Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Trip to Fort Worth

 Can I just say that I miss the snot out of my family sometimes?

I went up the week of Thanksgiving to visit with them and my sister Katie wanted me to take some photos of her and her husband for their Christmas cards. I can't wait to show you those, but I have to wait until after everyone gets their cards!

We had:

7 people
2 cameras
800+ photos

Here's Ellie and her Aunt Katie looking gorgeous together. She loves her Aunt Kate Kate.

Here's Jodi and I trying out an adorable pose. Ellie is obviously not impressed. Hehe. I don't think she likes being the meat to our sandwich!

Ugh. I miss my family. There's something so amazing about when we get together.
We have our own language and inside jokes that come from a lifetime of shared history.
It was chaos sometimes, but it was a comforting chaos.

Coming from a family of seven, the thought of not giving Ellie that same experience and support from having siblings is unimaginable.

Love this little munchkin! Don't you just want to squeeze those little cheeks?

Friday, November 7, 2014

Snow White

Thought I'd share some of these adorable photos from Ellie's recent "Snow White" themed photoshoot. Her Aunt Katie and Uncle Brice bought her this adorable costume from Mom Approved Costumes and I love it! She wore it to our local Renaissance Festival this year and it was a big hit! Here's some of my favorites from our photoshoot.

This is my absolute favorite one I think. It looks so "fairy tale-ish" and fun! I love her expression too. That's my serious little girl!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


We should have bought stock in Tylenol and Motrin when Ellie was born, because this girl is a sad little monkey when she is teething. She has been congested and teething again lately and sometimes Tylenol or Motrin just don't cut it.

We've given her cold breast milk in a sippy cup and that helps sometimes. Lately, I stumbled across some popsicle making supplies at our grocery store. I decided to try them out on Ellie Belle today.

I used the V8 Fusion Pop Mold. Each popsicle mold holds about 3 ounces and looks like this out of the freezer.

Step One: Find grumpy baby

Step Two: Let Grumpy investigate popsicle

Step Three: Allow Grumpy to gum cold popsicle

Step Four: Enjoy the rest of your day with a happier baby!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Garage Sale Addict- Part 1

"Hi, my name is Jamie and I'm a garage sale addict."

Lately E and I have been checking out estate sales/garage sales on the weekends. I'm going to share some photos of our awesome finds!

First up...

This little 2T top became a dress for Ellie Belle. It had pants with stains that I left at the garage sale, but I thought that this little top had big potential for it's $1 price tag!

We had a overcast day recently and I popped her into this cute little number for an impromtu photo shoot. Did she cooperate? Not really. Do I still love the pictures? Absolutely! :D

"Mama! Mama! You have a black box on your face. Don't worry, I'll get it for you!"

I have to say, she looks rather adorable in garage sale clothes. But that might just be my inner addict talking... ;)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Eight Months

Ellie turns eight months old today. It's a big milestone for us. I've had pets that I haven't been able to keep alive that long!

Crystal Bell of Gilded Sun Photography is the sweetheart who took photos of Ellie's birth and her newborn photos. I was super excited when I found out she was offering mini sessions in September. I really wanted her to take family photos of us so that we would have a few flattering photos with all of us together.

I'm so grateful for her mad photography skills because she did a wonderful job of capturing Ellie's personality and the way our family interacts. She's known at our house as the "Photo Ninja" because she has all these crazy contortionist/yoga poses she does in order to get the perfect shot. I can't wait to put these beauties on our wall!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

This Fleeting Shimmer We Call Life

Lately I have been thinking more and more about the way that time seems to slip away from us. One day we're learning to ride a bike and the next we are breathing our last. Thinking about the mere shimmer that is my lifespan grips me with fear, but it is a fear that motivates. We are given ONE chance to live our lives. There are no do-overs and it slips away too quickly. I want to live my life to the fullest.

For me that means that I am more cautious about high risk scenerios (sky diving) and less cautious about low risk scenerios (holding a tame boa constrictor). It means that I treasure every moment with my daughter. Every time I feed her or snuggle her to sleep, I store that memory away. It means that every time I get to dance in the kitchen with my husband I make an effort to breathe deeply and be totally present. These times are fleeting and I don't want to miss a second.

It also means that I want to record memories in a more tangible way for myself and my loved ones. I want to photograph meaningful moments in our lives without being removed from the moment itself. It means I am highly motivated to learn how to document the tiny life that has been entrusted to me through photos and engaging storytelling.

To this end, I am making a deliberate effort to improve my photography and writing skills, as well as snatching any opportunity to document Ellie's days.

These are some of my recent efforts. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014


I hope your little one loves your new bling as much as our Ellie Belle loves it!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Teething Pains

Teething. You know what I'm talking about. Whining, late nights, regular doses of Tylenol, general irritability...and that's just the mamas!

All joking aside, teething can be a very trying time and it's easy to feel helpless watching our precious babies in so much pain. Ellie Belle has been chewing on her fingers, her pacifiers, her bottle, our fingers, ice in a mesh bag, and anything else she can get her hands on. I was excited when Esquire directed me to a post on Reddit about a company called Mama & Little that sells teething necklaces. After cruising their website I decided to purchase the Olivia necklace in Mermaid.

Here's what I love about it:
  • It's super cute! I love wearing it because it's cute enough to wear with just about anything casual or even dressy casual
  • It's dishwasher safe so it's easy to sterilize
  • It's just the right mix of hard and squishy for little gums
  • It has a safety release clasp
  • It's a great thing for Ellie to "twiddle" with when she's nursing
  • Ellie loves it!
I like it so much that I'm going to give one lucky reader the chance to try this little beauty for themselves.

Check out the Official Rules and then enter below with Rafflecopter! Entries will be accepted from July 28th to August 8th, 2014. Winner will be announced on August 9th!

Feel free to check out Mama & Little's description of this gorgeous necklace on their website.

Feel free to pin and let everyone know about this giveaway!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Five Generations

Traveling with a baby is never easy, but traveling with a teething baby on an airplane is like playing Russian Roulette. Either you will win big (great trip!) or lose big (hatred from every other traveler unfortunate enough to be on your plane), but it's never predictable. E and I played this particularly exciting game over Memorial Day weekend when we took Ellie Belle to meet her great great O'ma (grandmother) in Pennsylvania. Zech and Kayla left Houston with us on Saturday morning and flew back Monday. E and I made it back to our snug little apartment late Tuesday night. Ellie was a surprisingly good travel companion despite her teething pain.

Almost all of these photos are taken by my sister-in-law Kayla and you can see WAY more photos of the trip on her blog "Southern To The Max". Thanks for letting me use your photos Kayla!

The first leg of our journey was a completely packed airplane ride from Houston to St. Louis, Missouri. A brave young doctor sat in the window seat beside us and kept us company for two hours. We talked about his homeland (Pakistan), its origins and conflicts with India, his family (his father was a pilot for 35 years), and his professional specialty (geriatric medicine). He was a delightful conversationalist and travel companion. His bravery paid off and Ellie slept through the entire flight in her turquoise Boba wrap!

When we arrived at the St. Louis airport, we hustled out of the plane and to the next boarding gate where we immediately began boarding for our flight to Philadelphia. Ellie would have probably slept through that flight as well, but our stewardess informed us that we had to take Ellie out of her Boba wrap for takeoff and landing. BOO! Once she was up, there was no getting her back to sleep, but she did pretty well overall.

Esquire and I played the "Who Does That Stranger Look Like?" game trying to decide what famous person our stewardess resembled before we realized she was a dead ringer for Ariel Winters who plays Alex Dunphy on the TV show "Modern Family". Might have been her long lost twin. Just sayin' :P

Not my photo. Random google photo...for science ;)

Once we landed in Philly, we realized that we could hoof it and make the next train to Center City. None of us had cash because we had pooled our resources to park at some of the last remaining Park and Ride parking spots. Ellie's Uncle Z found an ATM and made it back just in time for us to get on the train! We rode the train (Ellie's first train ride!!!) to the Center City stop. It was a gorgeous station! Our connecting train was running late, so we had time for some food from a cafe and some photo ops with Kayla's new camera. Kayla got some great photos at the station and on the trains!


We rode the connecting train to Lansdale and got to Oma's around 8pm Eastern time. Ellie was SOOO tired and in pain from teething. When we got to Oma's there were so many people who wanted to meet her and hold her, but my poor baby was done for the day. She just wanted her mama and a bed.

The next couple of days were much better. She got to meet her Oma, her Poppa and Nana (E's mom's parents), and some of her extended relatives. She was still a little fussy, but it was great having everyone there to love and cuddle her. Her Nana K and aunties watched her for me so that I could go to the antique store and nap. It was wonderful!

Esquire's Poppa and Ellie's Great Grandpa

The antique store was really interesting. The old checks from 1850's and WWII photos were the most fascinating thing. I didn't take any photos of them, but photos from that time era always fascinate me. I wonder "What did the photographer see in this photo that made it important enough to use film to capture this particular scene or object?"

One of the interesting things about Pennsylvania is that the architecture is completely different than what I'm used to in Texas. I snapped a few quick photos of some houses and Kayla captured Oma's house. It's very skinny and tall. The stairs are bordering on a deathtrap for someone with my level of clumsiness!

I didn't have much time to talk to Oma, but I wish I had several weeks to just sit and visit with her. She's the coolest lady and so kind. She told me stories about the provenance of some of the old furniture in her house. I wish I had a photo of this old buffet to show you. It's gorgeous- boldly detailed carving around a mirror and a granite top (at least, I think it was granite). She was telling me that it was the final project of her late husband's grandfather when he graduated from carpentry school. He's the one who build the house she currently lives in now. How cool is that?!

Oma gave Missy an old desk that was Missy's great great grandmother's. Oma said she has a photo of her husband with his mom and the desk on the front porch of his aunt's house. Seriously! That's really awesome. I'm going to have to get some photos of Missy writing letters at her great-great grandmother's desk. History is so fun!

We took time to get some photos of Oma and Ellie together, as well as photos of the whole family. These first two photos represent five generations! I think the first picture looks like Ellie is trying to attack Oma's hair. She was an angry little elf!

Zech and Esquire have talked about this "legendary pizza" that they had years ago when they were visiting their Oma. They snuck off to find it the first day we were there and then took Kayla and I back to the pizza place on Monday. I didn't take a photo of our pizza (SO MANY TOPPINGS!!!) but Kayla got a good one of theirs. I was afraid it would be a let down, but it really was very tasty. If you're ever in Lansdale, I have a recommendation for a great pizza! We stopped on the way back to Oma's to check out this giant stone globe suspended above a base with water. You could turn it in any direction. I'm not sure, but it seemed like a big deal. Hehe.

Ellie's Aunt Missy watched her for us during our pizza getaway. I imagine this as her "I didn't get pizza" face.

Our trip back home was a little rougher on Ellie. We taxied on the runway for about thirty minutes for one flight. She cried the whole time. Once the engine started up to take off, she was out like a light. She slept on the seat and kept reaching for her favorite stuffed hippo toy "Harold".

We met a very sweet missionary family while we were in the airport. Their three year old Brynlee was fascinated with Ellie. While I ran to the bathroom, she sat with Esquire and talked to Ellie. Her brother and sisters were very well behaved, and if you know me, then you know that that is high praise and it's very rare to earn my "very well behaved" status. Their mom, Maria, writes a blog about their family's work in Jamaica. It's called "Raising 4 Princesses". You should go read it!

We were so glad to get home. It was Ellie's first time on a plane and a train, her first time meeting E's mom's parents, and her first time meeting her great-great grandmother.

All in all, I consider that a successful trip! :D