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mama bird sessions

I think I made my case last year (read it here), but I will say it again. 
 

You deserve photos with your kids.

 

Last year I was embarrassed to admit that the only photos I had of Arlo and Myself were selfies. I've changed my tune a bit. Of course ANY photo of you with your child is special. Even if it is a grainy iPhone selfie. Let me be cheesy and cliche for a moment and say that you'll never regret the photos you have, only the ones you don't.  With that being said, it is nice to treat yo'self once in awhile. You deserve photos with your kids, of course..(i know, duh Jordan). But you also deserve nice photos with your kids, not just those cellphone snaps that you struggled to take yourself and in the moment made you wish you had one of those wacky selfie sticks. ( NO? just me?)

Let's book a session. Put on something that makes you feel amazing, whether that means your nicest dress, or your favorite worn jeans with a rip in the knee. Grab your kiddos and let's take some photos that you can look back on in 20 to 30 years. We'll stomp through the muddy forest or run through an open field. We'll bribe your kids with candy if we have to (ha- sometimes you just have to), but we'll get the real, organic moments. The messiness, the joy, the chaos, the LOVE. All of that awesome Motherhood stuff.

The only requirement for these sessions is to be okay with imperfection. Less posed photos, more real moments. No perfect smiles, just you and your babies being awesome.

 

DETAILS:
30 minute session

location of your choosing, (free travel up to 45 minutes from my home)

edited digital images with full printing rights  

limited slots available. booking now through May 31st 

$175

 ($275 value)

email to book: Jordanbalash@gmail.com or fill out the contact form at the top of this page.

 

See a few Mama Bird sessions from last year by clicking on the 'mama bird' tag at the bottom of this post. 

 

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Dear Arlo | two years

Dear Arlo,

Truth be told, I've been putting off typing this out for a few reasons. It feels a little weird writing this to you now. Now that you are saying things and understanding what Daddy and I say to you. But I want to remember how you were at this age, because I know that we will forget all of the little details, the ones that really make watching you grow up so fun. The other reason for my procrastination is that I simply can't come to terms with the fact that you are TWO. If you have children someday, you will understand when I say that time doesn't play by the rules when you're a parent. Days turn into weeks faster, weeks into months and suddenly your "baby" is 30 and you can't remember how the hell that happened (at least I'm assuming).

But enough of my blubbering and blabbering. This is about YOU! You are fiercely independent and stubborn.. at first I hoped it was normal toddler 'tude, but we are way passed that now.  You do what you want, when you want and no one will tell you different. Though you test our patience and sanity daily, every part of me hopes that you continue to exert your power and stand up for what you want and believe in. I have a good feeling that nothing will ever stop you.

 You're trying out lots of words now, and you've recently started adding an "SH" sound in replace of your S's. For example, YES is now YESHH. Your Dad and I think it's hilarious and adorable and a little bit odd, but we'll roll with it. You really like to wear shoes/hats/jackets/whatever you can find lying around the house. On any given day you can be found in just a diaper and whatever pair of shoes you forced me to put on you... usually a pair that is two sizes too small. You're a picky eater, you love music and dancing, you entertain us with a hearty fake chuckle whenever you feel it's appropriate. You get bribed with M&M's way too frequently. You love playing outside, painting and drawing (usually on carpet or furniture). When you get mad, you tense up your whole body, clench your teeth and shake. It's hard not to laugh at you every time you do it. Your Papa is currently your favorite person ever.

When I get right down to it kiddo, I'm constantly teetering between two fears. The first being that we are going to royally screw you up. I can't help but look towards the future and wonder who you'll grow to be. If you'll be a well rounded human being who forgives her parents for their flaws and loves them unconditionally no matter how many M&M's they bribed you with as a child. ( God I hope so.) The second fear is that I'll forget. I'll forget to completely immerse myself in each day with you. That I'll forget to slow down and enjoy and remember and relish in this time. Because as they say, you don't get it back. So again, If 16 or 21 or 35 year old Arlo is reading this some day, these are my letters to you. So I can remind myself each year that time flies and to pay attention, and for you. So you know what an honor it has been to be your Mama, from the moment they placed you in my arms. 

Happy Birthday Arlo Eloise Balash. 
Love, 
Mom

(Dear Arlo | one year )

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mama bird

 

I realized about 6 months ago that all of our personal photos have two people in them. My husband and my daughter. Sure, we have some family photos, too, but really the only photos of Arlo and me are (oh god, I don't even want to say it..) selfies. That's just not okay, you guys. Am I alone in this? 

It's your time, mama. You deserve honest, intimate photographs of you and your babe. Let's walk through a forest or hang out in your living room. Let's document you and your kiddos just being you, just doing your thang. 

Organic. Authentic. Mama Bird Sessions.

DETAILS:
30-40 minute lifestyle session

location of your choosing (though I have some suggestions, too)  

edited digital images with full printing rights  

sessions have been designed with younger children and their mom's in mind (and/or pregnant mamas, too!) But all moms deserve a session if they desire one, so I'm not going to put an age limit on it because that would be weird. I will let you use your judgment. 

5 slots open, booking throughout the month of May.  

$175  

 ($275 value)

( I'll even throw in a flower crown if you're a flower crown kind of gal.. we all know I am!) 

 

 

Arlo is super stoked about this photoshoot, you guys.. clearly.

Arlo is super stoked about this photoshoot, you guys.. clearly.

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Motherhood.
 It can be isolating at times.

Most days, I'm just sitting over here on this island, wondering how many mamas feel the way I do. My feelings regarding motherhood go pretty deep (we'll save the deep stuff for another day).. but currently, my thoughts are pretty basic, and (I'm guessing) universal:

Being a mom In this world of social media can really bring you down. All of these (seemingly) perfect lifestyle/ mom bloggers have got me feeling like crap ALL.THE.TIME. While scrolling through their bright images of their adorable, well dressed babies and their gorgeous, perfectly decorated homes.. I have to remind myself that everyone struggles and has shitty days. I have to remind myself that they are probably struggling just like me.

There really are days when I feel like I am just crappy at being a human. Even though everyone has struggles, I know that there are moms out there that are great at keeping it together and can always find the sunshine on a rainy day. I am not one of them. I get consumed with my own issues and my own insecurities. I lose my cool, get frustrated, fall down the rabbit hole that is my jumbled, emotional, overthinking brain. Kudos to the mom that is just naturally good at being a mom. Kudos to you If you're a mom who really DOES almost always have her shit together and manages to find the sunshine on the dark days. Your child will probably grow to be a stellar human being because of your positive attitude, while mine will probably be just as messed up as I am (kidding-sort of).

 I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that If you're someone whose just not nailing this mom thing as much as you think you should be, you're not alone. On an average day,  I'm worrying about why my child is clinging to me too much (or won't nap, or both), surrounded by piles of clean laundry sitting in baskets waiting to be put away,  trying to hide from two dogs that want to be fed at freaking noon, not keeping my shit together.
 

Here's to the imperfect momma's raising perfectly imperfect human beings.  (and the first photo- for the sake of keeping it real with you all.)











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Dear Arlo | one year

January 27th.

 I headed off to my doctors appointment. I was a week and half away from my due date, feeling pretty large, out of breath, just generally very pregnant. After checking to see my progress, the doctor (almost too casually) explained that it was probably safest for me to be induced on the following Monday or Tuesday . I sat there in my paper gown staring at him blankly as he described his schedule to me, asking what day I would like to be induced, as if it were just another appointment for me to schedule in. This would be the biggest appointment of my life.

After discussing the induction process, and deciding on a day, I got in my car and cried. I had always pictured going into labor naturally ( really -  I had pictured something dramatic, like my water breaking in the middle of the grocery store or a movie theater.. ), but I wasn't crying because of needing to be induced, I was crying because I was straight up scared shitless.

I made my way to the hospital for my scheduled non-stress test, called my husband (crying), and called my mom (again, crying). There's something about being forced into doing something when you are SO not ready that is extra difficult and terrifying. Looking back now, I'm not sure if I was more scared of the actual pains of labor, or meeting the baby that had been vacationing in my belly for the past 9 months.

At 2:30pm I arrived home, my husband and I ate some lunch and I continually reminded myself that I had a handful of days to prepare for the induction date. To prepare for meeting her, the one we'd been waiting for.. I could do this, right?

and then my water broke..

I yelled to my husband.. "Umm.. frank? I think my water just broke.."


Basically chaos ensued shortly after this little announcement.. And for the record, I was as cool as a cucumber (surprisingly) as my husband called his family, and ran around like a chicken with his head cut off. After reaching the hospital for the second time that day, we were admitted, mild contractions began, then the real frigging contractions (UGH am I right?!),  and that wonderful, magical thing called the Epidural was administered (because- I ain't no hero, you guys). The joke was on me because the epidural slowed down my labor and had worn off by the time it was really needed, but boy did I enjoy every minute of it. ANYWAY, By 10am it was finally ready to push, and sparing you the gory details (if I haven't already grossed you out), at 11:11am on January 28th, 2015, a screaming, blue eyed, 6lb baby girl was laid on my chest.. and all was right in the world.


 

 

 

Dear Arlo,

So there you have it, kid. Your birth story. Someday I'll read you this story, and tell you all the funny details .. like how your dad got food poisoning from the Dunkin' Donuts sandwich he ate while I was in labor. It's hard to believe it's been a year since you made your entrance into this world and it's even harder to believe how much you have changed our lives. You have filled spaces in our hearts that we didn't know ached for you all along.

You are silly, dramatic, stubborn, an entertainer, a wild child. You look like your dad and sometimes act like your momma. You love to give kisses to your dogs and stuffed animals, but rarely give them to anyone else. Your face lights up whenever daddy comes home from work and you only say 'mama' when you're crying.. everything else is "DADADADADA". You sometimes pull your own hair (which freaks everyone out), have no interest in walking yet, and to mommy and daddy's dismay, you have yet to sleep through the night. You love bath time and nothing will stand between you and a piece of cheese (I'm with you there, girl!).

   In a lot of ways, the day you were born was the day I was born. Someday, you'll read this and be all  like "Really, Mom? What does that even mean? You are so weird." and I will tell you that I didn't even exist before you were here. You are that significant, that life changing, that special.

 

Happy Birthday, my sweet sweet Arlo Eloise. You are so loved.
Mom

 

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