Attention Clients and Friends--EMAIL PROBLEMS

It was recently brought to my attention that I may be missing some email contacts submitted via my website. If you have emailed recently (or ever) and NOT heard back--I am so very sorry! I answer ALL of my inquiries, usually within the day! Please contact me at directly OR call me at 214.250.6891

Now Booking for Spring!

Welcome green grass and sunshine! We are currently accepting appointments for Spring 2013!

I am usually booked 2 weeks in advance and weekends are a hot commodity, so be sure to give us a call to secure your spot!

As always, please contact me if you have a newborn--those little ones make their own schedules. Thanks everyone!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

On My Mind: Working from the Heart.

Sometimes the universe has a way of gently nudging us in a direction that we may have never considered. It's fascinating how this little push can really bring clarity to your life and help you to truly appreciate what matters most.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to photograph 3 newborns this week and it seems like this blessing was perfectly timed for my soul, but not necessarily for my schedule! My son started Kindergarten this week, and in this hectic sea of change within our household (new schedules, new needs, demands, new fears etc.) it has felt overwhelming at times. Lunden actually got off at the wrong bus stop yesterday, and I had the first true moment of sincere panic as a mother! (More on that later)

This is not how I had imagined my son's first week-I thought I would cry when he left for school every morning, and count the minutes until he came home. I thought I would be the Mom meeting my son at the door with freshly baked cookies after school...and that he and I would sit at our kitchen table, eyes locked, engrossed in long conversations about the details of his day. It was a very 'Leave it to Beaver' kind of idealistic vision...perhaps even a dream.

But it's not just the first week--when I thought of Lunden going to school, it seemed like a dream-come-true. Free child care during the day--more time to work, run errands without children, less money spent on nannies, preschools, etc. I thought I would have all this extra time on my hands--I'd be superwoman--doing all the things I have been putting off because there was just not enough time.

Then reality set in--Steve and I still have JOBS! Lunden is still NOT a morning person, our lives are even more scheduled than before, and we have LESS TIME! And Harper still requires a lot of our attention (especially since turning 2 this month!). Our relaxed morning routine is replaced by checklists, and 'to-dos': getting dressed, breakfast, backpack, kiss goodbye and out the door. Afternoons are scheduled with work, dinner, baths, stories and bedtime. My days are still scheduled to the brink with work, shoots, phone calls, emails, meetings...there is hardly an extra minute to spare, and my ever-growning 'to-do' list spills into the next day. We still have all of the responsibilities of our 'old' life plus a million new ones! How can this be? Where do I find the time?

This chaos clouded my appreciation for what is real--what much, that last night (as I was up working at 2am) I was feeling run down, diminished, and out of control. I again felt like I was not experiencing my life--just riding the wave--trying to keep my head afloat.

So here I was, editing the images of one of the 3 newborns I photographed this week--and I decided I needed something to listen to--something to keep me awake and focused.

I stumbled upon an interview by Sandy Puc. As many of you may already recognize the name, she is one of the co-founders of Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS) a non-profit organization that helps bereaving parents in the loss of a baby by providing intimate photographs of their child. I have not blogged much about my experience with NILMDTS yet, but I am a local volunteer photographer and recently attended a training in Dallas where we learned more about the organization and how we can contribute as volunteers.

At the time, I left this training seminar with a warmth in my soul--feeling like what I do can contribute to something--feeling the incredible awe that I do when I am invited to share intimate moments with my clients--weddings, births, celebrations of their children. Feeling the responsibility and honor of documenting these incredible life-changing moments--my images would be what they would refer back to for years to come. My perspective on their day would ultimately shape how the memory would be described, remembered, passed on for further generations to see. That's awesome and makes me fee full, complete, and just bursting with gravity of this magnificent honor.

My work with NILMDTS is similar--these families will be leaving the hospital without their child--sometimes with nothing. Can you imagine? Nothing? I have the power to change that--to help them to have something tangible to remember every little detail of this child--and in turn, to help them grieve. It moves me to tears every time I think about it and I cherish this responsibility with all my heart.

Interestingly, I had received an email from our local coordinator regarding a need earlier yesterday but had been away from my computer. The story of the mother and baby in need was heartbreaking, but I knew that even if I had received the email in time, I would have not been able to fit it into my over-scheduled day. Fortunately by the time I saw the message another local photographer had volunteered to help. I had felt sad and guilty that I could not help today, but after a while I moved onto the next task in my day.

But after listening to the interview and being transported back to the training, to the emotions, to this wonderful feeling of responsibility and made me think about my own children. How much I love and cherish them...the way they smell...the way they smile...the way their soft squishy cheeks give under my lips pressed firmly against them...and I immediately found my moment of clarity. My life is not about my schedule--everything will happen in it's own time. My life is truly about my relationships with others--THAT is my focus and what I should devote my energy. I was re-centered, thankful, and blessed.

I looked at these beautiful images of the newborn on my screen and cried. What a wonderful miracle that life has to offer. I saw the connection between the parents--the look as if they wanted to drink in every single detail, and I was again struck with a moment of if my soul was re-awakened. I sneaked into my kid's bedrooms and watched them sleeping--thankful that they are here and that I can experience every day of their lives with them...even the tough ones. I took a breath--reminded myself to again appreciate and celebrate the small special moments of my life, recenter and reconnect with my inner self. There will be a time when my kids are not an arms-reach away...and for many families, this moment comes too soon.

I am lucky. I am blessed. I am tired. I need to take better care of myself so I can be a better person for my family and friends. My 'to-do' list will be here will probably be around forever...but small moments with the ones I love are fleeting.

I also realized that I have never posted the video about NILMDTS and resolved to do it today. Watch it--be moved, and then think about your life. How can you give? NILMDTS needs all kinds of volunteers, not just photographers. Please consider helping this organization in any way you can and know that you are part of something so much greater than any one of us alone.

I hope you are all making it through this first week of school and your own fall chaos--please take a minute to think about what is truly important to you. When your kids are screaming this afternoon, be grateful that they have a voice and that you are there to hear it. Believe me...I'll be right there with you during the witching hour, but with renewed perspective :)

Much Love,

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