Saturday, November 28, 2009


SS4 Contemplation

My grandpa passed away. We are very sad, but also thankful for the very long and happy life he lived. He was 93 years old. and up until a few months ago, he was still living on his own.

This past spring, Corey and I stayed with grandpa when we went to Wisconsin to meet with a potential birthmother. In the past few years when we visited, we stayed with my cousins and my parents spent the night as his place. I wasn't sure how it would be staying with him without my parents because sometimes grandpa could be kind of quiet, not knowing what to talk about. This night though, grandpa stayed up late with us, recounting stories from his childhood. One thing that amazed Corey and me, was how grandpa could remember the names of people and places from way back then, just like it was yesterday.

I asked him to tell us the story of how his parents emigrated from Czechoslovakia to the United States. He told us how his father came first, working long hours to make enough money to send for his wife, my great-grandmother. She was staying with his parents. Just when he thought he had sent enough money for her ticket, he found out that his parents had taken the money and bought a team of horses instead! In the end, my great-grandmother made it here and that is how my family came to live in the US. Grandpa was born here.

Grandpa had all kinds of other great stories, including the one about how he lost the little finger on his right hand after falling asleep while working a second shift at the factory, filling in for his brother. I'll leave out the gory details, but I will just say that it is a story that all the grandkids liked to hear, if only for the shock factor.

Grandpa was a kind and gentle man, with big strong hands and a tight hug. He had a witty sense of humor and he loved telling jokes. He was fiercely proud of his family and his great-grandkids were the light of his life. Right up until the end, he kept up with their sports and other activities. He was so happy when Lily came into our lives. I will be forever grateful that she was able to meet him.

It was hard to see him go, but everyone has their time and this was his. He was ready,

The night before the funeral, 9 year old RJ, penned a letter to his great-grandpa. He wouldn't let anyone read what he wrote. It was between him and grandpa. At the funeral, he walked up to the casket and took out the folded piece of paper. He reached over and tucked it into grandpa's pocket.

Grandpa touched each of our lives in so many different ways. He will be greatly missed.

7 months

Getting ready for the hunt

Lily, 2 days ago, you turned 7 months old. Wow. I have a kid who is more than half a year old. Crazy!

The biggest thing that happened over the last month is that you became mobile. You are scooting all over the joint. It is hard to keep your little hands out of places they are not supposed to be.

You are in a "mommy phase" right now. You love spending time with daddy but when you don't feel good or are really upset, you want mommy to cuddle you close. Daddy still makes you light up like a Christmas tree. When you hear the door click when he gets home, you immediately start looking toward the kitchen. Daddy usually sneaks in as quietly as he can and then pokes just his head around the corner with a big, silly grin on his face. This makes you smile back with a huge grin of your own and then the deep "heh heh heh" laughs start. You continue like that until daddy sweeps you up into his arms and gives you a big kiss. After that, you usually end up on his shoulders as he walks around the house.

You are paying more attention to books, reacting to the words and reaching for the pictures. You also really like to suck on board books. They don't seem like they'd be very tasty, but you seem to love them.

Other things about this age that I want to remember:

You love fresh mangoes.
You are starting to mimic us when we eat. It is so funny, we'll look over and there you are, chewing up pretend food with pretend little teeth (in reality, you are still all gums). Here is a video of you doing this:

You walk all over if we hold both of your hands. You are still rather unsteady but love to do it anyway.
You pull yourself up on things like you co-sleeper, and mommy and daddy.
You are making more and different sounds. Your current fave is "agooo gooo goo!".

We love you sweet pea.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Forward motion

I hesitate to call this crawling, but we definitely have forward motion now!

As for pushing her toy like this, she's been doing it for a few weeks but I never got it on video until now. She is only 6 months old, I can't believe she can do this. Crazy!

We are so proud of this push toy find. We'd been looking for one of these and then Corey spied this one at a yard sale in the "free section". After a good scrubbing, it was good as new! She loves it, as you can see. She looks so proud when she pushes it all by herself. Corey is excited too, as he thinks this is the first step to having someone else mow the lawn ;)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The 'stache

It doesn't take much to amuse us. We bought this out of one of those bubble gum machines outside of Walmart. Of course, we all had to try it on.


SS #3



New nephew


This little guy is Hunter and he is the son of my very favorite (and only) brother Zack. The little man was born last Monday and is doing well. He is amazing my brother with what we will call "urination acrobatics". Older sister Lexi is adjusting well to siblinghood.

This makes cousin #3 born within a year of Lily. How much fun she will have!

Stirring up trouble





Sunday, November 15, 2009

Almost forgot

My Selfie Saturday photo:

(SS 2)Us

I also neglected to mention two other big events. One is that Lily has left the pumpkin seat in the dust and moved on to big-girl car seats. She was pushing the weight limit, so it was definitely time. For some reason I haven't taken a photo of her in it yet. She actually got two, one for mommy's car and one for daddy's truck (too much of a pain to move in and out each day).

Also, she rode in the grocery cart for the first time today. It made me all teary because it means she is getting big and I want her to stay a baby forever. Okay, so maybe not really, but she is growing up WAY too fast.

Cell phone shot:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Things I love

The other day I was getting ready to vacuum so Corey decided to take Lily outside to avoid the noise. They looked so cute as they left, I secretly snapped these shots through the windows as they made their way to the mailbox, to check the chickens, and to walk out into the field. I love their sweet relationship.



Walk 3


She's my little, little scoot

So far she can only scoot in one direction: backwards. That doesn't seem to slow her down much, though.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A much needed makeover

The nature center at the park has had a complete overhaul. The grand opening was last Friday and of course, Lily and I had to attend. There is now a simulated cave,

A turtle run:
Turtle run

A guess by feel station:
Guess by feel

Lily found the snakeskin inside. She liked the sound it made when she squished it:

She also got to see what she would have looked like as a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps:
CCC worker

She got to be one of the first kids to slobber on the puppets:
Mmmm skunk!

And she tried being a Naturalist:
Future naturalist

There are many more cool exhibits. We can't wait to bring our family and friends when they visit.

And then there were four...

Four babies in our adoption group, that is!

Our friends Heather and Philippe have adopted their twins! Lisa already wrote all about it and I couldn't do it any better than her, so I'll just post my photos from the meet 'n greet.

The group.

Proud mommy.
Heather and Sylvie

Lisa falling in love.
Lisa and Sylvie

Peter falling in love.
Peter and Etienne

Auntie Lise falling in love.
Lise and Sylvie

The big kids.
Double trouble

Mr. Cutie Face.
Little man

These two got the memo: "Wear green hoodies today".
The OTHER twins

We couldn't be happier for our friends Heather and Philippe. They are such an adorable little family already. I'm kicking myself for not getting any good close-up shots of those two beautiful babes. No worries though, with friends like Lisa and I, those babies will be sick of the camera in no time :)


Tomorrow is "Selfie Saturday". For those of you who are joining me, don't forget to take your photo!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I've been reading an inspirational blog called Cold Antler Farm about a young woman who is trying to buck the system and live a rural, sustainable life. Check out her blog, it's funny and quite interesting. And, if you pass the word about it around (like this) you could win a hand crank radio. Cool.

Monday, November 9, 2009

New website

I've been working up a new website for my photography business. It's not quite finished, there are many more photos I need to add to the portfolios, but unfortunately my computer is not cooperating. Over the last 2 weeks I've spent more time on the phone with Apple than I care to admit. My issues have been moved to the elite "Engineering" section at Apple Computer, so hopefully they will have resolved everything by next week and I can add the rest of the photos.

By all means, check it out and let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

How can you not kiss that face?

I can't help myself

Lily and I went up to Indy today while daddy hunted. We had lunch with Zack, Monica and Lexi and we also went to the Circle Unitarian Universalist Fellowship where I went growing up. It was so much fun to introduce Lily to people I've known since I wasn't much older than LIly is now.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Back home again

When I was a kid, I'd always spend 2 weeks at Gallahue Girl Scout Camp. I loved everything about camp. The year before I started college, I became a camp counselor at Gallahue. That is where I met my friend Laura. We have been friends for over 12 years! Hard to believe it has been that long. We don't get to see each other often since she lives in PA, but we met up at camp for a little reunion of sorts. It was fun to see camp and bring Lily there. I can't wait for the day that Lily can go to camp, just like mom.

Just like the old days

On another note, I've really been missing Flickr. I knew I couldn't commit to another 365 project with everything else going on in my crazy life right now, but I figured I could do every Saturday, at least. Care to join me? I created a group on Flickr called "Selfie Saturday" where other like-minded individuals can share their Saturday shots. Please join us!

Monday, November 2, 2009


What a beautiful day it was. Lily and I took a stroll with the dogs on the trail behind our house. All along the path the goldenrod has gone to seed. Gone are the orange-yellow blooms, they've already given way to the cottony seed heads as the plant dies back for the year. This might seem like an ugly sight, but in reality, they looked absolutely magnificent. The dead stalks glowed luminescent in the last, long rays of sunlight.


All was quiet except for the crickets and the crunching of leaves and the dogs panting. Soon we scared up a deer, a doe, who bounded a safe distance away and turned to keep an curious eye on us as we passed. The quiet didn't last long, as Lily let out a squeal of laughter as the dogs ran back and forth on the trail to catch a whiff of the doe's scent. As we walked, Lily held my index fingers tightly in her hands, kicking her chubby legs and taking in all the sights, sounds and smells around her. As we got to the end of the trail, we were greeted by a pack of friendly golden retrievers who's owner let get a little too far ahead. They were off lead, but who was I to complain, so were Chloe and Tater. Soon she called them and we turned around for home.

I love fall. It is definitely my favorite time of year. How neat it is to have Lily and experience the beauty of fall for the first time again, through her eyes.



Check it!

As you probably know, I have a soft spot in my heart for anything handmade. Please check out this awesome Halloween costume our friend made! It was the perfect solution for a not-yet-mobile baby!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Filling up the sink

The girl is getting bigger. Thats a fact. Here is a photo of Lil when she was about a month old in Mamaw and Papaw's sink:

And here is one taken 2 weeks ago:

Pretty soon, she won't fit in the sink!