Christmas Pictures on the Plantation | Fredericksburg Virginia Family Photographer

This year our wonderful neighbor let me bring the kiddos to their plantation to take their Christmas pictures.  They are normally pretty busy with Christmas tours so I was very grateful for the opportunity.  It was the PERFECT backdrop.

This session was also featured on Vindiebaby (click here), which is the awesome vintage retail store where I found Ava's dress.  If you have a little girl you must check it out.

The Palmer Brothers | Charles County Photographer

Sometimes it just doesn't work out and families can't make it out on the day I offer the minis.  I do my best to work with people and was able to find time to squeeze in a mini for Brandi's boys right before another previously scheduled session.  I'm so glad it worked out.  Her boys were too cute.  I played games with her oldest and made silly faces for her youngest.  If you haven't had a session with me before, be warned.  I tend to make myself look pretty silly for the sake of your kiddos smiles.  All in a days work, right ;)

Our Christmas Advent Activity Calendar | Virginia Photographer

Last year many of my Instagram followers requested that I share my activity list this year so that's exactly what I'm doing.  

This will be our 5th year doing an activity advent calendar.  My husband and I LOVE Christmas and we had a few traditions we did every year with Ava, our then only child.  In 2011, I decided I wanted to make an advent calendar so that each day we could do something together.

I made our advent calendar out of a drawer organizer I found at Michaels.  It had little boxes which I covered with scrapbook paper and stickers.  The boxes have numbers on the outside and then after we open the box it is flipped over to reveal a little Christmas scene inside.  The first year I wrote down a few activities and then went to back to Michaels and bought little $1 crafts so we would either do an activity or a craft.  As the years have gone on and now having 2 kiddos I have had to change some things.  I try to keep some favorites and alternate in a few new things every year.  I now print the activities on little tickets and place the tickets in the little boxes.  There are so many fun advent calendar ideas out there so be creative and have fun. 

Ariel is ONE!!! | Maryland & Virginia Child Photographer

How is this little sweet pea one already...if you haven't followed along, here is a look back at Ariel's first year.

{Ariel's Newborn Session}

{Ariel's 6 Month Session}

We got blessed with an absolutely gorgeous fall day.  It was sunny, warm, and just perfect for an outdoor cake smash.  Can I just say what an honor it is to get to watch these sweet babes grow.  As a Mother I know just how precious each little moment is.  I love getting to be a part of these moments and seeing how each child's personality comes out more and more in every session.  Miss Ariel has been a music lover since day 1.  At every session if she started to grow tired of us we just played some music and she was ready to roll.

She also LOVES the camera....a little model in the making.

A Fall Family Session | Southern Maryland Photographer

Thank you Sherri for inviting me into your home to take family photos for your family.  You have a beautiful home and it's in such a beautiful location.  I hope you have many years of memories in your new home.

Fall Mini Sessions | Maryland & Virginia Family Photographer

This year I had the opportunity to offer minis at two separate locations.  The morning started off a bit windy and cold but my clients rocked their sessions anyways.  By the afternoon it was warm and sunny, which was a nice treat for November.  Thank you to all the families who came out this year.

Daniel and Brittany | Charles County Maryland Photographer

Brittany has been one of my long time clients.  I love getting the opportunity to watch her sweet girl grow.  I have been able to document her at different stages of her life and to me it's always a special opportunity.  I love watching these kids grow as if they were all my own.  They will always hold a special place in my heart.

Christen & Little Miss Ava | Charles County Photographer

It must be in the name but every Ava I have ever met, including my own, is full of life and destined for the spotlight.  This little Ava held true to the name.  She was an absolute ball to work with.  She brought so much personality to the session and had me laughing the whole time.  Thank you Christen for allowing me to spend time with you and your sweet girl.

Find the Balance as a Work at Home Mom

First let me start by saying that I NEVER, like EVER, in my life thought I'd be a work at home Mom.  I'll be honest, I use to think stay at home Mom's did nothing (I blame Peggy Bundy) and then add to that what I use to think of someone who worked at know, conference calls in their pj's.  Well, I am here to say I was WRONG!!!

I use to work in the corporate world and some days I wish myself back there.  Like, I said, this whole stay at home parent thing was never on my radar.  However, shortly after my daughter was born my husband and I sort of decided we wanted our kid (now kids) to have a different childhood than we did.  Not that ours wasn't a good one but we wanted at least one of us to physically be there as much as possible.

Friedberg Family | Virginia Family Photographer

This beautiful Mama and I use to be childhood neighbors.  Our families went to the beach together every summer.  Some of my fondest childhood memories include her.  It's such a wonderful opportunity to now get to capture some memories for her growing family.  Aren't her kids the cutest....I swear such beautiful children gah...

August Already | King George Virginia Photographer

It seems everything goes faster once your kids are in school.....including summer break.  I've tried to space out back to school purchases over the summer so that once these final days/weeks got here I could focus on enjoying them and not on prepping for back to school.  I am so thankful I did that because here I am watching them play operation and knowing that soon our routine is going to change dramatically.

For the most part I've let them sort of go by the flow each day.  Some days they choose to stay in their pj's, other days they want to leave early and come back late.   There have been lots of playing, lots of negotiating, and lots of bickering too.  I know that Ava is ready to go back to school whether I am ready for it or not.  She is my extrovert and she is ready to have that outlet again.  I am ready for her to have that but I am not ready for shorter days.  I LOVE going out in the evening and letting them play.  I will mourn summer evenings all winter long.

I am however ready for fall clothes, brisk mornings, fires, and holiday traditions.  Today though, I will savor this moment right here.

Roth Family | Southern Maryland Family Photographer

I have had the pleasure of watching this family grow over the last few years.  When Stephanie was looking to get family photos done this summer we talked about doing them at the beach.  I had never tried Brownies Beach before but I'm never let down by beaches in Calvert County.  There are always beautiful cliffs and soft sand.  This beach had some really great large drift wood too.

I really thought it was cool that they used their wedding colors for this session too.  I never thought to do that but I would really suggest it to any family looking to do something special.  Of course my wedding was during the Christmas holiday and the colors were Red, Gold, and Ivory so I might not want to use those at the beach but how beautiful would they be for the fall.

A Country Chic Bridal Shower | Southern Maryland Photographer

Oh my gosh y'all, this bridal shower was stunning.  The bride to be has such a great group of bridesmaids, family, and friends surrounding her.  Jess and her fiance Dominic live abroad because of Dominic's job.  Typically the bride is sort of the center of bringing the bridesmaids together but because of the distance her girls all banded together and made sure all of her wedding dreams came true.  In fact they video taped the gift opening and games so Dominic could see all the silliness. 

The shower was held at her Aunt's house which is literally up the hill from her parents home.  Her Aunt's home is just gorgeous and so full of light.  Not to mention her Aunt's impeccable taste and the family heirlooms and antiques....ahh,  I could just walk around photographing all the wondering furniture.  I have a slight obsession with antiques, history, basically anything old and with character. 

Jess's bridesmaids and family decorated with the cutest country chic details.  Her maid of honor also put on the funnest games.  These were not your standard bridal shower games either.  She had us all laughing!!  It was truly a fun day!!

 I cannot even express to y'all how fun this sign was.  A bunch of lovely ladies, mimosas all around, and a camera = fun times.
 all of her wonderful ladies.  Well, minus one because she lived out of state.  We should have had an Ally head on a stick to add to the pictures lol

Jess, I wish you and Dominic a lifetime of adventures, love, and happiness.  I can't wait to see all that you guys will do and become.

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