Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Boone is 5!

Our big guy is 5 years old!
5 years since we brought that wrinkly, adorable, puppy home!

He's our baby, our boy...
and we love him!

Happy Birthday Booner!
6 weeks old ~ so cute!

Friday, July 29, 2011


The past few days I've been more aware than ever of the great blessings in my life.
While my friends little girl is fighting to keep her heart beating,
I've come home to my two vibrant, animated, healthy daughters.

I don't pretend to understand why some people have to fight so hard to have 
what others acquire so easily.  Why do I have such bountiful blessings while my
friends are struggling?  

I don't want to feel guilty about it.  I did nothing wrong.
Yet, it's so painful to watch someone go through, what you can only imagine to be horrific.  
All I can do is continue to offer my support, and love, and prayers.

Each day I've prayed.  Prayed for my friends, that they may find peace and happiness.
And I've thanked God.  For all the wonderful blessings in my life!

* Kaiya had a rough evening, but was stable throughout the night.  Her chest
is still open to allow room for swelling and will remain so until Sunday.
I will continue to ask for your prayers for her and her parents. They all need them. * 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Prayers for a special girl

Today is going to be a long day for my friends.
Today at 7am, Jilanne will kiss her baby before she lets a team take
her 3 day old daughter to the operating room to fix her tiny heart.

The surgery is expected to last 6-7 hours.
6-7 hours of waiting, and pacing, and fretting, and praying.

Please PLEASE say some prayers for the whole Traynor family.
Prayers for the beautiful baby girl who needs to be so strong.
Prayers for the big brother who doesn't quite understand the change happening in his world.
Prayers for the parents who will place their daughter's life in the hands of strangers.
Prayers for those strangers who will work to make Kaiya's heart healthy.

~It is a beautiful day in Heaven.  Jesus is gathering his baby angels to send to earth
and be born.  One of the sweetest angels says to Jesus, "I don't want to leave.
I love it here and I will miss you."  He reassured the scared little angel that everything
will be fine and that it is just a visit.  The tiny angel is still not swayed on this idea, so
Jesus kneels down and says,  "How about if you leave half your heart here with me
and take the other half with you.  Will that be ok?"  The angel smiles and says,
"I guess that will work."  But the little angel is still scared.  She asks, "Will I
be okay with only half my heart?"  Jesus replies,  "of course you will. I have
other angels there that will help you, and will love you so much."

Then Jesus gives the tiny angel more details about His plan.  He says,
"When you are born, your mommy and daddy will be scared, so you have to
be strong, and when you feel weak, just remember that I have the other half to your heart.
Enjoy the time with your family, play and laugh every day.  When it's time
to come back to Heaven, I will make your heart whole again. 
Always remember that you are not broken, just torn between two loves.

Be thankful today for your children.
For the smiles, and snuggles, and love you share with them.
Then say one more prayer.
Thank you.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Special Delivery

Yesterday I was honored to witness a very special event.
My dear friend Jilanne, and her husband Jason allowed me to observe and photograph
the birth of their daughter, Kaiya Jean Traynor!
She's very special and her mommy has taken very good care of her,
but now she needs lots of extra TLC.

She came out feisty, and loudly told everyone what she thought of this new environment.
What a lovely sound indeed!
Kaiya spent a few minutes with her Mommy and Daddy, said a very quick "Hello"
to her big brother and family, then her and Daddy took a trip to the NICU.

She is amazing everyone and really showing her stuff. 
You can check up on their journey and see how this little punkin is doing.

Jilanne, I'm so proud of you!
You did such an amazing job, it was a wonderful miracle to witness!
Jason, thank you for letting me be part of such a special time in your family's life!
Congratulations to you both!  I can't wait to see you and Miss Kaiya again!
Preparing for her arrival.
7lbs 14oz of sweetness!
Big brother meeting his new baby sister for the first time!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Reidner Lane

I was 14 years old when I first spent time at the cabin on Reidner Lane.
I fell in love with the little yellow trailer, quirky wind-chimes lined up on the porch.
Playing scrabble, and yatzee, and cribbage.
Floating around on the lake on my raft, taking boat rides in the evenings.
Waking up in the morning to diamonds on the water, hot coffee, and a fresh warm muffin!

Then a few years later, the trailer was moved over a few spots, and the construction started.
The cabin became, not just a summer retreat anymore,
but a permanent, gorgeous, inviting home!
Filled with laughter, and love, and joy!
A place that made you feel happy and relaxed the minute you stepped in.

I've spent countless blissful hours relaxing on the lake.
Time reading, and chatting, and enjoying rum slush.
Ryan proposed to me on the dock, on a beautiful June morning.
Happy times.
The day we got engaged.
Today: 6 + years later.  Last time on the dock.
Tears have been shed here as well.
Beth fought her last battle here.
She spent her last hours here, in the place she loved so much
Now,  it's time to say good-bye to this special place.
Memories were made here, and I will take them with me forever.
But, it's time to make new ones.  In a new place. 
 Today I said good-bye to a time and place that is special to me in so many ways.
 I'm ready for "Hello" to a new home, new futures, and lots more memories to be made!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Heat, Sun, and some weekend fun!

Yes, it's hot.
And I mean HOT!
I have been eternally grateful to my air conditioner this past week!
But, even through the swampy, sticky, HOT days, I have spent a little time outside.
 Because it's summer people!

I love the sun!
Truly, madly, deeply... I love it!
I love the feeling of it on my skin, soakin' up the Vitamin D!
I love the way my babies look after spending time out in it... sweaty, rosy cheeked, Happy!
I love that the sun makes things grow, like my flowers and my peppers!
(yes, my jalapenos are doing great!)
And I love playing with the sun in my pictures!
Sometimes things just don't come out the way you want.... and sometimes you get a little something special!

Our little town had it's city celebration (BBQ days) this weekend
and we had a little get-together so share in some BBQ and adult beverages!
Ryan's parents generously watched our girls for the night, and Ryan and I even
got to catch a movie on Sunday before picking them up!
(Horrible Bosses... worth a watch!)
Here's a few snaps from the weekend!
Sweet, isn't she?

Friday, July 15, 2011

After the storm

What a lovely gift I received tonight...
( I did very little editing on these photos, SOOC other than a small crop.)  Truly spectacular sky!

Rain rain go away...

We had a bit of a storm this morning.
I feel so bad for my neighbors, who have both spent a lot
of time recently working on their yards, and the rain is literally
washing it all away.  
Neighbor to our left could paddle a boat in his "pond" and 
neighbor to the right could charge admission for the rapids flowing
down his backyard.

 Today I'm thankful for my grass.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Snap away!

I am taking a break from my power cleaning...
(kids are at daycare, we have company coming this weekend... hence the cleaning frenzy.)

I was just perusing Facebook and came across an article at a website I frequent 
This made me think.
Recently I've been wondering who I am when it comes to my photos.  
I'm a little discouraged, because I'm surrounded by some really great photographers!  
Truly truly... check out my two co-workers blogs!  Stunning photos I tell ya!
I look at mine, I look at theirs, I look at mine, I look at theirs...
Theirs just has a special something, that I don't always feel in the shots I take.  

However, I love to look back at the photos of my children.
I like putting them into "year in review" books. 

I guess that's who I am.  
I like taking snapshots of my daily life.  
Not all perfect in composition and effect.
Not great lighting, a bit out of focus.. 
but to me, this is my life and I'm happy that I will have
these images to look back on when my kids are older.
And on occasion, I just might get that picture that gives me a little tingle!
So I'm gonna keep on snapping away!

Baby Mine

I was putting together a playlist of music for Lila this morning.
A few songs she knows and loves and I decided to add a lullaby that I sing to her routinely. 
She calls it "the baby song" and asks for it almost every night.
I couldn't remember what movie it was from, so off to search trusty ole' YouTube!

Why, oh why, did I even look?
Cue tears, sniffing, and of course, looking back at some old baby photos.

My two little girls are my life's greatest blessing.
Praise be to God!

 Miss Lila Kate ~ October 6, 2008

Miss Elaina Grace ~ April 21, 2010

~ Allison Krauss does a lovely version of this song!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fort Building, bike rides, and other random summer stuff!

The past few days I have really enjoyed just being home with my family.
We've done nothing special, but I think that's what makes it special.
Just being together.
Waking up, having meals, going to bed...

There has been a lot of play time, fort building, baking, a zoo trip.
Lila is slowly learning to ride her bike (we've only had one major spill and she got right back on!)
Ellie is showing us some of her temperamental tendencies,
which is challenging and funny at the same time! Boy, that girl can give you a scowl! Ha!
It's been a good few days, and I'm happy to report that I still have a WHOLE WEEK 
before I have to return to work!
I'm a happy girl today!

Here's some more randomness from the past few days!

Monday, July 11, 2011


A few days ago I got together with a friend and her family to take a few pictures!
Their little guy turned TWO last month and they are expecting a new arrival in a few weeks.  
It was great to capture these images before they embark on a whole new journey! 
As always, Jilanne, I love taking pictures of your family... I can't wait to see your newest miracle!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Let me start by saying, I can barely keep a pot of petunia's alive.
However, this year I decided to try a little experiment.
Anyone like Jalepenos?
I can't believe it!
This little tiny green miracle got me SO excited! 
Just a simple pot on my front porch, some water, sun, and VOILA!

Growing up, my mom always had great gardens.  
Lovely flowers arranged in gorgeous ways.
And veggies... lots of veggies.  
Cucs, beans, tomatos, radishes, carrots, and even a pumpkin or two!

That teeny little pepper has motivated me to do what I long thought I could not.
This will be my garden!
Ryan has been helping our neighbor do some "back-yard work" and has some equipment that can make quick work of setting up a garden.  Of course, I won't grow much this season... but I'll be ready for next year!
Wish me luck!

Friday, July 8, 2011

4th of July weekend in Peqot!

We were fortunate enough to earn an invite to a lovely place up North in Pequot Lakes
with some friends of ours.  We thoroughly enjoyed the glorious weather, loved watching the kids
play together, indulged in many adult beverages... basically had a great time!
America's Sweetheart!
Buddies~  Lila and Vega

It was of course, not without it's tantrums, meltdowns and frusterated parents, but I think 
that once you have a fantastic massage under your belt (Thank You boys!) and a drink or two down
the hatch, most of these things seem pretty minor!

I heart Sparklers!
Yummy festive cake I made on Sunday

We spent Friday night through Monday at noon up there and then head for home.  We were back by 3:30 and almost immediately got out the kiddie pool!  We had an "All-American" dinner of hot dogs and popcicles, and enjoyed the evening right up until bedtime, when all the strange food and weird nap/sleep schedule kicked in and gave us a little trouble.  Our girls are creatures of habit... and let me just tell ya,  there wasn't a whole lot of "habit" in a weekend like this!  Ah well... it was worth it!
Pearsons', Malmquists, thank you so SO much for the invite and the lovely place to stay!  We truly enjoyed ourselves!
This lovely giant snapping turtle decided to try and eat our fish, I decided not to argue with him!
Lila and her first fish... she's a little unsure about that flippy-floppy thing!

Some highlights of the weekend!
~1 :  Ranger rides in the middle of the night through the woods, complete with clouds of bugs!
       (I'm being serious, this was great! ~cocktails may or may not have been involved)
~2 :  A mid-day massage in town, then a couple drinks and a giant platter of chicken nachos at
        Zorbaz with the ladies!
~3 :  Watching Lila get super excited about going on the pontoon!
~4 :  Snuggling Elle while watching the sunset and listening to the loons!
~5 :  Watching Lila experience sparklers!
~6 :  Laying in the sun while children take a 3 hour nap on Sunday!
~7 :  Fireworks!
~8 :  Watching Lila catch her first fish!
~9 :  Watching Lila go "skinny dipping" for the first time, because mommy packed and loaded the swim suits   a little too early!
~10 :  Coming home Monday and getting all 4 of us sitting in the kiddie pool at the same time!
And although it's belated, a heartfelt Thank You goes out to all the Service men and women who
do so much to keep us safe, and allow us to freely enjoy ourselves like we did!
Thank you for all you do, God's Blessings to you!