Category Archives: newborns

Motherhood… A day in the life

When I was little I always dreamed of having babies of my own.  I wasn’t sure that would ever happen.  I was born with multiple health issues…  Doctors said I would never walk, I would never run, and I as I got older I would probably be in a wheelchair.  When I was 19 I was told I needed open heart surgery and that my heart was enlarged.  I remember laying on the gurney at Duke Hospital, petrified, and I remember thinking to myself that this was it.  I had made the mistake of reading up on the surgery beforehand… never. ever. do that.  A surgeon would have my heart in his hands while my body was connected to a machine that would breathe for me.  I thought about if this was really it, then I ‘d never know what it was like to get married.  I would never experience being pregnant or having babies…nor would I buy my own home… or have a real job… and the list went on and on…  Thankfully, my journey didn’t end there… my story wasn’t over… it was just beginning.

Being a mother is the most rewarding, the most frustrating, the most exhausting, the most humbling, and the single most important thing I will ever do in my lifetime.   We aren’t to a point in our photography business where I can do it full time and stay at home, so every day I get up, get everyone ready for the day, and I go to work.  I am fortunate to have a great job with full benefits, but I long for the day I can come home.  I feel like I miss SO much working.  And while we work to get our photography business built, we work two jobs which increases the time away from our kids.  But, that makes the time we do get to spend with them even more precious.

I thought about this morning as I had time before the kids woke up… how many things we take for granted day in and day out.  I thought about all the things I am going to miss one day, when they are grown and no longer at home with families of their own.  As we work to build our business… as we work to support our family… we are overlooking the little things…

So I decided to spend a few minutes capturing our morning.

a75_4441

a75_4454

a75_4430

a75_4450

a75_4432

My house is never perfectly clean… my house is full of dog hair… from our very rotten furbaby…. there are toys in the floor, and inevitably a basket full of dirty clothes overflows into the floor of my bedroom.  Seriously… somewhere we have about 15 missing people hiding that contribute to the dirty clothes.. There is no way 4 people can create the mountain of clothes that collects in this house!

a75_4456 a75_4449

There are crumbs from cookies….

a75_4472 a75_4466-2

Somewhere you may find a juice cup that was hidden and never found…

a75_4476-2

But one day there will be no more juice cups… there will be no more cookie crumbs… or the sound of giggling… the blaring cartoons, or the obnoxious toys…

a75_4434-2a75_4491

a75_4492

There won’t be toy’s strewn in the floor, or the pitter patters of little feet in the hallway

a75_4465

So when it’s all said and done….. and they are grown… with families of their own… I hope they know that mommy always tried… that she loves them fiercely with all that she is…. that while she is far far from perfect… she strives to be the very best that she can possibly be.  There are days that I make mistakes… that I get frustrated… that I get overwhelmed… and days that I’m just plain exhausted… but I will never stop trying… I will never stop believing in their ability to be amazing…  I am the mama of two precious… gorgeous babies… they are my biggest blessings and and my proudest accomplishments!  I may not always get it right…and that’s ok… we’re not expected to… but I will never stop trying to be the very best me that I can be. Because they deserve that.  And if I could go back and tell that scared little 19 year old girl on that hospital gurney at Duke one thing… it would be breathe… take it all in… it will all be ok and one day your struggles will turn into your story….and your story will be amazing…  God has so many blessings lined up for you… so breathe and live in the moment!

God isn’t done with me yet!  (Thank the Lord!) My story isn’t over yet… so while I write my story… I vow to do better capturing it.  I capture so many other memories for everyone else sometimes, I forget that I have my own memories to capture!

Are you capturing your memories? How are you writing your story?

a75_4499

The Millikens!

If it weren’t for this precious family my husband and I would have never met.  Most do not know how me and Mr. Smitho met… While I was attending UNC-Wilmington, using an ancient version of instant messenger named ICQ.  He was looking for a girl in his class to get a homework assignment.  He found me instead… his first words to me were “do I know you?” haha not to bore you with a whole lot of details but we realized we were from the same county but attended different high schools… When I told him I attended UNCW he told me the only person I know at UNCW is a girl named Carmen…   I Said funny… my suite-mate and good friend is named Carmen…  come to find out it was the same person…  He worked with her boyfriend and they had went to high school together… After doing some investigating with her that he wasn’t a weird stalked we would chat briefly online here and there… it wasn’t until a couple years later that we would finally meet up…   Almost exactly to the day , 14 years later and we’re still together!  Now Carmen and her then boyfriend are married and have a precious little girl!  How gorgeous is this mama??  A75_3943-Edit-Edit

A75_3999-Edit-Edit-2

A75_3876-Edit

Those eyes!!  and she wasn’t a fan at all of her cake! A75_4219-Edit-2  A75_4042-Edit A75_4058-Edit A75_3846-Edit She’s so incredibly beautiful…

You may remember her sweet newborn pictures…

SMO_8498-Edit SMO_8689

I’d have to say she’s only gotten prettier as she’s gotten older 🙂

Happy Birthday sweet girl!!

collage1

Updates in the world of Smitho Photo-A glimpse into our lives!

This will be long… but it’s long overdue!  When you hire Smitho Photo you are hiring a husband and wife team!  By reading our about page (because I’m sure you’ve combed every inch of our awesome website), you would learn that Adam and I have a daughter Lexi who is 6.  What you may not learn because I desperately need to update it like every other part of the website, is last October we announced we’d be adding a new addition to our family.

After what seemed like forever, I learned what the true meaning of anxiety was.  Taking my 9 month pregnant self and putting it in front of my own camera was a scary experience!  I’ve always struggled with my weight and been super self conscious.  But this was our last baby and I wanted to remember myself just as I was…

B75_5797B75_5940 B75_5903 B75_5808-Edit

After a difficult pregnancy riddled  with doctors upon  doctors, gestational diabetes, insulin injections, and numerous ultrasounds our sweet precious Landon James was born July 2nd weighing in at 8lbs 9oz.

SMO_0211 SMO_0231 B75_6305 B75_6274 B75_6077-2 B75_5997-2

Our family was now complete!

I had a c-section so after a week of the hospital, after a few days home I was determined to take Landon’s newborn pictures myself.  I’m still not quite sure what I was thinking.  My sweet boy gave me a run for my money!  But in the end Mommy won!  Adam plays guitar.  The guitar in these photos are actually his Papa’s guitar who we named Landon after.  My prayer was that he didn’t pee on this precious one of a kind heirloom!  He humored mommy and refrained!

B75_6789-Edit-2B75_6981B75_7001B75_6916B75_6881-Edit-2B75_6792-Edit-2-2

During the transition to a family of 4, Lexi somehow grew up overnight.  She all of a sudden seemed maturer and lost both of her front teeth.  It was also time for Landon’s 3 month pictures.  So what happens when there’s milestones happening and your mommy is a photographer… well you document them!

B75_9699-2 B75_9400-Edit B75_9472B75_9628-Edit B75_9561-Edit   B75_9618-Edit-2 B75_9614 B75_9580

And in closing… Since it’s now November of course we had to throw Halloween in the mix.  We have a few HUGE Star Wars fans in our house…yes we already have our tickets purchased and in hand for the new movie!  Lexi wanted to be Princess Leia… well you would think with anything and everything branded Star Wars these days that would be an easy task!  Not so much…   So Grandma came to our rescue with making her incredibly awesome Princess Leia costume.   Mommy and Daddy made the belt and we had to settle for a light Saber b/c a blaster was no where to be found!  We also couldn’t find an infant Ewok costume!  Imagine the horror!  How could they not have an Ewok costume for a 3 month old!?!  It is absolutely necessary!  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything cuter!  If you don’t know what Ewoks are you need to look them up!  I want Wickett to come live at my house!

So if you’ve made it this far in this incredibly long blog post I’m impressed!  You see when you choose Smitho Photo.  You’re not jsut choosing a husband and wife team. You are choosing a family.  You are helping pay for dance lessons and tball for our sweet girl.  You are paying for diapers and eventually sports for our little boy.  You are helping support our small family.  That’s why your continued support and business means so much to us.  That’s why your referral to you coworkers and friends means so much to us.  Because to us this is personal.

I will leave you with our sweet Ewok and Princess Leia herself!

B75_2173-Edit B75_2118-Edit B75_2171-Edit-Edit B75_2117

Sweet baby Parker

Sweet Parker Joan joined us in the studio a couple of weeks ago.  The day of her scheduled session she had a belly ache and was hard to settle… So we decided it’d be best to reschedule to a time when her tummy was feeling better.  A few days later she came back and was an absolute dream… she was super sleepy and let me do whatever we wanted.

I had made this prop particularly for her session.  I had seen an example and thought it would be easy peasy and wouldn’t take long at all to make.  WRONG!  6 hrs later it was complete and ready for her session!  But it was just what I had envisioned!

B75_7914-Edit-Edit-3

Parker’s mommy had a blanket and bunny from when she was an infant that she wanted her pictures made with.  I love incorporating sentimental items into our sessions when they are available…

B75_7970-Edit

She was so tiny and petite and such a doll.  Here are a few more from her session!

B75_7987-Edit  B75_8112-Edit  B75_8093-Edit B75_8069-Edit-2 B75_8064-Edit B75_8094-EditB75_8033-Edit-2B75_8126-Edit-3

Meet Baby Harrison

Meet Harrison, just 12 days new! Remember the beautiful mommy we met just 13 days ago?  Less than 24 hours from when we took her maternity pictures Mr. Harrison made his debut! His big brother and gorgeous mommy may have jumped in for one or two of the pictures. (And a side note, I’m pretty sure I have the most awesome father in law ever for making this boat for me!!)