this is us December 2015 // Green Chair Stories

We had the pleasure of spending half a day with Rachel of Green Chair Stories. As she spent a typical morning and outing with us, she snapped photos of us in this season of our lives, in our element, doing our thing. It is what she does and she does it so well. I am so excited to have this collection of photos that captures our dynamic, interaction, and essence better than any posed photo session ever could.

Our mornings start with breakfast at home. Raffa has a limited palate to put it politely, but he has a few "favorites" that I make, and he eats his best and biggest meal at breakfast time. Banana pancakes are one of Raffa's favorite breakfasts. I whip them up several mornings a week.

Banana Almond Butter Pancakes for Raffa

1 ripe banana, smashed
1 large egg
3 heaping tablespoons of almond butter
3/4-1 cup Arrowhead Mills Sprouted Grain Pancake Mix (depending on how thick and fluffy you want your batter; more pancake mix = fluffier)
1/4 cup milk or almond milk or enough to balance out the pancake mix

Mix all together and make some pancakes!

Raffa also likes to have some "coffee" (milk in his brown mug). John and I opt for the real thing and prefer one of Allegro Coffee's organic roasts. Our breakfast eating style has evolved into Raffa and his highchair, me moving around the kitchen cooking, eating, cleaning up, and John sitting up on the counter. We have a breakfast nook, it just isn't used for eating breakfast.

Raffa LOVES blueberries but prefers frozen and by far the tasiest frozen blueberries are Stahlbush Island Farms. Their blueberries are always big and beautiful and flavorful and sweet ... and organic and non-GMO.

The blueberries always stain Raffa's hands and lips purple. And, he loves blueberries so much he could eat a whole bag in one sitting if I let him!

Our home is small, but it's size and layout are so conducive to how we live and how Raffa plays. It is so easy to be connected to one another when our living space is consolidated and multi-functional.

Raffa LOVES his Bruder trucks. He now has a crane (2nd birthday gift from Mimi), trash truck (2nd birthday gift from auntie Jonna), dump truck and fire truck (from Mimi - we keep those two in Phoenix), and an animal transporter seen above (Christmas gift from Granny Jill and Auntie Bev). Mimi also gave him a Playmobil red SUV which he really likes too.

Raffa loves climbing in to my and John's bed. I remember liking to play in my parents' king sized bed when I was little - it felt so BIG! Most often our bed becomes Raffa's car and he drives around; obviously he loves us to come drive with him too.

Raffa is SO ticklish. Once he gets tickled you cannot even touch him without the uncontrollable laughter starting. His neck is especiallly (sweet and) ticklish.

Raffa seems no where near ready to potty train. I keep waiting for his interest to show up but so far nothing! I know it'll happen eventually, and I have no desire or plans to rush things, but it is hard to imagine that time coming when he shows absolutely no interest now.

Raffa's new carseat came in the most enormous big box, and that box is now a fixture in his room, fully decorated and operational as Raffa's Coffee shop. He loves to play in his coffee shop in his room in the dark, so he is always turning off the lights in his room and going the coffee shop and closing the "door".

Raffa likes playing in his room in the dark a lot. And we end up in the dark down there (his bedroom is in the basement) quite a bit. John cut a small round hole in the top of the coffee shop; the hole is just big enough for the flashlight on our iPhones. Placing different objects over the iPhone flashlight or a flashlight and seeing how they glow also provides a lot of entertainment.

Raffa's scooter remains an inside toy and he loves riding it up and down the hallway.

Mimi bought Raffa a subscription to BabyBug and Raffa loves every single issue. We read them cover to cover hundreds of times. He is reading a Babybug in the two images above.

These photos of John dressing Raffa make me chuckle. John doesn't end of dressing Raffa very often and I wasn't in the room when these photos were taken. I see Raffa giving John a run for his money! When I dress Raffa, it's all business - WHAM BAM done.

One of my favorite things to do remains to read with Raffa, but he is less into reading lately than he once was. There was a time, starting when he was about 10 months old all the way until he was two, when he would sit and demand that I read book after book after book to him.

One of our favorite areas to go hang out and walk around in Cherry Creek North. There are lots of great stores to look at and some good coffee spots. Raffa loves just walking around and looking at the stores. And, he loves getting coffee (hot chocolate for him).

The baristas at this coffee spot recognize us now and usually make a bit of a show for Raffa, making his hot chocolate and even putting a design in the milk on top.

One of Raffa's favorite places is Paper Source. He loves looking around at all their little knick knacks and doodads. I love going to Paper Source too, so it is a win-win!

When you are a toddler everything is exciting and even the mundane is an adventure - yellow scaffolding becomes a long tunnel and a jungle gym!

This finger pointing up in the air thing (above) is something that just slays me. It's usually accompanied by some precocious statement or suggestion.

The intimate and authentic feel of these images is more than I could have even hoped for; the value of these photos pales in comparison to any posed images we have. I had been craving (and literally scouring the world wide web) a photographer with an authentic feel - life photos not family portraits. Now, I can see how spectacularly that actually looks like on the three of us!

John and I are both blown away by how much we are in love with these photos; we are literally feeling ALL the feelings over here. I am like "we are totally doing this once a year" and then to my surprise John is like "twice a year even!" (Raffa's 3rd birthday and again right after Christmas 2016?). Rachel's vision for these slice of life sessions are completely realized when that girl puts her eye to her viewfinder. I cannot gush enough about it.

So this is us: December 2015. Making and eating pancakes, playing in just about every room of the house with toys and not toys (boxes and flashlights), and having coffee dates and Paper Source lookie loos. 

Thank you, Rachel, for such an incredibly beautiful keepsake of us.

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