Friday, June 29, 2012

{Don't FalL OvEr}...'s the second post in a week.

Because I am a younger sister.

Happily so, mind you...but a second nonetheless. And really? That's a good place to be. A LOT less pressure...and there's always someone to look out for you. I like it here in secondom (and with all that less pressure, it frees me up to coin new words. Like secondom...just sayin'...).

But it makes me just a bit more sensitive to things like noting all the important passages of life....and just the everydayness (again with the new be honest I have been working hard to get a word added to the dictionary ever since Beyonce got credit for the word "bootyliscious"...but I digress...).

My Lia's younger years were fairly well documented...and well...I want the same for my Jillian. :-) It's not that any of HER moments are less important...because we have enjoyed it seems to have more to do with how busy life is keeping us.

We have been home just over 7 months with Jillian...and things seem to be settling into a new {fabulous...but busy} normal. Time seems to be passing in warp speed...and I am already losing some of the details. promises...because, you know, that is WAY too much pressure for me, a second daughter and all...but I am going to try REALLY hard to document our life with Jillian just a bit better.

Whew. that out of the way.

Which means I can now move onto the good stuff.

About a girl and a sprinkler.

Old school summer fun at it's best.

Jillian hated it.

As if.


I actually have yet to find an activity the child does NOT love...



She took some time to explore...


...but mostly, like Forrest Gump...wherever she was goin'...she was running...


But always with a smile.


So glad I get to come along for the ride. :-)


Sunday, June 24, 2012

{SerEnDipiTy} ~Sunday Snapshot


My life has not turned out the way I planned. I say that often. But I always follow up with..."it has turned out better than I ever could have hoped."

And it's all a marvel to me on a daily basis. I am so so thankful for so many blessings...but mostly for the three people I live with.

A chance conversation with a co-worker at a part-time job led to the blind date with the man I would eventually marry. (See mom...Prince Charming really DID come knocking at my door!!)

A chance conversation with the {somewhat crazy...but that's a story for another time} Social Worker who came to do our home visit for a domestic adoption led us switch gears and find our first daughter in China.

The road to our Jillian is a bit more complicated but no less miraculous. In fact probably more so...and I know without a doubt that a much bigger Hand orchestrated it all.


...and in SORT of the same way...a happy accident led to one of my most favorite photo shoots ever.

The aforementioned accident happened during a visit to a nearby mall (in an attempt to escape the scorching heat) . And it required...ahem...the purchase of a new pair of {dry} undies. When I was buying them, I spotted the dearest little pink bathing suit. On sale. DEEPLY discounted. I did what I had to. It was a must have. Can you blame me??


...and even though I had promised (and held to!) my big girl to keep the beach shoots to a minimum...I had made no deals with the little one. Total score.


So...I had the suit...and visions of what I wanted to capture...but we had no swim cap. I sent my husband (I KNOW!) out to search the one beach store on our small island with no big hopes that he would find what we needed. And he came back with the perfect cap. For which he proudly told me had to ask for help to find. I was indeed VERY proud that he took the time to ask (which in fact MAY be the biggest miracle of this whole post... :-)).


That miracle was followed closely by the miracle of actually getting Jillian to put on the cap.


We kept Jillian up past her bedtime to take advantage of some beautiful light that we noticed every once pink and golden and soft...perfect.

She didn't seem to mind.


...and in true Jillian fashion, she did not disappoint.


I ended up with a series of basically unplanned photos that capture my girl at her best...and bring a tear to my eye every time I look at them. Serendipity. Those unplanned moments in life? I'll take them!


I'm playing along again this week with Stefanie at Ni Hao Y'all. To see some awesome Sunday Snapshots click the link! You'll be glad you did!

Ni Hao Yall

Sunday, June 17, 2012

{JOy as BiG aS thE OcEaN} Sunday Snapshot


Last year at this time, we were here at the beach...dreaming big about the coming year and knowing that THIS year, Jillian would be with us. Truly, almost everything we talked about started with the phrase, "Next year, when Jillian is home..."...

...and now, here we are. We blew in to our favorite island Saturday, packed to the gills and looking forward to the week ahead. Although we spent a weekend here in the winter, we couldn't wait to see Jillian step on the sand for the first time...and experience the thrill of the ocean water (and on the Jersey shore...part of that thrill has to do with the COLD water!).

We threw open the sliders while we unpacked the car...and Jillian was mesmerized by the "big kids" on the beach. Every time we told her we would go play in the water, she cheered loudly. And I am not kidding when I say she asked us 112 times about it. She is nothing if not persistent. :-)

By the time groceries has been bought, suitcases unpacked and dinner served, it was getting close to bedtime. But I had a plan for Jillian's first time on the beach...and I am so glad I pushed through. Several years ago, I brought a pink pettiskirt for Lia to do photos on the beach. She was so excited to see the water...and on a whim, I threw the skirt on the minute we arrived and off we went. I captured some of my favorite photos ever of Lia wearing that skirt, so happy and filled with joy to be at the shore. The skirt is still a bit big for my little girl...but in the words of Tim Gunn (who doesn't love that man??)...we "made it work" capture Jillian's reaction to HER first visit to the beach! (and she did not disappoint!!!). I am so excited to have "matching" photos of my girls...taken years apart...but sharing the same happiness!

Her fist glimpse of the ocean...


I wish I could share the giggles that came out of her when her feet felt the sand for the first time! It was a puzzler for sure!!


A little nervous about the waves at first...




But then...she decided she liked it...and I am so glad I had my camera in hand. Really...we were on the beach such a short time...but these moments will forever be etched in my mind. I am SO glad Jillian is home...and so glad I have the honor of being her mother. Blessed beyond reason...and so so grateful.


Edited to add this photo of Lia in the pettiskirt several years ago. When I posted the link on Facebook someone asked if I could post a photo from Lia's session. I didn't think I had any on this computer...but lo and behold...I found one!!! :-)_-2

{photos taken with a Canon 50d (bought secondhand but works like a champ! :-)) and a 50mm 1.8 lens}

Join the fun and check out other Sunday Snapshot entries over at Stef's blog!!

Ni Hao Yall