What I love about social media

It never fails…I will be out and about, hair unbrushed, clothes that I chose off the floor of my bathroom, and a mind a million miles away, when a Facebook friend comes up to me to say hello. Maybe I know them in real life or maybe I only know them through the tiny screen of my glowing phone. Either way we start talking and I (who am literally not able to be fake) usually ends up opening up my heart and exposing hard things from it. I do it every time. And almost without fail my Facebook friend will say, “Oh! I would never know with how you come across on social media!”

My heart sinks. I get a little bit offended. The last thing on earth I want is for someone to think I have it all together. First of all…don’t I literally and figuratively show my dirty laundry every few months? Secondly, I deliberately try to litter my feed with images and words that fight the idea that my family is perfect. There are photos of my children crying, my dishes, me standing in a pile knee deep of laundry. There are laments of my heart, tuggings of my soul and posts searching for connection. I feel like I leave it all pretty bare.

Then I will go home and sit down to scroll, determined to prove them wrong. I will start by finding all of the proof of the realness. I will start counting them one by one until I get lost…lost in the beauty. As I scroll I see image after image of my life. I will see a photo of my children giggling and know just how hard that season was. I will see me with tired eyes hugging a bunch of wildflowers and remember that hard afternoon when the roadside blossoms made me feel alive. I will see memory after memory after memory. And then I know. These aren’t highlights. These aren’t fake. These are the moments that I grasp for. These are the beauty that I seek each and every day. They happen in the season of loss, they develop in times that we are not our ideal weight, and the beautiful thing about it is that they can happen simultaneously with sadness.

Every day I am bombarded with articles and posts griping about the dangers of social media. I agree with most of them. Yes we spend our precious time looking instead of experiencing. Yes it can make us jealous. Yes it can make us not connect in real life. But even with such a huge pile of why nots, I still can’t throw social media out with the bathwater and here’s why.

Hope.

I would say an average day is hard for me. Whether I am tired from binge watching Netflix, brokenhearted about a school shooting, or weary from serving the hundredth snack of the day, my days are usually not easy. Inside of them, though, I am always searching. Searching for the hope, for the beauty, for the ACTUAL LIGHT. And I always can find it. Whether it is in my child’s twinkly smile or in the beauty of a shadow on the floor, finding it and showing it to the world is life changing. So maybe no one gets the shadow on the floor except you and you are left with 3 likes from your mom and your best friends, it does not matter. That was a moment you claimed for good.

This is why I love social media. I love celebrating in the triumphs. I love that just a quick double tap can say, “I see you.” It’s not a highlight reel to me, it’s a light reel. And as humans I think we need to celebrate all the light that we can.









the birth of milo | kris and maria's story

I met Kris and Maria in a local coffee shop and fell instantly in love with them. We all connected in a million tiny ways. I was honored to hear their story-5 failed IUIs for Kris, a miscarriage for Maria- and then finally their journey to meet baby Milo began. I was thrilled when they asked me to be their doula.

During our prenatals, it became clear that the main thing Maria, as the birthing mother, needed was to feel that she was in control, even though she knew she couldn’t really be (because not having control is birth in a nutshell). We set up plans and back up plans and talked about all the options. In the end they went into the birth with open hands and a kick ass birth team.

Things began with a hiccup as Maria developed gestational diabetes that was hard to control and induction was talked about and then decided upon. Before Maria could even lament, there were cheers from every direction for the informed choice that SHE had made. When they went home to have one last good nights sleep and get everything ready….her water broke. They both stuck around to finish the season finale of Masked Singer (which seriously cracked me up) and then they headed in to have their baby! Maria labored for 25 hours. Those hours were filled with tender moments as Kris supported her every need. They were filled with moments we all held our breath, prayed and watched her do the work that no one else could do for her…and it was freaking hard work. I saw her let go of her plans but she did it from a place of strength, not coercion.

The magic of watching parents be born is equally as magic as watching a baby be born and this was especially true of these two women. I couldn’t stop crying as I watched their faces go from shocked to elated to dumbfounded.

Milo Jax was born into an ocean of deep love and I feel honored to have been a witness to it all. I am so thankful for the gift of the birth photos that I’m able to snap in between doula support…they tell the story so well.

a january wedding | sam + whitney

She keeps it simple
And I am thankful for her kind of lovin'
'Cause it's simple

She's talkin' to me with her voice
Down so low I barely hear her
But I know what she's sayin'
I understand because my heart and hers are the same
And in January we're gettin' married

-The Avett Brothers, January Wedding

Those lyrics rung so true to me on that stormy January night when Sam and Whitney married. These are some of my favorite parts of their wedding:

-every single groomsman and of course the groom were musicians so they jammed out while I took pictures and drank coffee.

-groom wearing his great grandfather’s hat.

-whitney practicing mandolin for the ceremony with the most peaceful look on her face.

-the giggly bridesmaids in the coldest air.

-tables draped with eucalyptus and decorated with succulents.

-stepping back and watching everyone they loved singing as they played mandolin and guitar together.

-rushing to the parking lot of target and seeing mountain views even in the storm.

-going to sonic for a milkshake since we only took 3 minutes to take pictures.

-the coziness of that place while bitter cold winds and icy rain surrounded us outside.

-kids running everywhere and no one hushing them.

-a table of pies lovingly baked by friends and family.

-THE JAM SESSION.

As always I am grateful for kindred spirit, artist clients who just let me do my thing.

*groom’s band and amazing new album "Honey and Blood”

*the most romantic bouquets by Fern and Flora Studios