January 6, 2020

Schaefer Family Adventures | December 2019

Gosh, this year has been amazing! I’ve been blogging consistently each month for a whole year now, sharing our family’s adventures, both big and small, with you! It’s been an amazing year. I started out 2019 with a 3 day old and a 2 year old and now I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old!!! I plan on continuing to blog each month, especially since I kept me accountable with editing our family photos. I now have an entire year’s worth of photos edited and ready to be made into a family yearbook!

So what did we do in December? More like what didn’t we do….we were all over the country!

We started our December in Richmond, VA. This past year I took part in the Katelyn James Business Journey. Each month we had content on a different aspect of running photography business. I have learned SO much in this past year and have grown so much both as a photographer and a business owner. The last class was in person with Katelyn in Richmond, VA. We drove down after Thanksgiving and stopped at Gettysburg, PA on the way. The day before the class I took part in a large scale styled shoot in Charlottesville, VA at the beautiful Mount Ida Farm. It was an incredible day with 3 styled weddings with completely different looks. One was a very earthy, zero waste wedding, one was a classy 1950’s wedding and and the last one was a stunning country themed wedding. I loved interacting with close to 100 other photographers and learning from each other as we shot these gorgeous styled weddings. The follow day started by meeting up with my friend, fellow photographer and classmate Mary Kate Anthony and she took some photos of our family at the Virginia State Capitol Building! It was a chilly December morning but I am so thankful that we did it! The images turned out amazing. After we warmed up in our hotel it was time for the class. The live event with Katelyn was nothing short of amazing. If you don’t follow her on Instagram, you definitely should, even if you aren’t a photographer. She’s so inspirational and her story is so powerful! At the end of the event we each got to meet and hug her. I got to thank her for everything she’s taught me, both as a photographer but also as a wife and mother. It was an unforgettable day!!! I was on cloud 9 as we drove back home from Virginia and I am so excited to continue to grow and implement everything I’ve learned into my business. And on that note we actually have some exciting things in the works for our business. We are working with some incredibly talented people and I can not wait to share more with you soon!! So stay tuned!!

After we got back from Virginia, it was time to find a Christmas tree! When we got married, Matthew and I decided to buy an artificial tree since that’s what we both had for most of our childhood. It’s a very pretty and nice looking artificial tree and we have used it each year up until now. But this year we decided to take the kids to a tree farm and cut down one! It was such a fun experience and I think we are sold on the whole real Christmas tree. The smell is amazing and it’s actually not as messy as I anticipated. I do need to remember to water it though….I’m not the greatest at keeping plants alive.

A week later Matthew went to New Mexico for a few days to do some prep for our mission trip coming up in March. Just a few hours after he got back from New Mexico we turned around and headed to Florida. We got some crazy cheap flights to Orlando (we’re talking $15 round trip including taxes….thank you Frontier Airlines!) so we decided to do very very quick trip to Disney. We were there for one whole day and it was a blast!! We got up super early and got to Hollywood Studios to get in line to get our boarding pass for the new Star Wars ride, Rise of the Resistance. It was totally worth getting to the park super early, the ride is incredible!! We had lunch at the Magic Kingdom with Winnie the Pooh and friends (John was thrilled……Grace was terrified, poor baby!). We even got to see two of my cousins and their children which was awesome! It was a great mini trip! We arrived home for Florida just long enough to do a load of laundry and pack for our next trip: Minnesota. It was an last minute trip to the wintry northern state where Matthew’s family lives but it was worth it! It was so fun watching John and Grace play with their two cousins.

We arrived home finally, the day before Christmas Eve, exhausted from our travels. But I quickly went into Christmas mode and set to cooking, baking and wrapping. Christmas this year was so special. John is finally to the age of understanding that it’s Jesus’ birthday and It was Grace’s first Christmas! There was so much excitement and anticipation! We decorated a gingerbread house, baked and decorated cookies and watched Christmas movies.

Right after Christmas, my family came into town to celebrate Grace’s first birthday! My little baby is 1 year old. I keep looking through all the pictures and videos I took this past year, seeing all that we have done and all the places we’ve gone and I still don’t know how it all went by so quickly and she is a whole year old. That saying is so true: the days are long but the years are short. She’s grown so much in this one year going from a newborn to a walking almost toddler. She is incredibly bright and intuitive. I’m blown away and humbled watching her learn and grown. She’s a unique little one and I’m so thankful that I get to be her mommy.

Well there you have it, one year of our adventures as a family. You can find all the Schaefer Family Adventures posts HERE. I can’t wait to start this all over again in January. Until then, enjoy our December photos!

First year of having a live tree for Christmas!

I love how she looks at him!!

Our day at Disney!!

A favorite Christmas tradition….Gingerbread house decorating!

December 27th: The Feast of St. John the Apostle, the Evangelist, the Beloved.

And just like that….my little girl is one year old!

Puzzles with Papa!

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