Friday, March 30, 2012

Project 52 {13}

My favorite thing about you is:
You love our animals.

f/2.8 1/640 ISO-200

I've explained about Atlas, and how he was our wedding present.  We got him and Bella as (what turned out to be) practice before having real kids.  We thought:  "If we get the dogs years before we have kids they'll  be nice and calm, well trained, yet, still be young enough that the kids would love and remember them".  We were right on.  When they were puppies we messed with them while they were eating, we poked at them mercilessly, pulled on their tails... all in preparation of the day when we would have babies in the house.  We wouldn't stand for bad behavior with babies rolling on the floor, so we started early.  

Low and behold, the kids came along and they messed with the dogs while they ate (even ate the dogs food with them - KALE!), they climb all over them, dress them up, and yes, even pull their tails.  We correct the kids against the behavior, just like we corrected the dogs against their reactions to this behavior.  I'm proud to say that the symbiotic relationship between the kids and the fur babies is quite harmonious, and it gets better with every passing day.  

Haley is old enough to feed the dogs their breakfast and dinner, Kale lets them out when they ring the bell, and most days unintentionally share their breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks with them.  But for all the responsibility that they're growing up with by having the dogs around, I'm most thankful for the love they give them.  Kale fully believes that Atlas is his dog, and Haley knows Bella is hers.  They love them, cuddle them, take care of them.  

On the particular day of the picture above, we were out to a wildlife preserve shooting the kids' Easter pictures in their new outfits, and the dogs were lucky enough to tag along and run their hearts out.  We made them take a break from running to put on their Easter outfits:  A tie for Atlas, and some dress up necklaces for Bella (and maybe a pair of bunny ears too...).  Kale saw Atlas dressed up in his tie from last Easter and went over to give him a big hug, "My puppy" he said.  

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Project 52 {12}

My favorite thing about you is:
You work hard for our family.

f/4.5 1/640 ISO-200

You keep this house running (sometimes literally - remind me one day to talk about that time he signed me up for a marathon for as a Valentine's Day present).  Whether it's my (perceived?) washing machine fires, then fixed washing machines from this week, or taking off/putting on/taking off/putting on/taking off of training wheels, to the probably million other little things that you do around here, this place doesn't operate quite as smoothly with out you.  You are taking on challenges and changes because you know it's what's best for the family, and I'm appreciative.  I love that you so completely support me staying home with the crazy kiddos and have never once (seriously) told me to get a job.  You are an amazing strength and leader of this family and I'm so grateful for you.

Jeff and I have been married for almost 9 years, have been a couple since 1997 and have know each other the 8th grade.  So we've been together pretty much forever.  You can definitely say we grew up together, we've been together pretty much everyday from the point we started dating (save for those 4 years of college, whatev!).  I knew this guy was going great places and jumped on board that train!  I'm incredibly thankful that I got to meet my match (in more ways than one) so early in my life.  He's an amazing, involved dad that contributes so much to raising our kids.  You'd be hard pressed to find another guy as dedicated and hard working in his family, his work and his life.  And since I know he reads these, I'll just leave it at that lest I embarrass him any further, I just couldn't do these "favorite things" without including my most favorite.  Life is an incredible adventure and one that I'm so happy to take on with him.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Project 52 {11}

My favorite thing about you is:
How much you love the outdoors.

f/1.8 (should have been a bit more closed) 1/400 ISO-100

We have had an almost unseasonably nice week of weather.  Like, t-shirts and capris.  I would say completely unseasonable, but this is Colorado and really, there's nothing normal or average about the weather here, ever.  We've spent so much time outside this week, playing in the backyard, at school they've been outside everyday, even the gym has taken the kids out almost constantly and yesterday evening we took the extra hour of daylight and rode bikes in the street.  It seemed like the entire neighborhood was outside with us.  Can I just express how much I'm loving this weather?!  If I could pick one season to live in for the rest of my life spring would be it.

Haley learned how to ride a two-wheeler at the very end of fall which meant not a lot of practice when it's cold and snowy.  I was a little concerned that she might not remember the skills, but I guess riding a bike, is, well, like riding a bike.  She was a bit rusty at first but picked right up and I have no doubt that by the end of this summer she'll be riding circles around all of us (unless Kale decided to pick it up this summer...).  

And because this week, it came down to a tie for pictures, here is the other one from the same evening. And next year when I fight against Daylight Savings, someone remind me about the dreamy light that comes after the kids have full bellies and before bedtime. 

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Friday, March 9, 2012

Project 52 {10}

My favorite thing about you is:
How you challenge me.

f/1.8 1/1000 ISO-100

Oh Buddy.  If I had a dollar for every time I've uttered those words this week month year... Yup, you challenge me.  Both of you.  All the time.  Often times I need to remind myself that you do this because you're thinkers, you don't just accept things, you want to know why, and you're convinced that at 3.5 and 5, you know best.  I get it.  I was am just like you.  Eerily just like you, so I can't fault you.  But that doesn't mean that I don't get frustrated and have mom moments that I'm not always proud of.  We've been doing a lot of butting heads around here as of late, and it's frustrating and tiring and most importantly challenging.  For you, me, Dad, all of us.  Challenging to keep up with you, let alone stay a step ahead, challenging to remember that you're learning and figuring stuff out, challenging to be the best mom I can be when I just want to shout, stomp, throw a tantrum just like you.  

It seems like odd number years are the ones we have the most difficulty with, and in having my kids so close together, respite from the "odd years" is short and sweet.  It seems at three we are challenged with broken listening ears (the polite, mom term for bad listeners), still lacking words to express emotions, and an independent defiance.  At 5, we've hit the sassy pants age, and I'm only a little joking when I tell you that I'm truly afraid for what the teen and tween years hold for us.  Oi.  We have sarcasm (I know where she gets it, but that doesn't mean I have to like it), back talk, and eye rolling, oh my.  

All of this, challenging.  But I'm challenging myself:  Hold my temper, Use my words, and Be a good example.  The parent that I am to them is the parent they will become to my grandchildren, allowing me to influence generations of little humans, what an impact for someone who is "just a mom".

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Project 52 {9}

My favorite thing about you is:
You remind me of my mom.

f/4 1/100 IS0-6400

This smile right here.  This is my mom's smile.  I wish I had a picture of her to show you how crazy similar it is.  That hint of crooked is exactly what her's looked like.  And those eyes, if they were green, they'd be hers too.  Haley and I get comments all the time about how much we look like each other, just like I got when I was with my mom, and just like she got when she was with her mom.  Haley definitely has that sense of Reid woman sass, and my mom would have loved every second of this little girl.

It's taken having kids of my own to appreciate what a good mom my mom was.  Faults, sure, but we all have them in varying degrees.  The way she raised me, the experiences she gave me, it was a great childhood.  It's difficult for me to put into words what it means to have these little reminders of her, it's just important.  And there's not really another word for it.  

This week my grandma passed away.  Reminders of our loved ones are what keep their memories alive.  It's the little things in our future that keep our past with us.  All of this makes us who we are right now.

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