Moms and Their Babes–Mother’s Day 2016

SarahGreigPhotography_stomp_1102It’s been a crazy few weeks here! We moved–still in the city, but more to come on that later. I was a puddle of nostalgic tears when we moved out of our home–eight years and two kids later, the move wasn’t pretty. It even involved the infamous “couch doctor” of NYC sawing our couch into parts at 9pm that evening to get it into the new place. My office (yes, a real office with a door that closes!) is a pile of boxes, yet I didn’t want Mother’s Day to slip past without a few images and some thoughts.

When I became a mom five years ago, it was a rough transition. Since I spent a lot of my life either caring for and/or coaching and teaching children, I thought I was pretty equipped for whatever challenges I might face. Which now looking back on, was sort of hilarious to think. I had a really hard time feeding my daughter and it was hell for both of us to get her to gain weight. A few days were great. A lot of days were horrible. I wondered how anyone was equipped to be so selfless and felt really frustrated and defeated at the beginning. Of course things improved and I adore my two girls (my second one had even more issues eating and gaining weight, and if you follow my blog, you’ll know all about that.) The minute I became a mom, I gained a whole new perspective on what my mom had done to raise all four of us, and still wonder how the hell she managed it with such grace, love, and happiness. I feel like I’ll never be as awesome as she was, but she is a great inspiration. She’s the top of Everest, and I’m operating on the Colorado Rockies level, if that.

I photograph a lot of family portraits, and moms often just want me to photograph their children while they remain out the frame. In some ways, this makes the session easier (fewer people to get to look at the camera, parents nervous energy not being passed on), but I always encourage parents to get in a few photos. Your kids will want to see pictures of you with them when they were young. I promise. I LOVE photos of my parents from when I was little. Really,  just get in the picture. I understand the hesitation, because once or twice a year, I force myself to get in front of the camera and do family photos with my children and hubs. It’s not always comfortable, and it can feel awkward. You worry that your hair may not be perfect, that you had some baby weight that you were hoping to lose first, that you have bags under your eyes because one of your children was up all night, etc. But here’s the deal- when you are relaxed with your children and I can capture that moment, you are beautiful. You are mighty. You are their hero. You literally hold other people’s lives in your hands on a daily basis and succeed at the hardest job in the world. And these fleeting moments with your small children are so worth recording.

Here are some of my favorite mom and child captures over the last two years or so. And thank you to Clare Stephens for recording me with my gals, above. Happy Mother’s Day to all. Keep up the good yet seemingly impossible work. And thank you, Mom, for being an inspiration. XO


FIVE–New York, NY

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We’ve got a newly minted five year old in the house. As always on her birthday, I’m writing a few memories and posting a few photos of the wonderful journey in the last year.

CMG,

I wanted you to stay four forever. Four was full of joy and wonder, sparkle, curiosity, independence, laughter, growth, and more. But time marches on and this month you turned five. Five is major. Five years ago I held all 5 pounds and 11 ounces of you in your blue and pink striped hospital swaddle, and now I’ll be waving you off to kindergarten this year. You’re on the edge of so many new experiences.

You emit joy. You are a terrific hugger and hand holder. You bring so much energy and happiness to everything that you do–you are even excited to accompany me to the grocery store or the chiropractor, and you clap your hands about a trip to the dentist. Seriously. I never tire of seeing your exuberance for life as you skip into your classroom every morning after a brief obligatory goodbye, and I love seeing your huge grin when you spot us at afternoon pickup. You love to be busy. You are happiest having a long agenda and a set schedule (we’re soo related). This year we instituted a checklist at bedtime and you love to follow along–pjs, teeth, potty, stories, snuggle. Bedtime is also filled with requests to download what we did for the day and what exact plans are on the horizon– “Can you tell me what we’re doing tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next day?”

It was another year of growth–physical, emotional, and social. Physically, I can’t keep you in clothes that fit. Your pants and sleeves are always too short as your long limbs continue their march to be taller than I am in a few years. Despite purchasing most of your clothes in blue and green, your favorite colors this year are pink and purple and you’ve taken a liking to dolls and Barbie. Sigh. Your goal this year was for your hair “to grow as long as Rapunzel,” and you’re getting close. Emotionally and socially, you have really matured in the Rainbow Room–you’ve made great strides in learning to take turns and collaborate on projects with your friends. You love school–you mastered writing this year and worked hard on your letters and numbers. You have emerged as a definitive lefty. You write your name on everything, followed by “CMG”. You are dying to read and can “read” a few books that you have memorized. Your vocabulary continues to grow by leaps and bounds every day and your creativity astounds me. You can happily paint and draw all day long, and especially love to create books out of paper and colored tape, complete with pictures and wild stories.

You still love your city. You enjoy taking the express subway, raising your hand to hail a “band” taxi as you call the new van taxis, and navigating your favorite museums with aplomb. You’ve taken an interest in architecture and drawing spaces, right down to the furniture placement.  You love to create buildings with any materials–magnatiles, blocks, and even jam and sugar packets at a restaurant.

You are my favorite sous chef–in addition to watching Giada and Ina, you love to prep recipes and help me cook. You won’t eat most of the food that we cook, but maybe that will come with time. You adore gymnastics–and not just during gym class, as every couch is your trampoline and every elevated curb is your balance beam. You love to dance, especially on top of things–kitchen tables, coffee tables, and couches. Santa brought your first bike this Christmas and you love zipping around the parks with it, creating a streak of hot pink and purple. You’re still very competitive–everything is a race or a contest. While I know this will serve you well in your future athletic endeavors, it still gives me pause. Over the summer you discovered golf, wiffle ball, and competitive bingo. You don’t like to lose. You learned to dive for sticks, swim like a fish, and fearlessly boogie board in the waves.

This past fall you were dragged to many new schools for interviews and play visits as we went through the arduous (and somewhat ridiculous) process that is trying to find a kindergarten seat in New York City. It shouldn’t have surprised me, but your personality was born for this. You loved visiting new schools, checking out their classrooms, meeting new children, chatting/telling your life story to adults that you had never met before, then shaking hands and–completely unprompted by us–asking when you could come back again. It was truly amusing to witness, but it also filled me with pride about your sense of adventure, adaptability, and true excitement for school.

You remain curious and thoughtful. You are a great sister to a hyperactive and wild baby sister who wants nothing more in life than to show her love by destroying your intricate magnatile creations, changing the channel while you’re engrossed in a show, and pulling your hair until you cry. But the way she shrieks and lights up when you enter a room and sweetly calls you “kai-yeeee” must be worth it, no?! You still believe that the earth revolves around your cousins and the state of Connecticut, and it makes me smile to see how important your extended family is to you.

I love you and am really proud of you on a daily basis. I wish time would slow down, but I can’t wait to see what FIVE brings. Just don’t get too much taller this year, ok? Happy 5th.

XO

Past Birthday Reflections:

FOUR

THREE

TWO

ONE

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Top photo by the wonderful Clare Stephens.

Catch Up Season–New York, NY

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January. The time time for blizzards (yay), business tax preparation (boo), and catch up!

February. The time when you look at your calendar and realize you wish you had accomplished more in January. Either way, I’m finally getting a breather after a wild holiday season of designing cards, meeting with brides, and getting prints, brag books, albums, and gifts out the door to all of my wonderful 2015 clients.

I had time to look back through some images today and thought I’d share a few faves from fall weddings and events. From private Manhattan clubs to grand hotels, it’s been fun to see creative floral and design teams, impressive honorees, and gorgeous wedding details. Here are a few favorites from events this fall. Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts Fall Benefit pictured here was featured in Avenue Magazine and the New York Social Diary. Oh, and I got to take pictures of Bill Cunningham (THE Bill Cunningham!!!) taking pictures! Super cool. He told me to “do a good job” at the event, and I did my best. Hah! Thanks, legend.

Cheers to winter and catch up!

(Purple and pink flower images showcase the work of the amazing team at Renny & Reed)

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Siasconset Family Portraits–Nantucket, MA

We were just up in Nantucket for gobble week, and though it was beautiful as always, the sun set too early and it was chilly. It left me longing for warm summer days with beautiful light til 8pm–which was the case for this adorable family’s summer portrait session. The Artemenkos were on Nantucket for a family wedding, and I’m so glad we were able to fit a session into their wedding week schedule. With three children under the age of 2.5–twins and a 9 month old–I knew this one would be a fun and high energy session! I love when parents are great planners, and their mom consulted with me about their adorable outfit choices as they packed for the trip. We settled on pinks, whites, and blues and everyone looked great.

We met in front of the famed Siasconset Market (don’t miss their hot blueberry muffins every morning) and then tucked away into my favorite little nearby lanes. Those charming streets are on a short list of my favorite places in all of New England. Once the light softened, we headed down to the beach for some sand and sunset.

At one point, the twins decided to walk down the lane toward the market (ice cream anyone?) and I snapped away as they strolled and held hands. They then peeked back at me through the bushes, which resulted in a few of my favorite images from the evening. Their little brother was full of smiles and loved interacting with his older siblings. As it turned out, this was my last session of the summer. Less than 12 hours later, I got appendicitis and had get medivaced to Boston for emergency surgery. Yikes. I’m so happy we fit this session in!

KC, B, W, D, and T–thanks for a wonderful session and hope to see you in NJ soon!

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