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Our Family Beach Photos

I have always loved beach family photos – the lapping blue, reflective water, the dreamy sun setting in the background, the white sand, the wind tousled hair. We have never had the opportunity to have a beach session, so when we booked our trip to the Hilton Sandestin, I started searching for a photographer immediately. I could not be more excited about finding Lauren Folk of Folk House Creative Co., because y’all, she is not only super talented, but a dream to work with. She seriously captured our small little family perfectly, and I will truly print and treasure these photos forever. I am so grateful for Lauren! If you are traveling to the Destin area, I cannot recommend her enough.

There is so much joy in these photos. Sweet Emi was very much ready for bed, but Lauren somehow managed to appear less tired than she really was! That babe was asleep less than ten minutes after we wrapped them up, but Lauren (and Isla) had her grinning with their smart posing and silly faces (well, Isla’s!). Without further adieu, a narrowed down, but still expansive, selection of favorites from our session.

We Love Our cuteheads

One of my close friends, Esther, owns our favorite clothing company – cuteheads. If you click around her site, you’ll see a familiar face wearing many of her gorgeous dresses. Basically, Isla wants to wear cuteheads every single day and every single night (the former, I encourage – the latter, I sometimes push back on! Ha). During the hurricane, Esther was living with her in-laws while their house was remodeled. As Houston was pelleted with rain, her in-laws house started to take on water, and unfortunately, so did hers. They evacuated by boat (all documented on her Insta-story), and while this devastating event would overwhelm many most, Esther remained positive and immediately began collecting donations from other small businesses. She is truly amazing and such an inspiration.

To show our support for her business, a few of her friends put together a giveaway to help people who lost everything in the floods. We’re giving away $75 cuteheads gift cards – see Rafflecopter below! You can enter to win for yourself, if you were impacted, or for someone else you know who was displaced. It’s really easy to enter too. Also, we’d love if you posted a photo on your Instagram with the hashtag #weloveourcuteheads, sharing why you and your little one(s) love this brand!

Click here to enter the giveaway

Week in Review

After being postponed for two weeks due to the hurricane, the girls’ school starts tomorrow. Isla is going for three days, and Emi, only two. I have grandiose plans on what I’ll do with five uninterrupted hours (I haven’t had this since Emi was born!), but this week, I’ll be spending most of that time taking photographs. We leave for Destin on Saturday, and I’ve got five photo sessions in the next four days. Madness.

My parents moved into their rental home on Saturday, so the house feels all quiet now that they’re gone. My sister-in-law and niece even stayed with us for a few nights last week! There were 8 people living in our little house – I loved it! Some other highlights from the past week include:

  • Going to church at Bayou City Fellowship (Curtis’ message was great – it’s not uploaded just yet to the site, but you can find other sermons here).
  • Having a playdate with our best friends, the Thompsons at their house! It had been way too long.
  • Watching Isla make new friends and play some soccer at CityCentre after the gym one morning!
  • Taking two sets of newborn photos for sweet Parker and baby Harper. They were both insanely cute! Lucky me, ha!
  • Taking Isla to her much anticipated ballet class, which she went to with her new bestie, Iris. They are so sweet together. Lots of photos below!
  • Photographing Meredith at this amazingly colorful exhibit at Discovery Green.
  • Catching up with Monica on a power walk with my sister-in-law, Ivana.

I’m almost 99% positive I’m missing something big, but it’s 11:45pm and I have to get back to editing those sweet baby photos. I’m actually drinking a coffee at this very minute. One of those nights! Have the best week. xo

Nest Cameras as Kid Monitors

We recently installed Nest cameras in both of the girls’ rooms, and it’s pretty crazy for us to now think about not having a way to watch Isla once her bedroom door is closed (we haven’t since she was about 12 months old!). It’s free entertainment! I will read her stories, say our prayers, kiss her goodnight, then leave the room. And then the magic begins. Ha. Pajama changes, headbands on, new books, more stuffed animals in bed, etc. I feel like we’ve been missing out for ages. But the best part about the Nest cameras are the playback. Isla has had some sweet moments, which I’ve loved listening to over and over and over again (like her prayer I wrote about here), and also some of sheer terror. The other night, I told her that she had to share her Elsa character with Emi, and she started sobbing, told me she didn’t love me anymore, then grabbed her ‘star chart’ and tore it up… which caused even more tears, as she asked me to glue it back together and told me she was so sorry and wanted me to be her mommy again. I laughed and cried re-watching that!

Our New Newborn Favorites: Lulla Doll

If you follow me on Instagram (@snapshotsandmythoughts), you will be very familiar with Emi’s Lulla Doll. If Emi ever starts to cry, you’ll here Isla running around the house looking for Lulla, then once she’s found her, “Don’t cry, Boo Boo, I’m bringing you Looooooola!” In short: she’s obsessed.  I don’t know if it’s how soft Lulla is, her perfect-to-hold size, how she tastes (kidding, but Emi is always chewing on her), or her soothing heart beat sound, but she helps Emi fall asleep for all of her naps and at bedtime. We bring her everywhere.

Before Emi had her Lulla, she was sleeping with a blanket, typically pulled up close to her face and it made me so nervous. With her doll snuggled next to her, there is so much space for her to breathe, I don’t worry. They are the cutest little sleeping buddies. Also, there is a velcro attachment that tucks into the back pouch in case you want to use it to attach to the crib vs. having her in the crib.

So when my sweet contact at Roro offered to sponsor a post, I said no, because I don’t want to get paid to tell you how much we love her, but… I did want a second Lulla! Ha. We’ve struggled to wash her, since Miss Emilia wants to hold her all day long. I’ve spoken to others who saw Lulla on my Instagram then bought her, and the consensus is in: she is loved by all babies. You can read other stories of babies loving their dolls on their website here.

The Lulla doll costs $69, with $5 shipping in the US. Her heart beat sound is activated by pushing down on the button for 2 seconds. The calming sounds play for eight hours – so I usually go and reset it right before I go to sleep, so that she can hear it all night long. Since we constantly have it on, I found that the batteries didn’t last very long, so I bought this 4-pack of rechargeable AAA batteries and charger. That way two batteries are always in Lulla, and another two are charging.

Others in the ‘new newborn favorites’ series are the Solly Wrap, Owlet Monitor, DockATot and 4Moms Infant Tub.