Wednesday, June 15, 2011

3 years today...

Today we are celebrating our Forever Family Day!  Three years ago we traveled to an orphanage in a small, remote province in Vietnam and held our baby girl for the first time.  I can't believe its been three years....and Ana Kate has grown so much.  I thought I'd include a video of our first meeting along with some other clips from our first 3 days in Vietnam.  Please excuse the watermark on the video (I am testing out new editing software), and it is long....but SO precious.  Ana Kate and I watched it today and it just amazes me how much she has changed and grown in the past 3 years. 

I almost forgot how little she was when we first met.  She started walking the 2nd day we had her and was such a smart girl.  She learned so quickly and hasn't slowed down yet.  She is such an amazing blessing!

We decided to go out to dinner to celebrate and we let Ana Kate choose where.  She chose 'China Food' as she calls it.  So we had a great dinner and then I took a few photos outside when we got home.  Happy Forever Family Day Ana Kate...we love you!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Where do I begin...

It's been more than 2 months since my last post....definitely not my intention.  Life has been busy and I have neglected the blog.  I will attempt to do a recap of what's been going on around here the past couple of months.  In April I did a couple of photo sessions.  The first session was of my cousin's daughter, Piper.  I took these when I kept her for a week in April.  She is such a doll and we loved having her.


The other photo shoot was for a sweet family I met through my friend Amanda.  We did the Siegler family session at a lake trail around sunset one evening and I love the way the pictures turned out.

 This is one of my favorites....

We also celebrated my Mom's birthday, my Dad's birthday, our 7 year anniversary, and Doug's birthday!  Lots of April birthdays around here.  : )  I really didn't take photos of much since I was in full on editing mode at the time.  I am trying to get better about taking personal photos more often, but I think last year's 365 burned me out a bit.  I ordered a new camera bag/purse that I hope will make it easier to lug my camera around with me more often....we'll see if it works as I envisioned when it arrives sometime the end of this month.  I have the Epiphanie Ginger bag, but it just doesn't work well for me.  I really need to sell it since I have only used it once.

On to May....
First off another photo session.  I did Amelia's 3 (almost 4) month photos and they turned out SO good!  I am still keeping her on Fridays and I can't believe how much she's grown!  She is the sweetest, happiest baby and is so easy to take care of.  Ana Kate loves her and is always excited on Friday morning when I tell her Amelia is coming over.

I celebrated Mother's Day at home with my girls and it was wonderful!  Whitney got me a gift certificate for a pedicure at her salon and I can't wait to use it!

I know I mentioned in my last post (which seems like ages ago) that my Aunt Sharlette had been diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.  The cancer progressed very quickly and the week after Mother's Day my uncle also went into the hospital (complications of advanced Alzheimer's).  So my cousin called and asked if I could come and care for my Aunt while she was at the hospital with her Dad.  Ana Kate and I packed up and made the 4 hours drive and ended up staying for 5-6 days.  It was nice to visit with my Aunt and I had a wonderful time catching up with Taryn.  Ana Kate and Piper loved playing together.  It was a wonderful week and I'm SO thankful that I had that time with my Aunt Sharlette.  She died the morning of May 31st and it was much sooner than we had originally expected.  I will miss her greatly, but I am at peace knowing that she is no longer suffering and has gone home to be with the Lord.  There is so much more I could say about my Aunt, but I think I will save that for her Memorial, which will be held later this month.

On Memorial Day weekend we planned a quick trip to Florida to visit the beach and Sea World.  Ana Kate has been asking to go to both places for a while, so it just worked out that we got flights and Whitney got to come with us too!  I can't remember the last time we had a family vacation with all of us.  It was wonderful!  We headed to the airport on Friday evening and didn't get to our hotel until late that night.  Ana Kate was a little stinker in the airport....she thought she needed to ride on my carryon bag all through the airport, but at least I knew exactly where she was.  : )

On Saturday, after breakfast we headed to Cocoa Beach.  We were a bit disappointed at first because there were hundreds of little jellyfish in the water and on the beach.  It even made national news.  By the afternoon if was better, but Doug did get stung.  Ana Kate managed to avoid the jellyfish and she LOVED the beach!
She was sad when we left.  We got cleaned up and went to dinner and then did some shopping around town.
For some reason when we first got to the beach my camera fogged up.  I assume it was because it was so hot outside and my camera had been in the air conditioned car.....but it's never happened before.  It cleared up quickly though....and only showed in this first picture.  I included some of the pictures that Whitney took as I'm actually in some of them.  : )


 My little mermaid....

Me & Whitney at dinner Saturday night.
Ana Kate sorting her shells that she bought.
On Sunday we got up early and headed to Sea World.  It was very hot, but we had a wonderful time.  Ana Kate loves, loves, loves dophins.  She has been talking about dolphins as long as she's been talking.  We did the up close tour with the dolphins and she LOVED it!  I have to say I thought the dophins were amazing as well, SO beautiful and intelligent!  Whitney did the up close penguin tour and she enjoyed it too.  The shows at SeaWorld were amazing...our favorite was Blue Horizons....Ana Kate's favorite things all combined, princess, dophins, and birds.  : )

 We went to Universal's city walk on Sunday night for dinner and then enjoyed some shopping on Monday before catching our flight home.  It was a wonderful vacation and we plan to try doing this more often in the future.

It is so hot outside here that I think we skipped spring and went to straight to summer.  We've been taking trips to the splash park and setting up Ana Kate's little pool on the back deck.  She also started back to school for the summer session and she loves it!  We will stay busy this summer and hopefully I will be posting more than every 2 months.  : )