Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Marlin's Little Gentleman-Themed Baby Shower

Some of our closest friends are expecting their third baby- a BOY! They have two little girls and now it's finally time to welcome a little fella into the mix! Kayleigh wanted a "Little Gentleman" theme for the shower, so I got to work planning a shower that was tasteful and cute!

Truth: I am not a huge fan of baby showers. They tend to be overly cutesy and I just can't stomach all the baby blue diapered rubber duckies or pink pearls and bows, so I was glad that my friend chose a cute theme that could be done with a neutral color palette. I chose black and tan. Like a boss.

Again, we created a simple image and then uploaded it to a Facebook invite. It was fast and easy and worked like a charm!
I collaborated with my mom to come up with a unique idea for the centerpieces. I created the top hat center pieces by rolling up diapers, wrapping with felt, and setting on top of a circle of black poster board. I rolled the edges of the "brim" to make it look more like a hat, and then stuck in a shishkabob skewer with a cut-out of a bow tie (other variations included a mustache and a baby rattle!). It was super easy, and I've never seen one like it! We gave all the diapers to our friends at the end of the shower, and other guests took home the "skewers." Win-win!
A couple of things about the centerpieces: I initially rolled four individual diapers and wrapped with felt, but soon realized that it looked much more round if I rolled the diapers all together like so:

Either way, once they were on the table, they looked very cute!


We didn't play any party games, but I did have a few activities for the guests to do as they arrived and mingled.

There was a "Wish Tree" in lieu of a guestbook. The guests could write out their wishes for baby boy and then sign their names. I attached them to a key ring and gave to my friend to place in her baby book at the end of the shower.
And there was also a "Diaper Talk" station. The guests were encouraged to write a sentiment- sweet or funny- on a diaper and place in the basket. That way when my friend is up at 2 a.m. changing ANOTHER poopy diaper, she'll have a good laugh! I think people really had a good time with this one!

And of course, we had the usual diaper cake- made by the momma-to-be's mother!

And as favors, we gave the traditional cigars

There was also an adorable bow-tie garland with baby boy's name on it, but somehow I managed to forget to photograph it!

My friend had a really great time being showered by all of her friends and family, and I've already been recruited to help design the next baby shower for another friend! Don't drink the water, folks. I'm telling you it's contagious!

Congratulations, Marlin Family! I can't wait to meet little Malachi!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Nacho Li-Grey's Luchador-themed First Birthday!

I can't believe it's nearly Easter! We're practically a third of the way through this year already? I've been looking so forward to so many things this March and April. We've had visits from family members, parties, birthdays, picnics, road trips, and baby showers so far!

One of the biggest events I was planning was Grey's first birthday party. I decided way back in October of last year that I wanted to do a Lucha Libre theme for his party. See, we love Nacho Libre... Okay, that's not entirely true. *I* love Nacho Libre, and I think Grey's little round tummy just reminds me of Jack Black in "stretchy pants" summoning his "eagle powers." I mean, who doesn't love a baby belly? And yes, just like Vesper's Menagerie-themed Birthday party, I made him a costume. Nevertheless, we went with a fiesta theme and threw in some luchador touches! Here are just a few snapshots of his day:

We did a simple Facebook invite. It seems to be he easiest way to do things these days, but I did make an actual image for his invitation which turned out SO cute!
I made the tissue paper fiesta garland and luchador mask and then added balloons in various locations. I loved how the garland turned out because it was super cheap ($2 for two packages of colored tissue paper) and it was a very substantial garland. Some garlands end up feeling kind of wispy, and I was going for bold! We wanted lots of bright colors!

and later in the day, we put that piñata centerpiece to good use! The kids had SO much fun trying to bust that thing open! That's our little Birdy with Daddy helping her take a couple of swings.

It was all very simple and handmade, but that's the best way to do it- especially when they're only a year old! We had so much fun celebrating with our family that came over. Thank you to everyone who helped make his day so special!

And just for good measure, here's a picture of Grey on his birthday morning in his birthday present:

Happy Birthday, little Bear!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Jones Family | Oklahoma City Lifestyle and Family Photographer

Had some fun in the sun {FINALLY}! The Jones family and I headed out into the late afternoon sun to grab some family shots.

I am so relieved that things are starting to warm up around here. It makes it much easier to get kiddos to smile!

Daddies help with that too
Yep. I could definitely go for more sessions- and weather- like this!

God bless,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

One. Year. Old.

Oh darling boy... I'm not sure I can even find the words to describe how it has felt to be your momma for the past twelve months. You made your way into this world kicking and screaming and you haven't slowed down since. You are 100% boy and the complete opposite of your sister in nearly every way. Louder. Faster. Harder. Rougher. Stronger. But to your very core, you are a momma's boy- sweet and cuddly as can be. The way you reach out for me or crawl to me or wrap your pudgy little arms around my neck makes my momma heart melt into a big mushy puddle. Your open-mouth kisses are the sweetest thing in my world. I watch you from across the room sometimes and I see you learning- knocking over towers, opening and closing doors, chasing the dog, crashing cars together. You pay close attention to the world around you and soak it all in. I only hope that I can keep up with the world from which you're learning. I hope that you would learn from me too. I pray each and every day that God will give me the means to raise you to love Him. I ask for strength and patience as I raise this sweet baby into a *man*. I don't know where this first year has gone, but you've surpassed many milestones. My prayer is that I was able to teach you the most important thing: Love. How to give it and how to receive it. It's the foundation for all things, and now we can start building on it.

You, my sweet Bear, are an absolute blessing that I never knew I was missing. How could my life have ever felt complete before you? I am so humbled that God would entrust such an amazing gift to me. I have very little to offer you, but there are a few promises I can make:

I promise to always nurture your heart and passions
I promise to say "no" as often as I say "yes"
I promise to teach you about grace.
I promise to LIVE out grace in my parenting.
I promise to let you climb high.
I promise to let you fall sometimes.
I promise to help you pick up the pieces until you learn to do it alone.
I promise to show you how a godly woman should act- including being honest about my own failures, and asking for forgiveness when necessary.
I promise to love and honor your father with all of my heart.
I promise to show you how to have fun.
I promise there will be kisses and hugs and cuddles as often as you want.
I promise there will be trials.
I promise there will be disagreements.
But I promise to always do my best to move past these things through prayer and patience.

I love you. I love you. I love you always,

{p.s. see Vesper's One Year letter here!}

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Extra session spots for March!

I've opened up some extra spots for sessions in March! You can email me at or message me on the Chelsea Ahlgrim Photography fanpage on Facebook if you'd like to book a session!


Friday, February 21, 2014

of hearts and hands...

Sometimes in the afternoon when I lay you down, and brush the hair from your forehead, I am flooded with emotions. I take your tiny hands into mine and you usually say to me, "I nee somefing?" so I ask you, "What do you need?" and your soft, sweet little voice answers back, "Momma pray?" and my heart swells big and soft inside my chest. And I do. I pray earnestly each and every time for God to reveal his love for you. That you would know that He loves you more than... well, there aren't even enough words for that kind of love. I pray that you would know that nothing you could ever do could make Him love you less. And I pray that you would learn this truth from a young age.

Your heart is so very big in your little body, Birdy. When I yawn, you ask, "Momma, you sweepy?" and the answer is always yes, darling. So you pat me gently and say "Iss okay, Momma. Close your eyes..." You tell me "I wike you hair," as you stroke it softly. You run across the room just to give your little brother a kiss on his blonde baby head. You grab my hands and swing around with complete trust that I will not let you fall. And I won't. And I never will, if I can help it. But the truth is, despite your lovely heart and my good intentions, I can only protect you from so much in this world.

And that is what overwhelms me when I have you there in my arms just before you drift off to sleep. That as beautiful and innocent as you are, my momma hands can only hold you for so long. They can keep you from so few things in this ugly world that we have ruined. My heart aches when I think of the day when someone will hurt you or make you feel less than the joyful spirit that you are. And my momma heart knows that I have to let go and allow it to happen. And I picture myself always chasing after you- your blonde locks bouncing several feet ahead of me- and  reaching out for those same small hands that I hold each time I lay you down to sleep. I get the feeling that you will want to let go far before I am ready.  It would be a disservice to you to keep you from such lessons, but it still pains me to think of it...

So I cling to the promises of our Father: that you are His. That His are the hands that truly hold you.  And I cling to your small, sticky, perfect little toddler hands just a little too long... and I pray for sweet dreams for us both...

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine Vignettes

Although it's not my favorite holiday, Valentine's Day is one of  my favorite to decorate for! Maybe it's the idea of bright pops of red against our usual pale and neutral décor. I just love to have little hearts sprinkled throughout our home to contrast the dreary weather outside. Here are a few vignettes from our little built-in bookshelves to brighten up the sunroom.

I also had to snap a shot of what our sunroom looks like on a day when there are no children around to turn it upside down!

I'll be adding some special little touches to our entry way and dining room for the kids to wake up to on Valentine's day as well! I can't wait to bake cookies and eat heart-shaped waffles and just celebrate the love I have for those around me.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Wake

I'm going to call this series "The Wake" as in "this is the kind of destruction Grey leaves in his wake."

He starts bright and early at breakfast by climbing out of his high chair- straps be damned- and onto the dining room table to finish his oatmeal.

Then he moves the party to the play room where he proceeds to wreak havoc on any and all toys.
and maybe pauses to snack on some delicious wipes.
or maybe a microphone....
{I should mention that he somehow opened the closet doors in order to get inside to eat said microphone}

Before unleashing his fury on the floor vents...
...and his socks... always the socks...
And then he searches out his final victim... "MAAAMAAAMAAA!!"

BOOM. I just died from cuteness. You did too, didn't you?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Valentine's Day Giveaway with Chelsea Ahlgrim Photography

Love is in the air, and I'm giving away a FREE session to one lucky couple! The giveaway starts today and ends at midnight on Thursday, February 13th. The winner will be announced on Valentine's Day! To enter, please do each of the following:
1. Like the Chelsea Ahlgrim Photography page on Facebook
2. Share the giveaway post on Facebook
3. Comment and tag your Valentine on the giveaway post on Facebook

Also, please read the stipulations below before entering to ensure that you are eligible. Thanks so much for your participation! I can't wait to see pick a winner and announce on Valentine's Day!

**This giveaway is for a full Couple's Session (including digital images) to be scheduled in March-August of 2014. It is open to Oklahoma City and Tulsa area residents only. This session cannot be transferred to another individual and it cannot be exchanged for a different type of session**