Family Photographs | Jack Turns One!

September 11, 2014
black and white family photograph mother kissing son Phoenix Arizona photographer

I’ve always been a social person; someone who has enjoyed meeting new people, making new connections, and getting some laughs with my ridiculous stories or sarcastic jokes. I love a good party. I love getting out and about. Anyone up for happy hour? YES! ME! I AM! One of my favorite things to do has always been beer on a patio at a cool spot in town with a few people that I love. There’s almost nothing better.

As a new mom, the way that all of this (socializing, parties, friends) looks has changed dramatically. Not that I don’t still love making people laugh or chatting it up while having a few drinks, it just is different. So very different. It has to be. I can talk and make conversation and ask questions… all while feeding, comforting, cleaning, entertaining, and monitoring my 10 month old. Getting out and being social is something I have to plan, weeks in advance, which makes it more of an obligation and less of a laid back gathering of friends who are feeling up for a beer on a sunny afternoon. And speaking of getting out. Just GETTING OUT. It’s become impossibly hard, and there are days that packing up and gathering the bottle and snacks and sippy cup and extra diapers and more snacks and toys and different snacks in case he doesn’t like the other snacks and wipes and travel high chair and travel place mat and oh yeah my wallet and have I brushed my teeth today? I should do that. Holy hell. So yeah, socializing has changed. I have a family. It’s different.

Friendships have changed too. I don’t go out for happy hour all that often, and I can’t go to a girls’ wine night and consume massive amounts of cheese and cured meats every week like I used to. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat a lot of cheese, but it’s different. Now, I do the ol’ bait & switch with my friends by saying, “What are you doing Friday night?” And when they say they’re free, I invite them over to my house after I’ve put the baby to bed. Friendship isn’t late nights and pool parties and trips to the mountains anymore. It’s early morning walks with strollers and let’s meet for coffee and please-come-over-I-need-some-adult-interaction-time-but-don’t-judge-my-messy-house-or-cringe-if-I-let-my-kid-cry. And not everybody’s up for that type of friendship, turns out.

With all that change has come an even deeper gratitude and thankfulness for the connections I make and the true friends that I have. Those early morning stroller walks have been my life line. Those coffee dates have been my sanity. Those nights where a girlfriend comes over despite the fact that I forgot to go to the store, so I have nothing to offer except my conversational skills… I have felt more invested and more loved in those moments than ever before.

Ashley has become one of those friends. We try to motivate each other to go for runs, we plan lunch dates at a park, she comes over so our boys can play on the porch from 4-6 p.m… the hardest, longest stretch of the day. And when she asked me to take her family photos and snap a few images of Jack on his first birthday, I was thrilled. It was so easy to photograph her and her family – and not just because they’re good looking and well-dressed! They’re so friendly and warm and low-key. Jack is a doll, and Ashley and Nic radiate happiness. They’ve gone through all these changes too, and maybe that’s what makes our connection so strong. Regardless, I feel lucky that they chose me to capture this important time in their lives. I also feel pretty lucky that this family photo shoot involved cake. Mmmmmm. Cake.

Thanks to Cake Crumbs in Park Hill for the awesome cake! Banana flavor with chocolate cream frosting? Okay!

And thanks to City Park for the awesome backdrop. 🙂


Virginia: initially I thought the blog was written by Ashley because your description of everything sounds so much like her! It’s no wonder you two have become such good friends! Remembering the early mommy days myself, I see nothing’s changed. . .but oh, the love is amazing. Thank you so very much for taking the pictures! LOVE them all!!
Ashley’s MIL, Jack’s grammy and Nic’s mom

Beautiful pictures, and words – fitting for one beautiful family! Happy first birthday Jack!