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Mackenzie is my sister Brooke’s niece.  So that makes me a bit of a surrogate Aunt too right?  I have known this beautiful young lady since she was born after all.

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Believe it or not, Mackenzie was very nervous about her session.  While driving to our spot, she was downright fluttery.   She had no need for apprehension either.  She is such a natural.  Mackenzie is a real and completely authentic young woman.  No pretense.  Her energy, zest for life, and infectious joy spilled out over her whole session.  In fact, with the exception of Ty, Mackenzie may have the most joy filled spirit I have encountered.  The glass was half full on every topic (and Mackenzie and I can chat up a storm so we covered an abundance of topics both the mundane and significant).  I left feeling like I had been given the gift of the evening.  Time with Mackenzie is very well spent.
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Sometimes the wind can drive ya a little crazy.  Sometimes it is AMAZING.

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And we were even blessed with a beautiful Arizona sunset.
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See what I am talking about?  She is radiant and her joy is contagious.

 

Much love to you sweet girl.  Wishing you the very best in this new and amazing season of life.  XXXOOO.

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I regularly get asked, “What do we do?  I am due in the middle of summer!”

Few pregnant mamas want to have a June, July, or August due date in the Valley of the Sun.  Hot, hot, hot!   I typically suggest choosing  one of the following:  1.  Do the session in your home.  Air conditioning is such a blessing.  2. If shooting outside, shoot at sunrise.  3.  Shoot near water.  4.  Consider a stay-cation.  That way you can quickly cool off AND have a beautiful summer background to compliment the session.

J and M chose a beautiful valley resort.  It was pure eye candy for this photographer.  It was a super hot day and this family (including two year old Genevieve) faced the elements bravely.  Tanner was assisting me on this shoot and we were both wishing we had reserved a room too so we could jump in the pool.   That evening a pretty wicked monsoon rolled in and I was oh so grateful that we beat the storm.  Monsoon season in these parts can get interesting.

Pray with me that I did not score yet ANOTHER photo radar ticket on this shoot.  I could really gripe long and loud about Scottsdale and Tempe on this point.

 

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Genevieve was truly adorable.  She is one SMART little cookie and is going to make a fabulous big sis.  I keep wanting to get a playdate scheduled between her and Troy.  It would be too fun to watch.  At nearly a year younger, I think she would talk circles around him and I am convinced the two together would provide great entertainment.
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A certain little girl kept creeping into the background of several shots…and I loved it.  This is not a photo bomb – it is the real story.
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Such preciousness – she melts my heart.
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M you are such a beautiful mama!  Thank you for allowing me the blessing of capturing this amazing time.  (And for being a trooper during a hot, summer session too!)  We MUST do dinner soon!

Jenna

July 25, 2014

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My beautiful and wonderful cousin Jenna.  :)   Sometimes you just need some girly shots and Jenna was the perfect model.  If you have had a newborn session with me, you  have probably met my talented newborn assistant.  We had a fun time together back in May down at the river.

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Jenna and boyfriend Austin.
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Jenna and Jacqueline – Jacqueline’s senior shoot isn’t too far out.
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Yes – I cut this picture in half on purpose.  :)  I wanted to get a good look at her beautiful green eyes.
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 Jenna Lynn – I have been so blessed to have you working with me over the last five years.  You are so great at what you do and I would be lost without you.   Love you so very much! XXXOOO

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You know I was in heaven getting to spend the early morning with Cash.  Looking at Cash, brought me back to years gone by with my own little Ginger boy.  My heart melts into a big ole’ puddle.  Doing a baby shoot in PHOENIX, in JULY, is tough due to the heat factor.  Sunrise tends to be easier but even then we were sweatin’ buckets.   Monsoon season made it muggier than normal.    What a great way to spend a brand new morning though with this sweet family of 3.
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He has the most beautiful peaches n’ cream coloring.
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Love the feet crossing.
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You can just SEE what a great personality he has.
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Hoping to see you three again soon!!!

 

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We have had a lovely fourth of July week.  We went to lake Bartlett and swam and fished with the kids, went to Lake Pleasant and got caught in a wicked monsoon on July 3rd and then a BBQ at Aunt Beck’s on Friday night.   GOOD TIMES.  On Friday night, Jim and I were in the pool with the littles and Tori was practicing swimming.  She is slowly but surely gaining confidence.  At one point, she came up from underwater gasping and choking having aspirated some pool water.

“I just swallowed water into my lungs but I am fine!” she says.

We giggled at her practical, no-nonsense, typical Tori behavior.

As the evening progressed, Jim and I both noticed she was struggling to get remnants of the water out of her lungs.  She was quickly developing a strange and persistent cough – almost had a croupish sound to it.  She also claimed her tummy was hurting from all the water she claimed to have swallowed.   During the night the cough worsened.  Jim and I discussed it and both of us wondered if she was going to be at risk for aspiration induced pneumonia.  We are no strangers to that one because Ty and Troy both had such aspiration issues that this was always a concern (in fact, Troy was almost put on a G tube as a baby because his aspiration issues with bottle feeding were so bad and he did develop pneumonia).  Tori was hospitalized as a baby for pneumonia (with RSV) so I knew what it looked like on her and wasn’t in a hurry to see that again.   I told Jim that it could escalate to pneumonia quickly and a high fever would be the give away.  Yesterday (Saturday) she seemed fairly okay but when she went to bed the coughing was even worse than the night before.  I got up and checked for signs of fever a couple of times but she was good.  At 3:45 AM she got up and tried to drink some water and then ended up vomiting it up.   She was burning up at that point and because I had been checking, I knew it had come on FAST.  I knew she had pneumonia.

I put her in the car and took her to the ER and Phoenix Children’s.  When we arrived her fever was at 104.4 with a very fast heart rate (obviously).   The good news was, she was satting well (98ish).  The scan revealed “atypical pneumonia” and I was questioned about her preemie lungs because the Dr. said her lungs looked foggy.  She did not have respiratory distress as an infant so I found that curious.   The Dr. said that her pneumonia didn’t present the way submersion pneumonia normally does (the high fever and something about the right lobe of the lung didn’t look like she would expect).   Jim and I both feel confident though that this WAS aspiration induced.   We saw it happen, saw her immediate and persistent response to what happened and then just waited for the fever to hit so no surprise to us.   With all the times that Troy and Ty have aspirated, I have been surprised that they weren’t plagued by more bouts of pneumonia.  Both boys seemed to always clear it though and didn’t have persistent coughing after the trigger event.   I would never have suspected a problem from what happened in the pool had she not been observably struggling to clear it for so long.

For arguments sake, cough and fevers are going around and Tori and Troy both have been recovered for about 2 weeks from a really strange mystery virus.  They were both sick for 5+ weeks with a strange diarrhea and random vomiting virus.  I was suspecting bacterial issue but stool samples didn’t show it (though they often don’t).  Troy got so sick that his breath was smelling like ammonia and had a waking blood sugar level of  134 (they say over 125 is diabetic) BUT Jim had given him a little bit of apple juice before we tested and that would have skewed it.  I think he was in ketosis from losing so much of his daily nutrients.   All this to say, I do know Tori’s immune system has been compromised so maybe it was the perfect storm.  Also had to wonder how much dirt she inhaled on Thursday night when we were caught at the lake in the Haboob.   Who ever knows with these things?  As I said though, all things considered, Occam’s Razor applies –  the simple answer is typically correct and I am confident that the persistent coughing is directly related to the aspiration incident.

She just told me a little bit a go that her chest is starting to hurt.  That concerns me a bit but her breathing is still okay.  I have her on motrin and tylenol and the Dr. prescribed azythromiacin and we started that at about 11:00 AM so hopefully we will get her turned around really quickly before this can escalate into a respiratory distress issue.  She seems to be going downhill in terms of her energy and fever despite the motrin/tylenol this afternoon so I am hoping the antibiotics will kick in soon.

Someday I would love to see Phoenix Children’s Hospital out my rear view window for the VERY LAST TIME.  (But also so glad that I live in close enough proximity that I can get my children to one of the finest children’s hospital in the whole wide world when the situation calls for it – just wish circumstances would QUIT calling).