I was sorting through some files last weekend and came across a number of pictures that I have taken over the last year, but never shared with you. Each of these pictures could probably be their own blog post, but for whatever reason (probably pure laziness), I never blogged about them. So, I figured I'd do a little photo dump of all the pictures that I want to share, but haven't.
1. Last Spring, I bought a Groupon for a 1 hour photo session and had a local photographer take a couple shots of me. Why? Who the hell knows. I originally thought I'd use the voucher to get a few pictures of Ryan and I together (possibly to announce my pregnancy), but then I didn't get pregnant and changed my mind and what I wanted done. I'd had a long miserable winter, dealing with painful fertility treatments, which made me gain weight and generally feel terrible about myself and my body. So I decided to use it on myself - to give me an excuse to dress up and feel pretty for the afternoon. Here are a few of my favorites.
2. About a year ago, Ryan and I took my in-laws to see Chuck Berry perform at Blueberry Hill. Did you know that Chuck Berry is 85 years old and still performing at local venues around St. Louis? Talk about a living legend. This man is unbelievable. We'd been talking about seeing him for years and figured we better get on that before he decides to hang up his hat. What a fun show! He is still jamming and completely styling in metallic shirts and funny hats. And of course, I got drug up on stage to dance with him (really, I jumped at the chance). One day I can't wait to tell my kids I danced on stage with Chuck Berry (see me on the far left below).
3. Here's a picture of my little CeCe bug, shoveling food in her mouth. I just love this kid.
4. Last January my good friend Brooke had twins, Reese and Whit. A few months later I spent an afternoon hanging out at their house playing with them and snapped a few pictures. Talk about gorgeous children! I know I'm biased, but I swear my friends have the most beautiful babies. Here are a couple of my favorites.
Isn't Brooke the most gorgeous mom ever? And she's so good with the babies. It's hard to believe it's been over a year since they were born. They're now walking and talking and exploring everything they can. They move at the speed of light - it's absolutely incredible (and exhausting) watching her with them as she anticipates what they're doing and knows exactly what they want. I'm hoping someday she'll let me in on her secret of making it all look so easy.
5. And this is a picture of Brooke's niece, Molly that I snapped at the twin's baptism. Again, what a beautiful baby. Those eyes!
6. Over the summer, my cousin Alesha was in town for her daughter Eva's birthday weekend. I had a chance to meet up with them for hot dogs and snow cones and meet to newest addition to the family, Baby Elsa. I just love this photo, especially Eva's blue mouth from her blueberry snow cone.
7. And speaking of Elsa and Eva, I got to see them again a few months later at our family reunion. Do you believe me now that I'm surrounded by the most gorgeous babies in the world?
8. Have I ever mentioned my obsession with barns? I love old barns. They're becoming really trendy these days, which I love. This was a photo I took of a row of mailboxes in Virginia, with a red barn behind them. I made Ryan stop the car because I just loved this so much. It just seems so "American" to me and reminded me of my hometown.
9. There were also a couple pictures of baby Sage, playing in the blankets in our bed. She's so white she blends in. Our little polar pup.
She was so tiny!
10. We also took Sage on her very first float sometime last spring. She sat in the front of the canoe with me and Mally, she did a lot of swimming and she learned how to sit in the water next to Ryan while he fished and watch. Ryan's taken her fishing a number of times since then and he says she's just the best little sidekick.
11. We also went to the Jimmy Buffett concert in St. Louis last spring in STL. We took the afternoon off and grilled and tailgated with friends. I was battling a cold and couldn't drink on my medication (boo!), so it wasn't nearly as fun for me as it was for everyone else. I barely even got the camera out, but did manage to snap this awesome shot of my hubby. Isn't he so handsome? :) Makes me so proud.
12. Does anyone else love Jellycat stuffed animals as much as I do? Don't worry, they're for the baby! These were my very first "baby-related" purchase after I found out I was pregnant.
13. And finally, I got my camera on a newborn. This is baby Gavin, just a week old. His parents let me play "photographer" with him so they could get some photos and I could get in some tiny baby snuggle time. Isn't he the most precious thing you've ever seen?
14. And finally, we spent our July 4th holiday weekend at one of our favorite places on earth...Sayersbrook Bison Ranch. Our friends Nick and Claire were down from Chicago and we spent the whole weekend fishing, boating, swimming, frogging, eating and drinking. The Sayers always make us feel like we're part of the family and we've been spending the July 4th holiday with them for almost 9 years. Claire's now pregnant and due a few months after me and we couldn't be happier that Mac's going to have a little Sayers friend to run around with when we visit. I have a feeling those two are going to get into a lot of trouble together.
Ok, we can stop there. That gets us through July. I could probably do a few more of these posts with all the random photos I have. Thanks for joining me on this little trip down Memory Lane - hope you enjoyed the detour. Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
I can't even tell you how excited I am to be having a little boy. I constantly wonder who he's going to look like and what traits he'll get from me. I truly hope he's a miniature Ryan in looks, attitude and ability, but there are some things I hope he'll pick up from me (e.g., my love of reading). I love imagining the day that Ryan will teach him how to throw a curve ball, how to bait a hook and how to ride a bike. But there are some things I want to be able to teach him too. So when I saw this article the other day called "15 Things a Mom Should Teach her Boys," I got so excited! I loved it so much I want to reprint it here for you. This is such a great list and has made me so excited about all the things I get to teach my son one day. Of course, he'll be able to learn these things by watching his father (because Ryan had a great mom who taught him these things) - there are just some things that only a mom will be able to teach.
1. The kitchen is not just for girls. Learn to use a stove. Cook for yourself...it's sure to impress.
2. If a girl tries to change you she doesn’t really love you no matter how much you want her to. Move on.
3. Shower daily, comb your hair, keep your nails trim and use deodorant.
4. A dutch oven is never funny. EVER. Don't even go there.
5. It is NEVER acceptable to break up with a girl over the phone, via text or email.
6. Understand how to use basic tools. Be handy.
7. When you ask a girl, “Is something wrong?” and she says, “No.” She’s lying. If you have to ask, there's already a problem.
8. The job of a stay-at-home mom is equally as hard as yours (if not more) and just as important (if not more).
9. Table manners. Learn them. Use them.
10. You will never know a stronger pull than that of your friends trying to get you to participate in their wrongdoing. Resisting makes you a man. Succumbing makes you a coward. They'll respect you more for resisting than they'll like you for participating.
11. NEVER use your fists to solve ANY dispute. One wrong punch could take a life and it could be yours.
12. Condoms can and will save your life.
13. Never use the word gay in a derogatory manner. It’s ignorant and intolerant.
14. Sexting is a federal offense and can ruin lives.
15. Real girls do not look like Victoria’s Secret models. Learn to love and respect that.
A few weekends ago, I got to celebrate Miss Cecelia's third birthday! I have to tell you, it's been pretty amazing watching this kid grow up. I feel so blessed to be a part of this family - I was there for her first birthday party...and her second birthday party. She has gone from a chubby happy baby to a beautiful and fiercely intelligent little girl. She's got more attitude in her little finger than most people have in their whole body, but she's also a complete sweetheart and lovebug. She's a ham for the camera (which is my favorite type of kid), so I got a lot of great shots. It's really amazing to look back at last year's post to see how much has changed. But then again, some things never change...
Claire completely outdid herself with treats and fun decorations.
There were three brand new babies in attendance.
And baby Rhett.
And Milly (who was the baby at last year's party, just turned one!
And of course, you can't forget big brother Gus...
And cousin Nora, who's now a big sister.
And little Addie.
Who loved the cookies.
I think there were a few more boys running around somewhere, but they never slowed down long enough for me to get my camera on them.
Opening presents was definitely the highlight of the day.
She opened each one very carefully.
Some presents (like this pink frog) were very well received.
Others, like this boring piece of paper...not so much.
CeCe loaded up on girlie goodies like nail polish and make-up...
Fairy princess costumes...
Hello Kitty couture...
And princess puzzles.
But even better than opening the gifts, was the gratefulness for receiving the gifts.
After opening each gift, CeCe made sure to give the gift-giver a giant thank you hug.
Melt my heart.
Isn't she the sweetest?
And then again...oops!
Which Milly liked!
Milly also liked the ribbons and bows and plastic packaging of the gifts.
She made sure to taste everything CeCe got, just to be sure it was all good.
Ok, that one's not so good...
And then it was finally time for cake!
CeCe requested a cake with a picture of her and her daddy ONLY on it.
And what CeCe demands, CeCe gets.
Last year she hid under the table when we sang to her.
This year she sang and clapped along.
Milly loved the singing too.
But she was really impressed with the cookies.
The rest of us enjoyed cake.
Addie had chocolate milk.
And Isaac had a bottle and snuggled with his parents on the couch.
The rest of the party was fun and games.
CeCe shared her toys with Milly (she's going to be a great big sister).
Uncle Mike and the girls had a tea party.
The grandpas wrestled with the boys...
And danced with the girls...
And made tiaras...
Milly did some dancing too.
Girlfriend already knows how to shake her booty.
And we all got a chance to snuggle with a baby or two.