motherhood

Heather + Her "Babies" | Motherhood | Crestview, Florida | Lifestyle Photographer

I just adore being able to get my family in the frame. All of my sessions hold a special place in my heart, but sessions with my family are even more special, for obvious reasons.

If you haven't met my sister Heather, just know she is amazing. She is stubborn and sarcastic and funny and always speaks her mind- she may even cuss a little much... But she has a heart of gold. She will literally do anything for anyone in need. I've witnessed first hand the kindness in her heart. She has done so much for me personally, and for my little family. I will never be able to fully thank her or repay her for the things she has done (and continues to do)- but I hope she knows just how much I cherish and love her. I adored her session with her babes and I hope she does, too.

Heather, Elijah, and Lillie<3

 

Fed is Best | Motherhood | Crestview, FL Photographer

When I was pregnant with my first child I was 100% positive that I was going to breastfeed him. But, as every Mom knows, this journey with kids is so unpredictable and things don't always go as planned no matter how badly you want them to. I was in active labor for 14 long, unmedicated, hours when I was told that I would have to have a c-section. Was it the end of the world? Well no, but for someone who didn't even have it in the back of her mind at all, it was pretty devastating. 

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Of course everything went great, my little guy came out healthy as could be and I loved him more than anything in the world. It was definitely one of the best days of my life! But I was in a lot of pain. I didn't really get much help from the staff with breastfeeding and getting him to latch properly, so by the time I got home my nipples were cracked and bleeding. If you've never experienced this, lucky you, because that crap hurts haha! Between that and my c-section incision I was so miserable. I also believe I was dealing with a little bit of postpartum depression which just added onto to the misery.

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That first week was such an emotional rollercoaster for all of us. I just cried and cried and cried. My husband didn't know what to do, I wasn't even close to enjoying motherhood, and I just felt like I was completely failing my boy. As much as I wanted to, I felt like I couldn't give up breastfeeding because "formula is bad" and what will people think and will we have that same kind of bond that breastfeeding moms do???? It was such a difficult decision for me, but eventually I did give up and I felt so guilty about it for the longest time. But then I had a moment where I realized- my baby is happy, healthy, and thriving on formula. I'm happy. I'm enjoying motherhood, my husband was able to help me feed him (which he LOVED), my son and I had an INCREDIBLE bond and overall everything was so much better for our little family! 

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So in this case, for my family, formula was what was best for us. However, I did successfully breastfed our second child (18 months) and it has been a completely different but amazing experience! I have enjoyed every single moment of it. But you know what? The results are the same-- two happy, healthy, beautiful, amazing little boys who love their Mama unconditionally. Which just goes to show it isn't about the way you feed them, it is about the way you love, nurture, and care for them!!! Let's be honest, our babes aren't going to remember how they were fed as infants, they are going to remember how you raised them. So please please please don't let the choice between formula and breastfeeding determine your worth as a mother. If you are trying your hardest to make decisions with your child's absolute best interest in mind, you are doing a good job Mama! 

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I am so thankful for these 5 ladies who came out to support one another and help advocate that Fed is Best! They were amazing and just absolutely stunning. There was a lot of laughs, a little conversation, some baby loving.... and then they nourished their littles in a way that was best for their family<3 It was a such beautiful evening and I'm so thankful I was there to document it all! If you missed out, don't worry- I'll be doing it again next year with hopefully even more Mama's! Until then, here's the rest of the images from this gorgeous session... enjoy <3

 

A Dad + His Boy | Florida Lifestyle Photgrapher

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Oh this little session just pulled on my heart strings<3
As a Daddy's girl, the photos I have with him are SO important to me. I will cherish them forever. He was {and always will be} my safe place. My protector. My hero. My first love. He's taught me so many things about life and love that only a Dad could teach you. He has helped shape me into the person I am today and I am so beyond thankful for him- I don't tell him nearly enough- but I am so so thankful. Honestly, I feel like today Father's are totally underappreciated and it's unfair. They are just as important as Mother's and should be celebrated in the same way. 
Every year around Mother's Day I see SO MANY people booking their Motherhood Sessions and messaging me to get gift certificates for their significant others or Mother. But then Father's Day rolls around and nothing. Why? There are so many amazing Dad's in the world that support, nurture, and share the responsibility of caring for their children- even some single Dad's who do all the raising on their own- but for some reason I never have anyone book a "Fatherhood" Session.
Maybe it's because men don't usually like being in front of the camera. Maybe it just seems "odd" because no one else is doing it. Whatever it is, we need to change it because our children NEED these moments with their Dad to look back on. And years from now when you're sitting at home in an empty house, you'll need them to. So if you're the wife to an amazing man who is also an amazing Father- book a session for him! If you're a single Dad doing it all on your own- book a session for yourself! I promise to make it fun and as pain-free as possible. No posing or forced smiles, just Dad + his kiddos making memories. 
For those interested, I'll be doing Fatherhood Mini Sessions for a special price- message me for more info<3

In the meantime, enjoy some photos from this super sweet and fun Father + Son Creek Session.
 

"One day all your children will have is pictures of you. Make sure you're in them."