Author: Patty Nguyen

2017 Monthly Photo Project || July

It has been six months since my last project post. My dear friend, Laura, once told me I should skip a month and that it’d be good for me to not put so much pressure on myself. Well, Laura, I skipped six! That ought to make you proud. I didn’t mean to skip half a year’s worth of project entries. I was in a pretty dark place after Bailey got sick and passed away. Every month I’d think about posting, but I never got around to it. I’m forcing myself to do it this month so I can get back in the swing of things and focus on what brings me joy. 2017 has been a busy year thus far. A few items worth mentioning include buying a house, getting engaged, and adopting a rescue pup. If you are friends with me on social media, then you already know about Louie the Eskichoodle. I never thought I’d get another dog after Bailey, but this little guy found his way into my world and things haven’t …


My sweet Bailey bear, It has been four days since you passed away, and oh how my heart aches for you. My grief has grown and morphed into feelings that I cannot describe. There have been ups and downs, and the downs have been so low, so crippling. Each day I wake up to a new pain, and each day I wonder when it will subside. As the shock begins to fade, the crushing weight of reality knocks the breath out of me. I struggle to come to terms with the fact that you are really gone. It happened so quickly, and the memories of you running and jumping around are so fresh, so clear, that the stark contrast of the situation makes me break down in tears over and over again. Bailey, my love, I know you were sick, but you were doing so well. I keep wondering if your heart valve hadn’t ruptured, if you’d still be here. The two months since your prognosis filled me with such hope. You took incredibly well to the …

2017 Monthly Photo Project || January

I barely picked up my camera this month. Which is not so bad, considering I barely put it down the last couple of months. Ebbs and flows, ebbs and flows. As some of you may already know, my little Bailey bear was diagnosed with congestive heart failure this past week. It was unexpected and I’m in the process of getting him the best treatment possible. I need my little guy to stick around as long as he comfortably can. It gives me hope that he is doing well otherwise and remains in good spirits. Photo #1 Title:  Bailey Photo #2 Title:  Squinty Eyes This is the face he gives when he doesn’t want me to take pictures of him.

2016 Monthly Photo Project || December

Oh, 2016. I loved you, I hated you. You made me laugh, you made me cry. You threw me curve balls, but I don’t play baseball so that wasn’t very fair. You gave me hard choices, but in making hard decisions, I remembered my strength. I accomplished things that made me happy. And proud. I took my first Milky Way shot. I went to Iceland. I saw hundreds of dolphins swimming in the wild. I pushed my photographic boundaries. I finished my seventh year of teaching with an award from Yolo County. And I finally let go so I could move forward with my life. Oh, how free it feels! 2017, I hope you’re a good one. It’s onward and upward from here. Photo #1 Title:  New Addition Photo #2 Title: Baby Will Photo #3 Title: Landon Photo #4 Title:  The Dogs Were Better Behaved Than We Thought They Would Be 

2016 Monthly Photo Project || November

November is drawing to a close and December is already overwhelming me with a jam packed schedule. This month saw six photo sessions, a visit from my brother and his fiance, and another wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. It was great having an entire week off from work. But all that time off just reminded me how much I prefer not working. Until I went back to work and remembered it’s not as bad as I make it out to be in my head. Two and a half more weeks until winter break. Wheee! 😀 Photo #1 Title:  Sibling Love Kaitlyn and Ryan! ❤ Photo #2 Title:  Family We take family photos every time my brother and Sofie come home to visit. Bailey would rather not. 😛 Photo #3 Title: One of These Colors is Not Like the Other Obviously I didn’t get the “wear burgundy” memo.

2016 Monthly Photo Project || October

Usually October is the looongest month of the school year. This year it was the third week of October before I realized it was October. Today I looked at my calendar and said “Holy shit” out loud when I realized Thanksgiving is three weeks away. Egads! With a booked holiday photography season plus a bajillion other things to do, I feel a bit frazzled all of a sudden. So without further ado, here are this month’s photos. Photo #1 Title: Eyes This is my third session with Denise and her family. Janae’s eyes always make it into my favorite images from each gallery. Photo #2 Title: Big Siblings Soon Janae will be a big sister twice over, and Andrew will be a big brother. Perhaps we should call him Big Buddy from now on instead of just Buddy. 🙂  

Not All Pretty and Pink: Thoughts from a Breast Cancer Warrior

This is Amanda. Amanda was one of my students back in 2012. In November 2014, she found a lump the size of a marble in her right breast. Doctors told her she was too young. Only 21. Just a fibrocystic breast change, they said. Here, take some pain pills, there is nothing to be afraid of. On June 5, 2015, at 22  years of age, Amanda found out she had Stage 2 Grade 3 breast cancer. Invasive ductal carcinoma ER and PR positive HER2 negative. On September 9, 2015, she underwent a double mastectomy, no reconstruction. The images in this post were taken a month after her surgery. On May 5, 2016, Amanda completed her last chemotherapy session. She continues treatment with a monthly shot that will span the next five years. This is Amanda’s voice: “Your test results came in. It’s breast cancer.” I hung up the phone and broke down. My son was right there and tears started to fall. When you get diagnosed with cancer, you automatically think DEATH. What about Jayden? What about my family? You hear stories of …