Mindful Mornings with Modern Kids Photography

Sarah Hebenstreit from Modern Kids Photography is not only an amazing photographer but also amazing mama to the beautiful Willa. They live in San Francisco, one of my favorite cities and today are sharing their morning routine with us. I know you will enjoy this one, Sarah has super cool style.  Don’t forget to check in tomorrow to see Sarah’s Mama must-haves!

View More: http://lisaelizabethimages.pass.us/lapetitepeachAre you a morning person? If not, how do you handle getting up early with your kids?

I never used to say I was a morning person but I’m realizing more and more that I actually am. I’m much more productive in the morning hours. I like being up early when everything is quiet and peaceful. There’s a hopefulness and optimism to the day when you’re up early and as a photographer I’m a little obsessed with the light throughout the day but especially in the morning. Even before I had a child I didn’t mind getting up early. Also, I love the rituals of early morning like making coffee, reading the paper, and seeing the weather change from crisp early and often foggy mornings to midday sun.

What is a typical weekday morning like in your house?

A typical morning for us would be a wakeup time sometime between 6:30-7:30. I co-sleep with Willa and it’s a wonderful thing. I know it’s not for everyone but it works for us. Therefore I’m immediately greeted with a big smile and a hug. We play a little upstairs making the bed and getting ourselves refreshed a bit then we all make our way downstairs. We usually step outside for a few minutes to feel the air. Then we’ll listen to the news or play a record while making some breakfast and of course COFFEE.

What’s the best part of your morning?

It’s hard to pick one so I have a few: 1) waking up next to my sweet girl 2) taking that first sip of a hot cup of coffee 3) – if I’m lucky and there’s time – a hot shower and a few moments to myself to get ready for the day

La Petite Peach_Modern Kids 1 La Petite Peach_Modern Kids 2What’s a non-negotiable in your morning?

Good moods and coffee. 😉

How are your mornings different on the weekend?

On weekends since my husband and I aren’t in a huge rush for work we usually take a long walk in the neighborhood and make a bigger breakfast and in general just ease into our day a bit more.

mindful mornings

What were your mornings like before you became a mama?

Actually they weren’t drastically different than they are now. We would get ready and then have a coffee in the neighborhood (we have so many amazing coffee spots within walking distance) we usually go to Front where we can sit outside year-round and have a cappuccino in a real cup and saucer which is a small pleasure. We still do that with the baby but only on weekends. I definitely spent more time reading and relaxing in the morning but I wouldn’t trade my crazy mornings now with Willa for the world.

La Petite Peach_Modern Kids 3 La Petite Peach_Modern Kids 4What’s your dream morning?

Waking up in a fun vacation home someplace dreamy with Joe & Willa and my extended family (we live far away from family so I am constantly missing them) and making a big breakfast then taking a long walk together.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee. Always coffee. Every now and then though I do love some Earl Grey with milk and sugar.

How do you find mindfulness in the morning? 

Immediately greeting the day by stepping outside and feeling the air and looking at the sky, the dew on the ground, and admiring the birds and living things really helps to find some mindfulness. Once the day begins and everything starts moving faster (especially if I am shooting) I tend to loose the mindfulness…and my keys…and my wallet, etc. etc. and I need to continually remind myself to slow down and stop to take some deep breaths specifically the type of deep breathing I learned in a hypno-birthing class.

What do you do the night before to make your mornings feel easier?

Ideally I make a basic to do list and even a schedule if it’s particularly busy day. If I’m home with Willa the next day I like to think of a new adventure usually someplace neither of us has ever been or I’ll pick a part of the city she hasn’t experienced yet. Next up on my list for her is Chinatown. If I’m working I will usually get a little food prepared for her and I really love to have something simple prepared for breakfast like overnight steel cut oats or chia seed pudding (both are so easy). I also like to make sure that my camera bag is neatly packed and all of my various gear is charged and ready to go. Then I try really hard to go to bed as early as possible.

Bonus: What are you working on right now? Tell my readers about what you do and any fun projects you are working on. Shameless plug!

I’m working on a fun little magazine project with an illustrator and graphic designer as well as a new business idea for 2016! I can’t wait to share more.


  1. December 11, 2015 / 3:06 pm

    I agree, seeing smiling faces of your kids is the best part of every morning! Beautiful photos:)

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