Maternity shoot flashback & feelings

As I sit here holding our sweet baby boy in my arms today, I can only think of those days I was just feeling him move around in my belly. I would sit and stare at my growing belly just watching him move around, kicking stretching and hiccup-ing all inside of me. I was so full of excitement thinking he’d soon be in arms. But as I sat and stared and waited I’d just wonder how he would look, whose nose, eyes and how much hair he’d have. It was such a conflicting feeling to think I wouldn’t feel his little movements inside of me anymore but yet how much I would love just holding him in my arms staring him down for hours. Well he is here…. and I’m staring down at him thinking time is going fast. Our little man is almost 3 months old, even though he looks like he’s almost 5 months old! (He was a big boy since birth! Lol) now I sit and look through these photographs and just smile. I smile because pregnancy for me was oh so hard in the beginning and not till a little over half way did i start feeling better.. but pregnancy is beautiful. Even though sometimes I was so uncomfortable and my body was going through so many changes it scared me, pregnancy is beautiful. It’s a beautiful miracle of life that God has granted us with. A privilege to hold life and care for it with all of Gods grace and an everlasting love. Pregnancy is such a wonderful gift. I also smile at these photographs because they’re also a reminder of when it was just my sweet husband and I. When all of our love turned into waiting for our little boy. I also smile because it sends me back to the times it was just Xavier and I and all our dreams and the stories owe share together before our little guy came to this world. They’re the sweetest memories and just makes me feel all sorts of butterflies because I love this man so much. Our story is beautiful… it has never been perfect but our story is beautiful and full of love. These photographs are just a small vision into that love my husband and I share.. and all the love we’re going to be giving our baby boy.  Now we’ll look at these and have flashbacks of all those feelings leading up to his arrival… a sweet memory in deed.

Thank you BecaCompanioni at BecaCphotography for capturing all of this love in these beautiful photographs. ❤

I’d do any adventure with you my love… this is just the beginning… Noah is another chapter in our story.. love you both with all my heart.

❤ Jen

A Sweet Baby Gender Reveal

batch_img_9702This past weekend, we had the honor or sharing with our close friends and family one very exciting moment for Xavier and I.. the gender of our sweet babe! We knew from the get go that we wanted to be surprised along with everyone and that we would try to do it in a creative manner, or at least in an exciting way! Along the way, some of my close girlfriends and mom decided they wanted in on the plan and wanted to help us out with the reveal! Which by the way, I appreciated with all my heart being that this mama has had some difficult days with all the nausea and yes…trips to the bathroom..sigh. But with that on the side, brain storming took off and we ended up with the sweetest gender reveal night! Our simple sweet theme was bow ties or bows and while its one we’ve seen before, it was ours and it was perfect! Some great DIY’s also came into play by yours truly, since we all know that I’m up for a good arts and craft! The time and effort that my mom and friends took out of their schedules was just a huge meaning of love and a reminder of how much this sweet baby is already loved and cared for! After a couple of snacks and a couple guesses from our guests, it was reveal time. We found a way to make the reveal explosive and made it POP! We found the cutest reveal balloon on etsy, over at Baby Glimpses. My mom was the only one who knew the gender (because she begged! Lol) so she filled the balloon with the adequate color and when everyone was gathered around it was time! It was time to reveal what we had been patiently waiting for…a sweet baby girl or a handsome little boy! And just to make the occasion even more fun… that night we had a power outage! Yes! for most of the reveal we had no power! Lets just say, thank goodness for technology and phones with flashlights.. lol it was definitely a reveal to remember!

To start our bow ties and bows theme, this mama had some fun on her chalkboard’s and got to get in on some of the exciting plan!

My little sister also wanted in, and this cute little drawing was hung up near our precious little baby’s ultrasound baby selfies! We have that board in our home and we get to walk by everyday and stare at our little blessing!

Our closest friends and family also were wearing their baby guesses with these cute DIY bow ties and bows made by this mama. They were the cutest little things and fun to watch what our guest’s guesses were..

batch_img_9690batch_img_9717Now to talk about this sweet dessert table! IT WAS BEAUTIFUL! I was so in love with the whole set up! My friend brought all these yummy treats and cake to us from a baker friend, Jaclyn Otero. Everything was delicious and everything was gorgeous. batch_img_9713

Vanilla cake with nutella filling and cream cheese frosting?! Yes please! Oh and the most perfect bowties and bows cookies I ever did see.

Now is the time to bring your sense of humor out! Cupcake toppers with a meaning!

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The guys and the girls… this baby is going to be loved by so many!

The amazing grandparents to be!img_9779

The aunts and uncles and the three ladies who made this day even more special with all their support and planning!

img_9780The time to finally reveal whether we would be having a boy or girl with this awesome balloon! img_9781

It’s a Baby BOY!!

 

Wedding Shared & Half a year down

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Today seemed appropriate to share Our wedding day with you all. Today marks half a year of marriage. These past 6 months have been a true blessing for Xavier and I. Our story has been so wonderfully written. I thank God for our story and for bringing us together. I couldn’t be more in love with my husband. Everyday for the past 6 months I have learned more about my husband…How truly amazing of a person he is, how much he loves me and how he shows it in so many ways.  My love for him has grown and each day I feel like I love him a little more and in more ways I didn’t even know I could. He’s my lover, my best friend, my soul mate and my partner in crime. We are a team and I couldn’t be more blessed to say that of us and our relationship. The past 6 months we have grown together in so many ways. We have endured happy moments, successes, love and joy. But we have also experienced hardships, sadness and loss. Through it all we have become closer and more together. We have been challenged and we have leaned on our faith more than ever. God knows the plans he has for us and we have come to trust in his plan and have faith in him being the author of our story. It’s safe to say neither of us are perfect, but as two imperfect people we are perfect for each other. Reminiscing on our wedding is a reminder of the great love that brought us together and the desires of our hearts to be focused on God and letting him lead us in this journey of ours. Remembering this day is also a reminder of our vows and vowing not to be 50/50 in this relationship, but to be completely committed to 100/100. We are all in, and this day reminds me of that. To be honest, I look back to these photos on a regular basis, I love looking into our faces and seeing how much love can be seen through these photos, all the happiness in our eyes and in those who were there to share our day. It’s important for us to be reminded sometimes of what brought us together when life becomes such a routine. I am so grateful for the life we are sharing, for all the lessons we have learned these past 6 months and all the love that has grown. God has tested us in ways we never thought of, but if I could choose who I would go through some of the things we have, I would choose my husband over and over each time. Maybe one day we will be brave enough to share those. But for now, I cherish this wonderful memory we have. I cherish the man I call my husband, the man who is always by my side no matter what, the man who shares my happy and my sorrows, the man who God chose for me. I confess it’s not always easy, but with love and effort it’s all worth it, 100%. I love my husband and its been great knowing these feelings are shared in return. We are enjoying our time more then ever, no matter what it may be we are doing. We are present in the moment, our moments and that warms my heart. To love and feel loved in return is an amazing feeling. The other day we talked about our growing relationship and my words exactly where these… “If this is what marriage is, with all the we have gone through lately, I’ll take it!” It’s so true and from my heart. I would choose us over and over and over again. I can only hope to beat the 50% of those who bad talk marriage. But we believe in God’s purpose for us and what he has in store for us. He pours out an abundance of grace and is a merciful God and we know that through him we will keep this story he is writing for us alive. One that is full of respect, grace and one that is a lifetime of a deep love, always. He’s my other half..and he’s handsome too! 😉

So dear Husband, if you have read this… I love You, to the moon and back, times infinity and forever.     Love, your wife. ❤jennifer+xavier-222-2560x1706

I hope you all enjoy our day through some of our favorite wedding photos as much as we did that day.

All Photography by BecaCPhotography

To see more of our day, check out GraceFulfillingLife on Facebook.

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jennifer+xavier-620-2560x1706 THE BEST IS YET TO BE…<3

OVERWHELMED WITH THE LOVE OF FAMILY

I am overwhelmed with family love….a good kind of overwhelmed though, the kind that makes you smile. The past couple months, I have realized how much our family has grown and how much we have matured. Family isn’t always all smiles and cheer like seen in most photographs. Family is also about hardships, disagreements, loss and failures. But family is also about Love, forgiveness, grace and humility…these all can surpass any of those not so good qualities. It’s a good reflection of what God is to us, because he too, is our family..and love and forgiveness can overcome a lot. My family, like many others have had their ups and downs.. The downs being quite low. But these past couple of months I have seen how much we have grown. How amazing it is to forgive and let go…and how ahead it puts us in any relationship. We still have room for improvement, we still bicker and disagree at times, but we wouldn’t be human if we did not. I guess we are realizing that all we got at times is each-other. That it’s better to be at peace with each other than to be in any silly little disagreement. We are learning to let things go.

The past couple of months we have made it a priority to speak more and be more involved in each others days and lives. It wasn’t a talked thing but I think we’ve all realized how nice it is to be involved in each others lives. With my brothers this is a prime example. We have leaned on each other for help without expecting anything in return. My brother joe lend himself to us during our engagement party a couple of months back and it meant so much to us because he did it out of his own will and want. Thank you joe!

With my brother Chris it’s been special.. We have gone through a lot together… But we are learning to lean on each other when in need and when we want to share good things and that makes me so happy. We have talks with meaning and purpose, and we learned to listen to each other. Most importantly, I think we realized we have each other at the end of the day, no matter the circumstance. It’s been so nice to spend time with him on days off and share moments and build memories with him and his girlfriend Alexis, Xavier and I. The sweetness of it all is that we have come to see we are not just brothers and sisters, we are each others friends as well.

With my parents the relationships have also changed, and I think it has to do a lot with our age. Once we were kids, stubborn and thought we knew it all, yet they always had our best interest at hand and heart. We are growing and one thing I have learned now that I’m older is the unconditional love they give me, even when they disagree. We have had many uneasy moments in the past, but God has been good and we have overcome them all. Our relationship is stronger than ever, they are my best friends. They care for my heart more than any other physical human being and for that I am grateful.

My sister we all know is one that is dear to my heart, and I think she’s a reminder to our whole family of the joy we can find in the little things. She’s also a quick reminder of how different we all are and how differently we all have grown up. She brings us smiles and laughs only a child can and sends us “I love you’s and I miss you’s ‘” when we need them the most. While she may be strong-minded, she reminds me of how important it is to stand our ground, yet love with all our hearts.

The love recently has been one that even though we don’t talk about it on a daily basis and maybe my parents nor my brothers and sisters see. As I sat back to think and just take all the struggles we have gone through and all the memories in the past we hold dear to, they all just seemed to amaze me. We are growing as a family, and I really think it’s for the best. One thing I am so thankful for is that we all are here and live close to each other and that even though we don’t live under the same roof, were only a phone call away or a 10 min drive away. I’ve learned that while we are not a perfect family, we ARE a family and that’s good for me.

We have more family members being added like my fiancé Xavier and my brothers girlfriend and its so lovely to see how much we are a part of each others lives thus far. I know we have more to learn from each other and more to experience together, but so far its makes my heart warm. My family as whole is growing, and though some are far away, or I haven’t talked to in a while, I love them all because Ive learned something from each and every one of them. Today you were all in my thoughts, and today I am grateful for all those I call my family.

Jen<3

WEDDING WEDNESDAY: SAVE THE DATES MEET CALLIGRAPHY

This Wedding Wednesday was a bit exciting for me to share! Our save the dates went out a couple of months ago, and although I’m a little late in sharing this, it was still exciting finding the pictures of these beauties to share with you all. As many of you know from prior post, I’ve been practicing some calligraphy on my free time. I’ll be honest, I haven’t picked up my nibs or my ink in a little while. But like I said, finding these pictures definitely sparked my interest once again to keep going and getting better at it! So what better way to share a new hobby with those whom are special to us and will be sharing our special day with us? Well.. By adding a little personal touch to our save the dates of course! I must say I was entirely excited for this project, it was two things that were special to me and I got to share them all at once!

To begin with, what bride doesn’t get excited to send save the dates?!? Umm… I’d like to think all brides do! It’s such a special moment, knowing that you are finally able to literally share that date in the near future that will be one of the best days in your life! It’s a love filled announcement to all those special people who will be sharing with you that day. To me at least, it sounds priceless. So for me sending these out was a big happy deal and being able to personalize them with my own personal touch made it more special.

Xavier and I wanted to make sure we sent out something that said “us.”  Our save the dates would have to be simple, clean-looking, yet classy and warm. So when picking the style for our save the dates, we made sure to find what fitted those wishes. I think we did a pretty good job at finding save the dates that defines us. I also wanted to make sure that we brought in our wedding colors in some way and start to kind of give people the feeling of what our wedding day will be like. Grey, white and Gold were all incorporated and these simple yet classy save the dates from wedding paper divas suited us perfectly! We were very pleased with them and the quality and most importantly their price! They always have such good deals going on. Perfect for bride and grooms on a budget!  The envelopes were plain white but this is where I got to be creative and add that little personal touch with my calligraphy. A little flourish and some pretty handwriting and pretty colors did the trick! I was in love with them! We’ve gotten so many compliments and couldn’t be more happy with them! Hope you all enjoy them as much as we did.

Some advice for your save the dates!

-shop around, many websites have coupons and special deals on amounts or specific dates along with free samples

-order extra envelopes, whether you’re the one addressing your envelopes or hiring a calligrapher, we all make mistakes. Ordering a couple more will give you some room for error with no stress

-return address stamps like our lovely stamp from littlemamapretties, will save your hand some tiredness and save you cash! Ordering return address labels can cost easily above $70 for maybe 100. Our pretty stamp cost us,$20. And we will be using it for our wedding invites later on! Score!

-pretty vintage stamps are hard to find, and can add up as well. Your local US post office has a variety of wedding/love stamps for your occasion. I loved our vintage like stamps we purchased at our local post office in sheets!

-envelope sealing stickers are a cute and easy way to spice up the look of your invites! We purchased our “love” stickers at our local Michael’s arts and crafts store for $5.

-make a wedding website online for extra information for your guest and add your wedding website to your save the dates, people will have a good idea of the arrangements they will have to make and some sites even have RSVP options, we already have a couple and haven’t even send out invites!

Did you personalize any of your wedding paper goods? If so, how so? We’d love to hear!

   Jen ❤

*all images are property of La Vida, life as it comes

SOFIA TURNS SEVEN

Sofia turned SEVEN last week and I can’t help but look back at my little sisters #7 celebration! It was definitely a family affair full of surprises for our little Sofia! This year her birthday fell on a week day.. and we all know that a weekday birthday for a little one is no fun! lol But thanks to big brothers and sisters, we would take care of that and make sure it was a day full of fun for her! Unlike many little seven-year old girls, my sister is no fan of princesses, pink nor sparkly…(She kinda takes after me on that..woops) What she is a fan of and a HUGE fan of on that note, is horses! The love she has for them is overwhelming… Overwhelming in the sense that it’s this good emotion, that consumes you with love and a smile when you see her eyes light up when she sees one or is riding them in lessons. It fills me up with joy honestly. So what better way than to celebrate with some horses on her special day!

I wanted to surprise Sofia.. So my plan was to set up a little cake table while she was in school so that when she’d get home, it was her birthday surprise! Well, that’s exactly what I did… The night before I had seen a couple of ideas online to incorporate horses and well my first task was a cake. A simple cake, with a silhouette of a horse. Let me start off by telling you this… I’m NO baker.. but I try! lol So a boxed cake would do, lol. Let me humor you all… the first cake?… well it fell apart while I was taking it out of the baking pan… sigh. But thank goodness for my honey! He’s so sweet…because I wasn’t having the greatest day and when I saw the cake fall apart, I almost went into tears. Luckily for me, I have the best fiancé ever… He took me to the grocery store and made me try again! So cake number 2? Success! lol Easiest thing to do was decorate the cake… Some cream cheese frosting and a chocolate sprinkled horse silhouette! A couple of goodies from target and I was ready to decorate the next morning before she came home from school!

I was so excited to share these photos with you all, not only because I was proud of how our sweet little set up turned out but most importantly because of the smile on our sweet little sofas face! It was priceless! I can’t wait to share more birthdays with my little sister! Most of you know that I adore her and she keeps me going and wanting to be a better me for her eyes!

Our celebrations didn’t stop there..Some games for the day, and a horse cake to wrap up the night.  After, came some planning for our family trip to Orlando to keep celebrating with our little Sofia for the weekend. Lets just say the fun continued and its safe to say she had a great 7th Birthday!

We all love you Sofia! We all wish you many many more birthdays to come, full of that love, happiness and personality you have. May God continue to bless you!  Processed with VSCOcam with a4 preset

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Happy Birthday Little Sister, We all Love you!
Happy Birthday Little Sister, We all Love you!

 

A LITTLE BIRTHDAY SURPRISE!

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetA Little Birthday Surprise took place 3 days ago in our home! My sweet hubby had a special Birthday to celebrate.. His big quarter of a century birthday. I think anyone who has read my blogs, knows how I feel about the big 25! To me its a special day! Unlike me, birthday’s are not that ‘big of a deal’ to my fiancé! He doesn’t like to make a big deal about them and rather just lay low. Trust me it’s not because he’s getting old.. lol.. I mean… OLDER! lol. He’s just a lay low kinda guy, especially for birthdays.

None the less, I wanted to make it a little special. He made it quite hard for me actually, he had no idea what he wanted or what he even wanted to do. So it was up to me, to make his day a little special. I wanted to do something he would never even think I would do… So I got my crafts out and got to work. A morning surprise was what he woke up to! I also gathered some ideas and began to think of some things we had talked about doing in the future. So with no help from him, and a little stress later, I came up with a simple idea. On his birthday we would paint!!  I’m sure everyone has heard of BYOB painting classes, where you bring your own booze and snacks and paint away! Well we kept it classy with some wine, grapes and muffins (lol) and got to work! And no better way to end the night off than by sharing it with family and having dinner with the ones you love on your birthday. Thats exactly what we did! Thank you to everyone who was there to share it with him!

Even though it was a simple day, I know my hubby appreciated it. Like I said, he’d rather lay low. He’s a simple kinda guy and I love that about him. We always talk about keeping the small things in our relationship alive and full of love and I really think this was one of those days. It was small, quaint, relaxing and full of fun and love. And what better day to experience something new than on a birthday??  Plus, we surprised ourselves with our art skills! Which by the way,our art pieces are a little glimpse into our wedding!

All I know is this… I can’t wait to share more Birthday’s with my future husband! Wish you so many more my love. May God bless you with many more full of health, love and happiness. Love you!

Love…

Jen ❤

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetAnd Yes! I made the ‘happy birthday’ banner and notes. Did i mention I love washi tape and that i woke up at 7 am to surprise him with this while he was sleeping?!? oh for the love of…LOVE & Birthdays..lol. Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetThe Final Product and a glimpse into our wedding next year! And yes, we did paint our wedding venue! Thats a Picasso for you! 😉Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetSuch a lovely day! Thank you to Painting with a Twist: Ft. Lauderdale for having us for a day! A special thank you also for allowing us to paint our venue and letting our creativity run wild and helping us every step of the way!

-Jen<3