Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The {South} Life 2016

Being a photographer myself has made me want to ensure that I am capturing our family each and every year. Some years a little more than others but nonetheless, captured. And not just by my camera either, it's so important to me that I be in some of these pictures with my boys and my husband. I'd hate for my boys to look back at all these images one day that I compiled and there be very few pictures of me with them. So each year I make it a priority to have family pictures done and not just with anyone but with Katy from Katy Gitto Photography--she's the absolute BESTEST---And yes, I just made that a word.

This year I signed up for a mini-session of hers which isn't usually what I go for because I like to have her all to ourselves and for a little more time but April was one of the busiest and most challenging months I have had, both personally and professionally and I just didn't have time to think about too much else. I saw her post pop up, I grabbed an open slot and pushed it out of my mind. Then I saw her reminder come through and thought, "Oh shit. Yup, that's this Friday." & immediately went to what are we going to wear. I didn't have time to do my usual online shopping where I buy two of everything and then return 90% of it so I had to make do with our closets. And trust me, that's not always a bad thing, I've learned that we have plenty to work with, just takes a little extra time sorting through things. I actually even told Justin that if I didn't find anything in our closets that I would just have the boys do this shoot, or Logan for his 5 year old shoot but at the 11th hour I pulled it together.

Here's a little look at our ten minute shoot---seriously, if you haven't tried a mini-shoot, you should. Kids and husbands love that it's not that long and usually kids can smile for 10-15 minutes pretty naturally before getting tired or bored or both.

Wait, before I show you our new pictures, let's take a little stroll down memory lane since Katy has captured us for more than 4 years now!

May 2012

April 2013

May 2014

May 2015

And now, April 2016.

A few things that have changed over the years---my hair color, Justin's lack of hair and Kaden's lack of teeth. A few things that have remained the same---Logan's luscious blond locks, both boys' infectious smiles and their love for us. We are so blessed.

Saturday, April 23, 2016


We love the zoo and it's the perfect place to go for a little weekend fun. If you haven't been to the Kansas City Zoo, it's a must see. You can easily do it all in one day while getting up close and personal with gorillas, koalas, penguins and elephants. Or you can break it up into multiple trips, one day taking on Australia and the next time heading out to Africa and taking the Sky Safari over the zebras, giraffes and rhinos. Like I said, we love going to the zoo.

So with family in town and beautiful weather in the forecast it was the only place that made sense to spend our afternoon. & the first thing we did, renewed our Friends of the Zoo membership.

& then they were off. Only pausing long enough for us to get "a" shot, not "the" shot.

I mean these two. Seriously. They are the cutest thing on the planet and sure love being around one another. 

The zoo was packed but the kids hung in there and waited in lines for both the carousel and the Sky Safari. & although the Sky Safari is typically the highlight of the trip, this particular trip is was just over the top GREAT. Kaden and Justin went first, then Logan and I jumped on and Madison followed with her mom and dad. 

Next thing I hear, "Aunt Kayla, Look! Giraffes!" "And look zebras too." Cutest thing I had heard in a long time. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Magic Kingdom

After the boys enjoyed the pool for a few days while I worked, I got a day off to relax with them. We didn't really relax though, we were on the first tram to Magic Kingdom.

We weren't sure what to expect with Magic Kingdom, it was suppose to be lighter traffic than usual but then again, it's the Magic Kingdom. I ditched my 31 sling and decided to take one of the boys' backpacks--much easier to manage & it allowed me to take my nice camera too.

I used again and our day was mapped out. We started with the Seven Dwarfs Train which was smart because it seemed to always have the longest lines but thankfully had some fun toys to play along the way.

I figured that since Logan was more than tall enough for the ride that it was a little roller-coaster but once we boarded we quickly figured out it was a little more.

Needless to say, I was the only one that really enjoyed it. Both boys weren't so thrilled and insisted on never going on it again and Justin was a little queasy--he doesn't do well with roller-coasters. I had to promise that I wouldn't take them on anything else like that again just to get them to go on our next ride. Thankfully it was pretty slow moving but still rotated and Justin was a little green. He took a break during Tales with Belle which was a total highlight for me and the kids as the boys were casted in recreating Beauty and the Beast. Kaden got the lead as the Beast and Logan got to be a picture frame but in the end, he stole the show.

The lighting wasn't all that great so the video is a little blurry but Kaden got to dance with Belle.

And then they introduced the cast, one by one. And when Logan came up to meet Belle, he stole her heart.

And I wasn't fast enough to actually catch the kiss Belle placed on Logan's cheek but we got the evidence. I couldn't believe how red Logan got in the face when his dad asked him about the kiss. He came up to me later in the day and whispered to me how much he loved Belled but that I couldn't tell anyone.

We did It's a Small World and as soon as we got into line, I was taken back to when I was 10 and with my parents. That song. Enough said. Although I don't remember everything about that ride, I can't imagine the worlds were as beautifully done as they are  now.

After leaving It's a Small World we headed right over to the carousel, the line was as short as it had been all day and even though it was relatively short, we made the most of our time waiting.

And as we were on the carousel, the boys saw the Sword in the Stone and both felt they could pull it out of the stone just like Arthur did. 

No such luck. Maybe next time. We were all starving and needed a little refueling so we headed to grab something to eat and take in the lunchtime parade with a few friends. 

We got our second wind and off we went to another area of the park. Both boys wanted to drive the race cars and although Justin wasn't all that excited, I think he got the better end of the deal--Logan SUCKED at keeping the car on the road. 

We rode Dumbo the Flying Elephant, played in the fountains, jumped on the Tea Cups and met one more princess before heading down to the big show.

And then all their character dreams came true, one right after another. 

It was one VERY MAGICAL DAY and one we won't be forgetting anytime soon.