Monday, September 28, 2009

Aaron's 2-year portraits: behind the scenes

I know another photographer who says she's rather pull out her own teeth than photograph her children. I'm beginning to understand what she means. It seems like all the location details, outfit planning, and kid cooperation comes unraveled as soon as I pull out the camera.

Mike gave Aaron a bath just before heading out for our session, and Aaron begged for some "lotion" in his hair (gel). A little couldn't hurt, right? But it meant re-wetting his hair to get rid of the greasy, slicked look it gave our little guy. Not off to a great start.

I had agonized over wardrobe choices for these pictures, wanting him to look nicely put together, but not too nice. I still wanted him to look like himself. So we'd settled on jeans and a few t-shirts, all of which had been washed and ironed and hung up so as to look perfect. Who would have guessed that the snack in the car would have left big wet spots all down Aaron's front? Now we had a wet shirt as well as hair that was still wet from the last-minute washing. Ugh!

I was beginning to flip out a little at this point, and I hadn't even started photographing. Thankfully, my trusty assistant (Daddy) came to the rescue and dried the shirt over the car's air conditioning vent. I worked on Aaron's hair and got it looking good. We were in business! What we didn't know was that it was homecoming at many of the area high schools and dozens of dressed-up adolescent couples had flocked to the park for pictures at the same time as we did. Seriously?!?

But all's well that ends well. In the end, I think these hurdles forced us to sharpen our problem-solving skills and creativity, and made for even better pictures than I had hoped for. The images I'm loving the most aren't the ones I'd planned for, but just unfolded naturally. Stopping at the playground wasn't in my agenda, but Aaron's smile as he swings and slides is exactly what I was hoping to document in this session. Sometimes, it's about letting go, isn't it?

My super assistant, shirt-dryer, and laugh-maker... Daddy!

A quick outfit change in the parking lot...

One of my favorites:

To see his entire session, check out my post on our other blog. Or watch this slideshow.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

From D-Land

So here's a short letter to Aaron.
(thanks for the encouragement Auntie Rebo)

Your mom is an excellent writer and has done an amazing job at documenting your life. I am about one hundred blog posts (updates from Daddyland) behind and I apologize.

God has really blessed our family and allows Momma to work from home and take care of you. Daddy sometimes feels disconnected as I leave for work early in the morning, before you wake up and return later that evening. Please know that it brings me great joy when I call momma several times a day from work and check-in on the two (three) of you. Momma always provides updates on all your silly (and sometimes not-so-silly) behavior. We discuss the new words you have started to say and how many time-outs you have.

I recognized a few weeks ago, the significant amount of time you spend with your mom. When you and I were out for a walk, you turned to me and said something like,"c'mon momma." I did not have the heart to correct you. I just let the moment sink-in and smile with true joy.

My sweet boy, I must tell you, your playfulness makes me laugh...a deep, rich hearty laugh. I really enjoy making you laugh hysterically usually by spinning you around and then tickling you.
I love going for walks in the neighborhood with you and going to our special place - "yucky water",to look for "froggies" that jump in the water as we approach them and watching you pick up little rocks and throw them in the water. You wind-up like you are going to throw the rock across the pond but it usually goes about 12 inches away.

I love raising you and I am grateful to God for you. More posts to come (from Daddyland).

Love Always,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Aaron Michael

Yesterday's post was a difficult one to write. There's just too much about my Aaron that I want to share with him about what life is like these days, and there's no way I could accurately express how much he is loved and cherished. So today, after all the birthday hoopla is finally coming to a close, I want simply to say how thankful I am for this wonderful boy. I figured a few photos might be able to tell the story better than my words ever could...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Turning Two

Dear Aaron,

Where has the year gone? I feel like it was just weeks ago that I was baking carrot cake cupcakes and hanging the birthday banner to celebrate turning one. And now you're already two?!? From what I hear, the years fly by faster and faster from here, so I'd better get used to it.

Just like I did a year ago, I feel a little sad today. My baby boy is another step closer to being all grown up. There have been so many times this year that I've wished I could bottle you up and keep you this age forever. Your energy and enthusiasm for life just astound me (wish I could bottle that up, too!), and the speed at which you're learning new concepts is mind-boggling. You have brought joy unimaginable to our lives, Aaron, and that joy seems to be growing right along with you.

A quick look at my big boy...
  • Your imagination is blossoming. One minute, Aaron the boy is playing with his Duplo blocks and building towers or houses, and the next minute I have Aaron the doggie scooting around on all fours, barking wildly. I love watching you use your creativity during playtime!
  • Coloring is a new favorite activity, too. Your favorite things to draw are circles (you call them "mickeys," since they look like Mickey Mouse) and you are always picking up crayons, pens, and markers to scribble here and there.
  • You've finally settled on Spicey Cat and your white blankie as bedtime buddies. I had to buy a second blankie that is identical so we could keep one in the wash rotation and always have a clean one on hand. Of course, your binkie is still your best friend, too.
  • Baseball, baseball, baseball is all you talk about some days! Daddy picked out a t-ball set for your birthday, and you headed outside with Dad and Grandpa Lloyd last night to play a few innings. When the sun finally disappeared and you had to come in, there were a lot of big tears, and the first toy you asked for when you woke up this morning was your baseball bat.
  • You're vocabulary and language skills are unbelievable. We call you our little copycat because you so frequently repeat whatever we say.
  • Broccoli is one of your favorite foods. Sometimes I wonder if you're really my kid. :-)
  • You're a dancing and singing machine! Current favorite tunes include "Sing, Sing, Sing" and "You Lifted Me Out" (you call it the woh woh song) by Chris Tomlin, and anything Wiggleworms. We sing a lot in the car, and I love hearing your little voice belt out a melody.
There are a million little details I wish I could record about who you are right now, but that would make this one very long letter. Instead, I'll just say again how much you are loved, how special you are to us, and how our family wouldn't be the same without you. Life is changing fast, little guy, and in just a few weeks you'll be a big brother, so I'm soaking in these final days of just the three of us.

Today I'm praising God for letting me be your mama, for bringing such a special boy into my life, and for giving me the tools I need to help grow you in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ. As Daddy said to you at dinner earlier this week, "You're the most wonderful boy I know!" I couldn't agree more!!!

Hugs and kisses to my favorite two-year-old,