little old man baby

As you know, my precious little baby turned one.  Life with a one year old is crazy!  Ok, maybe it’s not that much different, but things have felt a bit busier over here this week.  Instead of blogging last night, I took the hour to straighten up some things around my home.  Fold the laundry, wipe the counters, change the sheets.  And there’s still more.  There’s always more. Eh, I’d rather have a lived-in and loved house than a super tidy one; isn’t that how the saying goes?  Or something.

So today I’m keeping it light on the blog and sharing five sweet photos from my sister, the photographer.  The first is one of my favorites and was taken on his first birthday:

1year black and white

Little old man baby.

Yes, we’ll need this same picture in eighty years in the same outfit.  Moccasins.  Trousers.  Button-up.  Newsboy hat.  On a bench.  Black and white.  Yes, please.

The next photo was also taken on Baby William’s first birthday and was taken sans clothes, diaper (and cover) only in the fresh spring air, birthday excitement radiating out of him.  Fists clinched, huge smile, ready to celebrate his day!

1 year old cute

That smile.  Those cheeks.  Those teeth.  Those eyes.  That belly.  That baby!

We have no plans to cease calling him Baby William.

When we were in the studio, Jacob and Audrey came along to entertain the little one.  Stephanie captured them gazing out her big windows into the big, open world.

jacob audrey back

Audrey, as always, is right next to Baby William and has taken him under her wing (quite literally).  She may not be able to hold him as easily as she once did, but that doesn’t keep her any further away.  She’s always right.there. and nobody would have it any other way.

linking up with clare at fitting it all in for five things friday with these five photos!

Jacob was probably explaining the wonders of the world while Audrey was probably saying, “You like that, Baby William?  You like that?  He likes it!  He said, ‘Yeah!'”

audrey jacob back

The love between these cousins is amazing.

While Stephanie was trying to capture a picture of me and William, William kept burrowing his face in me.  Not that I minded one bit.  He loves his momma.

1year love

And his momma loves him.


little moments

So those adorable little moments I promised you that Stephanie Cotta Photography (aka my sister) captured during her day with baby William? Here they are:

We’ll start with one repeat, just because itz too precious not to use again:

jacob aud william

Jacob had to leave for kindergarten, but not before he got in some baby William time:


Then it was Audrey’s turn.  She had lots to tell him:


Always the gentlest kisses for baby William:


Watching his every move:


And always looking out for him:


Fixing his clothes, giving him his binky, whatever he needs.

Carefully inspecting him:


William’s GAP onesie is Jacob’s from when he was a baby and those slightly-still-too-big paw print pants are from his Aunt Stephanie during a Chicago trip.  He’s loved.

My all time favorite shot of the day…

audrey william cute

The love and happiness makes my heart so full.

Linking up with Healthy Diva for Marvelous in my Monday today!

Are you good at capturing little moments? What’s one you’d share today?

when a photographer watches your baby…

Earlier this week, William spent the day with his Aunt Stephanie when I went to work.  As an elementary school teacher, I’m constantly thinking about, referring to, and reading children’s books.  You’re all familiar with the famous If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, right?  Well, today’s post is titled, “When a photographer watches your baby…”

this happens:

Literally twenty minutes after I dropped him off at her house, I received this picture:

william 5months

Impromptu mini photo session!  Yes, having the best photographer ever as your sister is the best thing ever.  Not to mention, she’s an incredible momma, as well!  (And aunt, and sister, and friend, and I could go on and on and on and on.)

All pictures in today’s post are from Stephanie. Many came from either her Instagram (@SCPstudio) or her Facebook page, so I’m using her captions because, in addition to being a phenomenal photographer, she’s also excellent with her words!

Anyway, soon after, this gem came:

jacob aud william

Cousin love.  Do you see how Audrey is clutching William’s arm for dear life?  She always has to be touching him.  And Jacob is just playing it cool, as usual.  He’s got five years of posing under his belt; he knows what to do when the camera comes out.  All they’re missing is their other cousin Jackson!

Their day began as they took Jacob to school (KINDERGARTEN, yikes, when did that happen?!).  Stephanie’s caption, “They love him and want to keep him.”

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Check out William’s chins!

In the morning, I gave Stephanie a quick lesson on babywearing.  Like everything else she does, she mastered it in no time!

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Steph’s caption, “Baby wearing… a pretty cute accessory today.”

Soon it was time for Audrey’s gymnastics class which I can only imagine to be the cutest thing ever.  Steph’s caption, “Baby William watching Audrey on the bars.  She glanced over her shoulder only every two minutes to make sure he was still watching her preform.”

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Jacob was jealous that William got to watch Audrey do gymnastics and he didn’t.  Audrey said we could all come watch her a different time.  “And baby William!” she kept saying over and over.

Steph’s caption, “Can we go wake baby William up now?  Now?  When can we wake baby William up?”

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Steph’s caption, “You may be sick of the Audrey and baby William love fest, but here’s one more… She literally is the most gentle person with him.  She rubs his back if he fusses, asking him, ‘You okay, baby William?’, reads him stories, pets his cheeks, and kisses his hands. #truebabylove”

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Eventually it was time to pick up Jacob from school, so Steph took all three tots to the park for some play time before I came back.

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Do you think they had a good day together?  I think so.

And lastly, my two favorite pictures from the day.

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Steph’s caption, The only person who might have loved being with William all day more than me was this girl… she was sad to see him have go home and didn’t want to leave his side all. day. long.”

audrey holding william

Steph’s caption, When she is older and I tell her stories about how much she loved and cared for her littlest cousin ‘baby William’ (as we all call him now) when she was only two years old, I will show her this photograph.”

And right when I finished writing this post, Stephanie texted me saying, “Check e-mail.”  I found seven more pictures of the kiddies from the day that are even cuter than the above, if that’s even possible.  But you’ll have to stay tuned next week for those!

Have a fabulous weekend, friends! xo

newborn baby photos

I know what you’re thinking.  More newborn baby photos of William?  How is that possible?  Well, when your sister is Stephanie Cotta Photography and demands multiple photo sessions per week, you just don’t say no.  Because otherwise you wouldn’t get phenomenal pictures like this:

william newborn

As if William’s air of peacefulness photo wasn’t enough, Stephanie took the outdoor newborn photo shoot to a whole other level.  Stephanie has such a creative eye and her expertise is uncanny.  (The photo is a composite for you photogs who are wondering – newborn safety always comes first!)

The serenity that the photo captures matches William’s personality.  He’s such a calm, truly good baby.  Sure, of course he cries here and there, but in general he’s very relaxed and happy.  I can’t wait to see how his personality continues to develop.


This was a studio newborn shot.  Stephanie is known as the “baby whisperer” and if you ever have the opportunity to watch her do a newborn photo shoot or take one of her workshops, you’ll know exactly what I mean.  She’s able to put babies in the most adorable poses ever during their sleepiest state.


And itz a bonus when she’s your sister and constantly offers to change diapers and gives baths… even if itz just an excuse to take off his clothes, pose the baby, and snap a few more photos.  I’m not one to complain!

william linz

I love my baby William.  And I know I’m biased… but isn’t he just the cutest?!

air of peacefulness

Babies eat, sleep, cry, and poop.  All day.  All night.  Sometimes one more than the other, but if one’s out of whack, itz most likely throwing off another.  Take the other night, for example.  Baby boy had to poop.  This made him fussy (aka cry. A LOT).  Long story short, he didn’t go to sleep for more than five minutes until 3:45 in the morning.  By now, three weeks in, I’m used to not getting a lot of sleep.  Not getting any sleep until almost four was hard.  But then I look at his adorable face and his adorable body and hear his adorable sounds and smell is adorable baby scent and I know itz all worth it.

And I have a precious picture to prove it.

william newborn

photo by Stephanie Cotta Photography – creative genius!

William is an air of peacefulness.  And so worth every sleepless night.

Happy weekend, friends. 🙂 Sleep well!

William’s Newborn Pictures

All of William’s newborn pictures shared in today’s post are taken by Stephanie Cotta Photography – award winning newborn photographer in St. Louis.

With my sister who is a newborn photographer, you’d better believe we’ve had more than one newborn photo shoot during William’s first two weeks of life.  In fact, every time she sees William we can pretty much consider it a session.  We’re very lucky.  The first time we went to her studio, William was not cooperative.  You see, Stephanie shoots newborns within the first ten days of their birth because that’s when they’re the sleepiest.  Not our little guy.  He was wide awake!

william awake

But he’s just too cute, even wide awake, so no one was mad.  How could we be with that face?!

So the first official newborn session didn’t quite turn out as we’d hoped.  However, we went to my parents’ for family dinner on Sunday evening, and of course Stephanie had brought several of her props with her.  She captured some awesome pictures outdoors!

william newborn

He’s just as snuggly in real life as he is in that basket.  He loves to snuggle!

Here’s another glimpse of baby bird William as I’d shown you earlier in the week:

william baby bird

Thanks to Dad for cutting down several branches of the bradford pear trees!

William was soaking up the sunshine on this warm day:

william newborn2

Now if only he’d sleep like that all throughout the night!

Little baby in a little buggy is just the cutest thing ever:

william newborn1


And during our second studio session, Stephanie turned William into an adorable fox:

william fox

What does the fox say?

Life With A Newborn

Wow, has life changed!  Life with a newborn is totally and completely busy all.the.time.  I wouldn’t change a darn thing though.  Jonny and I are both already so in love with baby William, we can’t seem to get enough of him.  I’m going to do my best to get back to blogging on a somewhat consistent basis, but I know you’ll understand if I miss a day or two.  (Sorry for messing up your morning routine, Dad, and Hi Poppy! I’m back! hehe)

All photos in today’s post are taken by Stephanie Cotta Photography.  She just takes too good of pictures not to share.  Eventually my posts will be filled with my own more amateur photos once Stephanie stops taking ridiculously adorable pictures of William.  But seeing as she demands to see him everyday and always has her camera… it may be awhile.  And we’re ok with that. For now, follow me on Instagram to see some of my own candid shots.

william sleep

Sleep.  What is that?  People weren’t joking when they said sleep when you can because you won’t get much of it when lil man arrives.  I knew sleep would be limited, but I figured I’d still get several two to three hour chunks of sleep at a time.  Ha!  William may be getting between two and four hours of sleep at a time, but not momma!  I’m nursing, but having to pump my breast milk, as well (more on this in a coming future post), so it definitely makes everything take longer.  I’m slowly figuring out how to manage middle of the night feedings.

One night I tried changing William’s diaper before feeding him since he always wakes up during diaper changes and falls asleep while eating.  As you can imagine, that just meant I had to change his diaper twice each time he was up since every time he eats, he goes.  I’m sure once I really get the hang of him waking, feeding, pooping, burping, and me pumping, he’ll totally change again and I’ll have to figure it out all over again.  Bring it on, baby!

yawn hospital

Stephanie obviously took this photo in the hospital.  I was mimicking his yawn because William’s yawns are the cutest things ever.  Like everything else about him.  The little sleep I did get in the hospital was deceiving since I had him stay in the nursery both nights and the nurses brought him to me when it was time to nurse.  They sure made it easy!  William sleeps in a bassinet right next to our bed, so I had planned on just picking him up and nursing him in bed and the keeping diaper changing supplies right there, too. But since I have to pump anyway, we get out of bed and walk next door to William’s nursery.

And actually I was even more spoiled coming home from the hospital because the first night I felt pretty frantic around eleven at night and called my mom to ask if she would sleep over. She was over in an instant and helped me through our first night. (My mom is AMAZING!) Then my sister came over the second night. They did all the diaper changes and brought the bassinet into the spare bedroom with them so I could get some sleep.  It was much appreciated because being exhausted is a bit of an understatement and two hours of uninterrupted sleep is magical.  The last several nights we’ve been on our own, and like I said before, we’re still figuring it out, but itz all good!

jacob audrey william

My niece and nephew Jacob and Audrey are so in love with baby William.  They can’t seem to get enough of him and want to hold him all the time.  Not pictured is my other nephew Jackson who is also in love with William.  He even offered to change his poopy diaper and told my mom and me, “I’m six! I could do it; I really can!  I can just plug my nose!”  Haha, such a helper!

Life with a newborn is hectic, but I love every minute of it.  Itz marvelous, indeed, which is precisely why I’m linking up to Healthy Diva’s Marvelous in my Monday today!

Oh, and napping with a newborn? They say to sleep when he sleeps.  Let’s just say I’m still majorly working on that.  At night, itz no problem.  During the day though, I feel like I have so much to do!  I know my primary job right now is take care of William, and I just need to remind myself of that. We’ve been very fortunate to have tons of people bring us food, so that has not been a worry at all. Jonny has taken over the laundry department which has helped, as well.  I do need to get better at napping when he naps though.

Baby hair. So soft. Perfect coloring. Lots of it. Mmm.


Every part of William is perfect.  In the evening Jonny and I sit together with William and just stare at him.  We take turns commenting on how cute and perfect every inch of him is.  And baby noises?  Oh my goodness, his little moans and groans are too adorable!


Like all newborns, William sleeps more than he’s awake, but when he’s awake we talk, laugh, sing, read, and hang out.  We listen to music and sing along.  We talk about our day and who we saw.  We talk about all our family and friends who love William.  I can’t say it enough: we love him.  We love every little thing about him.  He’s perfect.

Mommas: What was the hardest part about adjusting to life with a newborn?

Urban Maternity Photo Shoot

Why am I posting an Urban Maternity Photo Shoot when William Jack was born last week? Well, coincidentally, when I gave you the sneak peek on Thursday, that happened to be the last post before Baby Itz arrived! I have a few more photos I’d like to show you, so that’s precisely what I’m going to do today.

Now let me give you some background on these pictures because they are probably the most different maternity photos you’ve ever seen. My sister Stephanie Cotta Photography wanted to do something incredibly unique. So she gave me a maternity gown, put a flower halo in my hair, and we drove to the Delmar Loop area in St. Louis.

urban maternity

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”

Dealing with infertility was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do.  But you know what? None of it matters now that William is here.  The heartache, pain, frustration, and tears are not forgotten; instead, they are so very worth it.

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Itz funny that these pictures were taken the Sunday before William was born on Thursday. We were thinking we still had a few weeks left with that little baby in my belly.  We couldn’t be happier though that he’s here now!

city maternity photoshoot

Stopping traffic. This was the photo taken in my sneak peek. Lots of you asked if it was photoshopped. NO! You see what I’m wearing. I literally pressed the cross walk button and waited for my turn to walk while Stephanie was squatting on the other side snapping away.

Was I self-conscious during these photos?  Surprisingly no.  The gown was really long, so when we were walking from location to location, I bunched it up and covered myself. Several people asked if it was my wedding day.  We laughed when my belly bump came out. Yes, people stared. People gawked. People made comments. People wanted to know what in the world we were up to. But it was all positive, I kid you not. People thought it was awesome. And that’s exactly how I felt.

Also, I’ve always trusted Stephanie. When she has a vision, itz best to go with it because of her creative eye and photography talent. When discussing this photo with others, some people called it fierce while some thought it looked out of place. We’re glad people think itz different.  Every woman is different. Every woman’s experience is different. Itz who we are and itz important to be proud of that – no matter what. That’s how I felt walking through the Loop with my belly bump and barely there gown.  I was growing a tiny human being inside of me, and regardless of what I looked like, I was darn proud of how far I’d come.

urban maternity2

Major thanks to Stephanie for these photos and for all of you for your constant support.

much love.

stopping traffic

My mom came to our house for over four hours last night helping me tackle some of the tasks on my baby to-do list.  We got a lot done, but ended late, so I don’t have a lot of time to blog because this pregnant momma needs her sleep! Instead of a full post, I’m giving you just a sneak peek of an epic maternity photo shoot that happened over the weekend in the Delmar Loop in St. Louis.

stopping traffic

city maternity photoshoot

photo by Stephanie Cotta Photography

Stay tuned. More to come.

What would you caption this photo?

Studio Maternity Photoshoot | St. Louis Maternity Photographer

Last weekend I was fortunate to spend some time with Stephanie Cotta Photography, St. Louis Maternity Photographer, for my studio maternity photoshoot.  She’s the best of the best and her pictures of precious newborns and gorgeous belly bumps speaks volumes of work. Here’s my all time favorite of the photos she took of me:

studio maternity pregnant itzlinz

LOVE.  If itz possible to feel sexy and pretty while being nine months pregnant, Stephanie sure helps in making that happen.


If you’re anywhere in or near the St. Louis area, hiring Stephanie Cotta Photography is a must. Aspiring photographers should get in contact with her, as well. She hosts newborn mentoring workshops nationwide and sells her newborn posing guide and e-workshop of Mastering the Art of Newborn Photography all across the world.

black white studio maternity pregnant

Have I mentioned that she’s my sister and I’m the luckiest pregnant lady around?

studio maternity pregnant

Stephanie is crazy busy, but always, always, always makes time for me and gives so much of herself – not just to me, but to her family, her clients, her friends, everyone.  Thank you, Stephanie, for being the best sister (and photographer!) ever! Itz because of you that my pregnancy is so beautifully documented, and I’ll have these images to cherish forever.

Itz hard to believe that the next time I’ll be in this pose, I will be cuddling my new baby boy!

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Have a lovely weekend, friends. xoxo

Be sure to like Stephanie Cotta Photography on Facebook – each and every picture will make you “oooh” and “awww” and will definitely bring a smile to your face! Guaranteed!