Jay and Bree celebrated their FIFTEENTH wedding anniversary this year! And what better way to celebrate, than a vow renewal!? I am so thankful that they asked me to join them with their friends and family to capture their joy, as they spoke the sweetest (and funniest) vows to each other; sharing all their best memories over their last 15 years together. Their two boys are the cutest, and I am so thankful to have met this sweet family! Thank you for letting me be a part of your lives, and documenting this special time for you, Jay and Bree! (and congratulations on your newest addition arriving soon) (; I am so excited for you!
1. Resist Buying Clothes
I know you hear this all the time, but honestly I wish I didn't have so many cute clothes until we knew what size she would be at what times. We had tons of adorable newborn outfits that she never even got to wear, or wore once because they didn't fit her long and were the wrong style for the wrong time of the year (short sleeves in winter... not good for a cold baby)!
Another thing to remember is that newborns spit up A LOT and have tons of poopy blowouts, so you go through TONS of clothes!
We were changing her clothes 4- 5 times a day for the first month. So having easy jammies and onesies is KEY!
Beats those dressy outfits any day, especially when you are home anyway the first couple of weeks! When you do buy clothes, buy them from nice thrift stores or garage sales, you can really find some hidden gems and save tons of money!
2. Change Diapers On Your Bed At Night
Instead of carrying her all the way to the "diaper changing station" (her dresser) every 2-3 hours, I really wish we would have just kept a stash of diapers and some wipes at the bottom of the bed and changed her right there. Not only does getting up and down wake the baby, but it wakes you up more, making it harder to fall back asleep. We do this now at 4 months old, since 2 or 3 months old, and it is LIFE SAVING and SLEEP SAVING!
Let them nap in brighter rooms than what they sleep in at night, and always with some noise, it will train them to sleep anytime and anywhere. My girl can sleep in a noisy room, right in my arms for hours now or she can sleep in her pack n play in the middle of family talking. So many other ways she naps, and she sleeps SO much, I really think it has to do with starting that from day 1!
4. Bake/ ShopWhile You Can
Bake casseroles/frozen foods and stock up on non-perishables and water bottles while you can. Before the baby is born is the perfect time to get things done around the house. But one thing we forgot, was getting basic essentials. For us, we don't live near a store thats less than 15 minutes away, so going out with a newborn was not ideal, and neither of us felt up for going out after days of no sleep in the hospital. Get it done while you can or have your family ready to pick things up for you if you can!
5. Burp Rags on Burp Rags & Binkies on Binkies
You can never have enough of either..
6. A&D & Breastmilk
Use that stuff on EVERYTHING. Use it at every diaper change to avoid getting diaper rashes. Use it on their face when it looks dry. Use it on any cuts/scrapes they get. Use it on your own hands when they get too dry.
Breastmilk is also very healing. You can just leave a little leftover on their lips when they are done eating. It will keep their lips from getting chapped and dried out!
Just enjoy motherhood and this precious gift of life. Each day seems long, but the months go quickly! Take lots of pictures and videos, not just of the baby but of you with the baby too!
1. Get Away from the Adjectives!
Instead of using words like, "beautiful, perfect, exciting" (any basic adjectives), try using non adjective words to describe their wedding or engagement session, and talk more about feelings/relatable moments.
For Example, this is not a strong sentence to include in the blog, "Their wedding day was very beautiful, and full of so much joy"! Instead try, "Jordan and Mandy anxiously awaited each other all day, at the beautiful Serendipity Garden. When he first laid eyes on her you could feel the joy we saw in his eyes, as tears filled their eyes and streamed down Mandy's cheek."
2. Space out your best shots!
If you keep all of your favorites at the beginning, someone might lose interest in the rest of the blog post. If you keep them at the end you might not draw their attention in long enough to see those favorite shots! But if you space them out, then you will keep them interested and in love from beginning to end!
3. Be as consistent as you can be!
This one is extra tricky, because it's so hard to keep up! But the more consistent you are, the better you won't get behind.. because we all know what happens when we get behind.. it never gets done! So the more you stay on it, the more your clients see, the more you have to share when someone visits your website, and the more content you can keep up to date!
1. Your wedding day is just that.... ONE DAY. What matters most is that on your special day, you are committing to a LIFETIME together. My point with this is... don't let the stresses of a "perfect" wedding day get to you so much that it gives you stress, lack of sleep, or problems in your relationship! What matters the most is that your wedding day will be uniquely yours, it will be the day you committed to forever with each other, surrounded by the people who care most about you! Let that be your mindset as you plan and prepare for your wedding day, and don't let the little things overwhelm you! The day flies by, the marriage is forever!
2. Your bridal party might drive you crazy. Give your bridesmaids and groomsmen PLENTY of time to get alterations, and have your maid of honor be the one to stay on top of everyone for you! Also, make time for just yourself on your wedding morning. As soon as your bridal party is there, you will be in non-stop commotion, and you will want some peace and quiet!
3. Trust your gut. If any vendors, family members, friends, or anyone else gives you advice that you don't agree with, or don't want to take, then don't! Don't do something you don't want to do just because someone says it's a good idea. It's your wedding day, and whatever dreams you have or don't have, are what matter! Choose to let bad advice in one ear and out the other! In the end, do what makes you and your fiance' happy, and ignore the rest!! You will be happier in the end!
Pregnancy.... it's beautiful, it's the miracle of life, it's full of "glowing"... Pregnancy has been one rollercoaster for me for sure! I intended to journal everything throughout my pregnancy, but to be honest I am really not that great at it, and totally failed! So here goes a little bit about my pregnancy journey summed up into one post!
We found out we were pregnant on July 3rd, which means we were already 5 weeks along! We went to the grocery store, and at last minute in the check out I remembered "Oh no! we forgot to get the pregnancy test!" So I ran back over to the aisle, grabbed a box of 2, and ran back over to the check out with Taylor. Later on, I took 1 test, and watched as the blue lines both turned blue immediately! I was trembling, and holding back tears... I waited the full 3 minutes just to see if it changed anything, and sure enough the lines just got DARKER! I opened the door, and looked at Taylor through my tear filled eyes, as he looked at me questioningly. He asked, "What, is it negative?"... I can't remember exactly what else was said, but I think it was something like "We are *sniffling* having a baby!!!" A huge hug and kisses followed, and later that night we went and watched the Lake Arrowhead fireworks with some new family friends. It was seriously perfect and like our own little private celebration! I waited to think of it as a definite yes until I took another test in the morning (which was also positive, of course)!
We waited until the end of July before we told our family and closest friends! Then waited until the end of August to announce it publicly to our church family, work friends, and our facebooks! Keeping that secret was sooo hard! But we did it! On August 27th we had a gender reveal party with our family and closest friends! Alec and Cara (two dear friends of ours), went with us to the ultrasound, and the technician told them what we were having, so that they could go buy the balloons in the right color!! We were SO happy and I was SO surprised, because I really thought we were having a boy! But I am so glad that we are having a little girl. Oaklynn is already so beyond loved and spoiled, and I can't wait to dress her and play with her blonde beautiful hair! (I am assuming she will be blonde, but you never know)! We are constantly wondering who she will look more like!
Morning sickness.... more like all day sickness!!! I couldn't stand the smell of anything deli, and avoided any pastas or pasta sauces! I remember not liking being sick all the time, but honestly once it went away, I have a hard time remembering how awful it really was! I did throw up many times a day for a while there, but once I hit 13 weeks, all morning sickness subsided and entered the golden second trimester! I LOVED my second trimester! I felt great all the time, I walked miles on miles daily, I had energy again! I wasn't napping as often as I was in the first trimester, I could fit in my maternity clothes comfortably. Pregnancy was great! I started taking trips to pee about every few hours every night! and I started feeling Oaklynn's kicks (more like flutters) at about 14 or 15 weeks, and I LOVEDDDDD feeling her move, it was incredible and made everything feel so much more real! I felt actual kicks around week 18 and then from then on she has been NONSTOP moving and kicking! Literally 24/7, most nights it was impossible to sleep while she did summersaults and punched me like a punching bag... but she is so cute, and I love that we have a little athlete in training growing in me!
Enter the Third Trimester.... This third trimester has been full of tiredness, swollen hands and feet (and really everywhere), peeing every 2 hours, and impatience! I have had Braxton hicks from about 28 weeks, and prodromal labor contractions from about 34 weeks along.... so it has been weeks of false alarms and not feeling well. I am still walking almost daily, and have gone through plenty of nesting spurts! It has been really difficult to wait patiently for our little girl. God is surely teaching me to trust in His timing! James 1:2-8, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." and I love Philippians 4:6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." We are so excited to meet little Oaklynn! Her due date is less than 2 weeks away finally!
Cravings: In N Out and Sour skittles have been the biggest cravings consistently throughout pregnancy. There are other ones that come and go like: fruit, cookies, ice cream, and pizza! I don't have any aversions anymore, which has been great!
Taylor has been so wonderful this whole pregnancy, so helpful and kind. Always cleaning the house, and making me rest as much as possible. He is going to be such a great dad, I can't wait to see him love on our little girl <3
Oaklynn Grace Morgan, we love you so much. Words cannot describe how much we love you, and can't wait to hold you! We are constantly feeling your kicks, and watching you roll across my tummy with amazement! You are getting so strong and so big! I can't wait to hold your little fingers and tickle your little toes! You are absolutely adorable, and I haven't even met you yet. God has such a beautiful plan for your life, and you are so loved by Him! He has made you perfectly, and you will do such great things for His Kingdom <3 I can't wait to see whose eyes you have, what qualities you get, and to hear your sweet giggles. Please, Please be here soon precious girl. 12 days is far too long away!!! We love you, baby!