A letter to Finley...and maybe my younger self.

Some say she’s my “mini me” and although, physically I do not see it, I definitely hear it. So much of who she is, is me and I’m proud. I’m also a little anxious about parenting her as she grows. If she really is anything like me, I know what’s to come and I want to tell her this...

You’re unique, strong and already so confident. You’ll want so much out of life and find ways to make it happen. You’ll be bubbly and fun, but most of the time crave quiet for yourself to figure things out. You’ll feel so much and struggle with being pulled in different directions. You’ll confuse the ones you love with your own confusion. You’ll find it hard to express yourself and need creative outlets. You’ll struggle with temptation. You’ll feel uncomfortable with normal and be drawn to going against the grain. No one you know will probably understand this. And just by being yourself, you’ll feel a lot of rejection.

But with all of this, if you stay true to yourself and be proud of YOU, life will be so much easier and less noisy.

Because guess what? It’s okay to be a both an extrovert an introvert. There isn’t one specific way of being that defines us. Be it all if you want to be. We aren’t suppose to have everything figured out. Expressing your feelings can be done in beautiful ways and doesn’t have to be held inside festering if you can’t find the words. Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t or shouldn’t create, especially as a career. Yes, temptations are there and they test us, but our strength to sustain will be rewarded. Going outside of the box and doings what feels right to you is what you were made for. It will take you so far in life. And not everyone will like you, and that’s okay. Because there will be so many people out there who do and the relationships you choose to make will be real and last forever.

Although I expect you to experience some of these things, maybe you won’t. You may experience life in a completely different way. And whatever beautiful way that is, as your mom, I pray I have the wisdom and patience to teach you how to handle life in your own way, and not anyone else’s. Including mine.

So look in the mirror and own that person you see staring back at you. Life is so much sweeter that way!

In the words of your Mawzie and Charolette from Charolettes Web, “Chin up.”

Much love my baby girl,

Mom

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10,000 Followers on Instagram

Oh my goodness! We are jumping with GRATITUDE and EXCITEMENT over here! 10K followers, say what?! 🙌 Thank you guys so so much. This amazing community is so full of inspiration, and guidance and love and such wonderful friendships ❤️ I am thankful everyday for all of it and I thank you so much for caring enough to follow me. You guys rock! .

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The Time Change Struggle Is Real.

Friday morning. A mouth full of granola and the warmth of the sun. Ahhhhhhh I just love the ☀️ out when we are gearing up for the bus to arrive. I guess I’ll see you again at 6:45 am sometime in April though. Here comes day light savings time. I need to mentally prepare for super dark mornings again, but I’ll take it. Because I know soon enough, when the time gets all settled, we will have those long sunny days back again!
Which day light savings is your favorite. The one in the Fall or the one in the Spring?

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A Threenager in Elementary

She was so mad at me here in this photo and I don’t remember why. It’s a bit typical for Finley and although I would prefer if she were always in a good mood, I can’t help but smile. I am proud that she has a voice and uses it!

But man oh man, yesterday I would have preferred if her voice was a bit quieter.

As we picked up Max from school, we decided to stop by the book fair to get a few books before leaving. Knowing how Finley acts when we go anywhere where you can buy things, I expected her to give trouble. So I told her she could pick out one book. And of course when we got there, the book wasn’t enough 🤦🏻‍♀️ Finley spotted a squishy toy and began begging for it. Sticking to my guns, I smiled and told her that today we are only buying books and tried to get her excited about the ones she was eyeing. Deep down inside though, I knew she wasn’t giving up that easy. But somehow it worked! She stopped asking for the toy, we bought our books and left.

As we were walking down the hallway to leave, Finley looks up at me, opens her jacket and says, “mommy, I took the squishy anyway,” and starts laughing. I was devastated. Yes because she stole something, but mostly because I knew what was about to go down and at Max’s school for crying out loud! I knew I had to do my mommy duty and show her that this was wrong and we had to return the toy and apologize. To a stubborn, strong willed threenager, this was the end of the world.

Cue the GIANT TANTRUM. I’m talking loud tantrum. Equipped with yelling, going limp, refusing to move, kicking and screaming as I picked her up, a little hitting...you know the drill, I’m sure. And with every passing teacher that tried to help calm her down, it just got worse. 🤦🏻‍♀️

I felt so bad for Max as we walked down the hallways and entered the library. But this kid has a gift. He is the coolest, most calm and collected kid you’ll ever meet. And as she loudly voiced her opinion, he just shrugged his shoulders and laughed telling everyone, “she’s fine, that’s just Finley.” 💙 Bless that sweet boy!

The tantrum continued leaving the school, getting into the car (I’m sure you can imagine that scene) and a good 30 minutes into being settled at home. BUT it ended with hugs and kisses and learning some good life lessons...for both of us 😂

Although I would prefer if both of my kids were little angels all the time, they’re not. And I love and take them just as they are. I take large deep breaths and choose the take these little parental challenges as blessings in disguise. Yes it’s exhausting and embarrassing, but wow, do we all grow and learn from them and become better parents for our kids. I truly believe that.

Have any of you experienced a public tantrum with your child recently? 😬

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the cook ladies

A few weeks ago my friend Laura called me to ask if I could take some photos of herself and her two little girls with her mom and her sister. Of course I was totally game and was ready to chat about what type of session she wanted to do. Laura not only has two little ones under the age of two, her sister is expecting a baby of her own and her mom is just beaming with joy with all of these grand babies, so I knew this would be a special session for these ladies. Laura and I decided taking photos of them all interacting at home was best and she was super prepared with lots of bubble fun for the kids. Laura’s mom really got down with the bubbles and I captured some of the sweetest moments of her and her grand babies together. My favorite part of it all though, was definitely the moment Laura’s baby spit up in her hand haha Nothing beats unexpected real moments and Laura’s expression is just priceless.

a blog that inspires the heck out of me

A few days ago I had the pleasure of photographing one of Austin’s newest mom bloggers, Robin Theis. Robin is inspiring people to LOVE where they live, whether that’s in their home or in their own skin! How amazing is that concept?

She was just recently aproached by a Motherhood and Lifestyle blog to write an article to share with their viewers and she chose to write a few tips on how to tackle clutter in order to make improvements to our health. When she told me this I was like, wait, what does clutter have to do with my health? And then it hit me. Most of the time, when my house isn’t in order, and things are untidy, my health is lacking for sure. When I have a pile of dirty clothes to wash (I should say piles), and the dishes are dirty, and the beds are unmade, and I just can’t figure out how to get to it all, those are the days I roll up to Chick-fil-a and order a #2 for myself….it’s so true! But, Robin has figured it out. What an amazing parallel that most of us don’t realize is there. Needless to say, I am super excited to read Robin’s article and can’t wait to see how successful her blog gets!

Baby River steals my heart!

Oh my goodness. What a sweet little bundle of JOY I got to capture last week.

When the Jenkins family asked me to take photos of the three of them I jumped at it. Not only because I was ready to visit Colorado again (thanks Texas heat), but because the Jenkins family and my family go way back. Yeah, we love each other - LOL and as you can imagine, I was super excited to meet little River! And she didn’t disappoint! That sweet smile melted my heart and it was adorable seeing this awesome family that we love interact together, dogs and all. I can’t wait to watch River grow up and hope to snap more photos of her in the future.

The Theis Family welcomes a new baby

This past weekend I got to spend some time with the Theis family and watch as they snuggled their new baby girl, Hollis. What a special time in their lives. I am so honored they chose me to capture these special moments. It was especially sweet to see their son interacting with his new baby sister. You can tell that he was so excited to finally have here here and that he will be an amazing big brother. This is one lucky little girl. Her home is filled with so much love and I know that she will grow up as happy as they come. I can’t wait to watch her grow through the years.

They're engaged!

Oh my gosh. This newly engaged couple was the cutest and made me think a lot about when Jordan and I first met. For their shoot, Danika and her man wanted to walk the street of downtown Austin and revisit one of their favorite bars. Of course I thought this was a fantastic idea…I mean, who wouldn’t want to hang out downtown and have some beers during a photoshoot? Genius! As you can image, it was a pretty fun time, but what was more fun, was watching these guys and their sweet little relationship. I am so thrilled for them and can’t wait to see them as a married couple.