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A weekend in October // Some much needed Fall fun // Personal // By: Ashley West

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A weekend off in October — That is bliss!! If you are a photographer in the midwest, you will agree that the busiest month of the year is October. I can’t wait for it (and slightly worry about it) every single year. Is it not the most beautiful time of year!? The sounds, the smells, the clothes, the food. I LOVE IT. I have 4 weddings this month – two of which I’ve already shot! And my next two October weddings are on Fridays, this means I get full weekends off this month! I cannot tell you how excited this makes me! I will have the opportunity to do the festivities I love so much with my friends and family. And I’ll tell you what, its good for my soul. I am getting better and better at work/life balance and it is absolutely paying off in every avenue of my life. I cannot believe I only have 5 weddings left this year!! It went by sooooooo fast. This Winter will be full of blog posts from all of the amazing couples and families I’ve worked with, so stay tuned!

Okay, enough about work – This is a personal post 🙂

Every year for the past several years our friends get together, hop in the back of our ’69 Ford, and go to Lynd Fruit Farm to pick apples and pumpkins. Then we spend the whole day together eating and carving and watching some football & halloween movies. I’d have to say it’s high up there on the list of things I really look forward to in life. These friendships, this time of year. It all just makes me so happy. We had everyone out to our house after the patch to eat chili and carve our pumpkins. The weather was incredible and the company even better. Nick and I are so lucky to have such amazing friends and family.

Our picking this year fell on the weekend of my best friends birthday – we had cake and blew out candles and ate all sorts of delicious desserts and hit a piñata… (I didn’t photograph too much of that hot mess, better to be forgotten! HA) Such good memories! We’ve worked so tirelessly on this house its just so so so nice to sit down and enjoy it. We are incredibly grateful.

Take a look into our weekend of Fall fun!! And yes that is my best friends husband with a pumpkin in the baby ergo 🙂

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Something we do every year is repeat this photo! The first year was 2013 – the photo below was taken (by me!) about 30 minutes before Nick and I got engaged. It was literally one of the best days of my life. I am so lucky we get to repeat it every year! Somehow we skipped 2014 (we were getting married, crazy time!) but the photos below are 2013, 2015, & 2016. I hope we can do this every year forever! Looks like we’re never selling our truck 🙂

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My best friend was pregnant with Kate in last years photo, and now Kate is here in this photo!! This year my sister is pregnant and next year her baby will be in the photo. Amazing to watch all our friends families grow. I love each and every one of them. We also may need to look into a bigger truck.

Here’s another series 2013, 2015 & 2016

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And now, some iPhone shots of the weekend! We rode in the bed of the truck on the country roads to the patch, it was a little cold and my hair a hot mess, but so much fun! Jude got out his costume a little early this year. And of course, the end result of our carving. I will look back on these memories with a very happy heart.

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If you’ve followed my blog this year, you know that Nick and I have had a hard year. Some days I feel strong and that I can do it all, and others I let the worry get the best of me and the sadness strikes hard. Today was our first baby’s due date. I’ve been dreading this day for awhile now. I thought we would most certainly be pregnant again by now and that time would help ease the pain. Last week, Nick and I lost our 2nd pregnancy. We have been on an emotional roller coaster for a year now. No one prepares you for this kind of heartache and pain. I broke down several times last week, why us? Feeling like this just isn’t fair. Going from angry to depressed to emotional to hopeful. It has been tiring. But this past beautiful weekend shows me we have a ton to be grateful for, and I am making it my number one goal to never forget that. I struggled with whether or not we should be so honest about our journey to baby. But in the end, I am an open book. I’ve always loved to share my life. Up until this year it was always incredible things. But the reality of life is, we all go through trying times and hard seasons, why shy away from that? I am not perfect, so far from actually. And I believe my honesty will pull me closer to those I was destined to work with (and be friends with). So thank you for allowing me to be my true and imperfect self. And for supporting and encouraging us on this journey. We appreciate everyone who has reached out, sent kind messages, words of encouragement and hope. We are doing our best at staying positive and believing that we will one day have the family we want so badly. My favorite time of year is a good distraction and we are going to fill our time doing things we love with the people we love. We love you all so much! <3


 

“After a lifetime of believing that the voices that mattered were ‘Out There,’ approving or disapproving of me, I’m learning to trust the voice within, the whisper of my own soul. And when you learn to listen to that voice, the screaming of the crowd matters less. “

-Shauna Niequist

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