Jordan And Mindy recent blog posts from jamphotography.myfotojournal.comen-usThu, 27 Sep 2018 16:42:00 +0000Tyler is One!<p style="text-align: center;">If you&#8217;ve given this nearly-forgotten blog any love over these last few years, you&#8217;ve seen this family most frequently in the last several posts. I&#8217;ve been taking my camera out more for close friends and family, and am inching my way towards shooting more of what I&#8217;ve always really wanted to shoot. No big announcements here as of now, so I&#8217;ll continue on with some images of these&nbsp;cuties.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Tyler turned one earlier this month, so most of these images are me capturing who he is at this stage. Plus some cameos of big brother Mason and their incredible parents. We love you guys. :)&nbsp; Hoping you enjoy my view of this little&nbsp;blue!&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2018-09-27_0001.jpg" title="2018-09-27_0001.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Ty was curious about and eventually impressed by my elephant noise, and by the end was requesting I do it&nbsp;again!&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2018-09-27_0003.jpg" title="2018-09-27_0003.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">I love that we took some time to just shoot with Ty so he could explore as he wanted to. He and big bro Mason love their beautiful&nbsp;chickens!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2018-09-27_0002.jpg" title="2018-09-27_0002.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">That grin coming in for a mama&nbsp;hug!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2018-09-27_0004.jpg" title="2018-09-27_0004.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">I shot these in the front and back yard with midday sun and little patches of shade. North Carolina, as usual, isn&#8217;t ready to transition to fall, so we cooled off on this humid day with some hose&nbsp;time.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2018-09-27_0005.jpg" title="2018-09-27_0005.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Ty even shared some sips with his mama.&nbsp;:)</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2018-09-27_0006.jpg" title="2018-09-27_0006.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2018-09-27_0013.jpg" title="2018-09-27_0013.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2018-09-27_0010.jpg" title="2018-09-27_0010.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2018-09-27_0007.jpg" title="2018-09-27_0007.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Back inside to dry off and get ready for some lunch! After a short drive in the red convertible, of course. And then some&nbsp;&#8220;noms.&#8221;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2018-09-27_0008.jpg" title="2018-09-27_0008.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">The high-fives and the foot snuggles! Insert too many heart-eyed emojis&nbsp;here.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2018-09-27_0009.jpg" title="2018-09-27_0009.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Last weekend we did the minniest mini session at a friend&#8217;s home, in the tiniest patch of green which was technically in the neighbor&#8217;s yard, with the last light of the day. All we need is a tiny patch, guys. These boys rocked it. Here is big brother Mason, helping me test out the light here! We thought it looked pretty&nbsp;good.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2018-09-27_0011.jpg" title="2018-09-27_0011.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">At the end of the day this kiddo was tired, so he was super&nbsp;snuggly.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2018-09-27_0012.jpg" title="2018-09-27_0012.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">More of the whole fam coming whenever we can coordinate schedules again. All I need is five minutes and some green and good light, right? :) Love you&nbsp;guys!</p> Thu, 27 Sep 2018 16:42:00 +0000 and Ri and Disney<p class="p1"><span class="s1">I originally threw these images up here to show friends and family, and didn&rsquo;t add much of a story - or at least any that did this trip justice. I&rsquo;m calling a mulligan here because I miss writing about things that move&nbsp;me.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">This was my third trip to Disney World - the first was with my dad and sister my freshman year of high school. The second was with Jordan in April of 2011. I felt so much family love and bonding on each of those in such different ways, and have been itching to get Riley here with us as soon as we thought he&rsquo;d be&nbsp;interested.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">When we were here in 2011, we watched the parade in Magic Kingdom that happened just before the fireworks. I have such vivid memories of that night; one because I took photos, but mainly because of a family that I didn&rsquo;t photograph. There was a little girl sitting on her dad&rsquo;s shoulders, and she must have been four or five. The way she watched the sky during Disney&rsquo;s epic fireworks show - that awe has been burned into my brain and heart and it&rsquo;s so warming just thinking about it, that it&rsquo;s the single thing that would&rsquo;ve brought me back had I not had another memorable experience&nbsp;here.</span></p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;We always questioned, and so do friends and family, is it worth taking a young child to Disney World before they&rsquo;re likely to hold memories of that trip forever? Before they&rsquo;re tall enough to ride the big rides and really understand where they are or who every character they see might be? That question was answered the night I watched this girl&rsquo;s face lit via fireworks. If the parents are kids at heart like we are, the answer is always&nbsp;yes.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Here&#8217;s a peek into our visit, if you&#8217;d like to see the magic we experienced. It&#8217;s one of those things that can&#8217;t be summed up completely in photos. But the pics of Riley hugging Donald might be the closest we can&nbsp;get.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caps">RDU</span> &#8212;&#8212;&gt;&nbsp;<span class="caps">MCO</span>&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-09_0001.jpg" title="2018-04-09_0001.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">We stayed at Contemporary, mainly because the monorail runs right through it. The first thing we did was take a monorail ride to&nbsp;nowhere!&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-09_0002.jpg" title="2018-04-09_0002.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">With a view of Magic Kingdom (fireworks every night!) and monorails and a lounge just down the hall&#8230;we probably could&#8217;ve just stayed here and Ri would&#8217;ve loved this&nbsp;alone.&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-09_0003.jpg" title="2018-04-09_0003.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">We arrived on Sunday, and Monday was our first park day:&nbsp;Epcot!&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">We did Soarin&#8217; (Ri was nervous - he has a thing about heights and feeling unstable off the ground). Turtle Talk with Crush was a favorite of all of ours. Plus the fountains and the topiaries and the birds that seemed to follow Ri&nbsp;everywhere.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-09_0004.jpg" title="2018-04-09_0004.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Riley&#8217;s favorite spot at Epcot: the outdoor model trains in Germany. He stayed here for a solid half hour, just about forgetting that we were&nbsp;there!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-09_0005.jpg" title="2018-04-09_0005.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">We did Photo Pass so we could get all three of us in pictures, and the coolest thing is they get uploaded straight to the Disney app for you to download. There are photographers all over the parks, and they all have their own styles. Good or bad, we love them all because we&#8217;re all in&nbsp;there.&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-12_0008.jpg" title="2018-04-12_0008.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;We loved being there during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - so much&nbsp;color!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-12_0009.jpg" title="2018-04-12_0009.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;The topiaries! The giggles! The monorail! Always the&nbsp;monorail.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-09_0006.jpg" title="2018-04-09_0006.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;Tuesday - park day number 2: Magic&nbsp;Kingdom</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Note Riley&#8217;s enthusiasm on the teacups. He got on with us reluctantly because we wanted to, but he was not thrilled. The Tomorrowland Speedway though, he loved. Jordan was&nbsp;<em>so&nbsp;</em>excited to show Ri the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse. We took a ferry to the Polynesian for dinner, then headed back over to Magic Kingdom for dessert and&nbsp;fireworks!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-09_0007.jpg" title="2018-04-09_0007.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-17_0009.jpg" title="2018-04-17_0009.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;We did the dessert party at Tomorrowland Terrace and had an awesome view of the fireworks show (and Tinkerbell flying over!), and they even brought a separate gluten-and-dairy-free plate of dessert out for me! Bless you Disney, for being so accommodating with every single&nbsp;thing.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-09_0008.jpg" title="2018-04-09_0008.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;Best fireworks show&nbsp;ever.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-09_0009.jpg" title="2018-04-09_0009.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">We started our third park day by sleeping in and having breakfast at Chef Mickey&#8217;s before heading out. You guys. Ri was way more stoked to meet the characters than I thought he would be. He was so excited when Mickey came out that he went over to say hi before we could stop him, as another family was trying to get their photos with him. We totally thought he was just going to observe, because he&#8217;s never this bold! As you can see by the family&#8217;s faces, they were not as understanding as we were hoping, even though he only interrupted to say hi. Sorry guys. He now knows character dining etiquette.&nbsp;;)</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-12_0001.jpg" title="2018-04-12_0001.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;Ri was actually a bit shy when Mickey came to our table, but then Minnie came, and by the time Donald showed up Ri was all in. That huge grin is the best thing I&#8217;ve seen in my life. That&#8217;s Disney magic and all the&nbsp;feels.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-12_0003.jpg" title="2018-04-12_0003.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-12_0004.jpg" title="2018-04-12_0004.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;And yet again, Disney magic for me: allergy-friendly Mickey waffles and scrambled eggs! Had I needed it, the chef would&#8217;ve come to my table to address specific cross-contamination or other issues. Can we move here,&nbsp;please?</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-12_0002.jpg" title="2018-04-12_0002.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;Park day three: Hollywood&nbsp;Studios</p> <p style="text-align: center;">We started with Mickey ice cream (strawberry popsicle for me), Star Wars events witnessed (Ri is just discovering and is hella interested and a little frightened by it all at the same time), and Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular&nbsp;attended.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-12_0005.jpg" title="2018-04-12_0005.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Every time the Storm Troopers paraded through town, Ri had to stop and watch, but it had to be from a good distance&nbsp;away.&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-12_0010.jpg" title="2018-04-12_0010.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;So, we ended up making reservations for lunch and dinner the last two days, not realizing they were also character meals ($$$). But we all ate well and Ri got to see more Disney friends, so we aren&#8217;t complaining.&nbsp;:)</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-12_0006.jpg" title="2018-04-12_0006.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">We saw these bubble blowers at every park, every day. Ri finally talked us into getting him one after lunch. He was <em>lovin</em>&nbsp;it.&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-12_0007.jpg" title="2018-04-12_0007.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Waiting for our bus back to Contemporary. This kid ran back and forth from us to this rail at least 37 times. His last energy expenditure of the&nbsp;day.&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-12_0011.jpg" title="2018-04-12_0011.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;Our last park day: Animal&nbsp;Kingdom</p> <p style="text-align: center;">This was everyone&#8217;s first visit here, and we loved it all. We did the Gorilla Falls trail (Ri&nbsp;<em>loved</em> the naked mole rats and bird watching), the Kilimanjaro Safari ride, and explored&nbsp;Pandora.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-17_0001.jpg" title="2018-04-17_0001.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">We took the Wildlife Express train to Rafiki&#8217;s Planet Watch, because it&#8217;s a train and because they have an Affection Section.&nbsp;Duh.&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-17_0002.jpg" title="2018-04-17_0002.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;Our last character dining experience of the trip, and Ri was pretty much chumming it up with old pals at this point. He loved introducing his new stuffed naked mole rat to everyone,&nbsp;too.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-17_0003.jpg" title="2018-04-17_0003.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-17_0004.jpg" title="2018-04-17_0004.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-17_0005.jpg" title="2018-04-17_0005.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;We saw Rivers of Light, and I was so enthralled that I didn&#8217;t take a single photo if you can believe it. Then we stopped to watch the light show on the Tree of Life, because&nbsp;whoa.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-17_0006.jpg" title="2018-04-17_0006.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;Our last day here, Friday. No parks, just spash pad and pool fun, and some final monorail rides before flying back&nbsp;home.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-17_0007.jpg" title="2018-04-17_0007.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-17_0008.jpg" title="2018-04-17_0008.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Back at <span class="caps">RDU</span>, we watched a few planes take off before driving home. Another wonderful adventure with these boys is&nbsp;complete.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-17_0010.jpg" title="2018-04-17_0010.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2018-04-17_0012.jpg" title="2018-04-17_0012.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Love and hugs,&nbsp;y&#8217;all,</p> <p style="text-align: center;">~<span class="caps">JAM</span> +&nbsp;Ri</p> Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:07:00 +0000 Meets Tyler<p style="text-align: center;">On Saturday evening, September 2<span class='ord'>nd</span> of 2017, Tyler made his way into our bright happy world, and has been well-snuggled ever since. I got to stop in for a quick visit and snap some cuteness as big brother Mason met &#8220;baby&nbsp;brother.&#8221;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">I met Mason and his Auntie B and Uncle Austin at his house, and we followed them to the&nbsp;hospital.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0001.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0001.jpg" />Mason had a special gift for Tyler - a red fox&nbsp;stuffy!&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0002.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0002.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0003.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0003.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">We walked in (my boys joined us until we got to the room - they got to meet a few days later!) with Auntie <span class="amp">&amp;</span> Uncle, and headed up the elevator to meet little&nbsp;bro.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0004.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0004.jpg" />&nbsp;Mason <span class="amp">&amp;</span> Daddy were so excited to see each other after a night&nbsp;apart!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0005.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0005.jpg" />&nbsp;Into the double doors we went with Mason charging along, fox in hand. &#8220;Give, baby Tyler!&#8221; he&#8217;d said before we came in. It&#8217;s&nbsp;time!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0006.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0006.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Behind this door is so much love, and so many snuggles to be had. Mason was ready for all of it, and his introduction was one of the sweetest things I&#8217;ve ever&nbsp;witnessed.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0008.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0008.jpg" />Hello, Mommy <span class="amp">&amp;</span>&nbsp;Tyler!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0007.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0007.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Monica, you looked absolutely radiant with love. Some people talk about pregnancy glow which you definitely had, but you had such positive loving energy in that room too. So, so in love, and glowing with&nbsp;it!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0010.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0010.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">I love these tiny&nbsp;toes!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0014.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0014.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Betina and Austin contributed to the loving feel in this room quite a bit. You two were so sweet getting Mason ready to come over, and then loving on these loves. Happy tears were definitely welling up behind my&nbsp;camera!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0009.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0009.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">As Uncle Austin was holding Tyler, Mason decided to investigate a little further, and fell in love immediately. So many hugs and kisses followed (and more happy&nbsp;tears)!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0012.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0012.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Ready for the first&nbsp;hold!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0011.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0011.jpg" />&nbsp;Look how tiny! We knew Mason would seem even bigger when Tyler got here, but it&#8217;s hard to comprehend how much bigger until it actually happens. This is big kid stuff, holding little brothers. Mason is a&nbsp;pro!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0020.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0020.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">And now, just a whole bunch of cute sweetness with this family of&nbsp;4&#8230;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0013.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0013.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">I see you there, big brother&nbsp;MayJay!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0015.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0015.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="dquo">&#8220;</span>Hold him? Take him home?&#8221; Mason was loving Tyler so much that he just couldn&#8217;t get close enough and wanted to hold him even closer. Such a&nbsp;sweetheart!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0018.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0018.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Gentle, loving hands from Mommy and&nbsp;Mason.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0016.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0016.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Exploring the toes and the nose, and the &#8220;bee-bo!&#8221; belly button! &#8220;So&nbsp;tiny!&#8221;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0017.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0017.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0019.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0019.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">It was hard to leave this room full of love, but I left to join my boys and visit some family of ours for the day. But yesterday we hopped on over to their house for a visit from all of&nbsp;us!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0025.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0025.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Kisses and love from the boys! And me, but my goodness how cute are they?!&nbsp;:)&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0024.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0024.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;Tim <span class="amp">&amp;</span> Monica - we are so in love with baby Ty (you know this, we know)! This season of your lives, while full of adjustments and newness and learning how to navigate the world of two kiddos, is such a beautiful and lovely thing to witness. In all of the crazy moments you find yourselves in, always look to the little ones like this. The craziness will be over before we know it, and we&#8217;ll all have a bunch of big kids (and one day adults - but please let that don&#8217;t be as soon as it feels like it will be) looking back at this crazy, amazing, wonderful time. We couldn&#8217;t be happier for you (not without our hearts bursting, I don&#8217;t think)! Love you so&nbsp;much!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2017-09-07_0023.jpg" title="2017-09-07_0023.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">~m.</p> Thu, 07 Sep 2017 18:49:00 +0000 Baby #2<p style="text-align: center;">You guys, I love babies. We&#8217;re done with having any more of our own, so I get really excited when friends have more. Especially when those friends are these friends! Jordan and Tim grew up together and are brother-friends and he and Monica and Mason are pretty much family to us. We love them so. Just look at this gorgeous glowing mama and her sweet beautiful&nbsp;family!</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;We spent a weekend with them at our place in Wilmington, and grabbed a few sweet shots of them out in the hot hot heat.<img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0001.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0001.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Tim calls this next photo Monica&#8217;s goddess photo. Seriously though. Shot by Jordan, who rocks our telephoto lens with those amazing hands of his. That dappled light in those live oak trees is gorgeous enough, but when a glowing mama steps in there, totally at peace even in the summer heat&#8230;well it&#8217;s just breath-taking.<img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0006.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0006.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2017-08-08_0004.jpg" title="2017-08-08_0004.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0005.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0005.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">This is just so&nbsp;sweet!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2017-08-08_0002.jpg" title="2017-08-08_0002.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Jordan shot nearly all of these as I entertained the boys inside. He is always the one getting the big smiles and laughs. I love these swingy shots.&nbsp;:)&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0002.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0002.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Mason joined us for a bit at the end. I love watching him and Riley together, and absolutely cannot wait to see him and baby brother together when he&#8217;s here. Just a couple more weeks&nbsp;now!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0004.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0004.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Sleepy kiddo loves some hammock&nbsp;time!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2017-08-08_0005.jpg" title="2017-08-08_0005.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2017-08-08_0003.jpg" title="2017-08-08_0003.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Mama kisses and cheese cheers with&nbsp;Daddy.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-huge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0003.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0003.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">More to come of this little bundle very soon! We love you, Barcos.&nbsp;:)&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">~<span class="caps">JAM</span></p> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 15:57:21 +0000 - UNC grad!<p style="text-align: center;">I just went through this old blog of ours and came across Tasha&#8217;s high school graduation post. I&#8217;ve had these <span class="caps">UNC</span> graduation photos sitting in a folder since April and figured that was my push to share this gorgeousness with the internet world. You&#8217;re welcome! (sang in Maui voice because I&#8217;m a mom and because I love Disney, mom or&nbsp;not.)</p> <p style="text-align: center;">We rocked it out on <span class="caps">UNC</span>&#8217;s campus with a mini photog tagging along (see end of post for the&nbsp;mini).</p> <p style="text-align: center;">We started at the Old Well because well, it&#8217;s Carolina. It&#8217;s what we do here.&nbsp;:)</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0016.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0016.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Jordan got this candid shot of Tash and I&#8217;m jealous that I&#8217;m not the one who shot it. We only had one camera for this shoot so we had to share, and I&#8217;m glad he snapped this one. That profile!&nbsp;Girl.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0013.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0013.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Thankful for this shade and the nice breeze we got here. And that laugh! So&nbsp;happy!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0010.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0010.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">I think this is my favorite shot, and yet again I did not shoot it. Props to Jordan because, damn. Great shot of Tasha and her man Darius. They met at <span class="caps">UNC</span>, so we had to get him in some shots&nbsp;too!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0008.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0008.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Insert all the heart eyes here for&nbsp;this.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0009.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0009.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Riley ran through this tunnel (this was in April, when everything was still freshly budding and blooming) on the way to meet Tash and fam, and wrinkled his nose and said it smelled terrible. It smelled very earthy, and he obviously wasn&#8217;t a fan. He still, four months later, mentions this every time we drive by this spot! Thanks for not wrinkling your nose here Tash.&nbsp;;)</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0007.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0007.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">I mean just look at how cute they&nbsp;are!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0014.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0014.jpg" /><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0018.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0018.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0017.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0017.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">She is <span class="caps">DONE</span>,&nbsp;son!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0015.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0015.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">I have an entire folder of outtakes with Riley and Jordan from this shoot, and had to share a few of these for giggles. You know you like giggles, yeah? Well here, have&nbsp;some!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0011.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0011.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-08-07_0012.jpg" title="2017-08-07_0012.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">That last cracks me&nbsp;<em>up</em>!&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Tasha, it&#8217;s been amazing having you and Darius in our lives. Congrats to you, and thanks for helping us instill goodness and fun in this crazy kid of ours. We need a date soon (all of us, not just this&nbsp;J&amp;M)!</p> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 02:08:00 +0000 & Kaitlyn<p>A few months ago we planned this weekend by the water with Aaron <span class="amp">&amp;</span> Kaitlyn in our new home. We didn&#8217;t know their relationship had some history by the water, or that we&#8217;d get some pretty romantic rain both days they were here. We did know it would be time well spent getting cozy with these two, and we were right about&nbsp;that!&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;">It&#8217;s good to have someone to cuddle always, but especially when it&#8217;s chilly and drizzly outside.<img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-25_0003.jpg" title="2017-01-25_0003.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Riley calls this the &#8220;nosey nosey&#8221; and it always brings smiles. We love it, especially silhouetted by the&nbsp;water.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-25_0004.jpg" title="2017-01-25_0004.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Find someone who makes you laugh. These two have that down, no&nbsp;question.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-25_0001.jpg" title="2017-01-25_0001.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">They don&#8217;t just laugh together&#8230;look at those lovey eyes! If you can find someone who looks at you like this, you&#8217;ve got it made.&nbsp;:)</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-23_0004.jpg" title="2017-01-23_0004.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">I think they like each other a lil bit.&nbsp;;)&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-24_0004.jpg" title="2017-01-24_0004.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">A little playfulness in the rain is good for the soul. Thank you guys for being such good sports and playing goofy games in the&nbsp;rains!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-25_0006.jpg" title="2017-01-25_0006.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-23_0003.jpg" title="2017-01-23_0003.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">This is a favorite! Such happiness right&nbsp;here!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-23_0005.jpg" title="2017-01-23_0005.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-23_0007.jpg" title="2017-01-23_0007.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Aaron <span class="amp">&amp;</span> Kaitlyn sittin&#8217; in a&nbsp;tree&#8230;K-I-S-S-I-N-G</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-25_0005.jpg" title="2017-01-25_0005.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">There might not be any dry eyes at this wedding, you guys. These two are great at bringing the silliness out, but man do they know how to bring the love&nbsp;too.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-23_0012.jpg" title="2017-01-23_0012.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">See that shot up there? I can feel the love you guys - I can feel&nbsp;it!</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Also, thanks guys, for helping us test out the new swing. It needs a few adjustments to be completely stable and smooth, but don&#8217;t we all? Also Kaitlyn - your hair. Oh my gosh. As a fellow curly/wavy gal, you have to tell me what you put on those gorgeous locks, since I kept forgetting to ask you this weekend. It&#8217;s beautiful even after the&nbsp;rain!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-24_0001.jpg" title="2017-01-24_0001.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Since we were hanging out for the weekend it was easy for me (in my jammies still) to say, &#8220;Oh hey guys, want to get a few more shots before you leave today?&#8221; Thanks for indulging me and letting me explore the light in this new place. It&#8217;s pretty kickass, especially with some pretty people snuggling in there.&nbsp;:)</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-25_0002.jpg" title="2017-01-25_0002.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-23_0013.jpg" title="2017-01-23_0013.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">I kept referencing &#8220;the grandma shot&#8221; as we went along, because most people who have seen our work know that I either like a deep gaze into the camera close-up, or completely candid real-life shots. But there&#8217;s always at least one family member (usually a mom or grandmother) who requests the classic both-people-looking-at-the-camera-smiling shot. We like to get at least a couple of those too, so in your older years you can look back and say, &#8220;Hey, that&#8217;s what we looked like way back when, whenever we posed for a shot.&#8221; So we got a few of those on the&nbsp;stairs&#8230;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-23_0011.jpg" title="2017-01-23_0011.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">And then Jordan snapped this loveliness that&#8217;s anything but a grandma shot. It&#8217;s very nearly my favorite image from the day. In between the silliness and the awkward feeling of having a camera in your face for way longer than normal, one of us freezes a moment that can say so many things. In this one shot, their whole time in front of our camera flashes in my head, in time-lapse format. It&#8217;s always an unexpected shot that does this for me, and this time this is it. Also, it&#8217;s just damn sexy,&nbsp;right?&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-23_0008.jpg" title="2017-01-23_0008.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">A little bit of love in the tower before we head back in and everyone changes back into comfy rainy-day clothes before heading&nbsp;home.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-23_0009.jpg" title="2017-01-23_0009.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="2017-01-24_0002.jpg" title="2017-01-24_0002.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="quo">&#8216;</span>Til next time, you two. Let&#8217;s make more time for hanging out, mkay?&nbsp;:)</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Love <span class="amp">&amp;</span>&nbsp;hugs,</p> <p style="text-align: center;">~ja<span style="text-decoration: underline;">m</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caps">PS</span> - I almost forgot, I grabbed some silly outtake shots of us shooting for you guys. Because we had a hilarious fun time, see? Happiness, shared.&nbsp;:)</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;That boy&#8217;s got some height on that jump! Thanks for interrupting my shot, love.&nbsp;hehe</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-large" src="" alt="2017-01-23_0002.jpg" title="2017-01-23_0002.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Shooting on a ladder that Jordan lugged out to the dock because I was too nervous to get on his shoulders. And then the usual creeper status on the stairs. I love that&nbsp;creeper!</p> <p style="text-align: center;">I always ask if Ri wants to grab a shot if he&#8217;s around, since he loves looking through the viewfinder, releasing that shutter, then reviewing what he captured. It&#8217;s the sweetest thing. I gave him a little boost this time, since he&#8217;s otherwise shooting up people&#8217;s noses. He definitely brings out smiles for us!&nbsp;:)&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-large" src="" alt="2017-01-24_0005.jpg" title="2017-01-24_0005.jpg" /></p> Thu, 26 Jan 2017 01:52:00 +0000 & Chocolate Chip Cookies<p>This year our holiday baking is a little different than our past years. Mostly because I&#8217;ve been gluten <span class="amp">&amp;</span> dairy-free for much of the year so I thought I&#8217;d be limited in the &#8220;sugary things&#8221; category of stuff I&#8217;d be able to make and enjoy with fam <span class="amp">&amp;</span> friends. Not so, you guys, not so. I&#8217;ve done a lot of research and decided to try a chocolate chip cookie recipe a few months ago that I found via Pinterest. Not a &#8220;Pinterest fail,&#8221; it was such a great success that I haven&#8217;t yet tried another recipe! Then this month I found a recipe for snickerdoodle cookies and it went pretty much the&nbsp;same.</p> <p>We&#8217;ve made these (so, so very many of these) for our peoples, and they all unanimously agree on the deliciousness (especially the chocolate chip guys). Here are my versions of these recipes, with tips on how to enjoy them&nbsp;best!&nbsp;</p> <p>Note: These are both gluten <span class="amp">&amp;</span> dairy-free, but do contain coconut oil, and nut flours (almond <span class="amp">&amp;</span> coconut), and egg. The cookie unicorn would be to find a recipe without the nuts, I know. I&#8217;ll keep looking.&nbsp;;)&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-large" src="" alt="JAM-5325.jpg" title="JAM-5325.jpg" /></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Snickerdoodles (see photo above - they&#8217;re on the&nbsp;left!)</strong></span></p> <p><strong></strong>I found this recipe from the <a href="" target="_blank" title="TIU cookie swap">Tone It Up girls</a>, and they have a few others that I haven&#8217;t tried yet. I&#8217;ve been too distracted by this one. Check the tips after the recipe for texture&nbsp;notes!</p> <p>Equipment:</p> <ul> <li>2 mixing bowls (this isn&#8217;t a huge recipe, so I used a medium and a&nbsp;small)</li> <li>hand or countertop&nbsp;mixer</li> <li>cookie scoop (handy but not necessary - it helps you get to the eating part much&nbsp;faster!)</li> </ul> <div>*This recipe makes about 20-25 regular-sized cookies*</div> <p>Ingredients:</p> <ul> <li>6 tablespoons coconut sugar (7 if you like them slightly sweeter with crispier edges, I accidentally&nbsp;discovered)</li> <li>1/3 cup brown sugar (I use what I have, which is light brown&nbsp;sugar)</li> <li>1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and&nbsp;cooled</li> <li>1/2 teaspoon vanilla&nbsp;extract</li> <li>1/4 cup egg&nbsp;whites</li> <li>2 cups almond flour (I love Bob&#8217;s Red Mill&nbsp;brand)</li> <li>1/2 teaspoon baking&nbsp;powder</li> <li>1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (more doesn&#8217;t&nbsp;hurt!)</li> <li>1/8 teaspoon&nbsp;salt</li> <li>coconut oil&nbsp;spray</li> </ul> <p>Directions:</p> <ol> <li>Preheat oven to&nbsp;350&deg;</li> <li>Mix coconut sugar (6-7 tbsp), brown sugar (1/3 c), and coconut oil (1/4 c) in one&nbsp;bowl.</li> <li>Stir in vanilla (1/2 tsp) and egg whites (1/4&nbsp;c).</li> <li>In a second bowl, combine almond flour (2 c), baking powder (1/2 tsp), cinnamon (1/4 tsp), and salt (1/8&nbsp;tsp).</li> <li>A little at a time, add flour mixture to sugar mixture until&nbsp;well-combined.</li> <li>Shape dough into balls (I use a cookie scoop that&#8217;s about 1 tbsp size) and place on a cookie sheet coated with coconut oil. Flatten just a smidge with fingers or the back of a spoon (a quick spray of coconut oil on the spoon&nbsp;helps).</li> <li>Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges look&nbsp;done.</li> </ol> <p>Tips: I love these so much because of the options for chewy or crispy cookies! It&#8217;s hard to find cookies without gluten or dairy that are a good texture. I&#8217;ve had my share of mealy/pasty/icky-textured cookies, no thank you very much. These will be chewy when they first come out, then crisp up as they begin to cool. When stored though, they go back to chewy. <em>My favorite thing is to pop a few leftovers in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes and let them cool a bit. Then they&#8217;re perfectly crisp on the edges and chewy inside!&nbsp;</em>Oh, and they have never lasted more than three days but were still tasty after that long when stored&nbsp;covered.&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2016-12-23_0001.jpg" title="2016-12-23_0001.jpg" /></p> <p>above: the first bite, before and&nbsp;after</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>Chocolate Chip&nbsp;Cookies</strong></span></p> <p>You guys, we&#8217;ve had everyone rave about these. They are some of the best cookies I&#8217;ve had ever, gluten-free or not! They are not originally my creation, but I&#8217;m sharing my version of a recipe that I&#8217;m so glad I found on <a href="" target="_blank" title="GFDF chocolate chip cookies">Texanerin&#8217;s blog</a>. Check out her original for more ingredient options, and see below for my opinion of the best combination.&nbsp;:)</p> <p><strong>Do note - this recipe requires refrigerating the dough for&nbsp;<em>at</em><em> least</em> one hour, preferably overnight.&nbsp;</strong>I usually make the dough the night before I want to bake the cookies, then grab the bowl from the fridge whenever I&#8217;m ready to bake. I hear the dough (and final cookie) freezes well, but haven&#8217;t yet tried doing so&nbsp;myself!</p> <p>Equipment:</p> <ul> <li>2 mixing bowls - one large, one&nbsp;medium</li> <li>hand&nbsp;mixer</li> <li>cookie&nbsp;scoop&nbsp;</li> <li>parchment&nbsp;paper</li> </ul> <p>Ingredients:</p> <ul> <li>1 cup almond&nbsp;flour</li> <li>1/4 cup coconut&nbsp;flour</li> <li>1 teaspoon baking&nbsp;soda</li> <li>1/4 teaspoon&nbsp;salt</li> <li>6 tablespoons butter (I use Earth Balance since I&#8217;m dairy-free. I&#8217;ve tried coconut oil but prefer the taste with&nbsp;<span class="caps">EB</span>)</li> <li>6 tablespoons almond butter (no oil or sugar added - check those ingredients or you&#8217;ll have super greasy&nbsp;cookies)</li> <li>3/4 cup coconut&nbsp;sugar</li> <li>1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla&nbsp;extract</li> <li>1 large&nbsp;egg</li> <li>2 cups (or more) chocolate chips (I&nbsp;<em>highly</em><em>&nbsp;</em>recommend <a href="" target="_blank" title="Enjoy Life">Enjoy Life&#8217;s semi-sweet mega chunks</a>. They take these cookies to the next level as they&#8217;re huge, super tasty,&nbsp;<em>and</em> they&#8217;re&nbsp;allergy-friendly.)</li> </ul> <p>Directions:</p> <ol> <li>In a medium bowl, mix almond flour (1 c), coconut flour (1/4 c), baking soda (1 tsp) and salt (1/4&nbsp;tsp)</li> <li>In a large bowl, beat butter (6 tbsp) and sugar (3/4 c) until well-combined. (Really, really&nbsp;well-combined!)</li> <li>Beat in almond butter (6 tbsp) and vanilla (1 1/2 tsp) on medium until well-combined. Beat in egg (1) on&nbsp;low.</li> <li>Stir in flour mixture (I beat this too, because Riley is usually helping and he likes to use the hand mixer - I just don&#8217;t let him&nbsp;over-mix.)</li> <li><em>Refrigerate dough for at least one hour (overnight is&nbsp;best).</em></li> <li>Heat oven to&nbsp;350&deg;</li> <li>Spoon dough into 1-2 inch balls and place on parchment paper. (Again I recommend a cookie scoop, though with the mega chunks getting caught in there I&#8217;ve bent mine this busy baking season. Still worth it for the ease of scooping and making same-sized cookies, especially since my handy hubby bends it back into place for&nbsp;me.)</li> <li>If you can&#8217;t see chocolate chunks sticking out of the tops, place some more in there. Go on and porcupine that thing with some chocolate. If someone complains about you putting too many chocolate chips in your cookies, well that&#8217;s grounds for unfriending right there,&nbsp;friends.</li> <li>Bake for about 10 minutes or until edges look firm and the tops don&#8217;t look as wet. As with most cookies, I love taking these out when they&#8217;re still slightly gooey in the middle and let them cook on the tray for a bit outside of the&nbsp;oven.&nbsp;</li> </ol> <div>Heating tip: Just like with the snickerdoodles, I re-heat these in the toaster oven. I&#8217;m a picky re-heater, so even if I had no toaster oven I&#8217;d turn on the entire oven just to heat a few leftover cookies. It makes them that much better. In fact the above photo with the melty chocolate is a leftover cookie that was re-heated for about a minute. Just barely toasty on the edges and oh-so-gooey inside. Do it. It&#8217;s worth the extra work to get a perfect texture, if you care about such things. Priorities, man. As little as I get to eat cookies these days, good texture is a high priority of mine.</div> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="2016-12-23_0002.jpg" title="2016-12-23_0002.jpg" />An optional final step for either of these recipes is handing over the beaters or cookie scoop to be licked clean. Yes I&#8217;m aware there is egg - I know. I&#8217;m not going to tell anyone else to, but we do it at our house. Life is short y&#8217;all. Lick the beaters. And have some happy holidays with some tasty&nbsp;cookies.</p> <p>Hugs,</p> <p>~m.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-xlarge" src="" alt="JAM-9457.jpg" title="JAM-9457.jpg" /></p> Sat, 24 Dec 2016 02:21:03 +0000 Years of Light<p>On our back porch in the morning, there&#8217;s this magical light that streams through the trees on a sunny day. It highlights everything out there in a way that makes me feel like I&#8217;m watching a highlight reel of my life from the future. It brings me so close to happy crying and actually warms my heart and leaves an ache in my chest that&#8217;s probably just me choking back tears and light sobs that are trying to escape, and I want to say that it&#8217;s literally heart-warming but I&#8217;ve given Jordan shit for saying literally so often that our kid is saying it now too. So I won&#8217;t say that. But, it definitely is figuratively heart-warming. So much so that I can&#8217;t even get my camera to capture it like I see it in real life. Cue Jim <span class="amp">&amp;</span> Pam&#8217;s mental picture-taking from their wedding day, if you&#8217;re a fan of the Office.<span style="line-height: 1.4;">&nbsp;But it makes me feel like&nbsp;this:</span></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-9996_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-9996_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p>Wherever you are in life, I hope something gives you this feeling. Whatever troubles you&#8217;re feeling, whatever struggles you have, I truly hope there&#8217;s something that gives you that light-but-heavy choked-up feeling of happiness. Even if it&#8217;s just for a few seconds of your day. Find that light. It&#8217;s there somewhere, I promise. And if it isn&#8217;t showing itself right now, please know that it will&nbsp;come.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-9487_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-9487_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">So much has changed in our lives since Riley was born three years ago. I sometimes feel like I could be a blogger, but in truth I can&#8217;t organize all of the thoughts I have here adequately, so I&#8217;m sure I&#8217;ll just keep posting these random updates and talking about how I want to dive into them further one day. Just for today though, here are a few recent photos of our newly-turned three-year-old. I hope they bring you at least a flicker of the light that I felt while taking&nbsp;them.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0174_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0174_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0104_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0104_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0249_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0249_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-3108_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-3108_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-9252_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-9252_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="line-height: 1.4;">We&#8217;ve spent so much time this summer in and around the water. Our house in Wilmington is almost finished, about a year after building started. Perfection takes time, y&#8217;all. Just look at this perfect smiling child that took me almost as many months to&nbsp;grow.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-9695-2_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-9695-2_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">Tickling and chasing and hiding - these are the things that bring out the biggest giggles from this kid. Cheers to many more movies in the new house with Little Bunny. This movie-watching night was pretty memorable even without a comfy sofa to cuddle&nbsp;on.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-9687_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-9687_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-9263_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-9263_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">We started a countdown to his birthday on the first of August this year, and let him cut off a link every day until his birthday on the 12<span class='ord'>th</span>. He took this job very seriously,&nbsp;obviously.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-9555_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-9555_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">We found a new friend in the Target clearance section this summer. He&#8217;s a velociraptor, and Riley decided his name is Vivey and he only eats plants. We nicknamed him Veggie Rap. Oh, and these two built a cardboard house in the driveway. It required power tools, of course. It took less time to build than our beach house, so I think Riley might be teaching our builders a thing or two.&nbsp;;)&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-3987_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-3987_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">He&#8217;s always loved reading, but he&#8217;s really investigating stories and reading them aloud to himself more these&nbsp;days.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-5478_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-5478_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">Bunny <span class="amp">&amp;</span> Daddy Bear fam. It&#8217;s the best way to&nbsp;sleep.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-9783_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-9783_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">This is what happens when you cook bacon without turning on the fan, and your husband is out of the house and doesn&#8217;t answer the call from your alarm company. Let&#8217;s just pretend this was a planned visit so that Riley could compare his fire truck to a real one,&nbsp;okay?</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-2897_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-2897_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">This is what my memories look like most of the&nbsp;time.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-4581_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-4581_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-02233_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-02233_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p>One of the best iPhone shots I&#8217;ve ever&nbsp;taken:</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-5654_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-5654_WEB.jpg" style="line-height: 1.4;" /></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">He loves so hard, you guys. It&#8217;s the&nbsp;best.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-9995_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-9995_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><span style="line-height: 1.4;">This grin kills me, and is 100% him at three. Sly, sweet, and silly. His first day back to school this week was so awesome that he didn&#8217;t want to come home with us after it was over.</span><span style="line-height: 1.4;">&nbsp;I know how healthy that is, so I&#8217;m not mad about it one&nbsp;bit.</span></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0069_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0069_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;"><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-9337_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-9337_WEB.jpg" /></span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">That&#8217;s all for today, loves. I wish you so much&nbsp;happy.</span></p> <p><span style="line-height: 1.4;">~m.</span></p> Wed, 07 Sep 2016 16:42:00 +0000 is what matters<p>I&#8217;ve been to the land of hypocracy lately, voicing my opinion on hot topics on social media. It&#8217;s something that usually drives me crazy and I&#8217;ve passingly complained about myself, but these days of being more comfortable in my skin and wanting to make my world&nbsp;<em>and</em> yours a better place have changed my mind. I&#8217;ve always noticed and mentioned that the older people get, the more comfortable they are voicing their opinions. Older and wiser, right? I just had to correct myself as I accidentally typed &#8220;wider&#8221; first, but sometimes that&#8217;s true as well&#8230;but that&#8217;s a whole separate post about comfortability&nbsp;y&#8217;all.</p> <p>I&#8217;ve been sharing #blacklivesmatter posts. I&#8217;ve seen them in previous times of turmoil and didn&#8217;t really understand them myself. Maybe I wasn&#8217;t listening to the right people yet, but this time I am. Before I thought it was enough to say that #alllivesmatter, because unity and peace and love and we&#8217;re all human and let&#8217;s make this world a better place for everyone. But I didn&#8217;t really understand the meaning behind the&nbsp;movement.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">Before I start too much hashtagging and talking about the differences between the #alllivesmatter and #blacklivesmatter movements, know that I understand this is not our only problem in this country or in this world. But right now, the conversation is about this. And the older I get, the more I realize that remaining silent on important issues is just as bad as taking the wrong side publicly. So hear me and try to understand what I mean, and what most everyone else means, when we say&nbsp;#blacklivesmatter.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">All of this to say, I&rsquo;ve been listening. I don&rsquo;t watch television and I have trouble relating to friends who are obsessed with dramatic reality shows or stream entire seasons of a television series in a matter of days. I&rsquo;ll tell you where my addiction lies: reading comments and articles galore. It&rsquo;s unhealthy and can get obsessive, but I can&rsquo;t stop. I&rsquo;m fascinated by what people think and what they are willing to say while hiding behind a keyboard. I read things from people who agree with me on topics, and people who are on the opposing side, and everyone in between. There&rsquo;s a reason I almost was a psych major. It pulls me in, and I&rsquo;ve wanted to scream all the things to all the people for years. <span class="caps">STOP</span> <span class="caps">IT</span>. <span class="caps">STOP</span> <span class="caps">SAYING</span> <span class="caps">THINGS</span> <span class="caps">TO</span> <span class="caps">PEOPLE</span> (<em>real people</em>) <span class="caps">THAT</span> <span class="caps">YOU</span> <span class="caps">WOULDN</span>&rsquo;T <span class="caps">SAY</span> <span class="caps">TO</span> <span class="caps">THEIR</span> <span class="caps">FACES</span>. <span class="caps">STOP</span>. But the reality is, some people would say horrible things in person. These people just aren&rsquo;t nice, period. It isn&rsquo;t because they&rsquo;re liberal hippies or uptight conservatives or because of their skin color or gender or sexual orientation or <span class="caps">WHATEVER</span> <span class="caps">ELSE</span>. It&rsquo;s because they&rsquo;re not good people. And nothing you type is going to change&nbsp;that.</p> <p class="p1">What I&rsquo;m hearing from my friends and acquaintances who are open-minded and loving - people of all backgrounds, y&rsquo;all - is that enough is enough. Racism is still a problem in this country. That&rsquo;s it. Let&rsquo;s change this because it has to be changed. Talk about it with each other, but I mean actually talk. Don&rsquo;t just blurt out your opinion and insist that you&rsquo;re right. Be able to look someone in the eye and say, &ldquo;I hear you. I understand what you&rsquo;re saying. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me and for listening to mine.&rdquo; Everyone deserves that kind of respect.&nbsp;Everyone.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">Black lives matter <span class="caps">TOO</span>. That is what this movement is about. I in no way think police officers are all corrupt entitled people who have god complexes. I realize that some people who are treated less than fairly may have done something to make people of authority feel threatened. Yes, all lives do matter. I&#8217;m here to ask you to open your mind. Listen to the people who can tell you their real fears. Black people who have experienced them, white people who try to understand those fears but will never know what it feels like to actually experience them, or any person of any race who can tell you what it&rsquo;s like to be anything but white. Whether you believe there&rsquo;s a problem in this country with race, put yourself in someone else&rsquo;s shoes and try to understand their real fears and feelings without judging. That&rsquo;s all I&rsquo;m&nbsp;asking.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">If you&rsquo;re afraid to talk about it because you&rsquo;re worried you might say the wrong thing, or offend someone, or maybe because you don&rsquo;t even have a black friend or acquaintance to talk to about this and you&rsquo;d like to&hellip;just start the discussion somewhere, in some way. Just be real and honest and open and understanding, as much as you can. And know that staying silent about anything that&rsquo;s wrong in this world really does allow it to keep happening. If we just laugh it off and pretend it isn&rsquo;t as bad as others are making it out to be, I promise you that it&rsquo;s worse in places you aren&rsquo;t seeing it. And it&rsquo;s much easier now for those stories to be made public. Listen to them, and remember that you&rsquo;re listening to things that are happening to other <em>humans</em>. No matter what they look like. Humans, you guys. Be&nbsp;human.</p> <p class="p1">And because I can&#8217;t post anything without a photo, also please remember this. Racism is taught and learned. If you insist on teaching it to your children, consciously or not, don&#8217;t you dare teach it to mine. That&#8217;s where I can&#8217;t keep a calm and level head, guys. This kid will like you and play with you no matter what color your tongue is. As long as you&#8217;re kind. And fun. :)&nbsp;<br /><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-9860_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-9860_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p class="p1">Also, this facebook page is all about uniting us and sharing stories of love and acceptance. Please go <a href="" target="_blank" title="Love What Matters FB">here</a> and have your heart&nbsp;warmed.</p> Wed, 13 Jul 2016 22:01:00 +0000<p>Mason James is one year old. We joined him and his pups and parents for a few snaps earlier this month. He and Ri are becoming good buddies these days, just like their parents.&nbsp;:)</p> <p style="text-align: center;">He looked so good in this hat, he didn&#8217;t even want us to photograph it. Joke&#8217;s on you kiddo, we have fast clickers on our cameras.&nbsp;;)&nbsp;</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-9256_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-9256_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0011_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0011_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">So&nbsp;big!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0035-2_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0035-2_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0064_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0064_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0059_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0059_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Hmm&#8230;now where did those knobs&nbsp;go?</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0114_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0114_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Walking has become his preferred method of mobilization these days. We had to capture those toddler steps, and the dog-nose/toddler-fingered window at the front door and diapers hanging to dry. Real life bestness right&nbsp;there.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0117_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0117_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">He&#8217;s a master&nbsp;stair-climber.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0132_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0132_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0164_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0164_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">And much-practiced in the art of closing doors and attempting to open them&nbsp;again.</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0167-2_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0167-2_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">So happy in the shade on this&nbsp;afternoon!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0226_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0226_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-9290_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-9290_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0198_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0198_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Snapped these as Tim was telling Monica how beautiful she looked. Look at those lovey eyes.&nbsp;:)</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0248_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0248_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0256_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0256_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-9329_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-9329_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-9399-2_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-9399-2_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">This guy is going to be swimming before we know it, diving straight in when he&#8217;s&nbsp;able!</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0332_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0332_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0361_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0361_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Sleepy hugs when we got back home. The sweetest thing! And is there anything better than smoosh face? Not much.&nbsp;:)</p> <p><img class="fj-Photo fj-original" src="" alt="JAM-0393_WEB.jpg" title="JAM-0393_WEB.jpg" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;">Goodness we love you guys so many tons! Thanks for letting us snap these&nbsp;up!</p> <p style="text-align: center;">Hugs <span class="amp">&amp;</span> love,<br /><span class="caps">JA</span><span style="text-decoration: underline;">M</span>&nbsp;</p> Wed, 29 Jun 2016 19:02:05 +0000