Hey! I'm Emily... homebody, amateur philosopher, professional photographer, mama and wife. This is my little world-- a place for me to preserve the little snippets of my life that bring me joy, make me think, or show my creative leanings. I'm so happy you're here. If you get a minute, please introduce yourself in the comments. If you like what you see, you are invited to follow my blog through your RSS Reader. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to add me.
Thank you for being part of my little world... :)

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Me:

Me:

Wednesday, November 16

"Should"


I should:

Try to stay up a little later to edit client photos.
Think about tackling that massive pile of outgrown clothes and general STUFF that has taken up residence in the middle of my bedroom floor.
Probably wash my face at night.
Really really figure out how I will make time to do my business finances before 2016 is over.
Try to finish editing Larkin's newborn photos so I can finally share them.
Make a Larkin birth announcement, for that matter. 
And mail them. 
And make a Christmas card.
And order them.
And then mail them.
Try to take Quinn and Larkin on more walks now that she's settling into a more chill persona.
Try harder to plan ahead to make dinners for my family again.
Probably apologize.
Eat more veggies.
Talk to God more than I talk to Facebook.
Not count my chickens before they hatch.
Use less exclamation marks and happy face emojis. 
Work on crawling out of the "new baby survival season" now that she's 11 weeks old.

 I really should... 

But for tonight, I'm going to choose my bed instead. 

*
(Photos from tonight's peek in on my little ones. Clearly one of them has a lot on his mind as well. Maybe he should write his own list!)

Sunday, November 6

Larkin Turns Two Months Old




Our sweet girl, at two months:
  • Is holding her head up like a champ, and loves to look around.
  • Prefers a vertical position when awake-- no cradling her! Help her to sit and watch life, or hold her on your shoulder, and she's pretty content.
  • Has begun "worrying" my shirt or skin when she nurses.. her sweet busy little hands absentmindedly moving and stroking and holding onto what she can find.
  • Went through a pretty fussy stage at the classic 6-8week stretch, but now, at almost 10 weeks, is easing out of it (I think? I hope? Who ever really knows?)
  • Loves her swaddle, loves her MAM binkie, seems to love when Joe plays Hozier for her... 
  • Has begun taking an afternoon nap alone!! In her future nursery! She seems to really like/need the opportunity to get herself to sleep alone at these times... So I turn the white noise machine on, feed her til she is sleepyish, then I burp her really well, put her in the rock and play with a binkie "scarved" in, and sneak out. She will often cry for a minute or less, but then gets completely silent, stares around her room for a bit, and drifts off peacefully. I check her constantly since she has that scarf in place... so it's an awesome thing, but I'm not sure how we'll do if I ever take that crutch away....  But for now, it's amazing to me every time. My not-so-newborn is doing so well!! 
  •  Still has steel-gray eyes, and they are almost always wide and alert and expressive.
  • Loves her bath when the water is deep and warm, with a big warm washcloth on her tummy and both my hands holding onto her. She likes to turn her face to the water, instinctively drawn to the liquid like it's going to feed her. 
  • Hates the car still... but if I "scarf" in a binkie, we get a 60% success rate of her calming down and dozing off. 
  • Loves her Daddy and is so good to fall asleep for him when he swaddles her, expertly pats her bum, and walks/rocks her til she gives in. 
  • Fights me at the breast sometimes, for no apparent reason. But then totally loves her breastfeeding time at other times. *shrug* WHO KNOWS?
  • Takes a bottle well-- most of the time it's formula, sometimes its pumped milk.  It's helpful for when she's been fussing at me and won't settle to nurse. I know Joe can take over and she won't starve. 
  • Has hints of two dimples when she smiles. I wonder if she'll keep them? 

And we continue to reach out, mostly in the dark, for a new normal... for equilibrium after such a shift in our world. We wouldn't have it any other way: Larkin is a beautiful, joyful gift to us. But for sure, we feel like rookies all over again much of the time.  And that's okay. The absolute best thing to come out of these early weeks, besides our actual sweet baby girl, is the much-needed, much-cherished teamwork that becomes such a well-practiced dance between Joe and I. We are each other's SURVIVAL right now, and though it means we don't actually get much time together, together we are making our family life a good one, and we are handling this crazy season of newest new baby time. I'm really lucky to have Joe. ♥

*
(Photos taken on Larkin's amazing bird quilt made by my friend Melanie Hess of Thoroughly Modern Minis, on Etsy. See her 1 month photos HERE.)

Sunday, October 30

Oops! Halloween Last Year

Welp, somehow last year I managed not to blog my kids' Halloween costumes for the first time ever. I posted a peek of them on Instagram.... I even prepped imaged for the blog post that never happened. But then.... well.... oops. 

So today, the day before our 2016 Halloween, here are 2015's photos. 

Lucy: Ladybug Girl

 





Noah: A Phantom Reaper, a created character of his own


And Quinn: a Reluctant Wild Thing





 And Joe's sister Mary was visiting last year, so I got to photograph her dog Henry and Mary herself as Amelia Earhart.



Tune in tomorrow (hopefully) for this current year's costume photos!! Hooray, Halloween!

Saturday, October 29

Life These Days:



 What I Feel Compelled to Do Every Day For My Sanity:
1. make my bed (which is so odd, since for most of my life this hasn't been a priority. Guess I finally grew up? Sad.)
2. Pick up living room clutter.
3. Put throw pillows back on the couch
4. try to keep dirty dishes contained in stacks
5. Keep the dining room table clear of extra STUFF.
6. Wipe countertops. 
7. Get out of my pajamas. (Kids out of pajamas, too.)
8. do my eyebrows and wear mascara.

What I Have to Let Go Of, Even Though It Makes Me Stabby If I Let Myself Think About It Too Long: 
1. The toy bins that REALLY need a sort and purge and rotation. 
2. My kids' unmade beds and untidy corners in their room.
3. Unfolded laundry, usually. 
4. The kitchen countertop clutter nest. 
5. The two messy corners of the living room- one housing baby stuff, one housing the unfolded laundry.
6. Toothpaste stalagmites around the sink. 
7. Regular showering.
8. Feet and hair in need of a professional pampering. 
9. Piles and boxes of outgrown clothing needing sorting/purging/storing
10. My whole disaster of a bedroom, really. Except the made bed. ha. The room is too big, and therefore a catchall for all the piles of "to do". 
11. School paper sorting and purging. 

What I Happily Let Go Of These Days:
1. Looking stylish. 
2. Being embarrassed about my poochy tummy. 
3. Watching my carbs. 
4. Feeling guilty about buying myself a fountain Diet Coke a few times a week. 
5. Long-term projects that take monumental effort even when there isn't a new baby around. (Like family photo books, business bookkeeping, scanning kid artwork for books, etc.)
6. Guilt-trips from anyone else. I make enough of my own guilt to last four lifetimes. 
7. Screentime limitations. 
8. Keeping up appearances. 
9. Pretending this is a walk in the park. 
10. Wondering why it isn't "how I expected it to be"

What I Want: 
(Oh this is a Pandora's Box..... )
1. A haircut and color. 
2. To have more patience for the moments when all of my kids are clamoring at me at the same time in varying tones of need. 
3. For autumn to STOP BEING 80 DEGREES. 
4. But for Winter (40 degrees and lower)(brown and bare trees) to not come any sooner than usual. 
5. To sing harmony with someone. 
6. To stop needing peanut butter cups to cope with stress. 
7. ZERO CLUTTER. (This will never happen.)
8. To edit the rest of Larkin's newborn photos and share them, print some. 
9. More money. Working less on my end hurts us in the "fun spending" dept. And I want to spend fun money on prints, on Christmas gifts, on new shoes for the kids, on that haircut/color I mentioned above.
10. Quality one-on-one time with Quinn, and with Lucy, and with Noah, and especially with Joe. 
11. A massage. This baby-carrying is killing my back! 
12. To stop caring about STUFF enough that it sticks around in my life. Or to have more storage space for said STUFF. (Can you tell I'm home too much and seeing all this STUFF all the time right now? SO sick of stacks of papers, of unused office supplies, of puzzles and art supplies, of things I "should" keep for work, for posterity, for "someday". Etc. Etc. Etc.)
13. To shake off the blues when they come, or to be able to really dig in and WALLOW in them instead.... but neither option is possible. 
14. To have Larkin's good days coincide with my good days so we can ROCK those days. 
15. To not wish this away too fast. 

*

(the photo is one of several my friend Katie took while she was in town three weeks ago... Someday I'll have more ready to share. Maybe?)

Monday, October 24

Floral Wreath Photos (+ Some Bonus Fruit) | St. Louis Newborn Photographer



And some clementines in honor of her sweet middle name...
 

This set of photos were some of the earliest on my wishlist this time... I'd been seeing all sorts of fun floral wreath photos with babies in the middle and loving the trend. And really, it's almost one of the easiest newborn photos you can do-- just get a good swaddle going and make sure baby is deeply asleep. The rest is just getting good light and choosing your floral (or fruit) props! 

| Larkin Clementine: 14 days old |

Sunday, October 16

Some Fresh 48 Photos of Our Girl

Inspired by so many fresh, clean, peaceful lifestyle-type "Fresh 48" images I've seen around the internet, I made sure to take a few minutes during our last bit of time in the hospital to try a few of my own, for my little one. 

A "fresh 48" is a mini session that happens right in the hospital, sometime within a baby's first two days of life. It's less intense than a birth session, but also less posed than a styled newborn session after the baby comes home. It captures the newness of the whole experience, and the peace and stillness of the hospital room where parents are first getting to know their little one. I love the idea, and have done a few... but never intentionally tried one with my own babies til now. But oh how I cherish these images below... I'm so glad I have them. My sweet, fresh, new baby girl:



Sweet dreams, little one.... 

*
Next up, perhaps some of the posed newborn photos I did like crazy during her first three weeks? Ah, eventually I'll get enough edited to fill a post!!  

Here's to a great October week ahead. My favorite season, my favorite weather, pumpkins on the porch and apple cider in my mug... Let's make the most of the coming week, shall we? ♥

Wednesday, October 12

Quick, While I Nurse the Baby....


Nurse-napping Larkin while Q is at preschool, and instead of mindlessly internetting, why not a random list for my blog? Okay, go:

1. I could really use a haircut. Or at the very least, a shower. 

2. If I didn't still feel edgy and anxious about taking baby along on outings (for fear she will just cry the whole time), I'd feel like taking Quinn somewhere today for lunch and playing. 

3. I stubbed my right pinkie toe THRICE yesterday, and I swear I'm shocked it's not broken. Dang toe. 

4. Larkin is using me for a binkie right now and just sleep-smiled with a mouthful of boob. 

5. I owe about 6 people an email right now. About work stuff. That's not good. 

6. I forgot to get fabric and a pattern for my mom to sew Lucy a Halloween costume. I'm now contemplating trying to make it happen on my own, and feeling stressed about it. Why must the school trunk-or-treat be so early this year? (22nd of Oct!!)

7. I got to hang out with one of my dearest best friends all weekend, Katie Benson. It was perfect-- so much gabbing, showing her my town, strolling Vintage Market Days with baby sleeping in the sling... Lot of good food and just a wonderful long visit. 

8. I am feeling pretty good this time around, with regards to tiny baby season. I'm still hormonal and a touch anxious, but I feel way way better than I did with Lucy and Quinn when they were this little. 

9. But I also feel skeptical about everything baby-related right now-- like, "Hey! I feel pretty good! But who's to say I won't flip a switch any day now and go back to feeling a huge mess?" Or "Hey! Larkin's been pretty good these last few days! But it's probably a fluke. She'll probably be really hard again soon." etc.

10. I've been eating my feelings, honestly. Back on the carb wagon after Larkin's arrival, I find that I have Pavlov's Dog-trained myself to reach for a cookie or a peanut butter cup after I've had to deal with an extended session of baby-screaming or triple-kid-intensity (either good intensity like chatter and talking over each other or bad intensity like each of them bickering or whining or melting down simultaneously). Yikes. But also yum. 

11. I will always love swaddles, Alison Krauss, babies using a boob as a pillow, newborn baby hair, brushing Lucy's hair, Aldi's peanut butter cups, Moby sleeps, the few hours at the start of the night where I get to be in my own bed and stretchhhhhhh out like crazy, Quinn's binkie mouth and toddler lisp, Joe coming home, chocolate chip cookies, fountain drinks with caffeine, Noah's hugs and jokes, autumn smells, naps... I could go on and on. But these are relevant right now, and many have been relevant for a long time, and I don't want to forget the ones that are not going to last... 

Okay. That's all. Now I will post a few phone photos. Goodbye!