Maternity Leave | Nursery Reveal

Some of you may (or may not) know that we are expecting our first little bundle of joy!  We, of course, are over the moon excited for this new adventure in our lives.  When we initially announced on our Facebook page, we indicated that there was an issue discovered at our 20 week anatomy scan.  We have been overwhelmed with the amount of support, well wishes, prayers, texts, calls, messages, emails...(I could go on) we have received.  We want everyone to know that we are beyond grateful for all they have done!  The most ironic part of this has been that we never (publicly) let everyone know what the actual issue is, but that didn't matter - everyone rallied around us and wrapped us in their love.

The Story.
At 20 weeks,  we were unsure if our baby would live week to week, but here we are at 33 weeks with a scheduled delivery date and officially on maternity leave.  So, although I don't want to focus on the negative aspects of our pregnancy, I think it's only fair to let everyone know why they have been praying so hard for our baby.  The anatomy scan revealed a perfect baby all except for a teratoma growing from her tailbone.  Although the doctor gave us a name, Sacrococcygeal Teratoma (SCT), and a lot of scary information, we had no idea what we were truly facing.  Luckily, our doctor at Pinnacle Health was familiar with not only the best children's hospital in the country, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), but one of the doctors who is familiar with this rare birth defect.  Within 4 days of finding out about this horrible news, we were sitting at a conference table with the top doctors and surgeons in the country letting us know what their plan is to help our baby.  Unfortunately, SCTs (like all tumors) are a bit unpredictable and, due to our early diagnosis, there was no way of knowing if our baby would remain healthy until she was developed enough to deliver.  We went from going to occasional ultrasounds at CHOP to weekly ultrasounds as the tumor continued to grow (as they expected it would).  We are still going weekly to keep a very close eye on our baby, but at this point we have (thankfully) made it to to the point that she could survive outside the womb if she is in direct danger.  Although we still have  delivery, surgery, and a NICU stay to endure, we know that the power of prayer truly played (and continues to play) a vital role in our baby's outcome.  If you want to read much more detailed information regarding SCTs, CHOPs site is the best resource to do so.

The Nursery.
So, with all of that being said, we were apprehensive to buy clothes or any baby item since we were unsure of what we were actually facing.  But as time wore on we felt more comfortable making purchases and setting up our nursery.  I love decorating our home, so it felt especially exciting to set up the nursery that our sweet baby could feel at home in and we could feel at peace in.  I didn't have a theme in mind, only that I wanted it to be a beautiful, happy, peaceful space since our pregnancy was anything but.  Our home is primarily decorated in warm, earth tones, so it felt natural to do the same with the nursery.  We settled on a gold/coral/cream/soft warm tones color scheme and, like all of our rooms, the room came together organically with new and old items (some of the decor we actually already had, but didn't fit in other rooms).  We are so excited that the room turned out exactly as we envisioned and I think we even managed to capture the peaceful feeling we were trying to achieve (I've already tested out the glider, which proves fabulous for napping!).

The print in the background of this image has been laying around our house for YEARS and ended up being the inspiration for the entire nursery.  Although I was trying to avoid anything too "princess-y" for the room, I fell head over heals in love with this chandelier-like lamp from Pier One.
I knew I wanted a gold, iron crib, which gives off a certain heirloom-quality feeling to the room.  I found the most amazing crib online at Bratt Decor and ordered it sight unseen.  For an extremely indecisive person (this becomes worse when pregnant) this was a huge, scary step for me.  But when it arrived and we set it up, the crib turned out to be exactly what I dreamed of.  We are extremely grateful to Aaron's parents for gifting us with this incredible crib and hope to pass it down to our kid(s).  The flower print was in a different room, but the colors were TOO perfect not to move to the nursery.  The other prints are simply paper I found at Michaels that corresponded with the color scheme inserted into random frames. (Disclaimer: the prints above the crib are securely attached to the wall and not in danger of falling on our sweet baby).
Even though I realize the crib sheets will probably not remain in their perfect state (clean and free of many bodily fluids) as they are now, I couldn't resist this super sweet gold sheet and crib skirt.  After an extreme amount of internet searching, I found the set at Camden Lane.
Hopefully our baby will appreciate the fact that her Mommy ironed this entire skirt.  As you can imagine, it was not fun.
I am a bit drape-centric and often stress over the perfect window dressings when decorating a new room.  I found the most amazing perfect set of drapes.  Although it turned out to be a slight adventure to secure all 4 panels, I felt like I won a tiny battle when they all went up.
The nursery, as with most rooms in our home, is rather tiny, so I was only able to fit one table in there.  I chose this bamboo side table, which previously belonged to my grandparents, to stack a few books on and other cute things (how could I resist these shoes?!?).  The beautiful cream and gold Lenox frame was picked up for $5 at a yard sale.  I'm a total sucker for the classic beauty of Lenox!  This was especially special to me since it's similar to our Lenox cake serving set that we bought for our wedding.
 The changing table was a great find from a (believe it or not) photographer's downsizing studio sale.  I had to slightly fight for it, but once my competitor realized it was for my nursery she quickly retreated :)  I love the beautiful spindles, but initially didn't think the color would go with my scheme so we (when I say "we" I mean Aaron) planned on painting it.  Turns out the natural wood tone was the perfect color to warm up the room.  Aaron got out of that one unscathed :)  I made the mobile, which hangs above the changing table, from coral and cream colored shells.  And although I was rather against purchasing a diaper pale and spent WAY too much time debating over what is essentially a trash can for smelly diapers, I decided on the Ubbi Diaper Pail.  The white/gold metal clothes tree was a "throw away" from a school that was getting rid of old or outdated items (my favorite things!). This has been in our house for years looking for the perfect spot.  In addition to curtains, the area rugs in our house are always very important aspects to any room.  However, since I already combined several patterns in this room, it was time for a simple pattern. I was pleased to find this rug at Target, which combines the coral/warm color scheme with the simple look I was seeking.  And, finally, my Mom gifted us the incredibly comfortable glider that we painstakingly debated over for HOURS.  
 Although I didn't want to repeat any pattern, I love this subtle polka dot look that pays homage to the crib sheet.
 These prints were the very first thing we hung in the room.  Butterflies felt appropriate since we hope to encourage our baby girl to spread her wings and fly :)
 And, yes, I may have started buying cute little outfits.  My favorite so far are rompers…seriously doesn't get any sweeter :)

Maternity Leave.
I am currently already on maternity leave since we will be delivering at CHOP.  Also, because the SCT can rapidly change even now, we are being closely monitored to ensure our baby stays as healthy as possible in my womb for as long as possible. If something suddenly changes, it's vital we are ready at a moment's notice to deliver her.  I plan on returning to work the end of October and will resume photographing weddings and portraits sessions then.  Between now and then, I am still monitoring email and working remotely, which allows me to set up sessions, working with my clients, and scheduling 2016 weddings - so please don't hesitate to send us an email!

Again, we are forever indebted to everyone who has been thinking of us and her and praying for our baby girl's healthy arrival.  We know we can't ever repay you all, but we plan to pay it forward in any way we can.  We are so anxious to meet our sweet baby girl and can't wait to share the good news with you all when she finally makes her arrival!


Elizabeth + Lance: Married | Historic McFarland House Wedding

Elizabeth + Lance were married at the stunning Historic McFarland House in Martinsburg, WV and had an absolutely beautiful day despite the extreme downpours.  It seems like rain has plagued much of our wedding season, but this is the only day that it became an all day event.  I always feel bad for my couples when this happens, especially if they planned an outdoor ceremony as Elizabeth and Lance had.  The day prior to their wedding, when the forecast seemed certain of rain, I sent a quick email to her offering a few suggestions for outdoor photos and quickly reminded her that the most important part of the day is that she gets to marry her best friend.  However, she did not need to be reminded of that.  She quickly responded that she is completely ok with whatever happens, trusts us, and that her main focus and excitement was based on marrying Lance, not the weather.  I knew right then and there it was going to be a perfect day.  And it was.

Elizabeth and Lance are such a fun couple and have a tight, best-friend bond in their relationship.  This is always the perfect recipe for a successful marriage.  I had not met Lance prior to the wedding day so I wasn't quite sure how their interactions would be during the bride and groom portraits, but they were so sweet and kind to one another I loved every second of photographing them and being able to document their love.  Because of their positive attitudes about the day, despite the less-than-stellar weather, they had an amazing, love-filled wedding and celebrated well into the evening with all their closest friends and family.

Congratulations again, Elizabeth and Lance, we wish you all the blessings you deserve and know your marriage will be a beautiful one.  Thank you for trusting us to document this important day in your lives - we are forever grateful!

I have fallen deeply in love with all the gorgeous wedding gowns this year.  It seems that strapless is on it's way out and beautiful beadwork, amazing backs, and buttons are back in!  Elizabeth purchased her beautiful Mori Lee gown from J&B Bridals in Chambersburg, PA.
All of the flowers throughout the wedding day were absolutely stunning.  Flowers Unlimited in Martinsburg, WV did a phenomenal job!
Their pups came for a quick photo op and were So. Darn. Cute.
As luck would have it, the rain stopped just long enough for us to go outside and photograph a few portraits in the Historic McFarland House's beautiful courtyard.
Seriously, you guys.  These two are the sweetest!
All of their reception details were not only beautiful, but well thought out and coordinated.
 Elizabeth's brother gave this sweet speech and I love all the beautiful reactions from everyone.
 Perfect ending to a perfect night.

Thank you to all of these amazing vendors for making their day even more perfect:

Ceremony, Reception, Catering, Cake: Historic McFarland House (we loved working with their coordinator, Becca) / DJ + Photo Booth: Soundworkz Mobile Entertainment / Dress Boutique: J&B Bridals / Dress Designer: Mori Lee / Florist: Flowers Unlimited / Hair + Makeup: Hilary Trump / Photographer: Jennifer Rotz Photography