Shutterfly outdid themselves this year with their amazing 2018 Christmas cards selection.
As you know, we are big Shutterfly fans in this house, and once again I was pleasantly surprised with their adorable cards. Now that we are a family of five, I found that I gravitated towards the card options with more than 4 photo slots, so that I could highlight each of the girls.
This year I found that they really up-ed their game on the total card package. Not only are their card options fabulous, but their envelope liners and pre-addressed envelopes are so creative and colorful! I am all about the feeling you get when you pick-up a card out of your mailbox; the happy mail experience starts with the envelope!
Dear November 2018,
What a great month!
You were a month filled with gratefulness, thankfulness, and the reminder of kindness. November, we filled you up with great moments and treasured times… Mainly Kensie’s first cross-country adventure and our hubby/wife trip to Washington D.C. DC was beyond words – FABULOUS! We also celebrated daddy’s birthday, Thanksgiving, our first girl-only STAYcation slumber party and Christmas came early this year with decorating the house and setting up the tree.
November you were good to us, but we are so excited for Christmas and the holiday month of December! Bring on Jesus’ BIRTHDAY!!!
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – November 2018 ::
Dear October 2018,
You are always a month filled with PUMPKIN everything! This month we enjoyed the pumpkin patch, plenty of pumpkin spice, carving pumpkins, lots of candy corn, creative costumes, a fall festival and Kensie’s 1st Halloween!
Thank goodness the temperature has cooled down, it actually felt like fall for a few days this month with the added bonus of rain.
Soccer season has also kicked-in which is always a favorite around here, so we are excited for more sports-filled Saturdays.
But of course, November we are grateful for your arrival… Bring on the feast!
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – October 2018 ::
Yet again, this year I decided to let the girls pick costumes that resemble their personalities. My girls are the epitome of opposites, one is a perfectionist that likes pretty and sparkly things and the other likes to be goofy and silly most of the time. So their costume choices this year did not come as a surprise to me.
When my oldest daughter, Paisley, was 4 months old, I got this crazy idea to take photos of her in a tub of candy corn. Don’t ask, I have no idea!… But to this day, those photos definitely have a “sweet” spot in my heart. So of course, I had to reenact this photo-shoot with Payton, when she was 7 months old and yet again for Kensie who is now 6 months old. Each photo shoot has it’s own personalized touch, and it is so much fun to see their “sweet” personalities shine through.
One thing I learned through the years of doing this photo shoot is that the older the baby, the “sweeter” their sweet tooth! At 7 months old, Payton already had a desire for all things yummy and we had a heck of a time keeping the candy out of her mouth, where Paisley and Kensie just thought they were surrounded by toys to play with.
Without further ado, enjoy these SCRUMPTIOUSLY ADORABLE photos!
Over the last few months I’ve been blessed with more time to read due to cuddling a newborn! I decided to soak up some of our snuggles with tunes on in the background (John Mayer + James Morrison on Pandora) and cozying up with a good book. And in doing so, I have been blessed greatly by quiet time and books that have taken me along for journeys, life stories, laughter, tears and adventures.
6 of my favorite Recent Reads
Dear September 2018,
You were a great month! We went on a few day trips, and our first family of 5 camping trip! The happiest camper was ironically the baby! The girls have enjoyed their first quarter of school, learning new things and sharing in special moments! Payton especially loved riding in a fire truck!
Fall festivities have begun, including our favorite – football! September has also kicked off the fall season with a little pumpkin spice, and now let’s get a move on to October and cooler temps!
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – September 2018 ::
Dear August 2018,
You were a busy month and truthfully, I am glad you are over…. only because we are now one month closer to cooler weather. I am ready for all things fall – football, cooler weather, pumpkin spice season… LET’S GO! Good bye August!
September, we are welcoming you with open arms!
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – August 2018 ::
Dear July 2018,
WOW doesn’t even cover it, what a month! You were a month of FIRSTS and very special occasions. First day of first grade, first day of preschool, and Kensie’s first swim, staycation & Diamondbacks Game! We had a 6th birthday, baby girl turned 3 months old, and we made our first trip to the mountains as a family of five! It was definitely one of my favorite months for our family, mainly because we made the most of every moment. Yay for family time!
August, you have very large shoes to fill! We are excited to see where this new school year takes us!
:: Our Month in 9 Squares – July 2018 ::
Newborn photos… oh, the good and the bad! They are the most loved photos for documenting the beginning of your new babies life. And yet, they are dreaded by all post-labor moms who are still healing and still packing around the post-labor body weight! It’s generally recommended to take newborn photos within the first two weeks of life. “It’ll be easy”, they said. “The baby will be cooperative”, they said. Well, how bout the poor momma who still looks eight months preggo and is now sleep deprived?! This is the hardest stage for the exhausted momma and family, and yet this is what we do…. and it’s SO worth it!
[Words I live by: The only picture you’ll regret is the one you didn’t take!]
With all three of my girls, my newborn photos have been some of the most cherished photos to me, but looking at them always brings back the reminder of the craziness going on behind the scenes. The lack of sleep, the cooperation of older kids, the spit up, the blow outs, and all the things we do for a good photo… bribery, silly noises/faces/dances and of course the occasion threat… #goodtimes & #stillsoworthit!
So with all the exhaustion, how do you pull it off without sinking the ship altogether?! Word of advice from one mom to another… I have always tried to plan ahead in the last weeks of pregnancy and prep everyone’s outfits for this photo shoot. I highly recommend doing this, so when the day arrives to take these photos… You are not scrambling to pull something together in the craziness of newborn cluster feedings and exhaustion. Well in advance, and with a clear mind, I will hang all of our outfits in my closet, already ironed and ready to go! Why wait until your in survival mode to get prepared and set up?! Also moms, remember that your body is still in eight months pregnancy mode… So choose an outfit that will be flattering to your “still kinda pregnant” body, i.e… a maternity dress, a flowy blouse or a button down top usually work great.
With that being said, here are a few of our favorites! Third time around and I am still so thankful for these photos. Like I said, they are so worth it! They document where we are as a family when our sweet Kensie joined the crew.
Thank you La Brisa Photography for capturing our family in the comfort of our home. These photos will always be cherished! You are the best!
Welcome to the family – Kensie Steele! #WodiskePartyofFIVE
Catch Up – Our journey to Kensie! Pregnancy Announcement // Gender Reveal // Birth Announcements // Newborn Necessities