This year marks our third autumn in Kentucky (and the start of our third year of dental school, how weird is that to say aloud?!), and even though the weather lately has been unseasonably warm for October, that fall feel is still in the air and Kyle and I felt like we had to take advantage of it. Every year since we've moved out east we've made it a point to visit a nearby orchard for apple picking as a kick off to fall, and it's something that I've really come to always look forward to. There's always guaranteed to be amazing fresh apples for picking and other produce for purchase, pumpkin spice doughnuts (if you haven't had a chance to try one of these yet you NEED to find a way to get them into your life), and more than anything amazing company from good friends and special time together with my sweet little family! Last year on our apple picking trip Emery was still pretty young and didn't fully understand what was going on, so this year it was a blast being able to have the experience brand new through her curious eyes.
This year was also our first time visiting Huber's Orchard specifically. It's easily one of Kentuckianas's largest orchard's partly because of the winery and distillery also located on the property, and after visiting I honestly don't know why it took us so long to make the trip! They had live music, wine tasting and distillery tours, tractor rides, apple and pumpkin picking, and literally everything else related to fall and fun that you could possibly think of! It was such a neat experience being able to see all of the different parts of the orchard and I really felt like there was something there for any age and interest! Emery's favorite part was riding on the tractor and then of course trying ALL of the apples, regardless of who they originally belonged to. 😂 She loved running up and down the rows of the apple trees, and found pure joy in being free to roam wherever she pleased, and enjoying unlimited snacks whenever she wanted them.
Experiences like these make me feel so grateful for Emery and the stage that she's currently in. Toddler life is so messy ALL the time, and even though it's constantly a struggle for me to let go of my control freak side and thinking that everything needs to be perfect all the time, I'm finding more and more than once I make it over that mindset that I'm able to so much more fully embrace moments and all the joy that they bring. We didn't think to get a picture of all three of us until the very end of our trip, at which point Emery was a sticky apple mess with sun kissed cheeks and only one shoe, and after putting so much thought into what her apple picking outfit would be I'd be lying if I said I didn't cringe a little bit at the thought of us not being able to get that "perfect" family shot. However, after looking back at the whole experience through pictures and reflection and seeing just how much fun Emery and all of us were able to have together, I'm gently reminded of a friend that said it will always be better in life to be more present than perfect, and I'm grateful for the chance to choose that more present path.
Happy Fall Ya'll!
It has taken me way longer than usual to get this picture post up, probably because every time I think too much about how quickly Emery has changed and grown in just the couple of months since these were taken I end up ugly crying to an embarrassing level. Since her first birthday she has really come into her own personality, and it is a LOT of personality in the form of a pint sized toddler. I feel like I'm learning something new about her everyday, and am absolutely amazed at her ability to understand, communicate, and find joy in every aspect of her life.
emery || dress & white top: janie and jack | shoes: baby gap | bows: little ms. kays
kyle || polo: j.crew | shorts: old navy | shoes: sperry
me || top & skirt: j.crew | shoes & watch: target | lash extensions & nails: kami m. (email me for her contact info)
With school officially starting into the fall semester for Kyle again, I'm finding myself in a place where I'm trying as hard as I can to stop time so that I can just enjoy the little bit of summer that's left with my family without the added stress of school and work. Since I still haven't figured out a way to actually make time stop, I'm instead just trying really hard to live in the moment as much as I can, and really appreciate all of the little experiences day to day that I'm able to have with Emery and Kyle. Stopping and taking time to smell the roses has taken on a whole new level of meaning to me, and really trying to stick to that motto this past summer has given my life a whole new sense of joy than I've ever had the chance to experience.
As always, a million thank you's to my incredible friend & photographer Heidi for capturing these sweet pictures for us. She's now been able to capture our maternity, newborn, and one year pictures for us and I don't even know what I'm going to do when her husband graduates dental school a year before us and she moves away. Kyle sometimes complains that I make him take too many pictures, but if there's one thing that I've learned from becoming a parent, it's that time goes by much more quickly than we ever expect it to, and for me taking pictures is my way to capture these special moments and memories that we have together. I can't make time stand still (nor would I want to), but this is my way of slowing down and in my own respect smelling the roses. My family is my whole entire world, and I want to be able to enjoy and remember each stage with us exactly as we are. This blog will always be a sort of journal for me, and I'm so grateful for the daily experiences and the opportunity to document them.
Thanks so much to all those who read these posts and don't grow tired of my constant mushing over my family. These memories mean so much to me, and even though documenting them for my own purposes is the most important thing I love being able to share them with friends, family, and loved ones as well. Thanks for always being willing to join in on our simple joys. ❤️
With how busy Kyle's past school year has been, we were way past overdue for a little family getaway this year. When I asked Kyle where he wanted to go for a trip during his short one week break from classes, his response was somewhere where we could just relax and not have to feel pressured to do anything if we didn't want to. I honestly couldn't have agreed more, so after some thought we decided to take a trip down the south-eastern coast and road trip through Beaufort/Hilton Head, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. Neither place is an overly large or busy city and both have much more of a relaxed, beachy/coastal vibe to them, which is exactly what we were looking for, and it seriously could not have been a better time spent. We played on the beach, ate ice cream while walking along the waterfront, and spent a day exploring Old Town Savannah seeing buildings and history that were older than the actual country. We never rushed anywhere, kept our activities minimal and simple, and really just tried to take things slowly so that we could fully enjoy the area, and more importantly, each other.
One of my favorite things about our family trips is the chance that it gives me to see my husband and baby in a new place and learn things about them that I didn't know before. One of Kyle's favorite parts of the trip was Chippewa Square in Savannah. From the moment we'd chosen our destination Kyle had put it on our list of places to visit because it was where the Forrest Gump bench scenes were filmed. I agreed and made it our first stop in Savannah, but once we were there realized that the reason Kyle has always loved Forrest Gump so much and the reason he was so excited to see the actual place was because it had always been one of his late Grandpa Terribilini's favorite movies too. It may sound silly, but I felt extra glad that we'd been able to take the trip there because it gave me the chance to learn something new about Kyle that I hadn't before, and now when he asks if we can watch Forrest Gump for date night every few months I'll understand more where it's coming from and more readily agree. 😉
As with any family trip, there were unexpected things and learning experiences that we had the chance to deal with along the way. It rained a LOT during our trip, and although I'd expected some rain, not even our jackets were enough to combat the torrential downpour that we received at certain points during our stay. It was also a whole new experience traveling with an excited toddler as opposed to the sweet little five-week old baby that slept through our whole trip last year in D.C. She was full of energy the ENTIRE trip, and so badly wanted to be able to walk around and touch everything that she possibly could. She kept herself up way past bedtime every night, and getting her into her carseat now is still a fight after making her sit in it for two - nine hour drives within a week's time. 😬 As with most unexpected adventures though, we learned that the best way to handle them was to not stress out and to just take things as they would come. Emery got her naps while driving to and from destinations, getting home took longer than expected because we kept stopping to let her out to get her wiggles out, and like already said we kept our schedule while exploring super flexible to allow for a toddler's explorations and unforeseen rainstorms. I feel like our flexibility helped to keep stress levels low and enjoyment of the journey high, making the memories one's that we'll always cherish.
Also, one last note of learning for myself and anyone else with naturally curly hair traveling to the south - just don't even bother trying or stressing over the mane. My hair was straightened on day 1 of our travels and within 24 hours it was back to it's naturally curly/frizzy state thanks to the humidity. HATS. That is the only solution. Or at least the easiest one in my opinion. 😜
Overall this was definitely a trip for the books. It gave us all the together time and fun that we needed to get us through another year of dental school and nannying, and we're already looking forward to the next time that our family can take another adventure together!
North Carolina: Biltmore Estate & Surrounding Shops (It is pretty expensive to actually see the Biltmore Estate & Winery, so we basically just drove as far in as we could without paying)
So I have a bit of a confession to make. This year I 100% forgot our anniversary. If you were to ask me when our anniversary is I'd be able to tell you August 3rd without taking a breath, but for some reason this year August 3rd just snuck up on me a lot faster than I thought it would, and it wasn't until my sweet grandmother sent us a card in the mail that I realized how quickly the date was approaching. I so badly wanted to try and throw something special together for Kyle or have some really special way to celebrate, but a combination of conflicting schedules (thanks a lot ULSD for making Kyle have class on our anniversary for the first time in FOUR years 🙄 ), procrastination, and lack of funds was making it really hard for me to think of any ideas. Thanks to my sweet girlfriend wanting to make sure that Kyle and I were able to do something little to celebrate we'll be going out on a baby-free dinner tonight while she watches Emery, but the craziness of the whole situation has still had me feeling a little down, and made me do some serious reflection as to why I'd drop the ball on such a huge day. The only excuse that I could think of was that life just got us both really busy, and because of that the big celebration lost priority. Obviously this is something that we (mostly I) could improve on, but even in the absolute crazy business of life I haven't the slightest doubt that Kyle and I aren't still as crazy in love as we were four years ago (if not more so) when we said "I do". The only difference now is that because of how insane life can get sometimes, we've had to get creative in how we show that love. I know that Kyle loves me because he purposely stays as quiet as a church mouse while getting ready for school so that I can sleep a little bit later until Emery wakes up, and I show my love to him by waking up with Emery in the middle of night or on the weekends so that Kyle can get some extra rest. I know that Kyle loves me because he lets us get vegetarian pizza every week for dinner without complaining, and I return the love by trying to keep some sort of meat in the house for him to cook up whenever he's craving it. He compliments my outfits, and I pick up his dirty socks and scrubs off the floor without hesitation or irritation. I feel the love between us every time we get into a deep conversation, and whenever we send each other an article or comic through text because we think it'll make the other person laugh. The best part about being married to Kyle is that there is love for each other in literally everything that we do, and that love carries us through the toughest of trials and the craziest of days. We are planning a little family trip next week and will get to "officially" celebrate our anniversary while there, but this year I'm also feeling grateful for the small and simple ways that we've been able to celebrate each other on the actual day, and every day that we have together. The celebration is simple, pure, and full of love, and that is what matters most. Happy four years to us Kyle, I wouldn't want to do this life with anyone else but you. ❤️
weight & height: 22 pounds 11 ounces and 30 inches long. At my one year checkup my doctor told me that I'm in the 80th percentile for both height and weight and am growing at a perfect rate! eating & sleeping: Now that I'm a year old Mom & Dad have let me start eating much more big kid food and mealtimes have gotten a LOT more fun (and messy). I eat waffles and fruit every morning for breakfast and then will eat all sorts of different things for lunch and dinner! I drink whole milk now too, and will regularly drink water out of a sippy cup. Instead of sleeping better through the night like most kids do when they get older, I decided to go against the grain and have been waking up at least once a night wanting to drink some milk. My 12 month molars have started pushing through which we think might be part of what's causing the change, but all of us are hoping to get back to sleeping all the way through the night sooner rather than later so that we can have a better rested family. 😅 exciting firsts/milestones: Still no walking on my own yet, but recently I've learned how to stand up all by myself without having to pull up on anything and can hold my self up for a really long time! I've also become quite the chatter box and can say "mama", "YUM!", will say "huh" while nodding my head to say yes to something, and am working on saying my name (currently it sounds like "em....EEEE!"). Obviously my biggest milestone this past month was my first birthday party - I had so much fun! The party was such a good time that Mommy decided to write a whole separate post about it with pictures, so if you want to read/see more about it you can here! things I love: I'm honestly a really happy baby and love most things, but for documenting's sake I'll narrow it down to a few. I LOVE bath time and will crawl to the bathroom as soon as I hear the tub filling up for me. I really enjoy playing peek-a-boo and will try to start games as often as I can by hiding my face with my blanket and then throwing it off to surprise Mom & Dad. I love swimming and being outside and would spend all day out there if I could. I've gotten really independent lately and also love showing Mom & Dad all the things I can do by myself like pushing my own stroller, pushing the shopping cart in Target, feeding myself with a spoon or fork, and trying to do up my own seatbelt buckle. More than anything, I still LOVE talking to people and making new friends, and will instantly start into smiles and giggles if a new person gives me some attention! things I don't enjoy so much: Because I'm such a busy baby with so much to explore, I really don't like being held still by Mom or Dad when we're anywhere in public and would much rather just be able to go crawl and do my own thing. I've also gotten to the point in my life when I know when I'm at the doctor's office and am going to have to get shots, and don't enjoy those very much at all! I also refuse to drink my milk from a sippy cup, and will pitch a big fit if Mom tries to offer it to me in such an unacceptable form. She just doesn't get that milk tastes SO much better from the bottle! mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: With this being my last monthly update and technically my last month of "babyhood", more than anything Mommy & Daddy are just realizing how quickly time really does fly when you're having fun in a baby's first year of life. Leading up to my birthday Mommy kept saying over and over again that it seriously just felt like yesterday that they were bringing me home from the hospital, and now here I am just so big and grown up! With how quickly time does fly, we're making sure as a family to make the absolute most of every moment together, and are working hard to make sure that we don't miss a single thing.
HOLY SMOKES. Talk about #allthefeels for this mama while typing this up for Emery, I seriously can't even believe how quickly my little girl has grown up! A big thank you to everyone that's followed along with her little monthly updates; we have loved documenting her first year and feel blessed to have so many friends to share her milestones and stories with!
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.