San Francisco East Bay Child Photographer | Goodbye Preschool….

Every week, for two years, my youngest little guy has been going to preschool.  Over these two years, the teachers have changed, some of our little routines have changed, his clothes have gotten smaller (because it COULDN’T be that he is getting bigger), and I truly have just basked in it all.  I love dropping him off.  Not because I’m glad to get rid of him, but I love how regular it is.  I really love our routine.  I feel like it’s a sweet and loving routine, and I love how stable it is.  In lives that can get so chaotic, routines can help center us, and for me, the whole preschool routine is very calming.  Very centering.  I know I’ll miss it.

This weekend, he graduates.  And over the past couple of weeks, as I have pondered this momentous occasion, I have realized how much I will miss our little routine.  Just the regularity of it all.  For most of this year, this has been our routine:

Don’t step on the cracks.But, Mommy, if you do, it’s okay.  You can step on them twice.  And that will give you power.

I love that he gives his mama and himself the okay to make mistakes.  We all could learn from that: mistakes can give you power, if you’re willing to learn from them.

Once inside, he puts away his lunch box, his stuffed animal, and collects any artwork that has made its way into his cubby.

Then he signs in.  Every time, I tell him what day it is: “It’s T-T-T-Tuesday.”  “It’s Th-Th-Th-Thursday.”  And then he figures out where to sign his name. These pictures were taken on three different days.  But the routine is always there.  Always the same.And then his best friend comes over, hugs me, attacks me, tells me a something important, and the two get silly.

As I prepare to go, I need a lot of loving.  A lot.  This is best accomplished by telling him that he had better NOT HUG ME.

My son, such the rebel.  :)We kiss and hug, snuggle and giggle.

I seriously love it.

Then, he goes to the window to watch me go.

Every time.

I love it.Sometimes he gets lost in looking at the artwork hanging to dry or finds something to play with.

I’m seriously just dying.  I love his curiosity and lust for life so.dang.much.

Sometimes, his friend comes over to say goodbye too.Aren’t they perfect?As I drive away, I wave goodbye, my heart does a little smile, and I call my mom as I drive to work.

It’s always the same.

It’s my routine.  And I love it.I invite you to take a look at the routines in your life.  Pick up your camera and take some pictures to help keep those memories  alive.  This routine will end, and new ones will replace it.  And those routines will be special too.  But for me, THIS routine, has been nothing short of magical.  I know there will come a day where he will run off as soon as I drop him off.  He won’t linger to wave goodbye.  He will definitely not be interested in hugging and kissing me, ESPECIALLY in front of his friends, and very likely, his friends will have no interest in hugging me either.

My boy will grow up.

But maybe if I just keep not stepping on those cracks, he’ll stay my little boy just a little bit longer….…

San Francisco Bay Area Child Photographer | Pigtails, M&M’s, and Love

She’s a quiet little girl.  Checking out her world from the safety of mama’s proximity.

A quick bite of food slipped to her as she roams her world.Mama knows how to make her relax.  And laughMama loves her little girl.

A lot.

Life is bright with Mama around.

Life is great with Daddy around too.

She knows she is loved.

And with that knowledge, she is ready to explore.  Wearing pigtails for the very first time.M&M’s and tea time.  Such a perfect combination.

San Francisco Bay Area Child Photographer

Until we meet again, my sweet little L.  Save some M&M’s for me.  If you like my work, you can follow me on FACEBOOK.

Apr 28

San Francisco Bay Area Child Photographer | Embrace Yourself

I am feeling rather contemplative this morning and wanted to share what I have been thinking about. I recently had the pleasure of doing a workshop with a group of wonderful photographers, and as I see the images shared, that are wowing me and inspiring me and making me FEEL, I am saddened to hear over and over again that these amazing photographer don’t appreciate their gift.

Not really.

Not fully.

And that makes me sad.

And it makes me sad for me too. Because I too am guilty of not appreciating my own talents. And that needs to change.

We all might need to change.

Hopefully, all of us, whether we are photographers or not, have a passion for something. Something that moves us, drives us, makes us want to be better. I have that passion for photography and for being a mother. And because of that passion, I strive to be better. Sometimes, I see my flaws, more than I see my gift. Sometimes, I see what I did wrong, instead of seeing what I did right. And sometimes, I get it.: I see my gift, my talent, my abilities. And THAT, that ability to see where I am now, and appreciate where I am NOW, is a quality that I need.

It’s a quality we all need.

If you can’t appreciate the NOW, where you are RIGHT THIS SECOND, then, in my opinion, you are doing yourself a disservice. You are doing the ones you love a disservice. You are doing a disservice to your fans, to your children, to your parents, to God. Such a simple thing we all need to do: love ourselves.  How sad would you be if you were to discover that your children didn’t love themselves and didn’t appreciate their talents?  Personally, I would be devastated.

I don’t want to be all Stuart Smalley with “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggonit, people like me!” cuz that’s a little too cheeseball for me. But, I do want to recognize and appreciate my journey. Maybe I’m not where I want to be, and truly, I think I will never be where I want to be. When you have passion for something, you’re never where you want to be. And that’s okay.

But embrace your journey. Embrace yourself.  Don’t waste your gift.

I just found this quote, and I totally dig it:

Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our

own uniqueness and self worth.

Each of us has something to give that no one else has.

~Elizabeth O-Connor

So, because I love you and because I can’t stand thinking of all these artists being so down on your work, I ask you to take a moment and appreciate where you are right now.  And smile and hold your head high.

Because you’ve come a long way, baby.

And hey, if you like my images, you should maybe go on over and like my Facebook page. I end up putting pics on there more often than I do on here. :)