Tomorrow, my husband and I celebrate our 10 year anniversary and as I sit here reflecting, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude come over me. I am not one to write personal blog posts, I tend to write poetry or reflect on a photography session while sharing the special moments captured, but I felt the desire to share a piece of what my heart is feeling this evening.
Tomorrow officially marks 10 years of married life, but also reminds me that this is just a drop in the bucket since meeting my Hubby as a teenager, way back in those Junior high days when life was confusing, hormones were going off like fireworks, relationships with friends were shifting, and sense of self was not the most clear. At 16 years old, I would never have imagined that I had met my soulmate. I was in a place in my life where I wasn’t living in my authenticity, although at the time, I had no idea. I was on a path… I was an academic, I was athletic, I was artistic… I had goals, I was going to get good grades and win a University scholarship, I was going to do Sciences, I was going to be successful. I knew it, and I was driven. Along the way, there was this boy. He had become a great friend, we enjoyed hanging out… he wanted me to be his girlfriend. We dated and I pushed him away many times, confused by his infatuation with me. He was kind, respectful, honest, caring… I was on a mission and wasn’t interested in ogling over a boy. Thankfully he persevered. Somehow through everything, he has always seen me as ME, even when I didn’t, and for that I am forever grateful.
Life has taken us on many twists and turns. We graduated University together, travelled for a year exploring Australia and New Zealand, continued to grow stronger and closer. When I left my career as a Marine Biologist to study Naturopathic Medicine in British Columbia, he came with me, no questions asked. This experience, living in Vancouver for 8 years, had a profound impact on both of our lives. I was beginning to have many epiphany moments and met people who continue to hold very dear places in my heart. I finally accepted that the vulnerable sides of me are actually strength. I did much inner work during my years training as an ND and thought that I was on my path.
Our daughter was born in Vancouver, and after moving back home to Nova Scotia and setting up practice, our son was born in 2014. The birth of our son resulted in another major shift for me. I was feeling very low and didn’t feel that practice was an authentic representation of who I was, and although difficult, my husband understood that I needed to take some time for me. How could I practice and support others in health and well-being if I felt completely out of balance myself? Something wasn’t right. What was I missing? I had this amazing husband who supported me in all I that do, even when it seemed as if I was always making new choices. We had these two beautiful, spirited children, who I was so excited to grow alongside us, learning and exploring together. We were surrounded by a loving family that I knew we could count on, and yet I was still feeling lost. Who was I?
The last couple of years have had many ups and downs while I really pursued this question. I knew that even through the roughest of times, he had my back… just as I know I will always have his. There is no doubt in my mind that I can lean on him, rely on him, trust him, call on him. He truly is the definition of “my rock”. I feel that our hearts have been intertwined long before we ever met. We for sure have our differences, but one thing never wavers, and that is our love. I am so beyond grateful that he did not give up on me way back, almost 20 years ago.
In our young life, we have now been together for more than half of our lives. It is still mind-boggling to me in a way, but at the same time so familiar and refreshing. As I pour out my heart today, on this beautiful summer August day, I am beyond grateful for my life partner and say thank-you to him for seeing me for Me! At that tender age of 16, when I was caught up in achievements and grades and struggling with true friendships, he was there. He somehow saw the sensitive, creative, fairy girl with a love for seeing the beauty in all that is life. He somehow knew in his teenage wisdom that I needed time and patience. I thank him for listening to me, to my thoughts, my inner struggles, my dreams. It is much thanks to him that I felt safe enough and had the space, courage, and support to start my company - Welcome Arms, and I have never seen more clearly and felt so in alignment in my life.
MY LOVE... You are my soulmate; I thank you for being you and for loving me so truly.
I love you so.
Family images by Terry-Lynn Warren Photography
Photographing families is very special for me. I am a big believer that moments matter. One of my daughter's favorite things to do is to look through family albums. It brings her so much joy and these memories help her through times when she is upset or anxious. My husband often teases me... "it still happened, even if we do not have a picture", but I never regret taking lots of images and having family photos done! These images are so valuable and a cherished part of our home.
Often times, parents come to a session worrying from the start. They are hoping their kids behave... they have a vision of what they feel the "perfect" family photo is. There may be bribes or days prepping the kids beforehand. The moment I glimpse a parent looking a bit like "oh my goodness, my child is a cyclone" or "how will we have any images if they refuse to look at the camera"... I like to remind families that "everything is okay. What you feel right now is not what I am seeing through my lens". I show them some shots on the camera and they smile... Oooo, I love that one!
The momentary chaos doesn't phase me. I am a "live in the moment" kind of person and I look for the calm, the beauty, the awesome-ness within the "apparent chaos" of that 60-90 minutes. This is part of why I love what I do!
My family sessions are meant to be fun... I like to make funny faces and sounds, I like to have conversations and get to know you and your kids. What is your favorite superhero? Show me how high they jump! Kids are shy, they are high energy, they are stubborn, they are unpredictable! Let's roll with it, let's have fun! Your family is perfect just the way you are... in this moment, in every moment... you are you, and I am thrilled to capture images for you to cherish always.
During this beautiful, early morning family session, this little guy was a bit shy. He didn't want to look at the camera and that is okay. He is so adorable and this is him in this moment. The parents had told me that he can be a bit shy, so for me that is a perfect way to capture him at this moment in time :) Meeting families and being surrounded by their loving, comforting selves makes what I do so special.
Your Family is Perfect :)
Much love from Welcome Arms,
#momentsmatter #familyislove #imperfectisperfect
Seeing the JOY felt by a family by the Sea makes my HEART soar!
I LOVE families & I LOVE capturing moments in time for them to cherish always.
I LOVE living near the seashore. This time of year is one of my favorites for family sessions as this LOVE of the SEA is very obviously shared by so many!
I had a blast working with this lovely family this past weekend. Their little one is a Mermaid at Heart and she would bee-line for the surf at every opportunity! A quick clothing change was even in order after a surf side wipe-out! Did not phase her in the least! Lots of laughs, sand play, exploring was to be had on this beautiful Nova Scotia evening :)
With love from Welcome Arms,
You may be asking yourself, what exactly is a Mother Blessing?
Well, it can be any event that honors the Journey of Motherhood, a Bonding of women, a Community of women.
A devoted moment to Welcome and Support mothers.
It's about providing a Space for mother's, for their children, for grandmothers, for women who are not themselves a mother, it is a Gathering of Women.
It is a Sisterhood.
It is a space to feel Loved, to feel Connected, to feel Grounded, to feel Accepted.
It is Women lending their skills and love of the Birth Community and of the Motherhood Community.
Food, Massage, Yoga, Coaching, Photography, Sound Therapy, Belly Casting, Intention Setting, Bonding... the Mother Blessing was all this and much more.
I was grateful to offer my services and photograph this Blessing for the 2nd year. Much love to all Mother's who attended and all individual's who volunteered their time to hold this special space.
Thank you to @jessieharold of @nalumanawomenswellness for organizing again this year :)
Welcome Mothers, Welcome Little Ones,
Into Welcome Arms,
You are Loved.
You know when you find a place...and it feels so much more than a just a place?
That is how I felt when I first walked into Hazelnut & Rose Maternity Boutique in Downtown Dartmouth. Not only is the boutique beautiful, serene, and nurturing... not only is it graced with some of the most lovely, practical, stunning maternity and nursing clothing, it is owned and operated by a lady that shines with her love and passion for what she does. She truly loves helping women feel good about themselves and she does this not only through her clothing suggestions and support, but also for just being herself and present.
I felt connected with her and the space instantly and knew that it was the perfect location to work with moms-to-be, and momma's and their precious children, while capturing simple nurturing moments during my MINI Photography Sessions. I am so grateful for Genny, for her space, and for the friendship we continue to grow.
I am thrilled to share some images from this recent Mini Mommy & Me Nurture Session with you, all images taken at Hazelnut & Rose, Dartmouth :) #hazelnutandrose
Much love from Welcome Arms,
Below... 3 Generations... Grandma & Mommy's hands and precious little girl :)
Welcome Arms Photography will be holding regular MINI Sessions at Hazelnut & Rose throughout the 2017 year. Mini Bump Sessions and Mini Mommy & Me Sessions. Keep an eye on my Events page and FB page for upcoming dates and details! :)
Set atop a hill in a beautiful forest, amidst the setting of the golden sun, the love between this precious daughter and mother beamed to match the sunsets shining splendor. Mossy, Magical, Motherhood all tied up into this lovely moment in time. It was such a joy working with these two! The evening started off with some gentle shyness, but as this little beauty began to explore the natural goodness surrounding her, our session took off with lots of giggles, love, and joy :)
So excited to share this as my first official BLOG post! Many more to come.
Much love from Welcome Arms,
All images copyright 2017 Welcome Arms Photography
I LOVE working with families, I LOVE childbirth, I LOVE being involved in the birth community.