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 tell the stories of the in-between, of the average day, and show how those simple moments are really the extraordinary ones.
Your life and your love, unposed, tells the story of tousled hair and beaming smiles. Of ice cream drips and the giggling faces that are right behind them. I allow your story to be untouched, unhindered, and as genuine and real as your love for it. I know the feeling of a home filled with laughter, and I know that one day those smiling faces will want to look back and say “That was so US.”
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.