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Behind The Scenes : 2017

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Behind The Scenes : 2017

What a year it's been for Carrie Krupke Photography, LLC!! I didn't think it was possible to be more sure of the fact that I have the best clients in the world-but this year surpassed yet again! While I didn't have as many weddings this year where a second shooter was secretly getting photos of me at work, I do have a TON of "funnies" on our family sessions that make up for the gap. :) 

I want to start with the Dads of my families. They do a fantastic job helping me, wrangling (bribing) kids and sometimes getting beat on (or getting a workout) in the process. Take a look: 

Not to be outdone, Mamas had their fair share of windy hair days, bribery moments, but always in good fun. And they were 100% ALL IN to make their photos what they wanted, willing to do whatever I asked to make the magic happen. That sometimes meant slobbery kisses, or just getting slobbered on in general, last minute hair touch ups, adjusting clothing and poses and ample silly faces: 

From there, kids had their fair share of silly, flying, sad moments....

And yes, other photographers and their clients got this close to us (on, thankfully, just one occasion):

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And just like Maisie, I thought, "Give the girl her space!"

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We were able to catch some mid sneezes!

Next up: The newborns and maternity sessions. We beat back the bugs, had silly fun and it seemed that on several of the sessions, Mamas would capture me working with their babies on their phones. Thank you for grabbing these moments for me ladies!!

Last up: Wedding day moments! 

Lastly, we always have fun testing our light set up for family photos! 

Ok Ok, here's the real end and wrap up to this post. Fun story: I shot a wedding for my cousin, Ali in 2015 and asked Colby to second shoot with me since both Ali was UNI alum and Colby was UNI's mascot at one point in his collegiate career. At her wedding, Colby leaned over to me and whispered, "Who is that beautiful girl?" He was noticing Ali's little sister, Jenny. I advised him to be good (as if he has another possibility in his personality). Long story short, Colby popped the question to my sweet cousin Jenny just a few days ago and I couldn't be more excited!! This photo is a perfect send-off to 2017 as Colby was a second shooter for me again this year and deployed his drone for a great farewell shot: 

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I could not do what I do without incredible clients, outstanding second shooters (Colby & Sarah!) and a supportive husband who lets me do this crazy business that has been such a wild ride this year. 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for a wonderful 2017! 

--Carrie

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Merry Christmas from the Krupkes 2017

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Merry Christmas from the Krupkes 2017

Inspiration has not struck in time to get this letter written in a creative fashion as in year’s past, so if I were to sit down and write a legit synopsis of our year without the creative poetry, inserting of Christmas carol titles, favorite children’s books or Disney princesses, this is just tellin’ it like it is:

The first quarter of the year was marked by snot, vomit and “lazy poops” (as Laidy has referred to diarrhea). When we finally crossed the threshold of Spring Break, we breathed a collective sigh of relief and committed to a Staycation to rest. That isn’t to say that very fun and important things didn’t happen January-March, but illnesses would sadly go from one family member to the next as soon as I was able to disinfect and wash everything.  Show Choir competitions & Middle School Solo Contests were participated in with rave reviews. The Daddy-Daughter Dance hosted by our church was the highlight of Adelaide’s life and she STILL talks about it at least once a week.

Our Staycation included a visit to Des Moines’ Art Center, library, and some extended alone time for each parent. After the hard push of those first three months of the year, we both needed to recharge our personal batteries, get alone with the Lord, and “right the ship”. Maybe it was the illnesses, intense lack of sleep from a constantly hungry infant, maybe it was an itch in our careers that gave us both a discontented feeling in the pits of our stomachs (and no it wasn’t the stomach flu). Something needed to shift-we just didn’t know what and we were praying for an idea.

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Once April & May hit and we were able to get outside, enjoy the ICubs open field day (where we got to explore the locker rooms, announcer’s booth and outfield of the feeder team to World Champions Chicago Cubs), Pella’s Tulip Time festival and Johnston’s Fly A Kite day, change was in the wind. (No pun intended, but it worked well there didn’t it?) I’d had a few meetings with our district’s Superintendent and HR and it turns out, my job in the band department needed to change from a para (teacher associate) position to a certified one. This meant I needed to reapply, re-interview for my job (thankfully, I got it back) and I would be on track to reinstate my license, attend a plethora of meetings, go through the 2-year Mentor Program and be considered a bona fide teacher.  As photography summer season ramped up, I received a phone call from my Superintendent, stating that he had me in mind for a new Communications Coordinator position for the school district and asked if I’d be interested.  I happily accepted and am now running Norwalk’s social media accounts, helping update the website and taking photos at events in all the district’s schools.

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Summer sped by with Show Choir Choreography Camp, the first ever Norwalk Middle School Summer Band Camp, more than 40 photo sessions, and beautiful times with family.  My parents were in Iowa all summer TOGETHER for the first time in several years. Mom’s season of taking care of her parents came to an end with Grandma’s passing in 2016 so she was able to join Dad in New Providence. We celebrated Dad’s 85th with a tour of WOOD Magazine since a former Norwalk music parent, Dave Campbell, is its Editor in Chief. Dave is also a fantastic tour guide and he and Dad ended up talking shop in the wood shop for several hours.  Mom and I enjoyed some Girls Day Outs to pamper, relax and knock out some projects. Gerard played Ultimate Frisbee with the Des Moines League for the 14th year in a row and while he claims he’s joining the ranks of the “Old Timers”, he still had some great lay-outs, nailed some leaps to score and can  still “huck” it the length of the field.  He loved showing off his “war wounds” to Laidy after the games.

We traveled to the Quad Cities to see Gerard’s parents, sister and her family. We took the kids to the Maquoketa Caves, built epic furniture/pillow forts, and splashed through the week.  At the end of this week, Gerard’s sister Mimi headed to South Korea to meet her birth mom and we stayed in the QC to help watch our niece and nephews. What a pivotal moment in this family’s history to be a part of! After this gathering, we headed to Salt Lake City to stay with my sister and help her host our extended Webeler family (my mom’s side) for a reunion we hadn’t had in over 12 years! All of my cousins, their spouses & children and my mom’s siblings were in attendance save one uncle. Four of the six of us cousins had babies in 2016, so we celebrated with cupcakes for the 1-yr-olds, 4th of July fireworks, Salt Lake Bees baseball, Park City’s Alpine Slide, F-16 flyover and Hill AFB tour, courtesy of my brother-in-law, Eric.

Summer concluded with family bike rides (Loch has yet to love a helmet), a 2-Night Adult-Only Getaway to celebrate our TENTH Anniversary, a family weekend away to Kansas City, ICubs game with my parents, wrapping up of swim lessons and tumbling for Adelaide. With the start of the school year, I’ve enjoyed having flexible mornings, which have allowed me to chaperone Laidy’s field trips to the pumpkin patch, fire department, zoo and occasionally stay for “Circle Time” at the start of her day. As a family, we picked apples and made our own applesauce, were the Berenstain Bears family for Halloween, and jumped in raked leaves. That brings us to Thanksgiving in the QC with Gerard’s parents and looking forward to Christmas in Salt Lake with my sister and parents.

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It’s crazy to think that a year ago, we were still waking up multiple times a night, were just introducing "people food" to Lochlyn and he was barely sitting up on his own. He’s now quintupled his birth weight(!), has over a dozen words to his credit (but still prefers to growl), will RUN in circles with Ella, and thoroughly enjoys Laidy’s entertaining spirit. And, praise God, we’re all sleeping through the night!!  Adelaide is intensely curious about language, asking how to spell words, sounding out words on her own, recognizing words at sight in books, and enjoys reading both for herself and to Lochlyn.  She is showing a lot of growth in understanding of the bigger world around her and we’ve had some insightful and encouraging conversations about Christ, the cross, communion, and prayer. While the stubbornness and emotions of a 4 year old can be challenging at times, her vivacious spirit keeps us laughing with awe and surprise.  She loves to dance, sing, and do silly faces, but also LOVES being a big sister and is eager to help out with almost anything regarding her brother.  

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WHEW!!

ALLLLLL of this to say, we wouldn’t have made it through 2017 without the following assistance:

-our wonderful family doctors who worked like the dickens to help us through sickness and then keep us healthy, not to mention providing child care for us on our 2-night anniversary getaway.

-Aunt Katie’s breast milk to help feed Loch. Things went well for he and I together, but the boy can EAT!

-Preschool and Daycare teachers for Adelaide and Lochlyn both-what patience, knowledge, and love they LAVISH on our children!!

-our colleagues and administration in Norwalk Schools. We may be biased, but this is the best district for whom to work, and we are thankful for the opportunities that have turned out beautifully for our family as Gerard starts his 13th year and I, my 11th year teaching.

-our church family in both prayer and moral support. Gerard has stepped into the role of helping with the sound booth during services and I’ve helped dust off the organ’s pipes for a few special music opportunities.

-Our Lord’s help in parenting wisdom, staying unified as a couple, and most importantly, for giving us His Son. We would most certainly be lost without His grace!

This letter comes to you with prayers for a happy, healthy and blessed 2018!

-The Krupkes

Gerard, Carrie, Adelaide (4), Lochlyn (16mos), and pup, Ella (8)

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Increasing Capacity

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Increasing Capacity

I started the idea of this post at the end of June--it's been a whirlwind summer filled with very, very good things! But allow me to back up briefly to the end of the school year in May. I'll work to make this long story short by saying that, after asking questions of my administration at my school district, we discovered that my position as a para in the band department needed to change to a certified teaching position in order to continue to teach and assess students. Back when I was originally hired 9 years ago, I knew that if my job ever did shift to a certified position, that meant that I needed to reapply and re-interview for it. There have been several surreal moments along this road and the first one was writing a resignation letter(so they could post the job publicly and I could reapply) for a job I love very, very much. Talk about scary, heartbreaking and nerve-wracking all rolled into one, 3-sentenced piece of paper. 

Fast forward to early June when I re-interviewed for my position and was notified the next day that the job was mine if I still wanted it. (Obviously, yes please!) So, I've changed from a classified position to a certified one. Hallelujah and AMEN! Additionally, because of budgeting, I am considered a .5FTE teacher-meaning I will be working half days. I will be working to get my certification reinstated after a 9 year hiatus, going through the new teacher mentoring training etc. Because of the .5FTE status, I get more time at home in the mornings to take care of Life there. What a beautiful blessing!!! In short, I could really identify with Pinocchio in saying, "I'm a real boy (teacher)!" Surreal reality number two. 

A few short weeks after that phone call giving me my job back, I was awakened from an afternoon nap by a phone call with a Winterset listing. I'm so glad I decided to pick it up despite not knowing who it was. Because it was my superintendent! So I quickly tried to snap out of my siesta's reverie and speak coherently to his statement, "I hear you have a photography business." 

"Yes, yes, sir, I do. How can I help you?" 

My superintendent proceeded to describe a Communications Coordinator position that he envisioned to have a half-time teacher and a half-time Coordinator combination. The fact that I knew how to work a camera and was active on social media was beneficial since I would be managing the district's social media accounts, taking photos at events, updating the website etc. As we ended our conversation, he wanted me to keep this job change private until he got some final checks from other administrators. Surreal moment number three: being at home all by myself after ending the phone conversation, looking at our pup, Ella, and saying, "What in the world just happened?!" Cue the blank stares from our schnauzer....

As the summer has progressed, I've been dipping my toe in the giant ocean that is public relations, communication on a large scale and meeting new people in the Norwalk community and administrators in our district. It's fairly safe to say that I've had more administrative interaction in the past 3 months than in my 10 years of teaching combined. Shortly after being offered the Communications position, I read Joanna Gaines' book 'Magnolia Story' and the quote below struck a chord: 

.... if I wanted to be successful, if I wanted to do important work one day, I would have to increase my capacity. I had to learn to manage disappointment. I needed to learn how to make the most out of those “opportunities” Chip seemed to keep finding.

There have been times in my life where I have felt Capacity being stretched: capacity to still love someone after they've hurt you. Capacity to do hard work in the midst of deep personal struggle. Capacity to try again in the midst of intense fear of failure. All of these kinds of things in our lives stretch us, grow us, and a lot of the time, surprise us as we marvel at our own abilities to keep going despite. Despite fear, pain, anxiety, sadness, lacking. 

This summer has been so wonderful on many levels-we spent a week with each side of our families, had two nights away to celebrate our 10th anniversary, took a weekend away as a family of 4 to relax and unwind. But we also worked our tails off getting ready for the school year, photographing a record 46 sessions in 11 weeks, and now, learning the in's and out's of Communications for the school district. I'm excited for what the future holds for both of the jobs I do for our district now--it feels like a beautiful collision of what I've done for so long outside of the classroom and bringing those strengths to help Norwalk Schools be bolstered in our community and surrounding Des Moines Metro Area. At times, my brain feels like it's on overload as I try to absorb the new things I'm being exposed to, but I'm excited at the prospect for growth in both jobs and getting to work with some truly amazing people.

**Side note: Yes, I will still be photographing for my business as well. No worries!**

Summer of 2016, we grew a baby. Summer of 2017, we grew our capacities. I'm not sure which is more difficult, but both have proven to be an incredible ride! (Below are some highlights of our summer!)

First time all my cousins on my mom's side have been together since 2004!!! All 6 cousins are now married and 10 children have been born since then!!

First time all my cousins on my mom's side have been together since 2004!!! All 6 cousins are now married and 10 children have been born since then!!

We spent a week with Gerard's family in the QC-his sister's family got to meet Lochlyn for the first time and we got to see Mimi off to her trip to South Korea to meet her birth mom! What an honor to help her in that journey!

We spent a week with Gerard's family in the QC-his sister's family got to meet Lochlyn for the first time and we got to see Mimi off to her trip to South Korea to meet her birth mom! What an honor to help her in that journey!

My mom has spent the better part of the last 10 years taking care of her parents and with Grandma's passing last fall, Mom got to spend her first full summer here in Iowa since Gerard has known me! She got to watch Laidy's swim lessons, we caught an ICubs game. Dinners out and spending quality time together has been a highlight of the summer!

My mom has spent the better part of the last 10 years taking care of her parents and with Grandma's passing last fall, Mom got to spend her first full summer here in Iowa since Gerard has known me! She got to watch Laidy's swim lessons, we caught an ICubs game. Dinners out and spending quality time together has been a highlight of the summer!

Gerard & I snuck in two nights away from the kids (don't worry, they knew we were gone and they were in impeccable hands!) to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We talked about future plans, dreamed up big things for our family, relaxed and SLEPT! (And also acted like little kids at a water park in Ames...)

Gerard & I snuck in two nights away from the kids (don't worry, they knew we were gone and they were in impeccable hands!) to celebrate our 10th anniversary. We talked about future plans, dreamed up big things for our family, relaxed and SLEPT! (And also acted like little kids at a water park in Ames...)

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”—Proverbs 31: 25-29

This is my verse for the school year: I hope to compose myself in a strong, confident and dignified way to my colleagues and administrators as I adjust to the newness of these positions. I'm praising Him for the chance to take better care of my home as I have my mornings free. And I pray that my children and husband will rise and bless the work of my hands on their behalf.

Soli deo gloria! Amen. :) 

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Adventurous Mommy

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Adventurous Mommy

"Wow. Gerard is brave." A friend of mine commented on my husband's seemingly superhero capabilities to take Laidy out to the grocery store when she was an infant. I'm not knocking my husband's superhero capabilities, I'm questioning why we don't call our Mommies brave for taking kiddos to the grocery store too! 

I've thought a lot about that short sentence that was spoken to me almost 4 years ago and when I'm wondering how to juggle two while out on errands or a fun event, I chalk it up to what another friend told me to call it: An ADVENTURE. 

So here are some adventures we've taken with the kiddos (or just one at a time) since the winter weather has made an official exit. Most of these events are FREE!!! (Note: I do not receive any compensation for sharing these events, all opinions expressed are my own.)

Easter Egg Hunt with our Church-I think we strapped Lochlyn to Gerard for this event and I was hands free to be with Laidy. She ran pel-mell down the steep hill next to our church in search of a purple egg and I couldn't keep up with her. Thankfully, she slid to the end as if sliding for home plate and didn't miss a beat. FREE!

CHALLENGE: ummmm, candy you say? I don't think there's a challenge in that except who gets more of it. ;)

Hair/Nail Salon Mommy/Daughter Dates (hair cuts and Mother's Day treat)-We both needed hair cuts, so Laidy got her first full hair cut where she made the decisions about bangs and how short she wanted to go. I am so proud of how well she's able to have a conversation with adults and express what she would like. Sadly, this was my stylists first and last time with Laidy as she's moving on to a new adventure of her own! :(  Hair cuts: prices vary. Mani/Pedi for both Laidy & I total: <$100.

CHALLENGE: Keeping child occupied if they don't like sitting for a hair cut-Laidy did awesome just talking with Dani, but I had my phone on hand with Frozen on it to keep her occupied while I got my hair done.

ICubs touring of the stadium and field-early April-FREE!!

We met Cubbie, Laidy talked into the announcer's mic in the press booth, we toured the locker rooms and ran around the outfield grasses. You receive a meal ticket upon entering that gives you a hot dog, bag of chips and a drink. FREE!! 

CHALLENGE: Getting your child to say "Go Cubbies" into the mic and not being afraid of Cubbie himself. We strapped Lochlyn to Gerard and he did great! 

Vault at Capitol Square--Drake Relays--last week of April

I did my own rendition of a 10 year college reunion by attending a Drake Wind Symphony concert by myself and the next night, we took the kids to the Pole Vault event downtown that is in conjunction with Drake Relays. Laidy loved watching the men and women fly through the air and we met The Most Beautiful Bulldog!! FREE.

CHALLENGE: We strollered Lochlyn to save our backs but it was a tight fit to get The Beast that is our stroller through the tight crowds. Still worth it in my opinion. We headed downtown after dinner, but I brought snacks just in case. 

Dentist date with Mommy-Laidy is really good at "reading" books in just about any environment. So while Mommy was having her teeth checked, Laidy read and eventually enjoyed IPTV on the dentist's tv. She was such a champ while having her teeth checked too! 

Pella Tulip Time (first weekend of May)-It is possible to do this event for free or on the cheap. Laidy and I packed a picnic lunch and headed out on the Friday morning that Tulip Time started. Some things weren't set up yet, but that didn't keep us from having fun (and finding a FREE and perfect parking spot). 

-City Tour: $5 (a great 45 minute rest for the feet if you need! we had quite an entertaining tour guide on the tractor pulled wagon.)

-30 tulip bulbs to be delivered in the fall-Laidy picked out her colors $39

-picnic lunch on the grass outside Second Reformed Church:FREE

-noon organ recital: FREE

-stand in line at Jaarsma Bakery for dessert-pastries ranging in price from $1.79-$3.49. We got a dozen puff pillows to share with Bible study folks that night. Well worth the 45 minute wait in line. Our puff pillow order was <$25.

CHALLENGE: Pumping in the car while driving without a pump bra and keeping the milk cold enough in the car while we were out for several hours. Made it! And made it safely home.

Kites on the Green (first weekend of May)-hosted by the City of Johnston, they provided kite kits for us (FREE), we brought snacks but ended up staying long enough to warrant buying lunch there ($4.50 for two hot dogs and a bag of chips to share), IPTV hosted a story time, Johnston Police and Fire were on the scene for kids to tour their trucks and SUVs, face painting (FREE), and Laidy successfully flew her first kite! It was a perfectly windy day for it and we had a blast. Lochlyn hung out in the stroller content to watch the skies. We were even able to stretch our time a bit by hitting up the grocery store before heading home for nap. (I was feeling extra adventurous;) )

CHALLENGE: Keeping the kite in the air without impaling another person in the park. 

Community Service with our Church-we helped a neighborhood public school celebrate their 125th year with their Fun Run. We were sideline encouragers, Laidy is an expert cheerleader giving out high 5's, and even chose to run a few blocks of the race with Daddy while Lochlyn and I hung out at our post in the stroller. 

CHALLENGE: Staying hydrated and bathed in sunscreen. We Krupkes are fair-skinned folk...

End of the Year Concerts (more like, Adventurous Daddy)-I've often taken Laidy to show choir events so it was high-time she saw more of the band side of life. Gerard obliged and brought both kids to our middle school end of the year concert. He then took just Laidy on a Daddy Daughter Date to the middle school musical "Peter Pan Junior" and she insisted on dressing up like Elsa...

CHALLENGE: Keeping the kiddos quiet during the performances. We bring a pacifier for Loch and a bottle. We bring coloring books and crayons for Laidy.

I was such a home-body before kids and I still greatly enjoy just being home, putzing around and getting things done there. But when we've got such great offerings in our city for FREE, I can't turn up an opportunity to sing "Let's Go Fly a Kite" with my girl while we are actually flying one. When you call something a "Date", even the most mundane of errands become fun for Laidy and hopefully, Lochlyn will follow suit as he develops his own opinions! 

But just in case you're feeling the pull to stay home.... 

Sit & Watch the Rain-And that's perfectly fine (and free!) too. 

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If You Tell a Mommy It's Bedtime....

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If You Tell a Mommy It's Bedtime....

If you tell a Mommy it's bedtime...

Chances are, she'll start to pick up the toys so that tomorrow can start fresh and clean. 

While picking up, she'll rearrange the bookshelf and the baskets that store the toys. Then she'll see that she needs to put the last load of laundry in the dryer. 

Putting clothes in the dryer will remind her to wrap up folding the rest of the laundry on the couch. She'll stack it all in her arms and trek up the stairs. 

Passing through the kitchen, she'll take a mental note of the other items that need to be picked up after she puts the laundry away. 

Once the laundry is away, she goes back down the stairs to the kitchen and wraps things up there so that the table is clear and most of the dirty dishes are taken care of. Lunch for tomorrow? Check. Pump gear packed for work? Check. Child #1's blankie and snugglie by the door? Check. Child #2's bottles prepped and "people-food" ready? Check. 

Heading up the stairs, finally "to bed", she'll need to hit the bathroom, brush teeth, take off make-up, run a brush through her hair and head into her bedroom. 

Once in her bedroom, she'll realize she needs to put her outfit out for work in the morning. Putting her clothes out for the morning reminds her that Child #1's shoes were in the basement and need to be put by the door for a smooth exit. 

After putting the shoes by the door, Mommy heads up the stairs one last time, slides under the covers, plugs her phone in since it's her alarm and clicks the light off... 

Bedtime? What time did you say you wanted Mommy in bed? 

She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family. . .
and her lamp does not go out at night.
Proverbs 31:16, 18

Happy Mother's Day Week to all the beautiful and hard-working Mamas out there! 

 

 

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