Thursday, January 11, 2018

Beach Maternity Photo Shoot

Over the Christmas holiday, we spent some time with family and took a few maternity photos at the beach. Since we moved to north Florida, the beach isn't as easy to get to and both of our parents live in beach towns, so we figured we'd grab the camera and hit the sand.

I actually didn't do much prepping beforehand, with props or deciding on certain poses I wanted, we just winged it.

Being in Florida, I know of several other girlfriends that did beach maternity shoots and they just looked stunning! Especially when they timed it right and captured the sunset (west coast). We were on the east coast, so that would mean sunrise. And sunrise during Christmas holiday time, was not going to happen! No one wanted to get up in the morning (myself included). We actually shot these photos mid-day.

I am about 28 weeks along here, and baby gets bigger and stronger each day. I believe 27 or 28 weeks marks the beginning of third trimester.

My husband did such a great job as photographer. Sometimes photo taking can be a little stressful, and you never know what the weather will be like, but we both just kept our cool and tried to get as many poses in.

I'm thinking about doing a mermaid/beach theme for our upstairs bathroom, and thought a few of these photos would look neat up there. That bathroom will be primarily for kiddos, and any overnight guests we have. So far I've only got a mermaid shower curtain up and a few shells as decor.

I saw a few ideas on Pinterest where the couple writes the baby's name in the sand. So sweet! I knew I wanted to copy that idea. (Kind of hard to read, but it should say "Violet".)

We are just so excited for the arrival of our little girl. Ten to twelve weeks left, seems both like forever and not much time at all.

I hope to get one more quick photo shoot in around the 35 week mark (late February/early March..?) just to document these moments. We've had to wait so long to be able to have a child, and we don't know if we'll be able to conceive again. We really hope to, but there are no guarantees in life. Right now, every moment I try to really cherish.

I hope these photos inspire you to get out there and snap some pics! I've been terrible about doing weekly "bump" photos, but rather than feel guilty about not doing something every week, I try to at least snap some photos every trimester to help document the process. Don't feel like you have to make it a big production, just relax and know that some photos are better than no photos.

Best of luck!
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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A New Year, A New Board

Happy New Year, Y'all!

Can you believe it's January already? Wow! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season.

As is tradition, my husband and I made our vision boards for the new year and I'm so excited to share mine with you today. Rather than hard and fast "resolutions", we like to create vision boards (an original idea from my mother-in-law and her girlfriends) to help shape what we want to do and who we want to become in the new year.

2018 is our sixth year in a row (wow!) doing vision boards, and we still absolutely love them! Check out 2017's here.

And without further ado... Here is my crazy, cool board for 2018!

I know, there's a lot to take in. Lots, and lots of images this year.

For 2018, I really have three main phrases I want to focus on, to help shape my year.

  1. "All about family"
    • Keeping ourselves healthy by tracking and maintaining a healthy weight. For me, that'll mainly be post-birth, starting in April. 
    • Giving myself grace to adjust to life as a new mom. 
    • Responsible financial management. We'd like to stay a one-income family, and that means responsible day-to-day household spending on my end. 
  2. "Just the three of us"
    • Enjoying our sweet little girl, Violet Caroline, and growing from 2 to 3. We will never have these moments with her again, so we both plan on soaking it all in. 
    • Taking time to slow down and enjoy country living. We moved out to the country for a reason, and I'd like to start enjoying some of the benefits of being away from it all. 
    • Reclaiming the holidays by decorating our house and cooking seasonal foods. I kind of outlined some of the specific ideas I have for this in all the million photos I have arching across the top of my board from left to right. 
  3. "Rejuvenated"
    • Getting back into reading my morning devotional every day.  
    • Posting more scripture in our home to help us reflect on what really matters in life. 
    • Trying out some furniture building and woodworking, using Ana White plans. I really enjoyed kitchen cabinet building, so I wouldn't mind trying my hand at more projects! 
    • Spring and summer vegetable gardening and growing herbs.

I can't wait to see what's in store for us in 2018. It really is going to be such a special year. The birth of our first child, our first Mother's Day and Father's Day, my 30th birthday, our 7th wedding anniversary. Say what?!

I hope this inspires you to think about how you want to shape your 2018. You could put together a physical board like we do, or even a Pinterest board on the web. Either would work!

Have fun and happy January!

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas at the Farm

This Christmas is both our first Christmas in this new home, and our last Christmas as just a couple, with baby girl due next spring. Since the style of our home is "farmhouse" I'm calling this posting "Christmas at the Farm", but some part of me technically doesn't feel right about it because we don't have animals. No chickens, goats, or cows. The animals I feed and clean up after include one late-twenties husband, two mischievous kitties, and one baby in utero. ;)

For the outside, I wanted to keep things simple with just a winter themed flag and 4 matching wreaths with red bows. Our light up deer didn't make the move with us, so that made things easier.

Last year, I had shingles for the better part of December and Daniel got sick (with a cold) early in the month too, so it was a really lack luster holiday. We didn't get to go to my office Christmas party, and I was super upset about that. I was looking forward to getting dressed up and celebrating with everyone.

As a result of us being sick, we put up our tree later than we've ever done. So late that apparently you can get a live tree for $5 a week before Christmas. Poor thing was so brown! But I was just thrilled that my husband went out and bought one for us. I was still so tired and in pain from the shingles at the time, so any sense of holiday, cheered me up.

For this year though, I wanted to enjoy and celebrate Christmas for as long as possible! Since we weren't hosting Thanksgiving, I felt total freedom to decorate for Christmas before turkey day. I got the outdoor decor done first, and then put out a few things on the piano inside.

After Thanksgiving, that first weekend in December, we went to pick out our tree. It's the smallest tree we've ever gotten (I typically like the 8 ft ones), but this new house does not have vaulted ceilings! We went for a 6 ft tree that was healthy (aka no $5 brown trees again) and full. I have to say, she's small, but I think it's the prettiest tree we've had in a really long time. She is just stunning to me. I love looking at her at night while relaxing on the couch.

I really wasn't able to put out many of my Christmas decorations this year (no stockings, no Christmas kitchen decor, no multiple faux trees) because of our move and renovation. We have only a fraction of the furniture we used to have, so no place to put decor out. In some ways, I feel like God is even training me now for baby girl, because next year I might not want to put out any breakables with someone learning to crawl and walk. lol It's felt like a simple and humble Christmas this year, and I couldn't be more grateful.

Two weekends ago, Daniel and I packaged up some treats for his fellow teachers. I made several batches of my favorite mint chocolate chunk cookies, and Pioneer Woman's Peppermint Fudge. Every teacher in his hallway could choose between a package of fudge or cookies, but two guys in particular got both. These two helped Daniel so much with girls' basketball coaching (that just ended), that we wanted to give these as a "thank you" as well.

Daniel said he had so much fun letting his coworkers choose their treat, and thanking them for a great school semester and friendship.

This year, 2017, in particular has been just so filled for us. So many big life accomplishments and life changes. We already have so many things, and things to be thankful for, that I really don't want anything for Christmas. Really. For so many years and Christmases, I prayed so hard for a baby, and now we have her. She will be here in just a few short months!

With all the renovation mess, it's easy to forget that I'm getting a brand-new kitchen. And laundry! That moving into this farmhouse is a gift enough already.

I think at the end of the day, just time with my husband is all I want this year. Time to reflect together. Time to cook together. Time to sleep in and be silly and crack jokes. Have hot decaf's and hot chocolate together. It's going to be a great winter break for us.

Merry Christmas and happiest New Year!

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