Baby Faith

Here is one of my most recent photo sessions.¬†Sweet friends, Robby & Tiffany Ashley ūüôā They welcomed their sweet girl, Faith on¬†September 3, 2015. The photos below are a few of my favorites from their¬†maternity session.

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Shane and Cally were high school sweethearts and they finally decided to tie-the-knot! I was honored when they asked me to to be their photographer and witness at the courthouse wedding. It was such a beautiful moment and such a special thing to witness. Here are a few of my favorites from their wedding.

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Teaching through the eyes of a mommy…

Over the past five years I have had the privilege of teaching our future.  I have spent two years in Kindergarten, two years in Pre-Kindergarten and  now my fifth year of teaching  in Third.  I can truly say that I have enjoyed my time in the classroom. Yes, there have been trials, late night planning, countless professional development hours, millions of class newsletters, assessments, blood, sweat and more tears than you can imagine.  It is a difficult job that follows you out of your classroom to your car and into your home.  Your students become your prayers.  I have always had a soft spot that has in my opinion made me a better teacher.

-INSERT MOMMYHOOD-

Patience, being a teacher especially in early childhood you must have an abundance ¬†of patience. If you don’t you need to get out, fast! Seriously, run in the opposite direction for the sake of the kids! I feel that I have always had a great deal of patience and empathy with my students. But, after being introduced to motherhood I have felt that patience and even the love I have for my students grow. ¬†I now see my students through the eyes of a mother. ¬†When I am dealing with a “challenging” student I think about Greyson. ¬†What if this were him how would I want his teacher to handle the situation? ¬†I would want her to handle it in love. ¬†I would want her to have grace with him and be quick to forgive. ¬†Kids are kids, they are not perfect nor should they be. Kids are unique individuals who deserve every ounce of patience, empathy and love we can give them as teachers. I am thankful for this new perspective. I feel that it has helped me to be a better teacher and I am¬†so, so grateful.

So, when the next “challenging” student comes my way I will use my mommy eyes and I pray that I will¬†handle each situation with love and grace.

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7 things you might not know about your child’s teacher‚Ķ.

¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Ahhhh, the life of a teacher. It’s the best! You only go to work 8 hours a day. You never have after school meetings and lesson plans‚ĶThey pretty much write themselves. Oh and if you’re a kindergarten teacher you pretty much just play all day. SAID NO TEACHER EVER!

       Here are 7 things that you might not know but, you should definitely know about teachers:

  1. A teachers gets a yearly budget for their classroom, it comes directly from THEIR¬†paycheck‚Ķ.So go ahead, buy those extra pack of crayons for sixty-eight cents at Target on back to school special. If your student’s teacher bought one for every student that would equate to $22.01 after TAX, assuming she has only 30 students.
  2. We are not a babysitting service. If we were we would get paid by the hour for every student…. Actually that might work in our favor…. I should bring this up at the next bi-weekly staff meeting. Regardless, school ends at 3:35pm. Be there or be square!
  3. School(work) does not end for a teacher, EVER! We bring lesson planning, grading and professional development home.
  4. We DO NOT get summers off regardless of what you’ve been told! Don’t get me wrong we may take a vacation or two, lounge by the pool and visit with family‚Ķ.The rest of our time “off”¬†¬†is spent preparing for the school year to come. We might be getting familiar with new curriculum, re-writing lesson plans, attending MANDATORY professional development, taking classes to further our own education or making games/activities for students.
  5. We are totally in the profession for the moo-la!
  6. We can hold our bladder longer than you.
  7. Regardless of the politics and lack of pay surrounding the teaching profession we are in it because of the students. Not for the “time off” or the “8 hour days” but, because we have a genuine interest in students.

All joking aside, the teacher life isn’t for everyone. It’s definitely fight or flight. We do our job with integrity and expect nothing in return except that you pick up your student on time‚Ķ3:35pm to be exact. I don’t want to be late for my after school training ūüėČ

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I see you mom…

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I’m not sure how to begin this post. I want to preface it by saying that I think being a mom is quite possibly one of the most difficult jobs I have ever had. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom‚ĶYou are a¬†mom¬†superhero!

This post goes out to all moms, I want you to know I see you, having been at both ends of the spectrum.

First, to my SAHM’s‚Ķ. I see you:

Skipping your shower to take care of the needs of your kid(s).

Never getting “dressed” for the day and feeling discouraged when your other half comes home and you’re still in what he saw you in when he left for work‚Ķand you may or may not have had a chance to brush your teeth.

Trying to get your fussy kid(s) down for a nap.

Scrambling to get house work done while the little monsters finally nap.

Loading that/those same little monster(s) up and braving Target or Wal-Mart. May the force be with you sister!

Facing a meltdown at Target or Wal-Mart.

Doing laundry for everyone, except you. Let’s face it you don’t have much to wash when you wear the same thing a few days in a row more than you would like to admit.

Doing tummy time for the millionth time today.

Watching cartoons that you have absolutely no interest in but, somehow  you end up mesmerized.

Preparing dinner.

Cleaning up after dinner.

Wrangling the kid(s) for your night time routines; bath, books and bed.

Cleaning the house.

Crawling into bed and unwinding with some social media, because it’s your only outlet sometimes.

Feeling a little discouraged¬†because you don’t feel that you’ve accomplished much today. OH, but you did! Your job is so important. You keep your household afloat. You hold down the fort. You are the CEO my friend!

To my working mom’s‚Ķ. I see you:

Waking up before anyone else to make sure you have time to get ready for work. Or… waking up late and skipping your shower or even make-up.

Waking your sweet kid(s) to feed them and get them dressed for the day.

Realizing you have spit up or even worse poop on you, and you have a meeting today, great!

Making sure you’ve packed your lunch and you kid(s) diaper bag(s) and or backpack(s).

Skipping breakfast because you have NO time!

Dropping your kid(s) off at the sitter/daycare and wishing you were the one to take care of them.

Kissing your kid(s) one last time and checking the clock to be sure you’re not late.

Driving to work most likely in tears, the guilt and shame is unbelievable.

Enjoying your job and then feeling guilty because you do.

(Teacher mom’s: feeling guilty because you spend time investing in others kids the whole day while your little one is with someone else).

Leaving immediately after work knowing you’ll have to work when your kids(s) go to bed tonight.

Picking up your kid(s)

Preparing dinner

Cleaning up after dinner

Wrangling the kid(s) for your night time routines; bath, books and bed.

Watching the baby monitor debating whether or not to go in an scoop them up for some cuddle time.

Working on work (projects, lessons or presentations)

Crawling into bed feeling discouraged because you think you might be doing to wrong thing by working.

So, weather you’re a SAHM or a working-mom‚Ķ.Both jobs are incredibly rough! Not because one stays at home or one has to work outside the home¬†but, because both jobs have the title MOM. Being a mom is tough work!

To all my moms‚Ķ I see you…

Here is to the NOW!

So, you have straight hair and you want curls or you have curls and you want straight hair. We always want what we don’t have… But, if you got what you wanted would you still REALLY¬†want it?

Prior to going back to school (work) I stayed home for almost four months (shy by one week) with my son Greyson. This time together was a blessing. God timed his birth perfectly. He was born six weeks before school let out last spring and I was able to stay home, then roll right into summer time.

Like I said, the time we had together uninterrupted and without school¬†was such a blessing… However it wasn’t a walk in the park either. I was responsible for him 24/7. There was no substitute, I was n√ļmero uno.

As the days went on I was loving the time I had with him but, I also did a happy dance when nap time rolled around…. Personal hygiene is important yall! Oh, and let’s not forget about house work…

I recall days that were difficult because the night before was sleepless for my boy and me. I would literally pray for him to take a nap the following day.

As time went on‚Ķ dare I say it‚Ķ. I actually missed school from time to time…. Not that being mommy 24/7 was bad, but, let’s be real folks, it’s the HARDEST job on the planet‚Ķ I also felt like I needed to be working, my job is definitely a calling.

-Insert back to work-

I’m three weeks in to my school year and I love my job! I’m great at what I do and I have a passion for my students and their education… Do I feel guilty for feeling this way or for working? Heavens no! I am where God has placed me and I am there for a reason. For this I am certain of, my classroom is my mission field.

However, I do feel guilty for those days I wished Greyson would just take a nap. I feel guilty that I missed and thought about school. I feel guilty that I worried about a stupid shower, a clean house and laundry. I wish that I would have just let some things go. There were times where I felt like I needed to do something more…. What I should have been doing was soaking up every single moment with him, good or bad with sleep or no sleep.

The good thing for me is that summer time will roll around again and I will get another chance to just enjoy being a mom. I won’t wish for naps (If we’re being honest, now that I’m back at work I despise nap time because if he is sleeping I miss out on even more time with him‚Ķ), worry about house work or think about school. I will just be a mom to my boy.

So, if you get anything from this post I hope it is to enjoy the moments as they come. Don’t wish for the future or you’ll miss the present.

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Here is to the now!