“It’s Going to be Really Hard” // Ann Arbor Lifestyle Photographer

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So she was one of the moms that gave me a pep talk.

Not a pep talk like, “oh you can do it, you’re going to be great”

No, the honest -real life-mama-bear- pep talk.

As we sat in pedicure chairs together, with a 38 week old babe still cookin’ in my belly, we talked about delivery, birth, marriage after babies, and then – these words stuck with me.

“It’s going to be really hard.”

It’s going to take work, (and an army) but there’s nothing more incredible in the world than having these little beings call you mama. And there will be nothing you do in this world that will test you, OR be more rewarding.

From those words, that mamma has changed my life.

It was hard.

It IS hard.

But knowing, seeing, and being a part of capturing a glimpse inside of {and embracing} the everyday beautiful chaos that we get to call ours at the end of the day, makes me feel something.

These moments show me, and pause these days- right in their tracks.

these days.

the days where out of 1,000 toys in the house, your littlest wants the ONE toy his big sister has.

the days where the name “mommy” gets dragged through the mud, as your pour another cup of coffee.

the days where instead of vacuuming the stairs, the carpet instead gets ripped out (since that’s easier) because you see only the flaws.

this mamma…. [maybe you can relate],

she doesn’t give herself enough credit,

and even as she’s reading these words,

she’s replaying the days failures in her head.

But this mamma, maybe YOU…

in this moment, someone may be throwing a tantrum,

someone may be screaming because heaven forbid you gave them the blue sippy cup instead of the green,

someone needs to be fed, changed, soothed, held, or someone may quite literally be crying over spilt milk.

this mamma may be filling out her babies kindergarden application, or preparing for their youngest’s senior year…

Still,  there she is, never giving herself enough credit, replaying the failures, even as these words glaze her water filled eyes.

There she is, in the midst, and for a second, through these images – she sees.


She sees, for a moment, the impact she’s making, the love she’s giving, and the aches she’s mending, to the little ones who call HER mamma.

AND, the ones who are watching.

Being there, showing up, inspiring others, not being perfect (because we don’t live in a fantasy world) giving 100% of herself, making the days count, and letting love and grace rule over perfection.

Everything I aspire to be & more- and one of the manny mommies that made me longgggg for the day I had my own baby to snuggle.

For everything she is, and for everything she thinks she’s not, this picture proves otherwise….

blessings, dayna


View their slideshow here: We’re Harsh’s

^^ but not before grabbing tissue… that songgggggg… don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉 ^^


harsh 1 harsh 2 harsh 3    harsh 4 harsh 5 harsh 6 harsh 7 harsh 8 harsh 9 harsh 10 harsh 11    harsh 13 harsh 12 harsh 14 harsh 15          harsh 23 harsh 22 harsh 21    harsh 25 harsh 24 harsh 26 harsh 27 harsh 28 harsh 29 harsh 30 harsh 31 harsh 32 harsh 33 harsh 34 harsh 35 harsh 36 harsh 37 harsh 38 harsh 39 harsh 40    harsh 42 harsh 41 harsh 43 harsh 44 harsh 45 harsh 46 harsh 47 harsh 48 harsh 49 harsh 50 harsh 51 harsh 52 harsh 53 harsh 54 harsh 55 harsh 56 harsh 57 harsh 58 harsh 59 harsh 60 harsh 61 harsh 62 harsh 63

PS – special shoutout to Tracy from Red Poppy Floral (another dear mamma friend)  for these [once]* adorable flower crowns.

*once adorable, meaning – here is my confession….

After 2 hours of sleep, and way too much monster for one mamma, after picking up the crowns, I put them in the freezer to “keep cool”


we will leave it at that… Grace over perfection can apply here too, right? 😉



[Lifestyle collections have been added to DMP’s 2017 coverage beginning at $450.

If you are interested in capturing and embracing the chaos, you’re my people.

snag a spot and email me @ dayna@daynamaephotography.com to make your story_________. you fill in the blank.]


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