Hey Jude,

Happy 2nd Birthday. It seems to me that you just arrived in my arms and into our home, but there is evidence of you everywhere. Your name is written on my heart. We’re connected in a space that knows no time or boundaries. I’m so grateful you found me. Here’s your Jude At Two list- it’s everything you need to know about you at two.

IMG_9893

You are Mischievous. Oh my dear how you get into everything. You must touch, explore, throw, and stomp on every object you find. I know, you know, you’re being terrible- but you have this devilish grin that helps you get away with even the most horrible of offenses.

Jude running

-4

You love sports. You call every sport, ball. If we pass a park you shout BALL!BALL! You love to play catch. You love to play soccer. I tell myself that all that throwing will someday pay off once your drafted and you buy me a house on the shore. I want to be very specific- any Victorian in Cape May will do. I deserve it Darling, keeping up with you is a lot like chasing a new puppy around a glass showroom. That’s right kid, buy your Mama a house!

-12

jude in the grass

You are a cuddle bug. You will cuddle any time, any day. You will cuddle anyone who would like a cuddle. You are most likely to cuddle after you wake up and when you’re sick- those are the best cuddles around. Your Dad really takes advantage of this on the weekends! You’ve had this ability to cuddle since you were a newborn- as long as you can hear a heartbeat you are content to stay put.

photo 4

IMG_4557

You are beautiful. You are so beautiful. Big brown eyes, loopy curls on your head, and the sweetest sun kissed cheeks. You’re so adorable that I just know you’ll be a heart breaker someday and it will be 100% my fault because I cuddle you all day long and tell you how cute you are even when you’re being terrible. (see this full list for reference)  Don’t let it go to your head darling, there are millions of beautiful people! Do your best to be a gentleman & scholar- you’ll stand out from all the rest.

-20

You are (sort of) adventurous. I don’t understand your need to make my heart stop 10 times a minute. You love to swim- but you don’t know how. You love to jump- always too high. You love to swing- you’d love it more if I’d let you flip over. Your all adventure and dirt. BUT there is this tiny part of you that is really hesitant to try new things. You’ll get there but you have to warm up to the idea. Once you have the hang of it though, there’s no stopping you.

-10

You are moody. This might just be part of  you being a two year old but, I’m already over it. One second you’re supremely happy and the next you’re uncomfortable and cranky. Check back next year to see if this trait has improved.

IMG_4037

IMG_2958

You have a HUGE sweet tooth. You don’t eat. You could care less about food of any sort but, God knows you LOVE dessert. You will ask for two things every morning: Tommy (Thomas the train) and cake. You say it so sweetly like we give you cake every morning. Cake? Cake? Mama, cake? No. No. Jude, no! You act like if you repeat any one word over and over I’ll somehow forget it’s 7am and feed you cake for breakfast.

IMG_4321

You are relentless. My sweet boy you will stop at NOTHING to get what you want. I don’t know if I give in because you’re cute or because I simply can’t listen to you beg for something any longer. This will serve you well once you’re a man.

IMG_9733

 

You are of the ocean. This is the truth. When we go to the shore you want Daddy to hold you. You lay your head on his shoulder and shout WA-WA! over and over until he stands in the ocean while waves crash all around you both. You will fall asleep just like that. You don’t seem to care that you weigh 35 lbs and Dad’s arm goes numb- but he doesn’t care either. Your soul belongs to the summer and salt water and sea my love. The mere mention of water or a pool will get you up and moving.

IMG_4519

You are a Mama’s boy. This might have made the list last year.  Spoiler Alert: this will make the list every year.

IMG_9677

You are smart. You are not smart in the way Gracen is. You are smart in the way a con-artist is. You are always 2 steps ahead of me. At first I thought it was a fluke- and now I realize that saying yes to one thing to you means that you have a grand(er) plan down the line. I have to really think before I answer some of your request because you always have a plan and it’s usually naughty.

IMG_4031

You are calm. We should have named you Laid Back Jack- because you almost always have your hands behind your head and take big giant exhales. This life is sooo exhausting for you Jude. SOOOOOOO tiring.

-5

You are a ladies man. I don’t want to rush to judgement but, you LOVE women. You flirt. You do all sorts of stupid human tricks to impress older women. You smile, you giggle, you’ll hit your head 100 times on a table if it makes a pretty girl smile. Your ridiculously charming.

kids of summer

You are loyal. You have one main friend and that’s Natalie. Any other little girl you meet you refer to as “Not Nat-Nat.” You don’t care whose feelings you hurt and you aren’t looking to expand your roster of friends..yet. You love your sister, the girls & Devi, Natalie, Papa, Your Uncles, Cheese the Cat, and Cubby the Dog, and that’s about it.  If it’s not one of the above mentioned souls, your uninterested (for now) . This sounds harsh but it’s an awesome trait to have because it’s the quality of those connections that counts- not the quantity. Plus being the little brother to all of your sisters friends will have it’s benefits as you get older.

IMG_6133

You love animals. Every dog you must pet. Every cat you must touch. Every animal at the zoo you must wave hi to.

IMG_5862

You say Hey, which makes me so happy. Everyone says Hey Jude to you- so you keep saying Hey ____ to them. It’s so cute.  I hope you’ll always say Hey ___ because Hey is way cooler than Hi- and it’s your thing.

-3

You’re a complex little soul my boy. You have carved your niche into this family and I wouldn’t want to know life without you. I think our souls have traveled here and there and everywhere together. This list will surely change and grow as you get older- but what will always stay the same is my adoration of the very essence of you.

Jude B&W May 2014

Have the greatest year of your life Jude.

Jude with Chalk May 2014

 

Love, Mama

 

 

Read More...

Dear Jude,

Today was the last day you’ll be one years old. This is it. There will be no re-do, no pause button, no going backwards. I still can’t believe it’s been 24 months of Jude(ism).  I think these late in the evening photographs stand as the greatest expression of your last day as a one year old.

20140708_182522 20140708_182526

We went to the town pool today and you ran and jumped and dove under water even though you have no idea how to swim and no real assurance that I would reach underneath the water to save you. When we got home you insisted on going in our kiddie pool- diving and swimming all on your own. I would say this is a perfect way to welcome in the terrible twos. It’s going to be the longest year of my life.

Happy Birthday you gorgeous and terrible little monster.

xoxo- Mama

Read More...

IMG_9285Sunny had been begging to go to the NJ State Fair and I so wanted to take her, BUT, I really didn’t think that her little brother could handle the crowds or heat. After days of pleading I finally settled on a family trip to Central Park where the AMAZING Victoria Gardens is located. Have you been there? It’s so perfect for little kids. So flippin perfect. They have rides designed only for tots ages 2-12 and Sunny was tall enough to ride  every ride there- so we got the comfort of a carnival, the beauty of the city, and the pleasure of seeing my kids dominate fun rides. You’ll note the bright lighting and lack of blue in the sky in all of these pics- it was ( no joke) 100 degrees that day. I’m not kidding. The haziest, hottest day so far! We walked from midtown west all the way to Victoria Gardens pushing a broken double stroller- like pure idiots. BUT if I make a promise I keep it- even if it means certain dehydration and a possible trip to the ER.

IMG_9286 IMG_9293

IMG_9305

Matt really lucked out marrying me. We have a system where I take the pictures and he enjoys time with our kids. They might grow up and wonder where the heck I am- and I’m always behind the camera. Also I’m not much of a thrill seeker so mostly I just hold hats, water, snacks, and my camera while shouting “Do not drop my babies!”

IMG_9315

Note to self: Saint hates heat and carnivals and the city. Sunny is a city girl though- it’s in her bones, it speaks to her soul.

IMG_9319

He does love a good water ride though…

 

IMG_9324

You can barely make out my Sunshine Girls legs in this pic. She insisted on riding the swings by herself. Both Matt and I held our breath while she was up there- but she was so happy and so proud of herself! Sunny isn’t much for breaking rules or anything that looks remotely dangerous- so this was a big moment for her.

IMG_9335

After we left Central Park we headed back to the car where our double stroller died a terrible death. It went 100% flat on 59th street. So, I took the kids to Columbus Circle while Matt got the car. The upside? We rode the elevator to the top floor where Matt and I had our very first date. I posed them at the exact spot- but then Saint ran away like a crazy person.

IMG_9344

So Sunny held him in place. I don’t care that these pics are blurry. I’m so happy they stood there- where it all began.

IMG_9354

No children were hurt in the making of this fun filled day!

Read More...

Introducing, Miss Erin Goodwin.

Erin Close Up Sepia Tone LLS Erin Face Forward 1 LLS Erin Face Forward 2 LLS

I got to spend Monday morning with Erin and her lovely Mama, in their home. There is nothing like holding a newborn and posing their tiny hands for photos. Of course Erin needed no posing as she decided laying in the basket of blankets bathed in sunshine was fine by her.

Erin Face Forward B&W Smiling LLS Erin Face Forward with bow LLS

Can you blame her? Shouldn’t we all spend every single day just like this?

Erin In Basket Face Forward 1 LLS Erin In Basket Face Forward 2 LLS Erin nude B&W 2 LLS Erin Profile 1 LLS Erin Profile Pic #3LLS

A million thank you’s to the Goodwin’s for having me. I so enjoyed our chats and photographing your newest little lady.

Erin Sleeping With Hand 4 LLS

Read More...

My baby girl has one more year of pre-school (thanks to a late birthday) but I was beaming like it was her high school graduation when she took the stage to perform with all of her classmates.

Gracie white dress 3 Gracie in whites dress 2

I can’t believe these little people are SO big!

girls grads2

Gracie & girls grads

We’re never without Elizabeth and Abigail. Whenever they’re together they hug, they kiss, and they love each other so much! AND as Devon (their mother) likes to say- they fight like sisters. If ever you’re looking for me this summer or you know…ever, I’m with these beautiful people at any local park that has a water feature.

Girls of Summer

Elizabeth round and round 2

kids of summer

There’s a very good chance Saint is going to have a way with the ladies. There is also a good chance he will run away from any woman screaming with his hands covering his ears.  The amount of estrogen surrounding this little man on a daily basis is actually, scarey. Thankfully for him, the littlest girl (Nat-Nat) is tough as nails and laughs at all his stupid human tricks. They’re best buddies.

Natalie 1

It doesn’t hurt that she’s up and walking now. Every time Saint and Nat see each other they hold hands and chase one another around in circles. It’s ridiculously cute. And though she’s the size of a tiny bird (seriously she’s mini) she can hold her own with my boy- BUT always looks like a classy lady. She’ll make you want 20 little girls I tell you- she’s dangerous!

Natalie Sunglasses 2

I really think our big girls need their own Facebook page.  They’re taking over me and Devon’s pages and they’re only four! We’re documenting their friendship, while creating a beautiful friendship of our own. It’s really special. I’m very lucky.

Gracen & Twins Hoboken

Girls Hoboken

In case you’re wondering Sunny wedges herself in the middle for every single picture. Always. When she was three she used to tell people “I have twins!” Now she just pretends to be their triplet. The girls don’t seem to mind and never correct her. They’re such sweethearts. I’ve always wanted three girls.

Read More...