Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Whit and Kyle - Engaged

This year seems to be a year of big events. Not just for me, but everyone around me. Over the past 9 months, I found I was pregnant, my two very best friends got engaged, I had a big job change at work, and well.. everyone else seems to be getting engaged, having babies, or changing jobs along with us!

BUT - to get to the point of this post, my gorgeous friend, Whitney, is getting married! I'm so excited for her and her fiance Kyle. He really is so perfect for her. I don't know if I've ever seen Whit so happy and  herself as she is with him. They truly bring out the best in each other. =)

I am so honored that I was the lucky one to take their engagement photos, and just in the knick of time since baby Weir is due in just a couple weeks (ek!). Here are my top 3:

Okay, I lied, I couldn't just pick 3.. the rest you can view on Facebook at Heather Nicole Photography

Kyle and Whit met at Texas Tech (woohoo, wreck 'em!!) and cycle competitively. So fun!

Enjoy. =)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Great Expectations

Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I have realized I had a lot of expectations about what pregnancy would be like for me. Come to find out, most, or all, were completely wrong.
  1. I will not know I'm pregnant, and could go months without prenatal care. I thank "I didn't know I was pregnant" for this complex. I also didn't really know what to expect from my period without birth control (BC). Before going on it, I was alway so irregular that I never quite knew if I would have a regular 28 day cycle when I stopped. The truth: Without a missed period, I should have been suspicious, but in the first few weeks of my pregnancy I was training (and competed in) my 2nd half marathon, while on Daniel's Fast. It never crossed my mind that my slow exhausting runs, extreme thirst, and extra need for sleep, could be pregnancy. Until I finished the half and realized I had gone 40 days without a period that. When I realized that, I knew I had to be pregnant, other symptoms or not.
  2. Getting pregnant will not be "easy" for me. Pure skepticism. I had no valid reason to think this except an irregular period and having never gotten pregnant. I felt like it wasn't going to be that simple.. but if it was meant to happen, it would.  The truth: Well, I'll just say it didn't take long. I guess all that talk from my mother and grandmother about how incredibly fertile our family is was true. 
  3. Morning Sickness won't be that bad, I can tough it out - stomach of steel! Oh please..  The truth: This one just makes me laugh. What on earth was I thinking. Any person who "toughs out" morning sickness, does not have morning sickness. That nausea stuff just doesn't go away on command. I felt a little wimpy at times and didn't want sympathy but at the same time, I did. 
  4. My stomach will be huge, fast. I only remember the big final months with other pregnancies, so I felt like it happened fast. The Truth: All bodies are different while pregnant just as they are when not pregnant. My pregnant body did not have much of a bump till close to 20 weeks, and even then, other people were totally surprised (or acted so) when I told them I was pregnant. The last few weeks, the little man has grown like crazy and I have strangers coming up to me asking the usual strand of questions - due date, sex, name.. it took 6 months for this.
  5. Will not be emotional or moody. This was me thinking I could control this.. The Truth: I don't know how others feel about me on this, but sometimes I feel like I'm lucky to have friends and family that still talk to me. My filter is virtually non-existent, my patience is gone, and I've never been one to cuss, its not natural on me, but lately, the words just slip out and I don't care a bit. To top it off, my instinct to protect and nurture is exponentially higher and extends to anyone I'm close to. I am easily biased to the side of whomever gets to me first about a fight, and I'm fast to say "that B!*$#" Thank god my husband still has patience with me these days.. 
  6. Crazy cravings. You know.. like pickles and ice cream. The truth: Big Disappointment. When you first find out your pregnant and finally tell people, they LOVE to ask what crazy food you've been craving. My sad answer.. nothing. If you want to hear my list of food aversions.. it's endless, but cravings. Not so much. If you count only eating potatoes for months because it's all you can eat with out dry heaving for hours, then great.. I crave potatoes. 
  7. I can control unhealthy cravings. Ha, again me thinking I can control these things. The truth: I know this may sound silly after I just said I didn't have cravings, but these aren't "crazy" cravings... these are just unhealthy food cravings. All of which started in the past few weeks and primarily includes sweets. I always thought I could fight off the urge to eat a candy bar, slice of cake, and maybe some ice cream all in one day, but the truth is, when I want something, it feels like I NEED it and it becomes top of mind till I fill that need. Fortunately, these don't happen everyday and even with these days, my weight gain as been completely normal so I'm not too worried. I guess I'll really know if this is a problem when I go in for the 28 week glucose test next week though..
  8. Working mom and proud! never in a million years did I think I may want to be a stay at home mom. Work has always been incredibly fulfilling for me, and I love my job, so I always expected I would go back to work no problem. The truth: Since I've been pregnant, I think about staying home with him daily, and it pains me to think that that's really not an option for us financially. I will cherish every minute I get with him and hope that going back to work will be as painful as it sounds right now.

Not to let anyone down on a current "bump" shot.. I meant to do this last week but well.. I'm little more forgetful these days, and I needed my husbands help. Here I am:

27 weeks pregnant
My husband insisted on my face being in this... I should have posted HIS "bump" photo. =P

27 week baby bump

27 weeks (6 months), officially into the 3rd trimester

Physically I feel..

Pretty dang uncomfortable in most any position for more than 5 minutes. Sitting, laying, leaning, standing.. each provides some type of relief for the first few minutes, followed by some new discomfort and lots of fidgeting. Ever heard of sciatic nerve pain.. yeah, had it since about 10 weeks, and it's only gets worse.

On the bright side, my little man is moving like crazy, and I love it! I have days that he literally moves non-stop for hours on end - rolling, kicking, punching, stretching. You name it, I can feel it. In the ribs, on the bladder, stomach, belly button, hips bones. He's crowded in there.

I'm convinced he's going to come out of me sprinting. I have felt him move since the end of week 13 My doctor actually told me I was an "overachiever," ha! I can't imagine a fetus this active becoming a newborn who spends much time sleeping, but who knows! I'll keep my fingers crossed that he got a little of my husband's character and will be a bit more easy going than he feels.

Other good news, I have been sleeping (a little) better despite sore ribs which means I feel mentally, a million times better. I still crave a nap most days, but it's nothing like those first few months. Also, running seems to be one of the best feeling activities right now.. as long as I do it in moderation. Wesley is so high right now, that I can really feel him pushing on my lungs making breathing much more difficult. Running is the only time that doesn't seem to be the case. mmm.. oxygen!

What expectations do you have (or did you have) of being pregnancy?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The cat is out of the bag..

We're pregnant!

Our little jellybean at 8 weeks. 

I think everyone knows this by now seeing my third trimester starts tomorrow, but I felt like I still needed a blog announcement.  

The story..

Sharing our story was a big decision. I went back and forth on this for awhile and have decided that I'd like to keep the details of how we found out private. There were so many details involved and so many I want to cherish between my husband and I, so I'm choosing not to share with the world!

I will, however, say it was a surprise. One big fantastic surprise, full of life changes, and it is with the spirit of that change that I want to change the content of my blog from being primarily about the wonderful photography sessions with my clients, to also include updates on life as a pregnant lady, family life, running/health, and travel. All of the wonderful passions in my life. I plan to change the name and URL of my blog to fit these changes, but I'll make sure nothing gets interrupted in the process.

There are so many unknowns (or so they seem..) when pregnant that I have lived in the blog world the last 6 months. Since everyone's experience is so different, I am inspired to share mine in hopes they will help just one person.

I was going to post a bump photo today, but since the most recent photo I have is from a few weeks ago, I thought I'd wait till tomorrow since that officially marks 26 weeks. =)

Photo news - Kristen and Brad are engaged!

Even better, their date is set.

Kristen and I have been friends for a LOONG time, and by long time, I'm not exaggerating.. we met when we were 6. That's 20 years! So many years, so many memories..

Their save-the-date!

One of my favorite memories.. the day she got engaged. It just happened to be the date she found out I was pregnant! This was easily the most amazing reaction I got from anyone because it was sheer surprise and excitement.

She found out by accident. She was picking me up to head out to a cinco de mayo/b-day celebration at another friends house. I left my phone and dog in the car while I ran back inside with Brad to carry out some food. While inside, my mom called, and as long as we have known each other, she naturally picked it up. When she hung up the call, she saw a half written text message about me hearing the babies heart beat for the first time.

I was walking back towards the car when she came running towards me looking.. um, wild. I thought my dog barfed or peed in her car.. I was so confused.

When she finally caught me, she said something along the lines of.. "You didn't tell me!!"

Still confused, I asked what she was talking about.

"You're pregnant!!"

Ohhh.. and then the tears came. From both of us, but the absolute best part, and the words I will never forget.. Kristen said, "This is the best day, EVER!"

The irony of that statement just cracks me up. What she did not know, and what I could not tell her, was that Brad was going to ask her to marry him that afternoon. How's that for best day ever?

I had been waiting to tell her for many reasons, we were waiting to tell our family even.. but one big reason being, I knew Brad was proposing, and I wanted that day to be all hers, but hey.. this made that day all the more special, what can I say. Plus, we will never, ever forget this.

Love you long time. =)


How did you share the news of your first born with friends and family? Did you choose to wait those delicate 13 weeks to share? Or, did you tell the world immediately? We waited.. not an easy task. I learned quickly that I am not good at keeping some secrets while pregnant, but we made it about 10 weeks before telling the family.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good-Bye Sweet Roxy-cat

My husband and I had to say an early good-bye to our sweet kitty Roxy yesterday after her short, but debilitating battle with cancer. 

My sweet Roxy.. she was the very first pet I adopted as my own, while living with a wonderful friend and roomate, Michelle, or "Shell," during a very, well, let's just call it a transitional time in my life. Shell and I went to the Garland animal shelter and adopted brother and sister cats: Roxy and Rocco. 

Since then, Roxy and Rocco were separated as I went on my journey to Lubbock to finish up school. Luckily, Roxy was such an adjustable, reasonably tolerant cat that she survived the 6 hour drive to Lubb-town and came to really enjoy her time lounging in the backyard of our new home. She enjoyed her days sunbathing and bird stalking from the roof, and her nights curled up on whomever's bed would allow it. When I left for Italy in the Fall of 2009, her favorite bed was my roommate's, Kathleen. 

Just one year after returning from my trip abroad, I was graduating from Texas Tech, getting married to my wonderful husband, Justin, and starting my career at Texas Instruments, which meant yes.. another long move back to Dallas. Now this move.. this one I will never forget it was so awful. The usual 6 hour trip took more like 10-12 hours, and we had made the brilliant decision to use a travel carrier for Roxy, since that would be the safe way to roadtrip with her...

Just 20 minutes into our drive, Roxy had an absolute panic attack in this little career and began retching EVERYWHERE!! We pulled over to take her out and clean her up immediately. She rested comfortably in my lap, the rest of the drive. 

It's hard to believe that was only 1 year ago. Since then, she has tolerated our newest family member, Bailey, and the three tiny, but feisty kittens I fostered from the Plano Animal Shelter.

Around Thanksgiving we noticed Roxy limping slightly, and she started licking her leg so much that a small patch of fur was missing, a definite sign that she was in a little pain. We did what so many people do these days, we consulted doctor Google. Google told us it was likely a hip injury which are common in cats, and the only thing we could really do was keep her inactive so it could heal itself. We did that and in a couple weeks, her fur was back and she was walking normal again.

A few weeks later, she starts limping, AGAIN, but this time it seems worse. It's almost like she couldn't even feel her foot. It was not responsive to our tickling, and it was flipped over a lot as she walked. Also, she wasn't eating, and for anyone who knows my cat, she LOVES to eat. She was a hefty 15lbs before her injuries, and she had dropped to about 10lbs by this time. We had mixed feelings for our current vet, so thankfully, my mom took Roxy to her vet. He deemed it some kind of nerve damage, most likely from her naturally curious escapades, and that the best thing we could do for her was amputate her leg. 

We just thought, well, at least there is something we can do for her to help, so we saved the money for the amputation and took her in just a month later for the amputation. When the vet came to take her away, he did a quick exam to make sure all was well, only to find that what was a small little knot on her hip when he saw her a month before, was now a large and sensitive knot. It wasn't something that was easy to see through all that fur, but his expression from feeling it was that this was not good. He was concerned about bone cancer, in which case the amputation would not help. He asked if he could just do an xray and call me later that afternoon.

He calls less than an hour later to say, well, it's not bone cancer, but there is a giant tumor all around her bone there, and he recommended we biopsy instead. If the tumor was cancerous, and we amputated the leg, she likely would not heal well and would die in just a few months. Unfortunately, that was the case anyways.. the biopsy came back as fibrosarcoma, particularly aggressive type of cancer. He gave us the name of a vet oncologist, but was completely honest in saying, the likeliness of any treatment working is less than 5%. In only 2 weeks, Roxy slowly stopped eating. She rarely left her little bed to do anything. Justin and I had to pick her up, take her to her litter  box, food, and water and sit there with her. Eventually, we coaxed her into some wet food which was absolutely awful. I was checking on her the next day to find she had something matted all over her fur. She had zero control of her bodily functions. Her potty was just running out of her. We gave her a bath, which by some miracle, or really because of how weak she had become, she tolerated, and the next day, Justin called the vet to make the appointment that I couldn't bring myself to make. My sister joined us to say her good-bye, and we made the sad trip to the vet. 

This was incredibly hard. More so than I had expected given that I very well knew this was best for her. Watching those glassy eyes go blank, and her body go limp.. it was painful, and I am forever thankful for my husband and sister being there with me. 

Lounging in the sun yesterday.

My sister saying good-bye.

My drying her off after her bath. I wanted her to die with dignity.

With love,
RIP Roxy
04/01/07 - 04/05/12

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Chelsea |Plano Senior Photographer|

I know, I know.. I might as well have dropped off the planet. I NEVER blog anymore. The sad thing is.. I can't even promise I will keep up with it anytime soon. Life has been a whirlwind as usual, but I have some extremely exciting news about my personal life, that I can not go into detail about just yet. In fact, not for a several more weeks as I need to get quite a few details sorted out before I go around talking about it.

Now for the real purpose of this post... Chelsea is graduating!

I was thrilled when her mom contacted me. I photographed her wedding just last year and it was a blast. A million degrees out, but a blast. The weather didn't let us down this time either.. we just happened to take these photos on the most humid, hot day in March possible! Don't check facts on that one though.. I'm probably just being dramatic, but seriously! I was sweating through my top in the first 5 minutes, so I'm super glad that Chelsea and her beautiful entourage were such great sports about it!

I couldn't decide if I liked the the color or black and white better.. so I went with both.

Enjoy! =)