Leslie: My Photographer…My Friend.

I met Leslie Gaworecki during my search for our wedding photographer.

Even before I saw her work, I knew she was the one for me.

I could sense her gentle spirit and her kind soul….and we just clicked.

And, she did not disappoint….as a photographer, or a person.

She captured so much that day.





And beautiful keepsakes of the four family members we would unexpectedly lose just two years later…


She’s given us a huge gift, allowing us to measure our children’s growth through her photographs…

And, she’s stuck with our insane family all these years, capturing memories sure to have otherwise been forgotten…

Nearly seven years have passed since I met Leslie.

And, things have changed.

I’m no longer the giddy, naive girl I was that day I walked into her office.

I’ve been hit with hard-cold life, tragedy, and blessings too big to count…each event written in soft lines around my eyes.

It’s no longer just me.

My family of one is now four.

And my dear friend is still beautifully chronicling this funny little journey called life.

Thank you, Leslie, for putting up with my crazy. And, for knowing me just well enough to capture who we are.

I’m forever grateful for you, my friend.

Four years and counting…

My husband and I have been together for seven years now.

We have been married four years today!

We had many fun adventures together before we were married (mawwied? yes, mawwied!). Hopping on planes,  traveling across the country for nights of great music and camping.

Vacations were easy then. Carefree. We didn’t have to worry about babysitters or, “OMG what if something happens and we don’t make it back home.”  This meant I could devote all my time waiting for my husband to fall asleep so I could take funny pictures of me harassing him.

Finally, after living in sin together in our cute little rental, the question was popped.

Spoiler alert.

I said yes!

I made him pose for cheesy couple pictures with me, which is so not his thing!!

I  tried to put into words just how much he means to me.  It was not easy.

On March 11th, of 2006, the big day arrived. Both of us taking on our usual roles. Him, the strong, silent and loving one. Me, the loud, loud and loud one (and very happy!).

We didn’t want a traditional wedding. We didn’t plan on a first dance.  Thankfully, our band surprised us with one. They played “What a Wonderful World”, and we danced. And I bawled. And it was so perfect. My world was wonderful because he was mine. And legally so, sucka!

We should have been off to Hawaii for our honeymoon the day after our wedding.  We missed our flight and had to stay an extra night in Houston. We refused to go back home, opting to check into a hotel and fly out the next day. We laughed it off and made the best of it. We were together.

We finally made it to Hawaii the next day. Precisely one day before I cracked my kneecap in half walking to the pool climbing a mountain.

He spent a week pushing me around the resort in a wheelchair, which I kind of liked because I am one lazy bitch.  I still wore my sexy honeymoon lingerie.  And though my strut was more of a hobble and, well, there were the crutches, it was perfect. We were together.

Oh, and I got us a shit ton of Vicodin for our vacation. Score!

Married life before we had our precious baby boy was so simple. We were still able to jet away to Mexico or Vegas to party with our friends. And laugh at them when they passed out from having too much to drink.

We decided to have a baby.  I got pregnant right away. I was thrilled and terrified.  I miscarried a month later.  My husband was amazing.  He was everything I needed.

Except for a baby.

We got pregnant again the very next month! I was thrilled and terrified. And, apparently, I blamed everything on George W. Bush.

I began having contractions at 27 weeks. I was in the hospital for 3 days and at home under house arrest for 10 weeks.  I had a subcutaneous IV in my thigh, which delivered medicine to slow my contractions. I pretty much would have gone insane without my husband there. I thought this was the worst thing in the world. Did I really want to be a mom? I was not sure why I was even doing it.  Until I met him….

Then I realized I would have walked through hell and back to get to that moment.

I will never forget my husband’s face the first time he met our son.  He said to him, “Hey buddy!!!” with so much joy in his voice and such a smile on his face, I thought his head would explode. It takes my breath away and makes me cry to this day when I hear that “Hey buddy” in my head. My son is so lucky to have him as a daddy.

Ten days after that perfect day, the worst thing in the world happened. I lost four of the most important people in my life.

I have no idea how I would have made it through this without my husband. Amazing husband + Zoloft = you will survive, yo. He just has a way of calming me down. His presence alone does it. No words are really needed.

Putting up with me is not always easy. I am dramatic. I am stubborn. I can be really defensive. I talk way too much. I leave cabinet doors  and drawers open all over the house. I am crazy disorganized and a total scatterbrain. I have panic attacks on airplanes. Then I drink too much on said airplane.  I am pretty much like having a second child sometimes.

But, hey, when I fuck up,  I bake things like this.

Sometimes I embarrass him. I am loud. I say inappropriate things. It’s sometimes hard for me to be serious. I will also cop a feel any chance I get.

We sure have made ourselves a beautiful little family. I love us so much. I can’t believe this is my life.

Eventually, I do want to add to it. But, not quite yet. I want to enjoy this. The right now. It will never be the three of us again.

I love my husband way more than I think he knows. I hope I tell him enough. I mean, I tell him I love him all the time, but do I show it like I did in the beginning?  The sweet things I used to do for him daily seem to get put on the back-burner way too often.  And it’s not because I don’t want to do them, but because I am still figuring out this crazy mom/wife/me juggling act. Cliché, much?

When I first met my husband, an overwhelming feeling of peace came over me. It was hard to explain.

Our dog, Greta, used to do this thing.  At the end of the day she would jump on the bed, curl up in a little bawl and let out a deep sigh of contentment, as if she was thinking, “Thank God I made it here.”

This is how I was finally able to explain how my husband made me feel.  I told him once that he made me do the “Greta sigh”.

We had our wedding bands engraved when we got married. Mine says, “Even breathing felt…”, and his says, “Like something new.”


Thank God I made it here.