I love this project more each month. March was full of birthdays, baseball and crazy weather extremes. We made lots of great memories - see what we have been up to.
What's the big deal about a second? Not much happens in such a short amount of time.
There are so many little moments I do not want to forget but my mind and heart simply aren't enough to hold these treasures forever. I will surely forget that sweet toddler voice as it fades into distant memories. I will struggle to recall that precious chubby face as it grows into a man. I will be unable to open my heart in a way that allows my precious boys to see and hear the memories for themselves as they prepare to welcome their own little ones.
For this and many other reasons as 2017 approached I decided it was a priority to start a video project. I am extremely dedicated to documenting our days with pictures that show our "real" and our everyday. Yet, I wanted more - I wanted to hear and relive those memories. I didn't want to just tell stories to my grandchildren, I wanted to preserve these moments in a way that allowed me to really share them.
I am only in my second month of this project but it is already so near and dear to my heart and I cherish the sights and sounds I have already preserved. My typical Saturday starts at 6:30 am when my 5 year old comes bounding into our room a total ball of energy and they end around 11:00 with some quiet moments on the couch with the love of my life. That means I am surrounded by my "now" for 17 hours. That means I have 61,200 seconds of memories to try and hold onto. Now let me say not all of those memories are sweet and happy, some are maddening and loud. There is fighting, tears, timeouts and exhaustion but there is also joy, love, tenderness and giggles. I want to cherish them all.
This project has taught me that every second can be beautiful and special. That's amazing to imagine isn't it? I mean most of us don't give a second thought to just a second - how much can happen in a second? Well this project has made me slow down - see the seconds - appreciate the mundane - and I am glad I have found a way to preserve them. It reminds me to stay present and soak it in.
So here it is..... The Beauty of a Second | February Edition. Enjoy and thanks for watching.
This year I have committed to 2 personal projects with my family. This means I will either have an awesome collection of memories from my family or I will need to be committed. I am participating in a 365 project which means I take one picture a day (or a hundred and pick one) of my family that tells the story of a moment from that day. I will share those weekly in a blog post entitled "everyday moments."
The second project is "the beauty of a second" - more on that later..... you will just have to wait and see :)
Here is a glimpse of our week - Enjoy
Daddy was gone all week for work - those make for some long days! So when he got home mommy escaped to the tub for a little me time and relaxation while he caught up on wrestling time with the boys. Peace among the chaos.
The boys received a brand new transformer super hero toy from a friend of mine and they LOVE IT! It has been a big hit. This is Jack and he sits like this all the time when he is playing. My mom tells me that my grandfather used to sit like this often as well. This is certainly a little piece of you I don't want to forget from this age.
The boys have started Awana's again after a little break over the holidays. I am so very proud of both of them. Each week they amaze me with learning their Bible verses as they work through earning their badges. This week Liam completed 2 parts of his required New Testament books memorization. He can now say 19 books - only 8 more to go before he can say them all!!!!! (and those are some BIG words)
I am very fortunate that my boys were potty trained at a very young age. However this is still the way I spend a good 20 minutes each day - with this view. The youngest just wants someone to talk to during his bathroom time.
My little busy explorer! Jack doesn't keep still for one second. He is a very curious little boy and the outside of our stairs is the perfect access to all those goodies on the counter - like daddy's keys. He just knows we hide all the good stuff up there on purpose.
I don't even know how you both fit in the tub with all the toys that have to be in there.
I waited a long time for such a good man to call my husband! I love the little things he remembers to do for me - this is a little chalk board we keep in our bathroom so we can leave each other surprise "love notes"
Daddy is teaching him by example and he is learning - learning to be sweet, kind and thoughtful - especially to mommy. He has grown so much! Now he drags the stool over to the coffee counter, gets a cup, makes my coffee (he knows just how I like it) - and he brings it to me while I'm getting ready. Melts my heart every time he does it. He has seen his daddy do this for me since he was born - it is nice to be the only lady in a house of boys - I am a very lucky lady.
For Christmas the boys got Taekwondo lessons - the adventure continues.
This week included a trip to the dentist for me and Liam. Our dentist, Better Dental, is amazing and sings to the kids to make them feel more comfortable. I love this dentist - it is like going to the spa. They have hot coffee and fresh hot chocolate chip cookies. It is the best.
Unfortunately Liam had a cavity so we had to go back the next day to get it filled. He was a little nervous at first, the laughing gas helped. He did great and was such a brave boy!
We ended the week with a mini vacation to a local hotel. We just wanted to get away for as a family for a few days One of our favorite things to do is use Jon's massive amount of Hilton points to check into a hotel with an indoor pool and hot tub, free breakfast and room service. The boys think they are in Disneyland. They LOVE staying at hotels, swimming and laying in bed eating dinner while watching cartoons. Mommy doesn't mind the hot tub either.
Liam is growing up and getting less anxious about the water. This trip he was doing the cannonball without any fear.
We also visited a few children's museums while we were there. The Greensboro Children's museum was amazing - it had real size emergency vehicles, a plane cockpit, race car and SOOOOO much more. We had a lot of fun.
Saturday we spent the day at the Greensboro Science Center - they had penguins, sharks and all sorts of other animals. It was a really great place to visit.... oh and a dinosaur room that two little boys had a great time enjoying.
And that's a wrap to an amazing week. Stay tuned for what the Smiths are up to next week. Moments matter and I want to remember them all - small and big, extraordinary and ordinary.
Every year Jon and I save some vacation days for the holidays. I love to spend a little staycay with my family during that special time of the year. This year we were home together for about 12 days. There were ups and downs, laughter and tears but I cherish this time with my family tucked away in our home spending time together.
This year I took a film class and have started including short films into my documentary packages. I knew I definitely wanted to document on film some highlights of our time together. Here is a little sneak into our holidays together with family and friends.
Happy New Year and may all your dreams come true in 2017.
Smith Holiday Traditions | Family Photographer | Holly Springs NC
I had the pleasure of spending a morning with the Lively family as October drew to a close. This is the most adorable little family. Their home is filled with laughter. Mom has the best out loud laugh ever. You can just feel the joy in their home.
They have two precious little girls, Clara and Charlie. Charlie just turned one and Clara is a little ball of personality. She it outgoing and very articulate - when I arrived she and dad, Matt, were watching The Little Mermaid and were having a very in depth conversation about things. It was adorable. You can hear some of it in the Moments in Motion video below.
Besides being a beautiful family, Megan's home is just as gorgeous and so the session was a dream to shoot. I love the Livelys - I have photographed their family on several occasions. I love that they let me just come on in and do my thing.
Thank you Livelys for being so awesome.
As the momma of 2 boys myself, I certainly felt at home with this family. The energy and excitement reminded me of my own little family.
We met at the park on a beautiful fall afternoon for an adventure filled time of bubbles, football and leaves. Oh and that gorgeous golden sun that fall is famous for.
Mom told me that the family often plays flag football - I am so glad the boys will have these precious memories to look back on when they have their own kids.
This family is full of fun and love. You can tell they are a family that plays together often. I was shocked that not one time did those two boys fight or argue. Mom and dad are obviously doing it right! I even got to witness a few "mommy's boys" moments toward the end and it made me smile knowing those moments are so very special when they happen. Those little arms around a mommy's neck are worth more than any amount of gold.
Here are some of the moments from our time together.
Thank you Kimberly and Michael (and Lucas and Landon!) and for inviting me on your adventure.
I would love to document your moments. Let's chat.
It takes a village. I don't know if I used to believe in that..... you know back before I had children and I thought I knew everything.
Now I believe it with every fiber of my being. I could not do life without my husband, my parents and all my family. I use the word family not to mean those that are related to us my blood but those that are with us, for us ...... those that know us..... really know us. The mommas that lift me up and know my heartaches, my struggles, my fears and reassure me everyday that I am not ruining my children and making all the wrong decisions.
When we moved to our current "hood" we wanted a community, some friends a bigger house and a nice pool. What we got was family..... so much more than I could have imagined.
I am surrounded my amazing mommas and daddies finding their way just like us.
I can pick up the phone and within minutes have help if I need it or a friend to laugh with, cry with or just drink wine with. It is amazing. These people know us, they get us and their kids are just as crazy as ours.
These mommas love my children as if they were their own. Our children cover a wide span of ages, but just like us, they love each other, watch out for one another and age doesn't seem to matter. From the smallest to the oldest they are a family as well.
Many nights I find my home is the gathering place. A place where crafts are made, laughter is heard, kids can be seen chasing round and round the kitchen island and where magical movies are made. It is a place they are welcome and safe. Nothing makes me happier than when my house is packed and loud and my heart is full.
As many of you know I have recently finished my first film class. I am super excited about the ways it is going to expand my storytelling for clients..... and myself. I have been practicing relentlessly and spending loads of time checking out the films of more experienced storytellers.
One of my favorite short film artists that shoots with her DSLR (aka fancy camera) like me is Francesca Russell from New York. While she is light years ahead of me - she has been doing this for a while, I love that she practices on her own littles ...... just like me. Her website is full of fun photos and videos of her own kids. Let's be honest, they are right there begging us to practice on them :)
She did a video of her own children that I fell in love with as soon as I saw it. It had a dreamy whimsical magic about it that drew me in. I knew immediately I wanted to create a similar video for my own children.
After finishing my class it was one of the first things on my list to create as a gift to myself. So off to the store I went for a bubble machine - which was a necessity for this Moments in Motion story. Now I want to share it with you.
It seems as each new season approaches I am ready for it, tired of the last..... I'm waiting for it.... excited about it! (except winter - I really don't like winter) Around the beginning of September every year, as football starts and the pools all close, I am ready for boots, leggings and my big sweaters. Bring on the Pumpkin Spice Latte.
There is nothing like crisp days, golden light and the excitement fall always brings with it. It is a magical and romantic time. There are so many fun traditions that fall brings: trips to local farms to pick apples, pumpkins and mums; Halloween costumes, pumpkin carving, playing in giant piles of leaves and marshmallows by the fire pit, red wine on the back porch wrapped in a blanket... see why I just love fall?
To celebrate the season with you, I am offering a special Short Story Session documenting one of your family's "Fall Fun." This special session will on be available Saturdays and Sundays during the weekend of October 8-9; October 14-15 and November 5-6.
Short Story Sessions take place at a location of your choice and document candid moments with your family or friends.
FALL STORYTELLING SESSION | $275
- 1.5 hours of shooting on location for up to 5 people
- Your favorite 15 images provided in both high resolution digital files suitable for printing, and also as web-optimized files (watermarked for sharing)
FALL STORY IN MOTION | $325
- 1.5 hours of shooting on location filming
- A 3-4 minutes family film, downloadable and sharable via Vimeo. Also provided to client on USB.
- Includes fully licensed music.
For examples of the Story in Motion visit my film gallery.
Let's tell your fall story! Contact me today to book a session - slots are filling up quickly.
Happy Fall Y'all!!!!