baby

Seventeen

17

Dear Graham.

Seventeen. You are seventeen tomorrow.

The first time I saw you was like a punch right to my chest. A beautiful baby, full of love. I felt it the day you were born. We all felt it. Naked. Wriggling. Quietly wondering. Fully loved.

Today, I stand on the edge of a lifetime of you, deep in the waters of memories of you washing over me, pulling me under like a rip current. My boy, my child, my young and beautiful man. Thoughts of your sweet chubby cheeks and your hands that fit perfectly in mine are overwhelming in my heart. I miss that part - the part where you were little and life was simple. The part where I had the answers, where I could keep you safe.

But now, you are a man…becoming your own person – capable, strong, and oh-so-loving and kind. You have answers all your own that you don’t need me for now. You make the best decisions. You have the kindest heart.

I have watched you evolve this year into something I could have only hoped for a few short years ago. You are beginning to navigate this path of life a little on your own more and more each day, testing the waters while you are still close, while I still have answers to some of those harder questions, and while I can - for a few short moments - still take precious care of you.

I am not sure what the future holds right now, but I know it’s going to be a wild ride. Bends and twists and hopefully plenty of spots to catch your breath. Lean into all of the messiness as you go. Trust that you are on the road you need to be. Even when you get lost. Even when you feel scared. Even when you follow the clear signs that seem like they are written in another language with another alphabet. What makes you the Graham that most people know is that you know how to take it all in stride. But what makes you the Graham that I know is how full of heart you will experience it all. Trust that part.

And steady as you go, my love.

“Confess I'm not quite ready to be left.
Still, I know I gave my level best.
You give, you give, to this I can attest
You made me, you made me.
You and me forever baby.”

Muddling through

This new momma has got this motherhood thing down.

This new momma has got this motherhood thing down.

We all want to look like pros at whatever task we are handling - work, make up, dinner, motherhood. But in reality, most of us are faking it along the way - sort of like we do those first few weeks with our brand new baby. It's excited, exhausting, and exhilarating, but in reality, we are just winging it all hoping for the best outcome. Even though it all looks happy and easy on the outside, we are still on shaky feet behind closed doors.

Truly, I think it mostly works when we "fake it 'til we make it"... that is until something big comes along and gently reminds us that, in truth, it's all overwhelming. 

Just remember...the moment you feel like you are out of your league, stop, look around, and remember that you've already gotten this far in life and done just fine. All you have to do now is keep going. And truly, while it may not always look like this on the outside, nobody else really knows what they are doing either. Take comfort in knowing you have muddled your way through more than one time in your life and I am certain you can do it again.

 

Remember this...

Happy 1st Birthday, Baby Sam!

Happy 1st Birthday, Baby Sam!

Remember this.

Every day is important. Each and every moment is significant - the small ones and the big ones. Don't forget that. Document what you can. And print your memories. Save them. Treasure them and keep them close. Because in a blink of an eye those babies are celebrating their first birthday. Or in 3rd grade. Or thirteen going on thirty. And you have no idea how you got here. You have no concept of how to keep up with them and stop time from slipping through your fingers. It's like holding water in your open hands.

If you asked me - even before I was a professional photographer - I would have told you the same thing I would tell you today: take those photos, print them out, save them, and honor them like the priceless treasures they are. That way, when you can't remember what silly face they made when they were 2 or the way their sweet lips looked curiously, the photos will at least give you some way of finding that memory you tucked away for all those years ago.

So capture it all. Those precious first days of school. Homework in February. Celebratory swim meets. Ordinary afternoons. They are all significant.

They are all worth remembering.

 

Baby Love

baby love

Baby love. On the beach.

Sweet, sweet baby love. This shoot with Monica and her sweet family seems surreal in a way. I knew her when we were both single, young professionals and our lives were much, much different. Now here we are, years later, with kids of our own and families to take care of. It seems like a lifetime has gone by in a few short years.

Lucky for both of us, it's a lifetime of love and memories.

 

Everything nice.

baby_G.jpg

Sugar and spice and everything nice...

This day was awesome. Not only did I get to photograph this beauty, but I got to photograph and spend time with her mother in their TO.DIE.FOR house that she and her awesomely handy and talented husband built. While I wasn't photographing her and her daily handing out life with Goldie, we were working on getting her some portraits to promote herself a little more as the incredible artist she deserves to be recognized as. I really can't wait until the world uncovers what a gem we are hiding in her art and creative mind.

But this...this little dose of sweetness is what I came for. Kisses. And smiles. And blue eyes you could swim around in for days. I just really don't know how they get anything done.