September 30, 2014

September 29, 2014

Instalife: Fall

Daily walks enjoying the crisp morning air; pumpkin everything; unnecessarily fashionable Fall clothes; taking advantage of Olivia's nap times to relax after long nights; and comforting soup.  Fall has arrived and the weather is that absolutely perfect temperature where neither fans nor heat are required.  So. much. fresh. air.

Speaking of air, I've literally been walking around singing love is in the is in the aaaaaaiiiiiirrrrrr, and it couldn't be more true!  Today is the three year anniversary of the day David and I "officially" started dating (having been friends for several years prior) and we've started working on a few little personalized touches for our wedding - so exciting!  We're planning a small, intimate, and simple ceremony with close family only, so things are coming together pretty quickly - I just cannot wait!

I've taken hundreds of photos this past week (a lot for me!), but this cooler Fall weather just screams for books - so I've been spending most of my down time reading.  I'm excited to eventually get around to editing and posting some of them, but for now, they wait.  I've been spending some time considering resolutions for 2015 and it's quite obvious to me that photography is going to be a big (perhaps, the biggest) part of my goals - getting in more practice, learning more about the technical aspects of photography, and just working to hone this skill.  I've always thought it was a bit arbitrary to wait until the beginning of the year to make and work towards personal goals, but I'm looking forward to enjoying our upcoming wedding and all those end-of-year holidays for the first time as a family of five without distractions.  That gives me a few months to put thought into designing goals that will be both realistic and challenging at improving the areas I want to work on, plus it gives me a few months of anticipation to get really pumped!

September 28, 2014

Six Months

It's hard to believe our littlest baby has now reached six-months-old.  I have to admit that in the early days (pre-no-more-babies surgery) David and I wonder if we were really done, so caught up in the overwhelming love and amazement that a new baby brought to our lives that we wanted to experience it over and over again.  But now a few months down the road, having lived a little and learned a lot, it's never been more apparent how beautifully this little girl fulfills and completes us.

This month our little cutie has come very close to crawling, has become obsessed with her exersaucer/jumper, loves to stand with assistance, sits on her own for awhile, has had her first puree, and magically grew a ton of hair, seemingly overnight.  I've received so many comments this past month about how snow white her little blond wisps are.  Sleep has been on-again, off-again due to teething and the infamous six-month growth spurt - but we are (mostly) enjoying the nighttime cuddles for now.

In six months, this once helpless little newborn who could barely hold her own head up is now sitting on her own for short periods of time.  Those once sporadic, flailing arms now grasp and attack their intended targets.  That once cooing little voice now babbles up a storm.  From too small for newborn clothes to filling the toes in her 3-6M sleepers.  From newborn to size 2 diapers.  She's gained seven pounds since birth, and added six inches of length.  We've overcome thrush and oversupply, conquered food allergies and silent reflux, and for the first time, I've been able to really enjoy the unique bonding experience that nursing provides, which has made exclusive breastfeeding to this point such a breeze despite the difficulties.  She's just recently had a taste of her first puree (sweet potato) and before we know it she'll be ordering medium rare steaks with the rest of us.

I could spend days listing statistics and milestone, but this little girl is so much more than that; she is magic.  Olivia has taught me so much - through battling her medical issues; through gaining another heart to love, cherish, and protect; through watching the bond of siblings grow and flourish.  I've been able to see the world through new eyes once again with the birth of another child.  She's taught me so much about the power of perspective, and what a beautiful world it can be.  Words could never describe all that she's taught me, as so much of it comes from deep within, but I am just so, so in love with this life she has given us.


And now, a few comparisons.  The pink giraffe and monthly stickers are included in our monthly photo shoots for size reference - they really accentuate just how much she's grown.  She's worn 0-3 month onesies in all of these photos so far, though they obviously fit quite different now (another size reference point).  It's amazing how big she's getting and how much she's changed !

September 27, 2014

Project 52 {39/52}: Golden Beauty

Last weekend I took advantage of a gorgeous evening and snapped a few shots of Faith during the "golden hour" right before sunset.  It was my first time ever shooting during this time of day, and we literally chased the sun to try to get a little flare in the photos.  I was not disappointed by the amazing warm glow of this magically evening hour, and definitely plan to use it more in the future.

September 26, 2014

Thoughts on my 2014 Goals

We're still a few months out from the end of this year, but it's become quite obvious that I have long-since left behind attempts at completing my 2014 goals.  When I set these goals, I knew we would be welcoming a new baby to the family and most of them were attempts at staying organized, staying "on track" during that adjustment, as well as a few goals that were just motivation to pursue a few little fun activities throughout the year.

I've done a good job at sticking with some of my goals, and know I'll complete them with ease, but I am officially abandoning any active pursuit of these goals now.  The unexpected medical issues we've been battling these first months of Olivia's life have taken their fair share of time and energy, and now that things are finally starting to settle down I'd rather spend my time playing catch-up than pursuing a silly list of goals.  I finally have the chance to get to know this amazing little girl of mine now that her true personality is no longer overshadowed by constant pain, and I'm taking advantage of it!  As well as using some of my free time to just be still, soak up life, and just breath.

But all is not lost; this year has taught me a lot about personal goals.  As I look back over the list of goals, I know I'll complete more than half of them at year's end, even though I haven't been actively working towards them for some time now.  It's shown me what type of goals are important to me at the core, not just because I put them on the list, and what type of goals were worth pursuing in the midst of time constraints and other responsibilities.  I've always felt that the real accomplishment is in the journey, more so than the success or failure of completing the actual goal - and that sentiment has been cemented even more so this year, showing me that "success" comes from enjoying the process more than anything else.  This year has taught me what type of challenges I'm up for, the type of things that will truly help me to improve myself, and with finally coming to recognize how much I will change over the course of every twelve month timespan, I've got a better idea of what type of goals will be sustainable for an entire year.  While I may pull inspiration from other sources, I've got a better understanding of the personal aspect of personal goals.

So what am I going to do with all that knowledge?  Why, make an absolutely amazing list of resolutions to smash in 2015, of course!  Yep, already started working on them, and excited to get started on them when the new year rolls around!  ^_^