Tuesday, June 26, 2012

inspiration

if you've been reading here for a while, you'll know that one of my biggest mom/blogger/photographer/
enjoyer of life inspirations is kelle hampton over at enjoying the small things.  kelle wrote a book about her first year with her daughter, nella, who was diagnosed with down syndrome at birth, and it was published in april.  she put out the incentive to all who follow her blog that a pre-order of 10 book copies would equal a q&a skype session with her.  i convinced my book club to do just this, and on may 31st, we gathered in my living room to chat with kelle.


we compiled several questions that inquiring minds wanted to know.  and then we sat in awe (well, i sat in awe at least) listening to her answer them, our questions.


it was nothing short of a fantastic dream that i've been rehearsing in my head for the 2 years i've been reading along with her.  that is until we discovered that she was coming to michigan to do a book signing.  {cue the singing angels.}  my friend, maria, and i rearranged all plans and did what we had to do to drive the hour to meet kelle.

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she was so friendly and laid-back and easy-going, and she remembered my name because of the hometown wine i sent in a care package of michigan-made products before our skype and also brought along to the signing (shameless, i know).  our 3 minutes with her to sign our books, tell her how much she's made us better mamas, and have a quick catch up since the skype wasn't enough, so we hung around and joined a few other ladies for a private pow wow after the signings.  we got to sit on couches and share stories and inspirations in the middle of a small-town mall until they so rudely shut the lights off promptly at 9 o'clock.  kelle continues to motivate me and inspire me to do and be my best and to make this life for my babies special.  because the every day moments can be special, just as much as the big ones.

enjoying crazy glasses...

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climbing and sliding and blue skies...

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the rush and excitement of running barefoot in the summer grass...

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sunshine...

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learning how to climb the stairs and wanting to do it over and over and over...

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streamers...

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crazy bath hair...

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naps on the couch...

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i may not always remember to practice patience and a zen attitude, but i do my best to find ways to celebrate those everyday little moments.  since i first picked up my dslr camera and took a class and have been reading along with kelle, i've noticed more.  i see how blue the sky is.  i notice first spring blooms.  i eavesdrop and listen to the words as my toddler quietly plays with her dolls.  i watch closely how my baby learns to take her first steps.  i celebrate.  i enjoy.  i'm inspired.

Monday, June 25, 2012

road trippin'

i come from a fairly small family.  two parents, one brother, one sister, two grandmothers, two sets of aunts and uncles and four cousins.  that's it.  but growing up, we always did everything together.  my sister and aunts were second mothers.  my cousins were best friends.  i have plenty of fond memories of my childhood.  laughter.  good food.  songs and plays.  holidays.  smiles.  and to this day, i become a little girl on christmas morning when i know we're getting together.

last june, my cousin david proposed to his girlfriend, and the wedding was set for this june.  late 2011, we learned my cousin katie (david's sister) was expecting her second baby due this june.  the events were a mere 10 days apart, and they both happen to live in the same city.  the lightbulb went on.  it was time for a road trip and all of my family was going to be together.  jump for christmas-morning-joy!

school got out for summer, and we used the week off to pack up for our trip.  friday night was uncle jeff's wedding, and we burned the midnight oil, but i excitedly hopped out of bed saturday morning and spent a couple hours on last minute prep.  by 10 am, harper, crosby, nana and i were all packed up and ready to hit the road.

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when nana took a turn behind the wheel, i took a chance to snap up the landscape that enveloped us.

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and the happenings inside.

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with two young girls, we had to make frequent stops.  we found grass to stretch out on, refueled bellies with meals, milks and coffees, and stopped to breathe in and enjoy.

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just after 9 pm, after 11 hours in the car, with only a few whines and cries and many stops, we rolled into my brother and sister-in-law's house and into a week i knew was going to be chockfull of family.  of laughter.  of catching up.  of relaxing.  of celebrating.  of enjoying each other and being together.

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we played with little dogs.  we got beautified.  we ate good food.  we lazed around on the front lawn in the sunshine and warmth.  we all chipped in with chores and the everyday.  the rest of the family- papa, tim, heather, ethan and griffin- arrived at dinner time.  and we family-fied a whole bunch more.

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and thankfully, it's only been one day.  we have an entire week lying before us.  and i can't wipe the smile from my face.

family means the world to me.  i crave it.  i love it.  as i write this, i'm sitting at the kitchen island on my laptop.  heather and stephanie are doing hair.  chris is sitting on the floor with nike, the parrot.  tim is at the kitchen table.  my nephew, ethan, is reading over my shoulder.  (hi ethan.)  and we're all sharing several conversations in between us.  and i'm happy.


the week of family has only just begun.  we have a new baby to meet.  a wedding to celebrate.  some exploring to do.  michael is flying in on thursday.  more to come.


our roadtrip instagram photo dump...


Sunday, June 24, 2012

mr & mrs

it's time for another mr & mrs post.  this time, michael's brother got married and we added a new sister-in-law to the mix.  it was a fabulously gorgeous day, and best captured with a video montage.  enjoy...


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congratulations, jeffrey and megan! 

(side note...that little dancer in the blue dress?  my little shaker and shimmier.  she didn't want to leave when nana and papa took crosby home.  she wanted to "stay and dance!"  and she did- right up until the last song at 12:30 am when we had to carry her tired little body out as she reminded us several times that she just wasn't tired and didn't want to leave.  until the minute we pulled out of the parking lot and she zonked.  she must have had a fantastic time.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

memorial

we shared a memorial day tradition with our friends, chad, jacque, hunter and kaelyn.  this is the first memorial day that they haven't lived 3 houses away, and simply wandered up the street to pick us up on the way downtown.

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when they drove up, we piled all the kids in our wagons and made our way to our usual spot.  hunter was so into the parade this year, waving his flag and wearing his liberty crown, which made harper just as excited about it.

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the little ones watched from the wagon, filled with their sunglasses, babies and snacks.  they were happy to watch from afar.

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the loud, low-flying planes are always a hit.

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we headed back to our house for playtime and watermelon and catch up afterwards.

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during nap, it was all about getting the outside ready for the house to be put up for sale.  crosby joined us when she woke up, spending all her time climbing in and out of the wagon, playing with the buckles and the door.

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nana and papa joined us for dinner, for the all american hot dogs and watermelon and homemade vanilla ice cream.

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we capped off the day with a celebratory swing on the playset.  happy memorial day!

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