New Hampshire Family Photographer »

work at home mom, work at home mom struggles, wham,, running your own business

….or not.  Ha!  Lately I keep seeing all of these blog posts floating around social media about being a stay at home mom (SAHM) or being a working mom but what about BOTH!?

 When people find out what I do I usually get one of two responses.  The first- “wow, how do manage that!?  Being a SAHM of 4 and running a business?! That’s a lot!” (to the two of you that have said this to me, thank you…no seriously, thank you).  The rest of the world comments on how lucky I am.  I’ll hear something like ” You’re so lucky you get to have a job and not leave your  kids all day.”  or “It must be so nice to be able to get stuff done around the house while you’re at ‘work’.”  I could sit here and write about how hard it is to be a work at home mom.  I could also sit here and write about how amazing it is to be a WAHM.  Both are true.  

Is it hard to be interrupted all day long…every time I try to get anything done for work?  yes.   The short amount of uninterrupted time definitely makes it hard to get stuff done.   Is it hard to sit down to work for an hour only to get up for a “break” to make lunch, switch the laundry, clean up from lunch, and vacuum up all the hair the dog has decided to shed since that last time I vacuumed…this morning (don’t get me started on the dog).  Then get back to work for an hour or so before the older kids that come off the bus and it’s time for homework, dinner, baths and bed time.   If  only bedtime meant the end of the day…after the kids are in bed it’s usually back to work for me!  Lets face it the evening is the only uninterrupted time I have to REALLY be productive.  Complain, complain, complain, poor me, poor me, poor me.  Yup it’s hard.

Now that I’ve got all my complaining out let me tell you– I. am. blessed.   I am blessed that God gave me these 4 little munchkins to care for.  I’m blessed that He gave me the talent, passion and drive to build my own business.  I am blessed that He gave me supportive husband who lets me pursue this dream.  

I get to wake up in the morning, get the kids breakfast, pack their lunches, and send them off to school (although I’m notorious for forgetting half the stuff they need for school…gym shoes? library books? how am I supposed to remember this all!?).  I get to wear sweatpants to work most of the time.  I get to be here when the kids get off the bus or more importantly when they are too sick to get on the bus.  

Today there’s a snow day….all the kids and their friends are home.  While I’m working there’s tons of laughter, dancing and playing…and don’t forget mess making.  Between working I have been dressing everyone to play in the snow, getting everyone undressed and warmed up from playing in the snow, drying all their gear, making everyone lunch, cleaning up after their lunch and now sitting back down for some more work and guess what…I wouldn’t change it for the world.   

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that we can read blog after blog on how hard it is to be a working mom, a stay at home mom, or a work at home mom…the fact of the matter is being a mom is hard but at the end of the day when you get a great big hug  or hear a big belly laugh, no matter what kind of mom you are, it’s all worth it.  

I have to leave you with one last thing.  This if for those of you that think I’ve got it together.  I get e-mails from other photographers, moms and business women asking me how I balance it all.  The answer is I don’t.  The laundry’s never done, the house is never clean and the work is never done.  Learn to enjoy the small victories and you’ll do just fine! 

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Sarah

Thanks for saying this! You do amaze me with all the great work you do and tips you share all while being the fantastic mom I know you are. I get people in awe of me when they see the work I do while raising my 2 kids. One thing is for sure, it isn’t easy and there are always cheerios under the coffee table and unfolded clothes an a laundry basket. But even though the balance is incredibly hard I love being home with my kids and having the ability to run my own business. Keep up the great work, mama.

I’m not exaggerating when I say winter wonderland…seriously…take a look for yourself!  Cooper and Liz are SO close to having their baby and when she called I knew we had to get her in for a session ASAP.  Well,  when I looked out the window it was dingy and dreary.  The snow from the last few snowfalls had melted and the grass had turned to mud.  What a time for a session…insert sad face here.  As a NH Maternity Photographer it’s hard to get excited about a session when it looks like that especially because New Hampshire is usually SO beautiful.    The thing about being a NH Maternity Photographer, any maternity photographer for that matter, is that you can’t sit around and wait for it to be pretty outside.  If you wait too long it’s bound to turn into a newborn session!  So the Coopers and I scheduled the maternity session for a dreary winter day.   

As the week progressed I heard that we might get a dusting.  I was praying for that dusting–anything to cover up that dead, muddy grass but the morning of the session was clear as day.   Then around lunch time the snow started pouring down..fast as could be!  It quickly covered the ground and EVERYTHING else!  A little panic happened when I thought Liz and Coop would cancel but when I asked them if they were game for doing a session in the snow they said YES!   Picture me doing my happy dance…I’d only dreamed of doing a session during a snowstorm FOREVER.   This wasn’t just any average New Hampshire snow storm.  It was the kind of snow that comes down in big beautiful snowflakes and sticks to every last branch in the forest.    It literally turns into a winter wonderland.  

We trekked over the the Academy hiking trails and snapped away.   This snow was not light fluffy snow…it was heavy and wet so we didn’t last too long before we were all soaked and pretty much frozen.  I will say without a doubt that this is one of my favorite sessions ever.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! 

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Only a week or so till Baby Cooper makes his/her debut and I can’t wait.  If he/she waits till my cast is gone I’d be happy…although mom may disagree!  Can’t wait to meet baby C!

If you or someone you now is looking for a NH Maternity Photographer be sure to hit that contact button and lets chat!

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She’s my big sister and I love her!  Believe it or not this was my sister’s first full session with me.  I’m the first to admit that I’m terrible at keeping up with photos for my family but this is ridiculous!  I can’t believe it took us this long to finally get together for a session but I’m SO glad we did.  It was so fun to be able to do these for my sister!  The session was a blast and showing them all to her was even better!   Now if I can just get my act together and get down to take some photos of Graham who is no longer in mommy’s belly!  

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Are you pregnant and looking for a newborn or maternity photographer?  Hit that contact button, I’d love to hear from you!

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I am not going to lie…I am not an amazing cook BUT there are a few things I’m good at and comfort food is definitely my specialty!  This recipe is definitely a treat, not something you’d make or eat more than every once and a while but man is it good!  I’ve always loved corn chowder and came up with this recipe over 6 years ago.  Every time I make it I get asked for the recipe…but its one of those things when you make up your own recipe..you don’t measure anything, you don’t write anything down and you just know how to make it.  So this time I decided to write it down so I could share it! Now when someone asks I can just send them this link!  This is the first recipe I’ve ever written down for someone to make themselves so I hope it’s easy to follow.

I made my own chicken stock when I was cooking the chicken.  It was the first time I’ve made stock myself and it was SO good.  Happy to have some left over to freeze!  It made the best stock and made it really easy to shred the chicken up for the soup!

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After the stock was done I got everything out and started cooking!

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In case you’ve never made a roux..this is what it looks like.  This one is with rice flour but you can use regular flour too.

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Peeling potatoes with a cast is next to impossible!  Thankfully we only needed 3!
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This is what the broth looks like when it’s ready to have all the good stuff added to it!  It’s ready to be chowder!  The full recipe is here below!

Chicken and Corn Chowder
Serves 10
A rich, creamy, gluten free chowder filled with chicken, corn, potatoes and onions. A crowd pleaser and kid favorite!
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
3 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
3 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 roaster chicken, cooked and pulled off the bone
  2. 1 lb bacon
  3. 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  4. 6 cups chicken stock
  5. 1 1/2 T thyme
  6. 2 medium onions diced
  7. 3 medium potatoes peeled and diced
  8. 2 16 oz bags of frozen corn
  9. 2 cups half and half
  10. green onions (optional)
  11. Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. It's always a good sign when a recipe starts with BACON! Start by slicing the bacon into small pieces. Put in the bottom of large pot and sauté till crispy. This takes a while so chop those onions while you're waiting!
  2. Once the bacon is crisp use a slotted spoon to take bacon out to drain on paper towel, leaving remaining bacon grease in bottom the bottom of the pan. (You can drain some of the grease as long you leave enough to sauté the onions) And if you have something against bacon you should just turn around and walk away from this recipe! Just kidding…you can use some butter or olive oil to sauté the onions and omit the bacon all together!
  3. Now that you have this beautiful bacon grease in the bottom of your pan dump in your onions in the pot and sauté them till they're translucent.
  4. Now it's time to make a roux. To keep this recipe gluten free I use brown rice flour. Even if I didn't want to be GF I would still use it because for some reason rice flour makes a really nice silky roux that doesn't happen with regular white flour. Add your rice flour to the hot onions and bacon grease and stir as it bubbles (on medium-high heat).
  5. Give it about a minute then add in your chicken stock, potatoes, chicken and thyme. Let this mixture simmer away for about 20 minutes as the potatoes cook and the broth thickens up.
  6. Now that everything is thick go ahead and add your half and half and your corn. I let this mixture simmer for about another 20 minutes or so just don't let it boil out of control because you don't want that half and half to burn. Now you're done!
  7. Add some salt and pepper to taste and top it with a pile of green onions and that crispy bacon from the beginning! Enjoy!
New Hampshire Family Photographer http://annabartellphotography.com/
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The finished product!  So yummy!  And don’t you love the bowl?  It’s an Arryn Vogan original.  You can see her work here.
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I love it when you share!
Erin Vosgien

This is cooking on the stove right now, and it’s already tasting amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe! And the photos look great!

As a New Hampshire Family Photographer I am always excited when someone calls with ideas for their session! When Kate e-mailed she had a plan and it was SO fun putting it all together!   We started off inside to do some more formal shots of everyone in their Christmas outfits.  We then moved on to the FREEZING outside for some more casual fun photos and then back inside for a pajama party!  If I ever asked my husband to do that many outfit changes for a session I think he’d quit but Matt was a trooper as were the kids.  The whole family rocked the session from start to finish!  Here are some of my favorites!

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Aren’t they the cutest family ever?   Thanks S family for such a fun afternoon/evening!  

If you’re thinking about having some new family photos done and you’re looking for a New Hampshire Family Photographer be sure to scroll up and hit that contact button!  I’d love to hear from you!

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