It’s been a tough ten days here on the East Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and the challenges of recovery. We’re thinking of all who have been affected and are now bracing for what the Nor’easter will bring on top of already difficult circumstances.
We were personally blessed to have been spared any damage from Sandy but, as Philadelphians—and Anne a New Yorker with Jersey Shore in her blood—it’s been heartbreaking to learn of the devastation of nearby hard-hit areas, including the homes of some friends and family members. Thousands of you in our HTPYLife community live in the affected states and our hearts go out to you and your families. We hope you had minimal damage and will escape further hardship of power outages and other problems from this new storm. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all, and our deepest sympathies to those who’ve already suffered a terrible loss. We wish everyone safety, strength and comfort through this next storm and the continuing recovery process.
At our home we did prepare for the worst but were among the lucky who escaped with the best. Expecting a direct hit, we took all the requisite hurricane prep measures, along with the rest of the mid-Atlantic and northeast states—we pulled up rugs and stuff off the basement office floor; collected lanterns, candles, flashlights, batteries; made ice and stocked up on food and water; filled our gas tanks; recharged our electronics; and washed all our laundry, dishes, children and hair (more important for some of us than others)! We tried to get as much computer work as possible done. And then, along with everyone else, we waited to see what the storm would bring.
Schools and businesses were closed Monday in anticipation of danger as the winds picked up throughout the day. It howled unbelievably as we tried to fall asleep that night and when we woke up a few hours later it was over. We only got 2.5 of the 8-10 inches of predicted rain, sparing my office from flooding. Our immediate neighborhood had varying degrees of power interruption but, for the most part, we were miraculously spared. When the boys woke up we took a walk around our neighborhood to check out the damage and were shocked and relieved to see fewer than expected downed trees and mostly just thousands of smaller branches and twigs. With the innocence of a four year old, Teddy embraced it as a great opportunity to play with sticks.
(Caught between two holidays—oblivious to the world)
Photographs are important to us.
We all know the strong sentimental value of photos. Storm victims return to destroyed homes in hope of salvaging family photographs—often above all else. In a pre-photography world people saved memories in their minds and shared them through stories, drawings and paintings. But now that we can produce photographs we cling to them. They have great significance as a means of preserving cherished memories of people, places, things, occasions, and even feelings.
That is why we’re dedicated here to helping amateurs take the photographs of their dreams, and that is why you all dedicate time and energy to lovingly capture your treasured family moments for posterity.
Your photographs are important to us all.
Our How to Photograph Your Baby facebook page has grown to represent our How to Photograph Your Life community. Sadly, Hurricane Sandy is now a part of our lives. So we invite you all to share any storm-related photos you wish—and let us know how you were affected—in our Hurricane Sandy Facebook Album . The sharing of photos and stories can help us all with awareness, bonding and healing, and we can all come together to support those whose paths to recovery will be most difficult.
Too many extraordinary circumstances in recent months have kept us from communicating with you all as much we used to—and as we hope to soon again! But please know that we consider it a privilege to have attracted this wonderful community of people from around the world who are dedicated to preserving life’s precious—and, yes, sometimes painful—moments and memories. We look forward to continuing to all share these moments, and the resulting photographs, together.
Our very best wishes to all.
Nick and Anne
Guest Blog by Anne
In the “not-a-great-quality-photo-but-I-love-the-moment” category, here are our boys having a rare but necessary quiet moment. Alexander, who broke his arm two weeks ago, is trying to keep Teddy, who had a concussion on Friday, quietly entertained with a story. It was the first time I heard him reading to Teddy and his voice was so sweet. (Not to mention, I love their body language.)
So I’ve had my fill of hospitals and doctor’s appointments lately—not to mention my share of maternal guilt for not being able to curb my climbers. (In all fairness, Alexander actually just had an unlucky fall from an innocent swing off the monkey bars but Teddy, it turned out, had been climbing on the stair banister with his arm in a pretend sling to be like his brother!)
It was hard to stop the roughhousing just for Alexander’s arm but now that we have to keep Teddy resting with limited activity too, at least they have solidarity. (Plus Teddy’s refusal to change out of his “hopsital” jammies helps to remind them both he’s injured). I’m hoping we can manage to pull off a no running, no jumping, no climbing, no roughhousing and—dare I hope?—no fighting household for a while. But I’m sure it won’t be long before boys will be boys again.
In the meantime we’ll have this photo so I can remember that they are, in fact, capable of being quiet, still and sweet together—while awake!—when the situation really calls for it.
(guest blog by Leslie)
If I could, I would smile indulgently at the woman who thought that “oh sure, it will be no problem to blog everyday while at Showcase.” And I suspect I could have – but I had to have *some* sleep. So, here is a general recap of our three days in Minneapolis. If you are on the Facebook page, you may have seen the photos already.
On Wednesday, a contingent of family and friends worked hard on collating the brand new Nick Kelsh GOING MANUAL mini-manual. There were 100,000 cards printed and all needed to be in groups of 20! A valiant team effort made that happen.
Nick’s brother Joel and Anne set up the booth and put out all our products. By the way, Nick’s brother may be the nicest person I have ever met. He hosted the HTPYL team, made us a fantastic picnic dinner and just really went out of his way to make us feel at home. I wasn’t too surprised to discover fairly early into the expo on Thursday that he had his own fan contingent! Nick and Jennifer got the tech side of things rolling and I worked on some marketing copy.
The expo opened Thursday morning, we were there by 7:00 and there was a line of consultants waiting to get in by 8:30. Everyone was so excited to see all the new products that Creative Memories had in store. The day was a whirlwind of activity.
Nick’s cousin, Mike Hardwick, was non-stop, taking photos of Nick with consultants. Mike is a professional photographer as well.
Please excuse the fact that one shot I found of Mike and Nick is blurry. If you are in the Minneapolis area and need a photographer, definitely check out Mike’s website. His work is lovely.
And speaking of blurs, that is exactly what Thursday was. All the consultants who stopped by were as nice as could be. And what a range of places people were from! From Japan to Canada to New York State and every place in between.
We got to the convention center a little later on Friday morning- and did we ever rock and roll! Nick was on the convention floor teaching a class on Memory Manager and signing books while not teaching. We had Jenny and Kevin from the Creative Memories team working the sales floor with Anne, Jennifer and myself. People were excited to get a sneak peek at our upcoming projects and events. (The CLICK with NICK Kids Camera Club, photo safaris in Minneapolis and Philadelphia, an online Going Manual course and some new additions to the website. More info on all to come!)
Three o’clock came much too soon and it was time to pack up and be on our way. I finally got a chance to go over and look at the Back to the Future Delorean as we walked out!
Leslie’s Top Five List from Minneapolis and the Creative Memories Showcase
5. F. Scott Fitzgerald lived in Minneapolis, however we did not get to see his house.
4. The stereotypical Minnesota accent? Sometimes there is a reason for stereotypes. I love the ooo’s.
3. When planning for a convention, you will need less paper and more people than you think you will need.
2. The best place to eat in Minneapolis (or possibly the world) is Cafe Ena.
1. Creative Memories and their consultants must be some of the most clever, imaginative people around. The one glance I got at the Main Stage definitely showcased that, but so did everything else I saw. Congratulations, CM! See you all next year in Denver.
(guest post by Leslie)
Hi All! Anne and I left upstate NY at o’dark thirty this morning for a quick ride up to Albany Airport. It is altogether possible I just might have been seen running through the terminal yelling “no, please, wait, don’t shut the door.” Or not. Nick on the other hand was two hours early for his flight from Philly which was then delayed an hour. Oh well. His seat mate turned out to be Creative Memories consultant, Lauri Bayma flying in from VA for Showcase.
In any case, we all arrived safely, met up and caught a ride on the Creative Memories Consultant bus to the Convention Center. We had a quick lunch (corned beef sandwiches, soup and sweet potato fries if you are interested.) And on to work!
We’ve got a crew of Nick’s relatives and friends putting together the booth and all sorts of goodies while Anne and I are working on “computer stuff.”
To the left is a sneak peek of the expo door I just watched volunteers putting together.
Everyone we’ve met has been so lovely and welcoming. I can’t wait till tomorrow!
(guest post by Leslie)
As I write this, Nick is holed up in the Philly basement working on tips for the next few weeks, Anne is in upstate NY working on promotional material, Jennifer is juggling websites, work, kids and performances- but we are ALL getting ready to head out to Minneapolis on Wednesday for the 25th Annual Creative Memories Showcase! If you are heading there (and we know 4,000 of you are planning on going) stop by the Nick Kelsh booth in the vendors’ area. We will be there on Thursday all day and from noon – 3 on Friday. Nick will be doing Memory Manager Training on Friday.
We’ve been working on new products to unveil during Showcase (don’t worry, we will let everyone in on them soon!) Nick, Anne, Jennifer & Joel (Nick’s brother) are all Showcase veterans, but this is my first visit, so I thought I’d try to share some of my impressions of Showcase and Minneapolis as we get ready to go. Stay posted!