January 4, 2013

My Everyday Featuring ... Faith Dwight

[#1] Share with us a snippet of your story. 
I'm a preacher's daughter from rural North Carolina, who couldn't wait to see the world.  At 21, I met Simon, a handsome Brit, on the back row of a little church in northern England.  We got married in 2007, had our first son, Adlai, in 2010, and are expecting our second son in March.  We live just north of London.

I've always, always, been a writer, but I fell in love with photography a few years ago and now run two businesses: one as a freelance copywriter and editor, and the other as a lifestyle + wedding photographer.  I also write a lifestyle blog called Great Smitten. I worked for magazines and newspapers before, but never felt truly fulfilled creatively.  Now I regularly have moments when I think, "I can't believe how amazingly blessed I am to get to stay home with my son AND do work that makes me come alive."

[#2] What is your favorite part of the day with your little one[s]? 
In England in the winter, it gets dark at about 4pm, so I rarely go out after Adlai's nap.  He wakes up about 3:30pm, and I try to have fun things planned for us to do during that time.  This Christmas season was magical, and this year was the first time really picked up on the magic.  In the weeks leading up to Christmas, we baked, watched Polar Express a thousand times, made salt dough ornaments, and wrapped presents.  I normally made hot chocolate and turned on the Christmas tree lights and the Nat King Cole Christmas album and just hibernated till Simon came home from work.

[#3] Name three Instagram MOMS who inspire you.
@laracasey @larkandbloom @kellitrontel [can i say kelli?] & @sarahdawnhelser

[#4] What challenges have you faced in balancing motherhood and your passion for creativity?
Boundaries.  That is a huge word for me, and it extends into so many parts of my life.  Being strict about boundaries in my day-to-day means not constantly checking my phone when it's time to play with Adlai.  I've also been facing new boundary issues lately, with people calling me about business over the weekend.  There are times when I have to make exceptions because of a pressing deadline, but I even want how often that happens to be a boundary I have in place.  Both my businesses are growing, and it's exciting, and tempting to spend all my time thinking about work and ideas and ways to grow, but I keep reminding myself of this:

One of the biggest reasons I started working for myself was so I could stay home with our kids, and in order for me to do that, I need to keep my business at a size that's manageable for me now.  This is a brief season, and one day they'll be at school and have friends and not want to hang out with me all the time, and I'll have time then to do more.

[#5] What are your staple go-to pieces from your closet this month?
These cozy Rocketdog boots that Simon bought me for Christmas FOUR YEARS AGO.  They're not glamorous, but I'm six months pregnant and it's freezing, and they're the perfect thing to pull on to wear to a friend's house or push Adlai around town. I'm also a little bit obsessed with cardigans. I'm slowly collecting them in numerous colors-and my mom surprised me with this mustard maternity one for Christmas! It was a bit of a revelation, because I wound't have thought I could wear mustard, but ta-dahh! - I can. 

[#6] If you could give us a peek inside your home - what image would you share and why?
Our living room.  We spend most of our time as a family in here.  This is where Simon and I cuddle on the couch, where Adlai plays with his train set on the floor, and where we watch movies and Skype my parents and entertain friends. We live in a Victorian terrace house, and we have a beautiful bay window that is literally right next to the street.  People walk by on the sidewalk and peek in (I try not to get upset, because I do it too.  It's a nosy person's dream!), and I think about that a lot.  About our window, and our curtains.  Sometimes I want to keep those curtains closed because it's a mess in here and I'm in my sweatpants most of the day and Adlai is having a tantrum on the floor.  But I like to let the light in.  And I think there's a lesson in there somewhere, about leaving your curtains open for your neighbours to see, about letting the light shine on your real life.   

[#7] Bonus! Share a photo you wouldn't typically post on Instagram but depicts real life happenings.
Honestly, there's not a lot I wouldn't share on Instagram, because I really do try to be authentic about what our life looks like.  But...I did think twice about this one because Adlai's eating McDonald's.  We visited North Carolina in October, and I was flying back to England with him by myself, and our flight was at 9pm.  So yeah.  I buy my kid a Happy Meal sometimes because he likes it.  And because eight-hour flights are hard for him and for me, and we both deserved a Happy Meal. 

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