Our Getaway To The Outer Banks

with our ten year anniversary on the horizon this year, we cuddled on the couch and planned a trip.  our initial plan to go to london for our 10 year was quickly put back onto our growing travel wishlist for when the girls are a little older and we got excited about a trip to the outer banks.  having a two year old and a 4 month old meant that we were ready for a little rest and relaxation…as much as possible with two small ones.  what better than packing up the car and heading to the beach!?  the outer banks has been on our wish list for awhile now and we initially considered it for our babymoon getaway in 2015 before our first was born, but we went to new york city instead because we instantly knew that the beach would be a wonderful trip to take as a whole family.  i am so glad we waited for kids to take this trip because our getaway to the outer banks was a perfect family vacation.

my husband had the great idea to rent us a minivan for our trip, since traveling with two babies means bringing a lot of things!  he also had an ulterior motive of making me fall in love with a minivan during this trip…which actually worked, darn it!  i will admit that the van is crazy functional for a growing family, so he is winning this argument.  i gotta let him win one every once in awhile, as long as it comes with sunroof and deluxe media package.  🙂  and i tested that it could spin some donuts in the target parking lot, so it has a wonderful turning radius!

being only 4 hours away from home, the outer banks was a perfect first vacation for our 4 month old.  we’ve done a 8 hour road trip, several plane rides, and traveled out of the country  with our two year old before too, so we already knew she traveled well.  but above all, being an avid nicholas sparks reader (i even met him in person a few years ago!) i knew visiting this area was a bucket list item for me.

need help photographing your everyday moments with your family?  be sure to check out my ebook the everyday photograph!

Our Getaway To The Outer Banks

Our Getaway To The Outer Banks | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

having two really little ones, we kept a general idea of things we wanted to do but we didn’t make firm plans.  instead, we made the plan to go with the flow and do as much or as little as we wanted each day.  we stayed in a beautiful 4 seasons condo in kitty hawk, north carolina and spent most of our time around there and the town of duck.  one of our favorite outings was to visit body’s island light house.  it was a rather short trip, as our girls weren’t tall enough to be allowed to go up to the top of the light house, but we had fun talking to the park ranger and walking the boardwalk.

whenever you travel you are bound to forget to pack something.  and for us, it was the girls’ beach hats.  (i am still kicking myself in the pants for forgetting them because i had found the perfect matching pair of eyelit hats for the girls!)  and goodness was it warm during our stay!  usually the temperatures were in the 90’s, which was rather warm for my liking with two young babies.  nevertheless, we couldn’t go all that way to the ocean and not see it.  so we started our hunt for baby hats, traveling around to many local beach shops to try and find cute, and preferably matching, hats for the girls that didn’t make us cringe!  we finally found some cute hats for the girls and plopped them on top of their cute heads and, with our beach buckets in hand, we walked to the beach.

the beach was an even shorter trip than the lighthouse.  totaling maybe 5 minutes.

our little toddler wasn’t a fan of the sand.  (which really i should have remembered from our beach trip in cabo san lucas, mexico but didn’t).

but we were there long enough to watch the waves and listen to the sound of the ocean before trudging back up the sand dunes to the glorified minivan.  but hey, all of us technically got sand on our toes so we called it a win and went to dinner!  sooooooo glad we stressed so much about the missing beach hats.  🙂

our resort had a wonderful indoor waterpark with water slides and lazy river, so our swim school loving toddler was in heaven there!  and her daddy had way too much fun on the water slide.  🙂

Our Getaway To The Outer Banks | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

before heading home, we spent an afternoon at the aquarium…which turned out to be a hit for our toddler!  she loved saying “turtle!”, “fish!”, “shark!” and loved peering into all of the tanks to see what was swimming inside.  before leaving, she loved touching each and every stuffed animal in the gift shop and we miraculously made it out of that gift shop without a hefty bill!

all and all, our getaway to the outer banks was a huge win for our family.  i left my camera at home (cell phone only) and was able to relax.  our girls were impeccably behaved in every restaurant we visited and our toddler completely wowed everyone with her “hello’s and bye bye’s” when someone would walk by our table.  this vacation truly reminded us how important taking time for our family is.  we love providing experiences for our girls and are already planning another vacation.

but we were ready to come home too.  i think this last photo says it all.  vacation is wonderful, but we were pooped.  when it comes to traveling, it is so worth it.  yes, it is hard to pack up everything and head somewhere new.  yes, it is hard to take your daily routine with little ones and shake it up a bit.  but the memories that it creates for our family definitely outweighs all the stress brought upon by travel prep.  and we are bound and determined to create a childhood full of experiences and memories for these two little babies.  because someday we will all look back on these times together and hear them say, “remember when we went to…”  and then we will relive all those moments again.

we love you, outer banks!  until next time…

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Letters To My Children | May 2018

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.

Letters To My Children | May 2018

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

felt flower headband and clip by fancy free finery

thursday, may 10, 2018

dear babies,

while most days i have you both napping at the same time, which has earned me a whole new level in rockstar mama hood, yesterday was a little different.  yesterday you both decided that you didn’t want to nap so i grabbed my camera and we took our monthly sister photos.  it is when i look at this series of photos that i finally realize that i have a toddler.  you’ve been looking older and older lately, but i guess these photos really reflect that for me.  everyone has also been telling me how much we look alike and, it is now that i am really seeing it!  you definitely have a little bit of mama in you, especially in that last photo.

both of you have grown so much in the past month, in different ways.  i was catching up on editing your photos this past week and it amazes me how much can change in the span of just one month.  you will never be as young again as you are in this moment, which has me kissing and cuddling you both like crazy!

to my oldest:

you are a lover of the simple things and i can’t be more humbled by you.  lately, our favorite thing to do is sit on the front step in the afternoon and wait for daddy to come home from work.  while waiting for him, you like to alternate between sitting on the step and grabbing my hand and saying “walk!”  then we go for a little walk up and down the sidewalk, hand in hand, before sitting back down on the step.  while waiting for daddy, you wave at everyone who drives, walks or runs by and it is darling.  we have some of the sweetest neighbors and if they walk by around that time they will call out “hi girls!” to the three of us.  daddy sure loves seeing us all waving at him when he drives up.  he always says, “well you girls are just the cutest thing ever!” or “how cute are you!?”  we love our daddy.

you now call out “mama!” all the time.  even as i type this you are saying it on repeat as you sit on your window bench and it is music to my ears!  i remember there was a day when you only said “dada” and i was begging you to say my name.  now, it is one of your favorite things to say and i love hearing you say it.

another thing you a really good at doing now is climbing up onto your chair at dinnertime and buckling yourself into your booster seat!  you did it for the first time last week and i didn’t realize it!  i asked daddy, “did you put her in her chair and buckle her in!?”  after he said no, we were both so astonished that you did it all by yourself while we were plating dinner and now we watch you do it every night and cheer for you!  you love buckles, whether it is buckling yourself into your booster seat or helping buckle your little sister into her favorite bouncing seat or her bumbo.  we love having you at the dinner table with us now.  it is so important for us to join together at the end of the day and talk and laugh.  our table has many years of wonderful family conversation ahead of it and i can’t wait to hear everything you and your little sister have to say to daddy and i in the years ahead.  i am sure there will be a lot of whispering between the two of you at that table too.

we are stilling working on our two word phrases and we have mastered “please” and “thank you.”  you say please with everything because you know it will get you what you want, as we cannot resist rewarding your “pleases.”  you say please so much that the other day you were handing me your empty milk cup and said “thank you please!”  i just about fell over laughing so much!  you were thanking me for the milk, please!  your most used two word phrase right now is “help please.”  daddy and i agree that you are going to just start talking in sentences one of these days…you are just on the verge of saying so much!

to my littlest:

you will be 4 months in a few short days and you are officially the smiliest baby there ever was.  we only have to look in your direction and you start grinning from ear to ear!  your sister was more stingy with her smiles and made us work for them when she was your age, but you are happy to share them freely all the time!  and while you shared a laugh with us weeks ago, we are still working really hard on getting you to do it more.  mama has found a tickle spot that earns some really soft giggles and you really like it when i speak in a really low voice…it makes you want to laugh!  kissing your neck also makes you squirm and want to giggle, you really like that!

you are getting better and better at feeding.  you still only like to eat when it is your idea, so i am taking your queues.  and you make fast work at it, you are on and off!  which i can’t complain about, you are very efficient.  and although your weight has naturally slowed, just like it is supposed to at this age, you are officially 14 lbs!  you will be doubling your birth weight here within the next week or so, which is right on track!  there is nothing i love more than your little leg and arm rolls!  i just want to nibble you!

one thing though, biting.  why are you biting mama?  someone said yesterday that biting while breastfeeding is the way babies tell you that they love you, but i am not quite falling for that one.  i will settle for baby smiles and giggles as a sign of love, if you want to stop that biting during feeds.  ouchie!  i guess i can’t quite call it biting since you don’t have teeth, but you have some mighty strong gums that make mama yelp!

as for tummy time, you are a rockstar still!  and you actually like it now.  you used to fuss a little throughout, but now you are mostly happy and…a little show off!  🙂  all of that neck control means that you will be able to use what we love to call the baby command center next week!  you are going to love it so much, just as your sister did!  i can’t believe it is time to use it again!

as for sleep, you are taking two really good naps during the day…and a few cat naps between those.  you are able to stay away for about 90 minutes to 2 hours at a time before you are really ready for a rest.  in the evenings, you are sleeping about a 3-4 hour stretch.  i think you are nearing the 4 month sleep regression because we haven’t gotten a 5 hour stretch in awhile.  but the good thing about your waking at night is that you are easy to put back to sleep after a feed.

you have discovered your thumb!  your sister and you both discovered thumb sucking at 3 1/2 months, on the dot!  while neither of you took a pacifier, you both preferred the thumb.

both of you are at such an enjoyable age right now and watching you together is one of the best parts of parenthood.   one of my favorite things about photographing you together is that i am photographing the beginning of such a beautiful relationship.  these photos are a gift for you.  for you to look back on and see where your beautiful friendship began.  and it is truly the most beautiful relationship i have ever seen.  it still amazes me that you both took to one another so effortlessly.  it is as if you knew one another in heaven before being sent to us, one at a time, to start your sweet little lives.

i say it so much, but will say it again.  daddy and i say every day how lucky we are to not only have such beautiful children, but such happy and healthy little girls.  we really are so blessed and are so in love with this life of ours.  because of you!

now it’s time for me to hit the pause button on this day and simply live in this beautiful moment with you both.

i love you.

mama

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An American Girl Doll Birthday Brunch

having just received a real live baby sister in january, we noticed how sweet our two year old was with babies so it only seemed perfect that she get a baby of her own for her second birthday.  with a ballerina birthday party scheduled with friends for her over of the weekend, we wanted to do something just as a family with her on her actual birthday.  i’ve mentioned before that my husband and i are really intentional about creating experiences for our girls.  experiences not only facilitate learning and wonderment, but they also create memories.  i briefly debated whether she was too young for an american girl doll birthday brunch, but she quickly showed us she was ready for such a fun outing and baby doll responsibility from the moment we arrived at the store/restaurant.

be sure to check out my ebook The Everyday Photograph to learn more about how i photograph our everyday.

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.

An American Girl Doll Birthday Brunch

An American Girl Doll Birthday Brunch | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

i could talk about this husband of mine all day long, but the best thing about him is how wonderful of a daddy he is.  a girl daddy.  i really can’t tell you how much fun we are both having, being parents of two girls!  we are so so lucky!  he is only too happy to wear a crown and sit at our daughter’s tea table or pitch in helping put bows in their hair as we rush out the door.  and he didn’t even bat an eye when our sweet girl pulled him into the doll store and picked out her very first bitty baby.  he helped her find one that looked just like her, with blonde hair and blue eyes.  he even asked if we should buy some accessories and clothes too, but we settled on starting with the doll.  🙂  he even helped name her betty.  betty the baby, how cute is that!  everyone says how lucky he is to be surrounded by such beautiful girls, but we are luckier to have such a guy.  he is the real deal.

our american girl doll birthday brunch was so much fun.  the waitress brought a little highchair for betty the baby to sit in next to our daughter’s high chair.  once seated, she brought the doll a “cup of tea” that thrilled all of us to pieces.  our birthday girl had so much fun taking turns sipping tea from the tiny cup (with her little finger in the air!) and feeding tea to her baby.  and that little tea saucer made for a perfect hat!  when she wasn’t holding her baby’s hand or sharing her birthday cookie with her, she had fun pointing out her eyes, nose and ears for us.  bless her heart, she was so ready to have a dolly of her own.  any doubt that i previously had about whether she was ready or not for a bitty baby were quickly squashed.

and now that we are home, she and betty are the best of friends.  she also got the cutest new doll highchair for her birthday and loves putting her in and taking her out of it.  all in all, it was a great birthday and something that my husband definitely want to do with our girls again soon.

An American Girl Doll Birthday Brunch | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

and this little 3 month cutie pie slept through the entire outing, until we sang happy birthday!  then she promptly woke up to join in the fun and wish her sweet big sister a happy birthday.

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  • Rebekah - Ours loves her bitty baby! My husband also picked her out for our daughter, but we choose to give her the baby at the arrival/meeting of her new sister! It has been so fun to watch her develop into a care giver of the baby – rocking, feeding, patting, pushing around, and putting her to bed. Can’t wait to see the adventure pictures down the road!ReplyCancel

    • {beth} a-dilly - awe, that is such a great big sister gift!! and yes, it is so much fun watching them be little mamas with their doll…i love it so much!ReplyCancel

Our Summer Bucket List

this week, after one baby was in bed and the other was asleep in my arms, my husband and i decided it would be fun to create a summer bucket list of activities to do with our girls this summer.  with our first being two years old and our second 3 months, we wanted to keep the activities simple…but also be meaningful and full of fun.  if there is one thing that we are both passionate about, it is creating experiences for our girls.

having a summer bucket list is always fun because you can check off things as you go, and you always have something to rely on should you have a free weekend and not know how to fill your time!  when creating ours, we mixed in big activities that would take us places with simple activities that we could do around the house with the girls.  remember, children remember even the smallest and simplest of things…so don’t feel like you have to spend money in order to create memories.  building a fort is completely free and your kids will love it!  once you have your bucket list, be sure to print it out and keep it somewhere where your kids can see it and interact with it, as you cross things off throughout the summer!

below you will find our summer bucket list, with ideas you can use for inspiration.  remember, our kids are both under 2 years old so ours is geared towards little ones.  while we would love to put “camp in the backyard” on our list, we won’t be doing that until next summer.  🙂  be sure to create your own list, with your own kids’ interests in mind!

as you are creating your summer bucket list, don’t forget to take pictures!  if you need help photographing your everyday, be sure to check out my ebook the everyday photograph!

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.

Our Summer Bucket List

Our Summer Bucket List | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

family photo: dresses / bows / bracelets

Our Summer Bucket List

ride the ferris wheel

eat ice cream on the front step

go on a road trip

play with sidewalk chalk

play in the sand at the beach

build a fort

eat watermelon

walk to the park

go to the library

have a tea party

play in the sprinkler

go on a wagon ride

have a movie night

take a family picture

go on a picnic

go to the zoo

bake cookies

go to a baseball game

have a play date with friends

get dressed up for a family date

 + + + + +

as you are creating your summer bucket list, don’t forget to take pictures!  if you need help photographing your everyday, be sure to check out my ebook the everyday photograph!

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Pajama Day | Documenting Her Final Nursery Days

last thursday i knew it was going to be a pajama day before i even opened my eyes.  the little 3 month old next to me was sniffling and i could hear coughing coming from the baby monitor on my nightstand, meaning the toddler was feeling sniffly too.  after putting my hair in a simple pony tail and changing both of their diapers, i put them in a fresh pair of pajamas and declared it “pajama day!”  it turned out to be one of the best days ever, as both of my girls were smiley and in wonderful spirit, despite their runny noses.  turns out, allergies!  those pretty flowers that are blooming outdoors make my little ones sniffly…they get it from their daddy.  but my goodness, we should have bought stock in tissues because it was booger city at our house.

need some help photographing your everyday?  check out how i do it in the everyday photograph!

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.

with our oldest officially two, we are expecting the day when we disassemble that crib that we just assembled while pregnant with her and transitioning to a big girl bed.  we don’t know if it will be in the next weeks or in the next months; it is something we are chatting with her pediatrician about today and we are waiting for her to show us she is ready.  she is showing no signs of wanting to upgrade, she simply loves her bed.  she never tries to climb out of it (despite the photo of her playing that way below 🙂 ) and she has always been the best sleeper so i don’t want to mess up a good thing!  i promised myself i wouldn’t transition her until her little sister is transitioned into sleeping through the night in her room…mama can’t have two transitions with sleep at once!  that would be unwise.

but despite all of the details, i know this time in the crib is likely coming to an end by the end of summer and i wanted to document her in her crib before that day comes.  and her daddy and i are having a little too much fun styling her new room makeover (and for those who really know me, you know i have a little blueprint all laid out) so in a way i am excited to see the crib days go, but i am also clutching on to one of the last things that truly makes her a baby.  motherhood is always a fine balance of hanging on to yesterday and being excited for tomorrow.  i always try to balance myself somewhere right in between.  so before that day comes where we take this sweet crib apart, i document everything about her and her first bed.

motherhood has taught me to live life with intention, so i am always intentional about capturing all the moments with my camera before my little ones outgrow those moments.  i never want to wish i would have taken the picture, so i always take the picture.

Pajama Day | Documenting Her Final Nursery Days

Pajama Day | Documenting Her Final Nursery Days | www.bethadilly.com | Bethadilly Photography

this little photo series started when i noticed my 2 year old playing sweetly with her baby mobile.  what once hung above her as a newborn baby to captivate her attention was suddenly within arms reach and became a really fun toy to bat her arms at.

Nursery Source List

watercolor animal art prints | purchased on etsy here

felt elephant mobile | purchased on etys, similar item here

crib with drawer underneath | can be purchased here

bunny crib sheets | similar idea here

bunny pajamas | can be purchased here

pink hair snap clip | can be purchased here

Pajama Day | Documenting Her Final Nursery Days | www.bethadilly.com | Bethadilly Photography

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