Before 8am {Kristine}

“Life is an adventure, and there is no script. I see something in ordinary moments. I believe that perfection comes not when you are dressed perfectly and wearing lipstick – but in little moments and interactions that make up our days and build and sustain our relationships. Let me show you the beauty in your unscripted moments…”  – Karen Jacot, photographer

I love the Before 8am series :: {1} it’s great the see the different definitions of “normal”, and {2} I admire great photography. Karen is no exception. When the opportunity arose for her to come into our home, I gladly accepted, especially since I’m usually the one behind the lens.

Before baby, we were never morning people. In fact, I had a certain reputation at work and most folks knew not to approach my desk until after 9am. But now, little miss sunshine wakes every morning, dark and early, like a clock. Mornings are my new favorite. Since we are both within 5 miles of our respective offices, we enjoy our mornings as a family before going about our days.

I’m a Beyoncé fan and because she’s so relatable to me, I’ve found Beyoncé lyrics that perfectly caption my morning. Yes, this is happening. Sing along if you like. Cheers.


“Pat your weave, ladies. Pat, pat, pat your weaves, ladies.”
Daily hair essentials when one has bangs, laziness, and limited time due to getting out of bed at last minute – water, hair dryer, dry shampoo. Most days, this happens later on in the morning with the baby playing at my feet, but she decided to “sleep in” a little bit.


“Watch me on your video phone.”
We have a video monitor set up so we can watch from our phones both inside and outside the home. Can’t live without it. I often find myself firing up the app while I’m sitting at my desk at work just to get a glimpse into my little girl’s day.


“I woke up like this.”
Who doesn’t love the fresh, squishy, groggy face? Featured far left is my 2nd child, Kara’s lovey, bai bai xiong. That translates from Chinese to “white white bear”. Richard had a bai bai xiong and now Karebear does too. We don’t leave home without it. And yes, those are 2 wubbanubs in her crib. God forbid one hurled outside the crib the child is left without her paci. I dread the day we have to break-up with the pacis. The combination of bai bai xiong and paci is such a strong sleep association for my little one. Anyone else feel me on this?


“Jumpin’ jumpin’.”
She MUST give a few hops before I pick her up out of bed.


“Pose for the camera, now. Click. Click.”
Kara loved Karen’s company. She would not stop posing, hamming, and waving for the camera. Below, she’s supposed to be doing her “chore” of turning off the light. But, you know, she’s too busy hamming it up.



“I can see your halo.”
I am glad Karen captured this moment for us… The morning nursing. These were the last days of breastfeeding. I didn’t think I would get so wistful about the end of this phase, but I also didn’t think my supply would tank before my goal of 1 year {…because I surprisingly got pregnant!}.



“There is no one else like my daddy. And I thank you for loving me.”
There’s something about girls and their daddies. This girl loves her daddy. She smiled for her daddy first. She probably kissed him first, too. He lives for her kisses. I don’t blame him. They’re the best.


“Make it last forever. Come on baby won’t you hold onto me.”
Oh, those open-mouthed baby kisses. I’ll miss them when the real puckers develop! Reading and snuggles usually follow the shower of kisses. Kara’s latest favorite has been Peek-A-Baby. {Frugalista’s tip :: This book was purchased at Marshall’s which made it cheaper than the marked retail price!} It’s incredible what a baby’s mind retains. She even knows the sequence in which to lift the flaps.



“Come take my hand. I won’t let you go.”
Again, we must jump before we get out of bed.


“Legs movin’ side to side.”
This happy baby does NOT stay still for diaper changes. She rolls and rolls and rolls. It’s safer to keep her on the ground. Her metabolism also moves at lightning speed, so I often have to check for poop. By the way, I love cloth diapering. I also love her rolls.



“Down to ride ’til the very end, it’s me and my boyfriend.”
Richard and I are a good team. We divide and conquer. One of us will take the babe. The other will prepare her food/bottle. She rewards us by sharing her food.



This kid loves to eat. Too bad we suspect she’s allergic to many things. The appointment with the allergist should be interesting.


“Introduce you to some new things. Upgrade U.”
Kara is a quick learner, and my mom teaches her many new things when she watches her during the day. One of those things is patting her head after being asked {in Vietnamese}, “Where’s your head?” She knows she will be rewarded with food if she completes the task!



“I’m a, a diva.”
Yes, kid. You spiked that cup on the ground like you did the 202924 other times.


“This is for them 50 somethings.”
This is my mother. She comes over daily to watch Kara while I’m at work. Basically, my mom is a bad@ss.  Kara gets to play and learn all day. Because my mom only speaks to her in Vietnamese, this is really the closest chance we have of her really learning the language since my Vietnamese nowadays is elementary at best. Plus, Richard is Chinese-American so when we speak to each other, it’s in English. Kara and her grandmother start their days by inspecting the contents of the fridge together, and usually, Kara reaches for the bottles of beer stored on the inside of the left fridge door. The two of them have a very special relationship, and we are incredibly privileged to have my mother in our life.



“Run the world. Girls.”
After my mom arrives, I quickly finish getting ready for work and dash out the door with breakfast in hand which is usually consumed in the car.


I know our mornings won’t be like this much longer. I’ll cherish them while they last, and I’m so grateful that we have these photographs to document this part of our lives. Thank you, Karen!

To see Karen’s perspective from her Before 8am morning with us, check out her blog post.  And don’t forget to check out the rest of the posts within this amazing series as well!

Previous articleYou’re Invited To… Hop Around Houston! {HMB’s Summer Play Date Series Announcement}
Next articleThe Importance of Family
Kristine H
Kristine grew up in Houston where she met her husband Richard. The high school sweethearts welcomed their daughter Kara {2014} after naturally overcoming infertility. Sixteen months later, their son Ray {2015} joined their family. She balances the allergy mom life as well as a full-time job at an oil & gas supermajor where she is the queen of PowerPoint. Her Houston roots run deep with her Bachelors degree from the University of Houston and MBA from Rice University. Kristine loves traveling, good food, and experiencing all things H-town with family and friends, especially drinks {bars, breweries, boutique coffee shops!}, museums, and of course, BEYONCÉ. You can follow her adventures on vu hu life, Instagram and Twitter {@vuhulife}.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here