We are the Survivors-Personal Project|Terri B.

I met Terri through a care service for babysitting and dog sitting.  I was looking for a dog sitter for the times we have to go out of town and we can’t take our little furry guy with us (the dog, not the kid-hehe).  She has dog sat for us several times and loves all of our animals as if they were her own. She takes such great care of them that I am shocked they are even interested in us when we do get back home.

Shortly after she started pet sitting for us, I emailed her about availability with a sad response back saying she had just found out she had breast cancer and would be starting treatment. Hold the phone. What?!  I couldn’t believe what I was reading and I am sure she probably couldn’t believe what she was typing, either. I assured her everything would be ok but to make sure to let me know if there was anything I can do.

Sometimes, it’s hard to find the right words to say to someone in this position, but in reality, you don’t have to say a lot other than you’re there for them and thinking of them. Support is the only way to make it through and have a positive attitude….even if it’s from people you don’t know all that well. Knowing there are people who have your back and are thinking of you during times like these are the little things that make a big difference.

Terri had Breast Cancer- Stage I.  She found out at her annual mammogram. The one she almost skipped. She was due to get one in February and pushed it off and thought she wasn’t going to go, but some reason made her go in June and she went with it.  It’s a good thing too because they had mentioned to her that if she had gone in February, it would have been so small that they probably wouldn’t have even picked it up.

Having lost her mother and brother to cancer, Terri knew immediately upon finding out that she was not going to let it take her, too. Numbness took over, but strength and confidence rose above.  Her husband Doug, her main support system along with her son and daughter in law, sister, friends, and various other family were there for her, trying to be strong. There comes a point where everyone breaks down a bit though through this and Doug had his moment a while after the initial diagnosis, which is hard for anyone.

Surgery was July 29th 2013 and then 6 weeks of radiation. Driving to Annapolis every single day for a 5 minute treatment and then the drive back.  Radiation can be tough on some and not as tough on others, Terri wasn’t one that was as affected through that process.  She has a 25% chance of recurrence but per a doctors recommendation, she opted out of a Chemo treatment and though it was a hard decision to make, she felt confident doing so.

When I talked to Terri, who is similar to me with the advice section of these questions because she feels as if she was one of the lucky ones who didn’t have to suffer or be burdened with too much pain, but she did offer this.  Being positive is number 1. Being ready to fight and being positive was her goal, attitude is everything.  As for the caretaker, or the spouse (she took care of her mother as she was fighting her battle as well) is to be strong for them and be present. It’s hard to watch them go through something so difficult and lots of things can bubble up, but you just have to be there for whatever they need, even if it’s just to yell or talk about nothing.

Terri is one of those people that I believe would give anyone the shirt of her back. She is so kind, so open and honest, and so strong.  I am grateful to know her and to have spent time hearing her story. Thank you Terri or so openly sharing with me in your home and for taking care of my animals anytime we needed you.  You are so loving and genuine and it’s been a pleasure getting to know you, your family, and that adorable little grandson of yours!  We are all so thankful that you are clear and in remission and doing so well- here’s the the rest of your life, to being happy, and to enjoying that wonderful family you have!  Cheers!

Terri B-2

Terri B-3

Terri B-4


Professional Photographers of America-Southern maryland photographer

Professional Photographers of America

I’m sure you’re looking at that title and wondering what the heck PPA is. Well, It’s Professional Photographers of America and if you’re a photographer, you should be a member.  There are so many great benefits of being a member like protection in case of a legal problem, equipment insurance, the monthly magazine, and countless others.

Today I received a super exciting email saying that I am A Face of PPA and here is what they do when that happens:

professional photographers of america-faces of ppa

I am so so thrilled, excited, happy, lots of awesome emotions……Just wanted to share this with everyone!!! By the way, I realize my thumb looks super weird here….apparently, it is double jointed or something :)

Annapolis Maryland Photographer- Motherhood Monday-balance

How did it get to be Monday again?  I feel like my weekend was mostly spent working, so when that’s the case, it feels like my weekend really only last a few hours. These types of weekends can be hard which is why I have been REALLY trying to limit taking additional sessions on those weekends when a wedding is scheduled.  It’s not always possible since I really try to accommodate my clients’ needs the best I can, but when it is possible, I usually take Sundays off from shooting!  Having a good family and work balance can be very difficult, but this is one of the ways that helps me as well as my husband and son to have play time with them and down time as well.


Here are some other things I try to do on a daily basis to keep a good work life and family balance. Now, these don’t ALWAYS happen, but I am making a bigger effort to make sure I stick to these the best I can.

-at about 430pm my work day pretty much ends. I start making dinner and get the little man ready for bed and spend time with my husband once he gets home from work

-I typically won’t answer emails until my son goes to bed, and in that case, it’s usually only for a couple minutes if I see something important. Otherwise, they wait until the morning.

-I dont answer phone calls from unknown numbers (that arent family) after 430 either. Its hard talking to a potential client when your toddler thinks they want should talk to them too.  I will wait until he goes to bed and call them back quickly or call them on his nap time the following day

-*this is the hardest one*- i don’t schedule sessions on sundays following shooting a wedding on a Saturday.  If a wedding is on a Saturday, I really try hard to have a complete family day the following day. Sometimes, this isn’t as easy as it sounds, but it’s a big goal of mine here on out.

-When we go out of town or on vacation, I keep my phone in a backpack or somewhere I cant really hear it. I will look at any messages at night but I will always send a quick message saying its been received and I will get back to them as soon as I can.  This is the only time I dont answer within 12 hours.

-I don’t talk about work much when we are out with friends and I TRY not to talk about it on date nights. Thank heavens I have a super supportive husband who is helpful in suggesting things I can do when I do start to talk about it. He always listens and never voices discontentment either!

- I try to remember that this is my business and my schedule. You have to stick to yours if you want to find a balance and live life the way you want. Of course, I am flexible at times, but it’s changed a lot from the 24/7 that it used to be!

and to leave you with a little something……balance