Saying Goodbye to Fall with Riley Mae


I don't know WHAT it is about FALL time, but it is just my favorite.  It's probably the pumpkin spice lattes, changing colors on the trees and crisp air that makes me fall in love with the season over and over again with each passing year.  Riley and I went on a little adventure when I saw the beautiful sun outside... calling our names!  Of course I wanted a photo opportunity, too!  I dressed Riley in a new little dress I found on Zulily!  I'd never ordered from there before but I am SO HAPPY with it!  I did have to trim the bottom because it was too long, but it fit perfectly up top.  Easy peasy.  

Riley took me on an adventure to look for ghosts.  She kept saying, "Oh Mama, here!"  "Ghost over here?"  "Oh no!  Where'd the ghost go?!"  as she held my hand and took me around this part of the ranch.

With Halloween this week, we have been inspired by ghosts, pumpkins, and this incredibly fun season of life with an almost three year old!  She's talking up a storm and has honestly become the funniest little thing over the past few months.  I want to remember this time forever.  I'm so grateful for this blog to not only share client work, but my personal life, too.  It's my journal to remember Riley at these different stages of her life and being able to do it with words AND photographs is just so special!

Some of my favorite things she does right now include:

Calling herself Princess YiYi.

The way she talks when she's "being serious" about something... she just jabbers on and on.  For example, when I say, "Hey Riley, can you please put these socks in the laundry basket in the hallway?"  She will get this hilarious look on her face and list off all the reasons the socks are "icky".  "Oh mama, yes, laun-ry, icky sock grass, ick, dirty, yes mama yes."

I love that she's so willing to help me, always!  She loves "halping mama".  Whether we are cooking, cleaning, organizing the pantry or putting away toys - she always wants to "halp mama".

When she responds it is usually with something like, "Ummmm ya" or "Ummmm no".  She knows exactly what she does and does NOT want to do.  I respect it.

She is obsessed with "playing shopkins" right now.  We sit on the floor with all the little pieces and "go shoppin".  She loves "shoppin with mama".  

She's REALLY into pouting right now - some of which you'll see below.  Her pout is no joke and she knows when and how to use it!  Daddy and I tell her it's her "ugly face" which will typically prompt her to smile and show us her "pretty face".  

She's still a terrible eater.  It's a struggle, always.

Taking pictures of her when I'm alone is more of a challenge than when I have someone to help me.  She knows exactly what I'm doing and avoids me 90% of the time.  I have my little tricks but you'll notice below that MAJORITY of the images are her looking away from me.  She does this on purpose!

She's starting to figure out what I do when I tell her about Mommy working.  She's had Daddy with the cows down for awhile now and when we talk about Mommy being gone she says, "Oh yes, mommy pictures, wedding, dancing".  Hahah I love it!  This year I was away a bit which allowed for some good Daddy YiYi time, for which I'm grateful.  I hate being away, but I also know Shaun cherishes that special one on one time with her.

She loves "donalds".  Aka, McDonalds.  

She doesn't nap much anymore and honestly, it makes my day smoother when she doesn't.  She goes to bed much easier without a nap.  However, there are just some days (like the day from these photos) that she just can't fight it!  At the end of our little exploration she said, "Mama, I tired, carry me!"  So I had to carry her back to the car and she fell asleep.  She then slept at home for a few hours.  I love taking pictures of her sleeping - it's just the sweetest.

Riley is flexible.  I'm grateful for carting her around all the time, sleeping in random places and also mixing up her bedroom a few different times.  While it might rattle some, Riley adjusts so quickly to whatever we have going on.  It's not always perfect, but I feel lucky for this part of her personality.  I take her with me whenever I possibly can, and she LOVES "halping mama".  Maybe someday she will have a camera in her hand, too!

As we get a bit closer to three, she's starting to test me!  This girl knows how to work us and Shaun and I are laughing most of the time, but she can be a little stinker when she wants to be!  Haha.  But at the end of it all - she is SO sweet.  I know I'm her mom, but there are certain little things about her that tell us she's kind, smart, and a good person.  Shaun and I talk all the time about fostering those qualities in her to make sure they shine through as she continues to grow up.  I want her to be silly, funny, awkward like me, but also strong, independent and fierce.  So far we see all of that in her and it couldn't make us more proud or excited about the future with this little one.

I posted some of these photos in my Dream Chasers Facebook group and someone said, "Is it just me or did Riley completely GROW UP this summer?!"  It's true, she has!  I don't know where my little baby went, but I'm LOVING all the new seasons that come with being a parent and watching them change daily.  Each days she says new things, learns new things, sings new songs, and we just love it all.

Riley started Junior Pre School earlier this month and it's been so good for her, I can already tell!  Her teacher told me that Riley is one of those sweet kids they hope to get in their class and that she's "a good friend."  That sounds about right!

Enjoy these pictures from our little adventure the other day exploring the ranch, throwing leaves, and soaking up these last moments of fall before winter arrives.  I have this funny feeling it's going to be a long winter... 

ALSO - if you're local and looking for some winter family pictures, I'm currently offering winter minis in the studio and POSSIBLY at a tree farm if weather permits, but for now all the slots are for the studio!  All the details can be found via this link!

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