WHY I DO THIS.

Guys, it’s Thursday afternoon. I look like a HOT MESS! Maverick looked at me a few minutes ago and said “Mom, you have crazy hair!” And, he’s right. We have hockey practice tonight and a full agenda tomorrow morning. The kids are currently fighting in the basement. The laundry is overflowing. The bathroom needs cleaned, beds need made and work needs to be done. But you know what, THIS IS LIFE. Right this very second, I am living my “good old days.” Someday my house will be clean because it will just be my husband and I living here. Someday dinner with be a perfectly balanced three course meal, because I’ll only have to cook for two adults. Someday the laundry will be folded and put away nicely and our beds will always be made, because my kids will be off living their own lives.

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Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t something I’m sad about or worrying about. It’s reality. It’s my reality, it may even be your reality someday, or you may be living this right now. What I’m hear to say is, this is exactly why I’m passionate about what I do. I give you some of the only memories you have after time has passed. Photos (and videos) are sometimes the only things we have left to remember a time in our life that is over. These things allow us to see our 5 year olds smile again, even though he’s now married with two kids of his own. They are the only time I’ll be able to see what my daughters curls were like at two after she’s grown and probably cut them all off. Memories are all we have left.

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I’ve had the conversation with several people lately that told me they didn’t do maternity photos, or newborn photos, or have never had professional pictures taken of just them and their kids. I know somebody reading this right this very moment is on the fence about scheduling a session. Not with me necessarily, but with a photographer in general. Thinking…”will it really matter?” or “I have a phone!” I’m here to tell you, you will NEVER regret the photos you have done by a professional. You will only ever regret NOT doing them. Think about it, if you’ve ever passed on a deal by your photographer, or didn’t hit send on that e-mail draft, you wish you would have. And, I’m saying this from personal experience as a consumer, not as a photographer. You can never have too many pictures of your family, ever.

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Hot mess, perfectly put together, kids crying and screaming, none of it matters after the time as passed. Have somebody snap professional photos of your story. Have them snap you feeding your baby, or putting dinner on the table as your kids color to stay occupied. Have them snap your newborn babe, or your postpartum body because you’re a freaking rockstar. Have them snap you and your husband on a day besides just your wedding day. Have them photograph you and your best friend, because you’ll never be 30 with 4 kids between the two of you again. Life goes so incredibly fast. Freeze it in time any chance you get.

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Two

Cleo Kalene Cheney you are TWO…tomorrow!

“The days are long but the years are short.” Never have truer words been spoken.

I’m going to be honest, right up front. I’ve tried several times to write this. I’ve been brainstorming ideas of what to talk about, or what to discuss about what’s coming tomorrow morning with the change of your age. The truth is, I’m winging this one. I’ve come up with nothing specific, nothing life altering, or even new that you do. I’m just here to express my love for my sweet daughter on the eve of your second birthday. And to post a ton of freakin’ pictures of you and probably give myself the worst baby fever.

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You were born at 9:57pm weighing 9lbs and were 20.5 inches long. You were the more difficult labor and delivery of my two. It was a sign, I know that now. You are more stubborn than your brother and way more strong willed. And, that’s okay. Nothing happens that is not on Cleo time. We’re working on it, kind of..if I’m being honest.

You are named after my Great Grandma, Cleo…or Granny, as our family calls her. Granny passed before I ever had the chance to meet her. From the stories I have been told she was an amazing woman. She was loving, nurturing, kind and strong. Your Grammy always laughs because so far, you and Granny are very different in your temperaments. And yet, when I describe you I use the same adjectives as anybody probably would to describe her.

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You were greeted the day after your birth by Aunts, Grandparents, cousins, friends and most of all a really excited big brother. You had to be monitored an extra night in the hospital due to a concern with some discolored spit up. I was nervous at the time but also as a second time Mom, I welcomed all the extra help from the nurses and staff. When it was time for us to be discharged, I was still like, “but do we have to leave??”

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We were still living in California when you were born. It was actually cool the day we took you home. I distinctly remember feeling like you were a fall baby, ha! You were such a good newborn. You slept great, for the most part. You nursed well. You loved being held, still do. The first thing I noticed about you was how much you resembled your brother at birth. I’m not kidding, the first words I ever spoke to you were “Oh my gosh, you look just like your brother!” I’ll never forget that. You had, and still have, the most perfect lips I’ve ever seen on a newborn. You were here. You were finally in my arms!

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Fast forward two years…minus one day. You radiate JOY!! You light up every room you walk into. You’re usually smiling and running somewhere, but sometimes you like to cautiously take in your surroundings. You are definitely the princess of the house. You are sassy but also warm, loving, strong and silly. You love to play scary. You are the center of attention everywhere you go. Were working on that, kind of. You enjoy the heck out of some good snacks. You are obsessed with baby dolls and horsey’s. You love your Daddy and Bubba fiercely, but I’m still the one for you.

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Everywhere you go you’ve always got an entourage. Your two year old birthday shoot was no different.

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There is not anything you would ever have to do for yourself between your Grandparents, cousins, Daddy and brother. But, you really are very independent. You like to brush your teeth by yourself, you try to get dressed and put your shoes on by yourself and you can almost buckle your harness by yourself. You are still a mimi (pacifier) and bottle baby. I don’t see those going anywhere anytime soon. (Your TT’s are totally reading this thinking “we’ll see about that!” haha)

When I found out I was pregnant with you I knew you were a girl. I kept trying to prepare myself to hear those words, “It’s a GIRL!” You see, I was a boy mom through and through. As much as I wanted a girl, I wasn’t sure how knowing I was about to have one would really settle with me. Crazy, I know.

God knew exactly what I needed, what our family needed, when He sent us you. You have made me grow as Mom and a woman. I know more than ever who I want to be because of you and your brother. I want to be the Mom you know loves you unconditionally, but didn’t lose herself in that. I want you to know its okay to have opinions. It’s okay to stand up for yourself. It’s okay to try something new or stick with something you’ve always known. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to say yes. It’s okay to be a strong female and still CHEER for the men in your life. It’s okay to get married. It’s okay if you don’t want too. It’s okay to be a stay at home Mom. It’s okay to have a career. MOST of all, it’s okay to want both. It’s okay to go to college and it’s okay if you choose a different path. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to standout. It’s okay to blend in. Most of all my sweet girl, nobody gets to define YOU!! Not society, not Daddy, not Bubba, not Me.

The only thing in this world that I will always pray that you know to be true and to receive more than anything else, is your Savior’s love. For I know you will never be lost with Him. I pray you always seek Him in every situation. I pray Daddy and I can give you the strongest foundation to grow your relationship with Him on. I pray that you always find comfort in Him when you’re lonely, strength in Him when you’re weak, peace in Him when you’re anxious or worried. I pray you always know He is with you! You are always loved.

So, Happy Birthday my sweet sweet girl. You are one of God’s greatest gifts to me. I rejoice and celebrate that and YOU, today and everyday!

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Me

Hey there!

I don’t think anybody will read this, but I’m sure keeping my fingers crossed. I’m not a great writer, so bare with me. If you haven’t read the one paragraph “Meet the Photographer” my name is Miranda, my closest friends and family call me Randi. Are you wondering why I didn’t just call this little business Randi Cheney Photography? Truth is, tax purposes. So here I am, the owner of Miranda Cheney Photography, forced to use my given name that even my Mom herself doesn’t call me by, HA!

I started this business as a creative outlet for myself, honestly. I became a full time stay at home Mom after our family moved to Spokane, WA in April of 2017. I have always worked my entire adulthood. Staying home was almost suffocating to me at first, if I’m being honest. I am a working Mom, through and through. But, I also love being home with my kids watching them learn and grow every single day. I’m lucky enough to have this business where my schedule is flexible and the hours vary. It allows me the best of both worlds. I truly am a better Mom when I have something to “work” on and for. It makes me a better Mom to have something that is mine, something that keeps me focused on being me, Miranda…or Randi.

I also work in real estate part time from home and I LOVE that too! I started working in real estate in 2011 it’s something that has always felt natural to me. I love organization. I love checklists. I love deadlines and clear guidelines. Does that make me type-A? I’ve never really understood what that means. While I love all of that in a work setting, my home life is usually a real disaster - haha. If you come over, I guarantee you there will be toys everywhere, dirty dishes in the sink and unmade beds. And we will sit with our feet on the couches while we visit.

All that aside, I love taking photos. It’s something I’ve loved since I was little. I remember thumbing through all the prints my Mom had and just loved being brought back to a time and place that might otherwise be gone forever. I loved seeing memories that I was either too young to remember or wasn’t alive for yet. Memories I would never know about if it wasn’t a photo that sparked a conversation that resolved in the story behind it. Before I wrap this up, I thought I’d give you ten rapid fire facts about myself. Here we go:

  1. I love Jesus, my Lord and savior.

  2. I love to sit and talk to people. I get that from my Mom, who gets it from her Dad.

  3. I love coffee. There is never a wrong time of day for it.

  4. I love beautiful home decor, but I have zero style. HELP!

  5. I am an overuser of emoji’s.

  6. I love ice in my water…always. My husband thinks I’m crazy.

  7. I can’t imagine not having straws available to me at a restaurant. It’s extremely disgusting to me to have to drink out of the cup. I don’t know why. I’m just not THAT environmentally friendly, sorry guys.

  8. I hate unloading the dishwasher. But just unloading it. I don’t mind to load it. Weird.

  9. I tend to jump all the way into a friendship from the first second. I’ve learned to guard my heart a little more the older I get.

  10. I hate dog hair, but I love my dog. She’s sitting on the couch as I type this and she’s not supposed to be because I hate dog hair.

Now that that’s out of the way, let me wrap this up. I love families and kids. You guys are my favorite to shoot!! That being said, it’s almost like everything becomes your favorite after you’ve done it a few times. Real Estate photography has totally grown on me. Senior photos excite me, I love watching this time of your life with so much change ahead of you. I’ve never thought of myself as creative. All my life I thought I was more of a rigid checklist type person. Turns out, I just needed to find what made me want to be creative!

Guys, I just really want to meet you! I really want to be somebody that gives you life long memories through photos. I want to be somebody that helps you show off your family, kids, homes, or business. I want to be there every step of the way for you. I want to be YOUR photographer!!