I'm a Maine based photographer, specializing in weddings and lifestyle portraiture. I serve all of New England and beyond as no event is ever too far.

March 2011 Recap : Maine Wedding Lifestyle Photographer



Life got really, real.

It’s hard for me to remember the beginning.  I know I had found this great groove of work, play and taking time to take care of me.  This is a delicate balance that isn’t always possible in the busy season so I cherish this time of year.  I was spending a lot of time with my girlfriends and I had even said to my best friend that I felt as if I was rounding up the troops for something.

On a quiet Sunday afternoon, we took over Empire Dine and Dance in Portland, Maine and I had the pleasure of photographing a totally kick ass rock star, Holly Nunan.

Styled by Colleen Griffin.

On the blog : A bridal session with one of my favorite brides, Vanessa.  Spring and Summer in Maine, a little taste of what’s under all that white stuff.  A summer family photography session on the beach in Wells, Maine of the Nicholson and Johnson family.

What I’ve found : Gobs of gorgeous jewelery on Catbird.   Tree Cake Stand.  If you aren’t acquainted with my obsession with white birch, welcome.  This isn’t white birch yet it caught my eye for a unique way to incorporate nature into your wedding decor.

Speaking of cake, over on Aisle Candy, Katie shares the pure sweetness of Maggie Austin Cake.  Fine art!

The state of Maine and I share a birthday month.  Happy Birthday Maine! Speaking of Maine, GO NORTH!

A song that kept me company this month is Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine.

Well, that something that I was rounding the troops for arrived at 4:07pm on Monday, March 21st.  The night before my 31st birthday.

My Mom had been sick with the flu for eleven weeks and she had a 2pm follow up doctor’s appointment that day.  I can’t think of any times my Mom has been sick during my life so this was odd.  She just wasn’t fighting this cold.  Little did we know.  I called my parents at 4pm on the 21st to check in after their appointment and I received no answer.  I remember putting the phone down thinking . . . now, that’s weird.

At 4:07pm my father called me and said, “Listen to me, I need to talk fast.  You Mother is being taken to the hospital.  She’s having kidney failure.”  I asked, “Why?  How?”  He didn’t know and he told me he’d call me tomorrow and not to come because the roads were bad.  I hung up and called two of my best friends.  What do I do?  I go.  So, my superhero friend, Colleen and I headed north to Bangor in a snow storm.  The drive, not knowing was all a living nightmare.

Somehow we arrived to the hospital before my parents.  It took them a little over 4 hours to get from Jackman to Bangor in the storm.  They had no idea that I would be there and THANK GOD I was.  We almost lost my Mom.  Her kidney’s had failed and her blood pressure was through the roof.  I spent five very scary days at EMMC in Bangor by my Mom’s side with my Dad.  I learned so much about the health care system, hospitals and those who dedicate their lives to helping people.  With the support of the team of EMMC staff and Momma Mullen’s strength, she pulled through.  Her levels were really off.  I was learning words and praying for her creatinine, BUN, phosphate, potassium, hemoglobin levels to go in the right direction.  She was pumped with fluids, had a blood transfusion and a biopsy.  She was put on more drugs than I’ve ever seen in my life.  The doctor said, she was at deaths door.

Luckily, for her she has not been put on dialysis.  After ten days, she was released from the hospital and told she was not out of the woods.  We got her home and have kept her in bed ever since.  Today, I’m very proud to say that she spent a good hour out on the deck, Sunday morning with me and my Dad soaking in the warm spring air.

We’re seeing the doctor again this week to find out what road we’re going down.  She has been diagnosed with a very rare auto-immune disease.  1 in 50,000 people get this and there is no explanation for it.  This is the reason why she could not fight the flu.  Her immune is attacking her body.  She began chemo a week ago and so far, the plan is to be on this medication for the next two years.  We’re spending a lot of time researching, planning and RESTING.

I have been washed over with the power of friendship during this crazy, scary time.  My troops blew me away with their kindness, thoughtfulness and support this month.  I’m well aware at how fast life can change and I have put on my seat belt and pulled it tight for this transition.  I will be spending as much time with my Mom as possible.  SO, hello North Woods, we’re going to be great buddies.

Confession : I have come as close as I possible can to what it feels like to be a parent.  Caring for my Mom and helping take care of life for her and my Dad has been consuming.  I’m in awe of what my Mom has done for us, what my Dad does for our family and bow to you Mom’s and Dad’s.  You have to hold on tight to this life and be very, very brave.

Next month, I will be typing to you with only GOOD news about my Mom’s health and a tan!

xoxo . . .

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Welcome and thank you for taking the time to visit the Melissa Mullen Photography blog. I'm a Maine based photographer, specializing in weddings and lifestyle portraiture. I serve all of New England and beyond as no event is ever too far. Please feel free to take a look around and introduce yourself by leaving a comment of affection at the bottom of any of the posts. Or drop me a note as I would love to hear from you.

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