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Friday, December 26, 2014

Emily Kate at 2 Months

Emily Kate, you are a joy to my soul.

Your baby days are flying by, yet at the same time it feels like you've always been a part of our lives. I'm treasuring the babyhood so much more this time around because I know how quickly you'll grow and change. In a year you won't be a baby anymore. And though I feel oh so tired now, I know I'll miss the feeling of having a tiny little you snuggled in my arms.

You are just a wonderful baby. Very pleasant and well tempered. The LORD knew with a busy, precocious toddler to keep up with I needed a well tempered baby who could go with the flow. 

Your sister got so excited about you smiling today. I hope that you'll grow up to be very good friends. I've heard sisters are a wonderful and unique bond and I hope you two will be friends for a lifetime. And only very rarely raid each other's closets without permission. 

I love and treasure you so very much, Emily Kate. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I'm Going to Target

This girl just cracks me up. Please can she always stay this cute and funny...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Caroline at 2

2 years ago I was holding this precious bundle in my arms for the first time. Now fast forward a mere 2 years and I'm having conversations with her about all kinds of things and seeing her little self develop into a sweet heart of a little girl. Fast forward 2 years from the day she was born and I'm holding a new tiny baby girl- just a month old in my arms. Okay, that makes me totally want to have a baby every 2 years because seriously how do they get so big and seem so grown up so fast? (but then I remember morning sickness and varicose veins and maybe not...haha)

I have yet to blog about our new bundle, Emily Kate, but I've been busy around here and just focusing on being a present mommy to my 2 girls because blogging, and looking Pinterest cute, and all that keeping up with the Joneses will always be there but my girls at this exact age won't be. 
This post is celebrating my big girl on her second birthday...

How was she this small 2 years ago? The days are long but the years are far, far too short. 

Favorite foods: Pirate's Booty ("puffs"), fruit and veggie pouches, sausage, and green juice

Songs: Baa, Baa Black Sheep, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, ABCs, Counting to 4 (Sesame Street)

Books: you love books so much, almost any book you love but a few we're currently enjoying together are The Pout Pout Fish series, the Llama Llama series, the Arthur books, and Sandra Boynton books

Activities: going to the playground/park- you enjoy the slide, sandbox, and running around with your friends, reading books, going to The Museum of Life & Science, running around outside with your friend Andrew and spending the day at home in your jammies having fun playing (with a newborn we've been mostly doing that lately)

What I love most about you: Your sweet spirit- you care about others when they get hurt and are so gentle with your baby sister. I feel like you'll grow up to be a sweet, sensitive, sympathetic young woman. 

'Every good and perfect gift is from above..." (James 1:17)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Family Pictures

We were suppose to get family photos taken last spring. I ended up finding out I was pregnant right before our scheduled session and was so glad I hadn't quite hit the morning sickness point yet so I could look happy in our photos...not like I was about to pass out haha. But there was an unexpected glitch with the photographer's SD card and all the images from our session were lost. We rescheduled twice but the weather had other ideas about our retake plans. And by then I was siiiiiiick with baby two. So we shelved our yearly family photos thinking we'd do it next year.

But last month I heard about this other photographer, a friend of a friend, via Facebook and once I saw her style and the images she did I was love struck. They were dreamy and romantic and made her subjects look like they were in a fairy tale. I found out she was having mini sessions and then I was sold! We scheduled our session and two weeks later we had our images in hand. She was amazing. So sweet and patient when Caroline was being very cranky and uncooperative (you'd never know from the beautiful photos she captured). And I absolutely loved working with her. Thanks to Rosa we have images I know we'll treasure for a very long time to come. I'm a photographer myself so I'm pretty picky when it comes to photos. But Rosa surpassed my expectations, we love how they turned out! 

Enough ramble and how about the photos, huh? 

All photos are copyright of Rosa Ashdown Photography. She was amazing. I'd highly recommend her! Such a joy to work with from beginning to end. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

No More Paci

It's official...we are no more paci around this house! I seriously thought she'd still be sucking on that darn piece of plastic rubber baby crack till she went to middle school. You see, I have a total love/hate relationship with the paci. It made bedtimes and naptimes easy peasy. But as the months of paci addiction continued I began to break into a cold sweat at any mama's mention of knocking the paci to the curbside. 

I was downright terrified of how in the world we'd get her to go to sleep. 

Oh and this...this is her no more paci reward, a pink cozy coupe. 

As you can tell she absolutely loves it. And I'm also beginning to feel like our townhome is drowning in toys. If I go missing you'll know where to find me...underneath the piles of duplos in the living room. 

Back to the paci. Our method of removing the paci from daily (and nightly) habit came to me by way of an experienced mom of 4  (thank you, Rebecca!). She recommended I snip a tiny hole in the end of the paci to lessen the suction and go from there. Now since I was more than a little fearful about how the whole paci weaning would go I began my very small snip with a needle poke...because yeah, I was that freaked out about how it'd go. We gradually made the whole bigger and by a few nights in she was not liking her paci as much. After that we just removed it from her crib entirely. We'd get her to sleep after much coaxing and back rubbing. And now we're on to just popping her in her crib with books and stuffed animals and she talks/plays/sings herself to sleep.

This is a miracle. I believed this day would never come. Absolutely convinced she'd never sleep without the paci. 

I'm just here to say it's actually possible. There is life beyond the P-A-C-I. 

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! 

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!