photography

Of All The Things My Hands Have Held…

February 18, 2017

livelovesimple.com

When my children look back on their childhood, my greatest hope is that they will remember the magic that I have worked so hard to create for them.

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livelovesimple.com

livelovesimple.com

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales.”

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livelovesimple.com

livelovesimple.com

livelovesimple.com

livelovesimple.com

livelovesimple.com

“For all the things my hands have held, the best by far is you.”

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livelovesimple.com

livelovesimple.com

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“Life is tough, my darlings, but so are you.”

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“In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours.
In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.”

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Autumn Splendor: The Gift of No

November 29, 2016

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

The autumn that is ending has been one of my favorites to date. It’s always been my favorite season, full of magic and warmth, but this one was more illuminating & empowering than any that have come before it.

This past summer was a tumultuous one for me. Through all of that, I prayed hard for a sign from God. Then one day, I looked behind me and I saw this. There it was, loud and clear, exactly what I needed: Slow down. As summer came to a close, the tumult began to fade and peace set in. I had my sign.

And so,

slow down,

I did.

I took the autumn “off” in a lot of ways. I rested. I reflected. I prayed. I walked slowly through nature. I took photographs. I laughed. I cried. I listened. I shared.

In the silence of what came next, in the reflecting, I found wisdom.

I realized that there are two types of people in the world: people who are afraid to say no and people who are not afraid to say no.

I spent my entire life being the former, always afraid to say no; afraid to disappoint; afraid to upset — even when it came at my own expense. And then, one day, I said enough. What a thing it is to feel empowered to say no, any time, any place, to any one. It is a gift, a gift to myself and now I will walk happily through the rest of my life carrying no in my hands, never afraid to use it whenever I need it.

And most importantly, now, when I say no, I never, ever feel guilty. For my no is my gift to myself and I trust myself to know well-enough when it is the right time to say it.

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

livelovesimple.com // autumn walk

I hope that you are well, friends. Here in northern New Jersey, autumn is quickly turning into winter. The bright, warm colors in these photographs are quickly fading, even in my memory. Winter has never been an easy thing for me, as you well know if you’ve been reading here awhile. Yet, this week all of the autumn decorations have been coming down and in their place Christmas has been popping up and bringing fresh hope with it.

Last night, the children and I were driving home. The sun had set and Christmas lights were glowing brightly in the front yards that we passed. Candles were burning warmly in the windows. I felt a surge of warmth in my heart, a deep, profound gladness for all of the people sitting safely & happily inside of their homes. Most of all, I felt an overwhelming gratitude for my own multitude of blessings. Perhaps this winter will not be as cold as the ones that came before it. Perhaps magic will live on and shine bright. Perhaps peace & love will reign supreme. ♥

Mommy & Me Session with Jessica & Gabriella

March 30, 2016

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

Mommy & Me Photography // livelovesimple.com

A few weeks ago, I shot this Mommy & Me session at one of my favorite lakes. Jessica & sweet, little Gabriella were a joy to work with. The love between mother & daughter is a love like no other. It was such an honor to capture these moments.

If you’re interested in booking a session with me, I would love to work with you. Email me at denabotbyl {@} gmail {.} com.

Christmas Card // 2015

December 14, 2015

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

The above two images make up our 2015 family Christmas card. This year, I decided to do something silly and included an outtake on the back of the card. Plus, altogether it does a great job of capturing our lives at present — sweet & silly on one side, and bat-shit crazy on the other.

Here are a bunch more shots from our Christmas shoot. My goodness, how I love these babies of mine.

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

Christmas Card 2015 // livelovesimple.com

I hope that you are having the merriest & brightest holiday season, friends. xo

heart spill // november

November 18, 2015

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

november // livelovesimple.com

My heart is preparing itself for winter. I find myself wondering how I will survive. These seasons of my life are the hardest and the most full of wonder that I will ever know.

There is the solitude of marriage; the solitude of motherhood; the solitude of snow, just on the horizon.

How will I go on?

The days are long and hard. The darkness comes too early, again. I think, “This, too, shall pass.” Although the little voice that lives in my heart says, “No. Stay. Freeze here, time. Don’t let them grow. Don’t let them leave me.”

The season of my life has turned. I used to live with the fear of losing romantic love, afraid of loneliness in that way. Now I live in with fear of my children growing away from me. Still babies, but I’ve been taught for a lifetime how quickly it will pass. And even as the hands of the clock drag slowly through these saddest hours–I know now. My baby is a little boy already.

I live with it. The ache of knowing the very preciousness of these moments. It pulls at me. Weights me down, like grief.

Have faith, old heart. After night comes day. After winter comes spring.

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