Hey Gorgeous, The Blog

Events

Feb 10

A Valentine’s Day Cupcake Recipe

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Once upon a time, exactly eight years ago this weekend to be exact, this very blog you’re reading was devoted entirely to baking. My fresh out of college, 22 year old self had aspirations of being a television reporter intertwined with big dreams to run my own bakery; imagine THAT career path! I had all sorts of things I wanted to achieve and the majority of them at the time revolved around sugary goodness. How things can change in the span of a year let alone eight is both fascinating and humbling. Eight years have felt like a lifetime!

Yet I have to laugh at my past baking dreams because in all honesty I’m actually not the best baker. And Andrew does 95% of the cooking in our home because he’s really good at it. While I’m fairly confident I’m now making better use of my gifts as an event planner and floral designer, I do have a handy little recipe in my back pocket for fail-proof and delicious cupcakes. The highlights about this recipe include it’s easy, interchangeable with whatever box mix you love most, makes a two dozen plus batch of cupcakes, and best of all, incredibly yummy.

Enjoy these beautiful (and fun!) photos by my friend, Sam just in time for Valentine’s Day!

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The canvas in the photos is one I painted myself. As a creative person I find a lot of pleasure in painting and had fun creating this bright and fun piece for the project. I’m thinking it will be a sweet gift for my niece who will be turning 7 this spring (but also secretly figuring out how to turn that print into wrapping paper).

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Fuss-free Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

FOR THE CUPCAKES

1 box of devil’s food cake mix
1 small package of chocolate instant pudding
4 eggs at room temperature
1 cup sour cream at room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips or chopped baking squares

FOR THE FROSTING

1 tub of regular Cool Whip
6 ounces of white chocolate baking squares

Directions

Combine all of dry ingredients, minus the chocolate chips, in a big bowl and stir to combine. Add in your wet ingredients with the exception of the sour cream, one by one, beating with a hand mixer on medium speed until combined. Fold in the sour cream until combined well, followed by combining in the chocolate chips. In a prelined cupcake pan, fill your liners a little more than halfway with spoonfuls of the batter. The more you put in your liners the more the cupcakes will rise; and be aware these cupcakes can get pretty big and fluffy. For the cupcakes in the photos we filled the liners up a tiny bit under halfway so you can get a feel for how they bake. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.

To make your frosting, completely melt your chocolate baking squares in a glass bowl either in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds OR in a double broiler over the stove. Once the chocolate is completely melted, fold in the entire tub of Cool Whip and mix until a ganache-like texture is achieved. The white chocolate doesn’t seem to create the same texture as dark chocolate does (when you use bittersweet chocolate baking squares) so if you love chocolate and want a really exceptionally smooth and delicious frosting you can try that route instead. We took the white chocolate route to make the cupcakes a bit more visually appealing in the photos.

Be sure to let your cupcakes cool completely before frosting. Top with a raspberry or whatever else you’d like!

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Happy Valentines Day weekend, everyone! I hope it’s filled with such love. Xoxo

Feb 7

Our Trip to New York City

‘These streets will make you feel brand new…” – Alicia Keys, New York

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At the end of January I had the pleasure of travelling to New York City for a quick yet full two days. My friend Sam was my travel partner for the weekend and our schedule priority was the annual Martha Stewart Wedding Party held at Gotham Hall. While our time at the party was fruitful and exciting, we made sure to squeeze in as much city time as we could when we weren’t soaking up the event. With more than 35,000 steps logged in just two days, we certainly walked (and ate!) our way through New York City.

The above photo is our view from our room on the 19th floor at the Renaissance Midtown Hotel. Our hotel was hip and affordable at just $130.00 a night which was a win for these two travelling mamas. Our room also came with that awesome greyscale rose print wallpaper you see below. While I knew staying at a fancy hotel would be out of the budget for us, my husband and I worked hard to find a place close to the party location (so we could walk) and within our budget for two nights. This place hit all of the marks and then some.

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Since we arrived early on Saturday morning and were able to check into our hotel immediately, we decided to ditch our bags, grab a quick lunch at our hotel’s greenhouse inspired restaurant deck, and hit the pavement.

From finding beautiful goodies in MJ Trimming, which was just a block from our hotel, successfully navigating and laughing through the subway together, and then spending a good chunk of time at Chelsea Market people watching while we munched on six different flavors of donuts from The Doughnuttery (highly recommended!), it was a refreshing break to be diaper bag free and without a schedule for the day.

We ended up walking the entire way back from Chelsea Market to Eataly for dinner where we enjoyed a glass of Moscato with a simple cheese and charcuterie plate. We had the pleasure of sharing our table with a very sweet older couple with Swedish accents but hailing from nearby-to-Michigan, Ohio too. You can bet once we returned to our room, we passed out that night at 9:00 pm eager to get some good rest before a big Sunday!

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Sunday morning started with a quick stop at Starbucks and a walk around our hotel soaking up those rare winter sunbeams. This former Toronto-and-Chicago native sure loved being in the city even if for such a short time! Can I also mention how many times I was checking my pockets and crossbody bag thinking I was missing something because the weight was so much less than my normal load? Sam and I were chuckling the entire time in the city because we felt we could move so much quicker without any strollers or bags!

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We got over to Gotham Hall for the party at about 10:30 am and already things were busy and underway. After listening in on Martha herself sharing wedding planning tips with eager brides, we walked around all the tables soaking up fresh inspiration and saying hi to a few familiar faces (Hi Shira and Matthew!) Elan Artists performed the best music throughout the party, as they always do, and the designer and floral showcase was a real treat, especially for me as a designer and florist myself.

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After we said our goodbyes at the party, it was time for lunch so we walked to Mercato as per our friend Shira’s suggestion. We must have hit the jackpot dining on a Sunday at 12:00 pm as the front of the restaurant was completely empty and all to ourselves. Sam and I both ordered the fettuccine al funghi, and while we could have left happy with just those entrees in our bellies, I figured we couldn’t eat at an Italian restaurant and not order a piece of tiramisu. We left maybe a little too full but very satisfied as we made our way to our next stop!

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As an aside, I’ll admit I don’t really mind playing tourist when I travel. There’s certainly some select tourist things I’ll say no to and I’m all for experiencing places like a local would but there are always exceptions. Sam had never been to the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center and given the rare sunny Sunday we were blessed with, and the fact that I personally think it’s a pretty awesome must-see in NYC, you can guess where we went after lunch that day. We scheduled a visit time online so we could skip the lines and then hustled (read: ran) all the way from Mercato to Rockefeller making sure to run THROUGH Times Square and the Theatre District so we could snap some quick photos and take in the sights.

We made it there at about 2:03 pm and after a quick elevator ride up to the top, saw this:

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Sam set me up to take a few photos of her too. Isn’t my friend, beautiful?

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After facetiming both of our husbands and kids back home from the observation deck, we decided to head back down to Fifth Ave and find a place for a coffee before heading back to our hotel to rest before our client meeting at our hotel lobby. We watched the skaters at the rink for a few minutes (how fun!), Sam took a bunch more photos, and then we were off. I think we were both starting to feel a little tired at this point from all of our walking and sightseeing!

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If you look carefully you’ll see me standing at the bottom of the American flag pole below!

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We popped into St Pat’s cathedral on our route back, lit a candle together, and then hiked back to our homebase to prep for our meeting and pack up for our early departure on Monday morning. And I must add we made sure to wrap up our trip with a late night run to a Shake Shack, which was conveniently just a block away from our hotel. While I regret not ordering a milkshake with my meal, I went to bed a happy gal that night, eager to head back to my family in the morning.

Thanks for the fun weekend, NYC! And Sam, thanks for being such a life-giving and wonderful friend.

Xo

Jan 31

A Dinosaur Themed 1st Birthday for Lachlan Rue

Out of all the events I’ve ever planned, this one might be my favorite.

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I believe there are certain milestones every parent looks forward to, and for me, one of those was planning a really fun and awesome first birthday party for Lachlan. When he was really little (we’re talking just a few weeks old) I started thinking about some boy-friendly party themes. I decided pretty quickly that a dinosaur theme would feel light hearted, appeal to all ages, and above all else, be VERY fun. So in my pockets of free time over the last few months I had probably way too much fun coming up with all of the party details and boring my poor husband with fun facts and statistics about all things dinosaurs. I secretly have a thing for dinosaurs now.

We also started building our guest list last summer but before we knew it we had this incredibly long list of names. So we needed to find a space to fit all of these people since we knew our home wouldn’t get the job done. Because of the beautiful natural light regardless of how dark it can be in January in Michigan, the proximity to our favorite taco restaurant in the city, and then of course the size of the space, we immediately booked the greenhouse at The Grand Rapids Downtown Market and knew we had made a perfect choice.

Fun invites from Smitten On Paper with beautiful calligraphy from Prairie Letter Shop and of course really cool vintage dinosaur stamps, made up the creations we mailed to our guests. The picture of Lachlan on the front was taken by my dear friend Sam of Lachlan in his Halloween costume this past year, which was no surprise, a dinosaur costume from Pottery Barn (I’m selling the costume if anyone is interested).

Enjoy all of the fun party photo taken by Samantha James Photography!

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Our welcome table was somewhat of a check in spot where guests could grab a stegosaurus party hat (which I handmade myself), a faux dinosaur tattoo, and a party favor which was a basket of cute dinosaurs ready to be ‘adopted.’ I also had a page from Lachlan’s baby book on the table for everyone to sign as they came in so that I can have those names and sweet sentiments as a memory for him to look back on one day. Next to the table on an easel was a big framed cork board that I filled with little square Instagram prints of many of the photos I snapped of Lachlan’s first year. The table was big enough to collect gifts and cards too.

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My very own Betsi drew this fun dinosaur on L’s card! Obviously I kept the envelope.

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The chalkboard is a piece from my inventory and we used a projector and chalk to create the artwork on it. Some simple white and marble balloons tied to Lachlan’s highchair served as the perfect backdrop for where our birthday boy would have his first taste of birthday cake (which there’s more on that specifically below!).

Since I knew there would be lots of babies at the party but also many kids in the 3 to 6 age range, I wanted to make sure they had something fun to do so that all the moms and dads would be able to also enjoy themselves. So I thought a drawing/craft/sticker station would do just the trick! I already had the Kraft butcher paper to tape down onto the floor so Andrew bought a ton of crayons, dinosaur stencils, and dinosaur stickers on Amazon to add to the area. I wish I had a photo of the paper by the end of the party. There were some pretty awesome adult renderings of dinosaurs on there! It was fun to see lots of our adult guests down on the ground having fun with the kids.

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This picture below is so special. From left to right that’s my brother, Josh, my father in law, Rick, my Dad, Dan (holding his grandson), my husband, Andrew with our nephew, Ayden in front of him, my brother in law, Rick and in his arms, our newest family addition, a second nephew, Tatum. Lachlan is so lucky to have such strong examples of what it means to be kind hearted, compassionate, and hardworking, because of the men in his life.

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Dinosaur tattoos from Shop Sweet Lulu were a fun touch to the party!

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This is my brother’s sweet girlfriend, Patience. She bought this fun ‘TACOS’ necklace especially for the party so naturally we knew we had to get a photo of her holding a plate of delicious tacos. And those tattoos on her are all real. The faux dinosaur tattoo I rocked on my arm at the party was almost as cool as all of Patience’s real ones.

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That gal below in the blue top is one of my oldest and dearest friends. Emily and I go all the way back to high school when we trained 25 hours a week together at the gym. Even though our respective gymnastics scholarships took us away to Michigan at different schools in different years, and we now live in two different countries nearly 18 years later, she’s managed to remain one of my best friends. She stood next to me on my wedding day and while I won’t be able to attend her wedding this summer, I’m so grateful for her. She and her fiance, Dave drove all the way from Canada to surprise me for the weekend and celebrate Lachlan with us.

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For the centerpieces, I combined various types of tropical foliage and leaves into white ribbed vases for a dinosaur inspired look to accent all of the guest tables. A handful of little dinosaur figurines sat around the centerpiece on each table which sat atop beautiful celadon green linens from Special Occasions. I remember standing back at the party and looking out at all our our friends and family eating tacos, laughing with one another, doodling on the butcher party, sneaking cookies from the dessert table, and just having a really fun time in the moment. It was SUCH a sweet day and is one of my top five favorites ever.

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The dessert table was a fun party detail and an area where I had such fun bringing in the dinosaur theme. I had the following things set out on the table along with little tags from Smitten On Paper. Each item was somehow related to dinosaurs and things you would have found in the era dinosaurs roamed our earth.

Dinosaur eggs: dinosaur egg shaped cake pops
Dinosaur bones: little cups of pretzel sticks
Prehistoric rock: brown rock candy bits
Jungle vine: green apple licorice sticks
Jurassic cookies: chocolate chunk cookies

And of course, we had a selection of fuss free grocery store cake which didn’t come hand in hand with a clever name because it wasn’t necessary. I also had plans to put out little cups of popcorn appropriately called ‘fossil pollen’ but we ran out of room and decided we had enough food anyway. The gold geometric plates we served cake on were a find at Target in the party section and reminded me of t-rex dinosaur teeth! They were perfect.

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Anyone recognize this face? If you remember this beautiful wedding you’ll know that’s the gorgeous Kristine who was an HGE bride in 2014. She and her husband Brett are the parents of sweet Charlie who is 10 days older than Lachlan. Being a mama alongside a bride-turned-friend is one of the biggest blessings. L and Charlie had fun together last Fourth of July when we visited Kristine’s family up north for the weekend and it was so sweet to have them at the party (L had the flu for Charlie’s party two weeks prior which was a bummer!)

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Once we had some time to enjoy the delicious taco and nacho bar from Tacos El Cunado, it was show time!

For anyone who has ever met Lachlan, you’ll know he’s just like his dad when it comes to his cool and collected demeanor. He’s usually quiet, loves to observe others, and generally a pretty chill little dude. As he gets a bit older his personality is certainly coming out more but for the most part it takes a lot to excite or upset him. So when we all started to sing ‘happy birthday’ to him it was a hilarious surprise to find he was incredibly embarrassed and hated having all of the attention on him. He started out with the face below, followed by some really awkward squirming in his chair, and ending with him almost completely turned around facing the chalkboard backdrop just waiting for the song to be over (as our almost 50 guests were in hysterics laughing at the cuteness). He finally gave a little right handed pose (?) when we finished singing which to his pleasure was promptly followed by the discovery of chocolate frosting.

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The hand pose I mentioned is below. He held this position for quite some time. What a ham!

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And of course Lachlan’s sweet friend Emery was at the party to celebrate with him! These two have been buddies since they were both in the womb (they are almost exactly 8 weeks apart) and watching them grow up together has been a joy. While they didn’t want to wear their party hats for too long, Sam managed to snap this photo of them together and I can’t wait for them to look back on it one day when they are older.

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A big thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate with us, to those who helped make the party possible, and mostly to those who loved on our family in this exciting first year of our son’s life. It’s been the best year of our lives in so many ways and we welcome year two with open hearts and arms! The full list of sources is below.

Xoxo

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Planning and design: Rhiannon Bosse (birthday boy’s mama!) / Photography: Samantha James Photography / Venue: The Grand Rapids Downtown Market / Catering: Tacos El Cunado / Cake pops and cookies: The Cakabakery /Cakes and smash cake: D&W Fresh Market / Linens: Special Occasions / Stationery: Smitten On Paper / Calligraphy: Prairie Letter Shop / Dino tattoos: Shop Sweet Lulu / Mini dinosaurs and craft supplies: Amazon / Dinosaur hats: DIY / Mini instagram prints: Social Print Studio / Cake stands, paper plates, and wood bowls: Target

Jan 18

Happy One Year, Lachlan Rue

I’ve typed and deleted this post numerous types trying to express how I feel about this day yet nothing has felt eloquent enough or as monumental as how I’m feeling about this day. One year ago everything changed when a perfect, almost nine pound baby boy was placed next to my swollen and tear stained cheek on an operating room table. I remember very clearly thinking in that moment, this is IT. This is what I’ve been preparing and waiting for. This mama thing? I am ready and prepared and this is what I’ve been called to do here on earth.

How odd to feel such sure feelings in the first few and raw moments of a very new role, right? Yet I knew.

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It’s been a palms up, humbling, inspiring, and simply put, joyful year being Lachlan’s mom.

Sure, there have been hard moments, sleepless nights (months?), days where I’ve failed at balancing things. But the truly memorable and magical days have far, far outweighed the trying ones. I’ve learned to move a bit slower as a mama. Not any less intentional but slower. Relishing in simple tasks like rocking in a glider mid afternoon or soaking in a tub with a happy baby even if the water is getting cold have made me very happy. Days have at times blurred into weeks, and those weeks into months, but now as I look back, all I feel is an acute sense of fulfillment for the blessing I’ve been given both in my son as a person and in this journey as a parent.

Lachlan is home from school today and I’ve scheduled the day off of work because I want to fully celebrate him and all that this past year has been (even if he doesn’t realize it). We will go get donuts for breakfast and of course there will be a nap or two (for Lachlan, not me!), but below are some of my thoughts on mamahood. My intention is to share thoughts on motherhood each year on Lachlan’s birthday in an effort to not only inspire others in this similar season of life, but to look back and see that my life was lived as deep as it was wide.

Oh, what a year it’s been!

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In no particular order:

1. Motherhood is what you make it. Being a mom is rewarding and wonderful and special and many many other things, but it’s as much of those things as you let it be. You have a choice to choose. Each and every day.

2. Last weekend, Andrew and I went out to dinner for our 11th dating anniversary. It was our fourth date night out alone in the span of a year, and while that fact alone should be its own reflection, what I’d like to say here is this: at dinner I asked Andrew what his favorite Lachlan memory is. And with the exception of a few small milestones that happened at distinct times, it was hard to pinpoint exact ones. So we spent a good chunk of our dinner sharing little stories that revolved around the REALLY small moments but the moments that stood out most to us; listening to Lachlan’s rare giggle, watching him discover something for the first time, the smell of his neck or the way he puffs out his little lips. Before you knew it we were THOSE parents out on date night looking at photos and videos of our kid over our tapas. Some say parenthood is a big blur yet somehow it’s made me acutely more aware of memories and my ability to make them and file them away.

3. Any way you give birth (scheduled c-section, in a forrest surrounded by fairies, at home in your tub, in an ambulance, whatever) is special, wonderful, and truly, miraculous. I felt nothing but shame and guilt over my birth story for a good six to seven months. And I hated every second of the self-imposed shame. I’ve only ever written the entire ordeal out in a journal so I make sure I don’t forget every detail. Then one day, something changed. I realized it doesn’t matter how Lachlan came into the world because the point is he’s here now and he’s perfect. I’m so grateful there are people like doctors, and places like hospitals, and things like medicine and tools, because without them my story may have been a little different. Your birth story does not define you or determine what kind of woman or parent you are. I wish someone would have told me that sooner.

4. Yes, time flies by. Or so it seemingly does. Yes, the days are long and the years are short. Yes, I am ‘soaking this all up’ because everyone tells me I should do just that. Much like my friend Emily declared ever so boldly, for me in this mamahood journey, I’ve tried to avoid falling prey to the ‘time is ticking’ trap because guess what? Of course it is! Whether you’re a parent, student, single person, Beyonce, teenager, in your 80’s and retired, or living on an island somewhere drinking mojitos all day (in which case I’d love to join you for a hot second), time is moving at the exact same pace, each and every day. This pressure to somehow frantically preserve every single thing as a parent because ‘they grow so fast’ left me really anxious the first few months L was in the world because I was afraid I was savoring it all in ALL the wrong ways. But it turns out when you slow down, get present, and get after grateful, the time we have in front of us is just the amount we need. When we can savor life without being rushed we can really live our best lives. Who knew having a baby would reveal this.

5. I’m VERY biased (clearly) but to all the mothers who told me having a little boy would be the best, I salute you with tears in my eyes. It’s not lost on me that God/the Universe/some divine intervention/aligned stars/alltheabove, blessed me with exactly what I needed when I needed it the most. During a tremendously hard personal season in my life, here in front of me was and IS this GIFT, this precious, intelligent, inquisitive, and gentle baby boy named Lachlan. If this is what year one had in store for me, then bring on the next.

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Can I tell you how I saw this photo above when my friend Laura sent me the gallery of our birth images and my heart sunk because I did not look the way I had imagined? I didn’t have on a pretty robe, my hair in soft curls, and a skinny face covered in beautiful but natural make up like you see on Pinterest or mama blogs (which don’t get me wrong; those things are lovely and wonderful! If that was your birth story then own it!) There wasn’t natural light streaming in from our corner hospital suite or my mom next to me holding my hand. But I saw this photo and quickly flipped past it looking only for the ones that did not include me.

I almost didn’t recognize myself in these photos because I looked SO, well, different. And tired, and swollen, and emotional to be more specific. I had just had major surgery after 24 hours of labor so perhaps that’s a given. But that’s exactly it! I SHOULD be different after this process of becoming a mother. This is the stuff that changes you. Funny enough, when it came time to find some photos to share in this post I opened up the file on my desktop labelled Lachlan’s Birth and all I could see for the first time since looking through all the images was a really beautiful and really GOOD mother staring back at me.

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Lachlan, I hope one day you read this. I am so grateful you are our son. You bring purpose to my days, and joy to my life. I cannot wait for family and friends to celebrate you this weekend with a fun dinosaur party I’ve been planning for you for months (OK maybe longer), but more importantly, I can’t wait for more of the everyday and the in between with you. You are my light and I have a hard time remembering what made me feel so whole before you came along. Celebrating you is my favorite and I’ll do it for a lifetime.

All of the photos in this post are a few taken by my dear friend Laura of Harrison Studio who graciously came to the hospital at 2:30 am the night/morning (?) Lachlan was born to capture our family in recovery. These are a select few of such deeply treasured photos as are all of the images we’ve had taken by talented friends over the last year. You can review all of motherhood, Lachlan, and parenting blog posts here.

I also owe a big thank you to all of you who have read this blog or commented on social media with love, support, and all around niceness over the last 12 months. Your encouragement, prayers, love, and even gifts, have been so memorable and sweet. I’ve loved sharing bits and pieces of the personal side of my life with you all.

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And finally, Andrew; you’ve made this chapter in our lives one worth fighting for and one worth savoring slowly. I would make a million babies with you if we could in this lifetime. Lachlan is lucky to have you as his dad.

Xoxo

Jan 17

Lachlan Rue at Eight Months

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Tomorrow my baby finally turns one. So I thought today would be the the perfect time to finally share some of the photos from our family session we scheduled last October with Kelly Sweet. My plan was to schedule a family session when Lachlan was six months old to get photos of the half way mark leading up to one year. But life got busy and the six month session ended up being a session to celebrate eight months, which actually worked out in our favor because L was a little bit more engaged at that age.

I wanted our session to be really natural and fuss-free. While we’re a family that’s big on celebrating almost everything, we are also keen on simplicity. I think these photos illustrate how incredible of a little boy we were blessed with, and if it’s not clear how mild tempered and sweet his personality is, well I can tell you he’s my little dream. While I miss some of the moments that came hand in hand with having a newborn at home, many have said it only gets better and there’s a lot of truth in that. I look at the growth and milestones L has hit (and we’ve hit as a family) even just since this session and it’s humbling to know we get to do this life thing alongside him.

These are some of my favorite images from the session. Three of these now hang over our bed in beautiful FrameBridge frames, and one was used on our family holiday card. Tomorrow I’ll be back with some thoughts from year one of being a mother but for now enjoy a little slice of my most favorite people ever.

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Can I tell you just how much Lachlan loves his dad?

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A note on Zoe:

Many people have emailed and asked about how Zoe reacted to us bringing home Lachlan. As per our doula’s suggestion, since I was in the hospital for four days post labor, Andrew brought home a baby hat and blanket for her to get used to L’s ‘scent’. We hadn’t really done much more than that other than trying to use specific words around her in direct ways leading up to his birth (like, ‘This is the BABY’S room,’ or ‘Is this where the BABY will go?’) We really just hoped for the best. Even though Zoe is a rescue pup, we adopted her when she was seven weeks old and I believe we taught her most of what she knows including her calm and snuggly demeanor.

Zoe was never mean or threatening to Lachlan. However, she wasn’t incredibly excited when we came home probably because a lot of puppy snuggles became baby snuggles, and a lot of the everyday focus on her was replaced with time focused on Lachlan. We had to try and find a system for making it clear what toys belonged to Zoe and what toys belonged to Lachlan once he started to be mobile, and that included teaching L to leave Zoe’s bones and squeaky toys alone (and out of his mouth!) If we physically brought Lachlan close to Zoe in the first six months, she would calmly get up and relocate to a new spot in the room. It was almost as if she just wasn’t comfortable being close to him but if we ever firmly told her to ‘Stay,’ or ‘Zoe, you are OK,’ in those moments, she would stay put and endure the baby torture (as I’m sure she would tell you!)

But now!

Now that Lachlan is super mobile, crawling everywhere, standing up against things, and much more aware and in tune to things around him and in our home, these two have a special sort of friendship. When I nurse Lachlan at night, Zoe always finds her way upstairs into the nursery and nestles herself in between our glider and foot pouf. And without fail, Lachlan senses her in the room and always looks for her. Getting her out of his room when it’s time to sleep is another new battle now. Usually she has to be lured out with treats. We are also incredibly confident that Lachlan has been trying to say ‘Doggie’ for a few months. With his mouth shut, he grunts out what sounds like ‘Doggie’ and this would make sense seeing as we’ve been calling Zoe his ‘doggie’ ever since we brought him home from the hospital. ‘Lachlan, where’s your doggie? Where’s Zoe?’ ALWAYS ends up in his little ‘doggie’ grunts and him looking around the room or to the door to see where Zoe is. And without fail, Zoe’s presence into any room where Lachlan is results in a big cheesy grin and sometimes a rare giggle.

For many people their pets are considered treasured family members. Zoe actually still sleeps in our bed with us as I was pretty set on crib training L from an early age (sleep is important to us here!). We make sure to love on her and make her feel as special as we did before we became parents even if those first few months were mostly focused on Lachlan’s needs. If you’re worried about how your pet may transition into having a baby at home my advice would be to have patience, and use your intuition to guide you into making decisions if you feel like something is off (any sort of growling or rough play would have been of concern to us). I had craved a baby-pet relationship like this but the reality is every circumstance is different.

Now if only Zoe would let Lachlan grab her tail and yank on it whenever he pleases!

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This was our holiday card choice. That little face!

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If you go to the bottom of this post you’ll see an identical photo of Andrew and Lachlan that Kelly took when L was three weeks old. I have it blown up and framed in our home so I figured it would be a fun photo to recreate as he gets older. The way he has grown in those first eight months and even from October to now is fascinating.

I could get lost in those big eyes of his!

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I hope you enjoyed these photos as much as we treasure them! I did my own hair and make up for the session, and my top is from Old Navy (an oldie but a goodie). My shoes are from Aldo and are one of the few pairs of heels I am comfortable enough to wear and also tote around a busy almost-toddler in. Can I also brag on my handsome husband who seems to just get better with age? I’m so lucky to do life with him.

Xo