Monday, May 27, 2013


I've been absent from the blogging world lately. I haven't read one of your blogs in at least a week... if not longer. I guess life gets busy in a good way sometimes and you find yourself enjoying times with friends and family and filling your days with things you love and then neglecting some things that you normally wouldn't. I promise I'll be back eventually... but right now I need this time. I know you understand, and I do miss you all...but distance can make the heart grow fonder and I'll be back to loving you soon.

Strawberry Pickin'

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Miss Caroline

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Worth It

I'm sitting in the absence of a screaming toddler for the first time in a hour and a half this morning. He's pushed me, and I need this moment, to recoup, to breathe, and to realize that it's only 9:00 a.m. and there is an entire day yet to conquer and enjoy. When I look over and see him sitting silently, flipping through the pages of his books, it's hard to believe that it's the same little boy who has shaken his Mama's very core only minutes ago. Motherhood is quite the challenge sometimes, and quite the adventure, and blessing, and the list could go on and on and on.

I've found myself crying out to God for his help frequently as of late. When there are tantrums and fits and screaming and I just don't know what else to do, I just turn it over to Him and plead for some help, for some understanding, and for some patience. Lord do I need more patience. He never fails to come through. When I need Him the most, He is always there.

I think of those little lives lost in that horrible tornado and the torture and anguish that their parent's must be going through, and I try to remind myself that I am beyond blessed to still be holding my little one, screaming, fits and all. Life is so short and so precious and tomorrow could be my last day, or his last, and I need to cherish these moments more, even if it's hard sometimes. Disasters are hard and we all cling a little tighter to our families when tragedy strikes our nation, but then there are those mama's all over the world who have to sit idle as their babies starve to death, their little bodies nothing but skin and bones, helpless and hopeless...and still we complain. I suppose sometimes we just need perspective.

I can't count the number of times that I was told before having Henry that labor would be hard but that it would be worth it, and once it was over, I wouldn't remember the pain but only the joy of having this precious new son in my arms. No one ever told me the same goes for motherhood. There are days that are hard, exhausting, and trying, but they are easily forgotten as I watch this little boy grow and learn and love. Every single moment is worth it, every single one.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Today, Henry, you started saying words on command. You've never done this before and it's tickled Mommy and Daddy to death. We are so proud of you, son.

Let's Talk

Let's talk about TV for a minute, k? Mostly, let's talk about the abundant of series finales, all of which seemed to be my absolute favorite shows. Thank you, TV,  for leaving me all alone and abandoned  all at once. I seriously appreciate that. Let's also talk about some season finales. Cause ya know, some of them are worth remembering. If you haven't watched the endings to The Office, 90210, The Vampire Diaries and Glee, skip this post or suck up the fact that I'm about to ruin it for you.

Let's start with the season finale of Glee. Glee ended just as I thought it would - with a big win. I won't lie, I get bored with this show a lot anymore. It just seems predictable and I seriously loved it when Rachael and Finn were the center of attention instead of these new kids. It's more of a 'I'm bored and want to watch something' show for me anymore. However, the wedding between Emma and Will was sweet and perfect. I'm glad they finally tied the knot - it sure did take long enough.

Moving on to the season finale of The Vampire Diaries. Umm...Stefan is in a safe in the bottom of a lake?! Seriously, that's a turn of events. And Elena is in love with Damon!? I don't blame her. The guys is gorgeous and that 'bad boy' attitude is straight sexy. Poor Stefan. Bonnie is now dead, Jeremy is once again alive and the show likes to tease us relentlessly with little peeks of dead Alaric from time to time. I'm a little anxious to see Kathrine as a human and what Elena will do to torture her further. You know that isn't going to just end where it did...

90210 sucked. I hated the series finale with everything in me. Yeah, I'm so happy that the two love birds finally realized that they were perfect for one another and got engaged, but other than that... I hated it. I seriously think they could have done SO much to make it better. For one, they should have killed off Adriana.  Just sayin'.

Now The Office...The Office series finale made me cry. Yes, I cried. I hated that it had to end. I hated knowing that I would never watch it again. I will own every single series on DVD and cherish the set like it's an old familiar friend. The one thing that I hated? Michael Scott and that fact that he only had TWO lines: "That's what she said" which was PERFECT and this: "I feel like all my kids grew up and married each other, it's like every parent's dream." Hilarious Michael, and so you.The fact that Pam and Jim were moving to Austin didn't surprise me one bit. The hints were there for the last few episodes, I just wish it would have been a grander surprise. I will seriously miss this show.

Have you been surprised, pleased, or dissappointed in any of your favorite shows season/series finales lately?

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Watkins Wedding

A few favorites (so far) from the wedding Friday!

Monday Madness

Excuse my absence but...

I have 600 photos to edit from the wedding Friday.

A house to clean.

A son to bathe.

Flowers to plant.

A garden to weed.

And a transformation to watch...the siding is (starting) being put up today!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Day in the Life

The Boys

I know that you know all about Henry, but there are a couple of other boys in my life that I often forget to mention.

Meet Mason, our 'oldest'.

And Cohen, our 'youngest'.

We treat them like our children because in a way, they are. Just like any other child, they each have their own little story - and I thought I would share.

Mason was my doing. While Jeremy was at work one day, I started looking for dogs for sale in our area. We weren't even allowed to own a dog where we lived, but I looked anyway. Our lease was about to be up and we were planning on moving anyway so I figured that on the off chance that I could actually find something, I'd never be able to convince Jeremy anyway.

I never wanted a dachshund myself, I am more of a big dog person, but I knew that Jeremy wanted one and I knew that if I had ANY chance of convincing him, this would be the way.

So I called a lady about her puppies and then text Jeremy to tell him that I wanted to go look at some puppies tonight and that the lady was saving the biggest boy for us (which was a lie, sorry hunny). He wasn't the happiest with me, but we went anyway, saying that we were just going to look. We all know how that works, right???

Jeremy ended up picking Mason. He was the runt of the litter and the only black and tan. We took him home that night and never had a second thought about the decision. We even named him BEFORE we got there. It was fate from the start.

Mason is grumpy, particular and a serious watch dog. If you ever visit my house, don't stick your fingers in the fence before you meet my dogs. Mason will bite you. He's also more of a 'one-person' dog. If he's curled up next to you, he has very little interest in anyone else in the house.

As watchful and protective as he can be, he has never nipped or barked or done anything to hurt Henry. I was amazed at how tolerable he became of the tugs and pulls and being rolled around on.

Once you get to know him, he's also very sweet. He loves to cuddle up next to you and he'll often curl up on the back of the couch and lay his little head on my shoulder. He's also a blanket hog. He sleeps between Jeremy and I beneath the covers every single night.

Cohen was a little more thought out, although, not really too thought out. We traded him for some photography work from the same lady that we got Mason from. We fell in love instantly with his dappled color and had to beat several people off who wanted to buy him while he was still with his mama.

Cohen is the most loving dog ever. He loves to cuddle, loves to be in your face, loves to have his stomach rubbed and LOVES Henry. Cohen is Henry's dog, hands down. The two of them aren't seen away from one another too often. Cohen never growls, never barks and never nips. I don't think the dog has a fearful or mean bone in his body. If someone were to break into our house, I think he would be at the door wagging his tail wanting to say hello while Mason tried to eat their feet off. He tends to sleep at the end of the bed, right on top of my feet, and sleeps on his back which is the funniest looking thing ever.

At first Mason wasn't so sure about having a second dog in the family, but now the two of them are best friends. During the day you'll find them playing together, napping together, or sitting on the back of the couch together looking out the window.

I know that some people don't understand the concept of loving your pets like children, but to us, these two are just an extension of our family - and we love them very much!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ironing out the Kinks

I've been super busy so far this week. I have my first wedding of the season this Friday and I'm really starting to stress because it's been awhile since I've actually had any sort of photo-shoot, let alone a wedding. I know things will work themselves out and this will be the third time I've photographed this couple, so it really helps, but still...I'm stressed.

I'm really hoping and praying to iron out some kinks and really jump head-first into growing and expanding my business in the next year.

I'm looking into taking a few classes in order to really feel comfortable enough to start calling myself a 'professional' and I am in the process of drafting up new contracts, pricing and such. I've even hired an assistant... which is HUGE.

My biggest concern and worry right now is that I need to buy new equipment. I know this and I know it's going to be expensive and I have no idea how we're going to afford it, but it needs to be done. My camera is old (about 6 years now) and my lenses aren't exactly ideal for the type of photography that I usually do. I have no flashes, no backgrounds...nothing. Just an old camera and my mind. It's really the most unprofessional set-up ever and when I show up for a session like that, it really makes me feel completely unprofessional.

Soo... this is what I've been up to. I'm trying and I'm trying hard, and that's all the counts, right?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers' Common Denominator

We all have our own story...

"I spent nine hours in labor, screaming, crying, pushing..."

But the common denominator is this: we were anxious, scared, and filled to the brim with excitement to meet the precious one that had wiggled, stretched and filled us with love while we waited to meet them.

We spent countless hours up through the night, tired and sometimes frustrated in order to nurture and love this little baby that we had been blessed with. We cried when they cried, laughed when they laughed, and cried again because we didn't know that love like this could exist.

We worried and prayed and worried some more about whether we were enough for them. Enough to teach them and grow them and encourage them. Enough to know that one day when they were out on their own they would know right from wrong, compassion and hope. Enough to know that one day they could be enough for their own.

Enough that they would one day look back and say, my Mom was truly more than enough...

We have reached out for help from others like us, hoping for the reassurance that we're not completely messing up. We have held hands, laughed and even cried while we have shared our stories and our hearts to one another.

We have moved past ourselves and focused our world around the little hands and little feet that have left permanent marks on our hearts. We look around and we wonder how we survived without messy kisses and those special cuddles that are reserved just for us. We experience the world anew through little eyes and it thrills us to see that special twinkle and joy.

We are rocked to the core as their faith, the faith that we often wish for, remains unwavering. They do not have a need to concern themselves because Mama is fix it, to clean it, to kiss it away. Mama is there, always.

When we become a mother, an entire new world of realization opens up to us and we think of our own mothers and what that means. We realize more deeply the sacrifice, the love, and the meaning of mother. Suddenly every child in the world is yours, and we cry and worry and ask why some mothers can leave, can hurt and abandon their own...

We are all these things and so much more. On this mother's day, I hope that your children will make you feel as special, strong and loved as you truly are, and I hope that you find encouragement, laughter and hope from another mother, because we are mothers and we are united by the common denominator that only mothers can truly understand.

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Go here and read this before you read the rest of my post.

As I was sitting at work today a friend posted this article. I read it and immediately breathed out the hugest sigh of relief ever. I've never considered myself a 'bad' parent but there have been MANY times on this two year journey (or almost three, if you want to count the pregnancy) that I feel like I have been told and told that I'm doing things all wrong. I have been lectured, ridiculed and let down when it has come to my natural instincts and how I feel about raising my son.

This article... well, it was one of the first I've read that made me feel like maybe I have it right.

Why do I feel that way? Well, let me tell you.

To start, I think the most controversial issue has been Henry co-sleeping with us. From day one, my baby has been in my bed. When the doctors have asked 'does he sleep independently in his own crib?', I have looked them in the eyes and simply said 'no.'.. which has resulted in pamphlets, ridicule and the accusation that I am putting my baby's life in severe danger. When parents and siblings discovered that he had been residing in our bed, they bought Henry a bassinet and again, I was lectured, ridiculed and accused that I am putting my baby's life in severe danger. It has been heart-breaking to me and I have even argued with my husband over the matter. Henry still ends up in our bed almost every night, and it is also where he takes his naps most of the time. I have always felt that we all sleep better together in one bed, and when Henry sleeps in his crib, it really makes me sad that I don't have his warmth next to me through-out the night. This is something we have always shared, and will continue to share, as long as he wants to sleep with us.

Second, I am a very 'open-minded' parent. My son plays independently in our fenced-in side yard on most days anymore while I am working on house work or gardening on the other end of the yard. I don't feel the need to supervise his play at all. If he doesn't come in or I don't hear him for awhile, I will go check on him, but otherwise, he has complete independence to do whatever he pleases. He runs, he jumps, he climbs, he has a 'real' hammer, he falls down and he gets bumps and bruises, but it doesn't bother us at all. That's part of being a kid, and especially part of being a boy.

Last, I totally agree on the school thing. We're not there yet, but I'm really hoping to homeschool Henry. For one, I don't like that public schools are so anti-faith. For two, I don't feel like public schools can possibly attend to the needs of each individual child. Every kid needs a different kind of encouragement, a different kind of reward and discipline, and a different kind of plan to learning. Children sit in a class all day to learn very little, they come home, they take a quiz and then they forget it all over a 3 month span of no schooling. I know that not all kids learn from experience, but experience is needed when learning.

So yes, I felt relieved when I read this article. I felt like maybe I'm not doing everything wrong, and it felt great to know that someone else agreed with me.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Inching Closer to the Big TWO!

My little man will be two in two months. I cannot believe it, and while I've sworn to both myself and my husband that I'm going to keep the party small(er) this year, I can't help but get excited and start planning. I've spent my entire morning working on this: 

Yay for fun invitations! 

Do you remember last years?

 I'm loving all the fun colors of this years. I have all sorts of things planned out in my head, now I just have to decide whether they are feasible, affordable or necessary. Or at least, whether or not I can convince Jeremy that they're feasible, affordable and necessary, haha...

I hope you're having a fantastic Friday and that your weekends will be just as fantastic. I took Sunday off, so this Mama is looking forward to celebrating Mother's Day with her husband and baby!

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Bragging Rights

Sometimes you just want to brag a little...

Like with this wreath that I made this past Sunday. I love it and it only cost me $1.00. Beat that.

See that plant? Isn't it pretty? I bought it last weekend as well for $1.00 after Lowes decided it was dead and needed to be thrown out. After a week in my home, it sure doesn't seem dead to me! I might manage to develop a green thumb after all.

This little area is one of my favorite places in my home. Why? Well...because the space behind my door is wide enough for a pair of shoes and long enough to line up about 4 pairs. I like to think that I've managed to make the absolute best of my space. Not to mention, I've always wanted an area like this but have never had the room.

This boy. Well...this boy always makes me proud. But he has been SO good lately. I couldn't ask for a better son.