Not even sure I can do this post justice.

I'm a Mum.

Just writing that makes my eyes fill up with tears.

I read a quote the other day that said becoming a parent was like being born again.. and I totally get it.  This little person appears and your emotions are literally opened up.  You always thought that they were open.. you've always felt love and pain, joy, sadness.. but you now realise that it was literally the tip of the iceberg.. a slightly muffled version.. a protected version in some ways.  Looking back, in a way.. it felt so safe..

Bloody hell I'm a Mum.

I don't think I've ever felt more vulnerable and more bullet proof all at the same time..

Frank Smyth decided to take his own sweet time to join the party but me and his Dad are absolutely over the moon he's chosen us to hang out with..  Born on the 27th January 2016 at 22:23... all 8lbs 3 of pure chub and cuteness.  We're totally smitten..
Polaroid by Joanna Brown.



It's been that long since I've blogged that I actually forgot how to sign in.  November last year was my last post and for quite a while, if someone was to ask 'Why the silence?'.. I'm not sure if I could have articulated why.  Or maybe because there were too many reasons.

What I do know is that both me and Pete feel like lots of things have changed for us.  Funnily enough, I thought travelling would be the perfect opportunity to take some time and step away and try to figure some of it out.. and maybe there was just a tiny part of me that thought 6 months travelling the world would magically land all the answers I needed straight in to my lap.. and I guess, in a roundabout way it did.. it just wasn't the nicely 'tied up all in a bow' type answer that I was kind of hoping for..

I suppose the biggest thing for me is I started to ask myself the 'What's it all for?' question.. (yup.. I'm going deep).  Now in terms of our work this is something that me and Pete talk about A LOT.  Hmmm and this is where it gets tricky...

We were sharing our work, we were collecting 'likes' and 'followers', we were pushing to get bigger and better (even without realising it).. and if I'm totally honest.. I was feeling not good enough, I was competing, getting jealous, feeling inadequate, obsessive, worried.. I watched what was becoming popular.. a wave of 'curating your work and yourself'.. fitting in to a mould.. pushing yourself to the limit.. bigger.. better.. and it all felt just a bit too heavy.  It was making me sad.

And that question 'What is it all for?' just kept coming back.  Who were we trying to impress?.. who was it all for? Why do I feel the need to constantly share all this? Why is it important?  Now I'm saying this in bold.. this is MY thing.  My hang up.. and I needed to step away to try and attempt to work it all out.  I just wanted to go and live our life.. enjoy our wonderful friends.. enjoy our wonderful couples.. shoot their wonderful weddings.. give them their wedding images that they will keep forever and for that to be enough.  And we did just that.  We shot weddings, were super duper proud of what we created and we delivered them to our couples and their families.  .  We took away all the addictiveness, the instant gratification, all the praise and it became less about the 'right now'.. and much more about the legacy.  And more than ever it became about them and not about us.  We then hung out with our friends.. adventuring together, big hearty get together meals, plotting communes and ways to live more consciously.. and generally absorbing a heap of warm, fuzzy, inspirational and positive feelings along the way...

..and that's where we got stuck.  Because there are parts of being online that we love.  The way it has connected us to life long friends, how it's introduced us to so many like-minded, wonderful people.. how sharing who we are has meant that OUR couples have found us and peeps have felt drawn to our Welcome Home workshops which has then created such a wonderfully strong and supportive community..

All the good stuff is also there...

So.. although a lot of the stuff online was making me unhappy.. a big proportion of it was also enriching and inspiring us, introducing us to wonderful people and building a beautiful community..

When me and Pete talk about our life and our business we constantly talk about how we are deeply passionate about people. Our couples.  Our workshop attendees.  Our peers. Our friends.  We want everyone around us, everyone who we come in to contact with, to go away feeling happy, special, inspired, more in love, more excited, more confident.  We want to continually stop people's every day shit for a second and give them an opportunity to appreciate what or who they have around them and (as corny as it sounds) what they're capable of and that they are just wonderful exactly the way they are.  Call it a mini life manifesto if you like but we want to concentrate on that stuff.. and maybe that is just it.  The whole 'online' world began to feel too.. dare I say it.. too self promoting.. too crafted.. and we were constantly craving the opposite..

I guess what I'm saying is that I was trying to work out what I was comfortable with.  I just knew that I was having a hard time with the social media world that has created the need for constant recognition, for constant praise, constant 'Look what I'm doing/eating/wearing'.. LOOK AT MEEEEEEEE'... I just felt I wanted more from it.  More of the good stuff.  And that was the answer..

I want to go back to my early blogging days where I would just write.. write whatever the hell I wanted.. without any agenda, without thinking 'does it fit our brand'.. just being honest about how I feel about stuff and if that resonated with others in any way then that's what made me happy. I want to make the most of the community.  Rather than seeing it as a constant audience.. I want to collaborate and share... to use this incredible network of like minded peeps to do positive things.. to connect more..

So.. I'm going to be a bit kinder to myself. Remove the boundaries and just see where it goes.  It might mean I blog every day.. it might mean a post a month but it feels really good to give myself that freedom.. and I think that's exactly what all this is about..