Category Archives: personal

Mommy Loves Elizabeth Leah Part I

My self-portraits with Elizabeth began pretty early. When I was pregnant with her I stood in front of this very window in our living room at every 5 week mark in my pregnancy & took a photograph with her. I moved furniture, waited for the right time of day & used our tripod & self-timer to get this special silhouette moment.

As I took these photo’s, they became so special to me. And then on her due date, Eric helped me & we took this picture below together.

December 31, 2015 – Elizabeth was 12 days old

I knew while taking the 5 week bump photo’s, that I wanted to incorporate photo’s of myself with our children. I knew it would take work & time but I’ve come to treasure these photographs of Elizabeth & I so very much.

I look forward to in the future adding other children into the photo’s & commemorating more & more memories.

This project has stretched me as a mother & as a photographer. I wanted to share these photos to encourage other momma’s & momma photographers to remember moments with their littles. For they won’t be little long.

This is a project of love and out of the desire to leave a legacy for our children.

May 2016 – Elizabeth was 5 Months June 2016 – Elizabeth was 6 Months | Full disclosure, I wasn’t able to get the angle of the room that I wanted while holding a sleeping baby girl 🙂 Eric stepped in & took the photo for me after I set up the settings of my camera. August 2016 – Elizabeth was 8 Months      September 2016 – Elizabeth was 9 Months | I wanted to capture our routine of me feeding her because I knew it was a brief season we shared together. September 2016 – Elizabeth was 9 Months October 2016 – Elizabeth was 10 Months | Elizabeth sits at my feet when I get ready in the morning & I wanted to record that.

November 2016 – Elizabeth was 11 Months | We had a storm & I was trying to distract Elizabeth from the noise of it & these precious moments happened.

    

Thank you for walking through my self-portraits with Elizabeth from 2016. I wish there were more but I am so thankful for the ones we have together.

My very best tip for making a self-portrait with your kiddos happen, is to do it. When you see a moment that you want to remember, do it. Grab your camera & make it happen.

 

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Elizabeth is 5, 6, 7, Wait 8 Months Old!

I’m quite behind on blogging Elizabeth’s Monthly Updates. I always post on my personal facebook page & Instagram (feel free to follow me THERE) but I’ve not been diligent in posting on my blog! Sooooo I decided to take her last four main monthly pics & combine them all into one blog post before she turns 9 Months (which is in just a few days actually! 🙁 )

So take a minute & see how our daughter, Elizabeth Leah has grown!!! We love her SO much!

Hi friends!!! On my “dada’s” birthday, May 19, I turned 5 Months! Yay!!! My favorite things to do are TALK (My mommy would like me to point out that I’m not really talking, I’m baby talking. I basically say “dada” all day 😉 ). Put my fingers in my mouth & suck on them. TALK. Sing. TALK. Sit in my highchair like a big girl. TALK. Be with my dada. TALK. Avoid naps longer then 45 minutes whenever possible. TALK. Smile & laugh. And talk some more! Oh, I got to go to the Miller Park Zoo this month! I don’t remember much of it since I slept thru most of it but it was fun being with my mommy & my friends 🙂 See you next time!

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Hey guys! As of this past Sunday, I am now half a year old- 6 Months! Sunday was very special in
that I was dedicated to the Lord, wore this pretty dress, it was Dada’s Day & I got to go in a pool for the very first time! Wasn’t too excited about that last thing but it was a fun day altogether 🙂 I’m getting more & more interested with toys & grabbing things like mommy’s face. My favorite part of the day is when dada comes home & I like being outside & watching leaves on trees move. But let me tell you, there’s this new thing that’s been happening lately that I really don’t like. Sometimes when I’m sitting in my highchair just minding my own business, mommy has this skinny long thing in her hand & she scoops goop onto the end of it. She then uses the skinny thing to put the goop into my mouth & I don’t like it ONE BIT! It’s nasty! So far whatever she’s putting in my mouth does not taste good! Hopefully that will stop soon & I can go back to just drinking my milk! I’ll let you know next month how it’s going!
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Hi friends! I’m 7 months now & lovin’ life! Every day I like to sing, make lots of high pitched noises & talk. I give mommy & dada kisses & can find the tag on anything I’m given. That’s pretty much my favorite part of any toy is the tag! I love to play with the doggies at my Grandma & Grandpa’s & play with my best friend Cadence. That goopy stuff I keep being given is actually tasting pretty good! And I’ve been quite attached to mommy lately since I’ve got these two little white things inside my mouth trying to poke out. Well that’s about it-bye until next time!
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I’m one day into being 8 Months! I’m getting bigger & bigger! This past month I went on a “vacation” with momma & dada. I made new friends & road in the car for a VERY long time & saw animals at a zoo! I’m working really hard on a few new things like clapping, pointing & waving. I like to eat any food that’s orange like carrots & sweet potatoes & jumping & singing are my favorite things to do. I’m sleeping very well at night & taking naps. I am also starting to play on my own & let mom do things which she says is very helpful! Yay (insert me clapping my hands 👏🏻) for 8 Months!!!
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Elizabeth Leah is Three wait, Four Months!

Hello from Elizabeth Leah! I am 3 MONTHS today! I’m getting bigger & bigger which means growing out of several clothing sizes & fitting into three month outfits. There are these 5 little things on my hands that I like to suck on & I LOVE to smile. Smiling’s my favorite. Mommy & daddy & I coo & talk all the time about anything & everything. I like to have their attention. I kick, kick, kick whenever I can. Mommy asked if I want to be a soccer player- whatever that is! A fun thing that’s happened this month is I get to go to work with mommy & see my friends in Minier two days a week. They’re all very nice & it’s fun to be with them. Well it’s time for my dinner- bye-bye for now!

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Hi guys! As of yesterday I am 4 MONTHS old! So what’s new with me you ask? Well, I really like these two things I have called my hands. They help bring things to my mouth that I want to discover & I can reach out & touch stuff & rub my eyes when I’m sleepy. Daddy says I’ve discovered my back muscles & I like to arch my back & move around especially when I’m sitting with mommy & daddy at church or laying on the floor. I LOVE to talk & blow bubbles. I hold my head up very well & notice colors & patterns. I like to keep moving & always want to be in the same room as mommy & daddy. One of my favorite things that happened this past month was Easter-it was my first one! I got to see a lot of our family & wear my pretty Easter dress that tastes really good. That’s all I have this month, see you later!

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How a Photographer Chose Her Own Photographer

Just in the past 6 months, Eric & I (& little Miss Elizabeth Leah!) have had the chance to have two photography sessions. I’m always asked by people “who our photographer is” & how we find the photographers that we do. I thought I’d write out the 3 things I consider when choosing my own photographer & that maybe this will help you as well in the future!

I LIKE THEIR STYLE
I have several photographers that I follow their work & am inspired by. (You can see who they are HERE.) Any photographer that I want to have photograph my family & I needs to be someone that emulates the look & feel that I admire & love.

I LIKE THEM AS A PERSON
As a photographer myself, I want to work with someone that is professional yet fun. Delivers what he/she says they’re going to & in a timely manner. Someone who communicates to us before the session & during makes everything go smooth & is helpful. I also want to work with someone that shares the same values as me & doesn’t just mirror everything they see on Pinterest. I want someone who is inspired by my family & does things to get us to interact & be ourselves & get those genuine moments. I can’t take a picture of Eric & I goofing off together or of the THREE of us looking at the camera but I sure am going to search for a photographer who can!

1064_NaomiandEricMaternitycopy(Photo by the amazing, AMAZING Amy Paulson. You can see our entire maternity session on her blog HERE.)

I BELIEVE THEY’RE WORTH IT
Let’s be honest, if I was comparing two different photographers & they were both the exact same in every way, the one thing that would decide who I went with is the money. Just being honest! BUT I totally believe in paying a workman what they deserve! When we have needed a photographer for different times in our life we have gone with yes, the one who fit in our budget but also fit our style & caught our family on camera in a special way & if that meant paying a little more we did it anyway. Because friends, finding a photographer who catches the way your husband looks at you, makes your kids giggle & makes your family look forward to having family pictures done is a photographer you don’t want to want to loose!!!

Wilcox, Elizabeth newborn-51Photograph taken by my friend Megan Decker. I posted our session on my blog HERE.

I want a photographer that see’s into my family what I see but can’t capture because I’m there in the moment myself! We had Amy Paulson do our maternity session & my friend Megan Decker (who has actually retired from photography & now only does it for friends & family) capture Elizabeth’s newborn session. BOTH experiences were different & yet the same-the same in that they were both talented women who shared they CARED about my family. They were different in of course in that they had different personalities & thus different ways of capturing us. But they still had the three things that I wanted in a photographer- amazing style, wonderful to work with & were well worth their price. In each time we’ve needed someone else (other then Eric & I & our tripod or my sister!) we’ve applied these 3 principles & never been sorry!

How about you? What’s important to you in finding a photographer?

Elizabeth Leah is Two Months!

“Hi again from Elizabeth Leah!”

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“Boy, being out of mommy’s tummy gets better & better all the time! I like being with my mommy & daddy- especially when they hold me & then I fall asleep! But if they put me down I wake up right away! I’ve also made a lot of new friends including a fluffy giraffe named Gigi that I reach out to touch & laugh at. Mommy said the giraffe isn’t real though so don’t worry. I love listening to music & especially Veggie Tales! Their fun, high voices always make me want to listen intently. One of my highlights this month was going to see Auntie Leah at work at the Gingerbread House & attend an infant music class there. It was fun being there with some of my friends even though I slept right through it 😉 Well I better go! See you next month!”

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Elizabeth Leah’s Newborn Session

Choosing a name for our coming child was a huge decision & something we talked about often. The name “Elizabeth Leah” quickly became our first choice for several reasons. Elizabeth is my middle name & it’s always been Eric’s favorite girl name (I like how now his wife AND daughter now share the name :)). Leah is my sister’s name & I had decided several years ago in honor of my sister & I’s close relationship, should Eric & I someday have a girl, she would carry my sister’s name 🙂

If you know my husband & I’s story of when we began our dating relationship, you’ll know that the word “covenant” is very important to us. It’s been a special word not only from right before we started dating, but also on into our engagement & now marriage relationship. The name Elizabeth means “oath or covenant of God”. Since we had chosen to have the gender of our baby be a surprise, it was indeed a wonderful surprise when our Elizabeth was born, she has & will everyday be a reminder to us that the Lord keeps His promises, His covenant to His beloved children.

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In January we had our OWN newborn session with Elizabeth at our OWN home! For almost 3 years I’ve been photographing families in their own home & it was a JOY to have a session with my friend Megan Decker in our own little home. She made us feel so comfortable & it was such a special time. I chose some of my favorites (it was hard to narrow them down!) to share with you all!

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Our Daughter is Here!!!

I’m just popping in for a minute to share with those of you who don’t know- our daughter is here!!! Elizabeth Leah Wilcox was born December 19, at 6:52PM. She weighed 7 lbs, 8 oz & measured 21 inches long. She came just before Christmas & we LOVE our little gift!

A few fun facts…If you’re wondering where her name came from, Elizabeth was named both after me (my full name is Naomi Elizabeth) & my sister, Leah. She is currently (as of this post!) 17 days old. My birthday is December 22, now Elizabeth & I have birthday’s just 3 days a part! She’s so beautiful & our favorite thing is just staring at her & watching her 🙂 We’re so thankful for our little girl! And here’s a few pictures for you!

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First Family Photo!!! 😀

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And I am STILL on maternity leave 🙂 Just because I posted this doesn’t mean I’m back at real life already 😉 I’m still looking at being back behind the camera the beginning of April. I have a few sessions I’ve worked out beforehand for the very end of March, but at this point, I won’t be scheduling sessions until April.

We’re having our OWN Newborn Session this Saturday so keep your eye on my blog, I may or may not find time to post a few images from that session that we’re having with my friend Megan 🙂

Thank you all for your prayers & support while we’ve added to our family! I hope you all get to meet Elizabeth at some point in the future! She’s pretty awesome 😉

 

 

 

I’m a Podcast Junkie | Friday Favorites

IMG_6127I LOVE Podcasts! If you were to open my podcast app on my phone, you would see that I’ve subscribed to 14 different podcasts! Now I don’t listen to ALL of them every week 😉 but I do have 3 Top Favorite podcasts that I make sure to keep up to date on their episodes.

Why I Listen to Podcasts I usually listen to podcasts while getting ready in the morning, while driving & then while doing dishes/making a meal. Eric is at work before I need to leave the house & I like filling the house with noise other then myself just puttering around 😉 There are so many things we could be doing & filling our minds with. I love listening to music through-out the day but I’ve also seen how filling my heart & mind with words of wisdom from others has really grown my faith.  Two out of three of these shows do have a lot of episodes that cater to mom’s BUT not every episode does. And again, even before I was a mom, I was listening to these shows & drinking in their wisdom not just on mothering but on being a woman of God. Eric listens to a few different podcasts as well & I enjoy comparing notes & talking about the topics at times 🙂

Here’s My 3 Fav’s!

THE GOD CENTERED MOM Even before I became a mom, I was listening to this show. Heather MacFadyen is the host & she not only does she bring in wonderful guests to interview them but I also love her heart. She truly desires to equip mothers & I love her heart for the Lord. I’ve cried, I’ve laughed & been stretched in my Christian walk not just as a soon-to-be mom but a woman who desires the Lord as well.  I’ve never met Heather, but I can hear in her voice & how she chooses those she has on the show & the topics they discuss that she is a REAL woman & truly wants those who listen to her show to grow in their faith & womanhood. She’s had a range of guests on her show including her most recent one with guest Stacy Reaves who shared her story of having an abortion.

Get into your podcast app or go to her website & browse through her guests & topics, pick an episode & start listening!
PODCAST: http://godcenteredmom.com/
HOST: Heather MacFadyen
WHAT ITUNES HAS TO SAY ABOUT THIS PODCAST: Life is messy. Some days (some hours) are harder than others. How do you ride the crazy waves of motherhood? Heather MacFadyen, mother of four boys, understands the wild ride. In this podcast she interviews guests about staying God-centered in a shaky mom world. Hearing vulnerable moments and examples of God’s faithfulness in the past, helps you, the listener, build firm faith foundations for the future. Reminding us of our position–centered in God’s presence and love.

THE INFLUENCE PODCAST As a creative & photographer, I’ve SO enjoyed the various guests that have been on The Influence Podcast. The Influence Podcast is connect to The Influence Network & seeks to encourage women in all seasons & roles of their life online. Jacey Verdicchio is usually the host for the show & just about every to every other week, she brings in creative women that are photographers, speakers, authors, you name it! – & I’ve loved hearing the hearts of these women, how their business’s started & how they keep Christ & their family’s as their focus. It’s also fun for me since I follow a lot of the women the show ends up interviewing on Instagram & I love hearing more of their lives & stories.

This show is a little shorter & keeps it just around a half hour so it’s perfect for splitting up into 15 minutes intervals for to & from the grocery store 🙂 And even if you don’t consider yourself a “creative” these women share their hearts & love the Lord & will challenge your walk with the Lord as well.
PODCAST: http://godcenteredmom.com/
HOST: Jacey Verdicchio (sometimes, Lara Casey, Rebecca Smith or Jamie Ivey)
WHAT ITUNES HAS TO SAY ABOUT THIS PODCAST: The Influence Network is the online community of women dedicated to making their online lives mean something. This podcast features interviews and encouragement designed to inspire and resource women to use the Internet for good, for God’s glory. New episodes air weekly and topics include writing, blogging, justice, spiritual growth and creative business.

INSPIREDTOACTION.COM – INSPIRATION FOR MOTHERHOOD Kat Lee is amazing. She describes her show as being a “pep talk for moms” & I know I’m not alone when I say that it’s a pep talk for all women. She is behind the amazing Maximize Your Mornings movement & has the most awesome guests on her show. She ends each show with saying “You’re a mom. You kind of a big deal, now go be awesome.” She’s encouraging & reminds you of things that may make you a little uncomfortable comfort zone wise- nothing wrong with that! 😉
PODCAST: http://inspiredtoaction.com/
HOST: Kat Lee
WHAT ITUNES HAS TO SAY ABOUT THIS PODCAST: It’s like a pep talk for moms. My name is Kat Lee is my goal with each episode of the Inspired To Action Podcast is to…that’s right…inspire YOU to action. I’m bringing you motivating interviews, practical tips and lots of fun yet-insanely-useful conversation with people who believe in YOU and the amazing role you have as a mother. You’re a mom. You’re totally a big deal.

Check out one or all of these podcasts! I’d love to hear what you think of them & what podcasts you like to listen too! There’s ALLLLLL KINDS & I like I said before, I subscribe to 14 so these aren’t the only ones I listen too 😉 but they are my fav’s! Feel free to comment below!

 

My 3 Favorite Places to Purchase Maternity Clothes | Friday Favorites

Can I just be honest about something? I’ve ALWAYS looked forward to wearing maternity clothes. After getting married sometimes I would just “let myself wander” over to the maternity section of Target 😉 I felt like they always had such cute maternity clothes!!! And I loved seeing pins of expecting women on Pinterest go thru my feed & how they styled their cute bump.

Today I’m sharing my 3 favorite places to purchase maternity clothes. Now these 3 stores are all local to Bloomington-Normal because I want this post to do double duty. I know I won’t always be pregnant 😉 but I’m always asked by my clients who are expecting on recommendations of where to purchase their own outfits for their maternity session with me & I want this to be a resource for them! I’m also sharing a few bonus places that I know you can buy online maternity clothes as well.

Through-out the post I give a few *TIPS*. This is only my first pregnancy, but I’ve found a few things that have really worked for me clothes wise that I think any momma who’s expecting will appreciate!

I haven’t had to buy very many clothes at all actually. I’ve been very blessed in having dear friends who either shared with me their maternity clothes & even a few friends who are done having kids & they gave me lots of clothes. It’s been a SUPER huge blessing. I feel like the Lord granted me my hearts desire in knowing how much I like maternity clothes & that I wouldn’t be able to afford much on my own, so He gave me clothes thru others. So my recommendation would first be to see if friends lend or even give you their wardrobes. You never know who’s ready to empty their closet!

So since I haven’t bought many items myself, I am VERY happy with the few items I have purchased from these particular stores which are my fav’s:

  1. TARGET – My mom & I went out shopping one afternoon at the beginning of my pregnancy & we found an adorable top at Target. It’s a tank top but flowy & has grown with me through my pregnancy. I’ve already started layering with it this fall & will continue to wear it through my pregnancy. That’s a for sure *TIP* I’d give, find items you can use in different seasons for more wear because it is true, you’re only pregnant 9 months!Some of the clothes I was given by friends were from Target. They’ve lasted through several pregnancies my friends have had & their still in wonderful condition for me. Plus, Target is just a reasonably priced store in general & who doesn’t like the Target Cartwheel app? 😉
  2. OLD NAVY – I’ve bought bought two dresses from Old Navy (ON) & I love both! One was at an outlet store in Nashville, TN & the other was online when I had just found out I was expecting. I had gone online to ON to find some leggings that I knew I’d need in the fall/winter & saw a dress for like $18 that I knew I could wear in the summer & again layer with it in the fall/winter. I LOVE both of the dresses I got & the two pairs of ON maternity leggings I got- one pair black & the other pair navy.And sidenote, the black & navy leggings have been awesome! I’m currently wearing a knee-length dress with black leggings on underneath- comfy & cute :)Another *TIP* I’d give is if you find out you’re expecting, go look online at ON & see what’s on sale in the maternity section. Chances are the season where you’ll be at your biggest is the season of maternity clothes that are on sale since it’s like 6-7 months down the road 😉
  3. KOHLS – Kohl’s is just a great store all around. I mean hello, Kohl’s cash! My mom &  I went to Kohl’s as well the day we went out shopping. That’s where I ended up getting two pairs of maternity skinny jeans & they were 40% off! I wanted to have my own pairs to be able to wear through all my pregnancies to come & I love both pairs!

For local Bloomington-Normal shoppers, Gordman’s & Macy’s also have maternity sections. They sell the Motherhood Maternity brands. So if you like what our local Motherhood Maternity store sells, check the other two stores out. I did buy one pair of Motherhood Maternity burgundy skinny jeans, but I personally don’t care for the store. Their prices are a little too high for me & the return policy kind of stinks.

Clothing Mentor & Frogs & Fairies are two local re-sale clothing stores that sell maternity clothes. Their sections are small but you might find something there! I bought a few items off of online facebook groups through individuals so that’s an idea as well!

Online places to buy maternity clothes, specially more unique items is Pink Blush Maternity, Walmart, H&M, Jane.com (sometimes), Zulily & GAP. If you want to drive a bit, Peoria has two Ross Dress For Less stores & two Burlington Coat Factory locations & they both have very small maternity areas. I wish TJ Maxx had one! Maybe in the future they’ll jump on that bandwagon 🙂

I don’t think you should spend a lot of money on maternity clothes. It is true that you are only pregnant for 9 months & in the beginning you’re probably still wearing your regular clothes. Hopefully this post will help you find items that fit in your budget & last for several pregnancies!

A few other *TIPS* I’d give are: I’ve been very privileged in that the later part of my pregnancy, where I’m growing larger is in the fall/winter time & I’ve been able to layer a lot with maternity tank tops & open sweaters that I would wear before I was pregnant. Then for the summer I just wore a lot of maxi dresses & skirts. The second tip is, don’t stretch out your non-maternity jeans. I had two friends give me this advice & I’m so glad I listened. As soon as I found maternity jeans I liked, I started wearing them. They’re just more comfy & then you don’t stretch out your own jeans. Third, maternity jeans & leggings are a must.

***If you are shopping for clothes to wear for a maternity session, I suggest wearing either something loose & flowy OR something fitting. Both types will show-off your bump just perfectly. Wear what’s YOU & not just a fancy, expensive outfit. Also, something simple & not too busy pattern wise helps as well. If you have more questions about this, we’ll be going over it when we meet to chat about your maternity session so no worries 😉 ***

Well, I hope these *TIPS* & store locations helped some of you expecting momma’s & hoping to be expecting soon ladies!!! For those of you who have been pregnant or even are, what are some of your tips or favorite places to purchase maternity clothes? Comment below! I’d love to know!

And here I am with Little Wilcox at 28 weeks! Just 3 weeks ago! I’m wearing a pair of maternity jeans we found at Kohl’s, a kimono I bought hoping I’d be pregnant & could wear it then & when not pregnant 😉 & a $3.00 tank top from Walmart I bought in an XL that has worked GREAT as a maternity tank top! I’ve been wearing this outfit throughout my entire pregnancy so far & it’s a favorite of mine!  friday favorites | www.nomi-photography.com-1