motherhood

Limitless Motherhood Facebook Community!

Motherhood Facebook Community

I believe that social media should be just that…social! I’m so tired of ads, political rants and people yelling at the internet. One way I’ve found the fun on social media is through Facebook groups. I’m in a variety of amazing groups where the focus is connection, collaboration and growth. Okay, and there’s usually some pretty epic GIF threads happening as well LOL.


Twice a month I send out the Limitless Motherhood newsletter to readers, but I’ve been missing connecting with them every day. So, we carried the conversation over into a Facebook group and we’re having so much fun getting to know one another!

Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much
— Helen Keller

Our topics have ranged from favorite podcasts on motherhood to morning routines. It’s my hope to use this group as an encouragement and not just add to the noise of Facebook. If you’re looking for a group with a more positive and uplifting atmosphere, then I hope you’ll join us!

And if you’re not on the email list yet, start there! I promise nothing spammy, just two short emails a month from yours truly. Hint: Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day topic is about the 5 Love Languages!

P.S. If you’re still reading, I’m sending you all the non-creepy internet hugs! I have some BIG writing goals over the next several months. Would you help hold me accountable? I’ll be sharing more of my process over on Instagram. AND there is a super fun giveaway starting todaaaay! So hop on over - you can find me @erinammons there.

See you soon!

Erin

The Latest from Instagram…

There's Nothing Magical About January | Limitless Motherhood

motherhood

Doesn’t this month feel approximately 537 days long? Clearly we’ve been January-ing for at least 2 months now.


You know what January feels like to me at this point? It feels like striving. Striving to stay on course with our sunny New Years resolutions and try-harder-next-times. 


January feels like homework.

January feels like a budget.


It’s freezing outside, but not snowing.

Everyone has raw noses.

We checked so many boxes, but not that one.

We’re having the best start to the year EVER…or we’re nowhere close.


Wherever you find yourself at the end of January, know this:

There is nothing magical about January.

But there is something magical in letting go of all the striving. Silencing the voice that reminds you that you’re not quite where you wanted to be. It whispers about how your aim faltered or shattered way off course. 

motherhood

Or maybe your January has been incredible and you feel extra pressure to make February even better. Worried you’ll slip off track next time, convinced that your bubble will burst. Am I the only one who worries about being too happy?


But if your January looked imperfect, you’re in good company. 

Let’s remember that we can change our minds. 

We can decide something isn’t working. 

We can choose to sit and wait. 

We can get up and go. 

We can try again or not.

It’s only a month and there are eleven more just like it.


Focus that attention on what you did right or where you witnessed kindness. Things that made you smile and look up from your to-do list. 


Thank January for what it taught you and carry along any good habits it brought. Forgive all the rest.


P.S. If you’re a Mom in the middle of striving, I have a community just for us. Hop over to the Facebook group and introduce yourself. I can’t wait to meet you!

Best,

Erin

sharonelizabethphotography-erinammonsphotography-virginiabeachheadshots-0443.jpg
 

The Latest From Instagram:

My Word of the Year + Social Media Break(thru)

word-of-the-year

Happy 2019, friends! I hope you had a restful and joy-filled holiday. I know the other parents out there are probably relieved the kids are back to school, but also sad because holiday break is officially over. I’m definitely in that bittersweet camp. I’m ready for our routine to return, but I so loved our pajamas-till-noon-Christmas-movie-marathon week of cookies and snuggles. My soul needed it!

There’s lots of chatter around the start of January about choosing a word for the year. One word that acts as an anchor for your intentions in the coming seasons. I have been doing this for several years now and find it really helps me prepare for the months ahead.

In the past few years, my words have been:

2016 - Brave

2017 - Intentional

2018 - Patient

I thought my word for 2019 was going to be clarity. But, as I mined through my powersheets, the word ‘keep’ came to the front of my mind. Keep is a small, seemingly inconsequential word. What could it possibly do for me? It didn’t feel weighty or important enough.

But that word just wouldn’t leave me alone. I considered all the different uses and meanings. There’s a lot for such a little word! And many of them apply to where my heart is right now.

as in:

…keep going

…keep pursuing

…keep the faith

…keep it up

…keep staying open

…keep showing up


Once I dove into
thesarus.com and began to unpack ALL the meanings and sub-meanings around this word, I was blown away.

Synonyms: carry, enjoy, manage, preserve, save, direct, grasp, retain

In many ways, all these synonyms feel like behaviors that would bring me more clarity. In this keeping, I’ll unlock certainty in different areas of my life. I’m ready to ‘keep’ 2019.

Keep.jpg

Since November, I’d been planning on taking a more extended social media sabbatical. When you run a business, Facebook and Instagram are (like it or not) necessary tools to grow and reach an audience. It had been on my heart though that it was time to put the phone down over Christmas break and be present with the people I love best.

Even though my decision felt resolute, I was worried that the temptation to check my notifications would still be there. Would the habit be too strong to shake? 

Welp, it’s been over 10 days and I’m so proud of myself for keeping the commitment. If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of taking a longer break, do it!

Here are a few takeaways from my social media sabbatical:

  • Feeling more even-keeled and less quick to anger over small frustrations.

  • I can leave my phone behind sometimes. I did forget it on a quick grocery store run, and embraced how free it felt.

  • Taking pictures for the joy of my family and not just to share online.

  • Less FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) and feeling truly content.

  • I slowed down and made room to just do nothing.

My best breakthrough? It was way easier and painless than I had anticipated. I’d envisioned it being so much harder, but truthfully…I was ready for the break.

The week between Christmas and New Year feels like a sort of time warp. It goes quickly but seems to stretch and linger. Can you relate?

I hope you got a chance to breath and reset for the new year. If you have a word for 2019, drop it in the comments below - I’d love to hear!

Best,

Erin

motherhood-community-facebook-group

Are you in?

Join the Limitless Motherhood community and be encouraged in 2019!

'Quiet the Noise' Newsletter Series! | Limitless Motherhood

holiday-overwhelm-support-moms

My ever insightful sister texted this to me yesterday…

motherhood-support

…was anything ever more true?! If you just laughed or snorted or nodded your head, friend - you.are.not.alone.

It’s coming. The joy and excitement of the holidays! And yet, (uh oh, here comes the and yet) we are busier than ever during a season meant for slowing and savoring.

Let me start by saying I have zero intentions of adding more to your already fully loaded plate. Next week that plate will be loaded with Thanksgiving dinner yumminess, but will your head and heart match up with the spirit of the day? These are the things I ruminate over. I know, it’s weird.

But, here we are.

So, I’m creating a simple step for us. A way to limit all that noise, noise…noise!

And no, I’m not talking about little Cindy Lou making a racket down in WhoVille.

I’m talking about the noise from our newsfeeds, email accounts and piles of clutter. The holiday season can be so loud, and I don’t want that stealing my joy.

Because if we can limit just a fraction of the noise and stress coming at us, maybe we can find some space to breath. Just maybe there’s a bit of white space waiting for us to lean into. A pair of cozy slippers for our overwhelmed minds.

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be sending out a short series of challenges in the Limitless Motherhood newsletter. These challenges are meant to give you one simple step to quieting the noise. This series will include 3 challenges, all sent out over the weeks leading up to Christmas. It’s my hope they will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to celebrate with intention!

Not on the list yet? Click below and join the newsletter so you don’t miss a thing!

The first challenge is coming tomorrow! Use the following hashtag over on instagram so I can find and cheer you on throughout the series this season!

#quietthenoise2018

I can’t wait for us to all find more white space this holiday season. Let’s end the year with purpose and a peaceful mind! Chat soon.

Best,

Erin

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

she speaks studio

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

Battling Mom Guilt and Seeking Truth | Personal | #MomLife

“Mom, I haven’t had ANY time with you! I'm tired of you working all the time.”

Right in the heart pangs.

I sat on the edge of her bed and attempted to reason with a very dramatic (where does she get this from?!) eight-year-old. 

I am pretty sure that no Mom escapes the guilt from time to time. No matter if you work outside of the home full time, or you're with your kids at home. It affects us all! I am no exception to this and the balance of working from home has been a tricky one with young kids. Navigating each season of my business and our family's needs has had it's own frustrations and victories. 

As I left that evening, I had to go through my own gut check. I searched for the truth under the guilt and doubt.

- Am I working too much?

The Truth: Busy season is ramping up, but I only commit to 2-3 sessions a week and my kids will see me most of the coming weekends. I block off specific dates and trips so I'm available for family time. We make time for individual dates with our girls each month. I'm home for bedtime and books most nights of the week. I attend field trips and volunteer in their classrooms. 

The truth is that I've learned to build boundaries into my business and to schedule our family time first.

And when I zoom out, I can see all the quality time and connection we really have. Do I want them to remember me jumping on their beds belting out the 1980’s Gummy Bears cartoon theme song?! Yep, that happened last week. And yes, I want them to know that their Mom is silly and goony and can shake off the role of ‘rule enforcer and snack-maker’ on occasion. 

"...bouncing here and there and everywhere..."

"...bouncing here and there and everywhere..."

When I can let go of those lingering doubts, I can look at the past week, month and season. The truth is, we have an abundance of valuable family time. My most recent favorite is introducing the kids to my fav board game - Clue!

Side Note: It's -always- Mr. Green or Miss Scarlet... I mean, they just look guilty - right?

I have learned that quality can sometimes trump quantity with my kids, and this has ebbed and flowed as they've grown. When I say ‘yes’ to doing something they love together, it fills their cup. It might only be 20 minutes, but the length of time is irrelevant. Sometimes Mommy can only handle playing Batman for 20 minutes, and that's okay!

Now, I’m never going to get it all right, because, that’s life. I know the Mom Guilt will come and I'll have to go through my gut check all over again. But I pray I am creating these points of purposeful connection with my girls to be stored into their memory banks for a lifetime. 

Battling Mom Guilt.png

Explaining to my kids that I work from home is challenging. Just because I’m here, doesn’t always mean I’m available. As we merge into Summer Vacation, I have already talked with them about certain time boundaries, but that we will still have plenty of fun together. Setting the right expectations before that last week of school will hopefully save my sanity. Check in with me mid-August and we’ll see how it’s going, ha! ;)

If you're hit with the pangs of Mom Guilt, remember to have a gut check. Ask yourself the tough questions, but then take a step back.

On the hard days, remind yourself of the truth. The truth is we're all doing our very best with these gifts God has entrusted us with. And each season comes with new challenges, changes and triumphs.

Let's shake off the guilt and choose truth together. xoxo 

Best,

Erin

 

Half-Homemade | #MomLife | Hampton Roads Family Photographer

Last week was Spring Break with my kiddos and it was such a good, soul-filling time. My oldest turned eight - which feels SO grown up! #sobfest

 It's been a couple of years since she's had a proper party, so we had a Harry Potter themed celebration with some of her pals. If you know me (like, at all) you know my love for all things Harry Potter. Yes, I was already an adult when I read the books - but my love is REAL, ya'll. 

Also, I'm Team Hufflepuff if you wanted to know. 

Take the quiz here and let me know what house you are! 

Sorting Quiz!

I had so much fun planning the little details of the party, without going tooo overboard. Pinterest is full of so many free printable downloads - highly recommend! We had a platform 9 3/4..

hampton-roads-family-photographer

Ollivander's wand shop...

hampton-roads-family-photographer

...and Amelia requested a cake similar to the one Hagrid makes Harry in book one. 

This was the BEST request for a cake yet. I love making the girls' birthday cakes myself, so this was a no brainer since I'm not particularly skilled in this area. Me and my good friend, Betty Crocker, whipped up a chocolate cake and then I made my specialty - homemade, make-your-teeth-ache buttercream frosting.

As I was attempting to ice the cake a la Hagrid, I had a funny realization pop in my head.

I'm a 'half-homemade' kind of Mom. 

I don't make myself crazy trying to make every detail perfect for my kids. There are many things I say no to. But for certain things, I go ALL in. Sure, it was cake from the box - but it had some added love and Mom pizazz attached to it.

Also, my far more skilled husband piped on the lettering:

hampton-roads-family-photographer

Mothering in 2018 can feel like a race to impress. If I'm not careful, I can easily slip into the mindset of believing I'm not doing enough for my kids. By embracing this 'half-homemade' approach, I feel a weight lifted from my shoulders.

I'm all about that messy imperfection in life, so choosing to focus on doing a few things really well... reminds me I can't do everything. I just can't. And that is more than okay. 

hampton-roads-family-photographer

Can you relate? What are some examples from your mothering that are 'half-homemade'? Leave a comment - I'd love to know. :)

xoxo

Erin

P.S. And because the internet has a wealth of hysterical content, this GIF is for all the Harry Potter fans! You're welcome.

hampton-roads-family-photographer

2018 Reading Goals! | #MomLife | Hampton Roads Family Photographer

If you've known or followed me for any extent of time - you may know about my love for reading. It brings me so much joy and honestly, I think it makes me a better person. I read for entertainment, education and inspiration. I love reading books that feed my soul! 

In 2016, I set the lofty goal to read 50 books. This was a HUGE leap for me. At the time, I was working from home and had a preschooler and Kindergartner. My free time was seriously limited and I made a real conscious effort to prioritize reading over television or mindless internet scrolling. You can read more about my books and experience HERE!

Last year, I decided to pull back some and read 25 books. I cut that previous goal in half, and it really let me enjoy and linger over certain books. I even surpassed my goal, devouring several books right towards the end of the year. 

I haven't blogged about reading since last Summer (oops!) but you can read it HERE if you're interested in my 2017 reads!

hampton-roads-family-photographer-2.jpg

This year, I'm going to stay pretty similar to 2017's goals. I have the goal to read 30 books in 2018! I am giving myself permission to tweak this number up or down, depending on how my schedule changes. These are the first reads of the year pictured above - and with all this snowy weather I've actually gotten off to a great start!

Reading forces you to be quiet in a world that no longer makes place for that.
— John Green
hampton-roads-family-photographer-4.jpg

I will continue to use my hashtag on Instagram, #EAPreads - so follow along to keep up with the latest! If you are on GoodReads, come find me. I love using that app as a way to track what I've read and what I want to read. Their reading challenge is so motivating! I love to see that progress bar bump up with every book I finish. :) #nerd

I'd love to know what you're reading. Are you strictly non-fiction or do you love a good drama?

Happy Reading, friends! 

xoxo

Erin

New Baby, New Year! | Virginia Beach Newborn Photographer

This sweet girl was born just ONE day after Christmas. I mean - how lucky can you get?! I kept laughing with new parents, Dustin and Liz, about how Zoie is going to always have an epic birthday week.

Starting off with Christmas morning, then her birthday and New Year's! Gifts and family time and a full week of celebrating. It made me smile to think about what a blessing she already is and how every year will be even more sparkly and magical.  Christmas and Birthday magic combined to make a pretty epic week! 

As I waited to hear the word about her birth, I remembered VA weather can be pretty unpredictable. I am so glad I was able to meet her family before this epic snowstorm arrived! Her puppy sister greeted me at the door and was ready to cuddle and show off the new baby. :) I love me some fur siblings!! 

Sharing a few favorites of our morning together. Welcome to the world, Zoie! 

A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for.
— anonymous

Talk about nursery goals! I could tell they enjoyed putting this room together - every detail was so personal and thought out. 

I secretly love a wakeful and alert newborn. They are so soulful and precious. 

Even when watching a ceiling fan, haha! ;)

Are you expecting in 2018? I would love to capture this time for your growing family! Drop me a note below with your due date and let's chat. :)

Name *
Name

3 Reasons to Pick Up Your Camera This Fall | Hampton Roads Photography Education

Let's be real here. Do you have a DSLR camera somewhere in your hall closet right now? Or maybe it's packed up on the top shelf of your pantry?

Wherever it might be lurking - I want you to think about the last time you used it. Did you take pictures last Christmas morning and it hasn't seen the light of day since? I get it. Life is busy and full. I totally get how overwhelming it can be to learn something new. Especially with that handy Iphone camera in your pocket. 

Can I just encourage you today? I want you to feel motivated and inspired to pick up your big camera. Grab that beast off the shelf and challenge yourself this Fall!

And if you're still dragging your feet and thinking of 362 excuses - here's an extra kick in the proverbial pants. ;) 

1. Your kids are busy doing ALL the things. Soccer games, trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, pony rides, apple picking, treat baking, bike riding... I mean, there are a TON of fun memories being made this season. Everyone says that childhood flies by, but you don't realize how fast until you're the Mom and those babies are growing at warp speed. Let's freeze time just a little bit. 

2. Better Conditions. With sunset time moving earlier, that means you don't have to keep your littles up past bedtime to utilize the best light. Temps are mostly cooler and those pesky mosquitoes are on their way out. Head out shortly after dinner time and pre-bath time to get some practice in. Kids sometimes need a switch in routine. Make it a fun weeknight adventure. :)

3. Golden Hour is really golden. Fall (in my nerdy opinion) has THE best light. It's my favorite. Golden beams and a softness that just doesn't exist in July. Pay attention next time you're walking around your neighborhood at sunset. As the leaves changes and the sun drops, it creates absolute magic. And so much of photography is about the light. Use it well!

hampton roads photography education

Are you wanting more encouragement and support with your photography? Join the 'Stay Little' Lounge Facebook group and get access to helpful tutorials, fun challenges and motivation to pick up your camera today. See you there! :)