Blue + Gray Project | Month 5 | Anora Jayne

Today is a very special day for us here in the Clark house.  One year ago today we got our first peek at the beautiful little girl that would make us parents!  It’s hard to believe it has been a year since then.  Our baby has gone from a wiggly little alien to a beautiful, sweet, smart baby girl.  She’s 5 months old and her tiny little hands hold our hearts.

This month she has learned to sit on her own for small amounts of time, roll from her tummy to her back, hold her weight on while standing and probably one of the most exciting developments for me…piggy tails!!!  This little lady is already a diva!  As soon as she puts her sunglasses on she enters “diva mode” and gets the cutest little pout and attitude.  She is definitely my child!

Also, this month we welcomed two little girls into our Ohana.  Miss Josie was born on May 8th to our friends Glory & Cameron and  Miss Lilia was born on May 13th to our neighbors Lei & Osama!  Both of these little girls are just so beautiful and I feel so blessed to have met them!

Seeing these babies has made me realize how much Anora has grown over the past 5 months.  She is so big and so smart, she just melts my heart!  So here we go!  Anora at 5 months old in all her cute little glory!

Month 1

Month 1

Month 2

Month 2

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Month 4

Month 4

This month’s cuteness:

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Blue + Gray Project | Month 4 | Personal

I know I’m a bit behind on these, but boy is it hard to keep up lately!  I can’t believe how much this little girl has grown already!  She is such a joy and has so much personality and sass already.

This month we started introducing solid foods and she is definitely a fan!  She loves applesauce and sweet potatoes.  Anora can almost sit up on her own, but she hasn’t quite figured out how to balance herself yet.

Here ‘s a quick recap of how much she has changed so far:

Month 1

Month 1

Month 2

Month 2

Month 3

Month 3

And here she is now!  4 months old and so very big!

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Blue & Grey Project | 3 Months | Personal

Holy Smokes! Where has the time gone?  Is this baby really 3 months old already?!?

Things have been so crazy between Nick’s schedule, my business and keeping our little Dove happy, I never got the chance to post her pictures from last month! She has already grown so much and she is getting bigger and smarter every day.  She is so amazing and brings so much joy to our lives.

This month, she has mastered her vowel sounds loves to say “Hi” when when you pick her up.  Sh loves to play with her tongue and watch how your mouth moves when you talk to her.  She can now support herself upright and has started tri-poding, when she remembers to let go of her hands.  Her favorite pass times are playing her footie piano, talking to Doc McStuffins & Sophia the First and showing off her belly when she wears a dress.  Sadly her, little mohawk is starting to curl over now that it’s getting longer, but it’s still hanging in there!

Blue Grey Project

1 Month

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2 Months

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Crystal, Brandon + Aurora | Hawaii Family Portraits

On a day when the whole island of Oahu was covered in clouds and rain, we found the sun!  It was literally raining the whole drive from Honolulu to Kauloa.  I was so sure we were going to be rained out.  It wasn’t until I was 10 minutes away from the park that I finally saw the sun shining on the mountain side.  Yay sunshine!!!

I met Crystal through a photography group and found we have so much in common!  She runs Saphire Memories Photography and was the awesome talent behind both my maternity portraits and Anora’s newborn portraits.  She is so sweet and talented!  I’m so glad we had a chance to sneak in some headshots for her! Check out her Facebook page here to see some of her work.

It was a prefect golden hour and sunset for a perfect little family! Crystal and Brandon are so sweet and Aurora is such a sassy little lady.  I had a blast photographing this little family and I’m so glad they were my first session back from maternity leave!  Enjoy!

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Holiday Specials + Planning Your Session | Photography

It’s that time of year again my friends!  Time to start planning the family Christmas portrait.  Okay, I know what you’re thinking- it’s only the middle of September and we haven’t even had our candy corn fix yet!  I know, but if you’re like me, you look forward to this picture all year.  The picture you will share with your whole family, the one that will proudly sit on the refrigerator door at every friend’s house to be stared at and shown off proudly.

For those of us here in Hawaii, this is THE most important picture of the year.  Sure there’s the cute picture of the kids in their pastel outfits at Easter and holding the pumpkin in October, but this is the FAMILY portrait.  This one picture where we pry dad from his arm chair and dress the girls in their sparkly dresses and put reindeer antlers on the dog!   This is the special one that Grandma will show off to her friends in the grocery story.  The one that makes even your older brother jealous!

So how can you make this year’s picture stand out?  How can you make different from the past years?  Here are a few ways to stand out from the crowd and make sure your Christmas portrait really is merry and bright!

Beat the Rush- Instead of waiting until after Thanksgiving, start early!  If the kids are at least 1 year old, you can easily take your pictures in October or November.  The kids will still look about the same when Saint Nick comes to visit.  PLUS, you get extra time to send out those greeting cards!

Set a Theme- Instead of the usual red and green sweater (which aren’t really practical in the Hawaiian sun), set a theme for your family’s sessions.  Love to surf? Bring out the board and throw on your baggies!  How about a blue and white nautical theme?  Hawaiian shirts and dresses for “Hawaiian Christmas” on the beach, complete with a Hawaiian “snowman”?

Forget the matching- Instead of everyone wearing the same matchy-matchy outfits, set up a color pallet!  Teals for the buys, purples for the girls, various shades of blues for the whole family, etc.  Mix in a pattern or two with your solid colors to add a little pop and some interest. 

Get Personal- Hate the sand at the beach? Head to the local Christmas tree farm!  Can’t stand the smell of pine?  How about a session with downtown Honolulu decorated in the background instead!  Your pictures should ALWAYS show your personality and make you feel at home!

This year’s Holiday Specials will be available throughout October and November!  I wanted to give you all enough time to plan and take your portraits, before Miss Anora makes her debut into this world!  I will ONLY be shooting through Thanksgiving this year, since I’m due December 10th.  Cards will still be available and must be ordered before December 10th, to ensure they have tome to be ordered and delivered before I do. ;-)   Below are this year’s Holiday Specials and example of some of the holiday cards available.  Please email me at littlefloweroahu@gmail.com to set up your session.

Christmas Packages

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Megan turns 20 | Personal

Twenty years ago today, I was blessed with one of the most special gifts I have ever received- sisterhood.  I still remember when my mom told me I was going to have a baby sister or brother.  I started crying and telling her “No!  I don’t want a BABY sister!  I want on my size!”  Despite my argument, I was still given a little sister to torment and love.

Over the years she has hugged me, yelled at me and even beaten me with a metal baton.  There have been many fights and squabbles and arguments, but through it all we still love and support each other.  She is the jelly to my peanut butter and the zig to my zag.  Without her my childhood would have been a long, boring mess and I wouldn’t be who I am today.

She is now a beautiful young woman, with a loving heart and a enough drive to move a MAC truck!  She is a military spouse, a college student and (most recently) a veterinary aid.  I am so proud of her for finding the love of her life and having the courage and tenacity to go after it, even when that meant a year long deployment to the middle east.

Happy birthday Meg!  I love you and hope you enjoy your first birthday as a wife and Virginia resident.  It’s still so hard to believe how much you’ve grown!  You’re no longer the little girl with “pagetti” sauce on your face, now you are a beautiful young lady with a home and a family of your own.  Give the puppies love for us and remember to have a piece of cake!  Love you!

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Sweet 16- My Baby Sister’s Birthday | Personal

I can’t believe my baby sister turned 16 years old today!  It seems like just last week she was 6 years old, holding my hand as we snorkeled off Sugarloaf Key.  I remember her getting so worried when I dove down pick up a sand dollar and bring it up for her to see.  She was such a sweet, worried little thing!

Now she is a sweet, beautiful young lady.  She has such a big heart and golden personality, it makes me ashamed of the smart-ass I was when I was her age!  I truly wish we lived closer and I could spend the day with her, celebrating.  Between the time difference, school schedules and being a workaholic, I don;t get to catch up with her much.

I love you Riles and I really, really hope I get to see you soon!  I hope you have a wonderful birthday and get to celebrate your awesomeness!  This is going to be one awesome year for you, I can just feel it!  Love you baby sister!

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Pregnancy + Working from Home | New Mommy Series

When I first found out I was pregnant EVERYONE was interested and wanted to give little tips and advise.  Veteran mommies and kid-less friends alike had stories of their pregnancies- or a friend of their’s.  I’ve heard a hundred tales of morning sickness and back pain.  One thing no one ever mentioned was work.  How it changes and how it can be more difficult, especially if you’re working from home.

For me it comes to a few key points and tricks I have learned from my wonderful friend and photographer Amanda Hedgepeth.  She has taught me so much and because of her I have been able to come up with my own system of semi-madness that works for me and my new little family- to-be.

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Here are a few of those little tips to help you out on your quest for pregnant sanity:

1. Make a Schedule & Set Working Hours-  This seems so basic, but it really is a lifesaver!  You may be the type that needs a play by play, but for me, just having a rough outline is enough.  This is partly due to my husband’s crazy schedule and how it rotates (one week he works 5 days, the next he works 2 days).  Having a rough schedule allows me to get things done and still be able to spend as much time with him as possible.

For instance, I have an alarm set for 8am Monday- Saturday and one set for 9am everyday.  This makes me wake up at 8am no matter what 6 days a week and ensures that even if I feel exhausted and sleep in, I’ll be up by 9am.  Not only does this mean that I will be able to start work early enough, but it also means I’ll have breakfast about the same time everyday.

I also know that I will need to get food out for dinner around 2 or 3pm and start cooking around 6 or 6:30. I also know Nick will be home around 5:30-6. It may not sound like much, but to me this means my working hours are from about 9:30 to 6pm with a break around 2 or 3.

How I usually feel in the mornings.

How I usually feel in the mornings.

2. Learn to Multitask- Some people (like me) are natural multitaskers.  We have to be doing at least two things at once (like writing a blog, listening to stand up comedy and eating a quesadilla).  At the very least, multitasking allows me to eat while I check emails- or write blogs.  It also ensures that I am covering my bases.

3. Turn off the distractions-  For some it’s the tv, for others it’s Facebook or Pinterest.  Either way, turn it off, grab a glass of water and maybe a snack and get to it!  I have an alarm clock on my desk to keep me on track and stop me from looking around too much.

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4. Workflow- This is a little piece of heaven once it’s done.  The process…not so much!

This is where my OCD kicks in.  I write down EVERYTHING!  From blogging to editing to laundry.  I broke down my workflow by day and made sure to include my cleaning list since I tend to forget things otherwise.  This is just my way of doing things, make sure you do what works best for you.  I like to clean everything at once, but at this point, I just can’t do it anymore.  In order to make sure I’m not only checking emails and editing sessions, I made sure to break up my cleaning list and add it into my daily workflow.  I put each list in a plastic cover so I can use a dry erase marker to cross things off when they’re done.

This doesn’t just help me, but my husband as well.  If I ask him do help me with chores, all he has to do is check the list for that day and see what hasn’t been crossed off yet.  It makes our lives a lot less stressful and helps us communicate better (meaning I’m not yelling at him for not knowing what needs to be cleaned.

I also have a weekly workflow list and one for monthly tasks.  Think of it kind of like a scheduled checklist.  Instead of just writing down what you need to do this week or month, you break it down by day or week.  Feel free to put anything important on here.  I have vacuuming down everyday, just to make sure I stay ahead of the dog hair!

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5. Schedule time for fun- It sounds a little weird, but it necessary!  Don’t just assume that you are going to stop working when you say working hours are over, though a loving spouse can be a great way of reminding you to shut down shop!  I schedule every Sunday off, with the exceptions of sessions right now.  I also try to make that at least one day during the week is a “cleaning only” day while my session level is low.  This gives us time to be a family and just hang out and enjoy each other’s company for a day without worrying about work.  We also try to do something special at least once a month, like going to the Sea Life Park.  This is SO much easier once you schedule a day off.

Since we are so far from family, both Nick and I have decided that when family is visiting, we will be taking time off to spend with them.  This may be harder for some people, but living 5,000 miles away in a vacation spot makes it a bit easier for us to know ahead of time when people are coming.

These organization tips are the secret to giving yourself more time to relax and enjoy your family.  And a more relaxed mommy-to-be means a more relaxed, healthier baby-to-be!  By creating systems for daily, weekly and monthly workflow and schedules for your time, you will have to schedule your life around your work less.  Your friends, spouse, doctor and clients will love you for it
and you will be that much happier (and have time for a slice of pie)!!!