I’m a few days (okay almost 2 weeks) late on getting the ball rolling on this post, so I guess that’s a great start to 2018 *insert sigh and head shake*. I’m a procrastinator and a work in progress, what can I say? Anyways, below I have listed some of my favorite moments of 2017. Scroll down to read more!
That’s right, friends, we kicked off 2017 by announcing to the world that we were expecting! If you’ve followed along with our story, you know that this was not only a huge surprise for us, but for everyyoneee haha. Sorry to say that we don’t have any news so big to start off this year. That is, unless you count Shepherd discovering his toes for the very first time.
I Became a Business Owner!
Hannah Ruth Photography officially became a legit business! Sayy whattttt! This was a big step for me! In February 2017, I officially launched my business, deciding to actually dive in and try this whole photographer thing out. I was definitely scared (more like terrified) of how it would all pan out. I was scared of failure, scared I wasn’t good enough, scared of putting myself out there, and scared of trying. But I took a chance on myself and invested a lot of time and energy into making my business what it has become in just one year. Man, I can honestly say that I never expected to be where I am a year ago in my business. I feel loads more confident in myself and in my ability, I have a consistent style, I have reached so many of my goals and really begun to dig into what my brand is and what it stands for. God has been so good in allowing me to find success in a career that has allowed me to stay home with Shepherd while also finishing my degree. I really don’t think there is another job I could of gotten that would of given me the flexibility to make that possible.
In 2017 I was hired for my first wedding, and did 8 all together. I got to work with the most amazing couples. No bridezillas, thank Jesus haha. All of my couples were the most genuine and kind human beings. Five of the weddings I did I was pregnant for, and for 2 of those I was 8 months pregnant! My couples were so sweet to me and would constantly ask if I needed anything or if I needed to sit and urged me to just enjoy myself, and most importantly to eat all the cake I wanted haha. I never could of asked for a better start to dipping my toes into wedding photography. I have learned SOOO much and feel a million times more confident in myself. I’m so ready to kill it in 2018 and to continue to learn, grow and improve in my skills!
It’s a Boy!!! *Insert all the blue smoke* So if any of you decide to use smoke bombs for a gender reveal.. Be prepared for them to be super challenging to light at the same time.. And also apparently you aren’t supposed to hold them because they get super hot and burn you! Whooops. Anyways, in February we got to find out the gender of our sweet baby- and boy does that feel like a million years ago. That day honestly feels like yesterday. I never in a hundred years would have guessed that being a boy mama would be so dang fun, even at 5 months! At this point in our year the search for the perfect name began!
I Was SUPER Pregnant
Looking back at photos of when I was 8 and 9 months pregnant I cringe and wonder why on earth no one forbade me to go near a Taco Bell. Man, I definitely blew up there in the end haha. Those last few months were some of the hardest of my life. I struggled more than ever before with self worth, self doubt, loneliness and sense of purpose. I was also incredibly uncomfortable, physically, and sick of being sick. Looking back, I’m incredibly thankful for that time. It forced me to rely on Jesus and to allow Him to be my everything. It reminded me how to find my worth in Jesus, not in what I looked like, how much I weighed or how put together my life was. Because I went through that tough season, I am a better mother, wife and friend.
August 10th, 2017
The day that everything changed. One little boy entered our lives and completely stole our hearts with one look. Shepherd Michael DiStasio was born at 7:05PM and after nearly 24 hours of labor, I had never experienced more joy, I had never seen God’s grace more clearly. I won’t get into his birth story, you can read more about that here. I will say, however, that having a baby has been more fun and more life giving than I ever imagined. Chase and I have absolutely loved being parents! And y’all, I am definitely not a baby person. I am not the girl that sees a baby in the grocery store and starts gushing. I’m the girl that, up until this point, thought all babies looked the same and couldn’t be compelled under any circumstances to hold one. But somehow, this tiny boy of mine has me completely wrapped around his squishy, slobbery finger. I cherish every second with him. I gaze at him and feel like I can see him growing before my eye and just wish I could hold on so tight to this time with him and never forget the way he is right now, in this moment.
One Whole Year
Pop the champagne bottles folks! Chase and I made it one whole year! Our first year of marriage was pretty eventful, to say the least haha. Most of all, we had fun together. We laughed, cried, fought, made up, played, failed, succeeded, struggled, prayed and tried not to take ourselves too seriously as we figured out how to be adults, husband and wife, and parents together. I wouldn’t want to grow up and build a life alongside anyone else. Chase is my best friend and favorite person in the whole world. He has taught me what steadfastness is, how to live in humility, how to make an incredible steak and what it means to be a silent leader. There have been times when I’ve wanted to strangle him, like when he insisted that Han Solo and Leia are Rey’s parents, and we legitimately have shoved each other into bushes and passionately argued (probably about whether he was 6 or 10-years-old when he moved to New Hampshire (because he changes it up a lot )) moments before walking into church. So don’t look at us and see a madly in love couple who has a perfect relationship. We do love each other a ton and have had a pretty wonderful first year of marriage (despite some hard things), but we are still both two selfish and veryyyyy imperfect humans just trying to figure this whole life thing out just like the rest of you!
There are lots of other small highlights from our year, like meeting several new wonderful friends, getting to see our very best friends also have a baby 5 weeks after us, going to the most epic pumpkin patch ever, seeing lots of our dearest friends get married and engaged, taking Shep to the snow for Christmas, and mostly seeing God provide for us even when we doubted that He would.
In 2018, I mostly just want to be molded into a better wife, mom, friend and human. I want so badly to be more like Jesus. I have lots of other goals too, but at the core I want to think more of others in this year and less of myself. I want to offer empathy and understanding instead of judgement and criticism. I want to strive for humility rather than recognition.
I’m not sure how 2018 can top 2017, but I’m so excited to see what it holds for our little fam!