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Danielle's Journey: Cochlear Implant/St. Charles Photographer/Jheart Photography

I met Danielle when she hired me to capture her wedding day in 2015. The day was beautiful filled with family, friends, and so much love. With their laid back personality’s and Deven’s ridiculous humor, they quickly became a few of my favorite people and friends. At their one year anniversary shoot Danielle shared with me, she could not hear out of one ear and only half of sounds in her other due to a genetic condition. I was shocked. I had many conversations with Danielle and had no idea. I mean, I was with them for 8 hours on their wedding day! She told me she is a master lip reader. Talk about being impressed!

In January 2017 I got the amazing message all photographer’s want from their wedding couples, Danielle and Deven were expecting their first bundle of love. On Friday the 13th of October, adorable sweet Harrison joined the world. Harrison was perfect. After a long pregnancy of gestational diabetes we celebrated his arrival with donuts! One of the greatest gifts about having children is getting to hear all the sweet sounds they coo, first words, and cries when they need you, Danielle was missing this. She could hear him cry in the opposite room or at night. As a mother of 4, I couldn’t imagine this. As a new Mom, Danielle decided she needed better, for her son. So she sought out on a cochlear implant journey.

“I couldn't hear my son cry in another room. I couldn't have conversations in various social settings. I'm an autism teacher. I couldn't understand my students when responding to questions. I couldn't hear police sirens, tornado sirens, rain hitting the roof, thunder, insects, and so much more.”

Dante, Danielle’s Dad received his implants in July 2015 and April 2018. Growing up with the obstacles of having a parent that couldn’t hear, Danielle knew she wanted different. His journey inspired her to go for the cochlear implant. Despite the unknown and possibly long recovery, Danielle this to have a better relationship with her son.

“On my wedding day, 6/13/2015, I picked out a song for my dad. The lyrics were perfect. As we danced, my dad couldn't hear the words to the song. The song that I picked out just for him. 

My dad and I didn't have a close relationship, due to his hearing loss. We couldn't communicate well with each other and have deep, meaningful conversations.

My dad is in his mid-50's and just now experiencing the hearing world. I didn't want to wait 30, 40, or 50 years to hear. 

This is my reason. My son. I want to hear my son as he learns to talk. I want to hear him cry. I want to hear him say "mama." I want him to come to me to have conversations about his day, his friends, and his love life. I want to hear the words to the song he chooses for his Mother-Son dance.

Harrison is my reason for this journey.”

Tuesday, November 6, 2018 Danielle went in for her surgery. Everything went perfect, she felt amazing, and she rocked recovery. On November 28, 2018 she was activated. Bringing along her biggest supporters, Hubby, Harrison, Mom, and Dad, (plus a news crew so she could share her story with others.) When she reached out to me, I knew I couldn’t miss this. Getting to see her hear Harrison talk for the first time, was a moment I will not forget. There were definitely tears and lots of smiles of joy. Dante stated, “This is a great journey for her to be on and I know she will do well”.

On day 2 of being activated, Danielle started to hear things she never heard before.

“I was sitting in my classroom. All alone. I kept hearing the strangest noise, but couldn’t figure it out. After 5 minutes of looking around my classroom trying to figure it out, I realized it was my clock ticking. A sound I never heard before. "

Today included hearing the ticking of a clock, hearing the keys on my laptop as I typed, and leaves crunching underneath my feet.”

How amazing is that? The simplest sound like crunchy leaves, brought her joy!

I love that I was asked to be apart of this journey and these three amazing people’s lives. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes Danielle.

Danielle is sharing her journey publicly to hopefully inspire others to have the courage and strength to have better. You can follow her journey on Facebook here. Below I have posted the news article on Danielle as well as some information on cochlear implants.

KMOV story: Here

Cochlear Implant information: Here

Danielle’s Surgeon: Here

Eichholz Wedding/The White Owl/St. Charles Wedding Photographer

Kim & Randy's perfect day was at the rustic The White Owl in Wright City MO. I was absolutely tickled to shoot here because a year ago, I got married here too! It was so much fun to go back there and be the photographer! 

Kim & Randy were surrounded by so many wonderful family and friends that really know how to celebrate. The details Kim added to the venue really highlighted their relationship and the rustic charm of The White Owl. Kim was all smiles before the ceremony & you can tell by the picture, she was glowing as she walked down the aisle. Kim's classic lace dress from The Wedding Gallery St. Charles paired perfect with the gorgeous old church pews placed in the outdoor chapel. The navy and purple bouquets were silk! I couldn't believe it myself when they were delivered and they were made by the amazingly talented Troy Flower Shop

Getting to return to where I had my wedding was nostalgic, and even more so because I got to see two other amazing people begin their life journey there. I can't wait to go back!

Kim & Randy, thank you so much for asking me to capture your special day. I can't wait to see where the future takes you together.

St. Charles Family Photographer/St. Louis Family Photographer/Stephens Family

Despite Mr. Grant showing up with pants covered in water, from an exciting ride to the park, the Stephens family were a joy to capture. Mom says he is a serious little boy so smiles weren't easy, but as soon as Mom & Dad started the tickles all was well! 

Lafayette Park is really starting to look gorgeous with color! I can not wait for all the spring colors to emerge!!

St. Charles Family Photographer/St. Louis Family Photographer/Sophie Lafayette Park

When Sophie walked up with her perfectly colored lace dress and matching flower crown, I knew that we were going to have a beautifully colored photo shoot. The falls leaves with her maroon dress were so good. Sophie really liked the camera too. She had fun while twirling and tickling mom & dad to showing me a very special pet she brought with her for pictures. 

Thank you Mom for finding me and asking me to capture these for you!

St. Charles Senior Photographer/St. Louis Senior Photographer/Tyler Senior Session with the adorable Diego

Every so often I have clients ask if they can bring their fur babies for some pictures. I will ALWAYS say yes to that! Tyler brought his boxer Diego and it was magic. Tyler alone was pretty amazing and definitely born to be in front front of the camera. Plus I might start asking Tyler for wardrobe help because his outfit choices were ON.POINT for this session. This "Mom wardrobe" could totally use a make over!

Tyler is loving his senior year at McCluer North. He will use his A+ program for the first two year of college and then hopefully fulfill his dream of joining his friends at the University. Mom is looking forward to having him around close for a few years. Lafayette Park was the perfect setting for this session as the colors were just perfect for this fall day.