Jade + Jamie | Monroe, Ga. Maternity Session

OH MY GOODNESS! These two (now THREE) are just too adorable!! I love them and their personalities and I'm just so excited for them in this new season of life!! I have worked with Jade and Jamie on their engagement session, wedding, maternity and next up NEWBORN session! I love it when it goes full circle! It's one of the most amazing parts of my job - I get to document some of life's greatest moments and experience them with some of the most amazing people on this earth! Plus, the relationships that grow from photographs means the world to me!

And can we talk about Jade's laugh and how gorgeous and infectious it is?! And how sweetly her hubby, Jamie, looks at her?! LOVE! You guys this is what love looks like!!!

Jade, OMG! Girl you are just a stunning momma-to-be! I can't wait to meet your doll Emberlyn Rae!!

 
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P.S. You know when you ask your clients to meet you in an abandoned neighborhood that sits way off the road, THEY TRUST YOU!!! And for that I'm so thankful!!

Ten Tips for Transformation Tuesday!!

If you follow along with me on Instagram Stories you have seen my workout vids and hopefully you have seen PROGRESS too!!! While I was pregnant with Rocco I decided the year I turned 35 was going to be the year I got in the best shape of my life!! I changed my lifestyle with little changes here and there and they have added up to BIG RESULTS!! I want to share just a few things that I changed to add up to 44 pounds DOWN!

#1. Drink plenty of WATER! I work really hard to stay hydrated. I fill up my big 32 ounce Feti (faux Yeti!) cup and make it my goal to down four of those a day! I even set a timer in my phone to go off every hour reminding me to DRINK WATER! I know - totally dork - BUT it works!!

#2. I start my day with one cup of warm water and a freshly squeezed lemon. The health benefits are tremendous for just how simple this little cup is! Google it!

#3. I stopped eating anything that contained gluten! This started when my husband found out he had a gluten intolerance. It wasn’t as hard as I thought!!! If you want more info about gluten intolerance go visit celiac.org SOOO much info and if you have a food in question you can search that food on their website and it will list gluten containing ingredients!

#4. Shortly after my husband found out he had a gluten intolerance I did a juice cleanse. After completing the cleanse and totally detoxing I found out I have a DAIRY intolerance! Ugh, I was kinda disappointed because, well, PIZZA!! But there again, once I decided to stop eating dairy my body felt INCREDIBLE!! I know this isn’t for everyone! I do highly recommend giving it a try for just a week. . .or heck, what about three days?! Small goals people!!

#5. FRESH EVERYTHING! At least that is always my goal!!! Fresh veggies, fruits and meats instead of precessed, packaged foods!

#6. Workout at least three times a week! It was SO hard getting started but once I got back into this amazing routine my mind, body and soul became at ONE! I felt rejuvenated and alive again!!! Moving my body, stretching it and breathing fully all became a drug (A HEALTHY ONE!!).

#7. ACCOUNTABILITY! I realized pretty quickly that I needed an accountability partner for each of my goals! I have a friend that wakes up with my at 5:30am every morning. We text each other as soon as we wake up with “Good Morning” cheers about how awesome the day will be. I have my trainer that holds me accountable at the gym and my husband holds me accountable for cooking healthy meals before the sun sets! I have a cookbook to create and he makes sure things are in place and helps set the table for photos!

#8. MEAL PLAN! I plan out my meals for the week and then create a grocery list at the same time! Time saver! Killing two birds with one stone!!! Just being amazingly productive!!!
P.S. I will be giving away SEVEN dinner recipes AND a grocery list from my cookbook very soon!!! All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter and BAM! - seven nights you don't have to think about what's for dinner!!! ;)

Here is the sign up for those FREEBIES!! 
ttps://mailchi.mp/bb4ca530cbf6/hollylrobbins

#9. Gratitude Journal! I had to change my thought process! My depression took over my thoughts and everything I wanted to do in life! Simple things like going to the grocery store turned into something I couldn’t do without feeling an anxiety attack in my chest! I start my day or end my night with writing out ALL the positives that happened that day NOT focusing on anything negative. In the beginning I had to DIG DEEP because I was turning everything into a negative! Now it’s much easier to see ALL the good in life!

#10. I stopped weighing myself! Instead of weighing in I started paying attention to the way my clothes fit. When you start working out you start gaining muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. In a lot of cases you start gaining weight! This can be extremely heart breaking when you are giving it your all at the gym and it’s NOT showing up on the scale. Don’t let that get to you!!! You didn’t gain 50 lbs overnight so losing 50 lbs AIN’T gonna happen overnight either!! 

I took these photos on March 12, 2018. I weighed 163lbs.

This morning, July 17, 2018, I woke up feeling lean, healthy and full of energy! Which is a HUGE difference from how I felt just four months ago! I now weigh 152 lbs.

Be patient with yourself, give yourself grace and focus on the small changes you want to make in your life! You can do it!!

 
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KENTUCKY

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It’s been a tough year of loss for Trey and I. We lost his Pawpaw unexpectedly and then that same week Trey’s very good friend “Uncle” Bill passed away unexpectedly as well. That was so rough. Shorty after Trey’s uncle went to heaven too. And now here we are, this week we received the phone call that Trey’s Mawmaw had made her way to heaven. Friday at 7:45am we made the 11.5 hour journey to be with our family in Kentucky. It wasn’t an easy trip but it was one we didn’t want to regret not taking! 

Trey hasn’t seen this side of his family for about two decades and I had not met the majority of them. It was so wonderful being surrounded by such welcoming and kind people! Trey’s cousin Rickie and his wife Kathy (who we had not ever met before) opened their home up to us and fed us so well. 

Although the loss of our friends and family have been so hard to accept there’s always a takeaway from each service we attend. For one, what a blessing to know that these beautiful souls are now with our savior and no long experiencing the pain that took them! That is very comforting! 

At little Mawmaw’s service, this verse stood out to me, 

Work willingly at whatever you do. As though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
— Colossians 3:23
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Ms. Betty loved to cook. They had ten children in their home and her husband was a farmer so they always had farm hands in their home too. She cooked for them ALL! Not because she felt like she had to but because she wanted to serve!

When Trey was a young boy he remembers spending two weeks in Kentucky with his grandparents. Ms. Betty had made everyone a huge breakfast with sausage. She noticed Trey didn’t like sausage so she offered to make him a hamburger patty instead! After ALL that cooking she went above and beyond to cook one more thing. During that week, Trey rode on the back of his grandfather’s tractor and put seedlings in a shoot while they planted a field. My husband planted a crop in Kentucky! That’s so cool!!! 

Orville, my father-in-law, farmed with his dad every day before school and as soon as he came home from school! He would milk their cows and help tend to the tobacco crops. Below is the home he grew up in. A tornado hit the farm not too long ago and the current homeowner is still working on putting it all back together.

My mother-in-law, Taryn, was the daughter of a preacher. Her dad, Jerry who passed away this year too, built a church in their town and that’s what brought her to Carrollton, Kentucky. Her and Orville met in high school, fell in love and moved to Georgia where her dad had started another church.

Above is the home Taryn and her family lived in for about five years before moving to Georgia.

Ms. Betty worked as a waitress at a local restaurant and also worked at the General Butler State Park. We drove through the park on our way to her house and then made our way to the Ohio River for a gorgeous sunset.

We stayed in Ghent, Kentucky with Trey's second cousin little Rickie and his wife Mrs. Kathy. They live on family land that Rickie's dad owned and left to him and his sister, Lisa. We woke up to the most gorgeous views of rolling hills! Just over that last hill is Indiana!

While it was ONE HECK of a drive, 20 plus hours and we spent less than 24 hours there in Kentucky, it was much needed time with family! We drove with Chastin, Trey's sister. and I'm so thankful for our conversations, laughter and tears we shared! That would have never happened if it weren't for little Mawmaw bringing us all together!

Ms. Betty wrote the sweetest poem while sitting in the hospital with her dying husband. It was engraved on their headstone.

A night without rest and so long is the day watching your loved one slip slowly away. At times catch a smile while his eyes show pain. Listening so quietly as he calls out your name. It’s okay to be sad and it’s okay to cry for the time has come to say good-bye. You have to let go knowing you’ve done your best and let our Lord Jesus do the rest. With outstretched arms He’s waiting for you’re loved one from the past leaving you with precious memories that will forever last. So let not your heart be heavy as he watches from above as you say your last farewell.
— Your loving wife Betty
 
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Rocco's First Birthday Party!! | Social Circle, Ga.

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I can't imagine yesterday being any more perfect!! Trey and I have been working our tails off getting the pool area ready for Rocco's first birthday celebration!!! It was pretty much overwhelming looking out and seeing this place filled with so many loved ones!!! The laughter and squeals of excitement from the kiddos made my heart burst with happiness!! The memories made with each of you as we celebrated our sweet boy, Rocco Koi, will forever be remembered! OH, and my Aunt Nikki (who lives in Kentucky) stopped by that morning for an hour or so and it was AMAZING to get to see her and introduce her to Rocco!!!

What a way to open the Robbins' Pool!!! 

Rocco had so much fun as I carried him from person to person letting them love on him! He would get a little shy and lower his head towards me. . .it was SO dang cute!! He warmed up though and had a blast! He loved playing in the pool with my brother's girlfriend, Kristi! They hung out on the sun ledge with the shade of the umbrella. Kristi's daughter Karli enjoyed feeding Rocco his bottle while relaxing in the swinging chair.

He loved holding everyone's hands!

While we sang happy birthday, he stared off and then got a little shy!! Once he started eating his cake and realized everyone was watching him, he got to giggling!! He's gonna be such a HAM!! He had so much fun that he completely skipped one of his naps!! And he is ALL about his naps! He just couldn't get enough of everyone!

My sister-in-law, Chastin, made Rocco's cupcakes - they were so dang good!!! You should go follow her on IG!! And my friend from high school Jamie Gooden ROCKED out the cookies!! Follow her here! My good friend, Arlissa Jones, grabbed my camera (several times during the day!) and took all the photos during his cake smash and the ones of just he and I - THANK YOU so much for doing that!

For the decor, I wanted to keep is simple! I went with green and white for the colors and found a cute greenery at Hobby Lobby that I just bought a bunch of and used it all over the place. I created the wreaths out of fabric circles and attached the greenery with craft wire. I have a list of vendors below for you in case you see something you liked!! I think I got them all. If you have any questions about any of the decor or food - ask away! ;)

Party Supplies + Food
Cupcakes, Sweet Treats Cupcakery, Chastin Padgett, Social Circle, Ga.
Cookies, Good-N-Sweet Treats, Jamie Gooden, McDounugh, Ga.
Greenery + Cake Stand, Hobby Lobby
Wooden Boxes, antiques I've collected over the years from family + antique shops
I served: white chocolate covered strawberries, fruit + veggie platters, Little Smokies (grape jelly and tangy BBQ sauce mixed in a crock pot), Chex mix + pretzels
My Swimsuit, TJMaxx
My Shorts, American Eagle (they used to be pants! lol)
My Sunglasses, Vera Wang
Rocco's Outfit, Target
Olivia's Swimsuit, Lolly Pops Boutique, Monroe, Ga.
RyAnne Swimsuit, Target

Thank y'all so much for joining us! We love you!!

 
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Rocco's ONE | Cake Smash Session

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My sweet heart! I'm not even going to pretend like this was an easy session!!!! Goodness!!! He's EVERYWHERE and into EVERYTHING!! But he's so dang cute!!!

Thankfully my friend, Arlissa who is also a photographer, was here to help me out, keep him from crawling too far off the back drop and keep him from falling out of the chair! haha! 

As you may have already read in my last blog post, I shared Rocco's birth story! You can read that here. WHAT an incredible day that was! God blessed me with the strength to make it through his birth without pain medication!! Such an answered prayer!!

This boy has really taught me so much this year! He's most certainly been the BIGGEST challenge of my ENTIRE LIFE!! He's so different from his sisters. His personality isn't like theirs and that has always worried me and kept me from feeling like I have a bond with him. The past several months have gotten much easier. My PPD isn't taking over my every thought any more - HUGE praise for that!! He is on a really good sleeping and eating schedule and we have really learned what makes him happy AND what doesn't! lol

He amazes me by how much he can eat! Is it just a boy thing or what??? My girls were NEVER as hungry as he is! EVER! He has taken many steps, crawls faster than I can walk, LOVES his sisters beyond measure and completely lights up when they talk to him or love on him, loves to eat, shy smiles when strangers talk to him, waves at our goats, says "bye bye", "Momma", "Dada", can sign for "more", he has FIVE teeth (four on top and three on bottom), loves avocados, and when he smiles, no matter how crazy he has been that day, it melts my heart EVERY. TIME!

Happy birthday week Rocco Koi! We love you so much!

 
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