Archive for June, 2011
i just love this time of year…finally, getting into the summer and all of the excitement of weddings and meeting with my brides for this season and next for engagement sessions. Kate and Jason found this amazing treasure of a location…Willowbrook Village, a 19th century historic plantation set in Newfield, Maine. i am always taken to beautiful places when i travel, but this really was a dream location for me, complete with carousel. i just cannot wait for their wedding coming up this October!
daily mantra: give all to love; obey thy heart…emerson.
is there nothing more perfect than a warm day at the beach with your kids? the smell of Coppertone all over your sweet loves, and the way the ocean and the earth slide together to give you, and your children entertainment for hours without the need for electronic intervention. some of my fondest memories as a child were at the beach, and the next best thing to having my kids to play with at Reid State Park on a ridiculously warm and unusually quiet Sunday, is having two of my favorite families decide to get together and do their sessions.
i have been photographing Liam since BEFORE he was born, and i think he just might be getting more used to my camera than my own kiddos.
and i think, although i try not to have favorite girls to photograph (because i have two of my own….) i have to admit that Ayla is always at top of the list. there is just something perfect about her…her spirit…i just know this child will rule or change the world in a profound way. and it was wonderful to catch up with her darling sister Miss Emilie who i had not seen since she was an itty bitty babe.
daily mantra: the cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea….isak dinesen
and while this stretch of gorgeous Maine beach was quiet on this particular session day, i am quite sure that isn’t the case today….we just really lucked out! and a sincere thank you to the nice folks at Reid State Park for letting me get in a *bit* earlier than i was supposed to…..and letting me park my car illegally. again.
….you just know, for sure, that you got it right. congratulations to my best friend Heather and her husband, Josh, as they head down the road of life, love, and eternal adventure that only finding ‘the one’ can get you.
more to come from this wedding (and others) soon.
the end of this school year, as any school year, and the beginning of school year, and the middle of the the school year, and the mid of the middle of the school year, is bittersweet for me (and all mothers…i swear it is the same for us all…we love that they grow, yet we hate it at the same time…). last week, i gathered my tissues and stuffed them in my purse very randomly (because that is how i cry…very randomly), and headed out to the end of the year celebration for Mikayla. i didn’t pack my camera…and my mother always gets upset that i don’t (sorrrrrrrryyyy Mommmmmm!) but i didn’t because i just wanted to focus on HER.
i score a front row seat. (ummm….i swear i didn’t push that jacket of yours in the next row back, mrs. i-think-you-should-have-waited-to-pee).
1 song later and i am crying. (shock)
after a few classes had sung there most ridiculously adorable, out of tune, yet spirited songs ever, the principal got up to thank a few of the retiring staff. i can’t say enough how thankful i am for teachers…especially the ones to love and teach my girls. i had amazing teachers all through my childhood, until college (go figure), and to this day i feel like i have an extended family of people (teachers and coaches) who were just routing for me to succeed….and i feel that for my girls and their teachers too. it is a blessing to say the least. the first retiring person to speak was Mikayla’s guidance counselor, a tall woman (2 of me, but i am short) and moving on to start her own business. i expected the “thank you for blah, blah, blah….your kids have blah, blah…” (all of which would have still kept me plunging into my purse for tissues, mind you). but, she didn’t say that. she said:
“kids…remember that you are accountable for what YOU feel. YOUR anger, YOUR fear….YOUR sadness… YOU are responsible for what you say….only YOU can make those every day choices for what you ARE, and what you become….” she went on to say how much she had learned from the kids…more than she could have ever learned…and that is the expected stuff that i wouldn’t write about normally even though it DOES matter.
but i was left with, at first, a feeling of….”what kind of speech was that!?” because i wanted all that gooshey stuff first. because that is what i was expecting. and that is what everyone else gave. (not to dismiss it….i had the tissues in my purse, and i double used them.)
when the chitter-chatter of the 150 or so kiddos in a small, under-ventilated room was replaced with just my own babe, and the hum of the tires on my Honda Accord heading home, it hit me….
WOW, was that the best speech ever?! WAS that meant for the kids? (i have two of them, and they have NO problem telling me exactly how they feel, and exactly what they are doing, at every…single…tiny moment of the day.) take , for example, today.
Katie: “mom, i am STARVING!!!!”
Mom: “we have some pretzels”, i say with enthusiasm…(okay, i hate them, but it is all we had!).
Katie: “what about ice cream?” she says with THE eye.
Mom: “no…we don’t have any….”
Katie: ” but i FEEEEEL starving!!!”
(see…no issue telling me how they feel).
all kidding aside…i lived as a child where being happy all the time was not only wanted, but EXPECTED. because, i had it all. and, honestly, i really did. i had parents who, although divorced, loved me so much and so deeply. and extended family who embraced me, and tons of friends, and material things, and a nice home and all of the amazing stuff that went with it. i can’t complain…ever….about what was done for me. but still…while my emotions were never dismissed, it was not like we spent evenings around the steak and potatoes chatting about why i felt my step mother was plotting to kill me in my sleep. (this, by the way, never happened…i am dramatic (leo)…but i wasn’t far off here on her capabilities or desires…).
but yes, (I, YOU, WE) am/are responsible for what we do and what we are and how we FEEL. and it isn’t just telling people we are upset or sad. (and that is important…so important…).
we are so ready to tell people what they aren’t.
it is telling people in our lives when they get it completely, without a doubt, RIGHT. WE are responsible for telling people just how much they mean to us, and just how much we LOVE them. why is it hard to tell people that they mean so gosh darn much to us? why is it so hard to say THANK YOU for still loving me when i LEAST deserve it? not just spouses, but friends too…co-workers who have to deal with us on the daily…who know us intimately just by being there.
i am accountable.…for telling my girls, every day, that they are the thing i breath for even though i nag them endlessly to pick up their toys and their clothes and to say their manners and to be nice to each other and to do whatever else my ridiculous exceptions of them are…it is MY job to make sure that THEY know that I LOVE THEM. and yes, it does need to be said…a million times if that is even enough. and growing up the coast of Maine, and i think all of us, no matter what our parental circumstances are will agree, raises you to be a strong and hard soul, if nothing else. and i think with that hardness, you taught to hold back to some degree with what you feel. i can haggle any life and weather-worn fisherman down to the dime for lobster, but telling your kids that they are your WORLD….eh….that is tough.
it isn’t a weakness to tell the people who bring you joy, and who fill your heart with love, and hope…that you are at their mercy. and YES, it’s a risk. huge even. but, who cares? so you are a fool for telling people the really good things? the gooshey stuff that makes you feel, and THEM feel, full?
well…i am all about the gooshey stuff. and i will risk it.
and….if you are reading this, i probably love you.
and if you arn’t….
i probably love you too.
do you remember the day you took your pregnancy test? do you remember the hope you felt pulsing through your body, the breaths you didn’t take until the answer appeared, your instantaneous love and fear all swaddled into one when you did see those 2 lines melt in? do you remember that feeling of walking out of the bathroom, knowing that the way you entered the bathroom before you knew you were carrying your child might as well have been a lifetime ago since every…. single thing in your world was going to be different from that point on? i think about those moments and it tingles.
of course, as you walk about the bathroom, you aren’t just you…you are a mother. you are carrying another soul…another tiny human. i was always so amazed by that. being a woman is such a great gift that at times i feel sorry for men that they don’t get to feel it as instantly as we feel it. being a mother, though, also means some worry. some more than others, but all of us feel it.
when you think about the changes your body goes through, it is more than amazing…it seems other-worldly at moments. when you find out though, that something is wrong, it brings all of your worries full center. nothing else in the whole wide world matters other than bringing your babe, healthy, into this world. Sarah, who found me through the PICTURES of HOPE website, contacted me to set up a session with her, her husband Ed, and her unborn baby, Joseph, who was diagnosed (via ultrasound) with Gastroschisis. Pictures of Hope Foundation is a charitable organization of professional photographers who donate their time to provide complimentary, documentary style photography services to families with a baby (or babies) in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Gastroschisis, a rare birth defect, is an opening in the abdominal wall through which the internal organs push outside of the baby’s body, and labor is induced usually around 35 weeks or so because of the increased risk of still birth.
sweet Joseph was born on the very first day of May, and over the next few days underwent the surgeries necessary to repair the damage. a few heart stopping moments (literally) later, a lot of healing, and a lot of love given by his family and the NICU at Eastern Maine Medical Center, i was fortunate enough to be able to photograph this family in the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland, Maine.
“the child must know that he is a miracle, that since the beginning of the world there hasn’t been, and until the end of the world there will not be, another child like him.”
after photographing Joseph, a nurse stopped me in the elevator. she asked: “what made you want to you want to photograph babies?” “who wouldn’t want to photograph babies?” i responded smiling, still in a dreamy baby daze over meeting Joseph. “but this is the tough stuff,” she said. i thought for a moment while nodding my head in agreement.these sessions ARE tough. and humbling. “i photograph miracles for a living”, i said, ” and you take care of them and make them well. pretty sweet job, huh?” she giggled and looked down at her feet…”yup. it is.”