2016 in Photos

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Yesterday's Blogtember prompt was to share five photos that describe your year so far. ANNNND I can't keep it at five. :) Just being open up front! 

We started the year by finding out we were having a BOY! Our gender sonogram was on New Year's Eve and we shared the news with friends and family (above) on January 2nd.

There's been a lot of change in my life over the last year and a half, and I couldn't have walked through any of it without my besties. I have other close friends who aren't pictured and who have been amazing, but the two above have literally carried this thing. Packed up my house when I was taking care of a sick baby and a sick self. Organized my closet when I was mourning a loss and had let life's little tasks fall to the wayside. Celebrated my joys. They have defined friendship for me and continue to do so. They've been taking care of me for a long time, and I look forward to times ahead when I can return the favor. :) Ps. Fun fact: we eat a LOT of cookie cake together. Extra icing, please!

A last hoorah trip before Beau to visit our best friend Collin in Nashville. We love this guy SO much. If you haven't noticed, we are blessed with lots of close friends that are more like family. 

I couldn't reflect over the first half of the year without remembering my big belly. Is it weird that I already can't remember what it felt like? It's so weird to me that I was ever pregnant. My maternity photos are SO precious to me having now met Beau. It's so sweet to think about the reality that my sweet boy was safe in his mama's belly in the photo above. 

The first time that I held my boy. May 11,2016. My favorite photo of all time. I am SO impressed that Ben captured this moment.

My tiny, cuddly boy! 
We walked through some of our hardest days during Beau's time in the NICU. He had the best nurses and we had the best community. One of these days I'll show y'all the list of all the visitors Beau got in the hospital. 

Bringing home our healthy little boy!
July 4 marked a year since the loss of our first baby. God has brought us through it, and I will think about that precious baby every day for the rest of my life. Beau gave his mama extra snuggles that day.

My dreams coming true! Getting to travel the world with our babe

If I had to talk about this year so far in ONE photo, It'd have to be this one. The first photo was taken on the Sunday before I delivered Beau, and the second a week before his four month birthday. 

2016 has been unexpected and sweet and horrible and real. I'm so grateful for the life that the Lord has given me, all of it!


What My Son Taught Me: Time

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

When I shared what I had learned about self perception from being Beau's mama, I was really encouraged. I loved hearing from those with similar thoughts, and writing out what I was learning really helped me evaluate and hammer in the lessons. The other day I was thinking about a few other things I think that being Beau's mama has taught me.. and a series was born.

I didn't realize it until it happened, but the second Beau was born the value of my time changed. The value of an hour of sleep gained a bit of rarity, the value of an hour spent gazing upon the sweetness of my squishy newborn skyrocketed. During Beau's time in the NICU, I really struggled with feeling like I was "missing his life". Ben was quick to assure me that I wasn't, and that we were spending every day with him, but for those two weeks, I felt like the precious moments were flying by and that even though I was his mama, I was missing them. Every day that we stayed in the hospital and couldn't take his newborn photos, I grew anxious, feeling like he would be huge by the time we could record this fleeting time. Praise God for our photographer and sweet friend Katherine, who took newborn photos for us in the hospital and the day after we arrived home. My whole perspective of time has changed so much in four months. On one hand, it has gone by so incredibly fast. It feels like Beau should still be so tiny. Like his head should still be cradled in every movement, like we should still be snuggling during sleepy, middle of the night feeds. Yet it feels like I've never not known him. I've got his face memorized and it's crazy to me that there was a point in my life when I didn't know I was having a boy, or that he would come out with a head of hair, etc. 

All that I've learned from Beau about time boils down to one simple idea. I'm more present in daily life because I know it's the only shot I get at him being that exact age. Each stage and milestone and change has happened so quickly. Even if it's a hard day, I start and end the day remembering that I'll only hold him for a very short time at that exact size. As much as I miss having a tiny newborn already, each milestone reached brings me such joy. Laughter has been by far my favorite so far. :) My little boy rolled over this week! I know it won't be long before he doesn't let me give him a hundred kisses on each cheek, so I'll be lingering in each moment for now. 

Guest Post: Making a New House feel like Home with Meet the Shaneyfelts

Monday, September 26, 2016

Hi friends, Happy Monday! Today, as part of the Blogtember Challenge, I'm welcoming my good friend Sarah to my blog. I have been so blessed by close friendships formed in blogging, and Sarah is probably my most kindred spirit of those friendships! I thought it would be fun to ask her to share her thoughts on making a brand new build feel cozy, because all of my interior experience so far has been with a fixer upper. :) Enjoy!

Check out my post on her blog, here!

Hey y'all!  I am so thankful that Victoria has allowed me to guest post on her blog today!  We have formed a genuine friendship through blogging, and one day we will have to share our story :)

For those of you who don't know me, I blog at Meet the Shaneyfelts.  My husband, Dustin, and I just celebrated two years in July, and I blog everything from life, to recipes, to fashion posts--basically everything that is my life!  Click here for a little more info!

After we married two years ago, we moved into a cute townhouse apartment in our small town because we couldn't decide whether we wanted to buy a house or build.  After living in that apartment for about six months, we decided to start looking around to buy because we thought that building would be way out of our price range.  Well, we were wrong.

We bought our lot in February of 2015, building started in March 2015 (thanks to snow and lots of rain), and we moved in the very last day of June 2015!

Because we moved into a brand new home, I am--and have been--very intentional in how I make our house a home.  In how I make our home comfortable and inviting to others.  It's important to me that each piece in our home tells a story.

I have made it a point to decorate our home seasonally throughout the year because whenever we do have children, I want our children to grow up with the memory of having a home always decorated for each season.

This is how I decorated our front porch our very first fall last year.  I was so excited to have my own space to decorate!

And so far this fall....
 ...I haven't really decorated.  I learned last year that mums require sunlight and only half of our porch ever sees the sun so only half of each mum lived ha!  And since we had 100 degree heat yesterday, it's been too hot to decorate any extra.  You can't see my ceramic pumpkins in this picture, but those and this door hanger is pretty much it right now.

 In our entryway, I always keep some sort of candy in the candy dish.  Since it's fall, I've got candy corn in it.  The crystal candy dish was my step-grandmother's dish, and the antique dresser was generously gifted to us by a wonderful lady in my town.  The story behind it is so beautiful and special.

 I keep a candle burning by the sink, and because our home is an open floor plan, the smell wafts throughout the house.  I believe that homes are always more welcoming and comfortable when they smell good!

 I always make it a point to decorate with items that are special to Dustin and I.  Dustin has a degree in wildlife science from Auburn University, and when we first started dating, he was working with wildlife management at The Nature Conservancy on a military base in Mississippi.  I've incorporated his love of the outdoors and wildlife into our decor.  The antler is from a deer he killed.  Sanctuary contains pictures from his old job site in MS, and the author even sat down with him and his coworkers while writing the book.  Wildlife of the South represents Dustin's passion.

 There's nothing worse, in my opinion, than going to someone's house and freezing!  Because of that, I wanted to keep a few blankets and throws in the living room in case anyone was ever cold in our house.  I appreciate having blankets to use at my friends' homes!

All of the art on the walls in our home is representative of either Dustin or me.  I have a huge reprint of a Georgia O'Keefe painting hanging of our living room because a substitute in fifth grade once gave my class an art lesson on O'Keefe and had us paint our own flowers--and ever since then, I've loved her work.

(sorry for the horrible picture quality--reflections galore!)
Larry Chandler was a very famous artist from my hometown.  He was very famous for painting wildlife and sporting dogs.  I picked up this signed print from a frame shop downtown that still had some of his artwork, and I surprised Dustin with it when we moved into our new home!

Because I want all of the artwork to have meaning--not something from Hobby Lobby that I just picked up because it was pretty--it has taken a while to decorate our walls.  It's very important that our home be representative of us in our hobbies and passions, and I believe that our home is slowly becoming that!

How have you made your house a home?

Friday No. 45

Friday, September 23, 2016

No. 1
This week, my little boy's Pottery Barn Kids Anywhere chair arrived! It was a sweet gift from my in law's and I feel like these chairs are almost a right of passage for a young, American child. Haha! Beau already loved sitting in it, as you can tell!

No. 2

I'm a little too excited for fall tv to be back. Along with the rest of the world (at least according to my Facebook and group messages) I LOVED the pilot for "This is Us" on NBC. It felt so much like Parenthood and it really made me just, feel. I loved it. Can't wait for the next episode. 

No. 3
Last Sunday I hosted my first postpartum shower. This is a thing in my world! :) It was a couples shower, an "I Do BBQ" and it went great. We had it at my in laws, because of a big house project we have coming up (can't wait to share this week!) and it was so great. I love showering people, and already have another event on the calendar for January, to shower my bestie Polly and her new baby! I am counting down the days until we find out the gender and change my guess often. 

No. 4

I am consistently amazed at how similar my taste is with my friend Sarah. She sent me this sign over the weekend and said we both needed it, haha! It's a little more farmhouse-y than I would usually go for, but I'm excited to find it a happy home! 

All of my Friday posts can be found here.



Thursday, September 22, 2016

Well, the only way I know to intro this is to say that you know you're a mom when there's a children's book on your fall wishlist. :) 

Blush Bell Sleeve Top  (found via Sarah Tucker) I've been wanting a bell sleeve top, but a lot of times they are cropped. This one isn't, And it comes in blush, so I'm sold.
Magnolia Dress- I ordered this and am SO excited to try it on. I ordered a size up for length.
Comfy Tunic - I already have this, but I just need to emphasize your need (well, not actually need, but you know what I mean!) for this gorgeous tunic. It's long enough to wear with leggings but short enough that it still looks good with jeans!
Maroon Skinny Jeans - These are another item that I already own, and love! As an Aggie, a purchase of maroon skinnies was long overdue, but these are adorable for anyone for fall, in my humble opinion. For me, they ran true to size and are currently 30% off! :)
Children's Book - I love reading to Beau and we have a TON of books. A lot of them are geared towards a toddler who is learning things though.. so like, a page with a picture of a pig and the words "pig" and "oink!" Not very fun to read to a four month old. Beau actually stays really engaged with sweet stories, and this is a biblically based children's story that we have at our church.
Vest- Usually I'm a navy girl through and through, but the forest green color way of this vest really caught my eye!

The Blogtember Challenge Day 19: My Favorite Blog Posts

Monday, September 19, 2016

Over my years of blogging, I have many favorite posts. Some have been fun to write, others hard to write. Others have brought perspective or healing or deep connection with others. I've had SO much fun blogging. People in my life often comment on how I've managed to keep up with it, but the answer is always the same. It's a hobby for me like other people play golf or go antiquing or whatever. I'll be writing long after y'all have stopped reading. ;)

Our Pregnancy Announcement was a post that revealed so much of my heart. I felt like I really honestly laid out our excitement, some of the heartbreak from our miscarriage... we didn't like keeping our little bug a secret and finally getting to share the news with y'all was the absolute sweetest thing! 

Along those lines, Beau's Gender Reveal Party was one of the best days. I'm so proud of how the party turned out and it was so much fun to celebrate with friends and family. I'm already daydreaming a ton about Beau's first birthday!

A really cool thing was meeting Chip & Joanna Gaines, a few months before Fixer Upper started airing. I told Joanna that I loved her blog and wanted to meet an interior designer I admired and she said "stop it!!" and gave me a huge hug. We chatted with Chip (conversation lead by my bestie's mom) for about ten minutes. These people were exactly what you see on tv. So down to earth and I love that I got to meet them, especially before they became household names.

Our Experience Modeling for Southern Weddings Magazine felt like a dream, and still feels like a dream! 

By far my most read blog post details how we started using The Envelope System for budgeting in 2012. I need to do an update (several people have requested!) detailing how we still use this system and how it's changed for us over the years, especially now that we have a baby. 

Writing this post on weight loss was one of my first dips into vulnerable posts. Writing about my experience felt like I was drawing attention to my weakness, which is counteractive to a lot of human instincts.. but if my weakness can draw attention to the Lord or help others, I'll gladly share! I try to be an open book to everyone in my life, including blog readers. I want to be transparent and genuine with people as much as possible.

I also really love all of my travel posts. Looking back at all of our personal photos from traveling makes me so happy! I love that a desire to travel is something that Ben and I share, and think Beau does now, too! :)

For my loyal blog readers.. I'd love to hear what your favorite posts I've written have been! Or if you blog, what your favorite post you've written is! :) 

Friday No. 44

Friday, September 16, 2016

This post is a little late today, some mishaps this morning kept me from posting it but I love Friday posts and hope y'all do too so better late than never! :) 

No. 1
I'm sure y'all have heard about this LA times short story... but let me just reiterate what a good read it is!

No. 2
This week I fell in love... with a rug. Overall, I shy away from a lot of color when decorating, but blue is my exception. I had looked at this gorgeous rug online several times but when I saw it in store at Pottery Barn I about lost my marbles. It's a splurge, but I'm dreaming of getting to a place where our home is filled with quality items, maybe one day Santa will bring me this rug? :)

No. 3
Speaking of home decor, I made something new and picked something new up this week. 

Since I made little DIY silhouettes for our cousins a few years ago, I've been dreaming of making them for my own children. Because of Beau's hair, this literally looks like the silhouette of a five year old, haha!

I also picked this up last weekend! It first caught my eye at Hobby Lobby about a year ago when visiting Nicole with Jamie at a Mississippi Hobby Lobby, haha! :) But when I saw my friend Sarah bought it, I knew I had to go back and grab it!

No. 4

A few of y'all had asked me to update you on my TOMS booties purchase. I still feel like they're kind of out of my comfort zone, but I like them a lot! I haven't worn them much since it's still hot, but I threw them on to show y'all my new favorite clothing item ever- this vest from Matilda Jane! If you order, use my bestie at checkout. I'm not doing a party or anything, I just love it and want y'all to know and support my friend! :)

No. 5

One of my favorite photos from this week is Beau snuggling with his sweet friend Hallie! Hallie read him lots of books and was so good with him. Hallie is the daughter of our good friends Tyler and Polly, and they are expecting another baby in March! I am SO excited and we've already got plans brewing for a baby shower in January. I'll keep y'all posted, since you know I'm party crazy! 

All of my Friday posts can be found here.

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