This project has been burning in my heart for quite some time now. It is not groundbreaking or really anything new at all. I wanted to photograph moms with their kids—not done up and dressed up, but just the real and simple beauty of motherhood and everyday life. I wanted to get them talking about who they are, as mothers and as women. I wanted to connect with these amazing ladies from various walks of life, and take the time to know a bit of who they are, hear what they think, and see their beauty. Because as moms we can feel so disconnected from one another and even from ourselves at times, but we all have love at our core, and that weaves us together and is beautiful.

It's been a while since the first post in this series. Finding balance in motherhood and life is something that doesn't always come easily to me (maybe one reason I'm compelled to do these interviews in the first place). Personal work can be hard to fit in with everything else, but this project means a lot to me and I'm confident that it will gradually unfold.

I've gotten to know Drea and her family pretty well this year as we've collaborated on photos for her blog and cookbook (due to hit shelves next year!), and I've shot tours of her gorgeous home for Design Sponge, Glitter Guide, and Design Mom. Drea is creative and natural in her approach to life and parenting. This installment is unique because I've observed and documented this awesome mother-daughter relationship over many occasions rather than just one day. 

So without further rambling from me, meet Drea and Marlowe.

How do you describe your style of parenting?

I would say that I'm a lot of fun, while being really stern. We have a lot of structure and rules, but then we also have a lot of fun and a lot of creativity in the house. So as long as the rules are followed, it's really fun. 

What are your thoughts on maintaining your own identity after becoming a mom?

I think it's important. I think you can have both. You can be a mom, but still be yourself. It's just you find a new version of yourself, which is nice. I think I've only become a better person since I've been a mother. So I'm still myself, but cooler (laughs)- well not cooler, but better.
You can have freedom, you can have fun, and you can still be a great parent. You still have to be happy to be a good mom. You can't have a happy kid if you're not happy.

What's your number one advice for new moms?

Don't panic. (laughs) Just don't be so concerned about what everybody else is doing, or what the books say, or what you think you're supposed to be doing. Just do what feels right - do what feels natural. I get emails all the time, "What parenting books do you recommend?" and I'm like, "I don't know!"