December 30th/Week 52

So this is it.  Week 52.  The big question is – should I try this again for another year, or has it run it’s course and I just need to let it go?  Hmmmm.

Anyway.

So Christmas was this week.  To be clear, Emma’s FIRST CHRISTMAS was this week.  And it was awesome.  We got lots of family time, she got to travel to Cleveland with us to meet my Mom’s whole family for the first time (including her great-grandparents), and all said it was another awesome holiday with our Stinkerbell.  I won’t post all 46 photos here, but you can see the rest here.

(shot by Keith)

Festivus for the rest of us.  Keith’s been a part of this tradition for many, many years now.

(shot by Keith)

(shot by Keith – 4 generations)

December 23rd/Week 51

So this past weekend, we made the trek up to Columbus to serve a couple of purposes.  We had a lunch date with Emma’s birth family for the first time since we left the hospital with her.  But we also got to celebrate Christmas at my brother’s house with his gorgeous wife and daughters, and with my dad and his wife, who were in from Virginia for a visit.  It was a really great day and I got a ton of photos.  Here are a few, but the rest are here.

Visting Emma’s birth family:

Christmas at my brother’s house:

Finally, the perfect gift from a perfect Elf and all-around awesome lady:

December 16th/Week 50

Ok, so you all might not know this – but it’s really freaking hard to get out of the house with a newbie.  So once again, it’s all Emma.  Not that it’s a bad thing, because she’s pretty damn cute.  She turned a month old, which seems really fast to me… Maybe next week there’ll be a better chance to get a new subject up in this place. 🙂  For now… here’s Stinkerbell!

She’s just the most curious little monkey I’ve ever seen.  Always super alert when she’s not sleeping…

And now she makes eye contact and will sometimes smile back at you when you smile and talk to her!

She’s definitely going to be a busy little girl once she’s up and moving.  She’s intense!  And she’s so smart, too.

 So happy one month birthday, my sweet Emma Christina.  We are so happy that you are our daughter!

December 9th/Week 49

More visitors this week for our sweet Emma Christina, as well as some shots around our neighborhood for an article for the local paper:

She met Jenny and her daughter, Caroline.

  

She also got to meet a friend of mine, and also one of our favorite neighbors, Maureen.

Emma also got to know another friend and favorite neighbor, Alison.

She also got to meet Aneesa, a friend I’ve had for maaaaany, many years.

But not only was Aneesa there – her mom, Connie, came with her friend, Lisa. 🙂

St. Anne’s:

I got some shots from around our neighborhood yesterday.  Keith spoke with someone from the Dayton City Paper and they wanted to do an article on St. Anne’s Hill and our very popular Christmas tour, but they requested that Keith send them a photo to publish – so of course, it’s no skin off my nose to supply them with one!  Not sure which they’ll use, but here were their choices:

P.S. – I have NO idea why all of these shots look soft on my monitor, but I assure you that they’re crystal clear!

December 2nd/Week 48

Short week.  Exhausting week, too.  But Emma is perfect and we are having lots of really cool moments (hence the camera not always being pulled out).  So, sorry, but only a few shots this week!

She enjoyes napping with Dad (who is already wrapped around her tiny finger).

And our girl has no worries in the world besides eating, sleeping, and messing up diapers.

Aunt Julie and Uncle Chad came to visit (and brought us some DELICIOUS City Barbeque).

And this kid pulls A LOT of faces.  But they’re all pretty damn cute. 🙂

November 25th/Week 47

This week we had another bunch of visitors.  Emma got to meet her other grandparents (my dad and step-mom), her Aunt Laura and Uncle Kev (friends from college) and their daughter Ellia, and on Thanksgiving – we also got to introduce Emma to her Uncle Mike, Aunt Michelle, and her cousins Taylor and Paige (Crabcake).  Our Thanksgiving celebration was also combined with a first birthday party for Crabcake. And of course, there’s at least one superfluous Dood picture. 🙂

I have way too many photos to put on this blog, so you can find them all here.

And so it begins!

I call this “Please still love me?” Shot by Keith. 🙂

Grandpa and Grandma G

 

Guard Dood is taking a break.

 Cousin Ellia

Aunt Laura

Uncle Kevin

Thanksgiving/Crabcake’s 1st Birthday:

 

Uncle Mike’s first meeting with his first niece

 

Stinkerbell’s also in the spirit for celebration!

Cake coma is setting in…

But at least she’s sharing with her Grandma!

And my beautiful niece, Tay, with the newest member of the family. 🙂

November 18th/Week 46

Once upon a time, there were two people who wanted more than anything to have a baby to love and raise together.  So they tried.  And they tried some more.  And more again.  Appointments, procedures, medications, and still – there was no baby.  They were so sad, and so tired.

But four years later, a miracle arrived.

Two people – a loving and selfless birthmom and birthdad – well, they decided that it would be better for their baby girl to come home with us.  Not because they didn’t love her, or because they didn’t want her – but because they wanted her to have the best life possible.  So, on November 10th, 2011, the phone rang in early evening to tell us that it had begun and we needed to get there.

At 10:17pm, our Emma Christina was born.  5lbs, 14oz, and 18.25 inches long with a head full of red hair.  And our lives?  Complete.  And forever changed, thanks to the most generous, loving, and brave decision that two people can make.  We are now and will forever be grateful to you, C and C.  You are forever family to us and we are so excited that we can share our lives and Emma’s life with you.

And now – an obscene amount of photos from Emma’s first week of life.  She had lots of visitors, lots of naps, lots of bottles, and more love than one person could handle.

 

 

Grandma and Grandpa Mossbarger

Grandma and Grandpa Klein

Aunt Shannon

November 11th/Week 45

Sorry it’s day late, kids.  Had some family things come up!  But here’s what I got this past week – a trip down to Cincinnati with my amazing mom to make fused glass pendants and a fun bowling date with my darling husband.

Not my finest effort, but you can’t win them all! Also, these are the first shots with my new Nikon D7000 – I am still learning it, so be gentle.

It was just GORGEOUS outside early this week.

This was the first pendant I made – we’ll see how it turns out after the kiln!

And this was the one Mom and I made together, for reasons that shall become obvious over the next little while.

This was the one my mom made – she’s very talented! And if you can’t tell, her favorite color is purple. 🙂

Keith and I wear the same size bowling shoes.  But I couldn’t seem to convince him to steal them for me.  Booooo.

We had our choice of some truly technicolor balls (that’s what she said).

And while we only played two games (Keith won the first, I won the second) – he did beat me on pin average.  THIS TIME.

November 4th/Week 44

About a week and a half ago, I was contacted by a friend who asked if I’d be willing to take some maternity shots for her and her husband.  But this wasn’t your typical maternity shot request.  See, my friend is pregnant with a beautiful baby boy who happens to have been diagnosed with Trisomy 18.

Trisomy 18 happens when, at conception, the chromosomes of the mother and father combine in a way that makes three copies of the 18th chromosome.  It’s nothing that can be prevented and nothing that the parents did wrong or could have done differently.  Sometimes this just happens – in fact, it happens in roughly 1 out of 3000 live births.  It’s a very serious condition and the prognosis is generally very poor.  For more information on this syndrome, go to the Trisomy 18 Foundation.

So when my friend asked me for this – there was simply no way I could refuse.  Am I a professional?  No.  Do I have experience in maternity photography?  No. 

BUT – if this is all I CAN do, I’d damn well give it my best shot.  As in the case of a Trisomy 18 diagnosis, time was of the essence.  So on this past Saturday, I took some time to go over to their house.  My friend looked beautiful and her husband was a very proud papa, but there was also some grief and sadness evident.  It was a touching experience and I will be forever changed from knowing these folks. 

Enough rambling – here are a few of my favorites.

October 28th/Week 43

So this week, Keith and I took a little while this past weekend to go to Huffman Dam.  It was another gorgeous fall day, and I’m always happy to spend some time outdoors this time of year.

But here’s what we saw first, spraypainted onto an overpass pillar.  Klassy, right?  Truthfully, it really made me laugh.  Because… seriously… who really feels this way?! 

And now, onto the actual park:

The next two shots were obviously taken by Keith:

And here’s my handsome husband:

But back to the trees:

And now, the obligatory Dood shots of the week: