About Me

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After being told I would never be able to have children, I am now a stay-at-home Mommy to Maddie who happens to have Down Syndrome. I've been married 16 years to my best friend, having the time of my life. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our little journey through life.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

This weekend we went to a pumpkin carving party!!
I made a 7 layer dip, Halloween style.

 Maddie didn't mind the texture this year...in fact, she enjoyed taking a few bites while cleaning out the guts!

Not everyone enjoyed the pumpkin guts! There was a little too much talk of gooey, slimey, yucky guts and after awhile poor Alexis couldn't keep her dinner down!

 Elliot really enjoyed using the knife.  He kept saying, "Safety First!"  : )  

 We kept with the friendly, traditional jack-o-lantern.  

I think it turned out great!!  

We had a great time. It's always fun hanging out with our friends.  Thanks for hosting Clinton and Marti! : ) 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Up to No Good


There's a reason our toilet paper holder has looked like this since Maddie became mobile at 17 months old.
The girl loves to play with toilet paper.  We have to keep it out of reach which means on the back of the toilet.  Sometimes we forget and leave the toilet paper roll on top of the empty roll and when she sees her opportunity, she takes full advantage!
One morning I woke up to find the entire roll of toilet paper swimming in the toilet.  
This morning wasn't so bad.  Just 1/4 of the roll strewn all over the living room.  
And she's not partial to just toilet paper.  Kleenex's are great too.  
After I cleaned up all the toilet paper, I found that she also emptied an entire box of Kleenex's onto the bathroom counter.  

So please....NEVER EVER EVER tell our little Mischief Maker about the thrills of tee-peeing!  She will no doubt embrace it with gusto and our neighbors will hate us!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

More Favorites: Family Pics Continued

I love making collages in photoshop!  For the moment, this is my favorite!  It was so fun taking these shots and the collage came together better than had imagined.  

I absolutely love this one...I just cannot believe that's my niece!  Shouldn't she still be like 4-yrs-old?!  She's growing up so beautifully.  

I caught him laughing...I like that smile : ) 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Maddie and Tenley

A lot of you have asked how Maddie is getting along with having Tenley here.  I think these pictures explain it better than I could with words. : )  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Latest Photo Shoot- My Family!!

This weekend I was able to take pictures of my family.  I had a blast!  
I got some good shots that I really love.  I'm still in the process of editing, but I have a few shots ready. 

In order to get in the picture I had to set the timer and run!

This is by far one of my favorite shots.  Mom and Dad had no idea I was clicking.  These are usually the best photos with the most authentic smiles and expressions.  I haven't a clue what they were talking about, but it feels like a moment captured!

This next shot is a trick I learned when photographing boys.  It doesn't seem to matter how young or old, boys typically don't like getting their pictures taken.  Right before I clicked I told them to say, "BOOGERS!"  These expressions are the real deal!!  That's the best smile I've ever captured on Grady! : ) 

I wish I could have my Dad's old junky trucks for every photo shoot! Love this shot!

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Backlighting is a photography term that refers to the source of the light being behind the subject of the photo.  It can be kind of tricky because a lot of times it just ends up looking like the exposure was way off but when it works, it really works well and you can get some cool effects.  I happen to like this photo I took yesterday with backlight.
I didn't edit this shot, it just seemed pure and real.  I love that the statue of the Gracie-dog looks engrossed in conversation, as if Maddie is speaking of the wonders of the world. 
I love that it looks like Maddie is looking off, combing the far-off places in her mind searching for the details of these magical,wonderful places she's telling Gracie-statue.  
But then you see the background and know that we are just in our front yard, surrounded by neighbors.
It's the backlighting that gives it that majestic quality.  

I've been thinking a lot about blogging and facebook and social media lately.  I think it's a lot like backlighting.  When it works well, it works really well, but it can be tricky sometimes.  If you are not careful, it will look like the exposure is way off.  I think its important to remind myself that blogs are just snapshots of one aspect of life. Blogs and facebook are not places to compare ourselves to see how we stack up.  In order to keep in focus, I think I need to remind myself often and always remember the source of our backlight...the "Son."  He's what gives life that majestic quality.   

linking up to Hill's blog today.  I love this idea, especially in light of the topic of today's post.  It's refreshing to know there are bloggers out there who authentically write for sake of sharing the real-life moments.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our First Day with Tenley!

We got to keep Tenley yesterday! 
So. much. fun!
Maddie was really good with her.  She would sign baby and say, "Aww."  She liked to pat her head, and she liked calling her our Tiny Tenley.  : ) 
She's such a good baby.  I enjoyed just watching her sleep.
She slept most of the morning. Maddie never slept that much, so this was different for me.  After a good morning nap, she was ready to play!
  I got lots of smiles!  
And look how strong she is...she began stretching to hold up her head.

I thought she might want to watch the ceiling fan go around and around, but then I decided it was too fast.  I tied some silk leaves to the light fixture with a really long string to create kind of a mobile.  
She liked it, but what she liked more was me!  And since Maddie was at preschool, I got her all to myself. : )
love this shot.

We'll get another day with Tenley today, but this time I'll have to share with Maddie and Kyle.  Kyle took off work because we are getting our storm shelter installed today.  Yay...no more trying to out-run the storms.  : )

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tree Climber

We had to take advantage of the nice weather yesterday. Maddie's strength area has always been her strength.  She's super strong!  Yesterday she noticed the tree and had if it had been a really good climbing tree, I have no doubt she would have gone for it.  But with a trunk the size of a baseball bat, she didn't get too far!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fabulous Fall Day

The weather has been so beautiful lately.  Maddie and I had one of those days with absolutely nothing on the agenda besides playing.  I love those days.  We spent a lot of time outside.  I dug out weeds in the garden while Maddie explored, getting herself filthy.  Every time a bird would sing, Maddie would say, "OH NO!"  Not sure why oh no, but that seems to be her exclamation of choice these days.  And any yes/no question asked is always answered with a polite, but emphatic "Noooo."  
I had a great time taking pictures.  Here's what I captured yesterday.
 We had some welcome and unwelcome guests in the garden.  Top right...welcome!  Bottom right...unwelcome!!
I love this shot.  You can actually see my reflection in her eyes, and her expression speaks volumes with her little lips pursed.  She wanted something from Mommy and I'm pretty sure it wasn't her picture taken! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fire Safety Day at Preschool!

Yesterday I went to preschool with Maddie.  I'm working on a project for the school, taking pictures and I had a blast!  It makes me miss teaching!  I was wearing a yellow headband and one of the four-year-olds nicknamed me Ms. Banana.  Ha!  The teacher was trying to keep him polite by having him ask my real name, but I thought that was hilarious and very clever. : )  I also got lots and lots of hugs from the two-year-olds and a three-year-old told me she loves me.  Ah, the best day ever!
Here's a few pics...
Here comes the firetruck!

The firemen showed the kids what they look like with all their gear so they wouldn't be scared, but it still made some of the little ones cry!

We got to see the big, tall ladder too!
After the firemen left, I spent some time in each of the classrooms.  Here's some shots of Maddie at preschool.
Apparently, Maddie loves crawling under the train table

learning the color pink

working on a pink collage
I really am glad she's in preschool.  It's been so good for her. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Towers So Tall

Whole Foods opened yesterday!!  I really wanted to go, so Maddie and I packed up and headed that way.  Of course I had no address, and just a general idea of where the place was, so after a few detours we had finally arrived!  I knew it would be busy, but I thought by going during the day it would be manageable.
It wasn't. 
The parking lot was completely packed.  With about 10 cars driving around looking for some magical spot to park, I knew this was a battle we wouldn't win.  I cut my losses and left.  Lately I've been doing about 90% of our grocery shopping in health food stores and organic markets.  Unfortunately, they are not right around the corner, so we drive some more. 
Maddie was a trooper, but even she was so done with our grocery shopping excursion by the time we got home!  After nap, you can imagine we were both eager to just hang out and PLAY!!
And play we did...yesterday we built towers!
Every block stacked received a glorious clap and a thrilling cheer!
She was so proud to have stacked her tower so high!!  She did it all by herself, with mommy only handing her the block.  

I'm so proud of her!  Just like her tower, she's growing up so tall. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Beautiful Family- The Bauer's

I got to do another photo shoot last weekend.  I was super excited about this one because it just happened to be one of my best friends and her bea.u.tiful family.  I mean seriously, do they get any cuter than this?
 We had to cut the photo shoot a little short since little Ellie was teething and had enough.  These are some of my favorites.  
Those eyes!  I could go swimming in them!
 and some black and whites...
And look at these eyes...so beautiful.
love profiles of babies.
so romantic...I love this one in color and black and white