Winter was long, long, long this year. Although it is already becoming a bit of a memory, I know I can’t be the only one who feels that way. And while the sun was hiding behind a bitter, (BITTER!) inversion cloud, I decided I would get out and explore, once warmth made it’s annual, blessed, reappearance. This was the result of a collaboration, on one beautiful March day. Specifically, I was interested in light and shade, and the emotion created by the imperfect use of both, but I may have gotten a little distracted by Mallory’s hair. Just.A.Little.
So here are the results of one sunny day with two good friends! Thank you Mikki and Mallory for being such lovely people. Check out Mikki’s version of our shoot here. I love seeing another creative’s point of view. And for the record, I just love these girls.
I’m not going to lie, I was a bit nervous when, “boy,” was unceremoniously proclaimed at 20 weeks. I didn’t know boy. I knew girl. The last 18 months, with our three-year-old Lucy, have been an excess of pink, princess, pink, and more pink. I’m used to a bit of drama, and lots of opinions on what we are wearing, and I have a love-love-love relationship with my Lucy girl, that centers my whole world. She brushes my hair, and hugs me close, and we tell stories all day long. How would I ever be a good mom to a little boy? Although I’m the oldest of six kids, the girls all came first, and that’s what I’m most familiar with. I’m not sure the territory that boys rule. Would I love my boy as much as I love my girl? Could my heart be big enough for another child? Would I be enough for him? Would he be enough for me?
And then he came. And he was perfect. He was so much more than perfect. He was exactly what I needed, to mend a heart still sore from a year filled with worry and hurt. I had prayed for a family, for so very long. I had yearned for a sibling for Lucy, and another baby to hold, and love. I had longed for him forever, and here he was. With a beautifully dimpled chin, and a full head of hair, blue-eyes (where did those come from) that look for me, wherever he is. He is my sweet, sweet baby, my love. And for the first six weeks, I never put him down. I wanted to constantly nestle, smoosh, munch on, and make him all completely mine. Of course, he isn’t just mine, he’s ours, but I learned something the moment I first held him. Our hearts can love more than we can prepare for. They are just waiting to expand and fill it’s secret parts with love.
I can’t get enough of my Jack. His grunt-laugh, his bright smile, the way he launches himself into my arms, and lets his sister man-handle him night and day. The way he will only fall asleep with me, snuggled in and cozy. I pray that I will be good enough for him. I want to teach him to be a good and kind boy, and a good and kind man. That compassion is a gift, not to be ashamed of and that strength is a blessing. I want him and Lucy to be best friends. I want them to know how lucky they are to have each other. She will protect him and he will protect her. As Lucy says, we are family. He might be my last baby, although I’m not ready to think of that yet. But either way, I give thanks every day, for the joy that is Jack. For the sweetness, and pureness. For his love. For his ability to make us all a little happier, and definitely a little tireder :) I take the bit of hard, with the whole world of good, and love him with all my heart.
It’s hard for me to justify personal work these days. I have a newborn, a busy three-year-old, a husband, my clients, a crazy home that’s always messy, and a million other things that are more pressing, needing my immediate attention.
But it’s been a long, cold winter, and I needed to break out and experiment a little. A little push on the borders is good and necessary. And so I did, and these are just a peak.
Sometimes a little personal work is good for the soul.
I’ve been inspired by the cloudy days of late winter, but surprise! Out came the sun, and I was okay with that.
Lucy and I were recently invited to the sweetest Valentine’s Day Party. Megan, from Sweet Little Peanut, is just one super-talented, super-organized, super-creative momma. She put together such a darling party, and Lucy can’t stop talking about it (especially, the entire bag of candy she snuck into her skirt.) The kids gave Valentine’s, drank pink milk, frosted cookies, and stole kisses. Thank you so much Megan for such a great day! And check out Sharstin’s cute littles. These kids were too much!
If you haven’t checked out Sweet Little Peanut, you need to, stat! I have bookmarked every single Valentine’s Day craft.
Sharstin and Megan, hard at work!
A couple of weeks ago I was invited to photography the sweetest little Valentine’s Day Party! Here’s a little peak, but there is plenty more to see over at Sweet Little Peanut’s Blog! If you are familiar with Utah Bride Blog and Pink Piggy Design, then you will recognize the fabulous Megan Bailey, who is the creator of Sweet Little Peanut.
Lucy and I had the best time! Also, check out Sharstin Miller’s cute little kiddies! So fun!
Today was a hard day, but we will always be grateful for the five years we had with Oliver. He was and is, my first dog. And my first experience with truly unselfish love. He lived to be a part of our family, and his sweet gift to us will never be forgotten.
Today, we tried to make him as comfortable as possible, love him, and convey just how much it has meant to have him be in our family. Lucy told Oliver stories about doggies that felt happy and not sick any more. She told me not to cry, she promises it will be okay.
It already feels lonely, without his loud tail thump, and happy face to greet us. If you have ever had a pet, I think you know what today was for us. Scott always told me I’d have a really hard day in twelve years, but today we had a really hard one in five. Life isn’t always fair, but we are forever grateful that we chose this dog, the one that constantly got stopped for his handsome doggy looks, and happy, sweet personality. Five years ago, on Valentine’s day, I gave Scott our sweet Ollie, and our life hasn’t been the same since.
The inspiration for this shoot was born in the middle of last winter, when it was cold and grey, and I was yearning for sun and color. It was executed on a hot day last June, surrounded by forest fires, with ash falling on our heads. From start to finish, this was a project of love and I can honestly say this body of work, is some of my proudest. I wanted to challenge myself, and in the process had the amazing blessing of working with some of the most beautiful and talented women around. I can’t say enough thank you’s to Sarah Winward, Jayne Swallow, Melissa Blackburn and April Benincosa for their talent, friendship, and incredible collaboration! A huge thank you to Mari and Blake for being our beautiful models and to my husband, Scott, for making 6 dozen bundt cakes, being the heavy lifter, U-haul driver, and all-around, wonderful supporter that he is. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
And I’m so excited to share that this shoot is featured in the current edition of Utah Bride and Groom! Thank you Val for the beautiful feature! There are so many wonderful articles and beautiful weddings in this issue! I’m honored to be a part of such an amazing magazine and collection of work.
Surprise! They have a baby! How cute are they?
Last year I wrote this post, knowing IVF was in my immediate future. I was terrified of failure and loss this time around. But like last time, we jumped in, heart in hand, with a hope and faith. And here I am, a year later, so grateful for this journey I have traveled. There were hard things; some unexpected bumps, but the year ended with the sweetest thing of all. My heart wants to burst with the glory that is Jack and the wonder that is my family.
My goal this year is simple. Enjoy! Enjoy the simple things, the simple moments, the silly moments, the hard moments and the heart-breakingly beautiful moments. Be present and be happy. That’s my wish for 2013. And I wish it for all the lovely people who filled my world this year. Amazing clients, beautiful friends and family. A whole bunch of new people entered my world in 2012, and when I look back, I’m incredibly grateful. I’m grateful for deepening relationships, and support systems, encouragement and inspiration.
Thank you and Happy New Year’s!