"Don't Drink the Water" : Nurseries, Names and Newborn Pictures

What a crazy week it’s been! There is so much going on both at the studio and at home for us! Fall is always our crazy season, and with good reason! Those fall colors are hard to pass by and only exist for a short time! So, of course the studio’s schedule is jam packed with lots of fun events and portrait sessions!

And, it’s not much slower on the home front either! Alicia is busy at home adjusting to new life with sweet baby Carson. Amy and I are both in home stretch, at 37 and 36 weeks respectively! We’re busy putting finishing touches on nurseries, packing hospital bags and making plans (that will surely mean nothing.. haha!) for when the babies arrive! 

Hillary has enlisted the whole family to help prepare Baby3’s nursery, including her two daughter’s, Austen & Sadie. Here are a few pictures of the process and hopefully you’ll be able to see the finished product in the coming weeks! 

And, of course, there is the whole “What are we going to name this baby?!” conversation. In case you are wondering, Amy nor I are closer to choosing a name than we were 8 months ago. Let’s just say our taste and our husband’s taste aren’t exactly a match made in heaven. Whoever said naming a baby was fun was absolutely crazy! We happen to think it’s super hard! So, we are working on it by discussing possibilities on a breaks at work while eating chocolate pie. :) 

And last, but certainly not least, we got to spend some time snuggling Carson this past week for his newborn portraits! We couldn’t decide which ones to share, so we decided to just share them all! :)


See us back next week for Amy’s maternity pictures and, with any luck, Hillary’s nursery!! :)

"Don't Drink The Water" - From Toddler Room to Nursery & More!

I feel like my life lately is a revolving door of designing and re-designing spaces! One year ago last month we finished the massive remodel on our home in Aviston, only to sell it one month later. It’s funny how life can lead you down one path only to open a completely different door at the end. Once we moved out of that house, we jumped right into another full remodel right before Thanksgiving of last year. So, make that two huge remodels in a matter of months followed by the expansion at the studio where we remodeled the entire building next to us for our new offices, production, viewing room and the salon! Whew! That’s a lot of designing! And just as that was all complete, SURPRISE! Time to design a gender neutral nursery, for the third time. Don’t get me wrong, I am THRILLED to have this opportunity, but it’s also shed some light on a few things…

1 - Designing a gender neutral nursery with today’s options is HARD. Especially when it’s the third time! 

2 - Combining both your older girls into one room, and one smallish closet, is equally hard. It makes me think that maybe my husband was right and they do have too many shoes. Although, who am I kidding? That won’t change. 

Over the weekend I took the time to completely clean out my youngest daughters room to start turning that into the nursery. It’s a mess right now, but soon it will be beautiful! Until then, you can see our multiple paint samples and process of making into a sweet place to welcome baby3. 

Another task we tackled on Sunday was going through the baby clothes. I quickly realized just how much girls clothes we have and immediately started marking items for a yard sale. So, if you need girls clothes sizes newborn through six, come see me the first weekend in October during the Breese city wide! 

Lastly, we all thought this might be a good time to share with you a few moments we found funny over the last few months! Pregnancy hormones can make for some great stories, that’s for sure. 


  • While shopping with Amy at Super Value for some quick snacks for the studio, Amy was desperately looking for Oatmeal Cream Pies. Up and down every aisle until we finally reached the conclusion that they were no where to be found. I knew not to mess with her when Amy’s response was, “I swear if they don’t have Oatmeal Cream Pies I’m going to tip this *bleeping* cart over!”… She was not kidding.

    A conversation with my husband recently…
    • “Babe, this update says the baby is the size of a head of lettuce!”
    • “Wow”
    • “Wow? That’s it?”
      “Well, don’t take this offensively, but the way you act lately it’s the size of the head of lettuce that won the blue ribbon at the state fair for being the biggest head of lettuce ever”
    • Evil Stare….
    • “You’re so pretty….” 

Next week is more funny stories and (hopefully) nursery progress! Thanks for reading!!! 

"Don't Drink the Water" : Hillary & Amy's 10 Pieces of Advice for Alicia & Then Some!

Just in case you weren't keeping count, Hillary is now pregnant with baby #3 and Amy with baby #2. We don't claim to have all the answers, but since Alicia is going to be a first time mom, we thought it would be fun to share some of our best advice!

Ten Pieces of Advice to Prepare for Labor/Deliver

1.  Pick a good nail paint color. Hillary told me when I went to get my nails done before having Lo, “You better pick a good color, you’re going to be staring at it for a LONG time”. And she was right. Bonus points if you have that color (or close) at home so you can do a 2 second touch up if you actually have to leave the house and go somewhere. Let’s be honest, there will be no time for manicures/pedicures once baby arrives for a long, long time! - Amy

2. Buy some breast pads and use them. Honestly, because otherwise there is 100% chance you will be in Wal-Mart with a baby for just that ONE thing you have to have and you’ll hear another baby crying and like magic it will cue the letdown. You’ll be soaked in the middle of the frozen food section. Can you say “Hello People of Walmart”? - Amy

3. Be thankful for the Target Burp Rag Lady. When my daughter Austen was only 2 months old, my husband convinced me it would be good to get out of the house, even just to run to Target for a few necessities. So, I happily went! And, as I was browsing the toothpaste aisle mentally wondering if I had brushed my teeth that day, because I honestly wasn’t even sure what day it was, a very kind lady walked up to me and tapped my shoulder, handing me the dirty burp rag that was hanging over it. Instant tears started to well up in my eyes and she said, “Babe, it’s okay, we’ve all been there. This too shall pass and one day you’ll miss it, I promise”. She then handed me a tube of Crest and walked away. She was 100% right - So be thankful for the mom tribe that surrounds you because, yes, we’ve all been there and we’ve all got your back. Even if it has baby spit-up running down it. - Hillary 

4. Buy yourself from gift cards from restaurants you like, bonus points for ones that deliver. There will be lots of nights you don’t feel like cooking. Or, enlist your sisters/moms/aunts/friends to make you frozen dinners 2 weeks prior to your due date. You’ll be starving and and infants are awful cooks. - Amy

5. Don’t overpack your hospital bag. I think I took enough for us all to leave the country for 2-3 weeks. Seriously. The brand new diaper bag was bursting at the seams. I think it took 4 people 3 trips to get everything in the car to leave. Items you can leave at home include; entire boxes of granola bars, 47 of 48 receiving blankets, MULTIPLE tubes of lanolin (one will suffice) and finally, any expectation of getting sleep for the first 48 hours - just leave that thought at home with your regular underwear. Trust us on that one. - Amy

6. AppleTV, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, whatever just make sure you have them all. Find a series with LOTS of seasons that you really want to see and wait for the baby to get here to start watching it. I watched House of Cards - I wasn’t even mad I sat in the recliner for 5 consecutive hours nursing/ holding the baby because my problems were nothing compared to Frank Underwood’s. Amy watched Dexter - However that’s really up to your parental discretion if you are comfortable with your newborn watching a serial killer that makes you question your moral compass. THIS is when you will need the entire box of granola bars… Enter the feeding station… - Hillary

8. The best thing I did was set up an area in my living room and that was the only area I used to feed the baby. It had a basket of snacks, a water bottle, remotes, a phone charger, a pillow, spit rags, etc. It also had a book but let’s be honest, I never opened it. This made nursing SO much easier, well maybe not easier but there was a lot less complaining (depending on who you asked). Bonus - enlist someone to keep your station stocked and ready for the next feeding. You won’t have time to do it if you ever want to shower again. - Hillary

8. The biggest myth of pregnancy - Maternity clothes are only for pregnant people. WRONG. Very few women leave the hospital in their regular jeans (unless their jeans have a belly band over them). You can rock those maternity pants/dresses/leggings as long as you need to because let’s be honest, you aren’t really going to be leaving the house much anyway. Count it as good day if you were able to even wear a shirt. I finally caved 4 months later when Brad asked if I was ever going to wear real pants again. That lasted a whole 3 months. Then I got pregnant. And, I wasted no time reuniting with those glorious stretchy waist bands. - Amy

9. The best answer to any question is to follow you own intuition. Try not to question your instincts because somehow they already know the answer. Mommy groups can be a great resource, but don’t get too wrapped up because there is no one method to fit all. Parenting styles differ from one to the next and it’s important to know that as long as you are being safe, the right way for you and your baby is YOUR way. - Amy 

10.. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s okay to not know all the answers, but I can also tell you google doesn’t always have them either. So, ask your friends and family for help. There are no awards for the most tired, overwhelmed mom so don’t even try for it. Taking the help, or asking for it WHEN you need it will be the absolute best thing you can do for yourself and for Carson. Take advantage of help offered by moms, grandma, aunts, etc… They have all been there, love you and Carson and you’ll welcome the much needed break. Maybe it’s been a while since they’ve had their own babies, but babies don’t change much. And if you’re lucky, with their help, you might be able to change that nail color before it turns into a french tip ;) - Hillary


In other news…. 

Since’s Alicia’s hubby is in the Marines and leaving for Japan for 6 months soon, she decided to fly out and visit him. While they were there they did beach maternity pictures! She was able to see a sneak peek already and she looks SO pretty! 

Photo Credit : http://www.mindijophotography.com

Photo Credit : http://www.mindijophotography.com

Amy’s cravings have elevated to DQ Buster Bars - An entire box. And they are all already gone.  Also, nesting is setting in - With any luck we’ll have pictures of “Lo’s Containment Zone” next week! And, for those of you wondering, we’ll also explain WHY she has a need for a containment zone. 

Myself - I survived 2 weeks with both kids 30 weeks pregnantand a very full work calendar while my husband was out of town for training. Thank goodness for cereal for dinner and amazing, wonderful cleaning ladies! I also finally got around to planning the nursery! And, just to mention, gender neutral nursery ideas are slim pickings so doing a THIRD one has been quite the ordeal. Fear not though, with the help of my super talented friend Tracy we have an adorable room planned! Hopefully you’ll see pictures before the baby actually arrives ;)