Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Silhouettte of Love

This week's theme on I <3 Faces is silhouettes. I love this silhouette of my cousin and her fiance. They are such a sweet couple and this really captures them and their love.

For more fun silhouette pictures visit I <3 Faces this week.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Thousand Times Over

To My Love... Mark,

Happy 5 year anniversary!

You are truly the love of my life.

These five years of marriage remind me of our first date. We were so wrapped up in the enjoyment of conversation and getting to know one another that four hours flew by and we never once noticed the restaurant closing down around us until our poor waiter brought it to our attention. I feel the same way today. How could five years have passed already? In my mind the answer is simple. Happiness.

You have brought joy to my life that I never thought would exist for me. You are exactly what I need and are one of the greatest gifts God has ever blessed me with.

I never realized until you came into my life, how I longed for humor, lightheartedness and laughter. Even when I want to "be upset" you forge ahead and somehow make me laugh or smile, regardless of how hard I try to remain in a funk.

I am so honored and proud to be your wife. During these years you have worked hard to start, maintain and grow your own business. It has certainly not been easy, but your creativity, innovativeness and long hours have proven your determination to succeed. I have and will continue to support you 100% in your dreams as you have done with mine.

Speaking of that, it brings tear to my eyes to think about how I would have never experienced the joy and fulfillment of starting my own photography business if not for your continued encouragement and support. Thank you for loving me in this way.

You are an amazing father to our fortunate children, a loyal friend to many, a respected businessman, a leader in our family and most importantly a steadfast man of God.

In my opinion, being married to you is easy. Sure, we both know that you aren't perfect and there are certainly things I would love for you to do more or better, but our daily life and how we live and love each other is easy.

You love to joke and say, "I warned you about who you were marrying."

It's true...you warned me... and without a moments hesitation I would do it again a thousand times over.

I love you with every fiber of my being and I look forward to at least 50 more years of blissful, blessed marriage with you.

Forever yours,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Zing, Zang, Zoom!!!

Last week we had the pleasure of taking Austin to the circus.

Thanks to a local blog I won 4 tickets to Ringling Brothers Zing Zang Zoom. We decided Mia was a little young and since it was going to start at her bedtime we left her home with a sitter and took Aunt Bridget with us. Mark had to meet us there because he was coming from an out of town meeting, just in time.

I didn't tell Austin what we were doing until about 15 minutes before we left. I have learned the hard way that if I tell him something exciting too early he can't sleep, listen, etc.

We left two hours before the show started, hoping to get there for the hour-long pre-show activities. Unfortunately, since there was a baseball game starting at the same time, in pretty much the same location, we sat in lots of traffic and it took forever to get into the parking lot and park. As we arrived to pick up our will call tickets, I heard the announcement that the show was starting in two minutes. Needless to say, we missed the first few minutes.

I was eager to see what kind of seats I won. They were a little too good.

The were in the front row which had its good and bad points. We were certainly close the action and even had some personal interactions with the ringmaster and clowns. Unfortunately, there was a bar in front of our seats with a banner hanging from it which only allowed Austin to see through about a three inch space. In addition, the ropes which were used to assist and protect the high flying acts were right in front of us. Not only was it hard to see past them at times, but any time there was an act of that kind, there were men standing right in front of us manning the ropes. Fortunately, some of the seats further down in our row opened up shortly before the intermission so we moved down and enjoyed an unobstructed view for the rest of the show. To be fair, I will say that I don't think the ticket/entertainment company that hosted the giveaway could have known those seats would be bad. It was mostly based on the circus set up.

Anyway, on with the show!

Austin loved all the animal acts and there were many to see. Some of the early animal acts were zebras, horses and "clowning" dogs.

Later in the show were the elephants.

And tigers..

The tiger above even hopped across the ring like a bunny...notice the arms.

The clowns were really great and though Austin didn't get much of their goofing, he liked all the silly music.

There were so many great acts.

And the music, dancing and lights were enough to make my three year old sit in awe.

The circus was great and it was a night well spent. Thank you Chester County Moms!

If only it hadn't taken us 2.5 hours to get home due to the baseball game and the circus letting out at the same time onto an expressway that had scheduled construction in two separate places.

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Few Hours to Myself

Something I have longed dreamed about is what it would be like to be home all by myself with no responsibilities, no one needing me, no one calling me, no meals to cook, etc.

Friday night I found out.

Mark was out of town on business until Sunday morning and since I had three photo shoots to do on Saturday, I took the kids to spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

When I got home, I seriously didn't know what to do with myself.

I went to turn on the baby monitors and then realized there were no kids.

There was nothing I HAD to do.

My options were endless.

So what did I do?

It likely won't impress you.

I watched a little TV.

I slept..I slept IN!

My morning photo shoot was canceled due to one of the sweet faces having a nasty encounter with the pavement. So...

I had more time to myself.

I cleaned.

I organized.

I had no one at my ankles...whining...needing my attention.


As nice as it was to be able to get a lot accomplished and have a little time to relax and sleep in...

I missed my sweet kids and my wonderful husband.

**However, I am sure that I could be convinced to have a few hours to myself again in the near future**

What a face!

This week at I <3 Faces they are gathering great faces pictures for a blurb book. It is sure to be an absolutely fantastic collection of shots. This is my submission. This is my friend Melissa's son. His eyes are piercing and that face is....well... irresistible!

Click here and head on over to I Heart Faces and check out all the great entries this week.

I am submitting this photo into the www.iheartfaces.com Blurb Book photo contest. I am granting I Faces permission to use my photo in a printed version of a book for commercial use and possibly advertising of a photo book on both the Blurb and I Faces web sites.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thank You!

Let's just say that Mother's Day has matured!

Like a fine wine, my Mother's Days have gotten better each year.

This year was no exception.

We had a busy weekend, but Mark made sure that I got to do some things I wanted to do.

One of things I wanted to do the most was sleep in. I rarely get to do that.

And boy did I sleep in. I couldn't believe it when I rolled over and looked at the clock on Saturday morning and saw that it was 10 am!

I seriously can't remember the last time I slept that late. I really didn't think it was even possible anymore.

The rest of our day was filled with work and the graduation party of a great friend. We got home late and Mark still hadn't been able to do his shopping for Mother's Day.

Fortunately, our favorite grocery store that carries just about anything a person could need, is open 24 hours a day.

So, at 11:30 Mark headed out to do his shopping. He returned at 1 am. He didn't go to bed until 4:30 am.

Austin was up at 7 am and Mia was not far behind. I felt really bad for him so I offered to get up and help him while he got breakfast ready.

I asked why he was up so late and he said, "You'll see. I was getting ready for your day."

When I got downstairs there were a dozen beautiful roses on the table, my first card of the day and an assortment of wonderful pastries.

While I played with the kids (and Austin eyed the pastries) he began preparing Cafe con Leche. It was so thoughtful and a welcome change from my daily cup of coffee.

As I drank it I remembered my wonderful and beautiful Abuela that I lost last fall. I know that this Mother's Day was hard for my dad and uncles, but hopefully they will be able to take comfort in the influence that she had on their children and grandchildren.

For breakfast, Mark made me Jumbo Lump Crab Eggs Benedict, a beautiful fruit salad and pastries. It was SO delicious!

Because he had barely slept, I hung out with my sweet children while he took a brief nap.

Then it was back to cooking for him. He was asked to make his fabulous smoked ribs for our family Mother's Day dinner. It is a six or so hour process that requires fairly constant attention, so he was locked into that for majority of the day.

He encouraged me to go and do something I wanted to do and so I did. I went to the gym. I was one of three people there. Talk about ME time.

Even better, my Mother's Day gift was a new pair of sneakers that I picked out myself. I love them!

I came back home to more cards, happy, rested children and the wonderful aroma of smoked meat.

I showered and we headed to our family dinner.

It was a nice way to end a great day and weekend.

But, easily the best part of the weekend was late Saturday when Mia finally began to utter the word, "Mommy." What a gift!

Thank you Honey for loving me so much and making me feel so appreciated!

I am one lucky Mommy!

The Sound That Makes Me Smile

There is no sound I love more than my childrens' laughter. Even on my toughest days that can instantly make me smile.

This week at I <3 Faces the theme is laughter.

Head on over and see all the great pictures that will most certainly make you smile.

Friday, May 8, 2009

15 months

Mia turned 15 months old on Wednesday.

It is so hard to believe. Time flies!

She is changing so much and getting to such a fun place in her development.

Her doctor's appointment stats were: 30.5 inches tall and 22 lbs.

Things she is into at this age: her baby dolls and stuffed animals, kitties (though we don't have one and never will be Mark is very allergic), playing in the kitchen (mine and hers), reading and looking at books, her binky, swinging, pushing her walker/stroller, music, clapping, Beau (our dog), dancing and just about anything with Austin or that Austin is doing.

Things she is NOT into: walking without a finger, encouragement or someone ready to catch her if she falls, fruit, getting her diaper changed, being thrown in the air or being flipped upside down, not being able to do exactly what Austin is doing and spending much time away from Mommy.

Things she likes to eat: cheese, yogurt, chicken, bagels, vegetables of almost any kind and ice cream (which she has had a few bites of a couple times).

Words she can say and use: Daddy, Austi (for Austin), Beau, cheese, cracker, chicken, done, ball, kitty, ma spoon (my spoon), please, book, shoes, baby, cookie, choo-choo, quack, moo, doodle-doo (for what a rooster says), hi, bye-bye, Grandpa, Nana, Gigi, doggie, bubble, bath, uh-oh, bottle, happy, play, stinky, peek-boo, eat and boom. (I am sure I am missing a few at least.)

Notice a very obvious word/name missing from the list above?

Cute/funny things she does:
  • tries to put her own diaper on
  • climbs onto or into something like a chair or the laundry basket and then claps for herself and giggles with pride
  • tilts her head to the side and bats her eyelashes
  • plays mommy with all her "babies"
  • points at herself and says "baby"
  • says "hi" to nearly everyone and everything she sees, but then plays shy when attention is paid to her
  • pulls her barrettes out and then tries to put them back in her hair
  • pours water on her head in the bathtub
  • sings little "songs" to herself when she is playing
  • looks at her books and points to and names all the things she knows the words for

You are such a sweet baby and it is amazing how quickly you are becoming a little girl. I love that you still point at yourself and say baby, reminding me that those days aren't completely gone yet.
You bring our family so much joy and we look forward to seeing how you continue to grow and change in the months to come. I have to say that I hope part of those changes include less clingy-ness to me and more independent walking and playing.
The next few months will bring so many new and fun experiences to you as summer is fast approaching and you were really too little to enjoy it last year. I can't wait to see if you like the pool, the ocean, the heat, and so much more.
I love you "bug"!!!