At Home With

wrestling, legos and a squirmy baby

Lots of times when I leave a family I leave smiling. And I smile all the way home. Love is something that you can't act out.

It's in the smile as you pick up your baby. It's in the 100th airplane ride given and in the game of memory you play.

It's in the legos you play with and the wrestling and the meals and the things you do over and over and over as a parent.

And you keep doing it over and over because it's love.

And each day is similar in it's own very special way.

Thanks Renos, for having me in your home.  You are a kicka** family.

******Also check Clinton's work out here. It's pretty amazing.

Harmonious Homestead

I visited this homestead awhile back. Only it wasn't out in the country it was only a few miles from my house. It was an urban homestead. I was new to the idea and fell in love with it. You could still be near the city  but also grow your own food and own chickens.

We walked around and played with the chickens and they collected tomatoes to make sauce.

The owners Alex and Rachel have a little girl named Lil who is 8. I interviewed her on what it was like living on an urban homestead.

She is a bright little girl and I enjoyed my time with her. And actually learned a lot from her.


Does your homestead have a name? Harmonious Homestead

How long have you lived here? For a year and a half

What are your favorite animals?  The chickens. They are super cute and pretty. If you treat them kindly they are very nice. Marian and Sk are my favorites. Sk is our rooster and he does a good job being a rooster. He also breaks up fights. He lunges into them. My other favorite animal is our cat. Her name is Moonshine which means jack o lantern or Whiskey.

Do you have chores? Yes I have to feed the dog and cats every morning. And every night I have to clean up the dishes.

What is something you have learned to do? My mom taught me how to dry tomato seeds and plant them. She does a lot or most of the gardening.

What is your favorite thing to eat here? Wild plants. I love chic weed and violets. And red dead nettle. The leaves look funny on red dead nettle.

What is your favorite thing about living on an homestead? Building fairy houses. I have felt a fairy land on my finger before. You can't see them, only when they want you to.

What is your least favorite? Mud. Yucky dirty mud.

What makes you different than other kids? I am home schooled.

What kinds of things do you study? Math and piano. And also the work of wizardry. I love reading fantasy.

Here is our evening.....

baby waylon

babymooning. that little space of time when time virtually stops. my babymoon with my first lasted 6 weeks. we holed up in the depths of winter.

we set up camp in the upstairs of our cape cod and we ate too much take out and watched all the seasons of The Office.

and pretty much stared at our new baby round the clock.

I had a lovely morning with these three..

rowan's new room

I once read that change happens when you get angry. Well my change happened one groggy night when I got kicked in the face by my 2 1/2  year old.

I woke up angry. Brushed the hair out of my face. Felt my eye to make sure it was still there.

Then I turned on the side lamp. There was my boy lying sideways. His head was nuzzled into my husband's neck and his feet inches from my face.

My scowl softened as I looked at him. He looked so peaceful and sweet. And so comfortable. As I edged to my quarter sized strip I looked back at him.

Then layed my head down and plotted the fastest way to get him into his own bed.

I loved co-sleeping with my babies. It really is one of my favorite memories.

Mary was just transitioning Rowan into his new room and he was so excited.

Pink Play Doh In Your Tummy

Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life-Brian Andreas I am in cold hard love with ordinary life.

What's ordinary life you ask?

Well it's ice cream sandwiches for breakfast and learning to flip while your mom holds your sister.

It's jumping on the bed while your mom tries to make it.

It's pumpkin carving and muffins with icing on top.

It's watching your husband sing made up songs only your family knows as your children dance in circles around him.

It's laughter and crying and dirty diapers. Crumbs on the floor that you pick up all day long.  It's the same books you read over and over. Walks on a chilly fall night.

It's what makes you, you. And your family, yours.

And when love is sprinkled in with it, it can be quite spectacular.

Here's NickSarahMirahandbabyWilla

Get Busy

So I am just going to start out saying I can only dream of being as funny as these folks are. Like we are talking leaning over, holding your belly, slapping your knee funny.  It has been several weeks and I can still think of something and start laughing.

This family also knows love. They scoop you up and make you one of theirs. I walked in the door and it was like "let's party."

And all that love and funny stuff comes pouring out in a beautiful little human being named Harper. The kid is a rockstar.

She has won the jackpot in the families department.

While getting a dog treat Rebecca casually said, "I don't know. I try not to sweat all the crazy stuff life throws at you because basically if Harp wakes up healthy and happy I don't have much I can complain about. All the rest of the stuff will work itself out. I'm just going to give her lots of love."

Because love really is all we need isn't it?

Here's ChrisRebeccaHarperLolaandElla


tom maria joey and baby katie

I adore this family. They are kind, genuine folks.

They love their babies and you can feel it.

There was a lot of giggling. A lot of smiling.

We talked a lot and played a lot.

They made pancakes and laughed about how gross they turned out.

And how Joey still ate them. And Maria too.

At one point during the session Maria turned to me and said this isn't awkward at all. It's like we are just hanging out.

I adore this family.


Corn Rows For Days

I am a city girl. But I do love to visit the country side. The openness is freeing. It took me 2 1/2 hours to get to Jeanna and her family. There was a lot of corn. Like a lot. I kept driving and it just kept following me.

It was quiet. And it was beautiful. I think I had a smile on my face the entire session.

Every time I'm invited into someone's home to take photos I am humbled. Humbled by their kindness and generosity.

When I was editing this session my husband said, "I like that family."

Yep me too.

friday night

I have a good friend who, when her kids do something crazy, like spray paint the kitchen, she says "you can't make this stuff up."

It makes me laugh every time she says it. As I was editing this session her saying popped into my head.

I can't make this stuff up. I can't make up the joy and love that is there. You can't fake love. Or happiness. It's within you.
I have slowly but surely been learning to let go of control. Holding with a death grip the vision I think is the family.
And when I do, it all unfolds into something really, really beautiful.
Where you invest your love, you invest your life- Mumford and Sons

2 Sweet Girls and Frankie the Cat

Most of the time after a shoot I feel like I have made friends. We laugh a lot and we share our stories. Then after I edit their photos I fall in love with them and want to invite them over for dinner. I seek the joy. The joy that makes them a family.

The more I grow as a photographer the more I feel. The more I look for moments that I, as a mother, would want to remember. How buttoning your daughter's sweater is just about the sweetest thing you ever did see. How when you look at the photos a long time from now, you remember how that sweater smelled. About how looking at these photos reminds you of how you felt, not what you looked like. How life really was. Sometimes old memories can feel like a dream. All warm and fuzzy. And when you look at these photos, you are there, but you aren't.

Always remember there was nothing worth sharing, like the love that let us share our name- Avett Brothers

At Home With the Elys

I am a morning person. I love bedhead. That first sip of coffee.  Shuffling feet on the hardwood floor. It's a good day, like really good day if I get up an hour or so before my kids do.

I turn into Wonder Woman Mom with french toast sizzling in the skillet. Ideas slinging left and right of how we can start our day.

But today I woke up feeling a wetness on my back. And a foot. They got a granola bar.

This family has me wrapped around their finger. There is so much love between all of them it just spills over and you get some of it too. They are the kind of people you want to be around. The kind you laugh a lot and you really feel like you can be yourself.

And they are some kickass photographers~happy ely after photography and ely brothers

I showed up at 7:30 and sneaked into the babies room. Let the morning light in and followed them around as their morning unfolded.

meet levi val jude piper and baby rilo

At Home With the Dews

So I have serious baby fever. The kind where you daydream about names and tiny onsies. Where if you shut your eyes and think about the newborn baby smell you can actually smell it. And this adorable guy didn't help this cause at all.

I had tears in my eyes when I was driving there. I got tears in my eyes when I pulled up to the house. And even more when I saw their little girl waiting for her brother to come home.

And I think it was because there was that buzz in the air. All new moms remember it-it's right before sleep deprivation sets in.  The hours spent just staring in complete awe at this tiny human.

Now if I could just get Grey to sleep through the night maybe my husband would think it was a "good idea" to have a third.

Here is the day Abram came home.