Posts Tagged 'Holidays'

June 16, 2014

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a personal blog (or personal pictures, for that matter), so I figured I’d do a little update!  Especially since my mom is in Ireland and has been dying for pictures and updates on the kids! I have been busy doing fun summer stuff with Peyton and Aiden, and my photography business is starting to pick back up now that the weather is nice. On a business note – I’ve been good about blogging all of my current spring sessions. I still have a TON of sessions from last year that I need to blog. So if you see some random fall pictures pop up on here, that’s why! I am super excited about a bunch of births I have coming up. Even though those take the most time (to photograph AND edit), they are my absolute favorite. I get giddy in the weeks leading up to a birth! Okay, now on to all my personal blog stuff…

In case you missed it – we’re moving! So yeah, that’s been another crazy busy thing going on in our world. We ended up having two second showings, and one made an offer pretty quickly. We accepted the offer on our house before it had even been on the market for three weeks. I know God had His hands in the entire process, because it all worked out perfectly. I started talking with the girl who is buying it on Facebook, and I am super excited to see our old house go to a sweet family! They have a little boy around Aiden’s age, and they said that the baseball room was one of the deciding factors in buying it. I am SO excited that the baseball wall won’t be painted over and that another little boy can enjoy it. I am looking forward to having them as neighbors, since our new house will be right down the street! We are set to close on June 23rd or 24th, and will then rent back from them until ours is ready since their lease isn’t up until September. So our house is officially…

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While I am super sad about this chapter of our life coming to a close, I am so excited for the new one that’s ahead. Before we say goodbye to our old house, I have asked my wonderful friend and mentor, Annie, to do a special lifestyle session in it. I can’t wait to have pictures of our family “doing life” in the house that we grew our family in. I look forward to sharing those pictures with all of you, as well as hanging some of them on the walls of our new house to remember where we’ve been. Speaking of the new house, it’s coming along! I will post some pictures of the progress further down in this post. 🙂

The kids have been lots of fun lately. Sometimes I mean that sincerely, and other times I mean that sarcastically. People weren’t joking when they warned about the terrible two’s and the (even more) terrible three’s. Peyton’s been in between those two phases of life for awhile now, and testing every ounce of my patience. Aiden is starting to show signs of the two’s (tantrums, whining, clinging, etc.), so having TWO kids trying to exert their independence and opinions has been a blast. I wasn’t thinking about that when we decided to have kids 18 months apart! Even though we have our rough days, for the most part they are joys to be around. For every tantrum we have, we have HOURS of nice playing and happy kids. I will talk plenty more about Miss Peyton in a week for her annual birthday post. I also have some hilarious pictures to share of her being…well…HER! 😉

Aiden seems to get more fun by the day. He babbles all the time, and is starting to talk. His favorite words are “bayball” (baseball) “guck” (truck), “Sadie,” “Thereitis!” (“There it is!” all squeezed together) and “Dae doo!” (Thank you!). He is all about baseball, which is a good thing because he really doesn’t have much choice. 😉 He still loves to cuddle, and continues to be a mama’s boy. While part of me wants to break him of this, the majority of me just wants to enjoy it. He and Peyton are quite the team these days. They are constantly running around, wrestling, and playing together (and by playing, I mean sometimes fighting over toys! Ha!). He has a personality and opinion all his own, and it’s been fun seeing him become more independent. This boy continues to have my heart, and I have such a hard time saying no to that sweet face. I mean, just look at those blue eyes and long lashes!!! Love that boy to death.

Here are some of the things we’ve been up to lately. Brace yourself for tons of photos. Seriously. I told my mom I’d post lots of pics of the kids while she’s away, so here goes…

First of all, I have to take a minute to say “Happy Father’s Day!” to Jason. He is absolutely the best daddy I could’ve asked for to our kids, and we are so lucky to have him. Here he is with the kids after his baseball game yesterday. Love these three!

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The kids love playing on our back patio, especially when we get out the water table and pool!

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Peyton has always loved watching daddy cut the grass. Man, I’m going to miss this back yard!


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We frequent many of the local parks in the spring and summer. Both kids sure love to swing!

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We go for lots of walks in the neighborhood. Peyton usually walks, and Aiden still rides.


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On one such walk, Peyton said, “Look mommy! All these worms are sleeping!” 😉

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We went to our first Touch-a Truck event of the summer. Aiden loved to look, but was not a fan of sitting in the trucks.

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We spend a lot of time just hanging around the house. They both love brushing their teeth (and want to do so together). Peyton loves helping wake Aiden up from his naps by climbing in his crib. Aiden loves to read books, and Sadie likes to listen. The poor dog also gets sat on like she’s a horse a good portion of the day.

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We check out the progress of the house daily. The kids love walking down there and watching the workers.

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(Peyton LOVES to collect rocks every time we go down there!)

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Normally I try and do a specific post for each holiday, but I am so far behind on Easter that I’m not even going to mess with it this year! So here are some pictures and quick descriptions of what we did. We had a great day, and loved spending time with family!

The night before Easter, we dyed eggs. We tried an egg spinner contraption that was great for Aiden. Peyton enjoyed it, but it was a little too easy for her. I think next year we’ll go back to normal egg dying techniques!

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Easter morning was pretty standard – each kid got an Easter basket and they looked around the house for eggs. Peyton was all about it, but Aiden must’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed because he cried during most of the activities. 🙁

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We went to my parents’ house for presents and then had lunch at Bravo’s with my Grandma (the kids’ GG Marianne). Peyton especially loved her new backpack filled with sand toys and Frozen toy!

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We went to Jason’s uncle’s house with all the Hamberg’s for dinner. Peyton, Aiden, and Blake had fun looking for eggs hidden outside! They also all got Easter baskets filled with lots of goodies from Grandma Colleen and Papa Mike.

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As you can see, we’ve stayed pretty busy! I promise to blog about Peyton’s birthday (and her Pinkalicious party!) and more house updates soon. Thanks for reading about the Hamberg happenings! 🙂

January 07, 2014

I love Christmas. I always have, but I must say that being a parent during the holidays is the best. There’s just something special about introducing your children to traditions and the magic of Christmas. Peyton was at a GREAT age this year to really begin to understand the holiday season. Jason and I made sure we continued traditions that we loved from our own families, and created new traditions for our own family as well

The mom’s group I have joined through Crossroads had a great meeting about family traditions during the holidays. Carolyn (one of our leaders) gave a wonderful talk about what her family’s traditions were, and listed them out for us to get ideas. I LOVED that idea, and so appreciated her encouragement to think about traditions I want to start for our family. So I am going to list all of the special things we did this year, and include pictures for some of them. I hope this inspires you to think about traditions you would like to either begin or continue with your own family!

*Chippie the elf came to live with us for the month of December. Peyton loved watching him move around our house each day. He didn’t do anything too creative this year, but we’re sure he’ll step up his game next year! He did “decorate” the kids’ tree that Grandma Colleen got the kids!

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*Speaking of the tree, Peyton had fun decorating it. Thanks again, Grandma! Aiden just looked on from his high chair this year. I’m sure he’ll be all about helping to decorate next year!

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*We read lots of books about Christmas before naps and bedtime. Chippie brought the book “The Story of Christmas” by Patricia A. Pingry. It came highly recommended from my good friend Mandi, and I love it! It is a great basic story of the first Christmas for little ones. Peyton will proudly tell you that it’s Jesus’ birthday on Christmas, and that His mom’s name is Mary and His daddy’s name is Joseph. So cute!

*We bust out the Christmas movies in December, too. Our fav’s include the Polar Express and the classic Christmas movies (Rudolph, Frosty, etc.).

*We went to the festival of lights at the zoo (twice!). If you go, I highly recommend seeing the Polar Express in 4D!

*Entertrainment Junction’s holiday display has a great Santa and Mrs. Claus! (Of course the trains are cool, too!)

*PRASCO in Mason’s holiday event. This was an awesome free thing that we lucked into this year. Tickets for it go quick, so I hope we can make this an annual tradition if we can get tickets each year! All the candy and treats at the end were AMAZING! Peyton was in heaven (and so were we!). Someone described it as walking into Charlie’s Chocolate Factory, and I totally have to agree.

*LM&M Railroad’s Polar Express train. It was a little pricey, and I don’t think we’ll do it every year, but it was fun and something we’ll do again in the future.

*Holiday train display at Union Termial. I took the kids with a friend for a play date mid-week and it was great (not too busy). I think it is probably packed on the weekends, but still fun!

*Crossroads’ Awaited Christmas show. If you’ve never been, you need to go! Our little ones have done great watching it, but I know others that got scared. The beginning is a little dark, but the middle and the end are great! I recommend getting tickets in advance (they’re FREE!), as it’s always a packed house. We love inviting our family and friends to join us.

*Of course we had to set out cookies and milk for Santa on Christmas Eve before the kids went to bed! Maybe next year we’ll remember some food for the reindeer, too!

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*I always try and take some pictures of the filled stockings and the presents under the tree on Christmas Eve once “Santa” has left.

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We spend most of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with our families. We are blessed to have both sets of parents in town, so we get to spend time with everyone. One thing Jason and I decided when we became pregnant with Peyton was that Christmas morning would be reserved for our own little family. I have always loved the idea of sleeping in (IF the kids let us!), staying in our PJ’s, opening presents at our own pace, and letting the kids play with their toys until their little hearts are content. I of course had my camera out and caught the kids seeing the tree and gifts for the first time.

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Peyton was also excited to see that Santa ate the cookies and milk, and that Chippie had left a goodbye note for her and Aiden.


I plan to take a family photo of us all in front of the tree before opening gifts every year. I used the self timer on my camera, and was actually happy with how they turned out! I don’t usually use this feature, so it was kind of a big deal for me.

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We also started a new tradition this year: we made a “birthday cake” for baby Jesus. Really, it was just Pillsbury cinnamon rolls in the shape of a Christmas tree. If this was going to be a tradition, it needed to be an easy one I could keep up with year after year! Peyton loved helping me make it, and we put four candles on it (one for each member of our family). We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus, and then blew out the candles. I must say, it’s one of my favorite things we did this Christmas. In the midst of all the Santa excitement and family get-togethers, it was a nice way to remind ourselves of the true reason for the season! All day Peyton kept saying, “It’s Jesus’ birthday!” Notice that “baby Jesus” stayed next to her or in her hand the entire time. She also had him “eat” some of his cake after we sang.

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Below are some more pictures from Christmas morning (mainly of the kids opening their presents). We decided that another tradition we’re starting is that Santa brings three presents, just like the wise men brought three gifts to baby Jesus. Peyton’s three things that she asked Santa for were a pink house, a (pretend!) kitty cat, and a baby doll. Well, she often asked for a “real baby, but I told her she needed to talk to daddy about that, not Santa! 😉

Of course mommy and daddy (and the dogs!) bought other presents, so they got more than just three. But I think Santa only bringing three will (hopefully) help limit the greed in years to come. They can think of the three things they REALLY want, and then anything they get beyond those are just a bonus! 🙂

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I love that the kids took a break from opening presents to play with the nativity set.

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What is your favorite holiday tradition? Feel free to share in the comments section! Here’s to a happy and healthy 2014!


April 07, 2013

Well, here we are a week after Easter and I’m just now getting around to blogging about it! (Story of my life lately.)

We had a pretty low-key Easter this year. It was great because this was the first year Peyton could actually participate in Easter festivities. First off was baking Easter cookies. Since I’ve been home full-time lately, I’ve gotten much more daring when it comes to cooking and baking. We went over to the Mayne family‘s house to decorate Valentine’s Day cookies awhile back. I was so impressed with the cookies and icing – they were soooo yummy and looked like what you’d find in a store! Hillary was nice enough to share the links to the recipes. So Peyton and I decided to make homemade sugar cookie dough and icing for Easter! (Click on the links and you, too, can make these yummy treats!) This was a big feat for me because let’s face it… I don’t usually make things from scratch. But they turned out great! Peyton had fun decorating a few cookies before bed one night. Mommy did the rest! 😉

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I was the Easter Bunny when it came to buying the eggs, treats, and Easter baskets/goodies. Jason was in charge of being the Easter Bunny and hiding the eggs the night before. He had so much fun doing it, so I think this will be his job every year! Peyton woke up pretty early Easter morning,  and Aiden was still sleeping (that.never.happens). It was great that Peyton got some alone time with us to do her little Easter egg hunt and check out her goodies. She caught on right away about hunting for eggs, and loved every minute of it! She also loved her Easter basket goodies. Her favorite things were a pink car, bubbles, and a necklace/bracelet set. She also loved eating the marshmallows, jelly beans, and M&M’s out of her eggs.

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After the egg hunt, we ate breakfast and hung out for a bit. Aiden woke up and decided to join us. 🙂 We then decided to color Easter eggs. I had planned ahead and baked (yes, not boiled) the eggs the night before. Peyton got a kick out of dying the eggs with her daddy. Believe it or not, we didn’t even make a mess!

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This is one of my favorite pictures of Peyton and Jason. I just love how she’s looking up at him. This girl ADORES her daddy. Melts my heart. 😀

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We hung out at our house for most of the day. We thought about attempting Church, but with two little ones, we thought it best to skip this year. But we still remembered the reason for the special day! We went to dinner at Bravo’s with my parents, Grandma, and our family friend, Millie. Nothing says Easter like Italian food, right?! 😉 Jaosn’s parents were in Florida over Easter, so we didn’t get to see them. 🙁 But we knew they were having a blast and enjoying some nicer weather!  After dinner, we went back to my parents’ house for their Easter egg hunt for Peyton. This girl is SPOILED. Grandpa Roo hid the eggs, and Peyton loved finding them. He made them kind of tricky, but she was up for the challenge! I can’t wait until Aiden can more fully participate in our traditions next year.

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I had attempted some pictures of the two kiddos in their Easter outfits. I had bought Peyton’s dress and Aiden’s dress shirt last summer on clearance at Crazy 8. This mama loves a good deal! 😉 I was happy that both outfits fit, considering I was preggo with Aiden when I bought them, and it’s hard to predict Peyton’s growth. Peyton’s dress was a little big (it was a size 18 months, for crying out loud!), and Aiden’s was a little small. But it all worked out nonetheless! As you can see from the photos, it’s a bit of a challenge getting a good picture of BOTH kids. Here were our best shots:

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We had a great Easter, and hope you and your families did as well. We continue to be thankful every day for all we’ve been blessed with.

February 19, 2013

I had the best intentions of posting this ON Valentine’s Day. I bought both kids V-Day outfits, set up my mini-studio with red fabric, and took the pictures of the kids on actual Valentine’s Day. That’s as far as I got. And let me tell you…taking pictures of BOTH kids and having them BOTH look good in a photo? Next to impossible. Peyton now runs away from my backdrops when she knows I’m taking her picture. At least she has a little devil grin on her face while she does it, which I suppose is kind of amusing. Aiden just lays there, which is nice, until his sister sits ON TOP of him and sends him into tears. So needless to say, I gave up on taking the “perfect” shot of them together this year. I settled for some cute separate shots, and then chose one of Peyton kissing Aiden’s head (which she does a lot these days). I really should post the outtakes of this photo shoot – they are pretty funny….and awful.

Editing photos these days is a luxury. I can get to my clients’ photos in the evenings, but I tend to put our personal photos on the back burner. Aiden is usually pretty fussy at night, which is when I would normally edit and blog. So after Peyton is in bed, I usually have him lying on my chest since that is how he is the least fussy.

We are currently on a trip to Cancun, which Jason earned through work. (Can I just say how proud I am of my hubby?!) It’s kinda sad that the two things I was looking most forward to were sleeping in and working on photo stuff without being interrupted. Well, Jason has woken up fairly early each day of our trip (darn internal alarm clock!), and therefore so have I. And I have chosen the pool over my lovely computer most days (can you blame me?!), so both of the things I was most looking forward to have ended up not being quite the priority I thought they’d be. So here I am, on our last day of our trip, typing a long overdue Valentine’s Day post!

To our amazing family and friends, please know how much we LOVE each and every one of you! We love doing life with you, and so appreciate all of the friendship and support we receive from you. I am so grateful to be raising my kids in the community of people we have surrounding us. Peyton and Aiden truly have the best grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, great aunts/uncles/cousins, friends, babysitters, etc. Jason and I are so grateful for all of you.

I am also thankful for my awesome clients that invite me into their lives to capture special memories and moments. Especially now and in these next few months, as I have briefly stepped away from teaching, I am so grateful for the additional income that my photography business is able to provide.

On Valentine’s Day (and about a week after), I am again reminded of the message of my business name: The Greatest is LOVE. I hope that as you are reading this, you, too, are reminded about the importance of L-O-V-E in life. I pray that you all are experiencing lots of it! 😀

So without further ado, Happy Valentine’s Day from our family to yours! <3

On another Valentine’s Day note, we went over to Peyton’s old sitter’s house on Monday and decorated heart cookies. Hillary and Savannah are very special to us, and we so appreciated this fun day with them! Hillary made THE BEST sugar cookies and icing (I MUST get the recipe!), and the girls got a kick out of decorating.

When we got home, Peyton enjoyed one of her cookies after lunch. If this doesn’t look like a happy kid, I don’t know what does! Thanks again, Mayne family, for the special Valentine’s play date!

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