I've always wanted to capture a live birth. The strength it takes to actually create and then deliver A HUMAN is amazing to me. I still can't believe I've done it 3 times and if it weren't for the personal struggles, I would probably have already done it a 4th time by now. Anyways :-P My soon to be sister in law is a strong confident woman who allowed me in her delivery room to capture the moments my nephew, Wyatt, was born. It's taken me a while to make my post about baby Wyatt - and really I still don't have the words I wish I did. The day was long, momma Tabitha was tired and so was my brother, daddy Heath. I couldn't tell if my brother was anxious, nervous or excited. Possibly all of the above as the day trickled on. I wished that Tabitha could nap a small bit, but she couldn't relax quite enough. Wyatt was sunny side up for a large portion of the day - every time the nurse would check Tabitha we hoped and prayed he had turned. After many positions in the last few hours of the day - Wyatt finally turned himself and prepared his entrance. When the pressure was built and the time came Tabitha,like a boss, took no more than 5-10 minutes to push this tiny soul out and into this big ol world. Wyatt cried, he puckered his lips, he cried some more. It was everything I imagined and more. It was beautiful. Watching my brother coach Tabitha as she pushed and then the praise he gave her for her strength was incredible, but the look on Heaths face - the smile he radiated, are moments I will never, ever, ever forget. Wyatt looks so much like Heath to me - big eyes, long lashes and a look of love and honesty. Heath and I are only 15 months apart - I feel as if I've loved him like he were my child my entire life. I am so happy for this new adventure in his life. I am so excited for the daddy man he is about to become (because everything changes once you're a parent). I REALLY can't wait for the day he realizes you choose your battles.. (lol lol) ANYWAYS! Here is my favorite session to date. The day my beautiful nephew Wyatt was born.
Y'all! I know a lot of awesome folks. A lot of "go getters", if you will, but since meeting my friend Ali, she has really taken the cake. My girl dreams a dream, draws the picture and makes it happen. This week she had a huge event with Huntsville Hospital where she took 7 different departments, in which are hiring, and created a specific and creative setting room in their name. I.E. you had a Medical room, a Surgical room, ect.
Since hearing about this event 7 weeks ago while doing Ali's hair, I knew I would not miss seeing her event in person if I were able. Just so happens yesterday was my off day, yaya! I convinced my amazing neighbor to ride downtown with me so I could run in for a "sec" while the kids sat in the car (I did this and prayed Tammy wouldn't hate me after... she didn't say it out loud that she hated me, but she also didn't come over for dinner as talked about LOL - Tammy if you're reading this, I love you forever). When I walked in, I knew it would be full of creativity and detail, but I didn't realize how much comfort there would be or elegance. Ali, of course, killed the event - but we were all just in awe of how amazing it all came together.
Ali plotted out each room strategically. She visited stores, created looks, drew a dream and made it come true. Because of Ali's amazing ability to create plus a little/lot of At Home, Brooks and Collier and All About Baby each room set the tone for the event. The event that invited well over 500 and had 300 RSVP's! I got there before the complete set up, so we are missing the food that I'm sure was amazing and the photo booth that I'm sure was so fun! With those few details added I know if I were in the medical field this would have been a must attend event! My personal favorite rooms are Medical, OR and Women's and Children! Which one is yours?!
To see this entire session CLICK HERE
To see this entire session click here
I met Erin at the Women's Business Center of North Alabama. We instantly clicked and exchanged info with one another. Not very long after meeting Erin she asked me to capture a Valentines Day party she host each year at her home. Of course I wanted to be there as the photographer, but you know when you instantly look up to someone, you aren't sure what it is, but you know they are good and could be of great influence to you? Well that was Erin for me. And then, you know, that moment when the person you look up to calls and hires you and you get excitedly nervous, like, you better rock this. Like, fireworks- I'm talking fourth of July! That's how I felt when Erin hired me last February!
And though it was freezing and the kids weren't THAT excited about anything but cookies, she trusted me! She confidently told her friends I had it under control as some children cried, she never ones doubted me... Erin has supported me out loud! She is constantly encouraging me and reminding me that she believes in my dream. This year she's asked me to capture her maternity and her oldest sons Senior pictures. Basically, she's asked me to be her life photographer - sign me up, GOALS!
I'm super thankful for walking into WBCNA and meeting Erin. I'm thankful for her words of encouragement and always including me in opportunities she sees fit for me and my dreams. I'm thankful for her support and friendship, too! I think I'm just thankful all over for my Erin! <3
Erin also owns a small business! Check out her work at Boy Meets Girl Designs ! When women come together and support one another a force is created that is unstoppable. Girl power is a real thing and this next quote is something I believe in more and more as the good Lord continues to bless me with another year in this life. "Here's to strong women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them."
To see this entire session click here !
Lindsey messaged me in November about expecting her 3rd baby - she had two boys at home, but they were expecting their first girl close to Christmas. She wondered about timing and cost and all things in between... I sold myself short, as I often do... (character flaw, I'm working on it) and we didn't talk again.
A couple weeks passed as I started to think about my year in review and I looked back on some newborn pictures I had taken... My confidence being built back up, I emailed Lindsey and confessed my guilt for talking myself down and I wanted to book her if she were able and still wanted me. How grateful am I that she hadn't found another photographer! She said she would let me know...
I didn't hear from her for a few weeks... And then, a message on facebook!
"Hi Sarah! I know this is a long shot because it's so late, however I was wondering if there was anyway you could do a newborn session for me? My daughter was born on Sunday (Christmas Day)"
"WHAT! YESSS!! YAY!! OF COURSE!! Like, duh. I'm so excited!" --- She trust me with her newborn session!
When I first got to Lindsey's house I was amazed at how neat everything was! She just had her third baby! I, myself, can remember the chaos and obnoxious mess right after we had our 3rd. Well, my mom was there to help the first two weeks - by the 3rd week, S was hittin' the fan.... Literally, possibly. I thought to myself, her mom must have been here - I forgot to ask if she had any help...
When I got to work the next day - a fellow hairstylist came up to me and reminded me that Lindsey's her client! We talked of how we love her and how sweet baby Quinn is when Brittany, my co-worker, says "Her mom passed away a few years ago, they named their baby girl after her.".... what? I immediately remembered Lindsey's smile, her clean floors and her patience... "SHUT UP!"- I said to Brittany... We talked about how sad that made us and how proud her momma would be as we parted ways. I couldn't stop thinking about Lindsey...again. Her smile... not one ounce of sadness, though it's been years, and maybe it wasn't "one of those days", it doesn't matter! Her smile... it was pure happiness, so genuine. Y'all, her patience! Mind you she has two older boys... and they were playing games on the ipad and you know how you feel when you loose a game..(!!) She just smiled the entire time. I thought of how proud I am of her! Some mommas can't help but stress, but she never batted an eye. Go momma, go!
Today I finished Quinn's newborn session and I couldn't help but ask to say some things about Lindsey's mom. I know I don't know her personally - but I know how proud I would be to speak about my own mother. I also know how it would make my mom cry happy tears to see me doing well. I know she would be proud of the woman and mother I had become. She would miss me, like I would miss her.
" She was the most kindhearted, thoughtful, selfless person I've ever known! She was my biggest supporter, my. #1 fan... and my best friend! She was a fighter and never let having breast cancer stop her from doing anything!... No one EVER had an ugly thing to say about her...She was just awesome. She was only 51 when she passed... She never really told me how bad it was because that was just like her, she didn't want anyone feeling sorry for her or to worry about her! I got to come home and spend the last two months with her before she passed on December 7th, 2005. My dad and mom were high school sweethearts...they were married for over 30 years...She never got to meet Bradley, my kids never got to hear her voice...My mom loved,loved,loved Christmas. She passed away right before Christmas in 2005, it's always put a little sadness in the day for me, but Quinn was born on Christmas day 2016!..We know she is at peace in heaven with Jesus and that gives me comfort. Most of the time (now) I only have happy memories but not having her around with my kids is BY FAR the hardest part. I just hope that I can be half the mom she was and that I'm making her proud! " - Lindsey
I couldn't imagine anyone being more proud of you than your mom, Lindsey. Your grace and welcome - your joy and compassion... It's written all over your face. The love your husband and children have for you radiates throughout your home. It's something so many hope for! I can't even IMAGINE how proud your father is of the woman you've become. I'm sure in ways you've probably helped him, too. I hope to watch Quinn grow - I hope she favors your momma and I hope you never loose sense of her being around.
I can't wait to visit you and your sweet family again! <3
So glad we reached out to one another - even if I was way unprofessional and you last minute - lol - you were a blessing in so many more ways than I realized at the time. You're one inspiring, momma. <3
To see this full session, click here.
I'll never forget driving up to Chelsey and Jake's home 2 and a half years ago for their first borns newborn session. I think it was my 3rd ever... I was so nervous! But when I walked in, there were cousins, her sister in law and her mother in law - cleaning that house spotless! I remember the warmth of welcome and the slight jealousy of how smart those women were in their way of helping Chelsey and Jake in there moment of change - their new season of life.
I'm always very honest with people on my staged/studio look when it comes to newborns.. Really, it's just not my style and that's ok (as long as both parties are on the same page). I didn't know "lifestyle" would end up being the term used for my newborn style, but I'm ok with it because it's exactly what it is. Life. This is home. This is your room - our mess - our life.
Although we all know I told Jake, Chelsey and Charlee to sit down, all together in this particular spot, but before that, they were basically already in this position. We were talking life and trying to figure out what the walls would look like with a few more decor items up, as Chelsey swaddled up Jolee Mae and Charlee watched. All in awe of the newest member... Memories rush back to me of sitting in the floor with my newborn babies, in their rooms, with a little bit of white noise and their dreaming face in my arms, I love those moments most. The first few days of unexplainable joy and contentment.
There is something different about being home in these first few moments of change and life. These moments that Jake and Chelsey will remember and discuss... "We had only been living in that house for a few months!" or "This is the home we brought you to x years ago...". I loove seeing old pictures of the home I grew up in. Or what about pictures of my family and I at my mamaws house! Those, I swear, I can smell the air when I look at them!
In this home memories will be made. Stories and secretes - laughter and tears. The best of friends will come to know one another as sisters and we can only hope their bond never breaks.
One day... they'll say look at the house!
They'll say "look how little we were!"...
One day, they'll say "look how young dad was!"
One day they'll say to a little body sitting next to them,
"that was my mommy..."
I'm so thankful for that year of photographing Charlee and becoming friends with the Herrera's. I can't wait to watch their newest edition Jolee Mae grow along side her beautiful big sister. Thanks for letting me capture your life and trusting me with your memories, Chelsey and Jake. You'll never regret it.
To see this entire session click here.
Yesterday was perfection, cold, but perfect! It's been really rainy here- overcast, cold... "I don't wanna", weather. Valerie is in town from Norfolk,VA where she's been living the past 4 years or so. Her husband, Ryan, is in the Navy (Thank you Ryan for your service!!) He's on his 3rd deployment since joining 4 years ago (hence why I waited to post, I just wanted to be safe&sure) and Valerie is due with their first born in March, Carter.
We were talking deployment, VA and all things baby when I said, assuming there would be no problem, "so, is Ryan going to make it home for his birth?", talking about their son of course, her response surprised me, "actually, we aren't really sure he is." Flash back to my friend Deanna who gave birth while her husband had been out of the state and was not able to be back in time for their first baby to be born, Penelope. I remember watching her grow and him sign up for the service. I wondered how she would be...Her relationship reminded me so much of mine and Dave's, though we only knew each other a very short period of time before getting pregnant with Piper. Dave had his entire life planned out... He would go to school,get his pilot license and then join the army. He wanted to be a warrant officer/black hawk pilot. He is so strategic... He had it ALL planned out. When I became pregnant with P - I did not, not want Dave to follow thru with his dreams, but I knew better than to say I would be ok going with him... I'm not that kind of woman, I'm not that strong.
I just couldn't imagine, my heart just breaks. And not in a pitiful kind of way, but in awe of your strength...even on your weak days, strength. I find myself wanting to get excited in case Ryan can make it home for Carters brith, but then I have to remember this isn't a reality T.V show.. This IS reality, that SO many have lived are living... Can you imagine waiting on a letter back in the 40's? I mean it wasn't that long ago there was only a phone call or mail... Strength.
Valerie, so beautiful and strong - I loved photographing her yesterday. She radiates confidence and has that glow of pregnancy that I loved and sometimes miss, but will never know again (TOTES ok, people, I'll get a puppy if any "fever" hits me :-P). Her and Ryan talk almost daily, but for days they might not get a chance to even text. Ryan recorded a book for Carter so he could hear his voice and become familiar. Now his son can hear his daddy! Valerie brought this book to the shoot yesterday and I thought it was the sweetest thing I had ever heard of! We have to be thankful for technology in so many areas.
Sorry for the lengthiness of this post... But it's something that is heavy on my heart. When you pray I hope you pray for our men and women serving, but I hope that you also pray for their families back at home. I'm so proud of you Valerie - You're going to do great! I wish Ryan the best of luck and I hope so terribly bad he will make it home in time for Carter's arrival. We are all hoping for this <3
Man, see... the resentment... It would be such a problem for me and I'm sure it is for most couples ESP in situations like this. How do you over come this?! It's a DNA y'all... It can not be taught. I am so proud of all of these strong women and I probably know more than I realize....
Dear mommas, I salute you.