A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of documenting a dear friend and mother of two. This is Jessica and she is as beautiful inside as she is out. One of my first Artifact Motherhood sessions (link to her AM session here), she has since welcomed another son into her sweet family. We’ve been discussing, on and off, of doing a similar session with her newest addition. A few of my favorite moments from her motherhood summer story below.
It’s no secret that my favorite thing to do is to capture the beauty of ordinary moments--the moments otherwise missed or overlooked. What if we had someone to document our families day in and day out? What would yours look like? I’m a firm believer that we don’t have to create a backdrop to paint the beauty of our families. The beauty is here; the beauty is now.Read More
I’ve been surrounded by boys all of my life, and I never imagined I’d be blessed with two pretty daughters. I truly thought my fate was sealed as a boy mom. Now that I have you two, I can't help but reflect on how the prettiest, most influential women in my life instilled important values and morals--purity, kindness and patience.Read More
Survival has been my theme for the month of January. Two hundred and fifty-two days, that’s how far along I am into pregnancy number four. In a few short weeks, we’ll be welcoming a new son or daughter into our family. I wish I could write how elated and energized I feel; however, the physical and emotional strain of this season have taken a toll. My nights are restless and my energy depleted even before my day begins, leaving me guilt ridden and impotent in the light of my children’s faces.
Now, more than ever, amid all my aches and pains, I am driven to find the beauty and joy in the everyday--to push myself toward intentionality--not an easy thing to do lately. It seems like there is always a need to be met, small hands wrapped around my legs, never ending laundry cycles, and a mess to be cleaned: the monotonous never-ending to-do list and countless distractions. By the end of the day, my bones, my body and my mind ache. It is when I slow down and appreciate each new stage, new milestone, and the nostalgic moments my three children often evoke of my own childhood that my to-do list, aches and pains melt away. They are no match for the beauty, love, and joy found in these moments.
This is how I survive.
Welcome to Artifact Motherhood. This is a collaboration of artists from around the world who have come together to share our stories of the joys and struggles of our journey. Through our writings and visual records we want to create memories that are more than photographs with dates written on the back. These are the artifacts we are leaving behind for our children and for generations to come. Up next is the amazingly talented Ann Bloom click here to follow the link.
You can also read more about Artifact Motherhood by clicking here.
I can't remember if its summer or spring; however, the grass is green; it's a mild day, and the wind whips through my curls. I am in the front seat of an old white Chevy pickup truck, windows down, and Abbey Road playing in the cassette player.
Here comes the sun. do, do, do, do.
here comes the sun, it's all right.
My dad is singing to me. I'm grinning from ear to ear; everything is as it should be. No worries, carefree, watching my hero thump his thumb on the steering wheel.
We turn down a road with trees on either side. Their branches embrace one another creating a natural cathedral above us. The rustling leaves from the breeze make the light from the sun dance on my lap as we bump along. We are headed out to the land, a small slice of country my parents bought and hoped to build a house on one day.
This is as far as my memory can take me. A few moments of the distant past that I often drift back to. The way my dad was singing, the smell of the old pickup, the light dancing on my lap. The love and warmth of this moment comforts me.
Your grandfather, my dad, has been in my thoughts quite a bit recently. Rightly so, November is a very special month. A month we celebrate the lives of loved ones who have passed away as well as your late Grandfather’s birthday.
On our way to school, a few weeks ago, a Beatles song came on the radio. I could so vividly see and feel him sitting next to me, singing and tapping along ot the beat. Almost as if a faucet of emotions had been turned on and very much unwanted on our drive to school, I could not stop the flow of tears. You, my oldest noticed right away.
“Why are you sad, Mommy?”
Oh so inquisitive, kind, and compassionate you always are. What a loaded question to lay before me at seven in the morning. I explain that you can feel sad without having your feelings hurt. Your heart can ache because you miss someone, and you can smile at the same time because the memories you have of them are warm and happy--what an odd emotion to verbalize..
In all honesty, the tears still sting, my heart still aches for conversations that will never be, but I can’t help but smile. His music always brings a bittersweet comfort, even if I have embrace the stings to get to the smiles.
As I say "I love you" and give kisses goodnight, I tell my little loves that I am always with them-- forever. Its sobering, knowing I won’t always be with them physically. I find comfort that these songs may one day bring them back to this peaceful place: where the grass is forever green, light dances on their laps, and I am singing. This is what I mean by forever--the secret place, deep in our memories and hearts.
Welcome to Artifact Motherhood. This is a collaboration of artists from around the world who have come together to share our stories of the joys and struggles of our journey. Through our writings and visual records we want to create memories that are more than photographs with dates written on the back. These are the artifacts we are leaving behind for our children and for generations to come. Up next is the amazingly talented Abigail Fahey, click here to follow along.
You can also read more about Artifact Motherhood by clicking here.
The first snow of the season is always magical. When I watch my children experience something new for the first time, I can’t help but feel a little bit nostalgic for my own childhood. Being a native Texan, snow was exciting and special; despite the cold temperatures, I wanted nothing more than to hear the snow crunch under my boots.Read More
In-home Family Documentary Photography.
Tulsa, Oklahoma and surrounding areas
What holiday traditions do you and your loved ones have? Do you bake cookies and holiday treats? Decorate a Christmas tree while sipping hot cocoa or apple cider? Maybe you decorate a ginger bread house, or put up christmas lights as a family. How do you capture these precious moments?
As a family documentary photographer this is my favorite time of year. The time of year that evokes nostalgia. The perfect time to offer my clients in-home holiday sessions, that capture these beautiful traditions.
For a short time, I’m offering in-home documentary sessions that capture your family’s unique holiday traditions. For $150 clients receive a 45 minute in-home documentary session, minimum of 6 edited high resolution images, and print release.
Keep close to Nature’s heart.. and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your sprit clean
Our school drop off looks very different than last year. Instead of walking you into school, I drive you to the steps and watch you walk in all by yourself. I must confess, drop off is even more emotional than walking you in on your first day of school. It was the day reality sank in. You’re more than capable of doing so many things without me. As bittersweet as this may be, I couldn't be more proud of you and your new found confidence.Read More
I remember when I found out I was pregnant with my first--how exciting that time was! I started to meticulously lay out my plans. I imagined seamless transitions and the perfectly well behaved little boy he would be. “Oh I’ll never let my son do that” I’d tell myself.
It’s funny how my perfectly laid plans were tossed out the window no sooner than 48 hours after he arrived. Three children later, and I can’t help but laugh at how silly I was. There are no seamless transitions, and I can make plans all I want, but I have to accept that plans are subject to change on a whim.
Ironically, as I’m writing this, I planned to have my daughter napping. When in reality, she’s full steam ahead to dropping her afternoon nap.
Our family is going through a lot of new transitions and changes this summer: watching my youngest go from infant to toddler overnight, transitioning from being a preschooler to an elementary student, debuting new attitudes and conflicts with my oldest.
As a mother, these phases are hard to handle, but they are even more difficult for my children. In the most chaotic of moments, they look to me to help them anchor their emotions. I rise to the occasion calming storms, kissing wounds, guiding them as they navigate their own relationships. I do this using patience I didn't know I was capable of expressing ... most of the time.
I'm navigating through the waters without any maps or sense of direction. One tool I have is faith. Faith that I'm making the right decisions on my children's behalf. Faith that it's all going to workout for the best. Faith that my children are going to get through the next hurdle unscathed
This is the summer of transitions and ever evolving and dissolving plans. This is where my spiritual faith becomes my life line; it always eases my anxieties and forces me to accept that I am really not in control. I have faith in the goodness of God's plan--even if His plan is different than mine. My hope is that my children learn this a lot sooner than I did.
Welcome to Artifact Motherhood. This is a collaboration of artists from around the world who have come together to share our stories of the joys and struggles of our journey. Through our writings and visual records we want to create memories that are more than photographs with dates written on the back.These are the artifacts we are leaving behind for our children and for generations to come. Up next is the amazingly talented April Christoper, click here to follow along.
You can also read more about Artifact Motherhood by clicking here.
Years from now when this little boy asks his parents about his birth story, he won't have to close his eyes and image how this day unfolded.Read More
At this very moment I’m sitting in our living room watching the sun slip below the roofline. It’s last rays illuminating a trail of legos and trucks strung across the floor. I have no intention of picking any of it up. I’m utterly exhausted from a weekend full of lots of adventure and exploring. Right now I'm wanting nothing more than to climb into bed and close my eyes. This is how many, many of my evenings end. Your dad and I put you three to bed. I come down stairs and analyze everything that wasn't able to get done; making mental notes for the next day. The house is quiet and in this little bit of time, I can be still.Read More
I look at my hands and I see my mother’s hands. My mom is very youthful, but her hands are a dead giveaway to her age. Miles women’s hands age in a way that the rest of them doesn’t. It's reflective of who they are. They’re providers. The Miles women--it’s a definitive trait of theirs. They’re hard working women. When I look at my hands I definitely see that nurturing, selfless quality that my mother, my aunts and grandmother’s hands have. I think it’s easy to think you’re not a selfless, nurturing person, but in the last few years it’s definitely something I’ve learned. I will do things for other people until I have nothing left to give. My son, Rockne, has given me the opportunity to be more selfless. I have to practice everyday--putting his needs before my own.Read More
Liesl changed my life. And I thought I had a pretty good life before she came around. It’s one of those things that scared me the most about motherhood. The fact my husband Jake and I loved each other so much. We had a great life before her. I was afraid that I was going to mess that up. In no way, shape, or form did that happen. Liesl enriched everything about our lives. She made Jake and I a stronger couple, me a better person. She helped solidify priorities that I am happier with now than the priorities I had before. She helped me value myself more than I ever did before. Which is weird, because you think of being a mother as giving yourself to someone. However, I found other aspects of myself that she basically gave me.Read More
I have been fortunate enough to have close relationships with my grandmothers, mother, and aunt-- women who have shaped my own journey as a woman and mother. When my maternal grandmother passed away, I began a quest of finding bits and pieces of her and her history. I'd find pictures of her own mother and quickly genealogy became a side hobby. Every time I'd dig up a letter or photograph, my imagination would run wild. I was looking at the handwriting and thoughts of the women who came before me. Looking at my history through the few artifacts they've left behind. I'd imagine the questions and conversations I'd have with these women. I’d imagine their joys as well as their struggles as women and mothers.Read More
Some women grow up playing with dolls, always imagining themselves as a wife and mom. I’m one of those girls. It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. I’m very nurturing by nature. I mean, what other job is more nurturing than being a mother?Read More
Young and in my early twenties, motherhood wasn't on my mind. I didn't think much about things of that nature. At that time I didn't want to be married, much less be a mother. Those feelings changed when I met my husband. It wasn't until after we said our I do's that I realized children and being a mother was something I did, in fact, desire.Read More
As a child, I remember holding my baby doll and dreaming of having a little girl of my own. I recall telling my dad, Daddy, I can’t wait to get married and be a mom.
I have always wanted a daughter. Growing up, I had faith God would bless me with one. He did, he blessed me with two! In high school I would buy little girl stuff in hopes that someday I would be able to give to them to my little girl. I’ve kept those things over the years, and I now have it for them. After graduating high school I remember telling my dad, I’m not going to college, I’m going to get married and have babies. Daddy just giggled. Truth is, I did end up going to college and graduate school, where I met my husband Terry.Read More