Friday, November 5, 2010

HaPpY 1st BiRthDaY, GrAhAm!!

Just a a few thoughts on our fun little boy, in no particular order...

Our sweet, silly little Graham has come a long way in one year's time. I guess it's only to be expected that he'd grow and change during his first year, but sometimes it's still hard for me to believe that a year ago today we had an 7.13 lb infant fully dependant on us. And although Graham isn't officially walking yet, he's taking steps and keeping up with his 3-year old brother quite well.

Many have made comments that they've never seen a 1-year old play quite like Graham...he plays like he's 2. He's very dexterous. I remember when he was 5 months old and I saw him grab his pacifier and pop it back into his mouth, I thought for sure it was a fluke; but sure enough, he has done that consistently since that day.

He zooms around with cars and trucks just like Will, and the two of them love to wrestle each other. Graham is such a little tease. In fact, as I sit here working on the laptop, he keeps coming over pushing buttons and giving me this big mischievous grin. He has the most contagious belly giggle I've ever just melts me. He's definitely a social little bee...he wants to be where the action is.

At this stage in the game, Graham is most definitely a mama's boy...he doesn't like to let me out of his sight. If I need to leave his side for any reason, he'll often take it personally and start crying. He also currently enjoys attaching himself to my pant legs. I'll be working in the kitchen trying to make a meal, or put dishes away, and he'll be clinging to me; which, as you might imagine, makes it quite difficult to get much accomplished :) And although I find myself getting annoyed at times, I know those are the very things I will miss as he gets older.

Unlike Will, Graham is both a blankie and a paci baby. He loves to take blankets and rub them in his cute. And although his personality is more fiery than Will's, Graham, surprisingly, is more of a snuggler than Will ever was...and I eat up every minute of it...even when he wakes up too early ;-)

One more thing about Graham right now that we just think is the cutest thing, is how he crawls. In the most adoring way possible, we sometimes refer to him as "peg leg," because when he crawls, he'll push off with his left foot. For some reason we find it very endearing...sometimes we'll even catch Will calling him, "peg leg." Oh, and just for the record, we don't typically endorse name-calling, but in this particular case we find it to be oddly adorable.

You may recall in one of my previous posts that I made the prediction that Graham will one day to grow up to be an engineer, and I still stand by that. He loves to open and close drawers, cabinet doors, roll our dishwasher rack back and forth, basically anything with hinges or tracks, he wants to play with. He's also an excellent burper...yes, I said, "burper." If we held a contest with grown men, he would win hands-down. In fact, Dave just informed me that at dinner last night, Graham let out a belch, Dave laughed, and Graham kept trying to burp more because he apparently found it funny as well.

Our little man has certainly brought a lot of joy and laughter to our lives, and we're so grateful the Lord has blessed us with him. We continue to pray that both of our boys would "grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man;" that they would "love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and that they would love others as themselves;" and of course, above all, that they would come to know the Lord at a young age. We pray that our boys will live long, healthy lives fully devoted to the work of the Lord. We love you, Graham...happy 1st birthday, little buddy :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

An Evolving Endeavor

Someone once told me that just because you're becoming a mom, don't allow yourself to get "lost" in that role...continue with your hobbies, passions, and other things you enjoy. Well, I've had a passion for photography for many years now...ever since my late Uncle Jim let me put my hands on his old manual SLR camera when I was 15 years old, and showed me his photos from their trips to U.S. National Parks, I fell in love with the art.

My Uncle Jim and his family circa 1985-ish

While attending Taylor, I minored in art, and concentrated my studies in photography. It's hard to believe that I graduated 8+ years ago, but as you might expect, the technology has changed quite a bit since then. If you can believe it, digital photography still wasn't quite the "norm" at that point, and it's even harder for me to believe that enhancing and manipulating photos in programs like Photoshop wasn't part of the curriculum (wow, we're getting old).

As far as my knowledge of Photoshop goes, I'm fairly well-versed in the area of graphic design due to my previous positions in marketing, but I would love to expand my knowledge of the program for enhancing photos. I am hoping to take a class or 2 at a community college within the next year. I'm not sure to what degree I'd like to practice the art of photography professionally, but for now I'm enjoying getting some experience photographing friends, family, family friends, and friends of friends :) I have also taken on the role of building a photo library for our church, which has been a fun, on-going project as well.

As much as I enjoy photographing people, I also enjoy still life. My dream job would to be a photgrapher for a magazine...more specifically a travel magazine. Would that not be the best job ever?! I rather think so. Most of you probably didn't know that I interned at a newspaper after my junior year at Taylor. The newspaper allowed me to fill the position as chief photojournalist for the summer, and I loved every single day! I learned a lot and had some wonderful experiences, but more importantly, realized how much more I have to learn!

Now that my life is officially slowing back down to a more normal pace (Kristin got married last Saturday...more on that later), I am ready to sign myself up for other projects to fill my time. Sooooo, if anyone is interested in photos for Christmas cards, I'll take all the experience I can get.

Here's a small sampling of some of the photos I've had the privilege of taking recently:
My friend Heather asked if I would be willing to take senior photos for her cousin, Janna...I was thrilled that she asked. We shot them at Heather's parents' much fun!

This little guy, Alec, just melts my heart. I'm friends with his parents, and he and Graham are only a month apart, so I had a lot of fun with this one :) I learned a lot during this shoot...specifically how challenging this age is to photograph...these little guys don't stop for a second!!

My friend Jen wanted to surprise her husband with photos of she and her boys for Father's Day this year. We probably shot all the pictures within 15 minutes, because Graham was not a happy camper, but alas, we still somehow managed to get a few :)

When our good friends Abe & Lindsay were pregnant, I went to one of Lindsay's baby showers, and all the girls there filled out "coupons" for things we would offer to do to help them once their little Ethan was born. Because I'm always looking for any excuse to hang out with them, I thought I'd offer to take some photos. We had a blast, but I think poor Ethan was a little confused why we changed his outfit so many times in one night :) He was a trooper.