Moonage Tempe

Around Christmas, when Winter was a mere six weeks old, we took a 20 hour road trip to Tucson, Arizona for my little sister's college graduation. I think back to that time with Winter and chuckle a little at my "very new mom" thoughts. This road trip was the first time that I pumped milk and fed Winter a bottle. I spent hours leading up to the trip playing out every possible scenario in my head. Where would I pump? What if she cried the whole time in the car? How in the world would I change her diaper at a gas station? These pondering thoughts became less of "what if" and quickly morphed into "well, we're doing it."

After my sister's graduation we stayed a little over a week in Phoenix for the holidays. One of my first Instagram friendships began with Kelli Van from Moonage Tempe. I was not only drawn to her personal style but loved that Kelli and her longtime boyfriend, Tyler Greene, created a space that features over 50 Arizona artists. Their store consists of one of a kind pieces from jewelry to art and other home goods. I could own eveyrthhhhiiiinngggg in this store. To top it off, Kelli and Tyler are both metalsmiths and have their own jewelry line. I wear this ring on a daily basis.

When I was developing Love & LaRock, I reached out to Kelli and Tyler to see if I could feature their shop as one of the first posts. I knew that I had to push myself to become more secure with taking Winter places.  My initial instinct with Winter was to hibernate at home. I was so nervous taking her to public places and actually had a mini panic attack the first time we took her out to dinner. I’m not sure why dinner was so overwhelming; it just was for me. I wish I could say that I was this cool, calm mother who went with the flow of things the minute we came home from the hospital but that just wasn't my story. I wasn't always anxious but I had indescribable waves of nervousness that consumed me whenever we had to go somewhere the first few weeks of Winter's life. I have always felt repose when talking to Kelli, so I knew that Moonage Tempe would be the perfect first blog collaboration for Winter and me.

We had lined up a local photographer for the shoot who cancelled last minute. I had to do some serious positive self-talk to keep my cool and shift into plan B. Plan B meant that I would take the pictures. These pictures are nowhere near what I envisioned in my head--shooting indoors is HARD! Moonage Tempe is much more beautiful in real life. I promised the owners that I would come back one day with either a proper photographer or the necessary gear to feature their shop the right way.

When Winter, Perry and I showed up to Moonage and I told them about the unforeseen photographer situation, they were so easy-going. Kelli immediately took Winter from my arms and explained that they didn't care how the pictures turned out; they just wanted to hold Winter. This interaction tells you the kind of people they are. They are more interested in human connection and friendship than obtaining the perfect image on some blog. Kelli and Tyler held Winter the entire time while I fumbled with the camera. They were naturals with her. I can only imagine how great they will be as parents one day.

Long story short, it took much longer than expected to try to edit these photos just right. So while this was supposed to be the second blog post, it's now the tenth. I highly encourage you to visit their website and support this awesome shop! Not only because they have such a neat sense of style, but because they are good humans and deserve all the success in the world!

You can also follow them on Instagram: Shop @Moonagetempe; Kelli's jewelry @Moonage Metals; Tyler's jewelry @thesacredhand.