Monthly Archives: February 2017

Ok, you can all make fun of me because I realize we are in the final week of February and starting March and I am really just now getting a handle on all my goals for this year!  I don’t believe in resolutions!  A few years back, we started doing the word for the year where you choose one word and really try and harness in the full meaning of that word and you want it to shape your life!  I really love what it has done for me and so I continue to come back to that.  This year, I also started Lara Casey’s Power Sheets . I could only get the 6 months but truthfully that’s actually the best for me at this moment in my life.  I mean hey, it’s almost March and I’m just now getting to the month tab!  I really wanted to take my time on cultivating these goals!  Anyway, I didn’t just want to create goals for myself, I wanted to have some fun family goals as well!  Sort of a bucket list but for the year.

I always loved it when I would go over for to my friend Brandi Hunley’s house because on her fridge she would craft this gorgeous calligraphed bucket list on paper for each season!  I really want to start doing this in my home (it won’t be beautiful and it won’t be calligraphed,  I tried that… I gave up!)  As I was moving through the power sheets it asks you really great questions and so something I came up with when also thinking about Brandi’s gorgeous bucket lists that I wanted to implement was doing one for this whole year!  This way I can have a running list to refer to and continue adding as we check things off.

One of my main goals for this year is more family adventures and creating this actually helps me on the way!

So here it is friends, and actually YOU can help cross a big one off this list!

TUCKER FAMILY GOALS:  17 IN 2017

  1.  More Date Nights with Tuck!  I want to have at least 1 night a month alone with him if not two nights a month where we switch off all the planning.  I’m talking the person responsible plans everything from the babysitter to the actual date!  To be quite honest, we haven’t done a superb job “dating” each other since Linc was born.  We go for spells where we are great at it and then we basically go back to sucking at it.  This is the first time in our entire relationship and also in Linc’s life where Tuck has been home and not traveling so we can actually DO this now and I’m excited to really go for it!
  2. Totally “Unplugged” Weekends:  I’ve been doing this for a while now and again, it’s off and on.  Sometimes we are fantastic at this and other times it can’t be helped.  We are working on being more intentional at actually shutting off phones or not even bringing them with us when we go on adventures on the weekends and let me tell ya’ll it is AMAZING.  It’s just a lot more simple when you aren’t trying to multi-task with social media.
  3. Take Linc to Gatorland: We actually just crossed this off our list but he had been dying to go!  We all wanted to go and I guess I can keep it on because Linc wasn’t able to get the photograph he wanted with the large ball python around his neck and the baby gator in his lap.  This child ya’ll….
  4. Disney Cruise:  This is a very big bucket list item of mine for life!  Our friends go every year and sometimes even twice a year!  We hear how amazing they are and that it’s the way to go if you have young children especially.  I never wanted to cruise, in fact I’m sort of afraid of boats of all sizes because of the titanic.  But ya’ll, I’m dying to take my family on a Disney cruise!!!  I want to do it all, I want the experience of the characters, the dinner shows, the pirate theme nights, and just everything!  I just love Disney and you know that if Disney is doing a cruise, it’s going to be the best cruise ever!
  5. Tuck to compete/participate in at least 2 races:  Before we had Linc, Tuck used to love to race.  He would participate in this adventure races that would last 72 hours and would have their teams biking, kayaking and orienteering all over the world.  He would also run 100 mile racers and even longer!  He trains for iron mans and anything and everything in between.  Sadly, once we had Linc, it was hard for Tuck to find time to train.  I needed his help and then it became harder and harder.  Now that we live in Florida and our schedule is so much more consistent, I’m hoping we can make it more of a priority for him to train and compete once again.  I want Linc to see how amazing his daddy is and one day participate in these type of races with him!
  6. Visit Florida’s Hot Springs:  We didn’t even realize we had hot springs until our friend’s came to visit and now I want to hike and see all the different ones!
  7. Spend more time with my underwater camera:  Once we start moving into beach weather, I want to really work on my skills with my underwater camera this year!  I want to take it to the beach and catch our friends and all our kids surfing!  I want to take it to the pool and work on capturing candids of the littles swimming!  I want to start brainstorming a fun and unique way to offer a session underwater!
  8. Surfing!!!  I want to really get out and surf more this year but even more so… I want Linc to surf this year!
  9. Family portraits at the beach this year, NSB or Watercolor!!!   I really want to have our own family portraits taken this year and I want to travel to the beach to do it.  I want to have them taken at New Smyrna where I did my last portrait session at the beach!  Gosh it was gorgeous there at sunset!!!  OR… I want to have them taken in Watercolor which is a distance to travel so we would want to stay there as a family!  If we chose that option, I totally want to shoot a family session there for someone else!!!
  10. More church on Sunday’s as a family!!!
  11. Dedicate Time to Create Family Albums:  I used to be so great at this when Linc was a baby!  Now, I haven’t truly created one since he was 2 years old.  I just haven’t found the time and honestly, I can’t muster up the motivation to start.  I know once I start, I will roll right into it the ease of it;  but actually starting is hard!  I need to set aside time each month to chose the images and then start!
  12. Camp at Fort Wilderness:  This is such a big bucket list item for both Tuck and I!  There are a LOT of the Disney resorts we want to pick a few nights and stay but the top of our list is Fort Wilderness.  They have all different kinds of “camping levels”  if you will.  Tuck and I want to actually camp.  We want to bring our bikes and ride the trails, we want to climb the rock wall, we want to soak it all in.  Linc would just flip his lid but Tuck… this is totally up his alley!
  13. Dolphin Encounter/ Swim with the Dolphins:  I have wanted to do this since I was a little girl, I mean as far back as I can remember.  I’m just going to put this out there and you can agree to disagree or love me or hate me.  I am not a huge fan of sea world.  I was when I moved here and I was super excited to visit the park!  Then I visited the park… and then I came home and I read the book Beyond Blackfish;  and now well I”m changed.  So…  yea, we don’t really visit SeaWorld that much and it’s not on our top to do list.  It’s a fun park and I do think everyone should visit it at least once!  Especially because very soon they will be changing the shows ya’ll!!!  BUT… ever since I was a little girl I have always wanted to swim with Dolphins… AND sea world offers an amazing package!  I think Linc might have to be 6 though so this one might have to wait a few more years to include him!
  14. Eat Dinner in the BackYard More:  We have a pretty great back yard table and we do live in Florida where we can eat in the backyard on the deck pretty much all year round!  I want to do that more often!  Linc can run around with Tipper and we can just breathe and relax!  We are away from the TV, Tipper doesn’t sit and beg and sometimes if the wind is just right we can see the Disney Fireworks!
  15. Sit on our own Porch and talk about the day:  We are incredibly blessed to have two front porches:  one out front on the bottom level and one private second story off our master bedroom.  I would really love to be able to put Linc to bed and then sit on that master bedroom porch with Tuck and just review the day and talk about anything and absolutely nothing at all!  At the moment, I’m such a lame mom.  I literally get the family fed, get Linc to bath and bed and then get in bed myself!  Sometimes I read, sometimes I write, but other times I just lay down and watch a show and fall asleep… at like 8 pm.  Tuck usually heads downstairs to clean up dinner (bless that man), feed and walk Tipper and then finish up some work.  But ya’ll… wouldn’t it just be great if we could spend like a half hour just chatting?!  My parents used to swing in the big old back yard swing and talk about their days:  my dad’s day at the fire station or what had been going on and my mom’s at home day with us!  They would talk about bills, or what was coming up or just adult stuff while my brother and I slept in our beds.  I want to create that space for Tuck and I!  I just gotta learn how to hang ya’ll!  I gotta keep myself awake!
  16. Make a Garden or a “Digging Spot” for Linc:  I’ve been quietly talking to Tuck about this (haha).  Linc loves to dig in the earth and search for worms.  It’s almost meditative for him.  It’s the only time in life that he is ever still.  We don’t have a large back yard here like we did in Virginia Beach and I know Tuck is a bit protective about that;  but I still want to create a space for Linc to call his own.  A space for him to garden and dig.  I have an entire idea in my head filled with cedar wood, pvc pipes and lots of pots, construction vehicles and gardening tools.  It might even have some water elements as well.  I just feel in my gut and heart that once this little space is created, we will see something happen!  If I build it…. he will play!
  17. Host More Dinners/ Host More Family/More Friends/ Invite More Visitors!!!  We love it when friends come over!  We love it even more when our friends visiting Disney let us know and they are able to stop by for a home cooked meal here in Celebration.  It makes my heart so happy!  If you don’t have a car, we will come get you!  If you aren’t able to come to our home, we will meet you at the park or out for dinner one night.  If you want a chance to just breathe and burn off some energy… come over and we can play at one of our many parks or here in our playroom!  This is a big reason why we moved here!  We knew we could still connect with our friends and our family!  Please know that you are always welcome here in our home!!!

So there it is friends… our 17 in 2017!

What are your family goals or plans for this year?!  What do you want to do or dreaming of doing with your family?!

If you write it down I promise you it gives it a life!!!

When I used to work at the children’s hospital, I would say it at least 2 to 3 times daily:  “You are the mom, which means you know your child best!  It doesn’t matter what anyone else says.  It doesn’t matter what statistics say or the medical experts think.  It doesn’t even matter what the norm is, whatever that means anyway.  You are THE MOM… and you know your child best.  You are around them 100% of the time and no one else knows or understands or loves your little one like you do.  So whatever you are thinking or feeling;  whatever is in your gut right now is probably the right thing!”

Now… fast forward 6 or 7 years later, I lost count because in those years I had my own child!  I’m still giving off that same advice because hey.. it’s great advice and goodness gracious it’s the damn truth (yes I cursed)… but am I listening to that advice myself… NOPE!

Why is it that as mom’s we are so great at giving OUT advice, really great advice mind you, but we can’t heed it for ourselves?  That one piece of advice in particular, about listening to our own intuition.   Ya’ll a mother’s intuition is a real and awesome thing and I don’t mean awesome as in like DUDE… awesome.  I mean awesome in the true sense of the word!

We know our little ones inside and out.  We feel when something is right and good;  but we also feel when something is off.

I don’t know if your like me but I’m a great advocate… for others.  I can rally and stand up for anyone other than myself.  I will go the distance and it doesn’t matter how great the conflict is or what the odds might be.  I have a good intuition and I am willing to put myself out there for what I believe is right.  However, when it comes to myself, I second guess everything all the time!  I don’t trust my intuition when it comes to myself and that is something I need to work on in a very big way, especially as a mama.

I thought as soon as I had a little one of my own that mama bear instinct would kick right in… but I have to admit it comes in waves.  I find myself mama bearing it up in the comfort of my own home and with people that I feel safe around, but when push comes to shove, I need someone to be me!  To say those comforting words of “You are the mom… you’ve got this!”

Those words aren’t profound.  They are words we already all know as mamas deep in our hearts.  But sometimes hearing them out loud by someone else gives us the strength and courage to find that inner mama bear!

We just went through a really tough season with Linc and I hate to admit it but I questioned myself a lot as a mama.  I questioned myself and sadly, I questioned Linc, something I will never do again.  I think that might be a low point for me on the mama scale but you know what… that’s OK!  I learned from it.

I learned that I’m NOT a perfect mom.  HAHA I’ve known that for quite a while!

I learned that I can’t do it alone!  I might have been someone who was a strong advocate before when I didn’t have kiddo’s of my own. You know, when I didn’t know the truth about how scary it is, how wonderful it is, how the love is blinding and terrifying all at the same time in the best way possible!

I learned that I need a support team, a village, mom pals!  I need others who can remind me that I have “momtuition” for a reason and that yes what I’m feeling is very real and I should listen to it!  We all should!

I also learned that it’s OK to be feeling all these feelings ya’ll!

Motherhood is HARD and it’s not going to get any easier!  We are all going to have these seasons as our kiddos grow up.  Some seasons will be amazing and others will be trying.  Some seasons will be a time for us to be the strong advocates for other mothers around us while others will be the time for us to listen with our hearts when we are told “you are the mom, you know your child best!”.

But here’s the most important part… we NEED each other and gosh are we lucky that we actually have one another!

So here’s what I want you to do:  If you’re with me (and please I hope you are!)  call another mother today and let her know how much you appreciate her!  Let her know either that she rocks your world with how strong she is… or that maybe “she is the MOM… and she knows her child best!”  Whatever season you are in right now, call a mom pal and let her know she is loved and that her momtuition is spot on!!

Because no one understand us moms like we do!!!

Thank you to the amazing and beautiful Terri Z for capturing me up close and super personal hahaha!  That was such a fun day and we shared some good mom talk too! 😉

Oh how I just adore this family, friends and this mama! She is the perfect embodiment of real and raw and endearing!  She is all the sunshine and also all the imperfect perfection you could ask for!  Her girls are strong willed and beautiful and energetic and that’s why whenever we get together we just laugh out loud (you know the snorting, open mouth I’m going to eat you kind of open mouth,)and embarrassing laughs and there are all kinds of OH MY GOSH ME TOO’s!!!  BUT… you want to know the best part… no matter where you are in this great big world… you can get to know her like I know her!  If you aren’t already following her blog, friends!!!  It is a MUST!  You have go to go check out my girlfriend Ashley over on her blog at http://www.beingbrickner.com/!  You will fall in love at first click!  She’s truly amazing!

Whenever I come back to my home town in Virginia Beach, we always get together!  It’s a MUST because honestly, I don’t know how I could do this mom-life without her.  Her Waverly and my Linc are just two peas in a pod and we lean on each other like no other.  It’s also crazy how magical it is when we get together!  She is a creative genius and so it’s also a known fact that when we get together there will be a session involved;  and usually it’s exactly what we both need creatively and for our souls!  That sounds really crazy I know but sometimes you just crave something that makes your creative heart sing and usually the sheer craziness of how things happen for us makes it all just… well magic!

This session was actually their holiday session that we shot way way WAY in advance!  I haven’t been able to share it until now for many reasons but I’m just so freaking excited!  The adventure this session was, ya’ll I can’t even begin to tell you!

Let’s just say:  potential rain that never happened which means beautiful cloudy skies and temperatures that were phenomenal!  I mean it WAS during tropical storm Hermine!  Ashley and I may have almost died because of a HUGE snake and snake bites.  Thank goodness for Joe because neither of us saw it and we almost stepped on this monsterous thing (not even joking).  Ashley literally jumped into my arms and poor Waverly and Avalon had to fend for themselves.  Talk about mom fail there and mom guilt, to each their own survival!  However, lesson learned, protect the kids!  We caught a fish… and it was Joe (hahahha).  I think we may have stayed at that beach for 4 hours!  We played until we were all sandy and soaked and exhausted with salty sea air.  I can’t wait to repeat when I come home again!!

False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography

These two are some of my favorites! I just love Waverly’s run and I love her feet in this image! I think it’s such a mark of childhood… our little’s feet. They start so small and then all of a sudden, they grow so big!

False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography

Oh these girls… beach girls inside their souls!  We share that and I promise you it’s what makes us the best of girlfriends!  They love and giggle when I get in the water and the waves with my camera and I love and giggle when they bravely and fiercely take off to the ocean waves fully clothed!

False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography False Cape Lifestyle Portraits for Being Bricker by Brooke Tucker Photography

I will never ever forget this day and I can not wait to see you all again!

This is the best part about being a lifetime photographer:  I’m not just coming and going in your life.  I am truly connected with Ashley and Joe and these girls!  I love them all like my own family and when we spend time together, I feel like a member of the family!  The girls see me as a true playmate and they think I’m probably their age (ahahha).  They see me splashing in the water and I am no longer just someone with a camera, in fact they forget I even have the camera!  They just want to play with me!  They ask me and know about my life just as I know about their life and their stories!  Heck, I was there when Avalon was born!

Ashley and Joe and I have stories between us that we can laugh about and we can connect with.  We can share stories as parents and really come together to support one another!  We are doing this together and we are in this together.  It takes a village and a tribe and they are a part of mine.  Although I have moved, we still chat!  We are still along for the ride and I am still a part of their lives, still their photographer and more importantly still their friend!

I love you guys so much and thank you for letting me into your lives and into your heart!

  • February 23, 2017 - 6:19 pm

    Ashley - Oh, FRIEND!!!!!!!!! Love these images soooo much, I will truly treasure them forever! Your words, I love even more though, because they are SO TRUE! You are truly a part of our family now! Forever thankful for YOU!

    Now get your ass home for a trip so we can see you! 😉 Or we will try to make our way there!ReplyCancel

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