being you/me

It’s been about three years now since Jordan and I have shot regularly for our photography business. In those three days-are-long-but-years-are-short years, life has changed in so many ways. I was pregnant and sick for what felt like a year, then nursing for what felt like five. Jordan went from teaching to entering the world of tech, and I went from running around with client kids with a camera to running around with my own kiddo with that same camera. Family became a more sacred thing in our minds and hearts. We’ve been through some shit in our own relationship and in a friendship or two, and have come out stronger on the other side of it. And there’s this imperfectly perfect little being consuming almost every bit of our time, running around our house (or “flying” if you ask the plane-obsessed being himself) and over every inch of our hearts, into spaces and edges I didn’t even know were available.

Said being is in the toddler stage of figuring out pronouns. He currently calls himself either by his own name in third person (pronounced “Riwey”) or “you,” as he hears us saying that to him quite a bit. I’ve been putting a lot of focus on “you” these last three years. Figuring out who you are, taking care of you, asking you what you need. And by “you,” I really mean me. While navigating ourselves through these new roles and in our relationships, there’s a lot of emphasis on taking care of ourselves. That’s important, but I want Riley to understand how to also care for others. Kindness and compassion are at the top of a list of traits I want to instill in him. There’s a balance that has to be found in taking care of yourself and others. Honestly, at almost 34 I’m still trying to figure out that balance. 

I started writing these first two paragraphs in October of 2015. Going back, I realize the next sentence I need to write is, “I’ll likely be figuring out that balance for the rest of my life.” I have a small list of topics I want to write about, if for no other reason that getting the thoughts out of my brain. A few folks I know personally have shown interest in these little musings I blog on or photo-caption with, so I think this space will be good for sharing at least a handful of new posts this year. I don’t really do resolutions since as soon as I admit I have a goal I’m less likely to chase it (I know, it’s ridiculous), so let’s just say I’ll get to these posts when I get to them. And we’ll see what happens. For now I’ll have a little fun re-designing this space so it reflects how I’m feeling these days. And wouldn’t you know, I have a few images to share with you too. Poor little neglected blog of ours.

I’m in the middle of another 365 project, where I take at least one photo every day with a legit I’m-still-a-professional-photographer camera. I just scrolled through the last few months to try and find images that really grab me to share here. I’m always drawn to bright light, color, love and laughs (or just meaningful connection in general, in some way), and the photo’s location. Nostalgia plays a big part there. Anyway, I need to be taking more of those for this project. Goals, y’all.

This one here was taken by Jordan/Daddy at Wrightsville Beach. One of our favorite places, with one of my favorite smiles, and some favorite colors.

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The blues all around, and again the location, grab me here. We’re building a home in Wilmington (well you know, we aren’t, but we have some really amazing people building it for us after a really amazing architect took things we love and made a spectacular plan for it), and this dock is going to one day be home to a boat. And possibly a jet ski. Dreams, guys. We’ve got ‘em.

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We’re overdue for another shot here. This is one of our oaks on our Wilmington property. Our land has had a few names: Serenity Point (that’s the road name), The Cove Dwelling/The Cove (our architect, Kevin’s name for our home), and Camp Shamp (also Kevin’s idea).

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The eyes. The water. That and a lot of love are all I really have for this image. It speaks for itself.

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I can’t even exactly place what it is here. The green of the trees, us being in the mountains where we met, our sleepy-eyed kiddo. I love it all.

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Our little flyer, flying by the guest room of our Wilmington house. That sun on the tippy top of the tree that will so soon be spilling into windows of our very own home at the coast. Dreams are made of this right here.

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New Year’s Eve afternoon. 2015 at its very end. Bowtie tee and cottage cheese lips. And my goodness, those eyes again.

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Here’s to a fantastically wonderful, appropriately productive new year, guys.

~JAM

Two Years Old

When I was pregnant with Riley, time mostly seemed to crawl. I wanted to meet the little soul in my big belly, so very badly. I also wanted to be able to eat something other than plain grilled chicken, cheese, and pb&j. I didn’t mind the sugar cravings so much. ;) 

Well, as soon as labor started time rushed by and only seems to go by faster. We all beg time to slow down, but really? Two is incredibly fun, even when Ri has his “terrible” moments (which most of the time, when I’m not exhausted, are actually cute). I love finding out more about who he is as a little person. He has the best damn personality you guys. When we had his first birthday film made and I nervously agreed to be on camera talking about what I want for Riley, I think I said the word “kind” at least 27 times. But you guys, that’s him to the core.

If Ri is eating anything, you will be offered a bite. If he has a toy that he is amazed by, he has to let you try it. If he wakes up and tells you he’s happy in the morning, you better believe he’ll ask if you’re happy too. And he waits for your answer too - he really does want to know. It’s the most genuine “How are you?” I’ve ever heard. 

Here are a few birthday images from this week. He’s looking quite grown these days, don’t you think?

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~jaM

J's Birthday Hey!

It’s a bit belated, but I had to post a little love note here for my favorite grown-up dude. With some images of him and my favorite little dude. Happy birthday love. Thanks for being the most best incrediblest dad and husband. You make life fun. :) 

Also, can you guys believe how big this kid is these days? With the help of his awesome dad, he’s growing into a very cool little person. These are from our last visit to Wilmington - a brief escape from winter weather before we came home and experienced a snow so big it downed three of our trees (two of which ended up in the pool). Hey spring, come on back around, okay?