Kruegers in Vermont - July 2017

The magic of Vermont... I don't know why it exists or what really makes it feel magical, but it has a charm like no other. I love when my family meets us up there, to share the magic and fun! At least once a year they all (4 siblings + their families) make the trek and we "whoop it up", making memories to last a lifetime. - July 20, 2017

Acadia National Park - July 4th 2017

Through many of our summer travels this year, Acadia National Park was definitely a favorite. We went up to celebrate Taylor & Tyler's engagement and the 4th of July. Tyler's family has a beautiful spot right on the ocean called the "rock ledge" and it was the perfect hangout to have a lobster bake, s'mores, and a breathtaking sunset!

We also got to "climb" (in the car, thank goodness cause I was pregnant) to the top of Cadillac Mountain! and then we stopped off at Sand Beach to splash in the icy cold waters of Maine...

It was a great trip - July 2017

The Last Trimester (of baby #3)

For my friends and loyal followers, me again, seems like I can never muster up the energy to write these days. I love writing, sometimes more than photography, but getting words to flow lately with S&E and pregnancy is like getting molasses out of a hose spicket (does that even make any sort of sense?)

I will start by saying, I know I'm blessed to be pregnant and I thank the universe/god/whatever listens to us when we talk to "ourselves" everyday I wake up, that I'm healthy and my family is healthy. I just recently tapped back into the book "The Secret" so I've been grateful beyond measure.

But this pregnancy has been really tough. Physically and mentally, so challenging for me.

Physically - I've almost lost my ability to walk around freely. I don't know if it's the weight of the baby, because it's my third and my ligaments and muscles are shot, because I'm on my feet, literally all day or what... but I walk around every day like peg leg. I seriously need a walker, and It freaks me out because I don't know how I'm going to deliver a baby if I can't even walk. My pubic bone feels like it's being torn apart, and this has been going on for months now. According to google it's called SPD (symphysis Pubis Diastasis) - this is when the hormone - "relaxin" causes the pelvis, particularly the pubic bone to loosen, then there is too much laxity there can be instability and pain. Well... let me tell you, this baby should come sliding right out with the amount of pain I'm in!  I cried myself to sleep last night because I cannot take anymore of this painful torture. This has then been paired nicely with the braxton hicks all day and all night... which for those who don't know, it's like your already 20lb medicine ball stomach then turning into a hard rock... it takes my breath away, especially at night when I'm laying down, I cannot breath. Turning over in my sleep is like a 5 minute ordeal that is so painful (because of my hips)... I don't know why this pregnancy is so difficult but it's been a doozy from the start.

Mentally - I'm sort of over the mental anguish of it all, I've thrown up my white flag and surrendered to the universe. TAKE ME. But at first I faced a lot of guilt... ya know, the standard " i'm so sick I can't take my other 2 kids anywhere" sort of guilt. So for the past 9 months we've been watching a LOT of shows and movies. They don't seem to mind at all but, naturally, as a mom, you find something to feel guilty about. My friends & family make sure my head is on straight and re-assure me that it's only a season of life and the kids are just fine.  I will say we've found a keen fondness for our art table (as you may have seen on instagram stories #obeysartplace) and S&E have learned to play so well together, without me entertaining them... so that's a win.

Motherhood though is such a mental game isn't it? A mental learning journey, first what your body goes through, gaining all the weight (which btw, I've gained almost 50lbs! now there's a juicy post for another day!) laboring said baby - which is a wild, fly by the seat of your pants, unknown in itself, then trying to breastfeed/keep baby alive for the first 3 months of "survival mode", with virtually no sleep if your baby's are anything like mine, which, should be interesting this time around.  But then you get to experience this wildly delicious and raw love that only a mother can experience for her new baby... the cuddles, the skin 2 skin, the first times for everything... that intoxicating baby love is strong enough to keep us coming back for more!

I recently read a quote that made all the difference in my day... and hopefully yours too...

If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you
— Bette Davis
37 weeks.jpg

37 weeks

18 more days to go!

Slow summer days with cousins - NT trip

Just catching up here, 4 months later... This past summer was a crazy whirlwind of traveling for my family and I caught most of it to post here... so years down the road we can remember all the little moments that are so sweet.

This was a trip back to Buffalo to visit our family (COUSINS!)... in June 2017

The first time my kids experienced the neighborhood ice cream truck & shark girl (hahaha).

The First Trimester (of baby #3)

This pregnancy has been pretty brutal, I'm not sure the exact reason why either. Is it because I'm keeping up with 2 other babies while growing this third one?  Is it because it's my third and my body needs more help as it gets older? I'm not sure... but here are a few images to show how it's been going, at least in the first 4 months... (good thing it was a rainy spring! = lots of movies and TV watching and jammies all day going on here)

Needless to say, I've been squeezing in as much napping and laying as possible. Now that these hot months are here (although it's been a nice mild summer so far, I've been lucky) I've been feeling pretty dizzy, dehydrated and of course, exhausted. Most nights I'll go to bed around 8 - 8:30p if I can. I've tried "nesting" a few times lately and it's pretty weak compared to the first 2 times I was going through that. Mostly because I know the baby grows out of everything, including that super cute nursery you worked so hard at, so quickly that I can't even bother to put much thought into it.

As someone who's regularly pretty energetic, it's so hard to mentally be so beat and exhausted almost exclusively. It's such a mind (fuck). That 2nd tri-mester "honeymoon" period people talk about... not happening over here. When I need to clean up the house, like actually put things where they belong and not just stack them in a pile out of view, I have to sit almost every 10 min to rest. When I go up any sort of incline I'm truly out of breath and my mind immediately goes to the big fat lady with an oxygen tank trying to breathe and get around.

I know, I know, this too shall pass... I'm making life... it will be over before I know it. I've heard them all and say them to myself everyday... but it still doesn't make me feel better! haha.

Thankfully my mother in law takes the kids on Wednesdays and since I've stopped booking shoots for the remainder of the year, I'm taking it easy at least one day a week. God bless her!

xo,

April

Deciding to take the plunge... having 3 babies!

Hi Mama's... I've been wanting to share my journey from 2 to 3 babies with you because I feel like it's a question that some struggle with when building a family. I always find it helpful to read about other women's stories and thoughts to help me try and figure out my own. So, if you're teetering on whether you want to take the plunge into a family of 3 babies from 2 or you're just curious on why in the hell we would go for a third, here it is!

Deciding if we wanted 2 or 3 children was a question that haunted me specifically for the last year. Justin always pushed for a third, but I was pretty set and happy with 2. When I use the term "haunted", I pretty much thought about it every day. I couldn't get my mind off of it... not that I didn't already have my hands full, because I did, between all the traveling we do and 2 under 3, there was never a dull moment... wait a sec, now that I think about it, it's actually a question that haunted me as soon as Ethan was born. As I lay there on the hospital bed having just pushed out a 10lb toddler, the nurse (so rudely, in my opinion) asked If I was going to have another one. Who says that at that time?

I digress...

I was a pretty firm no for a very long time... 2 was enough for me and I was happily busy, borderline crazy... but the question still never left my head. Justin and I got to the point that, when the kids were acting good we'd say aaawww one more (he always wanted one more) and when they were bad we'd walk around saying "2's good, 2 is plenty good". We talked about how easy it is to travel with 2, one each, and how manageable it is, how family ski trips would be just around the corner etc etc...

But then Ethan turned 2...Sienna turned 4 and my feelings changed. All of the sudden this baby was turning into a toddler boy, and it seemed to have happened so quickly. I found myself getting more sleep and worrying less during the day because they both became muchmore self sufficient. Leaving the house and sticking with plans was becoming easier.  He could feed himself, play independently... Sienna was still needy but I'm used to that by now... My life was getting easier.

And then my mind started thinking about, omg, am I done with this? has this baby ship sailed? We started tasting freedom by the baby spoonful. My body was back and I felt like I was 100% out of post-partum depression (which I suffered from greatly, without realizing, after Ethan was born).

I'm 33 yrs old... It's not like I'm in my 20's (which I 100% believe our bodies are still made for, even though our culture has shifted to having them later in life... but that's a rant for another day) the decision has to come now. Growing up in a large family, I'm the middle of 5 kids... and I couldn't get comfortable with the fact that they would only have each other, no other siblings. Of course then I get fixated on that thought, and couldn't come to grips with it. Why though? My one sister has 2 daughters, my mom was 1 of 2, majority of my friends only have 1 other sibling... why wasn't I comfortable with this?

So the question lingered on, I just couldn't let it go... I guess I always just imagined myself with a large family... completely ignorant of how hard mothering is and especially pregnancies in my 30's on the old bod.

It was getting pretty late in the game, for us, ha. We knew that if we wanted 3 we wanted them all to be close in ages, like we both are with our siblings. Also, I knew that I did NOT want to be getting pregnant 3-5-10 yrs down the road, on accident! So if this was it, Justin needed to get snipped and that was going to be it. Well, he refused haha. There were days when I would threaten to make him an appt at the doctor and he never took me seriously...

Being blessed with easy fertility, we decided that we would try one time, that's it... and if it happened then it was meant to be and if it didn't then Justin would get a vasectomy and we'd be done with it.

...It worked!

holy cats! 100% mixed feelings!

holy cats! 100% mixed feelings!

Adventures of April + Rae Rae

Last month we got to spend some special time with a gal who's been my best friend since we were Sienna's age (4). She now lives in Wisconsin, but visits once a year so we can get the kiddies together and mother side by side (laughing at one another). It's always a fleeting time, as the kids take up most of our attention throughout the day, but it's a time to catch up and just straight chill together. This time we decided to amp up the juice and take a road trip with all 3 kids to Vermont. Needless to say it was one to remember!

Photographing my life or my kids lives rather, is somewhat of a bear... I have to admit. On one hand I love to have the memories but while it's all going on, while the kids are running wild and I'm mid conversation with (anyone really) I just want to live in that moment... not pick up my camera and see it through my lens... and the older I get the more I'm sick of living through my lens. And then thinking about the post processing after I've taken said photos, it's time consuming and eats me alive most days. But having these images are what keeps me going, year after year. If you're a photographer with kids, how do you manage this?

May 2017 - shot with Nikon D3s with 50mm 1.4

Hello Summer 2017

I will go to any lengths to find a reason for celebration! I love to celebrate, who doesn't?! This past weekend we celebrated Thahn & Will's engagement and Leila's birthday...and also, to kick off to a great summer. In good fashion, Leila brought the best party favor, the slip n slide! (Her bridal shower also featured this always amazing sheet of plastic). The music was playin, drinks were flowin and of course, Ethan was running around naked.

Happy Summer All!

Chillin at the beach

When Justin and I met, we were truly head over heels for one another… so much so that when he was trying to impress me, he took me on a "photography date" around Boston… it was so much fun, he rented a fancy lens (that he had no clue how to use), hahahaha oh man, it’s so funny to think back upon the antics he used.

Last month we spent some time with “mimi & papi” at their place down the cape and sitting on the beach hearing the words “hey, can I use your camera for a minute?” brought me back to that date. Watching Justin with a camera + playing with the kids was priceless. They had never interacted with daddy as a photographer, so he got some great shots that I wouldn’t have been able to… mommy with a camera is just… annoying (I suppose?)… Anyway, here’s our time at the beach in May.

Why are the kids being quiet?

You know, that feeling... when all of the sudden your children are very quiet... the first thing that goes through your head is "I bet they're under the sink getting into something dangerous"... so I walk into the kitchen and through the doors I spy with my little eye...

Just a big sis and little bro, reading books side by side!

Such a rare moment in time, I had to run and grab my camera. Lately I've really been enjoying the ease of documenting our lazy days at home.

A Day in Boston

Life at home certainly has its perks... like being able to enjoy what our beautiful + clean city of Boston has to offer during the weekdays... this means no lines and no crowds (but I assure you, no matter what the time of day is, there is ALWAYS traffic!).

My mom flew into town last month so Justin's mom suggested we do something fun in the city after picking her up from the airport. Great! 2 moms = I can take photos! If it's just the kids and I you can bet I never bring my giant camera along... I need my 2 hands and less the extra 10lbs. (yes, it's a heavy one).

We enjoyed a beautiful spring afternoon together walking through the Public Gardens and the Boston Commons. Justin happened to have a meeting nearby so he joined us for a short while.

A day we'll never forget!

Photos taken with Nikon D3s with 50mm 1.4 lens - the smallest and lightest lens I own.

There are so many ways to be beautiful!

Recently I have decided that there are SO MANY ways to be beautiful.

...stay with me...

As a "people" photographer, I look at A LOT of faces... I'm talkin', fine tuning, smoothing and rendering faces (the post processing, there's just about at least 1 face in each of my photos). I've stared at hundreds of thousands of faces... and never once was I like "oh my god this person is repulsive"... No matter what you look like, if you've been in front of my lens then chances are we've talked, we've looked one another in the eye and we've shared a few laughs and boom I capture your beautiful smile.

That's all I ever really see, is the smile and all of them are beautiful. In their own way.

Each set of eyes and each nose, eyebrows and ears and chins galore! Somehow, your features all work together and it creates a very unique individual.

there are so many ways to be beautiful!

LIFE at HOME

A SPACE FOR GROWING

Hi Mama's... 4 years ago I decided that I had a lot to talk about after becoming a mother and spending most of my days at home. I started a side blog on tumblr called "The Runnin Mama" (http://therunninmama.tumblr.com/) that I sort of used as my creative writing outlet. I'm not a huge fan of tumblr so I stopped using it and all together and just stopped writing. 

Well that's not good... I know. 

Between all the chaos of life at home (which is the focus of my writing), running a photography biz and spending time on relationships with friends and family, there was no time to create a whole new entity to then have to promote socially etc. Oye... what a headache.

Ain't nobody got time fa dat!

So here it is, a space for me to write freely, to share my thoughts with you, my friend.