Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Beautiful Home

There are many reasons why I love Alabama so much...

It truly is beautiful.  In the five plus years we have lived here I have seen more incredibly clear, deep blue skies then I have probably seen in my whole life living in Michigan.  There is endless beauty in the foothills that surround us.  Trees in abundance, flowers that burst with color throughout the seasons and birds that sing us awake all year around.  

But beyond the physical beauty lies the true heart of Alabama, and that is its people.

People that take time out of their day to smile at complete strangers, people that talk to you like they have known you your whole life even though you just met.  People that say hello, just because they have passed by you in the isle of a grocery store or on a sidewalk while you walk the dog. And people that lend a hand, when something devastating strikes close to home.

This is why Alabama will always own a place in my heart.  So while I am brokenhearted about the destruction and loss, I can still see the beauty.

Photo Credit:  Birmingham News Photo / Jeff Roberts
Photo Credit: The Birmingham News / Michelle Campbell

We know many people that were directly hit by the storms and our thoughts and prayers are with each and every one of you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Black and White Wednesday {Sisters}

The girls seem to be getting along a little better these days.  By that I mean that they are not focusing on annoying the other one at all times.  I've noticed that they are going longer bits of time where they really seem to be enjoying playing with each other.  I treasure these moments for sure!  Still it was quite a shock to find Hanna doing Rylee's hair and helping to get her ready - and I didn't even ask her to!!

Heh... she makes this same face when I do her hair!

Hanna scores bonus points for the lip gloss!

Now that makes the Mommy's heart sing - my growing (way too fast) beauties!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I Heart Faces | Shadow

I had a couple of favorite photos from this weekend that had shadows in them, so I decided to participate in I Heart Faces photo challenge this week. It was hard to pick one, but here is the photo I finally settled on:

To see more Shadow entries for this week, click here.

Sunday Snapshot {Princess in the Making}

Sunday Snapshot

We went to a local festival yesterday and Rylee fell in love with the Tutu dresses.  Big surprise right??  She tried one on and generated so much attention that the women gave us a deal that we just couldn't resist - well that along with the beaming little face looking up at me...

Even though it was over 80 degrees, she wore it all through the festival yesterday, even after her hair was plastered to her from sweating so much (oh how I wish I had taken my camera with me!). She tells me that sometimes it hurts to be beautiful...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Black and White Wednesday "Beach"

I am going with a few more beach pictures (big surprise right?). I took many pictures, but I really wanted to take a lot more. I think I need more little models, don't you?

I love catching them holding hands, getting ready to face the waves together.

Oh how I love the beautiful white pillers and buildings as backdrops for pictures!


Sometimes she still looks so little!  I treasure these times because usually I am blown away by how fast she is growing.


You can't spend a few days at the beach without enjoying crab legs as you watch the sun set!


And I am including these last two because, well... they just make me smile!

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Snapshot {Family Time}

Three years and four months ago, we brought Rylee home from China.  Just after receiving our travel approval, my husband lost his job.  It was a stressful time, but nothing was going to stand in our way of bringing our daughter home.

He took the first job offer...  it was several states away, so we packed up and left for China.  We came home as a new family, to a new home, in a new state - where we knew no one.  It was hard, it was stressful, it was lonely, it was scary... we made it through.

Four months later my husband was offered a job back in the same area we had just moved from.  We went back.  It was another move, more stress and more change for Rylee.  But we made it through.

One year later, my husband lost his job again...  It was hard, it was stressful and it was time to give up on the auto industry.  We did not want to move again.  I started working two jobs and I was fortunate to be able to do both from home.  We also started our own business and one or both of us have worked 6 to 7 days a week for the past two years.  We made it through.

And we have thrived as a family.

These past few days, we have finally made it to the point where we can take our first non-working - the four of us only - family trip!

The place was beautiful...

The weather was perfect!

The sunsets were amazing!

The children were fun and smiling and beautiful!

The beach was breathtaking!

The trip was perfect!

And I am so thankful!

Ni Hao Yall

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Black and White Wednesday

I thought I would add a few more zoo trip pictures.  I really like how dramatic the animal shots are when they have been converted to black and white.

And since Hanna has agreed that I can post about her on my blog again, I decided to add one of her in a pose that we see all too often these days.  In fact, this is how all the kids at the bus stop look every morning - either texting, playing games on their iPod's or listening to music.  They even text each other, and yet they are all standing there in a group together (I seem to be the only one there that finds humor in this)!

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Snapshot {Zoo Trip}

Have you ever had one of those days, when things just didn't come together for extraordinary pictures?

The weather was beautiful, the setting was fun and the girls were playful.

Maybe a little too playful to pause long enough for Mom to take pictures.

And finally you just have to "throw in the towel"...

And join in the laughter!

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Ni Hao Yall

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Navigating Tweenville

For the first time ever, Hanna told me that she "saw a cute boy in the cafeteria" at school.  This is the first time that she indicated that she found someone "cute" and my heart may have just stopped for a few seconds.

Not that she hasn't had a rush of boys wanting her to be their girlfriend, and one or two of them have even caused her to shed a tear or two.  But for her to mention that she found someone attractive - well this is just moving into a whole new place that I seriously don't think I am ready for.

But, I am curious so I ask her what he looks like.  She stammers a little "um... well... he has brown hair and kind of tall, that's about it".  Well that describes about 1/2 of the boys in her school.  So really wanting to find out what she thinks is "cute" I name several boys that we know and ask her which ones she thinks are the cutest.  She starts giggling and turns a light shade of pink.

So I think I should help her out a little and I tell her which ones I think are the cutest.  She says "But that doesn't count because you're just a mom!"  WHOA!!!  "What???  Just because I am a mom doesn't mean that I don't know who is cute!"  She stares at me for a minute and then doubled over with laughter.

I ask her what is so funny, which just causes more hysterical laughter.

Seriously - she can't even stand up she is laughing that hard.

I am at a loss, so I turn to leave.  "Wait Mom don't leave!"  But as soon as I turn back towards her, she doubles over with laughter again.

I look at this girl-child, that is now almost as tall as me and I see a glimpse of the stunning young women that she is becoming.  I want to hold on to her tight, not let her grow up...  I mean yesterday I was awesome, today I am just funny I guess...

I liked being awesome!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Black & White Wednesday - A Glimpse Into The Future

Sometimes when I look through my lens...

it feels like I am getting a glimpse into the future...

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