Monday, December 26, 2011

Fa LA la la la, la la la la!




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I love Christmas. I love the music, the different smells that it brings. The love. The spirit of giving. 
The movies. And of course the events that lead up to the very special day!


***
My kids hate Santa. I mean.. they really, really hate him.

Cole likes that he brings him toys, but to sit on his lap, and tell him what toys to bring him? Not happening.

Tonka - she also refused to sit on St. Nick's lap.

So when the Santa float came through the neighborhood, the only thing my kids took advantage of were the candy canes. The very delicious, sticky candy canes!

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Another Christmas Happening was the departments annual Christmas party. Dressing up and attending something that involves a sit down meal, and a DJ.. and not having to pack color crayons and diapers... well, you don't have to ask me twice.

Only this year, a nasty eye infection that would last for well over a week happened this night. Initially I thought I might have scratched it. Three or four days later - and not being able to open it, was when I realized it definitely wasn't the result of a scratch!

Thankfully the photo is kind of blurry! =)
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Attending the party with my closest friends was the best part of the night!
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Exactly a week later, the girls and I treated eachother to dinner. And yes, eye infection was worse by this point!
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***

Something thats not Christmas, but just simply beautiful.

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****

I tend to ramble on about my past, but its what has linked me to the core of my present being, and I can't help but talk about it.

Although there are somethings in my past I'd like to erase completely, there are many others things I hold on to tightly. Those things are tucked in a safe place in my heart. They are pulled out on days like these. Days when I especially miss my Mom. Days when I wish she were here. Days when I close my eyes and it takes me right to my bedroom on 248th Street.

The more that time passes me, the more quiet my Mom's voice is becoming. Some days are better then others, but for the most part, I'm sad to admit that its hard for me to hear her. But, what has yet to disappear, is her laugh. Her laugh was so distinct. Maybe because it was loud! Maybe because I made fun of it. Maybe because I laugh almost exactly like her.

Christmas Eve
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Baby Blue
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Merry almost Christmas!
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Growing up, my Dad recorded everything! Every birthday. Every vacation sunset. Every Christmas. So you can imagine watching these, how boring it can get. Gift after gift. And really, how different can one sunset be from the next?

I love being able to go back to those videos. Being able to hear her voice.

Her sweet voice running through my ears and into my body. Closing my eyes and soaking it in.
Letting my soul take me back to those days when it was just me and my sisters, with our Mom and Dad. When the only thing we had was eachother. And that was always good enough.

*****
 In the early morning, before the sun rose, Cole crawled into bed with us. Thankfully he didn't realize the gifts that had been laid out only a couple hours before. He quickly fell back to sleep.

When he woke again, before he realized it was Christmas morning, I had a minute to watch him. Laying face to face with your baby. Its the greatest gift the world can ever give. Its powerful, emotional, and sometimes even unbelievable.. all wrapped up into one.

Laying there, I smelled warm.
The smell of warmth.
 {I know. It might sound crazy, but smelling " warm" to me---- means smelling home.}
Smelling comfort.
Smelling Christmas breakfast, the Christmas Tree, your warm sheets, the smell of your babies breath.

All of these things say " Right here. Right here, you are safe! "

And today, today was Christmas.

And here -- its right here, when words fail me.
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The glasses and mentos were a huge hit. 
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****

I photographed one of my favorite families!

It was supposed to happen at the pier, but because of fog.. we improvised and met at a park! Although I cursed the fog that day, now I thank it. Here is why!

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****

Wherever you are, who ever you are! Happy New Year to you and yours. Happy New Beginnings.

*We'll see you next year!






Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Here Comes The Sun!

We woke on Monday morning.......
..... to rain.

It was dark, gloomy, and super cold.
Weather.com and the news were on my look out for the next several hours.
My tummy turned at the thought of being " rained out."

***

I've known Mike and Bridgette for a few years now.
They both are incredible people, and I'm so lucky to consider them not only friends,
 but "close friends."

I received a phone call about a week ago from Mike,
sharing with me that he had a wonderful " Christmas Surprise " for Bridgette.
He was flying their daughter in from Virginia.
She would be arriving just a couple days later, and would be visiting for over a week.

You can imagine that if your daughter or son lived on the other side of the country, and was here for only a week, there would be so much on your "things to get done, things to see, and things to do" list?! Of course not forgetting that the " downtime" you'd want to spend together is just as important. Its always those " Little Things " that make our lives great. And when those " Little Things " aren't always there, they become really big things. I think at least.
Anyway - I'm babbeling again. Shocker!

So, Mike asked me to take some pictures of his family. " At the beach. Tuesday. Afternoonish."

Knowing they only had a week with their beautiful daughter, wanting to take time to take pictures.. with me, really meant a lot. And to think that the opportunity might not be there because of the weather - Maybe now you understand a little more as to why my spirit was unsettled at the idea of not being able to photograph such a special time. A very special visit!

****

I stood at my window, coffee in hand, watching the rain.
Typically I love the rain.
To be a little more specific, I love when its cold outside.. and I can watch the outside from being on the warm side of the window.

My feelings were a little different this time.
I prayed it would go away.
 At least for the next day.

" Tuesday. At the beach. For the afternoon-ish. Thanks God! "

After every storm, comes the rainbow.

These people were my rainbow after this storm.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Half- lit Tree Take 1 : And A Homecoming!

Why, hello there!
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Its getting more and more difficult to capture a moment like you see above.
Cole, willingly smiling for a picture, and actually looking at the camera.

When the very rare opportunity presents itself -- I get so excited I could just go right through the roof.

Savannah, aka "Tonka - Bear " has become a lover of picture taking. Whenever a camera is brought to her, she looks up happily, loudly says " chhhheeeeeeeesssse "   and patiently waits for the "click" to be heard before she runs over to see what the result looks like.
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In the last week I've made two trips to the mall in hopes that a little bit of Christmas shopping would get done. Although the reason we visited the mall didn't give me what I went there for, I did leave with just a couple of my newest favorites. Favorite pictures that is =)

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*******

Trimming the tree this year was just as wonderful as it has been everyother year.
Christmas music in the backround.
Red wine nearby.
Paul lovingly watching me hang every ornament, solo! Me asking him about every five ornaments ..
" Are you gonna help?"

"Yea, in a minute! "

This year, he hung four. Beating his one that he hung last year! Great job babe!


When I got to the last ornament, I happily put it in the most perfect spot.
Stepping back -- looking at the finished product.
I'm in pure amazement.
My mind begins to drift off to a place where I think about where we were last year compared to now. Another year has passed. 


.. and then. Half of the lights go out. The entire top of the once lit tree is now -  .. dark!

I jiggle a few lights. Move around some cords. Nothing.

"Just leave it. We'll call it our 'ghetto tree!' "

Since Cole and Savannah aren't 12 but 3 and 1 --- I sat them down so our photos showed lights that worked, and not broken ones!

Take 1 :

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People are telling me that the older Savannah gets, the more she is starting to look like Cole.
These photos definitely say the same thing.. don't you think?

Take 2:

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Take 3 and 4:

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Nice job kids, nice job!

****

Homecoming!

Here is a peek at the homecoming I shot a few weekends ago =)

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Ah! So much fun to take pictures of a night that will forever be remembered.

On the agenda this week?
Fixing the tree.
And taking pictures of three wonderful families! One is today!

Happy Tuesday folks!

=)