Thursday, November 14, 2013

spring in our step

I loved our sweet little house... 
 I still miss it. We visited the new owners not too long ago and when we got out of the car, Tatum said, "Oh! We're home!" It made me a little teary eyed, I felt as though I had taken something away from her  that she had loved and never bothered to give it back. I have so many memories in our sweet little house that I am ever so thankful I found my love for photography and documented so many of them. Those memories are ours forever.
I'm also ever so thankful for my sweet husband, Erik. He worked so hard to make our little house a home. We had more to accomplish there to make it what we wanted, but we just grew too big to keep it. I am so thankful for the sweet family that lives there now as they are treating it with such love and care and it looks adorable. I know that they will continue to bring love and happiness there and make changes to the house itself that will bring it new life.
As for us, our new home is so different. It's bigger, has quirks that we knew about and others we are uncovering. Some, just small issues, others eerily similar to the time we had to zip wall the house. Somehow, water does not like us. I stop there though, because we've hit our limit of three and that's that universe!
There's much to change decoratively, but that comes with time. As of now, Erik is once again working endlessly, tirelessly, day in and day out to give us the backyard that we never had in our sweet little house.  It was just a small patio. It worked when Kieran and Anna were really little, but as they grew, there was only so much sidewalk chalk I could convince them to play as I feverishly cleaned the house.
We have beautiful parks where we live, and we frequent them, but there were those days that I longed to send them outside if I was too tired or couldn't join them just then and say, "Have fun! Go play!" and have it last more than twenty minutes.
Our little dream of a backyard is becoming a reality. I say dream because I don't take for granted, not for a second, the hard-earned money, time, effort and love that Erik has given that has brought us to this point. 
Enter the in-ground trampoline.
 Even for
the big kids.
There's no fence to the yard right now, so it's a little strange with people walking on the trail and seeing into our yard. Thankfully, it's only for another couple of days. Until then, if they were looking in, they would have seen a group of siblings (sorry, Liam, you were eating in the high chair at the time of these pictures) giggling and jumping with pure glee with their daddy.
You would have seen a little girl learning that along with her new home, 
comes new memories and comfort as we settle in.
You would have seen,
that love lives here too, and that's all that really matters.

Monday, November 11, 2013

3 years ago... {happy birthday, dear tatum}

Dear Tatum,
I'm having a hard time finding the right words this morning to write you your birthday letter.
I think it's because I'm in total awe over the fact that you took your very first breath, 
three years ago today.
I've said it before, but I'll say it again. In that moment when you took your first breath,
you took mine away.
You were more beautiful than I could fathom.
I had prayed for you,
waited for you,
and you were finally ours.
 It's hard to believe that you went from this...

to this,

to this.
You are your own girl. You are quiet when you choose to be or you could talk my ear off all day.
You love, love, love, to read.
Your favorite show a year later is still Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
You eat pancakes and quesadillas and drinkable yogurt...maybe this will be your year to finally eat?
You are my pixie girl, not much bigger from the year before, but you have grown by leaps and bounds in personality.
You are so incredibly loving. You always have care and concern for Kieran, Anna and Liam.
You are usually my shadow, but have your sweet moments with daddy.
You recognize the beauty in even the smallest things, the things that others might otherwise take for granted.
Daddy and I are ever so blessed to call you our daughter, our sweet Tatum Frances.
Our lives are richer, fuller and more joyous because of you.
I love you Tates. Happy 3rd birthday!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

i heart faces {pets}

I never enter many things, but when it comes to photography and when i heart faces announced a pet photo challenge, I knew I had to enter this one:
hands down.
I think it might be one of my all time favorites, especially the story that goes along with it.
Here's to furry pets, and ones that pretend they are pets, too! ;)

Photo Challenge Submission

Saturday, November 2, 2013

goodbye, halloween

Growing up, I loved Halloween.
Somewhere my mom has pictures of me as Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan and as a self-invented blue conehead martian.
Can't quite put my finger on it, but it's not my favorite holiday as an adult. 
I can't remember the last time I dressed up, it's been a while. I really don't love all the candy, well, actually I do and that's the problem!
Erik wondered where the candy went. I seriously mowed it all down. Yuck.
I can't say I love the battles of a 7 year old boy wearing or not wearing his costume at the parade.
He feared that he would be made fun of and wiped off the awesome beard I drew, but at least Captain Jack Sparrow made his appearance. And, wouldn't you know, just like last year, he had a great time!
That said, I loved the heart of his expression...
the child in him that I hope remains forever.
I loved the excitement in her voice when she said, "Next house, Mommy, Next house!"
I loved the pitter patter of her little feet as they hit the pavement 

 with intense desire to keep up with her siblings.
I loved that even when her big sister has moments where she's not always nice,
 there's more moments like these where I ask to take their picture and their sisterly love radiates. 
It truly melts my heart.
I loved that this big sister made sure to include her tired baby brother as he had no choice but to ride from house to house wondering what was going on.
I loved his cute glow in the dark skeleton jammies.
No, I can't say that I'm sad to see Halloween go.
My very favorite holidays are ahead.
Gratitude, love and joy await us as Thanksgiving and Christmas draw near.
Time to pack it up,
and call it a day.
Still, I realize that there will come a time where trick-or-treating will come to a screeching halt. There won't be anymore elementary school parades (not until I'm a grandma anyway), or Halloween art projects. 
It may not be my favorite holiday, 
but I loved that Erik and I got to spend it with them.
I loved sharing in their playfulness, silliness, and fun. I can only imagine that that is what it was like for my mom watching me paint my face blue, strap on rainbow suspenders and put on some boxer shorts in my conehead glory. 
No, this holiday is not at the top of my list, but making memories with my family, now that's number one.
Goodbye, Halloween,
see you next year!
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