Archives for November 2014

5 Years of Blogging

Well, my 5 year blogiversary snuck up on me! That’s right, I have been doing this gig since November of 2009.  What makes me laugh, is in that first post I mention at the top that I am not very good at this blogging thing and that I didn’t think anyone was reading it. Oh my, if only I had known!

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The half marathon that started it all.

Remember, this blog started out in 2009 as Running With Sass. I knew nothing about WordPress, blogging etiquette, or even photo editing. I learn new tricks every day, and it is fun to look back and see how far I have come.

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Once I really started blogging regularly in 2010, I blogged seven days a week for many years. Once I got pregnant, I cut down to five days a week and stopped blogging on the weekends. Those were my lowest stat days anyway, and I wanted to spend more time with Bobby before the baby came. Well, then the baby came…and I dropped down to three days a week. I have every intention of going back to blogging at least four if not five days a week (hopefully soon), but until I get little miss thing on a schedule, I just do what I can. I would rather have quality posts than a post every day.

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I’m sure I have said this before, but if you would have told be five years ago that not only would I have run three full marathons and over twenty half marathons, including Goofy and Dopey challenges, but that my blog would still be going strong and I would be getting paid to write it, I don’t think I would have believed you. Some days I have to remind myself that this started as a hobby, a journal as I trained for my first half marathon. It still really blows my mind.

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I have been given so many amazing opportunities through blogging, and I have met some wonderful people and made lifelong friends. I love how the internet/social media has the power to bring people together, no matter how far apart you live from your friends. I am so blessed to be able to stay home and work and take care of my baby girl. This was my goal five years ago when I quit teaching to work from home, and there have been some definite bumps in the road, but we are figuring things out as we go.

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To my amazing readers, thank you so much. Without you, THLG wouldn’t even exist. I think of you when I am coming up with story ideas, planning my race calendar, and accepting and declining job offers. I have been touched by your sweet encouraging emails, and made a better person and write thanks to your ideas and advice.

My one hope is that through this blog you will find encouragement, hope, and learn a thing or two from my blog. I share my personal experiences- the ups and the downs, so that others can feel like they aren’t alone, and see that there are people, real people out there that struggle just like you. I don’t live a glamorous life, and there are a lot of days I don’t feel like writing, and a lot of things I would rather not share. But, if my sharing helps just one person, in a big or small way, then it’s worth it.

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Team runDisney, some of my many friends I have made!

I pray that the next half decade will be just as much fun on the interwebs as the last one, and I hope that you will follow along with me on this journey. Thanks for sticking with me through thick and thin, changes and trends, heartache and loss, love and laughter. I hope to meet more of you in the coming years, and form even more connections and friendships. So, cheers to you, and cheers to another year of blogging, living, and sharing.

<3 Heather

Emma Kate: Month Two

Guess who turned two months old on Monday? Crazy right?!? The first few weeks went by SO SLOW at times as I waited for her to get out of the newborn-crying-for-no-reason stage, and the needing to eat every two hour stage, day and night. Emma Kate has changed SO much in just a month’s time I don’t even know where to begin!

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I can remember when I wrote her one month update, there just wasn’t a lot to say as far as her likes, dislikes and personality. I realized at that time that well, she just didn’t do a whole lot and had not grown enough to have a lot of personality, but boy has that changed!

Here are some things EK Loves:

-Stretching (like in the photo below)

-watching the monkeys on the mobile on her swing and bouncer

-looking in mirrors

-putting her entire fist in her mouth

-smiling

-‘’talking” to us

-baths

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She has also shown a lot of personality as far as her dislikes. I have a feeling we have a bit of a drama queen on our hands! She does NOT like:

-Being burped

-taking naps. ever.

-clothing going over her head

-bright light/sunlight

-when you don’t pay attention to her

-putting a pacifier in her mouth when she doesn’t want it

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Oh, this kid. We are very fortunate with her nighttime sleep, which is good because day naps are a disaster. About two weeks ago she started refusing to take her morning nap, so she would crash and burn and get so cranky by about 2:00. I can usually get her to at least take one or two 20 minute cat naps, and sometimes she will take a long afternoon nap, but the mornings are a no go.

However, she has been going between 8-10 hours at night which is awesome. The problem is though, when she doesn’t nap well she is exhausted by 5:00 or so, and ends up going down for the night at 6, so the 8-10 hours still puts us at between 2-4 am. If we can get her to stay up a little later it would be awesome if she slept until 6:00 or later!

Emma Kate has been sleeping in her swing. She has been having a good amount of spit up, so sleeping in a more upright position has been helpful, and the motion really helps as well. When she is in her crib and wakes up, that’s it, she’s up, but in the swing, she can soothe herself back to sleep. The plan is to slowly slow the swing down until it’s stationary, then we can start sleeping in the crib again (and hopefully the spit up will get less and less as we go as well).

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She started smiling at just shy of seven weeks, and now smiles all the time, I love it! She has different smiles and grins and it’s fun to watch her try to mimic my facial movements. She is just starting to touch/feel things with her hands open, where as before she kept her fists closed tightly. I think we are on the verge of discovering hands and feet! She figured out she can kick in her bouncy seat and make her mobile move, so she is getting there.

We went to the doctor for her two month shots/checkup early so we could start taking her out more, so she had them done at 6 weeks and 5 days. She was a champ and did really well. At that time she was weight 11 pounds (68th percentile) and was 22.75 inches tall(87th percentile).

She is out of newborn clothing and in 3 month and in some things 3-6 months especially if they have attached feet/since she is so long. She is in size 1 diapers, too. Everyone still goes nuts over how much hair she has. It’s so long and hangs down past her ears. I think I will be able to put it in a ponytail before long.

I can’t believe she will be three months old on Christmas eve. Because of the holiday, her update next month may be a little late. Oh, I am also working on MY two month post partum update, so stay tuned!

QOTD: What is your favorite “baby” age? I am liking this stage SO much more than the first month, but I also can’t wait until she is a little more independent!

WINNER of the WIN detergent giveaway is Ann Wolfe! Ann, please email me at [email protected] to claim your prize!

Christmas Decorating 2014

We decided to decorate our house for Christmas a week early this year since my parents are coming in town for Thanksgiving and I’m not sure if they will be back before Christmas. Of course it was cold all last week, but warm the day we decorated, it was typical Mississippi weather for you. Not very Christmas-y, and we didn’t light the fireplace, but we still had a good time!046

It was fun decorating in the new house because I got to figure out where to put all of the decorations for the first time. I’m sure I will end up moving things around, and we still have to decorate outside, but I am happy with everything so far. We still have to put nails in the mantle for the stockings, and I need to get some battery operated lights for the garland around the fireplace.

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Love it!

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Emma Kate wasn’t sure what to think.

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Fascinated by the tree

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Hanging her “baby’s first Christmas” ornament from grammy and grandpa

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My firstborn girls Bella and Sassy.

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Thanks to Baby OshKosh B’gosh for the adorable outfit! They also sent a cute dress and sweater she will wear for Christmas!

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Important decorations in my house

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I can’t believe it’s so soon!

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Bobby telling Emma Kate about the different ornaments.

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Family selfie!

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We ordered pizza after (a tradition) and watched TV by the tree. It was a great night!

QOTD: Do you have any traditions when decorating for Christmas?

Dreams

Dreams are funny things. I got to thinking about mine after having a weird one last night. I concluded that I tend to have four main categories of dreams, and once I really thought about it, it’s odd how repetitive my dreams are, and what that means. I am by no means a dream decoder and for all I know, they could just be random thoughts and mean nothing at all. However, I thought it would be fun to share with you my four main “types” of dreams I typically have. Maybe some of yours are the same!

1.) The first category of dreams I have tend to revolve around something that happened during the day. A lot of times the dream deals with something I saw on TV. For instance, the other night after watching The Walking Dead, (which, by the way if you don’t watch I’m not sure if we can be friends), I dreamed that zombies were chasing me all. night. long.

2.) The second category of dreams I have is kind of odd, but they are so frequent that I wanted to give it it’s own category. These dreams revolve around high school basketball. Weird, right? I have dreams VERY frequently revolving around basketball games. Sometimes I am playing in them, sometimes traveling to them, etc. The most annoying ones though are the ones that cause me to panic. I have had many dreams about basketball where I forgot part of my game gear like my shoes, or I am wearing the wrong color jersey. We had white jersey’s for home games and maroon for away, and I cannot tell you how many times I dreamed that it was game time and I had on the wrong color jersey! What’s weird is I played volleyball and ran track as well but only have these dreams about basketball.

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Clearly I have on the correct jersey

3.) Another frequent dream I have is not being able to read something and it throws me into a panic. Frequently I will be on stage about to sing with a vocal group or something like that, and I look down at the words and I cannot read anything! I squint, blink, etc. but nothing helps. This also happens when I am driving in my dreams and can’t read road signs.

4.) The last thing I dream about a lot involves forgetting things similar to the basketball dream, but in this sequence I am on stage performing some kind of dance or routine (weird right?) and I forgot the moves. I can’t for the life of me remember what I am supposed to be doing and find it hard to believe I EVER knew the moves, but those around me assure me I practiced a lot, so then I get more confused. Let’s not forget that Heather is in no way shape or form a dancer, which makes this reoccurring dream even more hilarious.

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Me “dancing” at my wedding. Hey, I had lots of fun!

It seems as though a lot of my dreams revolve around 1.) being on stage and 2.) forgetting something or doing something wrong on accident. I have no idea what this means (if anything).

QOTD: Do you ever have reoccurring dreams?

Saucony Triumph Review

Disclosure: I was provided product from Saucony through Fitfluential for this review, however all opinions are my own.

Hey everyone.  This is Heather’s husband, Bobby, and you are in for a real treat today, because I am guest posting!  …Okay, well it may not be that exciting, but here we go.  I’m going to be talking about running shoes, and to be more specific, the Saucony Triumph ISO.

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Saucony was kind enough to send me a pair of shoes in exchange for my review.  I was very willing to take them up on the offer since I have been running in Saucony shoes for a couple of years now.  My wonderful wife got me my first pair after I told her I wanted to run in more minimal shoes but the brand I had made my feet hurt.  She got me the Virratas and I loved them.  I’ve put a good few hundred miles on the Virratas and she recently got me a second pair from the same line.

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Saucony Virrata’s

Now that I’ve put some backstory in, you will understand that I am comparing the Triumphs to many miles in a similar shoe.  First, I’ll distinguish the two lines by saying that the Triumphs are not a minimal shoe; they have a good bit more stability than the Virrata and are considered a neutral shoe.  I had my first run in them about a week ago and the run felt good.  I don’t know about you, but just knowing that I’m wearing new high-end running shoes makes me feel faster, which makes me say WHOA!

My favorite part about the Triumphs is also my favorite thing about the Virratas, and that is the mesh on top rather than a hard and constricting plastic.  I have big feet and I’m not exactly light, so my feet take a pounding.  Anything I can do to make them feel less restricted is a good thing.  If you look closely you can see that the laces go into a part of the shoes that is not attached to the mesh directly, which contributes to the feeling of not being confined.  After writing this paragraph my wife pointed out that one of the main features of the shoe is the “ISOFIT” which is responsible for the comfort I was just discussing, while still making the shoe feel flexible and not bulky.

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Saucony focuses on one other aspect of the shoe, and that is the cushion of the platform (POWERGRID cushioning).  Thinking back on the workouts that I have done so far I would agree that they have delivered.  Like I said earlier, I felt good on the run and it was more than the new shoe high.

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Lastly, let’s not forget that they look awesome.  As I looked around the gym I saw a lot of grey and black shoes and even the gym was dully colored.  These shoes stand out! Not to mention, so does the shoe BOX!

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I appreciate the chance to try out the new shoes and I know I’m going to wear down the Triumphs to nubs like I did my Virratas. Be sure to follow #WHOAface on Twitter to get other blogger’s opinions on the shoe. Also you can follow Saucony on Twitter and Instagram @Saucony.

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My WHOA face

QOTD: Do these shoes make you say WHOA! Do you like the colors? What do you look for in a running shoe?

WIN Detergent Giveaway and Review

I was recently given the opportunity to review Win detergent. I have been hearing about it for a little while, and was very curious since well, we sweat pretty hard in the Montgomery household.

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I would be lying if I said we have never had to throw out dri fit clothing due to a terrible stink that just won’t go away no matter how many times time I try and wash said clothing. it’s really sad, because my favorite shirts I wear most often…which means they get the most stink…and well, you get the picture. I don’t want to throw out my favorite workout clothes!

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I was sent two bottles of Win sports detergent, original WIN, and WIN green. I really like the smell of the detergent, and I have to say, my clothes DO smell better after using it! My only qualm is that the detergent is very very liquidy as opposed to the thicker formulas of other detergents. Because of this, when I try and pour it into the cap, I manage to get it everywhere! Maybe just a personal issue on my part, and definitely not a reason to not buy it, especially since it gets the job done!

Also, don’t think that just because it’s cold out that you don’t sweat and don’t need this detergent. When I wear lots of layers, I actually sweat a ton. Also, I don’t own as many cold weather running clothes so they get worn more = more stink. Another good reason to use Win in the winter is because we typically go indoors to the gym more in the winter and let’s face it, no one wants to be “the stinky lady/guy” at the gym!

WIN has given me the opportunity to do a giveaway here on the blog. One winner will receive a full sized bottle of each, the original detergent and the green. Also, if you don’t win, or just want to buy  it anyway, you can use the coupon code WINGIVE1 for $1 a bottle of WIN.

To enter the giveaway, please follow the Rafflecoptor instructions below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Be sure to follow WIN on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, or visit their website for more information, or follow these hashtags: #SweatHardSmellGreat #WINDetergent

Disclosure: I was given product to review from WIN through Sweat Pink for this giveaway, however all opinions are my own.

Photo Dump November 2014

Apparently my phone refuses to backup because my storage is full, so I did one of the things I for some reason dislike doing (time consuming? Not sure?) and dumped my photos off of my phone, so I thought I would share some with you that haven’t made it onto the blog or Instagram (I don’t think).

Adorable bib from a friend

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One of the few times of the year I wear gloves to run. It was 32!

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The night after she got her shots. She was ssooo sleepy

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Big smiles in the morning

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Game day

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When my mom came to visit when EK was about 5 weeks old

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Mom and dad back for a visit at 7 weeks

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Late night feeding

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Women’s conference my mom and I went to at my church. The girl who played on the show the Facts of Life spoke!

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QOTD: If you dumped pictures from your phone what would they mostly be of?

Design Your Own runDisney Race

Hey guys! I know a lot of folks are heading out to Disneyland today to run the runDisney inaugural Avengers half marathon this weekend. I am super jealous and hope you have a great time. Check out this post I wrote for Fitfluential on tips for running a Disneyland race.

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Disneyland marathon weekend 2013

I can’t wait to read everyone’s race recaps on the event! I really REALLY wish I was running Star Wars in January, but I completely missed registration by time I had made up my mind. There is always next year! Bobby loves Star Wars so I think we would have a blast. There are just too many races and not enough time off of work.

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Still can’t believe I was pregnant during Dopey!

Being in the thick of runDisney race season and not being there is tough. They are my favorite races and while it is fun to read everyone else’s experiences, it’s nothing like being there yourself. So that got me thinking. If you could plan a runDisney race complete with theme, course, what would the medal look like, runner’s perks, etc.? I would love to see your ideas of “the perfect runDisney race”. You can be as vague or as detailed as you would like! If I get some good ones I would love to feature them on my blog, and who knows, maybe runDisney will be listening!

So, to give you an idea of what I mean, here is one that I came up off the top of my head for an example:

Theme: Pixar Half Marathon weekend

Races: kids races, 5k, 10k, half marathon

Course: I’m not sure how this would flesh out distance wise, but it would end inside of Hollywood studios near the Toy Story Mania ride with an after party in Hollywood studios. Maybe if we ran through EPCOT and the boardwalk and then Hollywood studios we wouldn’t be on the road much and therefore could start the race later in the day (like 7:00) Or maybe it would be a night race?  Of course, there would be tons of Pixar characters on the race course!

Medal: Each race would have a different Pixar theme. My favorites are Nemo, Monsters Inc., Toy Story, a Bug’s Life, and Cars. I’m sure we could come up with some really cool designs based on some of those movies.

-Runner’s would be given 3 fastpasses to rides or shows dealing with PIXAR for the weekend. (Bug’s life, toy Story, Monster’s Inc. laugh floor, Buzz lightyear space ranger spin, Living seas with nemo, Nemo musical).

-Maybe a fun scavenger hunt where if you get character photos with X number of Pixar characters during the race (or race weekend, in the parks?) you get a special commemorative item.

-The expo would have a costume contest where you show off your Pixar race costume at a certain time and can win prizes.

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-runDisney and New Balance could partner to make Pixar character running shoes.

QOTD: OK so those are my ideas to get you started. Feel free to comment with your ideas or send them to me via email: [email protected]. I can’t wait to read and feature your ideas!

What I’m Loving: Newborn Addition

 
I have done posts about what I am loving before, but I thought it was time to do a baby edition. I always enjoyed seeing what products other moms used so hopefully someone finds this helpful!

Infanito Go GaGa Gym: This is a great place to do tummy time with your baby, and Emma Kate loves looking at the mirror and the mobile that winds up and plays music. This will usually keep her entertained for 10-20 minutes and is a nice change of scenery. The best thing about it is that it folds up really easily so is very portable!

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Boppy newborn lounger: A friend of mine gave me her lounger when her kids outgrew it. At first I wasn’t even sure I was going to use it, but it has been my number one baby item and used on a daily basis. For the first three weeks of EK’s life, this is where she took every nap. I would move the boppy from the couch to the bedroom to the kitchen and she would just lay in it and look around, and then fall asleep. I will be sad when she outgrows it and gets more mobile!

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HALO Bassinest: I wrote a full review on this the other day, but I am singing it’s praises again. Super convenient for little babies to sleep next to your bed.

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Soothie pacifiers: We started giving Emma Kate a pacifier about a week after she was born, and we have tried many many brands with this being the ONLY one she will take. These are a must in the car or when she is really fussy or overtired.

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Motorola video monitor: We didn’t get this until a couple of weeks ago, and it is amazing. I love being able to hear her make noises then flip on the screen to make sure she is ok without having to run into whatever room she is in immediately. The parent unit has rechargeable batteries in it, so I carry it around with me and don’t need a cord which is awesome.

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Christmas baby clothes: Just because they are super fun and I can’t wait to put Emma Kate in festive outfits! The kind folks at OshKosh B’gosh sent us a care package of the most adorable baby clothes!

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QOTD: What were some essentials for you in the first weeks of your baby’s life?

Emma Kate’s Newborn Photos: By Destiny Tillery

When I was six months pregnant, I started looking around for photographers for Emma Kate’s newborn pictures. I haven’t had professional photos done since our wedding, we had the best wedding photographers in nyc. It’s just not something we typically spend money on. However, I knew I wanted newborn pictures of our baby, all the ones I have seen are so adorable!

I found Destiny Tillery photography through a Google search of my area, and am so glad that I did! The pictures on her website are just beautiful, her prices were reasonable, and I loved that she had her own studio full of props, headbands, and backdrops.

Once we booked our session, Destiny was great with communicating with me about what I wanted for the session. She told me to bring any props I wanted to use, and we discussed any specific poses that I liked that I had seen on her website or anywhere else. I ended up bringing a Minnie Mouse hat and a Saints headband, and other than that told her to have fun and let her creative juices flow!

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Destiny and EK after brushing her hair and getting her posed for her pictures!

Destiny’s studio is at her home, and I loved seeing all the things that went into the session to keep my baby happy. The room was warm and dark, she utilized white noise, a hot water bottle, and swaddling so that Emma Kate would sleep through the session. A lot goes into newborn posing, and Destiny took a ton of time with us making sure everything looked just right.

While the photos were being taken, Bobby and I were able to relax on a comfy couch. Destiny even had a basket of snacks and a refrigerator of drinks and coffee for us to enjoy.

A couple of weeks after the session, we set up a time to go look at the proofs. I went back to her studio where she had a flat screen TV on the wall. She had set the photos to music on a slideshow for me to view, and then we discussed photo packages and pricing. It was very laid back and such a great experience!

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There are so many great pictures, but I wanted to share some of my favorites!

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Destiny also does children’s photo sessions, holiday sessions, 6 month olds, maternity, etc. I highly recommend her services if you are in the Jackson, MS area, you won’t be disappointed! Here is how you can connect with Destiny Tillery:

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If you do choose to contact her, be sure to let her know I sent you!

QOTD: Did you do newborn photos? Do you plan to?

Disclosure: I received a discount on my photo package in exchange for my honest review. But really, these photos are awesome!