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Fresh Brewed Friday – My weekly “coffee date” with you all

Happenings: Photographed the awesome people at Mint Salon in Green Bay and all the beautiful looks they created for their “A Mint Wedding” fashion show. Caroline, the owner, was so fun to work with and everyone looked amazing!

I had a wonderful coffee date with my lovely friend, Kandace, at Luna Coffeehouse. Their chai latte and banana bread was exactly what I needed.

Kyle and I celebrated the Packers all day long on Sunday by making Lemon Cupcakes from scratch and drinking Bloody Marys. Sadly, the Packers lost but to lift our spirits we had some of our good friends over for a game of Cards Against Humanity.

On Tuesday, I spent time with some fantastic women! We had a Swap & Swoon party where everyone brings the clothes they don’t wear anymore and other people can take them home to add to their closet. It’s like a mini-rummage sale. It was a wonderful night full of wine, great conversations, and making new friends. Plus I got this really cute J.Crew dress that I cannot wait to wear!

I’ve been working on my website daily, updating with all the new images from last year. Going through each image is like reliving those beautiful moments.

Andrea, the lovely owner of ablush weddings + events, met me for coffee and we discussed everything weddings and planning. I’m so happy she reached out to me and I’m excited to see her business grow. She is so sweet and sent me this awesome coffee mug!

New Favorite: This beautiful new cabinet that I found at Twice as Nice. I absolutely love it!! Twice As Nice is an amazing consignment shop full of goodies and antique treasures. For all my Green Bay friends – check it out! Tell them Shaunae sent you. (:

Thankful: Well our 2014-2015 football season in Green Bay has come to end. Even though it’s over, I’m happy that I had the chance to experience another great year cheering for my favorite team, The Packers. This year was great – I went to four home games and even when I was not at Lambeau Field, I was celebrating our games with my friends and family! Until next year…Go Pack Go!

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In this digital age, it’s more and more common that if you hire a photographer you’ll receive your photos on a disc, USB or an online gallery. It’s fast and convenient and I completely understand the benefits of having your photos right there. With my sessions, I offer an online gallery and a keepsake disc of all the images. But instead of just haphazardly throwing those images on any blank DVD and snapping it shut in a jewel case, I wanted my clients to have more. They deserve more. These are not just photos, these are their memories captured in time. I wanted to give them a piece they could pass down for generations. Something they could physically hold in their hands and feel. I present to you, the Linen Disc Case.

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Handcrafted by the amazing Cypress Fine-Art Albums, these linen cases have a gorgeous design that is unparallelled. Crafted with elegant Japanese Bookbinding Fabrics and a Swiss Ribbon accents, these pieces of art look beautiful on display or stored upon your bookshelf.

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They are completely customized to fit you. My clients can choose from 20 different choices of fabrics and ribbons to make their Case one-of-a-kind. One of my favorite combinations is the Ivory Brocade fabric with the Sage colored Swiss Ribbon.

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Inside each case is a lovely 3.5×5 matted photo from our session on one side and their disc snugly fitted in the other.

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I strongly believe in the power of print. Your images should never just sit on the computer, they deserved to be printed and held. As a special treat, I pick 3 – 5 of my favorite images and print them as 4x5s. I tuck them safely under the silky Swiss Ribbon before I gift wrap the Case for my clients.

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These Linen Cases are truly a work of art and will add so much beauty to your home and your life.

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You may not know this about me, but I absolutely LOVE flowers! Love, Love, Love them! I always try to have fresh flowers in my house; it brightens up my day. So it’s no surprise that I love the amazing florists Northeast Wisconsin has to offer. The first florist I’m featuring for Vendor Love is the sweet and loveable Amy Sohrweide, owner of Divine Nature.

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When did you start your business?
I started Divine Nature in June of 2000. My first official wedding was my cousin’s. I did 6 weddings my first year and about 6 times that many the next.

What interested you about your craft? Why start your own business?
I have been working with flowers in one way or another ever since my first job in high school at Copp’s, in the floral department. From there I worked at several different flower shops and had a wide variety of floral experiences. I realized that my favorite part of the floral industry was event work, specifically, weddings. I liked the process of seeing a wedding through from start to finish and then moving on to the next wedding.

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What kind of schooling/training have you had?
I have a degree in Interior Design. I fell in love with flowers and changed my emphasis after working my previous jobs.

How would you describe your style?
Being a wedding/event florist I’m typically designing for the bride or client. This is something that makes my job fun and keeps it interesting. Everyone has a different style or theme to their event and wants to be unique, so I never get bored! If I was making an arrangement for myself, it would likely have large blooms like hydrangea, peonies, dahlias, and roses and would be soft, round and compact.

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What are some of your unique offerings?
Something unique about Divine Nature is that I work with a bride from the initial contact to the first consultation, ordering the flowers, designing and delivering them. My name is on every bouquet, boutonniere and corsage that goes out and I put my best into each and every one of them. I do have 2 part time employees to help with delivery and set up…and of course my husband who is very supportive of the fact that I work every weekend all summer long! Divine Nature is very much a family business and I enlist help from my friends and family for large events, but I’m the person that the bride works with from start to finish.

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Favorite part of weddings (or the wedding planning process?)
My favorite part of a wedding is when I get to deliver the bouquet to the bride. I get to see behind the scenes of the wedding. I get to see the smiles, the nervous laughs, and the intimate moments between a bride and her mother and closest friends. I love the look on her face when she sees her bouquet for the first time. Sometimes she smiles, sometimes she hugs me, sometimes she cries (tears of joy, of course!)

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Any Helpful Tips for Brides searching for their florist?
– It’s so important for you to feel comfortable with your florist or any other wedding vendor
– Choose the person who can make the beautiful arrangements that match your style/décor
– Choose someone that you feel comfortable sharing your likes and dislikes with. You will be meeting and discussing flowers, typically, for the better part of a year, so make sure you like the person you are working with!
– Go with a florist that you have heard good things about from your friends and family
– If you aren’t sure they are “the one”, check around. Meet with another florist to decide which personality best fits with yours.

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What is in store for Divine Nature’s future?
In the immediate future, I do not see major changes. I like the small, manageable business that I have. It allows me to be home with my kids and/or help out at their school early in the week and then work on the weekends when my husband is home to be with the kids. It is a great fit for our family.

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Tell us more about Amy!
– I am married to a wonderful, supportive husband, Matt, for 11 years.
– We have 3 awesome kids, Ruth, Adelle, & Theodore. (Ruthie, Addie, & Teddy)
– My husband and I teach Children’s Church to 1st -5th graders nearly every Sunday.
– I love coffee and hanging out with friends.
– I love rummaging and shopping for good bargains and treasures.

Details about your business:
Website: www.divinenatureflowers.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Divine-Nature/117011978313981
Phone: 920-863-2291
Hours: By appointment

I’ve worked with Amy in the past for a couple weddings and we even had our booths next to each other during a 2012 wedding show. She is sweet, kind, and very talented. Here are some of her bouquets she created for brides in the past.

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Kinslee Ann was born December 22 at 2:16pm, weighing 7lbs 4oz and 19.25 inches long! I had the privilege of meeting her when she was only ten days old and already she was trying to move around. She has a beautiful head of hair and the sweetest eyes ever.

I met with the entire Meyer family on New Year’s Day for our session. We used this lovely old chair and pearls during our shoot that belonged to little Kinslee’s great grandmother. Harper, Kinslee’s older sister, joined us for a couple photos with her baby sister. She was so cute and would kiss Kinslee on her forehead or feet every couple seconds. When Harper was not in the photos, she would sit on the couch and I could hear her whispering the most adorable things, including “Go Pack Go.”

I loved making these photos. To me, it’s what newborn photography is all about. Simple, sweet, and completely personal. We focused on the love that surrounds a newborn and captured it in the most beautiful way possible.

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View all of little Kinslee’s photos via her PASS Gallery

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My mother is one of the most amazing people I know. She is unbelievably sweet and kind to everyone that she meets. She has loved and guided me, unconditionally, since I was born and I am beyond grateful to have her in my life. If you know her, you know her laugh is contagious and even at the age of 52, she can still cartwheel like a pro. Her love for life and happy spirit is inspiring. So when she sat me down, two weeks before Christmas, to tell me the doctors had found something during her routine colonoscopy, I didn’t want to believe her.

They found cancer.

Even writing this now is still hard to wrap my head around. As a family, we were already helping my aunt Joan (who is fighting stage four extrauterine cancer) and it was crazy to think that now my mom has cancer as well. Two of the most important women in my life, two of the most wonderful women in the world…have cancer.

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My mom shared this terrible news with me in the most calm way possible. I remember hearing her sweet voice as the room started to spin and tears rolled down my face. “They found something. They found cancerous cells in a polyp. I will need surgery soon to remove parts of my colon and we don’t know how bad it’s going to be.” So as a family, we did everything we could to be as ready as possible for what came next. We kept it private, not knowing what else we would find out. It’s not until now that I’m sharing our story.

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Five days into 2015, my mother had her surgery. After much pacing and anticipating in the waiting room, we found out everything went as planned. The next step would be to wait for the biopsy results to see in the cancer had spread to other regions of her body. They brought her to her recovery room where she would spend the next week healing. I spent that entire week in the hospital with her. I sat my her side and helped in anyway I could, it was the least I could do for the woman that raised me and cared for me my entire life. Her strength exuded in everything she did and even when she was in pain, she still managed to smile and strike up conversations with all the nurses. On Friday, after being in the hospital for five days, we received the amazing news that the cancer was only in the polyp and nowhere else!! He shared with us that she would not have to undergo radiation or chemo but her surgery recovery would take a couple of months. Honestly, all I heard was “cancer-free” and I started dancing for joy!!

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The reason we are sharing this with is not for support or sympathy. It’s a wake-up call. My mother is wonderful and kind to everyone. And yet this still happened. She is only 52 years old, incredibly healthy, eats right and exercises daily. Yet this still happened. Cancer can happen to anyone. The doctors said her tumor had been growing for a couple years. If she would have gone in for a colonoscopy at 50 like they suggested they might have been able to take it out without surgery. A routine colonoscopy saved my mom’s life and prevented her cancer from getting a lot worse. Please, I beg you all to make time to get routine physicals, colonoscopies, mammograms or prostate exams. It could save you from so much more in the end.

It is so incredibly important to show the ones you love that you care about them. I would have never have thought this would happen to my mother. Do not take your loved ones for granted. Hold them tight, help them out and tell them every day how much you love them. We only have this one life to live. Let’s fill our lives with joy and love and kindness! Let’s appreciate all the beauty that surrounds us. Let’s be thankful for our blessings. Complain less and appreciate more. And above all else, surround yourself with those you love and selflessly, do whatever you can to be there for them.

Even though my mother is in recovery now, she took the time to prepare this beautiful message:

“Hearing the words colonrectal cancer, tumor and resection are shocking and overwhelming. You prepare yourself for surgery day and then you must surrender yourself physically to others. I am very grateful to the entire staff at St. Vincent’s Hospital, who aren’t just going to work, but who really are giving comfort and care. Valet parkers and transport personnel who provide you with a kind word as they take care of your vehicle. Admissions staff, who after they received my information, personally took me to my next stop. Pre-op nursing staff who prepare you physically and are positive and upbeat. Pastoral care, whose gentleness and years of wisdom bring ease. Post-op recovery personnel who can sort through your pain ramblings and move you to your room. The fast-acting, knowledgeable, firm yet always kind nursing personnel who seek answers for you and deal with the many issues you experience. The cleaning staff and food service people, always in motion, still find time to chat with you and remind you there is a world outside your tiny hospital room and more to life than the uncomfortable bed designed to create more pain you didn’t know you had. The OR staff, the anesthesiology staff and surgical team – I give thanks for their wisdom, knowledge, and steady hands. And to those who selflessly donate blood – as a recipient of it, I give my heartfelt thanks. Please forgive me for those I have forgotten. Let’s blame that on the narcotics… (:

A personal thank you to friends and family who have given their support and prayers to us. For all those who where at my side I can never repay your kindness. For all those who stepped in to care for my sister, Joan, who is receiving hospice care for cancer in my home, I was able to rest knowing that you had her care covered. And I know they would say it’s no problem, but Sara and Shaunae, you are truly a blessing.

It’s a New Year and a New Beginning. You’ve heard it all before. Do we really believe that it truly is a new beginning and use that message to live life to the fullest? It’s not a saying to me anymore, I am truly going to accept this new year as the gift I know it is. I’m not going to be afraid or take this for granted.

Please find a healthcare provider, set up an appointment, and get checked. A physical, a colonoscopy, a mammogram, a prostate exam – these simple tests can make all the difference in the world. It is so easy to set these up. Stay in the know of your body. Problems found early can be dealt with and improve the outcome. My family and I have a way to go on this recovery road, but we are thankful that I am still moving forward with them.”

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  • K Vorass

    This was a really beautiful post. It puts a lot of things into focus. Makes you stop to think about what you want to get out of life while on this earth. Enjoy your loved ones every minute possible.ReplyCancel

  • Alicia

    Thanks for sharing this Shaunae, and god bless you all. Cancer is a scary, awful thing that takes too many people too soon. I am glad to hear that your mother is a survivor!ReplyCancel

  • Katie

    Shaunae — May God continue to bless you and your family — I will keep you all my prayers. Thank you for sharing this with us. It so super sucks that bad things happen to good people, and then we just have to deal… it’s a shame that it takes such unfortunate events in life for us to realize how precious this life really is.

    I had a similar experience this December — my uncle (after his wife badgered him enough) went in for his first routine physical ever (he’s in his 60’s) and a very long story short, on 12/30 he had his prostate removed. He had a very aggressive form of prostate cancer and had he not gone in, by this time next year, his body would have been full of cancer.

    God works in mysterious ways and although we don’t always understand it, we have to have faith in His plan. May the rest of 2015 be happy & healthy, hugs!!ReplyCancel

  • Such a beautiful message, and mother!! So happy this went as you prayed it would and she is cancer free! Sending you all my best! XOReplyCancel