Category Archives: Our Everyday

What I Learned in February

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Owen’s 100 Day Shirt. He had to bring in a shirt made with 100 things. Michael + Owen went to the Crabtree Lego store and brought home just enough pieces to design and glue his shirt. 

1.Pulling your IT band is no joke. My legs go inward anyway and my legs tend to over straighten (like, really) so it’s no wonder this problem headed my way. I know it’s super common but it was frustrating as it can take forever to feel better. The IT band presses on your knee so it can feel like excruciating knee pain. I had a few friends who gave me advice, which I think the best was to just rest. I took almost two weeks off and did nothing, and I was able to go right back to working out. I started slow and worked back up, which helped, too. I was just so happy to be able to go down stairs without pain. I linked an article above, which I think had a lot of great advice. I definitely needed new shoes, and love shopping at Fleet Feet because I get such great help so quickly. They watch you walk and suggest shoes. Harrison and I were in and out with a pair of shoes I love. That article also suggests warming up/cool down. A friend of mine and I were laughing about how old we are and how much stretching etc, we need to do just to workout.

2.Owen can swim. He has really rocked his last few swimming lessons, and I’m just so proud of him. I’m feeling a lot better about him being in the pool this summer already.

3.I’m going to have to order Harrison his own Batman cape. The boys have recently started playing together a lot, which is adorable. Harrison LOVES batman and is constantly running around in Owen’s cape. There are a lot of things I have avoided buying two of and having them share, but I think this one is going to be non negotiable. (One of the things they love sharing is the plasmacar like best toy ever if you have hardwoods and it’s a rainy day or any day really!)

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4.The 100th day of kindergarten was absolutely amazing. I may have shed a few tears. I used to be a second grade teacher – I taught for 5 1/2 years, and I have never seen anything like this. We are so lucky to have the most amazing room moms who have made kindergarten just so special this year. I try to avoid going to too many places. Like, I really just love being at home when at all possible since I’m always in carpool, working, etc. But, this year I have learned about the dollar stores and how for so cheap you can make a day just so special for kids. So, I will make the extra trip to one more store – ha! You can stop laughing at me now – online groceries, Amazon, etc make my life so much easier.

5.I cannot stay up until 2 AM and function normally anymore. It’s no secret that I love sleep..since I was pregnant with Harrison, I have had to go to bed earlier. I went to such a fun Mom’s Retreat and we ended up staying up until 2 AM, and yeah, I was a wreck the next day – ha!

6.I have had sinus problems since having Owen and finally found something that works – more on the blog later this week!

7.Barre socks. I reallly love going to barre, and I feel like it took me forever to feel like I wasn’t dying the entire class. (Just maybe like 3/4 of class?) One of the most important parts of class is the socks, really! My friend Michele sent me some awesome sparkly socks last year, which I have lovvvvvved. I will have to say, I just tried this brand’s socks with the toes, and I think they are my absolutely favorite. They are just so sticky, they got stuck in my boots!

8.Photographing siblings meeting is one of my absolute favorites. (more on the blog soon!) I photographed this little one meeting his big sister, and it was just too precious. I think my favorite day ever was the day Owen and Harrison met.

9.Making mickey pancakes is my new fave. I have talked about this a few times, but the kids just love them. Michael and I made a huge breakfast for the kids Saturday morning, so I just made a ton of waffles and froze them. (Why was I making them every single time before? ha! Oh, the freezer, I love you!)

10.Fuller House. Oh, nostalgia. Definitely a show just for the parents to watch!

11. I am not the only one that doesn’t know how to iron well. I mean, women’s clothes don’t need that much ironing, right? I really didn’t spend that much time tied to the ironing board growing up, and may still use the dryer for last minute wrinkles. I did not have experience with the tediousness of Men’s dress shirts like my husband. So glad to find out I am not the only one when speaking to so many friends about this! And I now have three dress shirt wearing men in this house.

Books I read this month..

1.A Man Called Ove.This was such a great read – I pretty much read most of it the day of the awful tornado warnings. I had no idea when I started the book how much I would love it. It was predictable and fun, in the best way possible, and of course, I ended the book sobbing. Love, love, loved it.

2.The Fringe Hours.I am definitely going to recommend this book for every Mama, whether you stay at home full time, work full time, or work at home. There are so many good truths in this book for Mothers. I wish I could mention every single great thing in this book, but there are just too many. This is one of those that I think I should read again and again for reminders. I can’t imagine that you would read this book and not be encouraged. The author works full time, has kids, and runs a blog, so she has a lot on her plate and also great advice for Mamas. Highly recommend it. Let me know if you read it + what you think!

3. I didn’t finish this book all the way, but I did find Spark Joy a lot more effective at explaining her method of tidying. If you are a big Marie Kondo fan, you will love this book. I have gotten rid of a lot of things that definitely did not spark joy, and needed the push from her books.There have been a lot of great blog articles out there to read also that show how others are organizing and tidying using her method.

Also, super excited that a friend told me about Rated Reads. I hate when picking out a book if I know if it’s going to be clean or not. Usually the friends I get recommendations from aren’t going to recommend anything terrible, but this is also a great resource for other recommendatins.

What are you reading this month?!? Let me know in the comments!

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Rebecca Keller is a Cary NC Family Photographer featured in People Magazine and on several blogs including the Bump. I do chat a lot about my personal life on the blog and recommendations for things that I love, and I may receive commissions on affiliate links in articles.

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I see so many Mamas with newborns all the time, (which is so much fun!) There are so many things I get asked all the time, so here are a few of those summed up in this post. Babies are the greatest gift and the most wonderful thing in the world, but that whole no sleep thing is tough. It’s rough and awful. Neither one of my babies liked to eat at all. Owen didn’t like to eat or breathe for months, and Harrison’s eating struggles were due to being early. Add in major reflux for both of them + not eating, and we did not have some good sleepers the first few months. By 2 1/2 to 3 months, they definitely got better sleep and started sleeping 12 – 12 1/2 hours at night, which definitely felt like a miracle. I mean, I would be scared every time I woke up and they had slept longer like something was wrong with them.

raleigh newborn portraits 8P I N this to pinterestThese are just a few things that helped lift my spirits during those first few months of exhaustion and no sleep.

1.Starbucks drive thru. Yes, this is definitely number one – ha! It is just so difficult to go anywhere with a newborn, but I felt like I needed to stop staring at my living room walls for a minute, so after a feeding, I’d just get out for a few minutes and go through the drive thru. I got to see new things and just feel a little refreshed being out of the house.

2.Harris Teeter Online Grocery Shopping. Ok, my Harris Teeter does deliver, too, but I really felt like ordering the groceries online kind of went with being able to get out for a few minutes without having to get out of the car and worry about my hair, etc. I still use this because it saves time, and I also know how much money I’m spending ahead of time – no budgeting in the store.

3. And now, I’d totally recommend Amazon Prime Now  for new moms too. I have definitely used it, and lovvvvve it. (You can read more about it in my post here)

4.Resting is so important. Try not to do too much or exercise too early. If you have older siblings, be careful about picking them up those first few months. Rest. Rest. Rest. The more you rest the first few months, the better you get and can start working out again. I’ve seen too many mamas already hurt in the first few weeks after having a baby because they were picking up siblings or pushing themselves too hard. Try to focus on just taking care of your baby and resting those first few weeks.

5.Although, if you feel good, a short walk in the sunshine, if the weather’s nice, can also work wonders to lift your spirits and brighten your day. The first time I ever left the house with Owen to go for a walk, (he was born in June) he was six weeks old. I didn’t even get a quarter of a mile before another mom was running across the street yelling, “Yay!!! Another mom!!!!” And we have been good friends ever since. I did also sometimes take him to Crabtree and walk around for a little bit just to get out of the house.

6.Don’t try to do everything those first few months. Honestly, Owen did not make it to preschool a lot right after Harrison was born, and that was ok. The thought of getting both of them out of the car twice in once day (the struggle is real) just was overwhelming to me at that point. I definitely had to let go of a lot of my type A try to be super woman tendencies. And when I did go, I lovvvvvved this stroller for walking into preschool or hitting the mall. I loved the skateboard part of this stroller because Owen was stuck in between me and the stroller. It was perfect. I still use this stroller when I need to run in somewhere and don’t want to worry about corralling Owen.

7.This goes along with resting, but also try to take a tiny bit of time for yourself everyday. Read a book, take a bath, maybe run out to target by yourself or go on a target date with your older child when your husband gets home. Stress relief is so important those first few months.

8.Invite friends over to sit with you on the couch. Although you may not feel like having anyone over, it’s always great to see a good friend. I remember after having Owen, one of my best friends wanted to drive a little over an hour to see me. I said, Yes, that would be AWESOME to see someone during the day instead of my living room walls. (I really felt like I just stared at the living room walls 24/7 and most everyone came to visit in the evening) I said, please just know that we will spend the entire day on the couch feeding him. (you know, trouble eating plus babies eat allll the time) We did, but it was so great to have her there and laugh, and we watched movies, too. Letting people feed you + bring you meals goes along with this too. It’s wonderful if someone will bring you dinner right after you’ve had a baby and you don’t have to think about cooking.

9.When Harrison was around a month old, Michael surprised me by arranging a friend to watch the boys, and he took me out to dinner and a movie. I was exhausted and really didn’t want to go, but it was so great for the two of us to get to spend time together and just laugh together.

10.Leaving the room to feed them in the middle of the night. I was so tired so I usually had to get up, go to another room, watch tv, kind of wake up a little bit. We got netflix when Harrison was born – ha!

11. Take help. If there are grandparents or another family member around who will sit with the baby while you sleep, by all means, don’t try to be superwoman and take as much help as you can get.

12.Know that this is a very short window of time, spend time snuggling + cuddling that baby. We started a bedtime routine from birth, and I loved spending time reading to my babies.

What helped you in the first three months? Let me know in the comments below!

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Rebecca Keller is a family and newborn photographer featured in People Magazine who spends her time sipping iced coffee, chasing after her two little ones, reading, running, and editing. Because I chat alot about my personal life, books i’ve read, and other style recommendations, etc– I may receive commissions on affiliate links in articles. Contact Rebecca Keller Photography for more information about Raleigh Newborn Portraits and travel sessions.

 

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Raleigh Family Portraits | Rebecca Keller Photography | Calligraphy by Greywinds Collection

This past weekend I got to go (well drive down the street) on a retreat at North Hills just for Mamas with my church. It was a super fun time eating dinner at Coquette, doing a little shopping but mostly eating a ton of food, having a lot of fellowship, learning from each other and our speaker. One of my favorite parts was at the very end, a panel of Moms (one with teenagers, one whose children had all just left for college, and one grandmother) gave us advice. I loved so much what they said + wanted to share some wisdom from these Mamas.

I am not kidding if not the very first piece of advice from one of the Mamas (it may have been second or third, I honestly can’t remember, but I feel like she said it first) was to give the camera to someone else and to be in more photos with your children. She was looking back through photos of her kids and realized she wasn’t in the photos. I am so guilty of this, too, and need to be better at handing the camera, cell phone, etc to someone else.

Ok here are their thoughts. I hope they encourage you!

  • They won’t starve. Sometimes you have to let some things go.
  • Keep your perspective. There are no guaranteed outcomes with your kids. Focus on your effort and the process, not the result.
  • Be all there when you are there.
  • Laugh with your children and enjoy them.
  • Play more Candy Land with your kids. Owen actually lovvvvves candyland so we play this a lot. I don’t know why I am surprised at how much he loves it, but he really does. (Spend that one on one time playing whatever it is they want to play even if you don’t like it)
  • Create an atmosphere of peace at home and be your husband’s biggest fan
  • They learned their best things through their mistakes.
  • All of the moms discussed overcommitting and having to pull back. One mom said she made a mission statement and if commitments didn’t fall in line with her mission statement, she said no or didn’t participate.
  • We also discussed friendships. One mom said for friendship it was up to her to make it happen so she put herself out there at parks and met moms that also had little ones her sons’s age. Finding a walking buddy was also something that worked well for one Mama.

I hope these encouraged you! Every mom also discussed getting up early – having their quiet time or trying to squeeze in a workout before the kids got up. I have also found this super helpful (I love getting up early) on the days it works out. I’m not always so great at getting up early!

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Rebecca Keller is a Wake Forest Family Photographer NC featured in People Magazine who spends her time sipping iced coffee, chasing after her two little ones, reading, running, and editing. Because I chat alot about my personal life, books i’ve read, and other style recommendations, etc– I may receive commissions on affiliate links in articles. Contact Rebecca Keller Photography for more information about Raleigh Family Portraits and travel sessions.

 

Last month’s post I was chatting about the fact that it might snow, and I’m typing this Monday night on a day of snow, well, um, ice? kind of? Maybe I should just say winter weather?

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Wake Forest Family Photographer NC | Rebecca Keller Photography

As I’m writing this, I’m guessing there is not going to be a delay or no school Tuesday since everything is still quiet on the news.

A few favorites in February…

1.A less messy way to fingerpaint. (Although I do love messy finger painting too, ha!)

2. We tried Nothing Bundt Cakes this month – oh my, the red velvet is, of course, my fave.

3. I love my dentist’s office. I seriously have the most dental anxiety ever – ha. These girls are awesome – they keep me laughing and are so patient with my dislike of dental work.

4. This white cheddar popcorn is my new favorite. Love, love, love it. I pack it everyday, and it makes carpool a little bit better. And it’s made by Annie’s so super healthy,too.

5. If you are decorating a nursery – this page has a lot of great inspiration.

A few things I want to tackle/read or just plain interesting stuff

1.In case I ever want to make fake calligraphy…..

2.I have to agree on this one. Even a change in scenery, running on the treadmill with headphones on, I still feel it helps with creativity. I rarely think of anything creative sitting on my couch. It may be while I’m out antiquing (walking around by myself, though sometimes Harrison is in tow) in the car waiting because I got somewhere way too early (this happens a lot. I have only been late to barre class once and that’s because I tried to attempt a location that was just not logistcally great with traffic because their schedule was better that day. ha) or shopping in the grocery store (you know, walking and moving..I always have ideas at the store.) Ok, the car example had nothing to do with movement. but well, it’s when I have a quiet moment usually.

3. Michael mentioned something about trying biscuits from scratch so I’m thinking we could try these.

4. Love following along with this Joanna Gaines told me to…

5. If you have a seven month old or baby around this age, loved this list of favorites

Just For Fun…

1. A session around this time last year – what a sweet newborn session at home this was!

2. A session in February two years ago – loved this session right after it snowed. So bright and cheery, too!

Pretty Stuff Around the Web

These just look amazing.

In case you need this like I do, I had pretty much given up on mine.

Snow Day Activities…

So I wrote about my adventures in Amazon Prime Now this month and I may have used the service for this waffle maker, waffle mix, and chocolate chips while at the gym the night before the snow storm.

1. Lovvvvvved this Mickey Waffle Maker. I kind of made up my own waffle mix by looking up a million recipes + adding unsweetened cocoa and semi sweet chocolate chips. (which if you know me, I am not the best cook, so this was by far, a miracle)

2. I also broke out this egg cooker, which I love. My husband is laughing at me for using this because he said using a pot is just fine. (I know, but I totally need all the help I can get, and I have several friends who also use and recommend the egg cooker) It just makes hardboiled eggs so easy. I have not tried the omelet or poaching options enough but the hardboiled egg function is enough for me. It also comes in a lot of fun colors.

3. Pie Face -We got this game several weeks ago + it has been a big hit. it’s perfect for stuck in the house snow days + we may have had a lot of giggles and went through a lot of whipped cream today. (Owen may have tried to cheat a little bit and not keep his face in the circle)

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Rebecca Keller is a Wake Forest Family Photographer NC featured in People Magazine who spends her time sipping iced coffee, chasing after her two little ones, reading, running, and editing. Because I chat alot about my personal life, books i’ve read, and other style recommendations, etc– I may receive commissions on affiliate links in articles.

 

wake forest NC family photographerP I N this to pinterestWake Forest NC Family Photographer | Rebecca Keller Photography 

Happy Valentine’s Day + Happy Birthday to my sweet Mama. I am so thankful for her and what a great example she is in my life. She is unselfish, loving, and my best friend whom I call 300 times a day. So glad we got to spend yesterday with her + my sweet nieces celebrating her birthday. She is always up for one of my crazy adventures (like hiking up and down a mountain with two little ones to pick apples…and pushing one of them in a stroller up and down the mountain. whew!)

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The image on the right is pretty much how Harrison is when I take out my camera or someone else wants to hold him. He is a mama’s boy tried and true. (See below – when he came to the Valentine Minis this year, he did not want to be photographed, he only wanted to sit with me.)

A few of my Valentines from the past few years..

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Happy Birthday, Mimi! We love you!

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Owen’s Valentine’s this year.

Rebecca Keller is a Wake Forest NC Family Photographer featured in People Magazine and on several blogs including The Bump. Contact Rebecca Keller Photography for more information about family and newborn photography in Raleigh, NC.