Our Adventuring with Fawn Design series highlights some of our favorite influential mamas as they share more about their story, their family, and how they like to adventure together! You'll get the chance to dive a bit deeper with these families and also get the scoop on some of their favorite local spots to hang out, eat, and shop in the place they call home. We hope you enjoy coming along on this journey with Fawn Design!
Today we're featuring Chelsea Aaron, better known as Chelsea Jean on Instagram. The photographer + mother of five and her husband, Ryan, reside in Maui, Hawaii, where they document their tropical family adventures on Instagram and YouTube. The duo are also the owners of Above Maui Media, which produces aerial prints, portraits, and presets. Below, Chelsea gives us the scoop on what island life is like with a family of seven, and shares some of her favorite things to do in Maui!
Tell us a little bit about you + your family?
We live on the beautiful island of Maui where we're raising our five children on the North Shore. Growing up by the beach with our love for family, the ocean, and art has shaped where we are today. My husband and I own and operate our video-photography company Above Maui Media, filming and capturing the beauty of Hawaii from above and below water. Our adventurous lifestyle and the beauty surrounding us is our motivation to create images we can share with the world.
What is life like as a new family of seven?
Life with seven is a dream come true for us! Of course, having a larger family isn’t always easy, but it can be so rewarding. The giggles and ringing laughter of childhood fill our home constantly. Personal space is hard to come by but there is always a buddy around. We never feel lonely in our home. Ryan and I have dreamed of having a big family ever since we started dating in high school.
We’ve homeschooled the kids for over three years now. Having a large homeschooling family can be tricky but we’ve found a system that works for us. Our home is filled with imagination and never-ending creativity.
Overall, being a mother to all these babes has made me grow in so many ways. I am more understanding, sensitive, humble, and patient. The love these nuggets bring into our house has been the biggest reward of all. When a new baby arrives, a new source of love fills up our home. Also, nothing beats those newborn snuggles.
Tell us a little bit about where you live + what you like to do there?
We’re always on the go: swimming and playing at the beach, hiking and roaming through Maui’s mountains, or taking a dip in one of the many waterfalls surrounding us. For our family, it’s more enjoyable and easier to manage everyone being out of the house than being indoors.
Our favorite days consists of packing the car and driving towards the unknown in hopes to find a waterfall or territory we haven't explored yet. There's something special about being alone with your family in the middle of the jungle with no cell service or WiFi, and breathing in all the life that nature gives us. It almost always makes me reevaluate all my hardships or stresses in life.
How long have you been a photographer? What is one of your favorite things about being a photographer?
I have always dabbled in photography since I was younger but I never took it into consideration that I could make a living out of it until a little over four years ago. My favorite part of being a photographer is having the ability to capture a moment or glimpse of something that passes as fast as the blink of an eye. Photography has also transformed my self-conscious: it gets me in the fresh air, motivates me to seek beauty in everything I see or do, and it pushes me to continuously be creative.
What do you like to do as a family?
There are many things we enjoy doing as a family, although our favorite thing is exploring. On days when we have no plans, we love going to places like the beach, the other side of the island, or the jungle, and spending the entire day out of the house and not coming home until bedtime. When everyone is sleeping in the car on the way home I know we’ve made the most of our day.
What are some of your favorite family-friendly local food places that you like to go to?
Our most favorite place to eat on Maui is Choice Health Bar. I would eat there for every meal, every single day. It has the most delicious dishes to choose from and you always leave completely satisfied. We eat there every time we’re on the west side of the island. I would highly recommend checking it out if you’re in Maui.
How are you a different mom with your newborn now than when you were a first-time mom with a newborn?
There are so many differences from my first baby to my fifth baby. Everything was different after my first. I used to worry about everything from dirt to little bumps. By the second, third, fourth, and now fifth baby, I’m just like, “No bones poking out or squirting blood? They’ll be just fine!" After having our first baby I was so much more relaxed with the babies that came after. At this point, I am very much a go-with-the-flow kind of mom.
What advice do you have for moms?
Some advice I’d like to share with other moms is to enjoy every single moment. It goes by so quickly. Try and document with pictures, videos, and possibly a journal. Embrace it all and don’t sweat the small stuff. There are so many unknowns, and although we want to do our best for our children, it’s not the easiest thing to know exactly what to do even if you prepare as much as possible. Trust your gut. Your gut instincts will show you what's right and best for your own kids. Every child is so different and no one knows better than you. Trust yourself.
What do you love about your Fawn Design bags?
There is so much to love about my Fawn Design bag! It’s not only beautiful but completely practical. I have the Original and Mini bags and I utilize both of them on a daily basis. They’re well-made and reliable. I am always getting compliments on them when I’m out, and my kids are always stealing them from me for sleepovers, outings, and personal use. It’s the perfect bag for every mother.