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goodbye to summer

I can’t believe we are writing the last pages in our story of summer 2010.  Time flies!  I must say that I am more than ready for fall – soooo excited for cooler weather, back to school, football, harvest festivals, halloween, and of course….a new baby!   Only 2 months to go! 

Random notes on summer 2010: 

– The girls have played together all day everyday throughout the summer.  I think they are actually learning how to resolve some of their own fights!   I’ve noticed that Ms. M is really sneaky in her ways and uses a lot of reverse psychology.  If she wants full reign of the MLPs (my little ponies) she tries to distract little sis with lite bright or books…and then takes full control of the ponies and their palace as soon as Julia is immersed.  Her tactics are often successful but J is catching on and will not be fooled.  She is getting to be a smart little cookie. 

– We have stuck it out in AZ all summer long (other than a wonderful trip to Maui at the very beginning of summer).  We missed family and would have loved a MN vacation but we’ll plan on that for later.  We have been so busy balancing work + children + getting the house ready for #3.  We are constantly working on creative solutions to make our small space livable and comfortable for a growing family.  

– Summer home renovations:  a TON of reorganizing, mainly.  The girls are sharing a bedroom now and we’re revamping the baby room a bit.  Nothing major – just some color changes and slight improvements (new blinds, paint, etc).    I love home decorating and hate it at the same time.  There is nothing like finding a great deal and the thrill of the hunt…but putting a room together is such a process and takes sooo much time.  Also, I have a terrible habit of buying things and returning them (I have the hardest time envisioning how things will look until I see them in place).  This whole process is very tiresome.   I’ve purchased 4 different varieties of curtains to ‘try out’ (and then returned them) and still have not found the right look.   Blah, blah, blah… 

– Little J is a total bookworm.  She brings books to me several times throughout the day and asks me to read to her.  I try to stop what I’m doing and sit down with her for a book – or two – or ten (I wish I could say I always do but it’s not always so easy).   If I am busy, she will lay down with a pile of books and look through pages on her own.  To see her cuddled up ‘reading’ books is one of the perfect things about this totally imperfect life.  My heart swells with love as I watch her grow and become a little girl.   She absolutely delights in reading.

– Ms. M is the fashionista of the family.  She would make the perfect best friend for Fancy Nancy.  She loves glaming it up and has radar for costume dresses,  jewelry, sunglasses, make-up, nail polish, clip-on earrings…you name it.   

– Julia is talking so well and I love the pronunciation of her words.  She says ‘I wuv you mama’ dozens of times every day and every time I hear those words, I pick her up and squeeze her full of love .  I adore this age!  Seriously, 2 year olds are the best.  Everything she says pretty much makes me melt…and the wonder that she has for the world causes me to slow down and take it all in alongside her.  Who made up the phrase the terrible twos?  I disagree.

– Not to say that every day is blissful as a mother (a pregnant mother, at that)…but there are so many moments that fill your heart. 

– There are also many moments that drive you crazy.  Spilled milk (for the 5th time this morning).  Crayola on the walls.  Tantrums.  Sibling Rivalry. Whining.  Kids who will not take ‘no’ for an answer (my parents words are ringing in my ears on this one).  It can be tough business.  

– Speaking of tough business…pregnancy is just that!  The AZ heat is really getting to me and my energy is zapped.  Kinda sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.  I feel like most of my summer has been filled with running around to various Dr. appointments, tests, ultrasounds, etc.  OK, enough for the complaints department already.  I’m just saying pregnancy is much easier in the cooler months.    

– M is so excited to start (pre)school and see her friends again.  Her teachers have come over to our house to visit and she completely adores them (one of the teachers she had last year and the other is new).  She can’t stop talking about school and asks us every night how much longer it is until the 1st day.  2 weeks ago she selected her outfit for the 1st day and packed up her backpack + lunchbox!   I took a peek inside her ‘lunch’ to make sure nothing perishable would rot inside: fruit snacks, cookies, an apple, and a box of Hello Kitty band-aids.  She has everything ready to go. 

– Speaking of band-aids… this kid has an obsession.  To her, band-aids are another fabulous accessory.  She throws a new box in the cart every time we stop at Target.  We have a collection of all varieties: Hello Kitty, Dora, Barbie, Disney Princesses, Mickey and Minnie…we haven’t passed up one option.  Notice in the picture above that each leg is covered in pink band-aids?  That’s just how she rolls.  

– Also in the picture above…cute headbands!  This is the newest product of Mady and Lu!  More about that soon… 

– ASU started classes last week so at work we are already rolling with the new academic year.  I started teaching a new class and look forward to a few months with a great group of freshman sundevils before I have to turn them over to a colleague once baby arrives. 

– Grandma J (hubby’s grandma…sometimes referred to as Mother Theresa) was in a car accident a couple weeks back and is dealing with difficult pain.  We pray for her and send our love.   We miss all of our grandparents in Minnesota so much!  One of the hardest things about not making a MN trip this summer is missing out on time with them. 

– We are so thankful that Tony’s mom was able to visit for a few days earlier this month.  We all love to have her stay with us!  She helps us with projects we tend to put off,  cares for the girls with great love + attention, and overall brings so much happiness to our family.    One of the most difficult things about living across the country from family is that we are largely on our own.   Our kids have just the 2 of us on a day to day basis.   I often wish that there was a larger family support nearby.  The more people to love and care for children, the better.  It is a fortunate thing for children to grow up with attention from grandparents and a larger family unit.  We are so happy when our parents can visit and spend time with our kids.   Looking forward to family visits this fall!

-The world lost an amazing spirit in this last week.  One of my oldest and dearest friends, Anna, lost her father after a long battle with cancer. We all have such wonderful and funny memories of Tom but the world sparkles just a little bit less in his passing.  My love and prayers… 

– Just realizing once again that life is good — and it goes by quickly. 

If you’re still reading this…wow – thanks for sticking with me on the recap of summer!  I’m pushing myself to write more and share more.  I know my blog posts have been infrequent and brief over the summer months.  Life is always full of new adventures and I wish that I was better about sharing more of our story here.  My favorite blogs are those that share freely (and consistently) and I would like to make this happen in my little corner of the cyber world. I love the idea of printing an annual blog book and keeping a record of time passing — but I have to get better about posting what happens in my world + business in order to make that worthwhile.  I plan to get into a better habit of posting and sharing.   Then again, another baby in our home will make it that much harder to find time.   I’m not sure exactly what the future will bring in regards to balancing business + family + my work at ASU (we’ll see how this unfolds)…but I hope to keep up with this blog consistently and share inspiration.  No matter what happens I will always be watching the world behind my camera lens and in love with photography — and this is a good place to record that.  3 kids!  Wow – here we go… 

In more direct business news…I have been working on new holiday cards for oh-ten and will share those next week.  I am very excited about the new design options – modern and fabulous!  Stay tuned.