Winter Wedding // #MaryxRyan

Winter weddings hold a special place in my heart. I was married in the winter. When the Groom (longtime friend) approached me to shoot their winter wedding at the same venue that I got married at, I could not say Yes! fast enough! The day was filled with love, laughter and a whole lot of nerd-erific decor, handmade by the Bride. Including her shoe details!! To see true love is what makes a wedding photographer’s job so easy, the love they have for each other filled the candle lit room. Their guests and families had bellies full of tacos and laughed with and at the newlyweds! I personally had a great time, being able to witness your friend commit his life to his perfect gal is life’s greatest gift! I am so happy they found each other!

Venue // Sweeney’s Saloon

Cupcakes // Uptown Girl Cupcakes & Desserts

Unity Stamp // made by the Bride

Bouquets // The Vintage Owl

Cake Topper //  Chick Design Boutique 

Groom’s Vintage Blazer // Bright Closet 

Wedding Dress // ModCloth

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Putting it all together

It’s the wee hours of the night. The glow of my office light hitting the dark silence on my house, sweet banjo riffs spewing out of my speakers and I’m laid out on the floor with portraits, magazines, pinterest quotes and scissors. I am directing. 
Late night thoughts // the wind down
I am directing a life that provides a path of creativity and exploration.  I will never have the same schedule everyday, I will embrace change, I will lead as a role model for a younger generation of women,  I will create.
“Motivation and coffee have something in common, they both want more than what’s expected of them.”
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Suzie Homemaker | stay at home mama excitement

So I was expressing my excitement to a friend about finishing three books in eight days.  I am not a reader mind you.  The last book I read cover to cover was Charlotte’s Web in the 3rd grade.  I got on this kick and I couldn’t stop!  My friend reminded me of all the “mom” things I am doing in my life.  I am reading, Olive and I go to yoga together, story hour on Mondays, I take a sewing class, I make my own baby food and I have become the avid bargain shopper all will holding two part time jobs and running my photography business that has just reached 211 likes on Facebook! Blog High Five!

Look out world, I feel as if I am on top of you!  It was a really great feeling to have her point them out.  I have been finding ways to fill my time all the while filling hobbies I have always wanted to explore.  Years ago, my husband would give me shit about not having a hobby.  I would tell him that I didn’t have the time or there wasn’t anything that interested me enough to make the time.  Sometimes we would even argue over it, he wanted to do one of his four hobbies on his time off and I couldn’t understand why he thought it was so fun.  I resented him for having so many hobbies but now I understand, it’s nice to see him happy for me and it’s nice to share my triumphs and new beginnings with him.  It’s also nice that we make time for our hobbies and we make time for each other.  Marriage should be named Compromise instead.

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Page from Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres : Pulled my heart strings a bit.

Sewing class is instructed by my dearest friend’s mother.  Miss Pat teaches me the basics and while I quilt a blanket of my old clothes for my daughter, she plays with Olive.  It truly is the greatest!  Also she makes a delicious breakfast and has great coffee!  Sewing machines are like riding a bike, once you get going it all comes back to you.  The threading of the machine and doing the bobbin will take some practice but hey I am 40% done with it and I pat myself on the back for jumping to with little question.

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The plaid fabric is from wool pants I got in high school, I spent to much money on them from Abercrombie & Fitch and the blue floral pattern is from a pair of Old Navy pajama bottoms.  There is also a pair of my maternity jeans and a dress shirt of Steve’s.  All blues and perfect size for a floor blanket or to fit Olive’s toddler bed.

Next up, baby food.  For my first Mother’s Day my dearest friend gave me a recipe and educator book about making your own baby food.  I skimmed through it read what pertained to my age baby and pureed some peas.  At 6 months she was eating two times a day.  I gave her fruit and rice cereal in the morning and then vegetables with oatmeal cereal in the evening.  Now she is 7 months, still on a similar schedule but with oatmeal cereal in the am and multi grain cereal in the pm.  I will also be working in a third meal at some point depending on her schedule.  Olive loves to eat food.  She loves sitting in her high chair and putting on her bib.  She eats her whole meal no matter the contents or the size with no complaints.  A few breaks but no complaints.  She hasn’t dissed a food yet either, she’s a good eater like her parents! Bottles on the other hand are a whole new topic of frustrating discussion!

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Olive here at 7 months eating Spinach & Apples.  Notice the mess of happiness on her face and in her hair!

I spend one day for 2 hours every two weeks in the kitchen making her food.  Labor day I made: (by ice cube tray) squash, carrots, peaches, apple & spinach and blueberry & banana.  I also froze applesauce into ice cube trays for convenience and mixing with other fruits and veggies.  I also had peas and mangos left over from the last batch a few weeks ago.  I buy frozen, steam or defrost the veggies and fruit and put it in a Magic Bullet to puree.  I use breast milk to thin out if needed.  I date the batches, label what it is and if I used BM (breast milk) or F (formula).  After they are frozen in the trays I transfer the cubes to plastic bags with the same labels.  Every night before bed I take out her meals for the next day, put them in little tupperware containers with lids and stick them in the fridge, no microwaving to defrost.  Mix up her cereal, combine and serve.  Easy Peasy!

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She likes mixtures.  I bought some of those packets of baby food to try other flavors.  Test the water before I spent the time.  She likes those packs but prefers the home made stuff more!  She loves her mama’s cookin’!  I do think that is a great way to see if your baby likes certain foods though, I bought the Target brand ones at 89 cents a piece and she gobbled them up.  I keep them on hand for on the go, which they are AWESOME on the go.  Squirt some on a spoon and into the mouth, so easy!

Some would say that opening a jar or a pouch is much easier and comparable in price which that’s their option.  I like knowing what is going into her body and knowing that I made the effort to provide her that yumminess.  I don’t believe the cost is comparable at all since one bag of steam ready squash is $1.24 and it makes 4 serving which one pouch is 89 cents at one serving.  Yes you factor in time but it’s one – two hours every two weeks, it’s very doable if you’re not lazy! 🙂

Being a stay at home mama has brought me more joy than anything in my life.  I like being able to provide her with love and attention, giving her what she needs and playing games, singing songs and teaching her life lessons with out missing any milestones or smiles.  Not only has staying home with her benefited her well being but it has also benefited mine.  I have really taken this opportunity to find my own aspirations and seek out hobbies that I thought I didn’t have time for.  I feel more focused, more centered, more alert and more myself than I ever have.

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Just give me one more London day.

 

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It’s 6 years since I was in London.  I always get reminiscent about my time there around my birthday, I celebrated my 22nd year during my stay and I believe that will always be the year and the birthday that I will love the most.

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When I can’t sleep, I drift back to my tiny little room that I shared with two other people.  The sounds of taxis cruising by, horns honking at bicyclists and the daily commute of the locals.  We lived 3 floors above a Starbucks so the smell of coffee awoke me every morning.  I can still feel Regents Park under my feet, the soft grass between my toes and the instant peace that filled my soul when I entered the beautiful park.  I remember thinking all I wanted was to bring my family back someday and lay in that very spot.

 

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The night life was anything but boring and the pubs were loud and cheerful.  Football on the TV, rickety floor boards and english accents filled my head.  I learned more over wine in the Marylebone Tup, than I had in my prior 22 years.  Debate was encouraged and I never felt discouraged to have an opinion.  Topics of American politics, reality TV and comparisons of countries were always a good laugh.

 

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I realized that I have documented a lot of things in my life that just sit on my hard drive… this is the kick off to my diary of photographs. ❤

 

 

The best things in life lessons by Michaela

1.  Finding out that the little things in life are meant to giggle at.

2.  Eating good food makes every tummy happy.

3.  Hugs.  Even word hugs are nice.

4.  For every day you worry and stress, you miss something awesome.

5.  Even bratty kids are sweethearts.

6.  Work hard to pay for the life you want.  Live hard to give thanks for want you have.

7.  Finding out that dancing when no one is watching isn’t as much fun.

8.  Respect thy neighbor.  Unless he’s rude then be thankful he isn’t family.

9.  Change is a friendship that will only disappoint you if you allow it.

10.  If you love yourself first, then anyone can love you.