Josiah’s Birthday Easter Shoot

Josiah’s one year old. How did this happen? This year literally flew by so fast. He’s changing and learning everyday and I just can’t keep up. So, I had to do this shoot for his 1 year milestone. I struggled with a theme for his shoot until I realized his birthday was on Good Friday. So, an Easter theme seemed perfect. Originally, we wanted an outdoor shoot at one of the awesome parks here in Cincinnati, but it started snowing the day before his shoot. Can you imaging a half-naked baby eating a birthday cake in the snow? It might be pretty but that would be one unhappy baby. Plan B was us meeting the photographer at her studio.

We brought a few simple props for the shoot but the star of the show was definitely Josiah and he did not disappoint. He was so funny and cooperative for the photographer and that shocked me. He doesn’t like to sit still especially when he knows you want him to.

She did a few test shots and we couldn’t believe how he was posing. He’s just too cool.

Here are some Easter themed shots.

And……. more!

Now for the cake smashing. This boy has never had cake before and I was so excited to watch him try it. When he tasted it and realized it was good, he started slapping it like he was beating a drum. It was fun to watch. He ate a few more bites before he turned the cake upside down.

Boy was that a mess to clean up. We all had fun at this shoot and Josiah crashed early that night from all the sugar.

Photographer: Loren Danae Photo


My Favorite Little Tea Room

I just had to write a blog post about my favorite cafe/tea room. Laura’s Tea Room. I’m telling you this place is a must if you near the area. Me and my sisters travel an hour and 15 minutes for the High Tea experience at this charming place. We visit every season because the menu changes and it’s just wonderful. Be sure to click the link and read all about he history of this place. 

I just love the inside of this cafe. It’s full of charm, unique gifts, vintage vibes. I never leave without bringing home a brand new teacup and saucer to add to my collection. 

This time, I went with my both of my sisters and three of my cousins. Here’s is a little about the high tea experience. First, you go up the stairs and into the hat room and pick out a hat. There are tons to choose from. We always use this time to take many photos. 

Then, you pick out a teacup and saucer from their vintage collection. This is so hard because there are too many pretty cups to choose from. 

I chose this one because it kind of matched my dress.

Here, are some pretty pictures I took before we sat down. 

A pretty Fall place setting for all of the awesome food we were about to consume. You get three courses of food which changes with the seasons. You also get three teas to try. During this visit, we had Fall Cinnamon Apple as our iced sweet tea and both Pecan Pie and Pumpkin Spice as our hot teas. They were wonderful.

Our first course was a White Chocolate Rasberry Scone with Devonshire Cream and Lemon Curd. Yum!!!!

The next course is my absolute favorite and I can’t even describe how and why it tastes so great. This is their Warm Apple Bisque. Lord help me!! 

The third course is our savory and sweet bites. In this pic, the savories included Cucumber Dill Sandwiches, Tomato Sandwiches, Pemento Cheese on Cinamon Raisin Bread, Egg and Red Pepper Sandwiches and Brie Tarts with Blackberry Jam. Can we just go back already? 

Here in this pic, the sweet bites include: Carrot Cake Cupcakes, Apple Toffee Truffles, S’mores Brownies, Mini Pumpkin Pies and Chocolate Clementines. 

After we finished eating and enjoying the different teas, we took a few more group pictures before we left.

Like I said, this place is a must!!! Everyone needs to experience High Tea at Laura’s Tea Room. Can you see why it’s my favorite place? 


A Good Night’s Sleep With Zipadee Zip.

It was that time. Time to transition from the swaddle when Josiah started breaking free from it and trying to roll over. What in the world were we gonna do now? He slept soo good when he was swaddled. Well, I remember an episode of Shark Tank where a husband and wife invented a safe wearable blanket called the Zipadee Zip. Their company is called Sleeping Baby. I kept researching and reading about it and it seemed like the perfect solution for us. 

We went a few nights without any kind of swaddle before purchasing the Zipadee Zip just to see if he would sleep ok. Well, let’s just say I lost sleep those nights. Josiah just kept waking up every couple of hours crying, and he NEVER does that. So, we ordered the Zippy.


The Zipadee Zip came in and he looked so cute when we tried it on him. Like a little starfish. I wish we had of ordered a cute print though. I’m not sure why we ordered a plain teal color because they have so many prints to choose from. The first night in the Zippy was a success and every night since then. Josiah loves to hold something in his hand while he sleeps so this is the perfect solution since the hands are covered. He doesn’t startle as much and he feels secure all night long. I love that he is able to roll over while wearing it and will also be able to crawl whenever that time comes. 

It’s also the perfect bedtime cuddle blanket.

The other night at bedtime, I was searching for his Zippy and realized it was still in the dirty laundry (mommy brain). There was no time to wash and dry it so we had to just go without it. He woke up every hour and kept falling asleep and waking up. This went on until 3:30 am. I blame this on me not having his Zippy clean. While I enjoyed the extra cuddles, I was exhausted. Needless to say, this momma needed all the coffee the next day and I will NOT forget his Zippy again. The next night, after his bath, we put him in his Zippy and bedtime was a breeze. He’s was asleep by 8:30 PM and slept until…………….. 8:45 AM. That’s 12 hours. It’s a miracle! Lol.

If your interested in this miracle blanket click HERE and browse their site and use the coupon code EMILYH to receive $5 off your order. I’m gonna need to pick out a second one to help prevent another sleepless night. 


My Tiny Dance Partner

Many of you mommas know that waking up in the middle of the night with your baby is hard. Sometimes, you finally drift off to sleep only to hear your little one cry, or in my case, grunt. Lol. I never wake up to Josiah crying, but instead, he  grunts like he’s clearing his throat until I wake up and get him. I think that’s weird but at least he’s not upset. Thankfully, I’m a light sleeper or I would never hear him and the poor kid would be grunting all night if it was up to his hard sleeping daddy. I get up and unswaddle him, change his diaper, feed him until he’s happy and play with him until he seems tired again. I then have to try to get him back to sleep. This isn’t easy for Josiah. He needs a little help settling down and rocking comfortably in the rocking chair just doesn’t do it. He likes to be high on my shoulder with his face buried in my neck with me standing, swaying back and forth, almost like a slow dance. Trust me, he knows when I sit down because he wakes right back up and gets really antsy. After a few weeks of this repetitive, “dancing” him to sleep, it was becoming such a task to me. A task that was making me roll my eyes after 20 minutes of trying to get to sleep only to see that he is still awake. One night as I was holding him, slowly swaying from one foot to the other, I felt his little body go limp like he was asleep. I glanced at him in the mirror to see if he’s asleep and notice he has the sweetest smile on his face as he’s still awake. He was so happy and content just dancing in my arms and that smile never went away. It was the sweetest moment that only we shared right there in our room while watching his daddy sleep. A few minutes later, I noticed he’s asleep with the same smile still on his face and I no longer wanted to rush to put him down. Instead, I just wanted to hold him and keep on dancing. I thought about how many times my mind was on rushing him to sleep while missing moments like this. How many opportunities does a mother get to slow dance with her son in a lifetime? NOT MANY! I mean, maybe on his wedding day or something like that. I knew moments like this wouldn’t last long at all. Soon, he will be a hyper, loud toddler who might not want to, “slow dance,” anymore. Since that night, everytime I’m up with him, I try not to think about rushing him back to sleep for the sake of me going back to sleep. I just try to enjoy my time slow dancing and humming in his ear until he drifts off to sleep or sometimes much longer. I’m aware that this may sound silly to some, but for me, it made me start to enjoy those midnight moments instead of dread them. I know every baby is different and some might be a little more difficult, but this is my story. Count every late night and early morning with your little one an opportunity instead of a task or a job and you might not mind the loss of sleep as much. For me, it’s another opportunity to slow dance!


Our Birth Story

The happiest day of our lives, for sure, was when  Josiah Michael Holland was born. I’m glad to share our birth experience with everyone. I’m also a little nervous because I know everyone has their own opinion about how they think you should bring your child into this world, but our story is OUR STORY! 


It was was that day! We arrived at the hospital at 8:00 on Wednesday, March 29th to start the induction process.

Why induction one week early? It was my choice and I chose induction because I wanted my doctor to be the one to deliver Josiah. She wouldn’t have been able to if we had waited. I was healthy and the baby was healthy enough for an early delivery.
The process started at midnight with the Cervidil induction to prepare me for Pitocin induction in the morning. It was a super long night simply because I was so nervous and anxious. The night was going well though and the cervidil was doing its job.

They started the pitocin at 6:00 am Thursday, March 30th. We were so nervous because we knew it could either get labor rolling quickly or slow it down dramatically. It instantly started contractions that progressed very strongly and quickly. Since my contractions were so strong and close together, the doctor advised that I go ahead and get my epidural. My epidural was put in around 9 am and then they broke my water.  So, now the waiting begins. I was feeling fantastic despite the lack of sleep. But everytime the nurses checked me I wasn’t dilated past one centimeter. So they kept increasing the Pitocin. At 3:00 that afternoon, I had only made it to two centimeters. Three hours later, at 5:00 I had only made it to two and a half. We were bummed and the epidural started wearing off. Around 6:00 I was in so much pain and they gave me more meds through my epidural that wasn’t working. The doctor told me that I was in that small percentage of women who’s body got use to the epidural and it no longer worked for them. I was having strong regular contractions but just wasn’t dilating. The baby was so low, I felt him being pushed up against me so strongly with each contraction. He was ready but my body wasn’t. I talked with my doctor about opting for a cesarean and she said she would definitely do that for me if that is what I wanted. I told her I would give it a couple more hours to see if I progressed anymore. Well, after a few more hours, I hadn’t progressed.  I just felt strongly that a cesarean was the best option for me. After he was born the doctor agreed because she realized how low he was and how it would have potentially been dangerous if we had waited since I was failing to progress.


It was around 8:45 p.m. and we were super excited and super nervous because our baby would be here in the next 30 minutes for sure. Jonathan kissed me as they wheeled me off to prep for surgery. The surgery prep was terrifying to me because of all the bright lights and I knew I was about to have major surgery. Lol. After they numbed me from the chest down I couldn’t breathe very well and was extremely shaky, so I was in a small panic. I needed Jonathan there to help me but for some reason, the nurse hadn’t brought him in yet. My doctor began the surgery and I still didn’t have my husband. Talk about scary. I just kept asking for him as they were cutting me. I just took some slow breaths to concentrate on breathing and not passing out. I saw someone rush around the corner and I recognized Jonathan’s eye in his O.R. attire and I just lost it with relief and happiness. He got me through that surgery with his excitement and confidence about what was happening, but I on the other hand, was a wreck, emotionally and physically. The ten minutes of the doctors getting my baby out felt like an hour. Then my doctor called my name and said, “Ok Emily, you’re  about to feel a lot of pressure because I am about to pull your baby out.” The anesthesiologist said, “Take a deep breath because you’re about to be a mommy!” Jonathan was right by my side rubbing my head and holding my hand. Then we heard the sweetest cry ever! Josiah was here!  Jonathan stood up and took some pictures of him as they held him up in the air then he kissed me and went to cut the cord and watch them weigh and measure him. Since my chest was so numb and I was crying, I couldn’t get enough breath or strength to talk out loud so I just mumbled hoping they would hear me. I was telling Josiah, “I love you Josiah!” “Happy Birthday baby!” “That’s your daddy beside you!” “You sound so beautiful!” “Thank you, Jesus!” The only person that heard me was the anesthesiologist, he never left my side. Then, I heard Jonathan singing the song to Josiah that he sang the entire time I was pregnant and he stopped crying and was completely calm. Talk about losing it. I lost it. Jonathan brought Josiah around the corner for me to see him for the first time and kiss those fat cheeks from the sonogram pic that I couldn’t wait to see in person. He was perfect to me. 

This was literally the happiest moment of my entire life! Nothing else in the world will compare to this moment. 


The Baby Bump (Week by Week) 

I debated on whether to do the belly progression pics or not because it’s just one more thing I would have to keep up with. I knew I would regret it if I didn’t do it though. To make life easier, I took these after church every Sunday because that’s the day my hair and makeup was done and looked good. Lol.  What? You thought I looked like this everyday? Nope! I’m actually very low maintenance on a daily basis. 

For the photos, I just wanted a pretty background. So, I went to Hobby Lobby and bought one yard of fabric in this pretty print and simply hung it on the wall beside my bed. I added a pretty white frame and bought some white letters and numbers. I love how they all turned out and I’ll cherish them always. I miss my belly already, so I’m glad I have these to look back on.


Journey To Parenthood (The Third Trimester) 

The third trimester wasn’t as busy as the previous two, but a lot definitely changed. In this trimester, the excitement, nervousness, and nursery planning made it all feel real.  Continue reading “Journey To Parenthood (The Third Trimester) “


Spring Peach Orchard Shoot

It’s Spring time and the peach blossoms came early this year. I’m so glad to have gotten these beautiful pictures made with Sugar Peach Productions at the last minute.

Continue reading “Spring Peach Orchard Shoot”


Journey To Parenthood (The Second Trimester) 

DISNEY (Bump’s First Visit)

“The Bump.” That is what we called the baby the entire trip. Jonathan’s dad would constantly say funny things like, “The Bump wants ice cream.” or ,”Maybe we should ask The Bump what to do next.” Continue reading “Journey To Parenthood (The Second Trimester) “