Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Blessed Day

A few months ago I was contacted by some lifelong friends asking me to photograph their wedding. I was honored... and immediately said, "No, thank you." Yes, I like photography. Yes, I have done some photo shoots. Yes, I take gobs of pictures of my kiddos. But, no... I am not a professional photographer, and certainly I am not a wedding photographer. However, my friends let me know that they were not looking for a traditional wedding photographer. Rather, they wanted someone to capture the small, intimate backyard ceremony that they had planned. After praying about it and talking to a photographer friend or two, I decided that I would do the job. And I am so glad that I did. I was very nervous as I would think about the wedding in the days before-hand, but once the wedding arrived, I was totally lovin' every moment that I was capturing memories for my friend, Tracy, and her family. Here are the highlights of the beautiful day that I had an opportunity to share:

~ happily married ~

~ Tracy's Family ~
~ and they lived happily ever after ~
Tracy & Randy, thank you for letting me be a part of your wonderful day.

You are a beautiful couple.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jack & Allie's First Days Of School

Well, school and homeschool are under way for our family. For those of you that might not know, my older kids go to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I homeschool them on the other days of the week. We have always done school this way, and for our family it has been a great fit... kind of the best of both worlds. This year, like last, they are going to 2 different schools. Jack's school stated last Tuesday, and Allie's started a week later.

~ Jack with his Special Day Pancake ~
(It's a tradition.)
~ my 4th grader ~
(I seriously can't believe that he is so big!)
~ buddies ~
These 3 have been friends since they were all in diapers. I'm so glad that Jack has little buddies that he can grow up with!
~ Allie's Special Day Pancake ~
~ my 7th grader ~
(Now, this one is shocking! 7th GRADE?!?)
~ My Beautiful Girl ~
~ heading to school ~

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Go Cubs Go!

Before we went on our vacation, Corey & Jack had a super-special day with some of the other guys in my family. It took me a while to round up the photos from that day, but I think that I have all that I'm going to get now.

Very early one morning my dad, brother, brother-in-law, Corey, & Jack left to go to Chicago for the day to watch a Cubs game. It was really special that so many of them got to go together to a place that Corey has always wanted to take his boys.

~ so excited to be boarding the plane ~
~ riding the train in Chicago ~
~ the Jackson Street stop ~
~ bleacher bums ~
~ Wrigley Field ~
~ Corey having a hot dog ~
~ The Guys ~
They loved how the fans sang Go Cubs Go after the game.
~ after the game ~
~ the end of a great day ~

NASA (in a nutshell)

This is the last time that I will speak of our trip to Houston (and Galveston) as long as I shall live... or until we go back someday, anyway.

On our last day in Houston we visited the Space Center and NASA. It was a great day, overall... but let me just get this off my chest...

This is NASA to a 4 year old...
A gigantic play-place that is front and center when you walk through the doors of the Space Center. All it is is a McDonald's play-place on steroids... and something for a 4 year old to whine about for hours - and hours and hours - on end while his family is trying- really, really hard - to enjoy their time learning about space and rocket ships and astronauts... and could care less about the gigantic Chuck-E.-Cheese-land at the front of the building. Not that I'm bitter... I'm just saying, if you plan a trip to the Space Center with little ones, you might want to blind fold them while you pass by this monstrosity. After you pass it, there is plenty for them to see and do and enjoy... and the play-place could be a fun cherry-on-top at the end of your day.

Okay, moving on... Here are a few photos of what we saw at NASA:

~ Jack in space ~
(This photo was his idea... He jumped into the air (several times - to get the perfect shot), and I helped him by flipping it over when I got it on to the computer.)

There were 2 "tram tours" that took people from the Space Center to NASA. We only had time to go on one of them, and here is what we saw:

I'm not sure if it is officially called the "Control Room", but I think it might be.
These trees are in memory of the lost astronauts. The tram stopped and had a moment of silence beside them.

We actually have a couple of friends that are astronauts. In 1989 Corey's mom moved to Houston to be a live-in nanny for a couple that are both astronauts, Rhea Seddon & Hoot Gibson, and their kids. 20 years later, she is still living with them. She has gotten to go to be a part of a few launches and landings for both of them. So, while were were at the Space Center we hunted down their photos on the wall of all of the astronauts and missions. Here are 2 of them:

Rhea is the blonde female on the front row.
Hoot is the man in the center of the back row.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sarah & Clara

A highlight of our time in Houston was spending some time with our niece, Sarah, and her adorable baby Clara. On this night, Sarah showed us her favorite Mexican restaurant, Lupe Tortilla. (The next night Sarah's fiance, Seth, joined us for dinner at a sushi restaurant, but I didn't get the camera out for that.)

Clara loves her mommy!
~ Sarah & Clara ~
~ beautiful blue eyes ~
~ Amy the Great & Clara ~
(Yep, I'm a great-aunt!)

Pool Time

On our trip to Galveston, we stayed at a hotel across the street from the ocean. While it was great to spend time on the beach, we really enjoyed the clean, (mostly) sand-free pool at our hotel and spent a lot of time there.

By the last day, I decided to document with my iPhone that I was, in fact, on the family trip. ;) I enjoyed swimming with the kids and sitting on the side of the pool in the sun.
In my dreams, I imagine sitting pool-side and reading book... so I tried to make my dream come true by re-reading New Moon. (I want to do that before the movie comes out in November. Insert *squeal*!)... Sadly, I confirmed that it is still not "my time" to do that yet. I think that I got about 4 pages read in between checking on the kids, bathroom breaks, getting dripped on, going to get snacks & drinks... You know? Mom stuff. Someday, by golly... I am going to sit by a pool and read a book!
Corey owns his own business, so he pretty much works 365 days a year. Thankfully, a lot of his work can be done remotely. While we were gone, he would spend a few hours each day in the room working from his laptop & phone while the kids and I swam. Here he is coming out to take a fresh-air-check-on-the-family-break.
~ Pool Princess ~
Yep, Jack was sad in this photo, but I think it is sweet.
~ Daddy taking a nap pool-side while Coop take a video game break ~
So that is it for the Galveston posts. Can you believe that we only spent two nights there?!? I know, it's seemed like a gazillion! ;) We know how to squeeze a lot of fun (and a ton of photos) into a short amount of time. After Galveston, we went to Houston for 2 nights... I think I can actually get to that post now (But don't hold your breath... What's that? You weren't planning on it?).

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