Maternity photos. To say I have a love hate relationship with photos of just myself would be very accurate. I love that my family has old photo albums and I love looking at photos of the amazing women that came before me. That being said, I am working at doing better about getting in the photo opposed to behind the lens. Any other mamas feel me here?

Blair and I knew that this baby would likely be the last one that I would carry. This sweet baby would complete our family. I didn’t take maternity photos with Barrett, and truth be told I didn’t even think about it. It was at our announcement photos with Courtney Leigh Photography that Blair mentioned I should do maternity photos. I laughed it off at first, but there was something pulling at my heart that had me message Courtney.

I told her she could do whatever she wanted. If I have learned anything in the creative industry, it is that whenever you give a creative (photographer, florist, baker, designer, etc) full control they produce work they are proud of. Work that stretches their boundaries and creates a finished product that is one-of-a-kind and just for that client. In this case, it was for me.

We took the photos in a field that are what every mother (I think, at least) dreams of. The humidity that day was for the record books, but with a professional like Courtney behind the camera she captured pure magic. I was hesitant to let her capture my actually belly, yes at my maternity session, but after receiving the images back know I will hold these close for a very l long time.

These photos represent so many things for me. A visual of what a women’s body can do – it’s truly remarkable. A reminder of the grace that God gives each of us when growing a family, however that might look for you, and the ability to let go. To let go of not just the creative control of the photo session, but the timelines, baby charts, toddler expectations, etc. Yes, I am a firm believer in structure, but there are days I feel the Lord chuckle at me for trying to take full control and not letting Him lead the way.

So here is my one thing to all of the moms, today. Take the photo. You wont regret it, I promise.

xo, Christina

Photographer: Courtney of Courtney Leigh Photography
Makeup: Butter Artistry
Dress (field)

Dress (water)

Have I told y’all that I have the sweetest of friends? The most creative and thoughtful people in my life that not only support me, but love and shower my sweet family. If you have ever met someone with a true heart of gold you know exactly how my sweet friend Brittany is. I am lucky that we get to work together, but to raise babies and celebrate milestones outside of the event industry together is such a treat.

When Britt approached me about a tiny shower for our second little one I was honored and knew it would be perfect in every way. Her joy for celebrating and pulling together the perfect afternoon is a gift that I was lucky to receive.

How sweet is this perfect afternoon icing class hosted at Buttercup Bakery? Kristina not only had our pre-made cake rounds and icing to teach us how to stack, crumb coat and ice the perfect cakes, but she had the most amazing treats for everyone to nibble on while our crumb coats were setting! Can we talk about this blackberry focaccia bread? To-die-for!

The fun florals from Bramble and Bee were the perfect topper and Courtney Leigh Photography not only captured the afternoon, but shared her precious girls with us! I can’t wait for little missy to arrive and be surrounded by not only these amazing women, but their families as well.

Thank you to all of the ladies who took time our of their afternoon to celebrate our sweet babe, and to the friend-ors who helped Britt with such a sweet day! I adore each of you and can’t wait for you to meet our little girl so soon!

xo Christina

Can I tell you all a secret? I wish I would have had a videographer at this photoshoot because my sweet little boy was all kinds of a toddler that night! Courtney, Blair and I were rolling at my crazy little boy going from stoic to full on crazy in 2 second flat, but because of just that these pictures hold so many memories behind them, more than I ever would have thought!

When we asked Barrett for the first time if he wanted a baby his reply was, “Come on mama,
get your shoes. Let’s go!” In his Beaufort Bonnet Company birthday jammies he was headed for the door.

I have always prayed over Barrett to be kind and gentle, to have a heart for the Lord and to love others. Honestly, qualities that will carry my (not so) little boy through life. Attributes that his teacher shares that he has, but also mannerisms for inside the walls of our home. I have no doubt he will love his sibling more than words and be the best role model and hand holder as they do life together.

Blair and I have always prayed (God willing) for a happy, healthy family. Honestly, this pregnancy surprised us. If you know our story to Barrett it was a long road with quite a few speed bumps. I won’t lie, that left me terrified to “begin trying” – what does that even mean – for baby no. 2. If you would have asked Blair he would have had Barrett day one of being married and baby 2 on day 2. I love him for it, and he truly is the most amazing father.

This time, though, things have been the complete opposite. Blair challenged me to take a test because he knew I was pregnant (looking back I did too, but in the moment was in denial). That day we went in for confirmation blood work, and I saw my doctor a few weeks later and there was baby, with a heartbeat, and she confirmed the pregnancy. I asked her if this is what “normal people” experience, for lack of a better term. No years of tracking my cycle, drugs and trying, no miscarriages and no stress. Literally a successful pregnancy already at 8 weeks without all of that. It took a little bit for me to wrap my head around it. Due to my age I am considered “high risk” so we did have additional testing and bloodwork, that lead to more testing and monthly visits with a specialist. That also afforded us the ability to find out the gender of our sweet little one (in quite the crazy conversation with my OB – we’ll save that for another day) very early on.

Truth be told, just like my motherly instincts wanted to “protect” Barrett as long as I could and not share him with anyone, the same thing happened this time. Blair and I held on to our secret and have been praying very specifically over this little one for 12 weeks now. A secret that we didn’t share with friends and family until I was 30 weeks with Barrett, but a secret we are joyful to share today.

Baby Frederick is a girl!

That’s right! Barrett will be the best big brother to his baby sister, and coming from a two girl household I can’t wait to see the relationship that these two will create. When you ask him what his baby is he loves to tell you it’s a girl and he is going to have a little sister.

This picture holds so many emotions for me, mainly one of intense laughter. Barrett was running in and out of the frame, the doodles were scared of the balloons (do you see Landry’s bow) and my sweet, sweet husband was Mr. cool and calm. Mind you this was taken right after we got the balloons organized and Barrett tripped over the “L” putting a hole it in. I’m telling you, we needed this captured on video.

With all of the shenanigans of this night, I am so excited to welcome baby girl Frederick into the family this summer! We would love your continued prayers for my pregnancy, our sweet baby and for our little boy as he steps into the shoes of big brother.

Thank you once again, but I always feel like “thank you” is never enough to Courtney with Courtney Leigh Photography for capturing our circus and Britt of Butter Artistry for making me feel beautiful. You girls are the best!

I can not believe I am finally typing this post! You read that right, our family is growing by 10 little fingers and 10 little toes! It is safe to say that Barrett is elated to be a big brother and Blair and I are so excited to welcome baby #2 this summer! I also think it is safe to say the doodles are riding along on this journey called life!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights,
who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

Yes, I said this summer – I am half way thru my pregnancy! I credit the pandemic and not seeing anyone with the ability to conceal this growing bump. It also turns out that being 35 and in the “high-risk” category comes with its own set of tests, challenges and appointments. We are so thankful to have a precious baby on its way, and are continuing to cover this sweet little one in prayers!

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mothers womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:13

Praise of a perfect little one is exactly where our hearts are! Now that the secret is out I can’t wait to share more with you soon. There is no doubt I will be back to posting on social media now that my morning sickness is more under control. 🙂

Can I just say how excited I am to watch Barrett become a big brother! He has the most amazing, independent (if you can’t tell from these amazing photos) personality and I have no doubt he will be the biggest help, best example and make welcoming baby #2 even more exciting!

Last, I can not hit “post” without giving two women a huge shout out! Brittany with Butter Artistry deserves a huge, virtual hug for making this mama feel her best! Even my sweet husband asked how we could get my eyelashes to look this good every day!
Courtney with Courtney Leigh Photography is the soul reason we have these amazing memories frozen in time! Chances are if you have been poking around the site you have noticed Courtneys name in quite a few places. She truly is so gifted and the number one person I trust to capture my crazy family. Y’all should have seen what was going on behind the scenes… bless her for even capturing any images at all! I told you my toddler is very independent!

I hope you are ready to go on this ride with me. I am honored you are here and that I get to share not only my work, but my heart and the reason behind what I do – my family. Thank you for being here!

xo Christina

My little boy is ONE! How in the world did a single year go so fast, yet so slow all at the same time? To be honest I am not sure I remember the first few months, but have plenty of pictures and videos to help!

One thing I knew I wanted was a professional to capture for little guy on his first birthday, and I could not have been more trilled when I received the images from Courtney Leigh Photography. Courtney not only captured our sweet little family, but Barrett’s little personality and all of his little furry friends.  

You are a spunky, fearless, contagiously happy little boy sweet Barrett and if I know any one thing it is that I am right where I am suppose to be. You not only made me a “mama” but made me a better person. I have learned a new level of multitasking, new ways to get ready in under 5 minutes, how to minimize wardrobe changes (for the both of us) and how to keep my eyes open for the God winks.

Thank you for everything you are and all that you are making me! Let’s do this year two!

It’s safe to say we are obsessed with the neutral color palette of the new Hearth and Hand Collection by Magnolia at Target! It is the perfect setting for Friendsgiving, or Thanksgiving, and allows you to add pieces to your collection you will be able to use for celebrations to come!

For the center of the table we simply walked out into the backyard and snipped a few magnolia branches. The great thing about Texas is these trees are everywhere. Simply add them to a few vases down the center of the table and you are set!

Remember those dishes we spoke about? The black and white is such a classic combination and can we talk about this matte black flatware! Perfect for everyday, holidays and celebrations.

A simple knotted napkin can elevate any place setting, while still allowing for full flatware. The napkin doesn’t get in the way, stays crisp and is a fun twist on a classic napkin fold.

What do you think? Would you like to pull up a chair at this dinner table? We think the simple setting, neutral colors and comfy dining room create the perfect atmosphere for beautiful food and wonderful conversation!

Design by Christina Frederick for The Helpful Host
Images by Courtney Leigh Photography

We have updated the links for available tabletop products. You can shop them HERE.

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