Inspiration is…My friend

• June 7th, 2016 •

Inspiration is my friend, Mimi.  I have known her for three years now and she is a happy, positive, and very fun friend.  We have had such fun play dates, mom’s nights, beach days, not to mention that she’s been one of my biggest fans when it comes to my business!  She has been on a weight loss journey since we met at the library three years ago.  We were all sitting around with our kids at our feet talking “mommy talk” and she mentioned that she had gained weight with her daughter’s birth and was hoping to some day lose a significant amount.  She had already started and was a few pounds down!

Mimi before

She started working out and running as well, and found a lot of inspiration at the gym.   We were both new to running at the time.  I had never run before in my life, at least not for sport or exercise.   I couldn’t believe how hard it was.  I ran for one minute and thought I would pass out!  And now we have hopes to run a 5K together!

She also started to eat healthy and post her awesome meals on facebook. I was always so impressed with what she’d come up with for dinner!  She would update us all the time on her weight loss and we’d always be so proud of her accomplishments.

We had done a lot of portraits of her daughter and she always mentioned that she wanted to do family portraits, but only when she reached her goal!  So, a few weeks ago she was close, and booked a session!  Just a few days before our session I read a post that she had reached her goal of 80 lbs down!  I was so happy for her!  I think it is such an amazing accomplishment.   She has taught her daughter how to eat healthy and stay healthy, and that lesson is so strong and so important for children.  There are so many wonderful weight loss stories out there, but I’d never really witnessed someone accomplishing one like this!

I couldn’t wait to photograph she and her family because I knew I’d be inspired as we set out to have our session!  We had such a fun time, and she looks fabulous!  She’s always been such a happy person, and it really shows in her portraits!  Congratulations, and thanks for the inspiration, my friend!

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“Inspiration Is…my son”

• May 5th, 2016 •

So, my customers aren’t the only ones who inspire me in my life .  This weekend my son and I ran our first 5K race together and it was a morning I’ll always remember.  I know this was just a small 5K race, but to us, it was big.

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My son is 10 and was diagnosed with ADHD and OCD recently.  We have always known that something was different, and the diagnosis gave us the reason why.  It enabled us to get him some amazing help in school, inspired us to change our diets, and change the way we approach behavioral issues.  It helped me become more aware of what he needs, and I learned a lot about these two challenges (as we call them).  One of the things he needs most is to feel confident about himself, and feel like he’s good at something.  He had never quite found that something, until now!

We had tried a lot of activities for him, soccer, karate, basketball, lego building camp, and nothing really stuck.  He needed an activity that he could do individually, but still with a team.  He needed to let his thoughts flow freely while he was enjoying an activity. Focus is one of his biggest challenges, so a more organized sport just wasn’t for him, but exercise was the key to helping focus.  My husband has always been a runner, so we thought that running might be what he needed.  We signed him up, and he loved it right away.  It got a little bit tough the last few weeks, and he didn’t think he could run the race.    We encouraged him to stick with this and see how amazing it would feel at the end of “Let Me Run” to finish a race.  We knew it would be the best thing for him.

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My son is so many things, and ADHD and OCD are just a small part of what makes him, him.  He has a great sense of humor, and is caring, thoughtful, generous, smart, an avid reader, a kind brother, a fun grandson, a wonderful son, a great friend, a nephew, a talented runner, a teammate,  and he is my biggest inspiration.

“Inspiration Is…8 children and their mother!”

• April 27th, 2016 •

I photographed a family with 8 children last fall and I have to say that is was definitely one of the most inspiring sessions I’ve had!  I only have three kids myself, and I have had some tough photo sessions just with them, so the thought of photographing 8 siblings was honestly making me nervous!  But, as soon as they all pilled out of their large van with big smiles, friendly faces, and each one of them with a handshake and a “nice to meet you”, I was put at ease!  I knew this was going to be fun!

They are all home schooled by their amazing mother!  I met them at the location, and then again at their home for the ordering session, and I just couldn’t believe how quiet the house was when I walked in.  My house is never quiet!   I know how I get after a few hours at home with my three, and she’s home with her 8 all the time!  It truly was inspiring to see how she was so stress free and happy.  They also all played an instrument and I was able to photograph them with each of their instruments of choice, and got to hear each play a little bit, too.  Talk about a fun time!  Sometimes I forget that my job is a job!

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Since photographing this family, I have also seen some of the older girls and their father singing in the choir at our church, and even at Christmas Eve mass.  Their voices were amazing.  Again, I was blown away by the talent coming from this family.  Whenever I feel overwhelmed with my three kids at home, I just think of this family and I say “if she can do it with 8, I’ll be OK today with my 3!”  I’m very lucky to meet these kind of people doing what I do.  Thanks again to this family for the inspiration!

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“Inspiration Is…”

• April 18th, 2016 •

I love my job.  I love meeting new people all the time, and getting to know a little bit about their story.  This blog, and my future blogs, will be about clients, family, and friends that have really inspired me as a photographer, and as a wife and mother, and how they did that.  I can’t wait to share some of their amazing stories through photos, and a few words.  Hope they inspire you as much as they did me!

What inspired me most about this family that I will feature today is their relationship with their very young children.  We were only together for one hour, and I could tell they were such patient and wonderful parents!  To me, there is nothing more exciting than to see a child happy with his mom and dad!  It inspires me to take fun photographs, and also to be a more patient mother! This two year old was not as interested in the photo shoot as everyone was hoping!  I have three kids, so I have been there many times myself!   He loosened up with the help of my assistant and our Elmo doll, but the real trick here was the wonderful attitude of the parents.  No stress, no bribes, no begging…just fun!   I just loved witnessing the fun they were having once he was warmed up.  He forgot he was even at a photo shoot and just couldn’t take his eyes off of Dad who was making him laugh every chance he could!

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And, a little break to cuddle with mom never hurts!

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This could not have been any sweeter!

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My inspiration today is this family and how they showed me that being themselves and just having fun is what it’s all about.  It’s why I love my job.   blog collage

“The Photographer Mom” My Little Fairy Girl

• September 15th, 2015 •

I took these photos of my daughter last year before the Fairy Fest at Gateway Garden Center to use as samples because I had never done anything like it before.  I really loved the results and thought they were something special.  It was such a fun day at the Garden Center spent with she and her friend as they dressed up and flitted around like fairies just having a ball!  I showed them to her and she liked them, but wasn’t as excited as I was.  I get pretty excited over photographs, more than most people I guess!!

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I just love having these photographs of my daughter because they will represent a time in her life when she was young, free, and enjoyed being a little girl.  When she’s older, working, and with a family of her own,  I hope she looks back on these photos and sees something special in her.  I hope she sees how beautiful she is and how her wonderful personality shines through in them.    She’s quiet sometimes, and outgoing other times.  She keeps to herself, yet opens up sometimes when I least expect it.  She’s independent and loves nature and being outside in her bare feet.  She’s not afraid to get out and dip her feet in the stream, literally.  I hope that courage and spunk will continue as she grows into a young adult.  It’s not always “sunshine and fairy wings” but you really have to appreciate these moments while they are happening because they are sometimes few and far between.  These photos mean a lot to me, and I hope they will mean a lot to her when I hand them over to her when she’s all grown up.  Maybe someday she’ll show her little girl the photos and her little one will want to put on her wings and dress up, just like mommy did when she was a little girl.

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For information about this years Fairy Fest on September 19th at Gateway Garden Center in Hockessin, head to the top of this page and click back over to my website, then click on specials!  Hope to help you make speical memories of your little girl!

“The Photographer Mom” Back to School!

• August 31st, 2015 •

This was me last year as the kids were off to school in the morning!  We had a bit of a rough summer last year.  Just the usual sibling rivalry stuff, and my youngest was in that stage where he didn’t want to nap, but still needed to.  So, that was fun!  This summer, though, things were a lot more figured out!  We had a great time with friends, mini vacations, beach time, and just hanging out.  It wasn’t perfect, and I was still pretty happy this morning!  Get up at 6:45?  Sure!  Make your lunches?  No problem!  I was in good spirits, and so was everyone else!  We were all very positive and happy to be back on a schedule!  I surprised myself that even though I was very happy, I was also feeling sentimental.  Maybe it was my daughter waving goodbye from the bus sitting next to a new friend, or maybe it was the thought of my youngest going off to Kindergarten on the bus next year, but I did have mixed feelings!

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That being said, if you are a mom or dad who stays home with the kids all summer, you know there’s at least a little bit of you who wants to jump up and down in your yard as the kids get ready to head out the door!  Admit it!! I will miss the lazy mornings, and doing whatever we want all day long.  I will miss snuggling in the morning, and not worrying about getting out the door.  I will miss not having to wake my kids up and shoving them out to the bus stop.  I will miss the nights of no homework and sitting on the back deck as they play till the sun starts to set and the fire flies  come out!  I’ll miss the beach for sure, and going to all the beautiful parks and Gardens we’ve visited.  It’s been a lot of fun…

…but here’s a list of things I won’t miss:

“Mom, what are we going to do today?”

“Mom, can I have a snack?”

“Mom,  she’s touching me!”

“I want to sit in the way back this time!”

“Mom, what’s for dinner?”

“He hugged me and I didn’t want a hug!”

“That’s my Barbie and now she’s wearing a Star Wars outfit!”

“He touched my arm!!!”

“Mom, I need a snack!”

“Now what are we going to do?” (after we have spent the whole day out doing amazingly fun things)

“I didn’t want spaghetti for dinner”

“I’m not going to eat that green thing!”

“I know we just had dinner, but I need a snack!”

“I’m not tired, and I don’t want to come inside for bed!”

I love my kids, obviously, and they are usually really well behaved, but it’s that sibling rivalry and being all together all day every day that can get to a parent!  It’s what everyone goes through, right?  Sometimes I just need a minute to myself.  I just need a minute to have one complete thought that isn’t interrupted by one of the above phrases.  Tell me that’s normal!   It’s like a big huge sigh of relief after a summer full of activities.  It’s that good feeling that you’ll soon be working regularly again (after the younger one goes off in a few weeks to Pre-K) because you love your job and eating alone in a quiet house is a thing of beauty.  It’s especially wonderful when you’re sending them off to an amazing school with great teachers and nice kids from your small town!  So, all in all we have had a very happy, busy, and fun summer, but it’s time to go back to school.  Time for a routine again, because before you know it, they’ll be running home from the bus stop, throwing their backpacks in the yard and celebrating the first day of summer again!

Our summer fun activities!

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“The Photographer Mom” It’s Ice Cream Time!

• May 26th, 2015 •

Last week my niece came to visit and she is my favorite two year old in the world!  She is sweet, polite, fun, and the happiest kid I know!   She’s a delight.  She was good enough to help me out by being my model for my promo shoot and we had a blast!   I’m very excited about the Mini Sessions I’ll be doing over the summer at Woodside Farm Creamery called “Ice Cream Social Mini Sessions”.  It’s a fun new idea I had and I hope it’s a success because it was so much fun to photograph my niece for the promo session.  I truly have the best job ever!

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She and all of my kids went over to Woodside in Hockessin and set up a cute little scene for the portraits.  I brought some antique milk bottles, flowers, cherries and sprinkles, and of course vanilla ice cream!  I took some portraits of her without the ice cream first and then gave her a few scoops and the fun really started!  She topped her cone all by herself.  What kid wouldn’t love that?  The results were too cute!  Getting messy at the end of the day is all part of being a kid!  I love to watch what happens when kids are able to be themselves!  They truly light up and have the time of their life when they are allowed to just relax and have fun!!

Going out for ice cream is one of our favorite things to do, of course.  Before we moved to Hockessin, we were trying to decide where we wanted to live up here.  I wanted a small town feeling and when I looked up “things to do in Hockessin”, I got that feeling.  I saw so many restaurants and small businesses in town and got really excited.  Woodside was one of the ones that I noticed first.  It had such a beautiful setting with the old brick buildings and outdoor seating areas for kids and families to relax and enjoy a summer treat.  I actually thought to myself, when we first moved here and came to Woodside for the first time, “I’d love to photograph here some day.”  I was a part of their Fall Festival in October (and will be again this fall) and now I’m doing Mini Sessions there this summer!  So, stop by in July for my Mini Sessions and the kids can enjoy a FREE scoop of ice cream with toppings to put on all by themselves if they are photographed! They will thank you for allowing them to get a little messy and just have fun!  Isn’t that really what summer is all about?

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“The Photographer Mom” The Perfect Mother’s Day!

• May 11th, 2015 •

This Mother’s Day was a different one for me.  Since I’ve been working more and have a regular schedule, my business has been growing little by little.  So, I thought it might be a fun idea to try to offer Mother’s Day sessions in the morning!  I had been thinking about doing something just for myself this Mother’s Day anyway, since it is supposed to be about us, right?  So, I pushed the guilt aside and made the decision to do it!  It worked out perfectly.  I had my morning doing one of the things that  I love and it was the most pleasant few sessions that I could have had!  The families were all happy and in great spirits.  The kids were fun and energetic, just how it should be.  I was refreshed to be doing my favorite part of my job on such a special day for the families, and I had a little break from my own kids.  The five of us met up when I was finished and had a very enjoyable time together for the rest of the day.  They were tired by the end of our long walk in the gardens, so they wouldn’t let my husband take our annual Mother’s Day photo together.  Maybe next year!

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My Mother’s Day festivities started with a few very special Mother’s Day activities with my kids on Friday.  My daughter had a Mother’s Day Poem reading at school along with a meaningful activity just for us.  My son had a Mother’s Day Tea right afterward at his school, and get this…it was actually just for the mothers!!  No kids until the end.  What a concept!  I was thinking we’d be having tea with the kiddos (which would have been special, too) but it was just for us moms!  We work so hard as mothers and it’s so great that others recognize it and put so much effort into making our day special.  His teachers did such an awesome job for us all!

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As the moms and I were talking at the table, another mom said that she was going to be taking some time for herself, too, and asked if that was a horrible thing to do?  I spoke up right away and said, “of course it isn’t!  It’s our day and we should do what makes us happy!”  It’s my favorite day of the year, and this year it was over the top special.  Getting to do all of the things you love in one day and not feeling like it’s just another day, is the most refreshing feeling to me!

I’m finally starting to get over that Mom guilt thing we all have at some point and I”m taking care of myself, too.  We all deserve some time to ourselves, so next year, think about what YOU really want to do and incorporate it into your day!

“The Photographer Mom” Don’t Mess with a Mamma on a Mission!!!

• May 4th, 2015 •

One year ago this month I was sitting on my back deck looking out at my beautiful yard and my kids playing together and thought to myself “It’s been a year since we moved here and I’m just so happy.  It’s so peaceful here and I’m very content with life.”  Later that night, about 1:00 in the morning my husband and I were awakened by a very loud crash sound and then screaming.  We rushed outside to see that there was a truck that had smashed into our backyard from an establishment that will remain unnamed.  We quickly learned that it was a drunk driver that had come crashing through our fence and right into my kids secret hideout play area.  I stood there looking at the smashed truck, and the toys that had been run over and broke down in tears.  All I could think about was, “what if this had happened 6 hours earlier?”  My kids were playing in that exact spot that evening, as they did most evenings.  All three of them.  It was the scariest sight I had ever seen.  My protective “Mamma Bear” instincts kicked in and I was on a mission.  I was NOT going to ever let this happen again, not in my safe and quiet neighborhood.

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The Father’s day after we moved into our new home my husband said that he wanted to spend Father’s Day building the kids a secret hideout spot in our back yard.  We have what we call woods back there, but it’s really just some trees lining our property.  We used to live in a brand new development, so to my kids, big trees feel like woods.  So, my husband spent the whole day on Father’s Day cutting down limbs and building up a stick fence and making them an amazing hideout back in the “woods”.  They loved it and played there every chance they could.

secret hideout

After the crash they were not so excited about their hideout.  They were very scared, in fact, and so was I.  My husband and I had a meeting with the establishment demanding they put up some sort of barriers protecting us from something like this ever happening again.  They claimed it was their highest priority.  Month after month went by and nothing was done.  We really wanted to do this the friendly way, without legal help.  We wrote e-mails and had more meetings with them and all we got were broken promises.  So, we took things one step further.  We contacted our state representatives and many other authority members that we can not name, until we were able to get the job done.

Today, as I type, they are bringing in boulder after boulder with a huge backhoe.  The barriers are going up!  We did it!  I have to say I am proud of myself, and my husband.  We decided that after all this time to remain a strong team and get this accomplished together.  It had been so long but I didn’t want to give up.  I am proud and happy to show my kids that if you have a problem don’t just complain about it, do something!  This may not seem like a big deal, but to us, it’s huge.  It means that we can go outside and they can play where ever they want to and feel safe.  Our neighborhood is beautiful and in a wonderful town, and we shouldn’t have to worry about our kids in our own yard.  I wanted to show the kids that you can make a difference in your town, or neighborhood with hard work.  I also wanted to show them how important they are to us, and that we will always do anything to keep them safe.

It has been almost a year of constant phone calls to many  people of authority,meetings, and a lot of stress trying to keep our family and neighborhood safe.  Our neighbors didn’t think we could do this.  I was even getting discouraged at one point, but it’s not the first time I’ve accomplished something like this for the safety of my kids.  I do hope it’s the last, though.  I hope they have learned not to mess with a mamma on a mission.  She ALWAYS wins!

“The Photographer Mom” Hockessin’s Littlest Helpers

• April 27th, 2015 •

This weekend I “hired” my kids to help out in decorating donation boxes that will be placed around Hockessin’s many store fronts in an effort to collect donations for the fabulous Hockessin 4th of July celebrations.  The Hockessin 4th of July festivities have been traditions started by my family just a few years ago, and ones that we’d love to see happen for many years to come.

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My kiddos were thrilled to help out Saturday with the decorating!  One of our favorite holidays in this house is the 4th of July, and it always has been.  When we moved to Hockessin in 2013 one of the things I was most excited about were the 4th of July festivities.  I was overjoyed at the fact that we were moving to a small town that participated in a parade and fireworks, just like the town that I had grown up in and loved!  This is one thing that I had really been missing for years.  There’s really nothing like a town getting together on the 4th of July to celebrate and have fun.  I always felt such a sense of community, growing up, during our old hometown parade and  fireworks display.  I’ll always remember my dad waking us up every 4th of July to the VERY loud patriotic music blaring from downstairs.  We were so excited to get up and get ready for the parade.  And, after the parade and festivities, we’d have a picnic or BBQ at home or a friends house, and then head over to the park for the amazing fireworks display.  The fireworks were so exciting and the whole town would walk to and from the park, so the streets were packed with people, not cars.   The park was always packed, blanket to blanket, full of excited kids and families awaiting the fireworks display.

Now, I’m so excited to give my kids the same experience that I had growing up on the 4th of July.  We usually have a family BBQ in our backyard, and then head over to the parade in the early afternoon.  Then the evening comes and we head back downtown for fireworks and a late night pizza on the lawn of the ball field.  It’s a blast and I know my kids will have these memories forever, just like I have mine.

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So, when you see these wonderful boxes all around Hockessin Businesses, please think about throwing in your spare change.  Every penny counts!  If you love the Hockessin 4th of July festivities and want to help out, now you know how!  You can also visit www.hockessin4thofjuly.org to donate.  We love our small town and we hope to have these fantastic and fun festivities for years to come!