I laid in our hotel room…staring at the ugly “hotel art” hanging on the wall as our room got darker and darker. Everyone else was asleep…my husband snoring next to me and my new baby boy quietly sleeping in his bassinet on the other side. I had a giant smile on my face as I kept replaying the events of the night over and over in my head…you see, this was not only our first family adventure across the state with little Zeke, but it was an adventure that I will never forget! :)
We had woken up extra early that morning, piled the 90 million pounds of baby equipment that I was SO determined that we NEEDED for the trip into the car (and for the record, we didn’t even end up needing the 1/2 of what I had packed but insisted on having…packing for a baby is a whole new experience, woah!) and we traveled the 4+ hours across the state to Madison. We put on our dresses, ties and fancy shoes and Ezekiel wore his “fancy” bow-tie onsie for the big Wisconsin Bride Party! :) This year I was nominated again for the category of “best wedding photographer” that is named by the amazing editors of the magazine and YOU! :) I was THRILLED just to be nominated again, so going to the party, I KNEW, would be fun no matter what….AND it was our first family outing to something special like that. Like I said, I couldn’t stop smiling the whole night.
It came time for the actual “ceremony” to start as all of the nominees and winners were to be announced. I held my glass of wine proudly in my hand (yay wine) and stood there already feeling thankful for the amazing friends and family that had journeyed to support and love me. All 8 of them (including my 2 week old son strapped to my husband in the baby carrier) stood around me already proud of the dreams I had accomplished. I looked back at them and knew that I was one of the luckiest people in the world! Maybe it was the “baby bur” or maybe it was the fact that I was drinking a giant glass of wine that I had been craving so much through the pregnancy of our little Zeke….but they announced my name as the winner and I about dumped my glass of wine over. I really REALLY thought that nobody EVER wins two years in a row…I mean, really, they just said my name again?!! ME…really ME!?! AGAIN!?!?! HOLY MOLY! :) I think a few tears about burst from my eye-lids (I blame the hormones) as I proudly and humbly accepted the award! :) And one of my favorite moments of the whole entire night was that Aaron and little Zeke came up to accept the award and take photos with me!
Our first family photos (YAY) at the Wisconsin Bride awards! I mean, how cool is that?!?! :) A moment documented that I can hopefully replay for our son as he grows old and I share with him how I started my business, followed my dreams and accomplished things I never thought were possible. It may sound trite, but this moment was SUPER SPECIAL for me. I plan to proudly hang this family photo in our new house so that I can tell Ezekiel all about his dreams and his goals…that they are possible and that this very moment, at the Wisconsin Bride party, was an accomplishment that Mommy was so proud of. It’s signified the progress and success in my business that I am so humbled and excited about…I hope this photo becomes a memory for him because of the future conversations that it has! :)
As a brand new Mommy, being at this party and winning this award reminded me of just how blessed I am. It has given me the opportunity to not only be proud of my own business and the successes that I’ve made for myself, but it gives me the chance to prove to my son and his future dreams that anything is possible. He CAN grow up and be an astronaut, a grocery cart designer, a entrepreneur, a garbage truck company owner, or if he has Daddy’s way…the future quarterback of the Green Bay Packers (but that’s a whole different tale). If the dreams of his heart are TRUELY his passion, then anything is possible! :)
The rest of the night was full of celebration! Hugs from my in-laws, kisses from my husband, cuddles with my son, high-fives and giggles with my friends and amazing memories that were made!! :) Gosh….what a special night for us….for Emily Steffen Photography and more importantly, the Steffen family….all three of us! :)