We’re currently in gorgeous Bowling Green, Kentucky for a project, and I’ll always equate this early fall season as our own version of tax season, with work galore and little time for rest, which is funny as my sister did actually just finish her own tax season this week. Which, I guess, is my official excuse for it taking three weeks into the month to recap my September highlights, oops.
Our volume of photography projects has reached an all-time high, which is why I’ve had very little time to blog with such frequency of late. On most weeks, we have at least three all-day shoots if not more, plus family portrait shoots on weekends, and it’s been seriously so much fun and at the same time hard to keep up with the volume of editing. I see now why many wedding photographers don’t deliver full galleries for three to four months, if that!
In September, I also wrote about 12 stories for magazines and consumer clients: nine of them finance and three travel. So it wasn’t all photography all the time, though it often felt like it. Here’s what the rest of the month looked like.
I wrote about travel hacking just in time for Chase to release a doozy of a SUB. If you’re someone who wants to travel more for free, I suggest reading this post and applying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which is offering an 80,000 point signup bonus (about $1,200 in travel) for the first time in years.
We went to Upstate New York. Our friends Nicole and Mitch have been renovating an 1861 farmhouse in Durham Valley for the past five years, and we finally got to see it in person via a four-night stay at their home over Labor Day weekend. It rained the whole time we were there, but the setting was still cozy and perfect nonetheless. You can check it out here if you’re looking to rent a bad-ass house in the Catskills.
We also went to Washington, D.C. From New York, we took Amtrak down to D.C. for a long weekend to see off my childhood bestie Tracy before she left for her next tour in Indonesia. While there, we got to meet her sweet baby and catch up with so many friends like SVV’s Navy roommate Joe.
We went to Huntsville so I could speak at North Alabama’s annual meeting. It’s conference season for us with five conferences in just about as many weeks, and I was honored to get to be the opening speaker at the VonBraun Center for the regional DMO’s annual meeting!
We made it to Pilgrimage! After a couple years off for the pandemic, we went to our first Pilgrimage Music Festival in Franklin since 2019, and it was awesome. We saw Trampled by Turtles, Elle King, and Chris Stapleton and enjoyed this gorgeous fall weather.
We went to Memphis for Governor’s Conference. It wasn’t our first GovCon, but it was our first GovCon in Memphis and with our friend Sara Beth as CEO of Hospitality TN!
I got to photograph Tullahoma’s homecoming. Charlotte rode in the parade with her other BFF Hannah, and it was such a delight getting to do portraits of this gorgeous queen and her court.
We adopted a new kitten. This time last month, her status as a tenant was unknown, but I’m officially able to say she belongs to us. Meet Molly. She’s now about four months old and showed up at my friend Molly’s doorstep one day when she was barely eight weeks. Molly human brought her to my house where I promised I’d find Molly kitten a home, and hey, I did succeed!
The boy cats, Whiskey and Rye, absolutely adore her, and she’s even won Ella over, too. I didn’t think our house felt incomplete before, but now it does feel complete with Molly here to tie things together.
HOW ABOUT THEM VOLS? I haven’t been this excited about a football season since, well, ever. It’s been since my early 20s right after graduating from the University of Tennessee that we had an actual team who had the potential to go all the way, and I’m loving this unexpected turn of events.
It’s weird with all of my memories cropping up on my phone and social media accounts from this time last year. Dad had just started falling and was in NHC for the month as they got him healthy, so many of my images were of me watching football with him in his room at the rehab facility or the kids bouncing on his hospital bed. Then, we brought him home, he learned to do a wheelchair and he seemed to be getting a lot better—until he wasn’t.
Fall always makes me sad to begin with as I loathe the thought of winter and short days looming, but this year is extra sad as everything just reminds me of Dad. Our last UT-Alabama game watched together, our last Auburn game, too. Our last Halloween with the kids. Our last Christmas dinner as a family. All those lasts that this time last year we didn’t fully take for granted as we only assumed he’d live another 20, 25 years.
I’m sad a lot of days, but the sad comes and goes, and what they say about it getting easier is true. But what they don’t tell you is that you’ll be coasting along through those easier days feeling like you’re on the other side of the grief only for it to smack you upside the back of your head and knock you down in a single blow. I’ve learned that naps do help. And so do puppies and kittens.
My Favorites of the Month
Looking for new entertainment recommendations? Here’s what I loved this past month:
Favorite book: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
Favorite audiobook: The Radium Girls by Kate Moore
Favorite TV show: Never Have I Ever, all three seasons
Favorite movie: Don’t Worry Darling
Favorite purchase: tickets to Hawaii for my 40th birthday using mostly credit card points!