life is funny like that.


it's to jimmy eat world and those nights in my car

This update was supposed to come yesterday, but yesterday proved to be quite a busy day. Yesterday was our three year wedding anniversary. Three years hardly seems all that long given the fact we've been together for over ten years, but it's still hard to believe that three years have already passed since our wedding day. Mostly it's crazy how much life can change in three years, like the fact we're busy planning the first birthday party of our son.

Three years ago yesterday, I married not only my best friend, but the person I was able to grow up alongside. Three years ago yesterday, I marred a man who would become the most incredible father I could ever imagine. The kind of father who sings and dances at mommy and me classes without feeling silly, the kind of father who doesn't wait to change out of his work clothes before getting down on the floor and playing with Ethan, the kind of father who always puts us first no matter what or how hard his day has been.

It's been three whole years since our wedding, but yesterday was a little bit more slower paced. We spent our anniversary at Rainforest Cafe with Ethan, watching his face light up when the robotic animals began to put on their show and the lights began to flash. We walked up and down the crowded outlet malls looking for new clothes for the ever-growing Ethan and finding a couple of really cute things.

It was a fantastic day yesterday but in honor of our anniversary, I'll devote this post to our wedding day. Three years ago yesterday, we said I Do and three years later, it's still one of the best days of my life.

I don't get many things right the first time, in fact, I am told that a lot.
Now I know all the wrong turns the stumbles and falls brought me here.
And where was I before the day that I first saw your lovely face,
now I see it every day and I know that I am, I am, I am, the luckiest.

Images by Debra Weisheit Photography


eleven months & first dentist visit

This post is only able to exist due to the fact that Ethan found a puff and actually sat for a few seconds to eat it. We are very go! go! go! around here these days. It seems everything about these days shares Ethan's zest for going, going, going as seemingly overnight, he's lost his baby features and has become an official big boy. I've thought this for many months so far, that Ethan is losing his baby look, but it's officially true this month. With only weeks separating Ethan from hitting the one year mark, I'm honestly at a loss for words. (And that doesn't happen often. Trust me.)

Ethan enjoys standing at all possible times, and even when it's not totally possible. He has a desire to stand in the car seat, stand in the grocery cart, stand in his crib when it's three in the morning and he really should be sleeping. He is starting to enjoy pushing toy shopping carts or his push walker across the floor with this incredible speed and recklessness that makes me lose ten years off of my life as he barrels down the hallway. He is consumed by inquisitiveness and a desire to figure out the inner-workings of everything. He's decided that cats are for chasing, cat tails are for yanking and cat food is for eating. He's realized that cat claws are for scratching and so two of the aforementioned things are probably not the best hobbies to have.

He's still a big boy -- weighing in at 26 pounds and proudly wearing 18-24M in most clothing -- and following steadily in his dad's giant footsteps. Sleeping is still his weakest skill, but we're still working on it. He has eight teeth with a ninth about to poke through any day now, just begging to add additional strain on his already weak sleeping habits. He's still comfortable in his size four diapers -- and, yes, he still wears his maxi pad at nighttime! Ethan is completely off purees, a choice he made on his own sometime over the past month. He loves quinoa, amaranth pasta, black beans and peas. Contrary to how he felt about them during the beginning of his introduction to solids, he now adores sweet potatoes -- especially when baked with a drop of olive oil and some fresh black pepper.

While overnight sleeping isn't his favorite, Ethan has somehow become an excellent napper this month. While he's been down to one nap for the past four to five months, he's recently made that one nap a three hour one. Ethan still hates any and all car travel, still thinks his daddy is the funniest person in the world, still has a total crush on Feist and a pretentious love for Neutral Milk Hotel, still loves to make music and have random afternoon dance parties with his mom. We are still having a blast watching him grow and develop and become this big boy where he used to be just a baby. Eleven months has been a harder one for me to accept, as I work on plans for his birthday party and write his one-year pediatrician check-up on our calendar. Eleven months means that we are just so close to one and I'm not sure how that happened.

And in addition to today being Ethan's eleven month "birthday," it was also a special day for another reason: Ethan's very first dental appointment! While cleanings don't begin for another couple of years, it was recommended that Ethan have a dental exam prior to turning one. The visit went great and the dentist commended me on taking excellent (read: neurotic) care of Ethan's gums and teeth so far! Best of all, Ethan was a brave boy and let the dentist take a good look at his teeth. I guess he saves the biting for mommy's chin and daddy's nose. It's more fun that way.

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