Motherhood - December (That's a Wrap!)

Here we are...month 12! The final month of blog circles with the shared theme of Motherhood!

For my final image, I wanted to show one of my favorite sides of motherhood - lazy pajama days where we don't leave the house for a minute.  Raising kids is a tough job, so it's good to remember to take a deep breath and just be together sometimes with no agenda.  Everything else can wait.

Next, go visit Laura's website to view her December image!

Thanks so much to all my talented photographer friends who joined me on this project!  It was so fun to see Motherhood from their perspectives!

Motherhood - November

Sometimes motherhood is all about leaving your family for a week to get some long overdue "me time" and coming home refreshed, recharged, and recommitted to being the best mom you can be.

Seriously, they can manage just fine without you.

Really, they can.

Now head over to my talented friend Laura's page to see her perspective on The Motherhood Project this month!

Motherhood - October

Motherhood is....

Joyful. Fulfilling. Empowering. Awakening. So so many amazing things.

And also very defeating.

Because no matter how much you love being a mother, sometimes you just want to hide in a dark corner and sink into a depressing moment or phase or year.

You question everything you do, think, and know.

And other mothers.....they're so judgy and critical of your every move. Your every decision that differs from theirs.  Just because they can bond with others over it.  Like the one that tells you that you look like Harry Potter when you wear that striped shirt.  You know, cause bullying isn't just a kid thing.

Motherhood is exhausting.

All the activities. And laundry. And chauffeuring.  And necessary wine.

What happened to your 20 year old self?

What happened to your 30 year old self?

What happened to your dreams?  No, your personal ones.  The ones that are only about you.

Go pursue them.  Because you are more than "just" a mother.  And it's never too late.

Be sure to check out Teresa's view on motherhood this month, next!

September Motherhood

I can tune chaos out like nobody's business.

I've had this conversation with many mothers, and fathers too.  Seems like each of us has a different tolerance meter on what you are willing to put up with and just how much.  My husband can't stand loud noise and fidgeting, especially in the car.  I can have someone kicking my seat and tossing a soccer ball against the floor and still listen to tunes on the radio and mentally compose my grocery list.

If you wait until the last minute to ask me to complete a school form or bombard me the second I walk in the door, expect me to get real crabby, and real fast.

Especially if I'm hungry and need a cocktail!

Month 9 of this lovely little Motherhood Project is complete.  Click on Laura's link to see her perspective on Motherhood!

Motherhood - August Edition

Often times, motherhood is all about feeling stretched thin.  Thankfully this month, I was able to spend a decent amount of one on one time with my youngest, and usually that time was spent biking to Bread & Pickle so he could eat ice cream and watch the fish.  I'll buy it for him any day, as long as he wants to spend time with me. :)

Check out Laura's "Motherhood" image next!

Motherhood - July

Last month with The Motherhood Project, I shared an image that reflected upon the theme of independence, specifically about struggling with the feeling of gaining comfort with my children's growing need for it.

Around the time that I shared that image, my 12 year old exercised that independence and fell 15 feet while climbing a tree, fracturing his ankle.  We spent an evening in the emergency room, feeling grateful he didn't fall on his head, and a restless overnight at the hospital while he was observed for further foot damage/trauma (thankfully, none).

We missed fireworks on the Fourth of July and we also began the depressing process of canceling a 2 week family adventure to Europe, one that we had been eagerly awaiting and that signified a celebration of being reunited as a family after 5 long years of dad being away at school.  I have been working like crazy, and this vacation meant everything to me.  I could barely keep myself together while I hid my disappointment from my son, and each day I was back at work instead of boarding an airplane or drinking a pint by the fire was filled with anger and sadness.

And while it was also a bummer for my son to be stuck in the house for the entire month of July, my other son suffered too.  My poor 10 year old had gained so much independence in June because of his big brother and the buddy system.  And now his buddy couldn't swim or bike to Lake Harriet or run around the neighborhood or play tag at the park.  And my 10 year old's summer fun came to a screeching halt.

My image this month makes me think about July from his perspective.  Peering out a window to the freedom and carefree childhood on the other side that suddenly eluded him.  Feeling bored and hoping for his brother to make a fast recovery so they can once again climb and run barefoot and come home with stories of adventure.

The good news is that the cast comes off in about 3 weeks, and then with a bit of physical therapy, the advertures will resume for them both.  Trees will be climbed again and I will have to remember how important it is to allow them to climb trees, even if I know that sometimes they do get hurt.

Be sure to check out Teresa's take on Motherhood this month!

Karli & Christie - June 26, 2016

Recently, I had the incredible pleasure of photographing Karli and Christie's wedding.  These ladies are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside, and I can honestly say that I loved being part of their day in such an important way.  Seeing their joy along with everyone who attended their wedding was a high point, and documenting that joy was exciting.

We started in the afternoon with their First Look photographs in front of the Aster Cafe, along the riverfront in NE Minneapolis.  I love this part of the city - the buildings are over 100 years old with tons of character, and major kudos to the Aster for surprising the couple with a champagne toast!

Next, the wedding party primped a bit and we moved over to the Stone Arch Bridge for some portraits.

Last, we headed to The Lyndale Tap House, where the wedding party waited as guests filled up The Herkimer Brew Pub and until the start of the ceremony.  It was so fun to see the couple walk into a packed Herkimer, full of family and friends waiting to celebrate these two.  This couple was surrounded by so much joy and love - congratulations Karli & Christie!  Best wishes for a wonderful life ahead!

June's Motherhood Project

Welcome to another month of The Motherhood Project - this image makes this project half way complete!

Like last month, independence is the theme of my Motherhood image.  It's a huge part of where I am in my journey as a parent to pre-teens.  This summer, my boys have been extremely busy gaining their newfound independence.  No one could have prepared me for how scary and amazing this is for a parent.  You want your child to have self-sufficiency and be able to entertain themselves.  But what started as riding their bikes just far enough out of my sight, has evolved into being out of sight for hours, and me needing to be comfortable with that.

Your mind starts to panic a bit when they've been gone just past "long enough" - you wonder if they got into an accident, you wonder if maybe you should have said "yes" to having a cell phone so you could easily be contacted in case of an emergency.  You're almost ready to hop in the car and trace that imaginary line between home and wherever they might be found.

And then just at the right moment, they come into a distant sight, with a wide grin and a story of adventure, and you know that everything is as life should be for a kid.  And letting go is just part of parenthood journey.

Be sure to follow our blog circle through, and take a look at Laura Hutchason's image next!

Motherhood in May

One day, you wake up and they don't need you anymore.  Well, not in the sense that they needed you before.  You raise them to be independent and capable, and then you experience a mixture of pride and loss when they go off with their friends for a bike ride, they crash and some other mother helps to dust them off (thank you, other mother, truly).  Then they come home to put their own bandage on (yes, declining your offer to help even) and they run back outside to further their independence. <3

Be sure to check out Lara Gowder Photography's Motherhood image next!

Mr. Chocolate Milk

That moment when everyone is busy outside, so the 6 year old sneaks inside, pours himself a large glass of chocolate milk, tops it with a HEAP of whipped cream, licks the canister dispenser, pulls a step stool up to the counter by the window, and announces out loud that he is drinking this by the window so he "can make sure that no one sees."

Oh, and rinses the cup in the sink, puts it in the dishwasher, and walks away with no one any wiser.

Except the photographer. <3

#DITL #documentary

Motherhood - April

Goodness do I love this project.  Mothers bonding over a powerful, shared experience and revealing their true selves and their true motherhoods.  While preparing for this month's post, more than one of us confided to each other "Do I dare share this? But it's blurry or not technically correct! Or I'm not sure if I really want people to see how dirty my house is!" Guess what, WHO CARES? Motherhood isn't Pinterest - so let's embrace it!  And be sure to head over to Laura's page next and follow the circle through.

So, this is my motherhood, not just in April, but year round.  Dirty windows, a dishwasher that doesn't really get those fingerprints off those heavily used wine glasses, stuff all over my very lived in living room.  I mentioned ALL OVER, didn't I?

And bright, lovely sun shining all over it reminding me that clean windows, pristine wine glasses, and tidy rooms really aren't my thing anyway.  So excuse me while I put my feet up after my very long day and have a glass of wine, soak in the light, and watch my kids tear apart my house.  As usual.

March Madness (aka Motherhood)

So what if I kitchen dance at least twice a month....you know you do too.  Or at least you wish you did!

DO IT.  Kitchen dancing mothers unite.  It's way cheaper than a fancy night out, and you don't have to wear shoes or presentable clothing!  Now go pour yourself a glass of wine and play my new favorite kitchen dancing tune.

And, please pop over to Lara Gowder Photography's website to see what her motherhood image is all about for March.  :)

My Minnesota - February 2016

Somehow, we didn't get out much during the month of February, but we did manage to attend the Luminary Loppet event on Lake of the Isles towards the beginning of the month.  There is just something so magical about walking on a frozen lake at night all lit by candles. <3

Now go check out what Lori Dozier Photography was up to in February and keep following the blog circle!

Motherhood - February Style

Another month of Motherhood is ready to share!  I love these ladies and their shots of real, authentic motherhood!

I feel like I'm constantly stepping over toys or ending up with Legos under my feet.  At least they sort of left me a path to the bathroom.

Be sure to check out Sharmilla Jade Photography's image this month and follow the blog circle through!

Which motherhood images resonate with you?

My Minnesota - January 2016

Recommitting to this fun monthly blog circle of Minnesota images from the perspective of several talented Minnesota photographers!

I took this image on the very last day of January during the great "Minnesota Thaw" (you know, just before that great Groundhogs Day 10 inch snowfall the very next day!)....typical MN winter, I guess! :)

As much as I love to freelens images, I am loving the added control that my new Lensbaby Edge 50 provides.  That slice of focus in the middle of my image is heaven! Plus, my fingers don't get so cold. <3

Please go pay Erin's blog a visit to see her January perspective and follow through to complete the circle!

THE MOTHERHOOD PROJECT introduction

I am joining forces with several other photographers who are also mothers, for a project that really speaks to me.  Each month we each plan to share an image about the realities of motherhood.  Anyone who is a mom knows that motherhood is many, many things: sweet, gritty, exhausting, rewarding, the list goes on.  Our images will reflect all those realities, and I hope that it is as relatable to you as it is to me.

Each image by these talented women speaks to some aspect of my own motherhood experience, and I find a lot of power and community in the fact that we are all willing to get out of our comfort zones, share our truths, and invite our viewers into our moments - no matter how raw they may be from time to time.  So, enjoy!  And after you're finished viewing my image for January, please go see Angie Schueren Photography's image and follow the circle all the way through!

Fresh 48 Session | Baby Willa

I've been fortunate this year to have friends, family and clients willing to let me try anything and everything when it comes to photography, including a newborn "Fresh 48" session at the hospital last week, just 40 hours after Willa's arrival into our world.  I'm not sure there is anything better in life than a new baby.  Suddenly, life's purpose becomes so very clear. <3

Special Lifestyle Session Offer!

Hello there! I know it's only October, but I'm excited to share that I'm offering 4 fun Lifestyle Sessions that will document your family leading up to the holidays AND benefit a great charity!

What is a Lifestyle Session? It's documenting an activity - think holiday baking with your kids, making latkes, going to buy your fresh Christmas tree at the neighborhood garden store, rolling out lefse, decorating your home with lights...you get the picture!

$225 includes a 60-90 minute session, at least 25 digital prints sent to you in a private online gallery within 1 week of your session, and printing rights so you can print your images as you please!

But the part I'm really excited about is the charity donation of $25 that I will make in your name to Second Harvest Heartland so a family in need can have a special meal of their own as they celebrate their holidays, or simply have less worry about affording the day to day things they need.

The dates for the 4 sessions I'm offering are:
11/15, 11/22, 11/29, 12/6

Edited to add: there is only 1 session remaining: 11/22

So reach out to me soon to grab a session!

Lifestyle Session example linked here!


Weddings!

I'm on a wedding roll, lately.  Since second shooting my first wedding in June, I've had the honor of shooting 2 more weddings, most recently last Saturday.  I'm finding weddings to be a lot more fun than I anticipated, probably because my couples have been 100% behind my focus on the candid, less conventional perspectives.  Looking forward to shooting more of them!

Chris + Dan (August 8, 2015)

Laura + Rod (August 1, 2015)