Kimberly Coughlin Photography bio picture
  • Welcome to Kimberly Coughlin Photography!

    Hello and welcome to my blog! I am so glad you stopped by.  I'll use this little piece of the internet to post client sneak peeks and also to share my life and my family with you.  I've said this many times, but I truly believe my 3 boys are the most photographed kids on the planet!  Unfortunately, they are getting a bit tired of that record so they are giving me a hard time when I get my camera out.  So, just know that when you see my family on this blog, there were definitely bribes involved!

    I love having the opportunity to create lasting memories for those I meet along this journey.  You'll find I'm a very easy person to get along with and I'll give you my all when we are together for your session.  I treasure each and every one of my clients who make my dream of photography possible!

    I specialize in on-site, natural light photography sessions.  I will meet you in the comfort of your home or at another location.  I love shooting in the outdoors and always enjoy trying out new places.  Historic locations, farms, parks and even your backyard make great backdrops for your photos.  I shoot primarily expectant mothers, newborns, babies, kids and families but I also do events and find them incredibly fun!  Another of my specialities is birth photography and I am humbled, honored and overjoyed to document the arrival of your special newborn.

    I hope you enjoy my new and improved blog but if you'd like to reference my previous one, I've included a link in the menu bar.  I haven't deleted it because I still love all of those posts and all of the history of Kimberly Coughlin Photography!  Please leave comments here on my new blog so I'll know you visited.  Bloggers LOVE comments!  :)

    Kim   

     

This one is hard to write and from the heart…

I’ve written this post in my head about a dozen times.  The details were different but the ending was always the same.  I can’t change the ending no matter how much I want it to be different.  So I’ll just write it from the heart.  Most people who read this blog know by now that we’ve been through a rough time starting back over a year ago in September when Matt’s mom was re-diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.  We thought the outlook may be bright after the initial shock of a stage 4 diagnosis.  After a difficult surgery and recovery, she seemed better.  I put myself in her shoes so often wondering how difficult it must feel to know that the dreaded cancer was back.  I wanted things to be perfect for her.  I wanted a celebratory Christmas season last year.  I did my best to do that for her.  I feared that even though she seemed better, it could be her last. 

In April, her symptoms were back.   She decided to move in with us and scale back her work.  They tried a different treatment but by June she was much worse.  She had several trips to the ER, she had several hospital stays.  She was told she must do chemotherapy to extend her life.  That day will stay in my mind forever.  That was the day we realized how desperate the situation was.  The day we realized the cancer meant business and wasn’t going to respond to the treatment plans she preferred.  The chemo was not easy on her.  Chemo doesn’t have a bad reputation for nothing.  It made her sick.  She hated it.  It was hard for us to witness what she was going through, yet we remained positive that she could get through it.  The days blurred for us.  We felt alone, yet privileged to be spending this time with her.

Most days she would barely leave her room.  Brett would ask her to play Candyland and she would find the strength.  That’s what he will remember most.  I am so thankful that he has that memory.

At the end of July, she made the decision not to continue with the chemo.  She had to choose quality of life over quantity of life.  My God, how does one make that brave decision?

She rebounded.  Was almost a new person.  She went out to dinner with us for Brett’s 4th birthday.  I didn’t know how much that meant to her until she mentioned it during the last week of her life. 

Hospice began coming to our house to check on her.  We asked them how much time they thought she had.  They told us she was doing great and had many months.  I was hopeful she’d see another Christmas.  This was two weeks before she died.

She worsened mid-September.  She was dependent upon us for most everything. It was heartbreaking for me.  She was such an independent person. She raised her two children and put them through college; she worked tirelessly at her career; she lived alone for almost 20 years.

On Friday, September 23rd the hospice nurse came and told us she needed to go to the inpatient facility in Arlington to get her medication regulated.  I was afraid.  I tried to stay positive and believe them, but I was afraid.  That weekend in the hospice facility is a blur in my memory.  We could see that she was slipping.  I still hung onto the belief that she would come home.  I was terrified to bring her home, yet I desperately wanted that.  She belonged here with us in our home.

On Sunday morning she told Matt that he needed to help her.  She needed him to bring the kids.  He told her she would see them the following day when she came home.  She insisted saying that she didn’t have much time.  Our nieces came up from Richmond; my parents brought our boys.  What happened in that room was incredibly sad but magical as well.  She told each of my boys that she loved them.  She touched their hands.  She had total clarity when she saw them.  They brought a beautiful smile to her face.  I want to keep that image forever.  Her smile when she saw my boys.  Her grandchildren meant the world to her.  She needed to see them one last time.

She passed away in her sleep that next morning.  It was too soon.  I wasn’t ready.  I hadn’t told her everything I intended.  I wanted her to know how much I respected her.  I wanted her to know that we would be ok.  I wanted her to know how lucky I felt to be her daughter in law.  I didn’t get to say any of that.  I was going to see her again.  I wasn’t ready.

Her service was overwhelming.  Again, a blur.  Nick read the Bible in front of all those strangers.  Matt spoke brilliantly.  My sister in law spoke beautifully.  The number of people that came to the service and our home afterwards still blows me away.  People from her childhood.  People from all phases of her life.  All aspects of her life.  Her library friends, her work friends, her volunteer friends…so so so many people.  She would have been so happy to talk to all those people.  To see them all again.

I knew Judy for more than half of my life.  I knew that she was passionate about politics.  I knew that she liked her applesauce cold and blueberries on her cereal.  I knew that she wanted a future of retirement and watching grandkids grow up.  She loved books and read any time she had available.  I knew that she worried about her kids often and wanted them to be happy.  She wraped Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve and sometimes even Christmas morning.  She always had an opinion about the weather.  She wrote poetry when she was inspired.  I knew she struggled with depression but most people wouldn’t know that from her smile.  But, you know, the people that came to the service made me feel as if I didn’t know her at all.  I had no idea how influential she was to so many.  She was so loved and admired and respected by so many people.  I had no idea how many lives she touched.  I don’t even think she knew it.  She confided in me that she didn’t think many would come to a service.  Boy was she wrong.  Boy was she special. 

Tomorrow will be five weeks since she’s been gone.  We have many moments when we forget.  I’ve been taking care of closing out her estate.  Canceling credit cards, notifying her mortgage company.  They all say “ok”.  I feel happy that the debt is forgiven and want to tell her she doesn’t need to worry about bills anymore.  Then I remember why I called them in the first place.  That is a very empty feeling.  After a conference with one of my boy’s teachers I think about how she will laugh when I tell her that the teacher appreciates his slightly sarcastic sense of humor.  Then I remember.  When the snow was falling yesterday on the fall leaves and the jack-o-lanterns, I wondered what she would say about the weather.  Then I remember.  I know that Matt probably has more moments like that than I.  And my sister in law has those moments.  And probably everyone else that knew her.  It is hard to let go of that connection.  Just today Brett said he missed Grandmama.  I know we all do.  I know the holidays will be hard and I wish I hadn’t been right in fearing Christmas last year would be her last.  I wish she was going to wrapping gifts on Christmas morning.  I wish she would be making cheese wafers in my kitchen and homemade cranberry sauce.  She won’t be, but I’ll be thinking about her.  I’ll be thinking of how special she was to so many people and how bright her smile always was and I’ll know that she’ll be with us each and every day.

October 31, 2011 - 5:27 am

Cherye Frederick Beautifully written, Kim. I’m so sorry it had to be written at all. Thinking of all of you…

October 31, 2011 - 12:00 pm

Liz So sorry for you and your family Kim. Very nice, touching post.

November 2, 2011 - 8:38 am

Margaret Beautiful, Kim. Thank you.

November 7, 2011 - 7:32 am

Silsila Arsalla Beautiffully written. Very touching.

Tony at 3 years old

I’ve known this little dude for about a year and a half now and we’ve done 3 photo sessions.  He just gets cuter and cuter with each one.  He has the most amazing curls as you’ll see in this sneak peek.  We met this week for a little play date in the park and explored a bridge, some big rocks, climbed a tree, and played cars on the ground.  It felt good to be shooting again after my little break and I’m excited to show these images we captured of Tony at 3 years old.

October 30, 2011 - 5:42 pm

Liz Villavicencio Yay, awesome, love these! Thanks so much Kim!

October 30, 2011 - 6:10 pm

Liz Villavicencio Awesome pictures! Thanks so much Kim!

Take 2 with baby Stephen

So the rain got us last Saturday and we had to postpone baby’s individual shots until Sunday. As I was driving out to their house-way out to their house-on Sunday morning, I wasn’t so sure that we were going to have a better morning.  The fog was so thick I could barely see the car in front of me.  But, wow, did the humidity and the fog prove to be the perfect combination for some great outdoor, country shots of baby boy!  An adorable prop from the basement made the shoot possible and absolutely perfect!  After the outdoor session we headed inside for some serious cuteness with big sis.   I hope these were worth the wait this week, Lizzie!  See you soon!!!

Family of Four

It felt good to be photographing again.  It has been awhile.  The summer was busy for us and I haven’t had the availability for sessions.  I don’t know when I will be able to resume a full schedule again, but I do know I loved being outside and with a very special family that I completely adore.  I had the privilege of being in the birth of this sweet baby boy back on August 1st, almost two years exactly after his big sister was born and I immediately formed a bond with the family at her birth.  I have so many words floating around in my head to describe just what this family means to me, but I’ll probably get all mushy and really, I know that the mama of these two beautiful children just wants to see images!  I want to start blogging again.  I miss it.  Maybe soon I’ll write about why I haven’t had time.  But, for now, here is Part 1 of “Family of Four”.  We focused on family images to begin the session.  Part 2 will be shot tomorrow and there better not be any unexpected thunder, lightening and rain to spoil our session like today!  We need to focus on the new arrival tomorrow!

Married!

Huge sneak peek of wedding images coming your way!  It was a glorious day last Saturday in Warrenton and I couldn’t be happier for this family.  More coming soon, but here we go in no particular order…

undefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefinedundefined

June 7, 2011 - 8:44 am

Tom and Sarah These are amazing Kim! Can’t wait to see all of them! Thank you so much!!!!

June 8, 2011 - 9:09 am

Marg Love these pics!

June 10, 2011 - 12:25 am

Michelle LeMonds Kim, these are awesome. You captured some great moments. Love them! Great Job!