Harper, Summer 2017

I wanted to break away from my usual blog posts and write something a little more three girls. I am constantly photographing them playing, and sometimes I wish I could stop being artsy and enjoy the moment. But I can't help it! I think, oh that would make for a great photo! Or, the lighting right now is perfect! My eldest was recently dancing in our backyard in her underwear, and I fear that if I don't photograph it, I'll one day forget about these carefree days and the magic of childhod. While I will spare her the embarrasment of putting those photos of her online, I will post some of my favorites from the summer this far.

You may notice a lot more black and white photos than color. This is because I simply adore black and white images. They speak to me so much more, and make me FEEL so much more. There is something so raw, unfiltered, timeless and real about black and white. It seems rare to find people other than photographers who share these opinions. But when I do, well, I've found a new soulmate! Ok, back to my children.

Harper is my first born. I was so ready, so excited, so....IMPATIENT. I wanted to have children ASAP. It was my goal and dream to be a mother. She was born the first week of January, and very shortly after her birth I started to recognize symptoms of postpartum depression. Depression and anxiety are things I have dealt with for many years, so I was aware that I could fall victim to these issues postpartum. I wanted to be a mom so badly, then when she was born I felt so ill equipped, isolated, overwhelmed, and scared. I was exhausted but I couldn't sleep. The pressure to breastfeed pushed me deeper into this dark hole. I didn't want to tell anyone for fear that my baby would be taken away, or that I would be deemed an unfit mother. It wasn't that I didn't love her, because I did, fiercly. I just didn't know how to handle those negative thoughts and waves of panic and sadness that rushed over me. I had taken anti-depressants pre-pregnancy, and I took it upon myself to start them again. Thank goodness I did, because I started to feel relief and normalcy shortly after. Nothing can prepare you for having a child, you are just thrown into it full force. People will tell you about functioning on little sleep, about endless diaper changes, about pumping, about hardly getting time to sit down and eat a meal. Despite being told all that, the reality of it still hits you like a wave. Eventually you adjust and it becomes part of life, but going from selfishness to selflessness is a difficult transition. I see the world so differently now that I have children. My interactions with people, with nature, with myself are all so vastly different, but in a good way. I fully recovered from PPD, but the experience was very grounding. And guess what? We had two more children...TWINS!

Before I get to my youngest babies, I would like to say more about Harper and what a positive influence she has been on my life, and what a kind soul she is. Even as a baby, Harper was very cautious. She had to assess a situation or person before deciding whether or not she wanted to be there. If there was too much stimulation or unfamiliarity, she would let you know. I started to wonder if there was something wrong because of how serious she was. But alas, I learned that it is just part of her personality. She takes a lot of time to warm up, even in school where she goes twice a week, and with friends that she plays with on a regular basis. Once she is comfortable, she'll let loose and have a great time. But, I always have to allow that extra time for her to adjust. Harper teeters beween being independent and wanting to be by my side every moment of the day. She is very much a mommy's girl, and goes through phases where only I can do things for her. While this gets exhausting, I know one day she may not want anything to do with me. In my opinion, Harper is an introvert. She enjoys going on errands or to the park, but she's also happy to stay home and play or watch a movie. I see a lot of myself in her, which could be why we connect like we do. I will often tell people that I feel sorry for her because we brought two newborns home when she was not yet two. It was a huge and difficult adjustment. When there isn't man on man coverage anymore, someone is going to get less attention. Because she wasn't a crying infant, oftentimes that meant she had to play alone, deal with interrupted story times, and not leave the house too often. Now she is 3 and a half and won't ever remember what it's like to not have siblings. I hope they grow closer and closer together, because sisterhood is so sacred. I love you so much, Harps. You've made me a better person. Thank you.

Next up, Isabel and Grace!