Happy 10 months, Madison!

Baby Easter cute bunny ears
Baby's first Easter ideas

Madison's Monthly Highlights

Weight: Since we've been off a month for her checkups (our doctor's office was so busy, the earliest they could see Madison for her 6-month appointment was when Madison was 7 months!), we went to Maddie's 9-month checkup this month. She weighed in at 19 pounds, 6 ounces.

Clothing: She got to wear her first little Easter dress! And bunny ears! Of course we absolutely keep the focus on the Lord's resurrection. He is the reason we celebrate! It is so sweet to have the same tradition I did growing up. My sister and I got a new dress to wear to church each year and we just adored the fun frocks we got to put on. Dressing up in your best clothes and twirling around just reminds me of how much God adores us, His children, and delights in us.

Sleep: About 11 hours each night with 2 naps a day. We have started rocking her not quite as long and putting her down in her crib drowsy but awake for naptime. It has been difficult to hear her crying and crying for those minutes (that feel like hours!) until she settles down and falls asleep but her naps have been so incredible since introducing this method!

I think crying it out is hardest for mamas and daddies because we think, "Oh no! My baby is hurt/in pain/needs me!" It's hard to allow the space and time for a baby to get it out of their lungs, while we're feeling helpless and like we're making the wrong decision. I'm so grateful Dean and I have been able to talk it out and continue allowing Madison to learn to fall asleep on her own as she grows. It makes for a much less tired mama and a very well-rested baby!

Baby's first Easter cute ideas
Baby's first Easter basket ideas
Easter book for baby
First Easter basket for baby
Baby pink bunny ears
Baby reading book cute photo
Baby first Easter ideas
Baby yellow Easter dress

Eating: Madison is still eager to try new foods. Most recently, it's whatever is on Daddy and Mama's plates! We generally give Maddie some Cheerios, cut up pears or a fruit and veggie teething wafer for breakfast followed by a squeeze pouch for a late morning snack. Lunch is usually some variation of shredded cheese, plain Greek yogurt, more cut up pear bits or the latest thing - almond butter bites. (Basically I smother a whole wheat wrap with almond butter, fold it over in half and tear it into small pieces for Madison to devour). Her dinner usually consists of the items mentioned above she didn't already eat that day along with bits of what Dean and I have for dinner - maybe some whole wheat pasta, cooked veggies, baked sweet potato fries, bits of chicken.

I've also given her some smoothie (usually frozen banana, frozen spinach and a handful of strawberries/mangoes with some water or almond milk for the base) through her sippy cup with a straw. I already feel like an undercover food smuggler by trying to sneak greens and veggies in her food when I can! haha not that she won't it otherwise but some things do taste better in the guise of a smoothie, you know?

Baby first Easter photos
Baby Easter eggs basket ideas
Infant bunny ears
Easter ideas for babies
Pat the Bunny book for babies
Baby tumbler cup
Annie's organic bunny snacks

Personality: Madison has become quite the little explorer! Since she doesn't do much crawling, just scooching as we call it, she really hasn't been able to maneuver around the house on her own. Until now. I think she realized that she can scooch from place to place just fine, thank you. No need to wait for that crawling thing to all come together, let's just move around on our bums - across the nursery, out of the play room and under chairs.

So in the Fairweather house, baby proofing from the ground up has officially kicked off! We are finding ourselves saying no and putting those things on a higher shelf/off the ground more and more. It is just delightful to watch Madison move around and find new, exciting things in her world though - such a large pile of decorative yarn that quickly became tangled around her leg or peeking into cabinets in the kitchen.

Madison has also started dumping things (namely her books) and pulling out everything from bags or containers (like my purse or a box of tissues). I gave her the tissue box so that was my bad. I honestly didn't think she would pull so many out! Dean was like, "So you get to use all these, since you allowed her to pull them out." haha :) Maddie is also communicating more - shaking her head no, saying yeah along with dad, dog and mama as well as fussing/grunting and pointing to tell us she wants something. She is standing with assistance and has almost starting cruising from the outside of her crib. She has loved getting to take steps while we hold her hands.

Firsts: She got to see a horse up close at a family portrait session for our dear friends. She also attended her first birthday party for twin girls we know from church, and she tagged along for not just one, but three portrait sessions (one for my head shots, two that I photographed).

This month Madison also rolled over onto her tummy in her crib. She has been a pretty still sleeper up until the rolling started. She also had some eczema pop up on her chin and neck, which has been itchy and unenjoyable as you can imagine.

We bought foam letters and numbers for her bathtime so this was her first experience with more than one toy in the tub. She only had a rubber ducky up until now. I dumped a handful of the letters into her bath and Madison was definitely overwhelmed by them all. We know to only give her two at a time now.

She also celebrated Resurrection Sunday for the first time and we read the story of Jesus to her and explained what it meant. Madison also participated in a sweet backyard Easter egg hunt with all her cousins! My mother-in-law is SO smart. Each of the 7 cousins were assigned a specific color egg to hunt for and they all had the same number of eggs. Perfectly done so that no fighting - or hoarding - could take place.

Burlap Easter basket
First Easter basket ideas
Yellow baby Easter dress
Easter portrait ideas
Easter portrait idea
Cute Easter portrait ideas

Likes: Pointing at everything, looking at all the lights (lamps, window light, ceiling lights), all doggies, giving kisses to said doggies in the books we read (it is JUST as cute as it sounds!), standing up with assistance, taking steps while we hold her hands. She also loves being tossed back into a pile of pillows on the bed, trying to look at Mama and Daddy's phones, saying, "Da. Da!" everytime I get a call (because she thinks every call is to/from Dean). Maddie also is giving us more kisses, waving hello and bye-bye to people and things, snuggling, giving hugs, turning the pages of her books (she especially likes her Record-a-Story book from Grammy and Grandpa!). Bath time and when Daddy comes home are still two highlights of each day :)

Dislikes: Itchy skin and having a stuffed up nose.

What I want to remember: Madison motioning for me to read to her, watching her bop and clap to her tropical piano music, spending Easter weekend with the Fairweathers and the wonder and amazement of life through the eyes of our sweet child.


You may also like: Madison’s 9-Month Highlights | Follow our daily adventures with #sweetmaddiegirlgram

The Lewis Family | Photos for Columbia | Columbia SC Portrait Photographer

USC Horeshoe portraits | Lorin Marie Photography

"Cherish today, for tomorrow is not promised."

For this family of nine (including their 4 fur babies), the Columbia flood last fall reminded them just how true that statement is. Photos for Columbia was the perfect opportunity for the Lewises to spend the afternoon enjoying time together as a family - walking the dogs, laughing and smiling together across the beautiful green expanse of The Horseshoe at USC

Jeff and Deborah, along with their son Domenique, daughter Tonika and grandson LJ, have not allowed hardship from the flooding to their home, and to our city, keep them down. It was Deborah who told me the quote above and said that their family words are: strong, diverse, think positive.

From snuggles with the dogs and kisses from adorable LJ to cozying up and laughing at Jeff's silly antics, the Lewis family showed remarkable resilience, tightknit unity and warm love that helps keep their bond going strong.

Iron gate University of South Carolina | Lorin Marie Photography
USC Horeshoe portrait | Lorin Marie Photography
USC Horeshoe portrait session | Lorin Marie Photography
USC Horeshoe photos | Lorin Marie Photography
USC Horeshoe portrait photographer | Lorin Marie Photography
USC fountain Columbia SC | Lorin Marie Photography
USC Horeshoe portrait | Lorin Marie Photography
Family portrait session The Horseshoe Columbia SC | Lorin Marie Photography
Family portrait session The Horseshoe Columbia SC | Lorin Marie Photography
Family portrait session The Horseshoe Columbia | Lorin Marie Photography
Family portrait session The Horseshoe photographer | Lorin Marie Photography
Family portrait session The Horseshoe photographer | Lorin Marie Photography
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Joy-Filled Things

Charleston pink wall | Lorin Marie Photography

After reading this fantastic interview with the lovely Cheyenne Schultz, I went and made myself a list of things that bring me joy. Especially in the newborn stage of motherhood, it was difficult at times to feel/find/see joy when you are so tired you don't even have energy to finish this sentence... ha :)

It just took a few minutes to clear my head and start thinking, Where/in what do I find joy?

"You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." {Psalm 16:11}
"....for the joy of the Lord is your strength." {Nehemiah 8:10}

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." {Romans 15:13}

So how can I remind myself daily of the joy that is from the Lord? That He has called us to (as a fruit of the spirit) and given to us? Keeping a running list of Joy-Filled Things on a note in my phone is a really easy access to this reminder. I simply typed in whatever came to mind. Some of the things on my list are free, just take a few minutes and can quickly be done. A few others require leaving the house/cost a little. It has been tremendously helpful, in the middle of a difficult day or a long week, to quickly pull up the list and remind myself of something I can do to cultivate more joy in my life. Not that it is found in our circumstances but we can refocus our attitude to find joy right where we are. Not next year, not 5 years from now. But even in this very minute. Here's what I have on my list:

Joy-Filled Things

Taking walks
Lighting a candle + taking a bath
Walking around Soda City Market
Photographing couples in love + my family
Napping :)
fresh flowers
studying god's word
Driving + singing to worship music
Hot + iced lattes
Goal setting
Playing the guitar
Trying new recipes
Reading to Madison
Cuddling with Dean
Talking with friends
Exploring new parts of town
Helping + serving others
Chocolate (I include Nutella in this category!)
Decorating our home
Encouraging others
Crossword puzzles
Dancing with maddie in our living room
calling up a good friend
sending others cards + gifts
trying new recipes
creating things
turning our house into a home
 

I highly encourage you to take 10 minutes and make a list of things that bring you joy! What would be at the top of your list?

Happy 9 months, Madison!

Baby Valentine's Day Dress | Lorin Marie Photography

Madison's Monthly Highlights

Weight: Around 18 pounds. She is pretty long and lean! Although her sweet baby face has some roundness to it. At this rate, I doubt her weight will ever catch up, or pass, her height.

Clothing: Madison is still rocking her 18 month and 2T bottoms! We were blessed with lots of pretty dresses from her grandparents so I’m trying to make sure she wears them before they get too small. We do lots of onesies with leggings or a casual dress with a cardigan. Still trying to get her to wear shoes for more than 28 seconds. Madison, 1; shoes, 0.

Cute red Valentine's Day dress for a baby | Lorin Marie Photography
Red sequin baby dress | Lorin Marie Photography
Baby sequin party dress
Baby Christmas dress

Sleep: We’re back up to almost 11 hours :) And she’s still taking her 2 naps each day. It’s great to see her really getting comfy in her crib. Now that she’s just in footies + sleep sack, she takes advantage of the real estate and squirms to one side of the crib or will scooch until her head is resting up against the crib. Although she is a great sleeper, the hardest part is actually getting her to sleep at night. Instead of our 9 PM bedtime, she ended up actually getting to sleep around 9:30 or 10 PM on various nights.

Eating: She tried bits of a quesadilla and really liked it. Shredded cheese is apparently also one of her love languages :) And Cheerios. Madison is really getting the hang of her pincer grip and those little grabbers do a fantastic job of getting her finger foods in her mouth! Which is so fun because my grandma (Big Betty to our Little Betty) likes to mention how I wouldn’t go anywhere without my cereal snack bag when I was little. Like mother, like daughter!

In addition to purees, we have given her some squeezy pouches which she also seems to enjoy. Hello, talk about convenience! When we’re out running errands, I would much rather give her a pouch than try to spoon feed without making a mess, or Madison trying to grab the spoon, leaving trails of green peas or mashed squash in her wake. (Btw, while pouches can be expensive, Aldi has them for CHEAP! We’re talking a pack of 4 for $1.79! They are a tad bit smaller than the standard 3 oz. but a whole lot less expensive. Go – buy them now!)

Red dressy baby party dress
Baby and Sophie the Giraffe
Sophie the Giraffe photo shoot
Pastel baby ballet outfit | Lorin Marie Photography
Pink baby tutu | Lorin Marie Photography

Personality: She makes the most fun little sounds and movements. Saying “Ugh la la” while wiggling her tongue back in forth, or cupping her hand over her mouth and singing are just a couple of in her repertoire. She is giggly, loves dogs (I think it’s a growing fondness for them), likes to move (bounce, clap or wiggle) although she is also perfectly content just to sit (no crawling yet for us). Madison will be really expressive in a small setting, like in the car or at our house, and then will be more reserved or inquisitive in a larger setting, like in a restaurant or when we’re with a large group of people.

She is a true Southern belle – all ladylike in public almost all the time. She really doesn’t fuss unless it’s in private (aka in the car with me or Dean or at home). We didn’t really have too much of a separation anxiety phase (praise the Lord!) and she still does pretty well when we drop her off at church nursery and when our babysitter, who is incredible, comes over to watch her. She really enjoys other babies and is constantly chattering and trying to touch or wave to them. Such a people person :)

Pink baby tutu
Valentine's-Day-Baby-6.jpg
Babyballet tutu
Pink infant ballet costume

Firsts: Her first times riding around in our jogging stroller for a family jog. It was a little chilly the Saturday morning we ran through campus but we bundled Maddie up and she seemed to really enjoy the view from the front. Plus – snack tray for Cheerios and a cup holder for her sippy cup. Who wouldn’t like their own tray and holder for goodies?

February was also the month she laid in a hammock for the first time. Dean and I have been eyeing the Eno DoubleNest for quite some time and found it for a great price at a store in downtown Columbia. After Dean strategically hung it in our backyard, we all piled in for a swing. And actually, Madison was really the one swinging! She sat up on Dean’s stomach and rocked back and forth, moving the hammock for us.

Her first time playing peekaboo with a hat! She really seems to get the idea of taking off something (go figure!) and hiding her face.

And at bath time, Maddie figured out how to scooch around in her pink plastic tub to face the other way. It will only be a matter of days before she tries climbing out of it!

Our big girl also graduated to sitting in a grocery cart for the first time! She has been big enough to ride in the cart for a while but honestly, sometimes it’s still easier to bring her travel system and keep her in her car seat. During a trip to Aldi, I decided to give it a try. And she loooooved it. A little too much, perhaps, as she tried to twist around in every direction, figuring out what this new thing was that she was in, how she could reach everything we passed (!) and trying to get her legs out and up over the cart handle (talk about f-l-e-x-i-b-l-e!). So we now need to work on staying *in* the cart.

She has also discovered her headbands/bows and will pull them down L Trying to encourage her to keep them up! Otherwise I hear her crying as we’re driving because she now has an accidental blindfold on.

Infant ballet costume

Likes: Riding in the jogging stroller, sitting in the hammock, clapping her hands, pulling her headbands off, feeding herself, petting doggies, blowing bubbles with her mouth, flipping through her books, hugging her daddy, being thrown up in the air, bath time, shaking our car keys, saying “mama” and “dada,” shaking things, scratching different textures, pointing with her little pointer finger, babbling, sticking out her tongue, grabbing her feet

Dislikes: Having her nose or face wiped off, sleeping well when we travel, being put down, waiting to eat

What I want to remember: Family hammock time, our trip to Florida for my dear friend Laura’s wedding and Madison meeting her twin sister Lynsey’s baby and rolling around with him, her daddy reading to her at bedtime.


You may also like: Madison’s 8-Month Highlights | Follow our daily adventures with #sweetmaddiegirlgram

Jake + Dana | Anniversary Portraits | Nashville Portrait Photographer

Jake-and-Dana-Anniversary-Photos-17.jpg

One of my absolute dearest friends married her husband 5 years ago this weekend. Dana and Jake had a beautiful ceremony and reception in Tampa and I was so privileged to be standing by her side as they wed.

Crowsy, as I still call her, and I met in high school - specifically, during the first period on the first day of junior year - where we were both the new kids on the block.

Friendship from that early morning English class also led to many musical adventures (including a snowed-in trip our senior year to NYC!), outdoor movies in Hyde Park, driving around and singing Destiny's Child/country music in harmony, beach trips, taco shack visits (may it rest in peace) and then continued on into 4 years of garnet and gold.

Beautiful engagement photos | Lorin Marie Photography
Classic vintage truck engagement photos | Lorin Marie Photography

The fun continued at FSU with Worship on Landis, BCM activities, jumping/getting thrown in the Westcott Fountain, sitting through scorching hot and pouring down rain football games, driving to Dothan for some Bojangles and ended college as roommates.

Literal roommates, as we liked to say. We somehow shoved two full-size beds in one bedroom and shared that space with late night guitar jamming out to Little Big Town, talking about what God was teaching us, studying or not studying for our respective majors, catching up on each other's day (Jake entered the picture about this time!) and trying to survive the apartment fire.

Nashville anniversary photos | Lorin Marie Photography
Kissing near vintage truck
Anniversary couple photos

Side note: Dana once saved my life from what she thought was a fire in our kitchen. Our bedroom door backed right up to that space and when she smelled smoke one morning, she jumped out of her bed, tested the door for heat with the back of her palm and shouted something along the lines of, "It's all going to be OK, Lorin!" Meanwhile our other roommate had just burnt something in the microwave. And I slept through the whole thing. But I still count that as her saving my life :)

Antique red car | Lorin Marie Photography
Engagement photographer | Lorin Marie Photography
Nashville engagement photos | Classic vintage truck engagement photos | Lorin Marie Photography

Thanks to one of Jake's friends at our dear friend Christina's birthday, the two met our senior year. Although I was SHOCKED that they didn't already know each other, since they have like 100 friends in common!

Their love for the Lord, affection and major talent for all things music (Dana has an extremely beautiful voice and is awesome on the guitar! Jake is an incredibly talented composer and musician!) and silly yet sweet personalities made it so abundantly clear that they were meant to be like two peas in a pod.

Black and white engagement photo
Classic engagement photos

We traveled to Nashville to ring in 2016 together with the sweet LaVallees and in between eating delicious food, playing Ticket to Ride and exploring East Nashville, we snuck in sunset anniversary portraits of Dana and Jake in Percy Warner Park, right in the same place they strolled around after Jake proposed!

East Nashville photographer | Lorin Marie Photography
Cute anniversary photo
Tennessee anniversary session | Lorin Marie Photography
Couple laughing together
Tennessee anniversary session | Lorin Marie Photography
Classic red truck engagement photos | Lorin Marie Photography
Cute engagement photos
Kissing couple

For the days, weeks, months and years of love past and many more to come, happy anniversary to this incredible couple!

Nashville TN photographer | Lorin Marie Photography
Nashville anniversary photos | Lorin Marie Photography
Nashville engagement photos