MOTHER’S DAY PHOTO SHOOT

Mother’s Day has taken on new meaning for me. For years, I used to stay in bed, eat Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream….and just cry – mourning the death of my own mother. While it has gotten easier over the last 14 years – last year, I found myself in that same position. Weird how the emotions ebb and flow over the years. But the reality is that my life has greater meaning now that I am a mother…and that has made facing this day a little easier.  I treasure the relationship that I have with my sister and her kids on another level because I know that we are a reflection of my mother’s love and life.

So that led me to ask one of my fave photographers – Erica Rodriquez to meet me at Greynolds Park to capture mommy moments doing one of our favorite things..us all hanging out together. I wanted to do it with my sister in celebration of Mother’s Day.  Even though I take lots of photos of my kids – I’ve never done this…and it was a special time for us. It was a gorgeous day at the park. The sun was shining so beautifully…you can see the sunrays in lots of our photos. When I first saw it…I knew then that it was my mother shining her light on us in approval of the moms we are today.

Sharing a few of my favorite pics from our day.

Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
This is us! Me and my two babies and my step-son Khari…My sister and her two girls and son. We come as a package deal.

Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama

One Balanced Mama Mother's Day Photo Shoot
AJ and his silly smiles…cracks me up!

Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama

Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama
Mothers Day Shoot One Balanced Mama

 

TALES OF A DISNEY KIDS PRESCHOOL PLAYDATE!

It was the perfect storm.…Bobbi had been begging me to have friends over for a playdate for the longest….and I’ve been putting it off due to my schedule and travels.  And every weekend – I am charged with finding activities to do with my little ones – which will most always end in arts and crafts.  And then, one day…the skies opened up…and behold…an invite drops in my lap (or email)…asking me to host a Disney Kids Preschool Playdate!!!!  It was an answer to a weekend prayer.

But first….the email said I would receive party supplies to host 10 preschoolers…now which 10 would I invite was my biggest issue.  But I left that up to Bobbi and AJ – and they had a fun time planning their guest list.  It was exciting to receive our goods in the mail – and much to our surprise – it came in a Sophia The First American Tourist luggage.  So Dope!  Check out our Disney Preschool Kit Reveal that I shared on snapchat:

Disney Kids Preschool Kit Unveil

Here are a few things I did to make our playdate special:

Disney Kids Preschool Playdate - One Balanced Mama
I made sure my kids were involved in the process and included activities they would want to do. And anything that involved coloring, painting and creating – they are always down for. So our focus point was the arts and crafts station. I used items that we already had at home to help with decorations and storage for the supplies.
One Balanced Disney Kids Preschool Playdate - One Balanced Mama
I just discovered Michael’s new Disney Arts and Crafts section!! So I supplemented what Disney sent to me to ensure the kids had plenty of activities. I also live for Target’s front bin section. So many Disney goodies for little price!
Disney Kids Preschool Playdate - One Balanced Mama
Fun activities going on at the table…decorated with Disney themed party supplies.
Disney Kids Preschool Playdate - One Balanced Mama
I also set up different areas around the house since not all kids want to do the same thing at once. So we opened up our backyard that had a trampoline and swing set. We also had a napping station that I wasn’t aware of 🙂

CELEBRATING THE HOLIDAYS!

It’s officially the end of the holiday season…at least in my house it is.  Our tree was down on the 30th and all decor was boxed up by December 31st.  While I normally wait until the first weekend of the year…my allergies started kicking in – and suddenly – I could care less about the pine tree smell in my house…I wanted it out!

But going thru my iPhone photos – I can’t help but get a little sad that we have to wait a whole 12 months for that holiday fuzzy feeling.  I don’t remember being as excited about the holidays – until becoming a mom.  Yea – when I was a kid, I had my fair share of excitement when the holidays came around…but it’s different now.  I get to choose how to celebrate, what to do and create traditions for my own family.   To me, the best part of the holidays is being together – surrounded by love, the smell of food, and the sounds of laughter.  Sharing a few of my favorite things that we did as a family this year – and what’s become a tradition around the Metelus household.

Oh Christmas Tree! Once the final Thanksgiving decor is put up – its time to break out the Christmas tree.  This year – I started our decorations early by putting up our lights and adding a Santa and a few snowmen to our yard.  The kids got such a kick out of them.  And since I was having a ton of family over for the Thanksgiving break – I wanted our house to be even more festive.  But I saved the tree for a few days later – because I didn’t want the stress of decorating with 20 people in my home.  Once we got our tree – as we do every year, Cee-Lo’s Christmas Album and Mariah Carey’s Christmas Album is our soundtrack – as the kids (including my nieces and nephew) get in the holiday spirit as we all decorate.

Christmas Celebration with the Mets
Christmas Tree halfway decorated…almost there!

Holiday trip:  With the kids out of school for two weeks, it makes sense for us to do a quick family getaway for the holidays…and this year – it was Disney to take part in Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.  Orlando is always a fun trip for us since we have a ton of famiy there – but taking in the sight’s and sounds of Christmas topped off with Mickey and Minnie – is definitely a winner!

One Balanced Mama Christmas Traditions

One Balanced Mama Christmas Traditions

FAMILY CHRISTMAS PHOTO SHOOT UNVEIL!

It’s the most wonderful time...yes – it’s our annual family Christmas photo shoot unveil!! I take a gazillion pictures of my kids…I can’t help it, and I make no apologies for it.  Their faces change on a daily – and scrolling thru my 20k+ photos on my iPhone proves that!  But I really love when we do our professional family photo shoot.  I enjoy coming up with themes and ideas – or stealing ideas on Pinterest. 🙂

I look forward to seeing my kids and family personalities play out in front of the camera, and it’s always that moment to officially get us in the holiday spirit.

This year – we wanted to capture some nice family shots – but to also focus on the fun of the holidays!  I loved our prison line up shot – and the kids are the perfect age to pull off the naughty looks.  We ended up with 300 amazing photos so it was hard to narrow it down to about 20.  These are just a few of my highlights.  Special thanks to Toni Lowe for styling us as only she knows how…and Erica Melissa for always capturing our best moments.

one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot
one balanced mama family christmas shoot