Mother's Day 2014 … Happy Birthday Dan

That moment, when the life you have is nothing like the life you have ever dreamed, imagined or thought would be yours.  I'm pouring my heart out here, and it's definitely not about weddings, so if you're here for pretty pictures and oodles of love … click on ... for today.  This blog has always been open and honest, lately life has been too much to not share.  I know a lot of you are loyal readers for many many years and I thank you.  This is where I've shared my journey of life over the past 8 years.  These are my feelings and opinions, they are not right or wrong, they are my experiences.

That moment, when the life you are living is nothing like you have ever dreamed… ever ... that's where I stand.  I've probably said a few hundred times "I can't believe this is my life."  I don't feel at this time it's my duty to share specifics, but I can share how much I'm hurting.  Right now, I feel as if the life I'm living is someone else's; it's someone's life I watch in a movie, not mine.  Right now is not ever how I would imagine or wish for myself, my daughter or husband.  I'm not in denial, right now, my life is my life, but that doesn't make it not hurt.  Lyrics to songs, are literally my life at this moment, this moment in my life, and it IS SURREAL.

Today is Mother's day and my husband's birthday.  Last year, I was elated to simply be a mother, truly a dream come true after 9 years of heartache.  My dream was fulfilled by the most selfless and loving mother I know (Piper's birth mom).  Today, I feel guilty being a mother, even though I know in my heart, I shouldn't; I am a good mama, I give my all, and Piper is a happy girl.  

I've been forced to draw a line in the sand, and it's the most painful thing I've ever encountered.  I didn't know there was pain such as this that even existed.  I sit here, in my "healing place" under sun pecked pine trees, overlooking the most gorgeous oak filled canyon you've ever seen, with the sun setting over the hills (and eventually the ocean, just a few miles away) but my heart is empty and it literally hurts.  I have the most precious gift of a daughter one has ever encountered, yet I am depleted.  I have a beautiful home, child, studio, dog, car, dirt bike, regular bike (what more could a girl ask for?  basically everything an earthly being would desire) but I feel empty.  I have money in the bank, a successful business (or two) , I have had the most amazing opportunities ever, but my heart hurts, beyond comprehension.  Lately I cry behind my camera at every first dance I encounter.  (I've been doing this for 15 years)  I don't know how this happened, but it did.  I've read scripture, listened to podcasts, read book after book after book, forum after forum, article after article.  I don't know how this will end up, but I continue to stand by the promises I have been given  .  .  .  .  I am human, He is God:  I have first-hand seen Him work in mysterious ways, among the darkest times of my life and I TRULY BELIEVE in His promises:  (some of them are from memory, but they DO exist, and they are HIS promises to each of us)

I call on the Lord in my distress, and He answers me - Ps 120:1

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3;5-6

For I know the plan I have for you, plans for you to prosper James 29:11

Live by Faith, not by sight

Blessed is the man who delights in the law of the Lord , and on His law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Psalms 1:1-3

Have you ever thrown a fist of glitter in the air?  ~  PInk

I know, it aint't easy, giving up your heart … nobody's perfect …   Adele (I LOVE HER!!!!  dream come true would be to shoot her wedding …. she's so talented, I adore her voice)

I'll stop here with the song lyrics, and save them for another post, because this is just the beginning ….

Today is my husband's birthday and its my second mother's day, a day of celebration, yet I am so alone and feel empty.  I am loved, but what I have known for 21 years, isn't here right now.  I'm grateful, beyond comprehension for family, friends and a handful of INCREDIBLE women God has placed into my life; they are so strong, sound, unconditionally loving and accepting, and I am so thankful.  Most of them are Moms .. and I dedicate this post them  …. Sadie, Jill, Jennie, Janae, Lisa, Mary Jo, Shelley, Shelly (there are two of them!), Liz, Kim, Michelle, Tina, Samadhy, Lara; I love you all and am eternally grateful for the listening ears and love you have shared with me in this challenging time.  I love you each and always;  XO allyson XO

PS .. This photo emulates the true JOY she brings me, I am so blessed to be HER mama, the biggest blessing of my life, my treasure.  (photo credit:  Chrisy Nick (15) can I get an AMEN she needs to take photo next year!!!)


For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord .. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future"  James 29:11

grace + justin, big sur wedding

It's kind of a known fact, part of my soul lives up in Big Sur.  It's not far, so thankfully I get to visit it fairly often!  I'm eternally grateful for the couples who bring me up to shoot their special day along the stunning coastline of Big Sur.  Grace and Justin tied the knot at Post Ranch Inn and we had the opportunity to shoot around the area  bit.  LOVE photographing  in the redwoods, brings me back to the Santa Cruz glory days.  Thank you Justin and Grace!  Wishing you a lifetime of joy ... and bird chasing : )   allyson

Ashley + Jeff, La Cuesta Ranch, San Luis Obispo Wedding

Sometimes God places people into your life, and you think you know why.  Then your world is flipped upside down, and the truth is revealed.  Ashley is most definitely one of those people in my life.  It was a complete JOY to watch my friend marry the love of her life, Jeff, at La Cuesta Ranch, in San Luis Obispo.  Love you so much!

Leslie + Josh, private residence Solvang, ranch and vineyard wedding

Josh and Leslie's wedding was nothing short of spectacular!  Beautiful from beginning to end.  I believe one of the highlights for me was the "dance off" that occurred on the dance floor .. holy cow, I don't know who these guys where, but they were hilarious.  Leslie and Josh's day was full to the hilt of love, joy, and true celebration of love.  Thanks so much for having us be a part of such a special day in your lives!  Lots of love, Allyson + Tina


The day was orchestrated by the FABULOUSLY talented

Catered by Farm to Table