A Glimpse of Our Everyday Schedule : Creating A Daily Routine For My Children

i have been asked a couple times if i would share our daily routine and, having worked so hard on creating a daily routine for my children and perfecting the exact timing of wakeups, naps, and play…i am really proud of our everyday schedule.  to be honest, it’s our secret to harmony.  with two babies, two years old and under, having a routine is not only great for my children…but it is really great for me too.  i love knowing what to expect at any given time of the day and, because of our routine, we rarely have behavior issues.  why do i bring up behavior?  because behavior issues tend to arise when children are overwhelmed, overtired, or don’t know what to expect.  our concrete daily routine allows all of us to know exactly what will happen each day, and the order in which it happens.  seriously, we do the same schedule each and every day, weekday or weekend.  and having a routine allows me to allocate time to myself, each and every day.

creating a daily routine for my children started with my oldest, who is currently 2 years old.  i created her daily routine when she was 4.5 months old and we follow the same routine today.  (since then we have dropped one nap and pushed bedtime back 30 additional minutes, as she has grown older).  her little sister started the same routine at 4 months old, when she started sleeping through the night.  it’s important to note, neither of my children had a strict routine before 4 months of age because i breastfed on demand and let them determine their own schedule in the early days.

once our second little girl arrived, my main goal in maintaining a daily routine for my children was having them nap at the same time.  EVERY SINGLE DAY.  for a mama, this is gold.  having your children nap at the same time allows you to intentionally make time for yourself every single day.  whether you are sitting on the couch staring into space, catching up on email, or enjoying lunch in peace…it is important to have a little break built into your day.  at least, it is really important for me anyways.  i believe mamas should be intentional about taking care of themselves too.  investing time in myself makes me an even better mama because i take the time to feel refreshed and inspired.

having them nap at the same time of day goes hand in hand with having them adopt the exact same sleep schedule, day and night.  they wake up at the same time every day, they nap at the same time every day, and they go to bed within 30 minutes of one another each night.  i center our whole daily routine around sleep.  sleep is so so important for children and i don’t mess around with it.  i make sure they nap and get good rest during the day and during the night and, because of that, both of my girls are amazing sleepers.  sleep is one of the many things my husband worked really hard on teaching our girls and it has paid off.

A Glimpse of Our Everyday Schedule : Creating A Daily Routine For My Children

A Glimpse of Our Everyday Schedule : Creating A Daily Routine For My Children | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

because my 2 year old has such an awesome routine, i worked towards transitioning my youngest into that same routine when she was 4 months old and we had a concrete routine within a week.  this meant waking my littlest in the morning when my oldest woke up so that they could get on the same wake and sleep schedule.  pairing their awake times means that they nap at the same time and achieving this literally makes me feel like a rockstar.  for the sake of transparency, here is our exact daily schedule…yes, to the minute.  that’s how we role.

Our Daily Schedule

5:00am … I wake up / dedicated time to myself

7:15am … baby wakes up, breastfeed #1

7:30am … toddler wakes up

7:45am … mama shower / girls watch sing along or ABC show in my bedroom / toddler has morning milk

(this is our only screen time.  i unapologetically make time to shower every single day, thank you very much.)

8:15am … free play in playroom (see our playroom mama and me space here)

9:15am … baby breastfeed #2

9:30am … baby down for 1st nap

9:30am … mama and toddler breakfast

10:00am … mama and toddler special time together / curriculum

11:15am … wake baby, breastfeed #3, toddler milk

11:30am … free play in playroom

12:30pm … lunch for both babies

1:15pm … baby breastfeed #4

1:30pm … both babies nap / mama free time

4:00pm … wake both babies, breastfeed #5, toddler milk

4:15pm … free play in playroom / outside

5:15pm … outside waiting for daddy to come home

6:00pm … dinner as a family

6:30pm … baby pajamas, breastfeed #6, stories, prayers, in bed by 7:00pm

7:00pm … toddler pajamas, milk, brush teeth, stories, prayers, in bed by 7:30pm

7:30pm … quality mama and daddy time EVERY SINGLE DAY

A Glimpse of Our Everyday Schedule : Creating A Daily Routine For My Children | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

having gone to school for elementary education, i learned first hand how children thrive on routine.  routines make them feel comfortable and secure.  and this is definitely true for our children.  strict routine is something that works extremely well for our family and my husband adopts the same exact routine, should i be away for a day during the weekend at a photography session.

yes, traveling and hosting guests can bring a little shift to our routine.  yes, sometimes the kids wake a little early from nap and my mama plans are put on hold.  yes, special weekend outings can mean the littlest naps in the car.  (for us, napping in the car is only allowed about once a week, we are very intentional about crib napping).  while there are always exceptions, our routine is concrete 98% of the time.  of course, swim lessons and library outings shift our schedule slightly but they do not shift our nap ever.  never ever.

for those wondering about playdates, we schedule them in the mornings only.  luckily, all of our friends have morning nap time routines as well so mornings are universally great for everyone’s schedules.  our afternoons are truly reserved for nap time.  i once read that kids who get good sleep during the day will get good sleep at night…good sleep compounds on good sleep.  and that is very true for my girls.

all of this being said, this is what works for us.  the best parenting advice we received before babies was given to us by our birthing teacher before our first was born when she said, “YOU will be the expert on your children.  YOU will be the one who knows them best.”  it is something my husband and i often remind ourselves.  we know our children best and we know what works for them and us.  just like you are the expert on your child and will know what works best for them!  just because this schedule works really well for us, might not mean it works for you and your little ones.

as parents, having our children on a great routine also allows us to dedicate time to one another, as husband and wife.  every evening, it’s all about us.  my husband and i are attached at the hip so we basically do everything together and once the babies are asleep, it’s our time to catch up with each other.  we don’t do laundry or clean.  we sit down together and just enjoy our time.  it usually includes watching a million videos of the girls on our phones together and recounting every cute thing they’ve done, but that’s our beautiful phase in life.

in all honesty, creating a daily routine for my children has been the best thing i have done for our everyday.  it truly brings harmony to our everyday and my oldest happily walks up the stairs saying, “take nap!” every afternoon or “playroom!” when it’s time to play because it’s the schedule she knows and appreciates.

i hope this helps!

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Letters To My Children | August 2018

Letters To My Children | August 2018

Letters To My Children | August 2018 | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.comLetters To My Children | August 2018 | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

thursday, august 16, 2018

dear babies,

i thank the Lord every single day for your little lives and for giving you to us.  having babies has reinforced the idea that life is a pure gift and we should be thankful each and every day for our family.  so i am.  i am thankful for every diaper, every nursing session, every early wake up, every never ending chorus of “baby shark,” and every set of sticky fingers.  i am so thankful!

as happens each month, you are both turning into completely new girls.  each of you has grown so much in just 30 days and i am always so astonished by how much growth can occur in the short span of a few weeks.  every single day is a new adventure full of learning in your eyes and your fast growth has me clinging onto every single day in an effort to keep you little.  for i know tomorrow you will be older and a little different than today.  sometimes i literally just stare at you and breathe in your baby smells in an effort to slow down time.  they say that there is nothing that drags time like waiting for water to boil or waiting for paint to dry, so i am trying it out by staring at each of you to see if the time will slow, even if just a little bit.

to my oldest:

we’ve long lost count of the number of words you know, as your vocabulary is absolutely huge!  not only are you talking in 3 or 4 word phrases, but you are singing songs and learning at least a couple new words every single day.  your favorite songs are “the wheels on the bus”, “this little piggy went to market”, and “shake it off.”  you love to talk to alexa and tell her to play music for you or to stop playing music.  🙂  our playroom is often full of disney music and giggling and it is the most beautiful sound.  as for colors, you know every single color now!  (except gray, but we haven’t introduced it yet).  you are now very descriptive when you talk and say, “mama white shirt!” or “puppy brown hair!”  you love identifying colors and showing off how much you know.

i love way you say “fuh-fly” (butterfly), “pock-ette” (pocket), “ma melon” (watermelon), “fa font” (elephant), and “shurl” (squirrel).  since your great grandma is Shirley, it sounds like you are trying to say her name when you say “shurl”.  because of that, we have lovingly named the squirrels who come eat from our bird feeder, Pat and Shurl.  (Pat is your great grandfather whom you won’t meet this side of Heaven but whom i am sure gave you to biggest hug and kiss before sending you to mama and daddy).  mama had dreams about him often while pregnant with you and, in one dream, danced with him and asked him to tell me if you were a boy or girl!  he said he was tempted to tell me because he was tired of watching me read old wives tales about gender prediction, which i did daily while we were expecting you.  i am certain he and Papa Joe held you and your sister so tight before we held you in our own arms.

you are very empathetic to your little sister and when she rarely cries you will say, “sister, no cry” in the sweetest, comforting voice.  usually she cries if she loses sight of mama or if it is too close to bedtime and you are quick to comfort her, if only by getting close to her to let her know you are right there.  you love to rock her in her nursery chair and you laugh like crazy when she tries to pull your hair.  if she tries to pinch you, you calmly say, “no, please.”  everything about your mannerisms are so sweet and polite.

we have been enjoying a lot of new friends lately and you love having friends over to our house.  you immediately take your friends’ hand when they arrive and take them to your playroom.  you are very good at sharing and allowing others to play with your toys, as you say, “share.”  mama is so proud of how you share so nice, especially at your young age.  you are quick to share your things with your sister and if you don’t necessarily want to share something, you will go to her toy box and get her a toy of her own.  i love that about you.  it’s definitely okay to not want to share everything you have, and i love that you offer an alternative to your sister so she can have fun, even if it is by playing with something different.

you had your very first dentist appointment last week and you were very brave.  the night before, mama practiced saying “ahhhhhh!” and counting your teeth.  you were really excited to see “the teeth doctor,” but were quickly over it once you saw the dentist chair.  thankfully they had a flat screen tv on the ceiling for you to watch and they put on your favorite show, “little baby bum!”  there were definitely a lot of tears during your cleaning and fluoride, but you got a pretty heart ring with a blue stone on it as a prize at the end.  plus, you got a brand new pink tooth brush!

at this point, you have memorized some of your favorite stories at night time and can name your favorite books.  we let you read books to us at night and you practically know them, word for word.  your daddy and i look at one another with wide eyes, in astonishment mouthing “can you believe this!?”, as you read away.  you are so smart and we really enjoy showing daddy all the new things we learn.  it’s really no wonder, as we started reading books to you every single day when you were about 6 weeks old.  you are teaching your sister to love books too and you both love reading them.

mama surprised you last week by taking you to story time on an actual school bus!  you were so excited as you climbed onto the bus and got to sit with your sister and i on the rumbling bus.  you looked around and around, with such curiosity.  when we got off the bus, we went into the library to say hi to Squirt the turtle and you made mama so proud.  sitting in front of the turtle tank is one step stool.  you sat down and watched Squirt swim around and when a second child came up to the tank, you popped off the seat and happily offered the stool to the other child, saying nicely, “sit!”

in that moment, i realized how right we are raising you.  while i love how smart you are and how you are so independent, my favorite thing about you is your kindness.  you are so kind!  and if there is one thing that we truly want for you and your sister, it is for you both to be kind humans.  to put others first and offer a smile.  to sit with the lonely child in the lunchroom.  to always include others.  to be empathetic.

so far, you are completely impressing us with your social skills.  your calm reactions humble me as a mama and your eagerness to learn and help thrills us.  you are happiest when you can be a helper throughout our day, whether it is helping unload the dishwasher with mama, getting your little sister a toy, putting your cup in the sink upon finishing your milk, or cleaning up the playroom, you are so happy when we acknowledge your helpfulness.  i love you so much, sweet girl.

to my littlest:

oh, sweet pea…you have been awarded the happiest baby there ever was.  you smile before you open your eyes in the morning and when i peek into your crib, your legs are happily kicking about when you see me.  you are still sporting a toothless grin and it is officially the only thing you have not accomplished faster than your sister (her teeth came in around 5 1/2 months).  i love your little gummy grin and am cherishing it.

you are now sitting up!  mama still likes to be right by you when you are doing it, to offer quick support, but you are getting better and better at it every day.  you are also so close to crawling!  you will get up on your knees and rock back and forth, before plopping down on your belly again.  you army crawl really well and zoom across the room!  gone are the days when i could set you down in one spot and expect you to be there when i return.  you like to scoot towards your sister and grab her shirt, pull her hair or grab her toys.  you do it all with love and she just giggles at you.

i find myself taking in every moment with you, as you are growing so fast.  after your morning feed in the morning, i love to just rock with you in the dark before we get dressed for the day.  i rock you back and forth and just take in your sweet baby smell and kiss your chubby cheeks, long after the feed is over.  i hold you tight and just enjoy the feeling of you being small in my arms.  time is so fleeting and i want to remember this time with you, so i am being so intentional with our moments together.

you are such a great swimmer!  you graduated to a new swim class and you went under the water for the first time 5 days ago!  you did it perfectly and the teacher was so impressed!  you didn’t swallow any water or anything!  after that, you went under water a few more times before we did some back strokes and then played with the balls in the pool.  you love to pick up the balls and then we take them to the basket and plop them in.  mama has to help encourage you to drop the ball into the basket, as you really want to hold onto it and bite it.  but you will understand the game soon enough.

your schedule is golden!  you take two great naps during the day and you sleep about 12 hours at night!  you are asleep by 7:00pm every night, after you have milk, read some stories, and say your prayers.  you sleep until about 5:00am, when you want a little more milk, and then fall quickly back to sleep until around 7:15.  your sister had the exact same schedule at your age, to the T!  she liked that early morning feed too, before going back to sleep for a little while.  mama loves it too because it encourages me to be up for the day and allow myself some time to myself to either do bible study, edit pictures, or work before you both wake for the day.

you are a blondie!  your daddy was really blonde as a young boy and you are his spitting image!  we can’t wait to see you continue to grow and grow.  every day with you has been full of happiness.  your smiles are contagious and good for the soul.

as the summer is coming to an end, we are enjoying talks of the months ahead.  we are excited to be surrounded by family as we celebrate a baptism, make memories as we pick out halloween costumes, enjoy warm evenings on the front step as we wait for the mailman, and give proper names to each animal that enjoys our bird house.  we love you girls dearly.  sometimes i get a little teary eyed thinking about it and allow myself a moment every once in awhile to cry happy tears.  you are both more than we prayed for and i can’t fathom how much God must love us to be blessed with the both of you.  so, so blessed.

love you more than anything,


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Letters To My Children | July 2018

Letters To My Children | July 2018

Letters To My Children | July 2018 | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

monday , july 16, 2018

dear babies,

it seems like time is getting shorter and shorter between these letters, as the days go faster and faster.  last night i spent some time walking down memory lane, looking at baby pictures.  it seems like i just became a new mom and it’s hard to believe it’s already almost been two and a half years of motherhood.  there has been so much beautiful change in our life in the past couple of years and it’s all because of the both of you.  i love that you will never know life without the one another.  every memory you will have with include your sister and daddy and i are so thrilled at how beautiful your relationship is.  we wanted to give you each the gift of a sibling, and you are cherishing that gift each and every day.  i can’t wait to see you two together in the years to come.  you make sisterhood look so easy.

to my oldest:

you are mama’s helper!  my goodness, do you love to help!  whether it is handing me clean things from the dishwasher to put away, taking the bib off of your sister after she is done eating, helping to wash her face or running towards a fallen toy and rescuing it for your little sister, you are the best helper a mama could ever dream of.  at only 2 years and 3 months, you are my right hand during the day!  and because we have such a strict schedule, you always know what happens next during the day and are ready to tackle the next activity.

daddy and i insist that you have experienced a vocabulary explosion within the past couple of months.  you are learning at least 2-3 words each day and you love to look around the room and name everything you know.  you can say your name and age now, and you love to count…we are now working on getting those numbers in the right order.  you like saying every other number with mama, so when mama starts at 1, you will say 2, i will say 3, you will say 4, i will say 5, you will say 6, i will say 7, you will say 8…  you are very good at your even numbers!  you also love the letter E, but we aren’t sure why.  you point it out every time you see it and exclaim, “E!” whether you see it in your name or you see it on the Target sign when we are walking up.

we love being outside with you and your sister, this summer!  you got a new tricycle and you are getting better and better at it each time we play.  you really love your bubble machine and we are going through a ton of bubbles this summer!  you love to stand right in front of the bubble machine when it is on and the bubbles surround you.  we have learned to only use the bubble machine on bath day because you are coated in sticky soap after your bubble fun.  grandma jokes that you don’t need any soap during your bath because you are already covered in it!   just add water!

one of your favorite things to do with mama is the drawing game.  you have a really fun new magna doodle and you love handing it to mama and saying, “mama, color!”  what you mean is, you want me to draw pictures and have you tell me what they are.  mama has gotten really good at drawing a lot of things and you have flattered me when guessing my drawings correctly!  especially car!  mama has a hard time drawing car, but you get it every time!  your favorite things that mama draws are bear, butterfly, circle, triangle, diamond, heart, star, moon, tree, cloud, house, door, windows, people (and all their body parts), happy, sun, flower, car, train, oval, coffee, two, and bee.  we have been known to spend most of your sister’s nap time drawing together.

we have taken up bird watching at our house!  mama originally bought a really pretty ceramic birdhouse, but the birds didn’t like it too much.  after a couple days of watching, daddy saw us looking at our empty birdhouse from the window and said, “i’ll be right back.”  he went to the local wild bird store and said, “i’ve got some girls that want to see birds, load me up!”  and the lady at the store found him the perfect feeder and seed to do the trick.  daddy came up and surprised us with some fancy new bird things and we have been watching the birds ever since!  we have seen red birds, blue birds, and yellow birds so far and daddy thinks we need to make a print out of all the birds to put next to the window so we can identify them.  we are taking our bird watching seriously around here.

you are starting to learn how to dress yourself now and can get your shirt on over your head properly, but need a little help finding the holes to put your arms through.  you can name all the clothes and after you a dress you say, “shoes!” and “bow!”  you know that you are never fully dressed without a bow.  when mama puts a pony tail in your hair, you like to hold the little pony tail elastic in your hands while i fix your hair and say, “circle!”  you are so so smart!

in addition to learning shapes and numbers and weather and everything else, we have introduced responsibility and helpfulness.  which, you have taken to effortlessly.  you help mama open the window shades in the morning, you take your plate and cup to the sink after done eating, and you take such pride in doing such helpful things.  the other day, i watched you finish a cup of milk and then get up and walk your cup to the kitchen sink, without being asked to!  you now know that after you are finished, you help by cleaning up after yourself.  mama and daddy are so impressed!

we finally convinced you to try a popsicle, after weeks of trying.  mama told you it was a watermelon in order to get you to try it (slight fib), but once you realized it wasn’t, you also realized that it was really yummy!  you still prefer ice cream, and daddy has taken us on a lot of ice cream dates so far this summer.  you like to share vanilla peanut butter with mama and we like to sit outside and each it before it melts!

every morning, you exclaim, “mama!” when i walk in to get you up and it makes me smile!  you also spend your day saying, “bless you!” to anyone who coughs or sneezes, including yourself.  everything about you is pure sweet and smart and you are turning into more of a little girl each day.  i told you last night that you have to give mama a kiss every 15 minutes so i can savor you all day long.  and when i say, “mama kiss!” you run to me, with your lips all puckered up!  i just love you so so so so so so so much!

to my littlest:

happy half birthday, happy girl!  oh my goodness, you are half way to 1!  yesterday we went on a family ice cream date to celebrate your half birthday and, even though you technically didn’t get any ice cream, you were all smiles while we were celebrating with you!  you are completely adored and we can’t get enough of you.  your sister thinks you are the sweetest little thing and she loves to help you in any way that she can.  remember that, as you grow.  your sister will always be there for you, especially to help.  mama still calls her sisters regularly to talk and share advice with one another and having a sister is the best.  i am so happy you girls get to experience sisterhood.

even though you love to chew on everything and want to bring everything to your mouth, you still don’t have any teeth!  we are so surprised!  any day now we are going to see, or mama is going to feel, a little tooth!  for now we are savoring your sweet little gummy smile.

you sure love to eat!  you really love oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and sweet potato/squash purees.  you also eat peas, avocado and rice cereal.  you have become really eager about food in the last couple of weeks and really open your mouth when you see the spoon coming.  you are so happy all the time that you are trying to master smiling and eating, without losing your food!  mama will put a spoonful of food in your mouth and then you will smile at your sister and, half of your food ends up on your chin!  the same with breastfeeding!  you are so darn happy all the time, but haven’t figured out how to manage smiling and feeding at the same time.  mama has to look elsewhere when you feed because, if we lock eyes, you will start smiling away and plop!…the boob slips out.

you are sleeping pretty good, these days!  you wake up at least once a night for a feed, but are quick to fall back asleep once i lay you in your crib again.  ironically, on the weekends you skip your midnight snack and sleep through the night.  but on the weekdays, you really like a 2:00am feed.  you must know that we are going to have lots of adventures with daddy on the weekend, so you are catching up on your rest.

you really love books!  just like your sister!  you really enjoy reading with mama before bedtime and your favorite is “peek a who!?”  your sister loves reading books to you too and you are always trying to grab them while she is turning the pages.  every once in awhile, you will get the corner of the book in your mouth and you both start laughing.  honestly, seeing you both have so much fun already is the sweetest sight.

you have your doctor check up on friday and we can’t wait to see how much you have grown!  while we have a scale at home, your pediatrician told mama to stop weighing you between check ups because it was making me too worried.  he told me that it was time to put the scale in the attic for if/when another baby comes, but that you were perfectly on track with your weight and there was no reason to monitor it between appointments.  i listened and haven’t weighted you in about 6 weeks so we are so excited to get you on the scale this week!  you are right on track for all of your milestones!  you are practically crawling and we are sure you will be crawling before we know it.  you are so so strong and tummy time is your favorite.  your sister loves to surround you will your favorite toys on your play mat so you can have fun.

this summer is proving to be a lot of fun with the two of you!  between stories, birds, drawing, tummy time, bicycle riding, bubble fun and lots of picture taking, we are making the most out of each and every day.  i love everything about our days together and, as you are both getting older and older, we are really finding some fun activities that we enjoy during our daytime together.

we can’t wait for the adventures that are still to come and we love you more and more each day.

love, mama

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Ballcaps, Tummy Time & Teething, Oh My | A Glimpse At Our Everyday

it seems like our everyday is constantly changing.  while our daily schedule is the same, day in and day out, the girls are growing so quickly that no two days are the same anymore.  our littlest is becoming more and more independent each day and our oldest is becoming chattier by the minute, picking up at least 3 new words a day.  it’s endless diaper changing, endless noise, endless tidying up and endless go, go, go.  but i wouldn’t trade these days for anything.  nothing could replace how beautiful and memorable each day is with these two peanuts.  these two peanuts who are completely and utterly in love with one another.

when one does tummy time, so does the other.  when one gets milk, so does the other.  when one looks at books, the other one tries to eat them.  they are peas in a pod.  they are milk and cookies.  the are peanut butter and jelly.  they are lucy and ethel.

and even though there are days when i am outnumbered and it’s beautifully chaotic, these girls have a way of humbling me and telling me that i am doing a good job.  whether the littlest gives me a big smile or the oldest runs up behind me and gives me a big hug, it’s as though God is showing me that i’ve got everything i need in these beautiful children.  and sometimes us mamas need that reminder, especially when there is applesauce on the wall or the littlest wants to wake up before the sun wakes up.  their little smiles remind us that it’s just applesauce and that extra hour in the morning holding the littlest in the rocking chair is a gift from God.

all of this is a reminder that babies don’t keep.  they grow so quickly.  and these truly are the days, days that are fleeting.  we only get 18 summers with our kids and i am going to make each one count.  so this summer finds our everyday full of ballcaps, tummy time and teething.  it finds our everyday full of dance parties in the kitchen, being bubble machine addicts outside, and drippy popsicles in diapers on the front step.  it finds our everyday full of kissing baby cheeks, savoring their baby smell, and watching birdies at the window.  and while our everyday looks different each day as these babies insist on growing, each day is a pure gift.

need help photographing your everyday with your family?  be sure to check out my ebook The Everyday Photograph: The Art of Seeing Beauty in Ordinary Moments, where i walk you through it!

and if you have a little one like me, check out The First Twelve: A Guide To Photographing Your Baby’s First Year, where i show you how to document each and every moment.

Ballcaps, Tummy Time & Teething, Oh My | A Glimpse At Our Everyday

Ballcaps, Tummy Time & Teething, Oh My | A Glimpse At Our Everyday | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

this post contains some affiliate links, which means i get a commission for items purchased through the link.  thank you in advance for supporting my blog so i can continue inspiring you with our everyday.

all of the images within this post were taken with my DSLR and go to lens for photographing my girls

Source List

wooden activity gym | purchased on etsy

dangle toys on activity gym (car seat toys) | similar idea here

velvet hair boys | courtesy of cammi and co

to see more of our everyday, be sure to check out the posts that are trending below.  thanks for stopping by my blog, i hope i inspired you in some way today!

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Our Fourth of July | Why Staying Home Can Be So Good

every year, my husband takes the week of the fourth of july off and we just stay home.  nothing fancy, no big plans.  just a simple staycation.  in the days before kids, we would take day trips to our favorite local wineries and make pitchers of sangria and bowls of guacamole and watch food network.  but with two babies now, our winery days are on hold and we are loving the days of sidewalk chalk, bubbles and ice cream dates.  and while we love going on trips and having an agenda of activities, we are also homebodies and love, love, love a good staycation.  staying home can be so good.  it’s a way to refresh, relax and just be.  and to be honest, we mix our slow family fun with a little to do list of things we need to catch up around the house.  because, while staying home can be so good, it feels even better to get things done.  and i’ve been begging my husband to allow me to go crazy organizing the garage…

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Our Fourth of July | Why Staying Home Can Be So Good

Our Fourth of July | Why Staying Home Can Be So Good | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

with the girls being so little, we didn’t plan anything extravagant for the fourth of july.  they are too little for sparklers and are in bed long before its dark enough to enjoy fireworks in the neighborhood.   and lately, we’ve preferred living out days that are less planned.  it allows us to just enjoy our time together, without running here and there.  don’t get me wrong, we love to organize and plan outtings…but when it comes to holidays, we really enjoy life in the slow lane.  we have intentionally done this for the last few holidays and it pairs well with giving us that precious time with our kids without exhausting ourselves with activities.

the only must have for the fourth of july?  dressing the girls in their sweet red rompers and coordinating bows.  other than that, it was a day of learning how to ride a new pink tricycle, having a yummy bbq, going out to ice cream and later that night, praying that the fireworks didn’t wake the babies as we poured some wine and watched a patriotic classical “the american president.”  and oldie, but a goodie.

and at the end of the day, my husband asked if i had a good holiday and it was so nice to talk about what a great day we both had.  and to realize that we both truly enjoy a slower, less planned day with the girls.  it’s always so nice to hear that as a wife too.  i always place a lot of pressure on myself to plan and organize and do and make every moment a memory making moment, but to hear that we both enjoy a simple day is refreshing.  and that memories are made in the simple moments.

that is not to say that we didn’t absolutely tackle a list of to do’s while he was home for a week!  the last of our lawn furniture was assembled, a bird house with food was hung for our toddler (we are still waiting for birds, but the squirrels love it), our new dining table arrived, the girls’ outgrown clothes were organized in bins and placed in the attic, the girls got a new bubble machine from target that is hands down the best $11 we spent all week and we both took days to ourselves.  mixed in throughout the week were a few family coffee dates and a couple more ice cream outings.  or “cold cream,” as our toddler likes to call it.

and that garage?  you could eat dinner off our garage floor.  spotless.

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