Anyone who has lost a parent or someone they were really close to knows that the day of that special persons birthday you go through a whirlwind of emotions. I want to encourage you to feel those emotions and don't be ashamed of them. That person changed your life in one way or another and now, on the day that is theirs, you can't hear their voice, share a hug or leave an obnoxious voicemail making sure they know you are so grateful God created them on this day however many years ago.
If my Dad was here, he'd probably be at an early breakfast with his brother, sister-in-law, and his half-sister (who really is the funniest person on the planet, after my Dad, obviously). I would have called him as soon as I woke up this morning and he would answer the phone with "Mickey's Morgue: You stab 'em, we slab 'em." He used that sparingly throughout the 25 years of my life that he was here, and it never really lost its touch. Hilarious. Every. Time.
Today, I have felt sad and cried (A LOT), encouraged by dear friends, loved, blessed and extremely motivated. Today I chose to honor him and legalize my business on his day, the day God gave him to me all those years ago. As soon as the sweet woman at the Clerks Office handed me my certificate, I lost it. This is real, and it all started because of you, Dad. I'm so thrilled that I will be able to honor and celebrate you on this day every year as I checked off another year of living this life I've dreamed of.
As some of you know, I started in the wedding industry as a wedding planner, which is how I really discovered the art of wedding photography. Thinking back, I was probably obnoxious to all the photographers I worked with because I followed them around, asking questions and trying to understand the thought process behind everything they did. I was amazed. My dad and I spoke daily, he was my BFF, and one day he had enough. "I'm going to do this for you. You need to explore this! I'm going to get you this camera and you're going to figure it out." And that's when this crazy journey began. (That's the extremely abbreviated version)
It's humbling looking back on my early work, how I couldn't get anything in focus unless it was a happy accident, everything was blown out (especially skin tones), I had no clue how to edit, frame an image, get feeling and love and romance in my work. I can't imagine how proud my Angel is right now, because I know I am. So proud, humbled, overwhelmed with gratitude, and giddy with excitement on all that this next year will bring. It does hurt that I don't have my best friend with me, but I know he's here in my heart, which is why I'm able to love and cherish the incredible couples I have the opportunity to work with. Seriously, y'all mean the world to me and the fact that you invite me into such an intimate and exciting time in your life and trust me to capture this moment in time for you is a honor that I take very, very seriously. I cannot wait to witness the love, tenderness, and beautiful unions that I have been invited to be a part of this coming year, y'all!
And of course, I can't end this without saying Happiest of Birthdays in Heaven to my one and only, the man who encouraged me to follow my dreams, who never let me a go a day without feeling loved, who made me laugh until my abs hurt, who let me vent without judgement and who every day encouraged me to be the best version of myself. I am forever grateful for you, and everything that you were for me. You weren't perfect, but to me, you really always were.
I love you to Heaven and Back!
And for all that are curious...YES I cried through writing this WHOLE THING :) It's good for the soul.