First Family Photos

I got the results from our photo session with the wonderful Simone from ST Photography when we were visiting Texas and I love them!!! She took beautiful photos of Luna at two months old lying in wildflowers. These were Luna’s and our family of three’s first professional photos. Our wrote about our wonderful experience here. Take a look at the outcome!

My beautiful baby
My beautiful baby
oh I could just eat those feet for breakfast!
oh I could just eat those feet for breakfast!

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Our little family
Our little family

Thank you so much for your hard work Simone, you never disappoint!

Cheers and Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful Moms out there! xoxo

 

The Perfect Dress

I began planning Luna’s outfit for our friends’ wedding months before she was even born. Yup, I’m apparently that Mom. I just couldn’t wait to pick out a fancy dress, doll her up and have everyone ooh and aww over my beautiful girl. The only problem was that I had built up the outfit so much in my head that I couldn’t find any that I liked. About two weeks before the wedding I finally landed on one very fluffy over-the-top handmade dress from Etsy…it was perfect.

It’s Little Mermaid inspired which is perfect because the bride is Disney obsessed and her absolute favorite character is Ariel. Not to mention both the Bride and Luna have red hair…brilliant. I even got crafty and made her a pair of the oh-so popular barefoot sandals. (Tutorial coming soon!)

A little homage to Ariel
A little homage to Ariel
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SO easy to make

I planned to dress her once I arrived to the ceremony because it’s a little to fluffy for the car seat and I wanted as little time as possible for the risk of spit-up/baby poo to end up on the dress. When we pulled up to the church she was fast asleep. I decided to hold off dressing her until she woke. (Rule #1: Never wake a sleeping baby.) So, she slept through the hour-long ceremony, the ride to the reception and would have continued sleeping, but I decided it was time for her to eat and get dressed.

From the moment we entered the cocktail-hour room she cried. She whined and cried until the reception started. She also spit up on herself and the dress at least 8 times within a ten minute span. She then continued crying as I desperately tried to console her at least until Husband arrived. He was Best Man and was lined up with the wedding party waiting to be introduced at the reception. I only wanted him to see her and for us to get a photo together. That’s it. I tried very hard to explain this to Luna, but she could clearly care less.

Finally, the music stopped and the DJ announced that it was time to introduce the Bridal party. Hallelujah. The second the room was silent Luna let out a wail that could have been heard around the world. Every head in the room turned to stare in our direction. Lucky for me, I happened to be standing next to the kitchen which I immediately darted into looking for refuge.

It is my belief that the kitchen staff is secretly a group of nannies/angels who disguise themselves as cooks and servers. The second I ran in they took me under their wings. One began helping me pull off Luna’s dress while another prepared her bottle. When Luna refused to take the bottle they set up a chair for me to sit and nurse her in private. They brought me dish towels to use as burp cloths and never once acted like I was interrupting them in the middle of serving diner, even though I was doing exactly that.

By the time I made it out and into the reception, Husband had made both our plates, ate all of his and Luna was mostly naked. Oh well, so much for that.

The rest of the night was much smoother. Luna’s many Aunts and Uncles held her and kept her company when I needed a break. We got lots of dancing in and Luna partied in her PJ’s. (Thank God I had something packed in her diaper bag.) My favorite photo of the night is when I caught our friend Derek and Aunt Zoey watching Luna together outside. They looked like the picture perfect family and I got it on camera.

zoey dancing

At least someone had a "family" photo taken
At least someone had a “family” photo taken

We weren’t able to take any photos of Luna’s outfit at the wedding, but I was not going to let that precious dress go to waste. I decided to put Luna in it in the morning, when she’s happiest, and snap some photos at home.

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If you love this dress you should check out My Sugar Muffin’s Etsy shop. She has tons of adorable handmade girly tutu’s and whatnot.

Cheers!

 

A Quality Photographer Can Make All the Difference

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While in Texas I was lucky enough to have Simone from ST Photography take photos of my little Luna. I do not have her edited photos yet, but I have to share our experience with you. Photographers seem to be a dime a dozen these days. Everyone (myself included) has a fancy camera to play with and half of these fancy camera owners have started their own photography business. In some ways, this is great because we have so many options, locations, prices and people to choose from when having photos taken. However, it’s often hard to know who has not only professional quality, but a professional work-style. Trust me, it’s no fun to pay for crappy pictures.

Here’s how our photos session in Texas went… First of all, Simone asked us to take photos in a field of wildflowers because everything was in bloom and beautiful. She knew exactly where to go and knew I’d love to have baby photos taken. I follow her on Facebook so I know she is always driving around searching for the perfect locations and excited to try new places and ideas, so I trusted her opinion.

the field, so simple yet so perfect
the field, so simple yet so perfect

Of course, as soon as we were all dressed and ready the bottom fell out and we all assumed we would have to cancel the session. Immediately, I received a phone call from Simone. She was not only willing to reschedule for another day (which would have been sometimes this summer), but she was also willing to play it by ear and work with us and the weather. Luckily, it stopped storming after an hour or so. It was almost sunset and I was sure that it was too late and too wet to go through with the photos, but when I called Simone she immediately left her home and her family to drive out and meet us just before the sunset. It was rushed and a little muddy, but she made it work.

All dressed and ready before the rain started.
All dressed and ready before the rain started.

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Luna was a happy smiley baby when we woke her up and dressed her for photos, but almost 2 hours later I was certain she’d turn into a fussy grumpy baby. Not long after lying her down with the flowers she began to whine and was on the verge of tears when Simone instantly picked her up and soothed her. She hugged and loved on her until she was happy again. This happened a few times and we were somehow able to get through the entire session with no tears. I kept waiting for a meltdown, but Simone was like the baby whisperer. I only wish she drove home with us afterwards!

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She’s not only good with babies, but she can tell adults what to do also! I need someone to give me direction and Simone isn’t afraid to say, “look this way…put your hand here…fix that wild hair…etc”.  Clearly, Simone is a pro and I am so glad I can use her for family photos when we are in Texas. I cannot wait to see how all the pictures turned out, but until then here’s a little spoiler!

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If you live in Southeast Texas and need photos taken for any event I highly recommend Simone from ST Photography.If you do not live near her, then I suggest searching for a photographer with a website and a Facebook page with lots of updates, comments and followers. It will give you the best idea of how they work.

Thanks Simone!

Cheers!

 

 

Cousins

Over the weekend, the very busy weekend, our little Luna got to meet her cousin, her Aunts, her Uncle, lots of honorary aunts and uncles and have many outings. We, the parents, learned that getting out of the house with a newborn isn’t necessarily hard. They sleep most of the time, her food is always with me and she’s so darn cute that we are always the center of attention…it’s not a bad gig. However, it is quite hard for me, the new Mom, to get out.

Between feedings, diaper changes, being a hostess and recovering from seems to be a never-ending roller coaster of illnesses (my body apparently hates delivering babies), when am I supposed to shower, brush my hair or put on mascara? I am SO ready for the day that I am healthy again and have some down time. I do not like this having to rest and stay on the couch or in bed all the damn time.

Anyways, we still managed to have a good time with our family and snap some photos of adorableness. Like cousins and sisters having lunch at the famous Loveless Cafe.

Cousins!
Cousins!

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Afterwards we took the family to the lookout on the Natchez Trace.

Aunt Zoey
Aunt Zoey

We also had the opportunity to take Luna to her Great Grandpa’s exhibit at the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville. Her Great Grandpa was a very talented violinists, and one of our most favorite people. We know he would love little Luna more than anyone so we will always do our best to share his many memorable stories with her.

Grandpa's exhibit
Grandpa’s exhibit
Our family at the hall of fame
Our family at the hall of fame

AND, we took the family to Grandpa “Handsome’s” and Daddy’s place of work…the set of Nashville. Even Luna and Micah got to play on set.

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But, perhaps the best times were when we were just chillin’ in our pj’s at the house and forcing the babies to pose for our many cameras.

Micah is learning to play with Belle!
Micah is learning to play with Belle!
Climbing the steps
Climbing the steps
Waiting for Belle to bring the stick back...like that will ever happen.
Waiting for Belle to bring the stick back…like that will ever happen.
proof that Micah is my nephew...get it!
proof that Micah is my nephew…get it!
The cutest little bear cousins ever!
The cutest little bear cousins ever!

And, now we rest.

Cheers!

It’s Taken Over

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This last week has been oh-so busy. My sister and her family flew in from Texas to stay with us and meet Luna. My sis-in-law flew in from New York to meet Luna. Other friends flew in from NY to meet Luna. Different friends had a “last night” with us as they prepared to move away. Needless to say, there were lots of dinners out, cooking at home, cleaning and getting out of the house with me and Luna. It was GREAT to see people and do things, but unfortunately the “over-exerting” myself caused some damage and I’ve been put on bed rest.

Bed rest!? I didn’t know that was a possibility after pregnancy, but here I am…in bed. Boo. I should/could be using all this time in bed to write inspiring blogs, share funny stories from the week and edit photos, but nah. I’m sorry for myself and pissed that I’ve regressed a little so instead I have just snuggled Luna for hours and hours and watch approximately 357 episodes of How I Met Your Mother. 

But, I just put Luna down to sleep (without me) and was browsing Instagram (something else I’ve spent too much time doing) and came to the realization that in her short 25 days on Earth, Luna has already taken over my Instagram, Facebook and blog already. Every single photo is of her. I can’t help it though, she is really just too darn cute. So, today I’m sharing my fav Insta-baby photos. Enjoy… and you’re welcome.

Luna's early morning faces.
Luna’s early morning faces.

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Have a great week everyone! I plan on getting out of this bed and back to being Super Me very very soon.

Cheers!

 

The Magical Moments

Last week I told you all about our annual friend photos, well I JUST received them and I cannot wait to share the great images that Simone from ST Photography captured of us! I think photographers are a little bit magical, how else do they capture such great moments while simultaneously making us look good?

Husband and I didn’t have a “maternity” photo session, so I am glad Simone was able to take some photos of us during this special time.

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First, check out our group photo from 2012…

2012

Then, 2013! My, how we have grown!

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The two preggo ladies.

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And a few adorable ones of these handsome little boys…there were way too many cute ones to choose from!

Free at last!
Free at last!

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I just love how all of these came out! Thank you, thank you ST Photography!

Cheers!

Annual Friend and Family Photos

Last year, some of my closest friends and I decided to take “Friend Photos”. We rarely have the opportunity for all 4 of us to get together, and often forget to snap a photo during those rare times. Life seems to be flying by for all of us and changing as each week passes, so we want to capture our times together at least once a year. The photos from last year turned out so great that we decided to make this our new annual tradition.

Our sample photo
Our sample photo

I haven’t actually got the nice edited photos yet, but I did get a couple of teaser pics to share from Facebook! ST Photography did our photos, and I CANNOT wait to see how they all turned out! Simone, the photographer, was so patient and so good with the kids! All of our families are growing, which means our photos are going to start getting more complicated and a little more wild each year. It took a couple of hours to get all of our group and family photos done, but I know it will be worth it.

Husband and I took turns snapping a few candid and behind the scenes shots while Simone did the real work.

Telling us how to pose and making sure we look good.
Telling us how to pose and making sure we look good.

with the kids girlfriends closeup

The two baby bumps!
The two baby bumps!

Halfway through our photo session we found a corral and decided it was the perfect place to round-up the kids. “Run around! Pretend to be a horse! Giddy up!” It worked for about two minutes.

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One happy mommy
One happy mommy

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Because friend photos weren’t enough activity for one day, I also took family photos with ST Photography on the same day! It was actually fun to do two photo shoots, and I of course had to do a “costume change” between the two. Here’s a Facebook teaser from the family session.

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During this particular photo we had a little, well a big, guest sneak in for a photobomb…

Photobomb shot from the back of the camera!
Photobomb shot from the back of the camera!

The horse was actually trying to pull the sunglasses from my Dad’s back pocket and then decided to get a little taste of each of us. I think he just wanted his 15 minutes of fame.

Of course, we have some more behind the scenes photos from this session too.

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We were doing our best to get Micah to smile.
We were doing our best to get Micah to smile.
Daddy/Daughters shot
Daddy/Daughters shot

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It won’t be long until I get the fancy professional photos from Simone, can’t wait! Thanks so much for ST Photography for putting up with us for so long and capturing our families during the holidays.

Does your family take annual photos? Have you ever done friend photos? It’s a tradition I’m glad we started. It isn’t easy for all of us to get together, set up a time for photos, dress-up and make it work, but it really is worth it.

Cheers!

 

Attempting to Meet Santa

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Five years ago I found out that Petsmart has a “Santa Claws” photo event. They set aside a few days in December for your pets to come in and take photos with Santa. Adorable! I took Belle that year and the next, with the idea of making it a yearly tradition. However, we then moved to Albania, then NYC and the so-called tradition was forgotten. Until this year…about a week ago my friend Bella informed me that the Green Hills Mall in Nashville was hosting their own “Pet Photos with Santa” event.

We decided it would be fun to go together with ALL of our pets, including our newest addition, Duckie. I texted Bella beforehand to see what she was wearing… I decided to go all out in Christmas colors and elf looking socks and I didn’t want to be the only cheeseball. She responded with a pic of a red sweater bedazzled with sequins. Thank God, I’m not the only one who likes to play dress-up.

The Green Hills Mall set aside two hours at the end of the day for crazy people and their pets to take their photos with Mr. Claus. We arrived a few minutes early to beat the crowd. However, when we arrived there were already about 100 people and their pets of all sized in line and Santa was taking a break. When he returned he took photos with some kids who had waited first, and then took another break! After waiting for 45 minutes, not one pet had its picture taken with Santa and the animals were getting restless. We decided it was not going to be worth our wait (at least another hour) and created our own photo-op in the mall. We grabbed our pets, headed to the big tree behind Santa’s chair and took our own family and friend photos!

Unpacking the cat
Unpacking the cat

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I think our photos turned out great. Who needs Santa anyways? We weren’t the only ones with restless animals either. Lots of people started following our lead, taking their own photos and heading home.

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My Christmas sweater won’t even cover my big belly!
my babies
All 3 of my babies!

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It may have been a failed mission, but it was pretty exciting just to stand in the crazy line and watch the hundreds of pets and owners. There were dogs of all sizes wearing costume of all sorts. It was worth the wait just to watch them. Although, we may still try going to Petsmart next weekend to get an actual Santa photo.

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naughty kitty attacking her sister

Anyone else crazy enough to attempt pet pictures with Santa?

Cheers!

P.S. The cat was much better behaved and more calm than our dog… Husband was probably the least happiest to be there, but he’s a good sport when it comes to my ideas of festive fun.

Babies, Babies, Everywhere

There’s a scene in Gilmore Girls where Lorelei calls Rory to make sure she is doing what she needs to when it comes to uh… protection. Rory, obviously confused by this sudden worry, asks what is going on with her Mother.  “You have got to figure, if he shoots, he scores. I mean, look around you. There are babies popping out all over the place!” exclaims Lorelai. Rory responds with “You are in a maternity ward! You’ve got a skewed sample there.”

This is how I feel about the amount of baby boys being born. Everyone is popping out baby boys! In Texas, between 6 friends, 3 cousins and my sister there have been 11 boys born in the last 3 years and 0 girls. ZERO. The odds are definitely in favor of me having a girl. I don’t care either way, but it just makes sense.

I love all these precious boys though…just look how stinkin’ adorable they are…

Meeting 3 week old Nolan for the first time.
Meeting 3 week old Nolan for the first time.
One day old Orian!
One day old Orian!
Big boy Lain holding little Micah
Big boy Lain holding little Micah
the boys having too much fun at the BBQ
the boys having too much fun at the BBQ
Miles with rice and beans from his hair to his chin!
Miles with rice and beans from his hair to his chin!
Micah showing off his fancy pants helmet.
Micah showing off his fancy pants helmet.

I hate that they boys barely know me since I so rarely get to see them. I miss their births, most of their birthdays and every other sort of celebration. My friend, Danica, was due to have her baby boy in a couple of weeks, but I kept insisting that she must have him over Labor Day weekend so I can be there for at least one birth. So, being the great friend that she is, she went into to labor less than 12 hours after my arrival.

Meeting his honorary Aunt.
Meeting his honorary Aunt.
One day new!
One day new!

I am so over the moon that I got meet him on his actual birthday! It was really special to visit my friend, with my other best friends, and celebrate the birth of this beautiful little boy.

the four of us
the four of us

My other good friend just had a baby boy 3 weeks ago! We basically went from baby to baby all weekend.

Look at all that hair!
Look at all that hair!

Besides, all my friend’s precious boys, I got to spend so much (yet not enough) time with my nephew, Micah. Last time I saw him he was only a month old, now he is almost 6 months! This was also Husband’s first time to meet him.

Uncle Husband
Uncle Husband

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Micah with his new PacMan helmet decor
Micah with his new PacMan helmet decor

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Husband meeting Micah for the first time
Husband meeting Micah for the first time

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I know I’m biased, but you all have to admit that he is one friggin’ adorable little boy. He obviously takes after his Auntie.

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My new favorite picture ever!
My new favorite picture ever!

We had the best weekend and are now more excited for our little bambino. Only 23ish more weeks to go!

Cheers!

Reminiscing

My weekend was so fun that I couldn’t even manage to squeeze in some blogging action. I did write lots today but alas our internet is broken and Comcast is mean. So, tonight I’ll share some photos I found while finally unpacking our photo albums the other day.

I planned to arrange our dvd’s, books and albums in about an hour one afternoon and ended up spending four hours looking at thousands of old photos. Thanks to these crazy pregnancy hormones I cried and cried over most of the old pictures. Lucky for you, I snapped a few photos of photos on my phone, and since my phone has a tiny bit of internet signal out here in the woods its pretty much all I can do tonight.

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Little Hilarie…always a ham.

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Me and Kelly…gearing up for the Shrimpfest pageant. Yes, that’s a real thing.

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Me and my favorite girls getting ready to perform in high school…yeehaw!

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Me and dad….awwwww.

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Baby Belle!

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Meeting Hilarie Duff.

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The moment I knew Husband was the one…I convinced him to dress up as Peter Pan after just meeting him. This was at our Disney cast member pajama party.

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Classic sister photo. Seriously Mom, what were you thinking!?

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3rd grade slumber party!

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My last day working at Blizzard Beach with one of my best friends.

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And the most adorable Minnie Mouse you ever did see.

So many good memories…and many more to come.

cheers!