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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Caroline at Somewhere Around 21 Months or Something Like That

I've officially moved onto mom with more than one child status. I've completely lost track of how old Caroline is in months and she's less than two years old. I also usually can't remember exactly how far along in my pregnancy with Emily Kate I am so I guesstimate when asked. 

(side note...I guess I never officially announced it but let's do the big reveal in mom of more than one child style...second baby girl's name is Emily Kate. I totally planned how to reveal Caroline's gender and name on social media and to family. But with baby number no. Some things just start to slide.)

Now back on track. I thought it'd been quite a while...almost a year since I did a real update on Caroline- what's she's up to, her likes, development, etc. So I thought for memories' sake (and the sweet relatives who check my blog for Caroline updates) I'd do one. And since I'd have to get a calendar out to figure out exactly how old she is we'll just say somewhere around 21 months or something like that. Almost two works for me.

Caroline you are a joy. Rambunctious. Spunky. And such a talker. The only time you're not talking up a storm is when you're asleep. You're talking in sentences and talking about everything. I love it. You tell me about everything. 

Your favorite foods are mac and cheese, especially the homemade kind. I often try to hide either sweet peas or smashed avocado in it. But sometimes you outsmart your mama and pick around it. You like yogurt, and spaghetti, fruit and veggie pouches. You're also a huge fan of eggs and enjoying helping to make them. Your daddy also taught you how to operate the buttons on the Keurig so with a little supervision you can brew your mama and daddy some beverages. 

You like playing with your duplos and building castles with them. 
Reading books. You love, love, love books. Some of your favorites now are the Arthur series of books, The Baby Dances, The Day the Babies Crawled Away, Love You Forever, and My First Prayers. 

Our usual weekly outings include the park/playground and the museum both of which you enjoy. You definitely need your time to run around and play and get your energy out. You also enjoy swinging on the front porch and pushing your little shopping cart to the mailboxes. 

You are a huge fan of dress up. You like trying on clothes and jewelry. It's too funny when you hold up a pair of pants and say "It's cute!"

Some of the funniest things you've said lately are:
"No, Daddy, don't push her" when mama and daddy were hugging and you thought we were pushing each other. 
"Mommy sweetheart" I guess I must call you sweetheart a lot.
"Mike!!!! Mike!!!!" when you really want your daddy's attention.

You beg to watch "Let it Go" from Frozen over and over. 

You are a joy. You tire me out everyday with your spirited little personality, yet at the same time you're so life giving just being around you. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Love you, my big girl! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Caroline's Birth Story On

A couple months ago I was approached by a sweet gal over at Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine about featuring Caroline's Birth Story on the website. I was flattered they found my blog and read my post on Caroline's birth. Someone besides Grammy and my husband reads my blog. Self confidence plus 2. 

And it's 77 days till my due date with baby #2. I'm going to be doing this all over again before I know it. Woah. Here we go. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bald Head Island 2014

For the last five summers we've spent a week at Bald Head Island thanks to the generous hospitality of a colleague of the hubby's who owns a house there. There is just something about Bald Head Island that sets it apart. It's so quiet, so secluded. You feel like you are truly getting away and relaxing. And after just a week you never want to leave.

Though our vacations have dramatically changed from those first few years before we had a little one in tow. This year Mike made a big effort to make sure I got some quiet time on the beach each day to read and relax (complete with my 50 SPF, cover-up and beach umbrella...I'm a sun exposure freak, ya'll!). He'd take Caroline on a beach run in the jogging stroller or they'd venture out in the golf cart to go look for alligators and turtles at the reserve. Caroline's moments on the beach were limited. She didn't like the sand or waves (not surprised because she doesn't like the swimming pool either). But we managed to capture a few family beach moments...

And I've just got to find this video we took- I think it's on Mike's phone- of Caroline at the alligator reserve. Everyone is standing quietly leaning over the railing watching the 10 footer just float there. No one making a noise because it'll startle him away. And Caroline goes running down the ramp waving hysterically calling out "Hiiii alligator! Hi alligator! Hiiiii! Hi turtles!!!" and runs right up to the fence with the other bystanders to greet the giant beast and introduce herself to the other little ones in the crowd. And um...scare him  away. At least the other bystanders thought it was funny because she's so darn cute. That's our spunky girl to a T. So brave and outgoing. 

See the rainbow? It's kind of faint, but it's there!

We rarely go out to eat with Caroline except for occasionally going out for pizza slices at Whole Foods on our way home from church on Sundays. Eating out usually means one of us has to spend the entire time following Caroline around a restaurant and keeping her from sampling off other patrons' plates. But we did go out one night during our beach week. We splurged on the Nova Scotia caught wild salmon over black rice and oh my word I've never had a meal this delicious. I normally don't like fish and I'm normally a cheap date- get me a $3 slice of pizza and I'm good.

 But when the waiter tells you that tonight's special is Novia Scotia caught wild salmon and that he's never seen such a pink salmon in his decade of working in restaurants up and down the east coast you listen to him. And try to ignore the fact that you just spent over $30 on a single entree. Yes, try to ignore that one because it'll be a long time before you do that again.

Keeping Caroline entertained while we waited on dinner...good thing we could watch boats coming in and out of the harbor. 

Caroline's favorite part of the island was all the wildlife. Deers, alligators, turtles, and her favorite "froggies". There were tiny frogs living in the golf cart shed and every morning without fail Caroline's first request was to go outside and see the froggies. She even tried faithfully sharing her milk and snacks with them. I'm not sure they appreciated her dribbling milk from her sippy cup on them. 

Grateful for another summer vacation spent at Bald Head Island. We wouldn't be visiting Bald Head if it weren't for the generosity of the sweet family that has let us use their beach home the last several summers. And we are so grateful for all the memories we've made.

And now we're officially spoiled for any other beach because Bald Head is just like none other, ha! 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Bathing Beauty

As summer approached I was excited for Caroline to wear her little swimsuit. I had bought it the previous fall (on clearance in October for $3 I think it was $25 originally? I love a good sale). Little girls and ruffles. Oh be still my beating heart. Put a bow into the mix and I'm a pile of mush. Of course the irony of the whole matter was she wore it maybe maybe 5 times the entire summer. Tiny girlfriend does not like swimming so we ended up canceling our pool membership. But I'm not complaining because chasing a toddler down to coat them in sunscreen is not exactly my idea of fun either so I think all around we weren't too sad to miss out on pool time. But I did manage to take a few simple photos of her the first time I put it on her. 

And now I'm really glad I spent $3 on her swimsuit and not $25 seeing she wore it for maybe 6 hours total this summer. But isn't she a cutie in it? Good thing I took the photos before I chased her down with a bottle of sunscreen. Those would not have been happy photos. And my camera might not have lived to see another day. 

FYI I post these adorable pictures of my little girl full well knowing that it's only good and right and honest for me to disclose she looks like this about 10% of the time. She's usually running around the house in a diaper, her chest and arms covered in stickers she artistically placed (and I might add probably trying to get out of her diaper because everyone knows toddlers are the original streakers). And I'm in workout wear (thoughI haven't been to the gym and won't go before the day is done), no make-up and compression leg sleeves because I'm super preggo. Attractive. I know. But I just want to keep it real. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I'm way, way, way behind on blogging any photography I've done business wise in oh say the last 8 months or so? 

So here's a smorgasbord of portraits from the last several months. Or really I should say collage and not smorgasbord because that is much more artistic and classy.

But I'm pregnant and thus food is on the brain and the word smorgasbord makes me think of the scene from the old Charlotte's Web cartoon movie where the rat goes feasting on food. And on that note I'm sticking with smorgasbord. And running downstairs to scope out the fridge. 

Back on topic...

A's senior portraits at UNC Chapel Hill including the Old Well- a Carolina classic.

The sweet C' family newborn & family session. Such a quality family, I could not have enjoyed being in their home and photographing their boys anymore. Thank you!!

Precious baby A's in home newborn session. Everything about this session was so peaceful, what a joy!

The S's family session at UNC's Coker Arboretum. A threatening rainstorm gave us the perfect lighting for this outdoor family session. Nothing quite like the thrill of chasing an impending rainstorm during a portrait session, I may love that just a bit too much.

So grateful to all these sweet clients for giving me the opportunity to capture memories for their families. That is, in my opinion, the best part of taking photos. 

I've had to turn several portrait sessions lately- being pregnant and our crazy family schedule has limited my availability. But I'm grateful for the families I do meet and get to photograph. And here's to hoping our crazy family schedule can calm down soon!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Caroline's House

Well, it's time. We thought it was about time Caroline got a place of her own. She found a really lovely one room house with a great view of the living room sofa. She's already beginning to make it look like home with crayon drawings and a few bunny stickers leftover from Easter as well as a pile of all my clean dish towels. (if something goes missing we've now learned to look in Caroline's house for the missing object).  

Here's a look...

And because I like to keep it real here - we certainly all know there's enough blogs out there (not to mention Pinterest!) that do stellar jobs at making us mamas feel inferior - here's a video of my toddler running around the house in just a diaper. Or as she says... "runaroundnakey". Because no, my child is never in an adorable outfit around the house. We save that for keeping up appearances outside the home. Or if I'm Instagramming and want to make you believe I have my act together.

 And the chateau Caroline makes a small appearance towards the end of the video so it's slightly relevant to this rambling post...

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Little Lady, Poshmark & Taking Pictures

 Mike has been very into this new movie making app on his phone (though I can't blame him...I've been very into Poshmark user name is @bethanys23 check out my closet.  And end commercial and back to the feature presentation.) 

This has got to be one of my favorite movies that app has made for him yet. Of course I'm partial to the Little Lady staring in this film and the fact that Mike can be pretty sly about when he's taking video with his phone and actually captured a mama and Car Car moment on video. This girl will not take videos and pictures with me. sigh. 

  Other favorite apps? I was really excited about Cartwheel till I discovered my cracked screen (thanks to the Little Lady) prevents the cashiers from scanning my coupons. Poo! 

And I have some seriously big news y'all... okay picture with my child!!!

I will not begin to tell you how dramatic her reaction is every time I ask Mike to get a picture of mama & Car Car. When Daddy is around she is a Daddy's sitting in my lap and smiling. You should see all the outtakes I have of her putting up a fight...hilarious but also mildly embarrassing. 

And next week we find out if we're having a boy or girl. Mike is thinking pink but I'm thinking blue. Though I'm a little nervous if it's a boy...I couldn't name a dinosaur to save my life! 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

4 Things I've Learned in 4 Years of Marriage

Yesterday was our 4 year anniversary. It might not seem like a huge milestone, but we've certainly gone through a hefty handful of major life changes in these last 4 years. A degree earned, 7 job changes between the 2 of us, 3 moves, a mortgage, one rambunctious toddler and another babe on the way- I'd say we're a good deal more grown-up than we were 4 years ago. In the spirit of wisdom and expert advice I thought I'd share some of my grown-up insight about marriage...

If something around the house needs fixing don't ever suggest "should we just call my dad?". Call him, or better yet invite him over, then forget to tell your husband. You'll both be happy in the end. The microwave works and his manhood was not called into question.

When buying a new piece of clothing, shoes, or accessory conceal it in the very way back of your closet for roughly 10 days so that when he asks about your new boots you can respond with, "these? Oh they've just been in the back of the closet". Ignorance is bliss. Until the credit card statement comes.  In which case you might want to work on convincing him that DSW is actually a home improvement store. 

Suggesting to your man that he ought to start taking care of his skin or he'll look like a raisin will garner a reaction as though you suggested he wear a pink tutu and skinny jeans to the office. Chasing him down with moisturizer won't work either. Do it when he's asleep. 

Don't ask your husband about the personal lives of his coworkers. Apparently men don't share their deepest insecurities with one another. Or at least their deepest insecurities about whether Tom Branson or Lady Mary will ever find happiness again. I still don't get this. What do they talk about all day at work anyway if they don't discuss their personal drama or at least that of Masterpiece Theater characters?