Friday, December 30, 2011

Favorite photo Friday - Looking back

As the end of 2011 rapidly approaches, I thought I'd choose 12 of my best photos.
Really  'favorite' would be a better word to use.
As I went through hundreds of pictures, I had a couple of thoughts...
these two have grown like crazy and we had quite a year!

Best of 2011 - 1
Taken just about a year ago in their Chinese clothing to celebrate Chinese New Year,
these two made me smile.
You can see so much of their personalities.
I'm making a note to self to get out that backdrop out and do it again
in January.

January 2011.

Best of 2011 - 2

Grace in contemplative moment.

 Late March 2011.

Best of 2011 - 4
Easter Sunday, playing and jumping on the stones
outside the restaurant we were at for brunch.
I love this candid.

April 2011.
Best of 2011 - 5

Swan Lake.
Grace's first Spring recital, she's in the background if you look closely.

May 2011.

Best of 2011 - 6
Will with shades on, swinging.
Our sweet Molly looks on, she lives in heaven now.

June 2011.

Best of 2011 - 7

Door County, WI vacation.
I bought 2 little vintage Kodak Instamatic cameras off e-bay for the kids to play with.
They were a huge hit!
This series was one of my favorites and I use this image
on my thank you notes
for clients.

August 2011.

Best of 2011 - 8
Will holding a yellow leaf.
You can see so much of his personality in this one with his sparkly eyes.
He's a mischievous one. ;)

October 2011

 Best of 2011 - 9

Portrait of Grace that was used for our Christmas card.
I love the light and her expression here.
It was an extremely windy Fall weekend and cold.
My camera was acting up and I went with what I got that weekend.
Grace's hair was flying everywhere in almost every image-
like straight up in the air.
Some cloning was done.

October 2011
Best of 2011 - 10

Playing at the dog park, one of my favorite candids.
It's real life and my 2 little loves.

November 2011.
Best of 2011 - 9-2

Grace before we left for the Nutcracker, about two weeks ago.

December 2011.

Best of 2011 - 10-2

And finally, Will on Christmas Day (which is also his Birthday).
While doing a little photo session, he spun around
and gave me this look, (this is so him).

December 2011.

Best of 2011 - 11

Well, another year has come and gone.

Wishing you blessings, health, and lots and lots of  love and laughter
in the New Year.


the long road

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

52/52 and Wordless Wednesday

Holiday recital 1
Holiday recital 2
Holiday recital 3
Holiday Recital 2011 Diptych

Monday, December 26, 2011

Our Christmas

Christmas eve 8

Will (on Christmas Eve) looking pretty pleased as he's checking gifts under the tree.

Christmas eve 9
Our tradition for Christmas Eve typically is pretty relaxed and low key.
We attend the children's service at our church,
then come home
and unwrap a few family gifts with our oldest son and his girlfriend.
Christmas Eve Storyboard

Milk and cookies are left for Santa...

Christmas eve 6
This year we let Grace and Will stay up a little later than normal
and they slept in until 7:30 am, that was a first!

Christmas day Grace
Santa left some awesome gifts for 2 children that were awfully good this year.  ;)
Christmas Day Storyboard
I spent about two hours Christmas morning just watching them enjoy their gifts,
 listening to them talk and laugh,
and play together.
Time that was precious to me.

I hope your Christmas was wonderful!

Christmas day Will

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!

card final front

Behind all the commercial-ism of the season
is the simple story about a family trying to get through difficult times.
And a baby born in a manger.

card inside 2011

"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

~ Luke 2:10-11

Rejoice blog
Merry Christmas!

 May you find the blessings of Christmas - peace, love and and always.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Nutcracker Diptych 2
(My sister and I had similar jewelry boxes with a twirling ballerina when we were little.)

It's a tradition that dates back to when my oldest son
was a little guy and we'd see the Nutcracker in
the San Francisco bay area and later in Chicago.
And yes he dressed up and looked adorable!

Nutcracker 3

Grace and I have made it our little tradition since she was 5.
She chose the dress all by herself, and it's very 'Grace.'

Nutcracker 4

Each year before we leave for the Nutcracker,
I take her picture in front of our Christmas tree.
This year I tried something different and captured Grace in her room
with one of her favorite dolls.

Nutcracker Diptych 1
(I gave her a ballerina and nutcracker ornament to remember this special afternoon.)

Nutcracker 9

At the age where her favorite things are Barbies, American Girl Dolls,
playing with dear friends,
her ipod touch and listening toTaylor Swift,
I'd like time to stop for a very long while.
I relish these days with my daughter.

Nutcracker 6
A moment in time captured of my little girl who is 9.

Merry Christmas.
I have one or two more posts this week.

Monday, December 19, 2011

51/52 - Christmas memories

What is Christmas?
It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present,
hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow
with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path
may lead to peace.

~ Agnes M. Pahro

Christmas Memories Diptych

(The majolica platter and plates belonged to my late mother-in- law, and the framed photo shows
 my late father-in- law at age 3. The little shoes were his too.)

It was out of tenderness for the past that I was inspired to capture these images,
and remember
Grandparents and parents who have passed on.
I'm reminded of them of when I hear certain songs, read a handwritten recipe or look at
ornaments they owned that are now ours.
It is said that all hearts come home at Christmas.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Snapshot - A Merry (Birthday) Christmas

Will is 6 - 1

Guess who's 6 years old?

Will is 6 - 2

Will is 6 - 3

His birthday is Christmas Day but we celebrate it
a little early. Otherwise there's just
too much going on and his birthday gets lost
in the day.

Blog Posts 54
At age 6, Will is:




athletic (he may be teaching his hip hop class pretty soon),


a love bug,

loves Kindergarten, his teacher,

and his family.

Blog Posts 55

He's grown more emotionally in the last year
than in the previous 2 years combined.
When I look at these pictures, I see a very happy little boy.
We've come a long way
and I'm happy we've made the journey!

Sunday Snapshot

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Favorite Photo Friday - celebrating the Holidays at school

Christmas school program

Yesterday these 2 had their holiday programs at school.
I didn't take many pictures but got this one before we left
and we shot video of the performances.
If you pause the playlist at the bottom of my blog,
you can hear all six Kindergarten classes at Grace and Will's school
sing and watch Will. He's awfully cute!

the long road

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

50/52 - the adventures of Max and Elfred

Elf 1
This is our second December with these two
and their names were chosen by Grace and Will.
They show up in unusual places like among the wine
bottles (above).
Sometimes they're mischievous
and do naughty things like squeeze toothpaste out of the tube.
Occasionally I don't have a clue what to make them do.
Pinterest has inspired me with some of their adventures.
It's been great fun for us all.
Elf 2

Monday, December 12, 2011

The man in the red suit

Santa visit blog
(Taken yesterday afternoon).

There's been a great deal of anticipation
and talk about Santa around here lately.

Santa visit 2 blog

Last year was our first visit
and it definitely was a huge success.
Previous to that they both were a little afraid to speak to him
and get up so close.

Santa visit 3 blog

I think the best part for me is to listen in on the conversation...
whether they've been behaving well and 
what they'd like for Christmas.
Thankfully Santa's got it covered...Will is asking for a 'Ninja Castle'
and Grace a 'Holiday Barbie.'
I love seeing Christmas through their eyes, I know this stage doesn't last long
and it's just precious to me!

We have a busy week ahead with final dance practices, the rehearsal for the Christmas recital
next week and their school has it's Holiday program on Friday.
I still have my Christmas cards to address and send.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Favorite photo(s) Friday - in search of the perfect tree

Tree 6
In years prior when we visited our favorite tree farm in early December,
we have for lack of better words...
basically frozen our rear ends off.
This year was a pleasant exception.
Tree Storyboard

I did notice that I didn't get a shot of Dan actually cutting down the tree,
but I'm sure you get the idea.
This is obviously one of our favorite Christmas traditions and after the tree is tied to the top
of the car, we go inside
the little house on the property to warm up and have hot apple cider.
I find that I look forward to this experience almost more than actually putting up the tree
and decorating it.
Grace and Will have so much fun here and can race up and down the rows.

Tree dyptic

Hope you all are enjoying this season
and taking time for yourself too.

(Will and his Daddy, they are best buds).
Tree 10

the long road
© Aging with Grace and strong Will
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