Posts Tagged ‘Emily’

Sorry, I have been meaning to blog for a few days now, and I got busy:

What can you do…….

this is my all time favorite picture for this holiday season, I just love it.  I wish it were in better focus, but it is still my favorite shot.

I do not even know where to start about Christmas.  With everything that has been going on with Aaron, and his job, and money being as tight as it was, I did not think we were going to have a very large Christmas.  I could not have been more wrong.  My wonderful friends at CHARLOTTEMOMMIES.COM reached out to me, when I was too proud to admit that I wanted help, and a wonderful family adopted mine and truly taught me what they Christmas spirit is all about.  The family that wanted to give my children a wonderful Christmas has the biggest heart of pretty much any family I know.  This past year, they lost their youngest baby, a little girl named Paxton, to a rare and awful seizure disorder.  In her honor, they wanted to spend the money that they would have spent on Paxton, making another child’s Christmas special.  Emily and Paxton were only 19 days apart in age, and her story was one I followed very closely, and held very close to my heart.   Well, to put it very simply, they made our Christmas VERY special, and they will forever be in my heart.  The toys were awesome, Jayden and Emily LOVED everything, and had a BALL Christmas day.  Jayden is the kind of kid who wants to open say, 100 piece puzzle and then put it together and play with it for an hour until he is ready to open something else.  It LITERALLY took us until 7 pm to open all the presents.  It was a magical day, and I was so lucky to have been able to have it be so special for them.

This was the tree, decorated, after Santa visited…… (I put the trampoline down under the tree, and stacked the presents on it….)

I got up at the CRACK of dawn to get everything out and arranged…….this is a close up of the tree and the bounty…..

Here were Santa’s stockings…… the kids would have been happy with just these from the way they reacted…. it was hilarious.

“Socks mom, I got MORE socks!!!!!” this would be how my kid reacts to socks in his stockings…..

I also put out more snow on the patio before they got to see it, but the picture was not as great….. so just use your imagination….

I got some cute shots of Emily dressed in her Santa hat-

Some of the favorite toys of the day were a remote control car, that makes Jayden CRACK up every time it hits anything….. a basketball hoop and ball that he is desperately trying to master, this cool red bounce ball that he is prone to taking all over the living room and falling off of, multiple puzzles that he LOVES, some great books, Thomas gear that he adores, and what I call “Brain games”, things that let him learn, which really he is all about.  His cousin sent him some really cool linking blocks (thanks Maddie) and so much more it would be too long to list……

Emily, cares about ONE toy, and one toy ONLY.  Santa (aka: Paxton’s family) gave her a little pink fairy ride on toy, and I swear if you removed ALL other toys from the house, and that was the ONLY thing to play with in this whole house, she would be PERFECTLY happy.  There is a little button on the front, and it sings “In a magic fairy land, where fairies play all day…..” I SWEAR to you, it has been pressed more then 100 times since Christmas morning…… I kid you not, the kid is OBSESSED.  we may have to “lose” the batteries one of these days, but for now, she is too happy for me to care…… 

And then there was the Kitchen…….. the Kitchen was a HUGE hit, they LOVED it!!! Thanks Nanny and Granddad for sending that down!!!

I LOVE them using imaginative play, and Santa brought them a tea set, which went with the kitchen perfectly…… Emily also got a VERY nice tea set from Nanny, but that is going to be saved for tea parties 😉  The kitchen is the perfect size, and it fit just right.  Mooma sent some awesome utensils and the kids just loved playing with it…..

here is Jayden taking orders….

So, that was the bulk of our Christmas story, it really was an incredible day, I thought a lot about what Christmas means, and next year we are going to adopt a family, and make someone else’s day, as special as it was made for us.  Thank you to our family, our friends, and CHARLOTTEMOMMIES.COM.  Everyone is VERY grateful for all that we got.  

To learn more about Paxton, her family, and their story, click HERE . 

Merry Christmas to all, I hope everyone’s day was as filled with happiness and joy as ours was!


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Thanksgiving 2008

I suppose Thanksgiving for me this year really started on Wednesday…. I made the pies then, and my family arrived and the “holiday” just seemed to be in the air.

I got a picture of my apple pie in the making, but people gobbled it up so fast after served, that I only got the “before” pic…. the after picture never got snapped.

I have to say though (to pat myself on the back) that both my father, AND my husband said it was hands down the best pie I had ever made, that was awesome!  I made 2 pumpkin ones too, which were my first attempt, and I was happy with them, but not THRILLED.  I think I will work on that recipe for next year.

so, Thursday starts with me trying to get my hands between the skin of my “young fresh brined turkey” to separate the fascia and spread my stick of softened butter mixed with sage UNDER the skin to make the moistest bird possible……I also tried the “bag” method for the first time ever (which is cooking it in a cooking bag made for turkeys..) and I have to say, it turned out JUST the way I wanted.

that turkey, along with the side dishes that were a group effort of my mom, my sister, and myself, I really think ALL the dishes we made were a great success….. I know this is going to sound snooty, and it is not meant to be, but I was SO proud that we could make an almost ALL organic meal this year!! YAY!! I tried really really hard to buy local, and even things like the butter, and the pumpkin, and apples etc… were local and organic.  I TOTALLY noticed a taste difference, but what is more, is I felt like I was helping support the kind of food I want to support on the most food oriented day of the year.  It made me feel really good!

We had a wonderful dinner all told, and Jayden and Emily LOVED being with family.  He loves both of his sets of grandparents SO much, and being able to see them both in the same month was like a gold mine for him.

We borrowed a table from our leasing office, and the chairs from our neighbor, and I think it looked pretty good:

I even asked Aaron to go get our “good” china out of storage, and even though we have not even opened it since our wedding, it REALLY made me feel like I was holding a formal holiday, I was really happy to get to FINALLY use it!

I really had forgotten how beautiful it was….

I think one of the coolest parts of my whole day was getting to SKYPE my sister lisa in BRAZIL!! She has been doing adventure, semester abroad traveling for I think 3 months now?? it seems like it may be longer then that, I think she left in August?? anyway, it has been a REALLY long time, and I had not spoken to her since she left… then thanksgiving morning, my other sister Katie, (who was here) saw that she was online (thanks facebook!!) and we turned skype on, and got to chat with her for almost a hour!! It was the next best thing to having her here, and although we really wished she was home, it was almost cooler that she could be in another country, and still in my living room……

so that was a great way to begin the day, and then…….we ate…….

this was my homemade bread

and the turkey (which I do not think the picture give’s justice too)….

and here is the whole spread….

clockwise: Katie, Keenan, Emily (hidden), Aaron, Aram, Tina, Jayden (hidden)

this was everyone getting ready to dig in, Keenan who is my sister’s boyfriend is blocking Emily in this shot, I will get to her in a second, and Jayden was sitting behind Mooma (my mom)….. 

so, here is Emily getting ready to BINGE.

so after the meal, (which Emily was none to happy about) it was time for silliness….. first it was mooma…

then Poopa….

and then my sister Katie, laughing at our parents being silly…..

this would be the scene that ensues when one tries to get my father to pose “properly” for a photo….

thanks for trying Katie!

the day wrapped up with the children getting their fill of loving family 

all in all, a really great time, I loved doing Thanksgiving here in Charlotte.  Last year, it was Boston Market in the hospital 2 days after giving birth, the year before that it was traveling with a small baby to the deep cold of the north (just kidding ya’ll) and the year before that, well, I have mommy brain and can’t remember that far back, so lets just say that I *THINK* this is the first real “holiday” I have “hosted” here in NC, and I really liked being able to do so.

So what else is new?……

well, today was a really good day (or at least it ended well) I got this new point and shoot camera a few months ago, and I really loved it, but about a month ago, I was taking a picture with it, and this spider web pattern of broken pixels showed up on the LCD.  I was completely devastated, and I will admit a little pissed too, partly that it busted, and partly because I did not buy the protection plan that would have allowed me to get it fixed for free…..

Anyway, the point to all this, is that on black friday I stopped into Wolf Camera thinking that I would price out a few things to put on my wish list, and I kinda complained about what had happened.  And they said THEY WOULD FIX IT!!!! I had already called another one of their stores, and they had essentially told me that I was out of luck.  Well, I also brought up the fact that a tripod that I had bought from them needed a replacement part, and they said when I brought the camera back, I could bring that in too, and they would take a look.

Well, I went tonight… and they not only fully REPLACED my camera (even without a receipt) they also REPLACED my TRIPOD!!!!! That tripod was FOUR years old! I am so happy! 

I am so happy that in a world that is basically 100% anti customer these days (or at least it seems) there was a company that wanted to do right by the customer, and in this case it was ME! and that rules, and totally made my day.

So, that is about it for now….. Emily is almost full time walking, Jayden has learned almost all the countries of Europe and proudly corrects me about their location when he is quizzing me….. and I am more tired then I think I have been in a month.

I think I need a vacation from my holiday…… I will write more soon!

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LOVE my new flash!!!

ok, I am in love.  I love photography (as anyone who has even seen this blog knows 😉 ) and I just got a brand new wonderful toy that will help me take MANY more beautiful pictures….. my new flash…. YAY!!

So, without further ado, the pictures I have been promising…

this was Emily on her birthday……

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This is going to be a hard week.

I do not know why I am so upset about Emily turning one this week, but I am miserable.  I know I should be happy, I know this is a milestone, and in many ways I AM looking forward to her getting older and exploring the world of toddlerhood.  The other side of me however, knows that this is most likely my last baby, and the last time I will have a little one who needs me like Em still does.  Instead of being able to look at this week as a week of firsts, I am looking at it as a week of lasts 😦 Last time I will have a baby under one, last days that she will not be walking (seriously, I am counting down the hours on that one, she is CLOSE ya’ll)…… and most importantly last first birthday.  Why is that so depressing?? 

I do not know, I am hormonal I guess, but this week is going to be really hard, that is all I know.  And I feel robbed when it comes to Emily’s babyhood.  She is such a good baby, and so much fun, I want to bottle it up and enjoy it for another 6 months or so 😦

Today, she walked away from me, it was only 6 steps or so, but I burst out crying….. I feel so good about a lot of things these days but I am warning you all, prepare yourselves for a lot of pictures on Thursday, and a lot of weeping Wed……

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Another week come and gone, I promise I will get back to making this daily, it really is great stress relief.  I love writing, and I love sharing my kiddo’s adventures.  

This week has been really funny so far, I have been busy with friends, I have been busy with Emily deciding she is old enough to walk…. (she is not there yet, but we are entering a countdown of DAYS people, she is sooo close) and she is into ANYTHING she can get too….

My friend Alicia who is one of the best photographers I have ever met, showed me my coolest photo processing tool since the camera, and I am SO excited!!! What did she show me you ask?? Presets.  Presets for my photo software program Photoshop Lightroom.   Lightroom (LR) is my favorite program for tweeking my photos, adding cool effects, and fixing things after shooting.  So, Presets, are basically free things you can download from the internet, and they are settings that you can add to your program to add really cool effects without a whole lot of manual adjustments.   Anyway, long way of saying, they are really cool new editing tools, so thank you Alicia, and here is an example of one of the photos I took of Em this past weekend that I applied the “300 v1” preset too……. 

I just really think that is cool……I also got a cool new vintange one, and some black and white filters that made really nice pictures….

so, if you see me use a bunch of these effects in the days to come….. indulge me please, things like this excite me 😉

Ok, so as to the title of my post….. I am going on a mission, this economy has spurred me to dig deep. This week’s challenge?? how long can a dollar last?? THIS week, it has lasted since this past Sunday.  We have been able to go until today (Thursday) with about $1 out of pocket.  Tomorrow I will be making us more bread, that should last us through the weekend, dinner is a cool new adventure in creativity, and I am being honest, I think I am finally up for the challenge.  

So, that is today, I will post more cool pictures tomorrow, I am trying to clean up my photo programs and consolidate my massive amount of file space.  Wish me luck with that, I will need it…. I have perhaps the most photographed children in the universe here.

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Early Birthday….

So, my posts are going to be a little out of order, but I will get to everything I want to talk about eventually, so bear with me.

This weekend my in-laws (the wonderful, awesome Baker’s) are here visiting us, and we decided that since Emily’s birthday was not that far off (insert crying mom here) that we would throw her a small, family pre-birthday celebration.  So, we made some cupcakes, bought some gifts, and her grandparents spoiled her rotten.  We dolled her up, and took her picture, and fed her pizza and all laughed at her stuffing her face with not one, but 2 slices and then polishing off almost a whole cupcake solo.  

I am telling you what, that little baby loves herself some food.  She also loved her tutu….. it was so adorable that I could not resist.

and this last one, I applied an effect that I thought was really cool……

there are a lot more, that were SUPER cute…. click here for the whole album….. 

stay tuned for birthday gift opening and cake eating pictures, I will get them up first thing in the morning…. right now the ambien I took to help me sleep, is working overtime…. I think I am sleeping, I will upload more in the morning.

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The serious side of beauty…

Emily has to be one of the most laid back, easy going babies on the face of this earth.  I know that some cosmic something, knew that I could not possible have LIVED through another baby as high maintenance as Jayden was and made Emily easy as she can be.   However, Emily also has her moments.  She is HIGHLY expressive, she shows you everything you ever need to know in one look at her eyes.  Every emotion with her is clear as day, she holds nothing back, so this morning when she was having a tantrum at the fact that I would not let her eat the wipes from her diaper change, I decided to again grab my camera and snap a few precious expressive moments.   

This was the throw down to the floor in total protest of life-

If she was trying to make me feel sorry for her little self, it worked, it was so totally sweet I could hardly stand it…..

I mean really, is it possible for her to look any more pathetic, or any more precious???

you would think I would have stopped shooting at this point, but it really was just a tantrum, she was fine, I promise.  I feel like a cruel person posting all these, but if you could have seen how sweet this “upset” was, you would understand I was not ignoring her needs, just taking a moment to get them on film…….

look at those eyes??? I promise one day those eyes are going to cost me a pony, or something else that I will never be able to say no too….

utter sweetness, in a beautiful face.  Any baby can look cute when gooing, and smiling, it take an exceptionally beautiful child to look this good when crying ;).

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