Pregnancy and Motherhood in St. Augustine | Well Woman 360

I met with local midwife, Lorraine Searle, several months ago at Kookaburra to discuss her vision for Well Woman 360. It's no secret that I'm a little rough around the edges, so 'business meetings' usually make me itch ;) .  However it took no time to get comfortable, Lorrainewas such a sweet and caring spirit out the gate. I fell in love with her vision and desire to support moms in our community and I am SO excited that this space is becoming a reality for local moms. 


What is Well Woman 360?

In short, it's a space for mothers to come, connect and get support from their peers and professionals alike. They will have childbirth classes, nutrition classes, massage, yoga, exercise classes (hello pelvic floor!) - you name it! They also have an awesome Montessori inspired play space for the toddlers.  There are different packages offering different services - including a home visit from Lorainne post-partum to check on mom + baby. As someone who has had both home and hospital births seeing the best of these two worlds merge makes me giddy. 

The website went live this week so you can find more information there (linked at the bottom). And they are opening their doors on San Marco soon! This is such an awesome development for moms in our community - almost makes me want another baby (hah! kidding!). 


Fall Fun in St. Augustine | NE Florida Photographer

One year ago today Hurricane Matthew was roaring through our beautiful town. It was scary and devastating. The pumpkin church downtown had all of their pumpkins taken by the water from the storm and scattered about. Our town rallied in more ways that I can count. Fall looked and felt different than usual last year as we all recovered from the storm. Then came Irma. Two storms under a year has left this town, and myself, feeling a bit shell shocked and less optimistic.  But today we put those feelings aside and enjoyed our sweet town and some typical fall fun.

My day started out with my first day of fall minis. Everyone there was a repeat client and it was so good to see familiar faces. I really do love my families. Then I got the kids and we went to the pumpkin church and picked out pumpkins; three instead of our usual one because the importance of spending locally is very much on the radar. After we came home and made pumpkin pie followed by watching Ghost Busters (2017 costume spoiler!). It was a really, really sweet day (with it's fair share of crying because I still have two toddlers - and holy heck was it hot outside- but net sum a really great day). There's not really a point of this post but to share in my joy over our simple and splendid day. I will gladly take the good moments as they come. And while I am all for the real life and more interaction shots I am kind of loving that a picture exists where all three of my kids are looking and smiling (even if I did have to head swap my oldest from the previous shutter - shhh). Also white balance at a pumpkin patch at high noon is . . . rough!

Irma Eats: Food Waste After the Storm

It's pretty easy for me to get on a soap box about food waste on a good day. But after a hurricane it's even more painful. Stores shelves are empty and their dumpsters are full. 


Some stores claim their generators failed and they lost power - other stores admit they didn't have generators at all. I can't help but find this obnoxiously irresponsible. Hurricanes, specifically, are seldom a surprise. Stores knew in advance that their respective towns would most likely lose power - it's why they ordered extra shipments of bottled water and canned goods. But what did they do to insure that their refrigerated and frozen food sections would survive the storm? Did they send their freezer + refrigerated isles to a safer location the same way it was transported to their store as part of their hurricane preparedness plan? Do we mandate they have generators? No. Grocery stores get a fat insurance check when they clear their isles after a storm. Less work to file a claim and far more financially rewarding than taking a proactive approach - so it's the road stores take. 


Stores clear their over packed isles and send all that food straight to the dump. Twice now I've seen stores fill over-sized dumpsters they wheeled in just for the occasion. The biggest irony is all of that food - it's production, packaging, and irresponsible disposal - puts us at a greater risk of more devastating natural disasters. 


It's a painful reminder of our relationship with food and how our abundance hurts others. A child dies every five seconds from hunger and hunger related illness. And it's clear we don't have a food shortage. What we have is a deadly distribution flaw. I am certain those families would have taken their chances on egos that were in a deep freezer that temporarily lost power. Or any of the grapes or other refrigerated produce (that didn't need to be refrigerated in the first place) that are now being sent straight to the landfill.


I can't help but think that we shouldn't have access to such excess when so many have nothing. What if those in need, genuine my child is dying need, had a little more? Are we not willing to go with a little less for them? When the power goes out and the food goes "bad" we're o.k. with the waste because we "need" to throw it away. Do we not need to ensure that children aren't dying in the streets from lack of food and drink? 


And on a more mico-level it forces us consumers to look at how we live and hoard food - because grocery stores aren't the only ones who had full freezers that made it to the landfill this week. Plenty of every day people faced the same fate. People from every corner of the state throwing away food (though, in the defense of the people, most I know did try to cook, store and save their stock pile). Stores from nearly every town in Florida throwing away pallets on pallets on pallets.

16,000 people a day. 

The storms aren't stopping. Neither is the suffering of those who go without. We are the ones in a position to demand change. We must start taking a more proactive, less self-centered approach to our resources. 

All images are from St. Augustine, FL post Matthew / Irma - our most recent hurricanes. No stores/ chains were without blood on their hands. Massive food waste isn't out of the ordinary for these stores. Here's a shot of perfectly good, cold food my family rescued from the dumpster on a random non-hurricane day. You can read more about that here.