Belated

Riley will be thirteen months old in just a handful of hours (this was true on the first draft of this post). On his birthday, a bit of our everyday life was filmed by a friend and incredible film maker (and will be shared when we get the final product - UPDATE, the video is here!). During the filming, we (Jordan and I) each did a short parent interview. The idea of this had my stomach in a small knot. For a few reasons - mainly that he would one day watch these interviews as at least a semi-grown person. And what in the world do I say to my little love, as we’re just learning who he is, as a semi-grown-up? Too many things ran through my mind. I had trouble organizing them all.

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I envision so many things for him, but mostly I wonder what kind of semi or fully grown-up person he will be. These thoughts include but aren’t limited to (in random order):

  • Does he like sports as much as his dad (or at all)? What teams will he follow if so?
  • Will he continue to love books as much as he does as a toddler?
  • Will those springy curls come back when we finally cut them?
  • Once he’s potty trained, will he still want to take a TP square (which we give him whenever he visits a bathroom to prevent him from uncoiling an entire TP roll) and pretend to clean the entire house with it as he does now?
  • Will he one day say words (Yes, I’m aware I may regret asking this a year from now)?
  • Will he be healthy?
  • Will he ever let us leave him with a babysitter for more than 30 minutes?
  • Who and what will he love?
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Okay some of these have obvious answers. Of course he’ll love UNC, right? But seriously. Stomach. In knots. I’ve never been a great speaker. I know this video is a private gig, but I still felt on display. Semi-adult human, remember? Said human has been created by me! I should be at least somewhat presentable with my thoughts. But my thoughts are never organized. I need to type them out first. Delete a line, re-type after revisiting. Come back later, type what I really wanted to say but forgot to add. Find what I wanted to say but went too far into detail about. Reformulate. Include. Exclude. Polish. I don’t do these things well out loud. I ramble and lose my place, and forget. When I attempt to prepare for this and then speak as I’ve written…oh man. No matter how I think it through - I ramble and forget. Notecards schmotecards. I’m a bit of a mess. 

So here, I’ll attempt to answer the most important question I’ve ever been asked to answer about my son: “What kind of man do you want Riley to be?” And likely revisit this post as time passes, to do a bit of polishing as we both grow.

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Riley Boone. Please, above all else, this is my wish for you: Be happy, be compassionate, be curious, be fun-loving and maybe even adventurous. None of these things to the detriment of others or yourself.

*Later edit: These sentences in bold. That is my answer. I didn’t get it all out on video, nor did I realize it in the first draft of this blog post. I kept going, when I should’ve realized that this is my elevator pitch about life. 

This is why I titled this post “Belated.” I have something in the works, that will hopefully happen when Ri’s a bit older (probably in school) and I can devote more time to my own personal Mindy project (sorry Kaling). Sadly, belated.com isn’t available for me to use in this project. Unless I want to throw down a spare 80 grand (the appraised amount for said domain), I’ll be working on thinking of another name for it. Just know that if you’re anything like me and have trouble getting things out at the appropriate time, I hear you. And I’m working on something for you.

Now, obligatory photos of my cute kiddo. We have very few from his first birthday party, but these are just enough, and I love them.

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‘Til next time… I’ll try not to let too many months pass between now and then.
Hugs & love,
M

JAM Out

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Hi friends and blog readers. I have some news to share with you, but I wanted to start this post with a fun photo of our Ri-guy. Mainly because this post has a lot to do with him, and of course because he’s so darn cute. Right? He loves when we put our hats on his head and any chance he gets to cruise around beyond normal crawl speed is pretty exciting. So here is our Riley Boone running to say hello to you. Now, onto our news.

To get straight to the point (because I tend to write a lot, but for the skimmers I don’t want you to miss it), we are no longer booking photo sessions. This wasn’t something we really planned before Riley came along, though I did intend to take a nice break from our business. Having this break and time with him though, it’s opened my eyes to a lot of things. There are two big reasons, along with many smaller ones, why we are no longer officially shooting. The biggest one being I want to enjoy photography like I used to. The risk you take when running a business that spun off from a very passionate hobby is, often times it starts to feel more like work than something you enjoy. That’s been the case for the past three years for me personally. Each year it weighs a little more heavily on my heart.

Now listen…I love, love love photography. I’ve enjoyed documenting so much of your lives, and our own lives, before and after Riley, and have photo books and photo boxes and albums and extensive wall collages and digital files on a number of hard drives you might find hard to believe. I love that being in this business has connected us with so many other photographers who are incredibly talented and wonderful people. I love hiring those people to take photos of us, and our house is filled with those gorgeous images along with our own. And thankfully since I’ve been running this business and understand “why photographers charge so much,” I’m happy to pay these talented people what they deserve. This whole movement to get moms in photos with their families instead of behind the camera all the time? No problem here - we’re a well-documented family as a whole, and I’m so proud of that. And I love photographing us too.

What I do not love is the business side of things. That’s true for many - do a bit of googling on the statistics of successful photography businesses if you’re interested. A whopping majority of them fail. 85% in the first three years, I’ve read. Three out of five don’t make it to their fifth year, another study finds. For various reasons of course, but I don’t consider ours a failing business. We have such a wonderful group of clients and people who have supported us since I started shooting in 2006. We still have people requesting sessions as soon as we’re ready to start shooting again. I’m a little sad to tell those folks that we’re no longer booking sessions.

If we do get back to shooting, it’s going to be years from now when Riley is older and in school, and on a very limited part-time basis. He’s reason number two. I’m so lucky to be able to stay home with him and focus on only that. I know many photographers who multi-task extremely well. Many of them with a child or several children at home, and I marvel at how well they stay organized and keep on shooting. I’m perfectly okay with the fact that that is not who I am. I cannot be the best mom and wife I can be while trying to run a photography business at the same time. The best thing is, I realize this. Even better, most of our clients understand this.

That’s it you guys. The big news. I’m a little sad to say it publicly, but quite a bit relieved. If you’d like to keep up with us as a family, I’ll be posting images occasionally. Whether it’s here or on a separate blog, I haven’t decided. I’ll be honest and say that on occasion we’ll shoot some very casual images for close friends and family, and those images may end up here as well. Those photos though, they will be strictly for fun. Probably using the new gift economy pricing model that we never publicly unveiled because well, we just didn’t get there. I ran out of juice on the business end, y’all. We’re getting back to the basics. The fun stuff. Refilling the creative juices? Okay that just sounds weird. And now I want some pineapple juice. If you have any questions or would like any referrals, please let us know. Just know that we don’t do cheap, and anyone we’re willing to recommend is going to be worth whatever they’re asking. We promise.

We love you guys. Thank you for supporting us, in every way, all of these years.

JAM out.

Jordan + Mindy + Riley

Hello blog world, we’re still here! I’ve been wanting to post a pour-my-heart-out kind of post about…well, everything. Life and business mainly, and how we want to change things and the direction we’re going with our photography business. It’s hard to write such things and really get out what I’d like to say in the limited time I have to write these days. So for now, we’ll stick with an update on just us. Our lives at home, and away from home. Still all about our little Ri guy. 

A lot has happened since our last update. Mainly our kiddo, like all others in the world, is growing up way too fast. The cliche saying is true. See below for proof. :)

These days Riley is: 

rolling around, sitting up, trying so hard to crawl, eating people foods, babbling away, losing the last of his baby hair and growing blondies in place, loving to bounce and be tossed around (adrenaline junkie in the works), and being such an amazing tiny person

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 He’s still a master at expressing himself, for sure.

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He’s seen his first snow, and is not a fan. He’s our little beach babe, taking after his parents. 

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We’ve tried many foods, avocado being the first. After getting past the texture, he was a pretty big fan. 

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He also loves some banana in his little squishy squeezer thing (seriously, I have no idea what the actual name for this is). 

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 Jordan managed to catch his initial “what is this weird feeling stuff in my mouth” face. Often mistaken for an “eww this is gross” face, but most of the time this isn’t the case. The only thing he hasn’t been a big fan of so far is sweet potatoes. We’ll keep trying them though. :)

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 Playtime is much more fun, and vertical, these days.

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 We’re still in love with owlie, though he seems to be shrinking next to Riley.

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 Along with us parents, he’s had lots of auntie time, especially with Aunt Gabby.

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We’ve been going to a My SweetArts music & arts class on Mondays. My dad asked, “Wait a minute, he’s already getting music lessons?” Well, he’s obsessed with listening to his daddy play guitar and beating on things, so in this class he gets to listen and play on an actual drum. And eat a few instruments, too. Sweet! 

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And the biggest new thing? His first airplane ride. To Las Vegas. For his daddy’s birthday. As a gift to his dad, he slept almost the entire flights there and back. Go Riley go! And Aunt Gabs got to join us. It was great fun. 

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 The aquarium at Mandalay Bay, and Bellagio’s light show. Some of our favorite Vegas things. Along with the food. And Aria. And Aria’s smell.

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And that is all I’ll write for now, as Ri is reaching and chatting for/at me. Gonna go snuggle our little dude and go for a walk. Til next time, y’all. Business update coming before too long, I promise. :)

~JAM + Ri-toast