Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Celebrate You, Gracie Lou

This weekend we did a little of this:

And some of this:

We had a early family celebration for Grace's seventh birthday. Tostadas: check. Angel food Birthday cake: check. Laughter: check. Good company: check. A very happy girl: check.

Her real birthday isn't until tomorrow, and I felt a little hesitant celebrating early, like maybe it was bad luck or something, but I am all for a celebration, especially in honor of her.

Seven years ago, at about this time, I was in the last hours of my second pregnancy, worried, in pain, and eating a Happy Meal . Grace wasn't due until around Valentines day, but circumstances out of our control prompted our doctor to want her out early. A scheduled induction was set for the thirtieth, and here it was the twenty ninth of January, and I was having somewhat disorganized, but serious enough contractions, enough for us to pack our suitcases and head to the mainland. It was nothing new to me though, because that was what the prior two weeks had been like. Lots of false alarms, even an admit to the hospital, only to be sent home to try and rest and stave off an earlier than anticipated birth. Back to the ferry bound Island we'd go, each time. Gulp.

Jeremy had chosen that day to decide to shampoo the carpets. Sigh. I was super irritated, but didn't have the energy to fight it, plus, boy did he have MAJOR nesting urge. With both babies, the three days prior to the births he was hammering, cleaning, painting, scrubbing, until like, two in the morning. Who was this man, and what have you done with my husband?  Anyways, I remember halfway dozing on the couch that was now moved into the kitchen, glancing up at the jiggly numbers on the microwave, timing contractions while smelling carpet cleaner that stunk to high heaven. Jeremy got done with the carpets (Grrr!!) loaded me into the car with a hand truck (not really), and we headed to the ferry we were really hoping on catching, with not one minute to spare.

We were planning on checking into a hotel close to the hospital for the night, but once we got off the boat I was (surprise!) hungry. So, we booked it to McDonald's and because of my nerves, I wasn't so hungry anymore, so I only ordered a Happy Meal, you know, for the baby. : ) We took our meals and decided to do the five mile drive at Pt.Defiance Park while we ate. We drove it slowly as I contracted, and reveled at the lush greenery outside, and how in maybe just mere hours our world would once again, change forever. I will always remember that drive, just me and him, and that feeling of anticipation, eagerness, and extreme fear. Grace's pregnancy was so emotionally difficult, I just wanted her out so I could see and hold her, and make sure she was alright, but that I feared too. During that drive it really felt real. I was having a baby. Another baby. My last one didn't survive, was I really ready for this? I didn't think so, and didn't know, but I didn't have much of a choice in the matter. This new world of mine was coming, whether I was ready for it, or not.

Jeremy parked the car at the Narrows view point as we licked the greasy salt off our fingers and sat in the car. I snapped this picture as we sat and chatted, and decided to ditch the hotel idea and go straight to the hospital:

The five mile drive makes me smile now every time we go on it. All I have to say to Jeremy is "Remember when I was pregn-" and he'll interrupt and say, "Yup," and smile too.

An hour later we were waiting in the hospital and I was being examined by a doctor that I was very very glad was not my chosen OB. If I wasn't in true labor, that exam was SURE to put me in labor. Sheesh! and, ouch!! I was, in fact in true labor so they settled us into a room and just like the past two weeks, my labor started to slow as the night progressed. Seeing as I had an induction in the morning and since I was crawling on my knees, holding onto the nurses ankles begging not to be sent home, they let me stay (!!!) and even brought a cot for Jeremy to sleep on.

By late evening, Jeremy, after all that hard work shampooing carpets ( grrr), was sleeping soundly.  I was wide awake, watching the clock, listening to the footfalls of the sneakers that moved outside my room. I still didn't like hospitals. They still made my heart sicken and the tears fall. The smell. The feel of the industrial linens against my skin. The sounds. The pale tasting food. Prior to having babies, the hospital was my old stomping ground. I had worked in the hospital for five years, and knew it's details, and ran it's halls. That was my prior life, and after Vanessa's first year I was planning to go back to work, a few days a week, but that never happened, and I let my licence lapse, never wanting to go back to it. Ever.

By midnight, a nurse walked in with a sleeping aid. I really didn't want it, but she insisted.
 "Tomorrow is a big day. You will need this tonight, I promise. You need to save your energy."
 I reluctantly took it, and an hour later, I wobbly entered dreamland where I slept through all my night checks by the nurse, and was locked into the darkness I so badly wanted, just to get a respite, if not brief, from the fear that was eating away at me. This fear of the extreme vulnerability that was about to happen, of becoming a mother again.

In the early morning, around six I think, my eyes opened to a figure near my I.V. pole. The figure heard my morning squirming and turned to look. It was a nurse, but in the dawn coming through the windows, I could only see her silhouette. She bid me good morning and scrounged up a stool to sit on, and wheeled it towards my bed. In my sleepy Ambien haze, I barely remember our conversation. I don't remember her name, and there was not enough light to get a clear look at her, but all I remember was her dark silhouette and her gentle soft voice, talking to me. She told me she read my chart. She spoke to me about Vanessa. She spoke of the heartache then, and the heartache that was about to come, and how motherhood is just one big throbbing heart. She told me there is going to be difficult days ahead, and how joy would  prevail. I remember listening, trying to push sleep away, but it was difficult. She was the first and only person that hospital stay that brought up my past, and acknowledged the pain I was feeling, besides labor. She also told me how important it would be to distinguish a difference between the two babies, and how important it was going to be, to be present for this new one. She encouraged me, and spoke to me as if she knew my pain.  Maybe she did. I'll never know. What I do know, is this mystery figure sure felt like an angel. She was comforting, and I felt a connection between us that was very deliberate. She slipped out of my room moments later, and I never saw her again.

With the morning light came sounds of the hospital at daybreak, a dose of Pitocin to get things started, then a dose of Cytotec to really give it a kick in the butt. When that didn't work, they broke my water. Family started trickling in, and labor pains started to deepen until it was beyond reading magazines, or keeping conversation. During both labors I didn't want to be touched. I wanted a hand to hold, maybe, but no soothing words, no touching. I wanted in my head, and to stay there, undisturbed.  To climb that hill of the contraction, and slide slowly down. By myself. Jeremy offered chapstick. I angrily shook my head no. People Magazine? no. Food Network T.V.?  NO!! Ohhh...Laboring woman with no T.V. preferences means remote up for grabs... anyone?.. anyone? ... Bueller...anyone?? Okay, Barrett Jackson auction it is, and so it was.

After a handful of stomach splitting contractions I ask for an epidural. Too many things are happening in my mind to resist it, and I am about to loose control. My knight in shining armor is tracked down and is now standing in the doorway. The anesthesiologist is an older attractive gentleman with a trusting face and explains the procedure to me through a deep contraction. I yell at him in my head and he sticks the needle in my back warning me not to move. I don't and am scared. It it painful. Way more painful than the last one I got. The last time I got an epidural with Vanessa, it was put in wrong and made my heart freak out, so I was scared on many, many levels.

He finishes, and his attention turns to Jeremy and the T.V.
"Barret Jackson!" His face lights up, and he and Jeremy immediately go into conversation.
Woman. In labor. CONTRACTION. Over here. OUCH!
The nurse is tending to me as the anesthesiologist looks at my chart and spies my reaction to the past epidural, and says he wants to stay a little bit for observation....of Barrett Jackson, that is. He pulls up a chair next to Jeremy and they oogle like two little schoolboys over the cars as I glare at their backs for the next fifteen or so minutes. He then gives me the OK, signs my chart, and reluctantly leaves. I still frown a little when I see Barrett Jackson on TV.....Barrett Jackson...Grrrrrr.

Family is getting antsy as they have been there since morning. Barrett Jackson is silent as the T.V. is off. It is now late evening and I am only at five centimeters. A while ago I mentioned to the nurse that I felt like I had to go to the bathroom, but they don't think so, and I can't tell much what I feel anyway. By seven thirty they decide to listen to my wishes, and drain me. The nurses eyes get wide as she does this, as I was right. They should have listened to me hours ago. I did need to go, and they were draining, A LOT. I feel something shift and have a very painful contraction as soon as they empty my bladder. And then comes a hammering of incredibly painful waves that felt as if I was coming apart. I ask Jeremy to get the anesthesiologist quick! Instead, the nurse comes in all nonchalantly and hears me scream for the first time. I have had an epidural, and am screaming like I haven't had one. Something hurts I tell her, really, really, bad and something doesn't feel right. She starts to investigate and finds I have become fully dilated after being only five centimeters ten very painful minutes ago. She's hovering around the baby monitor and is now worried. Baby's decel's are not recovering. Baby needs to come out. Now. I scream through another contraction and feel baby start to suddenly descend. The nurse is pulling equipment out of the wall in a hurry, getting ready to wheel me to the OR, but I tell her baby is coming, NOW, and she is screaming at me not to push and I am screaming at her. Suddenly the dimness retreats from the room as all the lights are blasted on and my doctor and a student doctor comes in and so does my mom and mother-in-law. I am propped up and barely have time to gather myself and have no choice but to push. I shut my eyes and I push hard. And again. And one more time, hard, and I feel her entering the world and feel the separation start. I keep my eyes closed and hear my mother's gasp as she is born, but I also hear the terse words "cord" spoken, and hear nothing but murmurs and quick movements. A button is being pushed, I do know that, and I do know from knowing the internal working of the hospital, that it is the Code button. I still don't open my eyes as I hear the NICU team rush into the room. I am still in pain, but my heart is breaking, and that is all I feel. She is not crying. I hear them work on her. Breathe for her. Pump her chest. It seems like a long time. Too long. Jeremy is holding my hand tightly and I am having a major panic attack. I hear the nurses saying "Come on, baby......Come on, baby", then I hear a garbled cry. It is the best sound of my life, and I still can't believe what my ears are hearing. Sighs of relief and tears of joy flow from the family and I still do not open my eyes."It's okay!", they tell me, but I shake my head no. No. That wasn't OK. That was not how she was supposed to come into this world. That was too close for comfort. Way to close.

I hear someone bringing her to me. Before I open my eyes for the first time to see her, I hear her sucking on her fist. "Mama, I'm hungry", translated. I finally open my eyes and she is there. My daughter. Looking at me with the whole world to see, and our eyes are transfixed on each other. It was a moment I will carry in my heart that is all mine. A moment where words cannot bring justice to the emotion I was feeing.

I tell her all the time that I love her, but I save these words special, for times when I really want her to know how I am feeling, and I look deep into her eyes and feel her puzzle piece click into mine and I say these words: " I am so glad you are mine." And I mean it, with all my heart.

Tomorrow I will celebrate her and throughout this week and throughout my life. Her miraculous spirit was chosen to be mine and I am humbled and forever so very grateful.   Her sunshine pours into my gray heart and her laughter tends to my wounds on a daily basis. I celebrate you, Gracie Lou. Who you are, who you will be, everything about you. You make me so proud, and I will always feel so very lucky to be your mama. I am yours, and you are mine.

Happy Birthday, My Love

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ten Balloons

Today, I should have been baking a cake. I should have had presents wrapped. Family should have been here eating a dinner with courses picked out by a ten year old little girl. Candles should have been blown out. Laughter and singing should have been heard. Hugs should have been given with a pinch to grow an inch.

Today I wanted to stay in bed. I awoke late, warm, in my flannel sheets. They felt so comfy, and I snuggled further into them as I gazed at the weak light that came through the curtains that let me know there was nothing but gray behind it. After I got too lost in thoughts that made it hard to breathe, I reluctantly slid on my slippers and paddled downstairs.

Today is Vanessa's Birthday. She would be ten years old today. I should have a ten year old little girl.

What would that feel like? I wondered all morning. What would she look like? What would have been her favorite food? Would she have been a redhead? What little hair she had was a deep red. Would Gracie be here too? Would they have got along? Was her health always going to be a struggle? What would have been her favorite color? Favorite flower? Would she have been happy?

These are thoughts I think about all the time, but today, that's all I thought about. Over, and over, and over, but with no answers, only pretend fantasies for answers. Ten years ago this day pushed me headfirst into the deep end of unconditional love, and one thing I have learned from this, is that love is beyond the flesh, beyond time, beyond worlds. It's infinite nature is secure in the heart, and even through a loss, love burrows itself into the deepest part of you, and cannot be taken away from you. Ever. If you have love in your heart, it is yours to keep. No hammer can break it, no fire can burn it, no thief can steal it, it is secure in the most sacred of places, the heart. Love is a survivor. I believe it is one of God's most greatest gift. It is yours. And that is grand.

I spent a good part of the day wandering around the house. Too lost to get anything significant done, but not lost enough to get some minor things done. I used to bake a cake every year on her birthday, but never felt like eating it afterwards so it would sit on the counter all neglected and slowly cave in until I'd finally get tired of staring at it, so I'd throw it away. I don't do that anymore. On her first birthday I bought a Yankee candle called "Rainbows End" that we only burn on her birthday every year and it is now half way gone. It smells like a cheap dryer sheet and makes my throat burn when we burn it, but I still do it.  Each year it leaves a light wax ring around the glass after we blow it out, and each year I peer in and can't wait until it's the last ring, so I can throw that smelly sucker out. I don't know why that's the way I feel, but I do. It is a tradition I keep, but very reluctantly so.

Another thing we have always done is release balloons at the cemetery on her birthday. This is a fine thing to do, but it's getting harder and harder for me to go to the cemetery, and again, I don't know why, after all, it's been almost ten years. I suppose it has never been an easy thing, but I have never dragged my feet about it like I do now. I miss her terribly and going there feels like rubbing my nose in it.

We go by her age, as to how many balloons we release, and this year they took up the whole back of the car. That is so many, I thought. Too many. Ten whole balloons, and a different color for every year. A couple years ago we were at the cemetery letting off balloons and I saw a car go down the highway, then turn around and pull into the parking lot and park behind my car. A stranger got out and headed towards us. Greeeeeat, I thought, as I got my hiss ready in my head. I was sure he was going to start laying into  us about how bad it is for the environment for us to do this. Wrong day to pick a fight, mister. He stuck his hand in his pockets as he walked up to us and proceeded to tell us when he realized what we were doing he just felt this need to turn the car around and tell us how beautiful he thought it was. He didn't know us, never asked who it was for, then he turned around and left, after we thanked him. My heart melted, as I really needed to hear that, that day. A stranger recognizing beauty and loss. Her beauty and loss. All these years later and she was still able to exude beauty.  It makes me smile whenever I think of that stranger.

Today the stranger was no human, but snow. This is the first time in ten years that there has been snow on the ground on her birthday. When we got there, there was evidence of an earlier visit, fresh footprints, carnations, and a heart drawn in the snow. Thank you, Nana and Papa. Love you. And thank you Mom and Pop for the beautiful roses. Love you too.

We wrote messages on the balloons, kissed them, and cut the strings off at the base so birds wouldn't get tangled in them. Some struggled through the trees to find the sky, some found their calling right away and like a magnet bolted upwards, carrying our love with it.

Ten Balloons.

We sang happy birthday as the sun briefly put a halt to the rain and then we left as the clouds crowded back. I always hate to turn my back to her as I leave. It feels guilty, and wrong, so I turn my head as I walk, eyes always towards her grave.

Grace likes the balloon tradition a lot, so we will keep it. There is something to a release, and watching something fly upwards into the sky. Not quite letting go, but setting free. On her birthday those balloons remind me, the release is one of love, not of letting go. Setting a love free, allowing it to glide across the sky with no map to follow, visiting with wishes and dreams, entangling itself in rainbows and falling stars.

Who knows. Maybe the balloons do find their way to her. I will take that fantasy and run with it.
 Happy Birthday To You, My Sweet Vanessa Rose.

        Your Mom, Dad, and sister.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Traditions, Traditions

 I haven't warned Grace of an impending bedtime tonight. I have not packed her lunch or snack for tomorrow. No clothes are in a tidy heap ready to be thrown on in the morning. Her alarm clock is not set, neither is mine. I can feel it, this calm before the storm. Lots of energy in the air, a buzz that hopefully will drawn in the clouds. Tomorrow BETTER be a snow day, or there will be some very sore feelings out there, and some very sad/mad kids.  C'mon, snow, mama's counting on it. : )

When Grace was three, Snowmageddon hit  (y'all remember that one?). Thinking it would be fun and that the snow wasn't  that big of deal, I plopped Grace in the toboggan and headed down on foot to Nana and Papa's house. About halfway there I realized it wasn't such a great idea. The snow was so deep and icy it caved into the sled at every heave-ho pull I gave. I huffed and puffed and sweated my way down there, and exhausted, knocked on the door. My mother in law opened the door and behind her came this waft of sugary goodness. I stuck my head in the door.
"Whatcha makin?" I ask.
" Caramel corn. Want some?"
"Ummm.... YES!, please!"
It was one of those sweet memories I have, dropping in unannounced to my in-laws house, deep snow outside, small Gracie, yummy snacks and visiting in front of the fireplace in their warm and cozy home. That moment started a tradition that we have followed since, that when it snows, we make caramel corn. Actually, chocolate covered caramel corn. I thought I'd pass along the recipe in case you all found yourselves sledded out tomorrow and in need of a snack. We made ours on Sunday, and for some weird reason have a little left over for tomorrow. You can half the recipe it if you like, to only make one 9x13 pans worth. Oh, and it goes really well with Hot Cocoa too!

                   Nana's Baked Caramel Corn

                    1 Cup unsalted butter

             2 Cups firmly packed brown sugar

             1/2 Cup Corn Syrup ( I use light, but dark can be used, too)

             1 tsp coarse salt

             1/2 tsp baking soda

             1 tsp. vanilla

             6 Quarts of popped corn (I use my air popper)

             1 1/2 Cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

       Preheat oven to 250 degrees and lightly butter two glass 9x13 pans.

  In a tall, heavy bottomed saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar,corn
syrup,and salt. Raise the heat a little and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly. Here's where it gets tricky. The recipe says to then boil for 5 minutes without stirring, but I always panic at the end and think I am going to scortch the heck out of it, so I stir it like a bad girl.  If you think it is going to burn, take it off the heat and
make a decision on whether you want to be bad with me, or not. In any case, what you want is a deep, smooth, caramel color. When you get it, remove it from the heat, and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Don't be alarmed, it will fizz and bubble a bit. Maybe it's angry we stirred it, I don't know.

 Put the popped popcorn into a BIG bowl ( I don't have one, so I divide it into two bowls) and pour the caramel over it. Stir immediately to cover as much popcorn as you can. Divide it up between the two prepared 9x13 pans and bake in a 250 degree oven for one whole hour, stirring every 15 minutes. This is important as the heat warms up the caramel just enough to glaze over the popcorn, and when you stir it, it coats more of it. Then, remove it from the oven and cool completely. I turn it out onto a big piece of waxed paper for step #2.

When it is completely cool, melt about a cup and a half of  chocolate chips down. Pour the melted chocolate into a Ziploc bag, and carefully snip off a very small piece of one of the corners of the bag. Hold the bag over your popcorn, squeeze it, and drizzle all over your caramel corn. Oh,yum. You can eat it now, but wait until the chocolate has hardened up completely before breaking it up to store. Now you are the coolest parent on the block. Sledding, hot chocolate, and caramel corn?!
 Mom, Dad, you're the best!

 ; )

                                                                          Snow day


Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Thaw

My love affair with snow started when I was very young. I'm not quite sure at what age, but I can remember being ecstatic when the white magic fell from the sky. It covered the ground, hiding all the imperfections of the earth. It sugar coated the trees, outlining the brown skeletons into glittery white bones. And, my favorite,  it made personal ice rinks out of mud puddles, and you didn't even need skates. Pure bliss. It was truly magic to me. Magic I could taste on my tongue, magic I could hold in my hand, and it made my heart grin a silly little grin.
 My best friend in the whole wide world lived next door, and her whole family knew all it took was ONE of those little white numbers to fall and hit the ground, and it would be my excited voice on the phone, calling, making sledding plans. Snow was something special, something so sweet and I longed for it in my early youth, in every single winter that came.
 I believe the magic of it started to fade a bit somewhere around my early to mid teens. I still loved it, but it became more of a romantic notion, an ambiance, rather than magical and inviting. Friends were more important. Boys took up space in my heart. The snow took a back seat for a while, and melted into a warm puddle, and it waited, and waited, and waited. It had become the world with snow in it, not snow with the world around it.
During my early twenties, the allure of it all came back. Sledding was fun again, driving with Jeremy in the snow with our friends was a blast. The magic had returned with some awesome memory making snow storms, and I had Jeremy to enjoy it with, which mixed the romance with the magic, and brought it to a whole new level. Ahhh, it was soooo perfect for a few short years, before it ended.

The pleasures of the white magic came to a screaming halt along with many of life's simple pleasures after Vanessa passed. Winter came as she let go of this earth, and left me behind. I can't remember if there was snow that winter, or if there was any in the next handful of years to come, but I remember almost hating it.  I was frozen inside with a numbness that wouldn't let me feel anything. Magic snow was gone. It was just weather to me.
Nothing more.

It wasn't until Grace was about three, six years later, that snow peaked my interest again. A crack was felt in my chest. The ice was shuddering and shifting, letting go of a shard, and magic snow drew me in, tentatively, so I could introduce it to one of my daughters. 
Grace was small and loved everything about it, of course. She didn't mind the cold, and I gave a half smile as her heart flew open to receive the magic and it swirled in her like a white hurricane, deep and true.
I wasn't sure I could love it again. I wasn't sure I could love much of anything again, but here was the sky letting go of it's magic for my girl to dance in, and it was beautiful.
Each snow since, has created a thaw inside, a love slowly and somewhat reluctantly awakening. I see that sparkle in Grace's eyes when the word snow is spoken. A sparkle I knew so well, a sparkle that may just be enough to complete the thaw.
Last year, it snowed on the anniversary of Vanessa's death. A big, beautiful snow. I held my face up to the sky that day, and swear I felt hundreds of her fingertips as the snow fell on my face. Her touch was soft, just like the snow, and that day I felt it. Magic.

Today it snowed. Slowly at first, then it came down in furious little white flurries. It came in the daylight, transforming our yard into a winter wonderland, right before our eyes, making my girl giddy.

And, maybe me a little bit, too.

: )

Happy snow, everyone. Drive Safe.

                                                            A happy face to the sky

                                                    Leaping lizards mom, it's snowing!!!!!

                                                              Ahhh, yes, my love, it is.

                                      No need to be shy. Enjoy. Run. Skip. Dance. Play.

                                  The making of a new friend. One with a very large behind.

                                                      Ta-Da! I crown thee Mr. January man.

                 Small. black. creepy thing. scary eyes. running towards me. OH. It's just daisy.

                                                   And I crown thee, Miss January girl.

                                                                 A blanket of magic

                                  And my girl, fully and completely entranced. Magic, awakened. : )

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Beautiful Things

Well hello there, little octopus...

Might I ask where you are going?? I think you may be lost. You see, the Sound is that way.
Oh. okay. You'd rather be terrorized by a terribly enthusiastic six year old and that small black furry thing growling and gnashing it's teeth?
Okay. Here, let me escort you..

Last week in the spring like sunshine at Winghaven, we happened upon an Octopus. I've been to the beaches on this Island hundreds of times, and have never run into one. I have heard they walk the beach, and this one was in fact, pushing his slimy little body up, and walking the beach! This is the second time one of those "once in a lifetime" things has happened, and I look down at my camera feeling pretty dumb that I don't know how to work the video feature on it.
Doh! Hand slapping forehead. Hard.
Anyways, it was really cool and kept us captivated for a good twenty minutes. Let me tell you, those suckers are fast. I guess they have to be, with all those seagulls over head. We went back and forth wondering if we should put him back in the water before we left, but decided he knew what was best, so we left him where he was. As we walked up the trail back to the car, we passed some more people and dogs, and my stomach sunk as some were off their leash, running ahead of their owners. Poor little octopus. Hopefully he is fast enough not to be dog food. Yipes!

I may not know how to use my video feature on my camera, but what I do know is how to use my other modes. I L-O-V-E taking pictures, and I take a lot of them. Thousands, in fact. Not all turn out, either. Some have bad exposure, some are downright fuzzy and some have horrible composition. Every time I reach for my camera, I always know that there is room for improvement, and that gives me extra incentive to try harder or try new things. It is what I love about photography and also, what I love is quieting my mind, and shutting the rest of the world out. When I look through the viewfinder all is black, a precious blackness,  except for a little slice of life. Set the ISO, pick your aperture, slide your finger to meter your shutter speed, (there's a little more to it, but I won't bore you) and BAM! You've documented that piece of time, maybe forever. It is magic to me, and I love to search for beautiful things. 

I find beautiful things in flowers, in landscapes, in touches, in smiles. In looks people give, in eyes and in posture, and in animals.  In tides, in light, in laughs and in the sky. In nervous giggles, in dancing, in kissing, and butterflies. I might have rhymed there, but by accident! : )
There is a current in this beauty that attracts me and I search for it in all my clients. Luckily, my clients have all helped me out tremendously, making their beauty easily accessible to me and my camera and has made this past freshman year of photography so much fun. I only hope 2012 can be just as fulfilling.

                                                                           I do love flowers

                                               And taking a picture of my girl in the flowers

                  I love catching that moment the eyes lock, and the half smile that goes with it

                   Or, setting up for a serious portrait and getting the cutest yuk face ever, instead

Kids are my most favorite thing to photograph

Maybe it's because the beauty in them shines so bright

Especially when there is two

See? Two is good

Lotsa beauty goin' on right there

Here too. Call the fire dept! Hot, hot!

Three of my most favorite beautiful things

If you might want to capture that beautiful thing in yourself or your family, give me a call or email. The link to my website is on the sidebar. I will be running some great deals come spring time and well into the summer. It would give me great pleasure to add you to my portfolio of beautiful things.  : )!