Wow! It’s been a while since I used to blog for my photography business, but this new personal blog has been a long time coming now! I’m so excited to have a space to share an even more personal side of myself, but I feel like my first post should probably give you a quick rundown of what I hope to feature here on The Mushy Mama Blog!
Some of you have known or followed me for a while now and some of you may be brand new. So let’s start with some quick background on me and how those things help shape who I am and why I do and share the things I do! I’ll start by saying, “Hi! I’m Cherie and I’m so happy you’re here!”
Going alllll the way back to the beginning, I was born and raised in Hawaii, growing up with the ocean as my playground. So was my husband! We grew up 4 minutes away from each other with 10 beaches within a 7 mile drive from our houses. We were connected to nature without even trying and now living in what we call “the mainland” here in California, we try our very best to still drive our kids out to nature to experience life away from the city whenever we can. I’m a huge travel bug and I would adventure around Europe every year if I could, kids in tow, but for now, we love finding places to escape, away from the crowds, especially now…
I was an infertility and IVF warrior. Still am and forever will be, for anyone that needs a listening ear! I’ve written a few chapters of a book I want to complete one day, detailing our infertility journey but I’ll just briefly say here that it was a DOOZY. After suffering infertility and loss, I was inspired to share openly about our struggles in the hopes of bringing those conversations out of the darkness. I started our Instagram page, The Mushies (www.instagram.com/themushies) and just never stopped sharing! Infertility advocacy will always be a part of me, so you may see some posts every now and again about this.
For those of you wondering about the name, The Mushies, during IVF, we started affectionately calling our little frozen embryos “baby mushies”, which is a shortened version of our last name (and their photos just looked so small and squishy, so it felt appropriate). Then, as I shared more of our journey so openly and went on to have our miracle babies, this sentimental mama heart of mine couldn’t help but talk about all the “mushy” moments with our little ones as well. A friend off-handedly called me The Mushy Mama once and it stuck! For more background on our infertility journey, check out our Youtube Page.
Despite the rocky start to our family, we now have 3 beautiful little girls. Alina, who just turned 4, and Eden & Everly, our twins that just turned 2! At one point we had 3 under 3 and although it is challenging, I stinkin’ love it! I share almost daily on Instagram about our simple life and that initially started for family, but I ended up finding such community through motherhood! All of our shared experiences, struggles, victories, etc. encouraged me everyday despite not seeing other adults for many days on end, so now it’s also just a place for me to connect with people who enjoy watching the beautiful and real chaos we show. I also try to share anything I find that either I or the girls are loving at the moment- baby products, toys, food, clothes, etc.
Now, let me just brag on my hubs for a second. My husband loves to cook… and bake! Yes, yes, I know you’re thinking that I’m so lucky and I do realize I am! But he knows what I do with the kids all day, and he says it relaxes him to cook something up. He’d much rather make dinner than wrangle all these babies who didn’t nap all day! Ha! So, by popular request, I will be sharing some of his famous recipes that our coworkers and friends know ALL about, along with our healthy kids recipes (they don’t get the oreo cheesecake chocolate drizzle mini pies that Maika makes yet. Hehehe!)
Not many people knew this about me, but I used to be an after-school “teacher”, or whatever you might call it, for Kindergarten-2nd grade children. I did this for about 4 years or so and at one point, thought I would maybe be a Kindergarten teacher myself. And now, here I am, basically doing exactly that by homeschooling our toddlers! Yikes! With all that’s been going on in 2020, we made the decision to take Alina out of preschool for the time being. I’ll be sharing LOTS of preschool/toddler activities and resources, since that’s basically my life now!
And lastly, I am a professional photographer. Photography is an art form that runs in my blood, from the time my grandfather made his own waterproof camera and started photographing the surfers back in “the olden days” before waterproof cameras were even a consumer option. Still so incredibly proud and grateful that my love of photography sparked from him. I specialized in wedding photography (with a soft spot for maternity sessions and even family sessions) for the last 8 years and took an extended maternity leave when the twins were born. This year, as we all have had to consider doing, I have had to pivot and reevaluate my time and my work schedule and operations.
When we all first went into lockdown, several of my newborn sessions and maternity sessions had to be postponed and then cancelled due to our concern to protect our couples & their families, and vice versa. It crushed me to think that they wouldn’t be able to get the photos they had dreamed of and had been looking forward to, so I developed not only photo editing presets, but also a few posing guides teaching mamas how to capture beautiful photos of their children and themselves. This has become a huge passion for me, as I feel it’s a way I can share what I know about photography so that moms everywhere can capture this special time in their children’s lives before it’s gone… whether or not they have access right now to a professional photographer!
So, if you’re looking for ideas to fill your toddlers’ days, minds, and tummies… if you’re looking for honest, shared experiences in motherhood… if you’re looking to get better photos of your little ones… or even if you’re just looking to get those dang oreo cheesecake mini pies that Maika makes (I’m telling you guys, its a GOOD one), you’re in the right place! Hope you follow along, comment, and keep this community going! I’d love to know if you have something in particular you’d like me to write about!