a b e l

this week i am super nostalgic + overly emotional because on Saturday, our sweet Abel turns ONE... are you kidding me? it's been a whole year? there's just no way.

it's the craziest thing how i remember it like it was yesterday, but it also seems so far away because i don't even remember life before him. so i'm all reminiscent over here + looking back at how the year with him played out + LOVING it. he's such a sweet soul, such a giver. still so quiet + smiley, still fuzzy haired like the first day we met him (maybe by 2 buddy). i just can't get over it. 

on top of all the emotions, i am giving chris and i a big fat pat on the back, because we did it! i wouldn't say i ever had doubts that we wouldn't, but i mean... honestly, i don't care how many books you've read, or kids you've baby sat... when you have a baby, especially your first, you really have no idea what it will be like + it's sort of an all in kinda thing. so hooray for us! we kept our tiny human alive + well. he's fed + rested. + on most days bathed ;) he is for the most part incredibly well behaved + all around a little piece of heaven. most importantly though, he is loved... + loved + loved... + loved well. 
i have learned so much about love this year. a new kind of love that i had never experienced before. being a parent is the most wonderful privilege + i am so thankful thankful thankful for the opportunity.

abel, my love for you is more than you'll ever know. maybe you'll understand it better when you have kids one day, but even then i don't know, because mamas + daddys have different experiences! you are the very best thing we have ever done in this life + i hope that you grow up into the most amazing man one day, all the while knowing how loved + appreciated you are. thank you for being the smile in our every day + teaching us a new kind of love, the best kind of love! i can't wait to celebrate you this weekend + watch you cake your face like never before... you're going to love it! 
a million kisses, your mama 

(top photo from the morning after he was born, bottom photo from yesterdays nap)

M + J

i was recently lucky enough to shoot some engagement photos for a sweet sweet friend + her main squeeze. firstly, they are gorgeous human beings + i hardly had to do any editing... + that is something to be excited about, and secondly... taking engagement shots for someone is such an honor to me. what a special time + memory to capture for them. something they will cherish forever. i love it. anyway, i will let the photos do the talking, i love how they turned out + choosing my favorites for this post was a challenge. and again i'll say it, thank you old town... you're simply the best. 

insta-grams to date

some grammage, because these are the bits of our every day that i was lucky enough to capture + i never want to forget them... 
thanks instagram.

taking stock || part 2

i enjoyed this so much the first time, i thought i'd give it one more go...

also, this picture has nothing to do with it, donuts are just too fun to photograph... + eat

Making : plans + decorations for abel's birthday party
Cooking : apple cinnamon scones according to husband
Drinking : ginger ale, yumm
Reading: i'm currently in the middle of about 5 different books... one day though
Wanting: the weekend
Looking: forward to a facial on saturday, thank you sister
Playing: around with my new camera
Wasting: time on my phone
Sewing: again, i say ha
Wishing: for either snow so we can make muddy buddies or warmer weather so we can get out of the house!
Enjoying: chris, he's the best
Waiting: for chris to get home... he just left
Liking: when abel share's his snacks
Wondering: how many more babies we will be blessed with + what genders they will be
Loving: my family, always
Hoping: for good things to come
Marvelling: at how much abel has learned in one year + still being blown away that i made him from scratch
Needing: a cookie
Smelling: a sleepy abel
Wearing: a sweatshirt + yoga pants... so fancy
Following: such pretty feeds on instagram
Noticing: that it's time to deep clean the whole house... womp womp
Knowing: everything will be okay somehow
Thinking: about how much i'm wanting that cookie ^^^
Bookmarking: every memory that i can
Opening: up to the people who really care about me + still ask how i'm doing, while actually wanting a true response, even if it's sad
Giggling: at abel being silly lately... he is actually meaning to be silly these days + i am loving it
Feeling: hungry

the highlights || 2 0 1 3

14 days into the new year felt like a good time to recap + share some of my favorite or memorable moments + posts from the previous year. 2013 was probably one of my favorite years ever up until the end there, for obvious heartbreaking reasons that i still can't find the words to share in this space, hence my absence. 
we had abel... the best thing that's ever happened to us, and we lost my dad... the worst. everything in between those two events are some of my favorite memories that i hope my brain will never forget. i spent more time with my daddy this year than i ever have in my adult life + that is time that i am forever grateful for + wishing i had more of. chris + i became parents + learned an indescribable love like no other + that too, is something i am SO blessed by + that i still can't even believe is reality sometimes...
i hope you enjoy re-capping our year as much as i did. xoxo
(ps this post reads weird through bloglovin' + is better viewed at the direct site)

in january we:

moved into our house
waited + waited for a baby
abel surprised us 2 weeks early + was born  ||  here + here
we announced it to YOU + shared about his name

in february we:

spent most of our time snuggling with a baby
went on our first outing as a family of three
felt lucky to have had our boy for 2 extra weeks on his "due date"

in march we:

tried the ever popular 'snooze' for the first time
found my heart in a puddle on the floor ... multiple times
went green
wrote love notes to document the best i could, all of the love in my heart for one tiny human
put up our grams wall.

in april we: 

hosted easter!
prepared for birthday season
our obsession began with the waffle lab
chris had a birthday + a party
abel turned 3 months old... what?
i shared on my new confidence as a mother
we discovered the red table, yumm
gushed about abel... some more.
spent time with grammy + papaw

in may we: 

supported family in a colorful way
my dad + i had a joint birthday party, derby style
enjoyed farmer's market season
sunday-d in estes park + stopped at the cherry tree
celebrated 3 years of marriage
abel turned 4 months old & i probably cried my eyes out

in june we:

found out abel's cousin was a girl!
talked about abel + how special he is... again, i say.. again
experienced father's day in a whole new way
ate so much food at the taste of foco
abel turned 5 months old... are you seeing a common post ;)

in july we:

two of my very favorite people in this world met for the first time... mimi + abel
we had my favorite 4th of july
we spent time on the lake
abel discovered his love for reading (eating) books
we celebrated ashton with a baby shower!

all of a sudden abel is 6 months old + i can't believe it
... + we had a 1/2 birthday party

in august we:

attended the happiest 5k on earth
had the honor of photographing the most beautiful pregnant women that's ever lived
didn't think we could love abel anymore... + then we did
upgraded bath time
dreams became reality + foco hosted a food truck rally
talked about prayer

in september we:

real talk about estes park + again
made note of some milestones
took abel to his first soccer game to watch his daddy
visited with my cousin

in october we:

had a girls night, no boys allowed
took abel to the park + some more
photographed a scene that will forever be my favorite in all the world
welcomed our sweet niece arrow
partied, costumes + cocktails style for taylor's birthday

in november we:

shared abel's first halloween on the blog
had a wonderful visit with abby
+ said goodbye to the most special man this world has ever known, my daddy.

in december we:

shared our time in breckinridge
talked a little about our loss

10 stinkin' years...

i spared you from any pictures from 2003 or 2004, because i liked this square layout the best & it only fit 9, most of those photos are all in print & not in cyber world (man i miss those days) and well... you know, who really wants to see us 10 years ago riiight? if you were there... you remember. lots of fake tanner & not husbands best hair years. anyway though, here are some shots of us starting in 2005 through 2013... i'm hoping to take a million tonight on our date & that will be our first "only the two of us" picture in 2014, hooray!

okay so... ten years. i'm not even sure where to begin. firstly, i feel so thankful that i have been with the love of my life for TEN YEARS already, what an honor to be able to say that at my age, or any age for that matter. high school, college, 4 years of marriage, 5 cities, 3 pets, and a baby later... i'm happy to be the mrs. to his mr. & i'm so very proud of us. i know that ten years is not twenty years or fifty & i'm certainly not so naive to think that there won't be challenges that we face down the road that may weaken what we have going on right now, but i'm still so proud of us to be standing here beside each other today after our  T E N . unfortunately, i feel like we live in a world where marriage & relationships aren't valued the way they once were or could be. marriage is a contract you can get in or out of depending on how you are "feeling" in that season & the significance, the sacredness, the commitment & all of the hard work are looked over in today's society. i'm also not so naive to think that there aren't circumstances where marriages shouldn't go on. i just think it's so sad & unfortunate. especially after seeing my mom fight so hard to keep my dad around & to lose him, without a choice. it's heartbreaking. 
i love being married. it is absolutely work. every single day it's a choice & there are definitely days where we mess up & have to apologize & choose to try harder & do better tomorrow. i am thankful for a husband who values me and our marriage & makes our family his first priority no matter what. 
i am beyond blessed by chris. i love the way that he looks at me from across the messy, toy covered room with so much love in his heart, & like we're the luckiest people in the world. i believe that we are. i love the smile lines around his eyes & the way he hugs me. i love that we still do so many of the silly things we did when we first started dating, like three squeezes means 'i love you' and if we are walking & are split by something we click our forearms together to cancel out the split. he knows when i just need a hug & for him to let me cry. i love to my core that he really knew my dad & i fell in love with him a million times over when he spoke at his memorial. i love that together we made abel. he's by far the best thing we have ever done together & i'm still blown away that we couldn't have made him with any other person in the world. he's the greatest dad & when i see him in action, i can't even deal... i just want to go make more babies with him right then and there ;)
he's my best friend in the world & there will never be enough words to describe our love...
so happy 10 years to us!
we are celebrating tonight at the melting pot (neither of us have ever been)! he made me the most adorable, personalized invitation, in addition to the most beautifully written card that made me ugly cry like never before on Christmas morning. i am so excited! maybe i'll actually post about it... since you know, i've been so great at that lately ;) here's hoping!
chris, happy ten years. i can't wait to see what the next year & the next ten & twenty after that bring. i love dating + being married to you.

happy new year!

i posted this on instagram + wanted to have it here too! happy new year :)

...there are only a kabillion of these floating around + that makes me happy because it means people loved their year enough to document it + then share it again slideshow style. choosing my photos for mine was one of the more challenging things I did today because photos for me are captured moments that I cherish so deeply. 2013 was bittersweet for our family, with the birth of our abel man + niece arrow being the sweet + the loss of my daddy, the bitter that still rocks my soul daily. bitter or sweet circumstances, I still stand in awe of my Lord + Savior + am grateful for each day + every blessing. we serve a loving God + I believe good things will continue to happen in 2014.