Today I winced when I saw this:
And I could have told her to stop when I saw this:
But I didn't. I let her splash in the puddle. Make noise. Get dirty. Have 21 month old fun.
And I'm glad I did. I hope to wince a little bit less and just enjoy a little bit more each and every day.
Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.
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Sunday, October 31, 2010
Today I winced when I saw this:
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I have a special place in my heart for our military. I don't know how men and women sacrifice so much for people they don't know. Sure, I do it - when I give blood, donate money outside the supermarket or volunteer my time feeding the homeless on Thanksgiving (ha, once!). BUT THAT IS NOT THE SAME. That is EASY. Serving day in and day out is hard - whether you're deployed or not.
My husband and I live close to a military base. When we frequent Golden Spoon, Subway or the old Starbucks, it was not unusual for us to pick up the tab of the military man or woman behind us in line. It was the LEAST we felt we could do. Am I tooting my own horn? I'm not trying to, I'm just trying to convey how appreciative I am. A while ago, I told my husband that I wanted to do a session for a military family - that I least I could give them something that they could treasure forever. And God winked.
I met this mom in MOMS Club. I'll never forget the first time I met her - she was so friendly and bubbly. When I found out that her husband was in the military, I had thought, "Wow, there's someone I can offer a session to!", but I didn't. I saw her again at a 4th of July get together and still didn't offer. Then I saw her on 4th of July on a naval base event that she let the moms know about and I STILL didn't offer. It just felt odd to bring it up. I don't know why I finally got over being nervous offering it to her, but I did. I let her know that I wanted to do something to give back. She enthusiastically emailed me back saying that she was about to look for someone that could take pictures for them soon. When I heard that her husband was going to be deployed again, I felt like this was not a coincidence. It was a God wink (there's a whole book about God winks, if you're interested.)! It was PERFECT timing when I sent my email. It was meant to be the way it worked out.
Anyway, this was one of my favorite sessions ever. Mom and Dad are sooooo relaxed and laid back and just let the kids BE kids. This is such a great little family and I am sooooo thankful (and honored) to have spent this time with them. I thanked Dad a few times for his service and I am so grateful for men and women like him.
I haven't been through all of the images yet, but here are a few that just made me smile. :)
God bless our military.
Monday, October 25, 2010
It's just gorgeous!!
I'm a little nervous about my little girl wearing, or should I say NOT wearing, her costume. I suppose if it doesn't happen, I'll just have to use her Snow White dress as a back up!
Have a happy Halloween!
Monday, October 18, 2010
My life seems a bit out of control lately. Not out of control where I'm losing my mind (although sometimes it might feel or seem like it) but out of control where I feel like I'm running behind on doing things I should be doing. Like picking up. Or doing all the laundry at one time. Or replying to emails or texts as soon as possible. And it stresses me out. And yes, I know you're not supposed to start a sentence with 'and'. But I'm not perfect and my grammar isn't always the best and I don't think you're supposed to start a sentence with 'but' either...but I do.
This craziness has made me a little more honest because I have to start using my time more wisely and not just give my time away to things I don't believe in or even WANT to do. I've started to say 'no'. I recently said no to taking someone's family portraits because I know I'm not the best photographer for her and I know she's not the best subject for me. She has a beautiful family that anyone would love to have in their portfolio and I hope that she'll continue to "like" me on Facebook but it's the "best" for both of us. I also tried to turn away a baby session. I am NOT a baby photographer. I don't do the whole 'baby in the basket' thing. I tried, it didn't work and I don't like it! I'm not even sure what to do with newborns sometimes. But when this person pressed on and we went back and forth about what I could do and didn't think I could do for her, we ended up with this. It's not the best newborn portrait out there and it's not perfect, but it's one of my favorite images I've ever taken.
Which goes to show, I need to stand up for myself and what I believe - and more importantly, what I know, more often. It's the best for everyone involved and sometimes it yields the perfect result.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Dear Riley Grace,
I know I said it last month, but I seriously cannot believe you are almost 2! Wow.
We are finally in the size 4 diapers! They are a little baggy in the bottom but the size 3 were getting a tad too tight around your belly. I think you are more comfortable in the baggy ones. :) Some 18 month clothes, some 24 month, but those are baggy on you as well. I had to take you to the doctor a couple of weeks ago for a cold that just lingered and you weighed in at a big 24 1/2, I think. You are a little one as far as weight goes. Some 1 year olds are at the 20 pound mark!
Well, I told you that I loved, loved, loved 19 months...maybe something was preparing me for month 20. Holy goodness, did your little spice show this month! Lots of temper tantrums, but from reading up on the internet, it's about that time. In fact, some moms have dealt with major tantrums sooner, so I guess we should consider ourselves lucky that it really only kicked in this last month. I won't lie baby girl, it's been tough sometimes...to the point where I've just had to leave the room and cry. Just thinking about those times makes me tear up, but I'm also blessed with good times. The times where I prepare you for the day and what's going to happen and when I do that, the start of a tantrum (if any) might be just a smidgen and we continue. I might not do everything right, but I am trying my best. When I have failed (and believe me, I have failed) I have always apologized to you and asked if you forgive me. I'm not sure if you even know what I mean, but you do say, "Ya!" :) When Daddy and I discipline you we always talk about what happened, tell you we love you and then ask for hugs. Daddy and I were talking about how hard it is sometimes at this stage but we know we are lucky compared to what some parents have to deal with on a day to day basis. Daddy also mentioned about you being a 13 year old and the discipline that is going to come along with that stage and oh goodness, I shudder even thinking about that age. Ugh.
There are lots and lots of good things and good times, though. You are starting to learn when to say, "Please", "Thank you" and "Sorry". You can communicate fairly well in asking (or telling!) us what you want. The biggest news is that you can count to 13!! Daddy posted a clip on Facebook and it's so funny because you are mostly interested in watching yourself in the camera - but you did count to 13 twice on video! You do it almost every day. I sing the alphabet song to you and you know "A", "B", "C" and then "G", "K", "P", "S" and sometimes "V" and "Z". You basically know when the song falls on those parts. :) You also like to sing the library "Hello" song and when I sing it and finish, you always say, "Again! Again!"
The last couple of weeks you have been fighting the 'brushing your teeth' bedtime routine. Daddy is in charge of that time so he's been the one taking the brunt of that. I'm not sure what the problem is (but you better believe I'll be google'ing it!), but I'm hoping it's just another little phase. Other than that, you sleep through the night, are usually always healthy and enjoy the world around you. I know I have NOTHING to complain about and I never take for granted that we are sooooo blessed with such a healthy, sweet little girl.
A recap of the month:
You love to wear hats now!
Library story time:
Disneyland, of course!!
Even in the rain!
Pumpkin Patch - just you, me and Daddy:
Then a pumpkin patch with Grammy and Papa (as you now call him):
I love, love, love you, baby girl.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Last Sunday we headed out to a REAL pumpkin patch to pick our pumpkins. My husband grew up in the country so when we went to a pumpkin "patch" last year to get our pumpkin, he thought it was kinda funny. A place where pumpkins were brought in for picking did not quite make a pumpkin "patch" in his mind. That was all I was used to growing up so I really didn't know any different. Until this year.
I've heard about Tanaka Farms but mostly for strawberry and watermelon picking. I checked out their site to see if they also had pumpkins and they did. We had such a fantastic time! Not only did they have a REAL patch of pumpkins (you take the pumpkin off the vine yourself!), they also had a tractor ride, little hay maze, corn maze, pumpkin cannon(!) and a petting zoo. It was such a neat experience and when I told my husband we would NEVER visit one of those other pumpkin "patch"es again for our picked pumpkin (but I might for fun with the baby girl!), he actually gave me a high five! Ha!
Riley loved the little maze - she wanted to do it twice!
We also rode the wagon/tractor twice!
Also, everyone from the front check in to the wagon ride operator to the driver to the cannon patrol guy to the check out guy was soooo nice and friendly. LOVE this place!
Pumpkins still on the vine!
Riley walking out with her pumpkin after I picked it off the vine.
Riley's first 'picked' pumpkin:
Daddy choosing a pumpkin:
Our family of pumpkins! We're going to paint them this weekend and then carve them later in the month!
Such an amazing experience for this city girl! Ha!
We love you, Tanaka Farms! We'll be back for all your 'picking' seasons!