Central Indiana Photographer

Sydni's Senior Session | Broad Ripple, Indianapolis

Ok, so Sydni is pretty much one of the most amazing humans on the planet, and if you're lucky enough to know her, you'll know what I mean. I first met Sydni when we were looking for someone to help babysit our boys, and ever since, I've been constantly in awe of this girl. She is so, so kind. She is passionate, quiet, artistic, talented, beautiful inside and out, and has a heart for others. I see such a spark in her - a love for others and a sense of adventure - and I was so honored to be able to capture some senior photos for her.

We headed to a few spots in Broad Ripple, and basically hung out for a couple hours, talking, taking photos, and dodging the sprinkles that held off enough for us to get some wonderful images. It was kind of amazing. :) Sydni is heading off to college next year and will be studying nursing and is considering studying photography as well. My family and our boys will miss her tons, but I am so excited for her to head off and experience all kinds of amazing things!! 

Enjoy some images from her session below!!

xoxo

Indianapolis senior photography | broad ripple
Indianapolis senior photography | broad ripple

Lynn & Marcus Married - Marion, Indiana

At the end of June, on a hot but beautiful summer day, I had the honor of photographing Lynn and Marcus' wedding in Marion, Indiana. I met Lynn through a mutual friend last fall and we grabbed coffee to talk wedding photography. She struck me as being kind, genuine, and laid back, and I knew that working with her would be a great fit. She was just as laid back and kind on her wedding day, and it was obvious that she and Marcus loved each other deeply and were so excited to be getting married.

The day was hot, but the bridal party and bride and groom rolled with it and we got some gorgeous shots on the grounds of the venue, Hart's Celebration Center. We had so much fun, and the entire day was full of joy, celebration, and love. Love between the bride and groom, love from their family, and lots of love from their guests and friends. What a beautiful day it was!

I feel so lucky that I got to be a small part of their day, and I wish Lynn and Marcus so much happiness as they start their married lives together!

xo Leah

Venue: Hart's Celebration Center

DJ: DJ Krazy K - Kenny Williams

Tuxedo: Louie's Tux Shop

Rings: Helzberg Diamonds

Bartender: Joe Reel

 

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Pris' Motherhood Session

Hello friends! I hope you have been enjoying this series on motherhood I've been working on. When I decided to work on a personal project, I immediately thought of working with some local moms because I have a dear place in my heart for mamas. I wanted to use this space to hear different perspectives on what it's like to be a mom.

I'm involved with a local group for moms, and one of their hashtags for this year is #thisismotherhood. I loved that line so much, and have been honored to be a part of a group of moms who embrace their differences, embrace each other, accept each other just as they are, and our group is really a non-judgmental place for moms to get together. I reached out in my group to see if anyone would be interested in sharing part of their motherhood journey, and I was blown away with the responses I got. I have been able to start meeting with the moms who I'll be working with, and I get to sit down with them for an hour, take some photos, and listen to them share. It's been so beautiful and such an honor for me.

Because I'm sharing parts of the stories of different women who have voluntarily sat down with me, I'd ask that you approach reading these posts with respect and an understanding that these stories are sacred. Please honor this space. The moms I'm interviewing all have a unique and different story of their journey to motherhood. No two will be alike, and that is so beautiful to me. Please honor these women and listen to their story free of judgement, assumptions, or negativity. We deal with enough of that already, right? 

Please accept these stories as parts of the bigger picture of being a mother and being human, and recognize how rich that makes this world. Thank you for taking the time to read and listen. 

With much love,

Leah

 

Pris

Pris lives in Indianapolis with her husband David and their two children Noah, 3 and Emma, 1. She is originally from Orange County, CA and misses the beach and hopes to one day move back near the ocean. I asked her to message me an update since she started working full time after I had interviewed her, and here's what she had to say:

"I actually just started working today full time and it's a new journey for us. I cried to and from work but have been blessed with a good opportunity. I was blessed with two full years at home with the kids and I was ready to work. I'm looking forward to taking on a new chapter in our lives. If I had time for hobbies, I would probably take up quilting and reading again."

t was so beautiful to sit down with Pris. She has such an energy about her, and it's obvious how much she lives her life with passion and her everything. We talked all things self-love after kids, natural birth and co-sleeping, and how the journey towards parenthood and marriage looks different for everyone. I hope you enjoy her story below!

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Tell me a little bit about your journey to motherhood.

“I’m originally from Orange County, and David had moved from Indianapolis to Long Beach, so he was living in California when we met. I thought he seemed like a nice midwest guy, and I had never dated anyone from the midwest. I really liked him. He was really conservative and quiet, timid and reserved, but super funny in a discreet way. David and I met online and we dated for 10 months, and then we got pregnant with Noah, so our story is totally different than the traditional steps towards becoming parents. It’s been a rollercoaster. You’re fighting against the grain a little bit because you’re doing things a different way. You’re getting to know each other differently than “I met you, I fell in love with you, I want to have your children.” This is different in that you’re kind of becoming friends and lovers and everything else at the same time. It takes some work!

I always wanted to be a mom; like there is nothing in the world I wanted more. I met a guy who I loved, and when we got pregnant, even though it was a surprise, I knew from then on that Noah was going to be everything. Motherhood came as a surprise, but yet it was something I had been dreaming of.

We went through a rough patch after Noah was born because David went through some father’s postpartum depression, and he struggled knowing how to be a dad. So he asked me to move out 2 weeks after Noah was born. I had to find a new place and it took us about a month to find a place, but it didn’t matter because I was going to do anything for my baby. It was the toughest part of our relationship because I expected David to man up, and at that moment it was like he was pulling away. 

We then had to seek counseling, because after he asked me to move out, he realized he had made the biggest mistake of his life so we went to counseling for several months. I decided to give him a second chance, and we got back together. And I love him. And we have to have a lot of Jesus in our lives to forgive from that experience. Ultimately after counseling we realized that shockers like that happen - getting pregnant surprisingly and unplanned - and sometimes for either partner it can come as a big life-changing event, especially when it wasn’t something you were striving for. It took a lot of patience for me to understand that we didn’t have that mutual feeling in the beginning, but now you see David and it’s like ‘Wow.’ You don’t really realize how much you can love somebody and how they love your kids. Even though it started rough for us in the very beginning, it shaped us to be strong people. We love these babies so much.

All of my family is back in California and it’s very hard. I think that’s a hard part about being here. You take this leap of faith trying to move out here, but as a mom you need your village. So I constantly FaceTime my sisters who are my best friends. One is in California, but one got married and went to Texas. So we absolutely have to stay connected because I have to reach out to them for constant advice. They have kids as well, and they have been very supportive of my journey of breast-feeding, natural birth, and co-sleeping. When you have family that inspires you and also supports you, you have to really keep that connection, so we really work to keep connected.”

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What is one of the things you love the most about being a mother?

“I think I love how motherhood has shaped me. It’s humbled me, and it’s made me stronger. You have to be tender as possible with your kids, but yet strong at the same time. It’s shaped me to become a stronger person than I thought I was - from a natural birth, birthing at home, and overcoming goals and obstacles in motherhood itself like feeling I can’t get through one more day of nursing with chapped nipples, and then again the next day. Always thinking ‘We can get through one more day.’ So I think it’s taught me so much how to be strong.”

What has been one of the hardest things about being a mother?

“I think it’s feeling not crazy. The level and variety of emotions you experience in a 24 hour period can be so hard. From happy to stressed out, to rushing, to a moment of pure bliss in a moment of interacting and playing with them, to right back to frustration from a tantrum the minute you say it’s nap time. I think that’s been the hardest - not feeling nutty. I have two toddlers and I really have to adjust to all the emotions. I think that’s been the toughest. And then feeling ‘Am I ok to vent about this? Am I ok to share this? Do I sound like there is always something to vent about every time I talk to my mom and sisters?’ But it’s totally normal to feel this way, and you hear other moms talk about feeling this way too, and it’s totally ok.”

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How do you maintain a sense of who you were before you had kids?

“I listen to hip hop when I’m in the car alone, and I turn it up really loud, and it’s really inappropriate, and I feel completely normal for a quick second. I drink a lot of coffee. I have to ocaisionally go shopping to feel like that girly girl that I was before that was selfish in a way. That or getting my toes and nails done - all those ‘selfish’ things you get to really enjoy and take in before motherhood and then you realize it’s not all that easy afterwards. When I can and when it’s available, I’ll take up those things in a heartbeat.”

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What is something that makes your motherhood story unique?

“I think the fact that we really strived for natural birth. We had a natural hospital birth and then had a home birth with our daughter. I also have been extended breast-feeding for 3 years, and then we co-sleep two kids, so we’re a family of four in one big bed. I think that’s something that’s unique, you don’t really hear that too often. I love that David is so supportive of it as well, and that we are both ok sacrificing our very personal space for the sake of cuddles and time with our kids for as long as we can. That is a very personal space where parents retreat to after the kids go to bed, and in our story it’s not like that. So it’s very unique and very different, and it’s hard to explain to other parents especially if they haven’t been exposed to co-sleeping before.”

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What is one of your biggest dreams that has yet to be realized?

“Ideally and on a big scale, probably living by the beach again or owning some property and being close to the water and sand. Otherwise, I would say having a honeymoon with my husband once we’re done breast feeding and sleeping through the night and no longer dependent on me. Then I can definitely have a honeymoon with him. We were pregnant and had a toddler when we got married, so I think that’s dream for us. I just want to have a vacation with him, just the two of us.”

What would you say to your younger pre-motherhood self now if you could?

“Really enjoy sleep. And then not be so judgy towards other moms when you’re not a mom. You see that and you hear that, and I know I was like that. At that time before having kids, I would say do a lot of research for the choices you want to make, and for us it was breast feeding and co-sleeping. Parenting is not cookie-cutter, and you have to find what works for you. So probably not doing that side eye toward moms because you don’t really know what’s going on.”

In what ways has motherhood changed you?

“Like I said before, I think it just made me really strong. I was always loving and caring, but now it’s just about them and nothing else matters. I will sacrifice my all for the sake of keeping them rested and happy and fed. I think that’s how its changed me. I make it about my family now.”

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What’s something you wish all mothers would truly take to heart?

“ I think maybe self-love as a mom after kids. I think that’s kind of a topic that gets brushed under the rug based on expectations of how we expect to be perfect and bounce right back after having kids. And I was never real thin to begin with so for me it’s not as big of a deal, but I think just loving your body afterwards is so important. Because you’re going to teach your kids that. I’m big on that. I’m big on ‘It’s ok that mommy has cellulite and stretch marks, and it’s ok. This is your wonderful mama, and hopefully one day you’ll love a woman and you’ll love her for whatever shape she is.’ I’m not going to engrain in my kids that women shouldn’t look this way.” 

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What is one thing you expected to be true about motherhood but turned out to be different?

“Probably the idea of ‘you can sleep when the baby sleeps.’ You hear that all the time and that only works when they’re really little and there’s only one. It doesn’t work when there’s two; it’s impossible because you can’t neglect the other one. So that really taught me the lie of that saying.”

What’s something about motherhood that you wish everyone would be honest about but maybe not many people talk about?

“I think that we all have bad days, and it’s ok to talk about them and it doesn’t make you a bad mom. Those bad days are ok. I think we need to talk more about that.”

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What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten about being a mother?

“When Emma was born and I felt like I was possibly neglecting Noah, I called my mom and she said ‘Honey, these kids have so much love from you, even if you leave to watch something while you nurse for an hour, he still knows you love him.’ I think just knowing that I was enough, and having my mom remind me - that was the best piece of advice.”

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What is your favorite way to wind down after a long day with your kids?

“So typically it’s a Friday or Saturday night. David puts Noah down and I put Emma down, we go lay both of them in the bed and turn on the monitor. We turn on Netflix and watch our show and I have a beer, and that’s our unwind on the weekends. It feels like date night, and it makes me feel good. If the kids are sick and we have to skip, it kind of throws off my week, because I love that time with my husband. I love being able to watch something and hold hands, and feels like adults.”

Tell me one thing you love about yourself as a mother?

“I love how I’ve been able to accomplish goals as a mom. So I’ve never been one to follow through prior to motherhood. I’d always say I would take a class and then never finish it, or sign up for belly-dancing thing and be totally into it and I would do it for a little bit and then be over it. So I love how motherhood has made me be someone that can actually complete things and accomplish the mini goals we have done. I have been able to follow through on things that I wanted.”

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Tell me one thing that scares you about being a mother?

“That’s a tough one. Because everything scares me. I get scared if I lose them at the park, or if a stranger talks to them at Target. But I think maybe emotionally somehow doing some damage. Like will I cause some kind of need for therapy for them in the future. But it’s something you have to leave in the hands of god and do the best you can, but I think that’s what scares me the most.”

What would you do if you had a whole day to yourself?

“I would probably, as tired as I am, and most people would say sleep, and I need sleep, but that’s not me. I would probably just go enjoy me and go get my nails done, watch a movie at the theater by myself, and eat sushi quietly by myself. Or a full daytime concert. :)”

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Who has been your biggest inspiration/mentor/go-to someone as you have journeyed through motherhood?

“I think my mom and my sisters. But as mothers we also have to reach out to other mothers out there. I had to join La Leche League because as knowledgeable as my mom and my sisters were, I needed a mom who was doing it right then and there in that moment in time. All moms have something to teach us, and it’s little bits and pieces here and there that can adapt to your family.”

What are ways you find time for yourself?

“I think in the evenings when they go to bed, because nap time is cursed and I don’t get time then. I get time in the evenings after bed, if they aren’t sick, and it’s watching a show and just relaxing, and it’s my time. Even if it’s folding laundry and catching up on my show, that makes me feel good and I feel recharged for the next day.”

How do you describe #thisismotherhood in your own words?

“Motherhood is me cooking while baby wearing Emma and having Noah trying to help me, cautiously trying not to burn him while the screaming toddler is on my back. I think that’s what motherhood is for me for now.”

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What makes motherhood beautiful to you?

“I think its when I allow myself to be present and really get involved with my kids and soak in all those giggles and fun that they get just from me being loving to them. I think that’s motherhood - when I really get to play with them on the floor, and they’re pulling my hair and I become a human jungle gym - but they need me. They absolutely want that attention and need me to interact with them, and that’s what’s beautiful to me about motherhood.”

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A huge thank you to Pris for sharing part of her story! You can find the other posts in this motherhood series here: 

Hannah, LindseyKatieKristin  ErmaColleen & Erin.

xo

Erma's Motherhood Session

Hello friends! I hope you have been enjoying this series on motherhood I've been working on. When I decided to work on a personal project, I immediately thought of working with some local moms because I have a dear place in my heart for mamas. I wanted to use this space to hear different perspectives on what it's like to be a mom.

I'm involved with a local group for moms, and one of their hashtags for this year is #thisismotherhood. I loved that line so much, and have been honored to be a part of a group of moms who embrace their differences, embrace each other, accept each other just as they are, and our group is really a non-judgmental place for moms to get together. I reached out in my group to see if anyone would be interested in sharing part of their motherhood journey, and I was blown away with the responses I got. I have been able to start meeting with the moms who I'll be working with, and I get to sit down with them for an hour, take some photos, and listen to them share. It's been so beautiful and such an honor for me.

Because I'm sharing parts of the stories of different women who have voluntarily sat down with me, I'd ask that you approach reading these posts with respect and an understanding that these stories are sacred. Please honor this space. The moms I'm interviewing all have a unique and different story of their journey to motherhood. No two will be alike, and that is so beautiful to me. Please honor these women and listen to their story free of judgement, assumptions, or negativity. We deal with enough of that already, right? 

Please accept these stories as parts of the bigger picture of being a mother and being human, and recognize how rich that makes this world. Thank you for taking the time to read and listen. 

With much love,

Leah

 

Erma

"I live in Fishers with my husband Brad and our two sons Gabe, 4 and Jude, 2. I am a stay at home mom (the BEST job ever). A few of my hobbies are cooking, baking, working out and eating. :)"

It was so great to sit down with Erma and hear part of her story. She is so easy-going and warm, and her home was so obviously full of love. I hope you enjoy reading along below! 

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Tell me a little bit about your journey to motherhood.

“So I was 33 when we got married, and we knew we wanted a family, so we went ahead and decide to try right away. So 4 months after we got married I got pregnant, and we felt very lucky because we didn’t have any problems getting pregnant. We got pregnant right away and it was awesome and such a blessing.

Not getting married until I was 33 and not having my first child until I was 34, by that time I was so independent that I knew it was going to be very, very hard. But I also knew so clearly that there was always a piece missing, and that was children, in my life. It makes me emotional thinking about it. Just when you know that something’s missing and something’s not quite complete; without a doubt it was the puzzle piece of children in my life.”

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What is one of the things you love the most about being a mother?

“I absolutely love, love watching the boys be buddies. They have a love/hate relationship of course, just like all siblings probably. But when we’re out and about, and when we’re at church and they deliberately find each other, it just melts my heart. I’ve always been close to my siblings, so I’m like ’My boys *have* to be close!’ So obviously I can’t totally control that, but it’s definitely my prayer that they will be close.”

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What has been one of the hardest things about being a mother?

“When I read that question, a million things came to mind. But the number one thing that came to mind is the fact that it is SO constant. So constant. And overwhelming. And constant. 

So even when you get away from them and you get some alone time, they’re still with you like, right here on your shoulder, in your thoughts and in your mind. It’s so constant. That word just keeps coming to me. And it’s beautiful and it’s great, but it’s constant. I think that’s one of *the* hardest things. There are lots of things obviously.

I’m one that has always needed a lot of space and I’m independent. I kind of like to do what I do when I do, and I know that sounds selfish, but I guess that’s just kind of a little bit how I’m wired. So to have two little ones constantly in need of me is hard. And it’s not even the laundry and the dishes and the cooking and cleaning. That’s hard. It’s just being needed all the time.”

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How do you maintain a sense of who you were before you had kids?

“First of all, I find time for myself. And I know that’s very hard. It’s a little bit easier now that Gabe and Jude are 4 and 2, versus when they were newborns in diapers - it was so hard. Time alone meant *maybe* going to the restroom alone, and that was maybe. 

Now time alone for me looks like getting up in the morning before the boys get up, and it might be 20 minutes or 30 minutes. Some mornings they get up at the same time. But just having that little bit of time. And then when they’re napping I always, I don’t care if the house is on fire, take a little bit of time for me. Just to sit and scroll through facebook or Pinterest, or whatever. But it’s so important for me to get a little bit of time.

And I also, once a year like to go on a weekend trip with my sisters and my mom. And Brad and I both strongly agree on this, but we try not revolve our whole life around our children. And a lot of it you naturally have to revolve around your children. They need you, you gotta feed them, you gotta diaper them - all that. But aside from that, not dote on them 24-7. Like maybe make them wait a little bit for breakfast because you’re doing something. Or not put them in every, every activity so early. We let them know they are obviously number one in our lives, but not number one *all* the time in our lives. So that’s how I keep that sense of who I was before I had kids. Erma is still Erma. I’m just a mom now.”

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What is something that makes your motherhood story unique?

“So Gabe is 4, and pretty much from the time I got pregnant with him to, well really over the next four years. Brad had dealt with a lot of health issues. And the timing was really horrible, and I say that joking obviously. Through that time, he wasn’t able to help the way I envisioned, and I felt so alone. It was extremely hard, and often, many, many, many times I felt like a single mom  - with a sick husband too, to help take care of.

I think that’s been one of the challenges for me in my motherhood. There’s always so many challenges. Just maybe not having that sidekick of a husband to help me or the backbone that I needed. But you know, through that, and I’ll say this until the day I die, God is so faithful. God is faithful to me and so good. I remember often being in the middle of the night feeding the babies and just thinking ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do this.’ And every single time, and it was almost audible, I just felt like he was saying ‘Just keep doing what you’re doing. You’re doing great.’ He’s so faithful.”

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What is one of your biggest dreams that has yet to be realized?

“I don’t think I have that one big dream, but maybe a lot of small ones. I dream of traveling more, being debt free, and living the simple life. But I also dream of being an encourager and a mentor, especially to new moms. I’m not even sure what that looks like, but I’m so big on community and relationships, that it excites me to think about walking alongside new moms that maybe don’t have the support that they need. So that’s one of the dreams that I have.”

What would you say to your younger pre-motherhood self now if you could?

“I feel like I barley remember that person!  I traveled a lot, I was a business owner, I worked hard, I had a few jobs at one time. And then I played hard too; it was great! It just makes me smile thinking about it. But - I would never want to go back to that. Like I said before, I always knew there was a piece of the puzzle missing. And as a wife and a mother, my life is a million times better now. Even though I get much, much less sleep, and I have two little humans around me all of the time, I wouldn’t trade it.” 

In what ways has motherhood changed you?

“I think this was one of my favorite questions. It’s such a good question.  I can honestly say that I love more now than I ever have. It’s a deeper, more rich love. I just remember holding each one of the boys when they were born in the hospital and just sobbing. I remember the nurse running over and asking if I was ok. I was just engulfed with an unexplainable love like never before. And yet, our heavenly father loves us even more than that. And since having children, I’ve understood the love of god a little bit more. I’ll never fully understand it, but through that, I’ve gotten my identity in Christ - really just through my children. I’ve understand the love of God and my identity in Christ, and it’s been so beautiful.

And also, I judge so much less. We don’t know what the other person is going through. I’ve heard the saying ‘Be kind, that person might have toddlers at home.’ So being kind to that stranger when you don’t know what she’s going through; I definitely judge less. I appreciate the small things in life more, and my perspective in life has changed.

On the flip side of that, I’ve also become a much more anxious person. And I’m overtaken with the feeling of being overwhelmed. But as a whole, motherhood has definitely made me a better person.”

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What’s something you wish all mothers would truly take to heart?

“The first word that came to me when I read this question was Grace. Just to give yourself a lot of grace. Motherhood is so hard. Just as being a Christian is hard, but God gives us the grace when we need it, and we need to give ourselves more grace. We tend to be way too hard on ourselves.

Also, don’t get caught up in the lies of ‘you’re not enough.’ All the lies that the enemy puts in our head like ‘You’re just a mom’ and the mundaneness of the day-to-day things getting to you.

Like I said before, finding your community, finding your tribe, so to speak. I really think we have to stick together, we really need to help each other since it’s such a hard job. And also self-care, and by that I do not mean going to the gym and being skinny. By that I mean mentally taking care of yourself. And again, when you have young ones, it’s really hard. It might look different when the kids are so young versus when they get a little older.

I find for myself if I’m maybe upset with something Brad has done, or I’m being grudgeful toward someone; all that affects my mothering and the way I treat my kids. So when I say stay healthy, check in with yourself. Why are you feeling grouchy? Why are things hard? And also, if you need help, get help. There are lots of counseling options and good resources that we have. I think, basically, if we’re hurting and dealing with problems, it’s going to pour over into motherhood, and it makes it more challenging.”

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What is one thing you expected to be true about motherhood but turned out to be different?

“I have lots of nieces and nephews, so I thought I somewhat had an idea of what motherhood would be like. But obviously nothing will ever prepare you. I expected it to be hard and time-consuming. I’m a quality time gal, so I anticipated a lot of fun and bonding time, and I say that with a little bit of sarcasm. But I didn’t realize quality time meant not using the restroom alone. I get it now. And it goes back to how constant it is. And I think nothing could have prepared me for that.”

What’s something about motherhood that you wish everyone would be honest about but maybe not many people talk about?

“For me it’s the loneliness. This sounds kind of morbid, but the dying of old self. And I mean, overnight you become a different person. I was Erma, and I’m still Erma, but I’m not the same Erma. So you really become a different person without meaning to, and it’s a good thing, it’s just hard.”

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What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten about being a mother?

“I think a few things. One of my favorite mom quotes is ’The days are long but the years are short.’ And let me tell you, the days are SO long, but yet now, I can’t believe my boys are 2 and 4. So the years are short. And then also, just embrace the moment and let things go that don’t really matter. And prayer - prayer to get you through the day, and also just to cover your family and children in prayer.”

What is your favorite way to wind down after a long day with your kids?

“Alone time. I’m a bit of a social media junkie, so I’ll get on my phone and go all out - I’m on it all. It sounds so lame. :) I think it’s because then I can cash out mentally, I mean I don’t have to think about anything.

Also, I love to go for a walk, or meet a girlfriend for dinner.”

Tell me one thing you love about yourself as a mother?

“Motherhood has made me a much more confident person. Much more confident. The inner strength that I carry is so empowering.”

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Tell me one thing that scares you about being a mother?

“My number one goal as a mother is to make little disciples; followers of Christ. And you know, then comes the doubt of am I teaching them enough? Am I setting a good example? Are we making the right choices for the boys?”

What would you do if you had a whole day to yourself?

“I love this question, it made me smile. I think it would start out with sleeping in, obviously. And sleeping in nowadays is until like 8 o’ clock because my body has gotten so used to getting up early. I’d go get some *really* good coffee, I’m not talking about just McDonalds coffee, but really good coffee. And then I’d go shopping, treat myself to a nice a lunch, maybe go get a pedicure. I’d find a nice park and just walk or maybe journal. And I think after that I’d want to meet up with my husband, or some girlfriends - preferably my mom or sisters - for dinner. I think that would be a really awesome day for me.”

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Who has been your biggest inspiration/mentor/go-to someone as you have journeyed through motherhood?

“My mom. Even though we live three hours a part, I feel like she’s been there every step of the way. She would probably roll her eyes and be like ‘Why? What have I done?’ And it’s not even like she’s done specific things, it’s just that she’s just been there. 

And also she is my biggest inspiration since there are seven of us. I often ask her how she did it, and she’ll just look off faraway and say she doesn’t remember. I think it’s so true, motherhood is so crazy that I think God allows us to forget some of the bad. As we journey on, we’ll remember the good things and not just the bad - thank you God.

And also, my friend Heather. I would consider her my 3am friend. She is my rant friend, so we’ll text each other in the middle of the day and go off about our kids and how horrible they’re being. So she’s been that friend to me.

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What are ways you find time for yourself?

“Some bigger ways I find time for myself are leaving in the evenings while Brad takes care of the kids. But also, for example, the IF Gathering. It’s a weekend kind of away, and also MOMCON (a conference Mops International puts on for mothers.) 

Brad and I will also take a weekend and go somewhere. I mean, I’m with Brad, but I don’t have that ‘constant’ from the boys. So those are probably the biggest ways I find alone time and get my cup filled up, so to speak.”

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How do you describe #thisismotherhood in your own words?

“It’s a beautiful, beautiful life. It’s all-consuming. It’s heart-wrenching. It’s exhausting, and it’s challenging. And yet, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”

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What makes motherhood beautiful to you?

“Motherhood is beautiful when my 4 year old comes up to me and randomly asks me about heaven. Or when my 2 year old is in the other room singing ‘There is Power in the Name of Jesus.’ Or when I mess up, and they immediately forgive me, and I’m their number one no matter what. It is truly, truly an honor and gift that God picked me to be a mother to Gabe and Jude.”

A huge thank you to Erma! Check out the other posts in this motherhood series: Hannah, LindseyKatie, & Kristin.

xo

Sunday Afternoon Family Session

Guys, you probably know by now that in-home sessions are quickly becoming one of my favorite things. I love seeing how people style their spaces, and I love how comfortable people are when I photograph them in their own homes.

When Grace contacted me about doing an in-home session, I was so excited. Grace and Caleb and I went to the same college, and Grace and I lived on the same floor at our dorm a couple of years. She and Caleb moved down to the Indianapolis area, and have two beautiful children.

Funny story: Grace was pregnant with their oldest the same time I was pregnant with my youngest. My due date and Grace's due date were a few days apart. It ended up that Grace delivered her daughter early on my due date, and I delivered my son late on her due date! So funny! :)

This family is full of love and their home is full of warmth and welcome. All their decor is unique and special to them, and I can imagine anyone feels just as welcome as I did when they walk through the door.

It's always such a treat and blessing to get to help clients make beautiful memories, and I hope you enjoy looking through some of my favorites from their session!

xo