Letters to My Children | 23 Months + 24 Weeks (In My Belly)

Letters to My Children | 23 Months + 24 Weeks (In My Belly)

June 12, 2019

Dear Babies,

Summertime is officially here and I am loving every minute of it. The warm weather, the rainy days, the days at the beach, the days at the park, I’m excited for it all and to spend it with you. I feel as though time is flying by….but at the same time, I feel like it should already be Christmas time. I don’t want it to be Christmas time, I’m not ready to have to buy gifts for two kids yet! But I am ready to meet baby girl and for the two of you to play and laugh together. It’s going to be so cute!

To my oldest:

You are so talkative lately, it’s adorable! Sometimes you’ll say a recognizable word, followed by a bunch of gibberish, and then another recognizable word at the end. You are trying so hard to form sentences, and, I feel you! It’s hard sometimes! But, I know you’ll get there in your own time. I can communicate with you really easily. And you are starting to say actual sentences like “more yogurt please” or “thank you so much” but one of my favorites is “I love you mama”. I’m proud of you for all the things you’ve been learning lately. And for putting words together, you’re so smart.

Your loves right now include Lightening McQueen (you call him ‘a queen’), building blocks with mommy and daddy, Dora the Explorer, and eating non stop yogurt. You also love Spider-man and Hulk and watching any movies associated with those two.

What you’re learning this month is the alphabet and counting. You can count to six by yourself (sometimes you need a little help at 4) and you can sing along with mommy to the alphabet song. You are also learning some fun nursery rhymes like ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” and you will sing along to those as well. You love singing and sometimes I catch you doing it all by yourself and I just sit there and smile! I really hope you keep it up because it is adorable.

Oh my adorable little son, I can’t tell you how blessed I am that you are in my life. You make everything fun and worth while. Even those days where you may be having a bad day, I still can’t help but feel so blessed. And I’m so excited to see you jump into the role of big brother, you’re going to do so great.

To my youngest:

You are moving around so much! And I’m starting to be able to feel your kicks when I place my hand on my stomach. However, you always stop kicking when I get daddy to feel. You’re already a little trickster!

At our appointment this past week, when the midwife was trying to find your heartbeat, you were kicking the doppler so much and moving away from it. It took so long to find your heartbeat! The midwife said, “I know you’re OK in there! I just need to find your heartbeat!!” You were also moving so much you were making my stomach move. I love it when that happens and I’m looking forward to it happening more as you get bigger and stronger.

As far as I’m feeling with this pregnancy, I’m feeling great! I’ve actually been working out more the past two weeks and I feel amazing. I may not lose any weight or get any skinnier, but at least I’ll be healthy to give birth to you. I think the only complaint I might have about this pregnancy so far (aside from the morning sickness in the first trimester) is trouble sleeping! I have been waking up at 3, 4, 5 am every day this past week and can’t go back to sleep! So….I wake up and blog. Haha. But really, other than that, I am feeling really great. On occasion I have some aches and pains, but that’s to be expected with my growing, beautiful belly. I’m really just so blessed to be pregnant with you.

We’re so excited to meet you!! This next week daddy and I are going to buy you and your brother chest of drawers and toy organizer to set up your room. I’m excited for you two to have your toy room that you can play in together. I can’t wait to get it all set up in the next week or two!

I can’t wait to meet you, but you keep growing and being healthy. We love you so much already. And, although your brother might not know it, he’s going to love being your big brother, too!

I love you both so much. You have both taught me how to love more and how to be more selfless. I am forever grateful and blessed to be your mama.

I love you both.

Love, Mama

Letters to My Children | 22 Months + 20 Weeks (In My Belly)

Letters to My Children | 22 Months + 20 Weeks (In My Belly)

May 12, 2019

Dear Babies,

Today is Mother’s Day! And I can’t help but sit and reflect how blessed I truly am to be your mama! I have grown so much as a person since I became a mama, and I love being a mama so much. It was what I was meant to do, I can feel it. I’m so grateful for Mother’s Day and for me to reflect on how truly blessed I am. I don’t need gifts or treats (although, that is ALWAYS nice!) to remind me of how blessed I am. I can’t believe how lucky I got with not only an amazing husband, but adorable children as well. And although I have yet to meet my youngest, I just have a feeling they will be amazing, too. Thank you, little ones, for making this mama proud and happy. Happy Mother’s Day to me!

To my oldest:

Can you say terrible twos? Although you haven’t hit that milestone yet (just two more months!) you have definitely started to show the attitude of a two year old. Some days are very tiring and it’s definitely hard to be patient. But I just try to put myself in your shoes. And I know, life isn’t always fair. I too sometimes want to cry and scream when I don’t get my way. I understand. You won’t always be in this phase and I know the saying, ‘the days are long but the years are short’ is all too true. I want you to stay my little baby forever. But, that’s not reality or possible. You are so amazing and so smart. So, I will be patient for you. I will hold you when you cry and let you tell me what’s wrong. You usually calm down and tell me what’s wrong and then you’re well on your way to being happy.

I really appreciate how polite you are! You sometimes say ‘please’ but you almost always say ‘thank you’! And it’s quite honestly the cutest thing I’ve seen.

I’m starting to prepare for your SECOND birthday? How on earth did I give birth to you almost two years ago! I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun. It’s been such an amazing two years, you are my favorite little almost two year old!

I can see it now, you’re going to be such an amazing big brother! You have such a sweet heart (even though you’re in the terrible twos stage) and you really do show me the world with different eyes. I’m so happy to be your mama, you keep growing and you keep learning. Together, we’re going to do amazing things. You are so special and so loved, don’t ever forget it.

To my youngest:

This past week we got to SEE you on the ultrasound machine! We were able to see you wiggle and kick and even give us a thumbs up! Oh, and one other very important thing…we found out what gender you are! And……….YOU’RE A GIRL! A girl! I can’t believe it! I had this feeling for a while that I was going to have a girl, I couldn’t shake it. And I thought to myself, ‘if she isn’t a girl…I’m not sure what I’ll do!’. Then the ultrasound technician asked me if we wanted to find out gender and I said, ‘yes!’ and she asked if I had a guess. I told her I thought you were a girl…then after about 2 seconds she said, ‘you’re right! You’re having a girl’.

I’m so excited and may have already started planning what I want you to wear, all the pictures I’ll take of you, the bows I will put on your head (against my own mother’s wishes, I bet). I am so excited to have a girl! I do have to admit, though…I thought for sure I was going to be a complete boy mom. I’m glad that’s not the case!

Now I have to start collecting girl stuff (since I have NOTHING because of your older brother), figure out a middle name for you, and buy some things for the nursery. To say that I have a lot to do is an understatement…I still have to pinch myself sometimes, I can’t believe you’re joining our family! You are so loved, little girl. We’re all so excited to meet you and snuggle you. I can’t wait to see what you’ll look like – will you look like me and your older brother? Or will you look like your daddy? Will you have brown hair like your brother? Or blonde? Or maybe that reddish tint from your daddy’s side? I can’t wait to see what your little nose will look like, what your eyes and ears and mouth will look like!

But, to be honest, I of course can wait for you to grow and develop. Please come at the right time, when you are fully developed. I want to meet you so bad, but I can be patient (thanks to big brother!). You keep growing and developing like you’re supposed to. You’re perfect, little honey. You make me so happy.

I am also happy about the possibility of giving birth at a birth center! Some things have to line up perfectly for this to happen, but I have faith that if it’s meant to be, we will meet you there! It’s the closest I’ll get to a home birth. Although I really enjoyed your brothers birth, there were a few things that I’d like to change, and I feel these changes will happen at the birth center. I’m excited and I hope it happens!

Thank you both for making me a mother, for showing me how to love more, and for giving me a new purpose in life.

I love you both so much.

Love, Mama

Louisville KY Maternity Photographer

A Walk in The Rain

A Walk in The Rain

I love photowalks so much! There is something so relaxing about a walk in the rain, am I right? I took my son out the other day to walk in the rain. We just walked around our neighborhood and I tried to feel inspired by the elements around our apartment building. I’ve been reading a Breakout from ClickinMoms called the Art of the Photography by Sarah Gupta and it has really inspired me! She lives in New York City and she manages to make all of her photos look like shes out in the country. I was amazed and so inspired. I still have some things to practice, but if she can create beautiful images like she does in her city, then I can definitely do the same in mine.

Are you new to my site? You might like my How to Get Started in Macro Photography post, then! I hope you stick around!

I have always loved photo walks, but I think my photography is finally changing into something I love. It only took me four years. Give yourself time to learn and grow. I know I’ll be learning and growing for the rest of my life (in all things, not just photography).

So, on this walk I actually used three different lenses. I really wanted to capture images the way I wanted to. I think the next time I go on a walk, I’ll push myself and take only one lens. But here was my gear for the walk:

I’ll be sure to put my settings and which lens I used under each photo. I really do love photowalks! I hope you enjoy and get inspired yourself!

So my son actually has on a spiderman shirt underneath his cute sweater. I really didn’t want to take pictures of him in that shirt…but he didn’t want to take it off (he’s been really attached to the shirt this past week). But he was totally fine with having the sweater on! Luckily it was colder this morning so he wasn’t hot at all!!

Sigma 24 ISO 100 | f/2.0 | ss 1/1600

Sigma 85 ISO 100 | f/2.0 | ss 1/1600

Sigma 85 ISO 100 | f/2.0 | ss 1/1600

My son was tired of having me take pictures of him at this point…so I decided to turn to the nature. Rainy days are perfect for macro photography! This first image was taken with my Sigma 85 before I decided to switch to my macro lens.


Sigma 85 ISO 100 | f/2.0 | ss 1/1600

Nikon 105 ISO 500 | f/5.6 | ss 1/500

Nikon 105 ISO 1000 | f/5.6 | ss 1/500

Nikon 105 ISO 1000 | f/5.6 | ss 1/500

Then it was back to my Sigma 24 lens, which is honestly on my camera 85% of the time. Mostly because I’m indoors 85% of the time. I do find that my outdoor photography looks a lot better with my 85 lens and I am pushing myself to try and use that one more. I love the creaminess it gives my images when outside. Oh, I also wanted to point out that having a higher shutter speed (the lowest I tend to go is 1/250) is key to avoid camera shake and motion blur (unless you want this, of course!).


Sigma 24 ISO 100 | f/2.2 | ss 1/400

Sigma 24 ISO 100 | f/2.2 | ss 1/400

Then my son found a puddle to splash in. He loved jumping in the puddles. He really enjoyed it! But after a few splashes he decided to sit in the water haha! When he realized he was wet and messy he asked for ‘a tissue’ (which is what he always asks for if he ever gets messy). Sure, bud. You can have a tissue. It sure did make my morning so much funnier!


Sigma 24 ISO 100 | f/2.2 | ss 1/400

Sigma 24 ISO 100 | f/2.2 | ss 1/400

Messy bum haha!


Sigma 24 ISO 100 | f/2.2 | ss 1/250

As you can see from my settings, getting closer to the stairs, our light was getting darker. So in the above image, I brought my shutter speed down to 1/250. But I didn’t want to keep bringing my shutter speed down. So, instead, I brought my ISO up a little so that I could keep a fast shutter speed for the below images, while still keeping everything exposed (I actually purposefully underexpose my images, I just like the way they look better, I feel like they’re creamier).


Sigma 24 ISO 400 | f/2.2 | ss 1/500

Sigma 24 ISO 400 | f/2.2 | ss 1/500

He realized his bum was wet haha!!


Sigma 24 ISO 400 | f/2.2 | ss 1/500

Sigma 24 ISO 400 | f/2.2 | ss 1/500

If you have any questions, let me know! I encourage you to go on a photowalk. Rain or shine! Pro tip: if you go on a photowalk when it’s a bright sunny day, either go right before the sunsets (golden hour) or try and find some shade to shoot in. Overcast days you can go anytime and shoot anywhere (as long as no sun is peaking through, it could create hotspots if that’s the case). Just be mindful of the light you are using. You will like the images you get a lot more if you use the light thoughtfully.

Happy shooting!

Letters to My Children | 21 Months + 16 Weeks (In My Belly)

Letters to My Children | 21 Months + 16 Weeks (In My Belly)

April 13, 2019

Dear Babies,

I sometimes have to pinch myself that by the end of this year, I’ll have two babies to love and adore. Life is so good, dear sweet little ones. We are blessed beyond measure. We might not have a lot in way of physical things (like a house, for instance) but we are so happy. And it’s all because of you two. I can’t imagine life without either of you. You make life fun and interesting. You make my life whole and complete. I am so happy I get to be your mama.

To my oldest:

You are growing up way too fast. Please, slow down just a little bit. At 21 months, you can say way more than 50 words (I’m pretty sure you can say about 150 words, but I’ve never counted, so I can’t be sure). You know your colors really well. I thought for a while you just memorized what color each item was…but pretty soon you started pointing out all the colors around you and you were always right. I’m so impressed. You can also count to three, when you want to. Sometimes you start with two instead of one, but that’s ok. You’ll get it. You also know some of the alphabet, which I had no idea until I asked you one day if you knew what ‘A’ was, and you did. Reading books is the best thing I’ve ever done for you!

Besides being the smartest 21 month old I know, you are also really polite. You know when it’s appropriate to say ‘thank you’ and ‘please’. You are also learning ‘sorry’. But you definitely have ‘thank you’ down. You say it even when I’m not expecting you to. I just think you’re so adorable! And smart! And I’m so proud of you for all of your accomplishes. You really just make this mama smile.

You’re still breastfeeding. I love the connection breastfeeding brings us. I’m so happy we’ve been keeping it up. However, I am in the process of slowly weaning you. Last night, for example, you only nursed twice and for about 10 seconds each time. I was amazed and so happy. You slept so long last night. During the day you only nurse one time, usually around nap time. You’ve been eating more food, which I think definitely helps. I’m hoping you will be weaned by the time your sibling gets here. I don’t want to cut you off cold turkey because that’s just no my parenting style. I love our breastfeeding journey and I will be sad when I no longer get to breastfeed you. But I know you are ready to wean.

You love going to the park and sliding down the slide. It’s your favorite! When we first started going to the park, you would yell ‘no!’ at anyone who tried to slide down with you. You’ve gotten a lot better and now only look at them funny, haha! You also really love taking walks. And what I mean by that is that you actually walk around, no stroller. It’s cute and wears you out so I let you. And plus I need the exercise myself! You certainly keep me busy, little one. I love it so much ,though!

Keep growing, keep getting smarter, keep being your adorable self.

To my youngest:

Life got so much sweeter when we found out about you. I had a feeling pretty much right after I conceived that I was pregnant with you. I didn’t tell your daddy, though. I didn’t want to get his hopes up as well. Four weeks later I took a test and sure enough, there was the positive sign. When I told your daddy later that day, he was shocked but so happy! It took so long to get pregnant with your brother, we were expecting the exact same thing with you. But that wasn’t the case. And we are so so blessed.

We got to see you on the ultrasound when you were just 8 weeks (in my belly). You looked like such a cute little bean! And we saw your heart beat and you move. At our last appointment, we heard your heart beat again. I love that sound. Our next appointment we get to see you on the ultrasound again and fine out what you are. I’m so excited, little bean! I can’t believe I’m already that far in my pregnancy with you! This pregnancy is flying by. I feel like you’ll be here before I know it. And I’m happy about that. I can’t wait to give you hugs and kisses. I can’t wait to breastfeed you! I can’t wait for you to meet your older brother (you’ll love him, I promise). I can’t wait to pick out a name for you! I can’t wait till your daddy gets to hold you for the first time. You are already so loved, my little bean. Life is just so good.

I love you both so much.

Love, Mama

Aly Dawn Photography | Letters to my children

Letters to my Little One | 18 Months

Letters to my Little One | 18 Months

January 12, 2019

Dear Little Peanut,

I can’t believe you are 18 months. A year and a half of you and it just keeps getting better and better. I often think you can’t possibly get any cuter…and then next thing I know, you’ve grown a little, or you do something that makes us laugh. You truly feel our lives with laughter and I love it so much.

One thing you’ve recently started to do is say ‘ready, set, go!’ Only it sounds more like ‘reddy, se, do!’ You typically say this right before you start hitting things. You collect a ton of different things in your lap and then you’ll say ready, set, go and start frantically hitting them. It’s hilarious! I love it so much. The other day at the store you started saying it and I would push the cart super fast and you would just giggle so much!

Something you’re actually doing right now as I type this and recently found funny is blowing on the desk chair to make a fart noise…you’re such a boy! But when you blow and make a funny noise you just crack up laughing! It’s adorable!! And it makes me laugh, too.

You recently love bath time. You even ask for a ‘beth’ all the time. It makes me start thinking, where did my little baby go? You’re growing up. You’re learning what you like and what you don’t like. Your little personality is growing and developing everyday! I’m desperately trying to hold on to the memories, and images definitely help with that. I take videos of you all the time, as well. I love looking back at them and seeing how little you once were.

Another thing I never want to forget: how you always have to hold something small in your hand. You’ll find a rock outside and will hold onto it for the rest of the day. Or a dice. Or a small toy. Or a marble. I actually just checked to see if you had something in your hand, and you do! An orange dice that you probably got from grandma’s house. When you first started doing this, I worried that you might try to put them in your mouth…but you don’t. You somehow understand that only food goes in your mouth, which I’m grateful and blessed because I know that’s not always the case for all kids.

Turning 18 months old means that you get to go into nursery at church, which is for 18 months – 3 year olds. You went this past Sunday and seemed excited to play with the toys. When I came to pick you up you burst into tears. The nursery leaders told us you were pretty happy the whole time. I’m hopeful that this week will be better. 🙂 I want you to start making friends and learning from other children. It breaks my heart to see you cry and that upset, though. Being an attached parent, I didn’t want to drop you off and then just leave you to cry. So I waited until you got distracted and then slipped out. I think that is the key. I will never leave you in there crying. Because I think that is abrupt and mean to do. I’m hoping you’ll start to like it, you did seem to really like the toys in there. And you already know where they are!

Your favorite meal recently is black beans and rice. You actually ask for it. I also try to get you to eat anything and everything I’m eating, but sometimes you are very picky. Which is typical of a toddler, so I don’t get too offended when you don’t want to try my cooking. 🙂 I’m so proud when you do try something new, though. Even if you don’t like it. At least you tried it!

All in all, you keep us on our toes. There’s always something new to laugh about with you. There’s always something new to explore. And you really love making your daddy laugh. Oh, speaking of daddy, he’s still your buddy. Sometimes when you wake up, you’ll ask for ‘dada’ and I’ll have to say that he’s at work or school. And you’ll be sad for a little bit before playing again. But once daddy comes home, you usually run and give him a hug and a kiss! It’s so sweet. You love snuggling your daddy. You often have a hard time going to sleep at night before snuggling and giving daddy a kiss first. Which is so cute. And of course, your daddy just loves it.

I hope you know or feel the love your parents have for you. Your whole family has for you. We all really enjoy watching you grow and learn. There are so many people who love you. Who have loved you from the time they found out I was expecting a child. I often pray to Heavenly Father and thank him for the sweet spirit he sent me. He answered my prayers when we were trying to conceive…I used to ask Him, when He was ready, to send me one of his sweetest spirits he could…and you know what? He did. You are amazing. And you have so much love and excitement for everything. I love seeing the world through your eyes. And I hope you always keep this excitement.

I love you so much.

Love, Mama