Matte Finish


After church last week (before lunch and naps, etc., but before the meltdowns), I forced Jordan to go with me and the kids to a field across the street from our neighborhood so I could take some pictures of the three of them. I wanted to bring my tripod and get one of the four of us, but it was windy and cold and also the post-nursery meltdowns were looming, so I just took some of my crew, and (in my opinion) they turned out really lovely.
It's been years since I saved up and bought my DSLR and taught myself how to use Photoshop, and I still don't think I've settled on one type of editing that I really love as my "style." I like to try out different things with different photos, and sometimes I see something online that someone else has done that looks really cool, but when I try it myself I don't like it at all. 

I used more of a matte finish than I normally do in a few photos I took of R, and I'm a little obsessed with them. And to be honest, I'm kind of obsessed with her too.
Sometimes she'll wake up while I'm still sleeping. She'll open her door and come across the hall to our room. She'll climb up in bed and say, "Oh hello," like she's surprised to find me there. "Dada at work," she says. "Mama wake." If she hears J babbling, she'll say, "J wake." Then she climbs down, goes to the side of the bassinet, and reaches in to grab one of his hands. Then she holds out her other hand for me to take. 

And just for a few seconds, the three of us make a chain of hands. Then the morning rush begins, and at some point one of both of them is crying and I'm running around like crazy. But man, those few seconds melt me.
My days have been absolutely flying lately, and J turns 5 months this week. I can barely stand it. Jordan asked me the other day if I realized that I will have spent almost half of his first year with him full time, and to be honest I hadn't thought about it that way before, but, friends, what a blessing. I can honestly say it's been a grand privilege of my life to have been able to spend so much time with both of my babies during their first few months of life.
Would you believe I sat down to write a Confessions or a Currently post, and this is what came out? I had one of those hand-holding moments this morning and just over two weeks left until I go back to the office, so I think I'm feeling sentimental. 

Okay I know I'm feeling sentimental.

Insert a moment of silence for my emotions.

Now then.

As I said, J turns 5 months old in just a few days. He's rolling over (from to back) but still not even sort of sleeping through the night. I suppose you win some, lose some. Jordan and I were both (me moreso for obvious reasons) frustrated and a little bitter about the fact that I'm still only getting 2-3 hours of sleep at a time, but then J had an ear infection plus what we think was RSV and a truly terrible two weeks of sleep, and now that he's back to his regular sleep pattern, I've decided it really isn't so bad. Perspective!
I have a few other things to talk about, but I'll save those for the confession session post I'm working on. At the rate I'm going, it will be finished sometime in 2023. 

I don't remember just wanting to sit around holding R like I do with J, but I honestly can't get enough of his chunky, dimpled self. He's up to 16 pounds, 10 ounces, and I'm officially moving all the 3-6 sizes out and the 6-9 month sizes in. Once you hit adulthood and stay the same size forever, your closet gets boring. I literally have shirts and pants from a decade ago. But babies size up every few months, and it's so fun to get to open up boxes and find an entirely new set of clothes! Although somehow, R is fitting into most of her winter stuff from last year, and it's nice because I don't have to buy her new winter coats or jackets! She's not small for her age, so I don't get how it's happening, but I'm not complaining. 

And speaking of clothes, I mentioned on Instagram that I decided to completely stop eating dessert in November until Thanksgiving. I was in a bad habit of eating a cookie or ice cream or chocolate chips after dinner almost every single night, and so I'm detoxing a bit this month, and it's been actually really nice! I was telling Jordan a few days ago that while I don't have any hard evidence like measurements or numbers on a scale, I feel like I've slimmed down a bit in the post-baby stomach flab area. I can wear pretty much all my pre-pregnancy pants now! Hurrah! I have no idea if it's related to the dessert thing, but I'm telling myself that it is. If nothing else, I've learned that I don't, in fact, need cookies after dinner to make life worth living. But sometimes after a long day I feel like I deserve them, you feel me?

On a semi-related note, this might need to be an entirely separate post of its own, but the short story is that I basically hate my entire closet right now. It's not that things don't fit, but I just feel so uninspired and blah about all the clothes I own. I strongly suspect it's a postpartum thing, because normally I don't care about clothes all that much, but I'm having a hard time finding outfits that I feel really good in. I'm not a fashion blogger AT ALL (don't look so shocked), but if I had a place in my house where I could actually take well-lit, full-length photos of myself, I might actually share some outfits with you guys and ask for help. But I don't, so never mind. I just feel like everyone is cuter than me and I actually want to do something about it, but I don't know what. 

I still say StitchFix is outrageously expensive (and I don't understand how people get box after box like they do!), but I almost think something like that would be fun and necessary for me right now. Collecting donations! 
Okay that's all I've got for now. If you survived my rambling and have arrived safely at the bottom of this post, hello! I hope you have a great rest of the week and a weekend filled with all the fun things and possibly definitely hopefully a nap.
Unknown said...

You are amazing and I love the photos!! I'm so sorry to hear J has been so sick! Nolan had an ear infection and has had congestion and a cough for a month and it is hard and heart breaking and all schedules and hope of sleep goes out the window! I think I'm up more now than the newborn stage, ha. I need to put him in 6-9 months I think. But I just found 3-6 month clothes that I didn't know I had so now I'm forcing him to wear them, lol. But he grew over an inch in 10 days!! So his pants are just capris now, lol.

I saw Stitchfix has no styling fee for November. You may need to find a code but I've debated doing it. That styling fee and the expensive clothes get me. Could I write "I won't buy tops over $20 or pants over $30" Does that make me too cheap,ha? I really would love to try it too but I just don't have that money laying around! Speaking of, I happened to hit the jackpot at ... wait for it... Walmart! Seriously so many fun tops. I hear they have pants for $7 too but I haven't found them yet, though I may drag the kids there today for just that.

Ok, long enough post. I can assure you my weekend will be lovely but won't include a nap ;) haha

Maureen @ Maureen Gets Real said...

I totally get what you mean about feeling uninspired and blah about your clothes! It happens to me every season or every other season. So I take a few items that don't fit, lost their shape, I just don't like, etc. and donate them. Then I'll add in a few new pieces that really excite me and I can pair with other items I already own. This helps me to not always replace clothes but to get a few things every year that I love.

Ashley Carr Hess said...

Isn’t it funny how you sometimes sit down to write one thing and something completely different just come out? I have a love/hate relationship with those moments...

Oh my goodness, though. Those photos are so sweet! And the ones of J on IG are too precious... I can see why you’d just wanna hold him and look at that those dimples. :)

Sometimes I read things like this (about just wanting to hold J and R taking your hands in the morning) and my mind floats to having children, but then I remember that my husband and I aren’t at that place yet (health-wise or financially) and feel kind of sad (but then someone hands me a baby at church and I panic...). I look so forward to being a parent, but I also want to enjoy just being married for a while. All these life seasons can be so confusing sometimes...

^^^ Okay. So about meaning to write one thing and something else coming out...

Anyway, thank you for sharing this and I look forward to reading your “Confession” and/or “Lately” post whenever it gets done. :)

Callie said...

The pictures are gorgeous! It's so hard feeling "bleh" about your wardrobe with kiddos, because it's hard to take them clothes shopping. 😬 I do alot of shopping online these days, but I end up having to return things frequently.

Lauren said...

If you're looking for good-quality, current-style clothing, you may want to check out It's basically a really nice online second-hand store. Good prices and good clothing!

Rebecca Jo said...

Love the matte look on photos - I dont know what it is but it just makes it look so soft to me.
I cant believe how big your girl is getting!!!! Where is the time going?!?!?

Kate said...

Love the look of these pictures! I'm with you on editing. I never know what look I like.

When it comes to clothes... Sometimes when I need something new, I find one of my favorite pieces in my closet (currently a grey vest that I love how well it fits me) and then I either find fashion bloggers on IG or go to Pinterest and look for outfits that may include a vest similar to mine. Obviously I can never recreate the exact thing, but I find it helps me to break out of my rut of wearing the same combos over and over again. Because let's be honest, it's sometimes a struggle for me not to put on black pants, a white tshirt, and a denim jacket everyday.

Audrey Louise said...

Gorgeous photos, friend! And what a blessing it's been to spend 5 months with J! I know the time apart really takes its toll on you so I'm glad you've been able to enjoy these few months!
I absolutely don't understand the pricey Stitch Fix boxes, either! I'm glad they work for some people, but I'm happier to spend $9 at Marshalls on a sweater ;)

Amie said...

The sweets have been killing me!! We were eating so healthy til that stupid hurricane hit at the end of August and since then we just can not get back on track. I keep telling myself there is no sense in trying to diet with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up! I feel the same about clothes, I want to look cute too!

Jenny Evans said...

Every blogger only talks about Stitch Fix because talking about it means they get their box for free. I've figured it out. It's a pyramid scheme.

Kaity B. said...

Okay, a few things:
1. Those pictures are perfection. The autumn backdrop is just gorgeous!
2. Such a blessing that you've been able to spend so much time with Baby J! <3
3. Tooootally feel you on the closet thing! I think it really has a lot to do with being postpartum. I wrote a blog for Cincinnati Moms Blog that won't be posted until next month, but I basically talked about how gaining, losing, gaining, and the losing a ton of weight has kind of messed with my brain. I don't have any serious body image issues, but I just feel...unsettled in my physical body. I have no idea if that makes any sense. But yeah, I need new clothes, too. I saw some really cute, reasonable stuff the other day when we were perusing CostCo so I think that's where I'll be getting a lot of new stuff when I can actually justify doing so.

Michelle said...

Yup, I fully believe the wardrobe crisis is a postpartum thing. I was mostly happy with my clothes when I got pregnant, then once I had Gracie I hated EVERYTHING. I had what I called a wardrobe identity crisis that lasted me a good year. I lost the baby weight, but my body is a little different than before, so I couldn’t wear a lot of my old clothes. I’m still not fully sure I’ve sorted it out, but I’m getting there. I went so far as to look at fashion boards on Pinterest and I am NOT a fashion person, so I totally understand your desire to try stitchfix (but omg those prices).

Rachel said...

I cannot believe how expensive StitchFix seems to be...and I'd be far too picky for anyone to pick out clothes for me. You should try to get some time to just go to the mall and pick out clothes--even things that are a little different from what's normal--and just try them on. Hey, it's free! And you never know what you might find that you like. Life is too short to hate all of your clothes. The pre-Christmas sales are a good time to do this and maybe you can get a friend or two to help manage babies and provide fashion input. I've been the "friend" on a number of these sorts of outings. :)

Unknown said...

Yes!! I’ve been doing No Sweets November, too, and it’s great! The exception is one slice of pie on Thanksgiving. #noneedtobecruel

Jen said...

These photos are absolutely precious!!! Your littles are adorable.

Amy @ A Desert Girl said...

The photos are beautiful. You did a wonderful job capturing your people on camera.

And that totally melted me - how R grabs J's hand and yours and the three of you are a chain before the chaos of the day starts. I also love how she says, "hello!" Like she's surprised to see you there. So cute. Ava has taken to saying, "Good morning! Happy to see you!" to Kevin when he goes to get her in the morning because that's what he always says to her. These kids. This age. So fun.

I'm glad J is feeling better and that you're back to slightly more sleep. Someday he will sleep longer stretches and it will be blissful. <3

Amy @ A Desert Girl said...

Also I wish we lived in the same city because I would totally drag you to the store to hunt up some good deals on clothes that make you feel fabulous. I love that kind of thing.

Rachel Emily said...

I had to take a moment for my emotions there as well - so sweet! Enjoy your last few weeks of being at home with J!!

Maria said...

I've played around with the matte finish before and it's so much fun! The photos are amazing! How lucky are these kids to have you capture their childhood so beautifully.

Woah! J is getting so big! Can't spoil a baby right? I have a daily struggle of wanting to hold N for naps (and get nothing done) or wanting to put her down and have her get used to crib naps. She sleeps a lot more if I hold her and I tell myself that it's better for her to sleep more...I'm creating a monster.

Argh clothes. I'm right there with you, except my old ones aren't the most comfortable things I own. I did finally get back into my old jeans yesterday, but to be honest, most of my old clothes were a little snug before pregnancy to begin with. I want to start over. I think I might send a huge bag of them to Thred Up and see if I get any money for them. I have had success with this in the past, but most recently, they've gotten really picky and I'm lucky if I get $5. I'd rather clean out the closet and have 5 things to wear that I love than the closet full of stuff that I cannot stand to look at anymore. Shopping, even online, feels like a daunting task these days. I did get a recent Stitch Fix box and really enjoyed it (I see it as my entertainment budget), but of course, cannot afford to stock my closet with all the stuff they send me. I think if you use someone's referral link, you can get your first box for free, so I say treat yourself! That's how I got suckered into it.

Cannot wait for your confessions posts. They are my favorite :)

Beka @ Sunshine to the Square Inch said...

I love matte finishes. They aren't my style for my business but I do really like them. I have no idea how Photoshop works but I do love Lightroom and the presets you can apply on pictures. It's fun!

I'm thankful you have had sweet moments with your kids and family. That really is a blessing. J seems like such a little cuddler. He's a cutie.

I think stitchfix is expensive too but every person I know that has tried it has loved it. I really am trying to do quality over quantity and I'm trying to purge clothes that I don't wear. I pretty much live in jeggings and leggings, not sure that is good but I love it!

Rach said...

Oh my goodness, sick babies are just so sad. I'm so glad he's feeling better and back to his normal sleep patterns. I really do hope that those hours start stretching longer and longer at night. And hooray for rolling over! Milestone moments are so fun! :)

These photos are so lovely. When it comes to photography on a professional level (what I do for other people), I generally keep it very much the same look and feel to my edits. I want to be consistent for my clients so they aren't looking at my work on Facebook and then I give them photos that don't look at all like that. However, when it comes to my own personal photos, I change it up all the time. I love to try different things and see what fun I can have in editing. A matte finish is so lovely for fall photos. These turned out so well! You have a beautiful family!

Oh, and R's good morning ritual... so so so sweet. All the heart eyes over here!

Nadine said...

Your photos turned out so well!! Love them! I totally get being unhappy with your closet right now, I am too I am hoping to pick up a few pieces that I love and will inspire me again. Love the sweet hand holding moment you described. You need to capture that one to remember forever! <3

The Lady Okie said...

Thred Up! Such a good idea thank you!