roller coaster

I had quite the Labor Day weekend this year. Parts of it were great. Parts of it were incredibly heartbreaking. 
I learned from a friend Saturday morning, as I was preparing to drive to Wisconsin to shoot a wedding, that our dear friends’ one-day-old baby had passed away. My heart is broken for these two and the immense loss they are feeling. (I won’t say anything more about it – to keep what is an incredibly difficult time private for the grieving family.)
During the 3-hour drive to Janesville for the wedding, I couldn’t stop thinking about what had happened. Regardless of where my mind was – I tried my best to focus my energy on prayer and positive thinking to prepare myself to shoot what was to be one of the happiest days of two people’s lives. 
It’s so strange how life works – that so much joy and so much tragedy can be wrapped into one day…
The wedding was beautiful and moving (the soloist during the ceremony had me in tears – oh my gosh, her voice was amazing) and reminded me of all the happy moments in life that help us keep our heads up during the difficult times. 
After I finished shooting the wedding, I headed over to Madison to spend the night at my sister’s house. She and I hadn’t spent much time together as of late – and because we were both extraordinarily busy this summer – we didn’t get to chat or email as much as we normally would either. So we took advantage of this little bit of time we did have – shared a bottle of wine and stayed up until nearly 3am talking about anything and everything. 🙂 It was fantastic and just what I needed. (Times like this remind me how much I want to move to Madison so I can be closer to my sister and do things like this more than a couple times a year… Unfortunately that’s so much easier said than done!)
The next morning was equally awesome, because I got to spend quality one-on-one time with my adorable nephews, whom I haven’t seen since the 4th of July (yeah, that’s two months… another reason we need to live closer.) They are the perfect remedy when you’re feeling down… you can’t help but laugh and smile in their presence! I mean – seriously – check out these pics of the two of them that I snapped before they headed off to a friend’s birthday party: 

After the boys headed out to the birthday party with their dad, my sis and I got ready to drive over to Milwaukee for the day. Again – just what I needed… a day with my sis and mom! (I cannot tell you how rare it is that the three of us – just us – get together for some girl time.) 
We met up with our mom for brunch/lunch and spent the rest of the day at the Milwaukee Art Museum (which is absolutely beautiful – by the way. If you have not been – GO!) where we went to see the current exhibit, American Quilts. My mom makes some fabulous quilts – so this was the perfect thing for us ladies. 🙂

We couldn’t take any photos of the quilt exhibit (which is too bad, because those quilts were seriously amazing. I would have loved some detail shots of the intricate needlework!). So, the rest of these images are from the museum’s own collections.
This was the only part of the museum that disappointed me… this is about the extent of their photography collection! (Ouch. I have more prints than that in our apartment!)
And now for some cheesy, self-timer photos of us! 🙂 ha ha
My mom & sis are over me taking pics of them at this point, I think…. 🙂
Alright, fine I’ll get in there with you!
As we were leaving – they were setting up for a wedding reception. Can you imagine?! It may be one of the best wedding venues ever… (a photographer’s dream – all that natural light…)
It’s times like these that remind me to stay positive and be thankful for all I have in my life. I was lucky to get to spend this difficult weekend with those closest to me and cherished every moment we had together.

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Christy & James are Chicago based but happily travel anywhere in the world that beautiful love stories take them!