Urban Love & Burritos

This sexy couple are absolutely adorable even when they eat burritos which by the way was a major WIN in my book! Happy Engagement you two I hope you enjoy a lifetime of happiness.

From Cavin Elizabeth “I can barely contain my excitement as I look through Chris and Lora’s engagement images. The excitement hasn’t even faded as I’m now on my 10th…ok 20th viewing. Chris and Lora are an incredibly in love couple whose desire for urban images had me jumping for joy. We had very few plans for the session, besides where we would meet to begin shooting. We wanted to keep an open mind for interesting locations while exploring downtown San Diego. Beginning at Samantha Louise Moments’ apartment, we wandered around the streets of East Village, stopping anywhere with good light and interesting backgrounds. We stumbled across a parking lot that had a large wall of street art. I fell in love with it and so did Lora and Chris. These two have an irresistible connection that made my job so easy. With Samantha helping me out with with reflectors and lighting as they sun dipped lower behind the city buildings, we got some amazing shots. One of my favorite details of the day was Lora’s Alexander McQueen bag. When Chris proposed to Lora, he had attached the ring to the lock on the bag. The stone of the ring belonged to Chris’ aunt. I couldn’t believe how much sentiment Chris had put into the ring. It melts my heart!Once the sun was setting, all four of us moved to Samantha’s roof for some beautiful rooftop images. When we had no more sunlight, I made use of the fire light for interesting night portraits. More city wandering ensued and Lora and Chris suggested stopping for some burritos. The go on a lot of dates for burritos, so being able to incorporate that into their engagement session was perfect. We ended the night with some sultry images, most of which were only lit with holiday twinkle lights. When I have a couple who trusts me as much as Chris and Lora, I’m able to get incredibly creative and innovative. It’s a photographer’s dream!”

Photographer:  Cavin Elizabeth Photography

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Ryder’s World

This sweet family in my most recent newborn session moved here from their hometown of Austin, Texas. They both love the outdoors, camping and hiking in the stunning Pacific Northwest. And like me, they love food and cooking, especially vegetables, legumes, and gluten-free goodies.Mom did not waste a minute creating special memories with her little boy, Ryder. While he was still in the comforts of the womb, Mom would play him sweet songs on her guitar and banjo. Both Mom and Dad are creative, smart, and kind people. Ryder is so lucky to have been born into this family.Both Mom and Dad set their sights on a home birth with some of my favorite midwives in Seattle.Little Ryder was born into the warm, loving arms of his Mom and Dad at home April 25th at 6:53 p.m.Their lifestyle newborn session was photographed in the comfort of their home only one week after Ryder was born. I am so, so lucky to have captured these beautiful and touching moments between this family in this precious, fleeting time.Welcome to the world, Ryder.

Captured by Naissance Photography

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Artistic Loft Love

When I met with Levi and Grace to discuss their session we tossed around the idea of doing the shoot in Levi’s studio apartment. I was so hoping there would be fabulous art hanging on the walls and enough natural light in his studio to do the shoot. When I arrived I was blown away! The artwork in these photos and the natural light pouring through the window made this shoot a dream! Levi is a local artist in Denver, CO (http://www.levisnelson.com) and his artwork is featured in the background of almost every picture. Grace and Levi both told me they don’t photograph well, but they were adorable in front of the camera and their authenticity made the photos turn out great. Choosing to do the photos in an environment where they felt comfortable to be themselves really helped. We laughed our whole way through the shoot and I don’t think their personalities could have been captured any better.

Captured by Nicole Noel Photography

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Real Life Struggles Of a Single Mama

I want to start out by saying this is one of the few times you will find me being vulnerable on here. I’m not writing this blog in hopes people will say poor her, I am simply writing this in hopes that it will help somebody else that is in a similar situation by knowing you are NOT alone. When I started Urban Style four years ago I was obsessed with love and marriage, little did I know my story would end differently and so would the direction of my business.  For mothers day I shared real life with you and here I am five months later keeping it real once again. So sit back and enjoy a glass of wine with me because mama’s this S*$& is hard and real!

Are you ready for this? (please excuse the real life photos unedited)

My day starts at 7am, sometimes earlier sometimes later depends on how late R wants to sleep that morning. As I drag my exhausted thirty something self out of bed, rub the sleep from my eyes, splash cold water on my face and go and grab the toddler who has been screaming my name for a solid 5 minutes from his room. We walk into the kitchen and get his BABA and flip Curious George on so I can gather myself and start breakfast because by that point he has already told me he is hungry via sign language. We then get ready for our day and that usually means a 2-3 minute shower for me as my toddler freaks out as he tries to climb in the shower with me because he wants to play with water too. Showers used to be relaxing now its something that creates tension in my neck! Yes that is correct I have not taken more than 3 15 minute showers in 19 long months. But you know what WHO CARES because R comes first.  By the point of getting ready its time for his nap..I will tell you one thing I am VERY BLESSED with how much my kid loves sleep and loves his crib. He gets his bottle of almond milk climbs in his bed and passes out without a fight. Thank You sweet JESUS. That is my dishes, meal prep, laundry, email check and the 800 million other things I have on my todo list that barely get done. Our day is pretty basic with mommy tasks, an outing of errands and a fun adventure for R. I am that hands on mama who wants to take her child places and show him the world. By evening he is exhausted as I make him a healthy dinner, we do bath time, read books, play cars, watch a little more George and put him to bed by eight o’clock. Sounds pretty basic huh, like wow she has a basic easy life? NOT.

I was the girl who got her first job at 15, and has worked 70 hour work weeks for the three years prior to my angel being born. I was the selfish B who carried around Gucci purses and refused to buy anything not brand name. I was a real piece of work, in my defense I was in a bad relationship so I drowned it all with material items and only caring about myself. Here I am almost two years later trying to learn how being a mom is enough, learning how am I going to be both mom and dad all of R’s life, how am I supposed to support us, care for him and get an ounce of Sara time? I’ll tell you what it’s freaking hard. I never talk about why things ended with my ex husband and I never will but I will tell you it was the best decision for my child and thats all I care about. Things nobody knows about me as a single mom or maybe you do.:-)I am a complete mess, I don’t have my shit together anymore, I spent the first 12 months of R’s life crying every single night because I ended my marriage and that was a hard decision. Not because of our marriage but because I took R away from his “father” and that hurt the most.

I do EVERYTHING with my child alone most of the time, I take him to experience life even though he is so young and won’t remember it all, he is smart and I see his eyes light up and him learning. I have raised him by myself so far, I have done my own laundry, worked when I can (barely), cooked three meals a day for us, cleaned the house and managed to remain a decent human to my family and friends. My days are different than those who co-parent…I don’t have a weekend and 99% of the time I have no freaking clue what day of the week it is. I literally live each minute, hour, day, week and month and it never seems to stop. I’m absolutely emotionally exhausted you have no idea. But guess what WHO CARES because I have the sweetest little boy ever. At the end of my day I sit in Rowan’s room rocking him singing in my american idol voice and tears are pouring down my face. WHY? I lose it by that point, I have no clue. Maybe because I see my little boy growing up way too fast, maybe because I feel like I am failing at life. Do any other moms feel this way?

I can’t seem to figure out how being a mom is enough like they say. I spend my entire day stressing out because my house is a mess, or I didn’t finish a work project last night, or I look at my checking account and see it depleting or once again I did something to disappoint someone in my life (it happens). I constantly HAVE to remember that I am doing something right because my child is happy, and pretty well behaved given his age. But I still can’t figure it out how is being a mom enough? I sit here shaking as I don’t know how to do it all anymore, I’m exhausted. But then I remember the words a friend told me a few days ago for no reason at all. ” Your such an amazing mom I see it in R’s face. You should be proud of yourself”.  Sometimes we don’t stop to smell the roses and enjoy life and thats what we ALL need todo as parents. Sometimes I find myself so worried about getting a photo of something with him, or taking him somewhere big and exciting, or making sure he is reaching all his milestones in life on time. But the reality check is I need to enjoy the hours we spend in our backyard playing, or a new word he says out of nowhere, or how precious his laugh is when I tickle him because he loves being tickled. One thing I am learning is to always be present emotionally, physically and spiritually for my child. As a child to my parents at thirty years old I feel alone a lot. Sometimes I want to be held, be told we are proud when I need to hear it, sometimes I need my family to be present to me. And if I feel that way as an adult, I know my child feels that way so if it kills me I will be present. As many times as I want to break down and lose it for whatever reason I can’t and don’t when R is awake. Why because I don’t want to make him sad and because I am afraid I won’t be able to stop. LIFE IS HARD. I am over trying to please everyone and stretching myself so thin that there is nothing left for myself at the end of the day. My life isn’t picture perfect its a true hot mess.

People don’t see me my real life as a single non glamorous mom business owner. You don’t see that I mother alone without much support. You don’t see be taking breaths twenty times a day and wishing I could pop a xanex or have a drink at 10am! (Just kidding- but seriously) You don’t see the fifteen trips back and forth to the car with a toddler and all the stuff I took with us that day and all the bags of groceries. You don’t see me cleaning my floors on my hands and knees each night or taking out what feels like 4 bags of trash everyday. You don’t see me look at the my bank account and sigh.  You don’t see how I figure out how to make a meal from the most random crap in my kitchen because I didn’t get to the store today. The world doesn’t see me fighting for my life to give my child nothing but smiles and laughs. You don’t see how many times a day I pick up blankets because R likes to pull ALL of them out and snuggle them. But you know what I don’t care because I LOVE MY CHILD and make the selfless sacrifice everyday and always will. Nobody sees that I am a…. DOCTOR, TEACHER, CHEF, CHAUFFEUR, MAID, STYLIST, ENTERTAINER, COMEDIAN, SUPPORTER, FRIEND, REWARD GIVER, DIAPER CHANGER, PILLOW & MORE.

Nobody sees that I drag my child to target at nine o’clock at night on occasion because I need it. Nobody sees that my life isn’t glamorous because social media makes it look like it is. But it’s true I get my child a box of something and I daydream for thirty minutes about the stuff I want to buy there but can’t as I drink my over priced Pumpkin Spice Latte.:-)

So here I am still wondering how can I balance it all forever and not feel like I am failing. Truth is I probably am failing at life but I am not failing at being a mother and truth is Being a Mom is Enough. It doesn’t matter what other people think about me because as I get older I realize I can’t make everyone happy. The MOST important thing in my life is that I raise a genuine good man with values, integrity, loyalty and that he looks up to me and sees me as the best thing ever. I will tell you one thing all of my smiles are genuine as I LOVE MY LIFE but sometimes a lot of tears are shed to get that smile.

As much as I want to be “Supermom” I am not. I am a real mom. I have real problems and struggles. I can humbly admit to you that I don’t have it together but I will keep on fighting. I am lost in this big world sometimes.  Always remember that single parenting requires the strength of two but is carried on the shoulders of one and we need extra prayer.;-)

If I have done anything right in my life this is it right here. What matters most isn’t how many websites I design or how much money I make. What matters is those looks and those smiles! I promise you are doing something right too. We as parents have the toughest job out there. I thank my parents more now that I get it!


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