Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Carson Paul

April 7, 2011

Okay, that was one quick year!   I can’t believe that I am the mom  of a 1 year old.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY my little man!!!

My Sweet Boy

August 25, 2010

Since becoming pregnant and having my baby boy, I can’t tell you how many times I heard “…enjoy it while you can because they grow up way too fast.” If I had a nickel for everytime I heard it Carson’s college fund would be brimming. That’s not to say that the advice wasn’t appreciated, but it did at times seem a little redundant and unsolicited. Fast forward a bit… Here I am today, and Carson is already almost 5 months old and it turns out every last well-meaning mom who warned me that time would go into warp speed was exactly right! Pregnancy had seemed to be such a never ending process and I think it was hard for me to imagine that time could ever seem to go by too fast. I was wrong. If the first five months of my little man’s life can be gone in half of a blink – I don’t even want to think about how fast the next year, 5 years, or 10 years are going to go by!  I’m sure than in what seems like a couple days, Carson will be graduating from highschool and I’ll be looking back at this blog post with big tears dripping onto my desk!

So for all you moms and moms-to be, here’s a little reminder to take an extra second today to enjoy whatever phase of life your kiddos are in at the moment!  

Here is one of my favorites from Carson’s most recent session!


Holy Cow! 5 years ago today, Corey and I got married!  I can’t believe how much has happened since then and how quickly the time has seemed to pass. I honestly can’t image life without him, he really is my other half. I don’t think I could get out the door without his love, support and all around charm!  I’ve got  to say that of all our years together dating through high school, that the last 5 have been the best!   Whether it’s a simple night in on the couch watching TV, an exotic vacation, or shooting a wedding together – I can’t imagine wanting to be with anyone else.

In related news, Corey has officially left his engineering  job to work in the studio full time, FOR ME!!! (Insert villian laugh here, MUAWHAAAHAAAA!). Actually, he’s probably more the boss around here than me, but since my name is on the door I feel like I kind of have the upper hand. Anyway, don’t be surprised to see him around if you come by the studio or hear him on the other end of the phone.

Welcome aboard Alyssa Jul Photography Babe, I can”t wait for the next 5 years!


Macro Landscaping!

June 4, 2010

Well – two relatively awesome things have happened around the studio here lately.

Firstly, we’ve teamed up with Monique Altson of Altson Landscaping – a  rockstar landscape designer here in Tigard who’s busy putting together a plan to turn our back yard into my own little photo park. I can’t tell you how excited I am to have a location right here at the studio for outdoor shooting – it’s gonna be rad! I just wish this rain would stop so we can finally get strated on the implementation phase!

Secondly, I just got a sweet new macro lens (a lens for really close up pictures). I’ve been having a blast with it and decided to get some shots of the most recent plans that Monique brought over. Enjoy!


Well, if you’ve stopped by the blog lately you’ll have noticed that it’s been a while since my last update. In my defense, I feel like I had a pretty good excuse. On Tuesday, April 6, 2010 I finally gave birth to Mr. Carson Paul Westermann. Not only was my little man an entire week late, he did not make  his arrival easy on me.  I realize that if you’re here to read about photography and look at wedding pictures you might not care too much about birthing… but if you do, feel free to read on. Yes, I’ve categorized this post under “personal.”

Corey and I had put a fair amount of planning into what we wanted the birth of our first son to be like (low intervention, non-medicated, dim lights, soft music, etc.). Let’s just say that Carson heard our plans and laughed in our faces. By 9am on Monday morning my contractions were around 4 minutes apart, I was a little hesitant to drive to the hospital as I had already had two false alarms the week prior but I figured I’d be better safe than sorry. My mom was visiting from Wyoming and drove me up to St. Vincents and Corey met us there after a quick departure from work. The evaluation nurses hooked me up to the monitors and checked me out and when they announced that I was really truly in labor I was so relieved I almost squealed. I don’t think I could have stood to be pregnant any longer. Somehow going passed my due date felt like someone was playing a very cruel prank on me.

We headed back to labor and delivery room 327 and set up shop. I put on my comfy clothes, hooked up the iPod to the docking station and started what would turn out to be the longest 2 days of my life. It took no less than 3 people pressing on various spots on my back during contractions to combat my “back labor.”  My baby was head down at least, but was facing the wrong direction and the back of his noggin was wrecking havoc on my tailbone.

For all of you non-moms out there, the magic number in childbirth is 10cm (that’s how big the opening needs to be before they let you try and push out your baby).  Each contraction slowly gets you closer to 10cm and closer to being able to push. It took me 8 tough hours just to get to 5cm, and by that time I had to try something different. One cool thing about St. V’s is that they have a jacuzzi specifically designed for women to labor in and I decided to give it a shot. I spent a good 2 or 3 hours in the jacuzzi (which actually helped with my back labor quite a bit) eating orange popsicles and laboring away. In most cases women go from 5 to 10cm much more quickly than 0-5cm, so when I got out of the tub I was totally imagining that it was almost time to push…Boy was I wrong. My midwife informed me that I had only progressed 1cm further over the past 3 hours, not what I wanted to hear.

I was disheartened, but determined. My amazing team of helpers just became that much more encouraging and I plodded onward…and onward….and onward. By 4am (another 7 hours later) in the morning I still hadn’t even gotten to 9cm and I hadn’t slept in nearly 30 hours. I don’t really know how to describe the pain of contractions, especially ones that come right after eachother without any break, but suffice it to say that it hurt worse that anything I’d ever felt. I was so exhausted and I wanted so badly to be done that I was losing my focus and unable to control my breathing. I tried every single labor position that had ever been dreamed up, and even went back into the jacuzzi for a while. Nothing helped, still 9cm. At 630am I very gratefully let the anesthesiologist poke a big needle into my back and numb me from the shoulder blades down. I went into labor knowing that I wanted nothing to do with an epidural, but once I was numb it was one of the most relieving feelings I’ve experienced.

After 5 more hours of no progress I was scheduled for a C-section, the very last thing I wanted. I was so exausted at this point that I didn’t really have the energy to be angry or sad and I quickly accepted the fact that it was going to take surgery to get this boy out of me. Corey put on his scrubs and as they began to wheel me out of the  room I was informed that one of the women down the hall from me had a much greater emergency than me and her C-section had to happen first, I was going to have to wait. After a very long  hour they came back to take me down to the OR. Before leaving though, they decided to check me one last time just in case I had dialated that final cm… and I had. It was a little overwhelming to hear that it was time to start pushing after having already resigned myself to surgery and the roller coaster of emotion I was on almost made me wish I could just have the C-section and be done. But, just as I had for the last 32 hours, I decided to suck it up and give it my best shot. I pushed for 4 hours before they decided he was positioned too crooked to come out naturally. That’s when they brought out the vacuum. They put the little suction cup on his head and tried to help pull him out but it wasn’t meant to be. The doctor decided the risk of him getting stuck was just too great and so they put the vacumm away and put me back on the schedule for a C-section.

At 4:12 pm on Tuesday, 32 hours after checking into the hospital – Carson was delivered via Cesarean section. We spent the next 3 days at the hospital with doctors coming in every hour to give me pain meds, check my incision, or check Carson’s vitals. We finally got to come home last Friday and being in my own house never felt better.  It was the longest and most trying week of my life. But  it was worth



Waylon: An Update

March 16, 2010

Well, we finally took Waylon into the vet for X-rays on his leg. He hurt it while playing out in the snow last year and for a while we thought he was getting better, but his limp eventually grew worse  and now he doesn’t even put weight on it.

I had to bring Corey along to help, because I can’t get Waylon into the back of the car alone in my pregnant state. We made the drive down to Wilsonville to our vet and piled into the the tiny exam room at the clinic. We decided to do his yearly check-up and shots to save another trip and it took Corey, and two of the staff to hold Waylon down to take his temp, give him his shots, and check his ears. I’m not sure what we did to him to make him so terrified random medical devices, but he was having none of it. It was pretty funny to have 4 adults smashed into this tiny room trying to control a man-sized dog that wanted nothing more than to run for the hills.

The doggy doctor felt around on his hurt leg and went over the X-rays with us. I sat in the corner of the room sobbing uncontrollably as the news came down that we could either give him pain medication until he can’t walk anymore or do knee surgery that only has a 50% chance of working. Apparently he tore a tendon or two, the dog equivalent of ripping through your ACL. Even worse, she said that the way his knees have grown, that it’s probably going to happen to his other hind leg as well. Let me tell you, the tears were flowing! Being 8 1/2 months pregnant didn’t help my emotional state at all, and I couldn’t help but think about the little boy I’d be responsible for soon. How can I be in charge of an entire person when I can’t even keep my dog healthy!?!

We always said we’d never pay for pet surgery, especially one that would cost roughly 5 times as much as we paid for him in the first place… I realize it’s a strange thing to love a dog like a part of my family, but I do. I think we may just have to bite the financial bullet, put him under the knife, and hope for the best. He’s gonna have to wait  a couple months though, I don’t think we can handle a brand new baby boy and a 120 pound dog recovering from surgery at the same time!

waylon copy