lifestyle photography

baby susanna

I love newborns. 

Even more so, I love shooting a photo story of a newborn! When it's a first-time parent, it's neat to watch them adjust to having a baby in their home and in their life. When it's a second-time parent, or third or fourth, there is a change. A calmness, a more relaxed approach to welcoming a newborn into their home. I love watching parents in either of these stages, because it reminds me of my own experience of becoming a mom. It's a very special time that goes by so quickly (even quicker the second time), but having those first days documented are something that you will cherish in the months ahead. 

You forget the lack of sleep, the continual feedings, the first days of seeing your children bond, and the smallness of what a newborn feels like. 

When Kelly asked me to do their newborn session for Susanna, I was so excited! I had done their newborn session for their firstborn, Judah, and I knew that with a baby girl in their family it was going to be a very sweet change for them. I love their family, and I love their cute little kiddos. They are clients who we now consider to be friends and it was an honor to capture some of Susanna's first photos. Thanks Kelly, Jack, Judah and Susanna!

the dixon family

The Dixon's are a young family with a 3-year old and a 1-year old. I remember well what it was like with those ages (since our own little boys are also two years apart and only slightly older), so I was excited to photograph their story. 

When I met with Rhonda before their session, she said she wanted to remember the simple things of what they do in their everyday life. Some of their favorite things to do together involve chasing daddy in the front yard, dressing up as rapunzel (complete with ace bandage as the "hair"), making all sorts of foods from their play kitchen, playing games together, reading stories, and just slowing down to rock the littles to sleep (almost!).

I love including portraits in a story, so we started our time together outside in their gorgeous back yard. Seriously, look at those fall colors! After portraits, I stepped back and let them step into their everyday. When I shoot I try to let families just live, without much prompting or posing from me, and in the end I feel like their story is colorful, beautiful, and filled with memories unique to them. I just love watching families do their everyday together. I know how quick this season is with children, and I know how quickly we forget some of their favorite things. What a blessing it is to me to be able to document a glimpse of their life. 

Thanks Dixon family for such a great story, and for being such awesome clients! 

Monday's musings

Last week I intended to post on Monday, but plans changed when I woke up that morning feeling much less that 100%. Not what I had planned for. Of course sickness never is a planned thing. It comes up and interrupts your life, unwelcome and unwanted. 

I was frustrated to be sick! Again, I didn't have time! It was one of my busiest weeks, I had several things planned and slowing down was not on my agenda. 

However, even in the midst of all that I had much to be grateful for. 

Grateful. 

This word comes up a lot these days, especially since it's November. A time when all sorts of great ideas pop up on Pinterest of daily things you can do to remember what you are grateful for.  They are a little overwhelming, so for my own sake (sanity) I avoid Pinterest these days. 

I want to cultivate grateful hearts in our children. I really do. But I have found it stresses me out when I'm rigid with implementing something that is just too time intensive with little ones. I am doing well to stick to the basics these days. Meeting the needs of my family, praying with them and for them, tending to the house, finishing our homeschool work and then just having fun! Those seem like pretty quiet, ordinary days, but the lessons learned and taught in between the hours of morning and night in our home are so full. I love this season and I realized today that I have been most ungrateful for it. 

The Lord is gentle to bring reminders that need to be big and BOLD in my life. But He's not big and bold to me. He's loving, kind, gentle, and quiet. 

I journaled a note to myself recently that said, "He speaks the loudest when I'm quiet."

Knowing His voice has been something that He's been teaching me. 

It's beautiful. It's loving and it's kind. It's a voice that knows my name, that calls to me to come and worship, to lay down my burdens and to praise Him. 

I was going to share some photos from the past couple weeks, but I opted instead to share this photo. Because it reminds me of what I'm grateful for.  (read below for more of the story)

Our life

My friend Andrea came over this past weekend to teach me how to make a very special swiss bread that she makes every Christmas. It was something her mom showed her, and something she has enjoyed for years. Teaching me a baking skill and sharing the afternoon and evening together on a rainy Saturday was the best way to spend a day. We mixed, kneaded, drank hot beverages, sketched, talked and talked, and shared what the Lord was doing in our own lives. It was wonderful. 

I was planning to share the bread-making process, but as I sat and looked at this photo I was reminded of how grateful I am. There are things in this photo that remind me that I am loved and I am thought of. The pumpkin on the sill is from my mother-in-law, the plant from a dear friend, the rose from my sweet family, the washcloth (barely seen) is from another dear friend who made them for me, and my friend Andrea in the center of it all. Blessing me with her time, her friendship, and her encouraging heart and spirit. 

I don't take the time to sit and look at photos with a grateful heart, taking time for the details. I often just look for the main thing and move on. But God is so detailed in our lives, caring for us in all the little places we don't let everyone see. Kind of like this picture. He's tending to my heart. He's working, and I forget that until I look back and look over what He has done.

I hope you find time to just sit and thank Him. To praise Him for what He is doing, for what He has done. And to ask Him to change you to have a heart of gratitude, not just for November, but for life.

Scripture. 

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10:1-4

And just in case you wanted to see the finished bread, here you go.

P.S. It was amazing!