Southern Utah, Saint George, Utah, and Las Vegas Newborn and Baby Photography » Monkeyface Photography

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The MotherPINIMAGEThis is Chelsea and her four beautiful children. I met her at a rather unpleasant photo session this last fall. We planned a fun Christmas session in November and it was the coldest and windiest session I have ever photographed. She was so sweet the whole time even while it was miserable. I loved watching her with her kids and her kids with each other. It was evident that she had some motherhood lessons I could learn from. I asked her to be a part of this project to help me to grow. I have already learned so much from her. She is a woman of faith, perspective, and understanding. Here is what she had to say about motherhood.

 

From the moment I was a little girl I wanted to be a Mommy. I felt
like that was my purpose in life. Then when I actually became one it
far exceeded my expectations BUT also knocked me to the ground. How
can I possibly do these four little human beings justice? How can I
keep them from harm and protect them from all that is “ugly” in the
world? How can I help them be happy and responsible little people who
make the world a better place? There are so many questions that we as
mothers ask ourselves and so much pressure we put on ourselves. I
struggle everyday if I’m saying the right thing or making the right
choice for my children. As a mother I have learned that all children
are NOT created equal!! They each have their own individuality. One of
my daughters has struggled with Anxiety over the years. It’s been so
hard watching the pain and turmoil she has gone through. Sitting up
late at night holding her while she cries crushes your heart
especially when you don’t have the answers. Or everything you do to
help doesn’t seem to work or take the pain away. I had another child
struggle with night terrors every single night several times a night
for a few years. This really took a toll on my confidence as a mother.
I wanted to give up. I was so sleep deprived that I was turning into
the “ugly” that I wanted to protect my children from. I ended up
getting shingles that entered one of my eyes and now my vision is
forever affected by it. That was a very difficult time for me.
I’ve had a couple children bullied for different reasons. If somebody
were to tell you that your child’s pain is not your own. I would laugh
in their face and know they have never had children. Because you feel
every heartbreak and sorrow in your heart along with them. Being a
mother has given me an understanding of how my father in heaven feels
my pain and sorrow and only wants to take it away. All I need to do is
reach out and have faith that tomorrow is a new day. My faith is what
has truly molded me as a mother and reminds me that it is my
responsibility to teach my children what is right and what is wrong.
To live each day looking at the positive and be grateful for what is
in front of you.

There are days and probably will continue to have days when I feel
like I haven’t done them justice as a good mother. But then I’m
reminded by their sweet giggles and smiles and tender hugs and kisses
when told, “Mom you are the Best” that maybe I’m doing alright. Those
are the moments when all the doubting that tries to creep in are
washed away in an instant. All I can do is my best to be an example to
my children and show them love by listening and taking interest in
them personally. Hopefully one day my children will look back and
think they were lucky to have me as their mother. I know how truly
blessed I am to have the most amazing, wonderful kids I could have
ever dreamed or hoped for. Until then I will continue to strive to do
my very best as their mother and find joy in the little moments of
everyday life of being their Mommy.

The MotherPINIMAGEThe MotherPINIMAGEThe MotherPINIMAGE

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I crawled out of bed at 5:30am this morning. I growled at the alarm clock. I grumbled while I changed into my workout clothes, as I pulled up my mess of hair and as I headed to the car. I wondered again why it is that I do this. Why I get up so early and push myself to exercise. Mornings have never been my favorite thing. There have been mornings of complete frustration and mornings of no motivation. I’ve worked through a lot of them. I’ve literally cried my way out the door a few times. (I’m not kidding!) I used to think mornings were the curse of the Earth. Because being forced to wake up is of course, the worst thing ever! However, as I drove home with a new mindset and watched yet another beautiful sunrise I was reminded again that most things I’ve at one time considered a curse have turned out to be incredible blessings.

Being anxious has made me a hard worker
Being sick has made me aware of others

Losing a lot of things I thought I wanted helped me realize that perhaps I wanted them for the wrong reasons

Being selfish has taught me to look beyond myself

Always being cold just gives me a good reason to cuddle

The truth is this list is a long one. I’ve been blessed with a lot of curses. We all have them.

I’m just learning to call mine blessings.

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Meet Ashley. She’s the mother to these five adorably awesome kids below:

Childhood cancer southern utah photography studio st george utahPINIMAGE

She is amazing! Two of her kids are dealing with some extremely challenging illnesses. You can read more about them here: https://www.facebook.com/gogiveemhill?fref=ts

I photographed Ashley with Kelson her sweet little guy who is currently battling cancer like a champ and asked her to share her thoughts on motherhood. This is her response below:

Being a mother is the greatest calling. Although it’s the hardest job it’s also the most rewarding. My kids keep me going with their determination to fight through life. Some days can be a struggle when dealing with the challenges of life, but if I stay positive and keep pushing through somehow things just work themselves out in some way. My kids have taught me so much, they are pretty amazing. I always tell them that the day everyone got to pick their kids I must had been one of the first in line because I got some of the best. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be a mother and for the challenges that have helped me learn and become who I am. Don’t take things for granted, even the small and simple things and always hug your kids tight and as often as you can because you never know what life might throw at you down the road. I’m grateful for my faith and support system I always have behind me, it helps me get through those trying times to help me realize at the end of the day that I’m one of the luckiest people on earth.

 

https://www.facebook.com/gogiveemhill?fref=tsPINIMAGEhttps://www.facebook.com/gogiveemhill?fref=tsPINIMAGEhttps://www.facebook.com/gogiveemhill?fref=tsPINIMAGEIf you haven’t met Kelson you definitely should. He is such a cute kid and a light in this world.

To read part one click here

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First of all excuse my grammar. I love beautiful words and run on sentences.

As with anyone in my career I’ve met with hundreds of mothers from all walks of life. I’ve learned from many of them. I’ve been inspired by many of them. I’ve even made it through some pretty hard days just because of them. Funny, you might think since many of them I only met with for a few short hours but, the world ties us all together in funny ways sometimes. A few hours is sometimes all it takes to make a change in someones life.

I’m not anybody special but there is a reason I do what I do and it goes beyond beautiful pictures.

I have my own story. I think we all do. Life hasn’t always been easy or sometimes even fun. I’ve been angry. I’ve been sad and I’ve made stupid decisions.

I’ve been afraid. I’ve held on to fear like it was the only way to live and in the midst of all of that fear I became a mother.

There is a lot to say about then and now. Anxiety is tough battle but this isn’t about me. It’s about all of us.

Just a few short days ago I sat comforting my 8 year old over something that terrified him. It was most likely some spooky noise in his room or the scary shadows in his unclosed closet. We talked about fear and about faith. It was definitely not the first time we’d had this conversation. He has an imagination quite similar to my own. Just before I sent him back to his room to face those demons in his head I caught myself saying, “you know Jaxson, you’re braver than you think you are.”

As he went back to bed. I sat and thought about all the battles I had fought to get me to where I am today. I thought about all of the times my own battles had brought me to my knees. The thousands of times I said I’m done or cried that I wasn’t that brave. Yet, here I was.

I’ve still got battles to fight. My days are far from perfect but I’m braver that I think I am.

So, you’re probably wondering, what on Earth does this have to do with what you do? In an effort to answer that question I’ve photographed a few women I’ve met over the years and asked them to tell you what being a mother has taught them. Being a mother has taught me that I’m brave. Being a photographer has taught me that we all have something to teach and give. I’m lucky enough to get to hear and see those gifts every time I meet someone behind my lens. It’s one of the many reasons I love being a photographer. So, what has motherhood taught you?

What has motherhood taught you? My little monkey. PINIMAGE

What has motherhood taught you? My little monkey.

What has motherhood taught you? Me and the monkey.PINIMAGE

What has motherhood taught you? Me and the monkey.

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  • Lori Black - Being a mom for only a short period of time, has shown me that I was meant to be a mom. Nothing makes me happier. I love watching them learn and grown everyday. Seeing my 2 year old love Christ has been such a joy and testimony builder for me. I have also learned that they want you,their mom. They think that you are absolutely perfect, that you can fix anything, that you are pretty, that you are so funny. You are their world. There are many times that I feel bad about myself, not good enough, not pretty enough, not qualified for many things. Then I get a hug around my legs from my daughter, or a wet slobbery kiss from my son. Everything is okay. I am perfect in their eyes.ReplyCancel

I finally got to photograph Braylie with her pup and it was so much fun. They were both very well behaved. We got some images in the studio and a few outdoors as well. Everything went well until I wanted Braylie to lay in the grass. She wasn’t to fond of that idea.:)

She and her cute dog were both excellent little posers! I have so many images I don’t even know where to start but here are a few favorites.

Enjoy

St George, Utah Baby Photography done by Heidi Porter of Monkeyface Photography. To contact Heidi for your own session email info@monkeyfacephotography.com or call (435)218-9475

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