Yet another sweet newborn baby boy! Little Nathan came in for his newborn portrait session in the Culver studio on a beautiful Spring day! He was super relaxed and absolutely adorable. I’d recently received an adorable hat as a “thank you” from Adina’s newborn session and it was perfect to try out on Nathan. I loved his portrait so much, you’ll be seeing a large canvas hanging in the Always Happy Life Photography studio. Fun hats definitely add so much to newborn portraits and complement the natural baby poses and faces little ones make! Here are a few of the favorites from Nathan’s session! I look forward to seeing him back in the studio again in a few months!

This is how newborn baby monsters are delivered! 🙂

To see more favorite’s from baby Nathan’s session, visit the new blog on Always Happy Life Photography! Read more

Becky Furry, owner of Always Happy Life Photography is based in Culver, Indiana and travels throughout the Midwest and East Coast for custom lifestyle portrait sessions. Becky is a member of the Professional Photographers of America and also is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner. She loves that Always Happy Life Photography incorporates her love of children & their families with her love of photography. She specializes in maternity, newborn, children, senior and family photography. Client portrait sessions are on location using natural light or in the Always Happy Life Photography studio which has a background of beautiful old barns, sprawling green fields and is close to Lake Maxinkuckee and the gorgeous Culver Academies.

It’s hard to believe that this old barn is now the future studio of Always Happy Life Photography isn’t it? It looked pretty tired when Ed bought our farm in 2007…but now the barn has had a bit of a facelift. It’s looking pretty good now, don’t you think?

Special thanks to Ed’s Dad, Bill Furry, for his vision to convert the old barn into something we would love instead of knocking it down a few years ago. It’s coming along beautifully and the outside looks great!

Late in the Fall, we had Randy and his team from Eco-Comfort come back to spray foam the studio with Icyenene insulation. They did our foundation on our farm house built in 1873 and also our Sail22 Speed Barn earlier in the fall. Amazing stuff! We opted to go this route with the studio because even though old barn wood the outer walls were now covered in galvanized aluminum and new windows were installed, there were still many cracks and crevices. Every thing is sealed up nice and tight now in the future studio!

The plan for the inside is to preserve the character that we have an old barn underneath. What better way to do it, then to put up old barn wood walls from another barn that is falling down? Dana’s Dad recommended a friend of the family’s barn that had caved in on one side and we made a trip to ask permission to use the wood. I am so grateful to them for saying yes! Here is the barn that the inside walls will be made from.

Old Barn
Bill and Dana’s Dad went over to start pulling it off yesterday. It’s going to be a lot of work, but so worth it! The plan is to power wash all of the wood and then everything will be painted white for the walls inside. The ceiling will be a metal ceiling as well, similar to the outside, but if we can find old barn metal to recycle, that’s what we’ll be using.

A few weeks ago, I made a stop in Brooklyn, New York for this adorable little baby girl’s newborn portrait session. Since Adina decided to arrive a month early…we decided to do a two month brand new session for this little sweetie. You may remember her Mom’s maternity session from this summer and her Mom’s guest blog about her pregnancy photos here too. I still consider six weeks to be a Newborn session, since sometimes there are reasons that a new family is not able to have their baby’s portraits in the first ten days. I can make it work though!

So sweet sleeping in a tutu!

Little Adina was wonderful for her newborn session. What was even more special about our time was that her Umi (Grandma) in Fairport, New York was watching through a video chat while I worked. Definitely a special experience for all of us and I love how we were able to make it even better with Umi involved. 🙂

She was very into being an awake baby for her session and was listening to everything I had to say.

Adina’s Umi made this adorable strawberry hat. I need to get one!

She’s a lucky little girl to live in a very beautiful Brooklyn apartment with some wonderful natural light! I’m already looking forward to her upcoming sessions when I have a chance to visit New York City again in the future!

Sleeping soundly. My favorite baby session shots. Look at those sweet lips and eyelashes!

Becky Furry of Always Happy Life Photography is based in Culver, Indiana and travels throughout the Midwest and East Coast for custom portrait sessions. She is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner and loves that Always Happy Life Photography incorporates both her love of children & their families with her love of photography. She specializes in maternity, newborn, children, senior and family photography. Client sessions are on location or in the studio with a background of beautiful old barns, sprawling green fields and close to Lake Maxinkuckee and the gorgeous Culver Academy.

We’re starting the year off right at Always Happy Life Photography with giving back to the local community. One of the original goals of Always Happy Life was to be part of charitable organizations, so naturally, this made sense to tie Always Happy Life Photography in with giving back as well.

For the month of February, I’ve chosen to donate to tonight’s Tri Kappa Plymouth, Indiana annual “Ladies Night Out” fundraiser which is this evening. Money raised from tonight supports donations to several great causes including Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Center for Hospice & Palliative Care, Ounce of Prevention, St. Joseph Regional Medical Center. They also help supplement Operation Quiet Comfort, Plymouth Community Orchestra, Earthworks Camp Scholarships, Newspapers in Education, the Marshall County Historical Society and Encore Preforming Arts. On top of these great causes, Tri Kappa has scholarships for local high school senior, which is near and dear to my heart, since I benefited from many during my college years. There are many local businesses involved in this event and I’m sorry to say I won’t be able to attend this year!

Dana set up this morning and it looks like they have lots of great prizes!

In January, I made a donation to the Rob Reinhold Benefit. I met Rhonda in December for my Christmas in Culver Mini Sessions and learned a little bit about their story. When Dawn from Culver Coffee Company approached me about donating to the benefit she and her husband, Larry were organizing, there wasn’t a question in my mind. Our small Culver community raised over $32,000 to help fund the medical needs of the Reinhold family. Absolutely wonderful!!!

New business cards and a few studio display pieces that have recently arrived.

I’ll be planning more charitable fundraising donations and events this year and look forward to giving back to the Culver, Indiana and surrounding communities as much as possible.

Becky Furry of Always Happy Life Photography is based in Culver, Indiana and travels throughout the Midwest and East Coast for custom portrait sessions. She is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner and loves that Always Happy Life Photography incorporates both her love of children & their families with her love of photography. She specializes in maternity, newborn, children, senior and family photography. Client sessions are on location or in the studio with a background of beautiful old barns, sprawling green fields and close to Lake Maxinkuckee and the gorgeous Culver Academy.

It’s hard to believe that five years ago tonight, one of the most influential people in my life went to heaven. She was one of the first to ever hold me and I saw her almost every day throughout my entire childhood and as often as possible as an adult. When I lived in Rochester during college and grad school, we had lunch or dinner together at least once a week. She lived a long life…90 years…and saw so much change in the world, I can’t even imagine. Born in 1916, she remembered the days before the Model T. She graduated from high school at the age of sixteen (the same Fairport Central School District both my mom and I graduated from and my mom will be retiring from this year after over 40 years of teaching…wow!) and never attended college (not by choice). She lived through the Roaring 20’s and the Great Depression. She was independent and worked until she was in her 80’s.

In January 2007, she fell a few times and ended up with a “GI bug”. Mom finally persuaded her to go to the emergency room. A few days later, she made a choice to have surgery for a ruptured intestine. Not good. They told her she either had less than two weeks or she had a 50% chance to live if she chose to have the surgery. She wasn’t going to hear the two weeks part, that wasn’t an option. She chose major surgery. A true fighter, her mind was still sharp, it was her body that failed her. She made it through the surgery, but it wasn’t easy. Her wish was to have a DNR (aka Do Not Resuscitate) and to not live connected to machines. In a month, her health slid from living at home, to being kept alive on a ventilator in the ICU. She struggled with trying to come off the vent for over two weeks. They wanted to give her a trach, but we knew this wasn’t her wishes. This wasn’t how she wanted to live. She fought hard and finally weaned off of the vent. We talked about her going to rehab and then going home. I’m so glad she fought, as one of our last conversations influenced my life choices. As I sat keeping her company in the ICU, she managed a few words in a whisper. “Do what makes you happy” and “I love you”. A few days later, I was told to get to NY from Maryland as soon as possible. She was in a coma when I arrived and it wouldn’t be long.

I was the one who sat up with her late that night, five years ago tonight, as she held my hand and took her last breath. Such a neat lady, my Grandma Lou. I miss her every day.

On Thursday morning our lives changed dramatically. Totally unexpected and not exactly what we were planning at all. It was on our “someday” list…you know that list, “Someday, when we are…” I bet you have one too? Well, our someday became today. We had decided on the name a long time ago, for our, “Someday when we have a ____”. We knew when the time was right, we would be thrilled to have one, but our lives have been pretty crazy lately. Well, apparently we needed it to happen, since we now have another member of the family and his official name is “Harry Furry”. Middle name is still up for debate. However, he couldn’t be more perfect. Noisy isn’t quite on the same page about him, but we think he’ll come around.

Yep, it’s a boy…a sweet, amber eyed, bouncing approximately six-month old chocolate lab puppy that decided we should be his parents. He chose us…yes…that’s right. Friday morning he was curled up against our back porch skinny, wet, shivering, hungry and looking rather pathetic, but trying to sound like he was ferocious. Bill saw him when he came to work and thought there was a bag of trash on our back porch (note, we only have white kitchen bags…and we don’t put them out on the back porch ever….and he didn’t tell us this until after we had found him) and we had guests visiting, so Dana thought he was their dog and didn’t think anything of it. I was making breakfast in the kitchen and heard a dog bark and called into the living room, “Did you just hear a dog barking?” to Ed. He thought I was hearing things and it didn’t phase him since we occasionally have dogs who pass by on their way to somewhere unknown. It wasn’t until Dana came in and said something about a dog on our back porch that we went to the back door and looked outside. There he was and he was scared! He jumped up on the door barking and growling. Didn’t sound very nice at all. We looked at him and thought he looked like a lab or maybe a Chesapeake Retriever mix since he was wet and his fur was a bit wavy. My only experiences with either of those breeds are that they are complete mush even if they sound ferocious and the one on our back porch certainly looked hungry. I grabbed a bowl of cat food and took it outside from our side porch door, came around back and he barked and snarled. I got the message and put it by the garage and headed back inside. Ed and Dana said he went over, sniffed the food, then came back to the door. They accidentally made a noise that startled him again and he started his barking show all over. That’s when I noticed he was shaking…so instead I just opened the back door and walked out on to our back step, asking Dana or Ed to grab a towel so that I could dry him off. I was greeted with puppy kisses instead of barking. I brought him the bowl of cat food and he shied away from it. Apparently the bowl scared him, since when I put the food on the ground in front of him, he inhaled it. And that was that…he came into the house a few minutes later to warm up and we began to try to locate his owners. I called all of the surrounding vets and both local humane societies to ask if anyone had reported a chocolate lab puppy missing and to leave our information. No luck. We noticed he was limping, had a few fleas and might have worms, so off to the Culver vet to see if they had a remedy for our situation and to check to see if he had been microchipped. We solved the flea/worm situation there and unfortunately, he wasn’t chipped. We even called friends to see if their family’s chocolate lab was missing…no luck. Checked Craigslist to see if anyone was looking for him and again nothing. No collar either and no marks to show he’d had one on recently either.

Harry spent all day Friday sleeping. He must have been exhausted from his travels because he could barely keep his eyes open and was my total shadow, sleeping at or on my feet or next to me wherever I went in the house. Ed made him a collar and leash out scrap cover from some recent rigging he’d been working on. I took him for a walk (my arm is a little sore…he’s a puller) and we began to teach him some basic commands, “sit, stay, heel, down & leave it” are on his to-do list. He’ll do pretty much anything for a treat we’ve discovered, but isn’t very well behaved yet without incentive. Friday night, after trying to join me in bed while Ed was brushing his teeth and getting a stern “no”, he decided that sleeping at the foot of our bed was a good spot. He didn’t get up until we woke up the next morning. Noisy watched him sleep from the dresser, still not too thrilled about his presence in the house.

He’s not the greatest with strangers and seems to have more issues with men. But if you just pet him, the barking and growling stops, so we’ll be working on socializing. Luckily, all it took was a case of “Diet Fresca” and one pound of M&M’s (no brown ones) to convince Greg, Katie & the boys to watch him for us while we traveled during the next few weeks. We know they’ll work with him to socialize him and teach him commands. Their dog, Folly, like Noisy wasn’t very excited he was coming to visit, but we’re pretty sure she too will get over it and have fun with Harry. We wanted to make sure he was vaccinated, so we took him to the Plymouth Veterinary Hospital where the squeezed him in on Saturday and he saw Dr. Holl. They were wonderful there. We knew he would need his shots because he’d be around other dogs and kids while staying with Katie & Greg. Dr. Holl seemed to think we were picked out by a pretty special little guy too and gave him a clean bill of health. We’ll be back to see him in a month to get his second round of shots and to arrange for him to be snipped.

We think we’re pretty lucky and are glad we were the chosen ones once again! Hard to believe it that in three years, we’ve been selected by two great pets.

“Always happy. Never satisfied.®” Notice anything different??? We can now officially use the ® next to our slogan for Always Happy Life!!! Up until this week, we’ve been a ™ which means we are pending approval. Did you know that? This past Tuesday, we received an official document in the mail from the United States Trademark Office with final approval. Hard to believe this process took us over 2.5 years to finalize. Big thanks to Ed’s sister, Megan, for her help with the process. We were ecstatic to finally have that sheet of paper in our hands and of course celebrated properly with champagne and some leftovers. 😉

Speaking of celebrating, we went out for dinner on Monday evening to celebrate my 33rd birthday and had a wonderful dinner, (hence leftovers on Tuesday) at Corndance in Culver. Tuna Tartar to start with a great bottle of Argentinian Malbec. I had a Bison sirloin complete with blue cheese and mushrooms and served with mashed potatoes and green beans. Ed had veal, mashed potatoes and green beans. Both of our meals were delicious. Then what’s better than birthday cake, but Creme Brulee? Yummy!!! An after dinner drink from our favorite bar tender at the Edgewater completed a great evening!

To top it all off, we have been home all week and able to sleep in our own bed. Such a small thing…but oh so nice. Looking forward to being home for awhile longer and enjoying every minute of it! Noisy definitely missed us and has almost forgiven him for leaving him for the month of January. We’ll squeeze in a visit to South Bend this weekend to visit with Greg, Katie and the boys and an adult dinner. It’s great to be able to have nephews old enough to babysit!

Busy, busy, busy…but that is our normal. Who needs to sleep anyways?

Meet baby boy twins, Ethan and Gavin, who I met for the their newborn portrait session in Buford, Georgia on my last trip to Florida. The great thing about traveling frequently is that I am able to visit so many different areas for sessions. If I know in advance, I’m able to plan for it and book an extra day into our travels. These little guys I’ve known about for months and I was so excited to meet them finally and their parents. They are absolutely adorable and very, very, very loved!!! A big thank you to their Grandma Becky for asking me to come capture her sweet Grandsons and your family!

Sweet Daddy & Newborn Son

Safe & Sound

So tired! I think I finally wore him out! He’s the little guy…but he’s very feisty!!!

Asleep in Dad’s Arms

Lots of Love for these little guys!

If you haven’t had a chance yet and you use Facebook, please go “like” Always Happy Life Photography. For further details, please go to the website, Always Happy Life Photography.  Spring is a busy time for me and I’m booking sessions for this Spring at home in Indiana, as well as in and around Atlanta, Georgia; Miami, Florida; West Palm Beach, Florida, Annapolis, Maryland and the Washington, DC area. Schedule today for best availability! Feel free to contact me at or by phone at 574-598-0022.

Last night Ed and I had a black tie event to attend. It’s an annual party at a friend’s home and since isn’t every day that we get dressed up (Ed calls it “wearing his penguin suit”), I thought I’d share a photo from before we headed out. We had a great time and even went out on the town for a little bit afterwards. Might have been a little too great, since we were both a little dusty this morning.

In other news, we had a wonderful Christmas. Fun with Greg, Katie and the boys in South Bend on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. We headed back home around lunch time and stopped for our traditional Chinese food lunch. It’s about the only restaurant open on Christmas day! Ed and Noisy fit in their “long winter’s nap” on the couch back at home. No snow here this year, but it was a beautiful clear and sunny day. I made us a feast of ribeye steaks from our locally raised 1/4 cow we purchased (it fills our chest freezer), lobster tails, shrimp cocktail, truffle baked potatoes and some broccoli for good measure. We also enjoyed a bottle of Downing Family Vineyards, 2006 Fly By Night, a gift from our client. Since it’s just the two of us…we eat very, very, very well! Everything was delicious. 🙂

We’re a little late with our wishes of a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, but we definitely want to send our best wishes for another great year in 2012!

Sometimes you have a day from H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks. Today was one of those… Not terrible in a, “Wow, this is going to change my life forever” kind of day, but one that you can only image is the equivalent to the worst Ground Hog Day (you’ve seen the movie…several times I’m sure) scenario you can think of. Yes, today was one of those. Not even holiday related or anything. That would be more expected and easier to deal with at this point. Just stuff…stuff and more stuff.

We live a happy life around here…and I know that my husband knows me well when he recommends at 4:30pm that I have a drink. Yep, he did! At 8pm, I finally sat down and poured said drink after finishing up some more of the craziness of the day. And it tastes pretty good. 😉 As soon as Ed gets back from picking up a brand, spanking new boat for one of our Sail22 clients, we are headed to drink some Egg Nog and have some spontaneous last minute fun with friends tonight. The evening is already looking up! Back to your regular scheduled programming…I promise. I know tomorrow will be a better day, after all, it’s almost time for the big guy and his sleigh. Sometimes you just have to be really real and lay it all out.