Photography Studios and their Evil Schemes!

I vividly remember when I had the joy of sharing my pregnancy with two other friends in my Young Married’s class at church waaaaay back in 2005. My friends Erinn and Shane and I all gave birth to our babies, our first, within 2 weeks of each other.

Alivia


Cooper

Tyler

It was so fun sharing the ups and downs and the joys and pains of having our first babies all together! We went out to lunch to celebrate (and I think this was our first outing since the babies had been born) even though we had stitches in unmentionable places, hemorrhoids and the like. I do remember begging them to stop making me laugh because it hurt! (I had Cooper via Caesarian) HA!

L to R; Erinn, Shane and Me with our sweet new babes!

Well, these three gals taught me a lot about being a mom. Stuff I didn’t know you are “supposed” to do. I remember when one of them, I forget which, called me to say that they just got their one month pictures taken of the baby…and I’m thinking, “Oh,…you’re supposed to do that?” And then, I remember one of them telling me about the 3 month pictures they got taken and I thought, “Oh,…you’re supposed to do that too?”.

Eventually I swallowed my pride and asked about all this picture-taking nonsense. I learned that apparently, ah-hem, Mom’s of the Year take their baby’s to photographers to have their pictures taken once every 3 months for the entire first year of life. WHAT?

Who came up with THAT plan?

Because you know what happened when I made said appointment for my precious little babe right? Yeah, I dropped like $150 bucks on PICTURES of my child.  Which I promptly gave to all the grandparents like any good daughter would…..

I’m pretty sure that the first year of life, Cooper got baby announcements, 3 month pictures, 9 month pictures and then like 12-18 month pictures. That’s a pretty impressive track score for me. We won’t discuss a monetary amount….

Chase on the other hand…aw…my sweet Chase. I made him the MOST ADORABLE birth announcements (thanks to my friend Amber!). Seriously, they are so cute. And they sit on my computer…finished…unprinted and unsent.

Additionally, the child is 10 months old and I have personally taken lots and lots of pictures of him. But no one else has…

Oh my road is riddled with good intentions! But alas, we’ve had other things going on right at those points. And technically he did have his pictures taken when he was 3 months old; they were just family pictures of all of us, not just him. I guess in my weak defense I can say he has announcements and 3 month pictures and just nothing since. There’s still time, right?

Well, then I went and saw this website. And SHEESH! I could spend a FORTUNE here! I think if I went, they would be forced to have me sign Chase up as their next child model.

Anyway, while I reel from trying to put this in the budget (HEY! Jeremy is getting a raise in January!), why don’t you savvy parents share your secrets of the photography trade. I leave you with pictures of Chase.

Chase, mere minutes old
Chase on Day 1
Chase at a couple weeks old
Chase at 3 months
Chase at 6 months
Chase at 9 months
Chase now

Ok, there, I feel better. See what I mean? I’m gonna be broke….

We’re Good, Really, We Are…

Last night and this morning were tough for us here in the Nevil household. It was tough to choke back the tears as our minds wandered to all the FUN we’ve had while Jeremy was here on leave. We seriously had a blast together. It reminded me of how I felt shortly after Cooper was born. I remember wishing that none of us ever had to work again and that we could all just revel in our relationships with each other and the love and joy that abounds in our home. That’s about how I felt these last two weeks.

Our very special date night with the Metcalfes!

For me, it was a time to remember that I am not just a mom. I really needed that reminder more than I ever would have thought. I don’t mind being a mom, I love my role, but I got married because I love Jeremy and I love the person I am when I am with him. He reminded me that I’m a fun chick! He reminded me to be silly and to let go of being an authority in the household, he reminded me that he doesn’t just think I’m pretty, he thinks I’m GORGEOUS!

Our fun shopping date sans kiddos

We laughed and we played and we joked around so much. It was so fun to have someone who “gets” you around, someone who has been with you for so much of your life that you can say just one word and you look at each other and fall on the floor laughing because you both get it. It is an understatement to say it was a blast!

One of my other favorite things about having him home was seeing him with our children. I always knew when I was dating Jeremy that he would be an AMAZING Dad. He has lived up to and exceeded all my expectations in the “Dad” department. He is hilarious and wonderful in every way. Cooper has had Daddy so long that he knows the fun that awaits him when Daddy comes around; but Chase doesn’t quite know that yet. It was very special to watch Chase and Jeremy reconnect with one another. Jeremy is a really hands-on Dad; he tosses the boys in the air, gently wrestles with them and just plays and plays with them. I’m not that kind of Mom, so Chase was a bit scared by some of Jeremy’s antics at first. But once he understood Daddy was just playing and messing around with him, he warmed right up.

Of course, Daddy didn’t fully know how snuggly, cuddly little Chasey-Bud is. So the first time that Chase snuggled up on Jeremy’s chest, I thought I was going to have to catch him as his knees buckled and he melted into a pool of Daddy Butter. It was precious.

Chase snuggling Daddy

While Jeremy was home on leave, we tried to just live it up and do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. We let Cooper stay up past his bedtime, we went driving through Christmas lights and sipped hot chocolate and coffee, we had a totally ROCKING game night with our friends as well as a Christmas Party/White Elephant gift exchange, we went out on a SUPER fancy date with our best friends, we ate out, we slept in, we shopped-it was so great!

We’ve been telling Cooper for a long time that Daddy would visit and then have to go back to his Army stuff. We reminded him all throughout the visit so that he wouldn’t be surprised. I don’t regret that in the least, but he certainly had a tough time last night with the thought of waking up to a house that doesn’t have Daddy in it.  Cooper is a very tender and emotional child, so I wasn’t really surprised. And he did finally fall asleep and did ok.

This morning when he woke up, he came and snuggled me and just told me he was sad. He played his Daddy doll over and over again (it’s a doll that Jeremy says is “a Daddy action hero pillow” and it has a voice recording to Cooper/Chase from Jeremy that they can hear whenever they squeeze him) but other than expressing a couple thoughts, he did ok. I’m thinking that a little time with his friends and a little bit of out and about stuff (can you say after Christmas sales?) should perk him up a bit. He likes to shop so long as I’m not buying clothes…he he he he….

I’m clinging to a lot of Scripture and just reminding myself that this is the down-hill side of things. Each month that passes is one step closer to the end and I can handle that.

Thanks for all your well-wishes, phone calls, emails and texts to cheer me up. You guys are the best friends and family members anyone could ask for! I am so encouraged by you, thank you! And thank you for all your prayers- I certainly notice them being answered.