best news ever!!! // boise idaho family videographer!

So, I told you all on Instagram a few days ago that I had some super exciting news coming your way, and here it is!!! (I could’ve put about fifty exclamation points in there and it still might not do my giddiness justice.) I’m now offering family videography services!

I have no desire at this specific time to do wedding videos (those are huge projects!) but these kinds of videos can be added onto a session or purchased alone, and to me are just the best thing ever. I made this video of my boys and myself at home on an afternoon when Adelaide was at school and Justin was at work, and I will truly treasure this forever. I can visualize all of the incredible moments I will get to document for you all - your tiny newborn’s little grunts and coos, your toddling baby toppling over and getting back up again and again and again, your little one’s sweet voice and mispronounced words, quiet or crazy moments in your home or your favorite place to be together, adventures with your lover - the everyday experiences all wrapped up into this treasure that you can play on repeat forever. My photography services are going nowhere - I love photography! - but video can capture something pretty incredible that photos just can’t.

And the good thing is, your videos will be even BETTER than this one because you don’t have to take the video of yourself like I was doing here. ;) (Actually, I had my husband come help me re-shoot some clips I wasn’t satisfied with and he did great, so I have to give him credit for that!)

I made my mom cry with this and she’s not even a big crier. So just imagine how you’ll feel when this is your own beloveds on video. I think you’ll be obsessed, just like I am with this.

To celebrate this, don’t forget to enter the giveaway posted on my Instagram! Yay!!!!

summertime // my own family photos on film

The end of summer marks many things for us. My oldest beginning full time school... My middle turning four... My youngest *finally* calling me mama... Five months in Idaho, five months as homeowners, five months settling into a totally new life, one that has its highs and lows but that we love deeply. It's has been a season of growth and change in so many deep ways.

I've been reminiscing lots about this past summer, and had to share some photos. They're not perfect - many were shot on very, very expired film that I'd never dream of using on my clients and that gives unpredictable results, but it was free, just sitting in my office and waiting to be put to work. So, why not?

What I love isn't that these photos are so perfect, it's that this was the first summer I felt like I could almost give my kids one of my own childhood summers. With our move here, and getting away from living in such a busy and expensive and huge city, I feel like we've rewound the clock a little bit and found a place where we can do what we grew up doing. It's a place where we can still afford swim and soccer and ballet, and where it's all done for fun and not for competition, and where we can play in the sprinklers and do yard work on weekends and light fireworks on our driveway for the 4th and make friends at the park and swim in the river and stay up way too late because it's light til 10pm and soak it all up - because even though it's so blazing hot, it'll be over before you know it and it's time to enjoy it now. 

I talk about it all the time because it grates on my nerves all the time, but social media has changed our ability to just enjoy the little things. It makes the mundane seem unimportant, which is so far from the truth. And so I suppose I always want to keep the curtains back enough to show that the imperfect, uneventful, very average life (mine, maybe yours) is deeply beautiful. Not because I always remember to believe this - but because I know it is truth, and one that I'm always working to live in light of.

So these are photos from our summer. At times so wonderful and filled with all the highlights of this wonderful city and these stages with our children, at other times filled with bored, bickering kids and 105 degree temps and smokey skies and an anxious countdown to the first day of school. I want to remember our half-done, weed-filled yard, my babies' tans and little swimsuits and water play, and our trip up north that turned out to be incredibly expensive and stressful and yet still truly wonderful (story for another day!), and a season that felt both filled with activity and yet full of pause at the same time.

I hope your summer has held some sweet highlights, that your eyes can see the divine in the everyday, and that autumn brings renewal and peace.

boise family photographer // not pretty, but good.

In three days my baby turns one, and I’ve been reflecting on the last 20 ish months since I found out I was expecting him. Be warned, this is long. ;)

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Around a baby’s first birthday, I see so many moms reminisce fondly about pregnancy and proudly look back on their wonderful birth stories and mourn the fact that their sweet baby is becoming a toddler. If that’s you, it’s totally fine, really - no shame. However, it isn’t me. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not totally ready for this milestone because it’s come so quickly and I still get teary thinking about how fast babyhood goes, and there are absolutely things I'll miss about having a baby - but childbearing and breastfeeding and mothering infants has been such a physically burdensome job for me, and the passing time is a relief in many ways.  I’m not complaining - it hasn’t been hard to get pregnant and I’ve always had plenty of milk to feed my babies and I am eternally grateful for the health we have. Many women can’t say the same and I don’t take that for granted. I have been so lucky. 

Where I have struggled a lot is with migraines - I’ve always had them, but for the first 6-12 months postpartum, and also especially during this last pregnancy, they have been incredibly frequent, limiting, burdensome, and emotionally challenging. The hormonal changes, lack of sleep, stress, and fatigue that pregnancy and young children bring is harder on my body than I care to admit. I don’t like feeling fragile, but in a way I am. Since my pregnancy with Parker, I have struggled with them more often than not. It's tiring.

And though my births have gone miraculously well in many ways, this last time around was so overwhelmingly intense and painful in a way I never thought my body could survive, that I still get very anxious and a bit tearful thinking back on it. It wasn’t beautiful except in the end; I didn’t feel powerful; I felt helpless and somewhat traumatized by the most excruciating thing I’ve ever been through (this was not my experience with the first two). I don’t like admitting that because I want to be strong, not weak, and a birth that results in a healthy mother and baby can hardly be classified as actual trauma. But it was hard for me, and for some reason it still is. 

I think back on months and months of trying to care for three children, run a business, and make it through some challenging things in our lives, and I remember lots of love, but also so many migraines, so much discouragement at times, and sadness that this stage of having young children hasn’t looked how I thought it would. And I see a lot of vulnerability - a youngish woman trying really hard to measure up and do/look/be good enough, and I see someone who has gotten a little lost in all of it but is finding her way out.

Now that all that’s out there, I hope I can still clarify that I’m not trying to complain. I am blessed abundantly; truly I believe that with my whole heart. If we’re comparing struggles, mine barely register on the scale at all. We’re not even touching on miscarriage and other loss, infertility, major health issues, etc. But I think that sometimes we fill in the blanks that others leave with something better than what is real, if that makes sense. It's easy to assume that things went well for someone because they didn't say otherwise, when that actually wasn't the case. I've experienced this very clearly from both ends (the one who fills in the blanks wrong and the one whose blanks are filled in wrong), so I just felt the need to say it all. Just because - to paint a fuller picture.

And I'm also saying this all because I really want you to know that it’s okay if your good things aren’t very pretty. If your birth wasn’t a beautiful story. If you don’t have cute baby bump photos because cameras were an emotional challenge you didn’t want to tackle at that time. If mothering is a struggle for you. If your children growing older is sad but also maybe a relief. If your memories of a certain stage of life are a mix of happy and really hard. If you don't really believe the older people who tell you that you'll miss this, because it's been full of demands you couldn't keep up with if they continue much longer. 

None of that makes you or your experience less meaningful or valuable or GOOD. After all, the hardest times are when we grow the most, and having children has never been about toting around a cute baby, but about raising the next generation to be humans of quality and character. It’s okay if you can't find ultimate joy in the present (though striving for joy and contentment in present circumstances is certainly a healthy practice), because we're also in it for the big picture, and sometimes the best you can make of the present is to remind yourself that it isn't forever. 

So as my baby quickly approaches the mark of a whole year of life on the outside, I do look back with some wistfulness, and some sadness at all that's behind us already, and I already miss the rolls he's shedding and the way I was his whole world. But I also think about how having babies has been hard for me. Really hard. And I want to make peace with that, because it has still been GOOD, and feeling tired or overwhelmed or even struggling a lot doesn't mean that I love my children less or am not doing my very best as their mother.

I’m not sure most of the time how to walk the line of true authenticity without veering into whiny TMI or artificial squeaky clean happy, but this is my attempt for today. Just know that whether your story is pretty or not so much, if you're content where you are or if you're hoping every day that something changes soon, you are valuable, your story is GOOD (as in it is enough, it matters), and your experiences (even the hard ones) hold life and growth inside of them. Much love to all you mamas (and everyone else) out there. 

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