Lockdown and parenthood 10.6.20

Im going round in circles today, mostly picking up crap from the boys bedrooms. I thought I would pause for 5 minutes and write down this jumble of thoughts bouncing around in my brain – just in case there might be someone else out there who might be feeling the same way…….it’s good to share.

I think this is week 12….maybe its 13?  Geez i have actually lost count, but regardless, its been a bloody long time.  And in that time, at home with my three young children I have learned an awful lot about myself.

I honestly used to envy stay at home mums, jealous of their beautiful, sweet days spent playing with their little ones, perhaps organising a closet, a little trip to the shops, a coffee, casual reading, cooking, baking, a walk through the park….

‘ahhhh’ said I to myself many, many times, ‘wouldn’t that be lovely, not having to work’ but its a fantasy really isn’t it?

Over the course of this past few weeks I have punished myself many an evening thinking:-

‘I haven’t done any work today’  ‘Im neglecting my business’ ‘I should be posting new content’ I should be replying to emails, organising the studio, promoting myself like all the other photographers are doing’  so many punishing thoughts because I let myself feel like I hadn’t had a productive day when in fact…….just take today so far……

I have got up after a very sleep deprived night, let the dog out, lifted his poo, fed and played with him, got three kids up, dressed, fed, loaded the dishwasher, unloaded the dishwasher, picked up clothes and toys that are lying everywhere, done a load of washing, hung washing out on line, brought washing in again because the smell of slurry would knock you out, rewashed those clothes, changed a bed, brushed a skid mark of the toilet bowl,

HOMESCHOOLED ( enough said, you all know)

Put Evie for a sleep, made lunch, currently writing blog and viewing dishes from lunch still to be done……it goes on and on doesn’t it? yet we think we do nothing because we do SO many little things which go unnoticed. The constant cooking, cleaning and the never ending laundry. Sometimes I literally have just finished clearing up when its time to start cooking all over again.

Over this past 12 or whatever it is weeks I think I’ve felt every emotion there is to feel.

At the beginning I had this list in my head of all I would get done from organising the hot press and everyones wardrobes, to revamping the studio and blogging every wedding I shot last year and finally, finally clearing out the messy drawer in the kitchen, but none of that happened.  The day just goes in so very quickly, being a mum ( or the stay at home parent) and running a home is the busiest job in the world. Truly.

So I am no longer going to allow myself to feel guilty about what I haven’t done, and instead remind myself of all the things I did do, irrelevant as they may seem to others, keeping your kids happy and balanced during this strange time hasn’t been easy so well done to you all if you have been in the same boat as myself. We’re doing good!

There were days I was full of ideas and energy and trekking them through rivers and forests and bug hunts and catching frogspawn, bike rides, painting, creating, reading, dancing and if you follow my insta stories you may have seen a lot of that, but there were other days when I felt so drained I happily told them they could play the playstation for 3 hours if they gave me peace. I didn’t story those days.

There were days I realised Richard was a much better parent than I was and my heart sank as they hung on his every word and completely ignored me when I asked them to do something. But I have since discovered our parenting styles compliment and balance each other well, and i’ve just had to learn not to be such a soft touch all the time to gain a little respect from my boys.

It’s been a rollercoaster. I am happy to get off now. Get back to work and all the extra  juggling that may entail. I am lucky enough to be shooting my first wedding again very soon and I cannot wait!!!!

I think this picture of our busted up paddling pool says its all really – lockdown you were good crack for a while…..but i’m kinda done with you now.

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I hear the sweet sounds of Evie chatting through the monitor now.

Have a wonderful day

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Happy New Year 31.12.19

They say time flies when you’re having fun…if thats the case then I’ve been having a lot of fun in 2019 for honestly – I do not know how its New Years eve already??!

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Without a doubt this has felt like the fastest year of my life so far…most likely because my days are filled to the absolute brim, Im a self employed mum of three, running a business, taking care of a family and though I love every second – it is busy.

By the time I had reached mid December I just felt utterly burnt out – didn’t want to admit it, but I was exhausted.  Luckily i’ve had the good sense to keep this time over the holidays free from shoots and meetings.  Ive had lie ins, watched movies, done activities with the kids, enjoyed lots of family time, ate lovely home cooked dinners ( and a whole lot of chocolate) and I’m slowly getting my house back to an acceptable level of tidy.  It has been wonderful – and just a few more days of this before I return to normality, but I feel ready to go again.  A wee rest does us so much good – never underestimate the power of a few days off.

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So as always, I like to look through all the work Ive shot throughout the year and share some of my favourite moments with you.  I may have said this before – but I LOVE to do this – most of the year I spend shooting and editing and sending the job out and rarely do I look through them again until this time of year – I nearly forget what I have shot and astonish myself that I do so much.

It’s a mixed bag of images – but if you follow me – then you will know that I love variety – I don’t think I could ever specialise in only one area.  Looking through these, my eyes have welled up a few times, some have made me laugh out loud – bringing me back into that moment again, all these images i’m very proud to have shot and privileged that these amazing people asked me to take them. This isn’t nearly the half of it and if I have missed including your session in this please forgive me – There are literally thousands of images to go through and still a few December sessions to edit.

To all who have supported me over all these years please know how thankful I am and I truly mean that.  I wake up with gratitude in my heart every single morning and it’s for the simple things that I have, my family, a warm home, food to eat, a job a love.  I never take any of these things for granted. Never.  Im not making resolutions or a wish list for 2020 – there’s nothing I need…just more of the same please and continued good health for all my loved ones.

I wish you all a very Happy, healthy 2020 and I am so excited to meet and photograph a whole new crop of faces and places for next year. x

PS:- Thank you so much that my inbox is once again full of fresh enquires, Congratulations to all those who got big shiny diamonds this Christmas – i’m working my way through the emails so you will hear from me very soon x

 

 

 

 

Rogan is 6!

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My dearest wee Rogan, your blog is now a week late because I just cannot seem to get at my computer at all lately – i’m so sorry……It’s been a week of non stop shoots, a wedding and two sick boys ( you and Brody).  High temps, sore throats, vomitting…the works 😦

But i’m MAKING time here now before this gets pushed back any further and at least we did take these photographs on your actual birthday…the usual 5 minute session in the studio.

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Last Friday you turned 6.  All you asked for was a box of Popoids and for your bestest wee friend Issac Moore ( always full title ) and cousin Elijah to come for a sleepover.

So thats what we did.

We had a dance party in the kitchen, we played disco twister, watched Secret Life of Pets 2, ate popcorn and built a mega den where you all slept (eventually when the chatting and giggling settled down).  Sometimes the best birthdays don’t need a lot of fuss, and I think you will always remember this as one of your best birthdays. You had so much fun – we also had Barnaby bear home from school for the weekend.

Let me tell you a little bit about yourself at age 6.  Firstly, you are never full…..if you are home with me you will ask for ‘something else to eat’ at roughly 15 minute intervals.  I cannot keep enough fruit in the house for you…..your snack preference roughly goes like this…

Mummy can I have a bowl of grapes?

Mummy do you have any Melon?

Mummy is there any strawberries…could I have them with cut up apple slices?

Mummy can I have a wee brioche? Toasted with butter.

You love two kinds of biscuits…Pick ups and Oreos….all other biscuits or treats are wasted on you…including cake ( which is why we have stopped bothering with fancy cakes which you don’t even eat).

Cheese and Onion crisps are your other favourite treat….but they must be Tayto – don’t even bother trying to give you any other brand. Only this will do.

You are extremely funny, loving and absolutely beautiful. You are my hugger and I am always guaranteed a wee snuggle with my Rogibear at any time.  You still have a spicy little temper on you mind, quick to flare but also very quick to cool again – usually by making you laugh, which is so easy to do.

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You adore little Evie and give her millions of hugs and kisses ( when she lets you) though I can see you and her testing each other as she grows – i’ve often seen you give her a wee nudge to see will she fall over for your own amusement and then absolutely deny that you did it……!!!!!

You love books and stories, especially the stories I make up for you guys.  You appreciate lego, but you don’t sit and build a set the way Brody does – you like to delegate and enjoy playing with it when it’s ready.  You and Brody are great friends 99% of the time ( when he isn’t teasing you and you aren’t punching him that is). You play very well together and have the same interests, Minecraft and Roblox are your favourites.

You can ride your bike, but would much rather be on your go-kart.  You are begging me and Daddy for a wee dog which you promise you will take care off……hopefully that will come in the not too distant future ( though i’m still heart broken over Harry *sob*).

But someday……

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When you are sick, you are the most amazing wee patient, if we go to the doctors you are seriously awesome, you just let them do their thing and make no complaints. You lost your first tooth a few weeks ago – you begged Daddy to just pull it out as it was annoying you – Daddy did and you didn’t even flinch.  Super cool dude!

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You are the most lovely, cheeky, funny, crazy, cool wee boy Rogan and we are so happy you are ours. You dance with your eyes closed and love to sing and act the cod.

Please always be the loveable wee Rogue – we wouldn’t change a thing about you!

Happy belated birthday little blue eyed, not so blonde one.

We Love you x

 

 

 

 

 

Brody is nine. 21.10.19

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Nine whole years of knowing, loving and raising this amazing boy.  I cannot tell you how proud and blessed we feel. Every. Single. Day.

You are just a lovely human being Brody and it is a pleasure to be your mum.

So this year, you cry a lot less, you talk back a little more, and you always, always tell me ‘in a minute mum’.  There are a lot less bedtime snuggles asked for, ( though you do decide this is the best time of the day to tell me stories in great detail, every detail !! ) and in fact I think you are pipping to get Rogan out of your room and have it all to yourself……you are growing up I guess.  It’s a good thing, but you still have a lot of innocence about you which I love and pray it stays that way for another few years.  You are the oldest, you are the one who goes through it all first and then passes your wisdom on to the other two so I suspect they will grow up even faster than you ( SOB!)

I am so happy you and Rogan get on so well most of the time, but you do love to tease and wind him up and there’s the wrestling matches and the nipping – but I think thats pretty normal for brothers right?

With Evie though, oh I see such a beautiful bond between you two.  I asked you one day recently what you thought of wee Evie and you said ” all I can say is love….I just love her’. I mean, you nearly had me in tears right there for I know the feeling so well, its how I feel about all of you.  Just heart bursting LOVE.   You are very protective over her, I hope you always will be.

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So you had your usual besties Carter, Dylan, Elijah and of course Rogan and went to We are Vertigo, ran yourselves ragged and came home to play some more.  Im pleased that those screaming soft play parties are over for you. The noise in that room when the cake comes out drives me nuts…..but I think you are past that now.  ONE DOWN! Two to go lol!

 

You still read like crazy, are obsessed with lego and are very creative. You have your Dad’s logical brain, you are very factual and will always correct me when I sing the lyrics wrong ( which I always do).

I can make you laugh very easily though, sometimes with only a look….we definitely find the same things funny.  You love your tablet and especially joining worlds with others in Minecraft and Roblox and you are very good at explaining how things work or teaching others to do something.

Im in two minds here whether to publish this or not – for though I am a great teller of other people’s stories…..I wonder now as you get older – will you still want every detail of yourself out there for the world to read??  You know what? I think this one will be ok….I don’t think many read my actual blog anyway lol…..and when you’re ten ( oh geez that is next year WAH!) When you turn 10 Brody, I will write these blog posts only for you.

So here you are, our 5 minute photoshoot in my studio, which you came running out to ( in your socks) voluntarily and we took our shots without any drama, bribery or sweat pouring down my back as it has been in other years.

Thank you for being so awesome Brody, you handsome, funny, clever, kind, cool little man.

We love you.  Happy 9th Birthday x

Evie is one! 10.8.19

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So our beautiful little girl has turned one today.  I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone by – i’m a teensy bit emotional about it – the tiny little baby stage is over, but every day there’s something new so I do love watching her develop and grow too.  I’ve just enjoyed every single second of her this year.  She’s just a really lovely child and its an absolute pleasure to be her mum. She is utterly adored by us all and charms anyone she meets with her cute little face and those amazing big eyes.

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As I do for Brody and Rogan, I am starting Evie’s annual birthday blog post and a little mini session in my studio.  It may look like I’ve the perfect little poser here, but let me assure you, a bucket load of sweat went into creating these pictures. I wish I had waited until Richard was home,  two people are most definitely required to photograph a one year old who’s on the move lol.

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Evie Elizabeth Cathers.  I can honestly say you have brought us nothing but joy this year. You are a very easy little lady to look after.  We look forward to seeing your beautiful wee smiling face every single morning – I even miss you when you’re asleep!!! Though I will admit I love the fact that you are a great sleeper……please don’t let me have just jinxed myself by saying that!! You have slept through the night from 10 weeks and I could probably count on one hand the amount of times you have kept us awake since. Though we did have to take you on a drive at 3am when we stayed in Castlerock last week for you were ready to party LOL.

At one year old your little words are starting to come…..Dada and Mama have been around from around 7/8 months but now its Brody, Moo ( what does the cow say? You love the cows!) , Yis! ( Yes) and you just squeal with delight when I offer you something you like.  Its so easy to make you laugh too – I just have to look at you sometimes and you’re in fits of giggles – especially in the car….you just love a bit of crack and some pumping tunes on the radio!!

Not quite walking yet, but pushing your wee trolleys and pram around and cruising round the sofas but you’re getting more confident each day and I can feel your first steps are just around the corner….some fun then Missy!

You are a total wrecker  – every cupboard you can get into you empty the contents of it and delight in doing so…I just let you….my house is a constant mess right now…I don’t even care! A bottle, some kitchen utensils, cookie cutters, bag clips, cups, pots, anything you can bang on are your favourite toys and pulling the magnets off my fridge is also one of your favourite pastimes….Im forever stopping you from putting everything and anything in your little mouth.

Your big brothers completely adore you – they actually argue over who loves you the most and you love a snuggle in their beds in the mornings when we go to wake them up.

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Today you woke at 8.05am and noticed all the decorations i’ve put up for you. We will have a lovely family day together and enjoy the delicious cake wee Helen  (The Cakery NI) has made for you.  And as you share your birthday with Nanny Violet, we will continue to celebrate with a big family BBQ on Sunday where you will be doted on a fought over by all your aunts, uncles and cousins.

Evie, I think it would be impossible to love you any more – my heart would just burst.  You have just completed our wee family and every day I pinch myself that we have been so very blessed.

Thank you for being such an awesome little babe.

Happy Birthday Darling Girl

Love  Daddy, Mummy, Brody & Rogan x

 

 

 

Happy New Year! 1.1.2019

For the past week or so I have been flicking though my 2018 hard drive and picking out my favourites for my end of year blog. Never an easy task, but always a very enjoyable and very satisfying part of my year.

Since I was pregnant for half the year and on maternity leave the other half I feel I haven’t got nearly as much content as I usually would, there is a lot of commercial work missing, jobs I just wasn’t able to take on last year – but I will be pushing more commercial and fashion again in 2019.  Still i’m very happy that I managed to do so much despite being heavily pregnant with aching ribs and hips!!

I shot my last weddings at 38 weeks and back out shooting weddings 2 weeks after Evie was born ( that was actually harder, but I did it) and I didn’t let any brides or grooms down so im pretty proud of that. 🙂

This is me out shooting my last wedding with my ginormas bump – I don’t recommend working this close to your due date, but I am so glad I was able to do it 🙂

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Also delighted to have won four awards for my photography this year :-

PPANI OVERALL LICENTIATE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2018
PPANI WEDDING REPORTAGE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2018
PPANI PRE-WEDDING & ENGAGEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2018

GMINI WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR (Runner up)

Sorry if thats a bit braggy, but honestly I was in total shock and we should celebrate our achievements when we work hard for them, it’ll probably never happen again LOL!

2018 has been very good to me. Most importantly it brought us our beautiful daughter Evie.  She is the best little baby, she wakes up smiling and is so content, my heart just bursts with love and gratitude every time I look at her and our boys.  We are far from millionaires in this home but I feel so richly blessed and I am doing my best to teach our children to be thankful for all the amazing things they have, and for the simple things they take for granted.

It may be just my kids, but over the holidays they can be wee demons, they go to bed late and sleep in late and they are all out of routine, high on selection boxes and their wee heads spinning not knowing which toy to play with next, by bedtime they are like wee pishmyers…Rogan threw a hissy fit last night because I hid in a rubbish hiding place for hide and seek…….I had to remind him of the fact that they have a mummy & daddy who love them so much, who plays with them and does their best for them, a warm home, a cosy bed, food to eat, clean clothes to wear and an abundance of toys…I have to say I got a little mad (and it takes a lot for me to get there) but nothing annoys me more than when they are ungrateful….so I will continue to drum this into them forever – the wee skitters!!!

Today though they have been absolute dotes!

So 2019 goals include losing the stone and a half i’ve been carrying about since having Evie, organising my time well, to start running again and get back to yoga, spend even more time at the beach, eat better and to continue to enjoy every delicious wee moment of life, for I don’t know about you, but each year that passes feels shorter and faster!

So, I will end my blabber now and leave you to enjoy some of my favourites from 2018.

My diary is open for 2019/2020 🙂  Congratulations to the many newly engaged couples who have already been in touch – dates do book up fast so do contact me soon if you would like to consider me as your photographer 🙂

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year full of love, health and happiness and as always THANK YOU so much for your support and custom each year I honestly appreciate every single job I get booked for, comment or like and positive message I receive.

THANK YOU x