I better write this post fast before she turns six months!! Gosh this month has FLOWN by!! I think month five has been the fastest so far -- truly in the blink of an eye we're nearing six months!! To be honest, there hasn't bee a HUGE change from month four to month five or maybe it's that all the changes are subtle and meld together that it's hard to keep track. Just all of a sudden you turn around and it's like your baby is a new person over night!! Here are a few of the highlights of month five!
Isla is a ROLLING machine!! She loves to roll from her back to her tummy - just don't let her stay that way for long or she'll let you know she's not happy!
Speaking of rolling over, she LOVES sleeping on her tummy. As soon as I place her in the crib, before I even leave the room, she's already rolled onto her tummy to sleep.
Still HATES the pacifier - I still don't know if it's good or bad for us!!
She started eating solids this month - we started with oats and she DEVOURED THEM. She LOVES her food!! We just started on avocado.
Isla has learned her voice this month becoming more and more vocal. He little coos and squeaks are pretty much the sweetest sound in the world!!
Sleep still alludes us -- she's given us a few days here and there where she'll sleep through the night (a consecutive 8 hours) but most nights she's up around 4 or 5am AND WON'T GO BACK DOWN. We're tired.
Isla helped me kick off the wedding season by traveling to the Cape with Dave and I in May. She slept like a champ in a strange place and even took a nap so I could watch the Royal Wedding!!
Isla loooves her big brother and thinks he is the silliest -- he obviously loves this to no end :)
Well it's happened -- its month four and I've fallen behind on Isla's monthly update!! I'm only two weeks behind so I'm calling it a win ;) Getting anything done with a infant, 5 year old, and busy wedding season just beginning is giving a huge does of reality. Maternity leave is over and relearning that mommy/business balance is beginning all over again. Good thing these kiddos are cute!!
Month Four was certainly an exciting one and saw many developmental achievements for our little babe!! Lots of fun highlights to share :
Isla learned to roll over this month and gradually she has gotten stronger and stronger. Now, nearly every time I place her on the floor seconds later she's on her tummy looking at the world around her!!
She laughed for real this month and it is pure bliss. She has the BEST little giggle and I can't wait to hear it more in the coming months!!
She's still a little cooer and it's pretty much the best!!
We dedicated Isla this month with our immediate family in attendance. We all went out afterwards for lunch and well you can imagine the fun chaos that ensued with five kids under the age of 5 ;)
It was FINALLY warm enough to sit out on the deck and watch big brother play. Isla LOVES the sunshine, just like her Mommy!!
I'm pretty sure we can feel some teeth in there - there's certainly enough drool to make near hourly outfit changes necessary!!
Sleep is OK. Isla has an established bedtime of 6:30pm/7:00pm which is GREAT. The daily wakeup call of 4:30am, not so much.
The attic was finished this month which means that everyone, including Isla, spend a lot of time up here enjoy the soft carpeted floor and ample sun kissed spaces :)
We're pretty sure we see some red hair coming through, but WHO KNOWS?!
She's started to slowly bring things up to her mouth which is really fun to watch her do!!
Isla loves to sit up (with some help) and MUST see the world around her!!
It's been three months since Isla Girl made her appearance into this world and it's becoming harder and harder to imagine what life was like before her. Yesterday, at my parent's house, I looked a picture from a vacation we took together when Jonathan was three. It was just the five of us. How rich and and full our lives are now with our darling baby girl. Adored by her grandparents, her brother and of course Dave and I, she makes each moment together so, so, sweet!!
Month Three has been full of lots of wonderful growth for our little lady -- she's so strong and it makes me SO proud!! My Mom keeps saying that she can't wait to keep up with her older brother. She wants to upright, facing forward, to see all the things that are happening around her. She is fascinated by faces, especially Jonathan's, and it's the sweetest thing to see their bond forming. We painted Jonathan's bedroom and so for the past two nights he's been sleeping in our room. Last night he woke up in the middle of the night as Isla was stirring and whimpering a little. Jonathan asked in the cutest voice ever, "Can she come cuddle with me?" Instant heart melt!!
Here are highlights her third month :
If you've been following along with these monthly updates you know that Isla HATES the pacifier, so finding ways to soothe her aside from ME have been few and far between. She recently started sucking on her hands and thumb and have given us a few moments before we need to scoop her up.
Speaking of her hands, she LOVES them!! She loves sticking them high in the sky and holding on to her fingers. She loves to grab onto things (like my shirt when she's feeding) and your fingers and basically anything within her reach.
She loves talking with her "friends", the little toys that hang from her play gym. She has the cutest little voice (and laugh) and gosh I couldn't be more in love!!
Isla's personality has definitely started to make a presence. She still is a quiet soul, so would rather observe. But at the same time she's started to talk more and more. We think she might like music too because if anyone is singing or music is playing, that is the time she is the most vocal!!
She loves making eye contact with you and one of my favorite things to do is to look her in the eyes, smile as big and wide as I can and watch her as her face lights up and she gives me this huge toothless grin. Isla definitely smiles with her eyes!!
Speaking of her eyes, they are still blue!! I hope that we'll have a blue eyed baby girl on our hands!!
People are constantly asking me if she had red hair -- I think so!!! She's got this peach fuzz of golden hued hair and I am hoping and praying that she'll have red hair just like her Momma!!
Around 10-11 weeks Isla started sleeping from around 10:00pm (after her last feed) to around 6:30am. Minus a few nights where she woke up in the middle of the night, she's been pretty reliable and we couldn't be more grateful!!
I think the thing I've noticed most this month is Isla is looking less and less like a newborn and more like a baby!! She likes to sit up, her back and neck muscles are getting stronger. Her face and belly and legs are all filling out!! She's still a petite girl in terms of weight, but her length, oh her length!! She's SO LONG!!
I'm happy to say that her cheek game is still strong - big ole cheeks that are oh so kissable!!
My precious baby girl is TWO months old today!! TWO!! I'm sure I'll be saying this every month, but I simply cannot believe it!! I was telling Dave the other day that I cannot even believe I was pregnant, it feels like a dream. Nearly one year ago we were heading into Boston for my IUI, hoping and dreaming of growing our family. And even though that treatment failed, nearly a year later here we are holding our tiny miracle. It's too sweet. (I haven't share too much about our journey through infertility -- but if you'd like me to share more I will.)
We've quickly discovered the old adage that no two babies are alike to be completely true!! While in some ways she is similar to her brother, Isla is a very different baby than he was. She doesn't seem to sleep the same, she doesn't eat the same and her personality is very different. Since we are nearly five years removed from the infant stage of parenting, it's been a learning curve to say the least!! Equally as amazing though, is how much her big brother loves her. To watch them interact, to see him loving her, to know that they will carry a special bond together for the rest of their lives is something I will cherish forever!!
Month two has been full of exciting milestones!! Here are highlights her second month :
Around week seven she start smiling and hasn't stopped since. Her smiles are wide toothless grins that can brighten anyone's day. Her Daddy says her smile can melt ice, it sure is melting our hearts!!
I told Dave to be gentle with Isla one night as he was changing her diaper. She's a delicate little flower I proclaimed. Immediately she let out the loudest fart imaginable. BABIES!!
She is quickly outgrowing all her three month clothes. With a slow start with her weight, every growth milestone we hit is a victory around here!!
This month Isla, Mommy and Jonathan survived a night on our own (with a TON of help from parents!!)
Around week six I started to wonder when I would start to hear her darling coos and I'm happy to say she is a cooing machine that warms my heart and makes me smile!!
Isla stayed with my parents for our first date post baby (if you don't count going to see Star Wars at two weeks postpartum ;)) We enjoyed the first part with her as we went out to breakfast then spent the afternoon at the movies. What a treat!!
She still doesn't take a paci - the other night she sucked on one for a few minutes and we nearly celebrated until it promptly was spat out of her mouth in disgust. Oh well!!
The only thing that is predictable in this little one's schedule is that she will sleep right after her morning feed -- for several hours!! And while I can't predict anything else, that morning nap is great for Mom!!
Sometimes if she has napped for a long time my arms will ache to hold her and feed her and keep her close <3
How can we possibly already be at one month old!! It hardly seems possible. Honestly it hardly seems possible that our house is filled with the joy of a newborn again. It's surreal, amazingly, wonderfully, surreal!! When Jonathan was a newborn I documented his first year of life through a series of monthly blog posts. And while I might have been the only one who cared enough to read them, it was a joy for me to remember that fast first year and document all the change he underwent. I knew that I wanted to do the same thing for our baby girl and here I am today, ready to share the first post!!
This time has gone by so fast - so, so fast. I remember the night before my scheduled c-section Dave and I sat together and through tears I cried that I wished it was a week from today. I was terribly afraid of what lay ahead and now here we are five weeks later. Having a scheduled c-section this go around felt much different than my experience with our son Jonathan (who was an emergency c-section after nearly two days of labor.) Walking into the OR room first thing in the morning was a strange experience. I found that surgery this go around was a bit more traumatic then I was expecting, recovery has been much slower than last time and the entire experience was much different. BUT our darling daughter has been the gleaming light through it all and has made whatever experience we had so entirely worth it!!
Ms. Isla Rose -- many people have asked us how we chose her name. The short answer is we liked it :) After our 10th anniversary trip to Scotland in 2016 we fell in love and so on a whim we decided to look into Scottish names. I stumbled upon Isla one day and it just kind of clicked. Dave liked the name Rose and together it seemed to be the perfect fit for our baby girl!!
Some highlights this first month of life for Ms. Isla Rose :
Isla's birth experience felt entirely different than Jonathan. Instead of being a week late like J, she was a week early. Instead of an emergency surgery, her's was schedule for first thing in the morning. Instead of bouncing back like I did with J, my recovery took time.
Isla is also a very different newborn than Jonathan. She was very jaundice and sleepy the first three or so weeks of life. Feeding wasn't nearly as easy as it had been with Jonathan and it took a lot of work for me and her to find a groove. I think at week 5 we are JUST starting to find it but we've got a long way to go.
Because of the jaundice and feeding issues Isla lost a bit of weight by the time she left the hospital and we've been playing catch up ever since. She's never looked unhealthy or too skinny, but the scale let us know that she needed to gain a LOT more weight and quickly.
Isla LOVES her big brother, probably more than anyone else. She coos and smiles at him any time he's around her and he of course LOVES that!! He's equally infatuated with her and it makes us beyond happy. Jonathan has been an amazing big brother so far and we are so grateful!!
We celebrated two Christmas' and New Years with Isla (she liked to party at night in case you're wondering ;)), and spent most of the first weeks of her life cooped up in home due to the insanely cold weather (-20 degrees anyone?!), sickness and recovery. Not much traveling or outdoor activities have been had aside from heading to the doctors office.
The times that Jonathan wasn't on a snow day or on vacation, Dave and I enjoyed visiting our favorite coffee shops while he was on paternity leave. Kaffmandu, Honeycomb and Mystic Coffee Roaster just to name a few :)
Isla usually wakes up around 2-3 times a night, woof, a little different than Jonathan. We'll definitely be excited for the day when she makes it to 4-5 hour stretches!!
Isla feels like a different baby than Jonathan in so many ways - She HATES the pacifier!! And being swaddled!! And being on her back!! And being cold!! What she does love is sleeping on your chest. And while that makes getting anything done near impossible - with her curled up next to your chest, well there really isn't anything better in the world!!
I can't believe that I am officially writing this blog post!! But here we are, almost ready to welcome our baby girl into the world!! Appropriately I will be taking a maternity leave in anticipation of her arrival and for the first few months of her life. I wanted to share a few details with you of what that means for future, current and past DZP clients and what they can expect over the next months as we take a break to enjoy life as a family of four!!
Email will still be available, however my response time will be significantly increased. Please be patient as I respond to each email appropriately.
If you have an urgent matter you want me to be aware of, please make that clear in your subject line.
If you are a current client who has NOT booked an engagement session for 2018, I will be reopening shooting dates at the beginning of March. Please reach out to get set up as dates fill up quickly.
If you have an open album order or have yet to finalize your design, album design and production will begin again at the end of February.
I will have dates open and available at the end of February, March, and April for portrait sessions. If interested in booking a session for your family, please reach out!!
I want to thank all my clients and supporters of DZP who have been so incredibly gracious and supportive of my family during this journey. We have felt so loved and we are incredibly grateful!! (Especially on long wedding days where you made sure I was well fed and hydrated :)). I look forward to sharing more of our journey once baby girl is here!! Thank you one and all!!
With much love from our family to yours, The Parkers
After our struggle with miscarriage and infertility, to find out that we were expecting this past spring was such a surprise. We were a mix of excited, apprehensive and how the heck did this happen? We had just come to a place emotionally, spiritually and mentally where we had accepted our family the way it was and we were at peace. Then came the surprise of all surprises and we found ourselves dreaming about the future as a family of four again.
I knew that having a maternity session to celebrate this gift of our baby girl would be really important to us. We wanted a session to celebrate our relationship (11 years of marriage!), our family of three, the anticipation of our second baby and to remember the struggle we endured the past two years of infertility.
When it came time to choose a photographer I knew just who I wanted to help us document this time in life. I have long admired Beth's work, particularly her film work and fell in love with the soft, romantic feel of her images. I was so thankful she was available and excited to photograph our maternity session and all the stars aligned for a fall session at our favorite place, Crane Beach this past October.
Thank you Beth for helping us capture this time in life together. These images mean the world to us and we just cannot thank you enough for the gift you've given us!! Here are some of our favorites :)
I can't believe I've been able to keep this secret this long -- it's seemed like an eternity to reach this point - the second trimester of pregnancy!! It's also surreal to actually be sharing this with you. I never thought we'd be given another chance to have a child.
We've been trying to grow for our family for over two years. What we thought might take just a few months turned into a journey we could never have imagined. Months of trying, a positive test, a subsequent miscarriage. Heartbreak. Over a year of trying again. A diagnosis of infertility. Heartbreak. Testing, pokes, prods, tears. Heartbreak. Injections, medicine, a failed IUI. Heartbreak. Giving up. Heartbreak again. And then unexpectedly, against all odds, our miracle : a positive pregnancy test.
It's been a painful journey to reach this point. When we finally saw those two pink lines we were reserved. With each ultrasound, each check up we became more and more hopeful, reassured that this was really happening. Someday I may share more about our journey with secondary infertility, but for now here we are. 16 weeks pregnant and delighted to be awaiting the arrival of our new addition later this year!!
I’m excited to share that Deborah Zoe Photography has partnered with Minted to offer truly unique cards for you this season!! Come take a peek at my Minted Storefront at http://deborahzoe.minted.com and start your search for this year's perfect card!!
From Save the Dates and Announcements to Holiday Cards — Minted.com offers a selection of unique and affordable cards!! Each piece is artfully crafted with thick card stock and offers a beautiful tangible experience. I love Minted so much, that they have been my personal card of choice for our own announcements and Holiday cards for years!!
Once you've found the card for you go ahead and do the following:
Email to let me know you are ready to order your cards!! I will upload your preferred images directly to Minted so you can customize and order your cards.
Look out for an email from Minted with the Subject line "Your Photos are Ready at Minted.com".
Click through the link. You may want to make sure you have a good internet connection while you do this to make sure the photos import properly.
After you place your order, Minted will send you a complimentary proof for you to review.
To spread even more Holiday cheer -- Minted is offering 15% off holiday cards through 11:59 p.m. PT on 11/21/16. Use code : HOLIDAY15
Happy Halloween Friends!! It's hard to believe another year has rolled on by -- last year I actually missed Halloween having been stranded in Austin after their airport flooded!! But this year we're home and we took full advantage of a weekend together to celebrate fall. On Friday we took Jonathan to our church's Fall Festival -- a night of games, food and of course costumes and candy. On Saturday hung out with cousins, played in the leaves and visited some farm animals. Then on Sunday I helped Jonathan carve two pumpkins -- he was beyond thrilled to have his very own jack-o-lantern!!
Each year for the past three Halloweens my Mom and Dad have made Jonathan's costume. Growing up each year my Mom would hand sew my own Halloween costumes and they were incredible!! It's been a fun tradition to pass along to Jonathan -- but this year he wanted to be a fireman and well, we already had everything needed to be the Fire Chief!! So you guessed it, this year Jonathan was a Fire Chief for Halloween, complete with a water pump back and megaphone!!
In celebration of Halloween, candy and all things FUN, I thought I'd share Jonathan's Halloween costumes from the past three years -- this will be his fourth Halloween!! How can that be?!! Enjoy!!
Today is the third installment of our 10th Anniversary Trip to the United Kingdom!! If you're just stopping by, this past July we celebrated 10 years of marriage with an unforgettable trip to London & Scotland. If you missed it, you can check out PART 1 and PART 2! Today we're finishing our trip with our last day on the Isle of Skye, Edinburgh and a short jaunt back to London before we left for home. Highlights include sheep (lots of sheep!), scenic views and hairy "heilan coos"!!
Sharing these images have been an incredibly fun way to relive our trip -- which went by in the blink of an eye -- just yesterday we were asking "Did we even go away?" It's crazy how you can plan and plan for a trip and then it's here before you know it.
The last and final installment of our trip series I will be sharing where we ate, some of our favorite things and a quick review of our hotels and experiences. If you're planning a trip to the United Kingdom in the future, specifically London & Scotland, you won't want to miss that post!!
Today, enjoy some of our favorite images (and memories) of the trip in PART 3. Questions about our trip? Feel free to share them in the comments!!
I've been trying and trying to narrow down my favorites from our recent trip to the United Kingdom -- Scotland is proving to be extraordinarily hard!! I mean I just cannot pair down the amount of beauty that is the land of Scotland, there's just SO much to share!! So instead of the planned single post for Scotland I've broken it down into two postings. The first being today!!
(If you'd like to see PART I of our 10th Anniversary Trip to the United Kingdom, click here.)
We started our journey in Scotland by arriving via the super speed train from London to Edinburgh's Waterloo Station. Immediately upon arriving street level we heard bag pipes playing in the distance. Talk about perfection!! Edinburgh is just as you might imagine, filled with character and history. We adored Edinburgh, the sandstone buildings, the medieval history, the people, the charm. We had been told that Edinburgh is a unique and magical place and it was incredible to experience it first hand.
Following our first night in the city we set out to the Isle of Skye and the Scottish Highlands via Rabbies Trail Burners. I cannot speak more highly of this company and our experience with Rabbies (you can read my quick review here). What followed were three days of beautiful scenery, history and Scottish charm. It left such an impression on us and we absolutely cannot wait to return. The Isle of Skye in particular is like a different world and we loved exploring the popular (and off the beaten track) scenic vistas.
In today's post I'll be sharing a bit of Ediburgh Castle long with the first half of our trip to the Highlands (you'll even catch our first sighting of a "hairy heilan coo"!!) In PART III I'll share more of the Highlands and finish out our trip to lovely Scotland. When can we go back?!
I cannot believe that our 10th anniversary trip to London & Scotland has come and gone. It feels like we had been planning this trip forever and with most vacations it was over in the blink of an eye. It was an incredible trip and lovely way to celebrate a decade of marriage together!! For our 10th anniversary we knew that we wanted to travel but weren't quite sure where. We finally settled on the UK and decided to split up our trip into three parts, London, Scotland and London.
Because I have SO much to share about our trip and because I'm not quite ready for our adventure to be over, instead of sharing it all in one long blog post I've decided to break our trip down into several parts. First I'll be sharing the amazing destinations we visited in a multi-post series. Next my hope is to share the delicious places we ate (because let's be real, we planned this trip around FOOD ;)) along with a review of the places we stayed and some of the amazing experiences we enjoyed while on vacation!! Are you ready?!
Our first stop was London. This was my third trip to this bustling city and it was still full of the charm and character that made me fall in love with London years ago. It was the perfect destination for our trip, filled with things to do but also relaxing enough to simply sit and enjoy a cup of coffee together. It was a great mix!!
For the first three days our trip we stayed in Kensington and filled each day with site seeing and eating. We absolutely adored the Kensington neighborhood, filled with coffee shops, diners and locals - it felt far removed from the hustle and bustle of central London and the craziness that is the European summer tourist season.
This was our part of the trip to see the sights and we did a LOT of walking, shopping and "touristing". Highlights included Liberty of London (A MUST for the building alone), Nopi, Victoria and Albert Museum, BBBakery Tour, Notting Hill and more -- I promise to break this all down in an upcoming post!!
It has been a dream of mine to visit Nantucket Island. I've lived in Massachusetts my whole life and yet had never visited this coastal oasis. When our good friends shared they would visit the East Coast in May we decided now would be the perfect time to make the trek to Nantucket!
I wasn't prepared for just how perfect Nantucket would be. Grey shuttered houses, creeping rose vines, white picket fences. It was almost more than my nautical New England loving heart could handle. If you are a fan of history, timeless style and that welcoming charm New England is famous for, then Nantucket needs to be at the top of your travel list.
More behind the purposeful design of the new Deborah Zoe Photography plus 5 tips to help with your rebrand!! When I began the process of rebranding (i.e : defining my voice, communicating clearly, creating a cohesive message), I knew that it was going to require commitment, focus and dedication.
It's been a while hasn't it? I didn't intentionally take a break from bloggin, it just kind of happened. My 2014 self would be going crazy knowing that I wasn't blogging my expected three posts weekly. Heck my 2010 self would be irrate I wasn't blogging 5 days a week. I began blogging way back before my business was even a business in 2009. I wanted an outlet to share my work and the journey I was on to become a full fledge full time wedding photographer. Many of you have been on that journey with me since the beginning (raise your hand!!)
Every year I've made a commitment to myself and my business to attend at least one conference or retreat as a way to grow in my craft and knowledge as photographer & business owner. My first ever confernce was WPPI, an eye opening experience in the heart of Las Vegas. WPPI is huge (literally), with thousands of photographers, speakers and sponsers attending every year. It's a great way to get your feet wet so to speak in the photography world and I've met some of my dearest industry friends in Vegas. But being the introverted type that I am, these huge group settings made me feel so uncomfortable and longing for a small, intimate community to connect with. With that in mind the Inspire Photo Retreats was created.
It's here!! My favorite post, the Best of Weddings for 2015!! Are you ready, it's a LONG one but I couldn't help it!! There was so much beauty to share, so many amazing couples to highlight and so many gorgeous details to drool over. 2015 was a beautiful year and it was a delight reliving these beautiful wedding days and pulling together some of my favorite images!!
Oh what a year it as been! At the beginning of 2015 I set a goal to focus more on portraits in addition to weddings. When I first started DZP I only photographed weddings & engagements. I wanted nothing to do with portraits. But over the years my heart has made quite the change and I love incoporating portrait work into the cadence of my wedding season. The thing I love MOST about shooting portraits is the opportunity it allows me to walk alongside couples long after the wedding day. The majority of my portrait work is filled with past clients, celebrating an annivesrary or expanding their family. It gives me the unique perspective to witness as this couple grows together and enters into new phases of life. To be able to capture those moments, big or small, and encapsulate them forever for a couple or family is an absolute joy.
Today kicks off one of my favorite weeks all year for the blog : The Best of 2015!! Every year I like to take a week to recap the year that was, resharing some of the amazing places and people we had the joy of photographing this past season. It's always a beautiful reminder for me of just how lucky I am to do what I love and how fortunate I am work with kindest, most caring and over all amazing people...EVER.
As a family we've made it a priority to spend time together at the end of the year to decompress, relax and truly ENJOY the Holidays! And I'm excited to share that the tradition will continue this year!