So this is happening. In a few short days. Wow!! It will be all green and sunshine and no snow. What will we do with ourselves?! I think we've packed in as much as we could these last couple of weeks. Lots of visiting with friends and family, eating out at all of our favorite restaurants, and spending time in this little house we bought 4 years ago, never planning to live in it for long, and it has become our greatest sense of the word "home". Even with it's age, never really converting it from a double to a single family residence, and all of the many flaws that have driven me crazy, we will all miss this home of ours. Yes, we will be back for summer but it will still be different, secluded to the upper apartment. I believe that Tommy will remember this place. All of the many "battles" he and Joey have had dressed as super heroes, snuggling up in our bed, playing bubble hockey in the basement, begging to cross the street to play with the "Baloney boys". I really hope Joey remembers, this is the only place he has ever lived. Mini stick hockey is played daily and he sets up all his Starting Lineup hockey guys on "the ice", which varies between our living room floor and the hallway. He uses the Dustbuster as a Zamboni to clean the ice. It is so cute! Tess will have many photographs to remember her first home. I feel change is much harder for me after I've had children. I'm continuously second guessing every decision and wondering if it's right for us as a family, for them. As Tommy keeps telling me he's "already 6 and a half", I can't help but believe that these days we are living - yesterday, today, tomorrow, these will be the good old days. The times when the kids need us, they still think we are cool and they want to hang out with us. These are the times we will look back on and think, "remember when." I find myself reflecting on how big the kids have gotten. When did they grow up? I feel this is magnified as I'm packing up our things and deciding, sometimes gleeful and sometimes with a heavy heart, what we will bring with us and what will be donated or thrown in the trash. As 2017 comes to a close, new beginnings occur for everyone. It's hard to say goodbye to this life we have built in Buffalo, but our new beginning will be to a place where we have family and friends, a place that is familiar and a place that is warm and sunny! 2018 we are (almost) ready!!!
And here are some film scans from the last time we were in Orlando. P was her usual, cooperative self. One day, we will look back on these and laugh! Thanks, Dad, for making me get in a couple photos to calm her down. Don't mind my greasy top knot. Although who am I kidding? That is how I usually roll!
There is nothing cuter than doggies and babies and this in-home newborn session has both! Baby Oliver is the sweetest little boy. He is such a good baby for his parents, sleeping soundly most of the time. He's a tiny little thing, tipping the scales at just over 7 lbs. Maybe that just seems tiny to me right now as my baby is currently waddling around in 24mo clothing! Oliver Gray made his debut just a few weeks before Christmas, making the most special gift for the whole family!
At one year old, this little guy is all smiles. And how can you not notice those huge, beautiful blue eyes?! He's a little charmer. Jeffrey definitely lives in a football household. He must enjoy cheering on the Buffalo Bills. His favorite moves are clapping and "touchdown" where he throws his arms up over his head! He is the most adorable little fan!!! The photos of Jeffrey in his buffalo sweatshirt and that little crocheted blanket, I can't even take it. I love all of his animated faces! That blanket was hand made by his Aunt. It's so gorgeous, I want an adult sized version!! Happy first birthday sweet Jeffrey!
We had a lot of fun at our Holiday Mini Sessions this year and oh, how we loved the beautiful set up by Quaint Rentals! These mini sessions always give me total anxiety as we wait to see what the weather brings in November. We lucked out with a sunny day in the middle of a week full of freezing rain, and you can't ask for more than that! I loved seeing all of these families again and I can't get over some of these adorable holiday outfits!! Thank you so much, Mary O'Sullivan, for all of your help and for always being able to make the kiddos laugh! I hope everyone has an amazing holiday season! Below are a few of my favorites from our minis!
So much love for this sweet baby girl! Lace is such a pretty little baby with bright, blue eyes, long blonde lashes and the fairest skin. She has a beautiful, floral nursery with hand made accents created by her mama. It's easy to see that Lindsey and Rob are already so in love with their beautiful baby girl! Baby Lace is a growing girl...she was eating every hour during the day and every 2-3 hours at night. Ahh, I remember those days! Even with little to no sleep, mom and dad are so happy!!
Adorable Oliver is soaking in the last few weeks of being an only child as this sweet family is expecting baby #2 very shortly! Enjoy it, little buddy!!
Current obsession...baby nurseries. I love them all. You can just feel all of the love and thought that went into planning for this sweet new soul that will one day inhabit the room. This navy and blue themed nursery had the most adorable DIY touches such as mason jar book ends and framed sheets of music because Dad is a musician. So cute!! Don't let him fool you...This normally very sleepy boy did not want to go to sleep! Ben was showing off those big, beautiful eyes the entire time. Poor baby was so tired at the end of his photo session, he didn't know what to do with himself. I bet he zonked out in his Rock n Play the minute I left! Peggy and Matt are just glowing with joy over their new baby. He is such a happy boy, as long as he can chew on his tiny, little hands!!!
I love a good nickname and they call the baby Lil' John. Automatically, the background music and chorus of the song "Yeah" start playing in my head. Usher singing "Lil John.. Yeah-ah!" Hahahaha, I love it! This precious little one is very sweet and so far, Mama says he has been a laid back kind of guy. He probably figures that right now, it's easier to just close his eyes than try to keep up with his big sister. Oh, they will be trouble together once he's mobile! Baby John is adorable with his brown locks and long brown lashes. These little boys get all the good lashes! Big sis, Ella, came along for the photo session and was excited to play and not so excited to pose. The outtakes are hilarious! Poor baby has puffs in his hand, on his head, basically everywhere to try to get Miss Ella to come near him! Let the fun begin with 2 under 2!!
This year's group family photo session. 91 degrees, 100% humidity. The hottest day of the year, but the only day we could do it. It was so incredibly hot, we lasted less than 5 minutes. Everyone was completely soaked with sweat and beyond thrilled to be at the beach in their nice clothes. The older kids were mad they couldn't go in the water because it was closed due to harmful bacteria. Ewww! The babies decided to hate sand on this particular day and Tess screamed most of the time. (This is becoming a trend.) We took some really great photos on film, but I realized later that I had never loaded the film in the camera. So, life happens. This is our crazy life right now.
On a side note, doesn't Mary look amazing!!! I can't believe baby #3 is due in January!!
Sweet baby Gracie is just 8 days in these photos, all 5 lbs of her! She's such a tiny little girl!! Big brother, Declan, was not sure what was going on. He was very serious. We were joking that he was giving us Blue Steel. Whatever he was thinking, he was looking cute. Gracie girl was super adorable as we basically wrapped her up like a present. Such a little peanut!! I just love watching this family grow! I can't even believe Mike and Lizzii have 2 children now. I feel like it was yesterday that Mary and I were taking photos at their wedding! Now, they are parents of a beautiful baby girl and handsome little guy and I couldn't be happier for them! I am so thankful to be able to capture these milestones in their lives! Take it all in, that sweet baby smell, every coo, snuggle, hand being held...it all goes by too quickly!! (Says the mom who's last baby is now a toddler...where are all the sad emojis when I need them???)