Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Emlen + Charlotte: Engagement Photos

I know my sister already shared all of the engagement photos I took for her and Emlen but I wanted to share a few of my favorites on the blog and kind of expand on what you may have seen floating around on the album info/other pictures I have posted. Shooting Emlen and Charlotte's engagement pictures was actually one of the top three reasons I wanted to buy a camera in the first place. Many years ago when Kaleb and I were sitting in our last apartment in San Angelo with our nine month old son he shared with me his deeply rooted desire to make a documentary and to expand even more, just his passion in general for filmmaking, videography, and editing videos. It wasn't something new at all. Kaleb did theater in high school and if you've sat and chatted with him for a while than you know his ridiculous amount of knowledge about films, The Oscars, directors, producers, cinematography, etc. To accomplish his passion he would need a lot of equipment starting with (obviously) a camera. I casually mentioned how I would love to learn about photography and thus a dream was born.

I told Charlotte when we eventually got our camera I would love to take her engagement pictures. Mind you she was not engaged nor was she dating anyone at the time but it was just something I always knew I wanted to do for her. Years went by and we finally saved enough for a camera and not long after that Charlotte was ENGAGED! Cool timing, Jesus. Months prior to their engagement I had practiced a bit with shooting and editing photos for friends. Lightroom is easy, Photoshop is the devil, and I'm just over here watching YouTube videos on how to stack photos. It's frustrating but I love watching where other photographers that I admire so much started from and remember that one day I will look back on this beginning as something that was so fun. 

Taking these engagement photos proved to be the sweetest "first session" I could have ever had. The way Emlen and Charlotte love each other really showed through each snap of the lens. When we all weren't laughing at the many bugs trying to eat us alive out there I was getting the privilege of capturing small moments of smiles and kisses between these two. When I had them look at each other for a shot Emlen would usually blow in Charlotte's face. It was funny, yes but it was also cute because it made her smile. When Charlotte wasn't facing Emlen she was trying to pose. But when they were face to face she sort of sunk into his arms like they were the place she belonged-like she was home.

Another thing I loved was how Charlotte would wrap her hand around the back of Emlen's neck when they were facing each other. It was as if she was saying, "Here I am. Don't miss me! Let's linger here just a bit longer." I swooned. Not only is this a love story I've watched my sister wait for but it's one Emlen has waited for patiently as well. To watch it unfold in person and then get to take pictures of their love was more than I could have dreamed. I love the way they love each other and I've seen/heard many people make that exact same comment. They are an inspiring story and I love the testimony of God's goodness and faithful timing that is so evident from their love. 

Hargrove Photo + Video is just a title for now but Kaleb and I dream of what it could become one day. This photo shoot is one thing we hope it can be-telling stories through pictures while Kaleb's filming can be telling stories through videos. We're not entirely sure when we will be able to launch this as an actual business but for now we're enjoying these little projects. Kaleb is currently working on something that I can't wait for everyone to see! Since he works full time it's hard for him to roll videos out as quickly as I can with pictures but make no mistake Kaleb has vision like no one else I've ever met. It's true what they say-"Choose a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life." This is something we love and we can't wait to watch what it can become. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Abigail:8 months

Eight. Months. Old.

  • Still only has 2 teeth on bottom but has 2 more trying to break through
  • Crawls
  • Tries to pull herself up (has succeeded a few times) but she is mostly wobbly right now
  • Sits herself up and has great balance there now
  • New foods she has tried-Corn, chicken, black beans, eggs, cheese, nectarines, mashed cauliflower
  • Foods she has actually enjoyed-Nectarines and eggs
  • Yells all day long
  • Favorite word is Bubba
  • Laughing more
  • Nursing still allllll day
  • Wakes 3 times at night usually to nurse, has at least 1 four hour stretch of sleep
  • Seeing her chiropractor every other week now
  • Size 9m-12m clothes
  • Sticks her tongue out when she smiles

This month marks her first round of "holidays" even though Halloween isn't really a holiday I guess. Still so fun and can't wait to see her in her ladybug costume! Abigail's aunt sissy just got engaged so in a few months she will also be a flower girl! So many fun things happening over these next 6 months. Since she's already pulling up I thought I would bring out her walker soon but I just can't bring myself to do it. I don't want her to take her first steps yet. My heart wouldn't be able to handle it. She's getting so close to a year old that it almost hurts. I can't believe how quickly everything is moving lately-her development, age, milestones. It's all coming on so fast and I'm just begging time to slow down even for a moment. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Abigail:7 months

At 7 months our sweet girl-

  • Has 2 teeth on bottom
  • Finally sleeps without being swaddle but still has crazy movements
  • Has somewhat of a rhythm she has set into with naps and bed time but still doesn't sleep in her crib so a lot of it is me laying down with her and sneaking away when she falls asleep
  • Scoots backwards but hasn't figured out how to move forward yet
  • Gets up on all fours but hasn't started crawling yet
  • New foods she has tried-Ground beef, cauliflower, sweet potato, dry waffle
  • Doesn't seem to care for food very much. She loves to play with it and try it but after a few minutes she's just completely over the whole thing
  • Loves her exercauser
  • Nurses round the clock still and through the night
  • Only has to see the chiropractor every other week now instead of every week
  • Wearing 9m clothes and a few 12m
  • Size 3 diapers still
  • Baby chats all day long and when there is a lot of people talking or her brother is being loud she HAS to be heard so she will yell at the top of her lungs
  • Sits up on her own very well now and can move from sitting to being on her tummy but hasn't figured out the vice versa yet
  • Still hardly laughs but when she does it's the best 30 seconds of our life

I can't believe it's September. Sister is about to experience all of her first holidays and I am so excited!! I remember dreaming about this last year when we had Thanksgiving at our condo and all of our family was there. This is the same season I got very excited about with Elijah as well. It will be so fun to experience all of this with an older baby since Elijah was 3-6 months when he went through all of his first holidays. However, this season also means Abigail is getting closer and closer to one. I can't even think about it without going into a deep, dark depression. Ok...maybe not but it is very hard to believe and grasp the fact that she is over the half year mark and moving closer to her first birthday. We discovered this past month that when Abigail is cutting teeth, she is CUTTING teeth. She has the whole ordeal-the fever, diarrhea, runny nose, lots of crying, etc. Elijah was more our screamer while cutting teeth and that's about it. However, she is the worlds happiest baby as soon as the suckers see light. Her bottom two teeth make her smile even more adorable and though I hate how hard she teeths I can't wait to see the rest of her teeth start popping up soon. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Abigail:6 months

I guess it's time for that half a year post. The one that breaks my heart only second to the one year post. Half a year is such a mile marker. It means we're now inching our way towards a first birthday and it reminds me that time doesn't stand still even though I'm demanding it over and over again. I look at Abigail and I see me. Elijah has looked like his daddy since day one but Abigail is my claim to myself. She is me made over and while I love discovering the quirks and facial features we share as she grows I hate that she is not this tiny thing swaddled perfectly in my arms again. She is, in fact, half a year old. And at half a year she-

  • 15 lbs 12oz
  • 25 in
  • Rolls all around 
  • Scoots backwards
  • Sits up for long periods of time but I'm still not comfortable leaving her sitting up by herself yet
  • Has started BLW (Baby Led Weaning) and has tried avocado, banana, and mango
  • Laughs more now but still not as much as we'd like
  • Me and Elijah get the most laughs out of her which is probably because we try all day long to do it
  • Size 3 diapers
  • Size 6m clothes and fits in a few 12m rompers
  • 0-3m size shoes
  • Can say mama and is working on dada and bubba
  • Still nurses round the clock and through the night, all night
  • Does not sleep in her crib but that's about to change (Hello round 2 of CIO)
  • Has 2 teeth on bottom that I can see but have not broken through the gum line yet

Half a year. I just cannot believe it. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

4 years with The Hargroves

As I sit down to reflect on another year that has rooted deep into the ground underneath our small and budding marriage I find myself needing to write down who Kaleb has been this past year. He has stood in a place that I imagine no spouse wants to stand in. He stood in as a rock while I processed so much this year. A new baby and losing my dad all within a span of months was difficult to say the least but Kaleb stood there. He stood up for our marriage and for my heart. He never wavered and he stood firm in our promise when I could have counted on one hand how many times I deserved it. I guess we found out this past year that I close up with a major loss in my life. It's not something we could have known unfortunately. It was just something we had to watch unfold and find out where my heart would go. I've always felt very undeserving of Kaleb's love for me but this year just capitalized on that. Kaleb sees me and knows me like no other person ever could. He brings out a stillness in me that a lot of the time doesn't feel possible but beautifully enough he also embraces my fire that tends to rise up so often. While we were driving back from San Angelo this past weekend, discussing life as we tend to do when we spend hours on the road together he held my stare and said, "You really are my best friend, Breanna." My stomach sank and tears welled not because that's surprising but because after 4 years, 2 babies, and so many hard things you forget to tell each other stuff like that. He told me something on that trip that I never really thought about before. He told me after 4 years of marriage that he finally understands what being equally yoked means. Not just in faith but in parenting and teaching and in so many other areas we see eye to eye more than I realized was even necessary years ago when we said "I do." He has never had to prove his love for me but he still does over and over again because he wants to, not because he needs to.

This was a hard year together, that I'm sure of. We endured and we pushed through and the best part of it all is we did it together. From laughing till our sides hurt on the couch to standing still and being silent as I felt all the things at once like I tend to do we have had another great year together. I don't think a great year together has to be defined in just happy times. It's in the seasons of growth that I feel like we've had our best moments together. Growing is a trying act but it's so worth it in the end. Suddenly we are 4 years into this and I feel like it's been a lifetime already. I know you feel like there's no way this is possible but you have taught me and still do teach me so many things. You teach me to be kind and hold my tongue, you have showed me what graceful parenting looks like, and though I'm not good at it yet you are constantly teaching me how to have patience. I love that your dreams are spilling over in your heart. You have a lot of them and I must admit that sometimes they feel out of reach or impossible. The way your soul sparks when you talk about filmmaking and touching the hearts of people around you lets me know that with your drive nothing is out of reach. I love discovering new things with you. I love watching ideas unfold between us as we figure out new things we are passionate about as well as new fires lit for things we have always longed for. I know this year will bring so much for us. I can't wait to find out what exactly it is. You are the best husband. This is not a phrase I take lightly. I say it because it's the honest truth and quite simply it must be said. The Lord has given me the biggest blessing in this marriage-you. I love you, Kaleb James. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Happy third birthday, Elijah!

I have a three year old! This is crazy. Mostly because he's my OLDEST. How weird is that? I have an oldest and a youngest now. My oldest, my first born, he turned three. At three years old Elijah-

  • Semi potty trained (is that a thing?)
  • Wears size 3T in clothing and size 7 in kids shoes
  • Talks ALL the time. He's never quiet.
  • Favorite foods-PBJ (of course), fries, all fruit, kefir (drink), burritos, pasta
  • Favorite TV show-Animal Mechanicals and Dino Train
  • Loves to play on his LeapPad
  • Loves to play at the park
  • LOVES to swim and is a lot better now that he has had a few swim lessons
  • Very obsessed with Star Horse (Star Wars) even though he's never actually watched it
  • Loves anything dinosaur and even pretends he is a dinosaur. He has a great T-Rex impression
  • Favorite phrases-"I'm hungry", "Sister is SOOO cute", and "Mmm. No, thanks."
  • He's a sponge. Literally he soaks up everything around him all the time
  • Has his first cavity (womp, womp)
  • Sleeps about 11-12 hours at night
  • Does not nap. He basically gave those up last year
  • Loves the church nursery. He's always excited to play and see his friends
  • Also, he has been nicknamed "The Runner" at church for obvious reasons-he escapes!
  • Drums like his daddy. Seriously, he keeps beat really well for a three year old, it's kind of shocking
  • Sings all day, everyday like his mama

You are so big, son. You seem to grow in leaps and bounds lately and I can hardly get used to it before you're on to growing and developing more. This has been a tough year for you. We moved cities and had a baby! While you aren't really the nicest big brother yet we do know without a doubt that you love your sister. Watching the way you interact with her can be hard sometimes because you're a very rough little boy but I can see you trying your hardest to be as gentle as possible. It's tough, I'm sure, trying to be so gentle with this tiny human when you're so use to playing rough with daddy. You're doing great, bud! We love you so much Elijah! This season of correction and teaching is not meant to make life harder on you but to do just that-teach you. I love when you come into the kitchen and start helping me put away the clean dishes without me even asking or when you run around grabbing burp rags or diapers for sister because you simply want to be helpful. You have a kind and generous heart. You're a daddy's boy more and more lately and it warms my heart because I know your daddy wants to be your best friend as you grow up. I can't wait to watch your personality grow even more this next year as we learn together about your sweet heart. I love you, Rijah-Roo!

Abigail:5 months

For some reason month 4 went by very fast because month 5 seemed to sneak up on us. Here we go!
At 5 months-

  • Wearing size 3 diapers
  • Wearing 3-6m/6m clothes
  • Moved up to the medium size in her cloth diapers
  • Recently started nursing much more/being more fussy/chewing/drooling=TEETHING
  • 30-45 minutes naps which basically means chick doesn't nap
  • Sleeps in 2-3 hour stretches at night/co sleeps with us
  • Won't sleep in her crib anymore
  • Still swaddled but it's starting to look like that won't be for much longer
  • Has started seeing the chiropractor a few times a week for Torticollis and her flat head
  • Loves tummy time a lot more now
  • Pushes up onto her hands
  • Turns her head in the direction of any noise 
  • Mostly just wants to be with mama
  • Still doesn't laugh very much but smiles all the time
  • Sits up on her own with a boppy behind her for when she leans too far over and falls
  • Starting to like different toys
  • Still hates her carseat
  • Still has cradle cap
  • Can put her paci in her mouth by herself
  • LOVES her Sophie Giraffe and Captain Calamari (one of Elijah's old baby toys)

To expand more on her head-Torticollis is basically when a baby favors one side of her neck more than the other. Abigail leans her head to the left more than anything but it isn't severe at all. However, it has created a flat spot on the back of her head because she would refuse to do tummy time so she laid down a lot on her back. Our chiropractor has been so great and told us her torticollis will be a fairly easy fix as long as do stretches with her daily and help her stretch her neck more. The flat spot on the other hand will take a little more time because he has to sort of reshape her head. She hates these chiro visits but they're whats keeping us from having to buy her a helmet. Me and Kaleb are getting very excited for next month as she will start solids! We did BLW (Baby-Led Weaning) with Elijah and it was so much fun! We plan on doing that with Abigail as well. The 6-9 month stage is always my favorite! I'm excited to see her develop more and watch her learn to be mobile. Though her sleep is terrible right now we are all having so much fun with her. She's a blast!