About Me

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Our family consists of Paul (aka Daddy or Daddy-Doo). He loves his little girls, wife and family more than anything in the world. Velvet (aka MaMa Velvet or Mommy). I'm a photographer and very happy stay at home Mom who can't get enough time with my little ones! Lily (aka Monster, Stinkerbutt and Sweet Pea). She's a very smart, talkative, opinionated and loving 9 year old! Addison (aka Addi-Doo, Addi Bo Baddy and Turkey Butt). She's 5, spunky, energetic, snuggly, and full of so much sass! Finally, we've got Scarlett (Munchkin Butt, Bo, and The Cheese Monster)! She's 3 years old and enjoys playing by herself, sneaking cheese, and playing pretend with everyone!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas and Technology

Long time no read everyone!

To say this year has been insanely busy is an understatement.

To top it all off, I accidentally changed all of my blog account information to another email address and lost the login details.

Typical.

Anyway, I'm back!

As well as my rambunctious kiddos and a few new fun stories.

For now though I'll just share what happened today.

I got a new toy for my camera to help with speeding up the correct WB at sessions.

It is AMAZING and I am loving using it.

So of course I have been taking random shots around the house with different lighting and whatever kid happens to be in the room at the same time.

Just so happened to be my biggest little Miss Lily Monster today!

Lilyanna has become enamored with my Facebook account and loves to message her Grandma, Dad, and me whenever she can.

Today it was Grandma Kim and Dad though, because I was home.

After she got done with that she requested a phone skyping session with her cousin Audrey and Aunt Lacey.


 Right after lunch Lilyanna's Grandma and Great Grandma came over and delivered a few Christmas presents for her and her sisters as well as 3 beautiful quilts that they had made to match their rooms!

Lily absolutely loves that her Grandmas enjoy blessing her and her sisters.


They spent the rest of the afternoon snuggled up watching Rudolph and Elf.

We also had a wonderful neighbor stop by with MORE presents.

Barbies, Stencils, Candy, Blankets, and lots of love poured into all of them.

Christmas is always wonderful, but I love that people go out of their way to love the snot out of our girls.


Friday, July 24, 2015

The Harriot Family: A Confession

I'm sure many of you have heard it before...

"You're such a great Mommy/Daddy!"

"You are so amazing with your kids!"

"I wish I could be as patient as you!"

"I wish my kids behaved as well as yours!"

"You have the perfect life!"

When Paul and I hear this, and we have on many occasions, we both say a giant thank you and then chuckle to ourselves as we walk away.

All of these compliments are welcomed, and appreciated, and tucked away in our back pockets for days where absolutely none of those statements above are even close to a shred of truth.

The internet fortunately or unfortunately allows people to have a direct connection with A LOT of individuals that otherwise wouldn't know about you or your personal life on a day to day basis.

Some of us are great at networking and placing our best foot forward for the world to see.

Which can be a great thing for your business or record keeping of all the adorable things your kids say between their giant temper tantrums and smearing of peanut butter on your bathroom walls.

This is generally what our family uses our social media platforms for.

I have my Facebook printed into a book at the end of the year every year, because sometimes life gets so hectic that I would completely forget that time Lily told me the dog licks her arms because she tastes like chicken, or Addison decided to get herself stuck on the tank of the toilet, or Scarlett's weird and very real necessity for all things dairy related.

Nevermind that last one, no one's gonna forget the cheese problem.

Confession time:

Paul and I are no where near perfect parents, friends, or partners.

We are both reminded on a daily basis that we are flawed, and human, and unworthy of the 3 lives that are entrusted to us for care, support, and nurturing.

We have both made mistakes when it comes to dealing with people in a mature manner and in the choices we make with our children when we are frustrated.

We are individual people working through this journey together.

We both have room to better ourselves.

So we make that choice everyday.

Not because we believe we're terrible people or parents, but because we believe that our next given day on this earth can grow us into the people we would like to be if we put the work and effort in now.

We work exceptionally hard, in our private lives, in our relationships with friends and family, and most importantly with our girls.

We fail.

A lot.

In those failures we promised on the day we were married to encourage each other to learn from them, and choose to attempt better the next time around.

When we fail, we apologize to those whom are affected.

Most usually that is our girls.

They are the ones who spend every day with us, the ones who push all our buttons, the ones who are burdened at times by our choices, and the ones who aren't old enough to truly understand why we do the things we do.

This is something EVERY parent struggles with.

We have all been in situations where we have said things to our children in the heat of the moment that we immediately regret.

Our children see us at our best and see us at our worst.

What is most important in recognizing our failures, is that we seize the opportunity to apologize sincerely, pick up the pieces, and better ourselves for the ones that we love and the ones that need us to be constantly growing.

If our children see us fail and never work to correct our mistakes we are doing them a great disservice. 

One day, they will fail too, and if they have never seen someone own up to their mistakes, apologize, and work to correct any damage that may have been done, they won't know how to do it themselves.

Whatever journey your on is entirely new every day you open your eyes.

We surround ourselves with friends and family who love us and who want to help us grow as friends, as husband and wife, as parents, and as people.

On our road as a family we have had to make tough choices when it came to people we cared about in ways that directly affect our everyday family life and the lives of those who love us and those who don't.

Our support system has also had to tell us harsh truth at times, and that pill is never easy to swallow, but it has always improved us when we let it.

Our promise to each other, and to our family, is to always be striving to be better than we were yesterday and to not attack each other when we aren't successful.

We have 3 little ladies counting on us who need us to do that.

Thank you to the people who truly care about us, for never letting us take the easy route, for calling us out in a loving manner when needed, and for supporting and defending our family through all of our trials.

Thank you for understanding that we are not perfect and for reminding us in a constructive way to be better than we were yesterday.

Our hope is that everyone in this life has people who push them to be great so that every day we are on this earth is a little bit better than the last.

 (A wonderful image of the 3 most important people in our lives by Hannah of Worlds Apart Studios)


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Audrey's Birth Story: Part 3

Portions of this final part will be told by Lacey, and other portions by me.

We all experienced a slightly different story over the next few hours and I want to make sure that it's depicted correctly.

Lacey:

They rolled me down to the OR where everyone was waiting.

It was incredibly bright and cold.

While they prepped my belly for surgery the staff introduced themselves and explained what they were there to do.

It got really quiet after everyone was introduced...

"Hi! My name is Lacey! I'm here to have a baby!"

Everyone laughed.

I was exhausted and hilarious.

Once I was all set up on the table they started to do the poke test to make sure my epidural was working correctly.

I could feel my belly about half way up which was too low to continue, so they continued to up my dosage with no change in feeling.

Eventually they decided that my epidural wouldn't be effective enough so they would switch me to a spinal.

As I hugged my new best doctor friend while they placed my spinal my legs disappeared!

The spinal had left me with zero feelings in either leg which was normal compared to the epidural which leaves you with no pain, but really heavy legs.

Once laid down again I informed my OBGYN that someone had chopped my legs off, and he joked that he could not confirm or deny that as my legs were currently hidden.

They brought Brandon in shortly after and he asked if I'd been making friends.

Apparently he'd been told of my awesome jokes.

They got started on the c section.

After a few minutes I started to feel a light burning sensation and brought it up to my anesthesiologist.

He offered me something to relax a bit more but made sure to tell me if the burning increased at all.

And it did.

They delivered Audrey and took her immediately to the baby station where I couldn't see her.

I hadn't heard any cry.

Then things went dark.


Brandon:

(as told to Velvet after! Please correct me if I'm wrong in any of this Brandon!!!)

They delivered Audrey and the first thing Brandon said was that she was black from head to toe and covered in meconium.

She wasn't breathing.

They vaccumed her lungs out 2 times and performed chest compressions on her for a minute and a half before she let out her very first week cry.

Once she cried they showed her to Lacey, which she doesn't remember.

They had to sedate Lacey because she was attempting to reach into her incision.

Her doctor and I had to hold her to the table until she was unconscious so that they could finish her surgery. 

The c section they performed went perfectly, Lacey's body just didn't take to the epidural or the spinal like planned because she burns through medication quickly.

While they finished up I went with Audrey to the nursery so that they could treat her for the same infection her mother was fighting and run all of the tests needed to make sure her lungs were functioning properly.


Velvet:

The doctors had told my parents and I that the csection would take around an hour, and since Brandon and I hadn't eaten since breakfast and it was now dinnertime my Dad and I decided to run down the street and grab pizza.

When we got back with 15 minutes to spare, Mom hadn't heard anything.

About 10 minutes later we saw lots of nurses running past Lacey's recovery room and heard a baby cry.

We weren't allowed to go to the nursery, but we could hear Brandon talking to his little girl from the hallway.

I was aware from previous c sections that generally the baby doesn't leave the OR without the Mother.

So to hear Audrey and not now where Lacey was was the longest 10 minutes I've ever experienced.

No one could tell us anything, and they were all too busy attending to both Mom and Baby to deal with the two crying women in the hallway.

When an attendant finally came to tell us what was going on we got to hear about all of the OR issues and Audrey's complications.

We got right to praying in that hallway and didn't stop until Lacey was rolled into recovery.

She was still asleep, and we were told she wouldn't wake up for a while.

So we surrounded her and held her hand and ran our fingers through her hair while we talked about her babies sweet cry down the hall.

Every time we said her name Lacey would smile in her sleep.

It was the sweetest most heartbreaking thing.

After about 15 minutes Brandon came into the room to tell us that Audrey was ok, and that we could go see her if we'd like.

He also informed us that Audrey would need to be transferred to a different hospital where they had a nicu to treat her.

I pretty much turned into one giant sobbing mess.

Lacey was ok, Audrey was ok, but they wouldn't get to meet one another.

Brandon stayed with Lacey while we ran down to the nursery to meet Audrey for the first time.

I took my camera so that I could make sure to capture all those sweet details a Mommy notices first.

She was absolutely perfect.

She needed an IV for her antibiotics and other medications to help her fight off the cold they had both developed during labor, and she was attached to all sorts of monitors.

We could touch her, but not hold her.

So we did.

We laid hands on that sweet baby and sang and prayed and cried and loved her as best we could.

Her Mom would sing "You Are My Sunshine" to her all the time, so when she started fussing I warble cried my way through it hoping to bring her a little bit of peace till her Mommy could do it herself.

We spent about 15 minutes just soaking her in before Brandon told us that Lacey had woken up, so I hustled back to her room with camera in hand.

When I asked if she'd like to see photos, she declined.

The nurse informed her it might be an hour or two before she could possibly see her, so she quickly changed her mind.

We layed in bed together and I scrolled through all of her perfect details with her wonderful Mom and we both cried.

The hospital ended up deciding to make room for Lacey to be wheeled down to the nursery so that she could hold her baby before she was transferred to the nicu at a different hospital.

We were all ecstatic.

So, two hours after Audrey entered the world, she finally got to meet her Mommy face to face.

The entire room was sniffles and quiet sobs while we watched and recorded.

She sang her songs, and she quieted down and just stared.


There will be a 4th part.

Mommy and Baby are both fine and healthy and loving each other every day.

Thank you so much for giving Lacey and Brandon support through their journey and reading their experience!

 

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