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 29, 2012

The Makings of a Newborn Photoshoot

I love newborn photoshoots!
But let me tell ya...they are in a category all their own.  
The most important skill for a newborn photoshoot is....PATIENCE : )  

It took 5 hours, but once we finally got Baby Eily in that deep, beautiful sleep, I got images like these.

 Pure bliss!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Maddie's New Word

Last month, we began taking Maddie to a Speech Therapist.
Best decision ever!
It's only been a month, but she's making huge steps toward progress!

We are not focused on articulation at this point.
We are focusing more on vocalization.
Any kind of vocalization is good.
Vowel sounds, animal sounds...
it's all good.  

But we get really excited when new words pop up!
Like today.
Her new word?

perhaps we've been watching a little too much T.V.?  
but hey, at least it's helping her speech!! ; ) 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Maddie's Hat

Maddie loves to play with her baby dolls.  
She just has an unconventional way of doing it!

The cow says, "MOOOO!"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Backyard Pics

Just a couple of pictures I took in the backyard the other day.  
She's getting so big!

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Dandelion-Blowing Kind of Day

Happy Monday!  

The weather has been so beautiful the last few days, it makes me want to find dandelions and blow to my heart's content!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Photographic Elements

So, last Friday night before the rehearsal, we had some time to kill.  
Isn't that a strange phrase?  
Why so violent : )  

I really didn't want to kill time, but just put him to good use so I grabbed my camera.

Actually, I was thrilled to have the time.  
It's been a while since I've been able to just take leisurely pics since the 'ole business came into my life.  

An hour with my camera scoping out a new location is like the equivalent of a refreshing week's vacation on a beautiful remote island.  
It does wonders for my soul.  
I wanted to find as many photographic elements as I could.  

Fill the Frame with the Subject

 Parallel Lines

 Interesting Angles 



All this in ONE location!!  
How awesome is photography?!  

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Best Pictures of the Night

I have a little secret!

I love these pictures, but I didn't take them : )  

Kyle did!!

And these were the best pictures of the night of Doug and Shana's awesome wedding.   

Way to go, honey!!

you win

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Disappointment

I'm interrupting our Kansas City trip report to take a minute to write what's on my heart.  

Many of you know a couple of weeks ago I took on a major project in my photography journey.
I took school pictures for a local, private christian academy.  
I was thrilled for the opportunity!!!
The picture day went amazingly well. I thought the pictures turned out fantastic, and I was hoping for a big success especially after putting in at least 20 hours of painstaking editing/preparing online galleries, along with the grueling 7 hours of set up, shooting, and take down.  Not to mention time and expense in preparation and gear.  

So far, only 8% of parents have purchased photos.  

Not exactly a success story.  

: (  

I'm trying really hard to not be so disappointed, but I'm a big dreamer and it actually never occurred to me going in to this endeavor that parents may not want to buy school photos.  
A big lesson in setting realistic expectations.  
Stupid life and all its details.
 (right now I'm picturing in my head a cartoon version of life taunting me with reality, loving its own details and waving them in my face)
Man, life is mean!

I'm also trying really hard not to just accept this like a poor victim.  
I've tried to ask the questions like
 "what can I do about it?"
"how do I make the most of the situation?"
"what am I empowered to control in this?"
"how can I get a better outcome?"

Parents have 6 more days to purchase before the gallery is taken down.  
Maybe they are procrastinators like me.  

And if they are not, I'm trying to work through my disappointment now. 
And by work through my disappointment, I mean cry it out.  

Here's a few quotes that made me feel a bit better...

"A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success."
-Elbert Hubbard

"Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success."
-Dale Carnegie

"Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure."
-George Edward Woodberry
"I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate."
-George Burns
Ah, that's better.   
This blog saves a lot of money on therapy.  : ) 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kansas City, Day One Continued

We had some time before the Wedding Rehearsal Friday afternoon. We really wanted to take Maddie back to the Deanna Rose Farmstead like we did here and here, but since it was raining we opted for the mall instead.  

I have a feeling most parents fear the mall and the barrage of the "i wants" that correlate.  
We discovered on our outing to the circus, that Maddie is perfectly content absolutely ecstatic to just see things she loves.  I don't think it even occurs to her that it is possible to actually take the thing she adores with all her being home with her!
An entire afternoon spent at the mall and we never once heard an "i want."   

This was the first time Maddie had ever been in an American Girl store.  
She looks so big...she's definitely getting a lot taller (even though she was still mistaken as a two-year-old on several occasions this weekend)

She especially liked Molly.  
I think it was the glasses. 

She found the bitty babies...

all done!

This cracked me up...a hair salon for your American Girl Doll!  haha

Daddy's seen enough dolls...time to move on!

...to the Disney Store!!

She spotted "Rella."  Maddie's word for Cinderella.  

And then she had to give each and every stuffed animal a kiss...

Next we spotted the double-decker carousel!

 and loved it so much we had to go again!

this time with Mommy. 
She said it was like Mary Poppins!  : )

Stay tuned...there's still more from Day One to come!
I have to stretch these posts out to reach my goal for 31 for 21!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kansas City, Day One

It's always great to see family.  
And even BETTER when we gather for a wedding!  

Kyle's younger brother got married this past weekend.  
That meant we had time to catch up with his older brother and his family.  

Unfortunately, they live in Wyoming.

We only get to see them once a year. 

The first morning together we devoured the most delicious pumpkin pancakes!! 
(Thank you, Cheryl!)

(They were so good we had to run out to Trader Joe's to pick some up to take home with us!)

This is Maddie's traveling hair...
I have no idea how she manages this since she seems to ride so peacefully.  
By the looks of it, you would think she is constantly thrashing her head from side to side the entire trip!

After breakfast, sweet Brielle played the piano...

She taught herself to play the theme song to the Swan Princess just from hearing it!!  
So much talent in this little one, she also has a beautiful singing voice.  

And then there was Emmelyn...
She asked to get her picture taken and this is how she "smiles" : )  
This look pretty much sums up her amazingly complex little personality though.  
She's creative and headstrong.  
She's energetic and often grumpy.
She's opinionated and fearless.  
She likes to body slam and hasn't quite figured out how to handle her emotions.
I love her.  
She completely embraces the definition of wild child.  

And in moments of creativity, you will find her handiwork...
a single block on every step!