The sweetest new babe. Baby Sadie was almost 4 weeks old when we were finally able to do her newborn photos. A little music by Alan Jackson put her right to sleep as her mom and dad loved on her. She is so adored by her parents. This was just a really sweet session and I am so grateful I was able to share in this special time with this new family of three. Below are a few of my favorites from this in-home newborn session!
These photos are of my sister and her daughters from when they visited in early March. I asked them if they wanted to do a little motherhood shoot while they were here. Keli and I were excited when the girls agreed to dress up and take some photos with their mama! I am so grateful we created these images because we have a reminder of my nieces at these ages. The girls are currently in fifth and eighth grade. Due to the current situation, school will be taught at home for the remainder of the year. Some of the celebrations typically associated with these milestones are unable to happen. Even if there are no parties or graduation ceremonies, she has these memories with her girls before they transition to a new chapter!
On another note, my sister and her husband enjoy a mostly vegan diet. I find this fascinating because they are also such foodies. They love to eat out at restaurants and to cook at home. Keli gave me many pruning and drying tips for the herbs and vegetables in my little garden. I am constantly asking her for product information and recipes. It's funny, most of our text messages are usually about food in some way, shape or form. She inspires me in the kitchen, always coming up with healthy and delicious creations!
Since we are all spending more time at home and cooking a lot, I asked her to share some vegan recipes that her family enjoys so we can change things up a bit. I asked her for recipes that are easy to make and that her non vegan kids will happily eat. I linked the recipes below for anyone that may be interested!
Creamy Vegan Lasagna Soup - one pot!
From: ELA Vegan
Vegan Mac and Cheese
From: Ela Vegan
Now for some of my favorite photos of these three...All of these images were photographed on film!
“Every part of their being is truly a miracle. This truth is more engrained in my heart than ever and I cherish all the moments that make them who they are, and who we are as a family."
- Colleen, Expectant Mother
The full story is featured over at The Fount Collective
Colleen is a such a beautiful mother, inside and out, and really such a great friend. John and my husband have been best friends since high school! Their kids are sweet and adorable and our families always have the best time hanging out together. Since we live in different cities, this often includes family slumber parties, when us parents may stay up too late talking life and often drinking a little too much. I am so happy I was able to photograph this season for their family and can hardly wait to meet their brand new baby boy!
We also took some photos at home with their very first baby, Nala!
Newborns bring such light and joy and I think we can all use a little of that right now! This was my last session before social distancing was a thing. Alex and Steven are such natural parents. Steven had quickly mastered the swaddle and Alex knows exactly how to calm her sweet baby girl. They are such a great team already as they navigate parenthood together.
I don't know about you guys, but I feel like we need our team now more than ever. Each day, something new unfolds and often more uncertainty. We are confined to our homes, working and doing life closer than most of us ever have. It is crazy and chaotic here. Some days seem eternal. Others fly by and I am left wondering what we did all day. Through this experience, I have also recognized that I have slowed down. I don't have a list of places to get to and activities to get done or drive to. I have been more present and for that I am grateful. Tommy and I have started taking daily walks. It almost seems like going back in time when we walk around the neighborhood, seeing everyone out with cheerful smiles and hellos from a distance. We hang outside, as a family, when Mike is done working and the weather here has been amazing. The sun is usually dipping behind our neighbor's home and we listen to music, have a drink or swim as an evening breeze gently brings a close to the day. This situation is not ideal, I am as excited as anyone for things to go back to normal. But we are healthy and I will choose to take what I can from it and right now, that is spending more time with my little crew and listening to fart songs. Thanks Alexa.
We made our own orange slice garland this year and it was really so easy! This is not an in depth tutorial but I will explain what we did, if you would like to try it. I also took so many photos that they needed a place to live, so here we are!
I used 8 oranges and made four strands of 6' garland. You may also use clementines, tangerines, whatever you want. I sliced the oranges pretty thin, about 1/4 - 1/8", blotted with paper towels, and placed on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in a single layer. We baked the slices at 250 degrees for 3 hours. I flipped them once and removed oranges as they browned a little. Then, we let them sit on baking racks for 3 days. Yes, for 3 whole days, the orange slices just sat out on the counter. I don't know if this is necessary everywhere, but the flesh may tear when you stitch the slices if there is still moisture and it was still humid in Orlando during November.
We strung the oranges about 6" apart on twine, using a yarn needle. I am fine with the slices sliding around a little so we only used one stitch through each slice. Just insert the threaded yarn needle near the rind, and again through the other side of the slice. The boys were able to stitch the oranges themselves. Tess needed some help but was also the most enthusiastic helper.
Our garland is not perfect, but it looks festive and we decorated the whole house for Thanksgiving. These pretty little orange slices may even stick around through Christmas. Right now, I have them alongside some evergreen garland on the stairs and it looks cute. I might pull some off and attach to gifts when I start to wrap all of our packages!
What you need:
-Oranges, tangerines, or clementines, slice to 1/4-1/8"
-Papertowels to blot citrus
-Yarn needle (I found this on Amazon.com)
-Twine (also on Amazon.com)
Let me know if you make your own citrus garland,
I'd love to see how it turns out and how you use it!
Tea parties, jumping on beds, this whimsical family session was every little girl's dream! Sisters are forever friends and it was fun to see this sweet friendship beginning to blossom!
Baby Adrianna at one year. This is really such a sweet age. Crawls turn to wobbly steps and this new independence inspires exploring everywhere. I believe this is usually when parenting becomes an all day cardio event! I remember the curious pointing, everything going in their mouth and the most adorable belly laughs. Our tiny babies morphing into little humans!
My favorite images are, quite often, those that happen during the in between moments. When children and families are interacting and connecting in a way that is truly them. During this session, the kids found an apple tree and were having the most fun picking the small apples and showing off their treasures. The sound of their laughter as the sun peeked out from between the tree branches, showering them all in golden light, was such a happy moment that I felt was just meant to be remembered. As I watched them playing together, I thought these are the images I will love. And as a mother, I would like to have remembered this part. When my kids were being kids and their little personalities were shining ever so brightly in that afternoon light. I just feel like there is such magic in the uniqueness of each and every family and I wanted to share that beauty as I saw it.
I want to remember it all. The curiosity, the faces they made, that wispy baby hair. These days when they are young. They are long, but the years somehow pass us by in a blink. The memories continue to build up as I try to grasp at them to hang on. Finding new ways to connect as they grow and no longer need to be held. Thinking about this as I snuggle my youngest baby, hoping she doesn't ever get bigger. Knowing that every child must grow up.