Our Life

CURRENTLY LOVING… CHATBOOKS!

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chatbooks-1-2chatbooks-2I hope everyone had a great weekend! I just wanted to tell you about something I’m having a ton of fun with at the moment. I recently downloaded the Chatbooks app onto my phone. It’s really cool because you can sign up for a service where you link it to your Instagram account and every 60 images you post, they’ll automatically make a 6×6″ book for $6 (the price is going up to $8 soon, but if you sign up in the next 6 weeks or so the $6 rate will be grandfathered in for the next 2 years!) and ship it to you. You can also create custom books really easily. I have a private photo stream on my phone that friends and family are invited to and where I post a ton of photos of the kids. We all love the stream so much that I got it printed and made a bunch of copies. I’m a professional photographer and I still take 90% of the photos of my kids with my iphone & I love that this is such a simple and fast way to get them into my house/hands/real life.

You’ve got to get your photos off your computers and phones or you’ll lose them or never look at them again – get your photos printed! Even if it’s just your instagram photos – it’s perfect for busy parents because you sign up and then never have to think about it again – books will just start arriving. I’m really way too busy/lazy to have it any other way!

xo

Remember…

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image via Kaley Ann

I’ve been doing a lot of this lately. I’ve been getting my work done but mostly reading stories, having dance parties in the living room, going to swim class, sorting shapes, and stacking cups. This blog is getting a little neglected (don’t worry, I have a bunch of posts in the works!), but at the end of the day, all I really care about is the time spent with my family. I’ve never been so acutely aware of how short a period of time 18 years is. I mean, I keep thinking about how 9/11 was 14 years ago and it feels like it was just last year. In that short a period of time, Emma’s going to be 15. It makes me so sad sometimes that I’ve actually started crying. Crying real tears because my 1 year old and 3 month old are going to be going off to college any day now. Which sounds crazy I’m sure unless you’re a parent. And then sometimes well-intentioned strangers (I’m looking at you exterminator guy from last week) will say something like “it’s only 18 years and then you’ll get the house back to yourselves and can go on trips and do all the things you want… blahblahblah” and I’m like “Are you insane?? What are you talking about??!!!” This is the only thing I want. I’ve been on trips. I don’t want the house “back”. I want to freeze time and remember every little tiny detail of every single day. I’m reminded of a great parenting quote “You’re raising a human being, not managing an inconvenience.” I think I’ve gotten off track. The point is, I have this very strong sense that I’m currently living in the best years of my life and I’m just doing everything I can to soak it all in. And I know I’m not blogging much, but, you know, #sorrynotsorry xo

EMMA’S FIRST BIRTHDAY

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It’s a couple months late, but I wanted to share some images from Emma’s first birthday. It was simple and sweet. Just family. (I had just had a baby a few weeks earlier). The theme was rainbows – I got some rainbow decorations for her crib and high chair, a colorful ball pit (inflatable pool with ball pit balls from Amazon), my sister made rainbow pancakes, and I’d bought a felt rainbow “Happy Birthday” banner a while ago (I wanted to get a banner that wasn’t paper – that would last so it could be a family tradition for years to come). We also got a smaller version of the same pool and filled it with water for Emma to do a little swimming on the driveway… In fact, if I’m being honest, I might have overdone it – she had balloons, bubbles, pancakes, presents, swimming, photos, a picnic lunch, like 4 outfit changes, cake, a ball pit… By the time we got to cake she was totally overwhelmed and crying. Poor kid. It’s just that I LOVE holidays SO much and can’t help myself!

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We did the last of her monthly photoshoots – this time with bubbles!

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Rodney made her this cool activity tower (I’ll be posting more about it next week)! She loves being able to stand up at counter-top height to see what we’re doing.

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Emma never smashed her cake – she took a few delicate bites. And how cute is her little birthday crown from A Tiny Arrow?!

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xo

emma’s monthly photo project

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Newborn Emma –> 1 year old Emma. Crazy.

What an amazing year it’s been. And now I get to start the monthly photo series all over again with Steven. The trouble with having them so close in age is that we’re going to be done having little babies in the house pretty soon and it all goes by so quickly. Maybe in a few years I can convince Rodney that we should have a third… 🙂

MATERNITY PHOTOS!!

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So sorry I’ve been M.I.A! So much has been going on and it’s been a huge adjustment taking care of two little babies – we’re so lucky to still have family in town helping – my parents were here and now my sister is visiting – and I’m beyond grateful for all of them – I really don’t know what we would’ve done these last few weeks without them – if you’re getting ready to have a baby and people offer to come by and help you in any way – say “yes” – I promise you’ll need it!

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I was beyond lucky to have my friend Heather come by and take these photos of me and Emma before Steven was born. She’s amazing and I am absolutely in love with every single image!! And we were fortunate because we got them done just in time – Steven was born a week early and just 5 days after this shoot…

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jen lauren grant maternity photos

This might be my most favorite photo of Emma ever – she’s SO HAPPY!!!

black slip // kimono // lace dress // feather crown // emma’s dress // bracelet

Welcome Baby Steven!

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We welcomed little baby Steven into our family last Tuesday on 2/24/15. He’s already such a treasure! I’ve taken a lot of photos with my “real” camera and I’ll be sharing some of those too, but I wanted to go ahead and post some of the recent iphone photos I’ve taken. It’s so hard to believe that this time last year, we had no children, and now we have two! Emma and Steven are exactly 10 months and 27 days apart. They seem so very different right now – Steven with his floppy head and sleeping all the time and Emma crawling around everywhere and getting into everything – but I know that in about a year or so, they’ll be able to play and start becoming lifelong friends.

I was so lucky with this labor. With Emma, I was in labor for 3 days, went to the hospital twice, horribly painful back labor, etc. And with Steven, I went to the hospital Monday night to check and see if my water bag was torn and perhaps leaking a little. I would’ve just gone to my doctor’s office, but they were closing for the day. So, my doctor told my to go to the hospital to get it checked out, but we were both pretty certain that it was probably fine. I was just patting myself on the back for being mature enough to get it checked out. Anyways, much to my surprise, it turns out my water had, in fact, broken and so they needed to keep me and induce labor since it’s unsafe for the baby to stay in there if the bag is torn. So, I called my amazing doula who came and stayed in the room overnight with us, they induced me, gave me an epidural, and that was basically it. I didn’t sleep well because Emma was there with us too – we’d packed up her travel crib and brought it since we didn’t really have a plan in place (my mom wasn’t due to arrive until 2 days later), but she didn’t sleep too well. By morning I was fully dilated, my doctor arrived, and I pushed for about 10-15 minutes and he was here! No  pain, never really went into labor… and what’s crazy/awesome is he’s just as easygoing as his birth was. Probably the hardest part of the whole thing was how mentally unprepared I felt for him to be arriving. At least with Emma, having bad contractions and actually being in labor, I knew she was on her way, I had several days to adjust to the idea, and I was in enough pain that I wanted very badly to give birth. With Steven, arriving 8 days early, with no contractions, I got kind of scared. I just didn’t feel ready. Our house wasn’t ready yet. His bassinet wasn’t set up yet. I was shocked to be staying in the hospital and having a baby. It probably wasn’t until I held him that it felt really real. However, as I write this, today is his due date, and I can’t imagine him having waited an extra week. He was definitely born exactly when he was supposed to be and I couldn’t be more grateful.