Maya Laurent Photography
simple is beautiful
Veda: 10 Months

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Veda,

Hello baby girl! How on earth do we have just two months and you will be one year old?!!! You are beyond precious to us and continue to capture us with that dimple smile!

This past month your personality has been shining! You are babbling up a storm (usually with your tongue out). You dance to music and have maintained Daddy’s nickname for you, Thumper. You thump on anything and rock back and forth, kicking your feet as you play and get excited.

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You love to play with a basket full of toys. You take each toy out, play with it and then throw it with all the other toys all around you. You move yourself in a circle as you kick your legs and bounce around to get what you want. If something gets too far out of reach, you start to cry, hoping someone will bring it to you. It’s okay to start moving sister! You do it in your crib. You get up on your knees and scoot around in your crib but you have no interest in doing it on the floor. I’m not in a rush, but goodness everyone else thinks you should be. I have to remind myself that you are doing things at your own pace and to stop listening to others who tell me something is wrong because you aren’t crawling yet. You’re just fine!

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It’s been 10 months and I’m still getting used to the girly things. I do love putting a dress on you and you love it because you can grab it and chew on it! Nothing stays on your head because it either slips right off or you grab it and chew on it. The headbands look cute for the few seconds they stay on your head! In recent weeks it has been warm enough to have you outside a lot and you adore it. We’ve gone on a few hikes with you in the carrier and you bounce your legs chatting away as we pass the trees and you can hear the birds. We love watching you take it all in!

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All of a sudden you are a fierce eater. No one is aloud to mess with your food and we better have it ready to go when you are hungry! The second you get near your seat, you start to whine because you want the food right away! You’ve started on a bunch of little finger foods and seem to love them. The other night, the whole family was done eating and Daddy and I were still making little chunks of grilled chicken and green beans for you. You couldn’t get enough of them! You smile in excitement when we put new foods on your tray. I hope that continues!

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Everyone wants to get snuggle time with you. Your grandparents can’t put you down for very long and work hard at getting you to fall asleep on them instead of putting you down to nap or have bedtime. I think you all are very happy with this situation. You still always prefer Daddy but some of us get snuggles in here and there.

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You have mastered standing but with a little help. We have to help you get up to hold onto something but once you are there, you stay for awhile. I always say “ready spaghetti” to you as you smile and get excited as I pull you up on your feet. When you’re being stubborn, you hold your legs up in a sitting position and just hang like a monkey from our hands! It’s hilarious.

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You have two HUGE admirers! Those brothers of yours are something else Veda. They adore you more than we could have ever imagined. They work so hard to get giggles and smiles out of you. They want to entertain you constantly and walk around talking baby babble to get you to talk back to them. They give you swords in hopes you’ll fight back and rush to be the first to give you morning kisses and kisses before nap time. They love to be one of the first to greet you in the morning as you smile when they walk in the room. You get more play time with Jude while Zane is at school and it’s fun to see how he’s including you in his creative play.

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While your brothers adore you, you adore them. The other night they were taking a bath while Momma and Daddy cleaned up after dinner and you sat smiling at them as they talked to you and played peekaboo. They always make sure there’s a pillow behind you, or pillows all around you, so that you don’t hit your head if you fall. They are very concerned about your safety, even though you probably don’t need the pillows anymore!

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We love all the new faces you are making! There’s a hilarious “O” face you make and of course your tongue is out the majority of the time while you figure out those two new bottom teeth. Any face you make will be adorable to us!

Veda, we are having so much fun with you! Each night as Daddy or I, or sometimes Zane, prays for you before bed, you lean your head into us and rest your ear near our mouth as we talk. I hope those words are sinking in as we pray for you to know God and serve him as you grow.

Love you sweetheart!

Momma & Daddy

Stop Saying These Things

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(photo by Carpenter Photography & Design)

Can I be honest with you all? There are certain ways that I “talk” to myself and too often I let these things seep into my being. They sound something like this…

I’m too much.

I can’t wear those bright colored pants…they draw too much attention.

I can’t look like I spent time on my hair…people will think I primp for hours.

I can’t wear makeup…it will come across as being insecure as if I’m trying to hide my real self.

I can’t sell anything, especially makeup products…friends will think I’m pushy and I’m not an expert. I just learned how to correctly put on eye shadow!

I can’t empower women…I have to have it ALL together to do that.

I can’t make any extra money…I have too much going on already and there’s not enough time.

I can’t continue telling myself these things…or I’ll never grow!

Are any of you saying these same things to yourself? I caught myself wiping off fun lipstick the other day because I didn’t want the ladies at my son’s preschool to think I was trying too hard! Why do we do this to ourselves?! Why can’t we walk confidently in who we are and rock out those bright blue pants, red lips and messy bun (that you actually spent time doing)?

I’m determined to change this in myself and help inspire it in other women! How am I doing that? Well, I don’t have it ALL figured out but step by step I’m learning that being part of Younique is giving me the confidence to step into women’s lives and empower them. This might be helping them feel more confident wearing some fun eye shadow for a date night or it might be encouraging them as they begin to sell their first 3D Mascara and start to earn money to help pay off debt or find a way to stay at home with their kids. It will take on so many forms in this journey I’m sure.

And I’d love to have you part of the journey. I know “direct sales” has had some bad press recently with mean words thrown this way and then others throwing nasty comments the other way. I don’t participate in that stuff because it does not empower anyone! As women, we should cheer on each other as we go after goals in different ways. Empower, not devour.

So yes, you might get a message from me asking to host a party. I will for sure ask you what you thought of the product you bought from me, because I care what you think, whether you are happy or not. Of course I’m going to ask if you want to be part of my team because I see the difference it is making in women’s lives! I would hate to miss out on an opportunity to change someone’s path in a positive way. But I won’t badger you, I’ll check in a couple of times and then go on my way.

Let’s all talk more positive to ourselves, to one another and make the word empower felt more among us all!

Veda: 9 Months

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13 pounds, 2 ounces / 25 inches

Veda,

Oh precious girl how are you nine months already?! Life is filled with joy with you as part of our family! You wake up first thing in the morning with a smile to greet each person who says good morning. Each morning Daddy or Momma goes in to get you and the second the door opens those dimples are so clear as the widest grin welcomes us. As we walk you out to the rest of the family, each of your brothers has to come up, give you a kiss and say good morning. You adore this, reaching for them and smiling again. And this whole process is repeated with each nap time too.

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We adjusted your schedule so now you have just two naps and go to bed the same time the boys do. It feels weird to not have the night time feeding anymore. Daddy and I both miss the time with you in the quiet of the night while the boys are sleeping. But it’s part of you getting older and we still will sneak out of bedtime routines with the boys to go rock you some nights and snuggle in the quiet of your room. You sleep in the cutest ways but I cannot seem to get a photo of it! I try to sneak into your room and just when I think I’m going to get a photo, you open your eyes looking at me like I’m crazy for interrupting your sleep. I’ll keep trying!

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You aren’t crawling yet and I think we’re all okay with you being content to sit and play. I know you’ll figure it out eventually but you have learned how to lean and push yourself to grab anything you want. Your brothers constantly run and hand you something when it’s out of your reach so you really have no need to move right now. I have to remind myself not to compare you to other babies your age and what they are doing. You’ll go at your own pace.

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I had forgot how fun the laundry basket is for babies. In the past week you have played with it so much by putting toys in and out of it or just hanging out as I fold laundry. You make doing laundry a bit more fun! You seem way more attached to your pacifier than what we experienced with your brothers. It might be more of challenge to break you of them but we’ll come to it eventually. The second you start crying or make any whimper, Jude runs to get you a pacifier. He might be part of the problem! He needs to just get used to hearing you cry but he told me he doesn’t like you sounding sad. You have been crying a lot this week as your two bottom teeth seem to be trying to make their way out at the same time. Poor thing!!! You’re getting extra loving for sure!

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You have started baby babbling non-stop. Of course most of the sounds coming out are “dada” even though I repeat “mama” back to you all of the time. You make the funniest faces as you talk and stop and stare at us if we start laughing. You have my eyes and Daddy’s expressive eyebrows. I don’t know how you move them like that! Your petite features are so adorable!

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It was finally warm enough for you to play in the snow with your brothers. You had no clue what to think of the fluffy cold stuff. We bundled you up and had to put socks on your hands for gloves because everything we had was way too big for you. We tried to explain to your brothers how you would not be participating in snow ball fights but somehow a few still found you. You didn’t cry though, instead you just looked at them with a serious face. You sat with Daddy and watched us build a fort as the snow fell. You were fascinated by it all.

We love watching the world through your eyes. It reminds us to stop and take in something we see as normal to appreciate on a new level. We love you baby girl!

Love,

Momma & Daddy

Reading Lately: Behind!

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I took a blogging hiatus but I was still reading. I’ll admit that my reading hasn’t been as fast as normal…there has been a few distractions with three kids!

1. The Attachments: I just finished this book last week and flew through it. I loved the way Rowell used email format in some chapters. At first I thought it would bother me but I ended up loving it. The way the story unfolds throughout following the emails is a wonderful mix of surprises and trying to figure out how the characters will come in contact with one another.

2. This is Where I Leave You: I loved how this book captured the interactions between siblings and how those relationships/emotions emerge during the death of their father. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie and see how the characters are portrayed compared to how I pictured them.

3. The Circle Maker: If you haven’t read this book, go get yourself a copy and read it now! A friend recommended it and I am so thankful for the way it has changed my prayer life and how I pray already, and that’s just after finishing it a couple weeks ago. The book covers the idea of praying circles around our dreams that intersect with God’s dreams for us. Seriously, go get it.

4. Masterminds & Wingmen: This was another book I picked up after a friend told me I had to read it because I had boys. I am always cautious when reading parenting books but this truly had some great tips. It had a video game contract included and we took it, tailored it for our boys and implemented it right away. There were a lot of issues touched on that we won’t encounter for a bit but it’s a good book to have on the shelf to reference as our boys age.

5. Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: I try to pick up a business book from time to time and this one grabbed my attention after hearing the author interviewed. I have to admit that it didn’t have anything earth shattering in it regard social media and how best to use it for your business. There were some good nuggets, but I don’t feel like reading this book helped me gain any real “new”  knowledge. It would be good for someone who doesn’t have a lot of background on social media and wants to dive into the social media realm.

6. The Leader in Me: Zane’s school is hoping to have The Leader in Me program become part of their culture. I was excited to learn more about it and will be digging into the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens as part of a book study at his school. So excited about this and the potential it has for the diverse group of students at the school.

Veda: 8 Months

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Veda,

Hello little peanut! You are continuing to grow but you’re still our little one. This past month involved a lot of prayers going your way. Since you were born, every now and then you would have milk come out of your nose when you breastfed. I thought it was strange but passed it off until it started happening on a more regular basis. After talking to your doctor about it she saw a ridge in the back of your mouth and was worried it might be some form of a cleft pallet. If you had this, it would mean surgery to fix it.

We had about a two week period before seeing a specialist who could view your mouth as needed to determine what was going on. During that time, we shared with friends and asked them to be praying for you and for the doctor to not find anything wrong at all. At first, the milk through your nose actually seemed to be getting worse and it had us super worried. Slowly, it started to get better and happened less and less. The morning of your appointment I was nervous but prayed again for nothing to be found. We are so happy to say that after a quick look, because there was nothing to see, you are in the clear! We are beyond thankful!!!

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You fit so well into our family. You go along with everything happening in our house. We try to find some way to involve you as we play with the boys. You’ll take part in games with Mickey ears on for Headbandz, you sit in our laps for Uno, you reach for the LEGO bins while we build and you try to put every book in your mouth as we all read.

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To say that you adore your brothers would be an understatement. While Daddy and I get some precious snuggle time with you, the true light in your eyes comes out for those two boys. You watch them with utter curiosity, touch their faces trying to figure them out and grab Zane’s glasses constantly. They run by at lightening speed as they play yelling, Veda Veda Veda!, and you try to keep up by turning your head fast as they pass. In all their creative ways they play, they try to make you part of it somehow. Whether it’s having you be the “human baby” while they are BoxTrolls or you are the princess on the throne of pillows while they protect you, you participate with a smile and only get upset when they leave and are out of your sight.

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The bathtub has become another one of your favorite places. Now that you can sit up really well, you love to splash and play with your toys. Jude always has to come check on you and provide you with more toys than you can handle. It’s so funny to watch you try to figure out how water works.

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We have started calling you Houdini because you have a way of getting yourself out of your pajamas. If it’s a sleep sack, you wiggle your arms out and get it around your waist. You at least always get one arm out! For normal footie pjs, you get your legs completely out of the two leg areas, so when we go to check on you it looks creepy with “empty” pj legs laying on the crib mattress. You have your legs all bundled up and underneath you with your butt up in the air. You just recently started sitting up on your own in the crib and can’t figure out how to get down.

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Every ounce of you is trying to figure out the world around you. Not one speck goes unnoticed on the floor, not one piece of dog hair and of course not one LEGO. Those are going to make Momma a nervous wreck. I think we are banning them just to the boys’ room. You are enamored with Luna and could hang out with her all day long, petting her and pulling her hair too. She puts up with it and is your loyal companion. I still think she doesn’t trust us as we place you on the floor because she is almost always right there to watch you.

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Your joy is contagious and we will get that loud giggle out of you sometime soon! You still are putting your hands in your mouth when you are about to laugh, preventing it from escaping! Those dimples are too much and are the cutest thing we’ve ever seen! Veda, you are so much fun…every little bit about you is joy.

We love you so much baby girl!

Momma & Daddy

© Maya Laurent Photography