The family that continues to overcome...
Today is a bitter sweet day...
Lets start from the beginning... I became a nanny for the Plunkett's in 2018. I remember coming into their home and Gracie was sitting in Jordan's palms. My first though was, "Holy crap that is a tiny baby"! To start the adventure off, Gracie was born with a congenital heart defect. Baby girl literally had a two holes in her heart. As we watched for heart failure symptoms, over time, they began to heal without intervention. She could need a surgery in the future but in the mean time we pray she doesn't. A few more months into my time with the Plunkett's, Gracie was refusing to eat. We tried everything but ultimately she was hospitalized and diagnosed with acid re flux. After treating her, slowly, she began to thrive again.
I had the most amazing time hanging out with Gracie over the year, she taught me new things every day. It was so fun being apart of her first steps and first words. It seemed like every day I had something new and exciting to share with Jaime when she would come home.
A little over a year into our time together, during a long weekend of what we though was a GI bug, Gracie was not herself... Increased thirst, severe bed wetting, fatigue and weakness... Something wasn't adding up. After constant contact with mom and dad during our usual day together, Jordan came home on lunch and took Gracie to a friend/doctor (oddly around here some pediatricians don't open till after 4...) A few hours later I got the message... at 16 months old, Gracie was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and was being flown to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh.
My stomach sank to my knees. I could not even imagine what Jaime and Jordan were going through. Together as a family they have already over came SO much... And then this...
Its hard to put the next few months into perspective... I spend a few days with them in the hospital to get some basic knowledge of 'T1D' and how to properly treat her and give her insulin. But that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of the LIFE CHANGES that the Plunkett's were about to face. Gracie obviously couldn't test her own glucose or determine how much insulin to take with every meal, so Jaime and Jordan were now Gracie's life line. Every gram of sugar, every carb, how much energy she exerts... it literally could be life or death with EVERY decision they made. I am HUMBLED by the strength and courage of the Plunketts. They are truly WARRIORS. Jaime and Jordan do so much to help Gracie live her best life, they want her to live like any other child would.
So 365 days later here we are. Gracie is happy, healthy AND ALIVE. It will NEVER get EASIER but Jaime and Jordan sure are getting the hang of things. I wanted to help them celebrate this tragic blessing of a day with a photo shoot. I thought, what better way to show 'T1D' who's boss than by baking some sweets! It was a lot of fun but also VERY REAL. Gracie had highs and lows, alarms were ringing, popsicles on hand and a few manual glucose checks. The regular life of a 'T1D' team.
It has been an honor working with such a strong and loving family. They have all taught me so much... Life is precious... Count your blessings everyday because tomorrow is a lot further away then we may think...
Tea etiquette and culture with Joyce
A few weeks ago, Joyce; owner of Spectral Tea, joined us at Boro Coffee shop for a pop-up tea experience. During this time we learned basic tea etiquette and culture. Joyce brewed us a variety of single origin, blended and herbal teas. My favorite was 'Frozen Summit', an Oolong tea from Nantou, Taiwan. Besides learning how to properly prepare and serve Matcha, my favorite take away from event was that tea time is about socializing and spending quality time with people. Society is so fast paced these days, its good to slow down and enjoy the moment. Thank you for a great experience Joyce.
Hollidaysburg's newest addition
I always loved spending afternoons at a local coffee shop to work on homework or edit photos. Before my most recent trip home to Minnesota, I caught wind of a coffee shop that was hiring in Hollidaysburg! I was a barista for a few years back in my college days, it was by far one of the best jobs I've ever had. So, my goal when I returned back to Pennsylvania was to connect with the owners and try to get the job! With previous experience in the coffee world and a few awesome references, my barista dream came true once again!
I had spent a lot of time in stock rooms and basements for work. I was ecstatic to be in a window lit building again... I am spoiled with conversations with my community and constantly making new connections. I truly LOVE being apart of such an awesome team.
In our down time I've had the opportunity to use my photography skills to create content for our social media pages. I love photographing people, but this has been such a great experience to practice photographing products.
We are proudly serving Rothrock Coffee and Spectral Tea!
Annual run raises money for local vets.
Sweat for Vets is a 501c3 that raises money for local veterans in the Central PA Vicinity (where I currently live). This year I volunteered to spend time with the veterans at the finish line since they had plenty of trail photographers. It was such a fun, unique and humbling experience.
Moonstruck Vintage Finds in Hollidaysburg
As a photographer, I LOVE COLLABORATIONS. Before our annual pop-up event at The US Hotel, Ashlie from Moonstruck Vintage Finds and I thought we could showcase her items with a photo shoot around town! Meranda was an amazing model. It was a blast working with such an outgoing and independent group of women.
From city to farm...
When I first arrived to Pennsylvania I started my job search through 'Care.com'. Little did I know the first family I connected with would be a family I cherish forever. Brindsay was a stay at home mom of two, Avalyn (2) and Daphne (1) at the time. Her husband proudly serves in the military and as a local state trooper. This meant he wasn't around all the time leaving Brindsay with a lot to take care of. Mom and the girls were so welcoming and kind, it was my pleasure to help out.
During our time together I KNEW Altoona was not the place for them. Brindsay would tell me her goals and dreams of farm to table food, crafts and educating her girls at a young age. I would always say, "someday you need to just live on a big farm"... and then that day came. After a few years of working together the Rehm's moved to a farm in Johnstown, PA.
I was so excited to visit their new home and see the girls in their true element. Somewhere they could run wild and experience life to the fullest. The corner of 25th in Altoona wasn't exactly the place to do that.
Over the summer I was invited to stay the night. I was so excited to catch up since it had been a few months. I was blown away by the property... Dogs, goats, chickens, horses, sheep, barn cats and a few pigs. The girls were scared of NOTHING, covered in dirt and smiling bigger than I ever had seen. Avalyn and Daphne were very excited to introduce me to their new animals and pets, take me for a swim and play in the sun. The next morning we enjoyed a farm to table breakfast and that's when I knew they were exactly where they needed to be.
I am so proud of everything the Rehm's have accomplished. A new home, new goals and happy girls. Brindsay is now in the process of starting a 'farm fresh, farm decor and crafts' business called Full on Farm Girls.
Funds raised for local veterans and first responders.
Keystone Pinups and LaVintage Decor teamed up to raise funds for local veterans and first responders. These amazing women were offering "pinup for a day" photo shoots to anyone interested. This session included hair styling, make overs, wardrobe, props and a mini photo shoot with a professional photographer. I had the honor to work with 9 amazing ladies that day. THANK YOU for letting me be apart of such a creative cause! For more information about this wonderful group, follow the link below.
I have avoided writing blogs for a very long time. I lack confidence in my spelling and grammar abilities. But here goes nothing.