Kodaks By Kalie

3/25/2016

Recently you may have noticed me spamming y'all with some new photos of Reubs and myself on various social media platforms. And you may have noticed that they are most definitely not taken with my iphone and experimented with on the VSCO app. On St. Patricks day we set off to Helen's Bay and my extremely talented friend Kalie spent the morning taking photos/chasing Reuben around the beach. You should definitely check out her photography page here. This gal is an absolute gem and she does wonderful work.

Usually when photos like this are taken, the pictures themselves turn out great and they make life look absolutely wonderful and it's as if every moment is a laugh a minute and everyone looks at them and thinks 'Oh isn't that beautiful, I think I'll have a baby right now'... But the truth is, you look back at those photos yourself and you remember that horrible day you whispered in your toddler's ear telling them they'd get some chocolate buttons if they smile and pretend to look like they love you. And they'd be promoted to giant chocolate buttons if they made the family photos look Pinterest worthy. Then you run around trying to have fun and acting natural whilst stopping your freshly curled hair from sticking to your lipstick and failing miserably because on an actual natural day you'd be wearing trackies and a top bun with enough grease to fry fish fingers (I always oven cook my fish fingers but the alliteration just sounded good).

BUT before I went off on that rant I said they usually go like this, because this time it was very different. First of all, it really helped that we knew the photographer. Being my usual dweeby and self conscious self, on other occasions I've been very aware of this stranger observing us playing together and trying to take good photos when I am giving very awkward vibes. I actually loved every minute of that beautiful morning at the glorious Helen's Bay. Kalie is lovely with kids and we also brought our friend Kayla who is basically Reuben's aunt, so it was like a big family day out to the beach. Both Kalie and Kayla (the bag carrier) joined in on the fun and we had a fabulous time laughing at Reuben throwing himself into the seaweed and laughing at me trying to keep up with him whilst he dribbled a ball around my ankles.

I am so overjoyed at how the photos turned out and I can't stop looking at them. I can't choose my favourites so I'm going to post quite a few of them and if you are in my house in the near future you can expect to see every wall in my house plastered with them. I hope you like them as much as I do. Actually, I know you will. Prepare to fall in love with my son. If his eyes don't make you swoon, then nothing will. I believe I somehow gave birth to a child-model. He can work the smoulder.



Maybe I'm clutching at straws here but I think we have a similiar run



I'm pretty sure we were talking about shells here. It looks like we really love shells

He wouldn't sit beside me. Story of my life.



The only time in our lives I've actually been ahead of him



He. Is. Delicious. 




I actually jumped off that ledge with him in my arms. That's as sporty as it gets.


THERE THEY ARE - THOSE EYES


His signature "SHE'S MINE" pose 



The smoulder.









The chins are very real.



That lil booty <3

I know what this look means. "Juice please?"




That sass.

This is one of those photos where I know he's definitely mine 


Sunday Style

3/21/2016

Do you ever sit and procrastinate from work by looking through your photos? In those desperate times when you've done the rounds of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, emails, BBC news, and replied to your mum's texts from the last week... that's when you turn to scrolling through your photo albums. I'm not sure whether it's the crushing guilt of not doing my work or the fact that Reuben just makes me an emotional mess - but I always end up completely cooing/crying over all of his photos. And all of his outfits. Here's a few of the recent Sunday Styles that particularly made my uterus glow in the library.

I thought his outfit was very apt this week for St. Patrick's Day. The look was complete with that stupid ugly bag which is now part of the family. I'd honestly burn it if it wasn't so essential for carrying 527 dinosaurs, 6 cars, a fire engine, 2 of my books, a stolen biscuit from the church coffee table, and a football. I thought his attachment to the bag was cute at first, but when it's 3am and he's crying for it in his sleep, or when I'm in the shower and he jumps in with the bag... that's where I draw the line.
His grey jeans are from Zara, his top and shirt were both given to me but I think they're from Next. I also got his little boots in Next and I am making him wear them every single day before they are soon too small to wear. My mama made his hat. Well, actually that is the third one she has made as I lost the other two in Ballymena and Belfast.



That little bashful face is everything. It's taking all my strength not to go waken him and eat those squishy cheeks. Sunday Style never looked so sweet. And Reubs' nappy never looked so big. (Note to self - less tea in church). His top if from Zara and his shirt is from Primark. 



This is basically Reuben's life in a photo - Motorbike in one hand, cup of juice in the other. And screaming because we shouted LORRY at him.
His shirt and body warmer are both from Next. All of these photos were taken outside our church Liberty, and unfortunately the 3 seconds used to take these photos are the only 3 seconds he stands still on a Sunday morning.

I'm not sure if these next photos count as Sunday Style as they were technically taken on a Thursday. But Reubs' outfit is a typical Sunday outfit and to be quite honest I just like the photos my friend Gareth took. 





Unfortunately Reuben didn't actually come to the formal. When I was leaving I wanted to take him with me. But once I got there and realised there was free pic n mix, an uninterrupted 3 course meal, and I could dance all night... well lets just say I was happy enough to leave him at home watching 101 Dalmatians with Kayla. However, I do partly wish he could have went purely because our outfits match. 

Hopefully it won't be as long before I update Sunday Style again! 



21 and Counting

3/20/2016


Last week I turned 21.TWENTY ONE. Exciting, right? No.

Birthdays aren't my forté. They really arent my forté. I have a terrible habit of ruining the one day of the year I really shouldn't ruin, so I found it quite hard to get myself excited. Taking this into consideration, and given how much my life has changed in the last 9 months, I didn't know what to expect at all. The last few years have went something like this (and I had no desire to have a repeat):

17 - Got too drunk and somehow woke up in Premier Inn but arrived home just in time to give my mum her mothers day card, acting like nothing had happened. Also lost purse and memory.
18 - Got pregnant. Enough said.
19 - Had first night away from new baby. Spent most of it showing people baby photos. FYI it's a good way to scare guys away.
20 - Celebrated not being a teen mum anymore. Got too drunk and fell through my friends shower door and it shattered into smithereens. Still had a smashing time. (It's taken a year to bring myself to make that joke).

So there was a bit of pressure on 21. The terrible birthday streak had to finish at some point. Was 21 going to deliver? It clearly coped with pressure a lot better than I do because I can honestly say I had the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. I don't know why I never seen how great birthdays could be. I mean I got to celebrate with cake, family, friends who are basically family, Reuben who is more than family, coffee, trampolines, lots of Italian food and God.

The day before my birthday was my designated Reuben day. I knew I would have a hectic weekend so I purposely worked more efficiently in the library during the week. I took the day off to enjoy some uninterrupted quality Reuben time. We stayed true to ourselves and went out for breakfast. We tried The General Merchants Cafe and my love for their avocado with eggs is almost as large as my love for Reubs. We walked back to the car afterwards and Reubs did a few laps of the neighbouring gardens until one family actually invited us in for tea. They say children are a good conversation starter but this was a whole new level. Unfortunately the rain postponed our trip to the park so we headed to Common Grounds where I usually spend a lot of time in between classes. A wonderful friend who knows my love for it put our names on the board for coffee, hot chocolate, and a caramel square. The only thing that tastes better than free coffee is the taste of going to pay and being able to say 'Oh, my name is on the board' with a thankful (smug) 'my-friends-are-better-than-yours' kind of face. We spent the whole afternoon there... lounging on the sofa and going through every kids book in their basket... multiple times. I'd take that over the park any day.




In the evening my parents treated us to dinner and the most fabulous cake I've ever seen... even if it did make me consider taking up a sport/knitting. Apparently Reuben and the Bible are my only hobbies. Can I also point out that I am dressed as Elsa? I never thought a birthday cake would make me take a long hard look at myself but it tasted unbelievable nonetheless.



For my actual birthday the next day my mama took Reubs out for the day and I spent the morning with the girls at a women's conference called Kingdom Women. We had a great morning worshipping God and studying Esther. I also thoroughly enjoyed the irony that I don't even remember my last birthday but I spent this one at a God conference. What a change.


We headed to Ballymena and had lunch in Middletown Coffee, which is the only good thing you'll find in Ballymena. That is, apart from my gal Megan who we picked up en route. I've never been more thankful than I was sitting in Middletown with the sun shining, surrounded by lots of my favourite people, and eating zucchini fritter, bacon, poached egg, kale, tzatziki and chutney. Amazing - I know. Try not to salivate over my life. To be fair this is the only part you'll salivate over as the rest of my life consists of Reuben salivating over me. I don't know whether it was the lack of Reuben, lack of assignment thoughts, or lack of movement in general... but I haven't felt so chilled in a long time. The gals named the day 'Reb's Retreat' and it couldn't have been more appropriate. However, when I say lack of movement, I mean we sat too long, raced around the shops, and had to get from Ballymena to Belfast in 20 minutes. Which we did. And I am not proud of that. But it was definitely an adrenaline highlight. 






















My best friend who picks seeds out of my teeth.
 A year ago she picked glass out of my feet.
If you've never been to We Are Vertigo in Belfast then definitely check it out. If you're a mum and you've never been then definitely don't check it out. Seriously. As fun as it is, trampolining is not for the mother who has given birth. As soon as I started jumping, I very quickly regretted not doing my pelvic floor exercises when I was told to. Nothing humbles you more than realising you are peeing yourself every time you jump. Even after going to the toilet to empty my bladder, I still un-willingly leaked when I jumped. Apart from that, everyone loved it and I hope to see some of my friends in Rio this Summer. It was also the first time I've done any kind of exercise in 6 months... which is always a plus.

My friends are sweaty but they're still beautiful on the inside
With 40 mins to get ready for dinner (which felt like 5 seconds to a house full of girls) we arrived a little late (but looking fab) for my second Italian dinner of the weekend... but simultaneously annoyed the males who were obviously on time. I can't remember the name of the pasta I had but I do know one thing - I'll see it in heaven. I'm pretty sure the ingredients were a mixture of love and magic. I may not have known I was pregnant for 6 months when I had Reubs, but if you'd looked at me after that dinner you would have assumed I was carrying a food baby. I went back to my house deliriously happy, to eat cake and open presents. I have to give it to my friends, they are very talented at choosing gifts and they know me extremely well. I feel unbelievably loved.



In the photos, I certainly don't look as fresh as I thought I would at 21, with those eye bags I like to call 'proud owner of a toddler'. But boy, do I feel blessed. The day couldn't even be ruined by the fact that sickness seemed to be spreading through my germy friends at a rapid rate. Unfortunately one friend vomited at the restaurant, one spent the whole night vomiting in my sink and one had suspected man flu which turned out to be a horrible chest infection. I was just overjoyed to not be the one throwing up on my birthday for a change. Whilst the thought of turning 21 didn't appeal to me, nor did the thought of officially being considered a 'mature student' by my friends, I was overwhelmed by how stunningly-special it was. How extravagantly-generous my friends are. And how enduringly-loving God is. Here's to lots more birthdays, with lots more coffee, lots more friendship, and a lot less trampolines.