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As a wife, stay-at-home boy mama, and entrepreneur… life can get crazy at times! While I’ve always considered myself an organized type-A person… if I’m being 100% honest, it was really more like organized clutter. Just when I thought I had it all together… it all became a jumbled mess again. If you’re anything like me, at times it feels like you have a never-ending to-do list, a jam-packed calendar, and you feel overworked, stressed, and overwhelmed. At times it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done. Now, if you’re reading this and saying “amen, sister!”… then you’ve come to the right place!

I am excited to introduce to you… The Lifestyle Collection! For the busy ladies out there that are craving a well-balanced system to streamline their day-to-day. I’ve designed a handful of fun freebies for you to download and get started today! My hope is that these resource guides will give you more energy and help streamline your day-to-day in having a more organized approach by the month, by the week, by the day, by the hour.

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As a milestone photographer, there are many unforgettable moments that I have the honor of capturing… Smash Cake sessions are such a fun way to ring in a new birthday year! For several years now, I’ve photographed sweet little babies turning one but what about the other birthday milestones?! Shouldn’t they get the same sticky, yummy, bubbly celebration they deserve?! Well… just last week I captured just that! This week a girlfriend of mine is now forty and fabulous! And let me be the first to say… her champagne-filled Smash Cake session was nothing short of fabulous! » OPEN POST »

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After months and months of planning… Michael’s 1st birthday party last weekend was a huge success! Michael is now a wild ONE! Be sure to click here to view images from his “Where the Wild Things Are” themed Smash Cake session. As a milestone photographer, for many years (before I was even pregnant!), I was excited for the planning to start for my baby’s 1st birthday party! What an exciting milestone to celebrate! While I’ve always envisioned planning the 1st birthday party… never did I imagine that I would also incorporating a gender reveal too! It was most certainly a day filled with laughter, excitement, joyful tears, and pure happiness! You can watch the gender reveal here (or here to watch the POP!).

We served BBQ, coleslaw, and chips for the adults + a humongous pizza and popcorn for the kiddos. For beverages, we had a full bar complete with make-your-own bloody mary’s and mimosas!

While I may or may not have gone a little overboard with the large guest list, a 5-in-1 inflatable bounce house, party favors, a guestbook, a gender reveal complete with 6 confetti cannons, and crowns for the little wild things… I wouldn’t have changed a thing! Happy memories were made by all! Splurging on Michael’s 1st birthday party was worth every penny! I will say… for Michael’s 2nd birthday…. we’ll likely be doing something a little more low-key, LOL! This preggo Mama is exhausted! But, it was oh so much fun!

As I mentioned in Michael’s smash cake blog post, it was a “Where the Wild Things Are” themed party since Michael is a Wild ONE! I scoured Pinterest for decoration ideas and put a few ideas together of my own. I had several “stations” throughout the house and I can’t wait to share it all with you! At the bottom of this blog post are links to the companies I worked with to make this party a success!

Many thanks to…

• Bounce House – Astro Jump
• “One” crown – Marshalls
• Smash Cake + Cupcakes – Wegmans
• “Where The Wild Things Are” Invitations – Etsy
• “Where The Wild Things Are” costume – Amazon
• “Where The Wild Things Are” crown leggings – Tiny Feathered Arrow
• Gender Reveal Confetti Cannons – Once Upon a Party Co.
• “Wild One” banner – Amazon
• Monthly milestone photo banner – Amazon
• Letter Board – Hobby Lobby
• Printed signs — created by me via Google images

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My Dearest Michael,

You have taught me many things this past year as I navigate my new world of motherhood… one of which is, don’t blink. As I sit here at 10PM on the couch in our family room while your fast asleep upstairs in your big boy room… on the eve of your first birthday… trying to sum up into words what these last 365 days have meant to me… I’m truly speechless. Motherhood has brought a whole new meaning to love and a whole new meaning to life.

How could you possibly already be ONE?! Tears of joy streaming down my face… it feels like just yesterday I was staring at your positive pregnancy test. God had finally answered my long-awaited prayer… to be a mother. Your mother. I blinked and stared into the results beaming back at me… “pregnant.” I blinked again… it’s 5-months later and we found out that God had blessed your Daddy and me with you, our son. Blink again… it’s 1:20AM on October 17, 2017 and my water breaks waking me up in the middle of the night. Blink again… exactly 12-hours later, after hours of contractions, several scary episodes of your heart rate dropping which lead to an emergency c-section… at 1:20 PM… 7 pounds, 8 ounces, and 20.5 inches of your absolute perfection was placed into my arms… that moment I first looked into your eyes and you stared right back and at me… you took my breath away. My life was forever changed.

» OPEN POST »

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Tomorrow my little Michael man is going to be ONE! We gathered with family and friends this past weekend to celebrate! It was a “Where the Wild Things Are” theme since Michael is going to be a wild ONE! I plan to do a blog post soon to show off all of the cute decorations and fun that was had at his birthday party (which included a gender reveal for baby #2!) but first I wanted to feature his Smash Cake session!! I’ve been so anxious to share all of these images — had to hold off until after his birthday party since we had a bunch on display 🙂

Several weeks ago, we were at the rivah with my family and I knew it would be the perfect location for his Smash Cake session! It’s such a special place for us since we spend as much time as we can there so the Rappahannock River was a beautiful backdrop! I brought along some decorations to go along with the “Where The Wild Things Are” theme and it all came together perfectly! It was a sunrise Smash Cake session (at about 7AM!) since I wanted to shoot it before the sun was going to be too harsh reflecting on the water. Michael was very happy to chow down on some yummy cake for breakfast! » OPEN POST »

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As you may already know if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook (or you read our pregnancy announcement blog post — and watched the video!)… we’re expecting baby #2! If you couldn’t tell from the blast announcement across all social media platforms back in August… we’re pretty excited about it! As many of you know, my husband and I struggled for quite some time with infertility challenges in trying to get pregnant with our first child (read and watch our pregnancy announcement here). So! You can imagine our surprise when Ryan and I found out we were pregnant with Baby #2 just 1 month after trying for round II! I still cannot seem to wrap my head around this little one growing in my belly — it all seems so surreal that this miracle happened naturally, all on its own. God certainly has a plan for our growing family — this baby must be in a hurry to join our crazy, family fun! Now… raising two kiddos under two will be quite an adventure! We are SO excited to meet our new addition! » OPEN POST »

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I just love this sweet family to pieces! They welcomed me into their home and Miss Harper was so very excited to introduce me to her little sister, Amelia. She was all smiles snuggling her up! Her beautiful Mama, Cherie, was glowing with happiness and I’m pretty sure Amelia slept the entire time I was there! She was perfectly content in her mama’s arms. I always love to capture the baby’s nursery when I arrive at my client’s home for their newborn session. The parents have likely spent countless hours getting their little one’s room all ready for their grand arrival — so it’s an important part of the story to capture all of the sweet details. Miss Amelia’s room was absolutely precious! The soft pinks and rose accents were so delicate, dreamy, and oh, so girly. No detail was overlooked. Cherie is the owner and creator of The Sprinkled Crown so of course the girls had to wear their pretty little bows. Always love spending time with the Skrinski family! » OPEN POST »

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I sent a newsletter to my ASP Family earlier today and wanted to share the news with my followers… a change is coming!

It’s been a busy season in my office as I make strategic plans to rebrand my business. It’s been almost 5 years since I officially launched Allison Shumate Photography. When I first started my business, I purposefully chose not to invest in branding for a variety of reasons: my overall shooting style was going to change (a lot!), my ideal client and target market was going to change, etc. Instead, at the time, I went for a simple logo and more of a DIY approach with regards to my website and blog design. I’ve been proud of it over the years… it’s all worked out fine. But, it’s time for a change! » OPEN POST »

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