I’m looking forward to photographing your family! The more information I have about your family, the better I can prepare and make your images exactly what you dream of. If you have any questions as you are filling it out, I’m here to help! XO
We’ve got a new six year old in the house. As always on her birthday (and as always, a bit late!), I’m writing a few memories and posting a few photos to document this journey.
SIX. I can’t believe it. Just writing that makes me sad…only because I’m nostalgic and I want to slow down how fast everything seems to be moving. In the last year you finished preschool and started Kindergarten. It feels like yesterday that I was tying up your red gingham uniform and trying to make two perfect pigtail braids for the first day of school, and now you only have 3 weeks left.
You are a genuinely happy, warm, kind soul who dances through life with a sense of joy and wonder. You are funny and love to laugh. You are still obsessed with your cousins. Just like your parents, you hate to get up in the morning. You love to cook. You are very creative and an excellent museum companion, which of course makes your art historian mom so very happy. Some of my favorite moments with you are walking down the ramp at the Guggenheim or listening to your observations in the Met. The fact that these are just a few blocks from your school makes you one lucky kiddo. You love to build things, especially with magnatiles, and every week, you bring home the most wonderful drawings, books, and creations made of tape and cleverly cut construction paper. When we traveled in Europe this summer, your favorite thing was to head outside after dinner with your sketchbook and colored pencils and carefully draw the neighborhood or landscape.
You remain fearless, adventurous, and brave. When faced with taking the school bus by yourself during the first week of kindergarten, you couldn’t wait. You love to try new things and explore new places, and you do so through a rosy lens. When we landed in Edinburgh last June, you peeked out of your little airplane window at the gray tarmac and declared “Scotland is soooo beautiful!” On the same trip, you excitedly went straight to the top of the Eiffel Tower with your dad. This year, I instituted a “surprise date” where we go to a new place in the city and have some mom/daughter time. You are giddy with excitement about these adventures, which have so far led us to the top of the Freedom Tower and to the Marionette Theater.
You have a huge heart and are wise beyond your years. You often see me get very frustrated and upset with your sister, and you are empathetic to me by giving me hugs and telling me to take a deep breath. The other day you looked at me and said “I’m sorry- I know parenting is hard.” You are very tolerant and patient with your little sister, even when she pulls your hair and delays every departure from the house with a tantrum and screaming. You often just cover your ears and shake your head, then help to get her out the door. You let her push the button in the elevator, you watch shows that you think are boring because you know it will keep the peace, and you’ve given up on me ever tucking you in at night as I lay on your sister’s floor to get her to sleep. I appreciate your help and understanding more than you know. Your teachers tell us that your kindness extends to school, as you are “quick to include others in play and help anyone in need,” which makes us so proud.
You had an amazing year with so much growth. You wiggled your first loose tooth all through our European adventure and on the morning of our return, you noticed that it was gone and had swallowed it in your sleep! You’ve since had many visits from the tooth fairy and have grown in many of your adult teeth. Your blonde locks got much darker this year, and you love to wear them in a braid. In the fall you learned how to write in lowercase letters, which was a game changer in learning how to read. Watching each storybook come alive to you as you decoded words over the past year has been so exciting to witness. The other night you read me your entire library book. I’m one proud mama.
We learned in the fall that you had grown THREE inches in five months–no wonder you were having hip pain–and overall ended up shooting up five inches total in the last year. Your legs continue to grow at a rapid rate (frightening to your 5′ 4″ mom) and you used them all year to dolphin kick in the pool, step and kick in your new Irish Dance class, and to march and glide across Wollman Rink as you learned to skate this winter in the shadow of The Plaza. I love your determination to learn new things, whether subtraction, skating, or golf, even when some of these new skills are acquired with some frustration and tears.
You emit joy. When you get off of the bus every afternoon, you have a huge smile on your face and are quick with a deep hug. When I ask you what your favorite thing was at school that day, you often say “everything!” You are very social and your dad and I jokingly call you “the mayor”, because pick up from school is often delayed as you hug every faculty member in our path and then say goodbye to any and every child that you see with a hug or an excited wave–even the big fifth graders that you know from the bus. I never tire of seeing your exuberance for every part of your life (except getting up in the morning).
You’ve shown so much maturity this spring as our family prepared to add one more member. You even helped me push the stroller when I was hugely pregnant, and your kindness has continued since we brought your brother home from the hospital. Some recent nights you have had to put yourself to bed as we are outnumbered and you are so understanding about it. I can’t wait to see what great qualities you will model and skills you will teach your newest sibling.
I love you and feel really lucky to be your mom. Happiest of sixth birthdays and here’s to another wonderful trip around the sun.
Past Birthday Reflections:
Spring has FINALLY sprung in NYC–I’m so excited to shed the bulky coats and see color, sunshine, and flowers! All of this reminds me of a gorgeous and colorful spring event I photographed-it’s still one of my favorite events I’ve been able to capture. Here is some vibrant color for your visual pleasure on this sunny Monday!
Katherine was not your typical bride–as she noted “I had trouble embracing what has become the norm for many brides today–I’d never been on Pinterest, I skipped having a bridal party, and I was initially hesitant to have a bridal shower for fear of having to open gifts in front of everyone while slowly donning the ribbons from said gifts.” Thus, Katherine’s hostess, a longtime family friend, and her planner, Nancy Harris, set out to create a gorgeous and fun “un-bridal” shower–no cheesy games, no veils, no trivia–yet something chic and feminine. Since Katherine did not want a typical shower, Haven’s Kitchen was the perfect venue choice for something different and fun. Located in a gorgeous carriage house in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, it is not only an event space but also a café and cooking school.
When it came time to choose a color palette, her event planner knew to think pink! Katherine’s fiancé made it clear that he wanted “no pink flowers!” at their summer wedding, so she embraced pink for her shower. They created a magical spring garden palette in all shades of pink, resulting in a look that was feminine and modern. The room burst with vibrant spring color!
The celebration began downstairs in the cooking school kitchen. As guests arrived, they helped themselves to a Mimosa, Bloody Mary, wine, and smoothie bar, and then rolled up their sleeves to create some delicious food. Grouping the guests into different cooking teams as they mixed and chopped was a great way to introduce new faces and learn about their connection to the bride. Kait Turshen of Bubble Girl Bakes led the group through the creation of a beet salad and chocolate raspberry doughnuts that would be served as part of the shower lunch. The bride is vegan and requested that a few lunch items be fully vegan. Kait is renowned for her delectable creations that are gluten free, allergy friendly, and vegan.
Following the cooking session, guests ascended the stairs to the stunning loft-like space, where they were greeted with a creatively hung wall of photos and a slideshow, all featuring images from throughout Katherine’s life. Set against white brick walls and huge arch windows, the centerpiece of the room was a long wooden table bursting with luscious blooms by Renny & Reed, and hot pink hand lettered menus and place cards created by Rachel Reding of Rae Child. A white runner and pink ombre linen napkins held in Indian style bracelets enhanced the place setting. Suspended from the ceiling were stunning clear globes filled with peonies, while tall vases overflowing with five foot high cherry blossoms surrounded the room. When the bride saw the room for the first time, she thought “it was incredibly beautiful! The décor was stunning. It was fun and girly, but not stuffy or staid. The flowers were amazing, especially the hanging globes. The upstairs wall with pictures was the most special piece since it captured all the relationships with everyone invited and spanned my whole life.” Guests sat and enjoyed a casual lunch of fig berry beet-mint arugula salad, quinoa and squash, fruit salad, roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes, grilled asparagus, and of course, chocolate raspberry doughnuts that they created from scratch. The lunch included a surprise visit by the groom himself!
As for opening gifts in front of everyone? The non-traditional solution was also a request from the bride, who noted “when I thought about it, the thing I wanted most was books, in spite of or perhaps in keeping with straying from the norm for many brides today, and asked if we could do a kindle/e-book gift.” So shower attendees gifted Katherine e-books, along with a kindle cover…in pink! Following lunch and toasts, each guest departed with a “First Comes Love” hand-lettered bag and a pink-ribboned mason jar to tote home flowers. Katherine loved that “almost all of the guests have since mentioned that it was the most fun and un-bridal shower they’ve attended!”
Vendors: Photography: Sarah Greig Photography, Event Planning And Design: Nancy Harris Events, Floral Design: Renny & Reed, Venue and Catering: Haven’s Kitchen, Kait Turshen: Bubble Girl Bakes, Custom Calligraphy on Menus/Place Cards: Rachel Reding of RaeChild
Happy Spring! (Though it doesn’t feel like that outside!) I’ve been so MIA on the blog–the holidays were a doozy with getting client orders and holiday cards out the door, managing a never ending school vacation, and nursing our household back to health as we were plagued with pneumonia (resulting in a long ER visit on Christmas eve), viruses, and a sinus infection. January brought better health and school routines, and February had us down for the count again with illness. I’m also 8 months pregnant, so burning the midnight oil just hasn’t happened–I can barely push a stroller down the street I’m so tired! As spring has arrived, I’m gathering up some time in the final pre-baby days to actually post some of my fall work behind the camera. Stay tuned for some gorgeous weddings, adorable babies, and fun toddler photos coming your way soon.
First up-Baby Dylan! I met Dylan (love his Irish name, of course) this fall when he was six days old. As we know, most due dates are a suggestion of science, so this guy went right past his and kept his mom waiting for awhile. Whenever I photograph newborns, I wait to hear when they actually arrive so we can schedule our session within 10 days. So, I was excited to finally meet him and he was so well behaved at our session (sleeping like a champ most of the time!) We were able to photograph his beautifully decorated nursery and capture some great images with afternoon window light streaming into their 16th floor apartment. One of my favorite images from this session is Dylan posed with his mom’s favorite stuffed animal along with a new similar one gifted to him by his grandmother. He also has a lovely older (canine) sister, Lola, who kept watch over our session pretty closely and posed for a few photos of her own!
This session was a gift from Dylan’s aunt–when she contacted me last summer to inquire, I thought it was such a thoughtful newborn present! She knew that her sister would like a more natural, lifestyle type session (rather than overly posed), so it was the perfect fit! D, E, and J, it was a pleasure to work with you all and hope to see how much this little guy has grown soon!
I always pen a letter to my daughters on their birthday, and though a few (ok, six) weeks late, here’s the latest.
Happy Second Birthday. It’s been a wild two years–emphasis on the wild. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since you were nameless in the hospital. If we thought you were a hurricane at age 1, you progressed into a full tsunami over the last year. You are daring, fearless, funny, determined, independent, athletic, and tall. You are a challenge in a way that your sister never was. You are a whirlwind of exploration and curiosity, which typically results in daring dangerous feats, like standing in the windowsill and counting down 3 (fee)-2-1 as you leap off to hopefully land on the couch, or running as fast as you can toward moving traffic when not locked down in your stroller. We can’t believe–knock on wood–that you haven’t broken a bone yet and have had only one visit to a plastic surgeon. Every time I enter a room with you, I do a quick scan of what you can get into, and usually determine that we can’t stay there for very long. Even at your two-year checkup, you managed to unplug all of the computers in the exam room and climb onto the windowsill and jump off.
You get into everything–favorite pastimes include: emptying the refrigerator, eating icy Eggos from the freezer (then leaving the freezer open and melting the contents), clearing all objects off of the coffee table in one sweep, getting water all over the bathroom, emptying file cabinets, grabbing the sharpest knife in the dishwasher and running away with it, dumping out bottles of lotion and soap, or spraying an entire room with baking soda or baby powder. You are fast–if I turn my back for one second, you are gone, which is terrifying. When I lost you at the beach club this summer, I could usually find you splashing your hands in the men’s bathroom toilets, going down the stairs to the parking lot, or knocking over all of the cups at the self-serve lemonade station. You can open things with your teeth–soda bottles to dump all over, toothpaste to suck down…the possibilities of this skill are endless. This summer, I had poison control on speed dial as a result of your constant curiosity. Incident 1? Trying to drink lamp oil. Incident 2? Eating dog thyroid medication from your grandparents’ pantry. “Child-proofed” and “Farrell-proofed” are two completely different things. The second week in our new apartment, you plugged up our bathroom sink and left the water running, then nonchalantly came back to play in the living room. Thus, our first real introduction to our new super and neighbors was by causing a leak downstairs.
And then there is your climbing. Windowsills, dining tables, countertops, pantries, forbidden staircases, beach chairs, ladders, scaffolding, and playground equipment, there is nothing that you don’t want to climb. I’ve stopped panicking when you do this, because a) it’s going to happen anyway, and b) you’re actually very agile with incredible balance. You’ve been climbing out of your crib since 16 months old. You wander the house in the middle of the night, eating things out of the freezer and creepily appearing in doorways to say hi. You can run around in the dark and climb over gates wearing your sleep sack. It’s just who you are.
You love your sister, i-yeeee, and you especially love breaking into her room, throwing all of her bedding onto the floor, and playing with/destroying her intricate magnatile creations. You are going through a very big Mom phase, which results in a lot of crying, clinging, and an intense hatred of school drop off. Though you’re getting better, you’ve never been a snuggler. Usually your attempts to show love result in pain, as you are all elbows and head butts, though we appreciate your efforts.
Despite all of these personality “enhancements” that make you impossible to watch, at the end of the day (when you’re in bed), we adore you. We love your blue sparkly eyes and white blonde curls. We love watching you ham it up–you love to put on sunglasses, roll your eyes and make funny faces to get people to laugh. You are friendly–you say hi to everyone and wave incessantly from your stroller. You love to dance, paint, and draw. You are obsessed with dogs. You are a fabulous eater and have to drink “bubble wa-wa”. You love eating BOOBY (Pirate’s Booty that is, which can be awkward when you shout BOOBY out of the stroller and on airplanes). You call every meal of the day “dinner”. Your language explosion in recent months has been a joy to witness and you have so many great phrases such as “OHH! YEAH!! GO TO STORE BUY MORE!” and many others.
Cheers to making it to your second birthday without any severe injuries and here’s to another year of fun, exploration, and growth. Maybe you can let up on us a little bit this year, just a little?