My Everyday Featuring ... Lauren Larsen

[#1] Share with us a snippet of your story.
I am a native Texan married to my loving college sweetheart, Matthew. We have two beautiful children, Life Lucia ("Lucy," 4.5 years) and August (14 months). In August 2012, we moved from Dallas, TX to the beautiful and quaint coastal New England town of New Haven, Connecticut. Since our move, I have been busy making a home for us in Connecticut, meeting new friends, getting involved in play-groups and activities in church and transplanting my photography business from shooting primarily Texas weddings to New England weddings and portrait shoots. It's been a busy 6 months to say the least. :)

[#2] What is your favorite part of the day with your little one[s]?
Watching Lucy and August love each other. It is a gift to see how much love they share and the bond that they have. Lucy's sweetness to August is heart-melting and teaches me so much about how to love purely. August's joy and passion teaches me more about how to seize the day. At the end of the day when all is quiet and I give August his bottle, Lucy stays in his room while I am putting him to bed and helps me sing to him. We both kiss him goodnight and lay him down. If Lucy isn't there with me to put him to sleep, August throws a bit of a fit. :) It's a precious moment with both of them.

[#3] Name Instagram MOMS who inspire you.

[#4] What challenges have you faced in balancing motherhood and your passion for creativity? 
Motherhood is a full-time job and running my own photography business is also a full-time job. I haven't found a balance yet, but daily I work to be the best mother I can for our two children while cultivating the gifts and passions that I have as an artist. I learned very early with Lucy that health and being a mother is a gift. When Lucy was born prematurely, she suffered from an infection at birth. She was put on a heart, lung and kidney bypass machine called ECMO which resulted in a grade-3 brain bleed and Hydrocephalus. Every day I thank God for her life and how she was healed against many odds. When I am dissatisfied with how little I am able to explore and grow in my creativity, I am reminded of what a gift these years of early child rearing are and how quickly they go by. Creating a schedule and structure to our days is the most challenging aspect of nurturing my creativity while being flexible to my childrens' needs. It seems like when we get into a good rhythm and schedule something changes and we go back to the drawing board. I am learning that motherhood is a dance between structure, flexibility and lots of grace. 

[#5] What are your staple go-to pieces from your closet this month?
Sweaters, leggings and my lined Bean Boots! Winters in New England are wet and snowy, so my Bean Boots are a must.

[#6] If you could give us a peek inside your home - what image would you share and why? 
Our messy living room where the kids play and new memories are being made every day. One of my favorite things about the living room is our IKEA rug. So much life revolves around this little rug and it's a constant reminder to me of the great Southwest. I long for the Southwest on these short and mostly dark New England winter days and this little rug is a cheerful reminder of the warmth of my childhood vacations and time with family.
[#7] Share a photo you wouldn't typically post on Instagram but depicts real life happenings.
Well, this doesn't happen in real life but I wish it would happen most days. Both kids asleep on my arms and me sound asleep with them. This is a VERY RARE (actually a once in a lifetime) sight, but it depicts how I feel most days at the end of the day. :)

Be sure and follow @laurenlarsen on Instagram! You can also keep up with the series by following @kelliandvanessa or #myeverydaymoms