Septiembre is a game changer

#1 – killing it with my high school Spanish, amiright??

If ya don’t know, now you know!  September was a wild one in the best way.  Hubs and I started off by spending a week in CO to figure out where to L.I.V.E.  Whoa – did I just say that out loud??  Yup!  While the girl’s spent the week in TN, we saw an amazing hot air balloon festival, hit up a few of a plethora of breweries, spent two days in Rocky Mountain National Park, ate some bomb ass Vegan food, and took in all the feels of the west – the best feels around in my humble opinion.  It was so so good.

Once we got back, logistics became our warp speed life.  Lots of “last” friend visits, WWC hang sessions, “last” photo shoots, lots of trying to play in our house with hardly any toys (they’re all packed! – first world problems right?), an amazing Bruno Mars concert, a 40th bday party for Martin (are we seriously that old?!?!?!), a super quick work trip to Jacksonville FL (best time hanging with LSJ!), and a blur of a going away party (never enough time with all our faves!).  I’m feeling all the feels about the past nine years in this lovely city with all these lovely people.  Life changes are oh so nostalgic.  Ahh.  More feels are sure to be had next month (aka right now).

MP:  We made her a countdown calendar for the move.  We tried to make her understand we wouldn’t be leaving for a month.  In 3 year old time, that’s basically 20 years.  She’s started to use some of our parental sass right back on us.  Talk about self reflection.  Still a pretty picky eater, but we did get her to take a couple bites of her own salad AND like it.  Pretty sure she just wanted the croutons.  But hey whateva…

RJ: Has started to make some seriously hilarious facial expressions, leaving us cracking up.  Still loves busting a move by swinging those baby hips (see video).  Also, is finally attached to two stuffed animals, creatively named “Baby” (a mouse that looks like a rock, yes really) and “Bubby” (aka a duck wubanub).  Her eczema still flares up if we don’t stay on top of it and dropping dairy has immensely helped with it.  She says “itchy”, “itchy” if we don’t keep socks on her.  She’s definitely our good eater.  While at Gamma’s and once finished with her plate, she relocated herself to finish off her sister’s unfinished plate of goods, as one does.

September’s video:

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Two plates of food?  Don’t mind if she do!
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Smoothie days!
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Packing wears a girl out
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Bests for life.
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Looking for Grandma and Paw paw.
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Proof she ate her salad.
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Took her to Old Navy to get a dress.  She didn’t get a what about clothes or a dress.  What did she give a what about?  Hugging EVERY.SINGLE.MANNEQUIN.  I obliged and yes, the trip took about 20 minutes longer than it should’ve, but it was so darn cute.
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Grandma heaven.
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That lady in the middle.  I love her.
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Also, this pretty mama.  She means the world to me.
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Backwards pants.  You win some, you lose some.
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Gonna miss these superb humans.
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Such a big squirrel.
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Crazy Aunt Coco.
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Pardon her, while she takes a phone call.  She’s very important, ya know.
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We will desperately miss this climbing wall.
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JJ & C-Bear | Charlotte Family Photographer

You guys – C-Bear has a baby bro – JJ!!  Just when she couldn’t get any cuter, I got to see her helping taking care of baby brother.  When I think back on the fact that I’ve been there for every big moment of this family’s life (most recently when JJ was still a bump) I am incredibly grateful.  I can’t say it any other way.  This family rocks my world.  Like real deal.  xoxo

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Isabelle’s Senior Portraits | Charlotte Senior Pictures

This family and this girl are the best.  I’ve known Isabelle’s parents for a little bit now and they’re some seriously great human beings.  Like really seriously.  This was actually the first time I got to spend time with Isabelle and I could not get over how stunning she is, both inside and out.  Myself, her mom (Sammy) and Isabelle, spent an evening at McDowell Nature Preserve to snap portraits of this beautiful, easy going, confident, goal oriented, lovely, young lady.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them!

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August Memories

It’s almost October, so I can barely remember August.  Ahh.  It’s been so busyyyyyyy.  I’m gonna have a hard time going back into the memory banks here, but here goes.  We started off with a big garage sale.  It was TONS of work, but pretty fun in the end getting it all together.  I felt like the turn out was pretty good!  The next day we celebrated paw paw’s birthday and I cooked a delicious Spring avocado pasta with cherry tomatoes and corn.  So good.  Shortly after, my parents took the girls to our friends’ farm and to see Uncle Matt in WV while we celebrated my birthday with some adult time and good friends at the USNWC, which is always our fave.  Next came our big overnight rafting / camping adventure on the Upper New River in West Virginia.  The girls had the time of their lives.  It was soooo fun watching them get dirty and explore.  Other fun events were my girls’ birthday dinner (while the girls went on Cass Scenic Railroad), Molinari maternity pics, Jackson Normy’s 1st bday party, the crazy solar eclipse, MP’s first dentist appointment, two baby showers (for babies that have now been born – Hi Vivi and JJ!), a senior pics sesh, and putting our house on the market with FSBO.  Yowza.  All this craziness precludes some soon to come calm.

MP: Calls Aquaphor “Baselina”.  Comes into our room at least two times a night.  The first time, we shuffler her back to bed.  If the 2nd time is 4am or later, she climbs in our bed and goes back to sleep.  I then tiptoe around her getting ready for work each morning.  Immediately wants whatever toy RJ picks up, yet never looked at before then.  If RJ is being scolded or in trouble, she’ll tell me and Daddy “you made her sad!”, defending RJ.

RJ: Is in the midst of a vocabulary explosion.  Asks where “gwama” and “paw paw” are all the time and looks for them out the window.  Starting to want to be a little helper.  Will throw stuff away and get her spoons out now.  Screams “moommmmmy” to me.  Anyone else would think she’s distraught, but that’s just how she says my name.  Grabbed and drank Paw paw’s wine glass when we weren’t looking.  Got a good gulp plus poured it down her shirt.  Always starts dancing immediately as soon as mommy sings “posie got a poopy posie got a poopy”.  Wants to feed herself now with her spoon or fork.

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Carl Fam | Charlotte Family Photographer

I’m extremely late posting about this awesome family b/c woah it’s busy town over here.  However, this isn’t the first time this family has been on the blog, but now they’re up two boys.  Since I met Libby, I’m pretty sure I’ve had a girl crush on her, then she started her amazing blog, and my intuition was solidified.  Girl crush, check.

Clearly I’m biased, but I really love these pictures.  To me, they represent all the things I love about this family.  They just seem to simply be at ease in their family and are just really great at letting each person in the family be themselves and really just BE in general.  If you know them, you know what I’m talking about.  If you don’t know them, start following Libby’s blog and get to know them, because, well, you’re missing out.

The only thing I’m bummed about with these pictures is the fact that I didn’t get a picture of the boys running.  These boys blew off some SERIOUS steam running from the camera the first 20 minutes or so and it was definitely entertaining.  I’m pretty sure I got tired just by watching.  They obviously warmed up at some point because we got some amazing shots.  Libby texted me after the shoot to tell me Brooks (the oldest) told her he was running in the beginning “because I never had my picture taken like that before and I was scared and then I realized it was ok”.  Melt.

Enjoy these silly boys and their awesome parents!

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July Fly By

July was so gooooooood, but soooooo fastttt!!!  The goodness is displayed by the absurd amount of pictures this month AND a really long video (I swear I tried to cut them down!).

We had an amazing 4th of July hanging with some besties at the Stewart’s pool.  MP had her first official no nap day that day and crushed it, having so much fun!  We celebrated Grace’s 3rd birthday at the nature museum, went to see MMJ and Gary Clark Jr (epic!), then headed to AZ for some fun / work.  The 5 days in AZ started with a chill pool party, then a hiking / camping session at the Grand Canyon, then some fun work party times (for me) and more hiking / camping (the Weatherford Trail) for the hubs.  We made it back home the day of MP’s birthday and then had a low key swimming party with Grace and Santino.  She LOVED it.  We got her some yoga books and a strider bike for her bday!  We spent the last two weekends in July organizing and getting rid of unwanted stuff and things in our house.  LIBERATING.  In between those two weeks, we went to Lake Watauga in TN.  It’s soooo beautiful and the girls LOVED being around so much family fun.

July was the epitome of an epic summer month!

MP: Absolutely loves swimming.  Octonauts is currently her favorite show.  “Please can I watch a show nowwwww?!?!”  Counts to 20 while doing pull ups on Daddy’s climbing hang board.  Loves spinning and swinging on daddy’s gymnastics rings.  Officially dropped naps after TONS of fighting with mommy and daddy.  It was a fight to get her to take a nap, she was super grumpy when waking up for up to an hour, and a fight to get her to bed at 9 or 10pm.  Once we dropped the nap, that all went away.  Phew!  Went swimming with Daddy in a waterfall!  Says “that’s my rose pose”.  When cleaning out the house, I gave her one of my old caboodle boxes and let her pick out some necklaces.  She picked all the chunky ones and carries them around in the box now, referring to them as “my pearls”.  Fought us to quit wearing pull ups and revert to diapers at night because they gave her a wedgie.  HAHA!

RJ: Loves saying “Ohmmmmmm” over and over.  Still an incredibly super busy bee.  Won’t sit and watch a show like MP.  Has to be on the move almost constantly.  Attempting to talk a TON.  Understands the majority of what we say, which is awesome.  “Sings” ABCs and goodnight song softly with us.  Walks in and says “hi” while cutely waving her hand with the perfect timing.  The whole family went Vegan (aka a plant based diet) this month.  Mainly because RJ’s skin was just out of wack and we’ve seen improvements for everyone since making the change!

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Getting sleepy toward the end of the pool day!
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Kids riding in small motorized vehicles is friggin’ hilarious.
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Big girl graduated to big girl scissors!
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When we were fighting about bedtime, we told her if she wasn’t tired she could read books by nightlight.  Presh.
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Grace’s bday at the nature center!
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MMJ ladies and a cute baby bump!
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Tree hugger
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MP riding the light rail with Grandma and Pawpaw and LOVING it.
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Cedar Ridge hike at the Grand Canyon was amazing!!
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Weatherford Trail pics from bae
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After work sips with some of my favorites.
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I miss these fools already.
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MP’s birthday.  She looks stoked right?17.07_BlogPost-155
Now she’s stoked because a vegan cupcake is involved.17.07_BlogPost-15617.07_BlogPost-157
One of my favorite families ever ever.  That bump is life.  Literally.
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Lake Watauga trip!
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Naked waterfall swimming.  Mark that off the 3 year old’s bucket list.
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And then naked cupcake eating.
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Splash pad with the Bradbury’s.
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Firefighter pose.
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This girl is always getting into something.  I found her like this.  Yes, she brought the stool over by herself.
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Rose modeling “her pearls”.17.07_BlogPost-17817.07_BlogPost-17917.07_BlogPost-180
Super tired after a great hike to the waterfall!
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The crazy Simpson family!
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Baby Girl A-Coming! | Charlotte Maternity Photographer

The Tvedt’s are over the moon to be welcoming baby girl Emerson to their family.  They met me on an EARLY and HOT morning at Anne Springs Close Greenway to catch the most beautiful light.  While I definitely felt bad making Terra walk so much, I think you’ll agree the walking was worth it for these beauties.  Just look at how beautiful big sister Reese is in every shot!  I can’t wait to meet this sweet new baby girl and watch as their family changes in the best way!

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Baby Nelson Part Deux

Miss C-Bear, the cutest squish ever (seen here when she turned one), is JUST shy of two AND has a new baby sibling on the way!  The Nelsons are some of my absolute faves to photograph since I’ve seen them through all of life’s beautiful events, starting with this over five years ago!  It’s simply the best.  They did not disappoint in these family / maternity photos either.  Claire’s curls are so delicious.  Literally cannot believe there’s going to be a second little squish coming out with the Nelson / Maloney cute gene combo soon.  Swoon.  For now, I’ll wait patiently.  Hopefully you can too!

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June in the rear view

We’re already half way through July while writing this and big girl is three!!  I shouldn’t be folding into July deets, but she pretty much calls us “Mom” and “Dad” now.  No more “mommy or “Daddy”.  Ugh x1000.

June seems so long ago.  I started off with a soul filling visit with my BFF Katie.  Days like those don’t come by too often.  So cherished.  Katie was treated to a mini-Wim Hof method workshop from the man and I’m pretty sure she liked it.  MP was mighty obsessed with her too.  June was our 2nd full month of Grandma / Pawpaw vacations, but we got some cool postcards!  Lastly, the girls went to TN for a week while we had some adult time!

MP: This month was a battle of sleep.  She figured out how to talk us into sleeping next to her for too long.  It is seriously so sweet sleeping next to her, but phew the sleep itself, isn’t so satisfying.  I got quite a few good naps with her this month though and loved it while it lasted.  She love, love, loved the splash pad this month.  She has gotten to where she sticks her whole face right over the blast of water and lives for it.  Hard to believe she hated water not too long ago.  Puts the word “super” before the verb in every sentence.  “I super am hungry”.  “I super don’t want to go to sleep”.  Can get in and out of her carseat alone and does one strap herself.  AHHHHH.  Weighs 36 lbs.

RJ:  Just keeps getting cuter and feistier.  She marches to the beat of her own drum, but snuggles like a champ.  She’s starting to communicate so much more.  While putting her to bed, I sang “ric roc rosie, ric roc millie”.  She stopped me and firmly said “no, ric roc paw paw!”.  I stopped and started again with “ric roc paw paw”.  She took a deep breath and relaxed into me.  She loves giving big sister hugs and grunting at her when she wants her to leave her alone.  She says “ni ni” now and says “dah-eee” super softly almost constantly to hubs.  She has started to kiss the phone bye during FaceTime.  Weighs 25.5 lbs.

June’s video:

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Katie does WHM
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RJ reading Grandma’s postcard from Spain!
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She’s in to literally everything.
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We taught her to find Spain where Grandma was.
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Grandma’s postcards from Spain
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Those curls.
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USNWC with Loey and Jay c.
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One of my favorite things about this phase and this house.  Eating pb toast on the floor with both girls every morning.
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Splash pad!
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TN time!
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Adult time at the USNWC
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Daddy made her a magnifying glass.
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She slept like this, with my arm under the pillow, so I couldn’t move, for an hour.17.06_BlogPost-136
Mr. Ben in the freezer.
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The baby chicks got bigger!
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These two are the cutest ever.
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Someone just joined the learning tower.  MP isn’t sure how she feels about it.17.06_BlogPost-14717.06_BlogPost-148
I got a text with this picture captioned “Grandma heaven”.17.06_BlogPost-14917.06_BlogPost-150