A couple of days ago… I realized that  March 28th (TODAY!) is the very official first birthday of Photography by Brea.  (With official meaning it got it’s LLC birth certificate and an active website!)  So while I’ve been photographing newborns, children and families for about two years now… this day is the one that I recognize as the one where I REALLY took the leap into making this thing be a concrete part of my life.

I’m big on reflection when it comes to moments like these.  I know it may seem silly to some people for me to call this a “moment” – but it very much is.  Because it took a lot of time to get “here”… and it also took one big moment to make me realize I needed to find a way to make “here” happen.

You all have been so wonderful at opening up your lives to me and your stories to me, that I want to share that moment with you.  And I share it only to let you know why I don’t take these moments for granted, and I share it knowing that I am not the only one, and I share it so that if someone else feels like they are… that they know they are not.

My “moment” happened for me in January of 2011. It was a period in my life where I had ZERO direction (even though I thought I did) and had absolutely no regard for my priorities.  And in the midst of all of that chaos, my husband and I… like SO MANY other families had before us… found out that we had lost a baby.  It was a “hurt” I had never experienced. A sense of  loss that I hadn’t experienced.  And a sense of guilt that’s hard to explain.

And, of course, everyone kept telling me at that time that “everything happens for a reason” (which, honestly, is the last thing you want to hear in that moment), but now that I am more than two years removed … I can look back and see what a pivotal moment that was for me and my husband.  Because while I don’t believe you never can FULLY justify or understand why these things happen… I do believe that you have an opportunity to turn those moments into something positive.  Whether it’s by helping someone else who has been through it before, or finding a way to change your life for the better.

And, well…  just eight short weeks later, we got the news that we were pregnant again with our sweet baby girl.  And I instantly was overcome with this feeling of being given a second chance.  Not just a second chance to be a mother, but to stop “floating” through my life hoping I’ll end up in the right place and start making choices that would lead me to the place I knew I wanted and needed to be. And three months later, with the support of the most incredible husband I could have ever found, I took the very scary leap of faith and started my journey to make this happen.

But, at the end of the day, while my husband and I were the ones that took the jump … YOU ALL have given us somewhere to land.  There is no Photography by Brea without YOU.  And while sometimes I feel like I’m a broken record of “thank you’s” and “appreciate you’s” –  I can’t help but be full of gratitude for ALL of you who have helped Photography by Brea have the chance to exist.

So on behalf of my husband, my daughter and I… THANK YOU for letting me do what I do and helping me turn my “moment” into something meaningful.  And as I blow out the candle on the first year … my sole wish is that every single one of you that has been a part of this journey…. receives every single ounce  of everything positive that you have given to me.  THANK YOU.

(Cupcake courtesy of my daughter. Straight from her Fisher Price cupcake kitchen.  We ate the real one :))