I believe the stories of the love of your home are the most precious ones. There are many ways to tell a story; one of them is through images. That’s where I come in. I tell the stories of families, from tiny arms reaching up at you to grown ones that wrap around you.
I can still see it. It's like looking through a window in time in my mind. I see my mom dancing around the kitchen as she baked her famous chocolate chip cookies. When I was young, she always let us dip our tiny fingers in and around the edges. She let us lick the spoons. That's just the kind of mom she was. That kitchen may have been the heart of our home, but she was the heart of my world.
How many moments did we spend in the kitchen, laughing and dancing, sitting and listening, my sisters giggling as they joined her joyous apron twirls? Thousands.
Now, as a mother, I stand in my own kitchen with two little boys wrapped around my heart and we dance. We dance because she danced. We dance because her love left an imprint on my soul that can never be undone. As a daughter, I would give anything to have those moments of us dancing the way we use to saved forever in an image. And as a mother, I want to give my boys those documented moments of us, those moments that they will look at one day and say "This was us. This was us dancing, and laughing. This was us playing in the dirt and running through the fields. This was us with our mom."
I believe that love is generational. That mothers and fathers are building homes that will duplicate the compassion and care the was fostered there. I believe in love's power to heal and create, in its ability to flow from one generation to the next. I believe love can be expressed in many ways, and one of those ways is remembering the feelings it created in us. That is where I come in. I capture the moments of love in your home so that you and your children will never forget the beautiful expressions of love that created the home where your little ones grew. I show love through saving moments for you, so one day you can go back to that place in your mind and dance again.
Now that my mother is gone, and we have picture books for our boys to see, her legacy lives on in our homes but most importantly, in our hearts.
I'll never forget. It was an extraordinary day filled with cuddles and joyful songs. A day filled with the anthems of my boys growing up, with tickle monsters, and big smiles I will remember always.
In the middle of a seemingly simple moment, my oldest son Jack ran into the living room and proudly climbed up on our couch looking at a large photograph of our family hanging on the wall. He leaned in slowly and tried to wrap his tiny arms around the photography that laying flat against the wall. He reached with all of his might to hug the photo of the 4 of us, piled on top of each other, laughing.
To anyone else, it might have looked like a sweet gesture, but to me this moment resonated in my heart so strongly that it made me stop everything to take it in. Here was my son, who one day won't reach up at me with his little arms or crawl into my lap and fit the way he does. And that day, in the home where he is being loved and fashioned into the man he will one day be, he hugged a photo that represents to him, his entire world: Us.
When I choose to press the button on my camera that miraculously allows me to hold a moment still forever, Jack hugging our photo plays across my mind. One day these little hands will turn into the bigger ones that hold the next generation of tiny feet that pitter patter down the hallways.
One day, we won't have binkies and blankets decorating our floors of our homes. Tiny shoes won't be left abandoned by their wearers. One day, we will have tiny hearts that grew in our love to become adults with their own hopes and dreams. One day, they will walk out our front doors as newly emerged adults, and we'll have to let them go so they can learn to fly solo.
But today isn't that day. And today, we have a thousand moments to hold onto until that door closes behind them one last time.
Today, those moments should hang on your walls as they hang in your heart like beautiful love imprints of the tiny souls who gave us the name we never want to change: Momma.
A tiny hand slips into into yours. You look down and see that peanut butter is still on their face and their favorite snuggly toy is tucked underneath their arm. At this age, they don’t walk - they skip - and they insist that each hand be held by someone. They insist on twirling, jumping, and dancing. They try to convince you that mud puddles are opportunities for fun and that songs should be sung loudly in the car. They insist on joy as often as possible. When they are all tucked into bed and you sit on the couch across from your favorite person and relive the stories of the day in your mind, you realize the most simple days are the greatest ones. And joy is really worth celebrating and remembering. Always. Images are opportunities to relive your favorite moments with them when they truly understand fully how much they mean to you.
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How many moments have you spent with your children laughing, reading, spoon-licking, shoe-tying, and
sink-bathing? Countless. And how many photos do you have commemorating those often
mundane, day-to-day tasks that have created the home and childhood your children will look
back on as adults? Zero, I’m guessing. I know because I’m a mom. We want to remember these
moments forever - chubby faces surrounded by bubbles as water drips from their noses or their
tiny little fingers determined to make bunny ears out of shoe laces. But who is there to push the
button, freezing these moments in time? Your hands are soapy and wet as you wash their hair.
Your hands are holding on to that bike and running alongside as they (and maybe you?) work
up the nerve for you to let go. Let me help, mama. Let my hands man the camera while yours
guide, teach, comfort, and hold your sweet children. This season won’t last forever - but your
memories and my photographs will.
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I know you can still remember the first time you held them in your arms. I know you can still remember the thousand of times you vowed with your life to love them, protect them and to give yourself for them. It’s because of your love that they made it here. Although it might be hard to let go, they are ready because you loved them completely. Your love helped shape their hearts, helped made them who they are - and now it’s time to celebrate who they have become. It’s time to give them a mirror, through an image, to show them the beauty you see in them. This is their time, but it’s also yours.
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What is the story of your home you want to remember? What are the sounds of the life you have built for through your love? Do you dance in the kitchen, or make pancakes every Saturday morning with little chefs dressed in jammies? Are your little ones growing into adults? Is it their last year in high school? I want to tell the stories of your home. From little feet running down the halls early on Saturday mornings to baseball jerseys, and everything in between. Don’t let the memories stay in your imagination - bring them to life in an image you can hold forever.