Christmas Tree Farm Visit

Our family visits Devine Acres Farm | Devine, Texas | South Texas Christmas Tree Farm


It’s been about 10 years since I met my friend Colleen. She introduced me to an awesome little Christmas tree farm in Devine, TX and I couldn’t believe my eyes when we arrived for the first time. I never imagined it was possible to visit such a cute little Christmas tree farm so close to the Rio Grande Valley. (It’s still a nice little 4ish hour drive away but it beats driving to Dallas!)

We fell in love with this place and have since tried to make it back as a post-Thanksgiving tradition. We drive up, pick out our Christmas tree, roast some marshmallows, and play until our legs feel like jell-o.

This year was the first year we headed up as a complete family of 7. It had been a while and we were so psyched to finally head back up. The kids were not disappointed and neither was I!

The farm has grown, there was definitely a bigger crowd than I was used to, but the charm is still 100% intact. The friendly faces showed us the way and we had a blast exploring all the new games and features the farm now offers.

We had an incredible time and can’t wait to head back up next year!

Have you visited this beautiful little gem?

My own breastfeeding journey...

Breastfeeding Photos McAllen, Texas 

Hazy memories still linger in my head from those first breastfeeding attempts... I was groggy, trying to wrap my mind around my very first emergency cesarean, putting on my poker face when everyone asked if I was okay. Those first latches didn’t come easily but overall, I’d say we had a fairly smooth 8-10 month breastfeeding journey. 

My second baby comes around and it’s time to figure it all out again. I was determined, I was mourning the loss of the vbac I never got, I was holding this second baby and ready to take on the world again. Another successful breastfeeding journey in the books! 12 months and proud...

Ben was another easy peasy latching baby... yet another failed vbac attempt... another hit to my soul but here he was, healthy, beautiful and in my arms. He nursed like a champ for 2 years. 

Then came Abbey. This family-centered cesarean healed my soul. She was skin to skin immediately and we formed a bond from the start. She and I had some hurdles to get our nursing sessions to flow smoothly. Poor latch, sore nipples, heavy let downs and lots of spit up. Make that TONS of spit up. Overall, I would say that despite the hiccups, we did alright. She is by far the longest nursing journey. We surpassed the 3-year mark this past December and she’s still going strong. Extended breastfeeding is not anything I ever thought about when I held my first little guy... yet here we are, 3 1/2 yrs into my very last breastfeeding round. 

Sometimes I find myself wishing I could have my body back and then I remember those days when the stomach flu strikes and Abbey escaped the wrath of illness... or at least gets by with her “nursies.” Other times, I wish I could just sleep without a toddler trying to yank at my shirt... well, you get the idea... it isn’t always peachy. 

Well, it seems my breast decided to retire without giving me the heads up or waving the white flag. I developed a clogged duct recently (quite common yet, new to me.) Well, this darn duct is stubborn as they come. It’s been a week of warm compresses, lecithin supplements, massage, nursing and more nursing, Vit C, antibiotics, etc etc... the clog persists. Now reality is hitting me in the face and every latch seems like it may be the last. The flood of emotions is high not only because this clog is driving me crazy, but because this is it. She’s the last baby. The last latch that finalizes this chapter of my book. Goodness, I can’t even begin to describe what this bittersweet feeling is like. I want to hold her extra close, savor every last nursing cuddle and hang on to the memory of what has been my life for the past few years. 

These littles will never be this little again. This life of ours will never be what it currently is. We are forever changing and growing as our family moves forward and although it’s exciting, it’s also leaving this mama with a big aching heart. 

~norma

If you would like to document your baby's first or last latch. I'm here mama. I'd be honored to help you preserve these precious moments with you. | 956.369.5777 | CONTACT ME HERE.

Happy Birthday Baby Eli | Beautiful Edinburg Women's Corner Birth

Birth Photography Edinburg, TX | Baby Eli

One year ago in May, I got the call to head over to the hospital. Baby Eli was on his way! My friend was induced that Thursday morning and she bravely took on her induction while fighting a case of appendicitis! Her husband stood by her side as she worked through each contraction. It was incredible to watch their connection! 

I'm so drawn to the way partners support each other through labor and delivery. It's such an incredible journey filled with many challenges but when I see that love and support in the room, my heart melts. The birth space can be so intimate... I am incredibly blessed to be able to stand back and capture all of these love stories unfolding. 

That afternoon, my friend was so focused on bringing little Elioenai earth side. I saw her husband pray with her, whisper to her, and support her through each wave. I still remember that day so clearly. Her dim room, her music playing, her dad coming by with his story about his last vacation. I remember the look on her mother's face when she finally brought little Eli earth side and the tears in her husband's eyes. 

There was so much love in that room and little Eli's birth will always be such a special day in my heart. 

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and now... it's been a year. Time has flown and this little guy is a ray of sunshine! He is surrounded by so much love from both friends and family... I am beyond blessed to be able to watch him grow.

~Norma Hess