Sunday, December 30, 2012

Landon’s First Birthday

I can’t believe I am just now posting about Landon’s first birthday party. It gets kind of chaotic when you are celebrating birthdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all within a month span. 
We had Landon’s party on December 15th, and were so lucky to have lots of family come to eat lunch and enjoy celebrating with us. I am so mad at myself that I didn’t take more pictures, but its near impossible to play hostess, mommy, and photographer all at the same time. I just keep telling myself the lack of pictures means I was enjoying the party rather than behind a camera, which is just as important. Sadly though, we didn’t even get one family shot that day! (I’m so sorry little man, but I promise we were there, and we love you!)
Here are a few that I did manage to take…Landons 1st Birthday 053
 Landons 1st Birthday 086
(Landon and his Papa Dave)
Landons 1st Birthday 114 Landons 1st Birthday 130 Landons 1st Birthday 136
 Landons 1st Birthday 138
(Landon and Grammy)
 Landons 1st Birthday 146
(Landon and his great grandmother “B”)
John and I were lucky enough to both get the day off on his actual birthday (the 18th). We took Landon to the doctor for his one year check up that day (I know, I’m such a mean mommy), and then had lunch at Panera. It was Landon’s first time ordering off the kids menu! Such a big boy!
(Waiting for the Pediatrician)
I can’t believe the celebrations have already passed and we are into our second year with our little man, I also can't wait to see what 2013 bring us as we have a toddler on our hands!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Top 12 of 2012

I mean really, how is someone supposed to pick just 12 photos of the year as their favorites? 2012 was my first year as a mommy, and as a photographer, and it is so evident looking back through my photos. The birth of my son gave birth to my passion of photography in so many ways, and I look forward to 2013 and the growth that it will bring. It is amazing to me to look back from when he was born to now and see how my skills have evolved and grown, and I am no where close to where I want to be. I am also so thankful for this hobby, in that it has allowed me to capture some of the most precious moments in that sweet boy’s life. I’m a sucker for documenting and memory keeping EVERYTHING, and this has taken it to the next level. So here they are, in no special order…my top 12 of 2012 of Landon Cole.

1. I was (and still am) obsessed with those sweet baby feet and tooshie. There’s really nothing sweeter to me than Landon’s tiny hands and feet..I hope I never forget how sweet they were.

2.This was the beginning of my journey into photography, its really not the best shot in the world, but I love it still. I love his sweet face and that this was his first time to the beach. We went for a quick weekend to our favorite town of Southport, NC. It was a huge step in parenting to travel with a baby, go to the beach with a baby, etc. But it was so fun- and I loved capturing his first time with his toes in the North Carolina sand. I hope he loves the coast the way his parents do.

3. This is probably one of my all time favorite black and white shots I’ve taken (other than photo number 12 below). We used to spend a lot of time playing on our bed while I folded laundry or attempted to keep my house organized. He has always been so alert, so interested in everything…this captures that. Not to mention those eyes melt my heart.


4. Blue eyes. I always hoped for a blue eyed baby…and there they are. I love when the light hits them just right and I am able to get shots like this.

5. Another all time favorite…I will probably say that about all of these pictures, so prepare yourself. :) We took our first family summer vacation to Ocracoke Island, NC and while the weather wasn’t great most of the week, we did have one spectacular afternoon where I was able to take Landon’s eight month pictures. This shot showed huge growth to me in the composition, lighting, depth of field, etc. I was and still am, so proud of this shot of my little guy. It’s definitely framed in our house.


6. My little fish. We were frequent pool-goers after John got home from work during the summer. While we couldn’t take my fair skinned baby out during the hot summer days, we did go in the evening. Lets just discuss how much Landon loved the water? I cannot wait for next summer to hopefully see him jumping off the ledge and loving it even more. I also love his facial expression in this shot…he loves his daddy so so much. Can we also notice that sweet little belly button poking out? Love.


7. This image is especially special since it was the one we used on his first birthday party invitation! We were just sitting in our front yard enjoying a pretty fall day waiting on John to get home from work. I loved those afternoons, just watching the world go by.


8.  There is an old abandoned lot across the street from where we live and everyday on my way home from work I would think about how it could potentially be a great place for pictures. Boy was I right. Hello bokeh. And hello cutie-patootie winter overall baby!

9. The second shot at that favorite location across the street…That antique wagon is from John’s cousin and I loved it for these winter pictures. I just couldn’t get enough of the lighting in that location and the sweetness of my baby boy.


10. This one is for John, we were out at my favorite location again taking a couple family pictures for our Christmas card, and we managed to get these two to not only be still, but look at the camera at the same time. Talk about luck. That dog is never still…and neither is the baby. This was the day Landon took his first steps. Those two will be inseparable I am sure…there’s just something about a boy and his dog.


11. My birthday boy. Oh how my heart aches that he is already one year old! The red chair was John’s grandfather, so there is sentimental attachment to these pictures.


12. My Christmas baby. With the slew of Christmas light pictures that took over Facebook and Pinterest, I gave it a shot, and my heart melted. It’s so funny I got this ONE shot out of about 30. Landon at first screamed when I set him down with the lights, then after he warmed up to them, I couldn’t keep him still. He also found my camera more fascinating than the lights and would crawl towards the camera rather than sit and look like a little model baby. I love how this one turned out…and really love that little belly even more.

It's amazing to see what this year has brought, and it has been such an incredibly special year for my little family.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012

I really can’t believe Christmas has already come and gone. I won’t lie, I’ve been soaking in every last minute of holiday-ness that I possibly can from watching Christmas movies, Christmas leftovers for dinner, and coffee with holiday creamer. I don’t want it to end! This Christmas was especially fun because even though it was Landon’s second Christmas, it really was his first that he could enjoy. Last Christmas he was one week old, and we didn’t know our names, much less have it together to celebrate properly. So this Christmas, we did it right!
Landon came down with the flu the week before, and thanks to the magic of Benadryl, Tylenol and Vick’s Vaporub, he slept until 10am, so our Christmas morning got off to a late (but wonderful!) start. Here are a few pictures from our sweet little morning. I am so thankful that we were home on Christmas morning to enjoy it just the three of us.
At church for the Christmas play.
219 238
277  306
Loving all his new toys! (Thanks to the Waggoners for the awesome 4-wheeler!)
351 384
…and now we’ve had too much fun.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Landon / One. Year. Old.

Please tell me I didn’t just type that as the title to this post. It really cannot be December 18, 2012 yet. Oh sweet boy, how you have changed your momma over the past year- I don’t know that I can summarize it into words at all. You have completely turned my little world upside down since you came into the world. Here we are, celebrating your first birthday, and I am just so incredibly proud to be your momma.

Christmas 2012 141


At twelve months, you weigh 19lbs 6oz and are 29 inches long. You wear mostly 9-12 month clothing, are moving up to size 4 diapers, and size 4 shoes.

Your sleep habits have changed over the past month, and are really much more unpredictable. We still aim for bedtime around 8:30, but sometimes its 9:30 before you are ready to settle down. You also cry when we put you down, where as you used to fall asleep without a peep. You still sleep until 8 or so in the morning thank goodness. Once or twice a week you wake up in the middle of the night, and we bring you in to snuggle. You fall back a sleep within 15 minutes or so and we sneak you back into your crib. While I hate waking up at 3 am, I love the snuggles as you are not much of a snuggle bug any more, there’s always something to do or see or mess with. Your naps are also pretty crazy. Some days you take two shorter naps, some days its one big long nap, some days its only one shorts nap (those days aren’t fun).

Christmas 2012 156

Your favorite foods are cheese toast, chicken, peaches, mandarin oranges, sweet potatoes, and macaroni and cheese. You semi- eat green beans, but they really are the only veggie I can get you to eat besides potatoes. Its a work in progress. I still feed you pureed veggies because you will gobble them up and so its a way to keep some good foods in you. You love the plum organic pouches, which is a good way to get something green in you! You are officially finished with formula (hallelujah!) and doing great with whole milk. We are so so SO happy about that one! You also only use the bottle maybe once a day, and we use sippy cups the rest of the time. You still find those bottles soothing though, so we’ll work on that.

Speaking of soothing…you and that pacifier. Which seems to be your best friend. We’ll have to work on that also.

Christmas 2012 155

And speaking of best friends…you and Josie. You love that dog more than anything and get SO excited when we get home to see her. You crawl after her and pat her and really just love that dog like its nobody’s business. The feeling isn’t that mutual, but Josie is so patient with you and lets you do pretty much whatever you want to her.

Christmas 2012 094

You took your first steps on December 9th. And I’m pretty sure your daddy and I were about to cry like little babies when we watched you. You’re still not great at it, but you have taken up to six steps at a time! Most of the time you stand and wobble and get ready to take the step and then fall down. You’ll get there sweet  boy! We are just waiting on pins and needles to watch you go. :)

Christmas 2012 089

Toy wise- you love your books and walker, you also love any cars or trucks or anything that you can wheel around. One day, you found an ornament on the tree that is a little truck, took it off, and wheeled it around on the floor all afternoon. Recently you also love blocks. You take them in and out of the container and just love making a mess with the blocks. You still love playing in the tupperware cabinet, pantry, and laundry basket and I feel like I am constantly picking up those three things and trying to keep the messes to a minimum. Laundry baskets are a great toy for you…I might just put it under the Christmas tree, its much cheaper than all those nice toys you don’t play with (just kidding..).

 Christmas 2012 039

This month you celebrated your first Thanksgiving, went to get your first Christmas tree, and of course, celebrated your first birthday. What a busy holiday season!

You are the sweetest baby in the world, we’ve decided. So happy, all the time, so easy, and so content (I hope you stay like that forever!). We are so blessed to be your parents.

Christmas 2012 020

Monday, December 17, 2012

its looking a little different around these parts


You may notice a few changes going on around here.

Beautiful Within Life has now become Everyday Graces.

I started this sweet little blog over four years ago, and was just time for a change. I’m a different girl then I was then and wanted something that reflected where I am now as a wife, mommy, nurse, and every other title I may hold. 

Thanks to Angie and her amazing talents, my little corner of the blog world got a facelift as a Christmas present! Like what you see? You can check out Angie’s awesome blogger templates over at her Etsy shop, Angie Makes Websites. She has GORGEOUS stuff, and is so great to work with! I cannot thank her enough for her quick and great work.

So… why “everyday graces?”

Well, why not?! I have learned over the past couple years how sweet this little life is that I have, how God blesses me each and everyday with His graces…and I want this blog to be a reflection of that. I want to blog about the small moments, and the big, but recognize that they are all His sweet graces that He gives me each and everyday.

A couple years ago I felt like God was teaching me what it really meant to love…and let me tell you, He rocked my world with that one and taught me more than I ever thought I could. Now…I feel like He’s doing some work in my heart and word that I keep running into is grace.

So there you have it, my little corner of the internet has turned a corner!






Sunday, December 16, 2012

twenty six acts.

Friday afternoon I came home, turned on the television, and sat in disbelief as many of you did while the town of Newtown, CT dealt with unimaginable tragedy. I watched news, and then turned to watch my sweet son playing in the floor, oblivious to what was going on. I just prayed that I could keep him protected and innocent forever, that he will not have to live in a world that knows the terms “mass shooting.”
But he does, and he will, and we will have to have conversations about why things like what happened in Newtown happen. Why six year olds pass away before Santa comes to see them Christmas morning, or why teachers lose their lives defending their students. We will have to have those conversations. What in the world will I tell my children when they ask questions?
I will tell him that I have no idea why that boy chose to hurt all those nice people. I have no idea why he was angry or what upset him enough to do that. But I do know that all those kids and teachers are being loved on by Jesus, and that Jesus loves each and every one of them. Even the gunman. That even though 27 people lost their lives, hundreds were saved and got out of the school to be reunited with their parents. That they were all in the palm of God’s hand, and all safe. Some are just safe in heaven, while others are safe at home. And while we can’t change what happened, we can pray for those that were affected. We can pray for the mommies and daddies that had to say goodbye to their babies far too early, and we can pray for the families of the teachers and principal. We can pray for the nurses and doctors at the hospital where they took the kids, and we can pray for the police that responded to the school. We can also pray for the gunmans family, because they too lost a loved one.
We can also turn this moment of tragedy into twenty six moments of goodness.

26 acts
So in the spirit of Christmas, and in the spirit of Christ…I think this is an amazing way to honor the spirit of those who so innocently died.
Will you join?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Simple Things Sunday…

Its been a while since I’ve linked up with Simple Things, and I miss it. (Note to self: link more often!) So today I’m sharing my favorite shot I took of Landon and his best friend Josie. These two…they are soon to be bestest of friends. Landon is in love with this dog…and well, the feeling is growing to be mutual. Josie had a hard time adjusting to life with a baby in our house, but she is getting better!
Christmas 2012 094wm

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A very sweet birthday…


This week we are busy as ever planning our little guys very first birthday party. But this week also marks another very sweet birthday in my family. December 12, 2012 is the day my grandfather turns ninety years old. The past year has proved to be a very difficult one for my grandfather, and I am realizing how very special it is to have him here this Christmas season, and what a huge milestone #90 really is.

Roughly a year ago, my grandfather went in for quadruple bypass surgery. The doctors warned us that he was a weak old man and he may not survive open heart surgery, but he did. A few months later he continued to have low blood pressure and weakness, and they realized he needed a pacemaker placed. Through all of this he developed dementia, and began having some pretty strong hallucinations, until a month ago, when my mom and her sister made the difficult decision to move him into skilled nursing facility to keep him safe. My heart broke for both my grandfather and my grandmother as they went through that huge transition. He was moving away from the house he built with his own two hands, and she was living alone for the first time in sixty plus years. It was such a difficult transition for them to make.

And here we are, December 2012. Celebrating this miracle man’s 90th birthday.


Happy 90th Dandy!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

and then I died of cuteness overload…

I apologize in advance for the picture heavy post, I  couldn’t narrow down my favorites!

11 Months 021

11 Months 028 11 Months 030 11 Months 047 copy  11 Months 079 11 Months 171  11 Months 205  11 Months 291

Okay, the end.

Blogger Template designed By The Sunday Studio.