Sunday 23 April 2023

Life Lately: 2023 First Quarter Update

I thought it might be time to give a life update.  So far 2023 is treating us all really well.  Let's dive right in.

Sweet 16!  At the end of January, our oldest daughter turned 16 and we were lucky enough to be able to gift her a new to her car that our good friends were selling.  In March she was eligible to take her drivers test and she passed on her first try.  She's loving the freedom that driving gives her and I can honestly say it's been a very positive experience for us as well. 

Dance, dance & dance!  Anya has been taking five dances this year;  lyrical, contemporary, jazz, ballet and hip hop.  We had two super jam packed weeks of dance competition and her dance groups did really well at both sets of competition and although they had a few lows, and some really high highs, overall the experience, friendship, perseverance has been such a positive experience for her.  She loves dance, her friends and the studio and plans to continue again next year, by maybe even adding a solo. 

Disney!  There will be so much about our family Disney trip on here in the next few months so all I will really say is that it was an EPIC trip for our family and I can't imagine any other trip we could have done as  a family where we unanimously agreed on just about everything that we wanted to do.  That's a win in my parenting book!

Photography.  Photography generally slows down significantly in the first months of the year because a) its so cold and  b) most people are tapped out after spending so much throughout the holidays.  However I did shoot a few Easter mini sessions, a winter outdoor session, and the most gorgeous outdoor maternity shoot.  Please give me a follow at A & H Snapshots on Facebook or ahsnapshots on IG.

Spring fashion!  I was so lucky to be chosen as an ambassador for the  Outfit Formulas challenge.  Years ago I stumbled upon this challenge, then called Get Your Pretty On, and it got me out of my deep mom/work/life rut and reintroduced me to dressing for fun, to feel my best, to be creative, save money, and that's actually how I found blogging.  So many years later I was thrilled to be chosen to be an ambassador and join the challenge.  The summer challenge is coming up and it's honestly the best money you will invest in yourself and it's not much.  Most items are already in your closet and you can choose to update only the pieces you want to, plus the community is where it's at.  Here are a few outfits that I wore over the few weeks I participated, but I did miss a chunk because I was away on our trip.


I'll do a book review update soon but I just finished two great beach reads this weekend.  I listened to The Summer Place  by Jennifer Weiner and I loved the narrator of this audiobook!  So much that I am going to look into other books she does.  I'll give this book ⭐⭐⭐⭐.   The story plot is, their 20 something year old daughter is about to get married, and her whole family is rediscovering their own pasts, their regrets, their missed love opportunities, the skeletons in their closets, and questioning the lives they choose to build.  It was an easy listen with lots of great characters whose lives intertwine and lead them to their own conclusions about what matters in  love, life and family.

The other book was extremely similar, I didn't plan it that way, as it also revolved around a wedding, a accidental death (or is it?)  and complicated family drama.  The Perfect Couple by Elin Hiderbrand was a super easy read and perfect for a vacation.  I crushed the first 100 pages on the plane alone.  I'll give this one ⭐⭐⭐1/2 only because I usually love her books and this one was just okay.  I found the ending a little underwhelming but I still enjoyed it and was always happy to pick it up.

Cooking.  I continue to meal prep for the week on Sundays and that makes a world of difference in our life.  Recently I tried a new recipe, Firecracker Salmo Bowls, that I found on Pinterest and it was a HUGE hit with everyone in our family.  

That's it!  There is a quick update of things in our life.  As we had into spring and summer, Halie will begin to be busy getting ready for horse shows, Anya will trade her dancing shoes for a ball glove, Logan has a huge deck project he is working on at the lake, and I'll be wrapping up another school year and jumping into some training for a few exciting new ventures (I'll keep you posted).  

                            What are some highlights in your life in the first quarter of the year?


  1. I can't wait to see your Disney posts, because I didn't catch all of it on your stories! We used to go every other year and I miss those trips. We did do Disneyland for a change last year, tho!! My daughter is in her last year of competitive dance, so it is bittersweet this year... but, then she is going to be on the h.s. dance team next year and that will be new and exciting!


  2. That Disney photo is so cute and it sounds like it was a great trip! It's nice that this has been such a good year for you, hope the rest of the year continues to be so positive for you all as well :)

  3. Have been away from blog reading and writing for the most part but have had a few quiet days lately so trying to get by to say hi to everyone. So glad the trip to Disney was EPIC!! Love the smiles. Hope you will share more details about the trip in upcoming posts.

    Love the photo shoots. Hope as the weather warms you have more opportunities to use your talents.

    Yay to having a driver. And a dancer. I thought it was spectacular when my oldest daughter could help get herself and her baby sister to school, after school activities, etc. Sounds like Anya's dance group is very good. She looks so pretty and graceful in her costumes.

    Thanks for including the link to the firecracker salmon bowls. I have got to figure out a way to get PC to eat salmon. I love it. And this might just be the recipe.