family, Jonathan, Our Life

Hello, September

I really wanted to title this “Hello, Fall” because there’s a cool breeze coming in my window, I had a salted caramel mocha today and I finally took off the last little bits of the nail polish from the pedicure I got in Spring and replaced it with a darker, more Fall-y shade. I should probably be a little embarrassed by that, right?

Fall is just around the corner, but for now I’ll enjoy the last few hot days by taking backroad drives with my little co-pilot, windows rolled down and country music playing. Is there a genre of music more perfect for summer than country? If you can’t get into a little Florida Georgia Line “Cruise” while actually cruising, there may not be help for you. Stephen got us a 90-day trial of Apple Music, so there’s been some serious late 80s- early 90s country playing around here and I have been loving it. I think Jonathan is a little worried about me, but he’s too small to have me committed, so I think I’m safe.

Summer was busy and brought a lot of changes to the Rabon homestead. The biggest of these is Stephen’s job change. After 11 years at Starbucks, he has moved on. He could better explain his actual role, but the important part for Jonathan and I is a regular schedule. Never, I repeat, never since I have known Stephen has he had that luxury. Weekends off. Holidays off. It. is. glorious. We had the first three day weekend in our entire relationship over Labor Day that did not require the use of PTO, trading in favors or voodoo.

For the first time ever, our Thanksgiving and Christmas plans will not be impacted by the asinine fact that Starbucks is open 365 days a year. I’m sorry to those who “need” their fix on holidays, but it’s not fair to take people away from their families on these special days (yes, I am aware that baristas work these days on a volunteer basis but if there aren’t enough volunteers, who picks up that slack? The store isn’t going to close just because they don’t have enough staff). Actually, I’m not sorry. Not at all. Ranting aside, I am overjoyed at the prospect of starting family traditions in earnest this year. Stephen will actually be home on Christmas morning! And all day! Jonathan is going to LOVE it. I will probably love it a little more than he does, especially while he’s too young to fully understand, but it’s a really big deal.

Those of you who read this post almost exactly a year ago remember my inner struggle with the idea of starting Amanda Rabon Photography. Well, I decided to push myself outside of my comfort zone and now, a year later, have had the opportunity to do probably 20 shoots. It’s been a challenge to put myself out there and to continue to learn and hone my craft. But I’m pleased with how far my photography has come, with the product I have created for my clients and the direction that my business is headed. I’ve already got two shoots on the calendar for October and with the beautiful leaves here in Colorado, I hope to add more to that number.

In the spirit of continuing to push myself to step out of my comfort zone and grow as a person, I’ve joined a local moms group. Thrive Moms Local – Highlands Ranch is a group of Christian moms seeking to connect moms and form a community of believers who support each other along the journey of motherhood. I’ve met up with the girls twice now and they’re super nice and have great kiddos. We’re still small and still trying to figure out how often to meet, etc. but I think that it’s good for both Jonathan and I to spend time in the company of like-minded individuals.

On Wednesday, I’ll be headed to a local church to join a Bible Study Fellowship group. I’ve heard so many good things about BSF from family and friends. It’s going to be pretty in-depth and more intense than any other bible study I’ve done, so that’s a little intimidating (not to mention the whole people I don’t know thing) but I’m hopeful to learn a lot and grow a deeper understanding of God’s word. The study is on Revelation this year and it’s only the most intense book of the Bible so nothing like jumping all in, right? The best part is that Jonathan will be learning too. My aunt raised my cousins in BSF and they’re pretty awesome so I feel like this is a good step. Plus, my friend Nicole from Thrive Moms may be joining me so that helps calm me down a little. Safety in numbers, right?

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Jonathan continues to grow into an amazing child. His laughter is infectious, his smile lights up the room and his cute little voice continues to say more and more words. He’s able to string together words often now, and even strung together “more, please” with both words and signs. It was probably the cutest thing ever and would probably get him just about anything he wanted, but don’t tell him that or I’m in serious trouble. He definitely has moments of testing his boundaries and my patience, but he is still my sweet, loving boy. He has learned to say “I love you” and has even said it to me a few times on his own. If there’s ever a thing in life that will literally make your heart feel like it could explode, that would be it. His relationship with Stephen is the joy of my life, and makes me fall even more in love with both of them. You think you love a guy, but then you see him with the child you share and it just gets out of control.

In other exciting news, our family is growing! But not in the way that you are thinking. Dan and Joanna are getting married, which means that I’m getting a new sister. I only get sisters via marriage (or those who adopt me like Sandi and Nikki) so this is kind of a big deal. Joanna has been around most of Jonathan’s life, so he will never remember a time without having an Auntie JoJo, but she will be “official” come February. I’ve been blessed by being included on some of the wedding planning and feel lucky to get to be there along the road to them starting their life together. Marriage is the best, so I can’t wait for them to experience the joy of the next adventure in their lives. I did some engagement photos for them, which can be found here.

Now that you’re all caught up, here’s what you’re really here for: pictures!

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Jonathan thinks he can Crossfit too, so he loved getting to “workout” during Dan and Joanna’s engagement session.
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Stephen, Matt and I made this corn hole set as a gift for Dan & Joanna for their engagement party. It was a fun project.
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A little bouquet I threw together for the engagement party
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He looks too grown up when he wears regular shoes so it’s going to be sandals for life.
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The two cutest boys at the cutest brewery restaurant
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Jonathan loves this magnet board at the library. He regularly disrupts story time by passing out animals to the other kids. At least he’s sharing, right?
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Jonathan’s first salon haircut. A shout out to squeeze pouches, goldfish, a truck, Uptown Funk and Sugar by Maroon 5 for the assist.
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Jonathan and I have gone on a few local hikes
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These two are the best part of me
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Pictures at Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park from dating to marriage to parenthood
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