Thursday, July 28, 2011

30/52 - treasure hunt

Raggedy Ann

 Like her mommy,
Grace has a fondness for things previously owned, that are maybe a little worn and loved
by someone else.
On Sunday we traveled to the Sandwich, Illinois Antique Fair.
I have some great memories of that place because it's where
we found a beautiful old dresser, a large basket for toys,
and a quilt for Grace's baby room before we traveled to China to adopt her
almost 8 years ago.

Sandwich storyboard
This time we found some more treasures.
For Grace a Raggedy Ann doll and a vintage doll trunk from around 1950.
I found a red step stool and an old 'peely' painted wicker table,
which were just up my alley!!

It was a fun mom/daughter day and made for some wonderful memories for us.
I love to see what's considered 'vintage.'
Definitely some things from the 1950's to 70's but I think for it to be truly considered an antique
an item has to be at at least a 100 years old.


I'll be taking a break from blogging (we have a vacation coming up), but will be back soon...
hope y'all are having a great Summer!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

black and white Wednesday - green chair

Grace green chair 4
These 5 images were my 'final' for an online class I just finished.
I've taken photography workshops previously but they were
all on location with professional photographers.
And all technical classes.

Grace green chair 1

This was the first one that talked about style.
What makes my style 'me.'
Was I being true to my style?
It required a fair amount of introspection that sometimes
is hard for people.
I liked that part very much.
Grace green chair 5

And discovered some things that were always there
that I wasn't noticing until now.

Grace green chair 2

Like why do I create photographs?
I decided that I want to create something beautiful.
I also want to be challenged.
What makes me happy?
I found out that some of the things that make me feel happy are spending time with my children,
hearing them laugh, seeing them smile and seeing color.
Especially red but any other vibrant one will do.
Grace green chair 6It

It was also the first class that the instructor gave
feedback on the pictures that I took.
I learned that I compose for color, whether intentionally or not.
And that I use natural textures in my images, in a way that isn't 'too much.'
Pretty cool to find out all of this...and it was right there in front of me all the time.
It's always been hard for me to describe my own photography style,
and now I just did. :)

the long road

Check out more black and whites at Lisa's blog, The Long Road to China.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

black and white Wednesday - 3 years with Will

Will 3 years ffamily day 1 blw blog final

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~ Robert Frost

Will 3 years ffamily day storyboard

And who would have thought that through a series of events
that our adoption journey would change directions and we would adopt a 2 and 1/2 year old little boy.

Will 3 years ffamily day 7 color blog
Who is now a funny, affectionate, giggling, cute little booty-shaking, adorable, brave, polite, gifted,
ticklish, intense, super hero loving, cartwheeling, and soon to be Kindergartner boy.
Will 3 years ffamily day 5 color blog

He has changed in ways that would have been hard to imagine 3 years ago.
And all in good ways.
In the last year he's blossomed and grown in his emotional maturity
and shows great compassion to others.
He's a caring, loving child.

Will 3 years ffamily day 6 color blog
Happy 3 years my youngest son,
I love you to the moon and back.
We have been endlessly blessed to have you in our lives.


Will 3 years ffamily day 4 color blog

Per Will's request, we'll celebrate his 3rd Forever Family Day with Chinese noodles for dinner
and a Lightning McQueen cake for dessert. ;)

(Taken 4 days ago of our handsome guy.)
Will 3 years ffamily day 2 blw blog

For more black and whites, please see Lisa's blog
at The Long Road to China.

the long road

Monday, July 18, 2011

29/52 - Lincoln Park Zoo

29/52 - Lincoln Park Zoo
When I was a single mom with my oldest son Nick, I used to take him
to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, so have many fond memories of that lovely place.
(And it's free by the way).
So when our travel group wanted to meet there on Saturday I was thrilled.
It was hot and muggy but the kids sure didn't seem to notice.
They raced around, played and we did get have some great animal sightings along the way.
The moms chatted and chatted some more.
 Something we do very well! ;)
It was great to be with these people who have become family, and we can't wait till the next time.

Blog Posts 34

Thursday, July 14, 2011

28/52 - sweet Molly

12/24/1999 - 07/14/2011

28/52 - Molly

One of the last images of Molly, taken a few days ago.
She adored Grace and William.

Today our Molly went to heaven.
This is hands down the hardest decision I've ever had to make.
Our hearts are broken, and we will never forget you... sweet pup.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Black and White Wednesday - swing

Will swing color WM
Cool dude on a swing (with Molly watching behind him), the color version.
Will swing blw WM

And black and white.

Oh to be 5 again!

the long road

It's Wednesday, so please see many more black and white's at
Lisa's "The Long Road to China."

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Snapshot - Superman

Superman vert web

"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today."

~ Stacia Tauscher

Superman looking down web

"To become a real boy you must prove yourself brave, truthful, and unselfish."

 ~ Pinocchio

Superman sitting web

Well Will has certainly got the traits that Pinocchio describes
to become a real boy.
And he is one brave little guy.
I'm truly astounded at how his recovery has gone.
He's now day 11 post-op and tomorrow has his first visit with the surgeon.
She'll removed some stitches inside his nose.
We notice that a little crease that was above his lip pre-operatively
has disappeared now. We're very pleased with how his nose appears.
Everything has healed beautifully and it's my opinion that the surgery was a huge success.
Will AKA 'Superman' has been back to his regular activities.
Which means cartwheels and round-offs ad lib.
No leaping over buildings in a single bound, please.

(These were shot on Friday for an online photography class I'm taking).
Superman smiling web

Ni Hao Yall

Thursday, July 7, 2011

27/52 - Summer fun

Splash park storyboard

Yesterday we went to a splash park and Grace brought a friend.
Nothing says Summer better than playing in the cool water on a hot day!
We went to get ice cream afterwards.
Will was with us too.
His bandage is off now and the bridge of his nose has a little bit of swelling,
but for just 1 week after surgery, I'm amazed at how good it looks.
The change is subtle.
I'll get some pics of him this weekend.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

black and white Wednesday - saying goodbye

Molly blw 1

"She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog.
You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion".

 ~  Unknown
Molly blw 2

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."

~ A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh)
Molly blw 3

How can you say goodbye to your best friend of your of your children?
There are no words that can adequately describe the feelings of loss or diminish the pain you feel.
When you lose a loved companion, you lose a piece of yourself. That world is over and now you have to move to the next version of the world.

Molly blw 4

Dear Molly,

We love you so much. There has never been nor will there ever be, another like you.
You have been such a loyal, reliable and effervescent part of our family. God has blessed us with your presence and we are so thankful that He did. You have been there for it all ~ birthdays, Christmases, welcoming Grace and Will when they arrived home from China, good times and hard times.
 Through it all, your smile and love never faded.
The brightness of your personality never dimmed.
 I can’t even imagine coming home to a house without you.
Life will go on once you’re gone but the world will be less happy and a little hollow without you.

Thank you sweet pup!
You have made our lives richer and the world a more beautiful place.
You have taught our whole family about devotion and unconditional love.
We will miss you so much darling and can only gain comfort in knowing that you will greet us again someday in heaven.

Love always,

Mom and Dad

Molly blw 5

Molly was adopted at age 9 weeks in Feb. of 2000. She was an 8 lb. bundle of love.
Our son Nick was 14 years old.
She has been the light of our lives for 11 & 1/2 years and is a funny, kind and gentle sweet soul.
2 weeks ago today, we received the heartbreaking news that Molly has 'osteo-sarcoma' or bone cancer in her right lower jaw. We've been told the tumor has been there for quite a while and her symptoms didn't show until it was quite advanced. 
We've been spoiling our pup with treats, taking her to the dog park, rides in the car (which she loves),
and time spent in the backyard lying in the sun watching our young children play with friends.
I notice she is sleeping more and sometimes it seems hard for her to chew,
but her quality of life is still fairly good.
We're taking this one day at a time and won't let her suffer.
 I don't know if she has days, a week, 2 weeks or months left but we're blessed to have these days with her.

I know this was a sad post but it is our life right now.
All Molly's wanted is to be loved and give her love to us,
 and it's just so difficult to say goodbye.

the long road

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

fun on the 4th

July 4th storyboard 1

We had a fabulous and festive July 4th.
It started on the 3rd with a cookout with friends and that dinner with our 2 families
turned into a neighborhood get together!
We truly have the best neighbors who are dear friends.

July 4th storyboard 2

On the 4th we continued with our tradition of attending a charming local small town parade.
I think the best part for Grace and Will was getting candy.

July 4th storyboard 3

Both  of them don't like the big professional fireworks displays...TOO loud!
So we had our own low key celebration with sparklers and then some other small fireworks Dan set off.
You would have never known that Will had surgery 5 days before except for the bandage on his nose.
He's doing awesome!
© Aging with Grace and strong Will
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