2017 FAMILY PHOTOS

During our Captiva vacation in July we had our first professional pictures taken as a family of three! A storm rolled in about two hours before our session and didn’t let up until 10 minutes before we had to leave. And thank goodness because the thought of having to do my full hair and makeup for a second time that week because we were rained out did not have me excited, ha. #beachhairdontcare In the end the storm made for the most beautiful sunset of the entire week – we couldn’t have picked a better night!

Let me just say, Niesha Rose Photography completely hit it out of the park with these photos. I can not actually put into words how much I love them. I tried to narrow it down to just a few of my top faves here but seriously, they were all this beautiful. Obsessed. Niesha was amazing as well, especially with Camden. Definitely look her up if you are in the area!

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His curls. His face. I can not. I’m so glad we did this!

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CAPTIVA ISLAND 2017

Well, we’ve been doing a pretty crummy job of getting back in to the swing of things since getting home from vacation almost ten fourteen days ago. The sleep issues from my Friday post? I would chose those any day over the stomach issues that hit last Saturday and lasted all the way through Tuesday. That’ll really throw you for a loop. Also, sick babies are just the worst. So is puke in a car seat. #momlife

But talking about sick kids is not why were are here, friends. We’re here to recap the family vacation to Captiva Island over the first week of July which is much more pleasant, at least from where I’m sitting.

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Camden was a real trooper in the car, he really only couldn’t hold it together the last 45 minutes or so of the trip. The drive to Captiva is about 14 hours from where we live before you factor in stopping (and you should factor in A LOT of stopping with a baby). We generally drive through the night but that makes me a nervous wreck so we decided to stop once we got to the Florida state line to get some sleep. That drive alone took 15 hours with holiday traffic and a wreck so I think that was the right decision.

Our car was literally packed from front to back (thank God we bought an SUV this year or we would have been driving down the highway with a car top carrier on the top of an Impala) because holy moly, it takes more than you would ever think to haul a baby to the beach for a week. I also  stuffed our car with anything and everything I could think of to entertain my one year old in the car. I’m going write a whole post about all that soon so stay tuned for that 😉

Now I think I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking:

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We traveled with a total of 14 people so a house as much needed. We stayed in this house and it was perfect for us all to spread out. Baby proof, it was not, but I guess that was to be expected.

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The house was just a short wagon ride to the beach!

We got our wagon and tent from our local Academy sports and I would say that they are both absolutely necessary! (And lol to the fact that Camden is sitting IN the wagon in this picture. This must have been the twelfth trip of the day. I was usually carrying him on my hip because that thing was jam packed with everything under the sun.)

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This beautiful place has my heart!

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Love my boys so much!

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I tried to mentally prepare myself that Camden might hate the sand (he has serious issues with grass, insert eye roll here) but he did ok! He wasn’t super sure of himself and his walking abilities the first couple of days but he figured it out eventually.

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Since he is early to bed, early to rise and the time difference is only an hour, I tried to keep Cam on his regular sleeping schedule while we were gone. That meant he was up at about 6:30 every morning and well before most everyone else in the house. Keeping a toddler quiet in a house full of sleeping people is not one of my favorite things to do so we would load up in the stroller and take little adventures every morning. We would hit the beach, the marina to see the boats and manatees, then head to get some coffee. Such a fun, special time with my boy!

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He is my shadow in every sense of the word!

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This was our first time being on the island for the 4th of July, which I was hesitant about because it’s a holiday I take very seriously. My one request was that we had to find a firework show. We ended up on a tiny (TINY) strip of beach over on Sanibel on the suggestion of a local where we could see three shows at the same time. Disappointed, I was not!

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I’ve heard mixed reviews, but we loved our little collapsible pool. The sides to fold in easily but we didn’t really have any problems with that. Camden was content to sit in it for hours at a time some days splashing around and doing his thing which gave me a few minutes to relax.

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We attempted a beach nap in the wagon the first few days but I quickly realized a happy, well rested baby at dinner was well worth packing it in from the beach a little earlier than normal.

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Family photos happened one night! I’m still waiting (not patiently) to get them back and I am SO EXCITED. I think we got some really good ones! It stormed really bad for about two hours leading up to our sunset session which made me nervous, but also made for the most beautiful sunset of the entire trip once it blew over! Other than forgetting the bug spray and getting more mosquito bites in one hour than I have had my entire life combined and singing “If You’re Happy & You Know it” and “The Wheels on the Bus” about 1000x each, I think it went pretty well! #doitforthegram

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So creepy. But this boy loved the marina!

Nathan and I opted out of going on the boat trip this year because we were both having anxiety over different aspects of it. It ended up being one of the better choices we made all week even though we both love Boat Day. The three of us spent the whole day on the beach relaxing (including a two hour nap on top of me for Cam) before cleaning up for the 4th festivities!

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Two hours of nap = two hours of reading for mom. You won’t hear me complaining about that!

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Don’t let the hesitation in his face confuse you. By the end of the week he was running face first into the water every time he got near enough. That made picture night pretty interesting 😉

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Did you guys know? Shells are the yummiest thing you could ever put in your mouth!

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Enjoying the beach with my boy!

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Ps. Taking pictures of a one year old is HARD. I have 20 versions of this picture on my camera and he isn’t looking at the camera in any of them. Sigh.

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Always so much fun at the Crab Races! We named our’s Frank the Tank and he was a dud. Maybe next year!

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Loving the Crab Races!

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This is the best we could do.

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Overall,  it was an awesome trip full of fun and sweet memories, but let me just get real for one second – it was not all a walk in the park. Nathan was gone the whole week leading up to us leaving which left all the packing and prep on me, left him exhausted and stressed from work and travel, and left us both trying to figure out how to get back on the co-parenting train (which always happens when he’s been gone that long). Add in a lot of people (admittedly not our strongest suit) and the stress of a house full of baby hazards from top to bottom and it really took a toll on our first few days there. I don’t say that to complain, I’m beyond grateful we get to go on nice vacations with people we love, but just to be real. Nathan and I both learned a lot about what we value as a family, how we can do better next time, and the boundaries we need to set for ourselves to make sure our vacation reduces our stress, not induces panic attacks. When you know better, you do better, right?

Ps. I haven’t been able to bring myself to erase my count down to vacation chalkboard in our kitchen. Maybe I should just keep it going for the next one? 130 days until Orlando! 😉

Oh, one more thing. Are there any WordPress geniuses out there? My comments are no longer coming to my email making it super hard (harder than normal) for me to reply to you all. The forums are not helping at all. Any tips?

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Linking up with Biana, ErinKatie, and Jenna.

FRIDAY FIVE

It’s not a vacation recap post, but it’s a post! (Working on that, I promise. So. Many. Pictures. To. Edit.)

We (Camden) have had a rough week adjusting to life post-vacation. As hard as  I tried to keep him on his normal schedule, the poor guy is having a ROUGH time sleeping. Maybe because he slept in the same room as us all week? He is also in the middle of a developmental leap which never fails to bring about sleep issues. All I know is that I laid on the floor of his room for one hour and forty five minutes on Tuesday night while he fell asleep because he screamed like he was being murdered if I left. Yay for sleep training round two!

Other than that, it’s been pretty fun around here lately! Here’s a little peek for you:

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ONE | Nathan and I got away for the night a few weeks ago to see Hillsong United in Nashville and it was amazing! We left home early so we could get dinner at Bar Taco and wander around Nashville for a little while before the show – highly recommend Bar Taco for dinner if you are in the area by the way. Poor Nathan was only about a week in to recovery for having his wisdom teeth out but was such a trooper. The concert was amazing of course and I only cried once about leaving my baby for the first time overnight. #momlife

ALSO. I’m not sure if this is common knowledge but I found an awesome trick for keeping your off-the-shoulder-tops OFF your shoulders without pulling them down all night so I had to share! You basically take two safety pins and loop a hair tie through them, then clip them to your shirt so that the hair tie fits under your arm pit. Here’s a video that shows you. Game changer!

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TWO | I have a ton of books that I’ve read in the past few months that I need to share with you! Someday… While we were on vacation I finished Eligible and in the end, I really, really liked it but it did take me a while to get in to. Probably for the same reason that I couldn’t get in to the original Pride and Prejudice book or the movie with Kiera Knightly – there are SO MANY dang characters it’s hard to keep them straight for a while. Has anyone else read these books and felt this way?

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THREE | Last night my sister-in-law and nephew came over for dinner and these boys has so much fun being silly and playing together! Cam loves to be around other kids so much – I’m so excited for him to start his Mother’s Morning Out program this fall. He’s going to love it!

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FOUR | I served these Grilled Shrimp and Pineapple Skewers over Coconut Rice for dinner last night and it was a major hit all around! I added onions to mine because we looove grilled onions. My sister-in-law was also telling me that they don’t have a grill and I was super confused. Like, how do you cook in the summer? Don’t stoves take a sabbatical? :) EVERYTHING tastes better on the grill!

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FIVE | I talked over on my Instagram yesterday about how apparently the start of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale means the start of fall to WAY too many people. I will allow you to spam me with posts about fall clothes that are part of the sale (because I get it girl $$$), but I will not allow any other talk of the f-word in my feed. I LOVE fall, I really do but I don’t want anything to do with it until we have squeezed every last drop out of summer, mmk?

Have a great weekend, friends!

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Linking up with KatieSeptember FarmMeet @ the BarreLiz, and The Slaughters.

LIFE LATELY

Hi friends! Long time, no talk. I hope you all had a good weekend. Camden and I stayed busy doing fun stuff with all sorts of friends and family while Nathan was holed up at home recovering from getting his wisdom teeth taken out on Friday. Whomp whomp. Somehow, I found myself on basically the same diet of mac ‘n cheese, mashed potatoes, and pudding as he did which sounds fun in theory but I am feeling soo sluggish this morning. Reeling that in today for sure – only 11 days until vacation!!

Since I haven’t post in a while here is a bunch of random updates/pictures/stuff from our life, lately:

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Starting the first week of June, I dropped down to working from home two days a week and friends, it has been a complete game changer. I don’t know if May was just an exceptionally hard month or what, but scaling back on the time I am in the office was 100% what I needed in order to feel like I can handle working and moming in this season! I’m so grateful (so so so SO grateful) to work for people who support me as a person and a mom just as much as they support me as an employee!

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Well guys, I drank the kool-aid and joined our local Orange Theory. My sister that lives in Connecticut has been raving about it for a couple of years and oh my, it does not disappoint! I am a person who NEEDS a class and structure and someone telling me what to do and…a consequence if I decide not to show up, ha!  I’ve been going 3-4 times a week for about five weeks now and I already feel so much faster and stronger and my pants are FINALLY starting to feel looser. Amen.

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That awkward moment when you go try to find a link to your cute Target dress and realize it is a maternity style. No wonder I could size down so much! Lol. Thanks a lot people who organize Target’s clearance section. I’m going to pretend like this never happened and keep on wearing it – it’s so cute!

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Camden is in a serious “collection” phase. Every day he has a different, random object that he insists on carrying around with him all. day. long. It’s usually some sort of kitchen utensil because I have a few of them in a yard sale box in our office at home and he knows where to find them. This day he took this spatula in the stroller on our walk, outside to play, and tried to eat with it at dinner. One day he found a (new, I swear – it had just been ordered and taken out of the box!!!) toilet bowl cleaning brush at work which made for some super awkward looks from customers. #momoftheyear

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Single girl behavior much? When Nathan is traveling I try to watch stuff that he would normally never be up for and last week I requested An American in Paris from our local library while he was gone. Love love love this movie! Give me all the Gene Kelly.

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‘m not sure if I’ve mentioned this on the blog yet 😉 but we are headed to our favorite place in the world, Captiva Island in just 11 short (but long) days. Cam has had a blast climbing in and out of his “beach chair” aka this portable high chair – I can’t wait until he’s got this little toes in the sand! Quick question for parents: What sort of flotation device do you use for a one year old? Puddle jumper? Life vest? Swim suit with floats built in? Something else? Google is not giving me great answers to these questions. What has worked for you? Help!

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This boy LOVES to swing and be outside! As soon as he gets up in the morning he whines and whines at the back door until I take him out to for a few minutes then we are usually out there playing in the water table or baby pool after nap/we get home from work until it’s time for dinner.

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We got out of the house this weekend and enjoyed the beautiful weather walking around downtown Newburgh. Coffee, farmer’s market, big sales at the cutest kid’s boutique, a patio lunch with a view of the river, and home in time for a two hour nap. That’s what Saturday dreams are made of (if only dad could have been there).

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Me and my best boy at lunch. I love being this kid’s mom!!

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Linking up with Biana, Erin, Katie, and Jenna.

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND 2017 | ST. LOUIS TRIP

No better time to recap a weekend like they day we are heading into the next, am I right?

Summer is (unofficially) here! Memorial Day has always been a kick-off to summer in my mind and we loove summer around here. School’s out, work slows down, warmer weather, pool days, getting together with friends/family to cook out…it’s just the best. This year we used our extra-long Memorial Day weekend to head to St. Louis with some friends to start this summer some classic family fun! Traveling with a one and almost three year old is not without it’s challenges (lugging a cooler around everywhere so the baby has milk, so fun) but it was so nice to get out of town and enjoy some time with my boys without the distractions of home.

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We packed up and headed out early Saturday morning so Cam could get a good morning nap on the way. St. Louis is such an easy trip from where we live, it takes just under three hours to get there which is the perfect amount for a weekend or even day trip if you are up for it.

We hit the zoo right as we got in to town. The zoo is “free” but you do have to pay $15 for parking and then of course we bought lunch (but you can bring in your own food). We also bought an Adventure Pass (which was half off the listed price with proof of our membership to our zoo at home) that lets you do all the extra attractions for one lower price. A storm rolled in during the early afternoon so we didn’t get to do everything, but I would still recommend the Adventure Pass! The first thing we did was see the sea lion show and it was adorable.

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Camden is at such a fun age to do stuff with! He is such an easy-going guy who loves to people watch, is still content to (mostly) sit in the stroller, and LOVED watching the animals! (He has propped his feet up on the stroller like this since he was super small. Why is everything he does so adorable?!)

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My boys. Melt my heart.
The penguins were by far the biggest hit of the entire zoo for Cam – he would have stayed in that freezing enclosure pointing at those things all day if we hadn’t had to move along for all those other obnoxious zoo visitors 😉

We spent the morning and early afternoon exploring the zoo but when we kept hearing thunder around 1:30, we decided to head back to the car before the sky decided to dump on us! We checked in to the hotel to have the boys “rest” but of course they were restless with the excitement of being in a new place so we had to figure out a back up plan, stat. On the suggestion of a friend we headed out to Monkey Joe’s which is an inflatable place – aka the perfect place for two small kids to kill a few hours indoors. They even had a toddler area where we could get in and play with Cam that was virtually empty of any other kids. It was a pretty impromptu stop and luckily I had a pair of newborn socks in my diaper bag (lol) but our friends didn’t have socks for their little one so my friend took off her no-show socks and basically tied them around his foot. It looked ridiculous but it totally worked and we were cracking up all night long when we looked at him. Parenting makes us so resourceful!

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By the time we were all over the play place we were starving so we asked Siri to tell us where the closest Mexican restaurant was. Amigos Cantina was just a few minutes away in a really cute neighborhood and I would recommend it if you are in the area! Probably nothing you need to seek out, though.

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After that we went back to the hotel and crashed. All of us. The next morning we got up and had an awesome hotel breakfast (I could really care less about a nice breakfast unless someone else is making it for me, ha!) and decided to head back to the zoo that morning to see what we missed the day before. We explored for a few more hours before getting in the car to head home where Cam slept almost the entire way. Amen.

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Monday we headed to my parent’s pool to let our little fishy swim! The water was FREEZING but he still had a good time running all over the place exploring and giving us several heart attacks. Why are all the things they can play with/do to hurt themselves so attractive to babies?!

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If you are worried that all I do is think about vacation…you would be right. I CAN NOT WAIT.

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As hard as we tried we still left my parent’s house with our first busted lip which of course happened in the last actual minute we were there. This boy got his first Popsicle out of the ordeal though, and I didn’t hear him complaining much after that.

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Monday night we had a cookout with family and I made this salad from How Sweet Eats. Aka my favorite salad of all time. So yummy!

I love weekends that leave you with a full heart! It’s crazy how much joy one little boy can bring a person, but this kid is just that – a JOY. He is so curious and content and just loves to be out and about doing stuff. I’m sure the independent toddler stage will come soon enough, but right now we are enjoying every second with our laid back boy! I’m SO excited to take him to the beach (29 days! Eeek!). Parent life is awesome.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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Linking up with Katie, September Farm, Meet @ the BarreLiz, and The Slaughters.