Monthly Archives: July 2013

Get [Personal]: I’m a Survivor…

It’s been 8 years… 8 years since my last surgery.  8 years since I lost the last half of my thyroid. 8 years of waking up to a pill on my nightstand every morning. 8 years of life looking different. 8 years of deciding to live differently.

I remember returning to college after taking 2 years off, and traveling across the country to finish.  I remember calling my dad the week before Summer break with a scratchy throat and my usual semi-annual sinus infection, and him begging me to go to the doctor.  I didn’t.  However, my dad did wake me up the day after I flew home with an announcement that he had made a doctor’s appointment for me and we were leaving in 30 minutes.  I have never been more thankful for my dad than in that moment of forcefulness… Of course I went to the doctor kicking and screaming on the inside… it was just a sinus infection!  It would go away in another week. I would be fine…

The doctor gave me a full physical and when his hands felt the lymph nodes in my throat he discovered something else… a golf ball sized lump on my thyroid.  I was instantly a complete mess.  I knew what it was… I just knew.  That Summer wasn’t full of beach trips, a part time job and time with friends… it was full of doctor’s appointments, poking, ultrasounds and 2 surgeries.  But I was going back to school… come hell or high water, I was going to finish this time.  And I did.

I went through radiation over Thanksgiving break, then again over Spring Break… and somewhere in the middle of all of that Ryan and I started dating, got engaged, I made the dean’s list and graduated the following Spring Magna Cum Laude with a 3.87% GPA, and received a clean bill of health.  It was a miracle. A miracle that was aided by a college staff that understood, friends that stood by me, and family that all helped me through every step of the way.

I say all of that to say this… 3 years ago I was at a crossroads in my life.  I was still angry for having been made to go through that season… “Why me?” was all I could keep asking God.  And there was no answer…. 3 years later and there’s still not… and I have to be okay with that.  I will probably always walk around with that scar on my neck… but I had to choose to let the inside wounds scar too.  I had to choose to heal.  I had to choose to not let that season of hardship define me, and remain an open wound. And not walk around all the time saying, “Well, I went through cancer 5 years ago and that’s why I’m still angry.”

I had to choose to forgive God.  Forgive God?  Yeah… even though He’s perfect and can do no wrong… I had to choose to forgive and let it go.  If I hadn’t made those choices I think I’d still be that angry girl standing in the corner stomping her feet with her arms crossed… because inside that was exactly who I was, and how I felt.

We all get our hearts broken, go through hardship, have friends that die too soon, car accidents that severely injure, lose good jobs and on and on and on… but I think in the aftermath we have the opportunity to choose whether we let those unfortunate incidents become wounds or scars… wounds that we carry around with us for the rest of our lives, or scars that mark what happened but that we choose to live and grow beyond.

My scar may be ugly… and it may have been followed by a rapid scarf addiction… but it’s mine.  And it’s a constant reminder that although I went through something tough, I survived.  I survived. *exhale*

Families: The Gminder’s

13 years… at least… I’ve known the Gminder’s… before they were the Gminder’s even!  I think we all met at summer camp and then all ended up at Bible College together… then Ryan and I joined the church they went to… and now we live about 5 miles away.

I was so honored when Nikki called me to ask if I would photograph their family out at her parents place at the Pointe.  Cohen (the littlest Gminder) was born exactly 1 month after Ian, and while they have yet to meet, I’m hoping that the Fesko-Gminder friendship trail continues for a long time with them.

Riley, you’re such a looker… watch out ladies… he’s gonna be a heart breaker!

I just love this series… Nikki you are gorgeous (inside and out).
We were about ready to call it quits when the light just became… well, yummy… 

Mike & Nikki – I’m so grateful for our friendship!  It was an honor getting to photograph you guys and your amazing littles.  I love you guys with all my heart! XOXO

Nicole’s Get [Glamorous] Bridals

Aaaaaaannnddd…. we’re back!  The last month has been crazy!  After being in Atlanta, Charleston, Bray’s Island and taking care of a household with bronchitis (including myself) I’d say my plate was full this last month… holy. cow. #whencanIgotothebeach??

So, apologies to those of you that have been checking the blog regularly only to keep seeing the same fabulous posts (lol).  Anyway! On to Nicole!  Can I just tell you how amazingly fabulous this girl is?  This woman planned her wedding 3 years… THREE years in advance people!  I REFUSED to sign a contract with her for her wedding because at that point in time I had no idea if we’d still be in Charlotte come June 2013, but lo and behold… we were!

We photographed Nicole’s bridals in between rain clouds at the luscious Asheville Botanical Gardens, and finished off the shoot by grabbing some grub at the nearby Mellow Mushroom. Nicole… you rocked this session out, you babe you! And I’m sorry… how gorgeous are her blue eyes?

I’m loving this new broach bouquet trend… the bouquets might be heavy as all get out, but they do make a statement… and that statement would be “WOW!”
I’m a sucker for vintage black and white… THIS shot was my absolute fave… 
Happy Monday, ya’ll!!  Enjoy that sunshine while it’s out!