June 17, 2018

Maternity Pictures

Almost four years ago, I found a maternity photographer on faccebook and instantly loved her work. Fox had just been born and I always regretted not finding her earlier, because the maternity pictures I had with him were more than cringe worthy. 

.

Flash forward to last December. I had just found out that I was pregnant and I immediately set up a shoot with her



Obviously, in typical Nadine fashion, I stressed about this shoot since the moment I set it up. I don’t enjoy being the center of attention and having someone take pictures of me makes me a little uncomfortable, but I always love the end result, and since this was my last pregnancy, I knew I wanted to document it in the best way I could.



Since the photographer I chose is famous in our area for her maternity pictures (she doesn’t do anything else), I had to spend more money than I could ever justify spending on pictures, which made me even more stressed…what if I didn’t love them? What was I going to wear? Who would do my make up and hair? Yes, I was a little obsessed about this shoot, because I felt like I only had this one shot at it. 



I took the photographer’s advice and ordered a bunch of dresses from two websites she recommended (non maternity). She said it doesn’t matter if the dresses didn’t fit, she would clip me in and I could return the dresses after the shoot. So when they came in the mail, we had a little fashion show at the office and everyone cast their votes. Of course, with so many opinions, I still couldn’t nail down which one of the five dresses I had ordered, I liked the best (indecisive much?). I ended up sending pictures to the photographer and let her choose and luckily she chose two dresses that I liked as well and I think they looked so pretty in the pictures. 


At the beginning of the shoot, the photographer told me that there wouldn't be many pictures of me smiling directly at the camera. I thought this was going to be so awkward, but I guess you get what you pay for, and this lady knew exactly what she was doing. She posed me for every single shot and told me exactly what to do with every muscle in my body, my legs, my arms, my fingers, my belly, my shoulders, my head, my face, everything. All I had to do was follow her instructions. 



My sister in law got married last November and I got some contacts from her for professional hair and make up. This was the first time ever I had my hair and make up done professionally and of course that made me nervous too, because there was no going back if I didn’t like what they did to me…haha. Luckily, they both did a fantastic job in my opinion and I just let them do whatever they wanted and trusted their opinions. 

This is probably my favorite picture, I just love the lighting!



While the photographer said that this shoot was mostly about me, but we could throw in a couple of family pictures as well, Katie has never been a fan of posed pictures and wasn’t really interested in being in any of them. I would’ve loved to have a few couple’s pictures of the two of us, but I also wanted to respect her opinions, so that’s why she is not in the shots. Fox was more easily convinced with the promise of a lollipop after and his participation took maybe five minutes, so I’m glad to have some pictures with him as well! 



Sure, there were awkward moments, like when she would say to stare at a specific tree in the distance and laugh out loud at the tree. Can you imagine? Lucky for me, there was no one there to witness any of this…haha!



The whole shoot took only about 45 minutes, including a wardrobe change in the middle of a field. 



When I got home, I felt like I had just run a marathon, I was so exhausted, physically and emotionally. But I also felt like a huge burden had fallen off my shoulders by getting this done and I was happy to cross off this big stress factor from my list. 




I couldn't love these pictures more and I was so impressed by her and how she captured my last pregnancy so beautifully (even though it was 105 degrees out, I was out of breath and sweaty from hiking through the field in heels and my legs were scratched up...you wouldn't even be able to tell!).
I will treasure these pictures forever and there were totally worth all the stress they gave me. 

June 14, 2018

Fox's 4th Birthday Party

Last September, we attended a birthday party at the "Little Gym" and Fox has not stopped talking about it ever since. So when we asked him a few months ago where he would like to have his party, he didn't hesitate and told us at the "Little Gym". We threw some other ideas out there, but he had made his decision.
This was the first party where a lot of his classmates attended, along with some kids from our regular Mom's group. He was so excited to see all of his school buddies and especially to have his best friend there!

I couldn't stop smiling watching him have so much fun! He loves to be the center of attention and he was eating it up!


For the theme, he changed his mind a few times between last year's party and this year. For the longest time, he wanted to have a space party, followed by a rainbow party, another soccer party, a lollipop party, until he finally decided to have a superhero party. I have the feeling we will have a lot of those coming up in the years to come!

While I made a lot of the decorations myself, the Little Gym had some superhero decorations as well and I was super surprised how themed they made it for him.

We got superhero capes for all of the kids as part of their favors.


Anyone recognize this guy? If you don't, no worries, because literally no one else did either. It was supposed to be the Hulk...haha. 

As always, Grandma Sandie made Fox's cake and she did an amazing job! We basically send her a picture that we find on pinterest and she copies it exactly, she is so talented! Since Fox has a dairy and egg allergy, we got him his favorite cake at a local vegan bakery and decorated it with some superhero figurines. Luckily, he was super happy to have that cake all by himself and didn't get upset that he couldn't have the big cake. 




Favor Bags! We got the kids a cape, some superhero stickers, a batman book, superhero bracelet and a bag of legos, since we kind of themed his party as "Lego Batman".

This was his first party ever, where the parents could truly just sit back and not participate, which was kind of nice, but also kind of weird. These kids are getting so big! I will blink and they are ready to be just dropped off at parties without the parents even staying. 


These boys were so wild together!

If you look at Grandpa in the background, it about sums up his expression during the entire party. He could not stop laughing and had so much fun watching Fox be silly with his friends.




School buddies! I hope they will still be in the same class next year, because Fox has really bonded to them and talks about them all the time.

There were three teachers during the party and they all did such a fantastic job with the kids.





Fox said this was his favorite part of his birthday...dodging fireballs. The teachers would throw buckets of balls at them and the kids had to run back and forth trying not to get hit. They all loved it!



The birthday train is ready to leave for cake time!











After years of paying other people for Fox's birthday shirts, I finally decided to give it a try myself and I was really proud of myself how these turned out.

My love!

Fox had such a great time and seeing his huge smile throughout the party was the best part for me. Of course, he is already planning his next birthday party...but this Mama needs a little break from party planning! :)
I can't believe next year we'll have two birthday parties to plan!