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Playing Winter

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When you’re pregnant, you have all of these big ideas about how you want to dress your little love. Before #littlebabymae was born, I had an entire style board of fashions and baby-style was on the tippy-top of the list of things I planned this blog to focus on. Every morning I waited in anticipation for the clock to strike nine when Zulily would post their new sales for the day. I favorited who-knows-how-many etsy shops and resented living in the US when all of the cutest baby stuff is European.

My how things have changed.

When Mae arrived, we battled reflux and colic so hard that she lived in a bib (or multiple bibs) for the first six months of her life. We rarely left the house because she was so fussy and refused to sleep anywhere but her crib (and even that was a miracle).

So needless to say, all of that baby-style hung in the closet unworn or neatly folded in her dresser with the tags still on. Then once we found a formula she could tolerate the reflux subsided and we were finally able to put some of her baby-style to use. Some of it no longer fit, some of it had too many buttons for her to sit still long enough to be dressed in and some of it was just seasonally off.

But we do have some fun stuff that she is fitting now and looking extra cute in! The above ensemble was tried on in preparation for an upcoming trip north to see if it would still work. The hat and booties are newborn sized and the outfit is 0-3 months. Now at 8 months, the buttons were definitely tight but once I got her in it, I fell over from the cuteness and could not help but to snap a few photos.

After posting one on insta, I had a few questions come in on where we found everything. So for those mamas, here are the best version of sources I could find:

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Outfit – It’s a boy coverall (go fig) I found it at Target but it’s no longer online, here’s something similar.
Booties

I realize those links aren’t a ton of help since all of this was acquired nearly a year ago but the cutie photos still warranted a post anyway right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perspective, Passion & Purpose

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These images showed up at the end of a roll I shot at a recent newborn session. It’s only fitting as they are the perfect representation of an important realization I came to during the shoot.

Allow me to explain. About half-way the session, it was obvious to me that this sweet new mama was getting anxious about how well her little darling was cooperating. I could completely relate. Over the past eight months I have become well-acquainted with having a specific vision for something that turns out differently than I’d planned.

I shared with her the honest truth that in every single opportunity I have had to be photographed with Mae, there have been various specific images in my mind that I wanted to capture together. Well wouldn’t you know that not one time have we ever been able to get the image. But what we did get is just as deeply precious to me as any of the pretty pins I had my heart set on.

So I told her that. I believe my exact words went something like, “I know you had your heart set on something specific and that things have not worked out that way, but try not to let that upset you because what we are getting is beautiful and I would not want you to miss that by focusing on what we weren’t able to.”

As soon as the words left my mouth I wanted to fall on my knees.

That is exactly the advice I needed to hear. I have spent too much of Mae’s life wrestling with the challenges we have faced and grieving the loss of my idealistic expectations of motherhood. Sure, we have had a rough start due to her feeding/digestive issues but there is beauty hiding amidst it all and I know that is where my focus should be.

Since I have been prayerfully pursuing this new perspective I have seen Mae transform.

Her passion for everything in life is astounding. Whether she’s thrilled by seeing a dog walk by or angry about not being able to climb any higher than my shoulders, she expresses everything with gusto. Her laughter is intoxicating and her smile could warm the coldest heart. She crawls all over the place and has the happiest feet anyone has ever seen. I am not kidding, if we hold her in the air she runs in place a hundred miles an hour. If we balance her arms she prancercises across the whole house. She can climb completely up the stairs by herself but she stops every few to look back at you with the proudest grin she’s got. Then giggles with glee when she reaches the top.

She absolutely loves to make sounds and music. She’s mastered “dadada” and often says “ha” although we don’t know if she’s meaning “hi” or if she just thinks we’re funny. She blows raspberries like its her job and can play her little piano with every part of her body. She still won’t cuddle but she will crawl into our laps and remain there as long as we are offering some sort of entertainment, of which we creatively deliver as long as we can just to keep her there.

She still knows how to charm anyone but there is no one that lights her up more than daddy. She has become a source of beauty in our lives and I know that we will grow more proud of her every day.

Sure some of these transformations come from age, (and we have seen vast improvements since working out her feeding issues) but I believe much of the joy that I am beginning to experience comes from letting go (daily) of what I thought motherhood should be and instead embracing what it is.

Joy is always a function of gratitude and gratitude is always, simply a function of perspective” -Ann Voskamp

Perspective has such power. These moments, these days, they are not a means to an end as I once believed. They are not to be wished away for a day when things will be easier. God’s plan for them is much sweeter. I will leave you with this passage from my favorite devotional, My Utmost For His Highest

“Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish— His purpose is the process itself. What He desires for me is that I see “Him walking on the sea” with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see “Him walking on the sea” (Mark 6:49). It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.

God’s training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future. We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself.

God’s purpose is to enable me to see that He can walk on the storms of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying enough attention to the present time. However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious.”

Alisia - This is such a beautifully written post! I love the Ann Voskamp quote! I struggle so much with trying to “just get through” the difficult days of being at home with children. The reminder for me that it is about the process, not the finishline is always a welcome one. Thank you for sharing your heart 🙂September 13, 2014 – 5:46 pm

Park & His Parents

Just about everyone I know has heard me say how thankful I am for the relationships my career has given me and this little family sits pretty high on that list. Ali and I learned to shoot film together in 2011 and have remained close ever since. We got to share the news of our pregnancies with one another on the same phone call and became even closer as we ventured into motherhood. It’s strange that we have never lived near each other because I have always felt like she was right there with me and for me. Friends who get you like that are pure gold.

So before I start crying alone at my desk, meet Park, his daddy Matt and his insanely talented momma, Ali Harper
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Six Months

You’re six months old and already more beautiful than I ever could’ve imagined. Your smile is everything and you share it so generously. You’ve never met a stranger and you effortlessly light up everyone you come in contact with. You are happiest with other kids around and your laughter is intoxicating. You are already such a flirt and even kissing the little boys at church! But daddy is still your favorite.

You are incredibly strong. You have a killer grip and can already sit, crawl, pull up, stand and even walk if we balance you by your hands.  You still kick your happy feet endlessly making it easy to see why you’re so happy in the pool. You’re also quite a fan of the swing at the playground and our new ergo 360!

Bath time is easily your favorite time of the day. Each evening, we look forward to watching you splash and giggle in your tub as you try to eat your toys. You don’t even mind it when we pour the water right over your little head. When daddy’s on duty you even get to finish up with a blow dry which I am not sure if you love or hate.

You’re fuzzy hair and perfect porcelain skin are so darling. You’ve already got one little freckle on your left arm and I hope there are many to follow.

You still aren’t a snuggler but I can sneak a few cuddles in during your bottle time. I love feeding you because your mannerisms are so precious when you’re calm. You twirl your hair and reach up for mine. You look up at me with the sweetest expression and gently touch my face. It melts my heart and leaves me in awe of how so much beauty could live in such a little person.

You get excited about food which we both can relate to! Just this month you’ve tried avocado, peas, zucchini, carrots and sweet potatoes. So far we think zucchini is your favorite.

We have big plans for our adventures together! So far we’ve already taken you to Nashville, Atlanta & Aspen as well as Miami and Tampa. You love traveling  because of all of the people you encounter along the way.

God has so obviously gifted you for big things and it is our prayer that we can guide and inspire you to pursue Him and His plans for you. Since you’ve arrived, He has opened my eyes and heart in ways deeper than I thought possible and continues to use you daily to shape and refine me. I know He is molding me into the best mommy for you and I can’t wait for the day that you realize how much He and I (and Daddy) love and cherish you.

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Photos above by my dear friend, Ali Harper.

Lisa O'Dwyer - So glad I got to Mae and her mommy and daddy during Mae’s trip to Aspen! She is a darling and will grow to be a lovely lady with the love of her awesome parents! Hugs to all of you!August 17, 2014 – 2:42 pm