Disney World, Orlando, FL | Anniversary Trip – Personal

Be sure to check out the first two days of our anniversary trip here and here!!

Our last day in Florida we headed to Disney’s Magic Kingdom. I was super excited about this part of our trip because – wait for it – I had never been to Disney before!! Yes, yes, it’s true…

Let me just say, not having experienced Disney as a child, making this trip with one of the Surfer Hub’s best friends and his little boy and seeing the park through his eyes made it just as magical.

Here’s a little group shot as we first entered the Magic Kingdom:

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And Surfer Hubs and I with the Great Goofini!

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I have to give credit to the wonderful landscapers and maintenance people… this park is pristine and the greenery is just gorgeous!!

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We managed to make it back to the the Castle just in time for the parade!!

**Here’s a little piece of advice** Don’t wear super thin flip flops or sandals to Disney. And if you do, find a little patch of shade to stand in. We waited for a few minutes for the parade to reach us and the pavement was so hot, the bottoms of my feet got burned. Through my sandals!! I would hate for that to happen to someone’s kiddo!

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This shot was taken inside the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. Isn’t this pully system amazing?! The treehouse looks just like the one they built in the movie!

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Surfer Hubs and his Princes… yes, I had to go there 😉

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And one last shot of Main Street:

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We had such a great day. Who would have thought you could do Disney with a 2.5 yr-old, no stroller, and he’d walk the whole park with no problem?? Jeff’s Little Man was a champ!! And the magic and excitement we all got to share with him – I wouldn’t trade that for the world!

Our First Anniversary | Personal

Yesterday, Surfer Hubs and I snuck down to Corolla, NC, to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. I couldn’t think of a better way to have spent the day. Just the two of us, and our furbabies, in our own little world. Chris fishing. Me reading. Us. Together. It was wonderful.

If I could give just one piece of relationship advice to newlyweds on how to make their their first year of marriage work, it would be to do just this. Spend time together, just the two of you, and shut the rest of the world out as often as possible. I’m not saying to become hermits and never spend time with friends or family, but when it’s just the two of you, let it be just the two of you. Create strong boundaries and you’ll be surprised how easy the rest will be.

And, just for fun, here are a few images from our wedding day, captured by our wonderful photographer and friend, Amanda Hedgepeth.

View More: http://amandahedgepethphotography.pass.us/anna--chris-signature-at-west-neck-virginia-beach-wedding

View More: http://amandahedgepethphotography.pass.us/anna--chris-signature-at-west-neck-virginia-beach-wedding

View More: http://amandahedgepethphotography.pass.us/anna--chris-signature-at-west-neck-virginia-beach-wedding

Happy Anniversary, Hunny!! I hope to celebrate so many, many more wonderful years with you!

Kayleigh is One Year Old!! | Noland Trail, Mariner’s Museum, Newport News, VA

Oh this family! And this sweet, sweet, darling, little girl!! They rock my world!!!!!
This is now the… FOURTH time I’ve had the pleasure of capturing Kayleigh’s milestones and I couldn’t have been more thrilled to see them again last week!
(Check out our previous sessions here, here, and here)

We kept our fingers crossed for sunshine and warmer temperatures and decided to meet again at Noland Trail, part of the Mariner’s Museum Park, in Newport News for our session. This park is a particular favorite for this family – mom’s an avid runner and has spent many hours and many miles enjoying the beautiful landscape of the trails around the museum. Thankfully, we were in luck, the weather cooperated, and we were able to capture some gorgeous images of this sweet little 1-year-old and her wonderful family. AND Miss Kayleigh’s momma even brought along a cake for a little cake smash!!

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I happened to remember Mis Kayleigh’s momma having an affinity for purple, so I put together this penant banner for our session. It worked perfectly with the little red wagon Miss Kayleigh had received as a birthday gift, just the day before!!

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How much fun is this wagon??

How much fun is this wagon??

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What little girl doesn’t love a string of pearls??!!

One very happy family!

One very happy family!

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Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!!

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!!

Thank you, Smith Family, for inviting me to capture so many milestones for your family!! Every session has been such a joy and Miss Kayleigh could not be any sweeter!

February | Goals and Making Lemonade

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Twelve lemons. 2013’s lemons. Finally ripe and ready to be made into something wonderful. Like lemonade. Or maybe a lemon chess pie…

When I picked these yesterday, I thought this was ironically fitting. And to add to the irony – there won’t be any lemons this year. All of the buds were frozen last fall when I didn’t get the trees in early enough one evening. One lemon for each month of a challenging year and now a year without lemons. And I’m perfectly okay with that. And I can’t wait to turn these lemons into something delicious – just like I’m working to turn last year’s challenges into this year’s victories!

January’s Goals:
(which didn’t get blogged in January, so you’re seeing them here for the first time)
Workout – gym, Jillian, something – woohoo!! I did great with this before coming down with the flu and will be getting back on that horse now that my cough is clearing up
clean out, clear out, put away everything Christmas
– tax docs done – I got a really good start on this, just a few deductions left to add in!
no spending – no clothes, shoes, or accessories purchased!! (I did have to buy a new printer… but this was a business purchase, not a personal one)
– learn more about SEO
have the trim painted at my house
– blog twice/week
– meal plan
read the Word
read for pleasure
take more non-client pictures – yay for beach snow!!
time for recharging – nothing like the flu to knock you on your behind and really make you sit back and take it easy
purge & organizethis is an ongoing effort, but we made great leaps in clearing clutter this month!

Goals for February:
– Keep up the workout efforts
– Design personal photo albums and finally get those pictures somewhere other than hard drives!
– File taxes
– Install new carpet in my house – last step before it goes on the market!!
– Organize my bedroom closet
– Make a freezer meal
– No spending – except Valentine’s Day
– One evening each week with my business (minimum)
– Read for pleasure
– Read the Word
– Something crafty
– Weekly date night with Chris
– Blog twice a week – this will happen one of these days, I know it will!
– Drink more water and take my vitamins every day

I’m excited to see how many of these get checked off! And… how many adventures we have in the process! Creating margin in my life means that while I have a list of things I’d like to accomplish, I can also be flexible enough to wonder off the beaten path and see what else is in store for this month. I’ll report back next month on my progress!

As a little reward for hanging in there and making it all the way to the bottom of today’s post, here’s Miss Molly, ready for me to stop photographing lemons and throw the ball already.

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Happy 2014 Ya’ll!! | 525,600 New Minutes

It’s amazing what a difference one day really can make. Today feels different. I feel different today. I feel excited and relieved and hopeful and… dare I say… motivated!

It is such a wonderful feeling to finally, FINALLY, be able to say that LAST year was a really rough year. Not this year. But last year. This is a new year. January 1, 2013 felt like a continuation of the struggles that started in 2012. This year, January 1, felt different. This year will be different. This year will be better; it feels better already!

While the surfer hubs and I were visiting my folks for Christmas, the youngest of Farmer Johnson’s daughters, the thespian of the group, while singing her way through our visit, like she does every day of her life – I swear, that girl’s life is a musical – reminded me of a song from Rent. I’ve seen a few other bloggers reference the song, but it was Nurse Melanie who made me really stop and think about how we measure each of those 525,600 minutes that we’re given every year. And about how I want to measure the moments that comprise those minutes of 2014.

More love, more laughter, more hope, more dreams, more doing, more seeing, more being.

And less of so many things like electronics and social media and television. And let’s not forget, less drama, less hurt, less pain, fewer tears.

More time with the people who matter the most to us and finding more of those awesome people to fill our lives with. More support, more encouragement, more togetherness.

It feels good to close the books on 2013. And it feels even better to start the next chapter and begin 2014. I’m looking forward to measuring all 525,600 amazing and wonderful minutes of it.