Monday, January 30, 2017

Manzo Family- Maternity Session

I had the honor of photographing some of our dear friends as they wait for their baby to arrive.
They braved the cold (and a little icy snow!) and could not have been more beautiful!!
Emily & Joe,
I can't wait to meet your precious baby & watch you all grow as parents.
Here are a few of my favorites from the session...

If you are interested in booking a session, I would love to talk with you!
Shoot me an email for dates & pricing.
You can click the little email envelope tab in the right column.

One Finished Area of the Boys' Room

Friday, January 27, 2017

Upstairs Hallway- Kids' Area

This awkward space in between the kids rooms and the landing at the top of the steps needed some love.  It's the kids' area so I wanted it to be fun and colorful, but also an effective use of space.  Might just be my favorite art in the house :)  There is a skinny area that is not shown in these photos that I want to eventually add a huge chalkboard (low so they can reach it) and maybe some pillows or skinny rug.  That way they have a reading nook near their books!

Paris Wood Pallet Art- old from Hobby Lobby (like 6 years old!)
Bookshelf- vintage find
Quirky Animal Canvases- TJMaxx (our store rotates this brand of canvas and some really cute animals!)

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The most rewarding task we could ever imagine...

"It takes focus, dedication, and energy to train children in the way they should go.  And though motherhood is the most taxing job we will ever undertake, it also has the potential of being the most joyful and most rewarding task we could ever imagine... if we do it for the glory of our King." 
Leslie Ludy

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Family Book Recommendation- Farm Anatomy- Animals, Gardens & Tractors

A sweet friend (who wants a farm and animals just like us- haha!) gifted us with this awesome book!
Farm Anatomy by Julia Rothman
 The kids and I loved reading it together last year and we are excited to read through it again this spring.
I learned a lot and the kids loved the illustrations and simple explanations.

I might even tear out a page or two and frame the illustrations- they are so cute...
JR loved the tractor page & Vera thought the Comb Styles below were hilarious!
There are a couple other versions (Nature & Food) or the full collection {here}. 

The Witching Hour- Hyper & Hungry

Ya know that LONG stretch before dinner? 
For us, it's that time after nap or snack and before Patrick gets home from work.  The book Babywise calls this the "witching hour" but I'm pretty sure this continues well into the toddler stage.  Bauer is tired but needs to stay up until bedtime. The kids are hyper waiting for daddy to get home and just want "one more snack" before the real meal.
Usually what works one day to occupy them does not work the next.  I also try to have the house somewhat decluttered and not too much crazy going on for when Patrick walks in the door.  I know Patrick would rather come home to a rested wife and messy house than exhausted wife and spotless house ;) but who wants to come home to chaos after a long day of work?!  This is definitely not the case every day.  Sometimes I have a show on Netflix and I run to take a nap the second he walks in the door! But on most days we try our best to get their energy out and make a fun welcome home for daddy.
The other day, JR and Vera created a hideout in the front yard with leftover garland and sticks from the yard and waited quietly until daddy drove home.  Surprise nerf gun attacks might just become our evening tradition!
Any Witching Hour ideas that work well in your home? Please Share! :)

Monday, January 23, 2017

It's Monday!

I hope your Monday is productive and full of some great surprises!

Patrick shared in his message this past weekend {here}
that living differently requires making some changes and doing things you haven't done before.
"You will get more of what you already have if you keep doing what you've always done.
Either you are running towards or away from your identity with Jesus.
Many of you are a child of God, but you are living like a slave."

1 Corinthians 2:12
What we have received is not the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God,
so that we may understand what He has freely given us.

"If you're satisfied with what you've received so far, then keep doing what you've always done. But a lot of us know that something has to change.  We have been living under the authority of culture when in reality we need to be living in the authority of what Jesus says is right and true..."

What are you changing today? What lies are you replacing with the truth of God's Word?

Friday, January 20, 2017

Growing Kids (Likes & Dislikes)

John Ryman: 5

Likes: picking up firewood in his Power-wheels Jeep, playing chase with his new puppy, 
cheering for the Cards, showing off his memory (that's way better than mine!), 
YouTube videos of off-roading vehicles, imitating his Daddy

Dislikes- waking up in the morning, UK Cats :) 

Vera: 3 1/2

Likes: playing with her little "people" and dolls, anything pink, telling extravagant stories, back scratches, cuddling with Vali, gum (any and every flavor) 

Dislikes: brushing her hair, falling asleep without Every light on, Ryder biting her curls

Bauer: 10 months

Likes: food, snacks and more food, bouncing anywhere, being nosy and pulling up on everything, zooming around the house in his walker, happily observing

Dislikes: teething, waiting at the door watching puppies outside, waiting for food, sitting still

Monday, January 16, 2017

Precious Niece Vivienne- Newborn Session

Gardening with your Kids in Mind

 Our family went to the lake after Christmas and my only goal was to sketch out my garden plans before we came home.  I love doing this every year- extra special this year with a whole new yard & potential garden spaces.  I wrote out all of the fruits, veggies and herbs I wanted to incorporate.  Then I read through several cookbooks to make sure I would actually eat/use the items in the garden because I have been known to say things like, "Oh radishes will be delicious in a salad!" and then not eat one of them from the garden :)  It felt great to get everything organized for the new year and new garden!
 After we returned home, I read a great post from Allie {here} and it encouraged me to cross off a few items on my list.  Less is more, even in gardening!  No need to overwhelm myself while learning a new yard.
In my plans, I had two raised garden beds near the house and one large garden in the back corner of our yard for the larger plants.   Why not let John Ryman and Vera each have their own raised bed?  They always love helping me each year and maybe their love will grow if they have their own space created from scratch!
We spent some time making a list of different vegetables or fruits they like... talking about why we can't plant an apple tree in the garden bed and how some grow underground and others really tall.
Once they created their own lists (with a little editing), they were able to color their raised beds.  I don't know who had more fun, me or the kids!

Now I can just take my original list and whatever was not included in their gardens will go in my large garden in the backyard!  Who else is ready for Spring?!  If I can figure it out, I'll share with y'all a free printable soon so your kids can join in the fun.  Even if it's as simple as on large patio pot! Stay tuned... and Happy Gardening.

A Quick Meal & Making Snacks Look Pretty

Food tastes better when it is beautifully plated.  It is just a plain fact.  That is the reason fancy restaurants go to great detail to present a dish that is pleasing to the eye & taste buds.  I have no idea how to make art on a dinner plate, but I have learned that a variety of color and something as simple as separating oatmeal ingredients into row... can make a quick breakfast with busy kiddos feel a little fancier :) So I'm trying to be a little more intentional with how I plate food for our family & we will see how it works!

Sunshine Juice Co Pink Drink
Trader Joe's Grainless Granola
Greek Yogurt
Trader Joe's Sprouted 7 Grain Bread (Aldi has a great similar one!)
(and a little Cookie Butter, of course!)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Snow Day with the Boys

 (my firewood delivery man!)
 (first snow for these 2 boys!)