courtney & her story mae

Early this year, I promised myself to continue investing in my education.
When Clickin Moms announced Courtney Larson's breakout was live, I knew I better start making good on that promise, and purchased it immediately. Reading through her words was beautiful and a little eerie, it was like I wrote them myself. I connected with her in a beautiful way.

So when it came time for me to get serious about writing my own breakout, I turned to Courtney for guidance. She was an open book, an enthusiastic supporter, and a gateway to a group of women who had been there too.


Then came Click Away.

I was the first presenter to arrive at check in (no really, I was! I was so excited that I just could not STAND IT!) and I took the elevator downstairs and waited to see a familiar face in the sea of excited women in the hotel lobby. I waited, and then I heard "Mae Burke" and this tiny little woman, a full head shorter than my 5'4" self, came up to me and greeted be with a big, tight, nursing booby sandwiched, hug. And it was the best.

Over the next few days, the women I got to hang out with were ones that Courtney fearlessly introduced me to, other women who had fallen in love with her online and at last year's event. This woman is respected and adored, y'all. What was beautiful about hanging out with her, and the other women who I now call "friend") was that after spending an entire day being "on", being "Mae Burke," we had no choice but to be completely ourselves. To completely unwind and accept each other's weird, artistic, loud, eager ways. It was God sent.

I wrapped up my weekend bartering sessions with Courtney. That woman is INCREDIBLY talented, and I kinda feel like I got the better end of the deal outta this whole thing. There are few times in my life that I can say it was as fun to be in front of her lens as it was for me to have her in front of mine.

A few days ago, Courtney had this to say after getting through my breakout
"Today has been a rough day. Like, a cry-it-out or eat-it-all sort of day. I have worked for a non-profit as a Communications Director for the past two years and today I decided that it just wasn't worth it.
See, I just had my third baby who will most likely be my last and my days away from them is HARD. I partially owe the balls it too...k to walk away to Mae's breakout, Moments in Motherhood. It may seem weird that a BO about photography could cause me to quit my job, but it really is soooo much more than just about photos or motherhood....or how they go together. Mae takes all of these milestone moments- maternity, birth, breastfeeding and family- and gives you her glimpse into it all. It's eye-candy and so inspiring!
Mae's heart for women oozed so much that it seemed like it was written for me or by me! Telling a woman's story is the goal in my business, but I crave to tell my own story too and I love that the exercises were geared around documenting my own life around me.
Yep, I am just a sappy puddle. Thank you, Mae, for reminding me how wonderful Motherhood is!"

I read this quote this morning, and after several light night talks at CA, and group texts and emails, I can't tell you how true it rings for me, and maybe her, right now.

"hat work of investing in others is actually just as important as the work we do for money. I now look at my mother’s work as a homemaker as well as her work as an artist, and I say, 'Those things are equal' – Anne-Marie Slaughter

Courtney, you mama, lover, artist, sassy little thing, you, you are gonna do big, BIG things. Your passion pours out all over the place and I am lucky to have experienced even some of the run-off in the past few months. Blessings on this next step towards what God has planned for you and your babies.

Thank you, Courtney

I'm home to my babies, who have been smothered and smooched, and I plan to take the next few days to be fully here for them. As I look back on these last few days, weeks and months, that I've been preparing for Click Away and my breakout, I can't just skip over how grateful I am for Courtney of Inloveness Photography. When Clickin Moms approached me about a breakout, I knew I was way in over my head, and Courtney showed me that with hard work you can come out on the other side with your head above the water. She introduced me to some of the most genuinely supportive people I've ever met and has been a confident, supporting voice by my side. Woman, thank you for your friendship. I'm so thankful for a community that gives us the opportunity to come together like this.

erin & her loves


When I found out that I was going to get the chance to photograph the Kings yet again, I was thrilled. This family is near and dear to me, and watching them grow closer together as the years go by is such a blessing.

From Erin "Mae, through her friendship and photography, has affirmed our family's love and joy throughout the years. She reminds me how capable I am to raise my babies, that God made me to do this very hard thing. As our growth is documented through her lens each year, I can actually feel my heart swell with pride looking at my little family in those albums, especially during times when I feel stagnant. Our family has indeed expanded, and so has our capacity to laugh together. We're trying not to take things so seriously. Looking for ladybugs and wearing flowers in our hair are the very things we want to remember in this season of life, as we put our hope and trust in the Lord for our future. "

I asked Erin and Michael to snuggle up together for some images of them alone, and the lyrics to one of my (and Michael's) favorite mewithoutYou songs came to mind:

"Grape on the vine, grape on the vine, We've been alone a long time. Grape on the vine... why not be crushed to make wine?

Pay no attention to me Dancing with my girl... With every intention to be failures in this world."