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1.28.15 – Sesame Street Live!

28 Jan

I am not sure who was more excited for last night – me or Laney. We bought tickets to Sesame Street Live for Laney for Christmas. I could not wait to see her reaction to seeing all of her favorite characters – especially Elmo – in person. After she woke up from her nap, we told her we were going to see Elmo. (We probably should have waited until after dinner since that is all she could focus on until we left.) She was even more excited when we let her take her little stuffed Elmo with her (he usually stays in her crib for sleeping).

When Grover and Elmo came over the loud speaker – things started to get REALLY exciting.

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When the show started, she wasn’t too sure what to think at first.

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But it didn’t take her long to start dancing. She would get a little scared when the people would come by, but she warmed up to them in the end.

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The Itsy Bitsy Spider was a fan favorite. 

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She even got to catch a ball at the end.

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It was a pretty awesome night – they even threw a few jokes in for the adults. She’s only asked a few times where Elmo is today. :)

1.23.15 – 2 Steps Forward; 100 Steps Back

23 Jan

(Insert Mom Sigh) It’s been a ROUGH week. I usually reserve blog posts for happy times and cute pictures, but I have had hardly any sleep nor adult interaction in 4 days. So excuse the sleep-deprived ramble that is about to happen…

You know what you should never do as a parent? Think to yourself, “Things are going pretty well. We are hitting our post-holiday stride. We are happy, healthy, and back into a routine. Bonus – Laney is eating vegetables again! What more could a mom want?” Because that is usually when “stuff” hits the fan.

Cue Sunday morning when Laney woke up sounding like a smoker. We had fun teaching her how to clear her throat – it was cute hearing her try. We hung around the house in case she was coming down with something, but with the exception of not eating much and being a bit grumpy, she was mostly her cheery, silly self. I did however think, “Great! Kyle is out of town for work this week. This would be the PERFECT week for her to come down with one of those crazy viruses that I’ve been hearing so much about.”

Monday morning: Girlfriend wakes up sounding like a smoker with emphysema and a fever. We hustled off to the doctor first thing. For once, I made the right call and didn’t have to apologize for being overly concerned. It wasn’t just a cold. Doc said he was glad I brought her in, because parents who had sat on it have ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. Meds were prescribed to *hopefully* prevent that from happening. “Next few days are going to be rough,” he told me. “She may only sleep sitting up, which means you’ll be holding her.”

I thought, “Not ideal, but I can do this. For once an adjustable bed will be really handy. I’ll bring her in bed with me, prop us up and get all the toddler snuggles I can handle.” BAHAHAHAHA!

So when Laney was a newborn, I REALLY didn’t want to end up with kids sleeping in my bed until they were in their teens. I was one of those kids. I was actually a little paranoid about it. Well, my plan to make that NOT happen worked so well that my kid actually REFUSES to sleep in my bed with me. I’m talking temper-tantrum “NOOOO! ROCK!!! LANEY’S ROOM” kicking and screaming. Isn’t it ironic…(don’t ya think?)

So insert two nights of little sleep. Me rocking her until my butt is so sore I can’t take any more. Me setting a timer and telling her five more minutes of rocking and then she needs to sleep in her bed. (I really hope her timer obsession never ends, because it’s the only thing going well for me at the moment.) Her waking up an hour later wanting rocked again. Bedtime….nap time…no sleep for Momma.

I will say she has been a trooper. During the day, she was pretty chipper. Granted we were watching a lot of TV and eating more fruit snacks than one should, because I was too tired to say no. “Fruit snacks and crackers for lunch? Alright, throw in an apple, and we will call it good.” I kept secretly hoping she would just crash watching a show like I see other sick kids on Facebook doing, but not my kid! She will push through to the end. At least she has determination, I suppose.

That brings us to Wednesday. She was feeling much better – no fever for 24 hours, nose no longer running like crazy, sounding pretty good with an occasional coughing spell. I’m realizing she doesn’t need to be rocked anymore. See, we went through this phase before a few months back. We thought something was wrong at night, but we figured out that little Laney just wanted company. The only thing that worked? Crying it out. So I put on my big girl momma pants. Gave her a few reassuring visits saying, “Momma loves you. I’ll see you in the morning.” Called Kyle to keep me strong. And endured 45 minutes of heart-wrenching screaming until finally silence. She woke up a few more times that night but only for five minutes each tops. Everyone woke up happier and more rested. Nap time the next day? 3 hours of blissful sleep.

So I thought. We made it. Kyle was due home that night until 5:00. Tonight’s sleep will be even better. Friday will be here before we know it.

Kyle’s flight was delayed (of course). It is now 6:00 PM and he hasn’t even left Atlanta. He was supposed to be home at 5:00. I thought, “No biggie. 2 hours until bedtime. I got this.”

She went to her bed without complaint. Babbled herself to sleep as usual. An hour later… coughing and babbling….

“CRAP! I forgot to put the Vicks Vapor Rub on her. Is she going to have trouble sleeping??” I thought. She went back to sleep.

10:15 more coughing and whining. Mom guilt setting in…

11:15 Kyle is finally home. Laney is getting louder – whine is turning to cry. I decide I will go put the smelly stuff on her. Rock her for 5 MINUTES and then we will be good to go. Well, at 12:30 I had a mini mental breakdown. Kyle took over. No one got any sleep, and there is a STRONG possibility there will be some crying it out again tonight.

On the bright side, I am happy to report we made it though the morning. Laney went down for a nap without complaint and is on hour three of sleeping soundly. Her diaper may have leaked all over my comforter this morning, and I may have dropped my phone in paint while painting my new backdrop this afternoon. But overall, I am calling today a step in the right direction. :)

It’s been quite a week, but one second of this and it all fades away:

On to the usual photo cuteness.

And my pic of the week:


Hope you all have a happy and RESTFUL weekend! :)

1.12.15 – Snow Play!

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Yesterday Kyle’s parents came down to help Kyle install a heater in the garage for his workout area (aka the Pain Cave or whatever he is calling it these days). Nana, Laney, and I took advantage of the warmer weather (is 30 degrees the new warm?) and finally got a chance to “touch da snow!” Laney of course didn’t remember the snow from last year (she wasn’t even walking on her own yet!), and I don’t think she knew she could actually play in it up until this point. I was fully anticipating us getting all bundled up and her deciding she was good just touching it from the safety of the sidewalk, but she LOVED it! My cautious little babe is growing up so quickly these days. We threw it in the air, made snow angels, and even tasted it (not a fan!). I am so glad I had my camera ready to capture the fun, because this will definitely be one of my favorite moments from this winter. And I love when Laney gets some quality time with her grandparents and I can just sit back and snap away. (Nana and I got a good laugh about her looking a little like Randy from A Christmas Story).

I also took a few pictures for my Project 52 last week:

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Hope you all have a great week! My little girl is awake!

1.6.15 – Laney Update!

6 Jan

Laney is officially 2 years and (almost) 4 months old, so I thought it was time to give a little update on what’s she’s up to and into these days. :)

Plus I’m getting lots of reports from family and friends that they miss my daily posts of Laney on Instagram from my 365 project last year, so I thought I would share some photos as well.

Favorite activities: Dancing, hand stands, fake sneezing/coughing, singing, reading books, playing blocks, “hopping in da car,” pretending to talk on the phone, putting her boots on by herself, looking at the moon, playing with paint or play-doh, and snuggling her stuffed animals.

Favorite songs: “All About That Bass” Meghan Trainor; “Piggy Jig” Kindermusik; “Barbara Ann” Beach Boys; “God Made Girls” Rae Lynn

Favorite foods: Fruit snacks, apples, bananas, and anything sweet (ice cream, cookies, suckers, etc)

Least favorite activities: Wearing pants and socks, eating vegetables

Funny moments/sayings: “Beard all gone” Daddy shaved his vacation beard and now every day Laney rubs her own chin and says, “Beard all gone!”

Kyle and Laney were sitting on a box spring when we were moving furniture the other day. Laney said, “Momma, sit down!” and patted the spot next to her. When I sat down she said, “Best friends!” (Probably Annie influence)

Telling anyone bless you when they cough or sneeze. She expects the same even for her fake sneezes. After I tell her bless you, she says “Thank you, Momma!”

“Laney sad.” “Why are you sad, Laney?” “Christmas all gone!”

She always says, “How ’bout… (cookie, “the Bass,” play dough), Momma?!” when she wants to do/hear/eat something.

I could watch this girl dance (with no pants and boots on) all day long – cracks me up every time!

1.1.15 – Happy New Year!

1 Jan

Happy New Year, everyone! 2014 was a great year. It was busier than ever – insurance exams, photography business, travels, and keeping up with a toddler. But it was filled with tons of love, laughter, and memories!

It was also filled with lots of pictures due to my 365 project. I had read about them and thought about doing one for quite some time, and I decided to take the plunge in 2014 with my favorite little model as my focus. I’ll admit I was looking forward to being done, but I am really glad I did it. Laney didn’t change as much in appearance as she did in her first year of life, but it is still fun to see the difference as well as have documentation of our daily life from the year.

Day 1



Day 365



My take-aways:

1. I learned to look for moments rather than try to create them. Toddlers aren’t the most cooperative little beings, and it is just frustrating to try and create the perfect picture. I learned to look for the moment that was most significant in our day, which also helped me appreciate the little things that make our time together special.

2. Not every day is glamorous, so not every picture is glamorous. I felt a lot of pressure at first to create beautiful pictures. I wanted to learn and grow, but I also had to be realistic. Some days are really busy or challenging. Sometimes the best moment of the day happened in really crappy lighting. I eventually learned to worry less about making a masterpiece and more about capturing our lives realistically.

3. My photography abilities improved overall. I learned more about light and looking for it even in the darkest places. Some days I was too tired to care. Other days I had a chance to play and learn new things on my iPhone camera and apps. A couple days I decided to use my nice camera and had planned to do that more throughout the year but just got too busy with my business. I got really frustrated towards the end of the year as my iPhone camera was not working very well (maybe been dropped a few many times), but the iPhone is great for being able to capture moments easily and on-the-go. I don’t see as much growth in the photos as I would have hoped, which is why I’m switching things up for next year.

4. It’s important to be organized. I already had a system in place for getting photos off my phone and backed up onto my computer. I found myself running out of space from time-to-time, which can be quite maddening if you are missing the perfect moment! But since I already had a system, it could be quickly fixed. Having and remembering to use a hashtag is also key. Numbering the days – not so much – as I was off on my count most of the year. ;)

Overall, it went by pretty quickly. Some days were harder than others – I almost forgot a couple days towards the end. But I’m pretty proud of it, and I know I will cherish the photos in the years to come. I would recommend it to anyone – photography enthusiast or otherwise. Without further ado…



Can’t wait to frame it and hang it on our wall! I’ve had lots of questions about next year. My plan right now is Project 52 (one photo a week) using my actual camera and no constraints on the subject. We will see if I can stick to it – I have lots of things on my to-do list already!

Cheers to 2015! Fingers crossed for our best year yet! And making time for a little more blogging. ;)

12.27.14 – Christmas in Indiana

27 Dec

Every year I request that my siblings and I sit in front of the tree for a group photo. I had to go to my old laptop to find the original “Christmas Kids” photo circa 2005 (not Annie pictured).




It’s a tradition now, and I love a good tradition. My mom even has a special frame to house this photo all year long. In the past, we have had bed head and sleepy eyes from waking up on Christmas morning, but because Ryan and I have started families of our own, we got together after Christmas this year and are looking a little more Internet-worthy than usual. :) And I couldn’t decide which one I liked better this year – I guess Mom will have to choose. I was just thrilled someone besides me got a couple photos in focus (thanks, Dad!).

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And since one furry member was a little camera shy this year:


The newlyweds:

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And another attempt at a family photo:


I’m a little late in posting these pictures, but since I can backdate posts you would never know. Except I just told you… ;)

12.25.14 – Merry Christmas!

25 Dec

Merry Christmas! We have had a magical Christmas so far. On Christmas Eve morning, we headed to Krispy Kreme where we had a doughnut and hid from Santa who decided to get a early sugar fix.

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My parents, Jacob, and Annie came to our house to join in the Christmas festivities. We enjoyed a beautiful Christmas Eve service, baking cookies, and watching Claymation Christmas.

Christmas morning was a lot of fun. Laney made sure Santa was not still actually in her house. “Santa, all gone!?” When she was sure all was clear, she immediately started playing with the toys he left and enjoyed opening her gifts.

Nana and Papa joined us all for lunch, and we enjoyed lots of sugary treats. Now we are off to enjoy Christmas with the rest of the crew. Hope you all had just as much magic and love! :)


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