photography tips + tricks

5 Easy Steps to Getting a Blurry Background

So you finally have that nice camera that allows you to switch the lens (also known as a DSLR camera) thinking you’re all set to take beautiful pictures. And, for the most part, you will get beautiful images. However, you’ll start to realize that you can’t get that blurred background you see all these other photographers get.  I know when I first started photography, I really wanted to get blurry backgrounds. But, I was shooting on auto mode and didn’t understand anything about manual mode. When I discovered how to get that blurry background, my photography literally changed for the better and it just got better and better from there. Getting a blurry background is easy. I’ll break it down in five easy steps.

need some inspiration? check out my 5 Ways to Shoot the Same Subject post.

5 Easy Steps to Getting a Blurry Background (1)This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you in advance for supporting Aly Dawn Photography!

I suppose the number one tip is to learn manual mode. Learning manual mode is the very first step. Manual mode is great because it allows you to control everything. It allows you to get the images you really want. And, yes, it will even allow you to get those blurry images you so desire. I really enjoyed Clickin Moms Mastering Manual Exposure class. It taught me all I needed to know about manual exposure, plus you get to keep all the material they give you for reference. After mastering manual exposure, here’s the steps to getting that blurred background you so desire.

1. get the right lens

When I first started out, I only had a kit lens. A kit lens is usually the lens that comes with the camera. They typically have a name of Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G. The part that makes this lens not the greatest is the aperture. Because it says f/3.5-5.6 it means that the aperture could change depending on the focal length (18mm versus 55mm and so forth). This makes it extremely difficult to learn manual, so if you’re trying to learn manual with a kit lens, I suggest you take the plunge and upgrade. A great first lens is the Nikon 50mm 1.8 for Nikon and the Canon 50mm 1.4 for Canon. They are literally the cheapest lenses out there. But they are good quality and great for starting out. These lenses allow you to have apertures of 1.8 and 1.4 which is what you want in order to get that blurred background.


2. aperture

Getting the right lens will allow you to use a wider aperture (the lower the number, the blurrier the background. The higher the number, more of the image is in focus). When setting up your shot, make sure your aperture is about a 2.5 or lower. Shooting wide open (the lowest number your lens can go) will definitely give you a blurry background, however, it will be hard to get what you want in focus to be in focus. So I usually like the aperture to be around a 2.


3. pull your subject away from the background

Yes, that’s right, pull your subject far away from that background. I’m talking a few feet, if not more. The farther the background is from the subject, the blurrier it will be. Which brings up my next point of depth of field.


4. depth of field

Depth of field is basically what we’ve been talking about this whole blog post! The distance to you and your subject, the distance from the subject to the background, lens focal length (50mm, 24mm, 85mm), and aperture all play a part in depth of field. So, for me, I like to practice being far away from my subject and being close. Since I usually have my Sigma 24 1.4 lens on (literally the best lens in the world and everyone should own one!) I tend to stand pretty close to my subject if I want to blur the background. The reason I would have to stand closer is because the 24 is a wide angle lens, which means more of the scene can be captured. By standing far away from my subject, I won’t get as much blur as an 85mm lens would. I could literally write a whole blog post on depth of field. There’s so much to it. But for this post, try standing close to your subject (while the subject is far away from the background) and then try standing a little further from your subject. Look and see how the background changes. Is one way blurrier than the other?

5. practice

Practice, practice, practice! First get good at manual exposure. Then buy yourself a new lens (I give your permission!). Then make sure your aperture is wide open (or close to it) and have your subject move far away from the background. You’ll get those blurry backgrounds you so desire in no time.


Like what you read? pin it for later!


aly dawn personal · momma bee

Letters to My Little One | 1 Month Old


Saturday, August 12, 2017

To my little peanut,

I’m nearly in tears writing this. No really. You’re one month already? Where did that month go? I feel like it was just yesterday that I was still pregnant with you wondering when you’d make your appearance. Wondering what you’d look like. Now I know! You have the most perfect little nose ever. You have my lips and I love it when you smile! Your face is adorable, even when you’re upset. I can’t get over how cute you are and that you’re all mine!

Things you love: momma and daddy snuggles, kicking, back time, napping, staring at faces, smiling, and bath time. You love to be clean, whether it’s bath time or just changing your diaper. You love it. I hope you continue to love that! You like it when daddy does bicycles to help you get gas relief (poor little one!). Life as a one month old seems pretty sweet to you!

Things we love about you: of course we love the snuggles! I love how alert you are and how you love staring at me. I love how you try to talk to me, but can’t, and only get a few sounds out. I love how you sometimes just need to snuggle to calm down. I love your smiles and how you smile at me when you realize it’s me. I love the noises you make. I love it when you start to wake up. Your eyes open and close and your face starts twitching. You smile occasionally. It’s the cutest thing! I love it when you laugh in your sleep. It’s adorable! Your daddy loves to come home from work and snuggle you. He loves telling you about his day and talking to you about yours. Your daddy really loves you and it’s so cute! I love that you can recognize my voice and face. I love being your momma.

Really, this month has gone by so fast. I really wish I could slow time down. Everyone warned me about how they ‘grow up too fast’. I believe them now. My little momma heart is so full and happy. I love being your momma and I love our family. You really made my heart grow bigger with love when I first saw you. You’ve changed my life for the better and I can’t imagine it without you. I am so excited to watch you grow. To teach you. To be there for you.

Grow, little one, and be healthy. But don’t grow too quickly. My little momma heart can’t take it. You’re amazing. I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.

I love you so much!

Love, mommy


editing tips + tricks · photography tips + tricks

10 Must Read Photography Books

There are so many things to learn when it comes to photography. Which is one of the reasons I love it so much. But trying to learn these concepts on  your own can be quite the challenge. There are plenty of wonderful books out there to help you learn new techniques. From editing, to taking the picture, to even blogging, there are tons and tons of books out there. Here are my must read books regarding anything related to photography.

need some help setting goals? check out my Settings Goals post.



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1. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5: Classroom in a Book – I am very slowly making my way through this book. But just within the first 40 pages I have learned so much! If you are a newbie to Lightroom like I am, this book is definitely the one for you. I love how it has exercises that you can follow along with. It has a hands on approach and I love it. I’m excited to continue going through it and learning more about Lightroom.

2. Adobe Photoshop CC Classroom in a Book (2017 release) – I do not have this book, but I assume it’s similar to the one above. I have Creative Cloud (CC) and would most likely benefit from this book. If you need help with Creative Cloud and need a little more help than just with Lightroom, this is the book for you.

3. The Design Aglow Posing Guide for Family Portrait Photography: 100 Modern Ideas for Photographing Newborns, Babies, Children, and Families – This book has so many great ideas and tips to creating images. Not only are there tips on every page, but every photograph has the settings that were used and what type of light was used. Reading through the book is easy and fun. The pictures are beautiful and the tips are so helpful. A must read!

4. Mastering Exposure – This book takes you through the basics of exposure – ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. It breaks each one down and explains them better. Then after that it goes through and explains how to achieve certain effects with specific settings. It’s a great read and will definitely help you if feel like you are struggling with exposure.

5. Mastering Composition – Just like Mastering Exposure, this book will also take you through the basics of composition and then go more in depth on how to get certain comps.

6. Skin: The Complete Guide to Digitally Lighting, Photographing, and Retouching Faces and Bodies – I haven’t read this book but it is definitely on my list! I have heard great things about it. Skin in photographs is probably one of the hardest things to get correct. This book will help you do just that each and every time you edit your images! Going along with this book, another great guide is Flawless: The Secrets of Skin (Sarah Wilkerson) from Clickin Moms.

7. Photographic Composition: A Visual Guide – I’ve had my eye on this book for quite a while, but I need to finish a few books before buying any more! This book has beautiful photographs, with an in-depth breakdown of the photographs and why the composition works for it. Definitely buying this one next!

8. Capture the Moment: The Modern Photographer’s Guide to Finding Beauty in Everyday and Family Life – This book is next on my list of books to buy. Created by Clickin Moms, this book goes through natural light, composition, storytelling, fine art, black & white, low light, and the technical aspects of photography. Along with having beautiful images for each category, there are also creative exercises to try and perfect. This book is perfect for getting out of a rut and being inspired.

9. Mastering Macro Photography – This book comes out October 1, 2017 and I am beyond excited about it. It is similar to Mastering Exposure and Mastering Composition – made and written by the same company. This book is sure to have beautiful photographs along with ways to achieve certain macro effects. Looking at Amazon, it will also explain the best equipment to use to get macro photographs. I’m really excited to get this book, I know it will help my macro photography.

10. Mastering Landscape Photography – Landscape photography is something that I dream of becoming better at and this book will help me do just that. I love the images in this book and the beautiful ways David Taylor explains things.

There are so many books out there. What photography (or editing, writing, blogging) books do you recommend? Post in the comments below!


editing tips + tricks

Why You Should Be Comparing Your Photos in Lightroom

I love Lightroom. I started off using Photoshop. It was just the first thing I could get my hands on and I really didn’t know much about Lightroom at the time. Photoshop was a little overwhelming at first, but I was able to edit my images they way I wanted to. Then I finally got introduced to Lightroom. And, I’ll be honest, I thought it was hard. I didn’t understand how to edit images. I didn’t like it at first. But, I started watching tutorials and reading some helpful blog posts, and I finally was able to realize that Lightroom is actually far easier to work in than Photoshop. If you haven’t used Lightroom before, give it a go. It’s user friendly, you can do almost everything you want in it, and if you really need to, you can upload your photos into Photoshop for the finishing touches.

need some blogging ideas? check out my 100 photography blog post ideas.


This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you in advance for supporting Aly Dawn Photography!

Lightroom has this really awesome feature that allows you to compare images while you are editing them. Basically, you can pick one image as your reference image, and then an image that you are working on, called the active image. This feature is truly amazing and is one of the many reasons why I love Lightroom. All you simply do is click on the R|R button in light room, down where you can few just the image you are working on, reference, or see a before and after. After clicking the R|R button, you simply drag the image you want into the reference slot. After that, you can edit any picture you want and it will show up in the active spot. This feature is a life saver! Here are a few reasons why you should be comparing your photos in Lightroom.

it helps you have consistency in your work

This is a big deal. Having consistency in your work makes you look a little more professional. And who doesn’t want that? Say you had a photo shoot with a client. You want all of those images to look similar, to have the same feel to them. That’s why this feature is awesome! You can make sure your editing is the same, white balance, and overall feel of the image.

it helps you have consistent white balance

Speaking of white balance – I will be honest and say that white balance is probably my biggest problem. I think since using this feature in Lightroom I’ve been having more consistent white balance across all of my images. I really strive for consistency, but it is pretty hard. This feature definitely helps with that.

it will help you grow as a photographer

I think this goes without saying. The more consistent your work is, the better your photography will become. The more you compare and make sure each photo is consistent with the last, the easier it will become to get your white balance correct across all images.

Lightroom has many great features just like this one. What is one reason why you love Lightroom? Or are your a Photoshop person? Why do you prefer Photoshop more? Tell me in the comments!


blogging tips + tricks

Afternoon Walk by Aly Dawn

I love going on walks. I started going on walks when I was pregnant with my sweet baby boy. And I’m so excited to continue my afternoon walks with my son. I love walks because they are relaxing. I love listening to the birds chirping. I love the wind on my face. There’s this one part of my neighborhood that has flowers. I’m always drawn to this spot. I love the light and I love the flowers – win win! I always forget my macro lens, though. One day I will bring it!

need some motivation to go on a walk? check out my Photo Walks : Why They Are Good For Your Photography.

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all images taken on my Nikon D610 and my Sigma 24mm lens


photography tips + tricks

Why You Should Take Pictures at Different Times of the Day

We all have that one time of the day that we just love to photograph. For most, it’s probably the golden hour. For others, it’s probably mid-day inside. Lighting is really important in photography. It helps define your style. It also helps bring your photographs to life. Flat lighting is still fine, not every image has to be award winning. Life happens around all types of lighting, and as a photographer, you just have to learn how to use that light. There’s some hard lighting, soft lighting, tricky lighting, artificial lighting, natural lighting, the list goes on. Learning how to use each type of lighting will definitely benefit you as a photographer. Keep reading to see why.

need some ideas to shoot the same subject? check out my 5 Ways to Shoot the Same Subject post.


This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you in advance for supporting Aly Dawn Photography!

All images in this post were posted on my Nikon D610 with my Sigma 24mm lens.

it helps you learn how to use each light

Taking images through-out all different types of light helps you learn how to use that light. When I first started photography, I got stuck ONLY photographing at the golden hour for a few reasons. One being that I just loved the images I got. The light was so pretty! Another reason being that it was easy. I knew how to work the golden hour. Around this time last year I bought a breakout from Clickin Moms (Discover the Magic in Everyday Light by Gina Yeo) that forever changed the way I looked at light. It challenged me to get out there and photograph different types of light, not just back-light. I hope this post does the same for you.

you’ll get more variety in your images

Just like I mentioned above, you won’t just be photographing the type of light you know and love. You won’t just have back-lighting, you’ll also have side light, butterfly light, harsh light, full sun, directional light, overcast light, and so forth. You’ll have to much more to add to your portfolio. It’s important to practice and learn about all types of light.

Here’s a good exercise to try. Take a picture of the same subject at different times of the day.  I often go on walks around my neighborhood around the same time everyday. That time is around the golden hour time. I would always take my camera, but I wouldn’t always come home with images. I was just fresh out of ideas. I finally went on a walk earlier in the day, when the sun was higher. I was inspired again and got different images than usual.

All of the following images were taking at the same location, different times. (I even checked the times in Lightroom to confirm!)

This first image was taken at around 11 am.


This next image was taken at 7:30 pm (my normal time to walk around the neighborhood!)


And these last two were taken at 4:30 pm. For me, these last two have the most ideal lighting (it looks closer to golden hour than the 7:30 pm one!).



you’ll be able to take great images anywhere, anytime

You won’t be limited to just that golden hour light. You can take an amazing picture anywhere, anytime! You can make any light work for you.

Here’s another fun exercise you can try. Get a subject (a person, an animal, even a stuffed animal will do, just get a subject and stick with it). Next, pick different times and locations. Now, try and photograph this subject with different light. The reason to have the same subject is to see how the image changes.

I picked my sister as my subject.

Shade light


Mixed lighting – artificial and natural


Dappled lighting


Open shade/dappled lighting


Back light


It’s so fun to see the different images you can get with the lighting. Go out and practice!

Light is the heart of a photograph, it brings it to life. Learning to use it is essential. Another exercise (similar to the one above) is to pick one location and photograph the same subject during different times of the day. You’ll get all different types of light. Pick one outdoor location and one indoor location, and one subject. You’ll see how the different light effects the subject in different ways. For the indoor location, be sure to pick one with a window to work with natural light. Have fun experimenting, and be sure to share them!


aly dawn personal · momma bee

My Boy – 2 Weeks Old


He was 2 weeks old on July 26th! I can hardly believe it. He has already changed so much from the day he was born. Things he loves: momma + daddy, sleep, breastfeeding, and talking with daddy. He’s officially a pro at breastfeeding. He loves to look around and listen to what you have to say. He’s usually really relaxed and chill. He hates being put down for sleep. He hates it when his diaper is dirty (even just a tiny bit wet!). He never pees while he’s sleeping – he usually wakes up first and then pees (I’ve learned this from experience!). He sleeps pretty well through the night, only waking up a little bit to feed and then he goes right back to bed. At 2 weeks old he has me crying and wishing I could slow down time already.

Things we love about him: the faces he makes, his sweet smiles while sleeping, cuddling with him, kissing him all over, I could literally go on and on. We are so totally in love. I love his hands, his feet, his eyes, his lips, his nose, his hair, his cute thoughtful looks. I love how he loves to snuggle with me. I hate it when he cries and love that I can usually comfort him. I love that he is mine for eternity. I love that I am sealed to him with my husband. I love that we are a family. I love him. I can’t wait for his personality to come out. But, please, little one, don’t grow up too fast. My little momma heart can’t take it!



aly dawn personal · momma bee

Welcome, Little One

This blog has been really quiet and I think I have a good excuse for it – my son finally arrived July 12, 2017 at 8:34 am. He was 13 days over due. All images in this post (except for the last few of my boy) were taken by my sister, Melanie. Now that I’m finally getting the hang of things (like putting sweet baby boy down for a nap, for example) I will be blogging much more. I have some new tutorials and blog post ideas coming out this month and next. But as for right now, my birth story. I hope you enjoy!


On July 10th, I had an ultrasound and non stress test and they scheduled me for a balloon induction the next day (July 11) at 7 pm. The balloon induction meant they would insert balloons and inflate them on my cervix for 12 hours (or when my cervix is opened to 7 cm) before they would give me pitocin. Pitocin was something I was against so I was really optimistic about the balloons.

On July 11th, when I am scheduled for balloon induction that night, I actually start having contractions. They’re totally doable – nothing too bad. My uterus was working hard to get the cervix to open up. I wasted the day with Melanie watching movies and playing games. Throughout the day she would monitor my contractions and track how long apart they were. Some were 5 minutes apart, while others were 10-15 minutes.

When it came time to actually go to the hospital, I received a phone call saying to wait to come because they didn’t have any rooms available for me. I waited for the second call telling us they had a room ready and we went in (this was around 7:10 pm). Once there, we received a triage room which was to check mine and the baby’s vitals and the room they would insert the balloons in. It wasn’t the birth room, though. This room was tiny. It was big enough for a small bed, a chair, and the monitors. Our nurses name was Jessica, she would continue to be my nurse until about 5 or 6 in the morning.


As Cody and I sat there waiting for a birth room, my contractions started getting a little more intense, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I would breathe through them and remind myself that this was what my body was supposed to do. It was doing everything right. I trusted my body and my baby. Since my contractions were getting more and more intense, I decided to call my mom and tell her to come (around 9 pm). She was there 20 mins later with Melanie (my sister and photographer!), both were giddy and excited. By this time, the balloons were already in place. They were a little uncomfortable. By the time we got a room, I believe it was around 11 pm. We got there at 7 pm. I’m not sure what took them so long to get the room ready. I know the room I was in had to be cleaned. I didn’t get a tub room, either. I was a little bummed because I thought a bath would have been nice.


To pass the time we turned on the TV and watched random shows like Fuller House and Fixer Upper (I love both of those shows). I knew it was going to be a long night for me – I couldn’t sleep through the contractions, they were too intense. I tried to distract myself by saying I’ll meet my baby soon. My water broke at around 2:30 am – at first I was terrified it was the balloons (they were filled with water) but when I pulled on the tube leading to the balloons, they didn’t budge. My nurse, Jessica, came to check and see if it was my water, and she confirmed that my water did break. As the night went on, I kept leaking water all over the place as I walked around, bounced on the ball, or went to the rest room. I really didn’t like it, I felt like I was peeing all over the place!

I don’t remember when, but my contractions started to become extremely painful. They no longer hurt my stomach, but my back. These new contractions were so painful. It took all I had to breathe through them. I yelled out in pain a few times. At this point I started to not care who was around me (except for my husband, I wanted to feel him near me at all times). I started to get discouraged – the balloons STILL had not come out (they were supposed to come out at 7 centimeters) which meant I would be laboring for quite a long time. It was around 4 am that my mom noticed that I was having back labor instead of regular labor. I also got sick and threw up around the time my contractions changed. That was not pleasant at all.


At around 6 am I started thinking I can’t do this much longer. I’m going to have to get an epidural. I really wanted a natural birth so it was upsetting me quite a bit. I started thinking I wasn’t strong enough. I had so many doubts because I really thought I could do this birth thing. I thought I could birth my baby naturally.  I tried getting on my hands and knees, rocking, anything. The only thing that was working at this point was sitting on the toilet and just enduring each contraction. My nurse switched from Jessica to Jodi at around 7 am. My mom explained to this new nurse what was going on. How she believed I had back labor and that the balloons were still in. My mom asked if I could have an epidural and she also asked how far dilated would be too late for an epidural. Jodi said as long as I could sit still, she could do it. It was around this time that my legs started to shake uncontrollably. It was so annoying. When Jodi saw this, she thought it would be a good idea to check and see how dilated I really was (the balloons were supposed to stay in until 8 am). When she checked it hurt SO bad. I cried out in pain. But the news she gave me was amazing. Jodi said, “I believe she’s at 9 centimeters! I’m going to get another nurse to check.” When the other nurse came in to check, she said the same thing – 9 centimeters! I couldn’t believe it. So, they took the balloons out and started prepping for the birth of my child. And I knew I could do this. I felt empowered again.

My contractions changed again. They hurt – they hurt bad, but it suddenly didn’t matter. I was going to meet my son soon. While another nurse prepped the room, Jodi started prepping me. After I was prepped and ready, she started having me push. This was around 7:45 am. Pushing was the easiest part of this whole birth experience. I pushed so hard, I could feel my baby moving down and out of my body. I was so exhausted at this point that I actually started to fall asleep after each contraction. I couldn’t keep my eyes open and my body became relaxed. The contractions started coming slower – more time passed between each contraction. The midwives arrived the last 15 mins of pushing.


When the final push happened and my baby boy was suddenly on my chest, all the pain I felt, all the uncertainties I had, they all vanished. All that mattered was that my baby boy was on my chest and he was beautiful. Everyone was crying – my mom, Melanie, Cody – except for me. I was just so overjoyed with my baby finally being here. And I was also on an adrenaline rush – I was suddenly not tired at all! Even though I labored all night and didn’t get any sleep (except for in-between each pushing contraction!). The tears came later when I finally realized that I was a mother. That I had to care for this beautiful little human being. That he needed me. And that he was mine forever.




After the excitement died down, we were able to enjoy skin on skin contact with our newest addition. Then after about an hour, he got his first bath and he was weighed and measured. He weighed in at 8 lbs 6 ozs and was 20 1/2 inches long.


These images just melt my momma heart! I am so blessed and thankful that my sister was able to take them for me while I recovered.



I am forever grateful for my husband. I have fallen even more in love with him since the birth of our son. He is so helpful, caring, and patient. He loves our little boy so much. And of course it’s nice that he takes care of him and changes some diapers for me!



And grandma can’t get enough of his sweet cheeks.


My mom and sister stayed for a little while and then went home. They had a long night and had some things to do that day. My husband, son, and I got time alone in the big birth room. We bonded and started learning how to be a family. Usually, at this hospital, they move you from the birth room to the recovery room after two hours. He was born at 8:34 am and we didn’t move to the recovery room until around 3 pm. It was really nice – the nurses left us alone for most of that day and we bonded with our newborn son. I was so exhausted and tired from giving birth that I didn’t pick up my camera until two days later – the day we left the hospital. I am so glad I finally made myself get up and take pictures. I was too exhausted to get the pictures I really wanted, but I am happy I got some.





Welcome to the world, little one.



aly dawn personal · momma bee

40 Weeks Pregnant – Day in the Life

This blog has been quiet. I will blame it on the stress of getting ready for baby, finishing work, and being pregnant. I am now fully on maternity leave starting yesterday – my due date, June 29th, 2017. I normally write letters to my little one each week. But, I’ve been having such a hard time picking up my camera lately, I thought the first day I didn’t have to go to work would be the perfect day to do a day in the life. I’m not good at these. In fact, I missed half the day yesterday! But I still got images that I love! I took so many images, and I think I may have gotten myself out of my little rut. It was also a lot of fun to do a day in the life this day, because my husband doesn’t work Thursdays at all and he was able to spend the whole day with me. It was so much fun! I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them. And, yes, I am still pregnant (as of when I scheduled this post!) at 40 weeks. Patiently waiting for my little one to get here, but enjoying the time and freedom I have with my husband.

We started the day off with a doctor’s appointment. Well, it’s actually a midwife appointment. These midwifes are awesome and really listen to what I want. I didn’t get the images I wanted in the clinic, I only got one. I’m still a little camera shy when it comes to taking pictures in public. If you have any tips about that, I would love to hear them in the comments below. 🙂




We then came home and my husband went to the gym and store while I stayed home and took a nap. 🙂 It was really nice not having to go back to work like I usually would the day of my doctor appointments (I always scheduled them for Thursdays so my husband didn’t have to worry about taking off work). That nap was much needed. I woke up feeling refreshed and relaxed. That usually doesn’t happen when I take naps, I’m usually cranky! When he came home from the gym, we cleaned a little and vacuumed. (I guess I should say HE cleaned and vacuumed while I played with the dogs and took pictures!!). Khannie doesn’t like it when he uses the vacuum like this – she always tries to get it.2017-06-29_0004

After that we relaxed and played video games, because what else do you do on your day off? I also was able to squeeze in some reading. I am reading about breastfeeding – I am so excited for this experience with my little one!




My feet started hurting me so I asked my husband to rub them.


I relaxed on the couch and snuggled my pup. After our little one gets here my pup will be competing for lap space. 🙂


I then decided I wanted some cookies, so I made some! Of course I’m pretty lazy (hello week 40 of pregnancy!) so I bought some from the store earlier that week. They’re so yummy. 2017-06-29_0010

After that we relaxed some more (I know, we’re such a fun family, right?!).


But then we decided to go on this walking bridge – you know, to try to help get baby boy to come. It was a little hot, and walking up that ramp was something else at 40 weeks pregnant! But once up there, the breeze was so nice. And the clouds were to die for.




The bridge I used to cross every day to get to work. And a rainbow!



We didn’t go all the way across the bridge (it’s a long bridge. I think round trip is 2 miles) because my feet started hurting, and I mean, I’m 40 weeks pregnant! So we started heading back.



We decided to explore this little part of the ramp that had clay hearts with glass pieces in them. I wish it said who made them. But they were pretty!






We then decided to head to the park that’s right next to the bridge to let my little sister play. On the way there I saw some pretty plants in sunlight…so of course, I had to stop. 😉





I was pretty tired by then so I only chased my sister around for about a minute.


Then we left.


To end the day we got some ice cream and headed back home. I didn’t get any pictures of the ice cream – I was pretty exhausted by then! And the ice cream was messy. But overall, what a great way to spend my due date. So happy my husband didn’t have to work and I didn’t have to work. Now on to patiently waiting for the arrival of our little one.


aly dawn personal · momma bee

Letters to My Little One | 36 Weeks In My Belly



Thursday, June 1, 2017

To my little peanut,


I just wrote June, little one. June will most likely be your birth month (unless you decide you are too comfortable and wait till July!). Your due date is fast approaching! Physically, I feel great! I’m starting to move a little slower and waddle, but I really do feel great.  I can feel your big movements everyday. You are definitely starting to run out of room, I can tell. Don’t worry! We’re almost there! Then you’ll be outside of the womb and in my arms. And I will snuggle you so much and love you so much. Just 4 more weeks to go, little one.

I love it when your daddy explains why he is so excited for you to come. He’s excited to hold you. He’s excited to teach you. He’s excited to watch you learn on your own. He’s excited to watch you grow and develop. He’s excited to see you smile for the first time. But, most importantly, he’s excited to be your dad. (Little side note, little one, if you came on Father’s Day, I think I’d be OK with that!). I can tell as time is getting closer to your arrival just how excited daddy is about you coming into this world. And I am excited, too! You’ve definitely got us both wrapped around your cute little fingers already. And you’re not even in our arms yet!

I think we are pretty much ready for you. We have so many cute little outfits for you, some toys, and some books! You also have a really nice stroller and car seat for all of your travel needs. One thing we have yet to do is set up your crib. But that’s on the agenda this weekend, so don’t worry about your sleeping arrangements when you arrive. Mommy and daddy have you covered.

I’m in shock. I really can’t believe it is June. I remember when I found out I was pregnant, last October, I couldn’t believe it. We had tried for so long to get pregnant. And there was the little ‘pregnant’ sign on my pregnancy test saying I was pregnant with you. And now I am shock that it’s June. That the due date of June 29th is only 4 short weeks away. A month really isn’t that long at all. I am so excited to hold you. To care for you. To love you. To watch you grow. To see those hiccups in real life (you are hiccuping right now as I type this, it’s so cute!). To teach you about anything and everything. You’re a miracle, little one, you always will be in my eyes. You make me so happy already I’m not sure how I could be happier once you’re here, but I know I will be!

The count down is on.

I love you so much!

Love, mommy