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SEE Sessions with Jessica Sloane

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Join designer & stylist, Jessica Sloane, and myself, for a comprehensive experience in the art of seeing.

February 10 – 11 at The Cordelle in Nashville, Tennessee

Our objective for SEE sessions is to help you, as designers, stylists and photographers, to intricately explore how to approach a wedding both aesthetically and relationally to create a final product that is unique to each client and artist.

During Day One, we will be sharing our experience and perspective on: finding your voice as an artist, discovering inspiration, client interaction, building & creating opportunities, storytelling and timeline management. We will review photography techniques for composition, posing and lighting. We’ll also give tips on shooting and styling for getting published.

Day two will include a fully styled wedding editorial shoot where attendees can observe, participate, practice and receive feedback from the instructors. There will be a Q&A at the end of the day to ensure that each attendee walks away with a renewed sense of inspiration and direction in their role as an artist.

Seating in limited, to enroll, visit SeeSessions.com

 

 

 

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:

Cap
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

Tips For Flying With a Baby

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According to yesterday’s instagram commentary, it looks like there are some mamas out there in need of some tips for flying the friendly skies with a baby in tow.

I am getting kind-of hazy on exactly how many flights Mae has been on in her (nearly) eight months here but Dave counted nine and that sounds about right. Which is funny, considering my first flight was at 12 and only 45 minutes long. Oh how times have changed.

So although I will never claim to be an expert on anything mommy-wise, I have learned a few tricks to keeping the experience as pleasant and stress-free as possible. But before take-off, let me preface all of this by saying that if Mae has shown me anything, it is that what works for one baby may not work for another, so the best tip is to consider your little one’s temperament when making travel preparations.

Here’s what has worked for us:

Mae’s Must-Haves

  • Stroller/Car-Seat combo: The basic reason for this is obvious but beyond that, this set up comes in handy because it serves as a handy-dandy cart for piling things on through the airport and also saves you from needing to rent a car seat at your destination. I have even heard of some airlines letting you use the car seat on the plane if there are seats available.
  • Baby Carrier: This little number has been a lifesaver. It lets me wear Mae anyway she wants while ensuring she is still in a safe carrying position. It’s really amazing in airports because I can pop her in there when we get out of the car, check-in, wear her right through security and all the way onto the plane. All while having my hands free for baggage etc…
  • Change of clothes (for baby and mama) because no one wants to wear bodily fluids any longer than they need to.
  • Small Toys – cram as many of those gems into the diaper bag as you can. These crinkle books roll up and fit great in ours. If your baby is teething, Small Sophie is always a hit.
  • Hand Sanitizer – because ew. you never even know.
  • Shoes that won’t fall off, we are currently digging these
  • We also bring this lovee on every flight, just for good luck.

If you formula feed: pack enough in your carry-on for your trip door-to-door and then double it in the event that you miss a flight and get stuck spending the night (and the next day) in an airport. It happens. We also bring our own water in a insulated bottle so we know that it’s clean and the right temperature. They always hand-check it at security but I’d rather that than the alternatives. This little guy is great for having the formula pre-measured out to save you counting scoops or spilling that pricey powder.

If you exclusively pump: You are my hero. I highly recommend getting a hand-pump and checking your electric pump in your suitcase. It breaks down and fits great into a ziploc in your diaper bag. If you are carrying milk on, I found it worked best to get it as cold as possible without being frozen because then you don’t have to worry about it thawing and you have a few days to use it rather than just 24 hours. Also, don’t worry about security, they are legally not allowed to prevent you from taking milk.

If you nurse: Lucky Ducky.

We did the math and figured that unless you are traveling somewhere very remote, it is cheaper to buy dipes, wipes and baby food upon reaching your destination than using up your precious carry-on or checked bag space for these items. BUT be sure use the formula rule above and make sure you have more than enough in the diaper bag to get you to where you are going.

Before you go:
-If you are anything like me, your memory disappeared in the delivery room and is still missing. This means you probably need to make a list of what to pack for baby (and yourself – let’s be honest). Up until our last trip I was using a notepad but writing out the same items every time was getting old so I searched and found a free app called TripList. It has lists already loaded that you can use or you can create your own. It saves them so you can reuse and modify them for each trip. It even categorizes them and has a few other bells and whistles I haven’t really played with yet. I am sure there are others that work well too or there’s always the notepad.

-Make a copy of the baby’s birth certificate. If you didn’t purchase a ticket for them, the airline may require you to prove that they are under two years of age to fly as a lap child.

-Nowadays, airlines are starting to charge to print your boarding pass at the airport so I would go ahead and check in and print that puppy ahead of time to save the hassle when your hands are full.

At the airport:
-At Check-in, ask the attendant if they can go ahead and give you the gate-check tags for your stroller and car seat (get one for each). If not, you can get them at the gate but it’s an extra step and aint nobody got time for that.

-At Security, you may get lucky and find yourself in an expedited line. Either way, here is what we have found works best:

  • If the baby is not already in the carrier, pop them in there and wear them through.
  • Pull the car seat off and put it upside down on the belt
  • Stroller goes over next to the scanner (by the glass gate) they roll it through and swab it
  • Milk/water gets hand-checked
  • Diaper bag/shoes/etc into bin

-At the gate, if you haven’t gotten your car seat and stroller tagged yet you will need to do that. Otherwise, just ask when they board families traveling with small children because it is usually very early in the boarding process.

-I always make sure to have a clean diaper on Mae before we board/take off because I know it will be at least 30-45 minutes before I get another opportunity to change her. That’s along time in dirty diaper land.

-On the plane, we have found that sitting in the last row works well for several reasons. One, its the loudest which helps soothe and/or drown out a crying baby. Two, it allows you more opportunities to get up and move around if you need to (when the fasten seat belt light is off of course) and three, you are the most likely to have an extra seat open to use for diaper changes, play space etc…

In the air:
– I always try to plan Mae’s feedings with take-off but even if it doesn’t work that way it’s not a bad idea to have something for your little one to suck on to help release pressure in their ears.

-This is where each baby’s temperament really comes into play. Some of you have babies that will nurse, snuggle and sleep. Mae would much rather make friends with every flight attendant and passenger in a two row radius. So I let her interact with as many of them as she wants. I would let her do just about anything to keep the peace on a plane. If she gets bored/fussy we whip out a toy at a time and pass her back and forth amongst ourselves. We have managed to get her to nap a couple of times in-flight but it takes a near act of God and a sleeper hold.

On the ground:
– We pop her right back into the carrier and replay the whole thing in reverse!

I hope some of this helps and I would love to hear what has worked well for you!!

Just for fun, here’s a little clip from a recent flight.