Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween from our Little Stinker

Remember this time last year? Can't believe it!

Aaron was the hit of the neighborhood tonight, and it's easy to see why. His little costume is SO cute. :-) True to my bargain queen ways, I bought it back in February for a mere $.99. One of the best dollars I've ever spent! It was so much fun to watch him bring joy to our neighborhood (and a much needed break from some really scary/gross/weird costumes).

Who knew skunks and lions could be such good friends? Jakey looks adorable in his furry getup.

I think the tail is my favorite part of the costume.Run, Run, Run!

Getting goodies from the neighbors. I saw lots of houses put a double portion into his bucket - it must pay to be cute. :-)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lions, Tigers, and Bears

We took Aaron to the zoo for the first time a few weekends ago. I had almost forgotten about the pics I took, but as I loaded some equipment back into my photo bag tonight, I remembered that they were waiting for me there on the memory card. They're so sweet!

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon - one of those brisk and bright afternoons that make us all love fall. We went downtown Chicago to the Lincoln Park Zoo (it's free, and Mike always loves an excuse to go into the city). There were lot's of fun animals to see, and since we've been working on our farm animal sounds, it was a great opportunity to practice some of our new skills. Ask Aaron what a cow says, and he'll "OOOOOH" for you (hey, it's close, right?). Of course, his favorite animal to watch were the pigeons. :-)

After our fill of zoo animals, we took a few minutes to play in the park just outside the zoo gate. The fall flowers were so pretty, and we all had such fun chasing each other around and playing games. It was one of those afternoons that you could live in forever - one I sure want to remember for a long time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Weekend Family Fun!

Our recent weekends have been a flurry of activity! We had 5 weekends in a row of birthday parties, plus weddings, visiting friends, and family portrait sessions (taking advantage of the beautiful fall colors we're seeing right now!). For the first time in a LONG time, we looked at the calendar and realized there was nothing written in the little boxes for Saturday or Sunday. Yipee! We've made the most of it by tackling some chores at home as well as enjoying the quiet time together. My favorite activity from the weekend was yesterday's trip to our health clubs indoor swimming pool. They have a zero-depth area that's perfect for little swimmers, and our little guy loves the water. We had so much fun splashing around together. Now that the weather is cooling off and outdoor time is becoming more and more limited, I hope we'll make this a regular part of our family's weekend plans.

Monday, October 20, 2008

12 for 12!

Looking back, I'm glad I did it. It was a challenge, for sure, but photographing Aaron once a month has been a sweet way to catalog his first year. I know I'll appreciate having these photos in the years to come (hopefully he will, too, and he won't be too upset that I showed his cute little tush so often :-)

So here they are, the very last images of our one year project. He's been getting more and more difficult to photograph, since he's always more interested in playing with the props and running around like a crazy man that getting his picture taken. He's challenged me to get past my pre-designed ideas of what the month's photo should look like, and just capture who he is. This month was no different. I had the outfits laid out, balloons in coordinating colors, and I knew exactly what I wanted everything to look like. Of course, Aaron had his own ideas, and had a blast grabbing the balloons and running full out towards the camera. His giggles were hilarious, and these "imperfect" pics really capture his spirit at this age.

Enjoy! I'm not sure how often we'll be doing official portraits from here on out... but don't worry, he's not going to be under-documented any time soon. :-)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Birthday Bash, part II (the remix)

Another weekend of celebrating Aaron! We headed to Cincinnati for a wedding, and took the opportunity to party with some precious friends and family. The weather was perfect for our outdoor picnic, and it was such fun to see so many familiar faces. I loved how dear Diana Wood opened the celebration: "We loved Aaron before he was born," she said, "because of our affection for Mike and Sarah." Warm fuzzies!!! Here's the photographic evidence:

Cousin Bobbie shows Aaron his new elephant, while Aunt Janet unloads the rest of the goods. They sure do spoil this boy!

Hello, Cloads! L-R: Grace, Estella, Aralynn, Robbie, and Ruel.

Dennis used to make funny faces at me when I was Aaron's age. A full circle moment, for sure.

Hmm... presents and a cookie. Life is good! (And mama is obviously nowhere nearby, or the cookie would have been omitted. :-)

Opening presents. We got lots and lots of new books to read.

Time for cake. Mama was going to make more carrot cake, but there was an entire sheet cake leftover from the previous day's wedding. More sugar than we wanted, but it sure was yummy.

We love Plan Toys, and Aaron has loved playing with the many new additions to his toy box. Thanks, Grammie!
These visits to Cincy are always so bitter-sweet. I love being with these friends who have know me for so long and loved me so well, and have now embraced my family with the same love. It's always hard to leave. But we're thankful for the time with them, and for the grace that preserves these friendships over the miles and through the years. Can't wait until our next visit!