A Flytographer in Paris

Paris Flytographer - Krystal

Can you imagine having your own professional photographer follow you around on vacation, snapping candid photos of you and the remarkable scenery that surrounds? A professional photographer who captures exactly what you are seeing, while you stay present in the moment.

Well, my friends … have you heard of Flytographer? They are just that. A team of professional photographers you can hire for candid photo shoots in over 200 cities worldwide! My sister-in-law and brother just hired Flytographer to take photos of their recent trip to Paris. They had the best experience. Their local photographer, Krystal, took pictures on the streets of Montmartre – which is a scenic hill in Paris located in the artistic district. They also got some great shots inside Le Relais de la Butte (a charming cafe) and Patisserie Gilles Marchal bakery.

I was so impressed with how their photos turned out (although, I don’t think I’ve seen these two ever take a bad photo) that it’s inspiring me to start planning our next vacation! Here are some more of their photos that I just adore.

flytographer Paris krystal

flytographer Paris krystal

Flytographer Paris

Paris Flytographer - Krystal

I can’t think of a better way to capture your special moments. In fact, I’m kind of in love with their business model. Check our Flytographer the next time you’re on vacation.

What Real Life Looks Like

I’m so over all of the perfect family photo floating around Instagram. That. is. not. real. This is what real mom life looks like. You know, just trying to get a photo of my family but Nolan refuses to wear pants (I have to sneak into his room at night and put pajama pants on him so he won’t freeze) and Colton has so much energy that I wish I could bottle it up and use it for myself. Kelsey loves giving me attitude, rolling her eyes and making me feel like I am a mother to a teenager. But, at the end of the day, I love them so incredibly much and sometimes (just sometimes) they look at me and smile. Other times, it goes a little something like this.

mom-life-many-hats-mom-blog

mom-life-many-hats-mom-blog

mom-life-many-hats-mom-blog

mom-life-many-hats-mom-blog mom-life-many-hats-mom-blog

Mornings with God and Family

phoenix mom blogger many hats of a mom

phoenix mom blogger many hats of a mom

phoenix mom blogger many hats of a mom

We made it to church this morning, besides the rain that tried to get in our way. Have you ever tried to get three kids, four umbrellas and yourself into a church building? It’s really difficult. Not to mention the fact that I was wearing heels. But, we made it and there is truly no better way to start the morning. My heart is full today. I would love to blog more and tell you all about what’s been going on in my crazy household, but Ryan’s out grilling in the rain and the fort I built my kids just caved in. Gotta run, but I promise I’ll be a better blogger soon.

Sunday Funday with Friends

When our good friends, Teri and Danny came over with their newest bundle (baby ClementiMe – as Colton calls her), I couldn’t help but imagine what my life would be like with another baby in the mix. But then that notion was quickly squashed when I was holding baby Clementine and couldn’t keep my eyes on the three other kids running around my feet and trying to crawl into my lap. Props to those families with over three kids. I couldn’t do it!

In fact, while we were visiting, it suddenly became very quiet in our house (which is always an indicator that something is up). Sure enough, Nolan (my 16 month old) comes strolling out of the bathroom with my eyeliner on! All I could think of was … OMG that stuff is so expensive! That little squirt. Which proved even further that I wouldn’t be able to function with any more children.

We’re so thankful for fun Sunday’s like these. The circus tent in the background is super fitting … considering parenthood feels like a bit of a circus sometimes. Anyone else with me on that?

many-hats-of-a-mom-phoenix-blog

many-hats-of-a-mom-phoenix-blog

many-hats-of-a-mom-phoenix-blog

many-hats-of-a-mom-phoenix-blog

many-hats-of-a-mom-phoenix-blog

Colton just loved on her so much! He kept asking to hold the baby and would slowly pet her head. He couldn’t get enough. He’s one sweet boy.

many-hats-of-a-mom-phoenix-blog

And there’s baby Nolan, rocking mom’s favorite eyeliner and his best Zoolander expression.

New Years Day!

We got breakfast burritos for the kids and took all of their bikes to the park. Sounds normal, but it was an important day because Kelsey started riding her new bike WITHOUT training wheels! Hallelujah! All it took was a bigger bike and a bit of confidence and she was sailing.

many hats of a mom

I was a nervous wreck (does that feeling ever go away?) trying to stay within feet of her so I could catch her when she fell. She didn’t need me or Ryan though, this girl was cruising. Colton is starting on his “strider” starter bike. We love it! Have you seen this thing? No pedals to help them glide and learn how to balance. I wish we got one for Kelsey when she was learning to ride.

These little monkeys bring so much joy (and stress, let’s be clear, there is a lot of stress!) to our lives, but the pure love that radiates around us when we are all together is magic. It’s going to be a great year, I can’t wait to discover what’s in store for us.

Happy 2017, friends!

DSC05856

many hats of a mom blogger phoenix

DSC05828

many hats of a mom blogger phoenix

DSC05773

Nothing but LOVE around here

We took the kids over to the Scottsdale Civic Center to explore. I was looking for new family photo locations and the kids needed to get out of the house (you have weekends like that, right?). We explored the park, tried to pet the ducks (that’s all Colton) and played around on the LOVE sign. Everything about nights like these remind me to stop and thank God for the blessings in my life.

I have a feeling it’s going to be a wonderful holiday season. xo

scottsdale family photographer

scottsdale family photographer

scottsdale family photographer

scottsdale family photographer

scottsdale family photographer
I bought Ryan this shirt for Halloween and apparently it made a second appearance tonight. Ha!

scottsdale family photographer

Good thing this isn’t a video or you would have heard me yell, “Stop attacking your little brother!” These two are starting to wrestle all the time, something this mom is not ready for.

Falling in love with Pinetop, Arizona

Pinetop, Arizona does not disappoint! Especially in the fall. Last weekend we took our kids to Pinetop to enjoy cooler temps, the golden leaves and to get a little R&R. The kids loved touring the Pinetop-Lakeside Fire Station, riding their bikes around the neighborhood and roasting s’mores by the fire. We are so lucky that we can drive 3 hours east of Phoenix and find fall!

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

Believe it or not, it was Nolan’s first time seeing golden leaves all over the ground. Every time Kelsey would throw leaves into the air, Nolan would gasp, “Ahhhhhh!” as they came crashing to the ground. He was in awe and I can’t say that I blame him. It was beautiful.

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

Notice anything? She’s missing her third bottom tooth! She’s only lost the bottom row of teeth so far, which I love because I get so emotional when those things come out. I know, I know … it’s a mom thing.

phoenix-mom-blogger

Nolan is twinning with his dad. Morning walks called for jackets and we were more than willing to comply .

phoenix-mom-blogger

phoenix-mom-blogger

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

Morning walks around our cabin lead to moments like this where I just stop, stare and thank my lucky stars for kids like this.

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

Touring the fire station and getting to crawl into the firetruck was the highlight of the trip for the kids. A huge thank you to the Pinetop-Lakeside Fire Department for all they do for the community and for opening their ‘home’ to our kids. They provided hot dogs, burgers, snacks, fire prevention educational tips, a bounce house and lots of goodies for the kids. We had a blast!

phoenix-mom-blogger

phoenix-mom-blogger

phoenix-mom-blogger

phoenix-mom-blogger

phoenix-mom-blogger

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

How is it that she can sit on a curb, eat Cheetos and appear so much cooler than I will ever be. Sigh.

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

When the boys were napping, Kelsey and I walked around the neighborhood collecting leafs for a bouquet. As soon as she walked into the cabin she threw them across the counter and forgot all about them, but it was a fun game while it lasted.

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

phoenix mom blogger

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

I set up my camera on a timer and wanted one family photo. However, Colton is holding a hair brush. No one brushed Nolan’s hair. Kelsey is posing behind dad and I’m barely standing  after sprinting back into position after setting the camera’s timer. I love every bit of this photo though because it’s real life.

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

I caught a glimpse of Nolan throwing rocks into the lake with Ryan at sunset. It’s really cool to see Nolan hanging out with the big boys. He is walking everywhere and trying his hardest to keep up with his dad and brother.

phoenix-mom-blogger

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

The last night we were in Pinetop, we walked over to the golf course and let the kids roll down the hills. You’re probably not allowed to do this so let’s keep that between us.

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

Look at that determination in Nolan’s face to get up the hill! Meanwhile, his brother comes rolling down at record speed. He was so confused. ha.

Phoenix-mommy-blogger

I’m framing this. He was trying to tell me that his pockets were “dirty” which then proceeded with a little giggle attack.

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

many-hats-of-a-mommy-blog

phoenix mom blogger

Now, let’s go back!

MacDonald’s Ranch Pumpkin Patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

Fall is my favorite time of year. The weather FINALLY cools down in the desert making the nights and mornings bearable. Not to mention, my birthday month is on the horizon and everything smells like pumpkin spice and cinnamon. What’s not to love?

We recently took the kids to the MacDonald’s Ranch Pumpkin Patch – it was our first time at the ranch and honestly the best pumpkin patch we’ve visited. From the moment we arrived, I had a great feeling this would be great. There were so many activities for the kids to do! Pony rides, gold digging, lasso learning, horseshoe throwing, petting zoo and a huge hay maze that they had all to themselves!

The gates close at 5pm and the patch officially ends at 6pm. When we were there, I looked at the clock and realized it was 5:45 and we hadn’t even picked out pumpkins yet! We looked around and couldn’t figure out where they were until one of the ranchers told us we had to take a hay ride over to the patch. Had to? Yes, please!

We jumped on board a mule-drawn hayride and off we went. Our ‘driver’ Gary was so incredibly nice, patient and talked to us all about the ranch. I call him patient because 5 minutes into the hayride back to the main entrance, I realized I had left my purse down at the pumpkin patch and he had to take us aaaaaall the way back. Did I mention by this time it was well over 6pm, which was their closing time. What can I say, I’m a mom without a memory these days.

If you get the opportunity to go to a pumpkin patch this year TAKE YOUR KIDS TO MACDONALD’S RANCH. I’m literally shouting it because I loved this place so much. We’ll be back year after year, for sure.

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

dsc08041

Nolan was the best this evening. He walked around with a huge smile on his face and pointed at everything he saw. When we got to the pumpkin patch part, he literally just sat down in the patch and watched his sister and brother pick out the perfect pumpkin. Dare I say, he was the cutest pumpkin in the entire patch? 🙂

macdonalds pumpkin patch

Watching the goats eat dinner.

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog
macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog
macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

We had the hay maze to ourselves! It was so fun to watch them run through the maze and figure out how to get out. And if Ryan and I are being honest, it was a nice way to enjoy a moment of silence while your littles are contained by barrels of hay.

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch
macdonalds pumpkin patch

Do you think they look alike? Nolan is a spitting image of my brothers but I think he’s got a lot of Ryan in him too.
macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog
macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonalds pumpkin patch

macdonalds pumpkin patch

If you’re wondering, no – we did not get the $9.00 pumpkins. If you know Ryan Cross, then you know we had to wait until the kids found pumpkins that fit in the smallest $4.00 hole.

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

macdonald's ranch scottsdale mom blog

Thank you to MacDonald’s Ranch for hosting us this year. We are so thankful for the opportunity to come experience your ranch. If I could do it all over again, I would allow for more time to spend here – there is seriously so much for kids to do. We only had one hour, so I would recommend two at least. Enjoy!