Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mom to Mom | Disconnected

Stay- at- home- mom.

A title I wear proudly and a job that requires no explanation. Or justification for that matter.   I choose it for my life because there is really no other way. It’s a gift, a dream, a blessing and as with any job there are great rewards if I try my best. The trouble I have with stay-at-home-momming is balance.  I struggle to keep the scales even between being physically and mentally present for Addisyn and not concerning myself all day long with the deadlines I have weighing over me for photography. It’s hard. And while the iPhone, Facebook, Instagram, and emails loom over me on most days, I often have one day that snaps me back to reality for a good while. Yesterday was one of those days. 

Steve and I have similar ideas on how we want to raise our children and I think we can even mutually sense when things are feeling off. With our busy lives and goal oriented attitudes it’s easy to get caught up in the details that fall about ten lines below “family” on the list of things we should cherish. It’s hard not to be so distracted with how connected we can be socially to our jobs and our pastimes.  With one click of a button on my phone, I can check my email, post a status on Facebook, or upload a pic on Instagram. I don’t even have to be near a computer to show Addisyn that she isn’t the most important thing to me or that the phone glued to my side gets more attention than she does. Now, I know this isn’t true in my heart, but the reality is that she doesn’t know. She thinks I need it with me at all times and often grabs it off my nightstand and hands it to me before we head downstairs. I’m totally guilty of not being mentally there for Addisyn on most days. And so I struggle with balance. The truth of the matter is that I know I am a darn good mom. I teach her very important values throughout the day, communicate with her often, and make sure she knows she is loved. But, I want to make sure I don’t stop there. I don’t want to settle for being good at the areas I know I am good at and justify my not-so-presentness with everything I am doing right.  With any job, there is reward for doing even better.  It may not come now and it may not come tomorrow, but one day I will see it in Addisyn’s character. Steve and I noticed that we were becoming disconnected from our roles as mommy and daddy as well as husband and wife. And yesterday, the pain, guilt, and emptiness climaxed. Something had to be done as we both felt convicted to make a change. Last night we instituted family “unplugged” time from 5:00pm-8:00pm every night and it was nothing short of amazing and freeing. Here is what we discovered:

1.)   If we put our phones upstairs, we aren’t bound to respond to every chime, vibration, or beep.
2.)   Facebook and emails will still be there at 8:00pm after Addisyn goes to sleep.
3.)   Cooking dinner is much more fun when we do it as a family.
4.)   Addisyn laughs and talks more with us.
5.)   Steve and I connect more without distractions.
6.)   And all together we are super happy that we are together and in tuned to each other.

Even though I haven’t set the scales exactly even, especially during the day, my heart is telling me that I am taking the weight off of the correct side. I’m determined to be crafty, creative, and most importantly…present, for my baby girl.

*ah! this is sad, but I have been trying to catch up in work that this week that I have rarely picked up the camera. But a blog post is not a blog post without a pic or two :-)

 *our other kids - Boo and Pisces

Monday, June 11, 2012

Random Thoughts

Morning drives to gain inspiration: Suffice is to say that my Mondays are no longer a slow start to the week. Nope, Addisyn and I prefer a good full speed, gears into overdrive, jump- into- Monday- head- first- approach these days. Addisyn is out of Prewee school which means little time to myself to get things done. And although I work much faster when it’s just me, I have been finding ways to make room for a co-pilot... like little stops at the coffee shop (my old Monday blogging nook) before heading out for a casual drive to gain inspiration. 

Anniversary: Steve and I celebrated our four year wedding anniversary this past week by going house hunting and then out to dinner – ALONE! We haven’t been on a date in hmmmm let’s see, well, ummm…yeah, it’s been that long! It was fabulous. While Steve and I have accomplished a lot, fought some, adjusted to change many a time, prayed countless prayers together, cried tears of joy often, and are raising the most beautiful sweet little girl together, one thing has never changed – we can talk each other’s socks off. Still. This makes my little heart so super full of love because whenever I get some good ole’ quality time with quality conversation from Steve, it makes me feel like we can conquer the world. Here’s to gabbing it up for another 50 plus years love!

Side note, Steve and I aren’t moving any time soon. We wanted to get a good idea on how much money we need to save to get our dream home. Slow and steady. Blah! It seems so far away!! Here is what we know: our home will be somewhere in Delaware and I can almost guarantee it will have a white picket fence. Because that sounds just perfect to me.

taken with VSCO cam on my iPhone. I know, we look great after working out :-)

Instagram: I just love this app. I pretty much always think about taking at least one pic while I am out just to post on IG. The thing is, I just don’t want to settle for a snapshot. I really want to get more creative and stretch my iPhone and this cool app to the max. I also want to see the pics you have taken that just scream LOVE LOVE LOVE! So I have decided to start a hash tag called #onemoreforlove. If you have Instagram follow me @stacy_hart and if you take a pic of someone you love or someone showing love, hashtag #onemoreforlove. I would love to start featuring pics that you have taken right here on this blog. So excited!

This is Addisyn's natural smile. I can only catch it once and a while on camera. 

This is what happens when I say, "Addisyn look at the camera and smile for momma"

This is her saying "Cheese"

With Love,


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Stylized Shoot | Antique Chic at Shady Acres

I have wanted to do a stylized shoot for a long time.  It was somewhat of a distant dream until I went to Connecticut last year and participated in a stylized shoot based off the movie The Notebook (which just happens to be one of my all time fav movies).  After actually experiencing the beauty and creativity of a stylized shoot, I had to boost organizing one of these events to the top of my 2012 business bucket list. What I really, really, really (really) wanted was some sort of vintage feel complete with “Allie-like” hair and cute dresses just like she wore on The Notebook.  With my motivation found, I started thinking of the perfect shoot.  

January 2012 came pretty quickly and I knew I had to start putting full focus on this stylized shoot if I was going to get it done before the start of busy season. I began paying particular attention to items I saw when I was out and about.  Any time inspiration would strike, I was quick to write down my ideas and annotate how I visualized using different props.  Stylized shoots are a great way for photographers to be even more creative, but are also an excellent opportunity to network with some pretty awesome local vendors. I had my hopes set high on one particular vendor that I just knew could make this whole shoot an amazing success. She owned a clothing store in downtown Dover that I adore and frequent for clothing for any occasion.   As fate would have it, just as I finally had my vision enough together to contact this vendor, I found out I was pregnant.  Although I was very excited for this wonderful news, I knew this meant a lot of my business goals would be put on the back burner as I dealt with the first trimester sickness. I weighed the pro’s and the con’s and eventually decided to cancel the stylized shoot for this year. 

That was until I drove by my favorite local clothing boutique store (the vendor I wanted to use) and it was calling my name to reach out to the owner. And so I did. A couple weeks later Erin from Bel Boutique and I were having a meeting and she just loved my ideas. She also had a style similar to mine so our ideas for props just clicked. From that time forward, everything just fell into place…the outfits, the jewelry, the models, the hair and makeup done by the fabulous Emily Moses, and even the venue.  As it turned out, Erin lived on some pretty amazing property owned by her boyfriend’s parents and their whole home and yard was perfect for my vision.

So I could talk forever about how quickly this was planned considering I had once canceled it, how I was freaked about a pending thunderstorm the day of the shoot, or how I just adore everyone who helped, but without further ado…

A special thanks to all of the AMAZING people who worked with me to make this vision come true:

Erin Tinsley, Bel Boutique | Outfits and Jewelry
Emily Moses, Rene Delyn | Hair and Makeup
Travis McClure | Male Model
Alexi Corham, Melissa Willetts, & Devin Horner | Female Models
Linda Foster-Thwaits | Venue
Jenny Epie | Assistant

 One of my favs! Isn't this potting shed gorgeous?

 Seriously Melissa!!!? This is stunning!

 And now time for our cute couple shoot :-)

 Lex, you are GORGEOUS!  Period.

 Oh Travis, you were perfect for this shoot. Super cute :-)

 A definite fav!

 How cute is this?

 Love this look!

  This is the very cool truck we were able to use. Thank you Linda.
 And the most charming log cabin house that was just full of antique wonderfulness. Thank you Linda! 

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