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They first met over breakfast at the Blue Plate Cafe in Memphis, Tennessee. She was living in Mississippi at the time; he in Memphis. They have now ended up in Iowa City as she is finishing up her PhD dissertation at Iowa. When I asked her how she knew he was “the one”, she responded, “When he was willing to let me quit my job to become a full-time student and move in with him. He went from being a bachelor to carrying most of the load for both of us and our feline children. I respect that.”

While Iowa most likely won’t be their home much longer (she presents in October and he owns his own business and works from home), I had the pleasure of photographing them earlier this week while they’re still here. I met with Ellen & Jason at the Terry Trueblood park area for their session and, though we had some gusts of wind, we truly had the most beautiful weather to work with!
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Previously on mompreneurship:

I love to give gifts to my clients. I love to surprise them with gifts. (So if you’re a bride of mine, stop reading this right now.):)

I’ll go through when I gift and what I gift below, but let me preface it all by saying, you do not have to give gifts to your clients. You don’t. I do because I love to and I want my brides to feel extra special when they get something fun in the mail that is unexpected (and not a bill or junk mail).

If you choose to gift your clients, remember, you can spend any amount of money on gifts that you want. I heard once that if you want to give your clients, a good percentage to figure is 3-5% of their cost. So if a client pays $4,000 for their photos, that would mean $120-$200 in total gifts. You are running a business so you must be smart about your profit/loss and expenses. I wouldn’t advise that you go out willy-nilly and buy a bunch of gifts without first figuring out how much you can afford to spend based on your net sales.

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My dear Mr. Henry Pie,

I found out I was pregnant with you when I was six weeks along. With my pregnancy lasting a full 40 weeks, the fact that you are now nine months old means that I have officially known you longer outside my womb than in.

Just recently when I was with some of my friends (all who have boys right around your age), we were talking about how we wish we would’ve known it was YOU in there. What I mean is, I knew you were a little baby; I knew your approximate size and height at any given week; I knew your most recent developments in utero; I knew you were a boy. But I didn’t know you like I know you now. When you were born and were placed in my arms, your elbow—that skinny little elbow—was the first thing I recognized. I remember saying, “I know this elbow.”

While I wish I would’ve known you before as I do now, in so very many ways I’m glad that I’m continuing to get to know you. It would’ve been too much to know you like this back then, to love you this much. While a mother’s love is instant, it also continues to grow. It’s not like a heartbeat that is steady and strong from the beginning; rather it’s like the increase of waves towards high tide. It just gets bigger and stronger with each minute. It would’ve been too hard to instantly love you from the beginning with this much love. It’s easier to handle these feelings once I’ve gotten used to the continuing rise.
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KinnickIowaFootballWedding_EmilyCrall_0011.jpgYou know how you sometimes meet people and just instantly know they are the kindest, most genuine souls? That’s how I felt when I first met Andrea & James. It was further confirmed during the toasts at their reception that they are loyal and gracious, both with each other and with their friends. It makes me so happy to see marriages that start out on such a solid grounding.

Their Kinnick football stadium press box wedding was a gorgeous and intimate affair, but the day started just across the river at the Catholic church. When we arrived, the ladies were relaxing. I set aside the first 45 minutes to photograph the wedding details like the gown, jewelry, shoes, and paper suite. The color palette for the wedding was one of my very favorites: kelly green and navy. Yes please.
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Edisto_Island_Vacation_0062.jpgWe’re back from vacation and loving being in our own home again. Vacation is always so wonderful, but the reality of getting back to your own bed and routine is also a joy.

We had a great time and I’m going to try to summarize it all because, well, a week’s worth of beach, sun, and family reunioning can tend to blur together rather quickly.

Kevin, Henry, and I left Iowa Friday afternoon and drove (and drove and drove and drove) until 1:30 Saturday morning, when we grabbed a hotel for a few hours of sleep. We had been very nervous about how Henry (currently 8 months old) would handle the long drive and he surprised us by being completely happy-go-lucky about it. (It’s about an 18-hour drive…so…that’s a long time for me, but even more so for a baby.)

We got to Edisto Island, South Carolina around 6:00 PM Saturday. This vacation was a huge family reunion with my mom’s side of the family so we rented 4 beach homes and split up between them. I was so excited that my sisters and their families, my parents, and my younger brother were all in the same house.
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Previously on mompreneurship:

As a business owner and mom, time is my most valuable asset. Since it never seems like I have too much, I like to categorize my to-do list into the most time-saving methods possible to help wisely utilize the time I have. To help do this, I’ve created a monthly task list. These are tasks that need to be done every month, but not on a daily, or even weekly, basis.

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