Dear Mrs. Ross

We all know that teachers do not get enough credit. They are overworked and underpaid, and FAR too often they are under appreciated. I know first hand because I was a teacher in both private and public schools for 12 years. Educators do what we do because we love children and see the value in education. We are expected to do it all with little in return and we are the first to be blamed if the outcomes are less than what is hoped for. It can be the most rewarding job in the whole world and it can be the most thankless job in the whole world. Funny isn’t it?

So, when you are thinking about what to give your child’s teacher this holiday season, sure gift cards and candles are a lovely gesture, but take the time to write them and honestly thank them for all the work that they are putting into your child. The time they spend with them each day is making an impact on their impressionable minds that will surely last their lifetime.

Below is the letter and images I gifted the AMAZING Mrs. Ross. She is an absolute gem and I would have given her a million dollars if I had it…but I only have a camera so I had to work with what I got!

Dear Mrs. Ross,

We cannot even begin to express our appreciation to you. What a difference this school year has made for our little girl!  School was a major struggle last year and Willow begged us not to send her each and everyday. She struggled with the schools behavior program and at one point I had to meet with the principal and she was then put on a strict behavior plan. It was heartbreaking, and many tears were shed. As her mother, and an educator who successfully worked with students with challenging behaviors, I was at a loss of how to help my own daughter adjust to school and gain a love for learning. We know Willow can be a handful, boisterous and downright bossy at times.  But she is smart, compassionate and has a great heart. All we want for her is to be happy, kind to others and to always do her best. Even though she loved her teacher, she would tell us “Why did you even have to sign me up for school? I will finish kindergarten, but THAT'S IT!” We were at a total loss.

Summer break helped her to forget about her kindergarten struggles, but when the school year began again she was anxious and apprehensive and honestly, so were we.  I sent her to your class holding my breath with fingers and toes crossed promising Willow that this was going to be a great year, but not feeling confident in my affirmation.  But week after week she came home happy and we were not getting letters or emails. It was an experience that we were not familiar with. I get choked up thinking about it and I can truly not thank you enough.  The structure, kindness and consistency you provide for students speaks volumes about your talent and strength as an educator. I know first hand that we do not hear it enough, but you are amazing and are making a huge difference in our lives.  

The immeasurable gift of a love for learning that you have given Willow will undoubtedly last a lifetime.  As a small gesture of our infinite appreciation, we would like to gift you a family session to provide you with memories that will last yours.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

With Love and Appreciation,

The Isaksson Family,

Christoffer, Melissa, Willow and Bowie

Wade's Birth Story

Being in the presence of a new spirit entering the world is an experience that is hard to put into words.  The combination of being in complete awe of what the female body is capable of combined with an unwavering understanding that this is what our bodies were designed to do, that THIS moment is what LIFE is all about.

I fully understand that when I am trusted and welcomed into the birth space of individuals I hardly know it is a huge privilege.  One that I do not take lightly. And so, I breathe deeply, and shoot methodically and try to conceal my sniffles while acting as if I am a ghost of my typical boisterous self.  And in those sacred moments, and every time I visit the gallery thereafter I know one thing for sure, I am one lucky lady to be doing what I do.

Sweet little Wade’s birth story is one of my favorites.  I met this mama over coffee to be sure we would be a good fit for one another and she instantly won me over with her southern charm and gorgeous smile.  Little did I know that this soft spoken beauty was about to bring her son into this world unencumbered and leave me with a new understanding of the strength of a woman.

And so, since words would never do these moments justice I will do what I was hired to do and tell Wade’s story in pictures.