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.



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!


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!

17.07_BlogPost-10117.07_BlogPost-10217.07_BlogPost-10317.07_BlogPost-104Quick dinner with the Carl Family!17.07_BlogPost-10517.07_BlogPost-10617.07_BlogPost-10717.07_BlogPost-10817.07_BlogPost-10917.07_BlogPost-11017.07_BlogPost-111
Getting sleepy toward the end of the pool day!
Kids riding in small motorized vehicles is friggin’ hilarious.
Big girl graduated to big girl scissors!
When we were fighting about bedtime, we told her if she wasn’t tired she could read books by nightlight.  Presh.
Grace’s bday at the nature center!
MMJ ladies and a cute baby bump!
Tree hugger
MP riding the light rail with Grandma and Pawpaw and LOVING it.
Cedar Ridge hike at the Grand Canyon was amazing!!
Weatherford Trail pics from bae
After work sips with some of my favorites.
I miss these fools already.
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.
Lake Watauga trip!
Naked waterfall swimming.  Mark that off the 3 year old’s bucket list.
And then naked cupcake eating.
Splash pad with the Bradbury’s.
Firefighter pose.
This girl is always getting into something.  I found her like this.  Yes, she brought the stool over by herself.
Rose modeling “her pearls”.17.07_BlogPost-17817.07_BlogPost-17917.07_BlogPost-180
Super tired after a great hike to the waterfall!
The crazy Simpson family!

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!


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!


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:

Katie does WHM
RJ reading Grandma’s postcard from Spain!
She’s in to literally everything.
We taught her to find Spain where Grandma was.
Grandma’s postcards from Spain
Those curls.
USNWC with Loey and Jay c.
One of my favorite things about this phase and this house.  Eating pb toast on the floor with both girls every morning.
Splash pad!
TN time!
Adult time at the USNWC
Daddy made her a magnifying glass.
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.
The baby chicks got bigger!
These two are the cutest ever.
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

No Longer May

Another month gone so fast.  We started off the month spending some extra time with Grandma and Paw Paw before she left to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain for two whole months with nothing but a 20 pound backpack (yes, you read that right) and before he left to go run the some rivers out west (both are returning at the end of June). Grandma, Great Grandma and Paw Paw helped MP build a little garden with tomatoes, squash, carrots, flowers, and herbs which she’s LOVES watching grow so fast!  My cousin and her family visited for some quick fun.  Pop visited while the dreaded hand, foot, and mouth took hold of RJ.  She got a BAD case because the combo of HFM, impetigo, and severe eczema was like a super trifecta of fun.  The poor little thing looked like the kid you see on the Google images searches that you shouldn’t look at (I’ll refrain from posting those here).  Alas, she recovered.  In the meantime, the crew hunkered down a lot in the house trying not to have cabin fever too bad.  We hung out and met some chickens with the Bradburys.  We did a mini-hike on Mother’s Day with the family.  Daddy held two more WHM workshops (see this post) – so proud!  The girls went to TN for a weekend.  We attended the annual Cocos low country broil over Memorial Day weekend which was a blast, but went by in the blink of an eye, per the usual.  Lastly, we hit up the whitewater center, our fave quick, outdoor getaway.

MP:  Definition of Threenager testing her parents all day, errrrryday.  Asks “why?” to literally everything even after you explain why.  Still a pretty picky eater.  Her sister eats about double she does regularly.  Loves having us lay on the floor by her bed and hold her hand before nap time and bed time.  Gives mommy a magnet each morning as a parting gift before I start working.  Wakes up on her own about 7am and comes into our bed, always with at least three babies / stuffed animals.  Sits with me in the middle of the kitchen floor most mornings to eat peanut butter toast together.  Did her first potty (casually #2) in the woods.  Loves being shirtless.  The bedtime routine is a constant negotiation of another TV show, “I’m hungry”, “I have to potty”, “I need water”, “Where’s my elephant (or any other animal she can think of).  Bedtime can be later than 9pm nowadays when it’s all said and done.  Lastly, we’ve started exposing both girls to the cold water (~45 degrees-ish) which they’ve been amazinggggg with.  It’s so fun to watch!

RJ: Walking finally!!!!  She also has this hilarious stance that we call the “meerkat” with her hands straight down to her waist, just like a meerkat.  The first couple nights she actually walked just happened to be down this red yoga mat, which we now refer to as her red carpet.  She will eat almost anything and a TON of it.  Pounds some food, usually finishing MP’s portions.  Finally recovered from the trifecta sickness, but she was a sad little thing, of course never losing her appetite though.  Says quite a few words: book, more, thank you, down, up, water, yea.  Still an absolute dancing wild woman.  Loves reading books before bed time now and gives the sweetest kisses and snuggles.

May’s Video

Day one of the sickness trifecta.  Yes, that’s drool and snot all over my shirt.  Legit best snuggle night ever though.
Lost her and then found her with her finger in a socket behind the couch.
Casual #2 in the woods. Daddy on butt wiping duty.  #nbd
Mother’s Day dinner w/ my Dad, my Grandma, and a stiff margarita.17.05_BlogPost-12717.05_BlogPost-12817.05_BlogPost-12917.05_BlogPost-130
Lessons about chickens with Miss Cassie.
Mommy hitting up the cold water with MP as a spectator.
Low Country Broilin’
These kids were hilarious on the trampoline.  Clearly I was the referee. No on trampoline injuries.  All injuries were post trampoline.
Trampoline crew – blurry, but who cares!!17.05_BlogPost-143
MP having the best time!
Me showing these kids who runs the trampoline.  Don’t mess.  (Nolan protecting MP = melt)
Pulling thyme for chicken noodle soup from our herb pot!
Daddy is diligently teaching this girl her letters.
She told Daddy she missed me and would wait at the window until I got home from work.  ❤
Evidence of the ongoing battle to get her to sleep with less animals in her bed.
Circle time.

If you can learn how to use your mind, anything is possible.

I’m just barely beginning to grasp this statement.  And it will continue to be a work of progress, likely forever.  Recently, I’ve been stepping outside my comfort zone more and more, encouraged by my husband.  Don’t tell him, but it’s doing wonders.  Some of that is found below in pictures [plus one video] from his two most recent Wim Hof Method workshops.  The first, I was simply a spectator, at the beautiful Y2 Yoga facility.  The second, a participant, at Aloft in Ballantyne.  My eyes are continuing to open every day and the possibilities are limitless.

Here’s his next workshop.  Go and don’t think twice.  It’s just conscious breathing, focus techniques, and gradual cold exposure.  No pre-reqs, just you.  #nbd #youvegotthis

PS.  I’d been trying my headstand 2-3 minutes / day for less than a week and I DID IT.  Seriously, I did it.  WHOA!