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!

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!


Today you are nine.  Watching you grow has been an amazing experience!















Photo Jul 11, 5 31 06 PM

You are such a special little girl.  Things are not always as easy for you as we would like, but you persevere.  You have taught me about life and love.  Having you in my life has made me a better parent and a better person. 

You are so loved. Today and every day.

Happy Ninth Birthday, Taylor!

Love, Mom

Last Day of 2nd Grade

Today is Taylor’s last day of school!  Second grade is over.  She has come so far over the last year.  I’m so proud of her!


She is becoming so independent.  She has picked up a lot of new skills this year. It’s so great to see all the progress she is making.  She is still lacking in her speech, but she has added a couple of new words to her vocabulary.  But what she lacks in speech, she makes up for in personality.

Taylor’s school starts year round schooling this year.  So, she only gets a couple of weeks off before starting summer school in July.  Summer school is not a new thing for us, but this year she will be doing 4 full days a week instead of 4 half days.  Taylor loves her school, so I am confident that she will love attending during the summer.

I am so excited to see what 3rd grade will bring for Miss Taylor!

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.  =)


Eight years ago, you were born.


Our lives changed in an instant.



We were no longer a family of 3.



But a family of 4.



You commanded everyone’s attention, with your smile and eyes so blue.



Eight years later, that is still very true.



Your life hasn’t been easy.



Yet you smile and persevere.



In your seventh year, you said the words every parent longs to hear.



You told me you loved me.



It was a dream come true.



You have made us so very proud of you.



On this birthday and on all your birthdays to come, know that I love you, so much more than you could ever imagine.

Happy Birthday, Taylor.

Love, Mom.

World Autism Day


The month of April is Autism Awareness Month.  April 2nd is World Autism Day.  In honor of the day, John LeSieur and the people at People CD put together a video called “I Love Someone With Autism 2011”.  People were able to submit photos of the autistic loved ones (or of themselves if they are autistic).

These photos paired with autism stats and facts and highlighted autistic individuals makes for an awesome experience.  I have to admit that I teared up a couple of times while watching it.  (I suggest that the video be watched full screen in HD!)

I did submit Taylor’s photo for the video!  Her photo appears at the 18:18 mark.  The video runs about 27 minutes, but it is so worth it!


Happy World Autism Day!

Photos by Emma

I let Emma play with my point and shoot camera this morning, just for fun, to see what kind of photos she’d get.

She took about 90 (that’s my girl!).  Mostly of the dog and the TV. 

These are the one’s that made me chuckle the most.  =)

A lovely photo of yours truly.



Squinty Taylor



Shadow’s Bum {You should be glad that I covered his private area!}

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A self portrait. {I should have taught her how to turn off the flash!!}



Cookie Monster



A sandal.



The top of Shadow’s head.



She’s got a ways to go yet, but if she keeps practicing, she’ll be great someday!

Photo Mommy is Four!

Four year ago today, this blog was born. 


So much has happened in the last four years.  Good things and not so good things.  Moves, vacations, hospital visits, new nieces, birthdays, deaths.  It’s all here.

I often look back to that very first post.  I remember the day I wrote it.  I remember the photos I used.  I remember  what was going on in our lives.

In a way it seems like it was yesterday. 

I look at my kids today and am amazed at how much they have grown and changed.  I miss how they used to be.  I love who they have become and I’m sure I’ll love who they’ll grow up to be.  I’m glad I have this record of them, of all of us, even if it is a pain to keep on it.  =)

Because it has become a tradition, I will do my “then and now” photos of the kids, using the very first photos I ever put on this blog. 

Aaron ~ 7 years old ~ 2006


Aaron ~ 11 years old ~ 2010



Taylor ~ 2 1/2 years old ~ 2006


Taylor ~ 6 1/2 years old ~ 2010



Emma ~ 6 months old ~ 2006

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Emma~ 4 1/2 years old ~ 2010



I can’t believe how much they’ve changed!

I can’t believe how much my photography has changed!


I can’t say how much longer I’ll add to this blog.  I’d like to say I won’t ever retire it.  But obviously, one day, it will have to end.  For now though, I will continue to post, even if it’s just my Weekly Winners.

I am so excited to see what the next year brings for both my family and this blog.  It’s been a fun 4 years.  Can’t wait for more.

My very first blog post.