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My Family

Madison Alabama Huntsville Al Family Children and Lifestyle photography

Madison Alabama Newborn Lifestyle Photographer: An Unexpected Gift

My life is a little crazy right now…  It is a wonderful crazy but crazy none the less.  I am determined to rock this “mom of 4” thing but right now I feel like I am barely keeping my head above water!  Emma was born August 1st and I gave myself 1 month before we started our home-school year.  Our last 3 weeks of school have gone great but there is no way to get around the fact that it is just one more time intensive thing that I have to fit in the day.  Ethan is 6 and working his way through 1st grade, Lauren is 3 and enjoying lots of preschool activities, Noah is 1 and BUSY, Emma is 7 weeks old now and is just needing the normal amount of attention a newborn requires.

Did I mention my life is crazy right now? lol

When my husband and I got married he said he wanted 3-4 kids and I said 4-5…  Fast forward 11 years and our 4th child is 7 weeks old and I am struggling with the idea that this might be our last baby.  I LOVE babies so this is a hard thing for me to process through.  Do I want to be pregnant again? NO!  Am I feeling overwhelmed with what is currently on my plate? YES!  Do I dream of a time when I will have more time to devote to my photography business? ALL the time!  Am I ready for the idea of being “done” with babies?  Now that is a MUCH harder question to answer…

With that said, our most recent addition was not a “planned” addition.  We knew we wanted another baby but she was not “in the plan” yet.  This past year was supposed to be all about JMP!  Instead I spent it pregnant and knowing that I would have to take things much slower.  It was a struggle.  I had planed out the whole year already and all of the sudden everything I had planned needed to be changed or put on hold.  Emma is just about the sweetest little person you have ever met.  I can’t imagine our life without her and she has 3 adoring older siblings that we have to protect her from because of how “aggressively” they love on her!  We are blessed beyond measure and I thank God every day that he didn’t let me have my plan.

I was busy cleaning up our living room trying to get ready for company and glanced over to her swing.  I can’t express the love I have for this little person.  She is simply perfect, exactly the way God intended her to be, in our family for a reason.  How is that not one of the most beautiful things in life?

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How she can possibly sleep this peacefully through a 6, 3 and 1 year old’s noise I have no idea but I know without a doubt she is a precious gift and I refuse to wish away the days!  I am going to try my hardest to soak it all in, because babies don’t keep and she just might be my last…

McCarty Kids – Santa Rosa Island, Florida Beach Photos

We had the amazing opportunity to spend Easter weekend on vacation!  It wasn’t a particularly restful vacation but we had a TON of fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat!  We stayed in a 3 bedroom condo with some of our extended family that was literally on the beach.  Between fun in the sun, some outlet mall shopping, searching for crabs in the moonlight and Easter photos our 2 day “vacation” was crammed full of activities.  It is hard to sit back and just relax when there is so much you want to experience in such a short time :-)

Friday

My kids have been talking about going to the beach ever since we planned it and they were SO excited to get there after a 6 hour car ride and arriving at 9:30pm.  In the morning they woke up and rushed to the window and were so sad to see rain and storms…  It was absolutely pitiful when I told them that we were doing a shopping day instead of playing on the beach…  In spite of the rain we did take them on a rainy walk down to get our toes wet though ;-)  An afternoon of shopping the outlet malls to pick up some things for their new baby sister (supposedly arriving the beginning of August) and then out to eat at a local seafood place! (Ahhhhhmazing) :-)

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Saturday

The next day was filled with the beach!  It was BEAUTIFUL!!!  Crystal clear water, gorgeous white sand and 3 adorable children to take pictures of.  Noah wasn’t really feeling well though so it was a little difficult to get much of a smile out of him…

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That night we went looking for crabs on the beach.  We didn’t find any crabs but we did see a pelican!  I LOVE knowing my camera as well as I do!!!  It was very dark out with only the light of the moon and I didn’t have a tripod with me…  I would have never been able to get this image otherwise :-)

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Sunday! Easter day!  Picture day!  Travel day…

We got an early start and had a fun time taking Easter pictures on the beach with the kids.  It was SO nice to have my husband helping out!  Noah literally wanted to RUN in to the water.  It was very funny actually ;-)  They keep us on our toes, that’s for sure!

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I made her dress this year :-)  It is actually something I do on the side here and there…  I only make custom dresses but if you want to take a look at what I have done in the past you can check out my Precocious Peanut Facebook page or my Precocious Peanut Etsy Shop.

I am a little sad to post these photos actually…  I think I have had a grin plastered on my face the whole time I have been working on them!  They are such precious memories and I can honestly say they represent this trip well :-) Please leave a comment and let me know what you think :-)  I would love to hear from you!

Freckles, Garbage Disposals and a Lot of Crying…

The Perception: I get “super mom” comments ALL the time.  Well meaning women who praise me for all the things I do.  Don’t get me wrong, I am BUSY!  I have been blessed with the ability to be a stay at home mom and I have 3 awesome kids that keep me on my toes (especially the middle one! Yikes!!!) and have a lot of balls in the air ALL THE TIME!  The thing is, my strengths lie in some pretty easy to see areas.  I was browsing Facebook a while back and stumbled across this quote “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steve Furtick

The Problem:  I decided a while back that I was going to be intentional about focusing on the sweet and beautiful moments that make me fall in love with being a mom over and over again.  As that “intentionality” has played out on Facebook over the past few years, I started to realize that what I portray online isn’t painting an accurate or “real” picture of my life…

The Plan:  Project Choose Your Moment is to write about the “behind the scenes” footage.  I am not in the habit of posting pictures of my house when it looks like a bomb went off, or videos of my children on their “challenging” days…  I love my kids but some days they make me CRAZY but being a mom isn’t ALL about about the crazy, it is also about the sweetness, the relationships, the quiet moments, the beauty…  The moments that I want to remember for always. It is time to pull the curtain of Facebook away though and talk about what life really looks like…

 

Freckles, Garbage Disposals and a Lot of Crying…

Here’s the thing, life is messy and imperfect and crazy and busy and monotonous, and exhausting and… Well, let’s just say my house doesn’t look like a magazine. With 3 kids under 5 and a 4th on the way there is rarely a dull moment around here… On top of that, we homeschool, try to eat “clean” as much as possible and I have my own photography business. Sometimes I find myself thinking “What was I thinking taking all of this on!!!” But the bottom line is that It is worth it and I wouldn’t change a thing…

With that said, yesterday was a doozie. It started out calm and beautifully average. It was Saturday, my husband made oatmeal for breakfast, I got to take an uninterrupted shower while Michael took all of the kids outside to work in the backyard. After I was done I walked outside to see what was going on and was struck by how gorgeous it was outside and then while talking to my daughter realized her freckles have gotten darker. I ran in to the house, grabbed my “nice” camera and started clicking away.

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I am so very pleased with how they turned out. (Full blog post link HERE) Why I don’t do it more often with my kids? I don’t know… (although it is hard for me to think creatively when I am in “trying to get caught up” mode) and I am NEVER caught up!

My in laws showed up (I was going to take my MIL to the airport and my FIL was going to help my husband install my new garbage disposal!!!). Michael and my FIL started work in the kitchen. And I started to make lunch.

Then it was 1:00

Michael, my FIL and my oldest went to pick up something 1.5 hours away and my MIL, two youngest and I headed to the airport.

After we got home the relaxed tone had vanished. My youngest was out of sorts, my middle one was needy and it got old really fast. I tried TV, food, music, Motrin, and cuddling. Nothing was working…

It seemed like things were finally calming down when I heard glass breaking in the kitchen. In our rush to leave the house, and my focus on the kids since we got home the mess on the floor (everything from under the kitchen sink) had been overlooked. The glass container that I keep our dish washer detergent in (I had just made a brand new batch) was shattered on the floor and My youngest was standing in the middle of it. After “extracting” him and checking him over for glass and cuts he started crying again. And kept trying to come in the kitchen as I was trying to clean up the mess. I am ashamed to say I yelled at my 1.5 year old as I was attempting to keep him out of the kitchen which in turn made him cry even more. :-(

The next 3 hours didn’t get any better. More crying, more frustration, more clinginess. I was at my limit and when I checked in with Michael (because I thought they should be home soon) found that they were only just leaving from their errand. They had another 1.5-2 hours on the road before they would be home.

More crying (I still don’t know what was wrong with Noah) and when I got the text from Michael saying they were going to swing by Lowes to get a part they needed to finish the garbage disposal installation I started to cry.

It is embarrassing to me to even admit it. I am not a crier… Pregnancy makes my threshold lower but I don’t even like crying in front of my husband. For me, crying is a very “unattractive” emotion. For some crying is a way of “cleansing”. Not for me, after I cry, even for just a minute I feel drained and tired. I get all splotchy and normally end up with a raging sinus headache for the following 24 hours as well.

Then I started “pep talking” myself. “What are you so upset about! Why can’t you keep it together? Are you going to let a 1 yr and 3 yr old kick your but?” And all I could come up with was “Everything, I’m tired and Yes…”

Once the guys got back we ate dinner, I couldn’t pull it together enough to act like nothing was wrong and I am certain my FIL knew about my little break down. Another jar was dropped and glass was everywhere in the kitchen for the second time that day. I decided bed was the best place to be so while the guys cleaned up the mess and finished installing the garbage disposal I started on baths and brushing teeth. While I was getting the 2 oldest in bed Noah pulled a bowl of rice and fish off of the table and I walked out to find him eating it (his teeth were already brushed).

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I chased him off and was cleaning that up when I realized I didn’t know where he was. I found him in the bathroom playing with the toilet plunger. He had effectively negated the last 45 min of work I had done (bath and teeth brushing) in less than 5 minutes!!! All I could come up with was a big fat sarcastic “FANTASTIC”!  I took a couple deep breaths, wet wiped him down, decided to forgo brushing his teeth again and headed to bed. (9:00 pm)

I think my FIL left around 9:30 and my husband unloaded the dishwasher and cleaned up the tools in the kitchen before he came to bed around 10:30 (which I don’t remember because I was sleeping)

I woke up this morning feeling tired still, with a headache and completely embarrassed.

It is going to take a lot for me to choose the morning moments and not dwell on the rest, but I guess it could have been worse right?

For now, it is good enough that the new day offers a new “tone” and a new set of moments to choose from…

I love my life but that doesn’t mean it is perfect or easy. It just means that the “mornings” make the “afternoons” worth it, and some days it is harder to “choose your moment” than others.

My Muse – Madison Alabama

I continually am blown away by this little peanut.  She has been sprouting some freckles over the past year and I absolutely LOVE them!!!  They never seem to show up in photos though so today while she was playing outside I saw them and wanted to see what I could do about actually getting them to show up in a photo.  I am incredibly biased but I think she is absolutely beautiful <3  It only took less than 5 minutes to get all of these.  It makes me wonder why I don’t force myself to take more “nice” photos of my kids…

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3 Years Beautiful – Madison Alabama

I can’t even tell you how exciting it is to see her grow while at the very same time how much I ache because I know the days are going by way too fast.  I look back at photos of her when she was younger and I can’t help but feel a little sad that I will never get those sweet days back :-)  She is the most beautiful mess of a little girl I have ever met and I can’t even remember what life was like without her.  She is my little girl and that is something I am immensely proud of.  I love you Peanut, to the moon and back!

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She wanted a “castle cake”!!!  She has been talking about it for MONTHS!!!

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When we asked her what she wanted for her birthday the ONLY answer she would give was “new slippers” (her old set were MUCH too small but she had still been cramming in her little piggies)

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Her Great Grandma was the one who bought her the last slippers and she was the one who bought them for her this year as well.  They were by far her favorite present ;-)

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I am such a sucker for Matilda Jane dresses!  Don’t get me wrong, she loves them too (because they are good for “spinning”) so between the two of us I end up splurging a couple times a year ;-)

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And of course she had to go outside and try it out! (I LOVE having a girl)

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As I looked through all of these all I could think of was that she was dancing with the sunlight…  I know I am her mom, but I just think she is GORGEOUS!

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The Nymeyer Reunion – Fort Abercrombie Kodiak Alaska

This is MY family :-)  We all came back home to Kodiak Alaska for a full week of togetherness!!!  Lol ;-)  With this many of us together all at one time it would be a shame to not take a picture right???

 

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Project 12 – Chicken Little

We got chickens!!!

Our whole family is pretty excited about them but Ethan is by far the most excited :-)  We don’t have any other pets so he thinks this is a pretty big deal!  We got 8 of them but 2 of them are little and those are his favorite :-)  We have to get on to him about carrying them around everywhere!!!

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We let them free range during the day in our backyard so first he has to catch them!  He is getting pretty good at it actually :-)

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“Got him!!!” (yes, he refers to all of our hens as “him”) ;-)

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See mom!

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He LOVES this chicken!  This is the one he carries around ALL the time…  (poor chicken)

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We are still working on names…  If you have any suggestions please leave a comment!

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He is a good little chicken :-)

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I wonder if she will still let Ethan carry her around like this when she gets older?

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After a little while her little friend came over to say hello :-)

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Please leave a comment and let me know what you think :-)

Project 12: Fire

This month has been CRAZY!  We are going on vacation, the garden is producing like mad, I have been canning my brains out and Noah is teething and not very happy about it!  I originally thought this month would play out so that I could do a shoot with fire weed in Alaska (on vacation) but after taking a closer look at the calendar I realized I needed to come up with another idea…  Well, I have been wanting to work on my “low light” skills so I decided to use fire as my only source of light.  I am still trying to figure out how to not have a flair without Photoshopping it out, but I like how they developed and to see Laurens serious side is a change.  She is such a smiley expressive and entertaining little girl, I don’t get to see this side of her often. :-)

_DSC0268 as Smart Object-1I can’t decide if I like this better in color or black and white…  What do you think?

_DSC0268 as Smart Object-1bwLove her eyelashes <3

_DSC0245 as Smart Object-1“Mommy, why is fire yellow?”

_DSC0256 as Smart Object-1She is so innocent, so beautiful, so perfect.

_DSC0265 as Smart Object-1“Mommy, when can I blow it out?”

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Project 12: Bridges

I had a whole other idea planned for this month but I waited too long, and it has rained quite a bit, and it just didn’t happen…  This was my backup plan and I am really pleased with how it turned out!  I know they may not be “fantastic” but they are of my little boy (who wont be so little before I know it) playing with his trains and bridges.  He LOVES the bridges.  He asks if we can get more for his train set often.

_DSC0035 as Smart Object-1I love watching him play, making the sound effects, having the trains talk to each other, he creates a whole world in his imagination and I know I want to remember every detail forever. _DSC0015 as Smart Object-1 _DSC0023 as Smart Object-1_DSC0014 as Smart Object-1_DSC0012 as Smart Object-1 _DSC0011 as Smart Object-1 _DSC0010 as Smart Object-1

Six + One = Seven :-)

He has been so much more expressive this month.  He is using his voice a lot more and when he is happy he just bounces, hands and feet dancing :-)  His personality is showing more and more and I am loving getting to know him better!  He is desperately trying to figure out the crawling thing.  I have a feeling by next month he will have it figured out.  Unfortunately I think that will make my life a lot more complicated ;-)

I love how these turned out.  It was the first shoot I did with him outside and he absolutely loved it! (although due to the teething he isn’t super smiley these days)  We have LOTS of clover around here and it doesn’t take long for the little clover flowers to pop up all over your lawn. (I don’t mind though because I think they are pretty :-) )

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_DSC0344 as Smart Object-1I am absolutely LOVING golden hour!!! :-D