Posts in personal
Our Weekend Family Getaway : Guide to Williamsburg with Kids

We are so blessed in Virginia to live so close to so many wonderful destinations. We have found such a home here in Charlottesville, but sometimes, ya just need to get away. When a rare but open weekend presented itself on the calendar, amidst a rainy forecast and desperate desire to slow down for a change, we booked a random little getaway to Williamsburg, VA.

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10 Biggest Love Lessons I Learned From Childhood

Today is Valentines Day, which --okay, it really doesn't really mean a whole lot. It is, however, a day in which our society chooses to celebrate love and I love love so I also enjoy an excuse to spread a little extra of it around. 

I was thinking back to all the Valentines Days of my past, who I was with, how they played out, and it made me realize just how much I've grown in my understanding of relationships throughout it all. 

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Our Christmas Story

We crawled into bed on Christmas Eve after filling her stocking, the four of us cuddled in one room of my in-laws' house in PA (my husband, myself, our 2 year old in her sleeping back on the floor, and our 50lb dog on the end of our bed), and whispered about our morning plan and how we were way more excited than she was.

Christmas with a toddler is full of such magic -- creating new traditions, baking, playing games, telling stories, navigating travel and family and a little chaos -- it's a whirlwind in the best way. 

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A Letter to my 2 Year Old

To my honey,

People always say they want time to slow down, to press pause... and there are surely things about this season I will miss, but I am also fascinated by watching you grow. With every new milestone I cheer you on in wonder at how much, and how quickly, you're learning.

Yes, you're growing up-- but you're growing up to be an caring, strong, and curious girl. The world needs more of that!

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Personal Documentary Highlights : Summer and Fall 2017

It's so exciting to share all the amazing images of fall family sessions and newborn cuddles from all my Firefly families in this space, but I also want to realign with the part of my mission that is centered on being a community together.

And whether you know me in person or just through this screen, I want to level with you-- mama, fellow photographer, neighbor, friend, dreamer-- to show you my realness and my fears, the big and small, the challenges and wins. To be candid about what's going on behind the scenes and the fact that I'm not just here to photograph your life-- but to show you why it's important and how I practice what I preach. To show and how we celebrate little wins, embrace the realness, and laugh at the spilt milk--because I'm right there in the thick of it, and my life is worth capturing, just as much as yours!

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Capturing an Authentic First Day of School Story

Last week, many of our local parents sent their kiddos back to school, and I don't care who you are or what you do or how old your kids are, the moments after you wave goodbye are bound to tug at your heartstrings.

But this post isn't about what kind of schools are best, or what age you should/not send your child to school, or the nature of working parents vs stay-at-home parents vs work from home parents, or even the heart behind our own family decisions regarding childcare. I mean, just google "sending a child to preschool" or "first day of school" and you'll get an overwhelming list of "10 ways to prepare for the first day" or "5 reasons why (insert type of education) is the best choice for your child" to make you question yourself, your security, and your capability as a parent. People are so passionate about their childcare and education decisions, and to be fair, I think they should be because they're important.

It's just that sometimes, we get too hung up on shouting into the abyss to defend our decisions to the world instead of harnessing those passions for ourselves and our children. 

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Grip vs. Grit : Embracing the Mess for the the Memories

Have you ever found yourself in a crucial moment where everything sort-of freezes and you swear you can see those little angel/devil characters pop up on your shoulders? Not the life or death, danger vs. responsible stuff, but the kind of decision that requires you to push your limits. 

The kind of moment that makes you want to simultaneously run towards the excitement and run away at the same time.

The kind of moment when you have the choice between doing things like you've always done them or stepping out on a limb. 

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How I Fell in Love with Documentary Photography

I'm flipping through my daughter's 1 year photo album- filled to bursting with images from our first days together, monthly milestone images from the same angle of her laying on the same white bed to show her growth, stats of her height and weight and favorite foods, mini sessions I've set up to show off her adorable little outfits or a specific holiday. I fall in love over and over again with every page.

But it's the picture of her napping on my husband's chest that makes my fingers pause. It's her tiny feet flung high in the air from the slots of a swing that I want to pull and frame because there's something about it that instantly makes me feel nostalgic, to recall the peace at the empty neighborhood park and the sound of her wild giggle filling the warm, spring air.

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Featured: Kira's 1 Year Milestone Shoot

My little girl is 13 months old today -- which means the baby days are well behind us as we enter year 2 with an adventurous, giggly, silly, and curious little lady. Photographing these images for her birthday was equally one of the most fun and most sentimental things I've ever done. I feel like I know her so well -- yet there's still so much to uncover. To know a person from their very first breath, to watch them grow every day thereafter... it's like watching a miracle unfold. 

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Kira's Fall Zoo Themed 1st Birthday Party

A first birthday is such an incredible milestone. I've celebrated with clients for years when their little guys and ladies turned 1, but now I really get it. It's like a right of passage for parents. A whole year--the scariest, most exhilarating, confusing, amazing, sentimental, life-changing year -- has past and that precious child is still alive. That deserves a party. 

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Apple Picking with Kira

Last weekend Chile's Peach Orchard in Crozet had their annual pancake breakfast and fall festival so we took Kira to check it out. It was about 80 degrees outside but we had fall in our hearts and on our minds and were so excited to share it with our girl. Enjoy a little real recap into our lives with this set full of apples, sunshine, doughnuts, and smiles. 

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