Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Flashback - Dutch Wonderland

This past summer we decided to take a trip up to Dutch Wonderland on a total whim.  The Mr.'s Parents were in town visiting and we thought it would be fun to go do something special with the kiddos.  Luckily, the hotel our kids love had availability!  We loaded up the van and hit the road.  The kids had a fantastic time.  The boys were mostly interested in the water park and riding a handful of rides.  Little Brother got his face painted to look like Batman.  He was so excited about getting his face painted and sat so, so still the entire time.  

next time we go this little man will likely be in the yellow! He has grown SO much! 

he loved the bumper cars, little brother did not. He cried "people are mean!!!!" over and over.

their bond is so special.  love love love 

Flashback - 1st Day of School 2012

Wow the shorts and flip-flops in these pictures make me miss the warm weather!  The boys were SO excited to start back to school this past fall.  Big Brother was starting Pre-K and his 3rd year at his school.  Several of his classmates have been with him throughout each preschool class.  He attends school 4 days a week this year for a few hours each day.  I have realized with him gone 4 mornings that I am going to be an emotional mess when he is gone to school every single day.  He likes to remind me almost daily that he will ride the big bus to school next year to Kindergarden.  Slow down time. Slow down! 

Little Brother absolutely loves school.  He adores his teachers.  I think that he would probably bring them home if he could.  He has made friends with everyone in his class (he is obviously my outgoing, social one).  He had a girlfriend after the first day.  Here we are 5 months later and the little girl's Dad came up and introduced himself to me one day as his daughter talks about Little Bro all the time! ha!!!  With the boys current career aspirations, it looks like college may not be in the cards.  ;)

This was the 3rd day for Big brother and the first full day for Little. 

2012 Favorites

This was hard.  I am not going to even guess how many photos I took in 2012.  I know it was over 10,000.  I weeded those down to around 3000 or so that were actually "keepers".  I tried to narrow those down to a manageable number to add to our yearly photo book.  I think I was able to get it down to around 700.  Then I tried to narrow it down even further for the here are my favorites from 2012.  Some of these are from my fancy camera, some from my phone.  None are edited.  All are perfect pictures of a year that was, perhaps, the greatest of my life thus far.   

Why this one?  Well, we were in town celebrating my Grandmother's 90th birthday.  We were with so many of my wonderful family members.  My boys had been given their first cowboy hats by one of my favorite cousins ever.  Big brother was FILTHY dirty with some sort of Kool-Aid or Gatorade or who knows what mustache.  This picture is pure joy to me.  We were in the country with nothing to do and my kids had a BLAST!  

We went swimming at my cousin's house.  Little Brother hasn't been around dogs a whole lot in his life.  He was very interested in her dogs but very cautious.  Towards the end of the pool party, the boys had a popsicle.  Little Brother was SO concerned with the dog and making sure the dog didn't get a bite.  :)  There is something so pure and moving about this image to me though. 

This picture made the cutoff because of the generations it captures.  Little Brother, Little Sister, their great Aunt and Great Grandmother...all together to celebrate a major life event.

There are so many things about this image that I love.  First, his stance is awesome.  Secondly, he was surprisingly good at hitting the ball when it was pitched to him.  Third, we were playing ball that day with my dad and brother.  It brought back so many wonderful images of when I was a little girl playing ball with my dad or with my whole family.  

This little boy is such a great brother.  He is protective, he always makes sure she is taken care of, he adores her.  He didn't care about her having a turn to ride his car.  His only concern was pushing her around the grass and letting her wave and smile to everyone she passed along the way.   

This picture captures so much of Little Sister's spirit.  She is lively.  She is outgoing, determined, focused and happy.  

We went to Disney for a week this year.  For the first 3 or so days this little boy refused to ride any rides at all because he was scared.  Then one night he worked up the courage to ride Dumbo the Flying Elephant.  He was SO proud of himself.  I think that my heart almost burst right out of my chest when I saw his huge grin after the ride was over.  This is easily my favorite picture of the Disney trip and possibly my favorite image of the year.  Watching your child overcome a fear, learn that they can trust is amazing.  This picture is about so much more than riding a ride at an amusement park to me. 

In June, Brandon and Molly came to visit us for a few days.  We took the kids to Chuck E Cheese.  They had a BLAST.  Brandon kicked tail on the pinball machine and won the boys a boat load of tickets.  Big Brother was pumped.  This picture makes me smile. 

Just about any day when the weather is nice, we can be found at the playground.  After a day filled with play we headed back on the walk towards our house.  Luck would have it that the boys held hands...this is a phone picture that I just love! 

Plain and simple...I just love this picture.  The boys love this jeep.  They started a thing this summer of driving with their feet.  They also find any random kids at the playground, hop in the jeep and dream up some crazy destination to go to.  Then all of the kids jump out and run around the playground, hop back in the jeep and drive off to another fun-filled destination. 

This picture is another one that I just LOVE!!!  This is probably tied for the number one spot.  We had such a fantastic time at Disney this year.  This picture of Big Brother playing in the water feature at our hotel is just perfect.  He wasn't posing, he was running around the place like crazy and having the best time ever.  Somehow I lucked out and got this shot.  If you look closely, you will see other people in my little family too.  :) 

This day we went out with one goal, to get a picture of all three of our kids looking at the camera at the same time and hopefully not crying.  We did get a few great pictures of them but this one is one of my favorites.  Sure her skirt rode up and her sweater is covered in drool, but the moment is absolutely perfect. 

There were so many great pictures from this day.  This was Sister's 1 year photo session and this picture is a phone shot.  I love everything about it.  From the sun, to the bow, to those little bare feet in the gravel.  She was drawn to the gravel and kept walking over to it over and over again.  

This was from Sister's 6 month photo session.  The cherry blossoms were in full bloom.  The look on Brother's face is priceless.  Love! 

Sensing a theme?  These two are the best of buddies.  You can just feel the love here. 

And this one is just too precious not to include.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I'm Not Tired...

and a couple minutes later I came in the room to find this...


I snapped all of these pictures yesterday while Sister was "eating" breakfast.  I use the term eating lightly because pretty much the only thing she was doing was throwing food on the floor (another favorite activity of hers).  There are A LOT of similar images here, but they were all so wonderful and capture her just the way she is.  She is such a delight, so full of joy and yet serious at the same time.

she was ready to get out. are still here taking pics.  I said out.