Whew! Since Kyle's graduation in May our lives have been running a million miles a minute, so before summer is completely gone I wanted to take a quick second and get a little life update written down, as well as share these cute family pictures we had done at the end of May before my kids grow up even more than they already have since these were taken. The photos were taken in downtown Salt Lake City by my sweet photographer friend Heidi, and as always it was so fun seeing her and getting to soak in some of her amazing talent while we were in Utah.
With how quickly summer has been going by, I've noticed that the kids have been growing just as fast and it's blowing my mind. Emery turned three at the end of June (pictures from her party here), decided she was ready to be toilet trained (and has done awesome with it since, great job Em and yay for gentle parenting/potty training!), went through another summer of swimming lessons, and still runs on about six times as much energy as the average human being. Since moving she still occasionally asks to go to her "black house" (our apartment in Louisville had a black front door) or to my parents' because Nan misses her 😂, and still asks for her bff Gus at least once a week, but is slowly starting to recognize our new space as her own and gets excited when she spots her "new house in Oregon" whenever we drive home from errands. I don't know of many three year olds that have as many houses as Em does, but I'm considering it a good thing that she has so many places that have truly felt like home to her.
Ashton is quickly approaching his half birthday, and has developed quite the adorable little personality. He loves to move and is constantly rolling, squirming around on the floor, and jumping on whatever he can. He's got two little teeth coming in and is constantly drooling and chewing on whatever he can get his hands on (or just on his hands), and is always quick to flash a flirty smile when you look his way. Ashton's favorite place to sleep is still on my chest or smack in the middle of mine and Kyle's bed, and out of all four of us Ash has been the one to take the longest to adjust to pacific time making earlier than normal morning feedings a fairly regular thing. He's obsessed with Emery, and brings so many smiles to all of us every day!
As far as the family goes, we've been having a summer of transition and suitcases, going from Louisville to Utah in May to hang out with family for a couple of months (thank heavens for my incredible parents for giving us somewhere to live for that long), then from Utah to Oregon to finally start putting some roots down in our new home state! I'd love to say that we're completely settled in and unpacked, but Kyle not starting work until the end of August has made us extremely laid back when it comes to getting things up, and our house still has yet to have any sort of decor, shelves, etc. on the walls and we're still waiting on getting quite a few furniture items bought. We got all of the basics unpacked, and since then have been soaking in the first real summer "break" Kyle has had since before dental school by exploring bits of Oregon and making/planning trips down to California to visit family and friends. Oregon is absolutely beautiful and everyone here is so nice, making us excited to settle down more and find a sense of community and friends as we're here a little longer. I am really excited for our house to start feeling more like a home, but am definitely enjoying the time that we're all having together as a family and know that the unpacking will happen in it's own slow-paced timeframe. With two high energy kiddos keeping us busy during the day, I'm considering it a win if we can get even one box done a day. 😉
This summer has been equal parts exciting and exhausting. Moving with two kids is freaking hard and it'll probably take us three years to get everything unpacked, but I feel SO lucky to have Kyle around to help get it all done. We miss our dental school friends fiercely, but are ecstatic to be done with school and to be getting on into a "regular life" routine. I'm still having to remind myself on a regular basis that this is our real life now, probably because we're still technically waiting for our "regular" to begin, but it's weird thinking that we don't have to go back to dental school and that once Kyle starts working that will be our new norm. It's still an adjustment, but we're really looking forward to all that's ahead and are learning more than ever to enjoy the little things, and all the time with each other now that we finally have it. 💛
I took these pictures when Ashton was only a few days old and figured I should probably get them documented since time seems to be slipping away from me and I'll already have a one-month old baby in a few short days. I feel like he has already grown and changed so much in these few short weeks, and even though I'll probably never fully forgive myself for not hiring a separate photographer to get quality pictures of our family at this special time, I'm glad that I at least thought to get some of Ashton so that I could capture those sweet, sleepy little features of his before he moved on past his fresh newborn stage. I never want to forget how his sandy-blonde hair fluffed up into the perfect fo-hawk when clean, or just how chubby and kissable his cheeks were in those first few days. Pretty much everyone that's met him in person thinks that Ashton looks exactly like a mini Kyle, and although their baby pictures don't really look much alike, I would have to agree that Ashton does look a lot like what you'd imagine a baby version of grown-up Kyle would look like (if you'd never seen his baby pictures), with a few of my features here and there if you know what you're looking for. Since I personally find Kyle to be an attractive guy, I don't mind our babe being a miniature version of him one tiny bit. 😉
I feel like our lives since Ashton has been born have been a special sort of beautiful chaos. Between having my parents visit and working to find a balance between Ashton's newborn schedule and Emery's toddler schedule, the days have honestly all kind of blended together and I'm finding myself struggling to keep track of any specific sort of timetable, but desperately wanting to capture and remember as many of these sweet new moments we're having together as a family as possible. I've found myself actually appreciating Ashton's middle of the night feeding (something I never thought I'd hear myself say haha) because it's one of the only times throughout the day that everything is quiet and I have a chance to simply just "be" with Ashton and reflect and feel grateful for him and everything that he's brought into our family.
Despite the craziness that comes with acclimating to this new stage of life, Kyle and I have both noticed that this time around feels a lot less stressful than when we were learning how to be new parents to a newborn Emery. It could be that this time we're only balancing a new baby instead of moving to a new apartment and dealing with Kyle's hardest year of dental school at the same time like we were with Em, or it could maybe be because Ashton is literally the most easy-going newborn baby I've ever seen making our lives slightly easier as new-again parents. Whatever the reason, we're grateful for the easier flow we've had because it's allowed us so much more time to dedicate to making sure that Em has as smooth of an adjustment as possible to being a big sister, and honestly has just helped us to be able to appreciate so many more of the little fun moments that might of otherwise passed our attention. Right now we're taking each day as it comes, and working to really embrace and be present in each moment, because it seems that the more we are able to do that, the more we find ourselves smiling to each other and saying, "You know what? Life is good", because in that moment, it really is. ❤️
blue swaddle: solly baby | white swaddle: little lane market | bonnets: kate grace thread co | em's outfit: little poppy co
dress + tights: baby gap | bow: little poppy co. | teddy bear: build a bear workshop
Christmas is without a doubt my favorite holiday, and with December officially being upon us I'm SO excited because it means that I can now more fully dive in to all of the festivities without the "less spirited" (cough, cough Kyle) getting on my case about starting Christmas too early. 😉 December is also one of my busiest times of the year with holiday preparations, and as much as I hate to admit it, I am that person that wants everything about my Christmas to be picture perfect. I want the pretty tree with the matching wrapped gifts, the cute holiday pictures, the Pinterest worthy Christmas cookies, the clean untouched snow on Christmas morning.... you get the picture. Last year I remember making a goal to avoid any unnecessary "holi-drama", and as much as I'd love to say that I only had to learn that lesson once, as the holiday prep started up this year I found myself getting flustered when I realized that having an able bodied toddler makes for a LOT more messes and crazy than I'd originally planned for in my ideal Christmas imagination. As we were putting up our Christmas tree this year, Emery was having the time of her life throwing all of the "balls" around the house, and although her enthusiasm was adorable to watch it definitely threw a wrench into my usual methodical tree decorating process. It was at that moment however that I realized that I had a choice. I could choose to get frustrated with Emery and the situation, or I could choose to laugh and embrace her sweet enthusiasm, and congratulate myself for thinking ahead of time five years back when I bought plastic ornaments instead of glass. 😜 This Christmas season I'll still be busy, but this year I want to work to make it a different, better type of busy. The more time goes by, I realize that the true joy of the holidays is found more in the people that we spend them with instead of everything else on the outside. We'll still keep plenty busy with all of the traditional Christmas activities, but this year I'm choosing to keep my focus much more on the family togetherness of the activities and much less on the prettiness of them. My family is my greatest gift, so this Christmas, I'm going to embrace them for everything that they are, toddler messes, tantrums, tree destroying tendencies and all, and hope to have it be one of our best, busiest Christmas's yet, spent with those we love the most. ❤️🎄
I hope that everyone has had a happy start to your holiday season!
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. ❤️
Even though I haven't actually mailed out Christmas cards to friends and family since our first year married, every year I've worked really hard to keep a tradition of doing family Christmas pictures of me, Kyle, and of course Emery from here on out. (Except for last year, which I guess were technically New Year's pictures, but since we were making a big announcement I figured it was ok to change it up a bit :D) Christmas pictures are one of my FAVORITE traditions for our family!! Sometimes their cute, sometimes they're funny, but every year the pictures are sure to bring a huge smile to my face and all of the warm fuzzies to my heart! I was especially excited for our pictures this year because Emery would get to join in on the fun with us, and Kyle FINALLY let me do a mistletoe picture! He's been denying me the privilage ever since we've been dating, but I guess this year he just couldn't turn down the chance to kiss a face as cute as Emery's ;D.
A BIG thanks to my sweet friend Megan for making the yummy chocolate cookies for Emery's pictures AND for being on the other side of the camera for the family pictures! Getting pictures of all three of us together is SO much easier when I'm not having to be on both sides of the camera at the same time, and I LOVE that it allows for more of these cute candid type of shots to be captured! More often than not they end up being my favorite pictures from the entire session!
Also, a lot of people have asked me how I kept the milk from spilling in the jug. Spoiler alert..... it's not actual milk! I just bought a Starbuck's frappachino from the grocery store, used some goo-be-gone to get the label off, and then swirled around some white paint and water on the inside until I got the look that I wanted! There's also some paper towels stuffed in the bottom to help the straw stay in place, and to keep Emery from accidentaly sucking up any paint residue. :)
(kyle) sweater + shirt: gap (me) shirt: j.crew factory |watch: c/o jord sweater: ebay (crazy I know but it's where I get all of my christmas sweaters!)
(emery) jumper + pillows: target | bow: salt city littles (use CHELSEA35 for 35% off $10 or more)
Thank you so much for sharing in these fun family pictures with me! In my last blog post I'd made a goal to work hard to enjoy the true spirit of Christmas and avoid any "holidrama". I'm proud to say that in the last week I've done quite well at keeping to my goal, but have also noticed how the closer it gets to Christmas the more drama and chaos seems to surround every where I go. People are driving more aggresivly to get to their destinations, rushing in and out of stores in a state of impatience, and the tension of the crowds in the shopping malls is almost tangible. When I see those around me being weighed down by unneccessary holiday stress, it makes me even more want to spread holiday cheer and to try to bring joy to those around me. I hope that anyone reading can find a way to spread your own holiday cheer in your life and in the lives of those you come into contact with! I really do feel like the service we provide to others, the love that we have for our friends and family, and the time that we dedicate in our busy days to those we love in this holiday season is what helps make Christmas feel so magical, and I believe that magic is definitely something worth sharing. :)
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.