A Winter Wonder-wedding

A Winter Wonder-wedding

This past November, I had the absolute privilege of photographing my youngest sister’s friends wedding.  I had never shot a wedding as the main photographer before, so the fact that Jordan trusted me meant a lot.

As the week approached, I began watching the weather to get an idea of what to expect for her big day.  Snow…lots of white, fluffy, and COLD snow.  I won’t lie.  The snow made me nervous!  Some previously planned poses went out the window, the time frame in which people were willing to stand outside was drastically shortened, and I didn’t know how my gear would hold up.  In the end, everything went perfectly.  Nobody lost any toes, we got the shots we needed, and it turned out more beautifully than I could have imagined.

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Big THANK YOU to my sister, Alyssa, who helped as a second shooter the entire day.  For someone who hasn’t worked with a camera often…she totally killed it!

I’ll be shooting another wedding in October of this year!  So I’ll start looking forward to that.  If you know anyone in the Vegas/Denver area that’s looking for a bit of a novice wedding photographer, send them my way!

It is time I start advertising my services here in Vegas anyways.

A Cesarean Birth Story

A Cesarean Birth Story

As I am developing my blog, I’m going to be sharing some older sessions with you.

Ever since having my own children, I have dreamed of working within the birthing community.  It’s such an empowering experience to witness, no matter what type of birth is taking place.

I had never been a part of a cesarean before and it’s nothing short of miraculous.  The bravery, the fear, the anticipation.  This baby girl weighed just shy of 10 LBS!  TEN!!!  My babies were both under 7 so seeing this little one when she came out was amazing.  The cheeks and the rolls were to die for.  This mama had a scheduled c-section but her water broke before her due date and labor progressed relatively quickly, so off to the OR she went.  She was a warrior!  So enjoy this beautiful moment for all it is.

 

 

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I’m a Bad Mom

I’m a Bad Mom

That’s right…

I’m a BAD MOM. (insert shoulder shrug emoji)

And you know what?  I’m okay with it!

The other day, as I was getting my “scroll” on after the kids were in bed, I came across a blog that a friend of mine chose to share.  I don’t think this person shared this particular blog maliciously.  I think it was more of a way to publicly pat herself on the back for the parenting win of not giving her kids screen time.  Anyways…

This blog post had some kind of “research” that stated “handing your kid a phone/ipad was the equivalent of giving them 5 mg of cocaine”…

WHAT?!

My blood immediately began to boil and I haven’t been able to shake it since.  I’m so tired.  So very, very tired of the shaming!  Thank you for dumping that load of mom guilt laundry on top of the piles that already lay there unfolded.

I let my kids have their iPads at some point EVERY day…if they’ve earned it.  So according to their post, I am essentially “killing” my child with this cocaine addiction…WRONG.

My kids are cared for, they’re loved, they’re kind, they’re determined and SMART.

I thank some of the apps on their iPads for teaching them their letters and the sounds they make.  I thank the videos they watch for giving them creative ideas on new games to play together or crafts to make.  I thank their iPads for my SANITY.  It is the one time during the day that I get a moment to myself.  I can shower uninterrupted.  I can workout without being asked for a snack or whacking one of them with a weight.  I can have a meal without having to share it or reheat it.  When I have that sanity, I’m a better mom!

Can we stop being judgmental?  Can we stop the mom shaming?  We’re all doing our best!  As long as our kids aren’t neglected, as long as they’re fed, as long as they know what LOVE feels like…we’re doing it right.

You breastfed? You’re a great mom!
You formula fed? You’re a great mom!
You homeschool? You’re a great mom!
Public? You’re a great mom!
You stay home? You’re a great mom!
You work? You’re a great mom!

Who is anyone to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do?!  Don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you are “less than” for the choices you made. I will refer to them from now on as “Mom Shaming Sharons”…quit being a Sharon!

I’m currently reading Brene Brown’s Braving the Wilderness (seriously buy it/download it/read it) and I really enjoyed the chapter titled “People Are Hard to Hate Close Up.  Move In.”  It essentially tells us how easy it is to say you hate someone/a group of people when you don’t know them.  Once you take the time to know most people…there’s a lot more to like about them than there is to hate.  This is even true when you disagree on most topics.  My best friend and I are on opposite sides of the political spectrum and she’s the first person I’d choose to be stranded on an island with.

So, the next time you see a mom hand her kid a soda, an iPad, a lollipop, or whatever it may be.  Take a step closer instead of a step back and slide that judgement in your back pocket.  No one needs it.

Now I’m going to hand my kids their iPads and give that research a giant middle finger…because it’s bullshit.  The end result of the screen time I give my kids will not be an addiction that leads to death.  Quit thinking you’re better than the next mom and do you.

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These Kids are HAPPY and LOVED

We’re Moving To…

We’re Moving To…

That’s right! PCS (Permanent Change of Station) season is upon a lot of military families and this year, we happen to be one of them.  Our family has been stationed at Offutt in Omaha, NE for just shy of 3 years and now we are headed to Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, NV.

I’ll be honest.  When my husband first approached me with the job and location I was NOT excited.  There may have been a few tears on my end (this is not surprising, I cry about everything).  Whenever someone had previously asked me where I wanted to go next, I followed with,

“Anywhere but Vegas or Minot (North Dakota)”.

So it took A LOT of getting used to.

We made a trip out at the beginning of June to “house hunt”.  Each move we have the struggle of choosing to buy or rent.  We came out on top here in NE, because the housing market was climbing and we had made just enough upgrades to make us a decent amount of change.  We ultimately decided to rent in LV due to their housing market.  They’re housing market is HOT and people are often getting into bidding wars, paying upwards of 10k over asking price, and agreeing to pay over appraisal.  That wasn’t a headache I was ready to take on.

We found a rental in the far northwest corner of the city, with a neighborhood pool, and actual grass in the backyard for our pooch.  It’s school has a good rating which was most important to us, because we will likely be there for around 3 years and H starts Kindergarten this year (insert ugly cry face).

We’re excited now!  I’ll get boutique type fitness studios, people who know how to do hair, and a tan year round.  I’ll have a Trader Joes and a Whole Foods.  Some of you are rolling your eyes…but if you haven’t lived without any of those things, you aren’t allowed to judge me.  I’m genuinely saying that too.  I’m looking forward to a warm winter, to some Golden Knights hockey, to REALLY great date nights, and showing my kids the culture of yet another city!

Plus…the shopping you guys!

We will officially be Vegas residents the first week in August.  We’re also choosing the most chaotic and crazy moving option known as a DItY (Do It Yourself Move)…again.  The military will move you themselves, but you have an opportunity to make some $$ if you do it yourself.  We have ordered a few sets of PODS which will arrive here on Wednesday.  I’m starting to freak out.

I will eventually provide you with a blog post on DItY move tips/tricks.  Our first move we rented a Penske truck so I’ll have a decent knowledge on the most cost effective and least headache inducing options.  Wish us luck.

So, if you’re family, and you need our new address send me an email!  I’ll shuffle it your way.

 

Tuesday Truth l 02

Tuesday Truth l 02

Truth is…

Lately, a temporary, but delicious fix for all of my problems has been a Diet Dr. Pepper from Chick Fil A.

I need to learn to say “no” and listen to my intuition.

Sometimes I start watching a video on Facebook.  All of a sudden 3 hours, 234 videos, and 393847 tears are shed.  Military homecomings, pregnancy announcements, saved animals, funny things kids say…all the feels!

I found my group of fun, one-too-many margaritas type of girls and we took the Blackstone District by storm last weekend.

Now two of us are moving within the month…naturally.  What gives universe?!

I tried on a pair of shorts that were called “mom” shorts at UO this weekend.  I was offended for mothers everywhere.  There was enough room for a fanny pack in that FUPA area…we had babies…we aren’t trying to smuggle one in the front area of our shorts…

My kids are pushing every last button these last few days…and their dad is away for work.

I’ll be spending most of the weekend surfing the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale web.  Send me all the good deals you Insta influensters!  Also, ya’ll better not be getting all that shizzz fo’ free!!!  If you are, I’m doing something wrong with my life.  Teach me your ways.

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Also, I’m thinking of making a blog post about fashion finds every other week (because mama ain’t rich).  Here’s a top I bought this week at UO.  Under $50 which is a STEAL!  Lightweight and comfy.  Tie front.  Long sleeve or roll ’em up!

 

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Yep, that’s a scrunchy on my wrist…I’ve hopped on board.

Tuesday Truths l 01

Tuesday Truths l 01

 

Now here’s a topic I hope to contribute to every Tuesday!

I’m going to lay out my “truth” for you.  I won’t sugar coat my life…so here it is.

Truth is…

-I’m a Target mom through and through.  The idea of a Walmart trip makes me sick to my stomach.  If Target charged for yearly memberships, like a Costco/Sams…I wouldn’t bat an eye at almost any cost.

-If I had to classify myself as a mom (crunchy/fit/by-the-book/frugal/fun).  I’d have to come up with a new category…let’s call it bribery positive?  My day consists of a lot of “If you do this…Then you’ll get this” types of sentences.  Cake, Icecream, Candy, Toys…you name it.  So if you see 2 kids politely sitting in their cart at target…you can likely thank the cake pop in their hand or the threat of the toy aisle being taken away.

-I’m also completely guilty of being the mom full of empty threats. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I went through with one. *facepalm*

-I’ll spend $250 on a weeks worth of groceries but a shirt over $30 is out of the question…unless it’s Lulu.

-I rarely pay full price for clothes…unless it’s Lulu.

-I lie to the pediatrician about my 2 year old and her Paci…and her bottle.

-Talking to people about nutrition gives me anxiety.  I get frustrated with how everyone jumps in with two feet on the latest diet “trends”.  If your diet has it’s own name, you’re doing it wrong.  Eat. Real. Food.  Live your life….end of story.

So, let’s all share our truths today!  Even if you aren’t proud of them, leave a comment.  It’s refreshing to hear that everyone sometimes just takes the easy way out.

 

Also, my entire outfit pictured here is under $100.  Including the shoes and sunglasses.  I’m all about that comfy/casual.  Everything is linked!

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Around Here

Around Here

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So, we all know this whole blogging thing is relatively fresh.  It isn’t NEW because way back when my son was a baby I blogged from time to time.  And then my blog slowly started to rot…and then it was past it’s rotting stage (like when the mold starts to physically grow new mold) and I just had to throw it in the trash.

This morning my family and I made our weekly walk around the farmers market.  I had this new blog on the brain, so I snapped a few pictures of our kids and then asked my husband to snap a few with me in them.  As I scrolled through them I found that I was picking myself apart.  A lot of “I look terrible in this one”, “that angle makes me look heavy”, or “where did those lines on my face come from?!”  It’s like I’m dealing with that mean girl from middle school again…only I’m her.

We are all victim of caring too much or being too sensitive.  I think ever since having my second baby I’ve been bashing myself.  Well because, you know hormones and all.  Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram.  They all make us feel inadequate in every way.  You can never be skinny enough.  You can never be rich enough.  You can never be that GREAT, engaged, and present of a mom.

I found comparison the main subject of each picture I scrolled through.  Nothing felt “good enough.”  SCREW THAT!

Today I just had to say, “Get over yourself.  You’re human and no ones perfect.  Live your life!”

So cheers to not taking yourself too seriously!  Now go eat that donut and hustle hard.