Baby Theo

Calmness and chaos coexist in the home of a newborn. The chaos is hard to detect if you aren't around at 2am when the whole world is asleep expect for you....but I have to say these three had a very strong calm over chaos ratio. I wasn't sure anyone was even sleep deprived. All I saw was starry eyes.

So fun to see friends go from no baby to baby and have it seem like they have always played the role. Morgan and Joel are complete and utter naturals. Parenting instincts blow my mind!

Theo is a very loved and very blessed baby to have the family he does.

All my love and sweet singing lullabies to this new family. xxoo


(shot on the contax 645 with kodak trix and portra films)



Kate's Birth

She came in the middle of the night. Swinging down from the stars like so many babies do.

Her mama was ready and proved it by bringing me to tears. She spoke with a light southern accent and wept when she finally had sweet kate in her arms.

I am convinced there is nothing more attractive than a partner supporting a birthing mother. Especially when the birthing mother is delivering natural, with just her body and her mind. He supported and loved and never left her side. He did everything he could to be there with her. Once his baby girl was born one of the first things he did was touch her skin and rub some of the vernix on his crows feet. I mean, come on. I was in love.

And so was that family with each other. Three brothers and their baby sister.

When you are invited (paid even!) to witness a baby entering the world, you know life is pretty great. I feel lucky. So so lucky.

(midwife to star swinging babies: Lindsey Meehleis from OC Midwifery. She delivered Fairbanks and I adore her)

The Stanley Family- San Francisco, CA

If you haven't heard about the blog Say Yes To Hoboken, or the stylish author, Liz...then you have been living under a rock. You must check it out. I am friends with Jared and Liz from the days when we were all happily living in New York City. It was so nice to be able to photograph these first moments for them as a family of four and get to catch up on each others lives.

It was such a lovely couple of hours. Pretty soft light, late afternoon snuggly energy and a newborn baby that was itty. How sweet are both of their kids?

Thank you so much for letting me glimpse inside your home during such a special time.

Check out Liz's post on our shoot here.

5 Months

Oh my. I love you so much.

If someone just looks at you, you smile.

Your smile is pure joy.

Your needs are so simple and your intentions are so pure.

Holding you is free therapy.

Just holding you makes everything so much better than whatever it was like before I was holding you.

I know that all of this time I get to hold and love on you will change. I know you won’t fall to sleep on me I am really trying to savor it. Every once in a while after you fall asleep eating with me, I will lift up the blanket to look at your sleeping feet, crossed at the ankles, your chubby hand, spread across my chest. Your full belly, moving in and out with you breathing against skin.

I know my memory will fade but I can read this and remember that for those few seconds that I adored you while you slept, loving you was all that mattered.

You are moving so so much.

You can get wherever you want by pushing up to your hands and knees and then propelling yourself forward. Your dad and I like to joke that we are breeding a race of super humans.

You like to lounge on your side and be propped in sitting position between my legs.

You are a major jumper like your sister. Constant jumping from sun up til sun down.

Unless you are eating or sleeping what’s the point of being held like a baby?

You are a big boy now and prefer to be treated like one.

You are so great at grasping everything and exploring with your mouth.

Your favorite position is hands clasped together in prayer position, in your mouth. While your eyes twinkle with the excitement at being able to gnaw on your fingers.

Carrying you around in the carrier is starting to wear me out a little. So funny! Your sister was so much lighter than you I never noticed...but you are a bit heftier. I love it.

I love your weight and how it feels to hold you.

You are way interested in food, so we have let you try banana and pineapple. You are kind of obsessed. I feel bad, but I don’t want to really start feeding you solids yet. Want you to stay a baby.

You grew out of your Puj tub in the sink so we have started bathing you with Nova. It is kind of chaotic with all the soap and slippery skin but you are all smiles.

I think since you are starting to move more, sister is getting a little more physical with you and likes to roll you to where she wants you to be.

Sometimes she loves hard with big squeezes that never end and gritted teeth through which she is baby talking to you.

We stay close by to make sure her wrestling stays “fun”...and I have admit it is kind of awesome to see you two “playing” with eachother. So glad you have each other.

The cutest thing EVER: If she is jumping on the bed and one of us holds you and jumps you facing her, you laugh everytime. Then you both do bums and she wants us to drop you on top of her chest like you are getting her. We do this over and over until my arms are burning from keeping you in mid air for so long.

I am willing to bet there is NO sound better than a baby laugh. Anyone care to challenge that?

I want to shoot more videos of you, more still photos, more shots of your sister and you together. More shots of us together, more images of the whole family. Truth be told I wish there was a way to have a still frame of every second of everyday. It is so hard to edit what moments I want to photograph and what moments I just need to remember. Feels like torture.

I love being your mom so much I don’t want to forget what your face looks like when you wake up..or when you fall asleep, or when sister gets really loud or when I tickle you and your face turns into sunshine.

Both, you and your sister, have the best faces.

We are still holding on to the swing. You sleep most naps in it and start your night in it.

Sometimes you sleep short diddys during the day in our bed but swing is king. Kind of scared of what happens when you outgrow it..which is in our near future.

Love sleeping with you, I do. But the last month I have been more tired because you are up more. Every night from about 2:30-3:30am you usually have to poop (Sorry TMI) and it keeps you up. Usually you are happy enough, not crying but just can’t get comfortable. Poor dude. Poor Mom. But I know  it will change again by the time I blink.

We went on your first road trip this last week to Utah. You were a champ.

Traveling with little ones is a lot of work but so worth it to have you all with me. I always prefer you close enough that I can kiss.

You are wearing 6-9mos clothes and we just moved you up to size 3 diapers. After 4 nights in a row of you blowing out of diapers we were like “duh”!

If you wake up crying, which you do on occasion, you cough a lot while we are picking you up. Not sure that you really have to cough seems like a bit of dramatics and I eat it up.

You also LOVE touching and grabbing faces.

The other night I was feeding you to sleep and after your belly was full but you were still awake, I just laid you next to me and I sang to you while you cooed at me while looking in my eyes and touching my cheek. I was so in love.

You also like to talk while you eat sometimes too. You will stay latched on but babble about something and then go on eating. Just so you know I am always listening.

Sister has started asking “What does Ba-ga-ga mean?” When you make a sound that sounds similar. “What does that mean?”. I guess we are all listening.

We pretty much live on pins and needles for you and everything you give to us. We are like starving island survivors and you are our coconut water.

I could stare at you and Nova all day long watching your every moves and be content for a very long time. Saying I am intrigued is an understatement.

Can hardly believe you are almost halfway through your first year.

What can I do better? What can I give you more of? I am sure my shortcomings are more about me and less about you. I have a feeling you are pretty happy with me. You don’t have the expectations that I do of myself. You want to be loved. Check. Done. 100 and a million percent. You want to be fed and need some help sleeping. Done. I live for my kids to be full and well rested. I am grateful you start little with such simple needs so I can have time to develop into what you need me to be.

I am learning and you are happy letting me. And for that I am grateful.

You are so forgiving, so perfect in your forgiveness and your ability to move on. I would say perfect, actually. Can a baby be flawed? It’s amazing. You can’t make mistakes. It is so inspiring to watch and be surrounded by such innocence, love and pure acceptance.

Wow. I am so blessed to have you as mine. I promise to never take that for granted.

My buddy, banksy bear, noodle, sweet boy. 5 months is my favorite so far.


Forever yours,



4 Months

As I type this you are blissfully sleeping in your swing.

I fed you to sleep and once you were really out..watched you sleep on me. Not wanting to move you, not wanting to wake you...not wanting to ever move from that spot with you.

We shopped at Costco tonight and I wore you in the beco. You gazed at me the entire time with eyes that wonder at the magnificent creature I am. When you are 16yrs old and reading this, it’s true. You once had eyes for only me.

You giggle and coo constantly. Even amidst tears if I look at you the right way or speak to you sing songy you will give me a husky little giggle and a big slobbery, gummy grin.

I love that your eyes turn into slits when you smile.

When you smile every part of you reaches outward. Your eyes, mouth, you are trying to share your happiness with everyone. It works.

I watch you with so much admiration.

You are learning so much!

You are getting so good at grasping onto things with your hands. Toys and my hair are your number one favorite things to grab.

You also like to clutch my shirt while you feed. Kind of like you are saying, “ You’re not going anywhere lady”.

I’m not.


I made up a little song for you one evening while we were spending time together before your bedtime. I can’t remember the tune but the words were, “I love you so much. I just wanted you to know. I never will leave you. I’ll go wherever you go. I love you more than one. I love you more than two. You can count forever and it would still be too few.”

Cheesy. But I am. All ooey gooey over you.

You roll all over the place and I swear you are almost sitting up.

Today you were draped over me on your stomach and pulled yourself up to your knees.

Super baby.

You are freakishly strong for a 4 month old.

You balance on Dads hands like it ain’t no thing and when we walk with you while holding your arms you move your little feet like you are trying to walk. It’s crazy.

You are a really amazing sleeper.

You are creating your own schedule and I am starting to get the hang of it.

Usually you take a nap about an hour after you wake up and then a long afternoon nap the same time your sister naps (love you for that). Then a little dinner time snooze and bedtime happens around 7:30.

At nights you sleep your first stretch for about 5hrs strait and then we sleep/eat for the rest of the night.

I can’t begin to describe how much I love snuggling with you at nights.

I am finding that you don’t need to eat as much at nights but in my sleeping stupor if you wake up I try to latch you on but if you aren’t hungry you aren’t hungry. You want to just fall asleep without eating? Whose child are you?

You also sometimes prefer to lull yourself to sleep ON YOUR OWN. Nova needed a lot of loving care to fall asleep but I think with your heftier size you sleep a little more soundly. But the truth is I am sometimes sad when you don’t need to be rocked to sleep. I love helping my babies be comfortable. It’s my job.

I still wear you in the moby on occasion but you are loving the beco carrier right now.

We haven’t had a double stroller yet but on occasion we have taken rides with you strapped into the BOB and your sister rides on the front step. You are excited so you kick your little legs into sister’s back. She calls back to you “Be nice. Don’t kick me baby brother”. We have to explain to her that you are just excited to be riding with her. Love kicks we like to call them.

When you are a little fragile and sad..maybe you just woke up Nova likes to growl in your face. I try to lovingly explain that you might not be in the mood for growling but before I can put an end to it, your sad little face looks at me llike “mom is this really happening”? Yes, buddy it is.

Nova will sometimes point out, “look mom, I’m holding his hand because I love him. He’s my best friend”.

Today at lunch she said, “He has two names, Fairbanks and baby brother”.

You love watching your wild older sister run circles around all of us.

We busted out the jumper/play seat that you seem to like for 10mins at a time.


Poor baby. I don’t remember Nova teething this early.

You have good teething days and bad ones...but the one thing we can always count on is DROOL.

You are a drool monster. I bought little cotton bibs from Ikea when Nova was born but she never used them. You go through at least 2 a day.

Your hair is going light. Your dark newborn hair is at the bottom and blond little hairs are growing in.

I find myself calling you bubba a lot. Baby brother, noodle, doo doo and “my sweet baby”.

You still have lots of rolls and I hope they stay around for as long as possible.

This last month I have found myself thinking a lot about “good” babies. People always ask, “Is he a good baby”? I think what they mean is, “Is he an easy baby”....but it bothers me a little. ALL babies are good. They are good by nature. Even if a kid makes a mistake or a bad decision I believe they are still “good”. If one of my babies cries strait for a year, that wouldn’t make them bad. Just sad, or sick or uncomfortable.

You don’t cry, hardly ever. But just so people know I will always say my kids are good, because they are.

Fairbanks, you are my little love. I couldn’t be happier to call you mine.




Youngberg Family

One of my favorite families to photograph.

There is just something that happens when they are behind my lens.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate my clients opening up and trusting me so I can document how much joy they find in the relationships they have with each other. Each of these images is a little gift they have given me. I have thousands and thousands of these treasures stored away and they make me feel like the richest woman alive.

I get to immortalize love for a living.

I am thinking about doing a day of Spring mini sessions in this location next year. Good idea, right?

(if you are interested in having me photograph your family email me at




3 Months

Newborn to baby and I am not sure how I feel about it.

Being a mom to small kids and babies feels like time never ends and speeds by all at once.

Seems like you can see much farther distances and make eye contact from across the room.

I thought you looked like your sister when you were born but you really look so different to me now. She had big round alert eyes and you have these irresistible bear cub eyes that still look kind of sleepy.

Tired, hungry or not feeling well, you still smile ALL THE TIME. I just look at you and smile and you smile back.

Excited to take you to the doctor’s tomorrow to see how much you weigh.

You are the perfect cuddly size.

Already wearing 3-6mos size clothes. Makes me so sad when you grow out of your little little stuff.

You are the champion of all champions when it comes to sleeping! You fall asleep and I can just lay you down and you stay asleep. Or if you are tired and about to fall asleep I can put you in your swing and you peacefully slumber away. Such a dream.

You start the night sleeping about 5hrs strait and then only need a couple super short sips through the rest of the night while we snuggle next to each other.

Lately it seems like you purposely kick me awake when you want to eat. No cries, just swift kicks to my back.

It’s been a crazy work month for me (June always is). I had to spend 2 nights away from you in a matter of just 8 days. It was super hard for me to spend that much time away from you and your sister. Your dad is a rockstar and everything was fine but I always feel sad when you have to drink from a bottle, especially when you fight it at first.

I’m still trying to figure out how to balance it all. I want to give 100% to everyone and everything. Impossible... but I still wish I could. Those work days away are hard.

We took our first family trip to NYC. I walked around the city with you wrapped on me. I love that city and I love you. You met a lot of friends and your Aunt Jenelle and Uncle Conny for the first time. I love showing you off.

You roll over!!

So fun to see how your brain and body develop together and with each other.

I sat on the carpet and watched you roll back and forth for a couple minutes this last week and marveled at how every part of you just wants to flip from your front to your back. You are so focused and don’t give up. I know you are only 12+ weeks old but I love seeing parts of your personality already forming.

Getting to the 3 month mark with a newborn is pretty great. By this time feeding you is second nature, the timing of our day is kind of figured out and everyone is getting into the general swing of things.

Your dad has started working more so we get to spend more days alone with your sister. It’s pretty fun. I get a chance to prove I can mother both of you at the same time and we all get a chance to miss each other.

One day I took both of you to your sister’s my gym class and then we shopped at trader joe’s and then we made lunch and I put you both down for naps. Sounds like pretty normal stuff but with a 2yr old and a newborn nothing is normal. Everything is an adventure.

Starting to realize if I ever want to date your dad again you need to come with. I just don’t like leaving my babies under the age of 6mos. So you went on a date with us. We returned clothes and bought new bedroom furniture AND ate at Umami Burger. I loved being out with my two boys.

Seems like you are becoming more and more intrigued with your big sister. You watch her with wonder, like she is a super hero (she is).

Sometimes I direct a question towards both of you like, “should we all go outside and play?” and Nova will answer and say “Baby brother says yes!”. You two have this telepathy thing going on. She knows what you want.

Lately when you are upset, she will tell me you are crying and then proceed to try and comfort you by tucking you in with a blanket or singing right in your face at a 110% volume.

While we are on the topic of “volume” you talk so much now. We have little conversations where you tell me about your dreams or something funny you saw sister do. Your sounds are amazing.

You love to stand and sit and want to hold your head up all by yourself. I have very independent children.

You also have much more control of your hands now and can purposely bat at toys.

You purposely find my hand now while you eat and want to hold on tight to my fingers. I hold on back.

You went to Disneyland a bunch this month and we think your favorite ride is It’s a Small World. You grinned the entire time.

You are still taking naps in your Moby but I am starting to feel like you might be nearing the end of wanting to hang out in there. Tear. Sniff sniff.

Thank you for another great month.

Holding you makes me so happy.

Kissing and nuzzling your neck never gets old.

Watching you watch me and knowing you are mine is so comforting.

It is getting really hard to remember a time before you were here.

This Mama Bear loves you more and more and more everyday. You grow and change and learn...and so do I. So glad I am not doing this life thing alone.





2 Months

You started in month one but by 6 weeks we can’t keep the smile off your face.

Is it normal for an infant to smile this much? Be this happy? It is infectious.

Holding and kissing you and seeing those little lips turn upward makes me feel so satisfied.

The day before you turned 6 weeks old you took your first plane ride with me to Salt Lake City.

You slept the entire time. In your wrap.

Your dad and sis dropped us off, I wrapped you on me on the curb at LAX and then didn’t take you out of the wrap until we had touched down in SLC. Easiest airport, plane ride with a newborn ever.

I was kind of hoping to show you off to the other passengers (I am proud)..but nope. You slept.

Your sweet Grandma, Grandpa and aunts helped watch you while I had to shoot a wedding Saturday. You slept wrapped on Aunt Anna and Aunt Kate helped you take a bottle that night while I shot the reception. You survived!

Leaving you is not my favorite. Feels kind of wrong. Strike that, not “kind of” TOTALLY wrong. Babies are meant to be with their mamas. Fact.

Leaving you to shoot the ceremony was the first time I had left you with anyone but your dad. You were wrapped on Aunt Anna and I turned to walk away from them while fighting back tears. That’s how hard it was to leave you for the first time. That’s how much I worry for your comfort and well being. There is nothing I care more about that you and and your sister being well cared for.

You have grown out of most of your newborn stuff and are wearing 0-3months proudly.

I finally took you to see Dr. Lin before we left for Utah and you weighed in at 12lbs and totlaly healthy. Can’t believe I waited almost 6 weeks for you to see a doctor. Dr. Lin wasn’t concerned at all..he said since I am a 2nd time mom and I pro and I will know when you need to see a doctor. Not sure about that “pro” label but I defintly feel more in the know than I did the first time around. Just as much intuition the first time I have just have more expeiernce now as well.

You are such a great sleeper.

But (there is always a but) you prefer to sleep with me and on me. If this happens you sleep and you sleep soundly BUT if I try to pass you to Dad or set you down you definitly don’t sleep as long or as sound.

Makes doing anything else near to impossible (hence the reason these monthly posts are so belated).

Truthfully I love the way you immediately calm in my arms.

You look at me and feel better.

If that isn’t a self esteem boost I don’t know what is!

I have been shooting more but finding time to sit at my computer to blog or email is proving to be impossible unless you are asleep wrapped on me (like you are at this very moment while I type).

I have a feeling everyone will forgive me for being a bad blogger when I have you to love up. On my death bed I will not regret holding and being with you as much as I could. Pretty sure I will not wish that I blogged more.

That being said I am so proud of myself for journaling in this way. I feel proud that I am documenting your first year this way. I want to document small glimpses of what it was like to be newly with us and how much we loved you. I want you to know your life started this way.

Still have your ear fur. This is my way of keeping track of whether you are still a newborn.

You have so many different expressions. Your smiling face looks so different than your serious one or your hungry one.

You looked a lot like your sister when you were first born but now I really think you look so different.

Your eyes are different. I like looking at you and knowing I made a baby that no one else will ever look like.

Gosh, I love you so much.

I have a bad habit of driving short distances with you in my lap. We are in the back seat while your dad drives..but still. I know it’s naughty but the whole “I’m happiest in mom’s arms” kind of gets me. Sorry laws.

Your new thing is to wait until we change your diaper to poop. You like a clean diaper before you will do the dirty work.

You have started babbling. You like to look right at us and coo and gurgle. Music to my ears.

When you need to cry you go from 0-60. No crying and then huge heartfelt cries. Tears too. So dramatic and so hard to prepare for! It's kind of like you keep it all in and then let it out in an explosion. Wonder who that sounds like.....(ps. not mom)

Your sister has been calling you her “friend” lately. Warms my heart.

This month she is experimenting with her boundaries when it comes to you.

She hugs you and kisses you and tells you she loves you non stop but then every once in a while she will back up and look at your dad and I and ask the question, “ kick baby bruda?”. I try to ignore her and say things like, “ we only hug and kiss and love him. Maybe you can rub his belly or tickle his feet...” This seems to work.

The thing is, she never wants to leave you alone. None of us do.

You are the first person she wants to say good morning to and the first person she cares about seeing if she has been gone.

I am so happy you have eachother.

I am so happy you have someone to talk about your crazy old parents with when you get older.

These past two months have had their ups and downs but my constant is my dedication and focus on my kids and husband.

Somedays I have to remind myself more than others that my #1 job is just being a wife and mother. All the other roles pale in comparison.

Banksy Bear!! You are my little love. I love you this age and know how much I am going to love all of you to come.


Lets cuddle,



1 Month

I am writing this a bit after you turned a month old...closer to 6 weeks. In all fairness the reason I was waiting was because of the photos! I shot your one month images using film and am still waiting on the lab for those pictures. I do want to shoot most of your monthly images using film, so I will have to figure out this whole waiting issue. Lesson learned I need to write out my words on the day even if they photos aren’t ready yet. Hey, you choose a photographer mom, so get use to this sort of garbage.

Your first month was complete bliss.

You are complete bliss.

I read somewhere that babies are in a continual state of bliss and happiness. Truth.

Since you have a sister on the go you have been out and about quite a bit.

You’ve been shopping, Disneyland (twice), the beach, a Yo Gabba Gabba party...but most of the time you are with me.

We hang out together a lot.

I sometimes think “wow my babies like to be held a lot...” and then I remember babies like to be held a lot. All of them. And I just happen to do it.

Of course you are more comfortable sleeping on me. Of course you are more comfortable being held by me and rocked by me rather than a swing or a bouncer.

My confession is that every once in a blue moon I need a break. Like, to go to the bathroom, or to wrestle your sister....but besides that we are glue.

You eat like a champion.

You have had a tiny bit of acid reflux and it seems to bother you more right before bedtime. Poor lil monkey. We take lots of breaks while we feed for burping. I do think part of the problem is the Niagara Falls-esque milk supply I have plummeting into your tiny throat. I don’t think feeding you upside down would make a difference.

I took you in to see your midwife to check out your breastmilk jaundice and she weighed you. I think you were almost a month old and had already gained a pound and a half. Atta boy.

All of your dark hair is still here including the fur on your ears. Love to notice the features that still make you a newborn. Your cry, your nuzzles.

I love the trust and complete comfort you have with me. When we are feeding you will have your eyes close and just bob around with your mouth wide open knowing I will help you get what you want. Once you are latched on you give a little you are the prince being handfeed grapes. Guess what? You are! You expect certain things and you should.

I also like the little seal we create with our sweat. If you are feeding or sleeping my my arm, your cheek becomes stuck to my arm and I have to peel us apart. Gross or awesome?

Since you have been born I don’t think I haven’t taken a single nap. You sleep so well at nights. I know part of that has to do with us co-sleeping. We don’t have to get out of bed to eat or change our diapers. On average we wake up 2-3 times to burp or latch back on and that’s it. We both drift back to sleep.

Mostly we sleep with me on my back and you laying on my chest or cradled in my arms. Your head is usually close enough for me to kiss.

Like most new babies you are working through digestion and Dad loves to help you work out gas. When I look over he is constantly rolling you around. He is a man on a mission and I think you appreciate it.

You do prefer me (I am the walking bottle) but you and dad have a special mid-afternoon nap thing that is kind of boys only. You are doing it right now as I type next to me in bed. You both zonk out on the bed, breathing deep. Love my boys.

Your sister is pretty nutz about you. She can’t kiss, hold or hug you enough. She does this gritty teeth thing when she wants you so bad.

I love the way she says your name “fuhbanks”...and she almost always says it in a whisper.

We mostly call you baby brother, Fairbanks, Banksy, Banksy Bear, noodle, sweet boy.

I mostly just think you’re perfect.

You love when I run my lips over yours. It puts you in a trance. Dad watches in wonder that I have such control over you (not sure why he is surprised...). You love my attention and affection and I love giving it.

I am pretty sure you have been smiling since week one. Mornings are your smiliest times.

When you were first here I saw a lot of your sister in you but as you grow bigger more and more you are looking like yourself. Still one of my babies with those cheeks and kissable lips...but your face and your eyes are you....and no one else.

We are starting to get into the swing of things as a family of four. Your dad and I have to take turns around bedtime tag teaming our two munchins.

Sometimes we are all doing the same thing at the same time like sitting around the kitchen table, laying on our bed, snuggling on the couch. Those moments are emotionally least for me.

I have a family of four. I have a husband and a daughter and son.

This fact makes me feel so full and so overwhelmed. Is there enough of me to go around? There has to be...and I will work hard to make sure there is.

I know there is still time to find balance but for now my main goal is to hold you, feed you, love you and be present for my whole family.

Dishes will get done. Parties will be had. Dates for dad and I will happen again. I will lose the extra weight. There will be plenty of time to outfit myself and get gussied up......

But for now, you are my focus. Welcoming you into our family is all that matters.

I will blink and your newborness will be gone, so I take as many small glances as I can at you throughout the day and let myself feel you so new in my arms.

Being a parent is tough cookies at times but I refuse to waste my time wishing for something else. Wishing for what at times I think will be easier. Trust me, nothing is easier than loving your kids. Nothing is easier than holding you. Nothing is easier than wanting so much for you.

I promise to keep working hard at living NOW.

My friend Natalie Norton shared something on her instagram feed that I haven’t be able to stop thinking about. Hope she doesn’t mind me re-sharing,

“ One of the reasons I resonate so completely with A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is because of how deeply I believe this to be true.” You become like the people you interact with. And if your friends are living boring stories, you probably will too.” I look at my children, and I think, “Like it or not, they’re becoming like me. Like it or not, they are modeling so much of their own future stories after the one I’m choosing to live every single day.” I pray for the courage to teach them in the only way I know how, by inviting them in- by inviting them into a story they’re proud to be a part of. And I hope that together, we can create a life story so much more meaningful than anything any of us could have ever created on our own.”

Loved what she shared so much.

I want to help create a life story for my family that we are proud to have lived.

I want to always invite you into my life, sweet Fairbanks.

I want to keep working hard at seeing and valuing those little miracle looking into my eyes while you eat, making sure I’ve got you. The way your sisters face looks as she holds you and laughs as she pretends you are tickling her. The way your dad bounces you over his shoulder in his underwear. The way it feels to be touching three people I love SO much all at the same time. I am storing those moments and adding them to our story.

Fairbanks you belong in our story. Like your lullaby sings, “..with you here, everything is right.”

Love, Mom

ps. stay little



I really can't believe how many babies were born in the last couple of months. It must be my age..but seriously I at least six friends have had babies within a month of Fairbanks being born.

I shot these sweet little photos for baby Weston when he was just over a week old. It was a few weeks before my little dude arrived. It was kind of exciting shooting the same family dynamic I was about to experience for myself.

Thank you Tracey for having me shoot photos after both of your babies were born. Being around newborns never gets old.

Fairbanks Mitchell Porter


You're here.


One week old today.

I know I have a newborn..because I am walking around the house holding one but honestly I am still in shock. So you're here. Did that happen in a flash for anybody else?

Maybe it was you being 4 days early. Or the fact that this labor was WAY shorter than your sisters. Or maybe because you came right in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday...when people are out riding bikes and having picnics...and there I was holding my lucky charm.

I am excited to share your birth story but it will have to wait a little bit longer as I process.

Here are some notable facts about your birthday:

You were born on March 30th, 2013, in the water at home at 3:23pm on a Saturday with light streaming through the family room windows. You weighed just under 10lbs (9lbs 15 ounces) I am claiming 10lbs. Besides the fact that you were were healthy and perfect, the 2nd most extraordinary occurrence was you being born in the caul! Meaning part of the water sac still covering your head and face as you came out. This is supposedly extremely rare and is said it brings good luck and well as being an indication of you being a natural healer. I just think it's pretty cool. You are welcome for the super strong water sac.

So much more to say...but will have to wait a bit longer.

My sweet sweet Fairbanks. It feels so normal to have you here with us. From the first moment I held you and fed you it seemed like we had been doing it for ages.

Your sister Nova tells you at least 30 times a day that she loves you. Not joking. If you don't grow up to have the worlds best self esteem than I will be shocked. You are showered with love from all of us.

Nova begs to hold you and one of the very first times she did she broke out in song..."edelweiss, edelweiss....clean and bright, clean and bright". My heart melted into a million pieces.

She pats your back and tells you it's OK and kisses you every chance she gets. She asks for you when she wakes up and if she ever has been away from you. She wants you to always come with her outside, or on errands or to her bedroom. She is bonkers for you.

Sometimes when she is holding you, you swat at her face and she laughs and says "funny baby bruda!". She is your biggest fan.

I even think she sees you and I as the same person now. Loving one of us is loving both of us...and that makes sense. We are pretty much one.

I have probably held you 99% of your life so far. And that seems right.

Even when I have to set you down or let someone else hold you...I wish I could keep you. You have taken all of your sleeps in my arms except for a few you have had with Dad.

Since you weighed more at birth I think you sleep more soundly because of it. We had a 5hr stretch your first night and since then all we do is wake and feed and then you fall back asleep on me for anywhere from 2-4hrs. Sure my sleep is interrupted but in any given night I get at least 6hrs of on and off sleep. That is a win in my book.

Since your labor and birth were quicker than Nova's the healing as been much milder..and I have felt really good. No extreme exhaustion or pain or physically weird stuff. Maybe it also has something to do with my body having done it before. I am grateful.

Of course when you give birth you have some gnarly hormone drops in the days following the birth, tears are shed and I wonder if I am being the best mom possible for you. I know it is all part of the normal order of things...and you don't expect me to be a robot.

Since you are little but not SO little...I want to dress you in all your littlest clothes before you grow right out of them. Really there is no reason for a newborn to be dressed and I want as much skin to skin with you as possible but those tiny onesies call to me.

You rarely open your eyes. Like practically never. It's so cute. Nova was super wide eyed from the moment she was born...but you are the opposite. Sleepy and content to wait a bit longer to see what is beyond you and I. I don't mind being your eyes as long as you like.

Grandma and Grandpa Thurston have been here helping to take care of us and it has been so nice.

I loved the way you felt moving inside of me pregnant and it always takes me a while to believe that I am not pregnant anymore...I always am left feeling a little hollow and confused....but when I hold you against me every once in a while I recognize your movements. Your strong kicks and sensitive knee jerk movements. It is super comforting.

You are a pro eater! My milk came in day 2 and we haven't slowed down. It is an adjustment (mainly for my body..ouch) but you are doing such a great job! You poop and pee like you a professional. I think on day 3 we changed 7 diapers. I had no idea a newborn could poop this much. I am a proud mama bear.

Speaking of bears...I like to call you my lil bear....but really I call you Fairbanks most of the time. Banksy is another nickname and I am sure more will come. For now I am OK with you just being my "baby".

I already find myself regretting the days that pass not wanting you to grow up and knowing from experience that I can't stop it. It's like being on a train ride where every view out the window is the most beautiful thing you have ever laid eyes on and then in a flash it is gone but replaced with an equally beautiful sight.

It's heartbreaking loving this much. My heart breaks over and over again for you and your sister.

I was reminded of these words by Kahlil Gibran these last few weeks:

"To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully."

To me this is what being a parent is...or at least being a mother. I know, and still walk fiercely into it. It takes being brave in a way I never knew I would have to be.

So much more is in store for us as you help me become a mother and I help you become a man.

My sweet baby boy. I am so blessed to call you mine.

Love, Mom

Some Favorites from 2012

Here are a few of my favorite portraits from this last year...shots that made me linger a little longer..

Not going to lie, 2012 has been a transitional year. It has been full of really really great moments and some challenging ones. I guess that is bound to happen when it's a year you move.

This year some of my photographic goals include shooting WAY MORE personal work. I really slacked in this area in 2012. I am going to put down my phone and pick up my film cameras and shoot my own life. I think it's deserving.

I also am excited to announce some changes to my pricing which will include some new Southern California only rates for my wedding clients. I will still be available for travel (and y'all know I LOVE to travel) but clients having me shoot close to home are worthy of some perks. So if you have inquired about having me shoot your wedding in 2013 and want to take a look at some of my new options, feel free to email me (

I really really want to thank all of my amazing and loyal clients AND friends and family for supporting me as a photographer and mother. It is a constant evolution of adjusting and changing to meet the needs of my family and my desires as a creative. I am going to be starting some new blog posts dedicated to being a working mother. I have so many thoughts running through my mind and sharing I know would help me and hopefully some of you dealing with similar life challenges.

I just feel blessed. Really really blessed.

Happy New Year everyone!



Brady Family- Santa Monica, CA

It's full on baby fever round these parts.

My sister gave birth to her son a couple days ago and I am waiting on another birth story I will need to rush to the hospital for any minute. Based on these situations I thought it appropriate to share with you these sweet photographs I made of the brand new Brady family.

This little guy was young when I shot these...10 days? Correct me if I'm wrong. What I am not wrong about is how yummy and delicious he was.

Like I said on instagram (follow me at _rachelthurston), the best days are the days babies are born.

The Bender Family

You have seen them on my blog before and you will probably see them photogenic friends.

When they asked if I would fly up to Sacramento and spend the day photographing their family (complete with new baby girl) I said YES.

Since I was there the whole day I had time to do something I hardly every get to do, hold the newborn. I got to hold her on numerous occasions and as long as I liked. It was heaven.

Have you all been to Sacramento? It was my first time and I was really blown away with how pretty it was. So much green and open space and trees and OAK TREES and wild turkeys and rolling hills. The Benders have redwoods in their backyard. Not bad, not bad at all.

They just bought a home and are renovating but hopefully I will have occasion to photograph more details of their space in the future. Julia is a fantastic decorator. She always finds the best treasures. I guess when you are part photographer/graphic designer/treasure are bound to have a cool house.

Loved the day. Thank you for having me. I miss those kiddos already.

Kris + Brian's Family

One of my very favorite families.

Knew them when there were only two and now there are four!

Kris is my favorite type of person...thoughtful, loyal, honest. We are like two teenagers on the phone..never enough time for all the things we have to say. I feel grateful and fortunate to call her my friend.

Good job on making adorable kids you two. Geesh. I especially like the shot of brother drinking sisters bottle after trying to feed it to her. If she's not going to drink it, I will! xxoo

Goodman-Bloom Family- Los Angeles, CA

Being invited into someones home to document what "family" means to them, is no small task. It is serious business and I treat it as such.

Watching the light and the interactions and the expressions like a hawk, I circle around my subjects and as those small details come into view, the bigger picture becomes crystal clear...and I shoot.

These sweet little bundles were a joy to spend time with. So happy, so loved. Watched over by dads and grandparents and friends that live for their safety and well being. Spending an afternoon with families like this one make me feel better about living life.

Bigs hugs to all four of you. Thank you so much for allowing me to jump on your bed and kiss your sweet babes.

Penelope + Her Family

Does anybody spy a 2yr old?.....

This post really is about sweet lil Penny joining this family...but her older brother, with all his squirmming and unpredicitabilty sure did make it hard to look the other way. I shot Houston's newborn photos 2 short years ago and I love how different his shoot was from this one. A sibling changes everything...and these photos are proof.

It isn't just about one anymore, it becomes about everyone. All of the inter-relationships. All of the differences. All of the similarities.

What I can tell you is this little girl is loved. A lot. She is so blessed to have joined these three in their quest to help eachother live their fullest lives possible. Now they all have each other and what is better than having someone?!!! Or multiple "someones"? Nothing. I am here to tell you from expierence...NOTHING.

Grab your "someones" tight and wish Miss P a delightful journey on planet Earth.


Have you ever seen two parent look more proud? Pride is something you can't help having when you have made such perfection.

These two images are from a 5min photoshoot, location: parking lot, Byron Bay Australia. You don't need much time! Just sunlight and some baby chub. Recognize this mum and dad? Shot their wedding in Brisbane last year (, two dear friends.

I have LOADS of images to share with you from all of our adventures these last few months. Now..if only I could find the time to blog.....