A Whole Year Later | Personal

Boy, has it been crazy since this year started! More specifically, the apple of my eye, my little boy, Joseph turned ONE on April 12th! How can it be that he is already a one year old? How is it possible????  My little 8 pound, 7 ounce, 8 days overdue, emergency c-section baby.  He's not tiny anymore, and I still can't grasp that concept. 

Since he is literally OBSESSED with it, the theme of his birthday party was Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  Of course, being that when a baby turns a year old, it's a big deal.  We had Mickey and Minnie ears for the kiddos (even though mainly the adults were wearing them lol), a few fun games, and of course, themed menu. A lot of the decorations and food items were hand made, and boy, did we have a time creating them. I have to send out a HUGE shoutout to Ms. Kadi Spruill of Kadi Bakes for making a last minute smash/birthday cake for the party

Thank you to my family for your help with everything and to everyone that came to celebrate with us! I meant to send out thank you cards to everyone that graced Joseph with a gift, but life got in the way. So, THANK YOU!!!! 

Daddy is FINALLY Home! | Personal

The day has FINALLY come!!! We have waited 7 months for this moment. Well, Joseph has waited his entire life to finally meet his daddy in person.  Seeing my husband and my son finally meet face to face instead of via a computer screen brought me to tears. It made me remember the day I checked in to Chesapeake General for my induction, to the emergency c-section I had to have because of a cord prolapse, to all those sleeplessness nights and half awake days trying to finish homework assignments.  All I knew was that I was finally getting the other half of my heart back and I wasn't letting him go. 

The morning of, all I could think about was getting to work, keeping myself busy until I got to leave to head over to the base.  Of course, they flew into the AMC terminal, which meant their plane was going to fly RIGHT over my office.  Every plane that flew over, I'd excited, thinking that it was him.  But once it got closer, I KNEW it was their plane based on the sound alone (thanks to my husband that is obsessed with naval aviation and has rubbed off on me).  The moment I heard their plane, I immediately starting running through the office, trying to look out the window to watch it make its way to the AMC Terminal and started to tear. But of course, my girls Stacey and Liza, would took time out on their lunch break to give me a mini makeover, I couldn't start bawling like I wanted to! Hearing that plane fly over was definitely a sigh of relief. No more sleeping alone, no more late night and early morning chats, no more!

Video captured by Langley Public Affairs:

So glad that daddy is finally home and he is finally able to meet and play with Joseph. 



A Little Mermaid Birthday | Aliyah Mae turns 4 | Chesapeake Portrait Photographer

FOUR years old. I cannot believe that little miss Aliyah Mae turned FOUR this year!!! I remember the moment I finally got to meet her.... and cannot believe how big she is now! She is definitely a strong and beautiful girl, just like her mama. 

Aliyah, please stop growing! Auntie doesn't want you to grow anymore, and I am sure mommy is thinking the exact same thing!

My sister pulled together an AWESOME Little Mermaid party for Aliyah. Every last detail was perfect! 

Daddy's Almost Home | Personal

As some of you may not know, my son, Joseph was born just after his daddy left for a deployment with the Air National Guard.  He is a Staff Sergeant with the 203rd RED HORSE Squadron, which RED HORSE stands for Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers.  They are essentially the equivalent to the Navy SEABEES (they also train at NCBC Gulfport in Gulfport, Mississippi).  We were hoping that Joseph would make his appearance before daddy left, but as any military family (even though we are a Guard family) can tell you, things don't always go the way that you plan it!

Although we have been together for over four years, this is our first deployment together, and he has missed his birthday, two of the kids' birthdays, as well as our first wedding anniversary, which was on October 5th.  Thankfully, where he is at, we have been able to keep in contact with him pretty much every single day.  Although I can't really discuss when daddy is coming home, but all I can say is that we are ready for daddy to come home and we can enjoy being a family again!  They say that keeping yourself busy helps pass the time by a lot quicker, and I do have to say that it actually does seem to, especially since I returned back to work from maternity leave and have shot three weddings, second shot a few weddings for my gals Nicole of Nicole Jean Photography and Leslie of La Bella Bonita Photography, as well as a few other sessions.  And let's not forget about the classes that I am still taking in pursuit of my Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice through American Military University.

Daddy, we can't wait for you to come home and for you to finally meet Joseph face to face for the first time! I already know I will be a blubbering mess that day and I know that I will need to ensure I have several boxes of tissues with me!

Just a Little Life Update... | Personal

Gosh, it has been awhile since I have last posted! Life happened.  Little do most people know, I got married last October to my love of my life, we moved to a house in Norfolk in February, gave birth to our son, Joseph Colin in April, and daddy is currently on deployment.  But of course, I couldn't just mention about Joseph without sharing his cuteness! 

I was due on April 4th, but Joseph decided he was too comfortable and was evicted.  Although I planned on having natural birth, he entered the world via an emergency c-section due to a cord prolapse (you can read more about cord prolapse HERE).  Like everyone knows, they take photos of the newborns, just like we had when our parents had us back in the day.  But they are totally nothing like ours! 

Joseph Colin was born at 7:09 AM on April 12th.  So far I am enjoying maternity leave, and I can't believe how quickly it is coming to an end...  I just wish it wasn't only 6 weeks! :( I'm gonna miss seeing my baby boy every day.  Recently, we had photos done, which happened to be on the day he turned one month old (I need him to stop growing now. I cant't believe that he's already a month old!!!! GAH!).  My photog pal, Tricia of Teal Tree Studios Photography & Design  took some AWESOME photos of our little man.  And at least I know that he's a ham in front of the camera; mommy should have no problems with getting photos of him as he continues to grow!

Here are my most favorite photos from his newborn session with Tricia.

Joseph, mommy wants you to stop growing! Before I know it, you'll be a year old! :( 

Spending Time with Family on Memorial Day | Personal

On Memorial Day weekend, we headed over to my parents house to BBQ and enjoy some pool time.  Can't deny having some free pool time, whenever you want, right?!?!  And little miss Aliyah LOVES spending time with her cousins every chance she gets to see them.  And obviously having too much fun in the sun, you get tired while eating your lunch!

North Carolina Adventures: Corolla, Outer Banks | Personal

Jake and I decided to go on an adventure on our own ever since the last time we ventured down to North Carolina.  Instead of heading down towards Kitty Hawk and Cape Hatteras, we decided to drive to Corolla.  After I heard about the awesome beach that we can actually drive on and encounter wild horses, we knew we had to take the Jeep for some sand and sea therapy.  As we drove down, we were in awe of the beautiful homes and rentals we saw, wishing that we could just move into to one right now.  Once we finally arrive at the beach, we were just amazed at how beautiful it was.  Windows rolled down, the smell of the sea and the serenity of the waves crashing just a few feet from us.  We continued down the beach to a location where cars were allowed to park in the middle.  Feeling the sand between my toes again made me miss home even more!  All I can say is that I can't wait to go back down again and spend the entire day there.  Seriously with every visit that we make to the Outer Banks, it makes me want to move out of Virginia Beach.  I'm a water baby at heart; I belong at the beach!  

On our way back to leave the beach, we came upon some wild horses that we heard that frequent the beach from time to time.  I swear when we first passed the spot, they weren't there.  But glad that we were able to see them before we left the beach.   Seriously, can't wait to go back!!

Oh How Time Flies By.... | Personal

Tomorrow, I will be celebrating three years with my love, Jake.  Oddly enough, it's also his birthday (He can NEVER say he forgot what day our anniversary is on!).  I met Jake during a rough patch in my life (those that know me personally will know what rough patch I'm talking about...) and meeting him was at the most perfect time.  He has been my sounding board when I needed to vent, my shoulder when I needed one to cry on, and my cheerleader when I needed support.  Like any other normal couple, we have had our ups and downs, but have always stuck by each other no matter what.  We may not be the perfect couple, but we are perfect for each other.

I love you Jake and always will. No matter what.


Your future wife

Outer Banks or Bust | Personal

A couple weekends ago, we made a spur of the moment trip down to the Outer Banks. Jake had been working HVAC jobs down there with a friend and couldn't stop gabbing about it. Despite the cold and dreary day and a short snowfall (which was more like sleet), the beach baby in me felt like I was back home again. 

The vibes that I felt reminded me of home, from the friendly and helpful locals, to the overall chill vibe, reminding me that I wasn't in the hustle and bustle of city life like in Virginia Beach. Who knows, maybe  eventually I might make the move down there like Amanda Hedgepeth and her family did last year. And as Amanda quoted when we chatted about the Outer Banks; for an hour away, it really is a WORLD away!  

A world I definitely plan on visiting again soon! 

A Beautiful Spring Day | Chesapeake Family Photographer

Spending time with family is always on the top of my list. Especially when I get to see my adorable little niece, Miss Aliyah Mae! Jake and I headed over to my parents' house in Chesapeake and grilled out. Of course, we spent some time hanging out in the garage, listening to music and watching Aliyah dance her little heart out.  Needless to say, it was a beautiful Spring day and it was full of fun!