I was recently asked, "What does being a mom mean to you?"
It sounds pretty straightforward, but the words did not immediately come to me. My first inclination was something sarcastic, like "being a referee who shuttles children around while running on caffeine." But really, it's this beautiful gift that is continually changing. It seems that way to me at least. Let's be honest, it is certainly not always sunshine and rainbows, but looking back on old photographs and videos, or even reflecting a little at the end of each day, I really just feel so lucky to have the opportunity to be a mother. My kids are growing up and as that happens my role in their lives continues to change. First, I was the mommy who nourished and nurtured my babies. I held them, fed them, rocked them, stared at them for hours. As they are growing, my role is evolving into something a little different, but still wonderful. I have these inquisitive little seekers of information, always asking questions and trying to figure out the world for themselves. I do not always have the answers, but (with the help of Google) we learn together. They now hold my hand, as we walk together. The feed themselves and are learning to clean up after themselves. We do travel to a lot of activities and there is arguing. Sometimes I stay up too late so I'm tired. But our conversations are interesting and laughs are plentiful. We are together and that is what matters.
To me, motherhood is a journey. I believe we have been blessed with this opportunity to love on and raise good and kind humans who can make a positive impact in the world. We’re all doing it differently and that’s ok. As mothers, we are not perfect and realizing this is freeing. We can allow ourselves a little grace and know we will not always do everything correctly. We are all doing our best and from a place of love.
These images were made at The Magically Mundane Workshop with Daphne Mae Photography. I flew from Orlando, FL for a weekend full of creativity and learning in SausiIito, CA. It was such an inspiring experience with some of the sweetest families and very talented photographers turned friends. I am truly so grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of it.
"A good friend knows all your best stories, but a best friend has lived them with you."
It is true. Kristin has been there for all of it! I struggled with what to write here because there is really so much. I could have gone in so many directions or I could have written for days.
I decided to keep it light..
We met in MWA, or the gifted program, in middle school. Camping in the Everglades, science fair projects, and sleepovers brought us together but we really became close when we were roommates at University of Florida. It all started in a dorm called Hall '95. It's probably not even there any more which is crazy to think! There are too many great memories to share from working at Ballyhoo to hanging out at Campus Club and The Swamp. Somehow we made it back from studying abroad in Europe alive and finished up our Senior year in Gainesville. There have been new jobs, moving around the country, weddings and babies and we still speak constantly, often when I have 3 kids arguing in the background and she is late to her daughter's dance practice. I really don't know what I'd do without her in my life!
When I drove my kids down from Orlando to Bonita Springs, FL for a few days over Spring Break, I took these photos of my beautiful best friend with her gorgeous daughters. I love these three girls so much!! We were up at the crack, but it was so worth it! Here are a few of my many favs!!
This beautiful mama and her adorable baby girl were just so wonderful! Katie's home is absolutely gorgeous and her style really spoke to my bohemian, beach-loving heart! We were lucky to have her mother with us for the photos. She was a godsend, whipping out ALL the baby loving nursery rhymes! I wish you could have seen the three of us singing and dancing to make Blakely giggle. It was quite a sight! Some of my favorite photos actually occurred when baby girl was just done. She was so tired and just wanted to sleep. I had the opportunity to shoot through Katie slowly rocking her sweet daughter to sleep. This may not typically be something you would think of as photo worthy, but I know I wish I had some pretty photographs from when my children still needed that comfort to go to sleep. These times when they are so little are fleeting. I am truly so grateful for those quiet moments I was able to capture and I hope that you love them too!
Little girls twirling in whimsical circles, waiting to be tossed high into the sky. Kisses and snuggles fill the air with the melodious sound of children's laughter. Bright sunshine pouring through moss covered branches like a warm hug. Nature's fresh, new blooms bring the promise of longer, heat filled days. This dreamy, pastel color pallet only adds to the beautiful transition of seasons.
This is seriously the cutest family and they are so sweet together. I just loved shooting this session, right here in College Park! I had too many favorites, but tried to narrow them down. I hope you enjoy!
Tags: Orlando Family Photographer. College Park, Orlando, Buffalo Family Photographer, Central Florida Lifestyle Photographer, Orlando Film Photographer.
I find myself over-documenting this season as she's the only one left with me at home and I know it will go by ever too quickly. I suppose it really is the simplest of activities that delight these little souls. We can do the most ordinary, daily tasks together and the day is still full of excitement and wonder because all she wants is for me to be present. Those needs are simple. She wants my time, undivided attention and maybe a few snuggles. Keeping that in mind, I'm learning to make the boring tasks more memorable. It's nice to drink in these toddler nuances for a few moments and remember all that is truly good in this life we live.
I remember the days leading up to the birth of our second baby. The uncertainty. The guilt. Feeling like you are going to crush your first born's whole world. Bringing home your sweet baby, feeling so full of love, and wondering just how your toddler will react to this new little being who will take over their home. Then, something magical happens. Your toddler suddenly falls madly in love with their new sibling. They want to hold the baby, snuggle the baby, feed the baby. And so that sibling bond begins. This is something that moves me to the core. I love seeing it with my own children and I truly hope that they will always be close. I am so grateful that I was able to witness this bond with sweet Brennan and his new sister, Molly. Here are some of my favorites from Molly's in-home newborn session at just 5 days old. Big brother really loved her up!!
Motherhood is many things. It is a beautiful bond between a mother and her baby. Sleepless nights and long days filled with exhaustion. A love so deep that it cannot be put into words. Endless piles of laundry and spills in unexpected places. Hours spent holding our babies, gazing into their eyes and taking in their sweet scent. An overwhelming responsibility to guide these tiny humans, while second guessing every decision we make. It is a journey. One that is different for each of us. But the gravity of the title carries a depth that lives on indefinitely. Words of wisdom passed along from mother to child. Traditions kept over generations. As we stumble through this new role, while doing our best to appear graceful as we do, that bit of legacy is not lost upon us. We hope that the lessons we have learned and our own moral compasses will guide the way. That we are somehow capable of completing this journey. And that these little souls that have been left in our care will grow up to be good people, happy, and someday, wonderful mothers and fathers. They may even look back while on their own journey, and draw knowledge from some profound thing we once said or borrowed from a previous generation. We may not ever do it perfectly, but we understand this is a precious gift we have been given and we do our best, each day, to nurture it and help it grow.
Some photos from my session with sweet baby Milah at 4 months and her beautiful momma, shot in Buffalo, NY, are below. I just love witnessing mothers interact with their babies and this one, is a dream baby. And she arrived with her toenails painted pink!! I can't even!! These may be some of my most favorite photos ever!