An Autumnal Photowalk

Before it got all gross and wintery here, I managed to go on a photowalk with Claire to capture some of the colours changing. I feel pretty lucky to live where we live; not just to be able to call Edinburgh our home, but I love our neighbourhood!

PC: Claire

PC: Claire

What better way to celebrate Autumn than by tossing the fallen leaves in the air??

And of course Liam got in on the leaf action as well!

PC: Claire

You can see Claire’s photos of our walk here.

Six Months

Today Liam is six months old!


You can’t tell in the picture above, or any of the following pictures–good job, son–but Liam is a pretty content baby and an absolute joy to be around. Even when he’s being fussy all I have to do is hold him and stand up. If it gets really bad, then I sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” in his ear and he instantly gets quiet and his cries turn into little baby sniffles. Yeah, my heart melts on a daily basis over here.

He’s like most six month olds in that he puts  e v e r y t h i n g  in his mouth. Except parsnips. He’s not a fan of those. And eggs, he’s on the fence about eggs. But everything else is free game; especially his Sophie. He LOVES her!

He already has two teeth and is gearing up for two more (I think the top two are next?). And he is a drool machine. I cannot handle all of the drool.

He hates being on his tummy but is slowly tolerating more time on it. So, he can roll onto his back but not off of it. There aren’t really any signs of him crawling soon. But he is sitting up with minimal assistance! He especially enjoys sitting on someone’s lap and facing the arm of a chair/couch and hearing his nails scratch the fabric.

Liam is a great sleeper! Well, as in he sleeps through the night, 7pm-7am, but dealing with him unswaddling himself was not giving me an uninterrupted 12hrs of sleep. So, after about two months of trying to figure out how to get him used to his legs and arms being free, we just cut him off from the swaddle cold turkey… and we moved him out of our room last week. He’ll still wake up once or twice in the night but those moments are much less frequent; like last night, he woke up at 5am, chirped once or twice, and then went right back to sleep! Thank you, son. Thank you.

He’s a quiet observer. He doesn’t seem shy, just like he’s sitting back, taking it all in and assessing his surroundings. I wish I was more like that. It’s great taking him out in public or hanging out with our friends… unless you get loud in his face. He doesn’t enjoy that – but who does, really?

He’s not consistently chatty but can be. He’s learning and making new sounds all of the time. Lately he’s been fake coughing. I have no clue where that came from because Will and I don’t really cough. With my allergies I’ve been sneezing most mornings–thank you, Scotland–but no coughing. So, maybe that’s his “sneeze”? I don’t know, either way, it’s one of his noises.

He LOVES bath time! He kicks and splashes and moves around so much in the water. His new thing is to be belly-down in the water, raise his head and chest high, and start kicking his legs. It’s pretty freakin’ adorable!

Oh man, six months. Six months!

Happy half birthday, Liam!



All pictures by the talented Ms. Fleck last month in Harrison Park East!

Our Christmas Holiday in Richmond

Will and I (and Liam, of course) are heading back to Richmond for Christmas next month! We’re really looking forward to our families seeing Liam, some for the first time. I can’t believe how much he’s changed in these first six months so I know our parents are going to love seeing him again being more alert and interactive!

But, in getting excited about our trip back to Richmond, I realised that I forgot to share about our trip last year (oooops).

So, last year was great. I had JUST gotten over being sick and my belly was starting to show. It worked out really well. It was our first Christmas back in four years so there were a lot of things we were looking forward to: family dinners, family decorations, family christmas traditions – pretty much all things family!
 Will and I had spent the previous three Christmases just the two of us and albeit some of my favourite holiday memories with him, it was nice to spice things up a bit with being with our families. We consider ourselves pretty lucky that both sets of parents not only live in the same city BUT they’re friends and hang out all the time!!

We arrived on the 23rd and unfortunately jet lag kicked my butt and I could barely keep my eyes open past 8pm our whole time there. But we hit the ground running and managed to have joint dinners nearly every night, catch up with most everyone we wanted to, and got to see some FSU football together – go Noles! My brother came down from New York twice to be with us and that was really special – I legitimately can’t get enough of that guy.

I am blessed with two moms that really know how to make my belly happy! Between my mother-in-law’s southern comfort food and my mom’s puerto rican comfort food I pretty much had to be rolled out of Richmond. On top of that, I indulged in corned beef hash and eggs nearly every morning, with the occasional morning of waffles for breakfast. It was bliss! I joked that my bigger belly at the end of the trip was not entirely baby… maybe 75% of it was baby? ;)

One of the more exciting parts of this trip was that I would be spending New Year’s Eve dancing the night away with my closest friends! With three out of four of us not living in Richmond anymore (Tennessee, Oregon, and me in Scotland) it’s unlikely for us to find ourselves in the same place. BUT, this New Year’s Eve it happened. We put on our false eyelashes, curled our hair, applied our brightest red lipstick, and danced the night away! It was bliss! I think that was my most favorite New Year’s Eve EVER!

Deep down inside Will was looking forward to dancing ;)

“I’ve never felt more attractive” – Stacey
“Wow. Our faces move like that.” – Leslie

That night was only made better by dragging Will out of bed at 8am to go to Waffle House the next morning! Will might have hated me that morning, but it was for the baby ;) And it was Waffle House!! Note: I definitely plan on introducing Liam to Waffle House on this trip!

The last time we were back in RVA we didn’t take one family picture. This time we got the talented Amy Robinson to take our pictures. Aren’t we all so beautiful?!! I really do love my family!

Photo Cred: Amy Robinson

I also got my friend, Leslie to take some bump pictures for me. Oh my cute little baby bump!

All in all it was a wonderful trip back to Richmond and a wonderful Christmas! Will and I are looking forward to going back and having Liam with us – outside of my belly this time ;)

A Day At The Beach

Scotland isn’t known for it’s summers – can I get an Amen!?!

But, we do get the occasional “scorcher”. So, one Sunday, our MC took advantage of a summer day and met up at Cramond Beach. It was such a beautiful day!  Now, we had been to Cramond once before but it was at night and the tide was in. It was nice to go out there during the day to see it with the tide out and all it’s beachy glory. We also introduced Liam to the sand and sea… he may be “Scottish” (not actually Scottish) but he is half Puerto Rican – so he will love the beach! Well, as much as you can while bundled up against the wind ;)

A Brain Dump (+ Photos!!)

Tomorrow Liam will be 20 weeks – TWENTY WEEKS!! I can’t believe it’s been that long… or that short? I can’t tell just yet ;) So much has happened within these last four plus months and at the same time nothing has happened. I mean, Liam is blowing my mind, and taking care of him is such a joy, but, I know it’s not as exciting to you as it is to me.

Or maybe it is? I don’t know.

So, if you don’t mind, I’m just gonna dump it all out and we’ll take it from there. Thanks.

I’ve started exercising again! A friend gifted me her Kayla Itsines’ BBG workout and  I’ve died about five times now; but it feels good to be exercising again. I can’t do her guides completely (my body is not ready for mountain climbers or burpees) but most of it is pretty doable. I’ve got a looooong way to go.

Will is working from home now and it’s been great. I wasn’t sure it was a good idea at first (I wasn’t sure I had the self-discipline to leave him alone all day), but after seeing how Will and Liam have grown closer because of the extra time Will is spending at home has made it worth it! I have nothing but heart eyes for these two!

I love catching Liam’s silly faces on camera!!

I will forever love Dean Bridge for this view.

I made goat’s milk soap with my friend, Aya, and love it. Everyone’s getting soap for Christmas!

Friends of ours moved back to the States so we bought their tv for dirt cheap. It’s made binging on Suits much more enjoyable. Though, I do have to share it with Will and Liam so they can watch their sports.

Our MC (Missional Community) spent a Sunday at the beach. I wish there were more days like this one during the summer.

I went to a breastfeeding clinic last week and Liam put on a show for the nurses – as in he did his new trick of feeding for only three minutes and crying for the better part of an hour. The midwives confirmed that he is teething and recommended Ashton & Parsons Infants’ Powder; it’s a game changer! He hasn’t put on much weight in the last month so this should help with that.

was using cloth diapers on Liam but then he started soiling his outfit every time so I went back to paper diapers. I’m hoping he’ll put on some more weight now that he’s eating better so we can go back to cloth. We’re using BumGenius diapers that we inherited from a sweet friend and it’s such a money saver! Honestly, I kinda don’t like using cloth, but I dislike spending the money on paper more – sooooo yeah.

I just bought River Cottage’s Baby & Toddler Cookbook and can’t wait to use it!

I’m on an organising spree so I’ve got Evernote and iBank on my phone – meal planning and budgeting FTW!

I just celebrated my 32nd birthday (woah!!) and it was such a pleasant day. Will was away in Sweden for the weekend so I was happy to have him home. We made a big breakfast, spent 90 minutes looking for a movie to watch on Netflix (as you do), gave Liam a bath, and did a little shopping. It wasn’t much but I loved every minute of it!

Babymooning in Amsterdam

Will is currently headed to a conference in Sweden for the weekend (read: Liam and I will be in our pj’s binging on “Suits” all weekend. We may, or may not, leave the flat–I haven’t decided).

So, I thought I’d reminisce about our babymoon back in March.

Last Christmas Will surprised me with tickets to Amsterdam for our babymoon! He booked the flights and AirBnB room for March so it gave me plenty of time to figure out what I wanted to see and do. By the time March rolled around I was sooooooooooo ready to get my third-trimester-belly over there!

Our first morning there had a bit of a rough start. As soon as we had started walking my back was hurting. I think I lasted 10 minutes before I had to sit down somewhere. On top of that it was cold and windy and I had somehow thought that leaving Scotland, aka “the land of cold and windy”, meant I was flying to the tropics…. because that was the type of logical thinking I was having at nearly eight months of being pregnant?? So, about 12 minutes into our first day I nearly broke down that I was cold and hurting and I was ruining our holiday. BUT enter in Will, the one with a properly functioning brain, and he made it all better by finding us a cafe so we could get warm and sit and press reset. That man of mine sure does know how to be wonderful to me!

After our little reset we were able to tackle Amsterdam that weekend! We saw Anne Frank’s safe house (one of my favourite museums to this day), went to an outdoor market, ate freshly made stroopwafels, checked out more of the amazing museums, walked through the red light district, and walked hand-in-hand along the rivers! We even got to meet up with friends who had just moved from Edinburgh to the Netherlands.

Happiness is a warm stroopwafel.

A photo posted by willkelly (@killwelly) on

Bump and blarf buddies!! (Blarf = blanket scarf).

The artist at work.

A photo posted by willkelly (@killwelly) on

I don't have the words to express how lucky I am to call this man my partner and best friend. I am too blessed.

A photo posted by Jacqueline C R Kelly (@jcrkelly) on

Gorgeous last day in Amsterdam!!

A photo posted by Jacqueline C R Kelly (@jcrkelly) on

It was such a great trip for both of us. My belly didn’t get too much in the way of seeing the city. As long I was fed and had ample opportunities to sit and rest I was willing and able to walk all day. And truthfully, Amsterdam is a very walk-able city and easy to get around.  We’d love to go back someday… maybe in the spring/summertime? ;)

A Belfast Market And The Dark Hedges

Back in February Will and I went with some friends to Northern Ireland for a wedding. One of the days we spent in Belfast walking around and checking out an indoor market. We had been to Belfast before so it was nice to see something different. And you know me, I love a good market!

Spending the day in Belfast with these pals!

A photo posted by Jacqueline C R Kelly (@jcrkelly) on

Of course we couldn’t NOT check out a bookstore ;)

The day of the wedding was when we went to the Dark Hedges. It was on the way and when better to take a picture in the middle of the road then when you’re in fancy dress?!

Missed waking up to these beautiful faces this morning. #weddingfair #northernireland

A photo posted by Jacqueline C R Kelly (@jcrkelly) on

Those two women were so cute walking down the hedges: just gabbing away with their arms linked!

Paris On Film

I miss Paris. The food. The markets. The old shutters and wrought iron balconies. The SUN. The HEAT! Oh man I miss it all!

We were hoping to go this summer but are unable to for obvious reasons – good reasons (cough Liam cough cough) but still. So, to tide me over, here are the film pictures I took last summer.

Maybe next summer?!

My Mom Story

If you follow me on Instagram then you probably have seen that Will and I welcomed a new addition to our family a handful of weeks ago… so, I thought I’d tell you about it.

William “Liam” Ramirez Kelly born Wednesday, 20th May 2015 at 14:02 | 7lbs 11oz | 21.5 inches

When I was 35 weeks pregnant I had a scan confirming that I had Placenta Previa (a low-lying placenta) and so I had to have a cesarean section. I got the c-section date, and new due date, of May 20th. Honestly, I was really nervous about this. I had never had a surgery like this before and I wasn’t looking forward to the hospital stay; I knew I would just want to go home as soon as possible (nurses don’t make very good patients). I was worried about the recovery and being even more useless after having felt useless most of the pregnancy. Would I even be able to pick up my baby?? I also felt like I would be missing out on a womanly rite of passage. Where would my water break? How many expletives would I yell in a single push? How long would I be in labour? Would I be able to handle the contractions? So, many things I was expecting to go through, and quite honestly, was looking forward to going through them. Now, I wouldn’t get the chance.

Everything the morning of the 20th happened so slowly until my name was called to get prepped for the surgery. From that point on it was as if everything went into hyperdrive! We went upstairs to change into our gowns and then we were walked straight into the OR where the staff were waiting for me. The next thing I know I’ve got two IV’s in my hand, a needle in my back, and the staff are lifting my heavy legs onto the table. In no time Will is sitting by my side, I’m numb from the chest down, and a barrier is put up so I can’t see the surgeon at work. It was all getting so real so fast.

I’m not sure how long I thought it would take to hear my baby’s first cries but I think it took all of 1.3 seconds! He came out of the womb crying and as soon as I heard our baby I immediately started crying. See, the whole pregnancy I wondered how I could/would love someone I hadn’t even met yet! Will would talk to my belly every day telling our baby how much he loved it but I didn’t. I didn’t know how I felt towards our baby because I didn’t feel attached to it yet. It wasn’t until we got the cesarean date when I actually started to look forward to meeting our baby. I wondered who it would look like, me or Will? What would its cries sound like? Would I be able to breastfeed? Would it hurt? All of these questions made me eager to meet our little guy and get stuck into motherhood. But I still didn’t know how I felt towards our baby. At least not until I heard him cry. The minute I heard him cry I felt connected to him — I knew I loved him.

After Will came back from helping clean up Liam, we took a couple of selfies while the surgeon stitched me up. Then I was wheeled into recovery to get some blood, breast feed (which, surprisingly, doesn’t hurt like hell until later), and let our families know how it all went. I ended up in a private room on the ward – praise God! – and stayed for only two days.

Coming home with Liam was another overwhelming moment. Seeing him in our flat in his moses basket was too much for me to handle — we were all home! I went into the bathroom and cried. Will had followed me in there and held me as I repeatedly said how much I love our little boy.

The last 5 1/2 weeks with him have been an eye opening roller coaster. I am thirsty All. The. Time. We have an amazing community that loves us and loves our son. I am sooooo tired but don’t like naps. I’m not as useless as I thought I would be for as long as I feared I would be for. My hanger has gone to new levels. Our families are absolutely wonderful! My mommy brain is far worse than my pregnancy brain ever was. Liam is eating Like. A. Boss. I’ve realized exactly how bad I am at asking for help and accepting it. I want more kids! I have the greatest husband in the whole world! And I’m so in love with our son!

One thing I didn’t anticipate is how much I love being a mom. I was nervous that my selfish self would struggle with my new “ball ‘n chain” but I love it. I don’t mind that I can’t just up and leave or that Will and I can’t sit in a cafe for a few hours. None of that matters as much as they used to. Of course, the tiredness is soooooo intense sometimes and breastfeeding can hurt like a B and I struggle to put complete sentences together but I don’t mind it as much as i thought I would. I’m finding so much joy in being a mom – especially being Liam’s mom!

So, there you have it. My mom story!

Scotland Bucket List


I’m just NOW getting over my mild version of the flu. It’s been a rough couple of weeks. But Will and I are survivors so we persevered. We also may have self-medicated with fish ‘n chips three nights in a row and then had burgers with friends. Our bodies kinda love/hate us right now.

So, in the spirit of being sick and lazy I’d thought I make a Scotland bucket list. We have a few goodbyes to say in the coming months so we’ve been talking about Scotland bucket lists. Of course, Will and I have more than a few months left here, but I thought it would be a good idea to get started on it now so we’re not scrambling to fit it all in later. Though, I’m sure that in those last few weeks we’ll still be scrambling and trying to fit in as much of this wonderful place as possible!

So, here’s our Scotland bucket list. We’ll probably add to it as we think of more things.

  • Ride the Jacobite Train
  • Hike Binnean Niem Beann
  • Go on a whiskey tour (this one’s more for Will)
  • Road trip around Scotland
  • See more of the highlands
  • Go to the Orkneys
  • See Hadrian’s Wall
  • See more of the west coast

It doesn’t seem like much but it’s not that big of a country but a couple of these items are things I want to do again (highlands, Glencoe, and the west coast). We’ve been lucky enough to have done a lot already: