The Lowdown

There are some people in life that you meet who just stick; you’re stuck with them. Sometimes that’s just unfortunate news; but in this case, it’s a wonderful thing. Amber’s one of those sticky people for me. She and I were roommates while I was in college and grad school and we experienced all sorts of life with each other. We saw each other through all kinds highs and lows, dealt with each other’s farts (TMI?), did what we thought at the time was successfully decorating the placed we lived in, met and fell in love with our guys around the same time (and saw our fair share of the other being a complete, googly-eyed, baby-talking idiot because we were in love with amazing guys), got married within months of each other, had our daughters 4 months apart, and yes–now going to have our second babies just about a month apart.

I would say one of Amber’s super powers is being the type of person who carries the ability to creatively connect people from all kinds of circles. She’s wired in such a way that allows her to effortlessly bring people together, and I have no doubt that that’s played a role in how she mothers: She takes the resources that she has (in and around her) and connects the dots to make things work. And not just work, but work beautifully.

About a year ago, I took pictures for Amber and baby Gia who was about 3 or 4 months old. For me, it’s one of the sweetest things ever to see people (especially ones I know and love) become mothers. It’s one of those things that can’t help but bring someone alive in a whole new way. It was no different for me witnessing Amber become a mama–so many feels… Ugh, now i’m getting all teary eyed thinking about it (If you don’t know me, I should let you know that I’m a cryer. Amber DEFINITELY knows this from all the years we lived together). Amber, I love you and am so grateful I got to capture this first leg of motherhood for you. It looks great on you, friend.

Looking Back on the First Year of Being a Mama

For my Mama and Me shoots, I give the mamas an opportunity to answer some questions as a way to reflect on their first year (or whatever season of motherhood they’re in)–mainly as means to look back, reflect, and carefully process and store all the feels and lessons that were collected along the way as they move forward. Read on to see what Amber’s first year was like as a mama and to see pictures of the beautiful mama and her baby girl.

mama & me photography at the beach

mama & me photography at the beach

Me (EL): How would you sum up your first year of being a mama? 

Amber (A)My first year of being a mom was surprisingly enjoyable. I’ve heard so many horror stories of breast feeding, colic babies, sleepless nights, etc… so I was shocked that even with all of the normal ups and downs, I found it to be so life giving. I loved and cherished as much as I could of that first year!

EL: What has been the most surprising aspect of mama-ing?

A: It’s shocking to me how much our input and interactions with them as their Mom really does teach them how to go about their days.

mama & me photography at the beach

EL: What has been the most challenging part? How have you grown the most in the process? 

A: I found the transitions challenging. Right when you feel like you have them figured out, they change everything up on you. Then you have to figure out theirs and your new normal and roll with it. I’ve learned to let go of being too controlling in certain areas. and to slow down and do what is best for my baby.

mama & me photography at the beach

EL: Looking back on all the advice you’ve been given (welcomed or not), what was really helpful?

A: Don’t let your baby take over your life. You’re in charge, and they will adapt to you as long as you’re providing them with care and love.  

mama & me photography at the beach

EL: What advice would you give mamas/parents during the first year?

ABe okay with the life transition that comes with having a baby, and try to remember things may get hectic or may slow down. Don’t forget this is only for a season. Try to really enjoy those first 12 months because they change and learn so much! You’ll blink and they’ll be 1! And don’t forget to make time for you! 

mama & me photography at the beach

EL: They say it takes a village to raise a child. What has your “village” (support system) looked like so far?

AHaving both sets of grandparents near by has been amazing!! My best friend has helped watch gia last minute several times when we’ve needed help and even my brother. It’s crazy how people show up when you really need them. You realize who your people are and feel so supported and loved.



You can see more pictures from this Mama & Me shoot here, one of Amber and her handsome hubby here and more of their adorable fam bam here. (Sidenote, Chris, Amber’s husband is super talented. Proof here.)

Check back soon for a post with photos from a more recent shoot I got to do with Amber and Gia (and baby girl numero does in the belly).