It’s the start of a new school year today for many kids in our areas, and with the start of the school year, we’re starting off a new monthly segment on the blog! Mombassador Mondays will be once a month for the winner of our Photography for A Year contest, Jessica! Since you’ll be seeing a lot of her for the next year, it only seems fitting that you get to know her a little bit. I asked her a few questions yesterday, when we did her first mini session at their house over in Avondale.
Where are you from originally? Snowy Buffalo, New York
How long have you lived in Northeast Florida? Since 2000-feels strange, 17 years ago!
How long have you been married? 5 years! (Side note: Justin and I actually photographed Jessica & Dan’s wedding during a tropical storm! Yep, we go way back.)
It’s the weekend. How are you spending it? We LOVE our neighborhood, Avondale, and exploring every part. From the parks to ice cream shops and running along the St. Johns.
Oh, and of course housework! I Wouldn’t be a mommy without it! We just bought our old home (circa 1929) in April and seen to always have something to fix, plumb, or refurbish. It is truly a blessing! We spend our Sunday’s at our church, First Baptist church, and love it! Maddie loves her Sunday School and gives Dan and I some time together.
Tell us a few things you’re passionate about. The Jaguars! But first and foremost, I am passionate about raising our Maddie as a Christ-loving, excited about life, and sweet girl. I am passionate about teaching. There’s no better feeling than building relationships with these sweet children. The to-do list never ends, the lesson planning is never done, and the relationships I’ve built are never replaceable. Teaching has truly taught me to be the mommy I am today.
What is one piece of advice you would give a first-time mom? Enjoy every single flicker of a moment-you’re going to make decisions you instantly question, moments you think about “before being a mommy,” feeding and sleeping schedules you’ll likely obsess over…and days you will have to just go with the flow. Maddie makes me sing to her every single night but one day, she’ll beg for her own independence and my singing will embarrass her-so I don’t mind singing “on top of spaghetti” 5 times over. Enjoy the moments. And drink coffee.
What are your favorite places around town to go with your family? Our own back yard! We love our huge deck and our family nights spent outside. Boone Park to play, and the ice skating rink to channel our inner NY with our precious princess. Did I mention we love Riverside and Avondale? We spend 90% of our time in our own neighborhood exploring the shops and restaurants right here!
Here are a few of my favorites from Jessica’s session. I’ve always been passionate about photography that captures life for what it is – a series of moments that are completely unstaged. While I did some directing in this session and definitely talked to Jessica about what she might like, we mostly tried to capture things they would normally be doing as a family on a Sunday afternoon. And this has to be one of my favorite family sessions yet, because it’s just like what I would want to capture of my own family. It’s these little moments of things you do every day that you now have beautiful images to preserve the memories of. We had such a fun, casual time taking these. I can’t wait for their next session!