Ryan & Shannon

The love for these two not only show in these pictures, but in everyday life!!! We headed out to First Landing for a sweet couples session. Once again the weather did not dissapoint! I love everything that First Landing has to offer. We traveled through the park and were able to shoot at many different locations. We ended up on the rocks at the beach and I saw the perfect shot so I got down in the water that was freezing but so worth it! So much LOVE!!


The Armbrusters

This sweet newlywed couple wanted some Holiday photos to document their first Christmas as Husband and Wife! We headed out to my favorite park off of Shore Drive for an early morning shoot. Thank goodness for the warmth of the sun as it was rather chilly. We started taking some shots & then they threw me a curveball! THEY ARE HAVING A BABY!!! I burst into tears and ran over to congratulate them. I was so overjoyed for this loving couple and happy to help them have some pictures to share with their families. I can't wait for next years family photos as we welcome baby Armbruster into the world! Congrats! XOXO

Baby Mitchell Gender Reveal

The Mitchells decided to have their family and friends together for a gender reveal and every little detail was perfect!!! They had a guessing bucket, pink and blue punch and delicious snacks for all of the guests. PROPS to the genius who dyed the deviled eggs, adorable and tasty! Big Sister-to-be Riley was in charge of the arts and crafts table and anxiously waited to find out if her new sibling was going to be a girl or boy. Everyone gathered on the front porch as Aunt Becca pulled out the can of silly string. Amanda and Chad couldn't stop smiling as we started the countdown for Riley to spray silly string all over them. & to their surprise (they were sporting their blue attire) they were covered in PINK silly string! Sweet baby girl Raelynn Faye Mitchell will be adding more laughter, smiles and ruffles to the family next year & we all can't wait to meet her!

The Hammonds

Isn't fall so wonderful!? The changing colors, pulling out all of your comfy sweaters and of course babies at the pumpkin patch! The Hammonds wanted to take some fall photos of their sweet big brown eyed boy and I was thrilled they asked me! We headed to Hunt Club Farm for pictures with some furry friends and of course little Troy was in love with them! Side note: when we got there I was a bit discouraged, since everyone and their mom was there,  how was I going to get any decent pictures with tons of people around!?

Well, it worked and they are the cutest little family! 

all the feels.

How adorable are the couples I have been able to spend time with and capture!? I am having so much fun learning the photography process. & being able to capture so much emotion and love in a picture that I hope they will cherish for a lifetime, is pretty amazing.

Personal Life Update #1: I'm 6-0 in our couples Fantasy League and I won against my husband last week. No big deal.

#2 BABY UPDATE!  We have been diving into our surrogacy process. Lots of big steps over the past month. We met with our doctor and went through the process step by step. We are working with the Jones Institute and our physician is amazing, smart and has a super cool accent. (I don't think that improves our chances of becoming parents, but I enjoy listening to her talk) We also met with our surrogate, and lucky for us she is truly the best part of all of this. She is the definition of selfless. I mean, you kind of have to be to offer to carry someone's baby, but she really is. She is so caring and thoughtful. PLUS she has already put time and effort into learning about the process! WE are so LUCKY.  I've known her for almost 15 years & she's ALWAYS been a sweetheart. When she found out I couldn't carry a child, she didn't hesitate to offer. I'm sitting here smiling ear to ear typing this, again, we are so blessed. I have had the honor of having her as a friend in my life and now we get to form an even deeper bond. I did mention how lucky we are, right?

So now that we have started our discussions, I have a plate full of TO DO's. First step, meet with a lawyer. We found one who has created contracts for surrogates before, which makes me breathe easier since there are lots of I's to dot and T's to cross, we want to make sure EVERYONE is safe and comfortable with the process. We hope to meet with her over the next few weeks. Second step, my husband has to go through a rigorous testing checklist including but not limited to: labs, physical, take his wife on a date, cryo-lab (where they freeze the sperm) and of course a packet of paperwork. SO MUCH PAPERWORK. (side note: my husband is incredible. I swear he is a super hero. 1. he has to live with me daily and 2. he holds my hand through every hoop we jump through, with a smile.) When the doctor sat down with us to go over the steps, it seemed like a pretty clear process but as we have started to dig in, it's a lot of work. & money. & work. We also have to meet with a psychiatrist, all 3 of us. Which I am looking forward to, I think it's necessary. I'm starting to get more emotional with each step. Happy, scared, nervous, anxious and sometimes all of it. I had a dream that I was pregnant a few weeks ago. I think that's my internal coping going on. I feel like I accepted the fact that I couldn't have a baby when I found out but now that we want to have a baby it's a whole new can of feelings. So, as we tackle our projects and homework please keep us in your thoughts, prayers or your bank accounts. (I kid, I kid.) I know the end goal is SO worth it. I just keep trying to put that thought above all else.

"Even miracles take a little time." - The Fairy Godmother

& so it begins.

Life is getting exciting for The Harrell's!

My name is Julie Harrell and I am an amateur photographer. I have always had a passion for photos. It started in second grade, I entered a contest for a photography story. You had to find a picture that "spoke" to you. I really let that sink in. I captured a picture of a waterfall while my family and I were camping. The sounds it played and the life it gave to the mountain around as it danced down the side of the rocks. The photo captured that feeling and told the story all on it's own. Photos can touch your heart strings, make you giggle and let you remember exactly how a moment made you feel! 

As I begin my adventure into expanding my knowledge on photography, my Husband and I also begin our adventure to become parents! EEK! This blog has been on my mind for a long time. I found solace and guidance from a similar blog and thought, "WHY aren't you sharing your story?!?!" I hope that this blog reaches someone and educates others.  I was born with Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome or MRKH or just simply put, without a uterus. 1 in 5,000 girls are born with this syndrome and there is no known cause. I've struggled with this "diagnosis" as I have ALWAYS wanted to become a mother. It took me a while to accept and understand. Even now as we begin our journey to finding a surrogate and starting IVF, I sometimes have dreams that I can conceive. Bright side- WE CAN! Not with my body, but I can harvest my own eggs and adoption is an option! We are so excited to see where this journey takes us and others!

"The scars you share become lighthouses for other people who are headed to the same rocks you hit"-Unknown.

Julie