Thursday, February 20, 2014

Digital Project Life - Thoughts and Baby Book Pages

We have 2 Project Life albums going this year, our family album and Weston’s baby book. I was having a hard time deciding which pictures to put in which album. Then decided to order multiplies of certain photos to include in both albums. Theeeeeeeen I was scrapbooking the same thing twice (once for his album and once for our family album). It started to get a little redundant, confusing, and overwhelming so I stopped. Just stopped using both systems all together.

That wasn’t good because nothing was getting documented. Weston’s milestones and fun family memories were flying by and I had nothing documented to remember them. 

I sat on it for a week or so trying to decided how I wanted to go about my little problem (yep I’m a over thinker and I research the you know what out of everything before I make a decision). I needed a fix that would simplify the process or I would find myself right back in the same spot.

My fix?

I made the jump and decided to switch his album over to the digital version of Project Life! Yep I scratched everything I had done with his album up that point and started over.

We still have 2 albums going. Our family album is the hard copy version which I LOVE and Weston’s baby album is the digital version which I also LOVE!

I will break down why I love both systems and how it’s working for us but 1st I want to share a few pages from Weston's baby book!

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New Baby Weston

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I’m so glad I decided to make the switch to digital for Weston’s baby album. This is working out tons better than what I was doing it before!

What I’m loving about digital:
-It’s easy! I just sit down and get started. Not need to order prints or get the album out.
-Love how easy it is to crop photos. I’m working with large files that I can crop how I want with just the click of a button. It makes it simple to use landscape shots in the smaller vertical slots if I choose.
-No need to plan layouts. Well at least I don’t with digital. I just sit down pick the photos that I want to use and bam! With the hard copy version I find myself planning what photos are going to go where a little more than I do with digital layouts.
-Hello spell check!
-No need to worry wasting journaling cards due to messy handwriting!
-Umm and did I say spell check?
-There's tons of free digital goodies you can easily include in you album to jazz it up a little.
-Fun fonts to use in your layouts

While I am digging the digital format the hard copy version is still very near and dear to my heart!

What I love about the hard copy version:
-Love having an actual album to flip through throughout the year verses files that I need to open and look at. With the digital album you have to wait until your album is complete and printed before you get that satisfaction.
-I LOVE that I can include things like handwritten letters, ticket stubs, recipes, printed blog post and things of this nature. You can also include these in a digital album but they would need to be scanned and either used in a template or you would need to create a layout to include them and then you wont have the actual piece in your album to enjoy in the future.  
-I find working on our hard copy album to be much more therapeutic than the digital version. Maybe it’s the paper I get to play with, flipping through the pages as I work on them, having actual photos in my hands to work with..…not sure what it is but I always feel very relaxed while working on our family album.
- It’s not on the computer! That’s a BIG positive for me. As a photographer I’m on the computer ALL. THE. TIME. and spend a majority of my workday in PhotoShop. While I don’t mind working on our digital album as much as I thought I would it’s still really nice to be off the computer while I work on our family album. With that being said I can pack up my album and work on it anywhere!
-It’s easier for me to get the hubs involved in the album.  I’m sure this will be the same for Weston down the road as I hope to include him in the process as well!
-Tons easier to include text on journaling cards than the digital version. I just grab a pen and jot down what I want to say. No need to think about font selection, font size and spacing.
-I’m better at writing down random stories and things I want to remember on the hardcopy journaling cards. I just grab a card when I want to document something then hold onto it until I’m ready to include it in a layout.

Both versions have their strong points and I’m really enjoying working with each format! I can see sticking with using both formats in the future as I want to do a yearly roundup album for Weston so he has albums to take when he’s older. I’m sure he would rather store a sleek printed digital album as the Project Life albums are a bit bulky! I don’t mind that though!

What about you? Are you a Project Life fan? If so what format do you use?

Wondering what in the world Project Life is? Visit Becky’s blog which is full of info about her awesome product!   

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Weston’s 5 Month Update

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Little impromptu photo shoot during our Valentine’s Day adventure! The perfectionist in me wishes he was wearing something else for these photos but we’re trying to teach the perfectionist to “Let it Go”, remember?

Weston turned 5 months old on the February 17th! I know every parent says this but I honestly can not believe it! How is my little nugget that was just kicking me from the inside 5 months old! I still can’t wrap my head around it. I’m a mommy to a baby or as I say to Kent “He’s a real baby. We have a realllllll baby!”

Yep being a mommy is still all very “pinch me”. I keep thinking it will become old news but I’m not there yet!

Height/Weight: He’s 19.5lbs and 26 1/2 inches long last we checked but it’s been awhile so I’m thinking he’s grown since then. I call him my little chunk! He’s got the cutest chubby cheeks, and pudgy legs that I can’t stop kissing.

Daily: He’s usually up for the day around 8. He’s super snuggly in the morning so we cuddle/play in bed until he’s fully awake and ready to eat. I would love to say that we have our routine down but really it changes every few weeks. It’s pretty much eat, play, eat, play eat, mini nap, eat, play, play, play, bath time, snuggle, eat, and then bed time around 9:30. We were rocking the schedule until he turned 4 months then he started teething and it all went downhill from there. We’ve yet to find out way back. I keep trying though!  He’s not really a sleeper. He wakes up happy and refreshed from 30 or 45 minutes nap. On the flip side he usually sleeps from 9:30pm until 6am has a little dream feed then back to sleep until 8am. Even though he’s not really a napper we’re grateful that he’s pretty good about sleeping through the night. Notice I’ve used the words “usually” and typically” a lot in this section. Yeah well that’s because it really is a tossup most days. I believe that babies thrive on a schedule but at this stage we’re having a hard time nailing our schedule down. We do however have a ballpark routine hehehehe!

Weston is an active little dude, gets bored quickly and needs constant attention. He’s not a chill baby whatsoever. His pediatrician recommended that we use baby centers throughout the day. That was a genius idea and is helping his fussiness during the day.

He really enjoys his baby jumper, his excuser (for a few minutes), and if you catch him in the right mood he’ll play with his activity gym. He’s LOVES music. We sing to him a lot. His favorite song is “I’m a Little Tea Pot”. He grins ear to ear when I sing that to him. When he’s really feeling it he’ll move his head right to left while I’m singing, soooo cute!  Our house sounds like a Broadway musical most days as Kent and I often talk to each other in a sing-songy voice. Which then turns into a competition of who can come up with the best song. I usual win but Kent will tell you the opposite!  Kent is actually singing to him right now as I type this! Along with the whole singing thing Weston really enjoys Hoopla Kidz on YouTube! Hoopla Kidz is a channel full of nursery rhymes with fun colorful videos. He’s been into that for a month or so now!

Eating: This is another thing that’s all over the place. Some days he eats a ton other days he’ll take 4 bottles and that’s it. He’s been doing pretty well the last week though. On average he eats every 4 hours unless he’s down for the night. We’re still breastfeeding and using formula due to my low milk supply. We’ve let him suck on a cucumber slice, a pear, and a lime (because we’re mean). He super interested in food. It cracks me up that he knows exactly what to do with it. We’re waiting until 6 months to start fully introducing solids but I’m not going to lie it’s going to be hard waiting until then as I think he’s ready now. Our pediatrician said their system is not ready to break down food just yet so we’ll hold off until she gives us the go!

Clothing: He wears 9 months, 9-12 months, and some 12 month stuff. It really depends on where it’s from. The sizing is all so different depending on the brand. We still love Baby Gap. Their clothes fit him really well (length wise)! I’m getting ready to put away all his 3-6, and 6 month clothing which has been harder than his other sizes. He has so many cute things in the 3-6 month rage I keep pulling things out of the “to store” pile thinking he can still fit them but nope! He’s not my little itty-bitty any more. What am I saying he’s never been itty-bitty! I’m getting excited about summer! I can’t wait to get him his 1st swimsuit I love when it’s warm and I can just leave him in a diaper. That way I have easy access to kiss all the sweet rolls!  

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Milestones: Oh my gosh he’s doing so many neat things right now which is the reason I really wanted to do an update this month. Each stage is special in its own way but we’re really enjoying all the fun things he’s doing right now!

-2 bottom teeth. We all worked hard for those teethers!
-Can roll over from back to tummy
-Sitting up all on his own! I wouldn’t leave him unsupervised sitting up but he’s doing awesome and I can officially call him a sitter! He’s really good at correcting his balance when we starts leaning to one side or the other.
-Sitting in a high chair and shopping cart big boy style!
-Giggling, smiling, and talking up a storm!
-Grabbing and manipulating things with his hands. He super fast with is little chubby hands. We have to make sure all plates and cups are way out of his reach when we’re eating.
-Gives kisses when you say “Kisses!” They’re always open mouthed and full of baby droll which melts me!
-Blowing raspberries, sticking his tongue out and making tooting sounds, and doing the thing where you say “Ahhhh” and pat your hand on your mouth. I pat my hand on his mouth and he says “Ahhhhh”. I don’t know if that’s an actual a thing or just something we’ve always done with babies. I need to get it on video because it’s stinking cute!
- Reaching out to be picked up
-Gets upset when you take something from him! I have a feeling he’s going to be one of those kids that falls to the floor when you tell him no. We call him out little drama king.
-Not loving strangers right now. He used to be Mr. Smiley anytime anyone would talk to him. Now when a stranger talks to him he goes into observer mode. People try so hard to get him in to smile but he looks back with a blank stare. If someone is holding him that he doesn’t know he’s usually ok for a couple minutes especially if I’m close by but a few minutes in he’ll have a meltdown until he’s back with mommy or daddy.  
-Grabs and plays with this feet
-Standing with help from mom and dad. He’s done this since he was tiny but I can tell his legs are getting stronger. When I hold his hands and walk with him he’ll put one foot in front of the other and walk with me.
-Loves playing peekaboo
-Knows his name which is shocking because we have a million different nicknames we call him!

Nicknames: Little Buddy, Nugget, Sugars, Little Love, Clementine, Sugar Snap Pea, Sugar Bear, Little Chunk, Lil Tomato Head, Shugs, Wild Child, Cuddle Bug 

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Personality: Oh boy does he have a big one! We’re really starting to see his personality shine bright! I know he’s going to be his own little person but I can see glimpses of both Kent and I.  We call him our little sensitive soul. He’s emotional and very quick to react weather he’s upset, happy, unsure, frustrated, he’s not shy about it and he’ll let you know loud and clear. He can go from giggling to a full on cry fest in a matter of seconds. I have a feeling we’re going to have to be very creative with how we parent this little stinker. I can see him being one of those kids that gets super embarrassed and falls to the floor when they get in trouble. It will be interesting to see if I’m right.

He must be busy! He’s not one to sit and chill. He likes to be played with and on the go go go! He’s always up for an outing and is usually pretty good when we’re out of the house. Now that he can ride in a shopping cart it’s a whole new world for him. He’s right in the middle of the action which is his favorite place to be. If he can be in our arms and in the middle of the action then he’s on could 9.  

He’s definitely a goofball and loves having your undivided attention and likes when you play silly with him (funny sounds, silly faces, dancing). If you’re laughing he’s usually laughing right along with you. We call him our wild child! He LOVES to be thrown in the air, sliding down my legs, “pretend” dropping, going crazy in his baby jumper. Any kind of quick sudden movement he’s all about it but only if mommy and daddy are the ones doing it. If someone else does it he’ll freak.

There’s only a few select toys (crinkle book, baby Einstein music toy, and his monkey lovie) that he can pay with without flipping out. Toys frustrate him! If he can’t get the toy or his hands to do what he wants he goes off the deep end. I’m hoping he grows out of this. Right now mommy daddy and Brady are his favorite toys.

He’s an observer. He’s a silly one and can be having fun and giggling but when something different happens (new person, new room, anything he’s not used to) he’ll go into what we call “observer mode” which cracks me up. He’s whole face changes and he flicks on that focus switch. I seriously think he has more focus than I do sometimes which is pretty sad. He can stare a hole into something trying to figure out what’s going on. It’s so neat to see his wheels turning! This is something that he gets from his daddy!

I can’t wait to see how all these little quirks shape him when he’s older. For now I can only guess. Kent and I have always had the big nature versus nurture debate. Now that I’m a parent I really feel that a lot of it is nature. He’s had many of these qualities since he came into the world. At the time I didn’t know but he’s little personality was already shining through! One thing is for certain we love this little boy to pieces. We are beyond blessed to have this little chubby, giggly, fussy, nugget in our lives! He’s changing me for the better and teaching me things about life you would expect to learn from a 5 month old. Being a mommy to Weston is my favorite role and fills my heart with more joy that I could imagine.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Plans For The Day And My <3 Challenge For You


Happy Love day everyone!
Hope your day is full of all things pink and red and mixed with tons of ooey gooey love!

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Kent has the day off so we’re going to a swank coffee house/café for breakfast  then off to do a little flea market shopping (yep I’m sure I’ll be sharing the day with y’all via Instagram)! Of course our favorite little Valentine will be along for the ride! We love taking him on adventures.

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Today I challenge YOU to……….
Give someone a big tight hug,
Pass along a sweet compliment to a stranger.
Offer to help if you see an opportunity.
Tell those you love at least 3 things you love about them 
Find 3 ways to spread love to others
annnnnd
Think of 5 things you love about your self!

Let’s pass on a little extra love today!

 

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Ps… I know he’s going to kill me for taking these pics when he’s older but for now I’m going to enjoy that cute little bum all I can!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What’s Inside My Box–Valentine’s Box Swap Roundup

 

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This year’s Valentine’s Box Swap was a blast! I’m so glad y’all talked me into doing it! I almost let the busyness of motherhood stop me from hosting but it was actually really fun to have a project to work on outside of mommy stuff! 

Something else that made it a lot of fun this year was the participant involvement! Folks that joined in our swap took photos of the process and shared them with us! I loved seeing everyone put their boxes together and of course seeing what everybody received in their box. Seeing everyone get involved just added to the joy of it all!

Want to know what my super sweet buddy sent me? I opened it on camera so we can all enjoy it together!

Post vlog baby selfie shoot! Winking smile

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I picked a few of my favorite participant photos to share!  
If you’re account is set to private I wasn’t able to see your photos even if you hashtagged or tagged me in them.

 

Sweet little loves helping their mamas shop!

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My shopping buddy Smile

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Crafting and getting boxes ready for their buddies!

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How awesome are these pot holders?

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The box I sent to my buddy! All wrapped up and ready to go!

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Sweet babies getting in on the swap box action!

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If this doesn’t say love I don’t know what does. We’re all busy. We all have stuff going on but the fact that these ladies took the time to loving put together a Valentine’s swap box personalized for their buddy well that’s just special and dripping in love!

Boxes are starting to arrive! It’s so fun to see what everyone put together for their buddies.
Here are a few photos of received boxes that have been shared so far.

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The box I sent to my buddy! Hi Brittiany!

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Weston mailed his 1st Valentine cards and sent a little love to all the Valentine Swap Box participants!

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So much fun!

Thanks again to everyone who participated! If you would like to see more photos from the swap check out the hashtag #valentinesboxswap on Instagram. I have a feeling more photos will be shared as boxes continue to arrive.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a special Valentine’s Post!

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Boy and His Dog

Brady has blown our minds with how awesome he is with Weston. Really it’s pretty shocking!
We were really worried while I was pregnant that he wouldn’t handle a new baby well but boy oh boy were we wrong! 

I’ve heard so many horror stories about how awful Border Collies are with children and we witnessed several behavioral problems that really had us concerned. Kent and I were committed to making it work (we love our Brady Boy) so we started working him early on in my pregnancy. While we made it a focus to really work on Brady’s behavior I’m not so sure that we can take any credit for the bond between these two. It’s pretty special.

The way Weston lights up and giggles when he sees Brady. How he reaches out his tiny hand to touch him. How Brady lays next to him while he’s playing and give him sweet kisses on his ears and little fingers.

It’s beyond precious!

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This is the doorway into my office.
I was working on a few emails and looked back to check on Weston and saw this.
So glad my camera was next to me!

These two make my heart all warm and mushy.

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My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet. 

~Edith Wharton

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Baby Boy Consignment Haul

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I had major luck consignment shopping for Weston so I figured a baby boy consignment haul was in order!
Weston the No Nap Bandit is in the vlog with me so I fly through it but you get the gist.

 

Good stuff huh?

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I forgot to show the Nike’s I found. He’ll need to grow into them but for $10 I couldn’t pass them up!
Sooooo stinking cute!

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Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Bloguary Round Up and Plans for the Blog

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Bloguary has come to an end.

I did pretty good. Only missed a handful of days. When you consider what we dealt with last month (fussy baby becomes teething fussy baby, fussy teething baby decides naps are not for him, fussy teething tired baby decides to start waking up every couple of hours screaming during the night, no outside help, husband works long hours, all of us coming down with a nasty cold) I think my accomplishment is worthy of a high five! Yep!

I’ve been blogging for almost 6 years (WHAT!?!) but I feel like I learned quite a bit about myself and this old blog during Bloguary.

What I’ve learned:
*I enjoy blogging and want to continue posting on a more regular basis.
*I have this weird urge to share the mundane along with random thoughts that run through my mind. I guess I’ve always been that way. I love documenting life and sharing it with others weather it be in the form of photography, blogging, or vlogging. I enjoy it all!  
*I want to focus on putting out quality content. Every now and then I put up a post and think “Oh that was a good one.” but there are a few “What the what” post thrown in the mix as well. I want to work on post weeks in advance so I have time to fine tune them instead of typing them up and hitting publish. 
*I would love to connect with other bloggers! Maybe schedule a guest blogger or guest blog for others.
*I’m pretty sure I’m going to change the name of the blog. I’ve grown in these last 5 years. My content is changing. My life is in a different place. I think a new blog name along with a new layout is fitting. I’ve also been toying with the idea of switching to Wordpress (still thinking on that one). I have the new name picked out and I’m currently deciding which direction I want to go with the new layout. A blog facelift seems fitting right now.
*I would love to connect with my readers more. Do I even have “readers” not sure but if you’re out there I would love to connect with you. Yes YOU…..taps screen with pointed finger. I really enjoy Instagram and the ability to chat with folks that follow us. We have a lot of fun and I’ve met some great people through ig. I would love to have the same chatter here as well! I want to hear from you. Your opinions on post. What you want to see on the blog. I blog for myself but I also blog for you! Unless you’re mean and want to bash just to be nasty then yeah I don’t really want to hear from you.  

What does all this mean:
Last year I was not the best blogger. I posted here and there but I have a feeling I’ve posted more in the last month then I did in all of 2013. I don’t want that to be the same for 2014. I plan to fix this by getting on a blog schedule. Kent (the hubs) recommends that I don’t do this. “Don’t commit, just post more often.” he said. But I do best when I have a schedule and know what I’m working towards. If it’s not planned it may or may not happen. Soooooo I’m committing to posting at least 2 times a week for the next 2 months. Why am I only committing to a schedule for 2 months? Well I want to make sure it’s a good fit for us. Maybe the days aren’t the best for our schedule or I decide I want to post more/less. The next 2 moths are a trial run for the future!

What’s the schedule: 
For the next 2 months you can visit blog on Tuesdays and Thursdays around 8am cst and see new content!

What to expect:
My blogging style will stay the same. I really don’t want to be a niche blogger focusing on cooking or crafting. While bloggers that blog about 1 subject are awesome it’s just not my drive, nope. I love being able to blog about anything and everything that tickles my fancy OR topics that you would like me to blog about! So expect to see a little bit of this and little bit of that! If I had to pick a genre as a blogger I would say this is a mix bag blog!

Something a little different is that I will be including more vlogs from time to time. I started testing this out during Bloguary and really enjoyed it. Sometimes it’s easier for me to press record and tell a story verses finding the words to type it out.

This year I will be taking you along my journey…….
as a new mommy
my happiness project
loosing the baby weight
among other new and fun things my family and I will be going through this year!

Bloguary has come to an end but a new journey is beginning! I hope you’ll continue to follow along! I’ll see you back here on Thursday with a new post!

A Few of My Favorite Bloguary Post:
How I’m Dealing With My Perfectionism
Moment From Our Day
The Day That Changed Everything
Hanging with the Huie’s
Awkward Photo Day
I Can’t Believe
Thanksgiving in Arkansas
A Boy and Hit Toy
My Breastfeeding Story
Surviving Teething the Update


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