Happy Birthday Owen! | Children {London, On}

I just wanted to send a special birthday wish to my little nephew Owen. Happiest of birthdays little man! We love you so much! ♥

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We Were There {May} | Blog Circle 2014

Off the top of my head, I can think of two photographs from my childhood of my entire family.  All nine of us.  And, I get it, mom.  I’ve got about half of the kids that you had, and I’m finding it challenging to get a photograph of all of us together.

But the thing is, I love those photos.  One is from 1988, of all of us at Grandma’s house, just after my youngest sister was born.  Those are the golden years of my childhood.  The other is from around 1992 and is from a portrait studio in the era of mullets and Ninja Turtle sweaters.

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This is our shot for May, just before we headed out to my nephew’s baptism.  It’s always a feat to get all four of the boys to sit still for a second.  This photo is just typical.  Nathan is always distracted by something.  Alex is missing a shoe.  My dad is obediently taking the photo for us and doesn’t notice that Jacob is all but disappearing in the back.  This is a money shot.  It’s all of us, and so it is special.

Someday, I hope my boys will look back on it and giggle at our outdated clothes and hairstyles.  But mostly I just hope that they look back on it.  I wonder what memories it will stir up for them.  I wonder if they will remember that we were photobombed by a random zombie while taking this photograph.

More on that later.

I want to tuck these days into neat little posts that capture everything.  Alex isn’t able to sit himself into a swing yet, but he slings himself over the seat, with it tucked up under his armpits and his feet dangling and spins himself and laughs.  He’s easily surprised and delighted by everything, and his eyebrows shoot straight up and his mouth makes a perfect little circle.  He has learned to push the kitchen chairs around to climb on them and reach the counter tops and open the freezer.

Jacob is always tucked into corners playing Clash of Clans and Pokemon on his tablet – content to be on his own.  He has one good friend named Tony who he loves to hang out with, and for him that is plenty.  He still feels so fragile at eight years old – all elbows and knees and long limbs.  Sometimes I worry that he gets overlooked because he is so quiet.  The plight of the wallflower middle child.

Nathan is solidly built and doesn’t feel fragile at all.  He has grown so much already this year.  We love his golden red hair and how it’s perfectly white-blonde beneath the crown.  He comes in two-tone … you pay extra for that.  Nathan is always sneaking yogurts after he’s been told no, and is the master of extending bed time.  He is loving, cuddly and clumsy, rough without meaning to be when he climbs happily into your lap.

Benjamin is eleven now.  Always the responsible one, the compassionate and mature older brother.  I never fret over him.  He excels in school, he makes friends easily, he gets along with everyone.  He listens.  He reflects.  He makes good decisions.  He wants so badly to be one of the adults.  He is outgrowing his childhood too quickly.

What do I want them to remember of May 2014?  That our cat Remy disappeared for 6 nights and we spent the better part of the week worrying about what could have happened to him.  Turns out that he was hiding out in a shed two houses down all along.  I want them to remember staying up too late in their rooms long after we sent them to bed and thinking that they were being sneaky about it.  Eating s’mores at Luke and Meese’s and playing with their cousins.  I want to remember kissing cheeks that smell faintly of sunscreen and the sounds of the kids laughing in the backyard.

Things have been slow for Sean at work.  It’s been like this since mid-February, and no word on when things will pick up.  It’s been discouraging to eat into the savings that we had finally started to build up.  Something is wrong with the van again and we’ve been putting off getting it fixed.  It seems like every time we take it in to the mechanic, it costs us around $700.

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Even though Sean is getting less hours, he still seems to be gone a lot.  It’s the commute mostly.  Since Nathan is in school every other day now, often Alex and I are left to our own devices at home.  I have been feeling a bit uninspired lately.  Alex is still really demanding and wants to be held constantly.  I sometimes feel like we aren’t two separate people yet.

What do they say about motherhood?  The days are long, but the years are short.  I know I will miss all of this.  I wonder what it will be like when they are all teenage boys.  Will I even remember all of these tender little boy moments?  It’s strange to want to just plow through these crazy years and freeze time all at once.

And, I know, I promised a zombie photobomber.  There’s no back story to this.  He was just a random zombie stranger who was hanging out where we were taking our photo.  Quite a friendly zombie anyway!

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Up next in the circle are some beautiful photos of Michele Quatrin and her daughter.

T-Ball {Ordinary, Everyday} | Just My Kids

This month Nathan started T-ball with my nephew.  Our first night was basically just a meet and greet to get the schedules and the uniforms. I snapped a few photos of Nathan and Isaac practicing their skills. 🙂  I only just realized while looking at these photos how much Nathan has grown in the past several months.  He isn’t my chubby little toddler any longer.  😦

So far, the kids have had one practice and two games.  It’s a bunch of 4 year olds, so it’s about as organized as you imagine, but overall they have done much better than I was expecting!  For the most part, the kids are able to hit a ball pitched to them, and most of the time they remember to run the bases.

The first couple of times, Nathan resisted going.  But he has fun once he is there, and I think it is growing on him.  I really wasn’t sure what to expect, since he’d never been in organized sports before and he can be kind of contrary about doing things.

Sean is pleased because Nathan was assigned to the position second baseman, which was the position that he used to play in baseball.  I have no idea what sort of baseball player Sean was as a child, but Nathan is not what I would call “committed” to the game.  He spends most of his time inspecting the dirt and spinning in circles.

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We Were There {April} | Blog Circle 2014

One of the things that is kind of crappy about photographing your family is that you are pretty much guaranteed to never be in any of the photos. And, someday, when your kids are looking back on those pictures, the only one who will be missing from all of them is you.

Because I want my kids to have photographs of us together, one of the three blog challenges that I am participating in is the “Just Us 12 Times” Challenge. The purpose of this one is to get in the photos with our kids, and not just take photos of our kids, at least once every month. Ideally, at the end of one year, we will have at least 12 photos that include us.

Here is my April edition of “We Were There 2014”.  The weather can’t make up it’s mind yet about whether or not it’s spring or still winter and half the time we are still wearing mitts and hats outside, but we’ve had a sprinkling of days where it has been warm enough to pretend summer is coming anyway.  Everything is still brown and dead here.  I can’t wait until the leaves and blossoms show up.

We spent Easter in London and the kids had an egg hunt with all of the cousins.  We also drove back to Sault Ste Marie to see everyone as well. The kids got to help Dad with the maple syrup gather on the Island.  Winter is holding on even harder up there, and they were sinking in the snow right up to their thighs, so their boots were completely soaked and muddy.  We ended up having to buy them new shoes to wear while we were visiting.

Poppa had some health troubles and was in the hospital while we were there.  He was in good spirits and looked great though, and was back home before the end of the month.  I meant to get some photos when we were visiting him, but we got too caught up talking and then I had to shoo the kids out because they were rolling around on the floors and making all kinds of noise.

Our trampoline is a daily afternoon activity for the kids, and probably the best investment that we have made in our backyard. I’ve so far considered it a great method of keeping the kids entertained while I do something else, and I think I only went on it once since we bought it. Until this challenge. And, actually, I forgot how fun these things are! 😀

Believe it or not, though, I actually didn’t manage to get one photo with all six of us.  Mostly because by the time Sean got home from work, the kids were running out of enthusiasm for the camera.  Still, we are “in” these photos.

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And, in the spirit of the challenge of actually having a complete “family” photo, I have one more to share from this month.  It was actually our first attempt at a family selfie, and we did it at bed time with no natural light.  I was trying to set it up just using the EOS app, since I couldn’t get behind the camera to set the focus properly, and that was an epic failure.  All of the photos are soft and they’re all noisy as well.  But I saved one anyway, because all six of us are in it, and it’s just real life.

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Please follow the blog circle to the talented Jennifer Hill to see her making an appearance in front of her camera!  And after that, go and get in a photo with your own family.  And after that, go for a jump on a trampoline –  I swear it is even more fun than you remember!

Nature {Week 16} | 2014 Project 52

The challenge this week was to photograph something in bloom. Unfortunately, aside from some green grass, we are still suffering from a severe lack of colour around these parts. No buds, no leaves, no flowers.

I was sure we’d have some by now. We even had a couple of days that felt genuinely like spring had officially arrived – I’m talking full sun, wearing shorts kind of weather. It was beautiful while it lasted. But it didn’t last. Temperatures dropped again today and it looks like at least two more weeks of rain, chilly wind and overcast skies.

So, we made lemonade. Not literally. But we did stop in at a nursery today to brighten our spirits.  With any luck, we’ll see some of these blossoms outside soon.

blog ed IMG_5112blog ed IMG_5124blog ed IMG_5133blog ed IMG_5143blog ed IMG_5141To get more of your fill of spring blossoms, follow the circle by clicking my friend Martine‘s blog.

 

Where We Live {April} | Blog Challenge 2014

Yep, I joined another blog circle project.  In fact, I joined two more, so you will see another project before the end of the month as well.  Pretty ambitious for someone who was struggling to keep up with my initial challenge.  However, these two new ones will be posted monthly rather than weekly, so I’m hoping that will keep it more manageable.

The challenge in this circle is to post images from where we live each month.  I will be posting photographs of my small town of Woodstock, Ontario (population 35,000).

After the worst winter that we have had in a long time, the snow has finally started melting and the sun has finally started shining again.  Everything is still looking pretty brown and gray, though – typical of early spring before the final remnants of dirty snow have melted and the buds and leaves have started to grow.  A lot of ice, pavement, and dead grass so far.

But the trails along the waterfront still manage to be lovely at this ugly time of year.  So I snapped a few photos in Roth Park as the sun was setting.

BlogAprLiveHere8BlogAprLiveHere5BlogAprLiveHere7BlogAprLiveHere2BlogAprLiveHere3Follow the circle to visit the hometowns of the rest of the group.  Up next is Sheila Clapperton Photography.

 

Welcome Baby K! | Newborn {Cambridge, On}

I was hoping to catch this little man in hospital and get some photos of him just after he was born.  He made his momma wait and wait – 41 weeks!!  I guess that he was wise enough to know that he had tested her patience enough by going overdue, so he made a quick entrance to the world with a speedy labour.  Both of them were doing so great that they were home before I could make my way to the hospital.

I stopped by to see him at home when he was just three days old.  He is a darling baby.  He has the sweetest little face, beautiful lips, and his hair!  Too much cuteness in one little seven pound bundle.

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This young man had the world’s coolest faux-hawk.  And, really, this face … he is such a doll!Blog-Knox5
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Baby K’s grandma might be the world’s coolest lady.  Not only an amazing photographer and master of sewing, she is an incredible woodworker as well!  She handcrafted this amazing baby cradle.  I was just blown away.  You can’t buy craftsmanship like this!  What a lucky baby.
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Center Composition {Week 13} | 2014 Project 52

As usual, I missed the deadline on this week’s challenge. That didn’t stop me from working on it, albeit a little too late. I chose our little Remy as my subject for this week’s exercise.  Poor guy wants to mingle with all the other cats outside in the neighbourhood, but since he was declawed before we got him, he’s not allowed out to play.  Always on the inside looking out, right Remy?

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I wasn’t able to participate in the circle because of my characteristic tardiness, but I’m linking to the circle for you anyway, so that you can enjoy everyone else’s take on the challenge.  Click here to see LaShawn’s entry for the week.

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