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9.17.15 – Birthday Recap

17 Sep

The third birthday was definitely one for the books for this little girl. It’s no surprise this Laney loved being the star of the show, and I think this was my favorite birthday yet. Mostly because she understood so much more, and I loved watching her and her friends have a ball. We were all exhausted, but I love the planning, crafting, and seeing it all come together. And the cherry on top: the joy!

Thank you to everyone who joined us from near and far. I know it’s a long drive for some and everyone has busy schedules, but it really means the world to us that you come celebrate with us. Our little ice-cream-lover is one loved and spoiled little girl!

I think you can tell by my lack of non-iPhone party photos that I worked hard to just enjoy the moment rather than capture it.

A couple vendors if you’re curious: ice cream dress (sold during summer only) | hair clips

9.12.15 – Happy 3rd Birthday, Delaney!

12 Sep

Dear Delaney,

It’s hard to believe the big birthday is finally here. We’ve been talking about it for months. You’ve waited very patiently. “Today’s not my birthday. It’s ___’s birthday.” And today I finally get to say it’s YOUR day! I think Daddy and I are just as excited as you are to celebrate you and all of the joy you bring to our lives.

This letter is always hard and easy for me to write at the same time. It’s hard to put into words how much I love you and what I want to tell you each year. But it’s easy to think of all of the ways you make our lives fuller and more meaningful. I get an overwhelming feeling of joy (and a few happy tears) when I really stop to think about what a miracle you are. You are truly my greatest dream come true. (and I’m crying already)

This year sure was a lot of fun. You have such a fun, happy, silly personality. You love to make people laugh and demand to be the center of attention. You are so animated. Like a little sponge, you pick up new sayings and mannerisms from everything and everyone. For example, you LOVE Paw Patrol and like to pretend you’re a puppy including licking Daddy’s face instead of giving him a kiss. “Sing with me” or “dance with me” are some of my favorite ways that you brighten my day. I pray that you are always this happy. That you’re never afraid to be silly or spread your joy to others.

Your little imagination is blossoming. How quickly it develops sometimes surprises me, and I hope I do nothing more than encourage it to grow. I love watching you play and seeing where your mind takes you. Right now it is all about mermaids, princesses, sparkly things, and animals. And I can’t wait to see where our adventures take us this year.

You have inherited my Type-A perfectionist tendencies. I guess that was bound to rub off on you a bit when we spend so much time together. It first hit me earlier this year when you didn’t want to dump the container of blocks out for building because it would make a mess. We had to take a few pieces out at a time. I promised you and myself that day that I would encourage you to make more messes. But I need you to promise me that you will never let fear of not doing something well keep you from trying, OK? “Try, try again!” Some of our greatest learning comes from making mistakes and messes. I push you to do something yourself or make a mess (as frustrating as that is for you) so that you will learn this important lesson. And I’m happy to report we dump all of the blocks out every time now (maybe I should have rethought this one). But maybe we can go ahead and start pooping on the potty? (You are so stubborn about that one!) ;)

You love being outside. Picking flowers, piling up rocks, jumping on the trampoline, dancing in the rain, playing tag, and splashing in water are some of your favorite things. Your daddy does an amazing job at encouraging you to explore and try new things. I am so lucky that he encourages you in the ways I am lacking. I hope you always cherish the time you two spend together.

You started preschool recently, and you love it. I hope your love of learning never stops. It makes my heart so happy how much you love books and reading. You are a very smart little girl, and I’m really proud of you for working so hard to learn your letters. But more importantly, baby girl, I want you to learn kindness and empathy. I love that you are concerned when a friend is crying (“she bumped her head!” “she lost her mommy!”), and I want to keep nurturing that empathy. I will keep pushing you to share and to think about how others are feeling so that you learn to be a good friend. And you are really doing a great job so far. I know it is hard when you are used to it just being you.

You are a beautiful little girl inside and out. This year was certainly one for the books. We had tons of fun, some tears, and a few “I’m sorrys.” We are both learning on this journey, but I am loving every minute. Here’s to another year of fun, learning, and exploration. You are certainly my favorite adventure!

Happy birthday, Delaney! I’ll eat you up, I love you so!


Mama and Daddy

9.1.15 – First Day of Preschool

4 Sep

Bug started preschool this week at her new school! I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I dropped her off. I wasn’t really going to be surprised either way – tears or “see ya mom!” She seemed really excited when we went to her open house last week – when she entered her classroom she said, “Wooowww!” She was even more excited about her new backpack until I didn’t let her fill it with whatever she wanted. ;) I was mostly just praying she wouldn’t be in a different outfit when I picked her up due to a potty accident.

Everything has gone great! She was a little hesitant when I told her I was leaving. “Momma come play with me!” But cue a little Daniel Tiger “Grown-ups come back!” and she was good. She was very excited to see me at pick-up. “Mommy, I’m home!” and lots of kisses and hugs warmed my heart.

I can tell she is going to have a super fun year, and I can’t wait to see how much she grows in many ways.

Cue the obligatory Pinterest back-to-school photos. ;) What surprised me the most? Photo cooperation! And those poses… not sure where they came from, but she kills me.

7.12.15 – Our Anniversary

12 Jul

Lucky number seven! Or the “seven year itch…” just kidding. ;)

It’s our anniversary!

We went on vacation earlier this year, but Kyle still wanted our annual beach photo:


It’s been a fun year, but we didn’t have a ton of milestones to write on our “number 7”:


– Kyle promoted to director

– Kyle finished his CLU designation

Apparently, Kyle was more productive than I was this year. Ha! We made lots of improvements to the house including creating a new studio space for me. Completed a few outdoor projects here-and-there like a garage gym and re-org as well as Laney’s playhouse. I continued to grow my photography business, and, of course, chased after our little munchkin. We also took our annual trip to Hilton Head, SC. Most importantly, we had lots of laughs and fun with our silly, energetic, talkative little girl.

I think we are both pretty proud of the couple we are today. We’ve both grown and matured a lot in the last seven years – through a lot of ups and a few downs, grad school and designations, home ownership, job changes, a big move, and our parenthood journey… and there is no one I’d rather share it all with!

Lots of excitement planned for the year ahead. A trip to HAWAII!! And hopefully a few other surprises along the way. I am optimistic that seven will be our best year yet. :) Thanks for the love today! Here’s to many, many more!

6.6.16 – Jacob’s Graduation

21 Jun

I finally got to Jacob’s graduation photos. They were edited on my laptop in the car, so they may be questionable. ;) And further confirmed my next big purchase will be a quality zoom lens!

So proud of my baby brother! Can’t wait to see what the future holds for him, and of course, looking forward to some Boilermaker tailgating!

6.21.15 – Happy Father’s Day!

21 Jun

Happy Father’s Day! Delaney and I worked on our yearly surprise for Daddy this week. Of course, it was raining every chance we got to do our yearly D-A-D photos, since it hasn’t stopped raining lately. Therefore, indoor version this year. :)


For a fun look back at previous years: 2013 | 2014

Laney is so blessed to have a Daddy that is always ready for fun. He is patient with her, teaches her to be brave and strong, and always comes up with the best new games to play. Their love melts my heart, and I couldn’t be more grateful to have him as my partner in this parenting journey. Every day he is at work, she asks where he is and when he will be home. She may play hard to get once in awhile when he arrives, but she is way happier with him here.

week 21

I would be remised if we didn’t send some love to two other important dads in our life. Grandpa and Papa, we love you so much and hope you have the best day! Thanks for teaching us what being a great dad is all about!

2014-10-25 13.07.15-2 week 13

Happy Father’s Day to all you dads and dad-figures out there! Hope your days are as special as you are!

5.25.15 – Memorial Weekend

25 May

We had a super fun Memorial Day weekend at Grandpa and Mimi’s house in Indiana. They were kind enough to open the pool and heat in some pretty chilly weather, so our little bug could get her first swim in for the summer. And boy did she love it! I think we will have a little fish by the time summer is over!

When Briggs was sad about Ryan and Kyla leaving for the day, Laney tried to help him out. ;)

Perks of Mimi’s house – doritos and lucky charms!

She also randomly decided she could do a somersault all by herself:

And by the end of the weekend, she was a pretty tired little girl:

2015-05-24 09.03.32

But that didn’t stop us from enjoying the beautiful weather when we got home:

2015-05-21 13.09.39-1 594A9501

We are so thankful for all of those who have fought and continue to fight for our freedom, so that we can enjoy a super fun, beautiful weekend with family and friends. Hope you all had a super weekend too!


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