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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
Our third little girl has joined the family our life has been nonstop ever since! Newborns love attention and want to be held and loved on ALL.THE.TIME. While this time is precious for me, it can be hard to do with two other kiddos running around the house. So my “to-do” list has become more of a “if I can get to it” list. One item on my list that kept getting pushed off was making Kensie’s birth announcements. We had beautiful pictures taken by the fabulous La Brisa Photography. The edited images were back in a jiffy and just waiting for me to make the announcement. In my mind, I thought it would be such a daunting, time consuming task. Which is ridiculous because with Shutterfly, it is such a quick, easy and painless creation! I should have made them sooner.
This post was in collaboration with Shutterfly. (#partner) I received some of these items in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. #MyShutterfly
Shutterfly is so easy to use and their quality and results are fabulous. I am a big fan! I was able to upload my beautiful newborn photos and create a photo card masterpiece in minutes. I was beyond thrilled with their card styles and options, that I actually found it hard to pick a favorite. I decided this time around to do something different and I created two cards to alleviate the pressure of choosing just one. I love that Shutterfly offers the opportunity to make each card your own, with the choice of card layouts, colors and fonts… It really is your own presonalized creation.
I made one card in a tri-fold/multi-sided style to give to my family members that want cuteness overload, and a more traditional 2-sided 6×8 photo card for our friends. Both birth announcements turned out fabulous and we couldn’t be more pleased!
: SHUTTERFLY BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS :
Dear June 2018,
Yay for summer fun. We have spent the month enjoying church camps, BBQing with friends, going on memorable family dates and soaking up swim lessons. Sleeping in and later nights have also been a new adventure with kiddos, but hey, it’s what summer is all about. It was also a month of special celebrations; Father’s Day, Payton’s 1st Dance Recital and our 10 Year Wedding Anniversary (Congrats on 10 years babe!!!). We’ve spent more hours than we can count just snuggling with baby Kensie. How can she be 2 months old already!?
It is crazy to think that July already brings the adventure of a new school year… So in the mean time, we are going to cherish the next four weeks of non-scheduled and spontaneous summer family fun! Bring on July!
Girlie number 3 is six weeks new and I am living on caffeine and snuggles! Since we are in the newborn survival stage I thought it would be fun to share a few items that have kept ‘us’ going – items that both Kensie and I love. They are mostly nursing and sleep related because let’s face it, up until now that is all newbies do in the beginning. And if you recall from my previous posts, since we didn’t know her gender prior to birth, practically every item listed below has been 2-day shipped to my home via Amazon Prime. Lifesaver!
To give you a little back story, I have really struggled with nursing all three of my girls, and to say the first few weeks of nursing has been rough would be an understatement. Between the pain, engorgement, plugged ducts/mastitis, latching and what seems to be a never ending cycle of feeds… it is and has been an exhausting journey, again! But, I am hanging in there and the nursing/feeding items below are probably why. Don’t be afraid to admit it is hard, because it is… use whatever aids you need to get through! Not all nursing journeys are easy, so do your best to not doubt your body or be too hard on yourself. And yes, I need to be better at taking my own advice. Which is why I am sharing my ‘breast friends’ below!