I am playing catch up on my blogging tonight, as I sort through images to use in my galleries on my website. (I know, I said that it was ALMOST ready before the holidays! It's coming. Promise. I haven't given up…) This new born lifestyle shoot was not just with any baby. This is Samuel. This is my nephew. He might possibly be the most beautiful baby boy I have ever known. I have been away from Connecticut for two months and upon arrival at my parents, I was greeted with a recent photo of him on the refrigerator. Oh my, how he has grown! I can't believe how much these little loves change in those first few months. Those first few years.

I showed up at my brother and sister in-law's home one afternoon last November with a couple of cameras and a whole lot of time. Samuel was is no mood to be put down and posed, so I just followed Marisa around as she rocked him, and sang to him, and changed his pee-pee diapers. He cried, and Marisa tried to figure out what he needed. Hungry? Tired? Gassy? It all came back to me so quickly, those feelings of becoming a mom. When you have read every book on every subject, but still, nothing can compare to just taking that time to get to know him. Because he is the only one like him. He is yours, not you sister's or you cousin's or you best friend's. The author of 'what to expect' had never met him when she wrote that book. He is the only him. And he is yours. Wow. So I did all I could do, and I smiled as an intense feeling of gratitude overcame me while I watched this beautiful moment unfold before me.. A brand-new Mommy and her brand-new son getting to know each other a little better.

I can NOT wait to see this little love bug while I'm here.

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this is what happens when you let the magic in.

This post is long overdue. But I am one who functions on feeling and energy and the universe's directions, and the universe hadn't directed me to do it until now. This shoot happened at the end of August in Connecticut with my amazingly creative and inspirational sister-in-law, Ally Davis. Ally is a graduate of the New School in New York City. She studied dance, and is currently in the process of building her very own dance company, Visceral Movement. I asked Ally if she wanted to do this shoot with me, as I had been developing an idea for a photography project called 'The Beautiful Woman Project' which is a project focused on exposing the raw, undecorated beauty of women by photographing them without makeup on. I had this whole beautiful end of summer scenario in mind, and her being a dancer just added to the wild, imaginative, dream-like surrealism of the story; what happens when two creative mommies who have such limited time to themselves, leave the house at 7 am on a sunday morning to get into a field as the sun is rising with flowy dresses and dew drops on the grass??? Well, magic of course. I mean, it couldn't have been a more perfect shoot for launching my project.

But then what you ask? Well, life. A major lack of personal time. Finding out that our home was contaminated with mold and we had to move out. It has now been over 6 months and we are still not back.. (although we will be able to get back in within the next couple of weeks!! woo hoooo!). So I was waiting. I was waiting for the perfect time, the perfect moment, the perfect platform to share this project that is very very dear to my heart. The thing is though, sometimes that perfect time we are waiting for doesn't come.

I have always had the intention of sharing these beautiful images, but it wasn't until this past week when Ally shared one of them on her instagram, that she and I started talking about our next collaboration and I remembered how incredibly liberating and creatively invigorating that morning was this past August with her. We were free as birds, wild children.. not another soul in sight. It was just her and me and my camera and the warm warm sunrise. I remember her thanking me after we finished, because she had been feeling a lack of inspiration recently and she just felt so good afterwards. And of course, I thanked her because I was feeling the very same way.

I was asked recently by my friend, Allie O'Conner(co-blogger at Little Red's Well), my thoughts on creativity, as they are in the process of doing a 50 day creativity challenge (#scratchfor50). This thing that we are all blessed with, creativity, it's a gift. It's a delicate gift that needs to be acknowledged, nurtured, and respected. And when we give it these things, what it gives back to us is nothing short of magic.

So, I have been waiting to post these images to my blog talking about the beautiful woman project, but in the last twenty-four hours, I have realized that instead, I want to share them as what they are to me today, which is a reminder of what can happen if you let the magic in.

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Karen and Anthony: Jaelyn Lucia's Birth Story

Karen and I have been friends since we were 6 years old. We grew up down the street from one another, went to school together, danced for ten years in the same group and always had the same friends. I was with Karen the day she and Anthony got married in a Chapel on Fort Dix in New Jersey. We walked down the aisle together amongst a sea of uniformed military soldiers. We later went to a local dive bar just off-base and sang karaoke all night long. It was perfect(in a totally imperfect way). The day after our little Maxime was born, Karen and Anthony came to see us in the hospital. She sat on the edge of the bed and whispered in my ear, "I think I might be pregnant…". Sure enough she was, and exactly eight months later, the amazing Zora Dee joined us.

Karen was present during my labor at the hospital when Josephine was born, just because she wanted to be there to support me. I will forever be so grateful that she was.

When Karen learned that she was pregnant, fairly shortly after, we had the conversation about me being in the room with her and Anthony. I asked her if she would mind, that I would be beyond honored to be there for the birth of my best friend's child, and that if she was ok with it, I would love to document it for them. She and Anthony agreed, and so it was decided.

She was due just after Christmas, but had gone into the hospital 4 times prior to the actual birth to have her labor stopped because she was going into pre-mature labor. No one actually thought she was going to make it until Christmas. But, like a sweet little Christmas angel, this little babe waited patiently until December 26th to finally make her appearance. But when she did, she came full force.

Karen texted me at 1:26 pm on December 26th to say that she had been having contractions and was in so much pain but had been holding out at home because she was afraid of being sent home again. I told her I was going to put the girls down for a nap, but that I would call her right after, and to call me if she went in. She called me about an hour later to say that she was at the hospital and had been admitted.

I quickly threw my things together, charged the battery on the camera(because it was dead.. of course), told my mom I had to go, and jumped in the car. It was around 4 pm when I finally arrived at the hospital, and and thank goodness I got there when I did. Karen's contractions were just a couple minutes apart. She got up to use the bathroom right after I arrived, and when she got back to the hospital bed, they began piggybacking, one on too of the other. It was pretty clear that this baby was on her way, and quickly. Karen was amazing; calm and controlled. She breathed through every contraction, barely making a peep. At 5:24 pm, Jaelyn Lucia Rokosa was born. She was beautiful and chubby, and messy as a new born baby is… and I was in tears as I watched this precious little being literally fly into the world. (Karen pushed for under 2 minutes. I was in total awe. Amazing. ).

But then, no sooner than she arrived, did the doctors and nurses take her over to the little table off to the side of Karen's bed. 'This is normal, right?' I thought to myself, trying to keep my cool for my friend. I remembered them taking Maxime and Joey right away to clear the lungs and all. But the time was passing, and we could hear them saying things like, 'her color is good, and she is moving, but…' Both Karen and Anthony work/have worked in the Medical field and the understand all of the doctor jargon. Karen knew something wasn't right, and she kept looking up at Anthony, asking him very calmly if she was ok. All he would do is give Karen a quick thumbs up, and then look back at her on the table. Karen wasn't satisfied, and frankly, neither was I.

After what was probably only 3-4 minutes, but what felt like a half of an hour, the doctors told the nurses that they were taking her to the nursery to get her under the oxygen hood. Everyone left the room, including Anthony, and Karen and I were left wondering what had just happened. We didn't say much to one another, I think because we both knew that until we had some information, talking about it wouldn't do anything. So we just sat there together, quietly.

A nurse finally came back in and explained to us a little more what was happening. Jaelyn's respiratory drive wasn't kicking in strongly enough, and she needed them to assist her in breathing. The nurse told us that they were most likely going to transfer her to either UConn or Harford Children's Hospital because they did not have a NICU in Bristol. We were both speechless. I honestly didn't even know what to say to Karen. I couldn't even imagine giving birth and then having my baby be taken away and possibly sent out to another hospital like that. But Karen was amazing, once again. Even though I know her fear and anxiety was raging inside, the calm that had come over her, it was that only of a mother who just gave birth. The need to be strong and fight on for this little life was firing through her, for she was a mother. This is what we do. From the moment our little people are conceived, everything we do from that point on is for the protection and survival of them.

About a half hour later (I think, I actually don't recall.. it may very well have been longer), the nurse came back and told us that she was doing much better and breathing on her own, and that they weren't going to transfer her anymore. The tension that was so solid and profound in the room almost immediately dissipated and I watched Karen's whole body let go and relax. My heart filled with joy and my eyes with tears and I stayed, waiting with my friend to meet the beautiful little wonder called Jaelyn Lucia.

And then, she arrived. And all was well.

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the beginning of a birth story...

I am editing these images and just in sifting through the set, I am overcome with the emotion and respect I felt that day for my best friend and her husband. I have not yet finished the images, and I will post a full blog when I have, but until then, this:


when the waters shift

I haven't posted on here in quite some time. And it's not because I have had nothing to say or share. In fact, it is just the opposite. I have had so much to say that I wasn't even able to sit down and write.

Something in me has changed in the last two months. I'm not sure exactly why or how. I mean, perhaps it has something to do with discovering that we had a hugely serious problem in our home in Québec and we haven't been able to live there in 2 months, and it's going to cost us a shit-load of money to fix, money that we don't have. Ugh.

Maybe it's because I have been been back in CT with the girls for this time, away from Mathieu and I am not entirely sure when we will be able to go back.

Maybe it was the asshole who stole a third of Mathieu's skis out of his trailer a few weeks ago.

Or maybe it was getting the call from Mathieu last sunday night after he had left CT and driven back up over the border, that he was on the side of the highway after a deer jumped out directly in front of his car at 70 miles per hour and left him pulled over at midnight waiting for someone to come tow it away. And it may be totaled.. we still don't know..

It must have been that deer.

That moment when you feel that the Universe is caving in on you.

You are drowning.

You have no idea how any of it will ever get better or make sense again.

When I picked up the phone that night as Mathieu was calling me, I was deep in sleep, but I knew something was wrong. He told me. And all I could think was, "Thank god he is ok. Thank god we are ok. Nothing else matters."

And then it just hit me. Like a ton of bricks. None of this shit matters. The house, the car, the skis. I mean, of course they are still things we will have to deal with, but at the end of the day, when all of that stuff is stripped from us, what is left?


The waters have shifted for me. I am working so hard on building the happiest life I can possibly create for myself, my husband and my two children.

I have so many projects and plans on the horizon and I can feel my focus changing. I am so so so beyond sure of what's happening in my heart right now, and I have to say it feels damn good. For it has been some since I have felt like this.

Life tests us. Constantly. But is ALWAYS in our power to either let the waters drown us, or to ride them out, belly up to the sky until it all just makes sense again.

And this little face always helps too.


For those of you who follow me on this blog, I am announcing my newly redesigned website and blog very very soon, and I will no longer be posting here. I would hate to miss you, so please sign up here for my mailing list for all of the updates and the link to my site as well as some other awesome stuff.

I believe in myself. I believe in you.

much love always.