Thursday, February 16, 2012


Because I am one proud mama, here's Harper's latest trick. I mean seriously? Today she went from her toy chest in the living room, walked across the room, around the dining room table, back through the living room, then down the long hall to our bedroom. She only needed me to help her with the turns. She's a rockstar in my book!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

8 Months!

Eight months meant moving, teething, standing, some cruising, and lots of smiling for sweet Harper Louise. It also meant some head bonks, hair pulling, and her first stomach virus. We had a visit from Aunt Meg, a solo flight with Mama to Austin to visit Nonnie, Ogee, Aunts Lauren and Lindsey, and Uncle Panj. She's an amazing little explorer, with the greatest emerging personality.

Oh, bring us so much joy! What fun to watch you grow, and laugh, and play!

My Valentine

Day 14: Hearts...She has mine, that's for sure! 


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Catching Up: Days 8, 10, & 11

So I got behind on my days so I'm dodging the writing...BUT I did manage to get the pictures taken. Well, most of them.

Day 8: Sun...This is my view out my front window around 4:30 every day. And I love it.

Day 10: Self-Portrait...That's right; I cut my hair. And it feels so good.  

Day 11: Makes you happy...This was a couple of weeks ago, but it still makes me happy. Oh, so happy.

And because I know not one single person who reads this (all 14 of you)  gives a rat's a%$ about Day 12: Inside your closet, I'm including another one that makes me happy. Look at those eyelashes. Those lips. And that grip on Sophie. much better than a shot of inside my closet. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 9: Front Door

edited on
A couple of weeks ago, Neal and I were working outside while Harper was napping when a mini-van pulled up to the front of the house. I was coming around from the backyard and Neal was visiting with the driver. I didn't recognize the van from the neighborhood, and I didn't recognize the driver either. But there was my very friendly husband chatting it up like they were old buddies, looking back at the house and pointing. When the van drove off, my curiosity got the best of me, "Who was that? What did they want?" 

The woman in the car had grown up in our house. Her mom had owned the house for 35 years, and she just wanted to drive by for old times sake. To check on it, if you will. 

This will always be the house that we brought Harper home to. Our first home as a married couple. One day Harper will drive by this house, or perhaps the lot that was once this house, and reminisce about the good times that she had growing up here. Baking in the kitchen with her mom; climbing in the tall Magnolia out front; playing catch with Dad out back. 

I can appreciate why this woman drove by; why she stopped when she saw Neal. I can only hope that she saw the love that comes from the house. Because this house is overflowing with it!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 7: Button

Button. Seriously? That's my challenge for the day? What does that even mean? All I kept thinking all day yesterday was, "Don't push my buttons." Like some imaginary being was going to annoy the heck out of me, and "push my buttons." But then I started to really think about all the buttons around me. There's a really cute belly button on one really cute little babe in my house. And that babe also has a really cute little button nose. But then I was thinking more literal. And buttons do things. They turn things on, they make things go, and they turn things up. 

Which button around me does those things both literally and figuratively? Well, this one of course:

This button turns my brain on. While most days I have little mental stimulation dealing only with my 8 month old, when I get my camera out my brain turns on. Not only do I have to think about light, and aperture, and shutter speed, and IPO; but when I turn my camera on I also immediately think of creating memories. Because my words don't always come easily, I look at each scene through my camera thankful that it will capture what my words can not. I'll have time to look at each picture and use it to remember what the wildflower field behind me smelled like...

Or how huge my belly got...geez, it's like I'm hiding a basketball in there!

Or just how perfect Harper felt in my arms for the first time...

But what's the use of a good camera if you're taking the same old pictures of the same old background day in and day out? So when I see my camera gathering dust, I pack up some momentum and inspiration, and take it along on our adventures both near and faraway.

Like watching my little muse explore on a day at the park...

Or on an Alaskan adventure...

In Juneau, at Mendenhall Glacier

Yeah, I take a lot of pictures in the comfort of my own home, but it's nice to use it as an excuse to get live. And don't get me wrong, I didn't think to myself, Hmmm...that camera sure hasn't seen any action lately, maybe I should go to Alaska. But how lucky that I had my camera with me on this cousins' adventure so I have the vivid images to relive the beauty that is Alaska and cherish that time with Elise. 

It takes those mundane moments or the little things in life, and bumps them up a notch.

Like the colors at the Denver Botanic Gardens...

Or the sweetest little face I've ever seen...

It's not about the button, it's about what you get when you push the button. For me, these memories and moments are frozen in time thanks to that button.

Alright, so I know I'm a day late here with Day 7's challenge...and who knows when Day 8 will get up because Day 8's challenge is 'sun', and we haven't seen much sun lately. It's very February here, just cold and gray. So I'm moving on to Day 9 tomorrow and will post Day 8 when the sun shows its face. Thanks for understanding...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 6: Dinner

Be thankful I'm not a food blogger. Tonight we had grilled chicken, baked potatoes, and grilled asparagus. Believe me, the pictures were as boring as the dinner. The one good thing about dinner dishes! I love the grill!

Day 5: 10 AM

Yesterday at 10 AM I was probably dusting or showering or something equally exciting. It left as quickly as it came, before I even had a chance to realize that was my photo challenge for the day. That seems to be the way a lot of my days tend to go. They pass quickly, most days going by without much to write home about. But here's the thing...although some days I am left wondering how 10 PM has already rolled around without having anything to show for it,  I look at this sweet book-chewing face and pray for a million more 10 AMs. I wouldn't trade anything in the world for 10 AM  tomorrow when I get to snuggle those sweet cheeks as she gets ready for her nap. Whether it's 10 AM or 3, or 7...I know that every minute I spend with her is precious; and I'm never guaranteed the next 10 AM. So the fact that I'm a day late with my photo challenge day #5 is okay, because hopefully instead of dusting or vacuuming or something lame, I was too busy reading to my daughter or singing with her or holding her before her morning nap to snap a picture. That's okay with you guys, right?! Besides, every person I run into these days tells me how fast she's going to grow I'm soaking it all in while I can. I'll be back tonight with Challenge #6.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Day 4: A Stranger

It's funny, you go to a park with a kid and there are immediately more smiles. More smiles from me. From Harper. From strangers. I think it's because at a park anyone can act like a child, and no one looks at them differently. Neal can balance and dip on the balance beam while Harper watches adoringly. You look across the way and two grandparents are sitting on the swing next to their granddaughter and they are all young at heart. Two teenagers slide down a slide and they're still considered cool. It doesn't matter how old you are, when you're playing at the park you are transported back to your school days when the best parts of your day were recess and nap time.

This POD was hard for me today because of the old "Why is this crazy taking a picture of me" fear. In the second picture Harper was absolutely cropped out. And in the top one, I totally pretended like I was taking Neal and Harper's picture, when instead I was creeping on this guy watching his two boys play.

And because most of you are family and all you really want to see are pictures of Harper, here is Harper during our day at the park...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Day 3: Hands

He's hooked. I watch him watch her, and it's clear...he is wrapped around her finger already.

Those hands will be there to wipe away her tears, to catch her when she falls, and help her walk along the path. And when she can stand alone, those hands will be there for her to run to, and jump into; they'll clear away the dirt and build her treehouses or dollhouses or both.  They will steady the bike and let go before she even knows she's ready. When she's grown, those hands will pat her back along with an, "I'm so proud of you." They'll clap for her when she walks across the stage to accept her diploma. And they'll walk her down the aisle to the man who loves her almost as much as he does.

She is safe in his hands. She is loved. And he is hooked. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Challenge Day 2: Words

Feb. 2 Challenge: Words
Dreams. Oh, how I have dreams! Dreams for me, dreams for Neal, for our family, and of course for Harper. So far, my dreams and my dreams for my family have come true. I am married to my best friend, and I have a beautiful, happy baby girl. 

Here are some things that I dream for Harper:
I hope she learns to share...her earthly possessions as well as the gifts that God has given her.
I hope she isn't afraid to try new things.
I hope she loves freely.
I hope she gets everything she works hard for. 
I hope she never forgets how much I love her.
I hope she ignores the doubts that creep into her head.
I hope she becomes a strong, independent woman.
I hope she respects the adults around her.

Your View Today

So I'm jumping on a Pinterest Photo-a-Day bandwagon. I mean, that's how this blog started, isn't it?! I've totally slacked on the blog front and needed some motivation to get my real camera out. I'm bumping it up a notch, and am going to try and write for each picture as well. So since today is actually day 2 of February, here's yesterday's POD (Bruce and Becky, you were so ahead of the game here!!):

It's official. I have a mover. She's everywhere. It started a little bit before her half birthday with an adorable army crawl. She just pulled her whole lower half wherever she wanted to go; pure dead weight. She has to have some serious upper body strength for that. Then right around Christmas she started rocking, and going from sitting up to all fours...she stayed like that for awhile. But was like she needed an audience...we went down to Austin for the holidays and she was off. It was slow, and a lot of times a mixture of crawl/army crawl. In the beginning the army crawl was faster, more efficient. Then she got the hang of it, and I can hardly catch her now. I'll turn around for a minute and when I go to look for her, I have to guess which room she's wandered into. She's not afraid of the dark, and she loves the maze of the dining room table.

Now that she's pulling up all the time, her next move will be cruising. She loves to "walk" with Mommy and Daddy. She's had the steps down for awhile, but now she's getting the strength to stand and move along her crib/couch/TV console.

There's so much to learn from such a little creature. She's fearless; she loves to explore. She never gives up, no matter how long it takes or how many obstacles are in her way. When did I stop being like that? I hope that as her mom, I encourage that sort of mindset in every aspect of her life. We talk about the dangers she runs into and the things she shouldn't do (standing up against the stove, chewing on the new TV table). We let her bump her head and get stuck because that's how she'll learn to persevere. It's hard to watch her fall and not catch her; but I know that every bump, every tear, every scratch is a learning process.

In the span of my lifetime, 8 months is nothing. But to look back to June when we brought home  our sweet Harper and all we did was watch her lay in one place or sleep in our arms, and only 8 months later she's a moving, clapping, babbling little babe...8 months is HUGE!

So there's my view from today...trying to catch Harper!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy Harper!!

I'm putting this everywhere I can think because it's the cutest thing EVER!! I can't believe that she played along with the camera actually rolling...

I LOVE my happy girl!!!

I've watched it so many times, and every time I do Harper starts clapping next to me. So happy!!