Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Riehl Family

This was probably my last photo shoot of the year that was still vibing the summer.... I had so much fun spending an evening with the Riehl family capturing their clan. :) Jerre and Jess go to our church, and they have enriched our church family and our lives in so many ways. They are the most giving people, always looking for ways to bless others. They host our small group, which I LOVE. They are amazing at planning fun activities and facilitating deep connection and growth. And their five kids. I just love them. Janae, Kaden, Bryce, Landon & Colby. They are such great kids and awesome role models for my boys. I am so thankful for their family and it was truly a pleasure to do their photos for them. We went to a gorgeous local park and laughed and played and caught lots of crickets... and came away with some lovely images of them all together :)

 And for good measure, a silly one too. :) 
 A girl and her four brothers. :) She wears it well. 

 This is how these photos started out: 
 Cue the cricket invasion:
 Colby the cricket catcher!

 They have a photo just like this from when Colby was a baby.. I thought it would be fun to try to re-create it one more time while the kids are still mostly small enough... ;) 
 Ok, and below. My FAVORITE. I told the kids to all lay on their backs and look up at me smiling. Unbeknownst to anyone else, a cricket decided he wanted in on the photo too... by way of Landon's face! The sheer determination Landon is showing to keep on smiling, despite being slightly terrified of whatever just hopped on his face and is heading toward his eye just cracks me up! Fists clenched, pushing his head into the ground so hard he's got a double chin.... But still SMILING! I laughed and laughed over this image while I was editing their session. 

The girls :) 
The men:

My favorites of the kiddos: 
Colby (couldn't choose which of these I liked more.) 

 Landon & Bryce

I'm so glad to have had the chance to catch these moments for you guys, but even more I am so glad to get to KNOW you all, we are beyond blessed to have you as part of our church family. I am so thankful for all the ways you use your giftings and bless our family with your amazing spirits. We love you guys!! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

First of Fall Fashion

I love to get dressed in the fall. The layers, the textures, the neutrals, the boots, the scarves... We've had some perfectly beautiful fall weather over the past week and a half or so. I actually get dressed almost every day now with Jaden being close to a year and Drew starting school this year (as I sit here in my pajamas typing). But seriously, this is a big accomplishment from where I was this time last year, about to have baby number three, and then staying home most days with three littles under four. So, I only have photos of two of my outfits, but thought I'd share anyway. :) 

Drew was my photographer for the first. (He's four, and he was using my DSLR... he did pretty good!)
Top: Modcloth
Layered lace tunic: H&M
Leggings: Victorias Secret
Boots: Steve Madden
Necklace: Pearls n Joy etsy shop

 (And believe it or not, Isaiah took this one with my DSLR... he just turned three a few weeks ago. They both love it when I let them use my camera) 
Scarf: J. Crew
Polka Dot Button Down: Target
Olive Pants: H&M
Brown Sparkly flats: AE

Hope you're enjoying this beautiful fall season too! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Sunrise Three Year Old Session for my Sunshiny Isaiah

The day before Isaiah's third birthday we were still at the beach on vacation, and I got him up to go watch the sunrise on the beach with me and to take his three year pictures. Steph came along too, and Isaiah is still talking about the "beautiful sunrise he saw with mommy and Steph." 

When we first got to the beach this top picture is how it looked. Isaiah was still sleepy and chilly and I wrapped him up in a brown fleece blanket we had in our car and carried him out there. What I love about these photos is that they show the true range of his personality. Before the sun came up he was his sleepy, snuggly little self. Then as the sun began to peek over the horizon, his little silly side began to peek out more and more too. Little by little he started drawing with his finger in the sand, letting the blanket down a little more all the time, until finally the true "emergence" happened... he dropped the blanket altogether and started running and playing on the beach, finding sticks, falling in the sand, giving me true Isaiah smiles and laughter and even wanted to wear his rockstar shades for a few. The last two images of him smiling are the last two I took that morning. He is a little ray of sunshine in our lives. Oh how I love that boy. 

(Most of these photos are un-edited because the light was just that gorgeous. A few I had fun playing around with. Enjoy!)  

Steph took a few of me and Isaiah together while we were there too, and I will treasure them forever. 

I wanted to try to put "a day in the life of Isaiah" into words so I could remember this stage and what it is like.... In the mornings, before I am even awake, snuggly, tousled blonde hair Isaiah climbs into bed with me, his stuffed puppy in the crook of one arm (from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. he is never without his puppy) and tells me he wants some covers as he snuggles up to me and starts whispering what he wants for breakfast in my ear... Including, but not limited to... "I want eggs, and toast, and sausage, and a smoothie and apple and cereal..." The boy can eat. I think his favorite food groups are meat and fruit. Once I am finally pulled out of sleep and into wakefulness by the string of whatever foods Isaiah is dreaming about on that particular morning I head downstairs to get breakfast ready and Isaiah goes to ransack his dresser drawer until he finds the specific item he is looking for to pick out his clothes. He is SO particular about clothes. On a typical day he wants to wear jeans and a "dressy shirt" no matter what we are doing (dressy shirts are anything with a collar or buttons). He doesn't like sweatpants (with the exception of the pair I got him for his birthday that have a tiny bear silhouette on them), and he doesn't want shirts that look like little kid shirts... his favorite t-shirt this summer was his plain gray v-neck. He learned to dress and undress himself completely before he even turned three. Mainly because he wants to make his fashion dreams come true without my help. And also so that when he pees himself he can go and change his clothes without telling me what happened. (My wash load has tripled since having Isaiah. That might be a slight exaggeration. Or it might not be.) Once the perfect outfit has been selected for the day then breakfast can begin. Isaiah likes two hard boiled eggs, I think he'd have three if I let him. He sails them around his plate like they are boats, then swallows them like he is a whale. Speaking of chewing... it hardly happens. Especially with hotdogs. He literally inhales. We try to slow him down. So far it's a losing battle. Then the day happens. There are a lot of laugh-til-you-cry moments, a ton of random sentences that come out of him that either melt you or make you wonder where in the world that came from and wish you could climb into his mind, and also a lot of moments of such intense passion that the screams that come out of him could shatter glass. Basically, the day is loud. He tells me he loves me about a million times a day, higher than heaven and deeper than the deepest sea and bigger than the whole earth. He hits his head about a million times a day too. The other day Drew and Isaiah were helping me water plants. With the worlds smallest cups. From the time they would fill the cup til they'd get outside with it there would be hardly any water left in said cup. Isaiah came running in, filled his cup again, then ran back out and slipped in the puddle of water he'd made from prior trips, banged his head on the floor, spilled the remains of his current cup of water on his pants, and began wailing at the top of his lungs. Not because his head hurt. Because his beloved jeans were wet. So I stripped him down, and he ran around naked for a while (if clothes aren't available, being naked is a very desirable alternative.) Him and Drew were racing down the hallway, Drew tried to block his way, Isaiah couldn't see where he was going, Drew moved out of the way at the last second, and Isaiah slammed his forehead into the end table. More wailing ensued. I decided it was time for clothes. I went up to get more jeans, Isaiah decided he was better, another race around the counter began, Isaiah ran into the corner of the counter, the wailing was back again. This all took place in about 10 minutes of time. Being the decisive mother that I am, I concluded that his problem was that his hair was in his eyes, so I came downstairs, got out the scissors, and promptly trimmed those golden locks back from his eyes. He now looks slightly amish until I have time to give him a decent hair cut. And while the head hitting might have reduced a wee bit, it definitely did not entirely diminish. But that was quite a rabbit trail. Let's proceed to nap time. He still naps like a champ. 2 or 3 hours, falls asleep well, looks like a little angel when his eyes are closed. Dinner. More inhalation of whatever the meat is. And applesauce. With cinnamon on top, that he sprinkles himself, very liberally. And whatever he's drinking, he makes gulping noises while he drinks. It's quite comical. He tells me it's because he's soooo thirsty. After dinner play. Wrestling, mostly. Bedtime. Usually involves more naked running and attempts to dodge teeth brushing. Shaun reads to them, one of my favorite parts of the day. We pray, Isaiah gives huge goodnight kisses, and then lays down in bed with the lights off... for about 10 minutes. (And ten minutes might be generous.) Then I see my bedroom door shift ever  so slightly. Little eyes peek around the corner, puppy in the crook of his arm. Isaiah attempts to whisper that he has to pee again without smiling. He goes to the bathroom and then comes and tells me he's just going to sit in my bed for a few minutes. He stretches those few minutes out as far as he can until I finally carry him back to bed and lay with him in there for a bit. Then I leave and he goes to sleep. I find him and Drew pretzeled together in the most adorable ways whenever I check on them in the night or if I wake up first in the morning.

Speaking of naked, Isaiah's here tapping on my arm and asking me for a hole puncher right this very second. Better go. ;)