Maternity Photos!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Getting ready for a photo shoot is hard enough, right?  But, trying to prep and feel pretty at 35 weeks pregnant with two little ones in tow sounds nearly impossible (and super exhausting)!  Whew.  I'm so so glad we forged ahead (cranky kids and all) to capture this season in our lives.

My delightful and super-talented friend Jen was up for the challenge as well, and I'm THRILLED to share the photos with all of you today!  Enjoy!

Check out Jen's work at her awesome FB page for Jen Hunter Photography.  

Jen made me feel beautiful and we had fun posing around Nashville's Cumberland Park downtown as she kept us smiling even in the 90+ degree heat!  I'm so happy to have caught these moments on camera and I can't WAIT to have her take newborn pics of our little one in just a few more weeks (also because that means this child will be OUT of my body by then!)

Be sure and check out Jen's work and be inspired to capture more milestones in your own life - you won't regret it!

The Nursery!

Monday, July 13, 2015

With only 5 weeks to go until baby girl #3 arrives, I'm thrilled to reveal her nursery today!  Granted, I'm no designer, and if it weren't for Pinterest and creative friends I would be posting pictures of a boring pink box.

But, after planning and shopping and scouring the web for inspiration, I am happy to invite you into the colorful nursery that will soon welcome another pink bundle of joy!  Welcome!
(But seriously, enjoy these photos - cause it will never look this clean ever again.)

Sweet Pink (Valspar paint) walls with Aqua and White furniture
LOVE this new recliner/rocker - no doubt I will be snoozing and nursing in it a lot!  Recliner from Babies R Us, pillow from Target.   The lighting is deceptive (sorry!) but the fabric of the chair perfectly matches the aqua lagoon colored crib.  I found the storybook shelf at HomeGoods (in the office dept!).  White faux-leather pouf from Land of Nod, Ruffle curtains and Pink Chevron Tassle rug from Pottery Barn Kids. The artwork (shown in detail below) was a treasure found on Etsy!

In case the Sweet Pink walls didn't give it away - there's no doubt a GIRL is on her way!
Aqua Lagoon crib by Jenny Lind from USA Baby (this crib is so swoon-worthy, I chose it before anything else in the room!)  Bear, Love Stroller blanket, Chevron crib sheet, and It's a Girl artwork from Pottery Barn Kids.

Carnival photography found on Etsy inspired the color palette for the room (shown in detail below). 
We bought this dresser from Goodwill for $100 when my first daughter was born!  We refinished it then, but for today's nursery we lacquered it white, replaced the hardware, and added Pottery Barn Kids' Universal Changing Topper to create the look.  I had a heck of a time deciding what to place on the shelf above, but I stumbled upon some adorable tchotchkes at HomeGoods and Target that reminded me of giant monopoly game pieces and so I just went for it.  I love the metallic/white combo and how it looks against the pink walls! Lamp and Changing basket from Pottery Barn Kids. 

It's the little things for a little one...
For those squinting at their computer screens or phones, here's a closer look at some of the details I love most in this room.

I hope you enjoyed a sneak peek into our littlest girl's new room!  It's been such a joy to spoil her already and I can't wait until she is here to destroy it and make it her own.  Cause let's face it - it's never gonna look like this after she arrives!

Review For All Maternity!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Hey gang!

I need your help!  As you know, I recently had my first book published (eek! Still pinching myself!)  It's been a roller coaster getting the word out, signing books, holding giveaways (more coming soon!) and now... I need REVIEWS!!!!

Now that the book has been out for a short spell, I'd LOVE your help in telling others what it's about and what YOU think about it.

The good news is, Amazon makes this super easy.

Follow the link above and click WRITE A CUSTOMER REVIEW to post your opinion of For All Maternity.


Baby "Must Haves" & Have Nots

Friday, June 19, 2015

Hi.  My name is Emily, and I'm addicted to "Pinterest Baby Must Have" lists.

Okay, addicted is too strong of a term.  But, let me tell you, gone are the days of looking up a simple newborn checklist to find what you need to prepare for a baby's arrival.  A slight peek at a Pinterest board or Google search, and you will be bombarded with list upon list of what everyone and their best friend think you GOTTA GET before your water breaks.

This is to say - one can drive oneself absolutely bonkers trying to perfectly prep for a new bundle of joy.  If you're expecting and on the verge of hyperventilating when you see these "baby must have" lists - never fear!  I am pretty sure if you have a car seat, diapers, and boobs...your baby will survive.

But, did you know baby comes with a "must have" list too???  FOR YOU???

Oh yes.  That little peanut might not be shuffling through Pinterest boards inside the womb, but believe me, baby's come with expectations of what you "must have" in order to step up to the plate of motherhood - ready or not!

Here's the list you won't find on Pinterest, and maybe the only one you really ever need (don't they all say that?)
The 10 Things Your Baby Will Provide You
Upon Arrival, Ready or Not
10. Patience. You will wait on this baby.  You will wait for labor, wait for delivery, wait for the nurse to come back and tell you everything is fine.  You will wait for test results, wait for the car to come pick you up, wait for visitors, wait for dinner, wait for a chance to sleep, wait for the baby to stop crying, wait for that first smirk and coo, wait wait wait.  It will all come in good time.  Get used to waiting. 
9. Super-Hearing.  You will suddenly have the super-power of hearing every tiny little thing remotely related to your baby.  You will hear the baby take a deep sigh rooms away.  You will hear a diaper explosion upon impact when no one else notices.  You will hear ANY slight disturbance that might have the potential to wake the baby from a much-needed slumber (and you will slay that disturbance instantaneously).
8. Time-Travel.  Just throw away your clocks.  Burn your calendars.  They are now useless in your fight against schedules.  You now live on milk o'clock and half-past poopy diaper.  Your baby will change faster than your mind can comprehend, and no amount of Instagramming can capture how much you want to hit the pause button.  Soak it up, cry it out, and allow yourself to keep moving forward in the moments as they come without the guilt of being unable to stop it.  
7. Digestive Fortitude.  You will see gross things, my friend.  Super-disgusting, nasty things you will take to your grave. Both you and your baby will give you witness to vile functions that you've only read are "natural" and "wondrous".  I'm gonna just tell you now, it's okay to cringe at you and your foul baby.  Your bodily fluids will betray you.  You will go days without a shower and forget to wash your hands after you change a poopy diaper (because for heaven's sake it's 4am and no one cares).  You will find yourself praying about things like constipation and milk ducts and be amazed at your new stomach of steel when your baby vomits all over your bare chest for the first time.  Motherhood is messy.  Welcome. 
6. Tolerance.  The rest of the world will swim around you in your baby bubble.  You will tolerate visitors who overstay (hey, if they bring food they can stay a little longer), you will tolerate advice from every source possible, you will tolerate people's "help" that comes off as criticism and stories upon stories of other mother's birth/labor/delivery/nursing experience.  You will tolerate it all because they've come to love on your new baby and suddenly that excuses just about any untactful comment possible. 
5. Narcolepsy.  You can now fall asleep anytime, at any moment, anywhere.  Good luck finding those times and places, but hey - when you do - lights out, mama!  Zzzzzz. 
4. Fear.  A whole new world of worries has just intruded your mind.  Things you never thought possible to worry about before will now plague your dreams.  Anywhere but your arms feels like a potential death-trap to  your baby.  Doubts about when to feed and how much will make you wonder if child services will knock on your door any minute.  You've become an irrational crazy person who will continue to question your skills and abilities as a caretaker from now until eternity.  This is motherhood, friend.  If you're worried, you're probably doing it right.  
3. Music.  Nevermind that you've never written a song in your life.  Don't worry if you can't carry a tune or play an instrument.  Baby's insist upon music, and like it or not, you'll be crooning jams about your Diaper Genie in no time.  You'll catch yourself in the middle of a sing-song and wonder who you've turned into.  You'll uncover new talents as you parody Curious George narratives to Taylor Swift tunes.  No one thinks it will happen to them, but it always happens.  You will sing.  Oh, you will sing.
2. Courage.  Now and forevermore, you can end a sentence with "...because I gave birth." and it suddenly empowers you to take on anything with new Chutzpah.  I know I can do extraordinary things, my body can accomplish whatever it needs to, and super powers are not beyond my reach...because I gave birth.  Hang on to this new courage to tackle the un-tackle-able.  It will serve you well in the face of parenthood.
1. Selflessness.  Your heart grew three sizes that day, whether you were the Grinch or not.  Motherhood ushers in a whole new perspective that grants you the capacity to lay down your agenda for the sake of a helpless, stinky, loudmouth, bundle of snuggles.  It makes no sense, and it never will.  And it's the closest we will ever get to experiencing Christ's love for us.  Goodbye self-centered world.  Hello baby.
This list is certainly not limited to these 10 things!  You'll have your own moments of guts and glory that will show up when you least expect it.  Babies ring in a whole new era, whether it's your first birth or last.  As you make your lists and prep for that new chapter to come, take heart!  The most important things you need to care for that little one are already inside you.

Welcome to motherhood, ready or not.
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