Letting it be and catching up

The older I get and the more life experience I have under my figurative belt, the more I learn that my biggest fault may just be how hard it is for me to just let it go.

If I don’t get home on time from work, I have a very understanding husband at home who appreciates my hard work and time away from my family.

If I think a negative thought regarding Zack’s Down Syndrome, I’m human, not a monster.

When Addie got her first boo-boo on my watch, it’s so wonderful that her Momma gets to kiss it better.

I’m working on it. I went through a few weeks recently where I took everything more to heart than I should have; allowed little things to bother me as if they were the end of the world.

So I repeat to myself every time I feel the urge to blame myself for poverty, hunger and civil wars… Let it be, let it be, let it be…

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* * *

In the days before their wedding, our dear friends Ryan and Ruby asked me to fill in as a photographer on their big day when their hired help left them stranded. I was honored that they thought my photography skills worthy of some of the most special moments in their lives together, but I was also incredibly nervous and unsure of my abilities.

But, alas, a “let it be” or two and there I was, early for the first time in my life, testing outdoor lighting, admiring brick pillars and wood walls and the love between a really lovely group of people.

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Ruby has been more than patient with me as I wait for my final package to arrive so that I can present it to them, hopefully next week, and so I was hesitant to share too many photos, but what the heck… Let it be.

I was able to capture some of the pre-ceremony moments between Ryan and his groomsmen (including my handsome hubby) and also some of Ryan’s family. The laughs shared between friends, the doting look in his parents’ eyes, the immense pride that was at this location… it gave me a sort of adrenaline high that I can’t explain.

And then, perhaps my favorite moment of the day: Ruby really wanted a photo with Ryan before the ceremony, but didn’t want them to see one another. We had only a moment or two, as we were already running late (tee-hee!), but we perched each of the newlyweds-to-be on one side of a large brick pillar outside of the reception room. The early evening light was streaming in the glass doors behind them and there, as I clicked away and played with settings, Ryan and Ruby grabbed each other’s hands and both smiled simultaneously. It was as if they had each found their peace. It reminded me of the love and peach I’ve found with Scott every time our hands meet. And then, I felt almost as if I was intruding as Ruby started praying, in a low voice that only Ryan and myself could really hear. It was so sweet and moved me so much that I decided I had captured the shot and put my camera down. I had to hold back tears.

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It was a fun evening — a little edge, a little rock ‘n’ roll, some s’mores and so many laughs and memorable moments, most of which I think we’ll just keep to ourselves.

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* * *

There’s a new baby in town.

Our friends Reva and Bret (parents of Zack’s friend Owen) welcomed their baby girl, Ella, into the world just a few weeks ago.

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Ella’s a tiny lil round thing, especially compared to her big brother who was large and in charge from the day he was born. She looked a lot like Owen did when he was a newborn, but on my second visit with them the other day I saw a lot of her own unique looks coming out more, and some of her Mommy and Daddy, too.

Reva and Bret seem to be adjusting to two kids really well now and as much as I love seeing Reva with her little girl, there’s nothing quite like a big brother doting on his little sister. (I know this from personal experience)

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We’re already hoping Ella and Addie are friends when they get a bit older — Girl Power! Of course, that all depends on Addie keeping her paws off of other girls’ headbands.

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And more adrenaline rushes to come — Reva asked me if I would take photos of Ella and then of their family in about two weeks. Hooray! I’m so excited to capture more exciting life moments for people I adore so, so much.

* * *

September is going to turn out to be Wendy and Scott Bring the Love Back Month. Not that things were absolutely horrible, but rather we just haven’t been putting each other first. I never wanted to be that Readers Digest article, but yes indeed it is hard to keep your relationship first when you have time-sucking jobs, therapies, two kids, five animals and a mortgage payment.

We started the month off with our Date Night at Ryan and Ruby’s wedding. It was our first overnight time away from the kids, EVER. We have never, ever taken that much time away from them. And that will only be the record until next week when we visit Richmond for two days for our anniversary. And later that week, our friend Ben’s wedding.

We are both trying to do more thoughtful things for the other person — you know, those sweet little gestures you do when you’re first together. I do dishes, Scott buys me M&Ms… mmm, life and love is good.

We also watched the movie Fireproof together the other day, which was recommended to us by Ryan and Ruby themselves several years ago (life really does come full circle, I tell ya). We’re also reading a chapter from the accompanying book, The Love Dare, each day, too. It encourages us to be more proactive about being thoughtful, selfless, polite, calm, etc. You know, the old Love is Patient, Love is Kind… one day at a time.

At our wedding, we even played one of the songs from Fireproof as a peaceful, reflective moment during our ceremony.

Love is not a fight, but it’s something worth fighting for…

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* * *

And our babies, oh our sweet babies.
I know nothing is as cute as a photo of them or stories about them, so enough about all this serious stuff!

They’re doing amazing.
Addie just turned four months old yesterday. She’s rolling back and forth, stomach to back and back to stomach and holds her head up all the time. She tried cereal for the first time yesterday and the jury’s still out on it. Her hair is getting longer and crazier; it skims her eyebrows in the front and the girl’s got sideburns that can rival Elvis’. She wakes up happy and smiling, grabbing for her pants or sleep sack and reaching as high as her thin, long arms can reach.

I’m still searching for the perfect ratio and balance, but I think I’m getting pretty close.

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She loves her brother, I’m certain of it. When he comes nearby her, no matter her mood or location, she twists and turns her body to get him in her sight, a huge smile framing her face. She even puts up with the few stray trucks that find their way to her poor head and the way he practically sits on her, just eating up her personal bubble.

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And Zack checks up on her pretty frequently. He still calls her “Ad-da” and comes to her rescue anytime she starts crying or anytime someone is holding her. He seems very protective of her now and hardly pokes her in the eyes at all.

Zack’s doing so, so well. His physical therapist, Miss Kathleen, was just here and confirmed that he has officially reached her two-year-goal of rolling, crawling, sitting, standing, walking to play. He’s half-running now, really. He understands how to get to the car and will walk there while holding my hand on our way to a playdate. He climbs up the stairs while holding on to the wall and understands directions like “go to Zack’s seat” at mealtimes. He babbles quite often and we’re able to pick up on a few words here and there. He proclaims Da-Da so proudly and excitedly. He’s a little Daddy’s boy and I’m alright with that; it’s beautiful to see Scott’s love for his son. Zack is swinging bats and walking while throwing balls, making baskets and reading books. He’s feeding himself using a fork or a spoon and has some groovy dance moves (he gets those from him Momma). He climbs on everything — like the dining room table last night (Don’t worry, we got a picture!).

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No matter what happens with all of these photography opportunities (Nicole says I’ve caught the photography bug), my favorite subjects are still the blue-eyed loves I come home to every night.

So I’m letting it be, and sometimes that means not forcing myself to write a blog entry and not always publishing the ones I do write.

Letting it be is whatever works for you, whatever brings you your peace.

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Cousins visit!

This post could also be known as Better Late Than Never, being as it’s been almost three weeks since said visit, but between 12-14-hour days at work over a busy holiday week and continuing to transition to being a working Momma again, I’ve been pushing aside several posts that I’ve started but just haven’t taken the time to finish. But I’m back!

Anyway, my cousin Becky, her husband Mark and their boys Kevin and Ryan came for a visit from Massachusetts by way of Chicago. (They were in Chicago, their old home, for a visit and stopped by on their way home to New England).

I’ve said it before, but it rings true again — it is so unbelievably special to have more and more of our loved ones spend time with us in our home, see what our daily lives are like and to really understand our little world.

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Becky and Mark are fantastic parents and their boys are so intelligent, so outdoorsy and so good with our babies. So much fun was had in just the simplest of activities. (I almost choked on my gum when one of the boys picked up a weed-looking plant at the park and said, “Look at this succulent!”)

There were lots of hugs and catching up, of course, but it was some of the other moments I cherished most — watching my little cousins hunt for — and find! — crayfish at a park, showing off my hotel, playing in the backyard and of course watching Zack fall totally in love with his older cousins and the attention he got from all of them. (And don’t think for a minute that Addie didn’t receive her fair share of lovin’.

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And I have to share my favorite instance of photo-bombing so far. You can just make out a little brown tuft of Addie’s afro in the background…

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I love this getting-older-and-finding-your-place-in-the-world stuff. It’s pretty spectacular to have a family to show off, a home to host in, a long list of things that make you realize just how very special your life really is and how lucky you really, really are.

Goodbyes were tough, really tough, but I’m so looking forward to our foursome visiting their foursome and them coming back in the future.

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And I can’t wait for Zack to hunt for crayfish.

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