MOTHERHOOD MOMENTS WITH THREE GENERATIONS

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When I received the email for a Minimal Motherhood photo session with Nikki Santerre, fellow mama, friend and talented photographer who also recently captured our family’s Christmas holiday together here, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to capture a season that has come full circle, one between a daughter and her mother.

I have always admired my mom for more than just the obvious reasons - the overwhelming amount of strength she had to overcome a challenging childhood, to dedicate twenty years of her life to the U.S. Navy, much of which was spent away from her family during frequent deployments, and then the courage to carry on in the face of tragically losing her husband, my father. Now after becoming a mother, I find the appreciation for my own growing exponentially.

"My mother... she is beautiful, softened at the edges and tempered with a spine of steel. I want to grow old and be like her." ―Jodi Picoult

This calling that is motherhood is far from glamorous - the tears, the tantrums, the mundane routines of waking up at 5 a.m. to pack lunches and bags before heading off to work every day - yet, it is glorious. It is beautiful. Situated in the middle of this domino of life, I see so much of myself in my daughter and so much of my mother in myself. Each giving each life. That is the beauty of motherhood - this interweaving of life and giving. And so, I could think of no better gift for Mother's Day this year than to capture this life, these moments together as mothers.

Happy Mother's Day to my mama, to all moms, those present in life or in spirit, moms to be and those that someday hope to be. XOXO

photography: Nikki Santerre Photography // lena's outfit: Rylee + Cru // lena's shoes: Saltwater Sandals // my jumpsuit: Free People // my shoes: Lotta From Stockholm

EASTER BASKET FOR TODDLERS

There is something about experiencing holidays through the eyes of a child. Whether first or second, each year is just as magical as the last. This year however, Lena is much more aware of that magic and we plan to surprise her with her very own Easter basket!

Easter baskets may normally be filled with sugary sweet stuffers; yet, I chose crafts over candy for a toddler. I found washable paints in tip proof containers and brushes from Target, along with paintable eggs from a tried and trusted brand, Little Sapling Toys, to coordinate with.

Holidays are centered around tradition and I decided to start a tradition of our own centered around Lena's stuffy, Juliette Rabbit from Hazel Village, that was gifted to her for her first Easter. One of my favorite features about the brand Hazel Village is the interchangeable clothes they produce to coordinate with their dolls. So this year, I included Juliette in Lena's basket but with a new Easter dress!

Finally, I decided to forego the typical Easter-specific basket for a version that can be used year round. Plum + Sparrow produces beautiful, quality market baskets and the pint sized version was perfect for the job. To top it off, I added the cutest little pinwheel bow from Joey Mae Handmade!

TWENTY MONTHS

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Twenty months young and four months shy of the big T W O, which I am so not ready for! Speaking of two, I'm fairly certain we can all just agree this "terrible twos" period starts well before two years of age. We have been experiencing our fair share of toddler tantrums and meltdowns for months now. Who knew pajama bottoms were so important and that taking them off to change your soaking wet, 20 lb. dipe would be so devastating? Or that having mom remove the wrapper from your cheese stick would be the end of the world. Yet despite those more challenging moments of parenting, this really is such a fun, exciting age.

Lena is quite the girl on the go lately and we usually prefer to venture outdoors on our weekends, yet needed a safer area for her to play inside when the weather doesn't cooperate. So, we recently rearranged our living space to better suit her active nature (read: more open space to prevent trips/falls while she runs, dances, and climbs everywhere).

For the most part, we try to keep the indoor toys to a minimum. Since Lena was born and in these past twenty months I've turned to decluttering our home and simplifying our life. I am more intentional about our buying habits and I choose to invest in more classic, gender neutral and/or sustainable toys. This cow Wheely Bug - I purchased from Amazon but also found online at Kohls here - has become her latest obsession but also promotes those gross motor skills needed for running, dancing, and climbing everywhere. Some of her other favorite toys include dolls from Hazel Village, wooden stack toy from Little Sapling Toys, along with this Slice & Bake Cookie Set and Cutting Fruit Set from Melissa & Doug.

In addition to running around, climbing and play time, Lena has a strong appreciation of music and more specifically - dancing to it. Some of her current favorites include Shake It Off (probably because I listened to Taylor Swift all. the. time when I was pregnant with her) and Something Just Like This by the Chainsmokers.

We are soaking up this stage, embracing all the tantrums (ok maybe not all) because this time is truly fleeting and we will soon have a TWO year old running around. 

I've received questions about where to find our chair, stools, and play kitchen so I've linked everything below!

Lena's Play Kitchen: IKEA // Chair: Target // Stools: IKEA // Throw Pillow: Mae Woven // Lena's Onesie: Kid + Kind // Lena's Bow: Fourth + Pierce