Photographs

Today I received the lens mentioned mentioned in this post.  It is an exciting lens for me and though I’m the most amateur of amateurs when it comes to photography I am aware (hopeful? haha!) that practice makes perfect, and eventually my photos will be straight up awesome.

This new lens is a 40mm macro lens so these photos were mainly me practicing with the lighting (as always) and aperture.  Any constructive criticism is welcome, you’d be doing me a favor! 🙂

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I always have qualms about sharing things because I’m such a private person so I really hope you enjoy what I have to share now and in the future.

Thanks for stopping by! ❤

ps. feel free to follow my (most likely obnoxious) photo instagram at abutlercharliephotos

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms!  I hope your day involved minimal (or no) diaper changes, no chores, and sweet appreciation.

Yesterday was my second official Mother’s Day and it was so nice.

We began the day slowly, and went to our second annual Mother’s Day brunch at the O’club.  As usual, Elizabeth loved the muffins, fruit and milk she had.  Her and Alodia’s good behavior was noticed by and commented on by many which is always so so rewarding to hear, especially from strangers as their compliments have no obligation to them whatsoever.  Right?

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While we were at the O’club I realized just how beautiful the garden (seen behind us, to the right) is at this time and I’m dying to go back to get some pictures of the girls and the garden alone.

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We wandered around back and visited the New River allowing Elizabeth to blow off some steam from staying put in a high chair for an hour at breakfast.

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Alodia, as per usual, was a champ at people watching, sucking her thumbs, and giving random smiles and furrowed brows to strangers and friends alike.

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We spent the afternoon with a friend and her family whose husband is deployed.  Her son is one of Elizabeth’s bffs and they had a blast together playing in a pool and eating freezie pops.

We ended our evening with take out dinner and watching the sunset with our lovely neighbors across the street.  This is becoming my absolute favorite time of day because it is so breath taking.  I instagram many sunsets, k_forty is my user. 🙂

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I received a new SD card with a significantly higher capacity for my phone, a new lens for my camera, a couple items of clothes, and the sweetest hand made card! ❤

These two precious girls were the best results of a collaboration.  Ever. 😛

What is your most favorite Mother’s Day tradition?

Touch

This chapter was interesting to me as my husband and I have recently begun working with the book The Five Love Languages (more about that later).  Touch is something I have personally become more aware of since bringing that book home.

When Will and I began dating we would hold hands in the car every moment possible.  We would cuddle watching movies rather than sprawl out on opposite sides of the sofa.  Sometimes we don’t even share the same blanket!

This chapter was about rekindling the physical aspect of your relationship with your spouse.  Becky Thompson is very specific about it being “all encompassing” in the physical world: holding hands, hugging, cuddling, etc.

Of course when one touches a loved one they experience an increase of oxytocin which is the happy hormone.  This really, truly, simple task makes everybody happy and calm, which in turn makes the relationship happier, right?  So simple. 🙂

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Task 1 | Task 2

The last time

Alodia turned 6 months old  a couple weeks ago.  My little baby is closer to one than she is to her birth day.  Will and I have always said “we love having nothing to do with each other” meaning that we love being together and having nothing to do.  Lately, as a family, we have been so busy simply spending time together not doing anything of importance and it has been really nice.  Setting aside empty spots in schedules for the entire family is something we plan to do for as long as we can because someday Elizabeth and Alodia will have other priorities.  We need to cherish every moment we’re able to.

Alodia began crawling in her 5th month.  She is pulling up on things, even standing on one foot, and walking along the coffee table and other furniture.  She has her two bottom front teeth, naps in her crib in her own room, rides in a convertible car seat, and absolutely adores her older sister.  She has light brown hair and hazel eyes.  She’s going to be the wild one, we can feel it.

I saw a poem on facebook not too long ago that really resonated with me.  I’ve kept it in the back of my mind, unable yet unwilling, to shake it from my memory:

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We will do everything we can to ensure these girls receive the most positive roots possible.  This poem really forces me to be aware of every little thing I might take for granted. ❤

Almost two

Now that spring has arrived and it’s in the 70’s I’ve finally begun to accept that Elizabeth is turning two.  She’s almost two years old, guys!  Two!  She’s the most kind, understanding, docile, and eager toddler I’ve come across.  She’s genuinely a great little girl.  Her temper tantrums make other kid’s good days look bad.  Elizabeth is simply perfect.

Not only that, but Alodia is turning 6 months old this week.  The majority of people say she looks just like Will, but I’ve begun to receive “she looks just like you” comments recently.  Her fist half-year is almost complete.  She’s about to begin sleeping in her own room, eating solid food and she’s SO motivated about it.

I’m in complete denial about these precious little girls growing up, but in all reality toddlers are more fun than babies anyway.

I would have a photo of A from our first beach day of 2017 but she was napping in the carrier while Elizabeth and I walked up and down the beach collecting sea shells, rocks, fist fulls of sand, and shark teeth. So you’ll just have to accept photos of E instead. 🙂

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Kindness

Do you find yourself speaking less kind toward your spouse than you would when you had first met each other?  I do.  In Becky Thompson’s book Love Unending she targets this as the second task to improve.  Love and marriage is her knowledge territory therefore I’m all about taking her expertise and practicing it in my life.

Being aware of, and improving, your own flaws is the best way to enhance any situation.  In my journey of 2017 I’ve been refining all of my relationships.  Some people had to go because they were nothing but negative, others had to be censored a little to help avoid the toxicity, and other relationships simply need more positive attention.

Luckily my husband and I don’t have a tough relationship but I’d rather put preventative work into it than have to re-mediate a situation.

I’ve witnessed people throwing their significant other’s belongings out the front door while demeaning and absolutely tearing them down; if they had worked on their relationship before things had gone sour it would be easier sailing.

I’ve also seen couples who never argue, ever.  These couples are aware of the best way to approach an issue and they use those techniques throughout their relationship.  (The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman is a good book to help couples with this area.)

We aspire to be like the latter.  Since reading this second chapter in Becky Thompson’s book we have noticed that outside stressors cause us to become snippy with each other.  These stressors can be in the form of the toxic relationships mentioned previously or common stress-causing situations in day to day life.

We have seen this task improve drastically because I don’t find myself being treated poorly by others and then mirroring said behavior onto my husband.  I have more patience.  I’m behaving how I naturally would (and did when we first met), without censoring myself and becoming strained by not being comfortable.  I hope you can also notice any shortcomings you can work on to better the environment you live in. ❤

Purchase Becky Thompson’s book here and begin improving your marriage now!  Watch out for more posts as we continue our journey through her recommendations.

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To read the previous task click here

Improving marriage

In most aspects of life my family lives by the motto “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” however within our relationships at home and surrounding our home, we don’t want things to break, ever.

With the extra energy I’ve gained since removing toxic relationships I’ve been able to focus on improving the positive relationships in my life.  In order to do this I first had to recognize where I was lacking as a spouse, mother, or friend.  I cannot try to improve these relationships by dictating what others should improve, as that would have the opposite outcome, I must focus on and refine myself.

I purchased a book called Love Unending by Becky Thompson and began reading it this morning.

In her story, Becky describes her father as her inspiration.  He is patient and so obviously loving.  She seeks his relationship advice, which is to love your spouse as though it’s your first day of marriage.  She then goes on to say that her ideal relationship point to aspire toward was actually not then, but prior to her and her husband’s marriage, which I agree for ours.

When we got married we had already been living together, our roommate was a drunk who was sleeping with one of my sisters, my husband was working about 80 hours a week (many of them overnight shifts), and I was working part time and a student full time.  Talk about never again.  It was stressful.

Prior to our engagement we were both college students, living on campus, with a lot of free time and a healthy amount of responsibility.  It was perfect, the only thing that was better then than now was that we had predictable schedules.  Now, he never knows when he’ll be home from work, whether it be 3:30 or 10:00; he’s gone for weeks on end, and almost all of our attention is focused on the girls.

The first task in Becky’s book is to greet your spouse how you would greet them in the prime of your relationship.  I was happy to see Will simply for him 5 years ago.  I’ll have to admit that today I’m happy to see him more for his ability to help me than for his own presence.

That will change.  The next time I greet him I will greet him as I did for during the firey part of our relationship.

I am immersed in this task, and we will walk in love. ❤

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To read to the second task  click here