Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Wrath of Zander

How is it that one adorable little child can create such an awful screeching sound?

Yes, I'm talking about Zander.

I love my little chunky man to death, but when he cries, he screams. He also refuses to stop unless you pick him up. Yes I understand he probably just wants to be held, but I'll feed him, change him and play for a little while then unfortunately I need to do something else. Sometimes I need to clean, do dishes, workout, blog, plan our wedding, shower, cook or play with Corvin. Zander doesn't want me to do any of these things. I MUST give him ALL of my attention or else he's going to scream from the second I put him down 'til the moment I pick him back up.


This is the current tune to which I am writing my blog to. I feel like a bad mommy, but I'd be just as bad for picking him up when I know he just wants attention. Unfortunately, he has to get used to mommy not holding him every second he's awake (and sleeping). I wish there was something I could do to make him happy while I'm not holding him. Sometimes the bumbo satisfies him for around 15 minutes, which doesn't even give me enough time to work out. other times, he's content with laying on the floor watching TV or watching Corvin play. That lasts for about 8 minutes, which gives me enough time to....what am I talking about that only gives me enough to go pee 8 times in a row..

This is the point in a baby's life where they act like this though. Corvin acted similar to when he was around 3 months old, but he didn't scream the way Zander screams.

Ugh, I think I need to get some Tylenol and give in to my little sweet pea.

Advice? Post a comment on my Facebook link or a comment under this blog.

Until tomorrow!
♥ Taber

Monday, February 13, 2012


Never did I ever think I'd be HAPPY to be 130 pounds!

I know it sounds silly, but I always used to be a skinny mini. When I graduated high school, I was 104 pounds. However, when I was a freshman in high school I weighed 123 pounds for a while and I felt like a fat cow! I remember looking at pictures of myself and thinking, 'ugh I need to fix THAT!' Comments from other people around me didn't help either. So I started to push myself to lose weight at all costs. I hate to admit it, but I even made myself throw up several times and started to make myself not eat. I always looked forward to sports so I could get rid of my teenager fat and work towards a leaner body. Isn't it scary to think what just a few "Hey fattie" or "that shirt makes you look fat" comments can do to you? I kept up that attitude through out most of high school. My senior year, I took 2 gym classes in one quarter during track season, which is how I became 104 pounds.

After high school, I gained some weight (which was a good thing because I looked too skinny for a while) and ended up being around 115-118 pounds most of the time. I stopped puking up my food and making myself not eat and I choose several jobs that kept me moving around to make sure I stayed skinny and fit. On top of that, I would walk just about everywhere and go for the occasional run. My goal for my life at that point was to stay thin!

Little did I know everything would soon change...

In December of 2009, I got pregnant with Corvin. At the end of my pregnancy with him I was 154 pounds. He came out, and I got back down to 130ish. Then I got pregnant with Zander. At the end of my pregnancy with him I was a whopping 172 pounds. Yikes :/

When I saw that number on the scale, I was embarrassed! Kind of silly for a pregnant woman to be embarrassed about her weight, but I was. My fear of being fat came true and it sank into my head and crushed every last bit of confidence I had left. I didn't want to look at myself in the mirror, I photoshoped pictures of myself a little before posting them online or I at least cropped them, and I didn't want Allyn to touch my belly (still don't actually). It was hard, and still is hard, for me to deal with.

As of right now, I have more of a sense of accomplishment. I can proudly say I've lost 42 pounds, the healthy way, since October 29th 2011. Soon, I will be able to proudly say I'm 129 pounds. Seeing a '2' as the second number in my weight makes me feel like a giant burden has been lifted off my shoulders. In another week, I'm sure I'll see that 2 on the scale. I cannot wait.

Once, I was severely close to being underweight.
Not more than 3 years later, I was overweight.
Now....I'm finally back to normal.

It's been a hell of a roller coaster ride, but in the end it was all worth it. I have an amazing family to show for all my weight gain, and I'll be a stronger person for losing all that weight in the end.

118, here I come :)

Until tomorrow :)

This is an unedited picture I took with my point and shoot. Love these little guys much :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bride on a Budget

First of all, just wanted to say sorry for not posting this yesterday. For those of you who are friends with me on facebook (which is pretty much everyone who reads this I suppose, haha) you saw that the people from the show Bridezillas called me on friday. They asked me to fill out this 12 page long form about the wedding which literally took me 4 hours to finish. Thank goodness Allyn was home otherwise there's no way I would've gotten it done this weekend!

Anyway, as promised I'm going to blog ALL about our wedding budget. Did you know that the average cost of a wedding in the La Crosse area is in between $17,369 and $28,948? (found that bit of information here) That's INSANE! We're on a $10,000 budget MAX. The only way we've been able to make it $10,000 is thanks to our tax refund in all honesty.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I found a secret weapon. Lots of amazing, handmade items from all over the world and many times you can find these items for a fair price. However, there are other tricks to having a decent priced wedding. Let's break it down...

Reception Hall
If you rent out your reception hall on a Friday or a Sunday (instead of doing the typical Saturday wedding) most times they will give you the reception hall for FREE! The Best Western definitely does this. You have to put down a $1,500 deposit within 6 months, but that all goes towards your final food bill. So far we have $2,100 in our Best Western account. So basically, if 20 people don't show up to our wedding, we wont have to pay anything more. If you have your wedding on a Saturday, you have to pay a rental fee ranging anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500 depending on the time of the year - Spring time is more expensive. Which means we're saving $3,500 just by having our wedding on a Friday! Plus we get a free bartender, a free honeymoon suite and free tea light candles. :)

If you know ANYONE who is a DJ, even if they're just an occasional downtown bar DJ, ask them what they  would charge you. I know a guy who DJ's and we're saving almost $1,000 by having a friend do it rather than some jerk who upcharges by a ton just because it's a wedding. So we'll only be paying about $450!

Ceremony Site
We ended up going with a slightly more expensive route on this one to make it easier on our guests, but our original plan was to have the ceremony at Riverside Park on the band stand. Why? It's only $50 to rent out the entire thing for a whole hour. It includes seating, a beautiful view and you don't have to do much work to it if you don't want to. To make everything easier on our guests, we're having our ceremony at the Best Western as well. They have an outdoor area for ceremonies for $200 that includes 120 chairs. So we didn't save money in this aspect, we lost $150. However, we saved enough money in other areas to make up for it!

Wedding Dress
If you don't mind shopping the clearance section of the bridal shop, do it! You can save SO much money. My dress was only $600 because I looked in the clearance section instead of checking out the brand new dresses. And guess what? NO ONE would ever be able to tell that's where I got it - except for the fact that I just told everyone. :) Because I did that, I saved $600!

This is where comes in. Once you pick your theme/colors, check this website out! We were going to spend $40 on each centerpiece before we found this website. Instead, we're spending $15 on each center piece! So we saved $350!! That's amazing! And honestly the average cost of centerpieces is $1,272! So we technically saved $1,062!!

So far we've only purchased a few decorations from and totaling to about $70. Other than that, we've just asked a few friends and family if we can borrow things from them to save money! Instead of buying brand new white christmas lights, BORROW them! You'll save at least $50. We're also borrowing jam cars (to put candles in) from our family members and that saves us around $40 and we're borrowing some other random stuff that if we just went out and bought it, I can guarentee you it would cost us around $400 to get it all. Just by asking to borrow things, we're saving $490!

According to the Bridal Association of America, the average cost of a wedding cake is $543. CRAZY to pay that much for a flippin' cake. We decided to get a Dairy Queen cake! I know this isn't for everyone, but we figured why not! We'll be paying about $200 for a cake that feeds all 140ish people that may (or may not) attend our wedding. PLUS our buffet style menu we have is giving everyone cheesecake on top of it all! So by doing that, we're saving $343!

Know anyone who's good with photoshop? Ask them to make you a simple invite, 2 sides on a regular press printed card. We only spent $62.25 on our invites because I designed them myself and printed them through an affordable company - and that included 75 invites WITH envelopes! The average cost of wedding invitations is $659!!! We saved $596.75!! Incredible!

Cocktail Hour
Instead of serving a ton of mini sausages, deviled eggs and other random crap, create your own candy station! If we decided to get 10 dozen sausage bites, 10 dozen chicken wings, 10 dozen deviled eggs, 6 pounds of pretzels and a cheese display for cocktail hour, that would cost us $434.20. That's barely enough food to last everyone for that hour. Getting a bunch of candy and borrowing decorative bowls shouldn't cost us more than $200. So we're saving $234.20 just by giving our guests sweet treats with their drinks!

Bouquets and Boutonnieres
Thank you for helping me get ALL my bouquets and boutonnieres for only $450! Yes, they're fake flowers, but they're actually satin flowers, handmade, with "bling." Average cost? $698 for real flowers. So we're saving $248!

Things you shouldn't try to get cheap are your wedding bands and your photography. Those are two things you'll have FOREVER after you get married and you want them to be amazing. So SPLURGE on those if you must! Our wedding bands, together, cost $1,947.96. Our photography package (from Vibrance Photography in Madison, WI) is $2,216.56. Sure, those were spendy, but they are 100% WORTH IT!

I know there are several things I didn't mention, but I think my point has been made clear at this point. Don't settle for the first thing you find, BARGAIN HUNT! If you do, you'll save SOOOO much money. Just off the things I mentioned here, we're saving a grand total of $8,073.95!!!!

I hope you all enjoyed my breakdown of our wedding budget and how YOU can save money on your big day too. Remember, just because it's a big day, doesn't mean you have to spend big money!

Until tomorrow :)
♥ Taber

This is from the tea party shoot I did last week :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bad Blogger

Wow. This is my 2nd blog all week. I fail.

I've been so extremely busy getting as many wedding things done and paid for as possible. We got our tax money this week so we're paying off stuff (like our reception food, ceremony site, DJ, photographer, ect...) and as I mentioned a few days ago we've bought our centerpieces among other decorations from

Let me tell you something. If you're planning a wedding, I HIGHLY recommend checking out! They have TONS of amazing, handmade, fairly priced items for sale. Before I found etsy, we were planning on spending $40 on each centerpiece! That's $560 for a bunch of vases and feathers. The centerpieces we have now were $15 each  and they inspired us to create more of a theme for our wedding (which is like a rustic spring time look). In total, those centerpieces cost $210! So we saved $350!! I'm thinking that tomorrow I'll blog about wedding budgeting to show you what we could've spent, compared to what we are spending :)

Anyway, another reason I've been a bad blogger is because I've been busy editing pictures from my shoot last week on Sunday. Along with preparing for my wedding consultation tonight at 6:30pm. It's just been one of those weeks where I feel like I need 2 more hours every day. I've also barely had any time to workout in between babies, wedding planning and photography! Looks like I need to manage my time a little better... Now that we finally have a working dish washer instead of a giant dish drying rack, I might have more time to get things done :) Thanks landlord and maintenance guy!

Well, I'm going to try and sneak in a cat nap here while both kiddos are passed out!

Talk to you all later :)
♥ Taber

PS - Happy 17 months to my little man Corvin! :)

Here's another photo from Sunday's shoot. Nyara was such a little character! :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Busy, Busy Mama!

Sorry I haven't blogged for the past few days. So much to do and only so much time to do it!

Anyway, quick updates on a few things....

We've decided to go with a rustic theme for our wedding and we've ordered the centerpieces along with a few other things from (PS - I flippin' LOVE that website!)

My very first fitting for my dress is February 29th at 3pm in La Crosse. Can't wait!

I'm turning into more of a bridezilla with my wedding party day by day. Sorry guys, but it's crunch time! Only 3 and a half more months until the big day so things need to be getting done/ordered/paid for NOW!

(Can you tell I'm a little stressed and wedding crazed?? haha)

Also, I've booked another wedding consultation for this friday and a couples shoot for sunday. WOO! Loving the mini business boom I have going on right now! :)

And in weight loss news, my size 6 jeans kind of fit! They'll button, but they don't look that great I do the pony tail trick for now. The accomplishment is that they fit past my butt now and the fact that they do button is HUGE! Even if it doesn't flatter my body while it's buttoned, they still BUTTON!! WOO!! Very excited! :)

Anyway, I have a cranky Zander baby so I need to calm him down. Then I need to get my Zumba on and lose more weight so my first wedding dress fitting goes smoothly :)

Until tomorrow (or whenever I have time!)
♥ Taber

This is from my shoot I had on Sunday. Isn't little Tabia adorable?!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Silly Girls

Very short post for today guys!

I had my mother/daughter shoot today at a local playground here in Peoria, then we did the little tea party. The pictures turned out GREAT! I'm so happy with them! Right now I'm converting all my RAW files into DNG so PSE will recognize them. My camera is too new for my version of PSE to recognize the files as is so it takes me a little longer to get started. I'd rather wait a little longer for better picture quality though!

The mothers name is Melanie, and her daughters names are Nyara (who's 5) and Tabia (who's 2). They were such cuties! Tabia got a little tired towards the end so I didn't get as many pictures with both girls doing the tea party, but I definitely got plenty of other great shots!

Hmm....228 files left to convert. This might take a while. I suppose I can make this post a little longer than I thought I could :)

So I'll talk about an interesting conversation I had yesterday....

Everyone remember my post called 'creepers'? Regardless of me not mentioning names, this is one post made 2 people very mad at me. My reply to that was, well if you don't want people finding out what you were doing, don't do it! Anyway, one particular individual hasn't talked to me since before that post was even written. I would say New Years was the last conversation we had. Well I asked this individual when a certain party was going on, seeing as I received a facebook invite, so I could purchase a present, to which this individual replied, "who is this?"  To which I replied with my name. Then I received a text that said, "those who were invited got invitations in the mail." Ouch. So I said, you know, I can take a hint, I just wanted to get a present for your daughter.

Then all H - E double hockey sticks broke loose!

We bantered on for a bit but I soon decided it wasn't worth the trouble. I wish this individual luck with upcoming surgeries they're supposed to have and wished their daughter a happy 2nd birthday. If they wanted to talk to me again, they knew how to contact me. The reply was a bit long, including words like "sweetie" and "dear" (On a side note, why do people use those words in an argument? Do they think it's cute? Or that it sounds more intimidating? It kind of makes me laugh because I remember doing that in middle school). My blog was blamed at being the sole reason of all the unhappiness in this persons life, claimed that many people told this person about this (although I only have 4-5 mutual friends on facebook with this individual that may have read it) and then was told, "don't talk to me, don't talk to another individual who's name I dare not speak, and don't show your face near my kid's birthday."


So I said, "well I meant what I said when I said good luck, have a nice life." To which I recieved the following text...

"Anyway, I meant what I said. GET F***ED!!! Last time I'm telling you."

This is when the conversation became a little entertaining. I told her I'll tell Allyn to jump right on that, and I was told to not get if it was supposed to be an insult.

Good burn and TOUCHE!


Anyway, my files are completed and my little Zander is hungry! So this ends now (which is what I was told at the end of my entertaining argument yesterday).

Until tomorrow!
♥ Taber

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Happiness has Arrived

I have lots of good news!

1. I'm down to (drum roll please...)

131.4 POUNDS!!!

VERY excited about that!

2. I booked my very first wedding today! :D I'm BEYOND excited for that! As I said a few days ago, this will be my first totally solo wedding - unless someone else books me for a wedding before August 11th :)

3. Corvin can kind of say hair! :)

It's been a good couple of days for me. I can't wait to see how everything else is going to go! There was another bride who contacted me about setting up a consultation. If she decides to go with me as well, I may be able to afford the class I've been dying to take!

Also, I just found a lot of great prop websites along with another class. This one is to teach you all the secrets of newborn photography (which is something I'm very interested in). This class is $550 for a one on one, 2 hour online mentoring session. That's probably going to have to wait another year! I'll stick with the simple newborn photography things I already know for now!

I am just SO excited right now for my business! I think in the next month or so, I'm going to officially register myself as an LLC.

Taber Lacie Photography, LLC

Sounds fancy ;) haha

Anyway, I have things to do to prepare for my mother daughter shoot tomorrow. I hope the rain holds off until Monday so we can get the adorable tea party started at 3pm sharp!

Talk to you all tomorrow!
♥ Taber

The AMAZING detail at the Grotto in Dickeyville, WI

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Good Life ♥

I'm in love with 3 boys.

Sounds pretty scandalous if you didn't know I'm talking about Allyn, Corvin and Zander :)

But seriously, they fill my heart with more happiness than you could imagine. Do they get on my nerves sometimes? Oh you bet. And I can guarantee I get on their nerves too!

We're the Lottouzee family. We all love each other. Even though our boys are only 3 months and 16 months, I can tell they love each other too. Wont be much longer and Zander will be able to run around and play with his older brother Corvin and their daddy. He's already trying really hard to be apart of the fun!

My post yesterday was mostly a big ol' complaint about Allyn. I told myself while I was writing it that I should make sure to let everyone know that Allyn doesn't normally do things like that. He's actually a very sweet guy - with the occasional butthead moments (who doesn't have those?). If I ask him to do something, he normally does it. He'll randomly do the dishes for me if he knows I've had a long day with cranky babies. He pours me a glass of wine at the end of the night when the kiddos are in bed. He tells me I'm pretty all the time - even though I don't believe him. He gives me back or foot rubs randomly, even when I don't ask. He used to do things like make me cute cards, leave little notes around, and even once made a giant banner!

I'm lucky to have him. I look at him and think there is no way I could ever find a guy that loves me and treats me as good as he does. He's made my ultimate dream come true. I know, that sounds rather corny, but it's true. I always hoped that someday I could be a stay at home mom but figured there was no way that would happen. I always hoped I could start my own photography business but figured I'd have to get a regular job and work there for years before I could afford any kind of equipment or have the time. He's made it so I have those things, and I'm ultimately very thankful.

Because of Allyn, I have a great life.

May 25th cannot come soon enough. I can't wait to officially be Taber Lottouzee :)

Until tomorrow
♥ Taber

Allyn and one of his groomsmen, Percy

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Sparkly, Happy Sunshine Post?

Taber doesn't exist. At least not on nerd/guy/drinking nights.

Ready for a sparkly, happy, sunshine post?! Sorry if that's what you were expecting for today. I'm probably not going to write anything too sparkly, happy or sunshiny. Whoops.

Whenever Allyn invites his friends from around here over, he slowly turns into a drunken, inconsiderate "butthead."  His friends tend to act this way too. I say something, trying to participate in the conversation, and they literally ignore me. I had this problem when I was younger and I found out I just wasn't being loud enough. However, I know I'm saying it loud enough now. Sometimes they'll glance at me like "I'm going to sort of act like I care, but I really don't give a crap."  For a bit I finally got to participate in the conversation (woo!) but I was soon SUSHED by his friend. REALLY?! My biggest complaint there is with myself. I've kind of turned into a pussy in the past year or so. I didn't retaliate like I used to when someone disrespected me. For those of you who've known me for a while, you know that in the past when someone was rude to me in ANY way, they knew about it right away! So I'm a little mad at myself that I just ignored it like a wimp. Also, I heard Allyn making fun of me with his buddies several times. Whispering or not, I can hear what you're saying. AND I don't appreciate the whispering. If you and your friends have something to say, in my home, say it loud enough to be heard clearly. If you need to whisper about it, maybe that's something you shouldn't be talking about at that moment? Just a thought.

Lately, when Allyn drinks, he forgets about anyone else except for himself. This all happened at our apartment, while the boys were sleeping, and he was being so loud. I had to remind him several times to keep it down. Typical drunk person I suppose, but it's gotten worse since we've moved here. They were playing that flippin' game until 2:30 in the morning. Dice kept hitting the board of the game, they each had to pee more often than a girl so the toilet was constantly being flushed, then they would suddenly all laugh in unison. Each one of those things prevented me from sleeping. Thanks boys. PS - If you're wondering why I'm cranky, that's why. Not much sleep + Taber = cranky mommy. He also completely blew off his sister last night, which probably bothers me more than it bothers her. He said he wanted to talk to her around midnight, so when midnight got closer I reminded him several times to call her. He just went, "aww crap"  and continued to play his nerd game. I just thought that was really rude and inconsiderate seeing as she probably wanted to talk to her brother about everything going on with their mom right now. So I texted her, apologized for him and said I'll make sure he talks to her tomorrow.

One final complaint. You know that person that just keeps talking and talking and talking....then talks some more? You know when they get drunk that they're even worse and you just think to yourself, "Oh my God, get to the point or be done already!"? Unfortunately, that guy is Allyn. I love him to death but he has a bad habit of putting way too many details into a story and while he's drunk, that story turns into a damn novel. Perfect for him when he's getting ready to write his book, however most people don't have the attention span to pay attention to his whole story in a spoken conversation. I'll remind him to try and speed it up a bit because I can see people getting frustrated, annoyed or just start to stare off into the distance and zone out. He doesn't always listen though. Last night he was telling the story of why we have to testify in court at the end of the month in this robbery case and he just went on and on with all these unnecessary details, then repeated several of them several times. The guy he was telling this to even said, "okay, I understand, what's the point of all of this?"  So I jumped in, trying to let Allyn focus on his game instead of the story (drunk brains can only do so much at one time!), and I finished the story for him in less than a minute. It might've been a little rude to Allyn (sorry babe) but his friend was getting obviously frustrated.

I'm sure I'm not alone on this here. Any other ladies have this problem with your boyfriend/fiancee/husband and his buddies when they're all drinking? Maybe not to the same extent, and it might even be worse, but I'm sure there are issues like this with other couples.

Allyn is a great guy, don't get me wrong, but lately when he drinks he kind of pisses me off. Who knows, maybe he'll make up for it tonight when he comes home, but who am I kidding.. I'm not going to hold my breath.

Anyway, Zander was still sleeping - until now - so I had a little bit of time to write a quick post about my not-so-fun time last night.

Talk to you all tomorrow!
♥ Taber

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Nerd Night

Tonight, in my apartment, nerd night is goin' down.

Be jealous.

Yeah, you're probably not jealous, are you? Didn't think so. I'm not jealous of me either. Nerd night entails Allyn finding all his nerd friends and playing nerd board games. Game of choice - Axis and Allies. Oh goodie....

For me, nerd night means I gotta put on normal clothes, try to make myself look pretty or whatever because people I don't know that well are coming over (I hate looking like a mess in front of strangers, not sure why), clean everything I possibly can and cook a bigger meal for the night. Oh, and continue taking care of both kiddos with little to no help. The "festivities"  are to commence at 6pm and go on until their nerd cravings for total imaginary world domination are fulfilled. And once all the beer is gone.

I need more girlfriends around here so on nights like this I could invite one or two of them over. Maybe if I'm super lucky, one of the nerd friends will bring along a girlfriend for me to socialize with. I'm not gonna get my hopes up though. *sigh* Oh well.

Anyway, in the last few days my photography has really picked up! I'm SO excited! This weekend, I have my very first wedding consultation! If they book me, it'll be my first solo wedding and the first wedding I've done since high school. I really hope they book me, but we'll just have to find out on Saturday! On Sunday, I'm doing a family shoot with a mother and her two daughters. Along with regular family pictures, we're going to have a little tea party :) I cannot wait to see how those turn out! I've also booked a maternity session for this month, I have a children's session booked for March in La Crosse and I have a family session booked for April in Peoria. Love, love, love it! I can't wait to see if more work will start coming my way :)

Anyway, as I was saying earlier, there is much to get done before the arrival of the nerd party. I still need to do my Zumba for the day, make lunch, clean, get ready, get the boys ready then start to prepare dinner. Oh what fun it is to be a housewife :)

Until tomorrow :)
♥ Taber

Axis and Allies in action! ;)