“There are two lasting things we can bestow upon our children. One is roots. The other is wings.”
~Hodding Carter, Jr.
When I was growing up, I wanted to be many things. A veterinarian…until I realized it was not just playing with animals..it was giving them shots and sometimes performing puppy surgery and other possibly gross things. A rock star…until I realized my singing voice in the shower even hurt my OWN ears…aaannnnd I’m afraid of being in front of a crowd. A lawyer…well, until I realized what a lawyer actually was,..”WAIT..you have to be confrontational”? Scribble THAT off the list of careers! A fashion designer, ballerina, marine biologist…you name it. I dreamt it. As I grew up..what I wanted to be, changed..as I changed….but the one thing that never changed, was my desire to be a MOM. I grew up with the most amazing parents a kid could EVER want…they were hip, down to earth, took my friends and I out to T.P cute boys houses at midnight on a regular basis….they even owned a a place in the mall for a while called “Star Song Studios” where you could make ridiculous 80′s music videos of yourself……what was not to love? Beyond being the coolest parents on the block…I had never met two people who were more selfless, and who loved their children more FULLY, than ours did. Everytime I get around my 3 brothers, I just want to cry because I have so much history with them. I love them so much, it hurts. Every good story I have from growing up… has them in it. Our childhood made us who we are today…and seeing how our parents raised us…even though they themselves were so young when they had us…made me realize, that if I failed at every career that I tried, but I was an amazing mother…..than I had achieved everything.
For those of you out there who are moms…you know that it is hands down, the hardest, yet most REWARDING job in the world. Some days, it rotates from miserable and magical every 5 minutes:) Most days, I just feel like a professional macaroni and cheese maker, and referee for 2 kids. I joke that “mommy gets cranky” as 7pm approaches, because I’m exhausted…and I know that it’s the hardest time for them to unwind, it’s like they get re-programed every day and they forget what “bed time” is, and I have to re-train them in the steps it takes to get into bed, and then…have to bribe them with playdates and ice cream for the following day, to make them stay in their beds.. and not to stay awake and tell knock knock jokes for 2 hours…haha.. But as much as I cant wait for them to go to sleep..so I can take a break……the second they are asleep I just want to kiss their warm cheeks, twirl my fingers through their dirty blonde hair…and whisper in their sleeping ears, that “they are cherished… they are my favorite people in the world, and I am so blessed that God allowed me be their mommy”. I have never cried so many times, for feeling so overwhelmed and inadequate as a mom…then cried the next second because of the sweet moments….like the moment when my darling 5 year old boy, woke me up in the morning with kisses all over my face, swept the hair away from my face, then whispered in MY ear, that “he would never let anything bad happen to me, and that he is going to stay with me forever.” Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!MELT MY HEART!! Nothing can prepare you for MOTHERHOOD…nor can anything prepare you for the love and sacrifice you will endlessly WANT to give to your children..whether they are from your womb, or have been placed in your life by another….raising children is the greatest JOY in the world.
We dont get to shoot many family portraits because our schedule with weddings and engagements keeps our calendars full…but when I do…I am reminded of how important and essential they are for families. YES they are stressful to plan…the kids will most definitely throw many tantrums during the shoot…there will be tears, there will be missed naps, not enough snacks to keep them happy, there will be moments they kick or punch their sibling…but what you are left with, at the end of it all, is so beautiful. The sessions do not have to be perfect, because life is not perfect…and that is what I try to tell parents, as they are apologizing for their kids being crazy during a session…or one of them not wanting to smile or look at the camera. I assure them, that whatever we get…will be wonderful, because this is YOUR family, and this is what life is like RIGHT NOW for you guys. You can never have too many photos of your family..and if you are like me, and like most parents..you are rarely IN the photos with your children. For this reason alone…you need to make time in your busy life, for family pictures. Kids change every day..and photos are just a tiny effort to bottle them up and preserve them…just as they are…right then:)
I have had the wonderful pleasure of calling Kristina a dear friend…for many, many years…and I feel so lucky that I have had the chance to photograph her family every few years as it has grown. Although most of the time I watch her life from afar (thank you Facebook)..I am reminded of what a remarkable mother she is, every time I see her…and even when her kids are driving her crazy and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel…and the hard days seem to outweigh the ones of ease….that I know she would not trade any of it in for the entire world. I lovvvvvvved every second of their little “boho” family session…loved how her daughter Layla called me “Miss Ashley” in the most angelic-dainty voice imaginable…..how Luca wanted NOTHING to do with photos, just wanted to find bugs and snakes…that Joey was wearing the same True Religion Jeans he has worn for all three sessions with me over the last 5 years…and of course, as always….that Kristina brought a car full of accessories and fabulous boots:) Kristina..you will always and forever be one of my most treasured friends. I know the times we see eachother are few and far between..but you have always been such a big supporter of our business over the years, and are just one of those people you want to share your life with. Happy early MOTHERS DAY my sassy friend:) XOXO