She Speaks Studio Top Takeaways! | Personal

If you ever get the opportunity to invest in a dream that’s so big you-can’t-say-it-aloud-because-OMG-it-is-terrifying….do it. Book the room, pack way too many shoes, board that plane, find a babysitter, leave before dawn…whatever it is you need to do. Make. It. Happen.

Hurricane Florence pushed back the date of the She Speaks Studio to November, and I had been anxiously awaiting it now for months.

She Speaks Studio was put on by Proverbs 31 Ministries, and if you have no idea what this organization is - I suggest you check it out if you’re looking for resources to grow in your faith.


This was the first Studio event and it was organized with instructional time, keynote speakers and hands-on workshop time. I signed up for the writing track and immediately made some amazing new friendships. I love how God cares enough about the details to make sure we were all sitting together at the same table!


Confession: I cried at least 395 times over the span of 1 1/2 days. Here are a few takeaways I never want to forget: 

  • Listening to best-selling author and speaker, Lysa TerKeurst, remind us that God does not want to be explained away, but invited in

  • When author, Suzie Eller said “when we hesitate in our calling, it becomes about us and not about God.”

  • The personal and heartbreaking stories of some of the strongest women I’ve ever met. Getting to hug them and process through some big emotions was an honor.

  • Having a mentor I respect, read my writing, look me in the eye and say “This is really, really good. Go write this.” #totallysobbed

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I am beyond grateful for this experience and I can’t wait to see how God is going to use it!

Curious what I’m doing? 

Join the Limitless Motherhood and come along for the ride!

Check out Instagram for more behind-the-scenes moments!

xo

Erin

What’s your Holiday-Readiness-Profile?

Happy Halloweeeeeen! 

Phew! Is anybody else already exhausted? It’s been a month of spirit days, Fall festivals, Trunk-r-Treats and class parties. I hope today you take a gazillion pictures of your baby or cat dressed up in something adorable! 

But after today, Moms, can we just agree to take a break? It seems everyone I talk to this month is beyond busy. I know we talk about rest and life balance, but October has. been. crazy. And it’s not looking like November is going to be slowing down either.

Is this break neck speed what we’re expected to maintain until January? Well, I guess not, because by then we’ll all be doing a detox of our diets and homes. 

I mean, I love you Fall - but can I just live my life like a normal person?

So, when is the rest happening for you? 

Let’s agree to take a collective breather tomorrow on November 1st. And before we get caught up in the mania of the holidays - let’s consider how we’re feeling. How we feel come November sets our mood and tone for the rest of the season. There is a wide array of where people fall on the holiday-readiness-profile (yes, this is a real thing…that I just invented). And there are LOTS of strong feelings involved. 

It’s my understanding, that most folks fall into one of three categories. Which of these profiles best describes you?

  1. Christmas Champion: You were made for this season and glitter runs in your bloodstream. You LOVE it all and want to start even before the pumpkins are off the front porch. 

2. Mixed Emotions: You dabble somewhere in the middle. Christmas music by mid-November, but you don’t get a tree early because you’re a respectable person. 

3. Holiday Purist: You believe in the purity of one holiday at a time. You’d like to completely digest your turkey and stuffing before hearing ‘Santa Baby’ while at CVS. 

Whatever profile rings true for you, can we agree that being considerate of others is what matters most? Let’s not shame or Grinch anybody, but we can respectfully realize that others don’t share our opinion.

Here’s a fun graphic to help us remember that this season is for everyone! Send this to someone who might need the gentle reminder. ;)

Christmas Prep

That’s right. You do you, friend. But at the same time, love your neighbor and give everyone some grace. God knows we all need it right now.

And now that we’ve named our own feelings, we can live more authentically this month. Knowing my own heart and approach around the holidays alleviates some of the anxiety I have this time of year. And I’m guessing you might feel the same.

Comment below and let me know which profile fits you best!

And then, go eat some candy and watch Hocus Pocus for the 5th time. You deserve it.

xo

Erin 

Let’s connect on Instagram!

Snuggly Lifestyle Newborn Session | Virginia Beach Newborn Photographer

Every family is unique and so is every session! The goal of my business is to offer a custom experience for all the families I serve. I want to meet your needs and create memories to last generations. Custom packages are available and I love working with families to tell a complete story!

I was able to capture the gender reveal, maternity and now the newborn memories for this wonderful family. I’m incredibly humbled and thankful for their trust! We’ve become good friends on the journey and meeting their beautiful son was the icing on the cake…

Babies are like little suns that, in a magical way, bring warmth, happiness and light into our lives.

— Kartini Diapari-Oengider

My 2018 calendar is officially full, friends! Although I can no longer take on family sessions this year, I am scheduling newborn sessions. If you are due in late 2018 or early 2019, let’s get your due date on the calendar! I’d love to capture these moments for your family.

Best,

Erin

Why Regina George Scares Me | Limitless Motherhood

Today, I’m sharing an excerpt from my monthly newsletter, the Limitless Motherhood. If you find yourself nodding along, sign up for these encouraging twice-monthly emails! Or send this link to a friend who needs to accept a compliment because she’s all things amazing.

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“I really love that new rug. You did a great job decorating this room!”

 

“Well, don’t look in the kids’ bedrooms. SUCH a mess.”

 

“Love your haircut, you look so pretty!”

 

“Glad you didn’t see me an hour ago, ha!”

 

“What a great party! You outdid yourself planning the details.”

 

“Oh, I found everything on Pinterest. There’s no way I could think all this up!”

 

When someone offers you a compliment, what’s your initial response? If you’re anything like me, you might:

  • sidestep that compliment with the skills of a verbal ninja

  • make a joke in which my looks or abilities are the inevitable punch line

  • thank the person, but always with some limiting “but…” so they don’t think I think I’m better than everyone (perfect logic - right?)

  • be as self-effacing as possible…I wouldn’t want to appear "snooty"

  • boomerang the compliment and immediately redirect the focus back on the other person

Enough is enough.

Why do I feel the need to belittle every kind word thrown my way? For the majority of my adult life, this has been my automatic response. Afterwards, I’ll replay the scene in my mind, and am embarrassed that I still respond this way. 

When I have graciously accepted a compliment before, I do so with a smile, eye contact and a direct “thank you!” Even if I feel a little sick in my stomach the entire time.

It doesn’t always make a difference who delivers the compliment, a stranger, friend or even my husband. My response is usually the same. In my jumbled brain, the act of humbling myself against the onslaught of a compliment protects me from becoming *gasp*….a snob.

Ridiculous, right? As if accepting a genuine compliment makes me appear egocentric and pretentious. My ugly fear of being perceived as a Regina George is its' own inner Mean Girl.

Recently, I’ve noticed how my six-year-old daughter responds after I compliment her. 

 

“Did you make that all by yourself? Wow, you’re so creative!”

 

“Thanks! I really like it.”

 

As simple as that. She accepts and enjoys my compliment. She allows my words to wash over her fill her emotional cup. 

Why can’t I always do the same?

My daughters are watching and listening. If whenever their Mom is complimented and she brushes it off, what will they learn? 

  • They will learn to limit themselves. 

  • To downplay their gifts and abilities. 

  • They might listen to their own inner mean girls.

  • They’ll believe that self assurance is conceited. 

 

Clearly, this is not what I want for them - or for myself. There is a time and place for teaching our children humility, but they also need to learn the art of accepting a compliment with grace.

The next time I receive praise, I’ll accept it with a smile and a genuine thank you

No side stepping or Regina-phobia allowed.

 

Best,

Erin

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Little Island Park Sunset | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

It’s that time of year! Beach sessions are wrapping up and pretty soon temps will be dropping here in Virginia Beach. It has been an incredible season of family, maternity and newborn sessions. We’ve made memories, played and laughed. It has been so good for my soul!

If you don’t want to miss out on 2019 beach session slots, sign up for the EAP family newsletter for first dibs! I only send out emails regarding availability, mini session signups aaaannd the occasional treat. :)

This seemed to be the year where the couples I photographed were very similar to me and my husband. I’ve captured two couples who were celebrating their 12th wedding anniversary. We just met that mark last June! I’ve worked with families that attend our church, are navy brats and are also obsessed with sloths. Clearly, we had a LOT to discuss, haha!

Here are just a few favorites from my night last week with the Finney family! How cute are these little girls?!

Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.
— Simone Signoret

Fall Maternity Sunset Session | Virginia Beach Maternity Photographer

Hurricane Florence, scheduling conflicts and about a zillion mosquitoes tried to put a damper on this maternity session…but, YOU GUYS! How beautiful are these two? Not only were they beyond gracious with rescheduling (thank you!!) but showed up and were SO willing to go all in at the session.

THIS is what I love. Couples who are comfortable together and accept all my awkward chatter and jokes, ha!

Call me sentimental, but I always think about the babies who will grow up and look at these images of their parents. Any rare photo I’ve seen of my mother pregnant, just takes my breath away. So much love is there already. What a gift to capture!

Losing my mind over this gorgeousness…

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.
— Osho

Fall sessions are nearly booked! Just a handful of weekday slots are left, friends. 2019 slots are beginning to fill as well, SO snag those dates under 2018 pricing. ;)

Best,

Erin

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Fall Favorites! | #MomLife

1. Powersheets - If you’ve not heard of Lara Casey, please let me introduce you here! She is the creator of the highly successful and inspiring Powersheets line of planners. These are planners that help you achieve your daily, weekly, monthly and annual goals.

She preaches progress over perfection and I can certainly relate to that! I love the Tending Lists so I can see all my September goals at a glance. It sits with my daily planner on my desk and I can check in when I’m feeling a bit scattered. Even me, a B-Type personality who resists structure, THRIVES with this planner. She’ll be launching the 2019 line soon - so check it out!

Momlife

2. The Enneagram - You guys, when I discover something this amazing - I.go.deep. I’m not sure where I heard about the Enneagram first, but I’ve always been a fan of personality assessments and profiles. There are 9 personality profiles and everyone falls into one number or ‘wings’ with other numbers. It’s fascinating! I am all about knowing myself better AND knowing more about the people in my life. The more we understand, the better and more purposely we can love others well.

Clearly, I’m super enthusiast about this topic. With that hint, can you guess my number?;) Curious? This is the link to the quiz I took: Explore Your Type.

3. Chili Recipes - We’re not big sports fans in my house, but we do love an excuse for warm and cozy food. I love trying a new chili recipe each Fall and tweaking favorites to make them even tastier. If you’ve been making the same recipe for years, consider adding different beans, spices, peppers, pumpkin or sweet potato. The options are endless and super yummy. If you have a go-to recipe, share it in the comments below!

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4. Real Pumpkins - I know this one sounds strange, but after taking The Nester’s Fall course I am a changed woman. Instead of using all plastic or fabric pumpkins in our Fall decor, I’m on the lookout for real pumpkins instead. I’m looking for quirky, unique, statement pumpkins. If you’re out and see a good local spot with several - holler at me!

5. Cardigans - Honestly, these are a year round fav and I don’t even own many pullover sweaters. Cardigans are perfect for layering and I crave a variety this time of year. Even with my capsule wardrobe, these act as ‘extras’ so I’ll snag one or two new ones each Fall. Not sure what a capsule wardrobe is? I shared my experience about it on the blog, HERE!

What are you loving this Fall?! I’d love to know! Chat soon, friends.

Best,

Erin

Finding Imperfect Balance this Fall | Limitless Motherhood

limitless-motherhood-community

In July, I launched the Limitless Motherhood Newsletter. Twice a month, readers get a short and sweet note straight to their inboxes. These emails offer encouragement for Moms who want more from their lives.

It's my hope these emails will inspire, motivate and help other women feel a little less alone. Even in a world with so many social media platforms... we still crave real connection with others. The Limitless Motherhood is my answer to all the noise. If you haven't yet, I hope you'll join us!

A fresh newsletter is coming tomorrow where we'll chat about how September feels like the new January. If you've been feeling conflicted over this new season, or even if you're ready for aaaall the pumpkin treats - it's okay to own that. I'll also be sharing a list of my current favorite books, podcasts, movies, and products if you're on the lookout for some inspiration this Fall! 

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When you sign up for the newsletter, you'll also receive Finding Imperfect Balance: A Guide to Getting Unstuck, no Matter your Season for free! This is a 5-page printable that helps you emotionally and physically prep for Fall. With a handful of purposeful questions and space to brainstorm, it's my hope this will help Moms feel more equipped this season! 

Take a moment before this busy season starts and consider what really matter right now. Not what's important to someone else or what's on Pinterest. It's not about finding perfect balance, because I'm not convinced that really exists. It's more about purposely choosing to hold on to just a few things instead of everything. 

If you're already signed up, your guide will be delivered in tomorrow's newsletter. Be sure to use our hashtag, #limitlessmotherhood so we can connect on Instagram!

I can't wait to get to know you better! Thanks for being here. xo

 

Best,

Erin

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Virginia Beach Sunrise | Virginia Beach Family Photographer

No job is perfect, right? The only negative about being an outdoor, lifestyle family photographer is the weather! The forecast has been incredibly unpredictable in Hampton Roads this Summer. So many of my Virginia Beach oceanfront sessions have been rescheduled multiple times. 

My good friend and photography student, Jill, had been so patient with the endless rescheduling. Finally, we opted for a sunrise session to avoid evening thunderstorms and it was magical! Well worth the early alarm and afternoon nap to make it happen. ;) 

A great side effect? My husband loves when I work sunrise sessions because it means a Starbucks latte and chocolate croissant for him. His love language is baked goods, ha! 

Jill is an incredibly talented photographer and has an IG account over at Elodie Grace Photography - be sure to follow her there! She has mentored with me several times and assisted during some of my sessions. I love her patience with learning, eye for details and how she documents her daughter's childhood so beautifully. 

Here are just a few favorites from my morning with her sweet family!

We were together, I forget the rest.
— Walt Whitman

I'm all about splashing in the water at the end of a fun beach session! I love that Jill prioritized letting loose and connecting with her family. There is so much beauty in embracing the messy sometimes, right? 

Friends, my 2018 calendar is nearly full. If you have been wanting a session, please reach out soon! Also, if you want to lock in a 2019 date at 2018 pricing, now's the time. Drop me a line below and let's get you scheduled! :)

Best,

Erin

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Relaxed and Cozy Lifestyle Newborn Session | Virginia Beach Newborn Photographer

I have approached lifestyle newborn sessions in the same laid back manner starting my photography journey. I always knew the feeling I wanted parents and siblings to experience when they looked back on these pictures. Once I gave myself permission to chase that feeling, the rest fell into place. 

When an expecting Mom reaches out and mentions how much she loves the lifestyle approach, my heart is so full. I know she gets it and is all about embracing the messy, beautiful chaos that is life with babies and kids.

The stress of picture day is tough, but a lifestyle session gives parents the ability to relax. We keep our expectations real, because...kids! 

I adored my time with this family and had been looking forward to meeting their new baby girl all Summer! Her sweet big bros are ready to teach her all about dinosaurs and legos. :)

Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move mountains.

If you are expecting in 2018 or early 2019, I'd love to chat with you! :)

xo

Erin

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