Dear Newborn Momma

Dear Newborn Momma,

I see you. Oh, I see you. Especially you, first-time momma. If I could sweep you up in a big hug, bring you coffee, dinner, and a slice of cake, I’d be there in a heartbeat.

Let me tell you something…

You’re doing great. It gets better. And yes, it really is this hard.

Gosh, those words - “You’re doing great” and “It gets better” were lifelines for me in the first few months of motherhood. And I remember I kept thinking, “Ok, is it just me? Or is this newborn thing HARD?”

I still don’t really know how to describe that transition to motherhood other than the feeling like there was this whole other world that I thought I knew a little about, but I didn’t really understand it until I was in it. So if you’re feeling that same, “Why didn’t anyone tell me what it’s really like?” or, “Is it just me?” I feel you. And don’t worry, it’s ok to find yourself missing that pre-baby life (solo Target runs, sleeping in, gym classes whenever you’d like, sleep, the ability to leave the house without a crazy amount of planning… did I say sleep?). I feel you. Your life dramatically changed overnight, so don’t diminish that! Take it all day by day, coffee by coffee, nap by nap.

For those of you who are breastfeeding, HANG IN THERE! It was a very painful first 2 months for me, and then it got better. IT GETS BETTER! I know not everyone can breastfeed, and that’s totally ok. If you can, I hope you try and know that there will be a time that it’s actually enjoyable. And maybe we’ll miss it someday? Probably :)

One day your body will feel like your own again. One day you will sleep longer than 2 hours at a time. One day schedules and routines will come.

For now? Hang in there. Order Postmates. Be kind to yourself. ASK FOR HELP. I think that’s one of the best-kept secrets that I wish wasn’t so secret… no one can do it all. No mom can do it all, so just don’t make yourself feel like you have to, k? Be kind and loving to yourself. You are keeping another human alive and that is freakin’ amazing.

And yes, you’ll probably roll your tired, sleepy eyes when I say this, but try to savor these moments. Savor their teeny tiny bodies, the way they just melt into you, the way they smell, how they just sit there taking in their world (you’ll miss that stationary baby :) ), because soon enough months will go by and you’ll be scrolling back at the thousands of pictures on your phone thinking… how were you that small? Where did my baby go? It goes by in a blink.

Now go take a nap, or strap that baby in the stroller and get some fresh air. I’ll catch ya on the playground soon enough.


8-Month Momma

My baby at 4 weeks. Cue all the tears.

My baby at 4 weeks. Cue all the tears.

Wyatt Turns One | 1 Year Cake Smash Session

This little guy was SO smiley this morning! I've known him since he was born, and it's been so amazing to watch him grow over his first year of life. You've got some amazing parents, little dude, and I know you're going to have so much fun in your years ahead. We had a great time with his one year photo session, complete with a cake smash, of course!

Happy happy birthday, Wyatt!

Interested in a cake smash session or celebratory photo session? Get in touch and let's plan the perfect one :)

Cora's First Beach Trip | Corona Del Mar Beach Family Session

I think Corona Del Mar beach sessions might be my new favorite thing.

Some of our best friends came in for a way-too-quick 20 hour stay before they ventured on for the rest of their vacation. They arrived in the afternoon, got settled at our place, and then we headed to Corona Del Mar Beach for an impromptu beach family session to celebrate Cora's first time by the ocean! She was a little unsure about the water and sand, but was a trooper if we held her and I think one day will come to love it.

Kevin and I loved having them in our home, experiencing Cora's first beach trip, witnessing Tara and PJ love each other and love little Cora in such a strong way, and just experiencing so much of Jesus in the way they live. We're missing them so much already, and trying to think of ways to convince these Idaho friends that California is waaaay better. :)

Interested in a having your own Southern California beach family session? Send me a note and let's make it happen!

The Schmitz Family | Orange County Lifestyle Newborn Photography

This little family holds a special place in my heart. We met sipping mai tais on the beach in Kauai - Kevin and I on our honeymoon, Kate and Bryan celebrating their anniversary. We soon realized that not only are we from the same state, but we live about 20 minutes from each other, go to the same church aaaand Kate is a photographer! So naturally we became great friends :)

When I showed up for their photoshoot, their little girl Stella walked me up their stairs and let me brush her hair while she told me all about her cute dress. Kate had lovely neutrals picked out for all of them, and their bedroom was just the perfect location - simple decorations, white bedding (can you tell she's an an amazing photographer with amazing taste?) :).

Kate, thank you so much for asking me to capture such a sweet time for your family. You are such a great mom and it's so clear that your family just adores you!



The Griffiths | Inland Empire Christmas Photo Session

I am so utterly in love with these photos. I literally can't pull my eyes away from them and these pretty pops of red have certainly got me in the Christmas spirit. I love when clients incorporate the colors of the seasons into their outfits for their photo sessions, and the Griffiths certainly hit perfection in this category. I loved their mix of red with various patterns and textures, and their little girl's tights with little sparkly shoes... I die. She looked like an adorable, sassy little doll <3 :)

For their Christmas photo session, we picked a woodsy park in the Inland Empire with lots of gorgeous natural light, and it was perfect.

When Erin and Jon saw their photos for the first time they said, "Oh. My Gosh!!!! We are dying over here Kristen!!! Absolutely incredible!!! Our hearts are so happy! You captured our sweet baby girl & us so amazingly! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!"

This is exactly why I am a lifestyle family photographer. I LOVE to create experiences that make families fall in love with each other all over again. It reminds you that there truly are some beautiful, lovely things in this world that are worth fighting for <3

I'm now booking full experience sessions for 2017!
To get more information and pricing, please shoot me a quick email. I'd love to chat :)