Simple Things Sunday: Hello, Baby

I got to spend my Sunday afternoon snuggling up with this little cutie pie. Baby Emily had me at hello. And seeing Kacie as a mommy for the first time just made my heart happy. She was made for this role.

As my circle of friends continues to expand to include these new little lives, it somehow has a way of putting everything else into perspective. It’s a reminder of how important and precious life is, and how we should remember every day to be good to one another, live optimistically, laugh more and love more fiercely. Lets get all Ghandi up and here and just remember to Be the Change, people. Be. The. Change.

Welcome to the world, baby Emily. We’re all so happy you’re here.

Scenes from a Saturday: Beat the Heat

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There are only two places you should be when temperatures are rising to 105 degrees — anywhere inside with AC, or out on a boat. We got lucky with an invite to the latter and enjoyed a true Maryland Saturday complete with a visit to Thomas Point Lighthouse, passing under the Bay Bridge and anchoring off for a day of sun, water, food, friends and family.

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Picked up Joey’s sweet summer hat for $10 at Marshalls the other day. I might have to steal it though 😉 I may or may not have had that plan in mind when I bought it.

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Linking up with Simple Things Sunday on Simple as That today, so feel free to pop over and check out more great pictures. Photos this week from Instagram because I get nervous bringing my big girl camera out on the water. Follow me on Instagram at @dianatroese. Happy Sunday!

Fun with Sparklers

I see these sparkler pictures popping up everywhere…well, ok, maybe not EVERYWHERE but I do see them on Pinterest a lot…so when I saw a cheapo box of sparklers near the checkout at CVS, I figured they would make for some good ‘ol 4th of July photo fun.

Sparkler ‘art’ is so easy, all you need is a camera where you can manipulate the shutter speed. I set my shutter speed to 4 seconds for these, and that seemed to be fine. It works best with a tri-pod, which I don’t have, but you can see the difference between a person holding the camera (photos above), and the camera resting on a non-shaky surface (aka a tripod in a perfect world, a front step in our world) like these two below. I also used the self timer for these so we could both jump in.

Notice the difference in focus on the trees, grass and fence?

Oh, and if you want to write a word (Joey was attempting to sign his name below), you need to write the mirror image of the letters so the camera captures it correctly.

Whoops! Backwards cursive is too hard anyway.

Hope you had a great 4th! Anyone else totally thrown off by the Wednesday celebration? I thought it was Monday all day at work today.

I See A Lot of Lawwww Breakers

When your out of town guests show up at your door with a dozen of the most amazing doughnuts, a box filled with Pittsburgh themed goodies and a mission to giggle like 12-year-olds during Magic Mike, you just KNOW it’s going to be a good weekend.

The kind of weekend where a random guy gives you free bottles of unopened beer when you’re pulling out of the parking garage simply because he’s an “Army guy in a Navy town” (my mom is definitely freaking out right about now), and you come home late at night to find your husband making homemade meatballs for everyone and cucumbers at each place setting dressed up like the characters in Magic Mike.

*Let the record show the cucumbers were not Joey’s doing, but rather my silly mother’s.*

We’re not even taking into account yet the bottle of champagne during a sunset sailboat cruise on the Chesapeake Bay.

Yes, the laundry is completely piled up after a weekend of indulging with friends. And our guest room bathroom still doesn’t have a proper mirror since in a haste to finish it before company arrived I didn’t measure closely enough. But looking at pictures of happy friends and beautiful surroundings reminds me that those things will get done eventually, and I spent this weekend doing exactly what I was meant to be doing.

We all need to stop and watch the sunset every now and again.

Preferably from a sailboat. With champagne. And three of your most awesome friends.

(PS: Check out Pam101’s blog for more stories from this weekend.)

Baby (Bump) Love

Kacie and I had been talking about getting together for baby bump photos for a long time, but of course our schedules kept conflicting. Ideally, we were hoping to get her husband in on the action but when we finally found a few hours that worked for me and her we decided to seize the opportunity and do a little “Mama Baby Bump Love” session. This is Kacie’s first baby, and we didn’t want to let this sweet time in her life go undocumented.

Since I’ve never ‘officially’ attempted to photograph anyone before, I was thankful it ended up being a “Girls Only” adventure. Took a little bit of the pressure off 🙂 And can I just say that I LOVE how in LOVE Kacie is with being pregnant. There is some serious joy emanating from this woman, and it’s infectious.

Now I need to start getting my ideas together for baby photos for when the little princess makes her debut. Only a little more than a month now… 🙂

Bump Ahead

So I didn’t want to say anything just in case things went terribly wrong, but Kacie came by tonight and we did a little Baby Bump photo session. Alex joined in on the fun and I can honestly say there’s nothing better than a Friday night with your two best girlfriends. And while I’ve spent many a Friday night with these two ladies by my side, life is changing in big ways and I’m enjoying the newness of it all.

As for the photos, this was something completely new to me and I’m happy to report I captured some decent images :::insert sigh of relief here::::. I’ll be sure to share some of my favorites soon (UPDATE: Check them out here), but right now I’ve got an alarm that’s set to go off at 5am and I haven’t even started packing my suitcase yet. I’ll try and Instagram the trip to Georgia, so feel free to follow at @dianatroese. See you soon!

Well Hello, Summer

I think Official Summer is trying to tell Unofficial Summer who’s boss by bringing the heat — literally. I’m thankful I work in an air conditioned building, but also couldn’t wait to throw on my bathing suit and go for a little walk over to our neighborhood pool after work. Hope you’re finding ways to stay cool!

Oh, and PS, I’m so late to the Instagram party and just last week realized that people actually follow other people on there. Yeah, it was a real lightbulb moment. I’m such a square. Anyhow, follow me at dianatroese, and I’ll follow you back. Pinky swear.

When Life Happens

I was driving home from work last Thursday thinking about how I would pay the monthly bills that night after dinner, when I got a phone call from the hubster that went a little something like this:

J: Hey, can you swing by the beer store and pick up an 18 pack on your way home?

D: Ugh! I’m in traffic on 32 and have been driving for 45 minutes, I’m coming home. You can get it yourself.

J: Fine. Bye.

D: Bye.

{Insert internal dialogue here where I tell myself I’m rude, the beer store is right near the house, channel inner badass, get your husband beer and pick up something for yourself too. Hey, it’s almost Friday!}

:::Call Joey Back:::

D: What kind of beer do you want?

J: Coors Light.

D: Bye.

J: Bye! ::friends cheer in background::

When I got home, there was an impromptu summer BBQ going on, complete with friends and two little kiddos. So instead of paying bills, I watched kids chase dogs, went to the playground for an intense game of sniper, cut up watermelon, ate burgers off the grill, roasted marshmallows and then ran around catching lightning bugs in a mason jar.

Full disclosure, the lightning bug escapade consisted of 3 adults and one child. It was intense! I don’t remember those suckers being so hard to catch. And as we were running around, falling down hills, lunging at the air because we ‘swore there was one right there’, I couldn’t help but think how great it is when Life Happens. Like, really happens. Like it pops in on a random Thursday night just to say, “Hey, I’m here. I’m awesome. Let’s party.”

And in the words of Dave Matthews, “Celebrate we will, because life is short but sweet for certain.”

Kacie’s “Sugar & Spice” Baby Shower

Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice, that’s what Kacie’s Baby Shower was made of.

We had such a fun time running with this theme for her shower, using a pink and brown color scheme for the decor. From pink and brown tissue paper pom poms, to pink polka-dot balloons, to pink hydrangeas in mason jars wrapped with brown ribbon…

When it comes to baby girls, there’s never too much pink.

My personal favorites though were the “Baby Girl Reading Sugar & Spice Mix” favors, complete with pink gingham cloth tied with brown ribbon. These were custom made by Custom Love Gifts on Etsy.

Oh, and my co-host, Laci, flew from Raleigh to Baltimore with her handmade diaper cake in her carry on. That’s friendship dedication folks! (Not available on Etsy, though it arguably should be ;))

Lets talk games! Laci and I decided to stick with two games, one being the “Don’t Say Baby” game that is played throughout the shower. I stole this idea from Sara’s Nautical Baby Shower, and it was as funny as ever watching guests get more and more competitive as the afternoon went on, just waiting for someone to trip up and utter that little four-letter word.

For the second game, it was “Guess That Baby Food.” Guests broke up into teams, and had to taste/sniff test 5 jars of baby food. Guesses were written down, and points were awarded for each correct ingredient a team guessed (i.e. two points if they only said Apple/Pear for Apple/Pear/Banana).

We laughed, we cried gagged, we all vowed to never feed our babies that crap. The winning team got to steal two pins each from any other guest at the party. And sticking with the Sugar & Spice theme, the 3 guests who had the most pins at the end of the day took home a box of Coconut Macaroon Cookie mix tied with ribbon and a wooden spoon. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture 😦

Oh, and PS: I love the photo above because Kacie (right corner) clearly heard someone say “Baby” from across the room. Get it girl!

When all was said and done, we had a perfectly lovely afternoon celebrating this beautiful Mama-to-Be and the upcoming arrival of her sweet little princess. We can’t wait to meet you little girl!