House Shopping – in Kansas City

Well, it looks like this really is happening – we are #movintokansas!  Our house here in Vienna is officially on the market – my five year old was pretty excited about the new sign ;)  And my husband and I took another trip out to Kansas City last weekend to look at neighborhoods, schools and houses.  He will be out there soon for his job while the boys and I stay here until school is out, but we wanted to get the housing search started.

We saw many wonderful things – and we are getting more and more excited about this move as we learn about our great new city. Of course I had to post pictures to instagram throughout the weekend as we toured around… I will spare you the entire batch, but thought I would share the highlights – from our beautiful hotel view of downtown Kansas City to the gorgeous old Spanish style church near the Plaza.  I don’t think we will end up living in this beautiful neighborhood, but I am quite sure we will visit the area often – such an amazing area full of art, museums and stunning architecture.

Then we were off to look at houses.  I was laughing so hard our realtor thought I was crazy after I posted the bathtub picture to instagram.  Not only did my fellow photographer friends agree that the old tub was beautiful and would make a great spot for fun bubble bath photos of the little ones, but they also cheered me on for trying to choose a house based on its potential for great photographs ;)  We didn’t choose this house, but I now have a stand alone tub on my wish list because of it!

And when you look at 20 houses in three days, it is safe to say you are going to find some that just don’t work for you.  The house where this interesting golden swan lives is quite lovely, but, um, lovely for someone else ;)

And then there was Winstead’s.  We have a tradition in the Stengel family, we go out to breakfast at a little locally owned diner for waffles and whip cream two or three Saturdays a month.  The waitresses know us, we know them, it is our family spot.  The restaurant has a name, but to us it is only known as “the diner”.  My oldest son recently said he wished we could put the diner on a truck and move it with us to Kansas City.  We are going to miss the diner.  But when I saw Winstead’s I knew we had to give it a try and tell the boys about it – so that last photo, it was all for my boys (those greasy onion rings were for them too ;)  But it also represents all the new that is waiting for us to discover.  We may not be able to take the diner with us, but I am thankful for all the ‘new’ we are going to discover and make our own in our new home – Kansas City.


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Bittersweet News…

I keep calling friends and saying I have big news – and I keep getting big shrieks of joy, to which I have to quickly reply “no, no, we are not having another baby!”.  “Oh,” goes the response, “well, then what?”

The “what” is that we are moving…to Kansas!  My husband has accepted a wonderful new job with UMB Bank in Kansas City and we will be moving the family to the midwest this summer. “Kansas?!?” is the first response.  Yes, Kansas.  No, we don’t have family right in Kansas City, but we will be a little closer to most of our family – who are spread from California to Oklahoma to Kentucky.  But the big reason for the move is to be with our own little family just a little more.  My husband works long hours here in Northern Virginia/Washington DC, commutes in nutty traffic and travels extensively.  My boys are 3 and 5 and they need to see Daddy a whole lot more than they do.  So we have been looking to move to a smaller community for a while.  We have looked at a lot of jobs in a lot of places and this one, well, it fit.

So we are really excited about this adventure for our family…but the bittersweet part – we have to leave our friends, neighbors, clients and collegues here.  That part is hard.  Really hard.  I have lived here for 15 years, met my husband here, my babies were born here, we love our school family, our neighborhood, our home.  And then there is all of you – the most amazing clients I could ask for.

I have to admit, when I first realized this was going to happen, that it was all really a go, I went into my studio and cried.  I have worked hard to build Renee Stengel Photography, and have been rewarded with kind, generous, loving clients who are a dream to work with and for.  I will miss you all dearly.  I sincerely wish I could call each of you one by one to tell you this news.  I keep thinking about missing this family’s fall pictures, or that newborn’s first birthday cake smash – I love watching my clients grow and it is hard to know that I will not be able to continue documenting those precious moments for you.

It has been hard turning down sessions during this transitional period where we didn’t know what was going to happen – especially when I couldn’t explain why – but I thank you all for your understanding.  I have a couple sessions left on the schedule before I leave and will be sharing those along the way, but I will not be taking on any new sessions at this time.

Thank you for letting me share my bittersweet news with you all, thank you for being a part of our lives, thank you for being a part of Renee Stengel Photography.


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Welcome Baby Hunter!

I met this big boy (10 pounds 3 oz!) a couple weeks ago and what a cutie he was.  He was so alert and had such beautiful expressions!!  Turns out he wasn’t feeling so well and that may have been why he just didn’t want to sleep for us (poor little guy!) BUT, he was so content and sweet during our time together…who could resist such sweet pouts, smiles and yawns?!?

And big sister – oh my goodness what a doll!  With those big brown eyes…Watch out boys!! She was a little shy and not too sure about the camera, but once daddy started sweet talking his little girl her little face just lit up.  I loved catching her sideways glance – pretty sure you can tell where Daddy was standing ;)

Thank you for coming to visit me little one…

Thank you ZOE AND OLIVER for the darling brown hat and to WOODSY WONDERS for the beautiful hand made barn wood crate.

PS I would love to hear your feedback!  If 15 of Baby H’s friends and family make comments on this blog post and 15 become new fans on the studio FACEBOOK PAGE (the same person can do both if they would like – just leave a comment on the FB page that you are a new fan!) I will gift Mom and Dad an extra 8×10 print as a thank you gift.

Thanks for visiting my blog…

Chelsea Lietz - You did a really good job with a wide awake baby! I know how challenging those are…

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