Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

We all LOVE a giveaway...

Head over to my photography blog for a chance to win one of two fabulous and fun camera straps...You won't want to MISS OUT on this one!! Good luck:)))

Enter your chance to win at Stephanie Reeder Photography

Oh and a post is never the same for me without a picture...Here's a picture from my past. Me at two years old...Gotta love the "bowl haircut!"

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bring on the snow...

It’s been snowing like crazy here since early yesterday morning…I believe we’ve gotten over a good foot and a half (so far)! This morning I decided to get out and brave the deep snow to take some pictures of my little man’s short adventure playing outside…lol! His hands got too cold and he could barely move in it. Maybe in the next couple of years, he’ll get to enjoy it as we did as kids. Hope you all are enjoying your weekend!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Let this be a lesson learned for every parent...

I originally was not going to write or post about my traumatizing evet this week, but I have since realized that this was a very important lesson for me to learn and If I can spare this from happening to another friend and parent, it's important for me to share. My son and I were out shopping and like most shopping trips it's a fight for him to sit in the proper seat strapped in. Since this was going to be a quick trip in, I allowed him to sit in the cart as long as he would listen and sit down. As we finished up gathering what we needed, I turned around for ONE SECOND and from that moment he stood up and fell out of the shopping cart landing on his back and head. I quickly swept him up and tried to calm him down. He continued to hold his head and tell me owie owie. From there, we drove to ER where they took him right in...there is no messing around when a possible head injury occurs. After the traumatizing neck brace, and CT scan it was determined that everything was good and clear...thank GOD! The moral of this story is ER+Neck brace+CT Scan= DO NOT let your child sit in the shopping cart basket. As a mother I was terrified and upset that I was responsible for my son ultimately getting hurt. You never imagine these situations actually happening to you, but when they do, it's a HUGE lesson learned. Thankfully this situation ended with a clear bill of health, but could have quickly turned to be more then just a bump on the head. So PLEASE if you are a parent reading this post; as a friend, I am telling you to learn from my mistake and think twice before placing your child in the shopping cart basket...

Monday, January 18, 2010

I PROMISE I am still alive...

I promise, promise, promise, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. In fact, I have actually been through a lot since Christmas and have now found a few moment to sit and recap. So to begin, the day after Christmas my husband, son, and I packed up the car and drove cross country back home to Virginia. While my husband was gone, Austin and I moved to Washington State where I am originally from to be with my family and friends (great support). We had a a wonderful year with my family and were so very sad to have to leave them. Now, we are back in Virginia and for the most part settled back into our home.

As for some REALLY exciting news, I am officially launching Stephanie Reeder Photography on January 30th at the Bristol Bridal Show. I have been working very hard in the last couple of weeks getting everything ready and in place. One of the many exciting new additions is my official website and photography blog. I would love for you all to check them out and let me know what you think. Photography is a passion and love of mine and I have decided that there is no better time in my life to follow my dreams. The Bristol Bridal Show is right around the corner and I am confident that everything is coming together as it should.

Thank you to everyone for their support and encouragement to get me this far on my journey. It truly means the world!!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

5...4...3...2...1 He's FINALLY Home!

My last five memories come from the most recent years of our journey together...

We considered our honeymoon to be three years in Germany, but the finale was our 10 day Mediterranean cruise through Italy, Greece, Malta, France, and Spain. It was a breathtaking and magical memory that I can't even begin to explain...It was a trip I will never forget!!

Buying our first home together and falling in love with the opportunity to make a home truly ours! It's everyone's dream to own a home and paint the walls to tell the story of your life together. You know that show "If walls could talk?" Well this home spoke to us...We walked in and immediately envisioned our first home together. It was a new beginning for us and it was our turn to lay down some roots.

In 2006 six Joel and I found out that we would be expecting our first child together...We were excited and ready to begin our family together. Heartbreaking, we lost our first little miracle to a miscarriage and while this in not my favorite memory to look back on, it has made the list of memories for another reason. During this time I saw a different side of my husband. I have always known he was my rock, but when I thought my world was ending he was there to soften the fall. He was there right by side every step of the way. After coming out of the surgical center, my heart was broken and in need of mending. He was there to catch my tears and make the very moment of aching seem very at peace. Very few words had to be spoken, he just held me tight and told me that God had a plan for us and that everything would be OK...It was a moment I have never spoken about, but remember like it was yesterday. Hard to explain, but a moment that was a true to heart and a turning point in our life together.

While I was scared to think that we were about to experience the excitement of being pregnant again, it was real the heartbeat was there and the butterflies flew crazy in my heart. We were going to be parents!! We were in the hospital again, this time not for the heartbreaking news of losing a child, but for the blissful news of whether it was going to be a boy or girl. This was a moment that I never expected from my husband, but it was a great on in that. We were in the ultrasound room waiting to find out if we would soon welcome a son or daughter into our lives. Joel was sitting in the chair next to me and I was laying dazing into the screen. When all of a sudden the words "It's a BOY!" came from the technician mouth. Now, my husband has never been much of a sports fan, but when he jumped out of his chair yelled YEAH! I thought maybe we were in the middle of the world series. It was exciting to see that a man who once turned sheet white at the thought of children was celebrating on becoming a father to his first son...what a memory!

Our son Austin was born! On October 31, 2007 we introduced our son into the world. He had finally made his arrival and well, if you have ever experienced this moment, you know exactly the memory that was made...No further words can explain that moment in time...Austin was beautiful and perfect...All because two fell in love <3

Joel has made it home safe...Stay tuned tomorrow when I post the homecoming video from when Austin saw his daddy for the first time in eight months!

Friday, December 11, 2009

9...8...7...6 Down Memory Lane

Our story only began when we said "I DO" Shortly after we married, Joel and I moved away to Germany for three years. It was so sweet and thoughtful of Joel to want to set up house before I arrived in country. It was a requirement before I joined him that we had housing either on or off post. We spent several weeks apart until finally something came available. Joel was so excited that he had found our place and was able to bring me over. It was a cute and quaint little place in the middle of a city called Weiden. We were within walking distance of the shopping "centrum" (city center), where there were sidewalk cafes, shopping, and the most divine restaurants...sounds romantic huh? Well, it was and it captured my heart and my most favorite memories of living in Germany!

While we are down memory lane in Germany, I will share a specific moment in time where I believe Joel and I went from being young and selfish to looking into our future together. I remember this conversation like it was yesterday. Joel and I had been in Germany a little over a year when the thought of starting a family came into mind. We were sitting at one of our most favorite restaurants called Delanos; a very yummy Italian restaurant. We were sitting in the back over a candle lit dinner. We were talking about how much we enjoyed living overseas and how we enjoyed traveling to see the many beautiful places Europe had to offer. Then, out of no where, I said "sweetie, I want a baby." The conversation came to dead stop and his face I believe turned sheet white. "You want what," he said. "A baby, you know..." It took some convincing on my part, but he finally came around to the idea of having a little one added into the mix. While this is one of the many conversations that I remember vividly, it didn't quite happend then and there, and well...I was ok with that!

Joel has been so sweet to show his affection through!! HAHAHAHA or just falling into my spell of ppppplllleeeeeaaaasssseeee sweetie:) He has fallen hard many times into my spell, but the one that meant the most is when he bought me my first piece of jewelry. This piece of jewelry was the first ever that I would actually wear and not take off. We had been together for about two months and he wanted to get me something special for Christmas. Well at this time it was Thanksgiving and you know how all the good deals! All joking aside, Joel went off by himself and found me this precious little heart diamond necklace. It was small, but so very beautiful. He couldn't wait to buy it, so he showed my mom (the diamond expert) and with her stamp of approval, he bought it. We didn't even get out of the mall before he showed it to me and while I was shocked, I was full of bliss! To this day, I hardly take this necklace off. I constantly get commented on my necklace and everytime I smile and say "It was the first my sweetie ever bought for me!"

This is not the first deployment Joel and I have been's our second! But this memory comes from our first deployment together. Joel got word that he would be leaving for Afghanistan right after we hit our two year mark in Germany. I was beside myself and began to eat through my emotions...literally. I had gain some weight...ok a lot in fact and sort of lost my stylish figure my hubby had grown to love. So after he left for Afghanistan I stopped the madness and went on my journey of losing the weight. I had lost so much by the time he came home for his two weeks of R&R that he hardly recognized me.

I decided I would meet him at the gate to surprise him and at the time I would have no clue that he'd walk right by me. He stopped after a few feet of passing and turned around with amazement...the look was classic. He at that moment gave me the look he had for many years before. A kid in a candy store almost he walked quickly up to me and told me how beautiful I looked...awww that was a moment and one I will cherish forever!!

Stay tuned for more of the coutdown!!

What a PERFECT song to kick off the holidays...

I heard this song and could not resist posting it....Make sure to pause the music player below! ENJOY:)

Monday, December 7, 2009

TEN...The Moment Two Fell in Love

I never imagined I would get married so young and at the time having a boyfriend was the least of my worries; until I met Joel. It was August of 2001 right before 9/11 hit when I met Joel.

I met him through a girlfriend of mine and lets just say his first impression was far from the best. He was full of himself as most boys are at the age of 21. My first impression of him was not inviting nor near friendly. He was a bit out of the norm for me as I am a very outgoing and social individual. I tried to make the best of the situation and start a very casual conversation. I asked him where he was from and what he did in the military...He quickly responded "Why are you asking so many question" and "Why do you care!" I thought OK dude I was just trying to be nice. Needless to say I left there with a bitter taste in my mouth, but mind you, I was not there looking for my future love, just there hanging out with my girlfriend and her boyfriend (his roommate). A couple of days passed and I received a phone call from an unfamiliar number. As most people do when they don't know whose calling, I didn't answer but received a was him! He wanted to apologize for his actions the other night and for being so rude. I blew off his phone call and went on with my day until later that night I receive yet another call. This time I answered and had a brief conversation with him. I told him that it was alright and that I appreciated his apology...all the while mumbling under my breath....Yeah right dude! It had to have been about a week until I heard from him again and this time it was a couple of unturned phone calls, an email, and a phone call from my girlfriend letting me know that he would not stop talking about me and would I please give him a second chance to make a better impression. I said fine, but we are not hanging out at your place again we need to get out and do something fun! More or less, give me a place where if this goes south I can!

We ended up going to a local fair. We all walked around, talked, and participated in the thrilling rides. It was fun and I actually enjoyed myself. After that evening we started talking more and hanging out as a group. The final breaking of the ice was when we all had planned a double date to Seattle to go out to eat and ride up the Space Needle. I should have known that it was a totally set up when my girlfriend and her boyfriend backed out at the last second. So, Joel and I went on our way to Seattle and had a huge turning point...He was sweet, thoughtful, and kind. Call it cliche, but it was a perfect night. We spent over two hours up at the top of the space needle overlooking Seattle. We talked and shared stories of our families and past experiences. He was a different person and one I never thought he would be.

Shortly after that night, September 11th hit and our world would change to the unknown. He had gotten the order that he would be leaving in the first round of deployments to Afghanistan. It was heartbreaking, I thought how have I come to love someone so quickly and now he would be leaving for war. I was young and had no clue what life was about. All I knew is that someone I had grown so close with was leaving. I remember it like yesterday getting the phone call from him as he was waiting to get on the bus to leave...He called me and said that he wasn't going! I was so excited and happy to hear the news. It was fate and from there the story went on. He had gotten orders about four months later that he would be stationed in Germany come the end of summer. Again, we were faced with saying goodbye, but this time HE had fate in his own hands. He asked me to marry him and spend the rest of our lives together. I of course said "YES" and was so excited!

He was 21 and I was 20...We were young, in love, and were ready to concur the world together. Many questioned our age and intentions, but we knew it was either say "I Do" or goodbye forever to love of our lives. We moved to Germany, survived a deployment, and many other changes in life. Almost eight years later we are still as much in love as we were in the year 2001. It's funny how life's road map leads you in your direction. Joel is my best friend, soul mate, and love of my life. He was once someone I never imagined myself with and now today is someone I can't live without. He is my Everything!!

The Countdown Begins...

The last year has been filled with tears, smiles, stress, and magical memories. While even though some moments have been better then others, I can finally say it’s almost over! As many of you know my husband has been deployed for the last year in Afghanistan. He has been gone for far too long and now I am SO EXCITED to announce that the count down begins! In TEN days I will have the love of my life back in my arms for good. No more tears of I miss you or sleepless nights wondering if he is OK. He’s on his way home and the last goodbye will not be to my son and I, it will be to a small cubical box, a hard bed, and sand in his shoes. So, I thought in celebration of his homecoming countdown, I would share TEN of my most memorable memories of my husband and I, including the story of how we met.

Before ending this celebration post, I can’t go without saying THANK YOU to all who have supported my family and I through this last year. It has been your thoughts and prayers that have gotten me through this last year and without you, I am not sure how strong I could have really been. So, from the bottom of my heart I say thank you for all that you have done. Whether big or small, it truly means the world to have supporting friends and family by my side. THANK YOU!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving...

The table was set...the food was prepared...we all sat down to a table full of love and family. Thanksgiving to me is a day of reflection, one that gives me the time to slow down and realize what and why I am thankful for what I have and the people who truly make a difference in my life. This year more then ever, I am thankful for being able to put dinner on my table, a roof over my head, and clothing on my family's back. I recently took a position with the United Way and I have been awaken with the effects our economy is having on people and members within my community. I have lived in Western Washington for most of my life and to know that last year there were 700 children in my county that were homeless is shocking. It's also very humbling to go down to some of the agencies that help to support these families and see that these individuals are not much different then you or I. In fact most of these families are fully employed and just not making it by. It makes me realize that I am very lucky to have a solid ground to stand on but at the same time makes me realize that it could be me tomorrow. These are the times where we the people need to stick together and lend a helping hand.

I have found that just the smallest gesture truly makes the difference. I walked into our local food bank a couple weeks ago and a women who was in line waiting to check out stopped me to say that she loved my hair...I had to pause for a moment because I was still in an emotional distress from the site of people wrapped around a building standing in line for food. After pulling myself together, I smiled at her and put my hand on her shoulder and told her...yours too girl! That moment and small interaction made my day. It made me realize that even at the hardest moment in this woman's life she was able to pay me a compliment. Since this moment, I have made a point to reach out and smile to others and give a helping hand. It doesn't have to be a monetary gesture, it could be as simple as a compliment, a hello, or opening a door for someone else.

Today and now everyday I am thankful for the moments I have with my family, friends, and members of my community. I challenge you to make someone smile today! Not only will it make someone elses day, it will help to bring our society together and make it a better place.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just a few more to share....

I LOVE photography!! Capturing moments like these make what I do so rewarding:) I love making families and parents smile and also giving a gift that will last forever. Things have really gone well for me in the last couple of months, and right now I have some pretty cool things in the works...stay tuned for some pretty sweet news!

Stay tuned for whats new to come in the next week or so!! So excited :))))

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Long post of sharing my love for photography...

Well if you have wondered why I have been a bit MIA, here is why....

More to come...!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lets do the dance!

Awww isn't he just the cutest little chicken you have ever seen!! Not only was he the cutest little chicken, he was also the cutest little birthday boy as well:) My little man turned two on Halloween and boy did he party down. Austin didn't really understand what a "birthday" was, but he certainly understood that the party was for him. We started out our afternoon at the mall for a little treat or treat much fun! Austin caught on real quick that if you opened your bag, you got yourself a little treat. Each time he would get a new piece of candy, he want to sit down in the middle of the mall to check it! After our adventure at the mall, we headed home for a dinner party with my family. After dinner we had cake and ice cream, gift opening and most important a visit from daddy. Joel got the opportunity to leave work early to join his son on his second birthday. It was so cool to have him there via skype to watch Austin open his presents, and get messy with the cake. Overall, we had a great day celebrating Austin's birthday and getting funky with the chicken dance!!


This was Austin last year around his he really has grown into a little boy!