Image Map

\10 on 10\ July

Back for another 10 on 10! This month you’re looking at a Shellaway Summer Sunday…

\1\ Remote thief
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\2\ Trucks ‘n Chucks2014-07-09_0002

\3\ Run like a chicken2014-07-09_0003

\4\ Two of a kind2014-07-09_0004

\5\ Step right up2014-07-09_0005

\6\ Emma McStuffins2014-07-09_0006

\7\ Pool snack2014-07-09_0007

\8\ Making breadcrumbs2014-07-09_0008

\9\ Pre-bath raspberries2014-07-09_0009

\10\ Goodnight, sweet girl2014-07-09_0010

I’m joined in this project by a group of amazing photographers… head on over to my sweet friend Carrie’s blog to see a day in her life, then continue around the circle until you end up back here!

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\Letters to My Children\ June

I’m continuing my “Letters” project this year with a new group of my very dearest photography friends. Each month I’ll write a letter to one of my babies.  This month it’s Emma’s turn…

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This month we celebrated your 3rd birthday! It feels like just yesterday you were a fussy, wriggly little thing, and now you’re THREE.

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We kicked off your birthday festivities by skipping school and heading to the zoo with Nana. You were so excited to see all the animals, and despite it being ungodly hot out, you had a blast. You were so curious about all the animals and got such a thrill every time you found one hiding in its habitat. We ended the afternoon with ice cream (of course), and you were asleep in the car before we even turned onto Connecticut Avenue.

That night we met daddy at Cafe Bueno (“the quesadilla restaurant”) so you could get your favorite dinner, followed by the homemade peach cupcakes you requested.

The Saturday after your birthday we had a small get together so close friends and family could celebrate your big day. It was a wee bit overwhelming for you to open all your presents, but worth it in the end when you opened your big present from me and daddy – your new dollhouse! It was actually my and Titi’s dollhouse when we were little girls and I renovated it to make it a little less, well retro-tastic. I know you don’t exactly have a taste preference when it comes to design (yet!) but I figured tan floral wallpaper and green shag carpeting weren’t your thing.

Overall, it was a wonderful few days of celebrating our beloved little you, and Daddy and I are so excited to see what this coming year has in store for you – our sweet, silly, brilliant, thoughtful, fiercely independent, always-moving Emma.

lovemama

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I encourage you to head over to my lovely friend Lucy’s blog (Philadelphia Family Photographer, Lucy Baber Photography) to read her letter to her children.

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Emma: Age 2

Tomorrow is Emma’s birthday, which means this is the last day of my baby girl being 2 years old. (Excuse me while I go sob in a corner.) I can’t believe how much she’s matured in the past year… she went from toddler to little girl, seemingly overnight. Here’s a look back at some of my favorite photos of our sweet, hilarious, thoughtful, curious, beloved Emma as a two year old…

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Every Day in June: Part 1

I owe Oprah an apology. I tend to be a pretty cynical person, and I’ve spent years thinking I was beyond all her self-discovery, aha moment mumbo jumbo. I was a confident, together modern woman. I knew who I was and what I wanted from life. Then it happened. Out of nowhere, I found myself in a moment where everything I knew about my life and myself all sort of fell together and made sense in a way it never had before. I had a purpose, a vision, and damn was I excited about it.

See, like most people who pick up photography, or any art form for that matter, I’ve spent a ton of time over the past two years soaking up every tutorial, workshop, and blog post I could get my hands on – learning how to take better photos. I reached a point where I had the “how” pretty well figured out. I was chugging along, taking pretty, properly exposed, well composed images, but it felt like something was missing. So I started asking questions… I examined the work of photographers who I look up to, I explored my motivations for taking photos, and dug deeper and deeper until I was all the way back at the beginning: my family. They are my raison d’etre, and telling our story with my camera is one of my greatest joys and honors in life. I wanted my images to reflect that, and they weren’t. At least not in the way I wanted them to.

A huge breakthrough came from reading Erika Ray’s breakout session called “Let’s Get Real: An Honest Approach to Photography.” She’s a master at real, honest, authentic photography and I connected with her work and her words in a way that I never had before with any other photographer. She helped me craft my vision for my photography, and to own that vision. I started asking myself every time I pick up my camera, “what do I want to remember about this?” And the answer is often something that likely has very little meaning to anyone else, but has immense personal meaning to me. The challenge then becomes translating that memory into something more than a simple snapshot… taking your life and making art from it. And you know the amazing thing about doing that? You start seeing your life as art. Every day moments become as beautiful as any Picasso. Even when I’m not shooting, I observe my family, our home, our life differently now… through the eyes of an artist. Which sounds like an incredibly stupid and arrogant thing to say, but that’s the only way I’ve found to describe it.

So I had the “how” and the “why”… now it was time to figure out the “what.” What did I want my photos to look like, to feel like – both to myself and to other people? I know the answer, but since this post is already insanely long, I’ll save that for Part 2. In the meantime, I’ll share with you a bit of what’s come of all this soul searching. Once I had my big aha moment, I wanted to shoot all.the.time. I’ve never been an every day shooter because I work full time and before and after work is an elaborate, chaotic dance that rarely leaves time to sit and eat breakfast, much less snap some photos. But I stared down all those excuses and said screw it. You and me, June. It’s on. So every day this month I’ve been shooting my “everyday.” Each day, a new set of images that tell the story of our day… some days they have a common theme, or they’re of a specific time of day or event, but it’s always 5, and they’re always real, and honest, and basically the kind of photography I wish I’d always been doing but I’m SO happy to be doing now. This is my absolute favorite challenge I’ve ever done. Here are a handful of my favorite days so far…

6.1.14: morning tv time / meal planning / first nap at home in months / big park / nature’s highlights
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6.2.14: (Weekday Breakfast) iPad in bed / brekkie / fuel / serenade / drinking the “juice”
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6.4.14: If You’re Happy and You Know It / always pumping / end of year school celebration / sassy like his mama / happy to be heading home!
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6.5.14: (Day in the Life of Jonah) wakey wakey / busted / showing off for his teachers / yum! / precious boy
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6.8.14: (Weekend Breakfast) bacon, always / blueberry pancakes / blowing raspberries / blueberry face / helping Jonah with his puffs
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6.10.14: (Day in the Life of Rocco) rise and shine / out for a walk / pondering / waiting / back to bed
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6.11.14: (Between work/school and dinner) feeding puppers / Doc McStuffins / still snoozing from the car ride / daddy’s home! / so much love
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\10 on 10\ June

A little something different for this month’s 10 on 10… a couple of the other working moms in this circle and I made a pact to document a work day in June. I feared it would be super boring, but it ended up feeling very personal because, well, it’s my life!

/1/ Rise and shine
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/2/ Hang time with my sweet boy2014-06-09_0005

/3/ Wavy gravy
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/4/ And we’re off!2014-06-09_0007

/5/ Empty carseats… the saddest part of my day2014-06-09_0008

/6/ Workin’ and pumpin’2014-06-09_0009

/7/ Taking my handsome coworker for a walk2014-06-09_0010

/8/ The best rear view2014-06-09_0011

/9/ Nom nom
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/10/ Time to edit… (and yes, I do have freakishly long toes. They’re very handy when my arms are full of babies. Evolution for the win!) ;) 2014-06-09_0013

I’m joined in this project by a group of amazing photographers… head on over to Jessica’s blog to see a day in her life, then continue around the circle until you end up back here!

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