At least once a year since 2011, Trav and I seriously discussed moving. As living expenses rose, the housing market reached volatile levels, and priorities shifted, we examined what we wanted and needed. And each year, I said, “Not yet.”
I have so many family blogs to show you that I should be embarrassed. Or at the very least, not admit it to you. I’m above that kind of pride though I guess (or perhaps just a foolish business woman?). It’s also 5:30 in the morning and I’m trying to stay awake with my child, so why not just blog some photos?
I’m just going to say it. There’s something that has often frustrated me about photographers—they don't want to pay for photography.
Some do trades with other photographers, which is fine. Great even. I'm all about bartering when you can. Some try to take their own photos, whether that's headshots, family portraits, or brand photos. Again, totally fine. But then there are the ones in most of my groups on Facebook that say, "My ideal clients can afford to spend way more than I can on photos."
I’m sure you’ve all heard about this new … trend? I hate calling this a trend because that implies that it’s going away. And really, I know most people are trying to make it a lifestyle. And it should be, for sure.
So baby showers. I ... don't love them. In fact, I kind-of think they are the worst thing ever.
Before I get assaulted by everyone, I get that I am on an island here. People have argued with me for years about how it represents support and community and love. But I have always had a hard time reconciling playing pin-the-bow-on-the-baby with the sisterhood.
I feel like I need to preface this post with an apology. None of you moms knew this (or worse, maybe you did!), but I judged you for something. Hard. No, it wasn't how messy your house was. Or your birthing plan. Or how you ate/drank/dressed/lived during pregnancy. It was how much energy you put into getting ready for your baby.
Maybe you noticed that somewhere around October I stopped posting as much on this blog and on social media. Or that when I did, my hair was up and my face had a beautiful greenish glow. Or that most of my words revolved around food or napping.
And maybe you're doing some math and realizing that I'm just now, at almost 20 weeks, posting about the first trimester, which technically ended two months ago. You're right about all of it.
We leave here in one week. That’s insane. In some ways, it feel like it flew by. In others, the days felt slow and long, like time actually moves at a slower pace here.
I thought I would write the entire time I was here. I thought I would be overwhelmed with words and thoughts and revelations—things I would share with people on this blog with everyone.
But here I am, a week from leaving, and writing something to share for the second time. The words and thoughts and revelations came, but they weren’t for sharing. They were for me. This season has been one of definite growth and change, but more than anything, it’s been a lesson in being present.
I asked (read: forced) Travis to write a blog for you all. I thought it might be a good idea to let you hear from him while we are in Kenya because he is, after all, half of this journey. He's also much smarter than me so who knows? Maybe I'll get some more engineers to follow along, ;).
I remember studying the planets as a kid in elementary school, maybe even making a diorama of our solar system, but I don’t remember truly geeking out over them. It was just another science topic and I suppose at that point in life I was too devoted to recess activities to think or feel strongly about the planets.
Welp, we've been here in Maai Mahui at Naomi's Village for a little over a week now. And that feels crazy to me. I honestly feel like we've been here a month. And not in a bad way, but in a very, very comfortable way. The kids welcomed us with wiiiiiide open arms on the very first day we were here. They instantly started referring to us as Auntie Rachel and Uncle Travis, and I did my very best to learn the names of all 81 kids (plus about 20 staff!) in the first week. And I did it!
Today is the day! I'm writing this blog from a cute little coffee shop in Salt Lake City. Trav and I just landed and we have a few hours to kill before boarding our flight to Amsterdam.
(If you don't read every word I write on all social media channels, I judge you and I have some news: Trav and I are heading to Kenya for the next four-ish months. We will be working at a children's home—him as an engineer, me as a photographer.)
When Chris first reached out to me about photographing his dad's birthday slash family reunion, I was a little skeptical. They were having it a Boondock's (which is basically like Dave & Buster's ... an adult arcade). I thought about the harsh bowling alley lighting, the dark arcade area, and the repetitiveness of the go-kart track.
You guys! This is one of my favorite projects I've ever done and I CANNOT WAIT to share it with you! If you follow me on Facebook, you likely saw some of these images back in February, but here are many, many more!
It seems as though I have become the official birth photographer for the Messiah soccer alumni. And I don't hate it. Last year, I had the honor of photographing my teammate Cassie's birth. Shortly after, I received a message from my friend Brenna, who we also played with in college, saying, "I wish you could photograph my birth!" I thought for a second and then realized, "Hey. I bet I could make that work."
A few weeks ago, I received a message from Katie (pictured above), detailing a grand plan to surprise her 5 kids with a trip to Mexico. It involved sneaking into their rooms to change their clocks back an hour while they slept, packing getaway bags, cryptic letters to the kids, and the big reveal of the destination at the airport.
This past weekend, I read a book by one of my favorite authors of all-time, Maria Semple. She wrote Where'd You Go, Bernadette, which is about the character we named our dog after. And she most recently published Today Will Be Different, which I loved just as much.
You could call this a book review of sorts, but it's not. This is about photos and our stories and how we choose to tell them.