Tag Archives: Family

As most of you have probably seen on my twitter or facebook page, my husband and I went to Colorado to visit family this past week. We had SUCH a wonderful time! I’ll be doing a much bigger blog post later but I wanted to get a photo up first and make a couple of announcements. First I will not be doing any Rock On Photographer installations until after the first of the year. I am going to take a little break and regroup because next year is going to be a busy year. Second I was invited to be a vendor at a wedding show for the Metro Club in Willis Tower, previously known as the Sears Tower, on January 23rd from 2pm-6pm so if you’re a bride in Chicago or you know a bride in Chicago please encourage them to come to the show! It’s a very formal cocktail party style show. The address is 233 S. Wacker Drive. Pre-registration is going on now and is $10, it’s $15 at the door and children 12 and under get in free.

Lastly, I was recently selected to be in the running for an amazing award of Photographer of the Year for Photobiz. If selected I would win one year of hosting and a 12,000 photo allotment for my website, plus the recognition of course! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GO VOTE AND TELL YOUR FRIENDS! To vote, visit the below website and vote for me. I was the November photographer of the month. You can only vote once.


I’ll leave you with one of my favorite photos of our trip to Colorado. More to come on that, probably tomorrow.

Jen Shannon Photography, Chicago Wedding Photographer

Last night I had my egg nog chai latte from Starbucks in hand and was ready to get started. Our tradition is that we decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving, but unfortunately Colby had to work at his second job so he didn’t get to so we did last night. We decorated cookies, put up the tree, listened to Christmas music all while I enjoyed my latte and he enjoyed his apple cider. I love doing this stuff every year. We have such a great time. I wish we had family around to do it with but there is just something super special about when it is just to two of us. This is our fourth Christmas together and it is typically just the two of us but last year my family came and we had a FREAKIN’ AWESOME TIME! We went sledding all day across the street. It was so freakin’ fun! I wish we could do it again but my brother, who converted to Judaism, has since gotten married so they don’t celebrate Christmas and he will be spending it with his sweet wife Sharon, my parents aren’t able to travel this year due to work requirements, and my little brother is working two jobs to pay for college and can’t take the time off. Stupid economy! Either way it stinks that we don’t get to do that again this year. Last year was so magical because we knew it would be the last we’d all be together for a long time but it was just perfect. This year, though, we will be going to Denver the week before Christmas to visit Colby’s dad and step-mom. We’ll be back before Christmas but the tickets to be there over Christmas was just out of this world expensive, so we opted to go the week before. We are going to have a great time and hopefully it will include some sledding! You can bet you’ll see pictures! Anyway, here are some photos from decorating the tree.

By the way, most of these were taken with a point and shoot. I was not in the mood to be messing with my lenses and stuff. Sometimes a point and shoot is ok!

Decorating Collage

Jen Shannon Photography, Chicago Wedding Photographer

I was so surprised when my brother and grandpa called me on Tuesday night to tell me that my grandparents were in Portage, IN and heading to Missouri but wanted to stay with us in Joliet for a night! This was a huge deal to me because I never thought I’d ever get to show my grandparents my life up here. You see, my grandma and grandpa are from Inverness, FL. They lived there for years and years. They own an RV business down there called Gist RV. So when they called on Tuesday night and knew they wanted to visit on Wednesday and stay the night, I couldn’t pass it up! My grandparents drove in on Wednesday afternoon. My grandpa is so cute. He used to ask me growing up, “How do you kiss them boys with all that metal in your mouth?” I had braces for way too long when I was younger, but now that I’m married, the question has changed to, “So when am I gonna start gettin’ some great grand kids?” The first three years of Colby and I’s marriage the answer has always been, “Someday.” But this time my answer was, “Sometimes next year!” He and my grandma were happy to finally get something other than, “Someday.” So they came inside and got comfy on the couch. I had made grandpa his favorite… Southern style sweet tea! FYI-My favorite too! Super sweet and flavorful! I had to finish up my day at work so they settled in to watching the news. When I was done my grandpa had fallen asleep so I got to spend a nice long time visiting with my grandma. It felt like a short time but before I knew it Colby had come home from work. We all visited for a little while then went to the backyard for some pictures. While we were taking pictures, Brian came from work and he and Riley got to playing. Riley and Brian have a special bond. Riley likes to use and abuse Brian and Brian likes to dish it back to Riley! It’s so cute. I love watching it! Shortly thereafter we left for dinner at Williamson’s, one of Colby and I’s regular restaurants. We LOVE Williamson’s! After dinner we came back to my house and we hung out for a few hours then went to bed. My grandparents left this morning :( I wish they could have stayed a little longer but Missouri called! So this morning before they left, I gave them directions to the nearest Cracker Barrel and they were on their way. I can’t wait to someday move back to Florida where I will be able to be near all of my family. Family is so important to me. Here are some quick photos.

My Grandma and Grandpa. Aren’t they cute?

Pa and Ma

Relaxin’ to the max!

Grandma and Grandpa Inside

Isn’t my grandpa a stud??


Isn’t my grandma so pretty?


Notice how it looks like Brian’s hand is down Riley’s throat. It is sooo funny! I love it!

Brian and Riley

My bro and hubby with my grandparents :D

My boys

Me with my grandparents-rather-grandpa and his ladies!

Me and my grandparents

Jen Shannon Photography, Chicago Lifestyle Photographer

I didn’t post to my blog yesterday :( Sorry again. I’m kind of glad I didn’t though. My father’s day post seems to be resonating with the people who read it and I’ve gotten a lot of great comments on it. It’s easy as a teenager to get wrapped up in the “my Dad won’t let me do this” “my Mom said no dang it!” kind of stuff. People don’t realize, until they are older, how much their parents truly love them when they are being tough. Young people also take their parents for granted and I think to truly appreciate it, they have to be in a place where they are far away and don’t have access to their parents anymore. Then they realize just what they are missing. Given, not all parents are fit to be parents, I’m lucky enough to have parents who love me, pray for me, and only want what God wants for me.

I’m also lucky enough that my parents hold the same Christian values that Colby and I share. We know how important this is, especially when we are growing our future children up. We need them to have people who are strong in their faith that they can turn to when they are mad at us, as their parents. My parents have instilled values in me that many people don’t have. Values that seemed pointless when I was a teenager but are so important to me now that I understand them.

So Mom and Dad, thanks for being the best parents! Although I would have disagreed at 13, I wouldn’t change but one thing…. You should have let me ride with teen drivers!!! hahaha LOL! I love you both!

“Somewhere, out there, beneath the pale moonlight. Someone’s thinking of me, and loving me tonight. Somewhere, out there, someone is saying a prayer. And we’ll find one another, in that big somewhere out there. And even though I know how very far apart we are, it helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star, and when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby, it helps to think we’re sleeping underneath the same big sky. Somewhere, out there, if love can see us through, then we’ll be together, somewhere out there, out where dreams, come true…..” -Feival

That’s my dad and I’s song from when I was a little girl. It used to not be a huge deal to me until I grew up, got married, and moved across the country and now the song almost brings me to tears, even to quote. I can’t tell you how great it is to have my father still here with us, as I could have lost him several years ago. He had a 90% blockage in his heart, also called a “widow maker” and had to have a heart catheter put in. I was never more scared in my life. I remember sitting at work, my new job in Chicago, getting the call that he was ok, but I couldn’t help but cry because I was so upset that I couldn’t be there (and now starts the water works) to see for myself that he was ok. I tried really hard to not cry at my cubicle but I couldn’t help it. My new coworkers didn’t even notice, thank goodness, but I remember just worrying myself a ton over it. Every day that he is here, I’m thankful to have my dad. As the years keep going, I keep realizing how blessed I am to have the father that I do and how much I’m going to miss him when I can’t celebrate these occasions with him anymore.

So, to you, Dad, even though you don’t read my blog.. meany! :), I hope you had a fabulous and happy Father’s day and I enjoyed our video chat. I hope next year I can be there to celebrate with you. I love you!


Dad and I 2

Dad and I 3

Jen Shannon Photography, Chicago Wedding Photographer