Remember the feeling of spinning round & round as a kid, trying to make yourself dizzy? That first step you take to stop the dizziness is always the wonkiest. You try to get your footing, but 90% of the time, you just fall flat on your face as the world keeps spinning around you…

That’s what the last six months have felt like for me. The world kept spinning at a crazy pace & I kept grasping to find my footing. Last fall, life threw me a heck of a curve ball, and while I took a pretty solid swing…I can’t say that I knocked it out of the park. Its incredibly hard to face your own mortality…and even harder to watch your children have a front-row seat in your struggle to survive. I could recap it all for you..the 29 nights I had to kiss my boys goodnight & watch the hospital room door close behind them, the mornings I woke to find my hubby scrunched into pretzel positions after spending the night in a non-reclining recliner, the incredible surgeon who saved my life on September 17th (who also happens to be one of my former fathers of the bride..), the 6 weddings I shot with an 8-inch gash down my middle..packed with gauze, the wound vac that my incredible surgeon tried to get me to wear to my October weddings ( which I convinced him I could not shoot with..), the pain of missing my first 2 weddings in 6 years of business… and the amazing job my brother Ben did shooting in my stead, having my buddy Shane Snider swoop in and offer to back me up for my October weddings ( and lovingly referring to me as “roast beef” during each road trip ), the crazy amount of flowers that flooded the hospital room making it look like a flower shop exploded ( and my favorite card from friends Cathy & David ), the insane amount of spaghetti & lasagna that packed our fridge for weeks; losing the luxury of showering for a solid month ( in case you’re wondering, the magic dry shampoo cap isn’t so magic ), watching the sparkle in my children’s eyes fade a little as they discovered mommies aren’t invincible after all, spending 8 weeks looking like I got into a fight with a drunken knife-wielding sailor, and having that incredible surgeon promise to put my belly button back where it belongs ( a promise he kept 100% ), dropping 20 pounds in 4 weeks to a frail-looking 105lbs, and finally, finally realizing that it’s time for me to slow down. 234 weddings in 6 years. You do the math. For some people that’s cake, but for me…my job had become my life. I could recap it all for you, piece by piece, but the truth is…I don’t want to look back. Time to tear the rearview mirror off the car. Our struggles don’t define us. Its how we find our way through them, that makes life richer in the end. It may sound bananas, but I feel like I’ve been given a gift. A glimpse of what life is truly about. And from where I’m standing, it has never been sweeter. The past 6 months have been spent building the life I’ve always wanted..a life of balance. A life where work & family can happily coexist. I hope you guys can forgive me for the lack of posts since last fall. I’ve watched with a heavy heart as my blog traffic dropped from 3-4000 visits a week to just under 900. To those of you who kept checking back…thank-you…and I promise I won’t disappear on you again.

So the answer to the question I’m sure you’re wanting to ask….did I intend to leave a snapshot of my sweaty little family ( after an hour of crabbing with friends in Charleston ) pinned to my blog for half a year? No….but I can tell you this…it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Everything has changed for the better in these past 6 months & I intend for those changes to be seen here on the blog too. Not just in its appearance, but in the content posted. Stick around & you’ll see what I mean.. :)

The 2012 season could not have started with a more inspiring couple. Now that I have officially hijacked Lynn & Stefan’s blog post with this update, its time to tell their story. I’ve known Stefan for ages…since middle school days. He’s the guy that, even throughout high school, everyone loved. His boyish charm made the girls swoon & the fact that he isn’t afraid to be completely goofy ( the proof is in their save the date video here) makes him even more lovable. I knew it would take an extraordinary gal to sweep him off his feet, and after meeting Lynn..let me tell ya, he hit the jackpot. She has a Catherine Hepburn-style beauty, classic…with a smile to end all smiles. I have always loved people that smile with their eyes, and Lynn is one of those people. She lights up when she’s with Stefan & if the moments on their wedding day are any indication of how they will spend their married life, its sure to be blissful. They share an awe-inspiring love that literally took my breath away during their first look. When I started putting together their slideshow, I searched for over a week for the perfect song & after trying a few jingle-jangly indie tunes that didn’t quite fit, I decided to go with something special. This song was written by my hubby for his solo record released in 2009, and he has played it live at quite a few weddings. I’ve been waiting for the perfect couple to share this song with & Lynn and Stefan are it.

Thanks to Lynn, Stefan & their families for letting me share in their joy. It was truly unforgettable.

Oh, and their first look image is featured on Moment Junkie today. Congrats guys. What a moment.

Venue- Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyard
Dress- Justin Alexander
Flowers- Hedge Fine Blooms
Hair/Makeup- Elan salon
Ceremony music- Terra Voce
Cake- Maliha Creations
Wine cork place cards- DIY by the bride & groom
Yellow menu cards- Cheer Up Cherup
Band- Six Stylez
Second shooter extraordinaire- Amy Martin

Comments: 26    leave a comment

  1. oooh kellie…that was worth the wait. happy to see you are back, and even happier that you are healthy! beautiful couple – gorgeous wedding. what a treat. thanks for sharing!

  2. Oh my gosh, there are so many things I want to comment on right now! First, I’m loving this song your husband wrote. Second, we love you Kellie and we’re so proud of the choices you’ve made to create balance in your life. Your kiddos are so lucky! Thanks for inspiring me as a mom and business owner!
    Ok, I can’t NOT comment on these PHOTOS! Gorgeous work and happy to see you blogging again. This couple is genuinely beautiful, and the setting is stunning. Well done friend. xo

  3. oh, kellie, my heart skipped a beat looking through these photos. i cannot begin to tell you how much i admire YOU and your work and your dedication to life and love. so happy you are well and healthy. xoxo

  4. Welcome back Kellie. You have been missed.

  5. Kellie, we are so happy that you’re “back,” but more importantly, we’re glad you’re back on your own terms. Your pictures are gorgeous, as always and if this post isn’t enough to bring anyone to tears, we’re not sure what is. We’re so happy that you’ll be there to capture our wedding memories as well as so many more of your own! You’re an inspiration and we love you!

  6. well, i’ve never been to your blog before, but these wedding shots are just beautiful, so i’ll certainly be back. hi, i’m hannah. i love your work!

  7. Kellie – you never cease to amaze. Your photos put me there as a guest in every wedding capturing all the emotions…just beautiful!!!

  8. Hi pretty lady! Your photos are, as always, simply beautiful. I am SO glad you are blogging again and I can’t wait to see what the future holds. More than that though, I am so incredibly happy that you are healthy and well and making choices that add joy and love to your life. You truly deserve it. Love, Kaity

  9. Kellie! So happy you are back. Tears just filled my eyes reading this blog. GOOD tears! I’m so glad you have pulled through this. I can certainly tell that it made you, who was a very strong woman before, even stronger. You are such an inspiration. Thank you!

  10. My sweet Kellie…you’ve found your way back. You are a strong, beautiful person with so much to be grateful for. Our trials make us stronger and give us purpose. They often define our future. In your case, your trials have given you an opportunity to see life differently. It’s fuller! Your heart is as open as a heart can be. Keep your arms wrapped around your husband and your children and all your family. Your blog brought tears to my eyes and your photographs brought hope to my heart. I’m so happy for you and your new found direction in life. I hope your amazing talent brings you and your brides and grooms more memories than can be imagined. Just think, your capturing a moment that can be forever. Your blessed to walk into your couples lives, if even for just a while. I love you!

  11. What a beautiful wedding! That first look picture still gives me goose pimples and makes my eyes water. Those two seem like a truly magical couple! That venue is amazing too. Also LOVE her bridesmaids gifts, seriously in LOVE! I’m so happy you’re back to blogging my heart leaped when it popped up on my phone and I ran to my computer. You’re such an inspiration Kellie you really are! I know how challenging the past 6 months have been but I’m so proud of how you’ve rose above, kept fighting, and now your back on top with a whole new perspective. You’re incredible my sweet friend and will ALWAYS be superwoman! xoxo.

  12. KELLIE! Wow. Just wow. What an incredible (and incredibly shot) wedding. Amazing job, my friend.

  13. My… I think this is the most emotional, to tears, we’ve ever been reading a blog entry. Coming up with the words of gratitude to your doctor for keeping someone as awesome as you in our lives is impossible. You’re an amazing person Kellie and we are so thrilled to see the blog, but more importantly YOU back in action. :) We love you!

  14. Speechless… Almost locked kids out of my office to read your new post… glad you are finding your strength, balance and peace. So wonderful to read your voice again. ;) Hugs, love and prayers …xoxox Vania

  15. Beautiful! I so loved shooting this wedding with you and glad we could spend time together. A beautiful day on every level… so thankful for your health and for your outlook on life. Can’t wait to see you soon! :)

  16. So thankful to hear you are feeling healthy again, and I’m excited for you and your new-found balance! Your images are SO lovely as always. I love all the emotion and beauty you captured in this wedding, and I am so grateful for our wedding images almost 3 years ago! I can’t imagine any one else capturing our day as beautifully as you did. Thank you for doing what you do, and please stay healthy!! :)

  17. Oh sweet Kellie, what a journey you have been on. I am so glad you are taking time to regroup, re-evaluate, and come back as a stronger, more amazing person and artist than I already know you are! Love you, sweet girl!

  18. Sending a huge hug your way! You are a lion-hearted, super-loving, uber-talented, kick-ass amazing woman, and I am SO glad to hear you are better! Beautiful photos, as always!!!

  19. welcome back! im glad to read you are on the mend and life is moving forward!

  20. Welcome back Kellie!!! This just made my day :) You have such amazing talent and I love being able to escape in these photos….they are beautiful.

  21. As usual your work has blown me away. I am so glad to know that you are healthy and happy….Andy and I have had you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

  22. Kellie, I am so glad to see that you are back and healthy again! This post is incredible- both the images and the song moved me to tears! Absolutely stunning photos!

  23. Amazing first look. Seriously beautiful. Love you, sweet Kellie and so glad you are back doing all that you love! oxo

  24. The triumphant return of Kellie Kano!!!! Also means a solid half hour/week loss of productivity for me at work. Win some/lose some I guess, but we all win now that you’re back. xoxo

  25. OMG! what a stunning wedding and images!!!!!!!

  26. […] Posh Petals and Pearls, and The Sugar Suite! Before you go, take a look at this amazing photo by Kelli Kano. Lynn + Stefan’s first look just makes my heart melt. See more of their wedding on […]

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