Parker’s 6 month pictures

I tell you, I could never be a kid photographer because it takes wayyyy more patience and flexibility than I possess!  Thankfully we have a photographer who is both of those things because Parker-bear gave us a run for our money during his 6 month pictures!  Right from the get go he was not having it!  We tried all kinds of things but it was getting worse, not better.

Shelly suggested we reschedule and try another day so we did.  He still wasn’t the happiest, most cooperative baby but we were able to get through the second session with way less tears and I was very happy with how they turned out!

These first few are from the first session that we ended up cutting short and rescheduling.
2 Big ‘ol pouty lip3 4 THIS is what he did most of the time.  He was not a bit happy to get his picture taken!6He was obviously hot (as you can tell from the red cheeks) so we tried stripping him down to a diaper in case that helped but no, still not happy.13I tried feeding him to see if he was upset because he was hungry.  That didn’t help either but while I was feeding him Shelly grabbed a few cuties of Hudson.8 10 11

Take #2.

He still wasn’t totally into it but it went much better than the first day!  Part of the problem I think was because he had just learned to sit up and so that’s all he wanted to do.  Any time we put him on his belly he got super mad!
18 22 Angry face plant.  Lol poor guy.
24He loves his toes!
27 30 Trying to coax a smile out of him was quite the workout!  Oh and just so you know, those red blotches all over his torso are not bruises.  Parker has very sensitive skin that turns red with the slightest contact (Hudson and I are like that too) so all that redness is just from me picking him up and moving him around to position him for the pictures.31 323436 38 This is one of my favorite pictures.  It wasn’t a good straight-on shot but I love it because he’s looking up at me while I try to get him to smile for the camera and smiling at me with that all-adoring love look.  Melts my heart.41 44Sweet boy!  I’m so glad we got some good pictures…he definitely made us work for it!

If you’re in the Bowling Green, KY area and need a photographer definitely check out Shelley at Sweet Dreams Photography!  She has done all of our boys’ pictures and we love her!

Parker’s 3 month pictures

Parker’s 3 month pictures are here and they are AH-Mazing!  I love how they turned out!  Now the hard part…picking what I want to print to hang on the walls!

The blue in this shirt looks so good with his eyes but whyyyyyy on earth did I pick a button down shirt?  Never mind that it’s adorable, it makes him look SO old!  Waaaah!
1 4 I am so glad that Parker was already able to hold his head up well when laying on his stomach, that made for some really good pictures!  When we did Hudson’s 3 month pictures he wasn’t holding his head up well like this so we were a lot more limited on what we could do.

I’m also loving that arrow background!7 Check out this little vest, tie, and pocket square onesie – how cute is it??12 13 17 I think these pictures are my favorite – the turquoise looks so good with his eyes and we used the quilt that I made him as part of the backdrop which makes them extra special.20 21 22 25

These pictures were taken by our fabulous photographer Shelley at Sweet Dreams Photography.

Parker’s newborn pictures

I’m in love with Parker’s newborn pictures!
591221 25Hudson keeps calling this a “nest”.  After we finished the photoshoot he asked over and over again to see pictures of Parker in a nest – ha!283342This right here.  Oh my.  My precious boys.35155So, so sweet.575860We used the same photographer that we used for all of Hudson’s pictures. We just love her and she does such a great job with their pictures!  This time she offered to come to our house to do Parker’s pictures and that was absolutely wonderful!  Newborn sessions take a longgggg time (Shelley is SO patient!  I would go bananas waiting for the baby to go to sleep, positioning them, etc.) and it was super nice to be able to be at home, especially since we had Hudson too.  We were able to feed him lunch, Michael took him outside to play for a while, I easily nursed Parker when needed, it was just really relaxing and much easier on us to be at home.  I know it was a lot of work for her to haul all her stuff out here but we definitely appreciated it!

Hudson loves Shelley and while I fed Parker they played.  She snapped some pictures of Hudson and I can’t even believe how big he looks in this one!  Slow down time!

If you’re wondering if Parker looks like Hudson, you can check out Hudson’s newborn pictures and compare.

(Pictures by Sweet Dreams Photography)

Parker’s hospital pictures

For those of you who are not friends with me “in real life” and haven’t seen on Facebook…guess what?  Parker is here!  He arrived Thursday and we are both doing really well!  I’ll share more details and our birth story later but for now here are some of the sweet pictures from the hospital photographer.  At this point I don’t think he looks all that much like Hudson, especially comparing his hospital pictures to Parker’s.

dsc_9212 dsc_9215 dsc_9222_0 dsc_9233 dsc_9241_0 dsc_9242

We are totally in love and so thankful!

a canvas comparison

As promised here is a review of the three different companies where we purchased the canvases for the gallery wall in our living room.  Now just so you know I am NOT a professional photographer or a photography buff of any kind.  I have no idea what a professional canvas should look like and how these stack up against the really expensive ones.  So this is my very unexperienced review and comparison of canvases from three, random, not-super-expensive companies.
canvas gallery wall around the flat screen

When I got ready to order my canvases I, of course, wanted the most bang for my buck so I ended up ordering from three different sites where I had coupons or found good sales.  I was totally new to ordering canvases or really even any pictures on a large scale (larger than just normal 4×6 prints) so I did some “research” (aka Googling and reading reviews) to try to help me pick companies.  The ones I ultimately chose were: Fabness, Canvas on Demand, and Easy Canvas Prints.

A friend sent me a coupon for canvases from Fabness ($9.99 shipped) so I got two there.  I bought a Groupon for a canvas from Canvas on Demand, and then Easy Canvas Prints was one that I had read about online as being recommended and they were also doing a big sale (80% off I believe) so I bought the rest (5 canvases) there.  I spent a total of about $150 for the 8 canvases.

You can see below which canvas came from which company.  where I bought each canvas

This one in the bathroom is also from Easy Canvas PrintsIMG_0946

Let’s compare:

Quality of pictures

Like I said earlier I am not at all a professional but to me the pictures from all the sites looked great.  They were all clear and looked as good blown up as they did small on my computer screen.

Quality of canvases

Well again I don’t really know what I’m looking for but both the Fabness canvases and the Canvas on Demand one felt really sturdy.  The ones from Easy Canvas Prints weren’t as firm, if that makes sense.  Like if you push lightly on the middle of the ones from Fabness or Canvas on Demand they have very little give, as if there is something sturdy behind the picture.  If you push on the ones from Easy Canvas Prints they give a little (like a piece of fabric stretched around a frame but without anything hard behind it).

Since these are hung on the wall and aren’t really being touched or anything that doesn’t seem like it’s going to be any issue at all.  So while two of them were sturdier overall I think they will all hold up fine.

Wrap depth

From my limited amount of searching it appears that canvases most commonly come in depths of .75″ and 1.5″.  The Fabness coupon and the Canvas on Demand Groupon were for set sizes of canvases, both with a depth of 1.5″.  With Easy Canvas Prints I had to choose the depth myself.  I originally was going to go with 1.5″ so that all of my canvases would be uniform but it turned out that I could save around $25 if I went with the smaller wrap.  I debated back and forth, wanting to save money but not sure if I wanted my canvases to look different.  I ultimately decided to go for the .75″; had I been planning on a wall of *only* canvases I would have wanted them to be the same but since I was planning on putting them on a wall with our tv, some other framed pictures, and some other non-picture items, all which would have varying depths, I took a risk hoping that the difference wouldn’t bother me.

It turns out that (so far) it does not bother me.  In fact, I don’t really notice it at all.  I tried to take a picture to show you the difference but it’s not very noticeable (which is a good thing).

wrap sizesThe 1.5″ wrap definitely makes the canvases look higher quality and more professional than the .75″ wrap so if that’s important to you and/or money is not an issue then I’d definitely recommend going with the 1.5″.

Wrap colors

Typically you have two choices for your wrap colors – you can choose to have the picture itself wrap around the sides of the frame or you can choose to have the picture on the front only and then have the sides a different color.  Canvas on Demand had a third option, which was to have like a fade out look on the wrap that sort of matched the colors of the picture.  That option was called “color blur”.

I only selected the option where the picture wraps around the edges for one canvas – the picture where Hudson is wearing the suspenders and red tie.  If you look at the previous picture where I talked about the wrap depths you can see the edge of that picture.

The picture wrap around is by far my favorite option but it can be tricky because you can lose some of your picture off the front of the canvas if you do that.  The picture of him in the red tie was the only one where I was able to do the wrap without it cutting off part of him.  And that was from Easy Canvas Prints.

Our Canvas on Demand picture, the family picture with Hudson wrapped in the quilt, was the one that had the option to do the color blur.  I chose that one, as you can see in the picture below, but I think it looks pretty weird.  I am not a fan of that effect at all and I definitely prefer the wrapped picture or the solid color sides.



All the rest of our prints (the two from Fabness and the remaining four from Easy Canvas Prints) just have the plain black or dark grey sides.  It’s not a wow factor or as nice looking as the picture extending around the edges but it doesn’t look bad either.

As with the various wrap depths I was concerned about how it would look having a variety of colors/techniques on the sides.  But also like the wrap depths it turns out it does not bother me.  Again, if I had a canvas-only gallery wall I would want them to be more uniform but since this is an eclectic area anyway it’s fine that they don’t all match.

Shipping condition

This is the one and only area where I had issues.  I ordered five canvases from Easy Canvas Prints.  They all arrived in one big, flat box but they were packaged in such a way that they were in a double layer with the images facing inward (I wish I had taken a picture to show you but just imagine laying 3 canvases face up then laying 2 more face down on top of them so the image sides were together).  I don’t know if it was the heat outside from when they were in transport or if the ink hadn’t totally dried before they were packaged, but the canvases were stuck together and when I separated them there was ink transfer, especially around the edges.

I’ve used some arrows to try to indicate those spots.  They aren’t horrible and it wasn’t anything that I felt like I needed to complain about or send them back, but it was still very disappointing.  I guess this is an instance where you get what you pay for (since this was the most inexpensive site I found) but really…how hard would it have been for them to slide one measly sheet of packing paper in between the two layers of canvases to make sure that didn’t happen?  That was a pretty big bummer.


The two Fabness prints I purchased were shipped in separate boxes (I had placed two separate orders) and the one from Canvas on Demand was the only one I got from there, so I can’t say how those two companies’ prints would have fared had I gotten multiples in one box.  All of their single-shipped canvases showed up in excellent condition.

Shipping time

The prints from all three companies arrived within a week of each other (they were all ordered on the same day) and it was maybe one to two weeks after I placed the order.  I felt like the ship time was very reasonable and similar for all of them.


I mentioned some about pricing at the beginning but it’s really hard to compare.  For one, I was ordering different sizes (both side of the print and wrap depth).  With all the coupons I feel like it came out fairly evenly.  I think that Canvas on Demand would definitely have been the most expensive had I not had a Groupon and Easy Canvas Prints was the most inexpensive option but overall they were pretty similar.

Overall thoughts

Fabness and Canvas on Demand were both fantastic.  I was super pleased with the quality and would definitely order from them again.  Easy Canvas Prints was just ok.  Not terrible, but definitely not as high a quality as the other two and like I mentioned the shipping issues with the ink transfer was really disappointing.  However, for a budget canvas they aren’t bad.

I hope this is helpful as you navigate ordering pictures for your home!

(I was not compensated for these reviews.  All opinions expressed here are mine.  I paid for these prints myself and none of these three companies even know who I am.)

Hudson’s 18 month pictures

I am in love with Hudson’s 18 month pictures!  They are adorable and capture his personality perfectly!

I was particularly excited about his 18 month pictures because I wanted to recreate a picture of me when I was 18 months old.  This bathtub picture is one of my favorite pictures!

(Can we just take a second to marvel at how UNLIKE me Hudson looks?  I mean seriously, he is his daddy made over!)IMG_9386Anyway, so I sent this picture to our photographer, we gathered up a bucket and chair and all that good stuff.  What we failed to gather up was a cooperative toddler.  Hudson was not a fan of the bucket.  He did NOT want to sit down in it.  Really, he didn’t want to cooperate for pictures at all.

Thankfully our photographer is wonderful and patient and after quite a bit of work we were able to not only get him to start smiling but to also sit in the tub and take some good pictures.   We only had to do some minor bribery with car keys ;).

I think we got some great ones!


It started to rain on us just a bit which actually was pretty cool because it gave Hudson that wet-ish hair look, perfect for bathtub pictures!  And then when his hair dried it was more on the curly side and less on the Albert Einstein frizzy side (which is how it usually tends to look).141517192122Lots of smooches23There was a group of people touring the area where we were doing pictures and they all fawned over Hudson…and of course he ate up the attention and waved and waved!

123810121328303234363840414243464748Isn’t he just the cutest??

As always, major props to our photographer Shelley at Sweet Dreams Photography!  She is super-de-duper awesome!

family photos with GingerSnap Photography {and a giveaway}

{this giveaway is now closed}

You know, I’m pretty good about taking pictures of Hudson (oh who am I kidding…I take tons of pictures of him!) and I’ve had professional pictures done of him every three months since he was born but I’m not so good about getting family pictures done so when we had the opportunity to get those done recently I jumped on it!

A friend of mine from church and has a photography businesses and I am constantly blown away by how good her pictures are (and I’m not just saying that because she’s my friend…they are really good – check out her website to see for yourself!).  I was thrilled when Cassie offered to take our pictures and I was double thrilled when she also offered to give away a session to one of my lucky readers!

Unfortunately Hudson was not in the mood for pictures and didn’t want to smile (when The Plague of 2015 hit later that afternoon accompanied with much vomiting I then realized *why* he didn’t feel like smiling) and Michael apparently can’t keep his eyes open in pictures. (sorry Cassie, we’re just giving you practice in having difficult models…)  But we still got some cute shots.  And even if Hudson is Mr. Stone Face he’s still pretty stinkin’ adorable, yes?  
gingersnaps photography 2
gingersnaps photography 4gingersnaps photography 7gingersnaps photography 10gingersnaps photography 1gingersnaps photography 6gingersnaps photography 3gingersnaps photography 8gingersnaps photography 9gingersnaps photography 12gingersnaps photography 5I am so, SO glad we got these made and I’m going to make it a priority to get family pictures done from now on!

Cassie also does babies/kids, maternity, weddings, and engagement.  Check out GingerSnap Photography on Facebook here and the website here to find out more.  And fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter to win a session of your own!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner will be announced on Monday, March 2.

{Update: Congratulations Amber E. on winning!}

Hudson’s 12 month and smash cake pictures

Ahhh I’m so excited!  Hudson’s 12 month pictures are here!  I am so SO thrilled with how they turned out.  He was in a super smiley mood so we got some great shots.6 8 10 20 21I love that our photographer leaves in some of the not-so-perfect pictures too.  This one of his very concerned face cracks me up.
22I love a naked baby bottom and really wanted a few pictures to capture Hudson’s (and, you know, for future blackmail…).  I usually stick to the color pictures (we get copies of very shot in color and in black and white on our disc of pictures) but this one was so striking in B&W that I liked it better.

24BW 28 37 39 44 49And then…smash cake pictures!  So fun!  Shelley (our photographer) made the banner and the “ONE” letters to match Hudson’s diaper and bow tie.  They turned out perfect!

oneI knew colored icing would be messy so I left that off and used multicolored sprinkles instead.  FYI those are still kinda messy!  I learned my lesson and did a super plain white cake for his party smash cake.66What’s this?
67First taste…
68Oooo good!69Too sweet!!7071He was just eating tiny bites of icing so I finally dug into the cake for him to make it easier to pick up some cake chunks and he went to town.737580Sprinkles, sprinkles, everywhere
87Yay!  Cake!

I am so glad that we’ve gotten pictures taken of him every three months.  Seeing the difference three months makes is amazing!  I didn’t realize how much his hair had changed since his 9 month pictures but looking back he didn’t even have his curls then!

Looking at these pictures the day we got them (a little less than a month after they were taken) we realized how much Hudson has slimmed down too.  Since these were taken he has had a stomach bug and started walking and I think both things have contributed to him losing weight but he is definitely not the chunky monkey he was in these pictures.

As always, thank you, thank you, a million times thank you! to our wonderful photographer Shelley at Sweet Dreams Photography.  She is so good with Hudson and always does a great job.

Hudson’s adorable bowtie came from here.

(P.S. Does anyone know why the pictures look so odd?  Like kind of wavy or digitized or something?  They look crystal clear and perfect in iphoto but then they don’t look very good when I upload them to my blog.  Something about when I resize them maybe?  Let me know if you have an idea!)

Hudson’s nine month pictures

Here are a few (ok, a lot) of the pictures from Hudson’s 9 month photo shoot.  Unlike at his six month pictures when he gave us tons of smiles and really cheesed it up, this time he didn’t want to smile at all!  We worked so hard to get him to smile but he just wanted to be really solemn!  He usually such a ham but he wasn’t feeling it that day.  He was drooling buckets and you can see the bags under his eyes (a good indicator that he isn’t feeling well) so I’m sure that had something to do with it.  But we still got some amazing pictures.  Big thanks as always to our amazing photographer, Shelley, at Sweet Dreams Photography.

2 3 He did not like the hat.  It was a little too big plus he kept taking it off as soon as I put it on4 1015 17 19 22 I kept baiting him with my phone to try to get him to smile or crawl toward us.  He was so happy when he finally grabbed it from me!  I love that Shelley included this picture!23 Sooooo not a fan of the hat!26 29 3339 40 41 42 45 47 48 49The fence was the last pose of the day and we finally, FINALLY got him to really smile!
50 55 57 58 There’s the big cheesy grin!  59 61Such a handsome fella!

heart melter

Well I’m supposed to be working on a handout for a class I’m teaching next week but instead I decided I just had to show you these pictures.

Hudson has gotten lots of hand me down clothes from Josiah and Levi and I love seeing him their clothes but this one outfit in particular is really special.  Levi was wearing it for some pictures we took last May that I just adored.  I knew I wanted to take some pictures of Hudson in that same outfit as a fun memory.

(In case you’re new around here, Levi and his brother Josiah and his sister Abby were like our surrogate children before they moved to Africa to do mission work; they’ve been there a year and will be there two more years, but they’re coming home on furlough at Christmas and I can’t wait to see them!)

IMG_6649Kisses for my happy Levi-bear; I was about 5 weeks pregnant with Hudson

It’s been rainy and cold here for days so when we had a sunny, warmish day today I figured I better grab a picture of him before it got too cold to even consider being outside in a romper.

levi and hudsonLevi, left, May 2013 (10 months old) and Hudson, right, October 2014 (8 months old)

Anyway…I could get all mushy gushy but I’m going to restrain myself (and be quick so I can get back to what I’m supposed to be doing).  But basically I have mommy-syndrome where every picture I take of my child is adorable and I feel compelled to post even if there is not noticeable difference to anyone else from shot to shot.

Lucky for you I pared it down quite a bit.

You’re welcome.

Here are some other shots from our quick little photoshoot today.  Hudson hated sitting on the grass so I put him on the quilt I made him and I think they turned out pretty adorable (duh).

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4 5 6 7 8 9 10 IMG_9636Enjoy your Friday night, guys!