Valentines and Memories

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today, I am linking up with my very favorite link up, Memories Captured, which encourages us each month to capture the moments that catch our hearts and hold our memories. This will be the last Memories Captured link up until June, so instead of sharing just one memory with you, I want to share a few of my recent favorites.

Most of my heart belongs to this sweet little boy who I am honored to make memories with daily. I absolutely adore this most recent picture of him that I just captured Tuesday. At three-and-a-half years old, this little guy is mischievous and sweet all at the same time, and I think this exactly captures his current complexities.

(And the love between a boy and his ice cream.)

A boy and his ice cream

Then there’s this one from January, when just enough snow came to Richmond to build a small snowman and bring this grin to my sweet boy:

playing in the snow

I adore this picture of my son and I riding a children’s train during a weekend afternoon winter visit to an outdoor mall.

Mommy and Noah

And this very rare occasion of a date night at the beginning of January, when my husband and I went to dinner and a movie for the first date we had been on in 6 months.

date night

So this Valentine’s Day, I am cherishing these recent memories and so many memories from the past, and thinking about all of the amazing people that may not be in these pictures, but are always in my heart.

I did something a little crazy for Valentine’s Day this year…I entered a boudoir photography contest and have been selected as a finalist. If you would like to vote for me I can promise I will reward you with a probably hilarious story of how embarrassing it was to take intimate pictures. Voting ends February 14th at 5 pm PST. Thank you!

Update: February 15th: Thank you so much to all of you who voted for me! I did not win, but another one of the deserving finalists did. Thank you again for helping me try to make that silly little idea a reality! Maybe one day…. :)

Getting Ready For Valentine’s Day

I love decorating for the holidays. Even the little ones.

My son and I have carefully placed paper hearts around our home, taping them to windows and scattering them about the table.

We have made homemade Valentines to give to his friends at school and picked out cards to give at home.

I have a small bag of goodies stashed away in the closet to set out tomorrow for my boys, mostly just cards, chocolates, and balloons.

Valentine’s Day is small here, but each year I adore the smallness of paper hearts and the bigness of little smiles from my boys, because even small things can bring big happiness.

Tomorrow I will spend the day with my son and set the table with Valentine’s surprises and we will make heart-shaped pizza tomorrow night. I could not be more thrilled about our simple plans!

But this Valentine’s Day, I also did something just for me. It’s a bit crazy, and a bit brave, and I need your help.

I entered to win a boudoir photography session….and I’m honored to be a finalist!

Boudoir photography is something I’ve been considering for a while, but have never been brave enough to do. I was inspired by Kristin with her post Boudoir Photos: The Naked Truth. I have been struggling with my body image since the birth of my son and I would love the chance for one moment, to see myself through someone else’s eyes to remind myself that there’s beauty still hidden here beneath the run-down Mommy facade.

You can read all about my reasoning behind wanting to try this very scary thing, (including that this would be by 30th birthday present!) and see the other finalists here: 2013 Valentine’s Day Boudoir Photography Giveaway Finalists.

To vote, email with the name only of the person you are voting for in the subject line. (Julia)

Thank you all for your support. And of course, if I win, you will hear all of the details about how it went, as well as the difficulty of hiding this from my husband. (Don’t worry, he probably won’t read this post.)

Voting ends February 14th at 5:00 PM PST.

How are you getting ready for Valentine’s Day?

Update: February 15th: I did not win, but thank you so much to everyone who voted for me! Maybe I will make this silly little idea a reality another time. :)