• About Me

    Photography is so much more than taking great photos. Every photo is a little stored memory to access later. From heady kisses and young love of an engagement couple, to the flutter of hearts during wedding vows. From the fluff and dimples on a newborns back to the chubby arms wrapped around Daddy's neck. From the cheeky giggle of a 7 year old, to the roaring laughter of a teenager.

    Each stage is precious. To freeze that moment, and bottle it in a photograph is what I love to do. To journey a little bit of your life with you, is such an honour.

    I'm just a family girl, who loves my 3 busy boys, and my sweet little girl now in Heaven, and my husband who just rocks my world. I'm a little bit crazy sometimes, love a good giggle, am slightly OCD and a bit of a perfectionist, and like to look on life with a half full cup. Preferably of sweet tea.

    Photograph credit: Nicole Maurel of Lamplight Photography

Eicker family | newborn

I do so love cuddling a 3 day old baby. All dinky, and curly and sleepy. I said to my husband, it’s no wonder we have had five children… how could you not want more children when you snuggle newborns for a living?!

Isabella was three days old here. Kobus and Germari (especially Germari) were really brave to do a photoshoot so early. I know that when Hudson was just a few days old, I was an emotional wreck. But as this family live far out, we had to get it in before they went back home.  I think it was worth it! Don’t you?

I also photographed Isabella’s sister, Alexia, when she was just three days old too… and look at her now! I told Kobus I hope he has his shotgun ready with such beautiful daughters!:)

Eleven weeks old | Project 52 | Week 12 | What being a mother has taught me

If you had told me when I was young that I was to mother 5 children, I would’ve laughed in your face. And if you’d told me that 4 of them (the surviving 4) would all be boys, I’d have probably peed in my pants.

I had my five point plan to life/family/motherhood all worked out:

Step one: Find a man who actually loves me

Step two: Date for 3-4 years, then get married

Step three: Build fabulous career

Step four: Have two children, 2 years apart, one girl, one boy (in no particular order)

Step five: live fabulously carefree life perfectly balancing my successful corporate career, my children, my husband, and of course all my fantastic friendships.

Okay, so step one and two I was doing surprisingly well. I say surprisingly, because step one completely caught me off-guard in the most fantastic of manners. Step two was nearly put off track by the person in step one… perhaps I forgot to send him the memo, but in another surprising move, as luck would have it, it was achieved just on time. Step four is where things got complicated. And well, five children later (2 boys, 1 girl, another 2 boys), leaving my corporate career to pursue my love of photography, on the back-end of pursuing my love of being a mum, I’ve learnt a few things about me. Me the mother. Me the person. These are some of them:

1. Curveballs come. Be prepared to change your position.

That sounds so negative, right? Only, it’s not really. Sure, I buried my daughter… which was one half of step four of my plan gone. And you know what, sometimes it hurts. Heck, it hurts alot most of the time, actually. But I’ve learnt the real meaning of rolling with the punches, and the absolute delirious delight it can add to your perfect-imperfect plan. Because, well, to be frank, if my step four has gone according to plan, there would have been 3 less amazing boys in this world. My curve-balls produced the sweetest children, who have given me far more than the irritation of an un-ticked to-do list.

2. I’m not perfect.

Okay, I never really thought I was to begin with. But imperfections become blatantly obvious when you have to apologize to your children for your humanness. I make blunders with my children far more often than I’d like to admit. Yelling at them when they run in the house with their filthy shoes on the just-cleaned-shiny-white-tiles (I know, pathetic, right?!); rolling my eyes at their tears, because I don’t have the energy to deal with the dramatics, crying at them for silence when I am trying desperately to put a screaming baby to sleep. The list is long, I’m ashamed to say. But because I am human, because I make mistakes, I sit my boys down after my raging has dissipated, and beg their forgiveness. They need to know that it’s okay to make mistakes, provided your recognize them, and have the humility to admit when you’re wrong.

3. I’m a good mother

Mostly I’m an awful mother. My patience is short, I feel like I am constantly being pulled in a hundred directions at once, I feel like a constant stuck record with simple instructions that they just.don’t.get. I’m tired, and feel like I always have someone dangling off an appendage. Gosh, what I would do to eat a hot meal without getting up 20 times from the table, have a bath on my own (bath-time is a serious family affair in our house), or any innumerable other things I’d love to do/have/say/be, but can’t. But I love my children fiercely, and they know I have their backs. I nurture them, give them tons of affection. With my wonderful husbands help, I am hoping to teach them to be great, courageous men. Leaders who will impact the world around them. To be husbands who will love their wives both fiercely and gently; who will love their children the same. To have pure hearts, bodies and minds. I want to teach them the value of family; to be great, but to do it humbly without the need for glory. And so, I am giving myself grace. Grace when I get it wrong, to hold the boys tight, to take a deep breath and start again. And at the end of it all, I’m their perfect mother, because I’m THEIRS, and I need to trust that that makes me a good one.

4. I am capable

We have been through so much as a family. Burying my daughter was hugely difficult; but we got through it. It brought us closer. I know we’re lucky in that respect. But, by the grace of God, it made us stronger as a family. And my kids had to endure that loss too. Through it all, I had to learn to be strong for my children, but for them to also see that grief is real, and okay. It’s a balancing act that no-one teaches you; but we blundered upon it, and I realised that not only could I cope with the tragedy of Mikayla’s story, but we were also able to teach our boys so much about life, about love, about family through that time. And still do. If you had told me that this is something I would not only endure, but actually grow from, I would’ve never have believed you. And it was through MY CHILDREN that I learnt my capabilites.

5. My marriage is important

You’re thinking I’m pretty daft if I didn’t already know that. But the older I get, and the older my boys get, the more I realise how important my marriage is. Yes, it’s important for us as a couple, and for me as a person… but that isn’t the importance I am referring to. Ultimately, my children will gage the validity of marriage and family through watching us as a couple. Their affection for their wives, will come out of watching the kind of affection given to their mother from their father, but also the affection they receive from their parents. They will learn what words and tone to use with their wives, how to express their love… and I can be the person to show them all that, but it starts with my love relationship with my husband.

 6. To be thankful

Every day brings with it new challenges. Gosh, in a house with 6 people… five of them of the male kind, just getting out the door can be (and often is) a challenge. In fact, to ensure smooth running of things, it’s important to plan well in advance for, well, everything. But every day also brings something to be grateful for. The other night we were having our bath time routine. My husband was away. So the 9 year old was in the bath holding the 11 week old, with the toddler leaping around him in the bath. I was in shower one, and the 10 year old was in shower two (it’s the thing that sold us on our house when we bought it… a huge bathroom with a bath and double shower. It is a well.used.bathroom… anyway, I digress). It was chaos, as usual. Me rushing to get out so that I can breastfeed the baby, and try get him calm and ready for bed before the toddler gets out the bath and causes havoc… the shower/bath routine for me, personally, out of the 6, is a working affair. A fast and furious one. But amongst all the chaos, the boys were relaying jokes to me, that recently they have learnt. Real boy jokes (I’m the only girl, I often don’t get the humour!), but while I was leaping around trying to finish up, I stopped for a moment, and just marveled at the wonderfulness of it all.

Being a mother hasn’t come easy for me. It is a job that comes with very little, if any, recognition. I left a corporate career, where I daresay I could’ve climbed that ladder very successfully, with regular pats on the back (and a lovely bank balance with it). Being a mother is mostly thankless. I said to my husband that the only words coming out of anyone’s mouths at me, are mostly complaints of some form or another. It’s a constant slog, that continues from the moment I open my eyes, until I close them (and even in between). But I am learning that it really is the best job in the world. My oldest is growing up… and it’s gone so quickly. I look at my littlest, and I know that this time is over too quickly. They have given me so very much… but one day they will leave the proverbial nest, and if I haven’t taken the time to revel in the wonder and goodness of being a mother; and haven’t stopped to actually enjoy it every now and then.. well, what will be left? The reward is watching them grow into something GREAT, and knowing that I helped them achieve that in my small way… and that makes me great too.

If all I ever produce is great men. Then my job is done. And all that hard work was worth it. Even if I never got a “thank you”.

Ten weeks old | Project 52 | Week 11

When my first son was born nearly 11 years ago.. well, being a mother was hard for me. All the love and emotion, and maternal instincts came naturally and in full force, as they should; but the ability to cope, did not. I floundered around for over 3 months, battling trying to get this beautiful child of mine that I loved so much, to simply be calm, happy and to eat and sleep as “he should”. After many tears, much frustration, and a marraige that was hitting rock bottom, I finally, at 3 1/12 months, at the recommendation of my husband (to my horror) went to Jenni Johnson who quite literally saved me. He then “became” a more content, happy boy, and I finally felt that I had clawed out of the dark cloud I had been sitting in for months!

Then I went on to have son number two (blissful); daughter number one (who had Trisomy 18, and that was CHALLENGING, but yet I coped), then son number three (who overlapped with daughter number one, and was, and still is, the most content easy going little boy)…. and I thought, yip, having my first was hard, but, well, I had done everything wrong (rocked, breastfed too much, couldn’t get him on a dummy etc etc); and when I had done everything “right”, it all was smooth sailing. Yip, I have this mother thing under my belt. Little pat on the back for me. Rah-rah and all that!

And then this precious little boy came along. Baby number five. And he has seriously given me a run for my money.

But then it came to me:

It turns out I wasn’t such a useless mum the first time around. It turns out that baby number one and baby number five are very similar: similar temperament, similarly they battle with having sore tummies, they both are sensitive to stimulation, and cannot tolerate a lot of stimulation at all, both are seriously attached to me.

I cannot tell you how much guilt has lifted off my shoulders… also, I feel vindicated… actually, it wasn’t all me… it was just, well, I didn’t know what I was doing, and actually, I had a “difficult” baby, who required more work than my “easy” babies.

And there’s something else: don’t let anyone tell you that you’re doing it wrong as a mum. You know, we all battle along through this thing- and I can say, with all honesty, that NONE of my five children have been the same. There have been some similarities… but not all the same.

I still see Jenni (who is just the most amazing woman, and really has helped me cope with all these children with her down to earth approach); and all my kiddos have their routines (I like structure… and so do my children, actually)… but all these little people have personalities of their own, and need to be treated as such. And just because something worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it’ll work for me.

I always tell my clients and friends: find your person. That one grounded person who’s advice you respect and appreciate. And then listen to them only. There are too many people with too many opinions, and they all differ. Too many times over the years have I heard what people have said about raising children, that has often (indirectly) made me question  how I raise my children (like the whole sleep training argument… I’m on the side of allowing sleep training… it’s worked for me 5 times over)… it’s made me insecure, and I then parent my children with a sense of either regret or guilt. But you know what? I’m my children’s mum. God has entrusted these children to ME. And so far, I’ve raised great kids; and I’ve done it my way.

This boy has shown me that sometimes when you think you’re doing it all wrong, when the world around you seems to have it all together; that actually you’re doing just fine. And that other times, when you think you’ve got it all under wraps, that perhaps you need a shaking to keep things interesting.

As a side note: I’m loving my new Canon 5D mkiii!! Photos are completely unedited. Winner.

And second side note: what tells you I like the white blanket with the stars? Can’t remember who gave it to me, but schanks! I wuff it! Mwah xx

Nine weeks old | Project 52 | Week 10

(3 days late- sick baby)

This boy.

He’s sick. No. Really. He is.

But he can be really unhappy, coughing and spluttering, or sniffling away, but when I lie him down and he looks at me. He smiles. And smiles.

And I think:

I am comforter.

I am sustenance provider.

I am cuddler.

I am needed.

I am loved.

I am mother.

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