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9.20.14 – Delaney’s 2nd Birthday Party

21 Sep

I am pretty late in posting Laney’s birthday party recap. This fall has been busier than I ever imagined it would be when I started my little photography business almost a year ago, which is great! (Except when it comes to finding time to blog about our family happenings….)

We decided to have a book-themed birthday when we noticed how much Laney LOVES books. Most little ones her age do, of course, but she will spend hours a day pulling them off her shelf, looking through them, asking us to read them, “reading” them herself, etc. I merged a few ideas I saw on various party-planning blogs and got some help from QT Prints (who is fabulous to work with!) for her invite. And the stars aligned when Laney was super cooperative on a beautiful evening to capture some of my favorite photos of her. And here is the result:

Delaney Front with Bleed

The inside of the card had all of the party details on a “library card.” I got little library card holders to put them in and stuck them on the inside of the folded invite.

The rest of the party kinda came together when I saw the Oh Joy! Target party supply line for fall had teal, pink, black, white, and gold. I quickly snatched up what our local target had and used that as my color scheme.

Here are some photos from the rest of the decor.

I did my best to go a little more low-key than last year, and I reused several items from previous events. I got some fun engraved pencils from Earmark. The book page garlands are from Yellow Bird, Yellow Beard. Everything else I made myself or purchased from Target.

And here are some photos of the birthday girl and family. Laney’s adorable shirt is from Swallow’s Return. And her book page flower bow is from Maisey’s Daisey’s.

She did pretty well despite a few melt-down moments. She was hesitant to blow out her candle but did it all by herself. But she didn’t even want her cupcake after talking about cake all day! We were pretty disappointed in them. Our usual bakery closed, and these were a let-down. She loved opening presents. If it was clothes, they got tossed straight over her head. The toys had to be immediately opened. Our family and friends were too generous as usual – she is one spoiled little girl.

Thank you, friends and family, for making her day so special! Another year in the books!

9.12.14 – Delaney’s Birthday Recap

12 Sep

I think our little girl had a pretty fabulous birthday! She loved getting all of your birthday wishes, so thank you!

We started the day off right with a balloon and a smmoovie (smoothie). Daddy knows how to make his girl happy. She also checked her birthday messages. ;)

Then we proceeded downstairs to her birthday doughnut and presents. She was a little hesitant at first, but she even blew out her candles! She loved her colors, table and easel. Like most kids, she immediately tossed her clothes to the side and headed for the book.

Then we got cleaned up and headed to gymnastics open gym and lunch. She had her favorite Noodles & Co. macaroni and cheese and a cupcake.


Despite both her nose and the weather outside being yucky, I think she would say it’s been the best day. Can’t wait for next weekend’s birthday bash!

9.12.14 – Happy 2nd Birthday, Delaney!

12 Sep 594A1535

Dear Delaney,

Happy birthday, Bug! As cliche as it sounds, time keeps flying faster. Feels like just yesterday we were getting ready for your first birthday bash, and it is already time to celebrate you being TWO! This year is even more fun, because you are starting to understand the idea of a birthday party. You have loved opening birthday cards in the mail and you have been practicing blowing out candles. You also say “TWO” when we ask you how old you are. ;) We can’t wait to gather the people we love the most next week to celebrate our sweet miracle baby who isn’t so much a baby anymore.

Daddy and I love watching you grow. You have such a big personality. You love to be silly and make people laugh. You are so outgoing – saying “hi” and “bye” to anyone you meet. Sometimes I get a little embarrassed when you call older men and women Papa or Grandma. But I hope you never stop being friendly towards others – especially those you don’t know, and I hope you always enjoy making others smile.

You also have a big heart and care about those around you. “You, OK?” is a phrase you often say these days towards us and others – whether someone is injured, or crying, or choking – you are right there with a pat on the back, a hug, or tears of empathy. Baby girl, never stop caring about how others feel. The world needs more people with your heart. You are blessed with your daddy’s curiosity and love of learning, and I hope that never fades. I love watching your excitement for learning colors, letters, and numbers. You love naming objects and colors of objects everywhere we go. I love seeing you start to make sense of the world around you as your vocabulary grows daily and you learn more social norms. I love that you love books as much as I do. Your favorites right now are The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Little Owl Lost. But mostly, I love your little mispronounced words. Buttasy (butterfly), patapillar (caterpillar), fwong (frog), and smoovie (smoothie) are my current favorites. I hope you never lose your love of learning and reading – it will get you far.

You are my cookie-loving, purse-toting, bracelet-wearing, ball-bouncing little toddler. You love to run, jump, and spin. I think you are making up for lost time in the mobility department. You love music and dance parties – especially when Mommy and Daddy dance too. You dislike when your food or the weather is too hot. But you love food and the outdoors any other time. You still love all animals – especially your stuffed animal friends. You love being around friends and family – you are definitely a social little being, but you also like a quiet moment to decompress after being around others. You are quick to tell us “it’s fun!” when you are having a good time, but you also have strong opinions about what you like and dislike. You hate being alone. “Play!” is the probably the most said word in your vocabulary – said in conjunction with yanking our arm away from the housework we are trying to get done. Playing catch, coloring, and rocks are also some of your favs. I know this list will change over time, but I love documenting your likes/dislikes and always look forward to what the next milestone will bring.

Every day I thank God you are mine. You gave me the role I wanted more than anything else in this world – Mommy. Every year when I write this letter, I get a chance to sit down and truly think about how much that means to me (usually with lots of tears flowing as I write). I never could have imagined a girl as funny, sweet, smart, and beautiful as you. Most importantly, you push me to be a better person. The person I hope and pray that you will grow up to be. More patient, more kind, more faithful, more thoughtful, more polite, more loving, and more curious about the world around me. I continue to try and be more of those things, because I know you are watching. And because I know you deserve it. No matter what the future may bring our little family. You, my little Bug, are loved more than you can ever imagine. And I will always be so thankful that God chose me to be your Mommy. Today, we celebrate you!

Happy birthday!

We love you!


Mama and Dada

8.30.14 – Friday Fun

30 Aug

Friday evenings are one of my favorite times, but a Friday before a three-day weekend is the best! The anticipation of an extra day of freedom makes Friday nights even better.

We started the weekend off right with carrying out dinner (I am so over cooking by the weekend) and a trip to the neighborhood park. Laney is at a really fun age. She enjoys the little things so much – a trip to the playground makes her night. Add in an impromptu dance party and she doesn’t want the night to end.

The countdown is on until the big birthday. Only two weeks until we have a two-year-old! I am not really one to get overly emotional about her getting older. Of course, it’s a little sad that time flies by so fast, but I do my best to enjoy the fun and accept the challenges of each new stage. Sure, I miss my sweet, squishy baby that wanted to snuggle all day long. However, I don’t miss getting up in the middle of the night! In the future, I will certainly miss her mispronounced words and excitement for learning the alphabet, but I probably won’t miss the tantrums. And I can get over the sadness of her growing up so fast by looking forward to the next stage. Like coloring and doing crafts together without her coloring all over the couch (or at least hopefully…). Or her saying funny things as she learns about the world around her. And I’m sure the “Why?” question will get as old as “again” does right now, but I’ll remind myself it won’t be long before I’ll miss her wanting help too.

So here’s to enjoying today while also looking forward to tomorrow. And you can remind me I said this two weeks from now when I shed a little tear about my little girl being two. :)

Hope everyone has a great three-day weekend! We will be doing a little work and a lot of play around here!

8.25.14 – Ryan and Kyla’s Wedding

26 Aug

My brother got married this past weekend to one of my favorite gals in the whole world. We were so excited to officially welcome Kyla into the family even though we have considered her part of the family for a really long time. It was a perfect day and so much fun!

We stayed with Ryan and Kyla for a couple of nights before the festivities began. Laney had lots of fun hanging with her aunt and uncle, but I think her favorite part was hanging with Briggs, their dog.

The festivities began on Friday with mani/pedis and the rehearsal dinner. We had some trouble getting Laney to walk down the aisle during practice until the rehearsal was over, so it wasn’t looking good for the actual event.

I did my best to enjoy the day Saturday and not worry about capturing moments on my camera. I did get a few photos on my camera and quite a few on my iPhone. The photos aren’t perfect, but I am glad I have them to remember the special day.

The morning was a bit stressful for me. Laney would not cooperate for photos with the photographer. She kept taking her flower crown off. And she refused to walk down the aisle. But that’s OK. I had to remind myself she isn’t even two. And as it usually does, everything worked out perfectly in the end, I had a super special moment carrying her down the aisle to meet Kyle at the bottom. I got pretty misty-eyed walking down holding my baby girl and thinking about the last time I walked down an aisle to meet Kyle six years ago. And (much thanks to her grandparents for keeping her occupied) she only interrupted the ceremony once trying to get Jacob’s attention. And I may be biased, but I think she looked adorable – snack cup and all. :)

We had so much fun on the party bus. It was definitely one of my favorite parts of the day. Kyla’s sister and Jacob gave some awesome maid-of-honor/best man speeches. They totally rocked it! Then we danced the night away. Laney kept signing “more dancing” every time the song ended. She boogied on the dance floor for an hour or more, and then she just decided she was done and ready to go “home.” 


The next day we had breakfast at the hotel. Laney has some very important phone calls to make.

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It was such an awesome weekend. Especially with these three cuties…

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Congratulations, Ryan and Kyla! We love you! And I hope you are enjoying the beach. :)

8.12.14 – 23 Months!

12 Aug

Only one more month until the big birthday! Some days it’s hard to believe how grown up she is. She understands so much more now. This month she has really started making connections. For example, last night she wanted to watch a YouTube video on my phone and I told her no, so she went and got her Leap Frog pretend phone and asked for the video again (which made me laugh). Or she will say “Jacob? Annie?” and I will say we will see them in a few days, and she will say “at Mimi’s house?”

On to our monthly recap..

Age: 23 Months

Clothes: 2T, 6/7 Shoe

Favorite food: Cheese, grapes, milk, and snacks. She has good days and bad days of eating, but generally she is a little picky and likes variety. If she hasn’t seen a food in awhile, she will chow down, so I try to give her a specific fruit/veggie for a couple days and when she stops eating it I switch it for a new one.

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Favorite words: There isn’t much she doesn’t say or attempt to say at this point. She has even finally said “love you” a few times, but she is still stubborn on that. A few favorite phrases: “Okay,” “oh goodness,” “let’s go,” “plaaaayyy,” “oh no/my,” “hi/bye ____,” “toooys,” “Barney/Elmo,” “snack/milk,” “what happened?” “you OK?” “oh, mess,” “thank you, welcome (dandu, gelcome)” or “thanks!” “where’d he/it go?” “bracelet (bracelet)” “there it is!” “cool!” “outside,” “yes/no.” She also loves naming colors, animals, shapes, and even some letters. Although, her favorite letter is “Y” right now.

Favorite activities: jumping, running, snuggling stuffed animals, playing catch, being chased, being tickled, fake sneezing, chasing frogs (fogs) and butterflies (awuttasy), swimming, swinging, watching Barney/Elmo or music videos, playing with her kitchen, guitar, harmonica, whistle, tea set, or picnic basket, drinking out of a big girl cup, carrying or emptying purses, playing with my bracelets and necklaces, coloring, reading books, picking my flowers outside, playing with rocks, dumping out her snack cup in the car, but mostly just being around other people.

Least favorite activities: Playing by herself (ugh…she really just won’t do it right now); going to bed

Signature moves: Blowing bubbles in her drink if she has a straw; pretending to sneeze when she has food in her mouth and spitting the food (so gross); throwing or hitting when she gets frustrated; laughing during her time outs; grabbing my hand when I try to get something done and saying “plaaaayyy”; pretending a piece of fuzz is a butterfly (see video); jumping as many times as she can in a row; pulling you off of “her” chair, pillow, etc.; naming people she wants to pray for during bedtime prayers (so cute!) and saying AMEN!; whining and pointing for things when she wants it (when she could very easily just name it); putting my bracelets, headbands, or shirts on and saying “pwetty”. Our favorite is when you ask her if she wants or wants to do something (and the answer would be yes) she will say “OKAY!” in the cutest way.

Mom’s favorite moment: Seeing her interact with RJ at Papa’s and the girls on group trip. And the butterfly/fuzz moment was pretty great.

Dad’s favorite moment: Going on a boat ride at Great Papa’s house.


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8.5.14 – Group Trip

5 Aug

Oh hey blog friends… nice to see ya! I am in the midst of a very busy part of the year for my photography business, so I haven’t been able to devote as much time to my blog as I have in the past. However, I did want to share our last little vacation we took this summer.

The first weekend in August we took a little trip to southern Indiana/Cincinnati with our friends. We stayed outside of the city at a very nice house on a very picturesque piece of land. Deer and ducks came on the property every day, which Laney loved! Plus it had a trampoline and fire pit, which everyone enjoyed.

Here is a quick recap of our long weekend:

Day 1 – We all arrived at the house and had a little popcorn party. That evening we took it easy and enjoyed some hotdogs and s’mores.

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Day 2 – We decided to head into Cincinnati and explore the riverfront. We came up on a horrible car accident minutes after it happened. Thankfully everyone was OK. Two of our three cars made it through while the third got stuck for a few hours on the interstate. We still managed to check out one of the bridges and the aquarium before heading back to the house with some exhausted little girls!

Day 3 – We decided to stay close so the girls could nap. We visited a local park and had a cookout for lunch. That evening we headed to Montgomery Inn for some barbecue. We headed downtown for some ice cream afterwards, and the girls enjoyed the broadcasted symphony music.

Day 4 – We headed to the Cincinnati Zoo. Laney of course loved it. She didn’t want to leave the goats or the monkeys. It was a toasty but fun day!

Overall, it was a great trip, but as always we were very happy to be home! Can’t believe summer is almost over. It was so busy, but we sure had a lot of fun!


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