The R family | Butler-Freeport Community Trail

I’d like to introduce to you the person who has been one of the greatest sources of encouragement (along with my husband of course!) in my photography journey. We have been friends since we were eleven and then she moved to PA when we were 17. To PA, you say…well don’t you live there? Now I do! But we grew up in NJ together and then no where near each other for seven years until Jake’s job brought us back to the same area. It is so funny to me how God works.

Now we have children the same age and got to be pregnant together twice. How fun is that?

I was able to take their family photos this year and receiving their Christmas card this week with all the photos was the coolest thing! So without further backstory, here is her beautiful family 🙂

xo, bethany rose

The Beautiful Life of Grandpa Schmidt

His voice boomed across the living room every single time I made my way down the long hallway and into his presence. “Bethany Rose! How are you?” His words were continuously filled with authenticity and genuine interest in that question. He always knew how to make the conversation 100% about me without me ever feeling selfish or that I had forgotten to turn it around to him at some point.

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His summers were spent for twenty five years camping with either me or my younger siblings and cousin. He was always ready for something new. Whether it was boogie boarding in the ocean at the age of eighty or learning to ski at seventy, quite possibly beating me to the end of the mountain first.

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His hands created carpenter masterpieces and he thought into the future with each piece. Even though my son is only two, there can be found in our home a cross that has the name “Jesus” engraved throughout it. This cross is a known piece of art amongst our extended family. One was made for each grandchild and then his first great-grandson. They were or are to be given on each one’s wedding day. He knew that he would not be around when my son got married and so he made his early on and gave it to us.

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His love for his wife and family was paramount to most love I’ve witnessed on earth. There was gentleness and kindness. Patience and strength. A quietness that calmed the room and made people choose their words wisely. For with his age came more wisdom; wisdom that was evident of time communing with God.

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He and his wife prayed as though their lives depended on it, because for them, they did. Notebooks and photos, devotionals and scripture can be found as they prayed over people’s lives. I can see the work of God in my life because of these prayers and know my life is richer for it.

His home was home to many. There was rarely a holiday that it was just our family gathering together. It was common to meet people we did not know for the first time on Thanksgiving or Christmas. His home was a haven and people recognized the solace as soon as they entered.

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His music was his ministry and he played at churches across his section of Pennsylvania. He liked to pick the instruments you don’t hear much: the tuba and accordion. His musical talent has been carried down by most of us. I think in a sense he is the musical patriarch of our family.

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His trains were his way of entertaining and sharing what he loved. It was tradition to head down to his “train room” after we had piled our plates high with food and come out of our food comas. We would all gather on one side of the room as he pushed buttons and turned knobs and made his train display come to life. He would show us new parts of his train village as he proudly displayed his work of art. I remember when he decided that he was too old for it though and I stood in an empty room where his trains used to run. There was an emptiness in that space where I thought something belonged.

And I suppose that’s how we feel today. We are standing in an empty space where you used to be, looking around thinking that you still belong here.

But that’s not the end of this story, is it? I always imagine you looking down on us, smiling and saying softly, “Don’t cry for me. I am where I belong. If only you could see.”

Happy Birthday, Grandpa. We love you always. “Gone but never forgotten.”

xo, bethany rose

Dear Husband (from your Stay-at-Home-Wife)

~This post is in collaboration with PinkBlush, but all opinions are my own.~

Dear Husband (from your Stay-at-Home-Wife),

I write this as you drive ten hours and work thirteen today. I appreciate you and hope you understand the extent of that statement.

I know we made this decision together when we chose for me to stay at home. There was never an argument, only understanding and support from day one. I think it was something we both wanted equally.  I have always been thankful for the fact that we are on the same page more often than not.

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You have never made me feel guilty for bringing in little to no money over the last three years.  It has only ever been me who ever felt upset or saddened as an empty box appeared in our budget line for my portion of the monthly income.  You never blinked an eye and were just grateful that I could be home.

On that note, you have never asked me to start making money even when our budget dropped so low and we knew something needed to change. Instead you went out and found ways to make more money for our little family. I never doubt warmth in our home or full cabinets of food.

You work hard to provide and still come home at the end of the day and play with the kids and help put them to bed. Neither of our days ever really end. Sometimes I feel bad, if I am being honest, when both kids nap at the same time and I just relax. I know this isn’t what happens in the middle of your day. And yet, whenever I’ve admitted this, you just say, “Good for you. You need to rest.”

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I love the way our son’s face lights up when you walk through the door or call us in the middle of the day. Our daughter might not like everyone, but she sure loves you. I know they feel the same warmth and love that I do.

I know I have complained and let phrases slip from my mouth that I would like to take back.  Those are the days you have found me at my worst. Those words are never an indication of ungratefulness for what you do. It is my selfishness talking about my day. I really don’t wish these days away. Perhaps some seasons ( 😉 ) but you really have given me the best gift.

You have given me a life of learning and teaching and service. You’ve unknowingly opened up my life to so many opportunities I never knew existed or dreamed about.

And lastly, when I told you this summer I wanted to start working from home, you made sure it was the right decision and then jumped all in. When I ask you to watch the kids because I have a photo shoot or a writing deadline, you are there.

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My prayer for our children is that our son becomes a father like you and our daughter knows what a true, loving man is because of your example.

So, Husband of this Stay-at-Home-Sometimes-Working-Wife-and-Mom, I love you and thank you.  You are my teammate for life.

Love, Me

~~~

How beautiful is this Black Floral Crochet Trim Bell Sleeve Wrap Top from PinkBlush? I am probably going to wear it out too much this holiday season, but I absolutely don’t care! It’s just the perfect shirt for holiday gatherings, date nights and photo shoots with my husband! ❤

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xo, bethany rose

Hadley Rose: month five

(Okay, I am committed to these object numbers and had like 15 minutes to do this before Emmett woke up…So we are just calling this month a wrap and hoping that Christmas ornaments or pine cones or something work really well with a “6” next month! :-p)

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Hadley had a rocky fifth month, but I am pleased to say that at the end of it we are hitting a new groove. I mean, that is the story and life with a baby, right? Find one groove, then they change. Find the next groove and so on.

Either way, Jake and I smiled at each other tonight as we put both kids to bed around 7 and came downstairs to do our own thing and let the kiddos sleep.

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We had been rocking Hadley to sleep but it was becoming such an ordeal. Finally one afternoon at nap time I go so fed up with the bouncing, squatting, butt patting etc. (because she just would not fall asleep that day) that I just laid her down in her merlin sleep sack with a blanket over her head ( I watch her on the monitor…she is fine. I don’t need angry mom comments!) and left the room. And guess what? She fell asleep. Ever since then life has felt a lot more “freeing” shall we say.

This is not to say there haven’t been some tears and screams but overall it has been an excellent transition.

On another note, the puking has lessened exponentially as well!! I can’t tell you how happy I am to say that. We don’t go through five outfits a day anymore. Just three 😉

Hadley adores Emmett. If anyone can calm her down (other than the boob), it is Emmett. Her eyes are glued to him and she loves to watch him and any interaction he gives her.

What else to say? I feel like before I post these I think of tons of things and then can’t think of them! What do you want to know?

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Some Hadley Stats

weight: 12 lbs 8 oz as of last month. I have not weighed her in 4 weeks though.

height: *to be added* I seriously don’t ever remember this!

diapers: size 2

clothing: She is in a mix of 0-3 and 3-6. This is still true….*sigh*

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What Hadley is up to:

-starting to be able to sit. Like, she can’t really sit by herself but I can tell it is coming soon.

-shrieks. Is this a total girl thing that I missed out on for the last 2 years? Cuz I am actually OK without it….she is LOUD!

-rolled over. She can be found on her side often stuck halfway between roll though.

-smiling and laughing . Gosh, this girl loves laughing and smiling. She is ELF.

-self entertainer. This is not true ALL the time but some mornings I just set her under her gym and she just hangs out for a long time.

-We successfully unswaddled her. She sleeps in the merlin sleep sack now.

Hadley Photo Dump:

 

xo, bethany rose

What’s on my Baby’s Feet | Potato Feet

My sweet little girl has teeny, tiny feet.

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So tiny that even with the blessing of all the clothes from friends and family, she still didn’t even fit into the shoes gifted us! The weather outside was getting oh so much colder (someone please tell me why summer has to end in Pennsylvania?!) and I knew I needed to find some warm, comfy shoes. Because, let’s face it, socks just do not stay on babies’ feet!

Well, I find a lot scrolling Instagram and someone had posted these adorable shoes on their little one. Naturally, being in the shoe dilemma I was in, I clicked and it brought me to Potato Feet.

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I was instantly hooked. Not only did they have a bunch of different styles and colors of shoes, but they had warm, snug, tiny shoes that looked perfect for Hadley.

The irony about this company though is that the owner created it because her son had bigger feet before he was ready to walk and she needed something soft and comfortable that did not have a rubber sole just yet!

(So honestly, if you’re hunting around for shoes for big OR small feet, this is your place.)

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We got the Dusk Booties because I was looking for a color that was neutral and could go with pretty much any outfit (however, I was totally eyeing  the Minted Lace ones because they’re so pretty!). The booties are such a good style for smaller babies because they are soft like slippers and completely comfortable for the baby.

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Also, bonus, I am not saying any shoe is “fool proof” in the falling off department, but these are pretty darn close. They fit well around her ankles with a stretchy elastic band on the top of her foot making them super easy to pull on, but then snug enough to keep on as well!

These shoes are a total winner in my book and I am so happy to have stumbled across them! Be sure to check them out and use code WELCOME to get 15% off your first order!

xo, bethany rose

Inside Our Home: shared children’s bedroom ft. UrbanWalls

Before Hadley was born Jake and I had decided that whether we ended up with two boys or one of each, they would share a room no matter what. We had just bought a three bedroom house and really wanted to keep the third room open for company (we have enough!) and an office.

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After Hadley’s arrival I started to envision how I wanted their room to look. It was a little tricky because so many rooms are girl or boy focused or just extremely gender neutral. I started toying around with the modern black and white room. I loved the look of it and felt it worked for either gender and could incorporate specific boy and girl things. But we eventually nixed that idea because neither of us wanted to commit to only having black and white items. And let’s face it, I love color.

So one day, I was probably scrolling instagram, when I came across UrbanWalls. I was in love instantly. The decals and creativity that flowed from that site made me want to jump up and finish their room right then and there. The initial decals to really draw me in were the ones I ended up going with: Watercolor polka dots. I am a sucker for polka dots and water colors , put them together, and I was sold.

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We decided to go with the blue and coral ones and thus the “watercolor room” was birthed. We chose to make the coral and blue dots merge together so that the room was not divided by a “girl” side and a “boy” side. I want it to be their room and no dividing line of sides. (PSA: They now have LILAC watercolor polka dots. It’s probably a good thing these weren’t available when I was looking or I never would have been able to decide!)

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We finally finished everything over the weekend with the exception of a couple more frames on the walls. We might eventually add some shelves as well but for now, it is done. I.LOVE.IT. I am so happy with how this turned out. We still left a little bit of “travel theme” in the nursery since there were some things from Emmett’s old nursery that just worked and I still love.  I think by default more of the room has a blue feel to it. By default I mean, Emmett “had” the room first so there was more boy things going on in there and I just naturally love and am drawn to it. However, I don’t think Hadley will know or care for another year or two 😉

 

wall decals: UrbanWalls watercolor polka dots in coral and blue

twin sheets: Finding Dory twin sheet set

crib sheets: Feather print by LifeTree

crib (similar style): Storkcraft Pacific 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

homemade blanket: crocheted waves blanket by CCJknitandcrochet

paper flowers (made by a close friend but you can check out the pattern) : World Map paper flowers pattern

xo, bethany rose

The D family |black ridge

I don’t know what’s better than having your lifelong friends visit you from New England for a couple days AND getting to take their family photos. Dan and Danielle are the reason my husband and I met. Danielle and I were best friends growing up as were Dan and Jake. They introduced us on a whirlwind road trip and the rest is history!

Our children now get to grow up together and it seriously could not be any sweeter to watch. Their daughter totally “cheesed” it up for the camera and I am lovin’ how these shots turned out!

 

xo, bethany rose