Category Archives: Birthday Highlights

Dear Harvey//2nd Birthday Edition


December 17, 2016

Dear Harvey,

Today at 4:01am you turned two years old. This year on your birthday at that time I was up in my room nursing your baby brother Holden back to sleep while you slept peacefully in your room. What a difference a year (or two) makes!

This past year has been without a doubt the most difficult as well as the most enjoyable of my 35 years of life. You will never truly be able to comprehend just how much you have done for me, simply by existing. Being your mom has saved me in so many ways and for that I am and will forever be incredibly grateful.

Watching you grow and learn this past year has been a magical experience and one that will always hold a special place in my heart because even though my heart was broken, it kept beating and my love for you kept increasing but mostly because this year was the last that you would be my only child.  The last year that I would only have to worry or wonder about you and only you. Although I will now worry and wonder about you and your baby brother, I can make you this promise my sweet boy, I will ALWAYS love you with the same intensity as I did when you were my only one, ALWAYS.

This past year you have grown into such an incredible human being.  You have a sense of humor that is developed well beyond what your 2 year old mind should be able to comprehend.  You have mastered walking, running and galloping and you do it in THE MOST entertaining way! You are a sturdy toddler weighing in at 36 pounds and measuring 36 inches tall at your 2 year check up!

You have mastered the balance bike and it is incredible to watch.  You LOVE LIGHTS! ALL OF THE LIGHTS, ALL OF THE TIME!  Seriously kid, Times Square has your name written all over it, HARVEY + LIGHTS = ALL OF THE LOVE! You also love: all things with wheels, ICE!, cheese balls, stroller rides, slides, The Allen Family, your grandparents, your Auntie Anita and Uncle Chris, your Auntie BESTFRIEND Valerie, CARS!, yogurt melts, pacifiers, morning and evening bottles (STILL!), your sock monkey blanket, the movies “UP” and “The Polar Express”, you have about 40-50 words which you love to say but you’re a fan of using them once and then tucking them away, helping with cooking, cleaning, LAUNDRY, diaper tossing, locks, doors, handles, door slamming, “Beep-Beeps”, key fobs, pacifier plugging for your baby brother, the carousel at the mall as well as all of the toy rides, your Grandaddy’s sautéed mushrooms (you are DEFINITELY your mommy’s baby!), cheese (all kinds except Swiss…), and most heartwarmingly, you have shown love for your baby brother already, giving him sweet kisses and gentle pats, holding him on the daybed and sharing your people with him with little to no fuss. Seeing the two of you together makes me feel complete, no small feat considering the state of my life at the moment, well done boys, WELL DONE!

Everything about you amazes me, EVERY day.  In the last month or so you have started babbling your vocabulary constantly which is absolutely adorable and awesome.  You also smacked me upside my momma head with the trifecta of “Mommy/Mom”, “NO!” and “WHY?!?” all at once! Whoa buddy, WHOA!  In all honesty, I love it, its funny most of the time and it’s such an honor to be the one to answer your “Whys?”.  I promise to do my best to answer them all and to answer them in the best way I can, while I’m at it, I promise to continue to learn for the rest of my days about any and all of the things that you might happen to wonder why about! I can’t wait to explore, adventure and discover ALL of the things with you and your brother!

Thank you Harvey, it has been an honor and a privilege to grow another year older along side you and witness you transforming into an exceptional tiny human. My momma heart is swelling with pride and my life is filled with happiness because of you.

Happy 2nd Birthday Harvey!





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I’m 32, the highlights

This past Friday I had the privilege of turning 32.  I have never been one to dread my birthdays or worry about getting old, to me it has always been a good thing.  This year like every other year a sigh of relief was heard.  “Thank goodness I Made it another year!”  This will be the first year that I have been  somewhat maintaining a blog and I am excited to start a new birthday tradition.  Each year I will post my highlights and this year seemed like a great year to start since it has been such a monumental year!  These highlights aren’t just what I would think of for typical yearly highlights, these are LIFE HIGHLIGHTS!  So here’s my list, in no particular order… (With the exception of #1 of course)

  1. My Wedding Day Jen_&_Don_Wedding_Papered_Heart_Photography621
  2. Ate THE BEST oysters with my husband on our own private balcony overlooking the Vegas strip.  IMG_7316
  3. Took a helicopter tour of The Grand Canyon and was moved to tears by nature for the first time in my life.  IMG_7365
  4. Did a bar crawl in San Francisco.  IMG_0137
  5. Took a cruise down the PCH in a Mustang convertible, top down THE ENTIRE TIME!  IMG_0540
  6. Moved to tears once again by the mountains of Carmel.  IMG_0464
  7. Had a Nerd Bachelorette party.  Nerd Bachelorette
  8. Shot my FIRST newborn session.  IMG_3762
  9. Had dinner at The Precinct with 3 generations of Ernst’s.  IMG_5205
  10. Started Project Life.  IMG_5578
  11. Had a blog post shared for the first time ever, thanks to with Whimzee’s Scrapbook Studio who shared my “Deep Thoughts of a Rookie Project Lifer” on the stores’ Facebook page.
  12. Completed (not ran, but… completed) my first 8k.  IMG_2805
  13. Celebrated Gasparilla for the last time at my bestfriend’s house on Davis Island… Bittersweet.  IMG_2072
  14. Set up my first Photobooth for my mom’s 60th birthday.  IMGP9860 copy
  15. Learned the basics of Photoshop.
  16. Made a book filled with 60 years worth of memories with my sister to give to my mom.
  17. Saw the fountain show at The Belagio.  IMG_7304
  18. Drove across The Golden Gate Bridge and took a picture with my husband at the lookout point.  IMG_0320
  19. Learned how to sew… on paper… (kind of…LOL)  IMG_4640
  20. Went to the top of the Carew Tower in Cincinnati, Ohio with my husband.  IMG_5194
  21. Completed my first SMASHBOOK (it took about ten months).  IMG_4962
  22. Reached 1427 followers on Instagram.
  23. Inspired a friend to SMASHbook.
  24. Inspired 3 friends to consider starting their own Project Life projects.
  25. Won a 5 month war with the rats that were trying to take over our 100 year old rented Bungalow.  IMG_2653
  26. Went to my first music festival, The Hangout.  IMG_4234
  27. Did my first glow run 5k.  IMG_1852
  28. Created an awesome amount of crafts for my DIY wedding, including a backdrop, cornhole set and more.  Jen_&_Don_Wedding_Papered_Heart_Photography281IMG_7087
  29. Did Deal’s Gap with The Don in the QX4, it’s no Supra, but it did alright.  IMG_5354
  30. Attended the most concerts in one year that I ever have in all my years of living!
  31. Rode on a streetcar in SanFran.  IMG_0184
  32. Reached 3,557 view on

Thirty two, you have been spectacular.  Thirty three, let’s see if we can top it.  Remember:

“For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.”


My favorite quote keeps me grounded and grateful that each day comes and goes and that I am surrounded by love, family and friendship.  My heart is full and my eyes are open. Happy Birthday to me.


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