Leave her Wild

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Leave her Wild

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Valentine's Day Reads

While I am trying to purge and minimize so many things in our life. Books are not one of them. I can't help it! P gets read two stories every night and I love reading her books reflecting the current or upcoming holidays. Her current favorite is This is Not a Valentine and I'll admit it's one of my new favorites too! Any on your list for Valentine'e that I missed?

Life Lately: 2018

And just like that it's 2018 and the countdown to baby is officially in full swing. As in 13 weeks left. If I told you I wasn't slightly freaking out it would be a complete LIE. And while I do feel more prepared heading into this the second time around the thought of a newborn paired with a very feisty, opinionated 3.5 year old is rather terrifying.
The blogger/photographer in me is cringing about this selfie but #secondbaby and it's all the bump update that I've got. Dirty mirror and all! But good news is I've managed to stay much smaller this pregnancy so yay! Tiny victories!
We have begun to slightly modify P's room in preparation for the new baby. I joke around that all this baby gets is a basket instead of a bedroom! We live in a two bedroom house so that means it's time to maximize our space and prep for this little one's arrival. In fact because we live in a two bedroom house is one of the main reasons we decided to not find out the gender. I know myself well enough that if I didn't have a place to nest into over this baby it might bring on those baby blues. But in reality I need nothing. We have everything you could need for a baby so its made it a little nice to not be clogging up our space with more things. In fact I've been doing the opposite and slowly chipping away at all the clutter. Donating books that are not as loved, donating some old toys to P's preschool and just making life simpler (while adding a baby! HA! Jokes on me.)

Sometimes I worry that because no real big changes are happening at our house that P is not really getting it. But she talks about the baby, asks if it's kicking and insists it's a sister. I just hope that when the time comes to add a crib to her room she sees it as something fun as opposed to us taking something away from her (i.e. some toys, her space). It's been one of my biggest stressers this pregnancy and that is making sure that she knows still how very important she is to us. As I am sure many of you with a first born can relate.

I'm ready to slow down a bit and refocus on my family in the coming year. While I am so incredibly grateful for photography the end of the year always leaves me feeling frazzled. Working two jobs can quickly grate on you and I am ready for some much deserved and needed time off. I am looking forward to many things but mostly the first time we will get to go to the ocean as a family of four (five! Finn!). I can already feel the sand in my toes, the sea in my hair and that newborn babe snuggled tight on my chest. And more than any other vision - this one keeps me going.

So do I have any resolutions or life changing thoughts for 2018?  I don't. And for once I am more than okay with that. But I do have these goals for everyday:

Get into the frame more - I think all photographers feel this way when it comes to their own family.

Be more intentional - From time to toys and beyond. I want to meaningfully fill space and time. Less clutter. I don't need every cute thing I see (I'm looking at you Instagram!)

Be present - I am the first to admit that I am guilty of wanting more. More so in the form of space in a home that I can rip into walls and such. But I know that one day I will have that and one day I will miss all this. Be present and above all try to continue being patient. Good things come to those who wait right?

Do you have any lofty goals for the new year or are you just cruisin' on?

Holidays with Minted

This post is a collaboration between Minted x Happily Ever Parker.
All thoughts and opinions shown here, as always, are my own.
Thank you for supporting brands that support Happily Ever Parker.

It seems this holiday season I am checking everything off my holiday to do list a little late.

1. Go see Santa - status: not completed
2. Wrap presents - status: not completed
3. Drive around the neighborhood looking at lights - status: not completed
4. Build a gingerbread house - status: not completed
5. Mail out holiday cards - status: completed

Luckily there is one thing I have checked off my mile long holiday to do list and that's send out our Christmas cards. Which for me to send them out this late into December had me stressing (but hello I also didn't have a tree until the 10th!) The main reason being we didn't take any holiday photos this year (which as a photographer has me seriously bumming but that's what happens when you're busy taking everyone else's photos!)

However I had a vision in my head of what I was hoping to capture. And as can be the curses with visions - haha mine wasn't really met. However we made do with what we had and called it a day. So in case these haven't arrived in your mailbox yet. Just avert your eyes.

Year after year we buy our holiday cards from Minted. Namely because they never are lacking on adorable cards and I like having a wide array to choose from. Plus address assistant is like a godsend when it comes to addressing 90+ cards (don't even ask me why I hand wrote our address on the back this year for every.single.card!) I was torn between a couple of cute ones (here, here and here) but ultimately decided on the one below - mainly because it looks like my handwriting!

So from our family to yours we virtually wish you the happiest of holidays!!