Our Life - Janurary 2017 | Fort Leonard Wood Family Photographer

Instead of continuing with the P52 theme from last year, I'll just be posting some personal favorites from time to time. Hopefully 2-3 times a month, depending on how busy and crazy things are. I'm also looking to start including DIY projects, favorite recipes, fitness tips - general mom blog stuff!

So far, 2017 has been good to us. My husband has started interning at his new job and LOVES it so far. Nora is still doing excellent in school, and Nathan's Pre-K assessment went well, as expected. They did want to evaluate him again for speech therapy. I have mixed feelings about this, since we did it before and he was just "going at his own pace." He has a great vocabulary and talks our heads off, he just has a bit of an impediment (maybe?). I know it can't hurt him, so we will see what they say and go from there.

I have a fun photography announcement coming up soon! Learning this area's market and figuring out the logistics for working after the baby is born have been a little bit of a struggle, so I'm implementing new changes and offerings. Stay tuned!

It's only really snowed twice this winter, but this week we got to see an ice-storm first hand. I guess instead of snow, it rains and then freezes when it hits the ground. Everything has icicles hanging and the plants are encased in a glass-like layer of ice. It's really quite beautiful, although the big dead tree in my front yard is loosing a few limbs due to the weight of the ice. Luckily it isn't over our cars or home, so we don't have to worry too much.

This past week we were invited along with one of Charlie's work trips to Old Kinderhook resort, and got to ice skate and enjoy fire pits and smores! It's a little funny- Charlie promised me an ice skating date (I've never been, despite growing up in the Midwest) 6 years ago when we started seeing each other. FINALLY he get's to make good on his promise, but the catch? I'm 34 weeks pregnant hah! No ice skating for me. The kids had a blast though, and it was fun seeing him drive the bus there and back.

See you next time, and stay warm!


P52 Week 52 - A Year in Review | Fort Leonard Wood Lifestyle Photographer

For the last week of our P52 Project, I decided to post a ton of photos as a year in review. Enjoy, and thanks for following me this far!

For an easier, full sized photo view please visit: https://candicemphoto.shootproof.com/gallery/best2016/

The final links should be posted for the rest of the circle! Here's Rayna's: http://anchoredowlphotography.com/Project52/project-52/

Happy New Year everyone!

-xo Candice

P52 - Week 50 | Fort Leonard Wood Lifestyle Photographer

Only 2 more weeks until this project is complete!

In the MacDonnell house this week we have been still organizing and unpacking, In Hawaii I never got around to hanging curtains in the living room (whoops!) so I made a point to order the rods and gorgeous grommet top panels a few nights ago. They should be arriving this week and I'll share photos!

Follow the circle by clicking HERE to get to Rayna's blog.

lifestyle photography of little girl and puppy playing on kitchen table

P52 - Week 49 | Fort Leonard Wood Family Photography

Nora started public school again this week. You can catch her transition HERE- it's worth a read!  My father in law also dropped by for an unexpected visit and the kids have had a blast.  Jake is growing soooo fast- he won't be a puppy much longer! 

On top of all that, I ended up having a visit at the Hospital's Labor and Delivery.  After being sick for almost a week, I was suuuper dehydrated and woke up Wednesday morning with pretty bad back pain.  By the afternoon, I was having painful contractions and my midwife told me to head to the hospital.  They checked everything and baby was fine, bloodwork came back ok.  After 3 bags of saline and some paid medication (and a lot of me writing in pain and throwing up) I was cleared to go home and rest.  I'll be drinking over a gallon of water each day now to keep that from ever happening again!  Thank goodness baby girl is doing great.

Have a great week!  Here's Rayna's P52: CLICK

One of the hardest things I've had to do for my child...

I cried SO much over the weekend.

Like, ugly tears and snotty tissues.

We decided to put Nora, our 8 year old, back into the public school system. Missouri has really good schools, and the elementary school we are assigned to is ranked the best out of the nearby ones. On top of that, my daughter and I have had some speedbumps with Homeschooling. She isn't interested and doesn't want to, and I'm not a cute organized mom who is good at playing teacher. Or explaining things very well.

After we got settled in to the house, I told the husband I was ready to talk to the school about her transitioning back in, and he agreed that I should go down and see what they recommend. Everyone was SOOO sweet, and they asked Nora to come in the next day (Friday) to take a few assessment tests and evaluate where she was compared to their students.

That night we studied a bit and she was SO EXCITED to go in the next morning. We got up early, dressed, and I dropped her off. I was told expect it to take about an hour and a half, so I went home and did house stuff anxiously awaiting the phone call.

After about 2 hours I was on pins and needles, so we just headed back to the school to wait for her. I always fear the worst- my number was written down wrong and Nora forgot it, or whatever.

She was just finishing up, and we were asked to return a few hours later to go over her results with the guidance and reading councilors and decide from there what we wanted to do. Nora was happy, we were excited.

And then the meeting happened.

Nora scored at a mid-second grade level on everything- not mid third. This blew my mind-- I figured she would be a little behind from all the traveling we've been doing, but I didn't realize that when she graduated 2nd grade in Hawaii she was almost a year behind Missouri's standards. They recommended putting her back into second grade where she could adjust to a different school system, new place, new routines, and not be completely lost halfway through the year. Especially since third grade is one of the big mandatory test grades, and the councilors were concerned that even with a lot of extra tutoring she might not do well on it and have to repeat third grade, after establishing herself at the school.

Guys, I lost it and was a hot mess at that point. I never really had to work to be an A student all the way through high school. The thought of my sweet smart girl being held back broke my heart. Tons of trivial, petty things crossed my mind. It took my husband holding me during a private conversation and reminding me we needed to do what's BEST for Nora now, so she can be successful from here on out.

After really thinking about it, and weighing the pros and cons (including her maturity level, past school performance, and the opportunity we have in the Midwest school system) we decided to do it. Later at home when we sat down with her to discuss the plan, she was initially confused but quickly agreed that it was best.

And guess what?

She had an AMAZING first day at school. She actually came home excited about her class and told me all the cool things they did - including a science test that showed the different levels of viscosity between oil, water, and honey.

She made friends, LOVES the free breakfast and multiple choice lunch options, and thinks it's pretty cool her school has hallways. Her "spark" is back (something that Montessori children often have- a love and wonder for learning) and I'm hoping things will stay this way. Going forward, we will definitely be researching school options before moving again to keep her in great curriculums and not let her fall behind again.

I'm so happy we decided to go back to public school and made the choice that was best for my little bug. <3

P52 - Week 47

Happy Thanksgiving!  

We had a quiet meal at home followed by desert with my friend Dannielle. She's another killer documentary photographer in Mid-Missouri, and I adore her little family. You can find her work here: www.danniellehalestoryteller.com.

Our home is 90% unpacked and I'm getting used to where everything is (our kitchen is soooo different compared to our Hawaiian home). It's amazing cooking meals again and having rooms for the kids to retire to. And having a computer to work from again.. that's pretty awesome!

Follow the circle to Rayna's P52 by clicking here: anchoredowlphotography.com/Project52/project-52/.

What did you do this Thanksgiving? 

P52- Weeks 42 to 46

Well, living on the road has been pretty fun. And crazy. In less than 30 days, we traveled from St. Louis to Fort Leonard Wood, Springfield IL, Chicago IL, Nashville TN, Fort Benning GA, Tallahassee FL, Central FL, then came back to Fort Leonard Wood via fort Benning and St. Louis.

Tomorrow is the big day- we will get the keys to our new home, the Internet will get tuned on, and our household goods will arrive (all at once, why not!)  

Here are some highlights from the month. I'm still working from an iPhone (even editing photos on it- I'm so excited to plug my desktop in tomorrow). The internet in the hotel is pretty spotty and I'm crossing my fingers this uploads :) 

Rayna has been busy! Go check out her P52 here: 


xo, Candice




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There are so many more, but hope you enjoyed these for now! Eventually I'll share a longer summary of our epic adventures, once I've had time to unwind :)