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Beijos Real Talk – Life With Three

When Edie made me a mama 4 and a half years ago, it was the most magical thing.  I couldn’t believe I hadn’t become a mom sooner, the feeling was overwhelmingly amazing.  When the time came to have another we were fortunate to give Edie a sister and call ourselves a complete family of four with Isla.  I wasn’t super sure I would ever have another little babe until we were surprised last December.  This past year being pregnant has been a little harder with an active one year old and at times it made me sad to think that Isla didn’t have equal one on one time with us like Edie did. Nevertheless, we were excited to become a family of five a little sooner than we had planned, especially since we found out we were having a boy!

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And then he was here!! Edie loves being a big sister to Isla and Henry.  I tell her she’s lucky to have both a sister and a brother!  Isla is a little obsessed with baby Henry, she just loves her new baby brother.  She  always wants to be next to him for kisses, although she can be little rough since she’s still a baby herself.  As I watch Edie and Isla grow they play together well for the most part.  Isla loves playing with Edie and all of her toys, while Edie is still learning how to share it all with her…haha.

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It’s been six weeks that we’ve had this little love join our family and we can’t imagine it without him.

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Damon and I are still working out the kinks with having 3 kiddos.  It’s all good except for the fact that Isla and Henry are only 14 months apart, so that is the biggest challenge.  It’s having 2 babies and giving them all they need requires us to get creative most of the time.  Edie is pretty easy at this stage, but she’s our sensitive one and we don’t want to hurt her little feelings.  Keeping up her special role as big sis and giving her our time is still really important to us.

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Morning and Bedtime are the most hectic.  Henry wakes up the earliest and then Isla.  Although sometimes they wake up at the same time and it’s a hectic juggling act.  I’m feeding Henry and Isla is crying in her crib waiting to be picked up, changed and fed, and my sensitive toddler Edie is crying because she doesn’t want to wear what mama picked out for her to wear to school.  Hopefully daddy is home to help, but when he’s not…haha, let’s just say the morning goes by really fast!  It goes from 6am to 12pm in the blink of an eye and all I have felt like I’ve done is change 10 diapers!!

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Since Edie is in preschool 4 days a week, and baby Henry is still in the lovely newborn stage of sleeping most of the day, our crazy little Isla wins for exhausting mommy and daddy.  She can’t help it, she’s 15 months and ALL over the place!!  An active little one that doesn’t like to be confined is hard to keep track of when you have multiples.  This is the danger age for her and she needs our constant attention.  Since we can both make our own schedules we figure out who will be taking care of who and at what time.  We have been out as a family of 5 one time, and it was pretty easy since it’s been to grammy’s house, but we haven’t done it alone just yet.  The thought of having all three of them out with just one parent seems too hard right now… and forever, haha!  We’ll eventually get it…It get’s easier right??

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It’s all about routines and managing them to make sure you stay on track is what has helped me stay sane. Like bedtime starts with Isla at 7:30pm and then there is a calmness in our house, haha.  Then we hang with Edie a little bit before we read her bedtime stories and she’s down for the count.  But we still have one more, but he doesn’t really count yet because he still wakes up every 3 to 4 hours!

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One thing I do know is that these little girls love their new baby brother and it’s the sweetest thing to watch.  I’m trying to stop time, because they grow up too fast and I’m soaking it all in. They will only all be this little once…

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Henry Grant Carriger, our Carriger family bookend.  Life with three is not a walk in the park and very stressful at times, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

All photos by Megan Welker

Xx Leah

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By on September 20, 2016 in BEIJINHOS, FAMILY, LIFESTYLE, REAL TALK, Uncategorized

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Beijos Maternity Session – The Kazas Family

Wow, what a year this has been so far!  I found out I was pregnant right before Christmas of 2015, so 2016 has been all about planning for baby #2, and he will be here in 10 short days!!  Well that’s if everything goes as planned, haha!  This pregnancy has been somewhat of a whirlwind; being pregnant with your second is so very different from being pregnant with your first.  You don’t have as much time as you did before to prepare or to really grasp everything that is happening and changing.  When I was pregnant with Court I would send my family a weekly photo of what fruit or vegetable the baby was along with a photo of my growing belly, no time for that this go around!  I was too busy chasing after a wild 2 year old!!  That’s why it was so important for us as a family to take the time for a maternity session with our favorite photographer friend, Megan Welker, and capture our family now before we turn into a family of four!!

meganwelker-kazas-132 Our maternity session is also featured on Inspired By This today!!

When deciding where to do our maternity session I wanted it to be a place that was obviously beautiful but also meaningful to our family… I was a little opposed to shooting at the beach because well, it’s been done, but it’s such an influential place for my family it just made sense.  We live about a half mile from the beach, and it may not be for long as we are looking to move to a bigger house soon, but we spend tons of time at the beach.  My husband and I love the beach.  We would always go when we were dating, then as newlyweds, soon after we were bringing our dog Dolly there consistently and now our son Court!  A week doesn’t go by where we aren’t down there enjoying each other and running wild in the sand.  So why not do our photos at the beach?!  Especially when the beach is as pretty as this one and we are lucky enough to have a friend like Megan Welker as a photographer to capture it all.

meganwelker-kazas-108 meganwelker-kazas-111 meganwelker-kazas-131 meganwelker-kazas-89 meganwelker-kazas-92 meganwelker-kazas-103 meganwelker-kazas-118 We decided to go to Crystal Cove State park which isn’t too far from us and offers both pretty landscape shots and the beach, best out of both worlds!  I’m a bit obsessed with cactus like everyone else right now, so we had fun posing in front of the prettiest prickly pear plant and then moved down to the ocean.  During most of the shots of me by myself Court was digging like crazy in the sand loving life!  It was the perfect little outing to play and celebrate our final days as a family of 3 in the anticipation of being 4 very soon.  I’ve gotten a bit sentimental lately thinking that our alone time with Court is coming to an end but I know it is just going to get better for us!  We can’t wait to welcome our next son Cruz John to the family.

meganwelker-kazas-11 meganwelker-kazas-13 meganwelker-kazas-68 meganwelker-kazas-38 meganwelker-kazas-45 meganwelker-kazas-84 And now a few love letters to my boys….

Dear Court,
You are amazing, being your mom has fulfilled me in ways I never knew!  You are bright and happy, determined and strong, outgoing and silly, and the most loving little person I know.  This year has shown me what a great person you will be and what an amazing big brother as well.  You are always the first to ask “You ok Mommy?” when you think something is wrong, you offer to kiss any “owie” anyone may have and you also love to see your brother (Mommy’s tummy) and have your hand on it every chance you get.  You love hard and are passionate, just like your Mom and Dad, and I’m so happy that is something you have taken from us.  I am so proud of how much you have grown and learned and I can’t wait to see what the world has in store for you and what you have in store for the world.  These next few months may be hard for you, and for me, but I know you will grow from being a big brother and it will make you into an even more amazing person than you are now.  I love you with all of my heart!

meganwelker-kazas-77 Dear Cruz,
I already love you so much, I can’t wait for you to be a part of our wild and crazy family… If you are as wild out here as you seem in my belly then I know you will fit right in!  You have a big family waiting for you to show you love and to support and cherish you.  Your big brother has so much to show you and teach you, along with your Daddy and your Mommy.  We are excited to meet you, even though I already feel like you are with us.  This world is big but we will always hold your hand and show you the way if you need us to, and we will always be there to shower you with kisses and love.  Thank you for giving me such an amazing gift and being such a trooper in this pregnancy, you have mommy’s heart forever!

meganwelker-kazas-37 Dear Nate,
Thank you for everything you do for our family and for being such an amazing role model for our two boys to follow.  This year you have worked so hard and so much to make sure you will be everything to our sons and more.  I am so lucky to have a husband as amazing as you and our sons are so lucky to have a father who shows them so much love, patience, compassion and belief.  Being a dad isn’t easy, especially when you have to spend time away for work, but know that nothing you do goes unappreciated or unnoticed and that we love you more than words.
meganwelker-kazas-125 meganwelker-kazas-138 Can’t wait to share photos of our new addition when he arrives!!  It’s been an amazing ride so far, can’t wait to see what two wild boys have in store for me!

xx

Jacquelyn

Style Sources:
Jacquelyn’s Dress – Auguste
Nate & Court’s Shirts – J Crew

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By on August 12, 2016 in FAMILY, LIFESTYLE, MATERNITY

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Beijos Maternity Session

We are so excited to welcome our son Henry Grant in 8 short days!!  Let me tell you… it’s been a busy time in the Carriger house.  We are still adjusting to adding our little firecracker Isla to our family, who just turned 14 months last week!  She is all over the place, exploring every corner possible.  We have known this time would come for months now, it’s gone by pretty fast and now it’s here!! We are anticipating crazy, but hey we are used to it…so we’ll see how it goes.

Last month we decided to meet our talented friend Megan Welker so she could document our little chaotic family for the last time before Henry comes at Thomas Riley Wilderness Park  in Coto de Caza.  This park is so beautiful.  I love the grass and the light over the hills.  Megan just captures it magically!!

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I love Isla’s expressions, she’s such a happy little one.  Edie has graduated from a threenager to a fournager and decides when she would like to smile, it’s not an automatic thing anymore..haha.

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Isla is such a silly little one, she’s definitely going to me the spunk in the fam, Edie is my serious, sensitive one in comparison.

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They love their daddy the spoiler…

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My favorite part about this park…this light!!!

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I love watching the relationship between these two grow everyday.  They already have their moments, but for the most part their love shines bright for each other. It’s the best thing to watch.

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This was about the time we need to wrap it up…Isla was being Cryla here, but you can’t tell because I was tickling her.

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We can’t wait to meet you baby boy…our Carriger family bookend.

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Xx Leah

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By on August 2, 2016 in BEIJINHOS, FAMILY, LIFESTYLE, MATERNITY

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Beijos Real Talk – The Struggle with Sleep

We do these “Beijos Real Talk” posts to get a little personal, so you can all get to know us a little better and find out what’s going on behind the scenes in our lives, but honestly they are some what therapeutic for us as well!

Today I’m talking about the struggle I’ve had with my wild man Court and his sleep…  Let’s just say he doesn’t, haha!  From the beginning when I was in the hospital with Court after he was born the nurses were amazed as to how he would get out of his swaddle, they called him Houdini because he couldn’t stay in that thing!  I should have known I was in for some trouble then…

meganwelker-beijosmay-72 We brought him home and being a new mom I wanted to do anything I could to make him happy!  I was nursing like crazy all the time, getting up through-out the night.  The boy liked to eat!!!  My husband and I had him co-sleep with us in a little soft bassinet in between the two of us at first, then we moved him to a bassinet right next to my side of the bed.  It was easier for me this way since I was getting up so much at night that I could just pick him up and feed him right there.

Fast forward a few months and I was getting advice from everyone, some I asked for and some not, if you are a mom you know exactly what I’m talking about… Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE has an opinion on what you should or should not be doing.  I was just trying to make it work for me and I know I am not perfect by any means, but I was doing my best.  People told me to have Court sleep in his crib for all of his naps, that way he would get used to sleeping there, but I found myself wanting to hold him for most of these naps, I mean they are only that little and cuddly for so long  I would do that or he would nap in the boppy or something similar that he was cozy in.  I was in survival mode!!!  I had to do what I could to get him to sleep and get some rest on my own.

meganwelker-beijosmay-75 Meanwhile, at night time… Court got very used to sleeping with Nate and I, he was co-sleeping, which to a lot of my mom friends was a bad move.  He would cry and cry if he was in his crib, we could have them there for a bit but then when he woke up he would immediately want to sleep with us.  I was getting up around 4-5 times a night, and he was already over a year!  We tried things like cry it out, well a modified tamer version, but to be honest we didn’t last long with it… Especially my husband who is a softy when it comes to things like that.  I got many different theories of why Court didn’t sleep, my favorite (and most convenient) was from my cousin who claimed that more intelligent babies didn’t sleep well because they were more aware of their surroundings and had too much to think about.  He said their minds just race with thoughts and it makes it hard for them to settle down.  I would love to think that is the reason, but who knows.  I do know that he has a TON of energy and is very wild, and that is one of the things I love about him the most, his spirit.  But some nights it did get to me, I just wanted one night’s sleep!!  But most of the time I didn’t really mind… We cuddled, he felt safe and loved, he was happy so I was happy.

meganwelker-beijosmay-80 As time passed, Court got better at sleeping through the night, he was still nursing but could sleep with just getting up maybe 1-2 times per night.  I stopped breastfeeding Court when he was 21 months (I know, a long time, that’s a whole other post, ha!) and that was another adjustment we had to make while still trying to get his sleep on track.  Around 18 months Court started climbing out of his crib, I know, just another thing to add to the madness!  What 18 month old does that?!  So we decided, maybe if we get him a transition bed he will feel better in his room and sleep better… No luck, haha!  He only wanted “mommy’s bed”… I was reaching my wits end then literally 2 days before he turned 2 years old he asked to sleep in his room… WHAT?!  It was the strangest thing, but we went with it and he has started the night in his room since.  I’m not going to say he stays there the entire night, most nights he comes into our room but he has slept through the night will be in his room and is ok with it!

meganwelker-beijosmay-76 At the time when Court wanted to sleep in his room I got really emotional, all this time I had wanted him to be in his bed and when he actually did it kind of broke mine and my husband’s hearts… That time we had with him was done, and although it felt never-ending while we were going through it, it was just a few short years and it won’t be like that with him again.  But we let him do this in his own time, which I’m really happy about.

What I’ve realized is that no one has the perfect path or way for these things, I had a lot of opinions thrown my way while we were going through this sleep journey and I felt judged quite a bit or that I needed to defend my choices/actions.  What I definitely know is that we are all just parents who are trying to do our best for our kids and make them feel loved, secure and happy, who knows if I made the right decisions along the way but I hope I at least succeeded in that.

xx

Jacquelyn

All photos by Megan Welker

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By on July 11, 2016 in BEIJINHOS, FAMILY, REAL TALK

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Beijos Real Talk – The Men Behind Beijos

We talk a lot about us on this blog, haha, but there are a few amazing guys who we love that play a big part in our lives that we are going to share with you today… Our husbands!!  With father’s day coming up we thought it was the perfect time to share all about the men behind Beijos, especially since all three are amazing daddy’s too!  So with out further ado, here they are in all their glory, our handsome, loving, and sometimes crazy husbands :)

Jacquelyn & Nate

meganwelker-beijos-118 From Jacquelyn…

What’s your love story? 

Nate and I were friends for years but always had significant others and never really thought of each other as anything more than acquaintances… Well at least I didn’t, haha!  4 years later we both found ourselves single for the first time and somewhat ready to mingle and Nate mentioned to a mutual friend that he wanted to take me out on a date, to which I responded “Ew!”, so mature, right?!  I guess I just didn’t see him that way, but the more I thought about it, and got encouragement from my sister and friends, I was a bit more into the idea.  Nate is a musician and was at the time in a karaoke/cover band, I was at his show and he told me the only way he would let me go up and sing was if I gave him my phone number… Well, I really like attention and wanted to be on stage so you know how that went, and the rest is history…

When is your anniversary and where did you tie the knot?

Nate and I got married on 9.22.12 at Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley, CA and will celebrate our 4 year anniversary this Fall.

meganwelker-beijos-121 Tell us a little bit about your husband and why he is so amazing…

Nate is one of the smartest and most talented people I know.  He is a talented musician, he got his masters in music and can play multiple instruments and many of them he taught himself.  He also loves sports and doing anything outdoors, he is an avid surfer and used to shape surfboards for Greg Noll, he still does it for close friends and himself…  His collection of surf boards takes over our garage, haha!  This guy can also fix basically anything around the house and probably cooks more dinners than me!  And now he’s taking on the medical field working for Stryker Orthopedic, I tell you, he’s a man of many hats.  He is the type of guy who is always up for adventure and fun, never shying from a challenge or trying something new.  To top it all off he is an amazing husband and father, he works so hard and would do anything to make Court and myself happy and proud, he leads by example, something I greatly admire of him.  Plus, he’s pretty damn cute… All in all I think he’s a keeper and we are pretty smitten!

From Nate…

What are 3 words that describe Jacquelyn?

Giving, Amazing, Loving

meganwelker-beijos-124 What’s your favorite memory with your wife?

Sitting on the front of a catamaran hanging out and enjoying each other’s company in Santorini.

What’s your favorite thing to do together?

Being on the beach together, going on trips whether it’s flying somewhere like Mexico or Europe or doing a long drive to Northern California, or cooking dinner together in the kitchen we always have fun as long as we are together.

Leah & Damon

meganwelker-beijos-3 From Leah…

What’s your love story?

Damon and I met in high school. We had chemistry together our Junior year. He definitely caught my attention as the funniest guy in class!! From this point on I think we both realized we had good chemistry together so we went to winter formal and remained pretty close until we started seriously dating in our mid 20’s.

When is your anniversary and where did you tie the knot?

Well we have two anniversaries that we celebrate. Haha. The day we actually got married at the courthouse in California, October 15, 2010 and the day we got married in Los Cabos, MX in front of our closest family and friends October 30, 2010. We usually pick a date or even a date in between every year to celebrate. It’s a little challenging with both our birthdays being in October too! Don’t know why we picked October with it being a crazy month for us, but it is our favorite month so it was a natural choice.

meganwelker-beijos-4 Tell us about your husband and why he’s so amazing…

Damon is such a guys guy but also so sweet, loving and a great family man. He loves his family so much, especially his little girls. They are his heart and they are definitely daddy’s girls to an extreme. He’s one of the most generous people I know, and he literally drops anything for his family or any close friend if they need help. He’s a pretty solid guy, so we’ll keep him. Haha

From Damon…

What are 3 words that describe Leah?

Thoughtful, Tenacious, Beautiful(not just her appearance, but her soul), Caring, I can do thousands of additional “words” to describe my Boo.

meganwelker-beijos-13 What’s your favorite memory with your wife?

I can’t narrow it down to one memory, all of our trips have been great… But, my favorite memory must include our daughters.  When we did the whole “Gender Reveal” cake cutting for our forthcoming Unicorn.  The experience encompassed so many emotions, but the fact that we were able to share the moment with our girls, made it even more memorable.

What’s your favorite thing to do together?

Our favorite thing to do together by far, is planning and then going on any, and all trips together.

Abby & Mike

yasminsarai_beijosevents_mike+abby-9 From Abby…

What’s your love story? 

Mike and I have actually known each other since we were wee little ones. Our grandparents were close friends, and we have known of each other growing up. We probably met a couple times while we were little, but no love spark at the ripe age of 6. Fast forward to high school… it was my 1st day of school. My grandmother called to wish me good luck, and to give me the pager number of Mike Guido. If I was to have any trouble with finding my class or issues with my locker, he will be there to help! Completely shy, laughed and said thanks grandma! Not going to be that dorky freshmen, Ill take the chance of being late to class. High school rolls by, we know of each other and hung out a couple times. Keep fast forwarding… hello college. We saw each other at parties and hung with the same friends. He asked me out on a date, and I made him work for it. A year later, we went on our 1st date and the rest is history.

When is your anniversary and where did you tie the knot?

We got married on October 16, 2010 in Santa Cruz, California at the Chaminade Hotel.

yasminsarai_beijosevents_mike+abby-2 Tell us about your husband and why he’s so amazing…

Well……. if you have ever met him you would know that it is hard to sum up in a couple sentences. He is the most kind hearted, social, and the best father ever.  Well… and pretty darn good looking if you ask me. He is beyond hands on with everything from the kids to making dinner, and get ready people…. laundry! Yes!! My husband has the nickname, “Mr. San Jose”. He knows everyone, and if he doesn’t know you… you will be his friend at the end of the night. I fall more in love with him everyday, and so beyond lucky I get to call him mine.

From Mike…

What are 3 words that describe Abby?

Creative. Beautiful. Independent (in no particular order)

yasminsarai_beijosevents_mike+abby-4 What’s your favorite memory with your wife?

My favorite memory is still the night when we first started getting romantic. You can word that however you need to but that is my favorite memory. That was the night we 1st ‘got to know each other’. We played quarters. I kissed her shoulder. We went back to our friend Mary’s and sat on the swing chair till the sun came up. I’ll never forget that night. It’s actually crazy thinking back to that night and looking at where we are at today.

What’s your favorite thing to do together?

My favorite thing to do together is actually just relaxing on the couch – bottle of wine – perhaps an antipasto or cheese platter – and a nice movie, just the 2 of us.

Hope you enjoyed learning about these dudes, and hope you all have a great Father’s Day weekend!!

xx

Jacquelyn

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By on June 16, 2016 in FAMILY, FATHER’S DAY, REAL TALK

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