When the rain finally ended and the temperatures dropped, Brittany and Austin met me down at my favorite little hideaway in Peachtree City, GA. We laughed in the sunshine and hiked down to the creek to celebrate the beauty of this beautiful life that’s about to enter the world.
Scared of change. Scared of leaving our families. Scared of all the things I didn’t know.
However we got to a place in our life where we were working more than we were doing anything else. Our family, our health, our passions were all taking a backseat to our jobs and we knew we needed a change.
We slowly began to make a change, packing room to room, wrapping up things at work, and beginning to prepare for the next move. Its been 1.5 years since we moved to Georgia and while we miss our friends and family, this move has been a life changer.
We’ve begun questioning the necessity of our belongings and realized without a doubt that our time as a family matters most above all the “things” we like. We’ve realized travel with kids is not anymore complicated than every day life with kids except, but as a bonus, it comes with the benefit of a new front porch view.
Why were we ever scared?
A friend purchased a scratch off map for our kids, and we’ve quickly realized our recent travels that felt so big and widespread – have quite literally barely even scratched the surface on this beautiful place we call Earth.
There is so much beauty in the world and we are hungry for more. Our travels have prompted us to consider trading all our “stuff” for the experience of seeing the world?
If you dream of travel, what is the ONE thing that stops you?
I worked full time as a 5th grade math and science teacher when my first two children came along. Within those first two years, my husband and I sold our house, switched jobs, and moved to a new city. Life with 2 under 2 was definitely an adventure. Add to that the stress of work and moving, and let’s just say that the stress wasn’t kind to my body. The lack of sleep and poor nutrition didn’t help in keeping my body nourished, so while I nursed and pumped for my babies, each pumping session took its toll. I called consultants, I messaged friends, I power pumped, I spent hours feeding questions into google….but no matter what I did, I struggled to nurse.
I loved those moments with my kids (1 year with my daughter and 9 months with my son), but each day was a struggle to produce enough for them. It was my greatest desire to nurse them for a year and it was only with a lot of support that I came close to meeting those goals.
This time around with my third is a whole new story. I moved to Georgia and left my teaching job to pursue photography full time. Through this adventure I met lactation consultant, Charity and her sweet boys at our Black Breastfeeding Week event with The Latch Pad.
She has devoted her body and energy into nursing twins for almost 4 years. It was such an honor to capture these beautiful moments for her. Approaching their 4th birthday, she knows these precious moments are coming to an end and she wanted to celebrate her success with a photoshoot.
Congratulations Charity! You are an inspiration to mothers everywhere.
Next Day of Motherhood Mini Sessions with The Latch Pad will take place October 7, 2018! Spaces are limited so book today. Special swag bags for all mamas.
As my daughter sleepily stumbled into my bed this morning she said, “Mommy, I had the best dream. I dreamt we were the Bucket List Family and we were on a plane to Maui.”
Unfortunately, we are not a sponsored family nor do we have a huge budget. However, 2 years ago we decided to reprioritize our lives. I replaced my full time teaching job with freelance work (hello photography), my husband took a more challenging position, and while relocating to Georgia, we downsized our home by 1,000square feet.
We decided to stop going through the motions and to take control of our lives. We made the commitment to stop letting our jobs consume us and to start putting our family first.
Paris Family Photographer
France Family Photographer
We continue to have ongoing conversations about our dreams and desires, as they’re always evolving. We’ve include our children in budget making and in conversations about the opportunity cost of spending. Just as full time work gave us more possessions, our tighter daily budget allows us to enjoy more time together. We hope our kids learn to ignore the pressure to be a consumer and to speak up for what matters most to them.
As a family, we’ve all decided we’d rather collect memories, not things.
Family Photography Disney
Family Photography Animal Kingdom
We limit our daily spending by eating at home and discussing our monthly purchases to bring awareness to our spends. We aren’t scrooges, but being intentional about monitoring our spending makes us aware of areas where we are unintentionally splurging. By tightening down our daily purchases, we’ve discovered that while our family income has stayed the same since making our move, our travel budget has grown. We’ve traded dinners out and unnecessary spending for moments we will never forget.
St. Augustine, FL Family Photographer
St. Augustine, FL Family Photographer
We get asked a lot how we travel with 3 kids, but we do a lot of activities while at home in Georgia, so traveling doesn’t feel any harder (once you survive the flight). In our daily life and in travel, we limit screen time and encourage our kids to read books, to be aware of their surroundings, and to engage in conversation. We talk and sing and play all the games in the car. I know handing over an Ipad over would be quieter and easier, but I strongly believe by refusing to do so is what makes our travels easier. Our children have the stamina to sit still and enjoy the world around them. We’re also strategic in when we travel to optimize nap time and pack a bag loaded with snacks (because fed people are happy people). You can see my tips for flying with kids here.
Traveling with kids doesn’t have to be elaborate. Sometimes we plan “vacations” in our own city or going “home” to visit family. So many of the lessons and memories aren’t found at the destination, but are discovered along the journey.
We realize that our kids (8, 6, and 9months) will probably forget many details of these adventures since they are so young, but they add so much adventure to each trip. Their tiny legs and curious minds force us to slow down and see the beauty in simple moments; the excitement of meeting a pilot, the beauty in seeing native plants, and the excitement of doing anything for the first time (T’s favorite: riding the metro in France).
Our deal is simple; we will continue to show them the world if they promise to continue to try new things; speak a foreign language, make a new friend, taste unique foods, or push themselves to do something challenging and maybe even a little scary. By doing this, we hope to raise kids who are more aware and respectful of the differences of people and their cultures. We want them to know that we have the choice to make this life exactly what we want it to be if we choose to push outside our comfort zone.
If we choose each day to be just a little bit braver and a little bit kinder, we might just be able to change the world.
As a nursing mom of 3, it brings me a lot of joy to help support and celebrate women who choose to nurse their babies. Any new mother will tell you, that while it is a joy to nurse, those early days feel anything but natural. The rawness of your nipples and teaching a baby to latch while exhausted from middle of the night feedings leaves us all feeling a little vulnerable. In honor of Breastfeeding awareness month, I’ve been gifting a free breastfeeding mini session each week to Mamas in the Coweta County area. I have one more open week, if you’d like to grab a spot send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, baby’s age, and a picture of you and your little love.
The theme this year is #LoveOnTop because love encompasses parenthood from the early days of pregnancy to breastfeeding and nurturing others. This year we invite you to join your community to put Love on Top of it all !
I’ve supported ALL women by gifting free mini sessions to women regardless of age and ethnicity.
While we may not like it, racial disparities in breastfeeding rates do exist and I want to be a part of change that helps all women succeed in feeling empowered to make the decision that best fits their lifestyle. That means educating and supporting the women who currently don’t have the support. Want to know more? You can read better detailed reasons here for why we need a black breastfeeding week.
Want to be a participate in our Breastfeeding minis? You can buy tickets here.
It brings me so much joy to be able to capture moments like this. As a mother of 3, I know the chaos of raising a family. The early mornings, sleepless nights, and endless days that all magically become years in the blink of an eye. The beauty of these motherhood sessions pulls on my heartstrings as I think back to the quiet moments of nursing my own littles. My 3rd is still breastfeeding, but at 9 months old, he is rapidly seeking independence and I know these quiet moments are fleeting.
Thank you to this gorgeous mama for braving a summer session. That morning light and breeze make it all worth it here in Peachtree City, GA.
Tonie had written me months ago asking if I would be in Florida anytime soon because she was hoping to schedule a session to celebrate their 10 year wedding anniversary. She wanted something fun and colorful. She envisioned a graffiti wall and after weeks of trading dates and ideas, we realized we weren’t going to be able to sync up our calendars and the likelihood of find grafitti in St. Augustine was slim.
I came to Florida and while driving through town, drove by this beauty! I pulled over on the side of the road and sent a message letting her know that this gem had been found and I’d be in town for one more day. Lo and behold, she was free and we brought her vision to life.
Her boys are young and strong willed and that night they took control of our session. While we lacked a lot of the poses Tonie wanted, we captured the real genuine beauty of her family.
Happy Anniversary! You’ve created such a beauty family.