Merry Everything!

And so I’m offering this simple phrase, to kids from one to ninety-two – although it’s been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you!

This year feels a bit different, I felt a sense of completeness as I hung up stocking #4 for the first time. Lucy & Conor truly make this holiday (and every holiday) feel magical. It’s like I relive my own childhood as I see the wonderment in their eyes.

Reflecting on the past year, I still can’t believe we have TWO kids. Conor has been such a blessing to our family this year, and I was so excited to show him his very first Christmas tree. I am a bit obsessed with the teal and red bulbs we have on our tree this Christmas. While the kids are small, hanging anything too fragile seems a bit risky, so instead we used mostly stuffed ornaments and I just love how whimsical it is!

As much as I love the idea of making our own memories and traditions, there is nothing like bringing back the best ones from your childhood. When we were young, my dad always put a huge model train under the tree. This was no ordinary train, it had real sounds, lights, smoke puffs, you name it! We even would set up a little village with homes and tiny people in fake snow. I haven’t quite made it to that level yet, but in the meantime we have a beautiful little train set by FAO Schwarz that simply mesmerizes the kids as they watch as it passes by.

Christmas2018-9725Christmas2018-9726Christmas2018-9729Christmas2018-9921Christmas2018-9955Christmas2018-9954Christmas2018-9967Christmas2018-9745Christmas2018-9713Christmas2018-9817Christmas2018-9824Christmas2018-9853Christmas2018-9837Christmas2018-9767Christmas2018-9868Christmas2018-9895

And although it’s been said many times, many ways…

I feel like i’ve hit the jackpot with these sweet & silly kids.

Christmas2018-9903

baby noelle | newborn photos

Can we talk about the sheer joy you get while holding a perfectly new little newborn in your arms?

Baby Noelle-0189

What comes next in the series…one adorable baby boy…two (identical twin!) adorable baby boys….

If you guessed three adorable baby boys – you are incorrect – and I think Nikevia and Julian are breathing a sigh of relief that their 4th child was not in fact triplets, but instead one beautiful baby girl, sweet Noelle!

Baby Noelle-0169

When Nikevia contacted me about doing a newborn shoot for her daughter, I felt like I was counting down the days till her arrival just as much as she was. Her and I went to school together and not only did she excel at everything – sports, academics, heck she was even our homecoming queen – she is honestly the nicest person on the planet and someone I am lucky to have stayed in touch with over the years. Spending time at her and her husband’s house taking photos of their family was such a fun experience…and also a challenge! Do you know how hard it is to try to get a photo of three little boys three and under all smiling and looking at the camera? Throw a newborn into the mix, and its darn right impossible! Despite the challenge, I was able to capture some real candid family moments, and I hope they treasure these photos for a lifetime!

Baby Noelle-0227Baby Noelle-0233Baby Noelle-0236Baby Noelle-0253Baby Noelle-0353Baby Noelle-0349Baby Noelle-0279Baby Noelle-0419Baby Noelle-0450Baby Noelle-0474Baby Noelle-0553Baby Noelle-0627Baby Noelle-0618Baby Noelle-0624Baby Noelle-0605Baby Noelle-0598
cinnamommy
Fun fact: Somehow between juggling 4 kids under 4, Nikevia owns an incredible business called Cinnamommy. If you are local to western Maryland, you need these in your life!

Bello Bambini

Twice as much to love – my beautiful cousin is having TWIN BOYS!

This past weekend I had the honor of attending my beautiful cousin Daneda’s baby shower for her TWIN BOYS! The thought of her being a mother brings happy tears to my eyes, and I know that she will not only have her hands full, but her heart will be even more full. Daneda’s mother (my Aunt) planned the most beautiful baby shower *side note: the nicest I have ever attended* for her daughter and her soon-to-be arriving grandsons, and I had to share some of the exquisite details with you. The venue was a log cabin out in the woods which she completely transformed with such care for every detail. In addition to the decorating, she cooked a delicious five course meal for the guests. Being surrounded by Daneda’s guests (much of it my own family) brought such joy to my heart. These two babies are going to be surrounded by LOVE!

DC_Baby Shower-4896DC_Baby Shower-4898DC_Baby Shower-4935.jpgDC_Baby Shower-4900DC_Baby Shower-4919DC_Baby Shower-4916DC_Baby Shower-4917DC_Baby Shower-4939

During the dinner, a very pregnant Daneda and I ventured off into the woods for a quick mini session. Even though I was a bit nervous that I might put her into labor with all of the walking, I wanted to make sure I captured my stunning cousin in all of her soon-to-be motherhood beauty.

DC_Baby Shower-4974DC_Baby Shower-4971DC_Baby Shower-4959-2.jpgDC_Baby Shower-4964DC_Baby Shower-4968DC_Baby Shower-4972

She is absolutely glowing ❤

I cannot wait to meet those two very lucky baby boys!

love & lots of whit – jen xo

 

The Biggest, the Loudest, the Craziest Party Ever!

A pink-rainbow-Troll-tastic recap of Lucy’s 2nd birthday party!

GUYS…Lucy is TWO – how is that even possible?! These past two years have been nothing short of amazing with our little girl in our lives. She is silly, loving, and so very smart! She sure does keep us on our toes. I am lucky that her birthday fell while on my maternity leave because it has given me actual time to plan a fun party for her!

It was a no brainer this year when deciding on a theme for Lucy’s 2nd birthday party. This girl can practically recite the movie Trolls word for word, not to mention her love for belting out all of the songs. We used Trolls as the main inspiration for the party and that went hand-in-hand with incorporating a whole lot of pink and rainbows as well!

We had such a great time celebrating and I wanted to share some of the pink-rainbow-Troll-tastic party details with all of you!

Lucy 2 Bday-4551Lucy 2 Bday-4570Lucy 2 Bday-4567Lucy 2 Bday-4603Lucy 2 Bday-4610Lucy 2 Bday-4617Lucy 2 Bday-4612Lucy 2 Bday-4592Lucy 2 Bday-4578Lucy 2 Bday-4575Lucy 2 Bday-4596Lucy 2 Bday-4562Lucy 2 Bday-4563Lucy 2 Bday-4582Lucy 2 Bday-4585Lucy 2 Bday-4663Lucy 2 Bday-4673Lucy 2 Bday-4677Lucy 2 Bday-4679lucy-2-bday-4681.jpgLucy 2 Bday-4687Lucy 2 Bday-4683Lucy 2 Bday-4692lucy-2-bday-4698.jpg

Can we all drool over those cake images for a second? Keri at The Farmers Daughter Bake Shop baked up the a cake that was MADE for this theme! It was overflowing with rainbow-y goodness inside and out and tasted absolutely delicious! For the rest of the food for the party, I tried to think of as many rainbow treats as possible, hence the fruit skewers, Rainbow Goldfish, Rainbow Chips Deluxe, and the pretty (but not that great tasting) rainbow popcorn. Though the Million Dollar Dip I made had nothing to do with rainbows, it was a huge hit and I highly recommend it for your next party or get together. We used Wegman’s catering for the sandwich platters and they did not disappoint! Their menu options were much better than the traditional go-to Costco sandwich trays and the same price point!

A shout out to a few other vendors we used: I found the perfect customized banner and cake topper at ShopSwayDesigns. The favor baskets I put together included awesome sound and light bubble guns (a must for bubble obsessed toddlers like Lucy) and wouldn’t have been complete without the adorable Trolls headbands made by BlackBoneBows. For Lucy’s outfit, I found a sweet and affordable rainbow tutu.

love & lots of whit – jen xo

 

 

The 12 Doors of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a fun photo project in Waterford, Virginia.

One of the (only) highlights of having a long commute, is passing through the quaint Natural Historic Landmark town of Waterford, Virginia on my way home. After paying tolls and battling traffic, the last stretch of the commute is actually SO beautiful. As I am driving through, its hard not to admire the craftsmanship of the beautiful old homes from the 18th and 19th century that have been so carefully preserved over the years. It almost feels like you are venturing back in time while traveling through.

edits-2728

It is obvious that the owners of these homes put so much love and care into them. As the holiday season approached, I started to notice all of the beautiful doors being decorated with stunning wreaths and it sparked an idea! One day after work, I decided to take a stroll through the town and capture as many of the festively decorated doors as possible. For a very pregnant me, this was only about 30 minutes of walking before I had to call it a quits, so I apologize to the houses further down the road that I didn’t capture! I hope you enjoy looking at these “12 Doors of Christmas” as much as I do!

edits-2693edits-2688edits-2705edits-2735edits-2740edits-2749edits-2700edits-2722edits-2756edits-2772edits-2765edits-2780

Door.love. ❤ Swooooon.

Of course, since I had to narrow it down to 12 for this post, I had to omit a few but I can’t bear to not include those ones too so please see the rest in this collage.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

love & lots of whit – jen xo

 

Merry Christmas, you wonderful old Building and Loan!

How are there only 4 more days until Christmas?!

It is hard to believe that at this time last year I was 6 months pregnant and now (fast-forwarding to this year) I have a 9 month old baby! Bryan and I are so excited for Lucy’s first Christmas! We are looking forward to spending time with our family, all of the delicious holiday meals, and even though Lucy doesn’t understand much this year – she is just the perfect age to be showing interest in toys. It also doesn’t hurt that we will be off work through the new year, which will mean so much more time with our sweet girl.

I must admit, the past two years I have been a slacker on decorating for Christmas. Last year we set up only the tree (no decorations), and two years ago we didn’t even put up the tree. It’s not even that I was a Grinch about it all, per se, I just ran out of the time and energy. I know, I know, no excuses! This year and hopefully every year going forward, I knew the slacking had to stop and I finally decorated the house for Christmas again. It’s a Wonderful Life is not JUST my favorite Christmas movie, but my favorite movie movie, and it played as inspiration for part of my Christmas decorating this year. I also had the cutest little photo subjects to snap some photos of in front of our tree, enjoy!

lucy-christmas-2016-8984lucy-christmas-2016-8940lucy-christmas-2016-8933lucy-christmas-2016-8975lucy-christmas-2016-8782lucy-christmas-2016-8968lucy-christmas-2016-8952lucy-christmas-2016-8927lucy-christmas-2016-8928lucy-christmas-2016-8832lucy-christmas-2016-8871lucy-christmas-2016-8867lucy-christmas-2016-8885lucy-christmas-2016-8863-2lucy-christmas-2016-8904

Wishing you all a VERY Merry Christmas and a beautiful New Year!

love & lots of whit – jen xo

 

 

Our Little Pumpkin

‘Tis the season, fa la la la, FALL!

Bring on the perfect weather, pumpkin spice everything, and autumnal decor. As you can see below, the house is slowly but surely making its way to the orange spectrum. Even Rooney is getting into the spirit with his pumpkin sweater!

pumpkin-lucy-5948pumpkin-lucy-5942

It’s hard to believe that this time last year, I was sporting a little pumpkin growing in my belly, and this year that little pumpkin is sitting up all on her own and calling me Mama! Another perk of fall is the constant reminder to stop and think about what you are thankful for, and this year my thankful meter is going off through the roof! Lucy is our absolute JOY and I hope these sweet little pumpkin pictures below bring you some joy as well! Happy fall, ya’ll!

pumpkin-lucy-6149pumpkin-lucy-6164pumpkin-lucy-6180pumpkin-lucy-2-6234pumpkin-lucy-6188pumpkin-lucy-6192pumpkin-lucy-6200pumpkin-lucy-6213pumpkin-lucy-2-6209pumpkin-lucy-6231pumpkin-lucy-6232

love & lots of whit – jen xo