It seems that every time I meet a new family, I fall in love with them. This family was no exception. The love, respect, and friendship they had was apparent from the moment they arrived. I am so excited to get to watch them grow and document their big (and little) moments.
Whenever we went to my grandparents or my great grandmother's house you would find me curled up in the corner sorting through boxes of old pictures. I loved to stare at those pictures and make up stories about all of those people I didn't know. That hard working men, the glamorous women in red lipstick and fur collars, the smiling kids in metal wagons and newsboy caps all captivated me for hours. Even today, I still head straight for the boxes of old photos when I visit an antique store.
I have been playing with the idea of doing 1930's style photo shoots with my kids and then on Pinterest I saw a photo that a mother had taken of her little girl wearing her mom's wedding dress. She said she would use that photo for her daughter's wedding day. Today I decided to try to get vintage style photos of Abby in my wedding dress to show at her wedding one day.
For the last photo she asked if she could show some attitude. Ha! A pre-teen? Attitude? Un.Heard.Of. I had to include her version of attitude:
It was a beautiful day (sunny, high of 70...sigh) so my dad decided to take out my very first bed and hang it between 2 trees. My very first bed happened to be a hammock. My parents set it up near their bed and attached a bit of rope. Each time I cried, my mom would pull the rope and rock me. Between the tight snuggle of the hammock and the rocking, I was a great little sleeper.
This hammock is the very same hammock that I slept in. I can't believe how long it has held up...it's pretty old for a hammock and still in perfect condition. The kids played and relaxed in it for hours.
They are all so great about taking photos for me...then this happens:
When she left for school yesterday, she was five years old. When I picked her up, she was almost eleven. For some reason, I have frozen my children at certain ages in my mind. She was always a 5 year old. My son, who is 9, will forever be three. My baby, who will be 5 in July, is always a toddler. My brain knows and understands their real ages, but my heart has not caught up to my brain yet.
Yesterday, as I watched her run towards me, with her back-pack slung casually over her shoulder, my heart stopped for a nano second and my breath caught in my throat. I was, for a few seconds, overwhelemed and stunned that she had become a young woman in a matter of hours. My heart and my eyes finally acknowledged what my brain knew all along...she is gowing up.
I stared at her and hugged her and told her she was beautiful, right there in the middle of the school parking lot with tears in my eyes. Right there in the middle of all her friends. She hugged me right back and didn't let go until I did.
As I drove them to our favorite ice cream shop, I could not stop staring at her through the rear view mirror. I still could not process when and how this had happened. My heart was running a marathon, still trying to catch up with what my eyes were seeing. As we ate our ice cream, I snapped this picture with my phone so I would not forget the day I suddenly realized she was growing:
I still cannot stop looking at it. This morning, I thought I had accepted the fact that she is no longer 5. Then she bounded down the stairs, full of life and ready for her day, and stopped right in front of me. Being just a few inches shy of being the same height as me, she pats the tops of my head and says "Good Morning my pretty little mama"....I do not think my heart will ever catch up.
Summer is such a busy time if you have kids home from school, isn't it? The school year is busy too, but summer is just a different kind of busy that revolves around keeping the kids entertained and wearing them out. I struggle with trying to balance fun, activity, rest time while still trying to get them to do a few academic things at home...well, only one month of summer left and we have done 'school work' exactly one time! Sigh.
Since Amy and I (and many of you out there) spend so much time at the library and book stores during summer, we decided 'books' might be a great theme:
I chose "books" because our life seems to revolve a bit around books lately. We spend lots of time at the library and Barns & Noble. My 7 year old is obsessed with books...reading them, collecting them, starting them all and taking forever to finish them! And my 4 year old loves books too, but in different ways. He loves Star Wars and Batman books, books about animals, and anything funny! He more likes to look at the books and talk about them! Either way, I'm so happy my kids have a love for books. I didn't enjoy reading until I was an adult. So to have them enjoy it now makes my mommy heart swell. :)
My kids love to load up our 'book bag' at the library and then come home and spread out on the floor with blankets, pillows, and all of their books. I love their expressions when they open up their treasures
We have been having a pretty difficult month around here at the Smith house. Nothing major, but just many things out of our control. I have been feeling pretty down. I suppose my sweet sister, Jessica, in law thought she should do something about that. I'm so humbled and happy that she did.
This afternoon I opened the front door and saw a big long box on my front porch with my name on it! SQUEAL! Know what's better than a present? A present 'just because'. Jessica has been very giving and thoughtful since I met her when she was just a young girl. She gave me an adorable Winnie the Pooh watch a few weeks after we met. Now she is a wife and mom of my 2 adorable nephews and is still just as thoughtful. She remembers birthdays, anniversaries, and send presents 'just because'....I am terrible at remembering birthdays.
Notice 2 new additions to my family???
Jessica sent me a mini rainbow umbrella I can carry in my purse or camera bag. I can use it for my tiny clients :)...the she sent me her big sister...the mother of all rainbow umbrellas with 3 times as many colors as the original umbrella....oh, the possibilities!!!!!
Jessica, thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!! You made my month! I can't wait to use them in my sessions and just use them on a gloomy day...hope it rains soon!
I found a fun, cheap, and easy project in Family Fun magazine about making Lava Lamps with things you already have in your house.
You will need 3 empty water bottles ( I don't normally buy this kind of water, but they make pretty lava lamps with the lids on), food coloring, vegetable oil, and alka seltzer.
Fill each bottle a little more than half with oil:
Then fill the rest of the way with water. Leave about an inch at the top:
Now add 10 drops of food coloring:
Break your Alka Seltzer into 4 pieces:
and drop them in one piece at a time. Wait until the first piece stops bubbling before you drop in the next. If too many go in, you solution gets all cloudy. Don't worry, he's not hurt. The band-aid is merely decorative...as is the tattoo. Match those up with the black socks pulled to the knees he likes to wear, and I have got quite a little ladies man!
and watch the magic happen...
over...and over...and over again.
We had so much fun with these. If you have any other summer fun ideas, please post a link. I would love more ideas!