Dyer Maternity Session | Norther VA Photographer

Let’s start by just acknowledging how absolutely beautiful this mama is.  She is truly glowing and so embraced herself during her maternity shoot.  I was absolutely thrilled when she asked me to do her maternity session.  I’m a little late on blogging, as with my own pregnancy we’ve had a lot going on.  Anyhow, I was thrilled when Stephanie told me she had two dresses and how comfortable she was to go with the flow and to capture the true beauty of pregnancy.  The location I suggested would be just perfect for her…And not only was she amazingly easygoing, so was her husband.  The joy they have about becoming new parents absolutely shines through!  And oh man, I had such a hard time narrowing down just a few favorites.  Stephanie, I can’t wait to hear all about your little one and meet him when I’m off of maternity leave as well!!  <3.  

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McCoy Turns One! | Northern VA Photographer

Ok guys, so I’m for sure playing catch up on my blog posting.  I have about 15 other sessions to blog too!  But I had to start with this one.  This family is absolutely beautiful, they are so kind and sweet as well.  I couldn’t wait to meet them to celebrate little Mr. McCoy turning the big ONE.  His sister, Kenley, was equally as sweet and fun.  We had fun playing with a baseball, cars and an American flag.  I absolutely love watching little ones interact.  And the age differences.  This case was no different.  And these two… Well they certainly love each other!  Here’s a few of my favorites from their session!  <3. 

 

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Disney World 2017 | Northern VA Photographer

“We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.”

 

As you all know… I absolutely love to document life.  Especially my children’s lives.  And I don’t just mean the good, the vacations, etc.  I mean even just the everyday moments.  The moments I always look back at and smile because I know that was a fleeting time in their lives.  In my life.  Now, of course, this does include vacations and such too.  But in a raw way.  Not in a stand and say cheese and make sure everyone is looking.  So this trip was no different in that sense.  What was different this time is I’d been placed on light bedrest and early maternity leave just 9 days before we left.  NOW, that being said, I did follow doctors orders.  I stopped accepting clients, and rescheduled the ones I was directed to cancel.  I sat at the parks as directed and didn’t over do it.  My doctors were clear this would be our last big hoorah before this little miss is born in October.  Which is ok.  While I was pretty bummed coming into the trip, I felt like maybe I wouldn’t be able to do the things the kids wanted, and I felt really bad about the sessions I couldn’t do anymore and having to take an early maternity leave.  I had realized in that short 9 days though, that I was so extremely grateful to be able to get to just document my family on this vacation.  On this last vacation of us as a family of 5.  As I sit here in this house in Florida the night before we leave… I can’t imagine this trip going any differently.  We had SO much fun.  We got here Monday and immediately took the kids out back to swim and then ate.  Tuesday was supposed to be just a relaxing pool day at the house, but my hubs (who might I add is absolutely amazing) decided he wanted to take ALL three kiddos to Animal Kingdom all by himself, while my mama, my sister and I went and got our nails done.  I had been told before our trip I was allowed to do Disney (Magic Kingdom, for one day) and Universal with just our middle daughter, as my big trips.  To say this was amazing of him doesn’t even begin to describe it!  Anyhow, they spent the entire day there.  I got to rest and spend some time with my mama and sister.  They came home just around dinner time and we enjoyed a dinner.  And then a pirate show close to the house.  Wednesday, we spent the day at Magic Kingdom… Where we did the usual (Amazing) things.  Saw the characters, who Logan is quite obsessed with.  We saw the joy we see on his face, and the other kiddos every year, as we met the characters, did character lunch, shopped and watched the Parade and rode the Jungle Boat Cruise.  Logan is pretty much obsessed with Disney.  Most don’t know, but the yearly trip really started because of him.  He started talking because of Disney and has memorized every single movie he’s seen.  So.  Disney is a big day for us.   Thursday, the two girls, myself and hubby went to The Crayola Experience again this year.  (They both love art and this is a fun, low key, not crazy busy, non expensive, awesome day!)  Then we came home and swam some more, the kids did at least.  Thursday… Thursday is the day this year that I had truly been waiting for.  It was the day that Baraa and I were taking just Alyssa to Universal Studios for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  I was so terrified I wouldn’t get to do this with her this year, and she desperately needed the alone time with us.  And to just enjoy what she loves.  But I got to.  And I got to not worry about anything except her and what she wanted!  We had an absolute blast and ended up splitting it into two days, as Friday we left slightly earlier than planned (with good reason) to go have an amazing dinner with family a couple of hours away.  Saturday, we woke up and went back to Universal with Alyssa while my mama stayed with Logan & Sumaya.  We took our time getting ready.  I have to say this trip was so eye opening in many ways.  Seeing Logan, and how far he’s come with behaviors, language and how much joy he gets from the simple things.  From the repetitive things.  I saw how much Sumaya has grown in a year… how she is getting ready to be a big sister and an amazing one at that and also how truly fierce and sweet she is.  I saw Alyssa’s face light up with joy as she rode rides, (mind you she is very shy and cautious so this was very surprising) and as she told stories of how she got to spend the day with just us and to see the joy in her when we got back to share with her siblings.  Oh!  And side note, Alyssa rode a ride she was terrified to ride (it had water) and she went on with a tooth and came off without one!  Whaaaaa!  This trip was not exactly how I planned it… But I couldn’t of planned it any better.  And I got to document it all.  I got to be there and present and got to just focus on us and watch them and observe.  And enjoy what they wanted.  I am so, so grateful for how my life always unfolds.  I am so grateful for the time I get to have with my littles and I am so grateful for things not always going how I think they should.  With that I will leave you all with just a few of our moments from this trip.  A few moments I will never forget and I hope my littles won’t either.  A few moments that will be forever documented.  <3. 

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Maternity Leave Earlier Than Expected | Northern VA Photographer

Being a mother is absolutely the greatest joy in my life.  I want to start this post off by saying that, that it is truly what I believe I am here to do.  I knew my entire life I wanted to be a mother someday, and I’ve been blessed with four littles (one is on the way).  Being a mother is fun, exciting, exhausting, trying, has pushed me to become a better person in every area of my life.  Being a mother has also taught me to love unconditionally, and I mean truly unconditionally.  Being a mother has also taught me to trust my gut.  Always.  And to trust my body.  It’s taught me to listen when a doctor says ‘take it easy’ or ‘light/moderate bedrest’.

As most of you know we are currently expecting our fourth little.  We have had a great pregnancy so far, minus morning sickness, even now.  I’m 24/25 weeks and we’ve been extremely blessed to have an uneventful pregnancy up until now.  We have a set c section for October 14, 2017 at 10 A.M..  ( Due to several reasons we have to have c sections and this is my fourth one).  This past weekend was quite eventful, however.  It started with some severe sickness and then some other symptoms that landed me in the hospital Sunday morning , Which was coincidentally a big holiday (Eid) for us.  They were concerned that my cervix might be shortening, though it is not!  Thank God for that.  What they did find was two marginal sinuses/bleeds of the placenta.  What this is, is ‘Any of the discontinuous venous lakes at the margin of the placenta.‘  If they rip, or rupture, they cause a placental abruption.  Which is a VERY serious condition and requires delivery.  That being said my doctors still feel we will go to our scheduled date, so long as I listen to them and my body.  Ours are considered stable.  What this also means is I was immediately put on light/moderate bedrest.  I am NOT on strict bed rest as of  yet.  And baby Zaynab is doing extremely well, as am I.  But we do need to keep an eye on them and I do need to do what they say. One thing is I had to start a new medication that has hellish side effects, but that I’m grateful for.  What the list of things included, was no more working.  Which if you know me, you know it was devastating to hear that.  I love my job.  I love documenting families, little ones, the good and the bad.  This meant I had to cancel several birth sessions, a wedding, maternity sessions, newborn sessions, etc.  As hard as it is for me to do this, I absolutely know it is what I need to do.  Another concern I had was, my family is scheduled to go to Disney world (we go every year) in 9 days.  And again in late August, as well as I was hoping to squeeze in a camping trip.  Unfortunately, I did have to cancel my later two trip, thankfully the doctor said I could still go on our Disney trip in 9 days, so long as I take it very easy and relax.  We have a lot of family joining us on that trip who will be with my littles non stop.  For that I am grateful.  I was told no more long walks, no more hikes.  Which again, if you know me you know is hard for me.  Another big, the second biggest whammy, was NO more lifting.  At all.  Which means my sweet toddler who is almost two is not able to be picked up by anymore.  Thankfully she’s very independent and we are figuring out ways around this and lots of snuggles.   However, through all of this, I know full heartedly that I’m doing what’s best and that my family comes first, always.  One great thing about being forced to take a step back a bit earlier than planned is I get to spend these last  few months with my littles and documenting MY family.  The laughs, the cries, the hurts, the snuggles, the bed time stories, all of it.  I get to enjoy this before our dynamic changes again,  for the better again I’m sure.  We can’t wait for Zaynab to come earthside, though we want to wait until October 14th, and to see how she fits into our sweet, fun, chaotic, loving, energetic family.  Don’t worry though!  I plan to still document my family and post and to keep everyone updated.  I promise to be back to work after little miss and can’t wait to document my client’s lives again too when the time is right!  I have tons of sneak peeks to post still and lots of images of my littles to share.  In fact, I can’t stop laughing and crying about how fun it is to just focus on them. We are always appreciative of all prayers, good vibes, good thoughts and well wishes!  Thank you all so much for understanding and for continuing to reach out to me!  <3. 

 

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Shannon Maternity Session | Northern VA Photographer

One of my greatest joys in being a photographer is life… I get to document life.  In all stages.  This session was especially special to me as this is one of my best friends.  I was SO excited she decided to go ahead and do a maternity session.  She was 39.5 weeks pregnant here and stunningly beautiful.  I know Shannon very well, so I knew she would absolutely love this location and water.  And let’s just say I think BOTH of us were thrilled.  This was Shannon’s fourth little one & she was at the very end.  Her and her husband decided to not find out the gender of this little one.  Shannon, you are stunning.  Watching you grow life and be a mother to your littles is an absolute joy.  You are an amazing friend as well.  My family and I are truly blessed to know you and your family.

That being said Shannon welcomed her baby girl early this morning, Farah.  She is absolutely beautiful and mom and baby are doing well!  I absolutely can’t wait to meet her and capture her beautiful soul and her brother and sisters with her. 

Here’s a few of my favorites from your maternity session!  <3. 

{Are you expecting?  Or just had a little one?  I’d absolutely love to document such a special time!  Feel free to reach out to me for more information!}

 

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Z. Family Newborn Session | Northern VA Photographer

So as you all know I absolutely love newborns….All newborns.  Haha.  But this session was absolutely so special.  I was so thrilled when Andrea reached out to me, while expecting her second child, to do her newborn photos for little miss L.  I had seen Andrea and her older daughter, Little miss I, for a session a year or so ago.  I love to watch families grow.  And this was no different.  When getting to their home I was immediately struck by how friendly everyone was, how put together everything was and how beautiful the art work was in the house.  Specifically I loved L’s room and the family/kitchen area.  Turns out that Zain had actually painted the beautiful tree mural below!!!  So amazing and so talented.  Anyways, little miss L was an absolute joy to be around as was her big sister.  I had such a hard time narrowing down just a few favorites from their session, but here are some of them!  I hope to see you all again very soon, and congratulations again!!  <3. 

 

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Stacy Mommy & Me Session | Northern VA Photographer

For starters let me just say these two are so gorgeous, so sweet, and so kind.  I was absolutely so thrilled that Stacy reached out to me and asked me to a mommy & me session for her and her sweet little girl, Margot.  I actually had the chance to meet Stacy a few nights prior to our session during a Mother’s Day dinner… We have a mutual friend who ended up introducing us and me to a bunch of other mamas in the area.  I immediately was struck by how kind and gracious and beautiful Stacy was.  Throughout dinner chatting with her about her and her family it was so evident that she absolutely loves being a mama.  To her daughter Margot & her second little on the way.  I feel so honored that you asked me to capture that bond between you and Margot, thank you!  I can’t wait to get to know you both more and your new little one!  Here’s a few of my favorites from your session!  <3. 

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