Life Lately


So much has been going on lately I figured I should do a little update post!

 

Photography- My business has really picked up and I’ve been basically booked solid all fall.  I have absolutely loved meeting so many new families, and taking so many great photos.  I’m so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world!  I’m a little behind with posting some of them to the blog, but plan to catch up as soon as I can!  I’m trying to soak it all in now, because I’m sure things will die down a lot in the off season come January.

Sebastian- He has been loving preschool and has made so many friends.  When he first started there, he was the only boy and a even though a couple have enrolled since, I’m pretty sure he has claimed his spot as the ladies man.  I keep getting the “Oh, your Sebastian’s mom…my daughter talks about him allll the time” and I’m all like and who is your kid?  He’s also excelling in soccer, I love watching him play every week with his little bestie.  He’s picking up on number sense and his letters at an alarming rate for a 3 year old.  He can count objects and recognizes numbers up to at least 30…even though we’ve barely worked on it.  He knows most of his letters and we just started working on learning to spell his (long) name.  His behavior has also gotten way better…not as much screaming and getting mad at little things.  Maybe that’s because we are in his last few months of being 3 or maybe our behavior interventions have been working.  I’m just hoping this continues to get better!

Sawyer- My sweet baby Sawyer.  Well, he is better then ever.  The fussiness has gone WAY down.  He doesn’t always insist on me holding him, he’ll play by himself and with his brother.  He has the best laugh and cutest giant front two teeth with a big gap in the middle.  I’m behind (like always) on his 11 month blog post but will hopefully get that up soon.  I’ve started planning his first birthday party and can’t wait!

Me- Well despite some set backs…a stolen bike, a dog dying, losing my iPhone, having tooth pain and a tooth extraction/implant coming up, and the daily grind of being a stay-at-home mom…I’ve been doing really well.  I couldn’t love my life more.  I feel like I’m pretty much in the best shape of my life and after gaining 38 pounds with my 9 pound 7 ounce baby, I have lost all the pregnancy weight + 9 pounds.  If you saw me you probably wouldn’t be able to tell though because all my clothes are so baggy.  It’s been the ultimate mom diet.  I walk around town daily either pushing a stroller or carrying a (heavy) baby, I eat really healthy because I refuse to have unhealthy food in the house with my snack crazed 3 year old.  I also end up sharing a lot of my food with two littles… I’ve also been inconsistently going to the gym, but need to make it a priority because that’s the only me time I can get (besides my daily shower).

Matt-He’s doing well too.  He’s enjoying his job and is gone from about 8:30am-6:15pm.  He only has a 12 minute commute which in the bay area is practically unheard of.    He continues to work hard to support our little family and I have no doubt that his job success will continue now that we live in the Bay Area.

The dogs- My sweet, sweet puppy Oliver died a few weeks ago.  We rescued him from the shelter 9 and a half years ago and he was the best little sidekick to our black lab Jake.  He was my baby before I had my babies and was the cuddliest dog.  He definitely had his quirks…he wasn’t very nice to other dogs, was afraid of the vacuum and sweeper, sometimes growled at our kids and was over dramatic…but he was ours.  He left this world quickly and painlessly by my side laying on the rug in the boys room.  My heart still hurts to think of him and how Jake hasn’t been quite the same without him.  Since moving to the city in January, the dogs haven’t adjusted as well as the rest of us and we are doing our best to now keep Jake happy by petting him often and taking him on as many walks as possible.

Alameda- Our little island has proven to be the perfect place for us to live.  It’s so kid friendly and puts on a lot of great events.  There’s never a shortage of things to do or friends to hang out with. Halloween was awesome and I can’t wait to see Christmas in Alameda!

 

I haven’t been posting as much on social media as I used to.  I’m not totally sure why…but I do post more on Instagram then I do Facebook nowadays. 

You can follow along here https://www.instagram.com/rachaelallex/

You can also follow along on my business page here: https://www.instagram.com/silverleafphotos/

 

Marc + Alissa + Laelle + Tovah + Boden


I love living in a ‘big’ city and Alameda is such a little gem.  (I put big in quotations because not everyone around here considers Alameda a big city…especially when we have San Francisco across the bay).  It’s the perfect place for families to live.  There are plenty of parks, the beach and cute little shops, restaurants and toys stores.  I met Alissa and her sweet kiddos at one of the many little parks and enjoyed watching her 3 kids run around.  Alissa told me that they’ve done pictures at all of the usual spots around town and I knew I wanted to give them something different. I suggested the old Army base (which has the coolest old buildings) for more of a rustic shoot.  These three kids had a ton of energy and I enjoyed chasing after them!


 









Chris + Heather + Evie


I’m am starting to become a big fan of sunrise shoots.  Unfortunately they will probably end once the time change happens and sunrise comes at 6:30am.  Meeting this sweet family at my favorite place on Alameda Island first thing in the morning was such a great way to start off my day!  Little Evie was so adorable in her lace dress and matching boots (I seriously live vicariously through my clients that have girls!!)














Sawyer 10 months


It’s a good thing that Sawyer is almost one because I’m getting later and later with getting his monthly picture taken (and it’s getting harder and harder)!  I had this post written on time but I am about 3 weeks late with the picture.

Just two more months until Sawyer is 1.  I better start planning his birthday party soon!  Oh sweet, fussy Sawyer.  He can definitely be described as sweet and sour.  He has the sweetest little face, smile and laugh, but still can be so fussy.  There is still so much crying.  I’m definitely holding out for an easy toddlerhood since being a baby seemed to be so tough on him. We love him so much and it’s been such a joy watching him grow and learn. 

Stats: See his 9 month post

Likes: He loves playing with balls and playing ‘catch’.  He loves rocking on the elephant Grandma CC made our for family when Sebastian was 10 months old.  The gigantic smile he gets on his face when rocking back and forth is the cutest.  Sebastian loves climbing on the back and rocking with him.

Dislikes:  Playing independently for more then a few minutes.  Now that he is crawling, he follows me everywhere and just wants to be picked up.

Nicknames: I put nicknames as one of these categories every month because Sebastian had all kinds of them, but we don’t really seem to give Sawyer many.  I guess we still call him Booty a lot.  Not sure where that came from or why.  I guess it’s a term of endearment.

Firsts:  First solo mommy Sawyer day.  Daddy took Sebastian to an Indy car race and Sawyer and I hung out by ourselves all day.  

Milestones: He is crawling like crazy…my favorite is when he gets really excited about something and crawls so fast towards it, that it almost looks like his body is vibrating.  He’s pulling up on everything and cruising.  He can stand holding onto things with one hand and his chunky legs look so steady.  I’m sure we’ll have a walker by Christmas.  He finally started saying mama this month but that is so far his only word…but it is definitely my favorite.  I’m pretty happy they both said mama first.  His top teeth have also come through as you can kind of see in this picture.  They seem big and have a big gap in the middle and they are just the cutest!

Sleep: Well he is night weaned and mostly has good nights.  His naps have been pretty consistent one from about 9:30-11:30 and another around 2:00-4:00.  He’s been waking up around 7:00 or 7:30 which is earlier then his brother, so I enjoy having some extra one-on-one time with him.  He goes to bed earlier then Sebastian, around 8:00 so it’s nice getting one-on-one time with Sebastian then.

Sebastian’s reactions to Sawyer:  I have been getting these awesome little spurts of them playing together and it’s just so great.  They will chase each other around crawling and playing.  So far it only lasts for a couple minutes at a time but I know it will get longer and longer.  This is why we had Sawyer…to give Sebastian a playmate!  Sebastian continues to be the sweetest big brother but loves being in Sawyers space…like right on top of him.

 

This month I am watching one of Sawyer’s little playmate a few mornings a week.  It’s pretty stinking cute to see these two little babies crawling around and pulling up on things together.

A look back:

Sebastian 10 months

Sawyer 9 months

Chris + Helen + Emily + Charlotte ~ Alameda, California


I have met so many families since I moved to Alameda that have kids exactly my kids ages.  And when I say exactly, their baby is a month older then mine and their 3 year old I think is just a couple days different.  That being said, we definitely need to get our kids together!  I have a feeling Sebastian and Emily would make fast friends!  They are both super sweet, silly and social!  


Hi there sweet baby girl!





When they got out of their car the first thing I noticed was Emily’s duck dress.  Can I have a girl just so I can dress her in a duck dress?  This may be the cutest dress ever!

Alameda has the absolute best views of San Fransisco.  These next few were taken right next to my husbands work.



Andrew + Erin ~ Baker Beach, California


 

Andrew and Erin got married this year back home in Kansas City.  Usually couples don’t have a session a few months after their wedding, but they wanted some photos from where they live.  The newlyweds choose the most iconic place in San Francisco to take their photos, Baker beach.  This was my first time on Baker beach and even though it was a bit of a hike from Alameda…I would go back without hesitation!  Baker beach has such a cool view of the Golden Gate Bridge!  While we were waiting for the sun to go down a little we found some shade on the old Army base with some cool backdrops.




Erin, you have the most gorgeous smile and Andrew has some pretty epic dimples!  And they are the cutest together?!


As with all the views in San Francisco, I don’t think this would ever get old!



Matt + Rachael + Sebastian + Sawyer ~ Alameda, California


Since I have moved to Cali, I have been fortunate to meet two other photographers to trade photos with.  The first time I left the boys at home and met this husband and wife photographer team to take photos of each other.  This last time I met a fellow photographer who has two daughters closet to the same ages as my boys.  We had so much fun meeting and trading sessions and now need to get our kids together for a play date!  You can see their sweet session here.

So I was way more nervous for getting my family photos taken then I ever am shooting photos.  There is so much pressure to get everything together and everyone ready and then not knowing how the kids would behave.  Luckily everything went super smooth, Sebastian had a great time, Matt even seemed to enjoy himself and Sawyer didn’t cry…much (that’s a win).

My two sweet, crazy, rambunctious boys.  My heart swells just looking at these photos of them.

Sebastian has always been my super handsome, smiley boy!

The sweetest face ever!

Sawyer thinks Sebastian is pretty much the coolest person alive. 

This boy is my complete mini me…in looks and personality.  
  

Sebastian has always been daddy’s boy.  It’s safe to say he is pretty much obsessed with Matt.  Love this sweet photo of the two of them.

My little chunky monkey.

Like I said, Sawyer not crying = a win.

I love walking family photo shots!  

That chubby little hand with dimples is my favorite.   

Ryan + Caroline + Kennedy + Everly ~ Walnut Creek, California


I met Caroline on a photog Facebook group when we discovered we both lived in the East Bay.  She is also a family portrait photographer and has two kids about the same ages as mine.  Perfect, right?!?  We swapped sessions (I’ll be posting mine soon).  Her girls were so sweet and I may just have to live vicariously though them…I mean, just look at their sweet tulle skirt and sequined tops!  Caroline, I can’t wait to get our kids together and so glad we found each other!  We have to go to that amazing looking playground by where we did your session!  Right now they are enjoying life in Hawaii (so jealous!)  Can’t wait to hear all about your trip!


Those blue eyes though!







 


Alvin + Cassie + Olivia ~ Alameda, California


I met the sweetest little family last weekend for a beach shoot.  I momentarily left the chaos that comes with mothering my two crazy (and awesome) boys to this calm, cute family.  I couldn’t get enough of how stinking cute Olivia is!  Just look at her gorgeous eyes and jet black hair…and those cheeks!


Can we just take a minute for how gorgeous this mama is!?!


Olivia looks so stunning in black and white!!

Oh, babies in hoodies with ears…swoon!

San Fransisco, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.  Love the views we have of this awesome city!

You are Beautiful


What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you see this photo of me?

Here’s what my friends and family said about this photo when I posted it on Facebook.

I almost didn’t post it…I almost didn’t post it because “it’s my bad side” because of my crooked tooth.  I almost didn’t post it because I hadn’t had a haircut since I was pregnant with my baby (who is now 10 months old) so I threw my hair in a quick braid and pieces are sticking out.  I’m almost didn’t post it because the high waist of the dress doesn’t really flatter my waistline (and the 38 pounds I lost after having my baby) like I want it to.   I almost didn’t post it because my right hand looks weird because I’m holding the handle like I would as if I were riding the bike, not taking a picture with it.  I really could go on.

I posted it anyway.  I posted it anyway because of the joy that is shown in this photo.  I am the happiest I have ever been in my life.  My family is complete with my two amazing sons.  I have the most supportive, handsome, hard working husband.  We live in an actual paradise on an Island in the SF Bay.  I feel like my little photography business is at the cusp of becoming something big and great.  Sure our life isn’t perfect, I could point out the flaws there too, but I won’t.

Why can’t we see ourselves the way everyone else sees us?  I had no idea how positively my friends and family were going to respond to this photo.  I posted it because I needed a new profile shot.  My goal from here on out is to ignore the flaws and see myself more as others do.  I hope you as my friend and clients do the same.  No more, “that’s my bad side”, no more “my hair looks dumb”, no more “I wish I looked skinnier”.  I think you are beautiful and I think I am beautiful.

I wanted to give a big shout out to J and K photography!  I had so much fun with you two and you really made me feel so beautiful and relaxed during the shoot!  My mission from here on out is to make my clients feel and look beautiful despite whatever flaws they feel they have.  Especially my mama clients.  The ones just like me, in the trenches with their babies and their crazy toddlers.  The ones who don’t have time or energy to get their hair cut for months.  The ones whose makeup doesn’t seem to cover up those dark circles as well as it used to…maybe I need better makeup?  The ones whose bodies created and grew life and that makes them perfect.  If I don’t accomplish anything else with this little business of mine, I hope I can at least make all my beautiful mama friends feel beautiful.