Christmas Tree Farm Photo-shoot

The Saturday before Christmas 2014, we had our first family photo-shoot with our newest addition, Ella.  We had a dear friend of mine, Priscilla, who is a new and upcoming photographer, take them for us.  It took place at this adorable Christmas tree farm in West Chester.  It was a very chilly day and little Ella’s cheeks turned red and her eyes started to water,  but she was such a trooper that day!  She loves to pose for the camera…silly girl.

Here are a few of my favorites from our beautiful collection.

Photo Credit: Priscilla Millard Photography










Inspiring Words for a Lady

We need to make sure that we keep inspiring each other and not bringing each other down…just a few quotes I came across tonight that I am keeping in mind.

confidence is silent








A Third

It’s so hard to believe that a third of her first year of life has already happened. When we struggled to get through the first few days, even weeks of her life, that one month mark seemed forever away…but we made it. And as each second, hour, day and week pass us by and as she turns into this amazing little girl with quite the sassy little attitude, we try to soak in every second of it.

The smiles, the cries, the first laugh at daddy making farting noises, her crazy hair that we discovered after 3 months…we always say to each other, what did we do with ourselves before Ella?

I lay here in my bed, writing this on my iphone, overly exhausted, because Ella is going through the 4 month sleep regression; and I’m staring at the video monitor to make sure she is still napping. Each time I get up in the middle of the night to put her back to sleep every two hours, I enjoy rocking her back to sleep and listening to her cooing sounds and her little breaths because I know this exact moment will never happen again.
She’s moving…nap time is over for my sweet Ella!





3rd Trimester Progressive Photos

To catch up on all of the complete looks and progression of my pregnancy, here are the last weeks from my third trimester with Ella.

Fourth of July outfit @30weeks

Fourth of July outfit @30weeks

Our 7 year Anniversary @ #32weeks

Our 7 year Anniversary @ #32weeks

all white beach

Beach weekend with our friends @ #33weeks

little white tee

Little white tee for my big ol belly @ #34week

new hair

Cut about 4″ off of my hair to give it a good fresh feel before Ella popped into the world

J'ADORE @ #36weeks

J’ADORE @ #36weeks

Loving my new leopard kicks @ #38weeks

Loving my new leopard kicks @ #38weeks

Last pool weekend @ #39weeks

Last pool weekend @ #39weeks

Made it to #40weeks exactly, walking into the hospital on her due date after my water broke

Made it to #40weeks exactly, walking into the hospital on her due date after my water broke

Labor Day (not the Holiday)

September 10th, 2014.  That was the due date that my first baby was due.  My sweet baby girl.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written here (about 5 months to be exact).  Life, I can tell you, has been super crazy…because after she arrived, there hasn’t even been much time for this mom to take a frequent shower, let alone, brush her teeth everyday.

The few weeks prior to my due date, I made sure to get in the last of my relaxing pool days, sitting in the sun, reading my book in peace without a little one running circles around me…because I knew what that next summer was going to be like and what it was going to bring.  It would never be those days of sitting and having no responsibility, except for myself.

The Saturday prior to baby girls due date, we had invited some family over to our community pool.  Below is me with my husbands cousin Ashley and her son Cian.   She shared some exciting news with us that she was 8 weeks pregnant, with her next baby due in April 2015.

Ashley & I at the pool with her son Cian

Ashley & I at the pool with her son Cian

That Sunday, we had friends over to watch the Eagles Football game.  My friend Lindsey also paid a visit.  I was begging her for first time mommy advice.  She had just had her first baby in May and became an amazing sounding board for the millions of questions running through my head.   And she still is to this day!  We all ordered Primo Hoagies and I have to say I devoured mine.  I hadn’t had a hoagie the entire pregnancy, but I figured by the Sunday prior to my due date, she was fully baked in there and that eating a hoagie at this point wouldn’t matter….I also had a small glass of red wine….don’t judge-I needed it.

Monday-I started to work from home.  2 days away from hitting my 40 week mark.  That  night night, Russell and I had something spicy for dinner.  I can’t recall what, probably Mexican Food, because I’m obsessed with it.

Tuesday morning I posted a pic on Instagram updating my “fan” base.   “Baby watch update: no baby yet.  She’s comfy in there. #40weeks tomorrow!”

Day before I hit my 40 Week mark

Day before I hit my 40 Week mark

That night, I went out to dinner with my friend Annie, for even more, spicy Mexican food.   Annie is another first time mommy (with a 20 month old girl), that was someone I always went to for advice.  Later that evening, my hubby and I relaxed in the living room for an hour or so.  I was sitting on the exercise ball, like usual, because its the only way I can be comfortable at this point in the evenings before bed.  I do a couple of yoga squats to help ease the pain of her kicking the hell out me 🙂  Then it’s time for bed, ha!  My bedtime routine was going to bed between 9-10pm and watching reruns of The Office on my iPad.  I said goodnight to my hubby and off I went.

Russell came to bed around 11pm that night.  At midnight, I woke up to pee, got back into bed and something just didn’t feel right.  I got back up, went to the bathroom and before I made it to the toilet, a gush of liquid came out….my water had broke!  My water broke at 12:05am on her due date.  How unbelievable is that?!  I came out of the bathroom and said, “baaabe, I think my water broke.”  Poor guy had only been asleep for an hour!

We gave the doctor a call and she advised us to  head into the hospital.  I calmly helped Russ gather our stuff (he was a little scattered, it was cute), feed the cat, and get out the door.  We were checked into our room by 1am.  Even for the middle of the night, this is the last time we have looked so rested!

photo 3


I ended up not really being dilated when we got there.  All that had happened was my water breaking.  They told us to get some rest and they would be back in around 7am to check in on me.   Turns out by 7am, I was dilated just enough to be induced.   9am, it started.  The contractions started out small and I had them for about 2hrs before getting my epidural.  I wanted to experience these contractions, since I was one of those few women who’s water breaks and they have no contractions.  I am actually really thankful that I didn’t have to sit at home with contractions, waiting for them to be timed out just perfectly to be allowed to even head into the hospital.  Once I had the epidural though, I think that was the last best sleep of my life before she arrived.  Family came in and out checking on us.  The support we had was so wonderful that day and it has continued each day after.

By 3pm, the Dr. said we could start pushing at 3:30pm.  So we did…….and Daddy was ready to catch her!

photo 4


After an hour of pushing….and an hour of Russ, the nurse and Dr. basically telling me, she’s almost there, keep pushing, she’s almost there…..little girl with her big head finally came out.  She was here!  My sweet baby girl, Ella Duffy, arrived ON her due date, September 10th at 4:30pm.  She was 8lbs 5oz and 20″ long.  She was a good pound heavier than I expected.  But she was PERFECT in every single way.

1st Family Photo

First family photo


This little girl has created so much happiness for us….it’s indescribable how happy!  Seriously, you really have to experience it for yourself.  That moment when that little mini human comes out of you and you’ve been wondering who they will look like…you don’t care…you just know that you made that baby and no matter what, they are perfect.  You have this perfect little baby that they hand to you…and when she looks you straight in the eye, it’s instant love and magic.

Welcome to the world, Ella Duffy!


Gender Reveal and a New Home!!!

Wednesday, April 16th:  We settled on our new home!  We had started looking for our first home a couple months after finding out we were pregnant.  We found the perfect 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath townhouse in the town we wanted to live in.  

More photos to come of the inside.  The place is more of a blank canvas, so we are going to be working on many DIY’s and I plan to share them all with you, nursery included!

photo 1-4

 Here we are in front of our new place!

photo 2-4

We started priming some walls very shortly after settling.  The color choices some people make are very interesting!

 Monday, April 21st: This was the day that could not come soon enough for us.  It was the day when were going to find out the gender of our baby!  We were definitely not that couple that had the patience to wait until the day our baby was born to find out the gender.  For me, I am such a planner.  At least for our first baby, I really wanted to create that perfect nursery, plan the outfits, pick out the perfect name, etc.  We’ll see for the 2nd one, maybe we’ll leave it a surprise?  Hmmm, maybe not.

So that morning, on Monday, April 21st, we got up, feeling both nervous and excited.  I kept sipping my water so I would have a full bladder for the ultrasound.  We finally started our appointment at 10:45am.  It’s amazing the number of shots and measurements that the nurse and doctor has to record during this 20 week ultrasound. 

I fell in love with our baby instantly when we were viewing all of these shots, some in the regular ultrasound view, others in 4D.  Russ kept his lookout for the “3 lines” that his guy friends had been telling him about (who all have baby girls).  Finally after 35 minutes, the Doctor came in to the room to do the official gender reveal.  Turns out, we are having a baby GIRL!!  Here she is…I call these 4D shots, creepy but yet SO cute.  



Russell took a beautiful shot of baby girl and I on that same evening.  I just love this picture.

photo 5-3

And we celebrated with fro yo that night, brought it home, laid in bed and ate it, haha!  This is just one of the many silly pics you have to take while watching your belly grow.

photo 3-4
















2nd Trimester Progressive Photos

My 2nd Trimester ended a couple of weeks ago. I can’t believe how quickly it flew by. They really say that you feel the greatest in the 2nd Trimester and I find that statement completely true.
Those weeks were perfectly timed with what we had going on in our lives. We bought a house and settled on April 16th.  Just 5 days before we were about to find out whether we were going to have a baby boy or baby girl. Soon after that we were busy packing up our lives and moving boxes and furniture. We finally permanently moved into our new home in mid June. We took our time moving in because we were still house sitting and pet sitting until the family came home for the summer.

We were watching this guy, Hemi (Hemingway)!

To finally get myself, and all of you, caught up with my pregnancy, I wanted to share with you my 2nd Trimester Progressive Photos.

A couple of my favorites are from Week 24 (below), when we were down in the Outer Banks for vacation and it happened to be my 30th birthday.

photo 1-3

This last one is from Week 28- I love to brag that my hubby is a great photographer 🙂

DSC_0865 Stayed tuned to find out the reveal of the gender!