The Dexters

I was so excited when I was asked to come photograph this family after their new addition Zachary! I have worked with them several times over the years and I love seeing how much the kids have grown each time.  I hope we can continue this trend as little Zach grows as well.  One of my favorite parts of the day, besides playing with these adorable kiddos was when sweet Sidney grabbed her toy camera and decided she was going to take some of her own captures of her baby brother. So precious!

Jenny + Ryan’s Vintage Bridal Shower

Today I got to document one of the most beautiful bridal showers to date. My uncle, aunt and some dedicated friends worked tirelessly to create the perfect day for their little girl and all their hard work paid off! The amount of details and creativity left me in awe.  I cannot wait to see what they do for Jenny and Ryan’s wedding! Congratulations you two, you have a wonder journey ahead of you!

Joe and Jen are Expecting

I am super behind on posting, I know.. Life is crazy right now but i wanted to make sure I didn’t forget to post this lovely couple. I went to high school with Joey and it has been a long time since we have seen each other.  It was so nice to catch up and I couldn’t be more excited for him and his lovely wife Jen to start the next chapter in their lives and become parents! Best of luck you two!

Welcome Baby Jimmy

My dear friend, and amazing dietitian, Erin, along with her husband welcomed their second son Jimmy just a few weeks ago.  I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with this amazing family to capture their love. Any time I can spend my day hanging out with an energetic toddler with the most infectious laugh i know, and an adorable newborn baby I am already obsessed with, I know it’s going to be a good day. I can’t wait to for Liam to I to have some play dates in the future!

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The Adams

I had so much fun with this family! It was a long drive for these three kiddos and allowing them to run and explore Stony Lake in Stokes Stake Forest made for some of the most genuine pictures.  The joy of photographing kids is letting them be exactly what they are… kids! It’s spontaneous, exciting, and always great for a laugh.  I hope i get to work with this family again some day. Enjoy!

 

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The Dexter’s

It is amazing what a year can do.  I photographed this family last fall and now  a year later, we headed to the same location and had even more fun then last time! I love these kids and they are such a beautiful family to capture.  I can’t wait to run around with these kiddos again!

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Spreading Love

 

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I am so excited about our summer long project for the children in our CLH (community’s little helpers) group! Our Random Act of Kindness post cards are finished and look amazing! I had no doubts that they would. My incredibly talented sister in law Jennifer Domaracki of Dahl House Design does amazing things with whatever task she is given. And a big thanks to my niece Katie for creating the art work for the cards! She is certainly taking after her mama.
I am already planning on bringing Liam’s cards on vacation with us when we go to North Carolina this summer. I can’t wait to see what the other kids come up with for their acts of kindness!

C.L.H.

Late last year I decided I wanted start a tradition in my family, especially for when Liam gets older. I wanted for all of us, together, as a family to volunteer for a cause of our choice once a month. It could be as simple as gathering things around the house for donations or food for the local pantry.  Just something. I wanted Liam to grow up in an open and giving environment and for it to, hopefully become second nature to him as he gets older.  When I started talking to other moms about my idea I quickly realized that I wasn’t alone in wanting to create service opportunities for children.  In a nutshell, that was how the CLH was born.  “Communities little Helpers” was started in the beginning of this year and so far I have rallied together 10 families with children ages 0-6 years of age. I formally started through my church however all are welcomed to join.  Since we have started we have made packaged sock cupcakes for residents at local nursing home, went to a zoo in town and handed out “sunshine” notes to strangers, and just recently held a diaper drive for a local diaper bank in our area.  The idea of the diaper drive was presented to me from another mother in the group as her daughter’s school was doing the same thing. I had never thought of donating diapers before but what a wonderful thing to give! We all know how expensive they are and how fast we can go through them.  We used the month of May as our May is for Mothers diaper drive (fathers are included too J ) and were able to collect 590 diapers to be donated!! The women at the organization were thrilled and so appreciative.  I know Liam is too young to understand now but soon he will and I am so excited to bring him up in a way that teaches him to recognize and act on situations where someone can use a little help. It is by far the most rewarding feeling.

Stevie + Will Firehouse Engagement

I had a great time with these two love birds! Will is heavily involved as a volunteer fire fighter for the Beemerville Fire Dept, and the firehouse was their place of choice for their engagement shoot.  I love shooting at locations that have a personal connection to the couples. It creates a unique canvas for me and acts as a comfort zone for them.  I cannot wait for their wedding this fall. Congratulations Stevie and Will!

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Round 2…..Me vs. The Closet

I have been plugging away and decluttering my house little by little. After Liam goes to bed I tackle a drawer here, a shelf there and graciously pat myself on the back every time I put something in the donation/yard sale box. With this new confidence in “letting go” I moved to the closet. I may have let my new confidence get ahead of me and I came in too hot. The other day I opened the door and started taking every article of clothing out to evaluate….every last one…. The bed, the floor, the dog….everything covered in clothes. I quickly became overwhelmed and frustrated and instantly exhausted. I found myself making excuses as to why I should put this off until another day. “It was late, I had work the next day, I should really wait for the weekend..” A common reaction to the daunting task of purging your home when you get the urge to do your spring cleaning.

I quickly gave up and shoved everything hastily back in the closet and went to bed. I lost that round. Bad.
The next day I reflected on the failed attempt to release and relive in my new minimalistic way and realized, I have no deadline, I have no calendar date that I need to achieve this by. This is a lifestyle change for me, and as with any lifestyle change it takes time to properly incorporate into your life. There is no quick fix or magic pill to make us the best sculpted, most healthy maintained individual, and the same goes for decluttering and distressing our way of living. I needed take a step back, take my time and really think about what I was doing.

The next night I had two giant hampers of clothes that needed to be washed so I looked at that as an opportunity to start slow. I was always baffled about how Chad and I could have so much laundry, and most of it wasn’t even our 1year son’s! When I thought about my weekly wardrobe I honestly felt like I wore the same shirts, pants, and cardigans week after week. I never felt like I had an abundance of options so how on earth did we continuously have enormous amounts of laundry??

I knew the answer but didn’t like to admit it. My husband and I are both guilty of picking clothes up off the floor or chair in our room and throwing them in the hamper just for the “out of sight, out of mind” effect. We were lazy. Some mornings as I am running around packing everyone’s food for the day, loading the car, and trying to get myself ready I end up trying on 5 different tops and feel like I can’t find anything I want to wear. I take the top off to exchange for another while the original is mindlessly thrown on the bed before grunting and saying “this one will have to do because now I am late,” and running out the door. Please tell me I am not the only one that does this!!

Thinking about it from a minimalistic point of view however, if I had less options of clothes that I wasn’t overly thrilled with and only a few options of clothes that I truly valued and loved then my mornings will be a lot less stressful and rushed, there would be less thrown in the hamper, and in the end, less laundry for me to do.

So with that in mind I started tackling this giant load of laundry that has be overflowing for days. When they were clean and needed to be folded I went through each piece of clothing and evaluated:

1. How much do I value/love this piece of clothing
2. How practical is it? How many different ways can I wear it?
3. Will I miss it if it is gone?

I was able to pick out a couple pieces from each load of laundry I did that I felt good about getting rid of. I found I was holding on to certain pairs of pants that I liked and felt complimented by body, however I could only wear them with one pair of shoes that seemed be the perfect height and shape for the bottoms of the pants. The question I began asking myself was, “why do I own a pair of pants that I can only wear with one pair of shoes?” Vice Versa, “why do I own a pair of shoes that I only wear with this one pair of pants?” Both of these items are not very practical and end up just taking up space for things that I could wear interchangeably as I pleased. Both…GONE.

I now continue with this process of slowly eliminating various pieces of clothing as with each load of laundry until I find that my wardrobe is filled with only things that I truly value and love. This battle is a slower one, but the lessons I am learning and the examples I hope I am setting for the rest of my family are far greater than the quick fix I may never reasonably obtain from a once a year spring clean purge.

To be continued…

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