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Since becoming a mother, each special occasion is so much more special to experience… because I get to watch it through the eyes of my children. The joy, the wonder, the excitement… it all is so very heartwarming! This year, Easter was extra special because Thomas has now joined our family. Also! My brother, his wife, and their 3 kiddos recently moved from New York to be back in Richmond so watching all 5 cousins together is such a blessing. » OPEN POST »

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One of my love languages is gifts! Giving gifts that is (…although who doesn’t like to receive gifts every now and then?!). I love the process of finding the perfect gift to give someone special and the joy that comes from watching them open it!

How many of us have had a family member, friend, or someone special in our lives that has gone through a difficult time and you want to help brighten their day? I think we all can relate here. In those times you want to do something generous for your friend in need to show them that you care. Sure a delicious home-cooked meal, flowers, or simply mailing them a card are all thoughtful ideas…

I recently discovered a fun and unique way to bring a smile to someone’s day and it only takes roughly 20-minutes of your time and is budget friendly! Insert… The Sunshine Basket!

The key here is to find goodies, snacks, and thoughtful little gifts that are yellow to go with your sunshine theme. The ideas on what you can put in your basket are endless! Pinterest has some great tips too!

Supplies you’ll need…

  • 15-20 yellow goodies, a card, and a white basket (all easily found at your local Dollar Tree)
  • Printable sunshines found on Google (this one makes me smile)
  • Printable sunshine quote (this one and this one are cute ideas)
  • White tissue paper, scissors, and tape

Tune in below to this quick pre-recorded On Air with Allie episode and watch me put a Sunshine Basket together! Hope this inspires you to create one for someone special. It will surely brighten their day (and yours!). Cheers friends!

 

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OH this boy mama heart is so very full! We welcomed Thomas Daniel into our family on 3.9.18 💙 7lbs. 4oz. and 19.75” of pure perfection! It’s been a whirlwind at home getting settled into a new routine with raising two boys under two. Michael is so proud of his big brother role and gives Thomas sweet little kisses all throughout the day. Soaking up every minute of our family “firsts” with Thomas.

Stay tuned for a full blog post coming soon on his birth story…

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Dear Thomas,

OH! My sappy boy-mama heart just can’t take it! I’ve been crying tears of JOY all throughout the day today in anticipation for tomorrow! I still cannot believe that in less than 24-hours I will be holding you in my arms. Your Daddy and I cannot wait to welcome you into our family, introduce you to your proud big brother, and savor those sweet first moments in the hospital as a family of four.

While this pregnancy feels like it’s gone by in the blink of an eye… I’ve still cherished every kick, every hiccup, every rumble in my tummy that is the miracle of you. It honestly still doesn’t feel real that this is all happening until I hear your sweet cries tomorrow morning and feel your warm newborn skin snuggled on my chest. Your Daddy and I are so anxious to meet you! Will you look just like your brother?! Our last ultrasound was over 19-weeks ago… at the time you had a head full of hair and a little button nose (just like Michael!). We are so excited to watch in awe as you grow and develop your own unique personality while celebrating every milestone along the way! 

This time-lapse video below is so very special to me! The first part of this video was captured last July (when Michael was 9-months old) before I even knew that at the time I was 7-weeks pregnant with you… you were the size of a blueberry growing inside my belly! The second part of the video was captured today at 39-weeks pregnant! You’re now the size of a mini-watermelon… my how much you’ve grown!

We are counting down the hours until tomorrow. You are so, so loved little one! See you soon! XOXOXO!!!

Love,
Mommy

Image credit above: Andrea Pesce Photography

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If you follow along on this blog or my Instagram page then you know that I love fun house projects! I’m a sucker for a good “before and after” makeover! Too many Fixer Upper episodes maybe?? Well, it doesn’t help that I’m now 38-weeks pregnant and in full-on nesting mode… poor Ryan is doing well in keeping up with my crazy ideas! We’re a good team!

This Summer it will be 6-years since we moved into our home. Over the years, we haven’t had to do too much to renovate. There are many reasons why we settled on the house we’re in… one being that we are in a cul-de-sac and our backyard backs up to wooded wetlands which offers lots of privacy. In the spring/summer months, the woods are filled with luscious green leaves and when you’re on our back porch it feels like you’re in a tranquil tree fort. » OPEN POST »

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OH my goodness! I still cannot stop smiling… my dear girlfriends Kendall, Emily, and Missy hosted a baby shower in honor of me and my little Thomas. I woke up bright and early yesterday morning to a beautiful day! After having snow and chilly weather in the single digits… I was pleasantly surprised to have a sunny 68° day to enjoy! I scooted over to Avenue 42 Style Studio. The lovely and talented Arianna did my makeup and made me feel absolutely flawless! In addition to my baby shower yesterday morning… my family got together with Andrea, Thomas’s maternity and newborn photographer, yesterday afternoon to have our maternity portraits taken. It was simply an unforgettable day!

I arrived at Kendall’s house for the baby shower and was in awe of what all the lovely hostesses had done… it brought me to tears… I was truly speechless! These ladies planned this children’s book inspired baby shower to absolute perfection! They put Pinterest to shame — not a single detail was overlooked! The decorations, flowers, delicious brunch (and desserts!!), yummy mom-osas, the clever emoji game, thoughtful gifts, and “book worm” party favor candies… it was all so surreal! As I walked from room to room soaking in every detail I couldn’t help but get a little teary-eyed… this was my baby shower! It was all starting to feel real that this was actually happening… in less than 7-weeks we’ll be welcoming another sweet boy into our family! My sweet Thomas, you are already oh so loved!!! Spending the morning surrounded by such loving, inspirational women whom I respect and look up to was such a blessing! » OPEN POST »

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One of the major changes I’ve noticed with both Michael and now Thomas’s pregnancy journey is the need to be freakishly organized and prepared for anything. In preparation for Michael’s arrival (Fall 2016), I put together a baby car kit so I’m prepared while on-the-go! The last thing I wanted was a blow-out situation and we don’t have an extra set of wipes/diapers (or change of clothes) laying around – that would be one yucky (and smelly!) car ride home! Well, I’ve recently revamped my car kit to now include items for a 15-month old and a soon-to-be newborn. Today I’m going to share with you what’s inside my ultimate DIY car essentials kit!

I featured this topic on a recent On Air with Allie — episode 19! In case you missed it, you can scroll down to watch the replay where I dig into my car kit and show you what’s inside!

» OPEN POST »

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“Our lives are made up of a series of moments.” As a motherhood photographer, I’m grateful to experience and be trusted to capture many treasured, heartfelt moments. Those fleeting moments that truly take your breath away. Today Mr. Behl turns ONE! Oh, what a journey it has been so far! I’ve had the honor of photographing every milestone throughout this sweet boy’s life.

I got to be there when his Mommy and Daddy told their pregnancy announcement news to Behl’s big brother and sister… and when Finley and Tripp took a bite into a cupcake and squealed “BLUE!” at Behl’s gender reveal… and when Emily’s belly grew and we captured their maternity photos while strolling the University of Richmond campus… and even witnessed being in the room when Behl was born… his newborn photos… 6-month photos… and most recently his Smash Cake photos! I’m blessed to have this family as dear friends in my life. I’m thankful that I can share the gift of photography with such loving families. It’s a privilege that I do not take for granted.

Happy 1st Birthday Behl!

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Today marks a very special milestone. Exactly one year ago today, I officially said farewell to the corporate world to dive headfirst into motherhood. One whole year… where did the time go?! My sweet little boy was merely 3-months old last January when I made the choice to become a stay-at-home-mom. Since the day my son was born, I’ve been in awe witnessing each milestone as he grows. Every day with him is absolutely new and different in wonderful, small ways. Tomorrow he’ll be 15-months old and I’m 32-weeks pregnant with baby boy #2! Ryan and I are gearing up for raising two boys under two! I could not feel more blessed to raise these boys with such a loving, hard-working, and supportive husband.

Becoming a mother has challenged me both mentally, physically, emotionally… Michael has taught me many things in the last 15-months. He is and always will be my first little boy. Thanks to Michael I feel much more prepared for Thomas’s arrival. Staying at home with Michael has been quite an adventure! As you can imagine with a busy, busy toddler… we have a mix of great days and challenging days. Days where we laugh till our stomachs ache… days where we get dressed and conquer those errands and play dates… and other days where we stay home in PJs and goof off in the playroom… The days can sometimes feel long but the years are so, so short… motherhood is hard, regardless of where or how we do it, ladies. But one thing I know for sure is our little Michael man brings us SO much JOY! These next 7 weeks, we’re soaking up our last true one-on-one time with our little rascal.

In addition to being home with Michael, I’ve continued to refine my craft by working with families to capture the art of motherhood. After hustling after this photography dream of mine for several years now… I’m proud to say that 2017, my first official year full-time, was my most successful year yet!

Super stoked for my 2018 goals! I have some big dreams for my family and my business. January is off to a great start!

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