5th wedding anniversary

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1825 days ago J and I said our vows with our toes in the sand of Hawksnest Beach on the incredible island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands. We're ever-grateful to California's talented Jules and Joy Bianchi who joined us to capture the festivities and allow us the easy transport back to that day today through their gorgeous images.

It's been a good run, these past five years, I'd say. We've traveled a ton, sold my house and bought a house together, moved the studio into the house and then out of the house again, had a baby, then another, J left a job and started his own company. We've learned, we've laughed and we've loved along the way.

Marriage is wonderful and it is hard, no? It takes practice and patience. I find comfort and safety in J; he's the ying to my yang and even when it's tough, it works. He gets me. And I'm all the luckier for it. He's an incredible father and truly, the apple of my eye.

Way back when, I blogged all about the process of planning our wedding. I just lol'ed, covered my eyes, and shed a little tear re-reading it all this morning. I invite you to indulge, if you're so inclined, via this thread. Some of the highlight reads are listed below.

the proposal
wedding planning: balance
wedding dress 911
wedding countdown
wedding recap: pictures
wedding recap: vendor details
wedding recap: bride's perspective
east coast wedding party 
cover model
our first anniversary

Love you, J!! Crazy how far we've come! Looking forward to getting back there with the kids in December (surprise!! Happy anniversary!)!! xo

baby Hazel, 11 days old

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See, the thing is, babies change. Fast. I met Hazel at the hospital and just days later, I nearly didn't recognize her. The growth that happens in a baby's first year, especially the first few weeks, is incredible! It's hard to imagine that she'll be upright and quite possibly walking by her first birthday! Sigh. Slow down, little lady, is what I'm sure we'll be saying all the year through.

What an honor to spend the afternoon with this family as they adjust to life with a little one, less sleep and hearts overflowing with love. Parenthood looks so, so good on you. xo

Autumn DIY inspiration with Pencil Events at Hardy Farm

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Denise and I were able to tag-team an adorable inspiration shoot organized by Megan Lord from Pencil EventsHardy Farm was the backdrop and such a great venue for this fall-inspired theme.  It was my first time there and I loved the feel of the place.  The wood barn is finished, but the rustic appeal still stands.  The open yet private wooded ceremony area is nestled amongst the trees behind the barn.  Ample lawn surrounds the farm, enough for a dinner reception tent and plenty of lawn games.  Rustic rock walls, white farm fences, and pretty gardens decorate the property.  The iconic Hardy Farm horseshoe (filled with luck!) hangs above the barn doors.

Megan put her stylist skills to work, her creativity and thoughtfulness evident in each little vignette she designed around the property.  The mouthwatering edibles brought each vignette to life.  Heather from The Good Food Store and Catering Company in Bethel cooked up some delectable delights that were oh-so-photogenic as well as delicious (she sent Denise and I home with huge boxes of goodies, that became my lunch and dinner!).

These three together -- Megan, Heather, and Hardy Farm -- made for a wonderful inspiration shoot filled with ease, playfulness, whimsy, warmth, and that feeling of cozy familiarity.  It was a pleasure working with you ladies!  Denise and I thoroughly enjoyed our time with you and hope we can all do it again soon!

See this inspiration shoot on Wedding Chicks here and see it in print in the upcoming issue of WellWed Maine and New Hampshire magazine soon!

life is short, go to Disney

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For Will's first Christmas, his Cincinnati cousins gave him a stuffed animal Piglet. A longtime fan of (classic) Winnie the Pooh (there is an actual Hundred Acre Woods in England and I've been!), I was delighted when he took so quickly to his new little friend, an instant security blanket.

Piglet is a daily fixture (and a popular guest on my personal Instagram feed), accompanying us everywhere and snuggled under Will's arm every night. When I was pregnant with Clara, Piglet was the fill-in for practicing what life as a big brother would be like... swaddling, feeding, buckling the carseat, going for walks in the stroller. When making decisions, we often ask Piglet for input and Will replies on his behalf: "he doesn't talk yet," like we say about little sister Clara. Will refers to him as his "best buddy" and once even threw him a birthday party (and again for about six times a day on repeat for a week or so). I blame Toy Story for the melty soft chocolate chip cookie mess I turn into watching Will with his 10" BFF. It's truly the "good stuff" of parenting.

This most recent Christmas night, once the kids were tucked in and with our hearts still exploding with joy, J and I spontaneously booked tickets to Disney for March (as did many others on the same holiday high, we gathered, as we watched flights selling out in between mouse clicks). We couldn't wait for Will to meet Piglet, and just like Disney promises, the moment was pure magic.

Disney is expensive. Our kids are young. We know. We aren't Mickey Mouseheads (is that a term?), but DisneyWorld is freakin' fun no matter your age and hey, life is short. We took Will when he was 14 months, so obviously we needed to take little Clara now, too, to be fair. :) Jumping on hotel beds, popsicles every day, character meals and meeting up with family were just a few of the highlights (message me if you plan to go with a toddler and/or a baby and I'll be happy to share more). Escaping the everyday for a little fantasy was so so good for all of us.

My hands were mostly full with a baby, a tired toddler, leftover lunch, a stroller handle, sunscreen, a dripping popsicle, a diaper bag and/or some combination of the above, but I fortunately did bring my "big" camera with one lens (35mm) on vacation, too. Can't get these images into a Pinhole Press book fast enough (fyi, use code MOMFAB for 25% off photo books ordered before 4/21)!

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