Margarita was the winner of a mini motherhood session giveaway that I did clear back in January but due to sick kiddos and other interference's we just didn't get it done until June but that doesn't make this session any less amazing. Her home was stunning, her boys were styled in matching little outfits and she is flawless but its the love and the playfulness of these images that I adore the most.
I have been where she is. Just days away from having two babies and I say babies because was my oldest had just turned two and he still very much felt like a baby. You are so excited about adding a new member to your family but you are anxious as well. The mom guilt starts to set in and you wonder if you will have enough time for both, enough arms for both, and enough love for both. Well guess what Lidia. I have known you for five years and I promise you will find the time, your heart will explode with more love for both than you can imagine, and your arms will figure out how to juggle two. You will be an incredible mom to both boys. I hope "baby yet to be named" blesses your family soon. Thank you for letting me be part of your story.
Congratulations Lidia, Jonah, & Brooks!
We all have that dream job. Well mine is not glamorous but one day my dream is to own an self sustaining venue to host dinner parties and small events. I would provide the decor including florals and a glorious feast using vegetables from my garden. In addition, they would have a built in photographer and amazing images to take away from the night for memories. But until my dream becomes a reality, I will continue live for our end of the summer party. I always host it the same weekend as my husband's birthday and have so much fun putting everything together myself. Here are the images from this last weekend.
"My wish is that she stays strong and independent. Sometimes the world we live in can be harsh and I want her to push through all of that and know that it takes work to become what you want, but that it's worth it. "Read More
When I had Hutton, I was convinced you needed everything on that "Baby Must Have" list. Now I didn't purchase everything new but I did receive a lot of hand me downs which I was totally ok with and didn't turn anything away. Well guess what after Hutton was a year old, I got rid of half of that stuff even though I knew we would have more children. So when we were blessed with getting pregnant with Ellis, I had a pretty good idea of what I would use and what I probably wouldn't and at that point I took another load to the baby consignment store. I love using the consignment store for in-store credit because it has allowed me to pick up some really great things for Hutton and a few things for Ellis that were new to excellent condition in the last year without any cost out of my pocket.
Now that I've digressed, let's get back to the subject at hand. Ellis has been a super easy going baby and generally spends most of his time attached to my chest but there are a few essentials that I have loved the last month and thought I would share those for friends of mine that are first time moms or second time moms or third. My favorites have definitely changed the second time around.
1. Moses Basket: Ellis loves being outside and the moses basket has been so nice for bringing him out with me. He loves laying in the basket with a light blanket over the top and sun bathing. It has also been very useful in the house for moving him room to room when he is sleepy as I clean or hang out with Hutton. (Dislcosure: This is one of the things I picked up at the baby consignment store and would suggest keeping an eye out for)Here is a link to one similar to mine here:
2. Arms Reach Co-Sleeper : I know a lot of people like to have a bassinet but I love the co-sleeper for nursing purposes. It fits perfectly next to our bed makes transitioning him for sleeping and eating so seamless. I have used this with both boys and would highly recommend. It's also very mobile and makes it easy for me to move it around the house if I need to. Here is the link to mine: https://www.amazon.com/Arms-Reach-Concepts-Bedside-Bassinet/dp/B01ITQOV0Q/ref=sr_1_1_s_it?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1498756835&sr=1-1&keywords=arms+reach+co+sleeper
3. Puj Flyte Infant Bath: Ok guys this was a new item for me with Ellis but I LOVE IT!!! With Hutton I was always wrapping him in a towel to bathe him in the bathtub but this fits perfectly in our sink. Here is the link to order yours:
4. Cat and Jack Sleepers: These are hands down my favorite pajama option for one simple reason. They have an inverted zipper that zips from bottom up which makes it perfect for pulling out their bottom half when changing a newborn in the middle of the night.
5. Moby Wrap: With Hutton, I used a Baby Bjorn carrier from the beginning but this time I wanted to try a wrap and I'm so glad we have. Ellis has been to farmer's markets, a wine social, and Hoopfest already because of the moby wrap. It allows me to wear him in a way that he is visible but not exposed to the public so that everyone can touch him and it's perfect. Better yet I have figured out how to breastfeed in the wrap which makes it even better.
If you have any questions about other products or baby items you are considering purchasing, I would be happy to give you my advice or opinion. Enjoy!
In the days leading up to Ellis's birth I had this sudden feeling of guilt come over me. I couldn't remember the details of Hutton's birth. I could remember brief moments like my doctor holding me as they administered the epidural, the tears that rushed from my eyes as they held Hutton over the drape so I could see his beautiful face, and the euphoria that washed over me as I held him skin to skin but the whole story is missing. I knew that I needed to write down Ellis's birth story within the first week so that I would be able to look back and remember it as whole not just small snippets of this life changing miracle.
As soon as the sun peeked through the bedroom window the morning of May 31st, my eyes popped open. It was only 4:30 am but the excitement of welcoming our second child into the world was not going to let me sleep any longer. I laid there in silence cuddling Hutton and nuzzling him, trying not to wake him but knowing this would be the last time I woke up as a mommy of one. I was also trying to reassure myself that he knew how much I loved him even though my time was about to be divided by what he would probably consider the worst thing to happen to him in his adolescent life.
Eventually we all made our way out of bed. Mom and Grandma Nancy had arrived the night before and were busy being squirrels in the kitchen as always. I was furious at myself for not having gotten out of bed at midnight to chug some water knowing that my c-section was at noon and I was already so thirsty. The smell of fresh coffee wasn't helping. Our check in time wasn't until 10:30 so we definitely had lots of time to just hang out with Hutton before we needed to leave for the hospital.
Hutton fell asleep 30 minutes before we needed to leave for the hospital so I got one last cuddle sesh in.
We checked into the Sacred Heart Labor and Delivery floor and they asked us to have a seat in the waiting room and someone would come get us shortly. I had Chris take one last cell phone pic of me pregnant and put it out on social media for everyone to guess the weight. I think this was helping to calm my nerves because for some reason I got extremely nervous as we entered the hospital even though I knew what the process was going to be.
After five minutes or so, a sweet nurse named Crystal came and escorted us back to the triage room to get prepped for my c-section. She gave me wonderful drafty hospital gown and began my IV's where I then had to pee approximately 100 times as a result of all the liquids they pumped into me. With about 10 minutes to go-time, another nurse came in to let us know that we might be on hold as an emergency case had just come in and they might need the OR. I immediately had deja vu as Hutton's c-section had been bumped by an emergency failed home birth and we were delayed about an hour. I told Chris to text my mom and let her know we may be delayed and as soon as he texted her, they came in to say that we were going now while could get in.
I felt like I need to run into the OR. I hopped up on the table and they immediately began prepping me. Cord and monitors were being hooked up and the anesthesiologist began her work on getting my block in. The next few moments were the worst part of the next few days. The pain of a c-section is nothing to me in comparison to the pain of the anesthesiologist hitting a nerve in my back as she tried to insert the epidural but soon it was over and the numbing sensation began. My doctor who is an amazing saint by the way came in, followed by my husband and the cutting began.
I can't even begin to describe the sensations you feel during a c-section. You are numb but you are not without feeling. It feels as if your skin is being pulled and rubbed with intensity but its not painful. In less than five minutes, Dr. Smetana told Chris to stand up that she was going to be pulling out baby E right now. My heart was about to burst. I couldn't contain my the feeling of wanting to jump off the table to see my baby boy. As she pulled him out he made a few whimpers but there was no real loud cries. He had swallowed some of the amniotic fluid and was having trouble getting it out of his lungs. The NICU nurses stepped in and started rubbing him and turning him on his stomach to get him to expel the liquid. This seemed to go on for what felt like forever in my world as I lay there still feeling them working on me. After a few minutes of him continuing to grunt but not cry out loud, they began applying strong pats to his back using the mask from a CPAP machine. This method was still not working and that was the moment that my heart started physically hurting as the nurse said they were going to have to take him to the NICU.
I had wanted to do immediate skin to skin but this was not possible now. They brought him over and let me kiss him and then wheeled him off to the NICU with Chris following. In that moment, I needed more oxygen. I felt as if an elephant was sitting on my chest. The pressure I felt continued to grow as my doctor finished sewing me up. What kept me sane on the table was the small talk going on. If it were not from that, I think I would have broken down. As they wheeled me back to the recovery room, we passed the NICU nurse in the hall and she said they would be hopefully bringing my baby down soon that he was doing fine and his oxygen levels were back to normal.
As I laid in recovery, I prayed for my baby. I prayed that they would be returning him to me soon as I needed to snuggle him right away. After about ten minutes, the nurse came to the curtain with Chris and Ellis in tow. Immediately the elephant left my chest and I couldn't wait to replace it with my sweet babe. They sat me up and the next few minutes are a total blur as I just sat there soaking in my second child in all his perfectness.
Chris went and got Hutton from the waiting room and we introduced them and Hutton was so sweet to his new baby. My mom came in and my grandma, one at a time until they said it was time to move me to my room.
Once in my room, I just sat and looked at him. I had just been through one of the most exciting and terrifying moments as a mother. I thanked God for my healthy baby and spent the rest of the day just soaking him in.
Oh this one took me back to those first few weeks of not getting any sleep, wondering if you are doing it right, and just pure love. Matt and Brittany welcomed Mister Samuel James about 12 days before I had the pleasure of meeting him. He is perfect and he loves to eat! We spent a few hours just hanging out and talking and me reassuring them that it gets easier and in between, I captured these cherished moments for them. Congratulations again!
We live in a day and age where our life revolves around social media. You can protest that all you want but it's true for my generation. As I move into 2017, I'm taking a step back from all social media and focusing more on building in person relationships not only in my personal life but with my business as well. I want to meet up and have coffee or just go for a walk with you (well maybe not right now, it's 8 degrees outside). I will regularly be posting to the blog with images from our life and client sessions for the time being. I don't know when I will go back to social media but I feel that this is important in my life right now. If you need to contact me, I urge you to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or here through my website.
Cheers to 2017!
When I photographed this tiny little bean for her newborn session I was afraid I was going to break her. She weighed a whopping 5 pounds. See below. But she is growing and looks so cute with all her chunk now. I'm so glad her mama is going to let me photograph her every 3 months and can't wait to see her grow into a beautiful young women.
So next time I see you or you see a friend and they apologize to you for something silly, do me a favor. Tell them "It's ok". Tell them "I don't care". Give them a hug and tell they they are beautiful. Life is messy and it's okay to embrace it.Read More
I'm passionate about family traditions especially around the holidays. I still make Christmas candy every year for my neighbors and expect to get to pajamas from my mom on Christmas eve, preferably one piece jammies. I don't know many people who don't enjoy family traditions so this year I decided to start another tradition for my family and hopefully for you!
This year for Holiday Mini Sessions, I am partnering with PAPA Tom's Christmas Tree Farm in Otis Orchards, WA. Tom and his wife Lynne are dedicated to family traditions just as much as I am and we are hoping to start your Christmas tree cutting tradition this year as a whole family event complete with picking out your own tree, cutting it in the field, and sitting around a warm campfire as you make memories with your children or brothers or sisters or parents or grandparents, whoever you would like to bring.
There will be two dates to choose from: November 19th or December 3rd. If you choose the 19th, you will be able to tag a tree and pick up after Thanksgiving but those that choose December 3rd will be able to purchase a tree that day and take it home with them. If you would like to participate this year, please email me the date and whether you prefer a morning or afternoon session.