Isaac Is Here :-)

19 Jun

Well here we are, June 19th and Isaac is 5 days old :-). He was born on June 14th, 2012 at 1:11pm at All About Babies in Argyle, Texas. He weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces and was 19 inches long!

Even before Kristin was pregnant, she always wanted to do natural childbirth. This decision was totally hers in the beginning and honestly I did have some hesitations at first. But after meeting with our absolutely incredible midwife Sherry Oldfield I was on board and excited in a no time at all. Well, Kristin went through with her plan of natural childbirth and the 26 hours of labor was at the same time the most trying and hardest thing I’ve ever done and the most rewarding, fulfilling and life altering thing at the same time.

In my next post, I’m going to go in depth as to what I went through during this childbirth. I see now that husbands have a very unique perspective in all of this and I feel like this could really help other men who decide to go the route of natural childbirth as well. But that post is for a bit later. This post is all about Isaac :-). Here he is!

Is he pretty much the cutest thing ever? The answer is yes. Yes he is :-). I always wondered how much being a photographer would help as a parent and I have to say it has helped a lot. The age of iphones and easily accessible cameras mean that every parent now has the ability to take tons of pictures and share them with the world. But being a full time photographer with access to lighting, fast lenses with shallow depth of field, the ability to shoot in low light and a house set up with daylight lightbulbs in every room for great color certainly has its advantages :-). This little guy had better get used to having cameras around because he will have a LOT of pictures 🙂

It’s exciting and surreal to think that incredible things like iPads and iPhones were invented before Isaac was born. I mean, think about it. When Isaac is old enough to think about things like this, he won’t be impressed with iPads. They will be old school. Some old contraption that his Dad used to use. He’ll have so many pictures and videos of himself that he won’t know what to do with them. He’ll probably have his own Facebook profile pretty soon as well. And he will live his entire life with every single moment documented and saved to look back on later. Isn’t that crazy to think about? I mean, my parents took a lot of pictures and home videos but I don’t really even know where they are. They are on VHS tape I think and likely at my moms somewhere. When he’s older, they will be readily available to him likely on multiple websites at multiple locations and in multiple formats.

Ok, I digress…here are some more pictures 🙂

Kristin holding Isaac right after getting home

Isaac’s first bath and we’re pretty sure his first smile too 🙂


Isaac being held by his Great Grandpa Dean


Sleeping on his little arm 🙂


with Daddy


That’s all for now. Isaac just pee’d and pooped in his diaper and it sort of exploded into his pj’s. So I have some work to do at the changing table :-).



39 Weeks = Hypernesting

2 Jun

Today I am 39 weeks! To be honest, I wasn’t sure with all of this prelabor that I would make it to 39 weeks pregnant, but God has other plans for little Isaac. He must be pretty cozy in there to be fighting all the contractions I’ve been having! It has been a great time for me to trust in the Lord’s perfect timing, although I cannot wait to kiss those little fingers and toes. Prelabor can be utterly exhausting, both physically and emotionally, anticipating active labor for weeks, but I know that God knows the exact time and date of Isaac’s birth. So, the waiting continues 🙂

One thing that comes with being so very pregnant is hypernesting to the max…. I’m even wearing out my mom and my sister! I’ve cleaned, baked, made projects, organized, re-cleaned an already clean house, shopped, walked, slept, and still no baby. I’ve decided that my new thing will be cleaning (yeah, I know… we’ll see how long that lasts) because it is the only thing in the morning and and night that keeps my sanity. Waiting for our little one to arrive even has James anxious and getting impatient. Yes, I know that I am only 39 weeks and that is still early, but considering the fact that I’ve been having contractions for two and a half weeks straight, we both thought he would be here by now. So, the cleaning, baking, and project creating continues. Tonight’s projects? Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies (yes, I’ve already had three while writing this) and probably my most favorite project thus far – transferring a photo to wood for Isaac’s nursery.

As you know, Isaac’s room has an airplane theme which is a long running hobby/career in my family that has rooted itself into the heart of the Brandons. James is nearly done with his pilot’s license and has started pursing aviation photography in his career. I wanted some of James’ work to hang on Isaac’s walls, but the crisp, clean (and completely beautiful) canvas or metal prints he has just didn’t suit the vintage airplane theme. So, I went a “Pinteresting” for a way to use one of James’ modern prints and make it look like an antique. After MANY pinterest fails, we finally ran across one that actually worked!! Better than that, I’m pretty much in love with this project and I will for sure do it again!

Here goes another tutorial (what a better way to get some of my nesting out :)):

One thing is for sure, I am a major major bargain hunter… so, everything I do has to be done cheaply 🙂 I’m pretty sure my entire house, with the exception of a couple things, came from Canton or a flea market and I have just redone them. This project was no exception! First, I found a print of James’ that I loved – A Cessna that he photographed for a client that is absolutely stunning! He made a black and white image for me, stuck it on a thumb drive and I went to work gathering supplies. First stop, Staples – for $2.14 I got a 20×30 black and white laser printed picture on paper. It’s very important that it is laser printed because an ink jet will not work. Next stop, Home Depot to get wood – I used a single piece of wood that I just had them cut into two 10X30 strips that we later put together. Total for wood ~$9.00. Then, Hobby Lobby – I got an an acrylic gel medium for $8.99 (but I used a 40% off coupon).

First step, spred the acrylic get medium on the wood in a generous, but not gloopy coat. Next, lay the picture image side down on the wood and rub flat with either a plastic dowel or your fingers if you don’t mind some creases or bubbles here and there.

Next, let it dry overnight…. Now, comes the fun part! In the morning, get a wet cloth and dampen the picture – too wet doesn’t work and neither does too dry, so you’ll have to play with it. Then rub (not too hard!) all the paper off 🙂 Yes, you might want to recruit two or three people for this depending on how big your image is because my fingers must have no fingerprints (they didn’t work very well) but my dad’s worked like a charm! There will be some paper left behind, so you can continue to let the paper dry, dampen it, and then re-rub it off, or you can just go with it! Some of the paper that was left behind ended up soaking up the stain and actually added to the vintage look and texture of the final product, so I kinda liked it on there 🙂

Then, we stained the wood, sanded the edges (to get the extra glue off and to add some distressing), and then added an ink pigment to the sanded edges. The pigment was one or two shades darker (depending on how generously you applied it) than the stain, so it added some antiquing and some texture to the image. The point is to not have a perfect project. The creases in the paper, the sanded edges… all of it adds character!

Finally, we used a clear wax that you let dry overnight and then buff away the next day. This could be substituted for Mod Podge, but I like the way the wax looks and feels – more like a piece of artwork. However, this stuff can get pricey, so using a 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby for Mod Podge would be a way cheaper route. But, seeing that my mom pretty much has everything you need to do any craft, we just used her wax instead 🙂

Then, my hubby mounted the wood together and put brackets on it so we could hang it in little Isaac’s room ($10 from Ace)! And viola! For less than $30.00 we made a piece of art that is by far my most favorite part of Isaac’s nursery (my mom had some of the supplies already ;))! I love it! I also love the fact that I am able to display James’ work in a totally unique way. It was so easy 🙂

I’m really really hoping my next post is Isaac’s birth story, but if he doesn’t come in the next few days I’ll try and post some other pictures of his room. It is coming together slowly but surely! I kinda like the fact that it will be a work in progress because I am always looking for something else to create! Until then, be praying for Isaac and his birth 🙂 He will be here before we know it!



Old Maps and Doors

25 May

Finally, I am on maternity leave 🙂 I am so excited about and blessed by this time in my life… it is such a time of transition, preparation, and prayers being answered!

I have to tell you how I got here though…. I have been having steady, consistent, and strong contractions since last Wednesday. That’s right, contractions that are no longer good ol’ Braxton Hicks (which I’ve been experiencing since the beginning of my third trimester, if not a little earlier), these are strong contractions that my midwife labels as “pre -labor” contractions (whatever that means). So, this has been quite a time of waiting and preparation. As a matter of fact, Thursday when I was at work, the contractions were so strong and consistent, about three minutes apart, my co-workers and boss swore I was in labor and insisted that they were going to have to look up how to deliver a baby on uTube! They didn’t really want me coming into work on Friday, so I stayed home (still contracting a lot) and started maternity leave a day early 🙂 Needless to say, I’ve been going a million miles a minute trying to get things ready for the little guy, and guess what? I’m still pregnant! I figure he will come whenever his little heart desires. I will be 38 weeks tomorrow and praying that these contractions are doing something miraculous because they sure are exhausting!

Due to my busy schedule and very type B personality, I have yet to really decorate Isaac’s room very much. Yes, he has a crib (adorable because my mom created the bedding – I will post pics later) and furniture, but other than that it is pretty much bare. So, I took some time today to create some much needed decorations for his room. The beautiful thing about my mom’s business is that she has a shop in which you can pretty much find anything your looking for, as long as you know where to look. Certainly, much creativity is required to turn old scraps of wood, doors, and boxes into furniture and decor, but that is what makes the creative process so much fun! After digging in the shop for a few minutes, my mom found these amazing old doors (or maybe window shutters) which I completely loved. James had some expired aviation maps and from there a project was born.

Well, throwing seemingly unrelated things together into something is a skill I am not that great at, so enter my mom 🙂 She is so creative and can seriously turn nothing into something, so she helped me figure out how to put all of these things together. Any good project really just needs some Mod Podge, a sander, and some stain.

Basically, I measured out the inside of the frame, cut a piece of the map out, and Mod Podged away. Then, we rolled the map onto the frame, waited for it to dry (there were lots of bubbles at first, but they went away eventually) and got to work with the stain.

After is dried, we sanded the edges and the wrinkles in the paper so the stain would show up darker in those areas and applied stain with a sponge. The paper was simply too light to match the room, so we wanted it quite a bit darker, hence the staining. This also made the entire project come together and look more “vintage” than it did before. I have been trying to find vintage airplane decor, but apparently that is very sought after stuff, so I decided just to create my own.

That’s it! So simple, yet so much fun! We just took things we had lying around the house (thanks greatly in part to my mom’s amazing shop) and created something totally new for the baby’s room. I have to admit, I felt rather accomplished by our little project.

My house may not be clean, the laundry might not be done, but hey I have a couple cute things to put on Isaac’s wall 😉 Well, actually I can’t really figure out where to put them, but I am sure inspiration will strike and I’ll be able to figure it out! When I get them up and get more of the nursery done, I will post some pictures! Hopefully I’ll be able to get a couple more things done before the little one comes, but you never know!

Night 🙂


Isaac’s Baby Shower

23 Apr

What a blessing this past weekend was for me, James, and Isaac! I cannot express how blessed we are and how thankful that so many people are already loving on our sweet little one 🙂 We literally got almost every single thing we needed to finish out the nursery and stock it with the essential items. I’m just so grateful!!

Steph at 24 weeks and me at 33 weeks 🙂

My mom and sweet friend Bethany threw me and my sister (Stephanie who is 9 weeks behind me and due August 11th) a vintage baby shower on Sunday. It was absolutely beautiful!! Steph, my mom, and Beth did most of the planning and those girls seriously know how to throw a party! The theme was vintage garden party and they completely out did themselves 🙂 I really cannot explain it, so I’ll just show you the pictures (courtesy of my hubby – a benefit of having a photographer husband)!

The food table all vintagie (yes, I know that’s not a word ;)). The menu was printed on a hanging mirror, the veggies were in a vintage baby scale, and the pita chips in an old train case!

The cupcake decorating table 🙂

The beautiful signs my mom made out of burlap and muslin

The guest books for Ellie and Isaac’s rooms! We are going to continue to build a scrapbook for them over time.

A few of the centerpieces 🙂

My mom, me, and my mother-in-law

Beth, Steph, and Giovanni

Me and Taryn

My mom and Renee – she made all of the cupcakes!! They were amazing! Thank you!

Hillside Gals

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law

Beth, Steph, and my mom – thank you so much for a wonderful shower!

Some of my beautiful DTeam girls and their wonderful leader, Kristen

Thank you so much to everyone who was there and to everyone who blessed us! I cannot express my appreciation and gratitude. It was a wonderful shower! Next thing to look forward to – maternity leave and then baby Isaac’s arrival!



Welcome :)

21 Apr

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First things first. We plan to post here often and we hope you’ll join us along the way :). Be sure to look to your right —> and sign up for blog post updates via email or click the RSS link in the top menu. That way you can be the first to know when we post something new. Ok, go!

Welcome 🙂

Welcome to our brand new family blog! For those that may not know us, my name is James and my wife is Kristin. We have our first baby boy, Isaac, coming to us some time around June 8th and we can not wait! Kristin’s sister Stephanie is also pregnant and will have her first baby girl, Ellie, in August. So we will be going through quite a transition in our lives over the next several months :).

We decided to start this blog so we can have a place to document our new family. I’m a full time photographer so you had better believe you will be seeing lots and lots of baby pictures come Isaac’s due date! We are also doing a lot of things different regarding Kristin’s pregnancy so we will likely use this blog as a place to post our thoughts, research and decisions regarding some of those things. We have a LOT of difficult choices to make in the next couple of months and I’m sure there will be plenty more after that. I strongly believe in research and doing my due diligence to make the right choices regarding Isaac’s and Kristin’s health and I’m fully confident that God will guide us to the right decisions if we let Him (and we plan on letting Him!).

So again, welcome to our blog. We hope you will come back often and give us your input on the things we post here. It takes an army to raise a child, after all :-).

The two of us in Riomaggiore, Italy late last year. Little did we know, Isaac was already on his way to us 🙂