Posts in personal
The Tale of Book Ends: Embracing Spontaneity in Life and in Photos

When we moved to Hawaii, we settled in a quiet, beach town called Kailua on Oahu in which I could walk from our tiny apartment a mile in any direction and have the sand and ocean on my feet or a cup of coffee and a bagel in my hand. Upon moving, we quickly became regulars at an adorable coffee shop call Morning Brew and during the week, I would often tote my laptop and photography books there, set up shop at a table by an open window adjacent from the school yard where I wasn't employing my degree, and buckle down on my new education with a cup of chai spiced determination. 


On days when that brand of fuel didn't seem to cut it, I would head next door to another local joint called Book Ends. Boy, did it feed my soul.

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What I Learned in my First Month of Marriage

With our 4 year anniversary coming up tomorrow, I am (surprise) feeling nostalgic. I think of how it all started with this man and where we are now-- a road I never could have imagined even though God surely did.

A little background:

For those who don't know our story, here's a brief background: 

After 10 months of dating long distance, seeing each other on weekends, taking short trips together on time off from school or work, meeting each other's families, and falling crazy in love, he popped the question while on leave from training in December 2010. I was in my senior year of college and he was about to move to Hawaii. Buried in our own lives of graduate school in Virginia vs. hazardous military missions in undisclosed locations - our lives were worlds apart in more ways than one but we somehow spent that year and a half engagement growing even closer.

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If This House Could Talk

Exactly this time last year, we were moving out of our 1000 square foot, two bedroom apartment and into our first home. Together, we were a woman giddy with excitement, spilling over with dreams, and dewey from a growing baby 4 months in the oven + a man, proud and ambitious with projects and possibility.

Built in the 1960's, we walked through our empty rooms wondering what memories were baked into the brick adorning the end unit town-home, what little hands and feet had brushed by its front door with backpacks and bicycles, what furry paws had played in the shady, fenced yard. But we also wondered what stories we would contribute, what mark we would make in whatever time this house would be ours. 

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50+ Life Lessons I Learned From My Mom

You never realize just how much you learned from your mom until you stop and realize she's pretty much the backbone of all your values, quirks, and habits. You also never realize just how little you can do to truly say 'thank you' enough for all the crap you put her through growing up. From the chores you didn't want to do to the clothes you didn't want to wear to the curfews you didn't want to obey -- but you get it now. 

With mother's day approaching, I've been thinking a lot about all the amazing influence my own mama has had in my life. There are millions of lessons she taught me over the years without even knowing it, simply by setting an example of the kind and loving woman she is. I managed to make this list of just a few of those lessons that hold stories and wisdom I can only hope to pass along to my kids one day as well.  

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Being A New Mom Means...

Though my almost 6 month old baby is a very real part of my daily life now, I still sometimes look at her with amazement and can't believe she's ours. She has changed my world so completely and in the most unpredictable ways. This is a list of just a few of the little, behind-the-scenes things I've discovered in the short 6 months of motherhood to tag on to the job description:  

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More than "good enough"

When I first broke out my Nikon d800 from its crisp packaging, it felt like a heavy, expensive hurricane was washing me off my feet. My husband and I talked about our dreams often, and somehow the idea of making money photographing kids and families always found its way into the conversation. I had just finished working my butt off to graduate from a one-year masters program in Secondary Education, so that was obviously my plan. I would be a teacher.

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My Dark History with the Easter Bunny

We are all ashamed of something in our past. A moment when we've found ourselves in a situation and thought -- "how did I get here??" The key is to take those moments in the valley and find a way to climb out on top. To use our lows as ammunition, as fuel to drive us to a higher goal.

One of those moments in my life occurred as I looked out of the netted, sweat-soaked fur of a giant Easter Bunny costume. That's right, folks.

I. Was. The. Easter. Bunny. 

Let me explain. 

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The Great Home Studio Makeover - Part 1

I got butterflies in my stomach when I first saw this room-- on the entry level of the home, it has one giant window with incredible natural light, wall length built-ins, a traditional brick fireplace, and original hardwood floors. The previous owners used it as a playroom -- but my eyes got starry and my heart screamed "STUDIO!!!!" 

Since moving in, we've added a few touches to make the space homey and I've used it strictly as my office / the room where random things get dumped. But this year, now that Kira is born and we're settled into our living space on the upper two floors, I've set the gears in motion to make the dream of creating my home studio a reality. 

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Secret Single Behaviors: Married/Mom Edition

The term SSB- or "Secret Single Behavior" was first geniusly coined by one dear Carrie Bradshaw in an early 2000's episode of Sex and the City. Somewhat self explanatory, it describes the somewhat embarrassing but comforting behaviors we fall into whenever there's no one else around. Said behaviors usually involve walking around naked or eating/drinking things out of their native containers. My brother recently confided that he made a box of mac and cheese and a package of fat free chocolate pudding for dinner on one such occasion (sorry bro, secret's out.) Solid SSB.

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An Open Letter: To My Husband After Kids

To my husband (after kids), 

I didn't think it was possible to love you any more, but as you held my hand and actually made me laugh mid-labor, I realized I was wrong. 

Having a baby changed our whole lives, that part is undeniable. And sometimes I miss the freedom that came with just winging a date night out or long movie marathons cuddled on the couch with wine and homemade cookies. 

But now I have something else. 

I have the sight of you making her laugh as yo

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Kira's 1st Christmas

Christmas is always a magical time, but bring a new baby into the equation and you're introducing a whole new level of wonder. I have never been more grateful that we were able to land somewhere close to family so that they could experience and love on our little one through the holiday season. She was able to meet so many dear friends and just adored all the extra cuddles. We adored some extra sleep and a chance to eat our meals together on a regular basis.

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