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Never thought it would happen to me..

Never thought it would happen to me..

I hesitate to share this, just because I like to keep my life private, but in the spirit that it might save somebody else’s life..here I go.. ::deep breath, clears throat, closes eyes::
On January 29th, 2016, I had a heart attack, yep, you read that right!! I am in my early 40s, with no significant family history or risk factors other than being overweight and stressed…
I will preface the rest of the story by telling you that I am a Paramedic, Registered Nurse, used to teach CPR and ACLS, so basically, I believe I am an expert at ALL things medical (sarcasm) AND I am a horrible patient!!
I discovered that my blood pressure was elevated (168/118) at a routine OB Dr visit, on Tuesday. I made an appointment to see my primary care MD on Friday, worked Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday night, started to have some chest pain which I attributed to having a tough/stressful couple of days at work and not doing so well with the work/life balance. So, like any good denier of health concerns, I took an ambien and went to bed. When I woke up Friday morning the pain was still there, I had zero energy and while I did not have what I consider to be shortness of breath, I felt like if I could only take just a little bit deeper of a breath, that would be great!!
PCP did an EKG, which showed that I was having an infarction (heart attack) so he called 911.
MCHD-EMS (who I used to work for as a Paramedic) responded. The seasoned in charge paramedic actively listened to ALL my BS about why I wasn’t having a heart attack, why I couldn’t go to the hospital, blah, blah, blah… then he said to me: “It’s hard to go from being the provider to being the patient…but it is OUR turn to take care of YOU”. Something about that struck a chord with me, so I went willingly. I could bore you with additional details and funny stories, but essentially, I was admitted for labs, echo cardiogram and nuclear stress test, which I failed as it was showing a narrowing of the LAD (Left Anterior Descending artery). I ended up having a heart cath (PTCA). The cardiologist said that I was lucky to catch it early and there is very little damage to my heart muscle.
There are several people who I want to acknowledge and share how grateful I am for them! My mom Patricia Deardorff Harmon for being my voice of reason and keeping things “normal” for the boys while I was in the hospital.Jeff Hill for keeping me entertained and staying by my side (except when you disappeared after they called a rapid response on me..haha). Marianne Maples Mills for bringing me a hospital survival kit and helping me plan my escape ::evil grin:: and Craig Senglin for coming down from Dallas to help.
I am hoping that by sharing, my friends and family will review the signs and symptoms of a heart attack and most importantly, don’t be dismissive and think that it can’t happen to you.
www.goredforwomen.org
edited to add: I am feeling GREAT and have made some positive life style changes that I should have made a long time ago!!!!

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Halloween- Fruit of the Womb. 

Halloween has to be my favorite holiday besides Christmas.  Growing up, all I wanted to be for Halloween, was a witch. My crafty and creative mom always had other plans: a rubic cube, a tube of toothpaste, a bag of jelly beans (to name a few). Now that I am a mother, the tradition continues!

This was several years ago, but many people have asked me to share about these particular costumes. “Fruit of the Womb”. This has to be one of my favorites and super easy to make. The grapes were green balloons pined to a green tshirt, brown pants and green knit hat with leaves attached to it.  The apple was made using cardboard which I covered in red felt. He wore a red tshirt, brown pants, and red  knit hat with brown felt to make the stem.  I made the sign which completed the look!

Not sure what I will torture them to be this year, but it’s time to start planning!

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The stories we tell

My business has been on a semi-hiatus, but I have continued to work on personal projects. I am a part of a collaboration of wonderful and talented lifestyle photographers on www.the-stories-we-tell.com.   These ladies are amazingly talented and so inspiring! Come take a look!

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Mommy & Me ~ Photography session {Spring, The Woodlands Texas}

Mommy & Me ~ Photography session {Spring, The Woodlands Texas}

As moms, we are often the ones behind the camera, capturing our families memories. This is why I am over-the-moon excited about my new “Mommy & Me” photography sessions. I feel it is important that moms get IN FRONT of the camera. To be captured with their loves, to be IN the Picture… {Seriously moms..it is time to get.in.the.picture!}  Recently, a friend was telling me that when her mom passed, she went through boxes and boxes of pictures spanning a lifetime, looking for a picture of her and her mother together. She only found 2. That makes me sad.

Here is Mel with Gabriella.

One of Mel and Gabriella’s favorite Mommy & Me things to do is bake cookies. In preparation for Gabriella’s 4th birthday party, they are making Cinnamon sugar cookies, from an old family recipe, for their friends, family, and birthday guests to enjoy! I was impressed with Gabriella’s attention span and how well she listened and followed instructions. I silently (and not so silently) laughed throughout the session at her intense concentration which caused her tongue to stick out…so stinkin cute! After our session, Gabriella took out her baby book and showed me pictures of her from birth to now. It is my hope that these images will make it into her book and that she will look back on them with a smile and be able to feel the love of her mother.

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Hiding from the storm

Hiding from the storm

Have you ever heard the expression that “The shoemaker’s kids have no shoes?” Lately, I have felt the pressure of trying to balance my full-time nursing career/work schedule, photography clients (planning, shooting, editing, posting, social media, ordering, delivering) and being a mom. I wasn’t taking the time to photograph my own children and capture these fleeting moments which are so precious to me. That is going to change!!

Several weeks ago we had a big storm blow through which left us without power for over 24 hours. Thankfully, it was October and not during the oppressive heat of a Texas July. The first few hours were fun. Full of adventure, exploring our world in the dark and what 4-year-old boy doesn’t love a flashlight? As the hours passed, the flashlights turned to lanterns and the boredom kicked in. Blake, my high energy, nothing is going to keep me from moving was unusually quiet, which every mom knows..means trouble! I went to search, certain I would find some sort of destruction or chaos. Then I saw a beam of light coming from under the bed…so glad I grabbed my camera and captured the moment.

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2013 Holiday Mini Sessions Announced

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I can’t believe that it’s already time to start thinking about the Holidays and sending out those holiday cards! This year, I am starting/finishing early. I want my clients to be able to get their Holiday Cards out on time and I want to be able to spend the holidays with my family and not fretting over client orders! The early start is a Win-Win for everyone.

These mini sessions don’t have to be holiday oriented. You can do a Cake Smash, HS Senior, Engagement, Mommy and Me, Halloween…Whatever your heart desires. Sessions are limited to the dates and times below. This offer will not be extended outside these dates unless another mini session day is announced! Prices is for immediate family only (up to 5 people). If you have more than 3 kids, then shoot me an email.. as long as you are not The Duggars, we should be fine.

October 27: 500, 515, 530, 545, 600, 615, 630
Nov 3: (note earlier start time due to the time change): 400, 415, 430, 445, 500, 515

$100 deposit required to hold your space. I can not hold a space without a payment.

Look forward to another wonderful year!!

Little Miracle {Houston Lifestyle Newborn Photographer}

Little Miss Miracle was born at 30 weeks and spent 6 weeks in the NICU.   She is spunky, sassy and a survivor who is here to do great things in this world! I just can’t wait to see her grow!

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Bluebonnet Mini Session Favorites {Houston Bluebonnet Photographer}

The Bluebonnet sessions went off without a hitch, except for the random strangers photobombing my clients {ha}. I could probably fill a post with hundreds of my favorite images. All my clients rocked it! Looking forward to next year, but next year we hope to be on some private land!

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2013 Bluebonnet Mini Sessions

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Sunday April 7th AM: 740a, 800a, 820a, 840a, 900a, 920a, 940a, 1000a
Sunday April 7th PM: 500p, 520p, 540p, 600p, 620p, 640p, 700p

$65 reservation fee required to hold desired date/time. Payment accepted via paypal.

Look forward to seeing everyone again this year!
Claire

To view my most recent work, please visit me on Facebook <—-click.

Texas Junkin in Round Top

Treasures as far as the eye can see!

I {love} to go “junkin” during Antique Week in Round Top Texas every Spring and Fall. You can find just about anything and everything there. If you are in Texas, grab a bunch of girlfriends and make a weekend out of it!  Hope to see you there!

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