You may remember Kelly and Andy from their sound story that we shared recently. When we were planning their photo story we asked them what we often ask our clients: to think about moments that they'd like to remember 10 or 20 years down the road and have those captured as their story. Their typical day is packed full as they both work from home and take care of two little ones. But in the craziness of their busy lives they wanted to remember the ordinary of their everyday evening routine. What this looked like for them—coming together as a family for dinner, wiping down two tiny pizza-stained faces, running upstairs to take a bath, putting on jammies, reading bedtime stories, singing songs together and praying before the lights go out. Mix in the energy of two kids, the giggles and playfulness of winding down and the sweetness of hearing prayers being lifted up made for a very special story. It was really an honor for us to be able to take photos of their everyday, because we know that they will be able to hold on to these little years a little bit longer through both the still images and the sound bites. No scripting from us, just their real life. Check out their story below, and if you haven't done so head over to hear their sound story as well. Thank you to this family for letting us briefly step into your lives!
So if you get to know me, just a little bit, you will soon discover that I am a bit of a foodie. Not really in the "it's hip to be a foodie" kind of way, but in the "eating for well-being and health" kind of way. I haven't always been this interested in foods or cooking. And honestly cooking in the kitchen for hours does not thrill me ( I know this may be shocking to some that see all my food posts on instagram). I am a mom to two little boys that are BUSY. But I can say that knowing more about what I eat, and more importantly how it effects my health is something I am definitely interested in. So I like to say our family eats pretty "cleanly", for lack of a better term. And for us this means taking out as much processed food as we can, using natural sweeteners instead of refined sugar, choosing some organics when they fit into our budget, buying locally (again, when we can fit it in our budget), reading labels on foods to be sure we know what the actual ingredient names in things are and not consuming high fructose corn syrup or weird dyes/chemicals. And the big one: cooking from SCRATCH, whenever possible.
I know, cooking from scratch is a big one for most people. I think there is a fear there of having no clue where to begin. And I was there once too.
When I started us on this road to eating better, it was for health reasons. I went through a lot health-wise that was really difficult. I stepped back and started looking at what I was putting into my body. Making small changes along the way, I gradually became more knowledgeable about how food really affected my moods, skin care, weight, and health. Knowledge is powerful when you start diving in! To me it was anyway. I had times when I had to step back so that I didn't become all-consumed by it. By this I mean you can't really just up and change your entire diet overnight. Unless you are wealthy and have access to a personal chef. Hats off to you!
There were a lot of challenges (and still are) to eating real, whole foods. When you simply strip away all the fluff that is added to the jarred, canned, boxed, and packaged items you pick up at the grocery store, that is the "real" part. You know like, wheat, milk, eggs, honey, lard, meats, produce. Once I started understanding what "real" was I started reading labels looking for the real foods. This helped me tremendously when I wanted to try to save money, or find a healthier option for us without all the extra chemicals in a packaged product like taco seasoning, pizza sauce, ranch dressing.
I could easily make these items from scratch and usually make about 5x more than the small packages at the store sell, and save a lot in the process.
It isn't always cost effective to make from scratch, by the way. But healthier? Usually. And from scratch, I mean within-your-sanity from scratch. For example: I do not make my own pasta. I buy one that has minimum ingredients. At Aldi they sell pasta that has ONE ingredient. The wheat. Then I'll pull out some sauce I made that is in the freezer (because making your own, you make a LOT) and I'll make my own meatballs, or throw in some chicken I may have cooked the night before. Add some steamed veggies and we are good to go!
So, all this to say I am still learning.
I have a long way to go, but I am thankful for where we are at this point. The Lord has been good in blessing the efforts that we've made along the way. I really feel that by giving it over to Him in all my meager efforts, He has blessed me for trying!
I also wanted to say that we have a very tight budget. We don't have the option to shop at a Whole Foods exclusively, or buy all organic, or all locally sourced. But I've been diligent in finding the best quality for our family, and the best price for those items. By remaining open-minded, it's helped me remain content with what we can afford, rather than what we can't. Even a little change is something to be positive about!
I wanted to share some of this journey for those out there that struggle to find a way to put REAL food on the table in their crazy busy lives. It is possible! So I thought I'd share some of my efforts here. Perhaps it will give you the encouragement to go in your kitchen and make something from scratch, to buy from a local farmer, to weed out processed and refined things in your pantry, and to start feeling better about cooking for your family. And the biggest benefit from all of it? It's so GOOD!
I will be posting some of my favorite food recipes, and practical from scratch methods as time allows for me!
Until then, here's to you cooking something new and nutritional for your family!
And also, isn't this strawberry lovely? We picked it this morning from our wee little patch out back.
Becoming a mom has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I cannot measure the amount of joy that fills my day-to-day from being with these babes of ours. And I've never been so actively involved in photography as I have been as a mama. There are so many little things I don't want to miss! As they have grown from newborn to baby, toddler to little man, I have been documenting along the way. My collection of photos has grown to thousands, but I love being able to look through the past few years and see what my everyday is like with them. And from all those photos, do you know which ones are my favorites? Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) they aren't the controlled, posed, set up shots that we have of our boys when they were tiny newborns. No, it's the candid, natural, in the moment kind of shots that I love the most. Like our first stop at the beach when we arrived in Charleston. We had our swim clothes packed in the car, but we were so excited to see the ocean. We just planned to dip our feet in, however when you are with a toddler that has been talking about the beach for the past 5 hours in the car, plans change. And you come away with a shot of your 3 year old in his underoos.
Or how there are always rocks to collect whenever we visit the grandparents.
Or the moments I catch these two reading a book or eating snacks all squished together in the same place.
The moments are what I remember, and having those in photos is something that I will always treasure.
So, as Mother's Day approaches, I wanted to offer something special just for moms.
This is a session that will be in your home (or a special place you love to be with your kids) documenting your relationship with your little ones. What moments in your life do you most want to remember? What is your story?
I have to laugh because, as I typed this, my youngest came toddling by with one shoe on and the other shoe in hand, waiting for some help from mommy or daddy to put it back. And once I sat back down to type (I was outside enjoying our spring weather) a ladybug landed on my cup of water. My three year old was instantly enthralled with this tiny bug. It's these little moments that I love, that fill up my days. They are ordinary, but fleeting, and I know when I'm not so busy in the middle of raising these little boys I will miss simple moments like these.
The moments in your own life are what I will be documenting. This real life session will be the simple everyday you spend as a mom with your own little ones. The stories you read together, the breakfast routine you share everyday, the teaching moments when you show your child something for the first time, the times you get to hold your little ones and they don't squirm away.
Ready to book your session?
Because I really want to invest my time into your individual story, I will only be offering a minimum amount of sessions. So please contact me if you are ready to book your session! I can't wait to get to know you and document your own sweet story in motherhood!