February — Recap // Personal Post

February — Recap // Personal Post

Oh, February. I can’t tell you how many times I looked up plane tickets to warm places like Hawaii or Palm Springs. Luckily for H, they were all too expensive. Otherwise, he would have come from work one day to find that I had taken N to someplace much warmer and with far less snow! :) Last winter was so much easier to handle, because we escaped to Barbados in December. I’m already thinking we need to head to Hawaii next winter. So, if you’ve been there, will you give me your tips??? We’ve never been! [Yes, I know it’s crazy that I’ve been all over the world but never to Hawaii. That’s life!]

In late January, I caved and bought N one of the first – and only – super girly things she has. And uh, it doesn’t even even fit anymore, but the cute little flowers were adorable. Also, it snowed a lot. To the point where I wanted to cry every time it snowed. That view is a lot different now, thankfully!

February Recap // Emily Wenzel Photography

A selfie with my cutie at her two month appointment, and a snap from her two month photos. It’s crazy to me to take her monthly photos on the same quilt, and see how she’s growing! I know that she’s getting bigger, but when I look at these photos from a few weeks ago, I can’t believe how much bigger she is already!!

February Recap // Emily Wenzel Photography

N got her first real set of shots at her two month appointment, and boy, was it rough. First, I’m super lucky that N is a generally really happy go-lucky kid. She’s stubborn and goes from happy to hangry in a hot second, but she’s generally pretty awesome. So, the amount of fussiness after her two month shots nearly broke my heart. We snuggled all day long, and after a day or two, she was back to her usual self. I’m not looking forward to her next appointment, because I know she’ll get more shots! :(

February Recap // Emily Wenzel Photography

N took her first trip to Seattle, which included lots of snuggles with family, learning to use a ring sling, and a 2nd birthday party. She was a total champ and napped like a pro in the car. Since then, we’ve flown to Portland and driven down the Tri Cities. Have baby, will travel! :) When we were over in Coeur d’Alene at Mother’s Haven to take some photos last month, we swung up to Paragon Brewery for lunch. The food was great, and H really liked his beer. N slept through most of it while we took turns snuggling her and eating.

February Recap // Emily Wenzel Photography

My first shoot back from maternity leave (while still kind of on leave, haha) was to help my friend Amy, over at Inland Mama, announce her third baby. I am impressed by her tandem wearing, but tandem wearing while pregnant?! #momgoals

February Recap // Emily Wenzel Photography

Every February for the past three years, a friend of mine has hosted a private Facebook group where we wear red lipstick all month long. I wasn’t as active as I have been in years past, but I found a couple new shades. I’ve found that red lips automatically make you look put together. No one realizes that you’re not wearing any other makeup if you’ve got a red lip.

February Recap // Emily Wenzel Photography And that’s it! A month of snow, baby snuggles, red lips, and N’s first road trip! I can’t believe yesterday was the first day of spring, and I even did some yard work over the weekend.

Maternity Leave — Personal Post // Spokane Wedding Photography

I had a great plan to write a detailed post about my maternity leave, and how I’m taking one as a small business owner. I was working on writing it, and getting it ready to post before my due date. But, then my baby girl went and arrived two weeks early – after everyone predicted I’d go past my due date – and I was left scrambling just to get an out of office message on my email. How’s that for real life for you?

I will be on maternity leave through March, soaking up as many newborn snuggles as I can get. Right now, I am responding to emails as quickly as I can, but it’s taking me some extra time to do so. I will be back to shooting sessions in March, and weddings in April.

Please follow along on Instagram to see what I’m up to this winter, as we navigate our newest adventure — parenthood — and try to keep the dog from kissing the baby. Happy Holidays to you and yours, I can’t wait to be a part of your wedding or session in 2017.

xoxo,

E.

October & November — Recap // Personal Post

October & November — Recap // Personal Post

One of my goals for 2016 was to be more diligent in posting these recap posts, because I felt like each month was just flying past in a blur. I’m sure it’s only going to get crazier when baby Wenzel arrives this month!

We packed a lot of stuff into October and November. Once I ended my wedding season in September, I still had a bunch of editing and family sessions to do in October, plus we were working on the nursery like crazy. You guys, it’s almost done and I’m really hoping to share it with you very, very soon!!

October, oh October. You were full of rain. It was the rainiest month every recorded in Spokane, and I’ve lived through a couple rainy spring months in this town. Even my dog was sick of the rain (you can see how bored he was a few photos down)! He got to the point where he would pout at the window, because he didn’t want to go out in the rain. I didn’t blame him. I never track my fitbit data like I should, but I bet my October was super lazy, because neither of us wanted to go for walks. On the other hand, the weather was still warm enough for me to enjoy my favorite lunch – toast. I happened to score a perfectly ripe avocado, and after a bunch of disappointing ones, had to document that joy. The other slice is covered in cream cheese and homemade plum butter.Avocado Toast // Spokane Food Photography

Baby Wenzel’s upcoming arrival also gave me the chance to order some new thank you cards, so I designed these simple little ones. I’ve been sending out a lot of them lately! This blanket, from a past bride, and these books, from my cousin, were some of the first gifts to arrive. I’m pretty sure I owe my postman a large plate of Christmas cookies this year, because he’s been delivering quite a few packages this fall!

Custom Thank You Cards // Wenzel Haus Studios

I’ve been following Luisa on Instagram for ages, and it’s always been a double edged sword. I love seeing images of her life in Berlin, but it’s like looking into an alternate reality where we lived in Germany instead of the US. However, I was extremely thrilled when she announced her new cookbook, and H and I were both looking forward to the day it arrived. In fact, I had a streuselkuchen in the oven mere hours after its’ arrival! We’ve only made a few recipes so far, but it has earned a place on my cookbook shelf for good. I even used her streusel topping instead of my normal pie topping this Thanksgiving, and it got rave reviews!

Classic Germany Baking // German Cook Books

We finished off the month of October with the last of my mini sessions at Cannon Hill Park, and Halloween. We didn’t have nearly as many trick or treaters this year (I blame the rain and it being a Monday), so I ended up with tons of extra candy…and ate most of it myself. Oh boy. But at least our costumes were amazing this year!

Fall Family Sessions Cannon Hill Park // Spokane Family PhotographySuperhero Maternity Costume // Captain America Costume Maternity

November arrived and all of a sudden, most of my clothing didn’t fit anymore and I was scrambling to find a winter coat. I’ve been doing pretty good about going to yoga every week, and I can’t tell you how much I love my Sunday prenatal class at South Perry Yoga. But a couple weeks ago, I had to stop on my walk home, because even though I’ve seen this belly every single day, I’m still surprised sometimes by my reflection. When we went to my parents’ house for Thanksgiving, we ended up coming up with a lot of gifts for baby Wenzel, and Shadow got to sleep on the back seat. He was pretty thrilled, and slept the whole way home.

South Perry Yoga // Prenatal Yoga

It’s been great to see how much better Shadow is doing with this round of home renovation. Last year, we couldn’t do any work without him having to be in his crate. Now, he does a pretty good job of hanging out nearby, although sometimes he has to come in and lay down and let us know how boring we are, haha!

Slightly related: we ordered a few things for the nursery, and Amazon sent them to me in this giant box. Lola loves boxes, and hid inside this one. Shadow kept trying to find her in the box, and she would bat at his nose with her paws to keep him out, which provided me with a good half hour of entertainment before he figured out how to open the box enough to see her without getting smacked.

Dogs During Home Renovation // Wenzel Haus

And that was October & November…I really need to take more photos of Lola, but she’s been a bit cranky with me, since she doesn’t fit in my lap very well anymore, and has preferred H to me. What did you do in October or November?

September — Recap // Personal Post

September — Recap // Personal Post

It’s the first week of October, which means I’m due for a September recap. I’ve been struggling today, after waking up this morning from one of those crazy pregnancy dreams (ooooh boy), and not being able to get back to sleep. I’m thankful that I don’t have a wedding tomorrow, and I might just have to grab a nap this afternoon – sometime after I finish my editing for the day and walk the dog and… ;)

So, September! The month started with a flourish – I popped over to Gonzaga for a meeting and then immediately headed out to Cave B Winery for Leslie & Drew‘s elopement before we drove over to Seattle for the weekend. Basically, I ran around non-stop from mid-August to mid-September. Baby Wenzel has now been to four state and three countries.

Lipstick Selfies // September RecapCave B Winery Sunset Elopement // September Recap

While we were in Seattle, we did some major baby shopping, including picking up a used chair/glider for the nursery (which will be finish before the baby arrives…I hope), and doing a massive IKEA run. Can I just say that it takes a certain type of insanity to go to Ikea on a holiday weekend while the Ikea is under construction? Yup, we did it and lived to tell the tale. Lola and I tested out the glider shortly after we arrived home, and to this day, it’s her new favorite spot in the house. Hopefully she still feels the same way when it moves up to the nursery. H had a huge conference in town, and was working late, so I allowed the dog up on the couch for some Dancing With the Stars and cuddles.

Cuddling with pets while pregnant // September Recap

I went down to Walla Walla in early September to attend the ABC NW Regional Conference. It was great to hear from other wedding businesses, and I’m glad I was able to squeeze in a conference this year. The night before the conference, we attended a small dinner at Foundry Vineyards, and while I only got to try a sip of their wines (I bought a bottle for after baby Wenzel arrives!), the food we had was amazing. I forgot to grab a photo of the salad, but it was perfection. This was the main course, below, and dessert was a smaller version of the chocolate caramel tart below and some caramel gelato. The tart was from the Colville Street Patisserie in Walla Walla, so I swung by to grab one for our anniversary dinner. Let me tell you this, I eat a lot of dessert. I like dessert, and there’s a lot of dessert at wedding events. This tart was one of my top three desserts ever. Seriously. So after telling H this, and realizing that we had a salted caramel and chocolate cake layer at our wedding, I knew this was the perfect way for us to celebrate five years together. FIVE YEARS. We kept it simple and ate a quiet dinner at home, since we’ve been traveling and eating out so much. Bonus: I remembered to snap a belly photo while I was in Walla Walla. I’ve been terrible at these, partially because the only full length mirror in our house in an awkward spot, thanks to our renovations. Sorry, kid.

Foundry Vineyards // September RecapColville Street Patisserie Walla Walla // September Recap

At the end of August, I was able to work with the Nazareth Guild to do a big project for them, and I photographed their annual gala in September. It was so fun to see our work presented to the attendees, and I wish I could do a reveal with my wedding couples more often…maybe I can Skype with them, since so many are long distance? ;) Anyway, they had a small photobooth there, and I decided to cheese it up for the student who was trying to demonstrate how the Instax camera works. These cameras are a blast, and I need to use mine more!

Nazareth Guild Gala // Emily Wenzel Photography

The rest of September passed in a blur of editing and housework, and the last wedding of the year at Arbor Crest. September still felt a bit like summer, but fall has truly arrived this month, and I’m excited. Just…cool it with the Christmas decorations, okay? Because I have to bake this baby a little bit longer, and I am not ready for Christmas to be on the radar yet!

How was your September? Did you do anything exciting? What’s your favorite dessert??

 


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The Myth of Having it All // Personal Post

The Myth of Having it All // Personal Post

Some days, I am a total boss lady. I make it to meetings early, I book my clients, and I nail everything on my to do list. My social media is scheduled (at peak hours – natch), my editing is ahead of schedule, and I am the queen of small business.

Some days, I am a totally awesome person. I cuddle my kitty and take my dog to the park, I meet friends for coffee, run all my errands, and hit my step goal. My house is clean and my laundry is folded. I read my books and return them to the library on time. I have dinner planned out and I make eat at a reasonable hour. I am a domestic diva.

These two things never happen on the same day. In fact, rarely am I a domestic diva and a small business queen in the same week. Usually, I’m struggling along, juggling all the things in life, and dropping those balls left and right. I never feel like I have it all, because I never feel like I can do it all at the same time.

And the guilt is enormous. Why do we put this much pressure on ourselves – as business owners, as women, as people – to be perfect? I can tell you that, when you add in a mostly DIY home renovation, my husband doesn’t feel like he has it all either. Every day, it’s a question of time. And there are not enough hours, and none of us have enough brain space to do it all – or have it all – at the same time. Do we work on that house project, or do I cross something of my never ending business to do list? Do I meet up with a friend for happy hour, or make it to the gym?

In the summer, I am a workaholic. My house is a disaster, and while I love spending time with friends, I spend every spare minute with my spouse or desperately catching up on sleep. In the winter, my work load slows down, but that means I finally have time to catch up on all the half finished house projects, and to do some of the things I want to do around my home. I read books and remember what it’s like to have free time. And when I travel, I simultaneously try to enjoy as much of my trip as possible while still working my butt off to run the business. True fact: unless I’m overseas or off the grid, I don’t set an out of office message, because I’m still working. On vacation! That probably means it’s not really much of a vacation, does it? :(

It’s easy to look at a social media feed and think someone has it all. After all, I’m not sharing my messy, doesn’t have walls, house photos. I’m sharing the ones where I’ve nailed it. You don’t know that I barely slept last night, because I was trying to get work done, just that my emails are answered. Today it’s Friday, and I’ve spent the whole week tackling my inbox, trying to get that under control. I’ve barely turned around from my desk, because I know my house is a disaster zone. But hey, my inbox is down to TWO emails….for the next five minutes. ;)

You’ve can have it all, but you can’t have it all at the same time. To paraphrase a popular entrepreneurial saying: family, friends, work, sleep, fitness, or home renovation — pick three. And when I throw a baby in there, I wonder to myself, how can I make it all work? I can’t. And I have to learn to show myself more grace with that. I have to realize that some days – or weeks – I’m going to pick sleep over my house or fitness or friends. And that’s okay. And some days, my business comes first. But other days, my family and my friends are first.

You can’t have it all at the same time, and I think it’s important for us to continue to say that. It may look otherwise on the internet, but I am here to say I don’t have it all. I drop the ball. I work late, and sometimes I don’t feel like I can do enough work to keep up. Some days I am a terrible spouse and friend. Other days, I do great at that, but feel like I have failed as a business owner. You don’t need to have it all, and you shouldn’t believe that it’s a good standard to work towards. Be honest, be real, and give yourself grace. I struggle with this every day, and I know it won’t get easier as my business and family grow.

Delos Archaeological Site Greek Island // Emily Wenzel Photography