Life Around The Internet

Elated Exhaustion has been missing some love lately, but I’ve been busy all over the internet.

For Valentine’s Day, a friend and I saw The Richmond Ballet’s production of Cinderella, and it was beautiful! I wrote about it here. 

I was also incredibly honored to be featured as a guest poster on Dancing in The Rain with this post: The Lens of Motherhood. 

Have you read Dancing In The Rain? Jennifer writes an amazing blog you must read.

Jennifer and I were both pleased to be featured today on What To Expect.com! My guest post on her site was featured in this post: 5 Things To Do on February 18th. I would be so honored if you went to read (or comment!) And find out the other 4 things. :) Photo credit goes to the amazing Amy Robinson of Amy Robinson Photography. 

A huge thank you to everyone who entered Elated Exhaustion’s two year blogiversary contest! The winner was Kimberly of All Work And No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something, and I’m telling you, if you read even one of her posts you will fall in love.

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

 

My 10 Favorite Pictures

As you probably know if you follow this blog a bit, I am a picture fanatic. I am not very good at taking them myself, but I’ve always been a bit picky when it comes to photographers and I’m ALWAYS the person at a gathering annoying you to pose for a picture. I am also terrible about actually organizing my pictures, but I have pictures of ALL THE THINGS.

Stasha at The Good Life holds a link up called Monday Listicles. I’ve participated in the past, but am terribly inconsistent. When I saw the link up for this week I knew I could not pass it up. The theme is: Your 10 favorite photos.

Here’s the part where it would be really nice if I actually organized my photos, because there are some that come to mind that I have no idea where the photo is, and some that I just don’t have a digital file for. My two favorite photos from childhood are this one of my Mom, Dad, sister, brother and I by the Christmas tree in the house I grew up in. I must have been about six. We are all dressed up and it must have been Christmas Eve because that’s when my aunts and uncles would come over so someone was there to take the picture. I am holding Token, our family cat, but my baby. I don’t know why, but I just love that picture; the 5 of us, my sweet cat, and the memories of our old house as we are gathered around a Christmas tree.

The other photo that sticks out in my mind is one that my Mom took of me. She had a tri-fold frame, one frame for each of us, and it in she placed pictures she had taken of each of us in the front yard. My brother was just a baby and he was climbing stairs. My sister was sitting nicely in the grass and looking at the camera. I must’ve been about 4, kneeling in the grass, my hair pulled up, wearing a pink dress (still my favorite color) and the picture is a side profile shot of me smelling a rose. Rose is my middle name. (Before I got married but I still love it and claim it.) Something about that picture just seemed to capture “me.”

And the final picture I do not have to show you but is my favorite is one that I do not have the digital copyright to, from when my son is 10 days old. I hired a newborn photographer to come to our apartment and she captured a picture of my cat Caramel looking at the new baby as he slept. It is a stunning picture and captures my two babies; one human, one fur, in a moment of discovery.

With out further ado here are my favorite pictures that I CAN show you:

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Our wedding day. (Amanda Phillips Photography)


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Me when my son was 10 days old. The first time I had put on make up since he was born. I was still carrying baby weight and felt terrible, but’s it’s one brief moment when it seemed like maybe it would be ok.

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My son and I now. I’ve lost the baby weight, he’s grown up, we’re happy, and we’re both much more sure of our lives together. And I love the colors in this picture! (Amy Robinson Photography)

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My sister, my son, and my cat Caramel the day my sister came to meet my son. He was a few days old. Caramel loves to sit on people’s shoulders and she saw no reason to stop just because a baby was around. (Also, this is the only time in my son’s LIFE he ever had a pacifier.)

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I LOVE this picture. This is the only one of this group that I actually took, but I ADORE it. It’s always been my favorite picture of my son.

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Love this sweet one of my boys. (Amy Robinson Photography)

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Look at that chunky monkey! I love this capture of his baby rolls and I’m incredibly proud to claim that they came from him being an exclusively breastfed baby.

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One of my all time favorite pictures, ever, ever, ever. My husband took this in our back yard shortly after we moved to Richmond, VA.

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My son at his 3rd birthday party. Those lashes!!

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At our very first photography session with Amy Robinson Photography, who we now take pictures with twice a year. I adore her and her photography and her ability to capture candid and beautiful moments.

331413_10100699715221930_4848070_oAnd though this is not at all what we look like on a daily basis, I love this picture of our little family on my sister’s wedding day in 2011. I have struggled with body image so much since the birth of my son and here I actually felt beautiful. And who can resist a toddler in a tux?

Thank you for baring with me as I shared a mini brag book. I would love to see your favorites!!

(Oops, that was 11. Sorry!)

 

 

Memories Captured Spring 2013

Twice a year, we set a date with our favorite photographer.

I try to coordinate outfits and spend a lot longer than I normally do on hair and make up. We leave behind stained shirts and toddler snack crumbs and capture our family as we are in that moment in time.

I thought about skipping the spring session this year, but my husband insisted.

I’m oh-so-glad he did.

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I love seeing ourselves through someone else’s eyes and capturing these fleeting moments when my son is little and we are young. I love that these pictures capture my son’s defiance and cuteness, because it’s a perfect reflection of who he is at this age; charming and infuriating and adorable all at once. And I realize, with bittersweet certainty, that my sweet little boy is all of a sudden not so little.

Linking up with my absolutely positively very favorite blog link up that only happens twice a year, Memories Captured with Galit Breen of These Little Waves and Alison of Writing Wishing. What beautiful memories have you captured lately?

 

Pictures courtesy of Amy Robinson at Amy Robinson Photography in Richmond, VA.

 

Choosing Memories

We had spent the day getting ready.

Which means I spent hours on make-up and hair in between fixing toddler snacks and playing trains and putting on toddler shows.

We fought about putting on shoes and “please don’t spill milk on your shirt” and “please stop messing up your hair Mommy just brushed it.”

We struggled all day, just the toddler and I.

The husband changed out of scrubs into street clothes and met us at the park straight from work.

We were rushed.

We were tired.

We were all drained.

The toddler had a case of the “I don’t want tos” and screamed and fought and kicked and would not smile.

We begged and pleaded in between rushed and whispered how were your days and looks of desperation.

We bribed with ice cream and even resorted to a scolding.

It was a disaster.

But then our amazing photographer managed to capture these:

My beautiful boy

My sweet family

Fall leaves

The way we were when we were still in our twenties and he was still three

An afternoon in the park (I think this is my favorite)

A silly face

Some of the historic beauty of Richmond(We are right in front of the famous St. John’s Church in Richmond, VA where Patrick Henry gave his “give me liberty of give me death” speech. The sign behind us is noting the historical site.)

A family of three

And so I hope that many years into the future when I see these pictures I will not remember the tired Mommy or the fighting toddler or the rushing over from work husband.

I will choose to remember the beauty of our little family, at that moment in time.

When he was still little, and we were still in this busied, crazy, beautiful stage of life.

*The amazing photographer that manages to make our little family look beautiful is Amy Robinson of Amy Robinson Photography. If you are in the Richmond area, check out her website or Facebook page to book a session!*

 

Stop and See

Often, in daily life I forget to see my son. I see him every day, but my view of him is hindered by the constant toddler tornado I see as he runs around and busies himself with the exploration of his world. My view of him is muddled in the daily “Mommy I need this” and “Mommy come do that.” I lose sight of him as I put away toys and wash dishes and try to scrub the strawberry stain out of his favorite shirt. I forget to just enjoy him as I fix his juice and warm his food. As I wipe his mouth and bottom and drive him to activities. As I play with him while thinking about the things I have waiting for me on my grown up to-do list.

A few weeks ago, we had a family photo session. When we received the pictures, I got teary. There he was. My son. And in this captured moment of stillness, I SAW him.

He is beautiful. 

In these pictures, I saw him for who he is. I noticed the redness of his hair that I often take for granted. I marveled at the deepness and darkness of his eyes. I delighted at the sweet smile that so often plays across his lips and the sometimes mischievous look that lights up his face.

I saw his smallness and his bigness all at the same time. I saw the beauty and wonder and blessing that is my little boy.

I saw the way he loves us, his Mommy and Daddy. And I saw the way we love him more than anything else in this world.

In these captured moments, these captured memories, I stopped and saw our family. I saw my little boy and the love I so often forget to see in the chaos and monotony of daily life. I got to stop and see my life, and remember what a beautiful thing it is.

Linking up today with the lovely Galit and Alison with my favorite link up; Memories Captured.

*The pictures were done by Amy Robinson Photography located in Richmond, VA. If you are in or around the Richmond area, you should definitely look into hiring her! We adore her both for her talent and personality. You can find her here: http://www.amyrobinsonphoto.com/.