Father Daughter Dance

Every year our school district’s PTO puts on a Father Daughter dance.  Even though this is Emma’s third year in school (Young 5’s , K, 1st grade) it’s the first time her and Doug have gone.  The theme for the night was 80’s.  I was actually so disappointed when I heard that.  I know it was meant for fun, but I think the 80’s were so tacky.  So I gave Emma the option of dressing 80’s or picking out a nice dress and accessories to wear.  She (thankfully!) chose the latter.

Last night was the night.  Emma was so excited all day.  The dance was all she could talk about.  We started with her hair.



All this took an hour and a half.  She loved it, though.  She said “Mom, I look like a princess!”

Next came the dress, shoes and accessories.  I think I may have a diva in training.


Then we added a surprise accessory (from her grandpa).



Lastly, we had to get a photo of the lovely couple.


I do not have any photos of the dance itself.  Doug said there had to have been 300 people there!  For a small town, that’s a huge turnout! 

Emma had a blast.  They went to dinner before the dance and she made it 2 of the 2 and a half hours of the dance before she was ready to come home.   I have a feeling that they will both remember this night for the rest of their lives.


You may be wondering why only Emma went to the dance.  Unfortunately, Taylor does not attend school in the district, so she can’t attend.  It’s not a huge deal, though, because Taylor hates crowds and loud music, so she probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much as Emma.  But no worries, Taylor had her Father Daughter outing with Doug last weekend.


They went to see The Croods!  Taylor really loves going to the movies (which is something I never thought we would be able to do with her.) and she really enjoyed it!  Doug said she was really engaged in the movie and even put her puzzle piece down near the end and gave it her full attention!  Go Taylor!


Doug really enjoyed the time spent with his girls.  They are growing up so quickly and he treasures every moment spent with them!


Today, my baby girl turns seven.



















Emma, I am so proud of the young lady you are growing up to be.  You’re smart, funny, sensitive, a little crazy and an all around great kid.  I am so privileged to be your mother.  Our family definitely wouldn’t be the same without you.

Happy Birthday! I hope your seventh birthday is the best one yet!

Love, Mom

Changes Afoot

Yesterday, I took Taylor and Emma for haircuts.  Taylor has had her hair done before, but this was Emma’s first real haircut.  Yes, I know, almost 7 and never had a real hair cut…I loved her hair long!

Before and After shots:


Taylor got about 7 or 8 inches off her hair.  I have always thought that shorter hair looks better on her.  I already have noticed a change in it…it doesn’t tangle near as much.  I sense a lot less problems on school mornings!  Fingers crossed! 

Emma decided that she wanted to donate her hair to Locks of Love.  We took 15 inches off her hair!  She is very excited about donating her hair.  She should be, though, it’s an awesome thing to do!!

I will admit, I was teary when they cut Emma’s hair.  She’s been growing it out almost her whole life, save for a few trims along the way.  She’s going to be 7 next Tuesday…she’s my baby and growing up too quickly!

Toothless Wonder

Emma loves losing teeth.  The thought of pulling out a tooth and putting it under her pillow for the Tooth Fairy sends her into a tizzy.

Last summer, right before she started Kindergarten, she lost her bottom two teeth.  Both losses were momentous occasions.  The adult teeth grew in, then…nothing.

No more loose teeth until this summer rolled around.  Then there were 4.  Her top two and the two on either side of her adult teeth.

Taylor lost a couple of teeth this summer and it put Emma into a tooth wiggling frenzy.  She was determined to get them out before school started.

School started this week and all of Emma’s teeth were still in her mouth.

Did I mention that Emma was determined to get them out?

Yesterday, after school, she came home from school looking like this:

Photo Sep 06, 5 30 54 PM

She pulled one of her loose bottom teeth out during Math.

I joked that she’d better stop pulling them out until after school photos.  I jinxed myself there…

She left the tooth out for the Tooth Fairy and this morning had $2.00.

Today, she came home from school looking like this:

Photo Sep 07, 3 48 00 PM

She pulled that one out during Science!

Not long after she got home, I called her over to see how loose the other top one was.  It really wasn’t too loose to me.  Then Emma said “ I’m going to play up in my room”.

Two minutes later, she was standing before me looking like this:

Photo Sep 07, 4 51 40 PM

This girl is going to break the Tooth Fairy!

Emma is quite proud of herself and her no fail tooth pulling method (“Grab, twist and yank!”)

We’ve checked the last tooth and it is not ready to come out.  We’ve told her this.  Not that it makes any difference.  She still looks like a Toothless Wonder!  Her first grade photos are definitely going to be memorable!

Last Day of Kindergarten

Today was Emma’s last day of Kindergarten!  I can’t believe that my baby is going to be a first grader in just 3 short months.

She has grown up so much this year!  She reads and writes like a pro.  She knows her numbers up to 1000+.  She is good with addition and subtraction, can draw really well and she can tie her shoes!  So many changes in just 9 months.

Here is a photo from her first day of school in September and her last day today.


Unfortunately, Emma’s day didn’t start out well.  While helping out in gym class, she fell and scraped up her chin.


She also was sad leaving school today.  I’m not surprised.  She loves school and her teacher.  She’s going to miss both.

This afternoon we celebrated our last afternoon together (she was in morning K, so we had had afternoons to ourselves everyday) by having lunch out and playing some mini golf.  We had a great time!


I’m a little sad that she’ll be going to school all day next year.  She’s my baby.  But I know that she’ll take first grade by storm this fall and she’ll love it.  And that’s really all that matters.

School Photos

People sometimes wonder why I pay money for school photos when I take so many photos myself.  There are a couple of reasons, really. 

1.) Continuity- I started having Aaron’s done when he was in kindergarten (before my interest in photography) and I wanted to continue the “tradition”.

2.) Ease- Sometimes my kids get sick of my sticking my camera in their faces.  Simple as that.  These the only photos I don’t have to worry about.

So, I shell out a crap ton of money for school photos.  The sad thing is that I get so geeked out about them.  Starting about 2 weeks (after picture day) I check the kids’ backpacks daily for their pictures and squeal with delight when I get them.

Unfortunately, I had a setback with Taylor’s pictures, so I am just getting them.  That’s the thing that stinks about letting someone else handle this stuff…mistakes can be made. 

Cliff notes version:  I sent in money on Taylor’s day only to have someone at the school (or the photographer) lose said money, only to find out the day before retakes.  I couldn’t find the outfit I had dressed her in on her original day, do I had to do something else.  Then, I get the photos and they are okay, except that she has glasses glare.

So, without further distraction, our 2011-2012 school photos:

Aaron – 7th grade



Taylor – 2nd grade



Emma – Kindergarten


All in all not too bad, right?  I kind of wish Taylor was smiling…but then again, she rarely smiles for school photos.  She almost looks a little mad.  Probably because the photographer wasn’t near as good as her mommy.  =)



Happy Halloween!  This is one of my favorite holidays!  I don’t like to dress up any more, but I love getting costumes for the kids.

I only have one kid picture to share for now, but I’ll have more tomorrow!


This is Emma at her school party this morning.  She’s half angel, half devil.  I’ve been saying that for years.



Six years ago today, we welcomed you into the world.  Our little family of four became a family of five.  We were complete, a perfect unit. You made us whole.

It’s hard to believe you are six already.  You are growing up before our very eyes.  You are funny, sensitive, intuitive, creative, polite, bold and so much more.  You will do great things with your life, I am positive.

















Happy Birthday, Emma Leighanne.  I hope this day is as special for you as you are to us.

Love always,  Mom

I Heart Faces Challenge | Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes…Anything But A Face!



A different kind of week in the I Heart Faces front this week…anything but faces!  This is a fun one for me because as much as I love to photograph faces, hands and feet are fun, too. 


I took this photo of Emma’s feet (and rocking tights) last fall while waiting for the school bus.  It became an instant favorite and I am thrilled to be able to share it at I Heart Faces!