My Journey Continues

To say it's been a long past year and a half would be undermining the life that has happened in that [short] time reel of my life. Having children has certainly played a huge role in molding me into the woman I am at this moment. It's been the biggest impact to hit my life, the hardest and best thing I've ever done is be called Momma. Here's to the past year and a half of motherhood, marriage, family, and friendships...

 ((Now would be a good time to scroll to the very end for a re-cap if you don't have time to read through this entire post!))

Many of you probably know I began my photography business (Nicole Suzanne Photo) in 2015. I quickly began shooting births at the end of that year, just before 2015 ended. I very quickly learned the ropes, and was IN LOVE with capturing the most emotional thing I've ever had the privilege of witnessing. I'll forever be in awe of all things pregnancy and childbirth, and cannot wait until I can shoot them again...

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Something else happened just before 2015 ended, and that was conceiving that sweet, beautiful chunk you see pictured up there. He's our rainbow baby, conceived after we experienced the tragedy of miscarriage in September of that same year. Another stinger was in November of that year, when our first born had to undergo surgery on his face for a rare bacterial infection that we still don't know how he picked up. God certainly provided us with a lot of comfort during that time. Despite the lingering fear of miscarrying again, God also provided a ton of comfort during my pregnancy with him, even though we dealt with the seemingly constant and random, un-explained bleeding and contractions from really early on.

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About mid-pregnancy I shot my last birth for 2016, because soon after I was urged to take it easy for the remainder of my pregnancy if I didn't want to evict baby before 20 weeks...ya, seriously. So, I shot one last session that year, and put my camera down for a few months. I was anticipating shooting up until delivering, but that clearly wasn't going to be an option...

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I soaked up those last few months as a momma of one, not realizing how drastically our lives were all going to change with the arrival of our next baby boy. I miss the relationship I had with just having my Bugaboo, how much attention that both Craig and I were able to give him. Life has gotten so busy. Anyways, towards the very end of pregnancy I stumbled upon the idea of starting a photography editing business, and thus Nicole Suzanne Photo became Nicole Suzanne Edits and I LOVED providing that service to other (mainly) birth photographers. I could still enjoy births, but be a tool behind the scenes helping other photographers manage their time well. It was definitely a win-win all around and it worked out really well.

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Photo by the incredible Nicole Jackson Photography

At the end of September our little bundle did come. We had a beautiful, lovelycrazy intense lightning fast home-birth that was nothing like I expected (besides the awesomeness of being home with my incredible midwives and my superb doula-who was texting both Craig and I during labor; that whole story is for another post). All was well in the world, and we became a family of four.

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Photo by the incredible Little Wonders Photography

Childbirth recovery after both my boys was ROUGH. I spend weeks hardly able to walk, I even crawled back to bed from the bathroom on the first night postpartum with this one. Immediately the struggle of giving enough attention to both kids was evident. I took a couple of weeks off from editing, and then jumped right back in full swing with it. I spent about six months trying to juggle it all...until I finally cracked. Postpartum Depression (PPD) hit me like a train I definitely did not hear coming, but I sort of saw it coming in a way. I leaned on my faith and Craig, and knew something needed to change. The biggest thing that seemed to be causing stress was me trying to run a business, it was the only thing we could realistically cut out. So I swallowed my pride, a lot of it, and reached out honestly to each of my clients to explain I wouldn't be editing for the time being, that I needed to take an unknown length of a break. The grace, understanding, and love my clients showed me was absolutely amazing and so relieving. If any of you are reading this (you know who you are!), then just thank you. Thank you for your compassion and for making it sting less than I thought it would. I didn't pick my camera up much at all for a while after this all went down, but I did engulf myself in spending time in God's Word and surrounding myself with encouraging friends to help me get out of my funk. (There were tons of other things I did as well to combat the PPD, but that's enough for an entire other blog post so I won't be explaining that today.)

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So, I wasn't shooting anymore professionally, and I wasn't trying to run a business. In June of this year I had shut down all of my hosting and my website etc., I really closed up shop. Anything I was doing before was just too much. I even tried shooting a bit while I was running my editing business and it was just so overwhelming. Fast forward to recently, when I had this realization that I don't have to be completely consumed with business running. That there MUST be a balance out there. I think God placed it back on my heart, knowing how much I love to capture photographs for other people. Which brings me to what this blog post is really all about....

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I'm shooting again!! For weeks I toyed around with a new business name....not feeling settled with "Nicole Suzanne Photo". Maybe it's that I feel like that was an ultimate failure because it didn't pan out. Maybe it's that I hate how common my name is. But, for whatever real reason I felt like I wanted something more. Something that meant more. Something that spoke. Heart + Soul Unscripted is going to give life. I'm so excited to be so focused and driven, intentional instead of chaotic and completely scatter brained like I was running Nicole Suzanne Photo. I will not be shooting births. I know one day I will be able to step into that role again, but right now my babies are babies. I want to soak up all of that while I can. They'll be big someday, and people will still be having babies, and I'll still be in love with the art of birth photography. My focus is on families of young children with Heart + Soul Unscripted, for now.

God is showing me more and more often just how good He is, and He really is capable of doing amazing things.

Re-cap + Key Info in this post:  1. My hubby and I have two beautiful healthy boys, and one angel baby in heaven. 2. I'M SHOOTING AGAIN, YAY! (Details in the very last paragraph up there.) 3. God is BEYOND GOOD.

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