Jane Grace One Year | Dallas Baby Photography

Whelp, Jane Grace turned one.  In February.  But then I had a baby in March.  So we did her one year photos in September, but goshdarnit we got them done before she turned two!  This girl.  I don’t even know what to say about her.  And her cheeks.  She’s a bucket of joy everywhere she goes, so laid back, so happy, SO SQUISHY.  Mmmm!  Here she is the third child who still gets her own photoshoot – Miss Jane Grace.

To refresh your memory, here she is at birth (was that only a year and a half ago?!), and eight months.  Jane Grace, we are so glad we’ve had you for a year and a half now.  You have brightened all of our lives with your cheeks, your smile and your joy.

Also to clarify, JG is not actually my child…

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Stories From Our Staycation

After Ransom was born, we hit the ground running this summer, and it has been busy!  This is the same for us every year as Jake works for the local minor league baseball team on their tech crew during baseball season in addition to his full time job.  So basically for 3-5 days at a time, we will kiss him goodbye in the morning and I won’t see him again until 11:00 that night.  Quite often I’m in my pajamas when he leaves and in my pajamas when he comes home.  Usually the fall is a nice break for us, but this year the fall isn’t going to really slow down at all, so we decided to carve in some time for a staycation.  I use the phrase ‘carve in some time’ quite literally, as we truly didn’t have any 3-4 day stretches of unoccupied time at all between July and Thanksgiving (Lord have mercy).  But for Labor Day weekend we decided to make it happen.  It was a really lovely break in which we basically holed up at home together for four straight days.

The only thing on our agenda was to take the big boys to ride go karts.  Shepherd has been talking non-stop for weeks about building a go kart.  It’s one of those things that we thought ‘bless his heart, he’ll talk about this for a while and then move on to something else.’  But ummm, he hasn’t.  Then I thought, ‘my dad would looove to do this kind of project with him.’  But ummm he wasn’t quite as excited about it as I thought he’d be.  Then I looked up DIY go kart kits.  But ummmm they’re like $750 on the low end.  And there is welding involved.  SO I thought, well we can at least take them to drive go karts.

We planned our day – Friday, when kids were still in school so it wouldn’t be busy.  I printed off some bogo coupons for the place we were going, and we were off.  Everyone was soooo excited.  I mean SO excited.  We arrived, we confirmed that Rhett met the minimum height requirements, we bought our tickets, and headed to the track.  What happened next can only be described as an epic failure.  First, they got in the cars, got buckled up, and then decided they were too scared and got out.  Then I pep-talked them into just giving it a try.  Twenty minutes later, they did.  Rhett got in and made a two laps.  Shep finally got out on the track and made one lap and then pulled back into the parking station because he thought that was all he was allowed to do (bless his little consciencious heart).  We couldn’t talk Shep back onto the track because he was worried that he was in trouble for bumping into the side and he was kinda scared his car was going to start a fire.  Rhett stopped because Shep stopped and we decided we were done.  As we are walking back to the car they changed their minds and begged to go back.  After really impressing upon them the importance of following through this time, we headed back.  Shep changed his mind AGAIN, and Rhett wanted to go but wouldn’t go without Shep.  Shep wouldn’t budge, Rhett starts crying.  We finally get Shep to agree to go and he finally finds his stride and goes around and around and LOVES it.  Rhett makes one lap and pulls into the parking station to ‘take a break.’  What is wrong with my children????  A break?!?  He finally gets back out there and immediately starts crying histerically because he’s having a hard time turning his wheel in time to avoid hitting the sides of the course.  He completely loses it in the middle of the track.  Bless the Lord oh my soul, no one else was there so it didn’t matter.  I finally get Rhett calmed down enough to get out of the car and we tell Shep to wrap it up.

Please keep in mind several things.  Firstly, that it is August.  August.  We are outside.  The sun is beating down on us and we are sweating buckets.  Secondly, the poor young man who works the mini go karts is having to set up and move and push these little go karts every single time our kids get out of them.  In the hot hot sun.  He had the BEST attitude, and really thought the whole thing was amusing.  I asked him if this is normal, if it’s ever happened before.  Nope.  No it hasn’t.  When we finally did leave an hour and a half after we had arrived (no joke) Rhett is still crying because Shep was so much better at driving than he was, and Shep is saying that this was ‘literally the best day ever.’  So I had one boy who was having lots of feelings and one boy who was basically a white girl on Instagram.

The next evening after we had put the boys to bed, I decided to take a nice relaxing bath.  It was staycation and I was going to get my relax on!!  I had my epsom salts, my essential oils and my book and it was lovely.  I sank into the hot water and breathed in the tranquility.  Don’t you love a nice bath?  Baths make me happy.  So there I was soaking up some happiness, when all of a sudden a wee boy pops his head in.

“Mommy I have to go tinkle.”

“Why don’t you go tinkle in your bathroom?”

“Because Shep is pooping in there and it might take a HOUR!”

“Ok then…”


“Actually I need to go poop!”

~gets on the toilet before I can stop him~

“Hey Buddy next time you need to go poop  and I’m in the bathtub, you need to go over to the playroom bathroom so I don’t have to smell it.”


And then dear reader, this kid proceeds to bring forth the most foul smelling BM imaginable.  And takes his time doing it.  The whole time, he’s sitting there discussing the plot line to the Diego episode he watched that afternoon, like it ain’t no thang!  I sigh, and have to acknowledge that my lovely bath is now through.  There will be no recovering the previously tranquil atmosphere now.  Tranquility has been pushed aside with a jolt of reality.  Fortunately my jolt was pretty darn cute.  Life with boys I tell ya.  Today as I was digging around in on the of the drawers in the refridgerator I found an Angry Birds bandaid stuck to the inside of the drawer.  I hope it wasn’t removed from a boo-boo and then placed inside my fridge next to my food, but I guess I’ll never know.

That last story has nothing to do with our staycation, but you enjoyed it anyway right?  Who doesn’t love a good ‘bandaid where it doesn’t belong’ story?  Also please disregard the rambling nature of this post and its lack of proper writing.  Good writing and proper proof reading are so not at the top of my priority list these days :-).

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Mommy and Ransom

You pick up a few things here and there when the mother of your children is a photographer.  Whether you want to or not ;-).  A couple of weeks ago I turned to Jake and said, “You know what would make me really happy that wouldn’t cost any money?”  His ears perked up.  This was a win win here!  I was buttering him up.  What I wanted was a little photoshoot of me and Ransom together.  How could he say no to that?  Let me pause here and let you in on something.  My husband is the opposite of me when it comes to photography.  Let me explain.  Obviously I’m the photographer and he’s not, but aside from that I LOVE to stop on the side of the road during a road trip for a photo op.  He HATES stopping on the side of the road for a photo op.  I LOVE planning outfits for our own family photos and being photographed together or photographing the boys.  He HATES doing family photos (not unlike most of the husbands in the families that I photograph).  It’s not that he hates photos, he just doesn’t like taking the time to make them happen.  I keep telling him he’s going to thank me when he’s sixty.  So when I prefaced my request by saying it was something that would make me really happy and would also be free, and also did not insist that we do these photos right now, I knew he’d probably be much more amenable than he usually is to my schemes (which are usually not so nicely introduced and are usually this instant kinds of requests).  And I was right!  I’m learning…  I asked if we could do them the following Sunday, you know, because I would already have makeup on.  Who wants to waste perfectly good time and energy on great hair and makeup on a day when no one else will see you??  Not those who have small infants!  I also made sure to be very kind and thorough as I was giving my instructions, because let’s face it, when you’re photographing a photographer and you are NOT a photographer, there can be some pressure, which could lead to a fight.  Not that this has ever happened to us…  I was very nice, and he understood how much these photos meant to me, so he really gave it his best effort.  And the photos came out exactly as I imagined!  Thanks Babe!

Also I’m sorry if you are reading this and you are NOT a photogapher and these kinds of photos would make you really happy but not for free.  Kinda.  Call me!

You may have noticed that we do lots of photos on my bed.  This is because this part of our house has the best light.  We live in one of those older homes that has lots of character, but is unfortunately somewhat dark.  Our master bedroom window isn’t blocked by any trees and lets in some very lovely light, so there my friends is where we shoot.  Enjoy these photos of me and my littlest man, side-lit by my bedroom window.

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The Brothers Dreyer


Today my oldest boy turned seven.  He started out as my baby and now he’s the leader of a tribe of brothers.  The gap in his mouth from his missing two front teeth melts me when he’s asking me if I know where his sword is.  I could go on, but the baby of this tribe is teething and needs my full attention.  Enjoy these photos of the Dreyer brothers!

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A Day With the Dreyers

6:37 – I hear the sounds of Stampy Longhead (or is it Longnose?  I can never remember) drifting into my room from the living room where my kids are watching his latest Minecraft video on the iPad.  I think, “WHY is my door open?  WHY is the hall door open?” as I roll out of bed and shut them both.

7:02 – Hear Ransom gurgling from his room.  He’ll go back to sleep…

8:12 – Finally ready to get out of bed after eating my breakfast (in bed) (He has a brother but he just got married, sorry ladies) (Ironically, he married another Beth, so there are now two Beth Dreyers.  I apologized to her for taking the website, gmail account, twitter, and instagram accounts) while listening to the Bible on YouVersion.  Don’t you love that guy who reads the NIV version??  Ransom did go back to sleep but he’s up now so I feed and snuggle him.

10:40 – Morning chores are done-ish and Ransom is back down again.  I deny the first request for lunch from my children who have not eaten the eggs and sausage that they begged Daddy to make for them.  I work out.  That baby weight isn’t budging quite as quickly this go round.

12:15 – After lunch, big boys play outside in the blow up pool while Ransom watches from the pack and play.  Four years ago when Rhett was born, I bought mosquito netting for the pack and play, envisioning just such a moment.  And four years later it’s happening for the first time.

12:30 – Rhett is screaming.  His teeth hurt because Shep kicked them.  Shep violently denies such a kick.  Upon further investigation it is discovered that he did in fact accidentally kick Rhett in the teeth.  We learn about why lying is wrong.

12:35 – Rhett asks from outside if he can poop in the back yard.  I say no.

12:36 – Rhett is wailing and crying and screaming at the injustice of not being allowed to poop in the back yard.  Ransom joins him in his lament.

2:00 – Quet time.  Bless the Lord oh my soul.  All three boys are down at the SAME time!  Glory!

2:34 – Smell burning rubber from my room which is on the other side of the house from the kitchen.  Run to the kitchen racking my brain to try to remember what in the world I had left on this time.  Discover that I had removed the cast iron skillet from the burner but forgot to turn it off.  The rubber grippy thingy on the front handle of the skillet is hanging over the top of the not-off burner and is beginning to melt.  It is too hot to open windows and air out the smell.

2:36 – Attempt to rest.  Nevermind, Ransom is awake and ready to nurse.  Bring him into my room, good thing he’s so darn cute.

4:30 – Quiet time is over!  Second swim of the day for the big boys.  Conducted in the nude.

5:45 – Jake is gone tonight.  I decide to eat early so the kids and I can watch a movie.  I’m really proud of having dinner fixed, eaten and cleaned up by 5:45.  We get ready to watch the Lego Movie with popcorn.  Rhett insists on bearing the popcorn from the pantry to the counter.  When he lets go of the jar thinking he’s setting it on the counter, he’s just shy of the counter and instead drops the jar, sending it shattering in a million pieces all over the floor.  Whose idea was it to keep the popcorn in a glass jar anyway!?

5:47 – Rhett is again wailing because now there is no more popcorn.

6:15 – The glass shards are finally all cleaned up (they actually aren’t, I found bitty pieces of glass for days afterward) and we are peacefully watching the Lego Movie.

8:15 – Two out of three are in bed.  Almost done!!  Time to have some snuggle time with Ransom.

9:45 – Put Ransom down.  Get ready for bed and read till Jake gets home.

10:32 – Jake gets home.  We talk for a little while and both go to bed, exhausted.

And I wouldn’t trade a thing.  Ok, I would trade Jake working two jobs.  But other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing.

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