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Day 3 | Flour Belly + Holiday Vows

I knew that vowing to blog every day would be challenging on days like today. Today when it was a gorgeous Florida day, when both kids were home all day, when we had a play date and family came over to help us unpack and get settled in our new house, when friends dropped by when they saw us on the front porch, when we were jumping on the kids’ new trampoline on and off all day. I have a simple list of what I want to blog about this month but nothing is assigned per day, so really whatever is on my mind is what will show up here. . . .

And today it’s flour bellies and holiday vows.

Finally after the kids were asleep, the table cleared, and the laundry started, I sat down at my computer to get ready for my second newborn session of 2015 tomorrow. I uploaded images from my card and realized I hadn’t yet uploaded or looked at images that I’d taken over the Christmas holiday. In fact, it hit me that it was already January 3rd and the holidays were over. And I missed them. Like, the days went too fast and I overbooked and I missed the holidays this year . . . I remember as a kid how painstakingly hard it was to wait for the holidays to come, especially Christmas. And when they were over, it was so sad to think about the fact that an entire new year needed to go by before we got to experience it again. I’ve been talking to my son about this, “when will Christmas be here again?” He is 5.5 and learning about time, weeks, months, years, calendars, etc. Time to him moves at a glacial pace and a week seems like months, months seem like years, years like decades, decades blow his mind, totally unfathomable. From now until his birthday at the end of May is eons in itself.

I, on the other hand, experience time as if a month is a week, a week is a day, and well, a day is like a blink of an eye. I heard once that life is like a toilet paper roll, the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes. I do understand the concept but how the hell does it move so fast when I’m only 36?! Hopefully, I am still far from my end, I can’t imagine how quickly time will go over the next few decades.

So then I stop and wonder, this can’t be totally normal at this age. How did I miss the month of December? Constantly rushing here and there, staying up late to accomplish the long to-do list, scheduling “fun family” time to the hour in between working time, barely being able to remember what I ordered for the kids on Amazon (because who has time to leisurely browse through the mall or drive from store to store anymore?!). I’m self employed. And one of the benefits of being self employed is to control your own schedule. And somehow, I did not do that this past busy season. Well, it’s not so much that I wasn’t able to do holiday things, it’s that I didn’t stop and truly feel the holidays. The magic and anticipation, the fun family gatherings, the yummy holiday food, the fun of wrapping gifts and watching the recipient excitedly unwrap, the parades, performances, tree lightings, falling snow . . . how did I let it all slip by without truly being 100% present? My body was there, but it all went by so fast that I blinked and it was over.

One of my favorite benefits of being a photographer, is being able to capture everyday moments of my children’s lives. I love capturing their lives and my life just as it is. Real. Unstaged. I’m so glad I captured images from the holidays so that even though they flew by at lightning speed, I can relive the moments. Here’s one of those moments. I want to forever remember the way she enthusiastically floured the table and the rolling pin while we made cookies for Santa. I want to remember how she doesn’t hesitate and dives head first into any new activity that comes her way. I want to remember how she was so proud of herself for pushing the cookie cutter into the dough and making a snowflake-shaped cookie. How her bare belly squished against the table because she refused to put a shirt on. And how her perfect little hand dusted her belly with flour.

RJP_0085FB

Next holiday season, and every day before then for that matter, I vow to live with greater presence, to be more aware, to soak in the details, to stop and smell the baby’s hair, and not lose myself in my crowded schedule.

2014 Year in Review {maternity}

Here are some of my favorite maternity images from 2014. An amazing year capturing glowing mamas and expanding families. I’m totally obsessed with underwater maternity images and so happy that I added that to my arsenal this year. Underwater maternity sessions really allow me to exercise my creative juices and can’t wait to get back in the water in the coming months. Again, it was challenging to pick which images to include in this review, which I think is indicative of the reason why I have not in the past shared too much on FB and the blog – it’s just too hard for me to choose! I think it’s interesting that a client’s favorite images from a session are usually different from my favorites for various reasons, and that’s where I get hung up on choosing which images to share. Should I post my favorites or what I think would be the client’s favorites? For this review, I definitely went with my favorites.

Day 2 of my month-long blogging spree under the belt – yeah! Happy Friday!

underwater maternity photography

2014 Year in Review {newborns} + Word of the Year

I was recently reading a blog post by Becka Robinson @ Life as an Artispreneur (found here) about choosing a word to describe your main intention for that new year. I loved this idea and as I was reading, my word came fast and furious: consistency. No doubt about it, my intentions and creative energy will be focused on being consistent. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I don’t share much of my work online. I share images every once in a while on my Facebook page (sometimes twice a day and then nothing for a week or more) and I blog even less. See? Inconsistent!! As my business grew exponentially last two years, I did not incorporate sharing online into my workflow. Working self-employed mamas like myself have very little time for “extras,” and I often felt sharing online should come after other to-do list items like emails, inquiries, editing, sessions, etc. And often there was no time left (especially after adding in the oh so fun things like accounting!). Also, I want to spend more time on creative personal projects as well, fitting them in my schedule on a consistent basis.

With this in mind, I will be blogging every day for the month of January. Whoo hoo, Yay! I can hear your excitement now 🙂 So many sessions to share from the last year. . . . mixed with storytelling lifestyle images of my kids, random thoughts, which I am oh so good at, and personal creative projects. Some days there will be lots of images and some days there might be one, or even none. Any maybe if you’re lucky, even some photography tips too 🙂

To start us off, Day 1. Year in Review 2014 {newborns}. 2014 was an amazing year for RJP for which I am so grateful. I am beyond honored to photograph so many precious memories and moments in my clients’ lives. Looking back through my 2014 newborn sessions to choose images for this review, filled my heart with joy and left me smiling. The journey into parenthood is magical. The transformation from woman to mother is breathtaking. From only child to older sibling, so much excitement, pride, and maybe some (rightfully so)!) trepidation. So many sessions that need to be shared. But right now, I’ll start with a few of my favorite newborn images from the year. And don’t let this pretty little, neat and organized blog fool you, it took me hours to review and pick images, so if you don’t find an image from your session, fret not, I probably didn’t even make it to your session! This was not and easy process for me, because I love them all.

Thank you to all of my 2014 clients for an amazing year! I hope I see you in 2015 along with all of my new clients, yet to come!

I hope you all join me in my month-long blogging and sharing journey and keep me accountable.

And I leave you with one question: what is your 2015 word of the year?

RJP Year in Review 2014 {newborns} BLOG

Shelby -

Love this, Jill! I’m away from my computer until January 6th or I would join you!! My onelittleword for 2015 is intention or change! I’ve been throwing both around and must decide soon! Lol

Autumn Ames -

Congrats Rebecca on a successful 2014! You embraced it head on and came out stronger and better personally and professionally. The word I have to describe you for 2014 is proud – because I’m so proud of you!!

admin -

Thank you, Autumn!! Your support means so much! xo

admin -

Both great words for the year, Shelby! And I almost wish I was away from my computer until the 6th, lol, enjoy!!

Jenifer -

Gorgeous images! Love all the babies..