Friday, August 28, 2015

Down Shifting?

Is there such a thing as down shifting in life?  I feel like we've shifted into this gear that is out of control fast and I've lost the ability to slow us down at all.  Each summer goes by quicker than the one before.  Each school year sends us into warp speed.  And along the way the kids are collecting candles on their cakes at alarming rates.  I know that the pause button is a myth--but isn't there some way to at least slow things a bit?  Half a week from now I send Nora off into the wonderful world of education.  And she is thrilled about it.  In just a few short days Henry will celebrate his second birthday.  My head spins. 
Time flashes past while I sit here....getting nothing done, apparently.  That is even more frightening than the speed of time--the complete lack of things getting done by me.  By the time daily chores are completed, tummies are filled and cheeks kissed the day is done over and gone.  Along with my energy to do anything extra :)   The point of this is not to complain.  I am thankful for children to make the speed of time so wonderful.  I am thankful that they are healthy and happy and active.  But I can't help but think that each time I blink my eye lids another month or two has gone by.  For instance....this picture was taken a year ago today.
Blink, blink. 
Two years ago we were doing this....
Yep, giving birth.  Can't say I wish to go back to this point in time.  Yes--the newborn stage is my favorite--but that whole birthing thing...not so much. 
Three years ago--
I mean, look at those three Little Things!
Dare I travel back to four years ago????
Four years ago not a single one of those kids had started school yet.  But Ezra was going to the very next day.  The next day he was going to walk into Mrs. T's class and change our way of life forever.  We had no idea that we'd be pushing the super fast forward button a few hours after this shot was taken.

Five years ago--I don't know if I can handle this:
 Obviously there were fewer silhouettes in our family!
 These little Pickles were going Mutton Bustin' for the first time....and cheating a little bit on the timing (meaning it wasn't exactly five years ago today) we moved into our current house.  Wow!  The house and the people in it have done a lot of changing over those five years.
 To break another piece off of my heart we can travel yet another year back and a time zone over to six years ago today:
 Yep, there they are reading books in the Idaho house.  Getting ready to find out what spud harvestin' time was like. 
One last tear jerker before I go to bed.  Seven years ago:
 Seven years ago today we were still living in Snoqualmie, WA.  We had NO IDEA that the next seven years would hold three moves and two new faces.  I still did projects with my kids.  That is still the kitchen table we sit around.  All six chairs are full these days. 
And I still can't find a way to slow time down.  And now I'm going to bed to blink again....and when I wake up in the morning I'm guessing Henry will be off to college :)  

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

American Girl Tea Party

American girl dolls, cute little girlies, fun small food and a sunny day--what do they all add up to?  An American Girl Tea Party, of course.  We were out of town until just a week before Caroline's birthday and when we got home we knew we had to quickly put together a party for her sake.  Caroline is easy to please but I wanted it to be something she would enjoy.  Lately she's been into using her camera.  And a year ago she was given an American Girl photo book kit by her Grandmother.  We thought inviting her friends to bring their own dolls for a tea party and doll photo shoot would be just the way to celebrate.
Setting up the tea table out in the yard was a lot of fun for me.  And much cheaper than paying to have the party at the AG tea house too :) 

Tiny doll size foods and finger sandwiches were ordered by the birthday girl. 

 We wanted tea since it was officially a "tea party" but the day was hot, so the tea was iced.

 Summer time is really the best time for birthday parties.  Especially girly birthday parties.  There was no lack of flowers for decorating with!

 We tried to keep the boys hidden--but this one kept appearing.  The antithesis of a "girly tea party".
 The girls all came dressed cute in high style.

 I think that the dolls had a fun time too.  This one looks like she's ready to play a game!
 And this one is enjoying jumping on the trampoline with her little girl.

 We took hundreds of photos with girls and dolls and dolls in front of cute backgrounds--but I don't want to post too many of those.
 We had an outfit changing station.

 And there was help for Henry--praise the Lord!
 The dolls enjoyed their food after the girls had finished eating.
 Henry tried valiantly to fit into all the cute doll shoes.

 Cute dolls and even cuter girls.  Seriously, I can hardly stand the sweetness of this picture!!!!
 After all the photo shoot fun we had time for birthday cake and tea cakes--yum!

 Her choice of party was sure a fun one for me to plan and set up!  I'm glad she's not beyond dolls and tea parties yet...but I'm afraid that day is just around the corner.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

H, H, H Part III: The Wedding!

W-Day dawned clear, bright and humid.  We enjoyed a laid back morning at The Happy Sanitarium.  I opted to go with my Mom to get our hairs did at a local salon.  I have no hair talent in my normal climate/environment and with all the humidity issues I wanted a local to look after me.  It was nice not to have to fuss over it myself.  Curling allllll of Caroline's hair took long enough.  Before heading to the river boat for the ceremony we headed out to a gorgeous farm setting for wedding portraits.  Henry cooperated beautifully.  If beautifully means screaming and crying and refusing to be in pictures.  Hey, what can I say--we have a genetic code in our family.  They are our kids.

 The Bride's Mother is a professional photographer--and an amazing one at that.  She really wanted to make sure that the wedding pictures turned out up to her standards--but it's a little hard to be the Mother of the Bride and the chief photographer.  So, she handed the picture taking duties over to friends of hers that she trusted.  One gal was the "portrait" photographer (she has three little boys herself, so understanding was her middle name) and the other was the creative wedding photographer.  I can't wait to see the shots that they got. 
 I didn't want to get in the way, but I did try to snap a few shots over shoulders when I could.  The boys all looked dapper with their suspenders and bow ties. 
 The Bride was, of course, gorgeous and classy.  I'm so glad that lace gowns are in--they are so feminine and lovely.  The Mother of the Bride also had a stunning dress--she looked very elegant!
 The classic farm porch had a lovely porch swing to get comfy in between pictures.  The humidity was pumping at this time!  We all had to take sweat wiping breaks often.  TMI?  Sorry!

 Getting a shot of the Bride and Groom with the uncooperative ring bearers and flower girl was quite a challenge.  I had handed my bouquet to Ollie to distract him and he was using it like a hammer.  Didn't matter much because when it came time for me to walk down the aisle I had Henry asleep in my arms, Nora crying--loudly--and holding my hand and my poor brother Brett attempting to be my escort.  The bouquet was smashed somewhere in the melee.  I can wait to see those pictures.

 I really love this picture of Daddy and daughter.  She looks very much like him and his family.

 Grandpa and Grandma figured this would be a logical time to get a frame-able picture of them with all of their grandchildren.  Sigh.  Someday I don't want to be the one with kids who ruin everything.

 Kaitlin and her Mama made their own wedding cake.  This "naked cake" was so beautiful!  They brought it onto the boat in three sections.  And then her aunt and two cousins put it all together and added the berries, flowers and ferns in about fifteen minutes.  I was amazed. 
 And now we'll just skip straight to the reception. I did not take any pictures during the ceremony for obvious reasons.  If you're thinking that Jeff and Kaitlin look a little different in this picture--you're right.  Jeff's two best friends from high school were lookin' so cute I had to snap a quick shot.
 The evening on the riverboat was so peaceful.  The breezes cooled everything down delightfully.  And when Henry let us hold him we could stop having heart attacks and wondering if his cause of death would read "drowning" or "shredding from paddle boat wheel".  Two stories of the boat--where the ceremony and dinner were-- were entirely enclosed and air conditioned--so really we didn't have to worry much of the time.

 The Bride and her Dad sharing a dance.
 Her Dad called Jeff up to dance with him as well, but then walked off laughing when Jeff took him up on it :) 
 Jeffrey and our Mama had their dance as well.

 And, of course, their first dance as a married couple.
 There wasn't any other dancing after that--but Ezra seemed to be boogying down to his own beat.

 All too soon it was time for the bride to toss her bouquet.
 I had to get a quick shot of Caroline and Glenda together because their dresses matched so perfectly.
And thus ended a lovely evening.  They got married.  And now I have a new sister.  Miss Kait-Kait is officially Aunt Kaitlin!