Happy New Year!!

I’m a wee bit late in the greeting, but maybe like many of you, I’ve been busy making sure I had the right priorities in place at the beginning of this new fresh start or maybe like me, I’ve been having some serious leisure. As I homeschool and mother six children 13 and under, order is no small endeavor, but if I try to manufacture it everyone around here gets all stressed out. So I’ve decided to quit trying so hard and simply enjoy living it. And then I decide that again and again. Over the years I have read a few (dozen) books and articles about the best way to achieve order & organization, at times feeling quite overwhelmed at what I could not do all at once (like today, before it’s time to make the next meal please) and with no hint of perfectionism in my bones at all, giving up before I began…(yet somehow had time for the next book?).


At the end of the day, shooting for my goals with one-foot-in-front-of-the-other seems to be the medicine I keep wanting to avoid on the one hand and keep trying to absorb into my very fiber so that I can live and breath it, on the other. Discipline – I have come to accept, by no small struggle, always wanting to be the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, whimsical woman, wife and mom. Turns out (to my dismay) order and discipline are the very pavement of that path. So what’s to be done? Creating – that’s what, enjoying – because life is a marvel. Adventure, because without it, I slowly die. I choose to be a creator. Find the best light, angle, and perspective and soon I’m smiling in the midst of the mundane. I choose to enjoy, because I am surrounded by miracle. I choose adventure, because fear is a door.


I don’t think any of us should be trying this grown-up thing with out creativity, enjoyment and adventure – inspiration and vision for the journey. I will always be a photographer who is searching for light and fresh views in my own pilgrimage, and even as I trip and scrape up from time to time I hope to share what I see with others, to bring light, beauty and what has come to be one my very favorite words: wonder, to the surface again. Because as we all know, these things take a beating in the day-to-day, even sometimes to the point of being lost.


I am an incredibly blessed woman to be surrounded everyday by children with whom this wonder is not only not lost but seems to gain new meaning when they turn a corner, not to mention when they read something new! It is for this exact (highly distractable) reason that photographing children is often a photographer’s least favorite, but I love the challenge, and work hard for those moments of wonder that always seem to surface when I look into and through their eyes even for just a little while. The funny thing about that is, I never planned on that being “me”. I’m glad at the beginning of a new year for the reminder that we not only can, but are made for change.


The photoshoot I’m featuring today is of some people very dear to me. I was their mama’s labor doula for each of their births and I am blessed to be their Aunt Ray. As one of my last shoots of 2014 it was a chilly day, so we stayed cozy indoors.

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The photos are set to words by a favorite of mine, Irish teacher and poet, John O’Donohue. Maybe I listened to him on the radio at first because of his accent and the romance of Ireland to me, but that only briefly compared to how his words have caused me to linger long years now. One day I’ll post images I take in Ireland with his lines, but for today, you’ll have to supply the landscape with your own imagination. The rugged and fantastical land calls loud for story. Story held within it’s history, story waiting to be imagined and spun. And I almost always feel the same inspiration of open, waiting, but well known, space when I read Mr. O’Donahue ~ kinda like when I really see and listen to children.


This particular poem is taken from the book To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings. It is written as a blessing as a new child enters the world. I like it not only for that reason but as a further pursuit of my own to see like a child.

As I enter my new family,
May they be delighted
At how their kindness
Comes into blossom

Unknown to me and them,
May I be exactly the one
To restore to their forlorn places
New vitality and promise.

May the hearts of others
Hear again the music
In the lost echoes
Of their neglected wonder.


If my destiny is sheltered,
May the grace of this privilege
Reach and bless the other infants
Who are destined for torn places.

If my destiny is bleak,
May I find in myself
A secret stillness
And tranquillity
Beneath the turmoil.

May my eyes never lose sight
Of why I have come here,
That I never be claimed
By the falsity of fear
Or eat the bread of bitterness.

In everything I do, think,
Feel and say,
May I allow the light
Of the world I am leaving
To shine through and carry me home.

~John O’ Donohue


I hope you feel the wonder ~