2017 Season Kickoff | Outer Banks Wedding & Family Photographer

It’s crazy to think it’s almost April!I swear it feels like each year passes by faster and faster and while we look forward to our quiet OBX winters, come March most of us are itching to get back to it. Anyone who is a small business owner knows that even in the “off season” there is a ton of work to do! So what have we been up to at CHP?

We kicked off the 2017 Wedding Season a couple of weeks ago with Karen & Charles at their Downtown Manteo Engagement Session and we’re so excited for their wedding next month!

We also spent some time with one of our favorite toddlers and his mom & dad as they waited for the arrival of their new baby girl. We (thankfully!) had a mild day for Nicole’s OBX Maternity Session – and gorgeous light!

One of the things that makes me thankful to be a photographer is that you get to work with people during the happiest moments of their lives. From new babies and families to surprise proposals and weddings….everyone is pretty darn happy (mot of the time…ha!). The happiness has been a lifesaver this past year as we’ve definitely been put to the test.

Some you probably noticed based on social media that I’ve had quite a few trips up to New Jersey. While it’s not totally abnormal, since his southern girl did marry a Jersey boy, the reason was less than ideal. We found out this past fall that my mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer. We’re very thankful this normally stubborn woman went to the doctor, and after a few specialists made the confirmation, the proceeded with treatment.

I feel very blessed that both Rob and I got to be there (a perk of working for yourself!). God works in mysterious ways, and normally Rob is traveling the world for work – but this past winter he was actually in New Jersey overseeing construction of the new boat he will be running. He had a cute little rented shore house about 5 minutes from his mom – so we could enjoy a little quality time in between his work and me attending doctors visits with his mom. I’m very happy to report that she’s got just 1 chemo treatment left and the results so far have been great. It’s not over yet, but we don’t see any reason to anything but happy!

One bright spot was the arrival of our newest niece, baby Grace. We are so smitten with her and thrilled to have gotten a chance to be there the first week of her life. She will be here for a good chunk of the summer and we look forward to a whole lot of baby snuggles.

We’ve most definitely been tested, because as well know when it rains it pours. In February I was packing my bags to hop a flight down to Mexico and see Rob, where he usually is during the winter for work. A couple of days before flying out our sweet Duchess fell down. Being the nutty dog-mom I am, I rushed her right to the vet. We chalked it up to the fact that she is 12 (which is OLD for a lab) and just not getting around as well. The vet didn’t seem too concerned but ordered blood work for her. I tossed around the idea of not going to Mexico, but after talking with the vet decided it was probably nothing.

Living on the OBX has a lot of perks….medical care is not one of them (for people or animals!). While we have an amazing vet, even something as simple as blood work takes a few days to get back. About 3 days into my Mexico trip the vet called with news that he wanted to get Duchess in for an xray. Our dog-sitter took her right in where they discovered a tumor on her spleen. It was decided she needed an emergency Splenectomy (removal of the tumor and her spleen). The next morning I hopped a flight out of Cancun so I could be there when she woke up.

It took about 3 weeks to get the results, but it was confirmed she had Cancer. Right away we made appointments with the NC State Vet Clinic. They were the wonderful and started treatment right away. We’ll be making the drive every three weeks for 5 more rounds of chemo. We’re hopeful with chemo that we can turn the initial 2 month prognosis into at least 6. Everyone who has seen her since the diagnosis comments they can’t believe this is a dog with 2 months left. She’s happy, perky, and overall the same life-loving Labrador she’s always been.

12 years ago Rob wrapped what he told me was my Christmas present and put it under the tree. For weeks I shook that big box completely convinced it was Louis Vuitton luggage. Boy was I wrong. In reality he faked me out by wrapping one of my suitcases packed to the brim with dog toys. Duchess was by far the best gift I’ve ever been given and has brought a lot of joy to our family. We’re not sure what we will do without her but are cherishing whatever time we have left. We’re thankful that according to doctors she will remain in good spirits and pain-free, and hopefully get in one last summer of boating and swimming.


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