“just us” sessions in Wheaton

I lost sight of him.
Depression, dirty dishes, a list of things he “wasn’t” and a pile of heaping hurts clouded everything.
I saw him everyday – but I didn’t see him.  I saw all the things he wasn’t.  All the things that hurt.
Honestly, at one point, I gave up.  I decided that I’d just wait until one day maybe the real him would come back.  But honestly, how can you come back when the person your with stops trying?  It’s possible, but it certainly isn’t easy.
Finally, after a diagnosis and a prescription – he saw what I’d seen for years.  We had nothing.  Possibly less than nothing.  Sure, we were totally married, but he didn’t know if he loved me and I wasn’t sure what love even was anymore.

Tears were shed.  Hearts were slowly shared.  And somehow God made something out of nothing.  Friends listened and we learned to listen to one another and somehow, the blinders came off and I saw that I wasn’t just the one hurt – I had been doing a large share of the hurting.  Apologies were made. Systems started to change.  And slowly – we started to see each other again.

I don’t totally know why I write all of this.  I could have just shared about “just us” (couples) sessions and shared a few beautiful images and it could have worked.  But I guess I wanted you to know where I’m coming from.
You see – I love “just us” sessions.  To the moon and back.  Because out of this place, came a stronger desire than ever to create images and MOMENTS that help people see the beauty they have in their lives every day, especially in their marriage.  So for years I’ve worked to make a session for couples who have been married for any length of time – from 60 years to 6 months.  It’s interactive.  We laugh together.  And oftentimes, we cry together.  And in every session I’ve done so far – there have been moments that changed me and my couples.  Words were spoken that had been felt forever but never uttered, laughter was shared in places that needed to heal and connection was deepened as they took time for themselves.  Because instead of posing, we’re doing activities together and answering questions.  We creating MEMORIES.  Beautiful ones.  And somehow through this process – eyes are opened to truly SEE each other again.
But here’s the deal – most of the time, couples get engagement pictures and wedding pictures and then have NO MORE pictures of just the two of them.  Very few people think of doing a session for just the two of you.  I mean, my goodness – you’ve got kids.  Or you should just wait until you have kids.Well…I beg to differ.  And to help eliminate any and all excuses – I’m offering an exclusive set of “just us” sessions in Wheaton, IL on Sunday afternoon, October 26.  And I’m doing so at a crazy amazing, it-may-never-be-able-t0-be-repeated special price.  For our time together and for the digital images, our session fee is $125.  Quite honestly – you could spend more on a fancy dinner.  And I can guarantee you that this will be far more foundational to your relationship than dinner will be.  So hire a sitter (if you have kids), plan to get your hair and make up done, grab your favorite outfit and come with open hearts.  If you’d like to talk more about a “just us” session, just email me at amy@amy-pauslon.com .  Please also leave your number as I want us to have time to chat and talk through what a session looks like and answer any questions you might have!

 

 

 

a day of joy and sorrow

Today we grieve and we celebrate.

For this sweet little family, it marks the year anniversary of learning that sweet baby Ellen no longer had a heartbeat.  Though we are grateful that precious Karis is here – our hearts ache for little Ellen.

Amanda and Daniel, I love you.  So much.  Thank you for spending time with me the day before we grieve and celebrate Ellen.  My heart aches for you as you hold your little lady today and long for the day when you can hold your other little one.

I hate words sometimes because I can’t find the ones to speak my heart.  But know I’m standing with you guys and remembering her and all of you today.

(Also – if you have a moment – I learned from a brave and amazing lady that we need to show up.  Take a moment and let Daniel and Amanda know that you are grieving Ellen and remembering her today as well.  And one day we’ll all rejoice when you hold her again…)

 

the southerlands

I’ve now started this entry 30+ times.  There are too many things to say.  Too many moments that I will truly treasure forever.

But the constant theme in my every attempt to put in words how grateful I am for this family was this: love.

It’s in the way her face lights up when her daughters enter the room.  It’s the little smile that overtakes her when she locks eyes with her husband.  It’s in the joy that soars through her as she watches her daughters do magic tricks.  You see it in the patience she pours over their little hands and little hearts…and the way she holds them tight.

It’s in the way he cherishes his girls.  The smiles.  The hugs.  The willingness to swing them around “Again, again, again.”  His dedication to draw anything in sidewalk chalk that his little 2 year old asks.  The way his eyes light up when he looks at his wife.  The kindness wrapped around every word he shares.

Their house – their very lives – are built on it.

And it’s beautiful.

Precious Southerland family, thank you so much for inviting me into your home and for extending all the love you have for one another to me.  Thank you for sharing your hearts, your joys and your laughter.  And most of all – your magic.  Both the magic in your show and the magic found in how you love each other with a love that is so clearly from God.  I’m forever grateful…

 

 

that time i lived a dream

It’s taken me 3 months to write this post.

I’d like for this to be an incredibly well written piece.  I’d love to be witty and awesome and put together the perfect words to describe my love for the people in these pictures and the extreme amazingness of this event even happening.

But the words still don’t come.

Instead – I’ll tell you the story behind a picture in this post and a person who I will never forget…

That night (the one where I got to have a dream come true and meet one of my favorite authors in the history of EVER)  a precious lady stood up during the question time.

“Glennon, what would you say to help people understand the importance of being there for a friend who has lost a child? We lost our daughter, Ansley, seven years ago and most of our friends and family have just fallen away. Now on her birthday and Angel Day- I might receive a card or two. It’s just not enough. Our baby is gone and we need the people who knew her to talk to us about her, but they don’t. Everyone we loved is just silent about it. It makes me feel like Ansley is forgotten. It feels like the world is pretending she never existed.”
The tears came.  From her – from me – from the many women sitting in the church that night and from her best friend who held her hand as she bravely bore her soul to all of us.
Glennon paused.  She asked her name.  And then Glennon asked her to tell us what she would want us to do.
“SHOW UP. Show up right away and then keep showing up. Don’t worry about saying the right thing, there is no right thing. Just say SOMETHING. Just tell us you haven’t forgotten. And say their name. It’s like people are afraid to remind me of her- as if I’m not already thinking about her every moment of every day. Everyone avoids her name- but we still need to hear their names spoken by people who loved them.”
More tears fell.  From all of us.  Tears from hearts that were broken open and changed by a courageous mommy who had lived through unspeakable pain and chose to share the truth with all of us.
Jessica, this amazing mommy, sat down beside her friend and leaned into one another.  The tears came as they do when broken hearts are shared.  Amidst the tears in my eyes, I took a picture.  Honestly – the moment was so intimate and so raw that I almost didn’t.  But as I watched these two friends, I saw the most beautiful display of friendship and love and honesty that I never wanted to forget the moment or Jessica’s words.
In the middle of this post,  you’ll see this courageous mommy of sweet Ansley and her precious friend.  This moment truly means the world to me.  And before the pictures are shared – I want to share Glennon’s challenge that she shared in her post on Ansley’s angel day: (http://momastery.com/blog/2014/07/14/stop-the-world/ )
  1. Please leave a comment here for Jessica. She will be reading today. Let us show her we cared enough to STOP today and say Ansley’s name. Let us tell her that she is not the only one who is feeling the width and depth today of the loss of Ansley. Also, in your comment- tell Jessica where you’re from. It makes the love feel more real when you can see that it’s covering the globe.
  2. Then please, in honor of Ansley and Jessica- call to mind a friend who has suffered a great loss and then reach out to her. If you can’t call her, email her. If you can’t email her, text her. Don’t let your lack of time or the perfect thing to say stop you. Just do it. Stop the world for a moment in honor of her. That’s what we do when we pause in the middle of a busy day to reach out to someone who is hurting. We say “to me, you are worth stopping the world for.”

 

Some of the ladies that made this night happen.  THANK YOU.  You ladies are incredible…

May I just pause and tell you what an honor it was to meet Tisha?  (Glennon’s mom)  I adore her.  And watching her beam with love over her daughter was one of my favorite parts of the night.  I learned so much by talking with her and watching her love for her daughter.

More mother-beaming…

Afterward, they opened up some time to come by and meet Glennon.  I loved seeing the stories and moments shared…

Gardens.  Little amazing miracles, my friends.

Her husband needed a little coaching on how to say “Momastery”

These are some of the fabulous ladies that made this night happen.

 

jackson davis

I blinked… and then he was a SENIOR.  My nephew.  A SENIOR.

I still remember getting the call in 9th grade algebra that he was here and he was just as amazing as we knew he would be.

Jackson is pretty incredible.  And for his senior pictures – I wanted to try something a little out of the box for me (and possibly for senior photos in general).  So we met on the basketball court.  (and just so you know – this guys OWNS the court and I LOVE watching him play.)  He was crazy patient with me and was willing to try everything I asked.  And he didn’t laugh too loudly when I nearly fell over while wearing heels so that I could be as tall as him…

 

F a c e b o o k
T w i t t e r