2017 was a year that spanned a lot of emotions and a lot of growth in many areas. We are still on the road on vacation, but since you all have been so amazing to me, I didn’t want to leave you hanging at the very end of the year!
We had a lot of changes at home, with Eddie switching gears and branching out on his own. It was a shaky transition, but once all was said and done, it was a welcome one that let him be home and spend a lot more time with us as a family. Just as all of that was wrapping up, we found out I was pregnant, a surprise, but a very much welcomed one!
Caleb started school, we had a major hurricane event come our way. We went to Disney more times than I can remember, we discovered that beach vacations are really awesome when you have an active toddler, we took an incredible kid free trip to Napa (and yes I enjoyed it even while pregnant), and took a spontaneous road trip through the South.
I learned a lot about myself and about who I am. As a mother, as a wife, as a friends, as a daughter, and as a woman. This blog has given me a means of expression and a way to document all these realizations.
And through it all, you’ve been there! Reading my musings and supporting me in this tiny little corner of the interwebs that I get to call my own. And I am SO grateful. For every comment, like, share, and message. For every encouraging word and for everything I’m lucky enough to have you share with me. I couldn’t keep this going without your support, and I’m excited for all 2018 will bring to this space! I can’t wait to keep sharing and growing together.
And with that, here’s my December List!
And with that, I leave you for 2017. May your 2018 be filled with beautiful memories, health, happiness, and peace. Thank you for sharing your lives with me and for allowing me to share mine with you!
Happy New Year!
I've shown you all a few maternity looks already, but I want to share some of the basics about dressing your bump. You don't have to spend a fortune to look cute while you're growing a human, and I have a few tips to help you do just that!
But first, I want to share this look that I'll be rocking this week, since Miami's temperatures have taken a little dip in the last few days. The items are all linked at the end of the post.
The most basic of all my maternity wardrobe needs is the base of this outfit, and can be the base for MANY MANY MANY outfits. These black leggings are nice enough to dress up with boots and a cute top, and comfy enough to wear with sneakers and a tee. Here, I went for a casual look, pairing it with a basic white v-neck tee from Old Navy, and a quilted vest from Old Navy as well. For a warm, festive touch, I added this plaid blanket scarf, which is so versatile. It can be used as a scarf but you can also throw it over yourself and use it as a blanket while on a plane or in a car. It's one of those great wardrobe pieces that you can use a number of ways. I went with beige riding boots to give some contrast to the look.
And now, my tips for dressing your bump.
What tips would you add?
Stay fab, friends!
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This trimester has felt like a whirlwind. I can barely believe that I am almost in week 28 of this pregnancy and starting my third trimester. I have had tons of energy and have been able to accomplish a lot. I've also been working, a LOT, as this is my busy season as a photographer.
My belly really started to grow over the last few weeks, and it's just now starting to get in the way of doing everyday things like tying my shoes and shaving. Baby girl is about the size of a papaya, which is pretty big, and she's making her presence known, most notably when I go to bed at night, of course! My worst/most annoying pregnancy symptoms have been pregnancy rhinitis (basically a terrible post-nasal drip exacerbated by the extra estrogen my body is making), and "leakage," which just means I pee myself every time I sneeze or cough if I can't manage to cross my legs in time (I'm just being honest here). Aside from that, everything is shaping up well, she has a strong heartbeat, and she's been kind to me in terms of weight gain and swelling.
In other news, we are supposed to be getting a cold front in Miami over the weekend. While we were in New York, we had Lauren Listor of Laurel Creative take our family photos, and I also had her take some outfit shots for me. We shot this look, and I think it's a perfect one for the cooler weather we should be getting in Miami this weekend. The top and shoes are both Target (everything is linked below), and the jeans are my favorite maternity jeans, which can probably walk off by themselves at this point because I've worn them so much.
The cold shoulder top is a nice change from your typical sweater, and it can be dressed up or down - I could have just as easily paired this with yoga pants and sneakers, or I can even dress it up a little more with a sparkly necklace. It's comfy and roomy and has plenty of space for my belly to keep growing! These ankle boots have a tiny 1.5-inch heel and were so comfortable for walking around the city, so I can definitely imagine myself wearing them around town to run errands.
Stay gorgeous, friends!
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In November, we took an extra long weekend trip to New York, and even though we have been there a few times already with Caleb, this was the first time that he was really aware of what was going on and the fact that we were in a new city. We planned a lot of activities based off of things we thought he would like, and decided to visit some major landmarks, even though we had already done a lot of them, because we knew he would enjoy them.
We spent a few weeks leading up to the trip talking about how we were going to go visit New York City, and talking about some of the sights we were going to be seeing. We watched a few movies that took place in New York and made sure to point out the landmarks, and he was more than excited once the day of the trip finally rolled around.
We flew out of Miami into LaGuardia, and because Caleb is over the age of two, he needs his own seat now. Let me tell you, purchasing a seat might be more expensive, but oh my goodness was it so much more comfortable! While Caleb does watch TV at home, I don't usually let him handle devices unless it's a real necessity, but trips are a different story. I made sure to download a few of his favorite movies onto an iPad and we got him headphones. We also brought along a few snacks and some of his favorite toys. Since the flight wasn't a long one I wasn't really concerned with much else.
Once we arrived, we picked up our bags and took a car into the city.
The Statue of Liberty
One of the landmarks we talked about a LOT was the Statue of Liberty. We figured she is so iconic that he would always recognize her. I booked the tickets online ahead of time with the service that the National Park Service recommends, so we wouldn't have to wait in line. We went on a Thursday at noon and the lines weren't bad at all anyway.
Caleb absolutely LOVED the ferry ride there. He kept looking around, and looking at the water. Once we got to Liberty Island, we walked all the way around, stopped in front of the Statue of Liberty, and then kept strolling. His attention wouldn't have held for much longer than that.
Make a stop at DO, Cookie Dough Confections if you've ever enjoyed a piece of raw cookie dough in your life (and who hasn't?). Don't go overboard, it's super rich. But Caleb loved this stop for sure.
Okay, so we typically avoid Times Square, unless we are going to see a show or something. But we knew that it would have a major draw for Caleb, and boy, were we right! He loved looking at all the lights and buildings. He even took a picture with Spider-Man (albeit a little wonky-looking Spider Man), and he is still talking about Times Square a few weeks after the trip. We popped into the Renaissance Hotel, which has some amazing views from the lobby, and then we walked around a bit. We also strolled through the Disney Store, because why not?
We walked over a couple blocks to Bryant Park, too and he really enjoyed watching the ice skaters. If you're there during the holidays, they have the cutest holiday village set up so you can go shopping for Christmas gifts from local artisans.
Books of Wonder
After reading about the most whimsical children's book store, Books of Wonder, I knew we had to make this a stop. We all enjoyed perusing the vast number of children's titles, and they have an adorable little area where you can read books with your kids. It's definitely worth a stop if you're in the area.
Central Park & Tavern on the Green
There is just so much to see in Central Park. From the views of the city, to the ponds, to people watching. We were there so I could take maternity photos of my brother-in-law and his wife, but Caleb liked being pushed around through the little pathways and looking at all the big trees around him.
We made a reservation for brunch at Tavern on the Green, which is right on the edge of the park. The food was delicious, and they had a great selection for children, as well.
New York City Subway
Go for just one subway ride. The sights, the smells, the sounds - kids will be enthralled. We headed to Brooklyn on our last day there, and we decided to take the subway. Caleb liked going on the "fast train" and asked all kinds of questions about it.
We got off the subway and stepped right into DUMBO (short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass). It's a really beautiful area filled with families and beautiful views of Manhattan. We walked over to the Brooklyn Bridge Park and took a ride on Jane's Carousel. It was built in 1922 for a park in Youngstown, Ohio, and was moved to Brooklyn in 1984 for restoration. It was opened to the public in 2011. It is enclosed in a glass "jewel box," and you get the most gorgeous views of the city while you are on it.
Either we talked about the bridge a lot, or Caleb latched onto it when we did talk about it, because the entire trip, he talked about how he wanted to see the Brooklyn Bridge. So when we finally made it there, he was so excited to see it. We walked across it (it was a Sunday afternoon when the weather was glorious and it was packed), and now he knows he was on the Brooklyn Bridge.
There were a few other places we stopped in at, mostly food places, that I wouldn't necessarily say are great for kids, but that we really enjoyed. Here's the short list.
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