Category Archives: Colby

blue ridge, blue ridge mountains, jen shannon photography, rail yard, train yard, downtown blue ridgeOk everyone. Here’s the big blog post about what I did for my husband and I’s anniversary. I’ll try to keep it as short as possible but so much detail went into it, that I’m not sure how long this will end up, so here goes…

I found that for year 7, the gift theme is copper. We don’t always do the themes but this year, I guess I was feeling a bit creative. So I decided to plan a big scavenger hunt and trip to the mountains. He had no idea about the scavenger hunt, so it was really awesome. So, I collected 7 pennies.

  1. 1984: The year I was born
  2. 1985: The year he was born
  3. 2005: The year we got engaged
  4. 2006: The year we got married
  5. 2011: The year we found out we were expecting Carly
  6. 2012: The year Carly was born
  7. 2013: The year our marriage turned 7 years old

So, 7 pennies, each from an important year, were collected. After that, I went to Target and found one of their spiral notebook scrapbook things. It’s cool. It comes with a double sided pen where one is a felt tip marker/pen and the other is a glue stick. I filled out the whole thing with various things from our past, all of which I will go into below. I also bought a polaroid 300 camera so he could take pictures along the way. Basically, the whole point was for him to help us create a 7 year anniversary scrapbook. So, here goes.

  1. He had taken a half day at work last Thursday and had Friday-Sunday off. He thought we would be preparing to go out of town to the mountains on Friday so he took a half day Thursday to prepare. Instead, he came home from work to find Carly and I gone and a package at the door. When he opened the package, there was the scrapbook and what I call a “man purse” that included all of the tools he needed to complete the hunt to find me. It included double sided tape, the polaroid, photo corners, etc. When he opened the notebook, it was basically a surprise that gave him a clue which would lead him to some pennies and eventually lead him to my location with the 7th penny. So, the first clue, written in the scrapbook led him to my bed side. All of the clues were written in poem form. At my bed side, he found the first two pennies (the years of our births) taped to a note about the pennies. With it, he’d find clue #2 and some instagram pictures that went along with the clues. For example, the first one talked about the beach and how we live near it but never go, so when he found clue #2, he found a couple of instagram pictures from a beach trip we took. Each clue and instagram photos were put in an envelope I made out of scrapbook paper that had copper foil in the design. With clue #2, he also got a box of CheezIts, the pepper jack flavor because they are his favorite and I knew he’d be hungry having not yet eaten lunch.
  2. Clue #2 lead to my closet where he found clue #3 in my Northface snow boots from when we lived up north. He found the 2005 penny.
  3. Clue #3 lead to a scrapbook that I made for our 6 month dating anniversary YEEEEAAARRRRSSSS ago. In the spiral scrapbook, which was his guide/manual to the scavenger hunt, I put some interactive things in there like matching some of our firsts to the date they happened. The 6 month dating anniversary scrapbook had all of those in there so once he found it, he was able to use it to match the dates (which he didn’t do correctly but that’s ok! lol!) It is there he also found the 2006 penny.
  4. Clue #4 was awesome. It basically told him he had to call a certain phone number to get clue #5. Clue #5 was my best friend’s phone number in which I gave her a script so when he called, she had to pick up, read the script, and then hang up on him. It was hilarious! And awesome!
  5. Clue #5 had the 2011 penny and some cash in it which told him to go to Publix to get me some roses. Before he left, he had to pack up some CheezIts and grab some cokes I had chilled in the fridge to bring to the dock. That morning, before I took Carly to my dad’s house, I stopped by Colby’s car at work and put clue #6 in the seat pocket behind the driver seat and put a few things in his trunk. I’ll get to that in the next one.
  6. So after he went to Publix and got me flowers, he had to check the spiral scrapbook again to find clue #6, which was behind the seat of his car in the pocket. This directed him to go to the park where I was but to not go to the dock just yet where I was waiting. When he got to the park, he had to go to the trunk where he’d find a bag with scissors, water, and a vase to trim the flowers and put them in a vase to bring to me. He also found our beach blanket to sit on because I knew the dock would be hot. He found the 2012 penny along with clue #6.
  7. Finally, he found me at the dock where I read him a sweet letter I had written to him and gave him the 7th penny, the 2013 penny. We hugged for a long time and then went through the scrapbook together. He told me all about his hunt, showing me the polaroids he took during it, etc. It was awesome. Because a storm came, we had to leave, but we went back home and looked through our 6 month dating anniversary scrapbook. It was so fun to see us way back then. I had also put a mason jar in the bag in the trunk that had a bunch of post it papers that I’ve been keeping over the past year of funny stories or things that I thought were cute about Colby that we got to go through on the dock.

Anyway, so that was the scavenger hunt. Then Friday we left for the Blue Ridge mountains where we spent Friday-Sunday in a beautiful log cabin, exploring the mountains, playing endless air hockey (which I am the undefeated champion of all time of, by the way) and enjoying reminiscing of our rich history together. Of course, the trip was not long enough, but it was nice to get away, even for a few days. We took the scrapbook to Blue Ridge with us to finish it together. It was awesome.

Colby, I love you so much. I love “us.” We have such a long, rich history together and I’m so glad that God’s plan was for us to live life together. You’re my companion, my best friend, my champion (except at air hockey), my everything. I can’t imagine life without you and I know you feel the same way.  Here’s to 70 more years of love, companionship, friendship, and sweetness. I love you!

Colby,

It’s been a pretty incredible year for us. It seems like just yesterday, I was waking you up to ask you to come kill a bug in the bathroom, when really what I was doing was getting you out of bed to show you my positive pregnancy test… at 7:30am on a Saturday. Sorry about that, but I think you’ve forgiven me. If not, please consider the baby a peace offering hahaha! It’s strange that you think you love a person as much as you can ever love anyone and, just like that, you somehow manage to fall in love with them even more. I can’t explain it. It just happens.

At a time in our lives when we were trying to conceive to add to our family, our family being you, me, and the dogs, you were so patient in the five months it took to finally get the news we had been hoping for. At nine weeks, when we had a miscarriage scare, you held me and told me everything was going to be ok and that God’s will was going to be done and that either way, someday, we would have a little one to call our baby. From that point on, you almost became superman; and I don’t mean the Superman I keep in the closet for moving heavy things when you’re not here. Even though carrying my bags wasn’t the funnest thing in the world, you not only carried my bags, but you assisted me on every single shoot I had after that nine week point. It’s been so amazing and awesome to have you working by my side at each wedding I’ve second shot. I don’t know what it is, but I feel like you understand just how hard I work, just by being there to observe it. It’s truly amazing to have your best friend by your side to help you, even when they aren’t supposed to be.

It hasn’t just been carrying my bags a million times for me though. I can’t tell you what a help you’ve been all around. Even on photo jobs with carrying gear, cleaning lenses, setting up my lighting, packing up, burning discs, changing out batteries, and changing out memory cards, you’ve been such a big help around the house. In the last few weeks, I’ve become so fatigued that sometimes it is even hard to get out of bed, even after a long nights’ sleep. You’ve also been amazing with the dogs. You’ve really stepped up, especially in taking care of Riley’s incessant need for attention and walks.

You’ve been amazing with helping get Carly’s room ready for her delivery. It was so cute to watch you put together her changing table and crib. I loved having our co-ed baby shower with you. It just wouldn’t have been the same without you there. I know it is usually a girl thing, but aside from my best girl friend, you’re my other best friend and I couldn’t NOT share it with you. I’ve loved watching you get excited over small things too. You’re so cute to watch when you watch my belly for the slightest of kicks or put your hand on my belly to feel her movements. I always laugh when you talk to her in that silly voice you do. You’re also super cute when you talk about what you wonder what she will be like someday and we exchange stories of the type of poo she is going to grace us with… you know, the “poo back” explosion stories.

You’re going to be a great daddy. You’re not only a great man, but you’re a great husband which means, at least in my book, you’ll be a great daddy. Sure, you may not know much about raising a child yet, or even caring for a baby, but neither do I. We’ll learn together, we’ll gain experience, and in time, we’ll sort of have it figured out. Sure. We’ll make mistakes, but that’s part of the learning process. I’ve fallen more and more in love with you through our pregnancy and I have a suspicious feeling that when I see you look at her for the first time, I’ll melt all over again. When we’re alone for the first time in the hospital, when she grabs your finger for the first time, when you hold her and rock her to sleep, you’ll have me just as wrapped around your finger as she will have you around hers.

On Sunday, we will be full term (37 weeks) and now it’s just the waiting game.

I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am to have a husband like you. Men like you are hard to fine, but you’re worth your weight in gold. I couldn’t imagine doing this alone, much less with someone else. I’m so grateful and blessed. We are so blessed. Life just keeps getting better. We may not be rich with money, but we are rich in so many other things. It’s truly amazing how God has brought about this season of our lives. Even reading hundreds of our old notes from high school together over hot chocolate, apple cider, and next to the Christmas tree (literally, hundreds), it’s been amazing to see our 11 year journey together. I love you with all of my heart and among everything else, I just wanted to say thank you. You’ve given me so much joy and happiness already, you’ve provided for me in ways I never could, and you continue to love me despite my imperfections. I love you. Thank you.

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A few weeks ago, we set out with the amazing and talented Jenn Hopkins of Jenn Hopkins Photography to do one of our maternity sessions. As I mentioned previously, being a photographer has its perks, one of which is meeting so many amazing and wonderful photographers and building relationships with them. I met Jenn earlier in the year when another photographer referred her to me. She was looking for a second shooter and I’m so happy I got to not only meet with her, but work with her on multiple occasions. It was REALLY fun and awesome to be on the client side of things. Jenn is so easy to work with and she does a stunning and beautiful job. We are so thrilled to have been able to have such a special time in our lives photographed by her. Here are our favorites from our session. Click here to visit Jenn’s website.

Jenn-Thank you SOOOO much for shooting our maternity session with us! We loved working with you. You are such an awesome person and amazing photographer! We are so happy to have had you share in this part of our lives with us! Much love! xoxo!

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One of the nice things about being a photographer is having an awesome network of other photographers that I’ve become good friends with. I met Jenn Hopkins of Jenn Hopkins Photography last spring when she was referred to me by another photographer friend of mine. She asked me to reserve some dates to second shoot for her and I had such a good time working with her and getting to know her! She’s such a sweet, awesome person! I can’t say enough good things about her!

A couple of weeks ago, Jenn shot a maternity session for us in the GORGEOUS St. Augustine. I’ll write more later, but here is a sneak peek of our favorites! Click here to visit the Jenn Hopkins Photography website.

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Four shoots, three days, 6.5 months pregnant, and sleep deprived. Need I say more? Just kidding! Actually, I’m not, but I will say more! Many times we take people we love for granted. As much as I try not to, sometimes I take my husband, Colby, for granted. When I was 9 weeks along, I had a miscarriage scare that left me with two choices. Either stop shooting until after the baby comes or find someone who can carry my bags. PUUUlease! As if I was going to stop shooting for almost a year! Not going to happen!

Colby gladly stepped up to the plate. Since week 9, he has faithfully, without complaint, helped me on every job I’ve been on since May. As I’ve gotten further along, I’ve appreciated his help more and more, to the point that I sorta wish even after Carly comes that he could carry my bags so I don’t have to!

Over the last 3 days, I’ve had 4 shoots. As I hobbled like a 200 year old to bed last night, I realized that I can’t be super woman anymore. Of any time in my life, this has been the time I’ve physically needed my partner the most. Lifting stuff has become quite the daunting task (the baby is pressing on my sciatic nerve). Long periods of standing promise back aches and swollen ankles, but Colby has made it so much easier on me. He’s my little work horse and I can’t be thankful or grateful enough to the man who has made it possible for me to continue to do what I love, even as I become more and more whale-ish.

I’m so lucky. I hope he knows how much I appreciate and love him. He’s going to make an amazing father. How do I know this? Because he’s already an amazing husband, friend, partner, and human being. So to my hubby, thank you and I love you.

Ok, sappiness is over. GET BACK TO WORK! lol! jk!

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