Sweet Adalee keeps growing! In fact, I realized I’m about to shoot 9-month photos of her, so what better time to post her 6-month shoot? This shoot took place at Ellington Agricultural Center in Nashville. The light was gorgeous and she was as cute as ever.

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Fall is approaching, and I’m excited to think about planning Nashville Fall Mini Sessions and to showcase some of the beautiful people I’ve had the honor of photographing this summer. Get ready, because the blog is back in action with lots of sweet families, gorgeous couples, and oh-so-cute kiddos! I’d love to introduce you to my friend, Kristen and her family. Kristen won a free session here on the blog over a year ago, and after several hilarious failed attempts we finally were able to schedule a session, just before they moved across the pond for six months. Now they are in Cambridge, enjoying city life and the longest winter ever. What a dream it would be to venture over and capture just a simple day in the life of this sweet family… bicycling around town, studying at the library, exploring parks, and enjoying English culture! While I dream, enjoy these summer photos… here are a few favorites from our time together in Birmingham (Alabama, not England! :))

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August 2014 Goals

August 1, 2014 — Leave a comment

Happy July, I mean August! I usually work hard to post my goals around the first of the month… but I missed a whole month. July was a whirlwind. Why, you ask? Because this happened…

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And getting our home ready to sell involved involved lots and lots of cleaning, de-cluttering (check that off my list for the past few months and months!), painting, cleaning, scrubbing, buying, returning, painting, cleaning, and well, you get the drift! And then our house sold within just a few short days! {Insert plug for our amazing realtor, Alex, of Helton Real Estate Group.}

Meanwhile, we took some engagement photos of a beautiful couple, had some fun summer family photos taken of our little family, went to Mississippi for the family reunion, and so much more. This weekend we are off to visit family and celebrate milestone birthdays, as well as introduce Rachel to a host of extended family and friends. If you think of it, would you pray for me today? I have a bit of anxiety about traveling with an 8-month-old!

So, where does that leave us for August? Here are a few of my goals for the month:

  • Take a trip to California.
  • Pack up our house.
  • Move into the basement.
  • Close on our land and finalize plans for our new home.
  • Take a fun little weekend beach trip with friends! :-D
  • Establish a little bit of a routine in our in-between home.

And I’ll leave you with a few sweet images from our family reunion in Mississippi!

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Lauren and Codie are such an incredibly fun couple! I love watching them interact with one another and have fun together. I first met them at Erin & Bryan’s wedding last summer, where Lauren was a bridesmaid and Codie caught the garter! They will tie the knot this December, and Nic & I are so excited to document their Christmas wedding. For their engagement shoot, we went to downtown Murfreesboro and a park nearby. The weather turned out perfect. Codie was a collegiate golfer so you’ll see a couple of hints of his love for golf in this shoot. :) Lauren & Codie, can’t wait for your wedding!

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Excited to share these one-year-old photos with you today! Between a beautiful family and some gorgeous light, I can’t ask for a much better opportunity to document this fun milestone. It feels like just yesterday I was photographing Noah’s sweet newborn session.

 

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I love shooting newborn sessions at home. I love capturing a few moments of life with a brand new little one. The family may not be frolicking in a field of wild flowers, but I love to capture how siblings interact, how parents love on their little ones, and the sweet details of new babies. Baby June, or “Baby Dune” as big sister calls her, is a sweet little one, just born a few weeks ago. (You may remember Harper’s 2-year photos from a couple of weeks ago.) Check out a few, or maybe a lot, of my favorites from their in-home newborn session with baby June.

 

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June 2014 Goals

June 3, 2014 — Leave a comment

Happy June! Let’s be honest, I’m a little bummed that May is over… it’s my birthday month, it was my first Mother’s Day, and a busy but fun month for us in the Teasley home. Last month I completed a mini contentment challenge with Victoria. I learned quite a bit about myself. I learned that I don’t really shop much at all since having Rachel. However, I do often buy things without thinking hard about their purpose and if the purchase is really necessary. I also learned that I turn to food, namely sugar and carbs, when I’m stressed or bored. So, in the middle of this contentment challenge, I decided to do start a Whole 30 challenge. What is the Whole 30? It’s basically eating nothing but whole foods for 30 days — mostly veggies and meats with some fruits and nuts. No sugar, no dairy, no grains, no potatoes, soy, corn, additives, etc. I’m on Day 15 and it’s actually been fun. It hasn’t been easy, and I’ve spend a LOT more time in the kitchen preparing food. However, I’ve learned about so many more fun foods to cook, and I’ve enjoyed the yummy tastes of things I didn’t notice before because I was drowning in all those carbs. This isn’t a whole 30 post, so I’ll stop there, but I would love to chat about it more if you’re interested! May was a month of discovery and introspection, and I’m feeling excited about carrying some of that over to June. Nic took me on a little golf outing for my birthday, and had someone clean our home while we were out! YAY!!! My parents came to visit a couple of times, baby Rachel was dedicated at church (which deserves a post of its own), we picked strawberries with friends, and I photographed a fun radio event at the Johnny Cash Museum in downtown Nashville! Needless to say, we were busy. Oh, and Rachel cut TWO teeth this month, and is now a much happier camper! :)

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I want to be more present in June, so my goals are a bit more centered around family and friends than photography and work.

JUNE GOALS:

I have the cutest little girl to introduce to you today! Oh how excited I am to share this sweet session. Harper turned two a couple months back, and I was honored to have the chance to capture some images of this sweet stage. She is such a fun and silly girl with a big heart. She loves to smile and play. Harper also just met her baby sister only a couple weeks after this shoot, so chances are you’ll get to meet baby June here on the blog very soon!

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I’m excited to start a new and probably sporadic, series on the blog! It’s called “Meet My Friend…” and will showcase some of the amazing people the Lord has placed in my life! I seriously have some incredibly talented friends who are doing amazing things. A few of them even trust me enough to hire me, which is such a blessing! Chandra is a friend I met through Making Things Happen last Spring. I’m so blessed to know her, and am amazed at her talent. I’ll let her share a little about what she does, and I’ll share some images I took of her and her work!

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Meredith: Tell everyone a little about yourself… you family, background, what fires you up!

Chandra: I’m originally a Midwest gal being born and raised in small town Ohio.  I met my now husband Eric at Miami University (we’re “Miami Mergers”) and we headed south to Nashville so I could attend graduate school at Vanderbilt.  We’ve lived here 7 years now and have a sweet (almost) 2 year old southern gentleman named Lincoln.  My family definitely lights my heart on fire.  But second to that is my passion for education, encouraging other teachers in the profession and a really good food truck (hello to the Grilled Cheeserie!)

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M: What is C Jayne Teach?

Chandra: C. Jayne Teach is a blog and a shop intended to give a fresh perspective to our seasoned profession by encouraging all teachers to work hard, organize their plans and processes and focus on making the most out of their time in the classroom.   I want to inspire teachers to concentrate on the passion that called them to teach in the first place and use that fuel to inspire their students and the future young minds of the world. C. Jayne Teach is there to offer simple classroom solutions so teachers can focus more on what matters most to them and always make each day count.

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Meredith: What made you decide to start an online shop for teachers?

Chandra: I used to spend every evening and every weekend in my classroom.  Honestly it burnt me out and made me not want to teach anymore (and I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was 8).  So I started to create products and classroom solutions for myself to use in order to organize and focus my time in the classroom.  That way I could go home and spend time with my family and feel refreshed when I’d head back in the morning.  After Lincoln was born I wanted to offer these solutions to teachers everywhere, so I created my shop and blog!

Meredith: Where do you get your inspiration for new designs and products?

Chandra: Most of it was created when I was in the classroom as a first grade teacher.  But new things are always being created because I now teach at the collegiate level and I see the need products that will serve new teachers entering into the profession.  There is a need now more than ever for teachers to stay focused because things are constantly changing and the level of accountability gets higher and higher each year.

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Meredith: What sets your products apart? What makes them unique?

Chandra: All of my products are created by a teacher for teachers.  I constantly receive positive feedback from teachers that use these products in their classroom and say that “finally someone gets it”.  Because I’ve been there.  I’ve felt the pressure of the profession and figured out how to be good and your job and still fill your heart up with your family and friends in your free time.  And now I’m sharing it with others. For example, I created the Teacher Anchor™.  It’s a planning system for teachers that allows them to streamline their processes and procedures, plan for all their students and monitor each student as an individual at the same time.  There’s nothing like that on the market like that.  Sure, there are hundreds of lesson planners, but none that are a “system” focused on the sole purpose of being intentional with your time. And that’s invaluable. Teachers see that and the Anchors flew off the shelf last year. They sold out in just under six weeks and I expect that time period to be even faster this year (pre-orders are open right now!)

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Meredith: What are some of your favorite things to do with your family?

Chandra: I love to soak up time exploring Nashville.  This is such a wonderful city and I know we won’t be here forever (Ohio calls our name louder and louder each year).  But for now I love to visit the zoo and the botanical gardens and watch Lincoln explore and learn new things.  And when we can sneak out for a date night, Eric and I love to visit new restaurants or see a concert at the Ryman.  There is just so much to do here and I love exploring it all.

Meredith: What one piece of advice would you offer to new moms?
Chandra: You are doing a great job. And not every day will be perfect. That’s okay. I’m sure you’ve heard that “the days are long but the years are short” and it couldn’t be more true. There are joys and challenges with every season but you’ve got this.
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Meredith: What advice would you give to new business owners or people who want to start their own business?

Chandra:  “Do what you can with what you have, where you are.”  So often we see fancy websites and expensive collateral but try not to get caught up in that.  Figure out where you want to invest your money and your time and go from there.  You can’t do it all at once, but as your business grows, you’ll be able to add products or services or even those pretty letterpress business cards you want.  But for now just start and don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. Also, seek out and learn from as many entrepreneurs as you can.  Take a webinar, visit a workshop, but learn from others (and pay them to share their knowledge – seriously, no one wants to give away their intellectual property for free! :))  I’ve learned the most about my business from people who have walked this path before me.  And it’s been so beneficial.

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And aren’t her resources for teachers just incredible and beautiful? I’ll never forget Chandra coming to visit me at my house just a couple of weeks after giving birth to Rachel. She shared those words, “You’re doing a great job,” and that simple phrase meant the world to me as a brand new mom! I’m so thankful for her wisdom as a mom herself and fellow business owner. She is working hard to make life happen and focus on what matters most. So excited about what my friends like Chandra are making happen! Now, go check out her work!

For Mother’s Day this year, my sister-in-law and I collaborated on a secret project for my mom! She’s always wanted pictures of her two granddaughters together, and every time we’ve gotten them together, I’ve been wrangling a newborn or feeding her or something other than grabbing my camera and taking pictures of cute kids. So, we decided to pick a time to do just that! We knew mom loved the rustic look of old cabins and sweet little bare feet with beautiful dresses. It was so much fun to do this shoot and took everything I had not to spill the beans! We spilled them a little bit, but she was so excited to get her gorgeous prints in the mail – both an album and some professional prints to frame for her house. I’m so thankful for my mom and all that she means to us, and blessed to be able to give her a gift that reminds her of the joys of being a Nana! We love you so much, mom! Enjoy your pictures!

 

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May 2014 Goals

May 7, 2014 — Leave a comment

Happy May! I love May and couldn’t imaging not blogging my May goals. It’s been a challenge, though, because so far May is winning and I am not. Life has been crazy busy! However, I firmly believe that God works in all things! Today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!) I am very thankful for the way He orchestrated my day, allowing circumstances to change and a few extra minutes for me to post here.

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This month will continue to be crazy with weddings, engagement sessions, and “watch me grow” sessions to shoot, in addition to editing some already-completed sessions, and wearing other hats like being a writer for some fun kids curriculum for LifeWay! So, I don’t have many goals for the month other than surviving and introducing baby Rachel to some new foods. :)

MAY GOALS:

  • Enjoy my first Mother’s Day as a mom
  • Dedicate Rachel (and ourselves as parents) to the Lord with our church family
  • Shoot lots of sessions (Yay for weddings and engagements happening!)
  • Keep up with editing those sessions
  • Shoot Rachel’s 6-month photos
  • Edit and PRINT Rachel’s photos from the first 6 months
  • Walk or workout 3x each week
  • Make some yummy baby food when my mom comes to visit
  • Complete a contentment challenge with Victoria
  • Celebrate my BIRTHDAY!

Being a mom is the toughest thing I have ever done in my life. It’s so rewarding, but far from easy! Early in my pregnancy I was absolutely clueless about what many baby products were for, much less which ones I would actually need! I asked for help from friends, took friends with me to register, and read up on lots of new baby stuff. By nature Nic and I are both researchers, so we did our fair share of research to find what we were looking for or what we thought we would need. We also took lots of recommendations from friends. But, let’s be honest, even those recommendations can be a bit overwhelming! Throw out a post on Facebook asking, “What’s the best car seat to get?” and you’ll get 65 different recommendations, all for great car seats. So, after our first 6 months with baby Rachel and lots of trial and error, I thought I’d share my favorite baby products. Each of these things has helped me in some way as a new mom or just made life easier/simpler in general. In no particular order…

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[[Thanks to Victoria for creating this graphic for me! ]]
This blanket boasts that it will help lengthen sleep time and reduce colic. It is worth every penny! Rachel was a squirmer, but stayed in this until about 14 weeks. We tried a normal swaddle and the SwaddleMe velcro blankets. All of them worked for us, but this was by far the best.


2. MOMS ON CALL
Y’all. If I had to pick only one item, this would be it. Hear me when I say that sleep training and sleep methods are some of the most controversial aspects of motherhood (I had no clue!!!) Everyone has a different opinion, and different things work for different people, so if you have something that works for you, great! As a brand new mom who was clueless and exhausted, I needed a plan, a schedule, a goal to work toward. Moms on Call helps with a “typical day” schedule for baby that changes as she grows. Following their plan and their tips for sleep, along with their night time routine, Rachel slept through the night at 7 weeks, and has been sleeping 11-12 hours since about three months. She had hardly any trouble with the “4-month sleep regression” and we haven’t had to “cry it out” more than 10-15 minutes. Naps aren’t perfect, and every night isn’t perfect, but we love her schedule! It works! The Moms on Call book also helps with starting solid foods, first aid, bathing, and more! Their toddler book also addresses how to keep a newborn on schedule with an older sibling.

Once we “dropped the swaddle” when Rachel could wiggle out of it, we moved straight a sleep sack. She loves it! Sleep sacks are the perfect option after you are done swaddling. We love them so much that we currently have three!

4. PLAY MAT
We love our play mat! This has been a great tool for helping Rachel learn to play independently. She’s been playing on the mat since about 4-5 weeks. It’s good for tummy time as well as just laying on her back and playing with the toys above. I love that you can add whatever toys you’d like. Several friends gave us clip-on toys so we can change these out to keep her from getting bored.

5. BABY JOGGER CITY MINI GT
We did lots of stroller research and this is the one we landed on. We ended up scoring it locally at a discount store, still in the box, which was a great find! I love that the stroller is light and easy to maneuver. I take it on walks, to the zoo, shopping, etc. Because the seat reclines, I was able to put Rachel forward facing at about 4 and half months. You can also purchase an infant carrier or car seat attachment, which I loved using in the early days!

6.
ERGO
A baby carrier is super to have when you need two hands! Since Rachel was born in November, I carried her in this quite often outdoors in those first few weeks. We went for short walks in the neighborhood and she would even sleep in it while I made dinner or worked around the house, or when Nic did work at the computer. The Ergo carrier is so comfortable, and a lot easier to use than I expected. The infant insert was great in the winter. For summer babies, I’m afraid it would be a little hot. We love it, and I still wear it to the grocery store or when I’m out running quick errands and don’t want to take in the car seat.

7. HONEST DIAPERS
Diapers were yet another thing I did researched quite a bit. Nic and I decided to give Honest Company diaper bundles a try and see what we thought. Right now, we love it! I can pick out the diapers I want for Rachel, and update sizes as needed. I can even specify which day I want the diapers to ship to us. I love that Rachel hasn’t had diaper rash (hello, mom’s ultra sensitive skin), and can wear cute, fun diapers that actually aren’t quite so bad on the environment. I knew I didn’t have the patience for cloth diapers, but these are a great alternative. Yes, they are a little more expensive than traditional diapers, but the difference isn’t as much as you’d think when adding up what you’d spend on name brand diapers and wipes each month.

8. ANGELCARE MONITOR
I really have a love-hate relationship with the Angelcare monitor. It tracks your baby’s breathing and movement, alarming when it does not sense movement for 20 seconds. In those early days, it helped me sleep so well, because I knew that it was going to alarm if something were wrong. However, we’ve had more than a few false alarms. The first false alarm even caused Nic a wrist injury as he lept out of the bed at 4am to check on her. Did I mention that he’s the best dad in the world?!?! That first alarm was so scary, which is where the “hate” side of this relationship comes in. When baby moves to the edge of the crib, where the pad can’t sense movement, the number of alarms greatly increase. Either way, we highly recommend a monitor, and we also love our video monitor from Motorola. The Angelcare also works with the sensing pad turned off, as a normal monitor, which we enjoy.

9. SNAP AND GO STROLLER
I picked up one of these at a consignment sale for $10, and it’s been so nice! This super lightweight stroller allows you to just snap in your infant car seat. It’s perfect if I’m running inside the bank, or need to pick up a prescription. Those quick errands don’t really call for a big jogging stroller, or taking the time to get baby out of the car seat and into the Ergo, so I simple move the car seat from the car to the stroller. It’s so easy! And, the basket underneath is nice and large. This particular one works with most any brand of car seat.

10. BOON GRASS and STEM
If you’re a nursing mom who needs to pump, or you’re feeding baby with a bottle at all, you’ll need some place to put all those bottles and parts. I didn’t think I’d enjoy a silly accessory like this as much as I have, but it’s been awesome next to the kitchen sink. We recently found the stem attachment which has been super for those smaller pieces! Early on, we started giving Rachel a nightly bottle, and I still pump a couple of times each day, so we use this like crazy! It also helps keep baby’s stuff from getting mixed up with all your other dishes.

There are so many more products that I absolutely love! Honorable mention has to go to a few more things:

  • A good lactation consultant, if you’re going to breastfeed. Jackie came to my house the first full day I was home from the hospital… it was the best thing that happened to us that first week!
  • A support group. I’m so thankful for many sweet friends who I can ask for advice. I’m also part of a Facebook Group of moms who help answer each other’s questions. Many of these ladies have used Moms on Call, so I can always ask about specifics, as well as random questions or suggestions.
  • Lots and lots of burp cloths! My amazing mom made quite a few for us out of the old-fashioned cloth diapers with some rick rack or flannel sewn on.
  • The 4Moms Mamaroo. Rachel didn’t love it as much as we hoped, but it helped for more than a few naps, especially in the early weeks.
  • Consignment sales. I love shopping, and I love deals. This is the perfect combination!
  • A photographer for your newborn and milestone photographs! I happen to know one! ;)

What were your life-saver items as a new mom? Leave a comment and share!

Celebrating Easter!

April 16, 2014 — Leave a comment

It’s Easter week, and we are excited to celebrate with family in just a few days. I thought I’d take a few minutes to share a fun little Easter session with y’all. This was shot at The Waters just outside of Montgomery, Alabama. The day was pretty gloomy but this cute one brightened it up, and the setting was gorgeous!

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I can’t believe it’s already time for Anna Claire to turn one! It feels like just yesterday that I was shooting her parents’ maternity session… her newborn photos… and her 6-month session. This little one is such a doll, and her mom has fabulous taste in clothes. Each outfit she picked for this session is just adorable. It’s been a joy to watch Anna Claire grow over the past year. Here are a few favorites from our one-year session.

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I’m excited to share another recent newborn session. Gabby Jo’s mom is a sweet friend (who happened to also graciously host my baby shower for Rachel in her home!), and I was thrilled when she asked me to photograph Gabby Jo over the coming year! Rachel will have yet another little friend in her classes at church, and I’m sure at many play groups in the months to come. Gabby Jo has a sweet big sis who helped welcome her, and who you’ll see in several images. Here are some of my favorites from our newborn session in  their home with this very sweet baby! And isn’t her nursery focal wall beautiful?!?!

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April 2014 Goals

April 3, 2014 — 2 Comments

Happy April! It’s time for some monthly goals. Oh, and Rachel says, “Hi!” :)

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APRIL GOALS:

  • Work out at least 2 times each week.
  • Travel to the beach and document it. So excited about this!
  • Declutter: Master Bath.
  • Attend a Calligraphy Class.
  • *Submit at least 3 events for publication.
  • *Finish reading Restless by Jennie Allen.
  • Read 7 by Jen Hatmaker.
  • *Complete one social-media free weekend.
  • *Edit Rachel’s photos from months 1-3… and 4!
  • *Prepare a blog post of my favorite baby products!
  • Write at least one additional “life” non-session-related blog post.
  • Photograph a special surprise personal project.

*March Goals that didn’t happen yet. Eek!

What are your goals for the month? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment and share a link to them!

To The Mountains

April 2, 2014 — Leave a comment

One of my March goals was to document our recent trip to Gatlinburg with friends! This wasn’t just any trip, but quite an epic adventure… 7 families. 1 house. 14 adults. 15 children under the age of 5. To top it off, 5 of those were babies not yet a year old. We made lots of memories, starting with a trip to the farm on our way to the mountains. Out at the farm we rode four wheelers, did some shooting, ate together, rode a horse, played some fun games, and caught a whole bunch of catfish. It was a blast! Once we made it to the mountains, we enjoyed some sun, rain, and even snow! Fun times were had by all. I used this trip as a chance to practice some documentary-style and lifestyle photography as I worked to simply capture the story of the weekend! Hope you enjoy a brief snapshot of our mountain adventure!

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I’m so excited to share a beautiful little one with you today, along with her adorable nursery. Baby Adalee was welcomed by her parents in November. Since the family did not do formal newborn photos, Kelly and Drew contacted me to do 3-month photos and capture some images of her beautiful grey and white nursery. For our photo shoot, Adalee wore several heirloom pieces including her grandmother’s dress and her mother’s wedding pearls. There’s something extra special about documenting the first year of a little one only a few days younger than Rachel. I’m excited to watch them grow alongside one another this first year! You’ll see I snuck in images of a few of my favorite Alabama details from Adalee’s nursery!

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Photography: Teasley Photography http://www.teasleyphotography.com
Bedding: Pottery Barn Kids http://www.potterybarnkids.com
Silver Stars: Hobby Lobby http://www.hobbylobby.com
Pink Dress: Worn by Adalee’s Grandmother as a baby
Cream Floral Dress: Worn by Adalee’s mom leaving the hospital as a baby
Pearls: Worn by Adalee’s mom in her wedding

 

 

 

 

 

March 2014 Goals

March 5, 2014 — 2 Comments

Happy March! I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much my life has changed in the past year! This time last year, I was preparing to go to Chapel Hill, North Carolina for the Making Things Happen conference. It was here that I met some beautiful friends including the ladies pictured below, who have become a big part of my of life and a huge encouragement to me. It was March of last year when we found out we were expecting baby Teasley and when I slipped off the radar for a while as I fought morning sickness and fatigue! This March will hopefully look a bit different as I juggle life as a mom and business owner. Already, this year has been off to a slow start… although I expected that with a little one. The driven, goal-oriented side of me gets frustrated with my failures, but I am enjoying time with Rachel and slowly learning that those baby snuggles are worth so much more than the other things I want to accomplish!

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In the spirit of Making Things Happen, here are my goals for the month of March:

MARCH GOALS:

  • Work out 3 times each week… hopefully the weather will help this goal happen. February was a great month for working out.
  • Take a trip to the mountains with friends, and document it.
  • Continue decluttering and simplifying our home.
  • Submit at least 3 events for publication.
  • Finish reading Restless by Jennie Allen.
  • Complete one social-media free weekend.
  • Edit Rachel’s photos from months 1-3.
  • Prepare a blog post of my favorite baby products!

What are your goals for the month? Leave a comment and share them!

Old Man Winter strikes again! We are stuck inside today trying to stay warm and off the icy Nashville roads. While baby Rachel is napping, I thought I’d share some cute photos of another sweet baby! This little one is past 6 months now… and such a cutie. His smile is contagious and I like to call him a little gymnist with the way he wiggles and rolls around everywhere. :) Here are a few of my favorites from our recent session.

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March goals are coming soon! In the mean time, leave a comment and let me know what you think of this cutie and his 6-month photos! :)

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