Saturday, October 14, 2017

{Birthday Pumkpin Patchin'}

Well, I turned 30 this weekend. Which is basically insane. Sometimes I feel like there's no way I can be this old. I know 30 isn't old at all, but I remember being younger and thinking it was over the hill. I also remember thinking that my entire life would be together by 30. I thought I'd have it all by this milestone. Married, a booming career, a big house, a huge family and an amazing retirement fund. I laugh now. I mean, I have a lot, don't get me wrong. However, I definitely don't have my life together. And really, I think that's ok. 30 is young enough to still be chasing your dreams and working on what fills your cup.
What filled my cup this weekend was time with my family. We had a delicious meal at one of my favorite Japanese Steakhouses, picked out an ice cream cake and then spent some time together at the pumpkin patch. You guys know how much I love all things food and fall, so it was everything I needed. :)
I don't have too much to say, I just wanted to pop in, say hi and share some photos with you guys!
These babies are my whole world, I couldn't have asked for a better birthday! 30 is looking good!
xo,
Melissa Loren















Thursday, September 28, 2017

{And Sometimes The Stars Align}

Guys, both of my kids are napping...at the same time. And get this, they've made it a pretty regular thing. You guys know that feeling, when the stars align and your children do something at the same time, giving you a pause in your day, a moment of silence, a chance to actually do something for yourself or get caught up on the things that are lagging. Luce has been taking her second nap at the same time that Henry takes his daily nap (yes I'm one of the lucky ones who's toddler still naps), and it has been GLORIOUS for me.
Which brings me to my post today. It hit me today that I'm starting to approach that stage after having a baby where you start to get the hang of things. Finding a routine, figuring out what works for your family, adjusting to two kids, etc. As I walked into the mall this morning with both kids dressed-positively adorably, full makeup on, my hair curled and my outfit all fall-like, I thought to myself, "Look at me, doing this mom of two thing!" Which may sound ridiculous, but I know some of y'all know exactly what I mean. If that's you, you can go ahead and give me two hands in the air and an amen! 🙌🏽 Don't get me wrong, I still look like an {{almost}} 30 year old with two kids just trying to squeeze her stroller through the way-too-narrow aisles of youthful Windsor, with young(er) ladies looking at me like at have three breasts. (But really, don't look at me like an alien just because I'm shopping with a stroller, bleh.)

Anyway, I'm getting off subject and ranting haha. So, I've reached that stage where we've found a schedule. Luce take 3 naps a day, usually around 9:30, 1:00 and 4:00 and Henry takes a nap at 1:00, which is when I get most of my work done. We try and take breaks and hit the park, the mall or meet up with friends in between naps. I've come to terms with the fact that I have to lay down with Luce and nurse her to sleep, I'm no longer dwelling and pouting about it (I know, I adult so well). It works for her, it comforts her and she's healthy, so it is what it is. Once I have her situated, I sneak out and get my big boy ready for bed. We hold hands while we have a little chat, say our prayers and then it's lights out for him. I usually have from about 8:30-10 before Luce wakes to nurse again, and I use that time for me, to work on edits or tidy up around the house. It isn't ideal (some days my mental state could really use some Melissa time), but it's working and my days will only be as good as I allow them to be. So I try to find all the positive that I can, because I've said it a millions times, but the days are long and the years are short. I won't be snuggling these two to sleep forever, so I want to remember it fondly.

I guess the point of this post is to reassure the mamas who feel like they have lost themselves, or that they can't get their sh!t together. No one can have it together all of the time (if you do, teach me your ways), but things will definitely start to fall into place and feel normal again. Eventually. In the meantime, enjoy the ride. Sit back, drink your coffee, learn how to top knot and ENJOY.THE.RIDE, mama!
xx,
Melissa Loren




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

{HEY GUYS!}


I have been so bad about updating you guys here. LIFE has just been so busy! For the first time, maybe ever, I am focusing on what I love and trying to make something of it. Nearly all of my time goes into being behind my camera! So much so that I wasn't snapping any day-to-day photos of my kiddos. So the last couple weeks I reminded myself that it's ok to take normal photos of my babies lol, so you guys get to see some of those today. 
I have so many things coming up, so I imagine my time is just going to get slimmer. I will do my best to pop in and share some day to day life around here.
Luce is just still exhausting lol so any free time I have is spent showering or attempting to look like I care about myself HA.
Henry is happy as a bird with a french fry! Was anyone else that mom that swore she'd never let her kid wear characters or dress themselves?! Look at this child...
So much goes out the window when actually become a parent, and for good reason. Your kids love what they love and you want them to be happy! BUT he will definitely be looking sharp for pictures this weekend 😂. PJ day at school can't last forever lol.
Nothing else is really new around here. I'm love watching Luce and Sean together. She has him so wrapped around her finger. She is already a daddy's girl and I love it.
We have pictures this weekend, so I'll be sure to share those when we get them. I also took photos of my gorgeous friend who is launching a new blog! I'll send you her way when it launches!
xx,
Melissa Loren

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

{Welcome To The Ozarks}


Last week Sean was on vacation so we decided to take a mini road trip to Branson. I say mini because we only stayed one night. We got there early Monday morning and left Tuesday afternoon. We originally wanted to drive to Colorado for several days, but Luce is miserable in the car for long periods of time. She only sleeps for short periods and is only happy for a bit, then she just wants to be OUT of the car seat. So we knew even the 3.5 hour trip to Branson was a stretch. Monday morning we arrived at Silver Dollar City to see what it was all about and so Henry could ride all the rides. Of course little man was sick, so he wasn't at his best, but he still went nuts for everything. Sean and I tag-teamed riding rides with him and watching Luc. Henry loved it and wasn't ready to leave. After SDC we headed to the hotel to take a break and clean up, then we headed to Branson Landing for some shopping and dinner. Shopping included TY Beanie Boos and candy from the It's Sugar store. 😂 We also enjoyed a fountain/light show on the strip, walked the river and checked out Bass Pro.
Tuesday we woke up bright and early ready to check out the Lost Canyon Nature Trail. Of course they delayed their opening time due to maintenance which was kind of a bummer, but it worked out because we were able to find another pretty awesome trail that followed Table Rock Lake. We saw some lizards and Henry had a blast throwing rocks into the lake. Boys. We knew we really wanted to see the canyon though, so after a bit we headed back that way, and boy was it worth it! It was definitely the best part of our trip and a favorite by all! It was so beautiful and so relaxing. You drive a golf cart through caves, tunnels and over bridges. The views are glorious! Worth a trip! We ended the afternoon with a round of dinosaur mini golf for Henry and headed home. Of course Luce slept for the first 35 minutes and then decided to be a grump butt the rest of the way home. 😰 We survived though, and we'd do it again. The only bad part now is that Luce has Henry's cold and it's twice as hard on her. Praying she shakes this cold quickly and we all don't pass it back and forth.
Here's a few pics from our trip...
xx,
Melissa Loren

















Tuesday, September 5, 2017

{Fresh 48}

I've shared these most everywhere, but just incase I have some readers who don't follow me everywhere else, and care, I thought I'd share them here. I've been MIA lately because this photography gig has been keeping me super busy. Add to that a mini road trip and sick kiddos, this mama has barely slept in weeks. It's hard to keep up with everything some days. 
Taking these photos was so fun and I have another one coming up very soon. Fresh 48 photos are taken within the first 48 hours of child's birth. They're meant to real and raw, not too posed or staged. I so wish I had more photos like this from my children's first few days of life. Especially when Henry and Luce first met. It also breaks my heart that we don't have *any* photos of Sean and I together at the hospital with Luce. These moments go by QUICKLY, you barely blink and you're already wobbling out of the hospital to take your newborn home to watch them grow. Your time in the hospital is such a whirlwind and you will barely realize what happened while you were there. These photos capture those moments when first meeting your baby, so that you'll have them forever. <3

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

{My First Newborn Session}

I don't know if you guys saw this post, but I'm working on switching things around here. We'll be transitioning the name of the blog to Harper and Colette, since they're the focus of my writing and sharing. Also, since they're my inspiration for my photography and my logo. I am trying to make everything cohesive, so bear with me as we make the shift!
Today's post features the sweetest, most beautiful newborn baby girl. I was honored to photograph her for my dear friend. She was my very first newborn photoshoot. There is obviously always room for improvement and that will come with time and experience, but I have to say taking these photos was so good for me. It was good for my mind, my soul, my practice. Working with newborns brings a certain joy to me. I was calm, patient and yet riveted by the entire experience. Newborn babies are just incredible. The innocence, the sleepiness and the endless snuggles. I think I may have found my favorite kind of models. <3
To my surprise, my calendar is quickly filling up this fall and with my own personal travels, Halloween and Henry's 4th birthday coming up, things will only get tighter! Be sure to contact me if you're looking for photos. :)
xx,
Melissa Loren














































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