In the past few weeks, Sterling and I have once again been reminded that our privilege has held us blind to a system that is oppressive, prejudice, and racist. We keep coming back to each other asking ourselves what can we do. As we attempt to educate ourselves and address our ignorance, we talk a lot about ways that we can both be more of an ally. As we look deeply into our own responsibility as white people, we also have been evaluating our responsibility as future parents who are bringing another person of privilege into this world.
As we bring this new life into the world we know we have a strong responsibility.
A responsibility to protect this life and keep it safe and healthy but just as important, to teach our child to be a truly compassionate person. Someone who listens to people’s stories and who fights to stand up with others and what’s right. We want to raise this child to recognize injustice and not sit back as a silent bystander. Someone who stands up against bullies, whether that be an individual picking on someone in the hallway or a system designed to oppress. We as future parents know that we have to teach ourselves how to do this in our own hearts and then work every day to teach our children. Raising Baby Travis to be a person that others can lean on, trust, and talk to means being parents that demonstrate this every day as an example. By sharing this part of our baby’s journey with you, we hope to invite you in to help us and hold us accountable on this goal. They say it takes a village to raise children and we hope you’ll be a part of ours.
Just a few months ago the Coiner family welcomed this sweet sweet baby girl into their lives. Katie heard of me through a good friend of hers that I happened to work with at school and I was so excited to take on this job for her newborn photos. I love newborn sessions and there is something so magical about photographing first-time parents. I love the sweetness, the way they breathe in that newborn smell and soak up this moment, frozen in time.
Katie and Josh met in college at UVA which gave us something instant in common. Now Sterling and I didn’t go to UVA but Sterling is from Charlottesville and is a big UVA fan. It’s an exciting year to be a UVA fan with the two big National Championships and their football team is actually doing pretty well! Katie and Josh moved up to Baltimore and into this great townhouse in Canton, complete with an exposed brick wall and stacked decks – a classic. Their place is right near a large park and I loved hearing how they go on walks through the park together. The best topic of conversation though was definitely getting to hear all about Katie’s job! She works at the Maryland Zoo!! She works with the animals directly handling care, feedings and more! HOW COOL!? Needless to say I asked a lot of questions – I couldn’t contain my curiosity!
Katie and Josh’s sweet addition is already so much bigger than she was in these pictures. She was a dream to photograph, barely stirring as she slept the entire time with just a small short feeding break. I love the soft pink images that feel so dainty but I especially love the images that include the hand-crocheted blanket her Grandmother made.
I am so excited to be writing this post and announcing that for the first time EVER I’m going to be hosting holiday mini sessions in BOTH Richmond Virginia and in Baltimore Maryland!
As I was going through the images from last year’s minis it hit me how much I LOVE them! I’m scrolling through all these sessions with people that I LOVE so dearly and are such good friends I come across my friend Sarah’s mini from last year. Her daughter had just turned 1 just a few months before and was PRECIOUS! As I’m looking through these pictures I’m struck by how much smaller and younger she looks from just one year ago! This is my FAVORITE part about family photography. The chance to be a part of a family’s journey and capture their kids growing up as we try to freeze time – even for just a little bit. It’s amazing to see how much each kid changes from year to year! I genuinely look forward each year to minis and getting to reconnect with families and see how much they’ve grown.
This year I’ll be hosting minis in Richmond and in Baltimore and I’m so excited for the locations that have been picked! I’ll be hosting minis in Richmond on November 9th and 10th and in Baltimore on November 16th and 17th.
So what do Christmas Minis entail? It’s 30 minutes with a guaranteed 15 images. It’s perfect for busy families who really want fresh new images but don’t always have the time for a full-on session. It is also great for those who are looking for a few images for a holiday card! To snag your spot please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the day you’re hoping to do a mini for and I will get back to you with more details to move forward. 🙂
So excited to hopefully see you in November!! In the meantime check out some of my favorites from last year. Also if you’re in the Baltimore crowd, keep scrolling for a sneak peek for our Baltimore location. 🙂
On Wednesday we did something really special. We took a day off work and met up with Sterling’s sister, brother in law, and our niece and nephew to go to the National Aquarium! Now as a Baltimore native, I love the aquarium but honestly haven’t been in years, since Sterling and I first started dating. What made it the best trip out of all of them was getting to see it for the first time through children’s eyes.Read More »
Woo lawzy it has been a hot second since I’ve posted here. 2018 was a serious whirlwind and life is finally starting to slow down (thank goodness!). During December I let myself relax over the holidays so I could totally process the year and prepare for 2019 in mind and spirit. I’ll tell you honestly, as great as it was to step back for a bit there was a big part of me that felt guilty like I was falling behind. Even though part of me was distracted by this feeling of neglecting things I wanted to get done, 90% of me was able to have really intentional reflection about 2018. Good LORD was this needed and here’s why. Read More »
As most of you reading this though, my main profession is as a teacher! More specifically I am an Instructional Technology Coach which basically means that I work with teachers to help them plan innovative lessons and project experiences for their students! As most teachers will tell you, there is something really special about the back to school season. I LOVE it! I love the red apple decorations with the big yellow school buses! I love the pencils and the funky erasers; I love the bulletin board borders, stamps for homework and don’t even get me started on the stickers. I have thousands of stickers that I’ve been collecting for years with no hope of using all of them. And even though I don’t have my own personal students any more, I am a sucker for those flashy pencils to give away as behavior rewards. 🙂
So this got me thinking, I love the beginning of the school year and I wanted to do something FUN to celebrate! I also haven’t hosted anything in Baltimore yet and am ready to hit the offer something for families in this area! And so, for the first time ever I’m going to host BACK TO SCHOOL MINIS! PLUS if you are a teacher with a current teacher ID, I’m going to offer you a discount (because we all know how much us teachers shell out of our own money in the first weeks of school…. yikes!)
So many families take those cute first day of school images with their kiddos all ready to go and then may not get another good looking picture until school pictures, and that’s if those go well. If they are anything like my school photos… let’s just say they aren’t always flattering. So then I thought, maybe people would be interested in actually getting nice images of their kiddos at the back to school time without making their kiddos sit through a long photo session when they are in the midst of getting settled back into their routine.
I am SO EXCITED for this! I’m especially excited because this will be my first portrait event in Baltimore and I can’t wait to see who signs up! Each mini will be 20 minutes for families in (or will willing to travel to) Baltimore. Location is TBD and the minis will be hosted on Saturday, September 22nd with the rain day on that Sunday. If you are at all interested contact me here and make sure to say BACK TO SCHOOL MINIS in the notes section. I’ve got limited spots and time slots are first come, first serve so if you are interested let me know as soon as possible!
Well it’s been about a week (almost) since moving up to Baltimore and there have been our fair share of ups and downs. So far it’s been going pretty well and we’re enjoying our new adventure. While we’ve had a few things go wrong the one thing that has been constant is our ability to work as a team. I know it sounds cheesy but having Sterling as my partner in crime makes everything 10x easier. He’s the first to crack a joke to cut the tension when something goes wrong and the one to do the heavy lifting, quite literally!
So a little recap of the week so far! We had a few “son of a gun” moments this week one of which was having our all our tools and two storage containers stolen while we were moving in! We pulled them out of the uhaul first while we moved the other things and in the process of moving the truck to a different parking spot, the tools were swiped. Luckily the tools were mostly all cheap tools we had gotten from Walmart throughout the years and Sterling’s dad has offered to give us some of his doubles! We also found water damage and mold on some of our stuff that was in storage while packing the uhaul. The water damage and mold got to Sterling’s textbooks and my Cricut 🙁 and also some of our ornaments. Thankfully all our sentimental ornaments and favorites were safe and the textbooks with the most damage were ones that Sterling doesn’t need as often or can access online. It was definitely frustrating and caused a handful of curse words if we’re being honest but, we keep reminding ourselves that it’s just stuff. Things, replaceable things. We have been so blessed that we made it up here safely and besides these minor hiccups, everything has been going smoothly. Besides the moving hiccups Winnie would be upset if I didn’t mention that she got a pretty bad hot spot on her tail and lost the fur on half of it. She is currently in a cone and milking it for all it’s worth – including sleeping on our pillows on top of our heads at night.
Now for all the good moments from this past week! The best part of our move so far is our new place! It is very charming and has plenty of room for us and all our things. We’ve got two bedrooms, a finished attic space where Sterling has set up an office and a MEGADESK (said like Dwight), a finished basement, garage and HUGE kitchen (which I LOVE). The best part of unpacking so far has been unpacking all of our wedding gifts that we didn’t have room for before. All of our new dishware, glasses, kitchen appliances and pots and pans have not only been unpacked but there is actually SPACE for them!! AND room to spare!!! It feels amazing to have enough space that we won’t have to live in clutter! We came up early before moving and painted the first floor and master bedroom and it has made such a difference! The new color brightened the entire house up and makes it look more neutral and clean.
We also got to go to an Orioles game the second day we were here! My mom got tickets for us to go and celebrate my Dad’s birthday as a family (minus my sister who was at a wedding). Being able to spend time with my family has also been nice. My brother stopped in at our place to grab some things and it was so nice to get to chat with him for a little without having to drive three hours to do so!
The aspect of the move that we are really enjoying is our new neighborhood. It is loaded with charm, big overarching trees, children everywhere, and sidewalks to take the dogs on walks. The neighborhood is very family friendly with kids playing basketball in the alley, walking home from sleepovers, riding bikes and even setting up slip and slides in their front lawns. Needless to say I am VERY excited for Halloween and all our trick or treaters! Everyone in our neighborhood has been ultra friendly too! There is an older man who comes by and walks two dogs everyday. Each day he makes a stop and talks to our neighbor Dotty about the weather while the blind dachshund wanders a bit on his leash. It’s quite the American scene 🙂 Sterling is loving our fenced in yard out back as he can make some coffee in the morning, let the dogs out and then scroll through emails before getting ready. 🙂
We’re definitely missing our friends and family in Virginia and are hoping to get everything unpacked and settled ASAP so they can all start visiting. 🙂
Disclaimer: These are all iPhone images 🙂
The moving process was pretty painful if we’re being honest. We got started at 7:30am and didn’t leave Richmond until 11pm with most of our stuff packed. Unfortunately it didn’t all fit in the truck so we are heading back this weekend to get the rest. We packed all day on Thursday and unpacked the truck all day on Friday.
Terrible picture on the left BUT those are my new dishes that I registered for!! Look at those cabinets in the back!! They are big enough for ALL my kitchen gear!
SHE. IS. PITIFUL.
Now we’re off to get the rest of our stuff this weekend and then I’m heading to the beach for the week!
Yup, it’s happening. Soon too. I’ve struggled with how to write this post because I have so many mixed emotions about the whole thing. I’m sad. Deeply sad but also proud and excited for this next chapter in our lives.