As the graduation season comes to a close, I want to introduce you to a few pretty spectacular graduates. The ladies featured in the picture above are a few of the 2017 graduates from Chiles Academy here in Daytona Beach...Read More
You know you hear people say things to you when you pregnant, or before you even think about having kids, about how motherhood is not for the meek of heart. That it's the hardest most rewarding job you will ever have. That time will seem to slip through your fingers far faster than you can absorb and soak up every last memory and moment with your children......ok, I admit the last one is totally me and how I feel daily with my 2 boys. Motherhood is amazing, and hard, and incredible, and trying, and rewarding. It's the most squishy love, all buttons pushed, baby belly laughing, sweet snuggle, worn out, messy, and perfectly imperfect experience of your life. That was a mouth full, my apologies, but really, how do you cram motherhood into any less words? I have the honor and privilege of being a labor and delivery nurse, childbirth educator, and photographer. As a labor and delivery nurse I help moms through one of the toughest, most life changing and incredible experiences God has blessed us with. I am there to hold a hand, to wipe a brow, to hold a leg, to breath, and to welcome fresh new life into this world. As a childbirth educator I bring every ounce of experience and knowledge I have gained over the last 10 years as a nurse, and past 8 years as a mom, to my mom and dads to be. My goal is always to take away some of the fear of the unknown by empowering them with knowledge and a tool box equipped with what they need to find there way through the labor experience. As a photographer I capture moments for my clients. All of those fleeting moments that always seem to pass to soon, I get to freeze them, encapsulate them in a love that takes the viewer straight back to that very moment that memory was captured. Over all I'd say I'm pretty darn lucky. Well, never have I had an oppertunity to combine all three of my passions into one, that is until sweet baby Lennon came along. Her mom and dad were in my childbirth class, and as their birth photographer I was also their for the delivery. What are the chances!? I stood by in silent awe with my camera capturing all of those sweet and challenging moments leading to parenthood. I also held a leg, helped with position change, counted, breathed, and cheered on this mom to be. Until sitting down to write this, I hadn't realized that I was able to pull all three of my roles into this one experience! I decided to write this blog and share these images in honor of Mothers Day coming up. These to me are the real images of labor. Of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. So to all of the mothers out there, take a bow, hug your kids tightly, rub that belly fondly, call your mom, and have a Happy Mother Day next week!
To be thankful in life is to feel encompassed in gratitude, hope, and love. To say that 2016 was a busy year would be a major understatement. Even though I felt like the year passed at such a feverish pace (which often times made me feel anything but grounded), I can now stand on the horizon of a new year peering back into the rearview mirror, and appreciate all that I experienced. I met some amazing families, made new friends, stood up for what was right, got a bachelors degree, shared the excitement and love of nuptials shared, delivered babies, loved my boys and husband with all that I have, and at the end of it all thank God for this crazy beautiful life. I look forward to what adventures await me in 2017. <3 Liz.
Sometimes in life you have the opportunity to come across and interact with incredible people. A week ago I was blessed to meet some of these amazing people. Last week while parusing Facebook, I came across a post from a friend I work with. Her post was about her sister, and how some miserable person took the time to send her a hand written, hand addressed, letter telling her "Women who weigh 300 pounds shouldn't wear yoga pants!" This handwritten note came complete with a rude and disgusting meme to boot. When I saw the pictures of the words that were written my heart hurt. How could someone do something like this? I felt anger, and sadness all balled up into a heap of confusion. People do things like this?
The women who was sent this horrible letter is named Kelley. Kelley is a mom, a sister, a wife, a daughter, a friend to all, a volunteer, and a girl who likes to wear LuLaRoe Leggings. How could she not? LuLaRoe leggings, and clothes all together, are ahhhhhmazing! I'm pretty sure the material is mage from a unicorns mane or something equally as magical, and they come in the most fun and amazing prints! What's more is these clothes are made to fit women of all shapes and sizes! Clothes a women can feel good in!!! Yet here some jerk felt the need to try to take that from Kelley. Well guess what! As a result Kelley has been able to create a movement! Reaching out in any way she can to declare beauty knows no size!!!! Beauty is something that radiates from the apples of ones cheeks, that rises up in an honest laugh, that fills a hug with warmth and love. Beauty is being able to rock leggings!
I knew as soon as I read the story I wanted to do something. So I got in touch with Kelley and told her I wanted to do a photo shoot with her. I also reached out to my friend Beth who is a LuLaRoe consultant to see if we could get a little LuLa Love for Kelley. The response was amazing!!! Within an hour an entire network of local LuLaRoe consultants had organized multiple outfits and pick up arrangements for Kelley! It was incredible! My heart swelled! A few of these lovely consultants were able to join us during the photo shoot to meet Kelley, have some fun, and discuss LuLaRoe of course! Kelley, as a whole, is beautiful. Besides being gorgeous (hello she could totally model!), she has a heart of gold. She had not one ill word to speak of this bully that sent her the letter. What she said instead is that she wants to use this experience as a way to declare that beauty knows no size, that bullying will not win the battle, and that it's ok to feel good about yourself!!! Can I get an Amen!
My hope is that this story gets shared over and over again. Good defeated evil, and a bully was silenced with love. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thanks for taking the time to read! Here are some of the photos from our shoot!
It's amazing what the body does and goes through to create new life. Miss Nicole makes it look easy! :) Can't wait to meet this baby girl!
What a perfect day for taking photos! The weather was perfect and dare I say, cool! Or at least not hot. I'm absolutely in love with this location and had a fun time with a great family! :) L
A story of rekindled love with a happy ending. So much fun with this bunch! Here's to a little Hlinka love! <3
Capturing family photo sessions like this make me feel like the luckiest girl on earth! Nothing like taking lovely pictures of some of your favorite people. Cuteness all around :)