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7.26.14 – Weekly Wrap-up

26 Jul

Happy weekend! It was a whirlwind of a week for us…

First, Laney and I headed to Indiana to celebrate Aunt Annie’s 9th birthday with Chuck E. Cheese. Laney was overwhelmed with excitement at the big furry mouse, the Barney train, and the balls (ski ball). Of course pizza and cake made it even better! (My iPhone was acting like a punk, so a lot of these photos are blurry.)

I had lots of fun taking Jacob’s senior pictures that night. (Can’t believe he is going to be a senior!) We spent the next day swimming (even though it was a bit chilly) and hanging at Mimi’s house.

Laney even did some solo floating. That is until she decided she wanted lunch and she wanted it 10 minutes ago…

We hustled back home Friday just in time for Nana and Papa’s arrival! Laney had lots of fun playing with them and bringing Papa all of her toys.

Laney also got a kick out of “Silly Papa’s” outfit and wig. She kept saying “silly Papa” after they left for their 60’s party!



And she had fun playing dress-up with Nana and Papa this morning for some pics.


Hope you all are having a great weekend!

7.12.14 – 6th Anniversary

21 Jul

I’m back-posting this a couple of weeks late. We had a very busy couple of weeks around our anniversary, which we spent driving back from our annual vacation to Hilton Head, SC. 

This is not our best picture, since we are both under the weather with seasonal allergies.

Nevertheless…here it is! 6 awesome years!



  • Jamie started her photography business
  • Traveled to New Orleans, LA

That’s it! Not a lot of events to add to the back of the number this year compared to all of the milestones we have had with the last couple of years of moving and baby girl being born! Although, it still felt like a pretty eventful year chasing after our little toddler. We certainly had lots of little moments with friends and family that made this year pretty special, and I think that’s really what life is all about!

7.20.14 – Weekend in Michigan

20 Jul

We took a little road trip this weekend to Michigan to see Kyle’s Papa and his wife Anna. They live on a beautiful lake ‘off the grid.” And we had a very nice visit with them on Saturday evening. We went to dinner in a neighboring town and had some delicious ice cream Sundays at the Hayloft. I’ll let you guess what Laney’s favorite part of the evening was. :)

Sunday the whole family was over for a cookout. Laney had so much fun finding more froggy friends, riding in boats, swimming in the lake, and playing with her cousin RJ. It is always a great weekend when you get to spend time catching up with family.

She refused to nap, so it was a long drive home. But we made it safe and sound! Hope everyone had a great weekend!

7.16.14 – Hump Day Happiness

16 Jul

The first couple of days back from vacation were a little tough/hectic. We were all tired from all of the fun and long journey home. We had a busy Monday and Tuesday, and I could tell Laney had just had it with the being rushed around (even if we were going to an activity for her). So today…I let her sleep in. I didn’t rush her out of her crib (she likes to hang out in there for awhile), and I decided we would play hooky from music class. And I’m really glad I made that decision. First, I got to enjoy this moment without worrying about the time:

Apparently her blanket ripped in the middle of the night (which may be why she was crying at midnight), and she was quite concerned!

I also knew I made the right decision when she shut the door to her room (with us inside), and played for an hour before asking for breakfast. Even if it resulted in this mess…

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We then called a meeting of all the stuffed animals. Pinwheel and blankeys were also required to attend.

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We emptied more toy boxes. This is her absolute favorite activity right now. Mom or Dad must be seated on the floor to receive each individual item removed from the toy box. We cannot move on until it is completely emptied of its contents.

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I did finally convince her to go outside. I really wanted to enjoy the beautiful day! And she helped me scope out some spots for a photo shoot. She loves picking the flowers and chasing the butterflies (buttasys) But it wasn’t long until she was shouting, “HOME!”

Our favorite moment of the day, though, was when Daddy found a frog while mowing. She was a little excited, to say the least.

Sometimes the best moments come when we have no plans. Today helped me realize I need to be better about that. Hope you all had a happy hump day!

Side note: We are almost a week late on posting our annual anniversary pic. I still haven’t bought our number. Fingers crossed for Friday!

Hilton Head 2014

14 Jul

I was so excited for vacation this year – even though I was pretty bummed Kyla couldn’t join us this year. But I didn’t know it would be this good. We went to the beach in April, which was fun…but Laney was not a huge fan of the sand at that time. This time she LOVED the “beeeaach,” and we loved watching her excitement of experiencing all of the wonders of the beach.

The first couple of days were a bit cloudy and rainy, but Laney enjoyed hunting for the super noisy bull frogs with Mimi and Annie the first night. We also got a little bit of beach time in on Day 2 plus a fun family dinner and ice cream outing!

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Day 3 was all about fun in the sun. We saw dolphins really close to the shore; Annie and her friend caught a starfish; and Laney really started loving life on the beach. That evening we headed to the Big Bamboo for dinner in Coligny Plaza. Coligny is a great place to hangout in the evenings.

Day 4 was another sunny day, and we went on a long bike ride and had more fun on the beach. It was Laney’s first bike ride, and she loved it! (Until we stopped for any reason – she wanted to go fast!) She kept saying, “is FUN!”

We headed to Up the Creek for dinner and tried to make it until the fireworks, but the little girls were just too tired. We didn’t leave before our annual family photo session! We had about 500 25 takes using the self timer before we called it good enough. :) It was a bit breezy, so ignore the flying hair! We rounded out the night with a little gaming action.

Day 5 I brought my nice camera down to the beach to capture some action. The random girl you see is the sweet little friend Annie met on the beach. We ate dinner in the room from an Italian place that wasn’t worth mentioning. After dinner, we hit up the beach again for take two of family photos. It was even MORE windy! :) Laney decided to sit right into a puddle and play in the water. She was VERY upset when it was time to go inside.

Day 6 was shopping day! We ate lunch at Los Jalapeños – so good! Then Mom and I shopped the day away while Laney had fun with the boys and Annie. We ate Mellow Mushroom pizza and played some games in the room.

Our final day… it’s always so bitter sweet! Kyle and I enjoyed our annual anniversary breakfast at Palmetto Bay Cafe. It was a day early, since we would spend our anniversary on the road. We then soaked up what we could of the sun before the storms hit. Then we spent the afternoon playing cards and packing up. We tried to go to a new restaurant, but they were all packed. We ended up at an oldie but goodie – Wings.

Laney actually took two naps in the car on the way home – guess vacation really wore her out. She also really enjoyed her first Cracker Barrel experience. All of the toys were so “COOL!” We are finally home safe and sound. It seems to go by faster every year. Laney keeps saying, “Bye, beach!” But I think she is going to miss all of the attention even more. Another amazing vacation in the books!

7.12.14 – 22 Months!

12 Jul

We spent all day in the car today driving back from vacation, so this post is a bit late. Our baby girl is closing in on her second birthday, and she is just amazing us with her vocabulary development lately! Here is her monthly update:

Age: 22 Months


Clothes: 2T; size 6/7 shoe

Favorite foods: We have definitely hit the toddler phase of eating. She rarely wants to take the time to sit and eat, and we usually only get one good meal a day. But she still always wants ‘nacks and bilk, and she has a serious sweet tooth!

Favorite words: Her vocabulary is changing so rapidly, and she has started saying a lot of sentences. Her most common phrases: “what’s that?” “what happened?” “where’d it/he go?” “I see…(mama, dada, blankey, etc.) “thank you/welcome (dadu, gelcome) “uh oh” “oh my/gosh” “there it is!” “cool!” “it’s OK! or OK!”. She is also constantly naming what she sees or naming the color of what she sees. And if she doesn’t know what it is, she is asking “what’s that?” Currently we say: Nana, Papa, Gampa (Grandpa), Mimi, An-nie, Rynie (Ryan), Yacob (Jacob), Ky (Kyla), and Bigs (Briggs). She will also say Kyle and Jamie sometimes to us if someone else is talking to us. Still can’t get her to say “love you.”

Favorite activities: Talking, reading books, running around, being “ouside,” going to the beeeaach, swimming, naming colors or objects, snuggling stuffed animals and her blanket, watching Barney, Elmo, or music videos, taking clothes off dolls, pretending her babies or animals are sleeping, being around older kids, coloring, play-doh, and exploring new places. She also loves playing “CATCH!” and had lots of fun tossing the football on the beach with her Uncles.

Least favorite activities: Sitting still for anything, stopping an activity she is enjoying (going inside).

Signature moves: She has been practicing jumping for a couple months now, and she can finally get two feet off the ground! She also tries to forward roll on her own. Asking for food or drink when we tell her it’s time to go night-night; asking to watch Barney anytime she sees the iPad; putting her head down and power walking when she is holding both of our hands; shouting for ice cream when we pass Orange Leaf; going “AAHH, AAHH” with her tongue out when she wants another bite of ice cream; pretending she doesn’t hear me when she knows I’m asking her to do or stop doing something; saying “see Dada” or “see yellow” when she is pointing out something; repeating everything she hears or copying what we do; taking her shoes off and saying “hot!” when her feet get hot.

Mom’s favorite moment: Going to the beach with her – I loved seeing her excitement and newfound love of being at the beach. And the fun of hearing her say new words and phrases.

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Dad’s favorite moment: The butterfly garden at the wildlife park on Father’s Day. She was so excited and shouted “buttasy” a million times.

7.7.14 – Overdue update

7 Jul

Oh hey… it’s been awhile! Life was a little busy at the end of June and blogging just kept getting pushed to the bottom of the list. But we are on vacation this week, and since I am on nap duty this afternoon, I thought I would do a little update of what’s been happening lately!

First… we said goodbye to Daddy for a little while when he went on a business trip.

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And Mimi and Annie came to play for a couple of days, and we had LOTS of fun!

I went to Kyla’s bachelorette weekend in Chicago, which was a great time!

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Then we spent the weekend in Indiana helping Kyla and Ryan with some wedding stuff and took a ride Great Grandma and Great Grandpa’s boat!

We spent a couple of days driving to vacation. On the 4th of July, we stopped in Myrtle Beach to say hi to Nana and Papa and Great Grandma and Grandpa Shook!

Laney experienced her first old-school telephone. :)


Now we are spending a week with my family in one of my favorite places in the world. More on that soon! We are having tons of fun watching our little girl fall in love with the “beeeeaacch.” Hope you all had a happy 4th and have an even happier July!

6.20.14 – Some Photos

20 Jun

I’ve been working hard this week on editing photos for clients. While I was waiting for photos to upload, I caught up on some personal editing. Kyle and I took Laney and my camera to a local state park a couple of times this spring/summer, so I could do some practice.

I am learning that with photography, just like life, you never stop learning. I still make mistakes (which is really hard for me to deal with being a bit of a perfectionist, but I’m working on it). I still have a lot to learn, and I don’t think I will ever feel like I’ve mastered it. I wish I had more time in a day to practice and edit (these are edited pretty sloppily). But I am trying to remember what is most important: I have some spring/summer memories of having fun with my two loves while I do what I love most – capturing the moment. Kyle even took a few of Laney and me, and I love that I have some pictures with me and my baby girl.

Spring (working on lighting):

Summer (trying out a lens I rented):

6.16.14 – Father’s Day Recap

16 Jun

To celebrate Father’s Day yesterday we joined some friends on a mini-roadtrip to a nearby wildlife park. It turned out to be a beautiful day, and we had so much fun! The first animal that Laney could see was a bear, which she said hi and bye to like he was an old friend.

She was also a HUGE fan of the butterfly garden where she said “buttasy” about 5,000 times.

She also enjoyed ringing the bell at the old school house and gave everyone a laugh with the dunce hat. Leslie joined in on the dunce fun too.

Then we got to the farm animals. It always amazes me that our little girl who is so cautious about life will throw caution to the wind when it comes to animals. She got right in there and fed the animals letting them lick her hands and giggling with delight. She didn’t want to leave them!

Here are a few more photos from the park:

Then Laney got to ride her first train, which she of course LOVED!

Here are a couple of short videos:

This Father’s Day was one for the books!

6.15.14 – Happy Father’s Day!

15 Jun

Happy Father’s Day to all you special dads out there. I was always a bit of a daddy’s girl myself (some might argue that I still am), but I think most girls would be if they had a dad like I do. He taught me to work hard, be strong in faith, and care about others.


Most importantly, he was the greatest model of a devoted husband and father. That way, when I met this guy one fated summer in Bloomington, IL, I knew I had a keeper.


“Always remember, there was nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name” (Avett Brothers)

He is the best Daddy to one special little girl.


I just know when she is 30 years old and reflecting on how blessed she is that she will feel about Kyle the same way I feel about my dad. And I also know he learned to be a great dad from this guy:


Thank you to all the Dads, Grandpas, Papas, and Uncles in our life that bless us so much! We love you!


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