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Archive for January, 2011

I heart faces–best face

This weeks photo challenge on I Heart Faces is ‘Best Face Photo in January 2011’.  As I looked back at my January shoots, this image stuck out immediately…and she wasn’t even the intended subject.  This was from her baby brother’s newborn shoot in early January.  Two year old Katie had been watching me, singing throughout the entire session.  Before I put my camera away I asked if she wanted to have her picture taken and for her to give her brother a little kiss.  In typical two year old fashion she gave the quickest one second air kiss…too fast for me to capture on camera, then gave me this priceless grin.  Normally, I am a stickler about focusing on the eyes of a subject, but I actually love how her mouth is the focus, giving the rest of the picture a natural, soft appearance.  Who wouldn’t love that grin?

Check out more outstanding faces!

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Sunday ramblings…

That’s it.  I am officially in spring mode.  I’ve tried to hold out as long as I can, but when God gives me a 65 degree, beautifully sunny Sunday…I’m down for the count.  Yes, I realize that days that like this are limited in the winter, but what kind of person would I be to not take advantage of them? 

Andy and I are so blessed to live in a great neighborhood.  Over the summer we have ‘cornhole block parties’.  We play, we grill, we laugh…we just enjoy the weather.  Yesterday we decided to resurrect summer. 

Cornhole was played…

 

Bar-b-que was eaten (thank you Maurice’s in Rock Hill for giving me a taste of Charleston)…

*Side, embarrassing note…my pregnant self was so excited about this bar-b-que that I completely forgot to take any pictures of the actual bar-b-que eating.  This picture is a reenactment.  From about 10 minutes ago.  And the food pictured is cold.*

We had a grand ole time.  Our friends, Zach and Jenny brought over their baby girl, Annabelle.  She became a magnet to my camera which is why there are hardly any pictures of anything else.  Who can blame her?

 

Ladies and gentlemen…the many faces of Annabelle.

And a get together would not be complete without a tasty dessert.  Once again, I’m going to toot my own horn.  This recipe came straight from my head.  Okay, my inspiration was Olive Garden, but I’m pretty sure the only ingredients in common are apples and almonds.  Andy and I are on a health kick, and I try to limit my sugar intake.  This apple crumb dessert was basically sugar free.  You wouldn’t have been able to tell, though…trust me.  De-li-cious.

Start off with some gorgeous granny smith apples…

…peel, slice, and saute in a little yogurt butter, sugar free caramel and splenda brown sugar…

 

…top with the best crumb crust you’ve ever tasted.  Box of sugar free yellow cake mix, stick of melted butter/margarine and sliced almonds.  Sprinkle on a litte more brown sugar blend…

  

…bake in the oven at 350 until the crust is light brown and…

…enjoy!  Your tastebuds can thank me later.  🙂

It seems as if our house is already being taken over by Charley’s toys and gadgets.  The latter part of the day today was spent putting together our new purchases/gifts. 

I love it.  Our is house is looking like a home. 

Today I am 32 weeks pregnant…entering into the eighth month.  It’s a unique feeling.  On one hand, I feel like this pregnancy has flown by…but on the other hand, I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever.  I look back and think of July, and it feels like a lifetime ago, but I can’t believe in 8 weeks or so Charley will make her entrance into the world. 

 

I’m thankful for this mixture of feelings.  I can remember this pregnancy as being the perfect amount of time…enough time to savor every moment.  Moments like when I took my first pregnancy test and tried to hide it from Andy so I could surprise him…only to have him find it five minutes later.  And when I got my first twinge of nausea and welcomed it with open arms.  When Andy and I saw the tiny flicker of a beating heart… and then saw it again two weeks later because sometimes I needed to be reassured.  Moments like when we found out that ‘it’ was a she.  Charley Jane.  When I first felt her kick, and the look on Andy’s face when he felt her too.  I’ll look back and remember grabbing Andy’s hand and watching him instinctively place it on my belly…knowing the reason why I grabbed it to begin with.  All of these moments…

…and I’ll take a lifetime more on the side, please.

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Stay tuned…

…and see what wonderful, delicious, scrumptious, mouth watering, one-of-the-best-things-I’ve-ever-made dessert I created starting out with these…

I’m so full I can’t even blog…or end sentences with periods…

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Beautiful things…

I have been itching to get outside with my camera.  Just me, Charley, my camera, and nature.  The weather has been pretty yucky this week, but it only makes you appreciate days like today even more.  The sun is shining.  Blue sky is glowing…and I hear Saturday is supposed to be even prettier!  I’m getting Spring fever.  Bad.  I had so much fun on my nature hike today.  I was the only one on the trail, and it could not have been more peaceful.  I savored every crunch of leaf…every squish of mud.  I cannot wait until Charley gets here, and I can strap her in my Ergo and share nature with her.  Today…today I am just going to let the pictures do the talking…

…with this song as the soundtrack.

 

I am so psyched about these next two pictures.  What you are seeing is actually the reflection of the sky in the water.  Pretty cool, huh?

 

There’s always a little bit of Fall that holds on tight and refuses to let go.

And you can guarantee that this song will be played in the birthing room too.

Happy Thursday everyone!  🙂

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Pink…

 

I’ve always considered my self the ‘anti-girly’ girl.  I was never into dresses or brushing my hair.  I would have rather been outside playing in the dirt than inside playing with dolls.  When people would ask what my favorite color was I NEVER responded, ‘pink’.  But now…

I have evolved.

I have a new appreciation for the color pink.  When I first learned I was pregnant with a girl I still had the ‘no pink’ mentality.  However, as time has gone by I am loving the growing piles of pink clothing gathering in Charley’s room.  All the different shades…from hot pink to the palest of pale pinks.  I’m loving them all.  I even find myself wearing pink more often.  My view on this particular color has had me look at my so called anti-girly self.  I look through my closet and see dresses and skirts.  I see hot pink heels.  I see shirts, tanks, and sweaters that make me giddy thinking of what accesories I can pair with them.  I even brushed my hair this morning.  Am I really anti-girly anymore?  Maybe not.  I do know I am still the freebird of a girl that forgot to wear underwear to school…I’ve just added some flare to her. 

In celebration of my pink epiphany and because Valentine’s Day is around the corner, I decided to get crafty and make a new wreath for our front door.  I can already tell that I’ve got some of my Moremama in me.  I remember when I was younger going over to her house and walking upstairs to her ‘craft attic’, where it smelled of hot glue gun, dried flowers, and creativeness.  I loved helping her with her many projects, and I still look forward to her annual Christmas ornament that she hand makes with love.  So with my inherited wreath skills in hand, I headed off to Michael’s for supplies.

A wicker wreath on sale for $4.00…

 

…and some Valentine’s doo-dads.

A little snip there…a little cut there and voila!

My door is now happier.

And for breakfast on Valentine’s Day…

It seems like every day I (or should I say Charley) get a package in the mail thanks to my amazing relatives.  I wait for the mail like a kid on Christmas…wondering if anything new will arrive.  Today was an incredible mail day.  Not only because Charley got some beautiful gifts…but because there are amazing stories to go along with them.

Normally when packages arrive they are in plain brown boxes.  Today, however, Charley received two beautifully wrapped presents from her aunt Amy.

I eagerly ripped the wrapping paper off with anticipation and found the cutest receiving blankets, onesies, and baby clothes in the sweetest shades of light pink.  There was even a baby doll.  I then read the letter…

…and the tears started to flow.

These weren’t just ordinary clothes.  These were the clothes that should have been worn by Amy’s daughter, Bryce.  A little background information…Amy tragically lost the triplets she carried for nearly six months.  I can only imagine the pain that she went through (and still goes through) of losing three little somethings that were a part of you…that squirmed around in your belly…that had individual personalities.  I am already so attached to Charley.  It’s scary how much I love her.  Words cannot express how much Amy helped me when Andy and I lost our first pregnancy last year.  I can’t even compare the loss that we experienced with Amy’s.  I never felt our first baby move inside me.  I never knew if it was a boy or girl…never named him/her.  Amy did.  Three times.   There are countless emails of wisdom and advice that I will never delete.  It’s a club that I wish didn’t exist, but one that we are both a part of.

So with heavy tears flowing down my cheeks, I went through the items individually.  I held them up and breathed them in.  I removed the hanger from the tiny pants that had been kept for so long.  Frozen in time.  Amy mentioned in her letter that she was finally getting come closure by giving these clothes to me.  She wanted them to smell like a baby.  I am so blessed and honored to be a part of this healing process for her.  Charley will wear these proudly.

Another item that arrived in the mail were these shoes.

 

The ‘Nella Cordelia baby bootie’ to be specific.  Nella Cordelia is the youngest daughter of one of my favorite bloggers, Kelle Hampton.  She wrote the most inspiring, raw, and beautiful birth story about Nella…and finding out upon delivering her that she had down syndrome.  Nella is now one year old, and to celebrate this Kelle started Nella’s ONEder fund and has raised almost $100,000 for the National Down Syndrome Society.  Many of her followers jumped on board and became sponsors…one in particular being The Pitter Patter Shop.  Not only does this mother of two make adorable baby shoes, but she donated all the sale’s proceeds of the Nella Cordelia shoe to the NDSS.  I cannot wait for Charley to wear these.   

So what started out to be a dreary, rainy Wednesday ended up being anything but dreary.  Pink things were created, pink things were passed on, and pink things were donated. 

Once again, I am one happy mama-to-be.

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Innocent wonder…

 

I don’t know how I haven’t found this site before. 

This weeks challenge on I heart faces is called ‘Innocent Wonder’.  I immediately thought of this little guy from one of my most recent newborn shoots.  I remember how alert he was for an eight day old baby, and the awe and wonder he expressed when looking at his dad.  His look says it all, “I know your face…and I love you, Daddy”.

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My plan…

Do me a favor.  Please click on this link and listen to the song while reading this post (just wait for the advertising to end).

I’m sure many people have heard of a ‘birth plan’.  I know that seems to be all I hear about.  Epidural?  Natural?  Hospital?  Birthing Center?  Who knew there were so many things to consider when birthing a baby.  In a way it makes me sad because hundreds of years ago women just did it.  They gave birth.  It was something as natural as breathing.  Now it seems the media has portrayed it as something to be feared.  Yes, it will hurt.  Yes, things can go wrong.  But people are forgetting the most important thing. 

It will be beautiful.

And that is just how I want the birth of the little girl growing inside me to be.  Beautiful.  I admit that I am a granola eating, nature loving, somewhat-of-a-hippie kind of woman, a trait that I love.  So it’s no surprise to anyone that I’m wanting my birthing experience to be as natural as possible.  Part of it is because I just don’t like the idea of a continuous drip of drugs being pumped into my body and not being able to move around.  But the other part is just plain stubbornness.  I want to see what my body can do.  What it was made to do.  Yes, I know things can happen, and that’s why I am still keeping an open mind.  But I know I can do this. 

Yesterday I started my Hypnobabies home study course.  I’ll admit, I was a little skeptical about the whole relaxation thing.  I’m the one in yoga who is thinking about what’s for dinner during so-called ‘deep meditation’.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  The track I listened to last night was ‘My Special Place’.  This helps you relax and find that inner comfort and peace you never knew you had.  This was what I immediately thought of and has become my special place.

I was then asked if anything was missing, and she came to mind…because she is missing…

My faith is also a huge part of my special place, and Mamaw encompasses that.  I picture the two of us in the field of flowers talking about God’s love…and I am relaxed.  I was able to get so relaxed that I ended up falling asleep.  Yet, I can’t stop thinking about that field of flowers and Mamaw. 

This has given me a whole new perspective on what I want going on in the birthing suite while in labor and giving birth.  For the longest time I’ve said I wanted movies on to distract me.  Now, I find myself wanting to have candles lit with Enya playing in the background.  I know this for certain.  I want ‘This Woman’s Work’ by Maxwell playing as I’m pushing Charley out into the world and she takes her first breath.  I tear up every time I hear it, thinking about what this song will mean years down the road. 

It will be beautiful.

I now have the entire outfit Charley will wear home from the hospital.

The gown I wore home over 27 years ago, handsmocked by my mother…

…worn underneath this delicate little sweater given to me before I was even born by my Mamaw…

…accessorized by this hat and tiny booties that I crocheted yesterday and today.

I am so completely in love with this little girl. 

That was His plan all along…

…and it IS beautiful.

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