A big struggle for me as a mother was being a young mom. It is hard to explain to Briana that I am younger than her friends' parents. As she gets older, it gets easier. I was scared and overwhelmed when I found out I was pregnant with Briana, Having just started my senior year of High School I was scared how I could handle it. When I found out I was pregnant with Weston I was 12 months away from graduating from nursing school. My first thought? Really!?! But being older, we worked it out. I had weston and 3 months later, I graduated from nursing school with both my babies in the audience watching. :)

I knew Briana was a girl. Her Dad had a dream and described her as a curly haired little girl, he was right :).With Weston, I thought I knew he was a girl.. I was wrong! We found out through a gender reveal and I was very shocked but so happy.

Both pregnancies were very exhausting with trying to finish school. With Briana I had kidney failure, it was very scary and stressful. Weston was a very uncomplicated pregnancy. I was induced with both the kids. Briana was born at 8:11pm and Weston was born at 1:10pm. Holding Briana and Weston for the first time was an overwhelming emotional experience. I was in such awe that they were mine. I cried both times. Briana came to the hospital after we had Weston and when I held her while she held him, the flood of emotions came and I cried once again.

Coming home with a new baby is an adventure and I'm sure every mom can agree that you expect to have zero to little sleep for a very long time. However, I somehow lucked out -- both Briana and Weston were wonderful at sleeping as infants. Briana slept through the night at a month and Weston through the night at 2 weeks. And I was that mom that every hour (or more) I put my finger under their nose to make sure they were breathing.

Briana and Weston have both given me a purpose to strive for more. They give me courage and strength to face everything in life that comes my way. I push myself each day to better myself to be able to give them the world. By the way, I was totally in shock by the amount of time it takes to leave the house with two kids. Yikes!

The best part about being a mom has to be those moments you see you children learn how to do a math question or roll over for the first time. Those moments you check that twinkle in their eyes, that only moms are able to see. Those are the moments I wake up everyday praying for. I wish I could hold on forever to night time cuddles with Weston & rubbing Briana's back till she falls asleep.

The most challenging thing about being a mom for me is when my children don't feel well. In those moments I wish I could somehow take their illness from them and put it upon myself.

My own mother has been a huge support to me on this journey. She is my 'mommy mentor'. She has taught me more about life and motherhood than anyone ever. She helped me with bedtime baths & dinner while I studied. Even as I grew into adulthood she continued to support me as her child and loved my kids as much as I do. She continues to teach me everyday. I hope I am as good of a mother for my kids, as she is to me.

I fear the hate in the world. They are biracial and I know hate exist in this world. I encourage Briana to understand she is perfect the way God made her. I tell Briana when she is faced with a mean spirited person, sometimes its better to ignore the hate. Briana describes herself as brown and me as pink, I'm ok with that. :) I hope to raise strong, independent, God fearing adults.

My advice for moms is sleep when your newborn sleeps, always put undershirts on your babies, kiss your kiddos often, smile at your kids always, encourage your children to push themselves through hardship. Also, God made dirt, Dirt don't hurt! Kids are wash & wear, let them have fun!!

A funny story I have to share: The first time we went to the beach, Briana was so excited to see the ocean. We walked into our condo and Briana ran straight for the balcony. To her surprise-the balcony door was closed. We all, including her, laughed until we cried. That was the first time of the trip she ran into the door (she's a bit clumsy but she gets it honestly).

Do I think moms have the power to change the world? Oh yeah! Our children are the future! We have the power to mold these little people into wonderful, powerful, strong, independent, loving and kind people of the future.

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Ashlee also provides magical and delightful services for: newborn photography, cake smash photography, baby's first year plans, maternity photography, family photography, and Newborn mentoring for photographers.

If you have a milestone or special moment you want to remember forever, let's chat! Ashlee loves to photograph in the woodlands and around downtown Indianapolis, Fishers, Carmel, Zionsville, and Greenwood. She also has a professional studio space available for sessions.