Several years ago I was raising a miniature Captain Hook. My three-year-old son was obsessed with the movie Hook and each morning he begged to dress as his favorite character - the villain.
Not only did he want to wear a red overcoat and black loafers, he wanted a wig, hat, knickers, gold buckles and a drawn-on mustache. Every. Single. Day.
I took Hook to the doctor’s office. I held his hand as we walked through the grocery store. He played at the park in costume. He wielded a gold-handled plastic sword everywhere - except maybe church. I had to draw a line somewhere.
I remember being frustrated. I wanted to ditch the costume. After him wearing it for a couple months straight, I was done.
Now I want to go back.
Time flies faster than we could ever imagine. Six years later and I long for that little boy who thought he was a pirate king.
But he has grown up, even though he promised me he wouldn’t. Even though I have begged him not to.
I haven’t found enough pixie dust to get me to a place like Neverland. A place where kids never grow up. But I have been able to find a way to freeze time.
The photos that I take capture the memories, the moments I don’t want to forget. Like those I have of my bright-eyed Hook son.
I have pictures of my oldest playing with his toy sharks when he was a young marine biologist. I have pictures of my youngest son running around growling and thrashing as a Tyrannosaurs Rex. I have pictures of my baby girl’s newborn double chin and her sweet, simple smile.
These are things my children have far outgrown. But I can always remember.
Because despite my best efforts to hold on to my memories, they have faded.
That’s why photos have always been so important to me. They bring back the images, the feelings, the moments.
Like the moment I had to say goodbye to one of my sweet little babies. Words cannot express how much I cherish the pictures I have of my angel baby who died before he was born. Those images help me vividly remember the amber curl of his long newborn hair and the slight sag in his chubby baby cheeks. When I look at those pictures I can almost breathe him in again.
Because photos take me back.
Back to times when my babies were young enough to cradle in my arms. Back to times when they cried while visiting Santa Claus. Times when they blew out birthday candles and cuddled to me during nap time. Times when they held my hand while walking down the stairs and asked me to catch them at the end of the slide.
Good times. Times we have out grown.
Sometimes I wish I could fly my family to Neverland. We could live in a magical place where no one ever grows up.
But the second star on the right is too far away. That’s why I’m going to keep snapping photos.
Photos that will take me back. Photos for moments I don’t want to grow up.
I’d love the chance to do the same for you.
Hey! I'm Natalie.
I'm a fiercely dedicated stay-at-home mom who loves taking pictures. When I'm not behind the lens, I'm working in my yard, playing with my kids or chasing them at the school, park or baseball diamond.
I'm a lover of books, smiles and wish lanterns.
But above all, my passion is photography. Nothing makes my heart sing more than when I snap a beautiful picture.
I am also big on people. Getting to know and interacting with others is kind of my thing.
As a former Deseret News reporter, I have perfected the art of connection. I know how to talk to people and get them to feel at ease. And I love it.
I can't ever remember my life without people and photos. They've always been there.
I've also perfected my photography skills.
This spring I graduated from the Fotofly Academy where I received extensive hands-on training with cutting-edge photography concepts and techniques. I have spent hundreds of hours honing my craft and learning everything I can to make magic with my camera.
Which now makes my heart sing more all the time. It's basically a symphony.