January 30, 2012

Mama Monday: I Can Hardly Remember... But I Can't Imagine

(Written a few days ago...) 

I am writing this after a night where I probably spent at least four of the seven (should be sleeping) hours TRYING to fall asleep.  You see, Baby Girl has been making me work hard for her this pregnancy.  I have not slept through the night without being awake at least 5 times each night since August 3rd.  AUGUST 3rd.  For those of you doing the math, that is over 23 weeks... or 160+ consecutive days of not sleeping through the night.  (And not being able to take naps during any of those days.)  Ouch?

But as I was lying there this morning at 4:30am trying to fall asleep between the major punches, kicks, and acrobatics that she was doing, I couldn't help but think these things in my head.  And to try and remind myself how lucky I am to even get to have this experience, and have it be a healthy one.  And I thought they might be good for this week's "Mama Monday" post, as well as a good reminder for myself about the miracle that is pregnancy and growing our family.
Dear Baby Girl,

I can hardly remember what it is like to crawl into bed and cuddle up to my husband - instead of the five pillows I have to carefully position all around me in order to (hopefully somewhat) sleep at night.  **But I can't imagine what it will be like for us to cuddle up with you fast asleep our chest, to stroke your smooth baby skin, and to call you "our little peanut."

I can hardly remember what it is like to make it through a day without sighing several times and saying under my breath, "Oh my goodness" when you do something in my belly - or when my body aches - and have Miles hear it and say with a sweet look of concern, "Oh, Mama - What's your problem?"  And I reply, "Oh, my belly just hurts."  His response, "Mmmmmwah!  I kissed it.  It's all better, Mama!"  **But I can't imagine what it will be like to have your beautiful (most likely blue) eyes look up and kiss me one day - just like your sweet big brother does now.  Or what it will be like to watch your big brother Miles care as lovingly for you as he does for me when I hurt. 

I can hardly remember what it's like to sleep through the night, and I know that by the time I do, it will have been almost a full year of not doing so.  **But I can't imagine what it will be like to watch you sleeping in your bed, swaddled with love, and know that you are my daughter... a gift from God... to cherish for as long as I live.  I know how special the bond I have with my own mother is, and I cannot wait to share and experience that with you. 

I can hardly remember what it's like to feel like my body was "mine" or "normal."  **But I can't imagine any greater thing than knowing that God has created YOU... a perfect little life inside my body - that I get to grow, nurture, and protect for 9 months - and then raise and love you for the rest of my days here on this earth.  Although your kicks and punches can rock my body, it is truly a miracle.  YOU are truly a miracle. 

I can hardly remember what it's like to not have "Mama Brain."  But I don't want to remember what it's like... because this "Mama Brain" includes so many incredible life lessons, memories of joy, milestones, and family togetherness with little Miles and your daddy the last 2.5 years, and I can hardly wrap my brain around the idea of being so blessed to get to experience all of the love I feel for Miles - for YOU, too.  My eyes cry tears of joy just thinking about it.

So although my body and mind are tired ~ my heart is full, my belly is growing by the minute, and I know God is perfecting your sweet life inside of mine.  And I cannot imagine the joy and happy tears I will experience when I hold you in my arms for the first time in a matter of weeks.  It will make all of the once challenging "I can hardly remembers" into the most magical of times to cherish forever.

January 26, 2012

It Happened. {Austin Baby Photographer}

It happened... this sweet, beautiful couple welcomed their baby boy into the world!  And he is amazingly handsome.  And curious.

So curious, in fact, that the little cutie really wanted to stay awake our entire session to interact with us and look around until the last five minutes.  You've gotta love an 8-day old newborn showing us adults who really wears the pants in the room.  :)

Here he is as a beautiful baby bump not so long ago...

And here is the sweet little man.  Welcome to the world! 

January 23, 2012

Mama Monday: First Day at New School

I am going to start something new this year... and do some "Mama Monday" posts on, you guessed it, Mondays!  Here is today's.  Enjoy!

We have been SO incredibly blessed with Miles' daycare provider and teacher the last 2+ years.  She is not only an incredible teacher, but she is a true encourager, artist, and educator.  And as sad as we were to be losing her as his teacher, I couldn't be happier to know that she is now one of my dear friends, such an artistic help to my photography business (see that pretty banner at the top of this blog and at the top of my web site?  Thanks, Miss J!) and I couldn't be more excited for her to be starting her own family this summer with the arrival of her baby.  (He/she will be one lucky kiddo!)

So today was the day that little Miles started his new school. 

As I was getting Miles ready for his new school this morning, I couldn't help but think back to my first day back to work after he was born.  And HOW much he has changed since then.

I know we hear it all the time, "Kids grow SO fast."  But that statement is even more true than I ever thought it could be.  I cannot believe that just 2 and a half years ago, I was sitting at this same computer with little Miles in my belly.  And now he is such a big boy and such a fun, caring, funny, smart, and sweet part of our family.

Here is a pic from my first day of work when he was 10.5 weeks old.  (You can see a little redness in my eyes, because I had to sit in Austin traffic after 10.5 hours of being away from my baby for the first time and just wanted to GET home.)  :)

And here is a picture of his first day of his new school this morning.  He did great and loved it!  I am a proud mama...

January 22, 2012

Why Hire a Professional Photographer? {Austin Family Photographer}

One of the many things I love about photography and being a photographer is providing people with special images that they can cherish for many years to come.  Haven't we all said at one time or another, "Gosh, I wish I could freeze that moment in time."  We all know that our babies grow up too fast, and the beautiful thing is that through photography - we can freeze time, and I love that!

Or we've said, "I just can't get a good picture of my kid because he/she won't sit still long enough for me to do so."  Just another reason to hire a professional.  You see, we photographers have little tricks up our sleeves - and the right equipment - for making those moments still enough to photograph.

I know that children (especially ages 1-3) can be very hard to photograph because they are so mobile and busy.  (I have learned that very quickly with my own little busy boy, Miles!  Stay tuned for a blog post about a sweet (but challenging) Valentine's Day mini-shoot I had with him... coming in early February.)

I love capturing those little still moments for parents to enjoy.  I met the little cuties below at the "A Wonderful Life" event (click here) that I volunteered at in early December at my church.  I only had about 60 seconds to work with them, and as I did so, their mama mentioned that she's never gotten a good picture of the two of them together, and she has had to actually Photoshop them together in the past.  Well, with a little coaching and a new lady making them laugh (me!), we got these images for their mama in just about 60-seconds.  Imagine if we had a full 1-2 hour session together.   The little guys were just too cute!

January 13, 2012

Cutest FAMILY 2011 Contest is Here!

The "Cutest Kid 2011 Contest" on our facebook page has been a HUGE hit, and the little sweeties up for the title are getting lots and lots of votes.  Now it's time to post the "Cutest FAMILY 2011 Contest..." and I could not be more excited to show off these beautiful families.  Narrowing it down was tough!

Here are the contest rules... 

Visit and "LIKE" the "Miles of Smiles Photography by Sarah" facebook page to see and vote on the cutest families.  For votes to count, you MUST be a fan/follower of our facebook page (meaning you have to click "Like" on the main page - not just on the image you're voting for).

After liking the page, vote for your favorite pic(s).  You can vote on as many as you want to, but you must actually comment on the picture(s) AND be a fan of our facebook page.  (Just pushing the "Like" button for the photo you're voting on will not count as a vote... You must actually leave a comment AND be a fan of our facebook page.)   So "Like" our page and leave your favorite family some love!

The family with the most votes posted from our fans will win a FREE "Backyard Package" session! 

Voting ends on January 31st, so tell your friends and get them to vote too!  (Just let them know the rules for their votes to count.)  Easiest way to do that is to push "Share" on one of the posts I do on the "Cutest Family Contest" on my "Miles of Smiles Photography by Sarah" facebook page and send your friends a little message about it.  

And stay tuned... "Cutest Baby 2011 Contest" is coming soon.  (Please note: If a family has a photo in more than one contest, the family can only win once.)  Let the voting begin!!

January 11, 2012

It Really IS a "Wonderful Life" {Austin Event Photographer}

I had such a lovely time volunteering at the "A Wonderful Life" event again this year at First Evangelical Free Church.  Last year's event was great, but this year's event was even better!  I can't wait to see what they have in store for 2012.  I enjoyed working with all of the sweet little families and kiddos and providing free portraits for them to download and enjoy.

Here are just a few fun images from our evening.  Enjoy the cuteness!

How funny are their little "beards?"  They had just come from a pirate party. :) 

SANTA Came to Circle C Town! {Austin Event Photography}

Last month, I had the fun task of photographing Santa and all the great Circle C kids here in Austin.  It was so much fun, and so entertaining to watch their reaction to him.  Some kids went straight up to him, hopped up onto his lap like he was their best friend, and had no reservations about it.  Others were very shy - but pushed through it.  And there were a few that just plain "weren't havin' it."  I've found that those make the most hilarious shots to capture!  (See below for an example.)

In the week leading up to the event, my little Miles was all about sitting on Santa's lap and telling him he was wishing for a swing set and slide for Christmas.  Well, that was until he walked into the room and saw Santa.  There was no sitting on his lap, but he did let me hold him and he did confidently and sweetly ask Santa for his wishlist.  Maybe next year he will be a little more familiar with Santa and sit on his lap with baby Sister.  We shall see about that one.

Enjoy some of the sweet shots from our morning together!

Little man slept right through his first visit with Santa!  

Does this not make you laugh?!  Look at the baby's face... but even funnier is SANTA's face!

Here is little Miles saying, "Cheeeeeeeeeeese."  

The petting zoo was a hit!  

January 08, 2012

Surprise on My Doorstep

I have to tell you, this dream of photography... the art form that it is... the incredible people I get to work with... It is all a bit of a dream sometimes.  (Although days like today when I'm working most of a Sunday doing "on the business" stuff and year-end things and a huge stack of receipts brings me back to a reality... a great reality, but definitely a "you run your own business" reality.  If only there was one Sarah to run the business and one to shoot and edit.  :)  One day...)

The other day, I was heading out of the house for something, and on my doorstep sat a cardboard box.  I looked at it and saw it was the address of a friend and client from Iowa.  She was one of my roommates for a year in college at good ol' ISU, and I did portraits with her sweet little family during my Iowa mini-sessions last October.

I opened the box, and what did I find?  The following letter and AMAZING gift.  I was just floored with excitement and appreciation, and reminded about the daily rewards that photography has given and continues to give me.

And her timing couldn't have been better... the bag I had been using for my shoots that is similar just had a strap tear at my last session.  :)  Thanks, Jessica!  Many blessings to you and your family this year...

January 07, 2012

Cutest Kid 2011 Contest

I am so excited to be doing my first "Cutest Kid" contest!  (Stay tuned for the "Cutest Baby" and "Cutest Family" contests coming soon.)

We had so many fun and amazing kids to work with in 2011, and I am so grateful for every single one of them.  But alas... we could only pick a limited number of kiddos for this contest.  

Here are the contest rules... 

Visit and "Like" the "Miles of Smiles Photography by Sarah" facebook page to see and vote on the cutest kids.  For votes to count, you MUST be a fan/follower of that facebook page.  (See the album I posted on January 7th, 2012.)

Vote for your favorite pic(s).  You can vote on as many as you want to, but you must actually comment on the picture(s) AND be a fan of that facebook page.  (Just pushing the "Like" button will not count as a vote... You must actually leave a comment.)   So "Like" our page and leave your favorite kiddo(s) some love!

The cutie with the most comments posted ("Likes" will not be counted... just the comments from FANS) will win his/her family a FREE "Backyard Package" session! 

Voting ends on January 31st, so tell your friends and get them to vote too!  Easiest way to do that is to push "Share" on one of the posts I do on this contest on my "Miles of Smiles Photography by Sarah" facebook page.  Let the voting begin!!

And stay tuned... "Cutest Baby" and "Cutest Family" contests are coming up soon.  (Please note: If a family has a photo in more than one contest, the family can only win once.)

January 06, 2012

Cooper & His Family

I so enjoyed meeting and working with this family of three!  Cooper's mama warned me that they were unphotogenic, but I didn't believe them.  And I think my camera and I proved her wrong... they are a beautiful little family!

Cooper was so fun to work with, and reminded me so much of my own little Miles at 1 year of age.  BIG blue eyes, sweet little cheeks, adorable whispy hair, and just a whole lot of cuteness.

Fall Mini-Sessions: The P Family

I loved working with the P family again!  Last time I did was early summer (click here).

The boys did a great job, and I just loved watching them interact - and how little C loved playing with his football.

January 05, 2012

Color or Black and White?

Which do you love more... color or black and white?  This little guy was so much fun to work with!

January 04, 2012

I HEART These Frames!

I first came into contact with these beautiful handmade frames from The Organic Bloom about a year ago, and I have to say... they have my heart!  And they have made such a fun, colorful, and unique addition to my home and the homes of many of my clients since I started selling them!

Frames from The Organic Bloom are not available for purchase - other than through professional photographers.  They are sturdy, beautiful, well made, and so unique.

I have been having a fun playing with these frames, and wanted to share a few images.  Please visit the following link for all details and pricing information on these beauties.  The next "BIG SALE!" (25% off!!) will be coming up in Summer 2012.  Stay tuned to our Facebook page for details.