Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Very Special Day

I am who I am today in large part due to my maternal grandparents.  I was an only child for 6 years and while both of my parents worked full-time jobs, I stayed with my grandparents.  We had so much fun!  My Paw-Paw (yes, we are southern which is why the "W" is there) would take me fishing or we would hang out in his shed full of tools and make bird feeders or "fix" things.  My grandmother and I would always eat lunch together.  PB&J mixed together then put on the bread with the crust cut off!  My grandmother would also take me shopping at least once a week...maybe that's where my obsessive need for retail therapy started and other days I'd tag along with my Paw-Paw to the flea market.  Life was good!

I spent so much time with my grandparents as a young child and was exposed to their love for Christ.  I saw them read their Bible everyday and pray and got involved in church because of them.  It took me a long time to understand the love of Christ and what the meaning of Easter really meant, but it all started with my grandparents.

Then my brother was born and he would tag along too.  He nicknamed my grandmother "Boo" because she played peek-a-pie-boo with him so often I guess he just associated her face with the word.  Funny, I know.

In 1997 my Paw-Paw was diagnosed with cancer and died in January 1998.  Seeing my grandmother go through losing her husband broke my heart.  I saw a small glimpse of true love and knew I wanted to find a man that I loved like she loved my grandfather.  But then there was the day before my Paw-Paw's death.  I was in his hospital room with him alone after school one day and he sat me down and told me he was ready to go be with Christ, but that I needed to look after my grandmother once he was gone.  He was in so much pain and on his death bed and all he could think about was the one person on earth that he loved the most.  I was and still am overwhelmed with the love I saw between those two.

About eight years later I decided to take Boo to the doctor due to some forgetful behavior.  Now, four and a half years later my grandmother is in the severe stages of Alzheimer's disease.  She has no idea who I am or that she was married, or that she now is a great grandmother.  At first I was so angry and I still hate the disease.  I don't use the work "hate" often because it is so harsh, but this disease deserves it! I have emotionally lost one of my best friends and mentors.

So, last week my mom, Emmalyn and I headed up north to Minnesota where Boo lives a block away from my Aunt Cindy in a very home-like atmosphere where she is taken care of by some great nurses.  The place does not seem like a nursing home at all and Boo gets her own room and bathroom with all of her own furniture.  The first day we got there we walked to the home and got to see Boo.  She held Emmalyn and was just in awe of her.  Emmalyn was so good the whole time Boo held her and Boo was doting on Emmalyn's little features.  It was such a sight to see such a special person in my life holding my daughter.  I had the camera out the entire time and even got some video footage.

With such a long explanation, the rest of this post is pictures from our time with Boo.  Now you can understand how much this trip meant to me.






Boo loved how Emmalyn grasped her finger.








I hope one day I can share my memories of Boo and Paw-Paw with Emmalyn and be as special to her as they are to me.


Kayla : )

SC - part II


I'm a bit behind on my blogging.  I have yet to blog the second part of the SC trip from 3 weeks ago. 

Well, on August 5, Emmalyn got a new little friend, Porter.  Caleb's good friend, Brandon and his wife Bethany had their little boy after a very long and hard labor.  I took Emmalyn to the hospital to meet him and to get a few pictures with the family.





After visiting with friends and family in Columbia, Emmalyn and I headed to Beaufort so Emmalyn could meet Aunt Ashley.  We had a girls night full of shopping at Target, eating burgers, and watching Valentine's Day (although, Emmalyn was asleep within the first 5 minutes of the movie).  It was so great to get to catch up with Ashley face to face and introduce my daughter to our girl nights.  Can't wait to do it again!


The next morning we headed home to see daddy, only to leave 2 weeks later for Minnesota.


Kayla : )

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Well, Emmalyn and I are home from our trip to Minnesota!  We survived our first plane ride and had a great time!  I have pictures and videos (I just have to figure out how to post them :).  It is always good to be home no matter how much fun we had.  We definitely missed Caleb.  I have lots to tell in future posts, but I'll leave you with a couple of pictures that Caleb's awesome sister took of Emmalyn and me while we were visiting family in NC a few weeks ago.  Thanks so much Sara!







Kayla : )

Thursday, August 19, 2010

life Lately

I've been so busy lately that I haven't had a lot of time to blog or take pictures for that matter.  I had a friend in the hospital for 3 days so I spent  a lot of time with her during the day.  I also started back to work in the nursery and started booking a LOT of photo sessions that I'm really excited about!  Mine and Emmalyn's trip up north is also coming up and since I have never flown I'm getting a bit apprehensive and trying to have all my T's crossed and I's dotted.

Since I'll be away for almost a week, yet again, I try to leave the house as put together as possible for the hubby.  I'll put a few pieces of marinating chicken in the fridge for him to make himself quick dinners, have the food well stocked for easy access, and have as much of the clothes washed and put away so hopefully he won't have to do laundry while I'm away.  However, with a baby around all of my daily chores end up taking twice as long and I'm double exhausted!  Every mom knows what I'm talking about and I don't mean to complain, this is just a fact of life.

I'm also in the process of trying to organize each room in our house one by one for our most frequent purposes.  I feel like this will make the move back to SC easier so I won't have a bunch of stuff that I'll never use that I'm taking back with us.  This is taking up a lot of my time and brain power as well.  I'm mostly getting rid of the cheap home decor that we got when we were first married and dirt poor and organizing things like cards received for various holidays/milestones, pictures, old books, my craft supplies, the clothes that I can't fit into yet but hope to a some point, all of the clothes I've been given for Emmalyn that she won't be able to wear for months to come, and recipes among many other things.

Speaking of not fitting into clothes yet, and since I have not been blessed with the "Wow!  You really just had a kid?!" body like some moms who have had children in the past 5 months have (you know who you are and you are currently getting "evil eyes" from me : ), I've started a workout routine.  Since I was little I was also in a dance class and I loved it.  Granted, I was never the best dancer nor the most graceful, but it was a great workout that I didn't have to think about because I loved it so much.  Then, adult life started and the dancing stopped, but my diet stayed the same so I gained a little weight.  Then, my husband left for months at a time and my diet consisted of cereal or soup for all meals, so the weight went back off.  Then, came pregnancy and since having Emmalyn my body has not been the same nor has it acted the same to working out.  I finally realized that I needed to get off my butt in order to get back to somewhat of my pre pregnancy body.  Well, I'm walking with Emmalyn and/or doing weights on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and on Tuesday, Thursday a friend of mine teaches a yoga class for a few of us military wives - and I'm LOVING it!  I've never done yoga until about 3 weeks ago and I can already notice that I'm getting stronger.  It's great and makes me feel wonderful!  Thank you Erica!!

Well, I know this post is a bit boring, but it was good for me to write about what's going on lately.  We have so much coming up in the next few weeks so there will be plenty of pictures to share.

Kayla : )

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Never knew...

That I could love a toothless smile as much as I do 




How good you can feel after getting 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep when I haven't gotten more than 3 hours at a time in the past 5 months.




That I would think a helicopter looked sexy (only the apache though : )



That I took for granted going grocery shopping by myself my entire life!

This time last year that a year from then, I would be a MOTHER.




That I could take pictures of the same little girl everyday and never get tired of it!





Kayla : )

Sunday, August 15, 2010

1000 Gifts



121. Groucho's

122. Free Diapers!

123. Watching my mom open her birthday presents

124. a heart wrenching sermon at church

125. chick flicks

126.  Thunderstorms

127. watching my daughter learn

128. a new recipe

129. Having my wedding ring fit me again!

130. being reunited with family that I haven't seen in over 6 years!


Kayla : )

Friday, August 13, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Emmalyn's Birth Announcement

Here is Emmalyn's custom made birth announcement by Sugarlump Stationery!  I love that it matches her room and that the picture is one hat I took.  Thanks so much Jess!  You are so talented!



Kayla : )

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Photo Dilemma

When you are an aspiring photographer you rarely get pictures taken of yourself.  Mostly because I don't really trust anyone else to take shots of the important times in my life which pretty much revolve around my husband's flying and the milestones he's been through to get to where he is and my daughter's milestones (like smiling, funny facial expressions, different sleeping positions etc.).
Back in SC we got the very talented Sara Parker to take all of our family photos since our first year of marriage but we live 400 miles away now and even though I get to take trips to SC with Emmalyn, Caleb's career does not allow much time for him to get away so "family" pictures with one major individual missing are not really family pictures.  So, what's a girl to do?  How do I get good family pictures that I'm also in?  There's always the tripod, but with a 2 month old, the time it takes to set it up with every scenery change doesn't seem very practical.

Sure, I can find another photographer and pay him/her for pictures, but since looking around for one I'm amazed at how expensive this can get!  I mean come on people we are in a recession!

Being so passionate about photography I think it is important to document life in a picture and to have the memories that make time stand still right in front of you, but I don't know if it is worth hundreds of dollars for only a few photos.

The other thing is that I love taking pictures of other people and especially of the people I love, but when I get in front of the camera I pull out a fake smile and freeze.  I'm behind the black box so much that I don't really know what to do in front of it so I need a competent photographer to take photos of my family that include me.

Who knows, I might try the the tripod method with my two short attention span family members once the weather starts to cool down a bit.  We will see how it goes.  Until then, I'll just continue to be behind the camera and take pictures of my cute daughter.

The many faces of Emmalyn - All taken within 1 minute
















Kayla : )

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

SC - part I


Well Emmalyn and I have returned from our week long adventure to meet as many people in as little time as possible.  Needless to say, I'm exhausted!!!  So here is the run down from the first 2 days we were in SC.

I started off by meeting up with our parents-to-be friends Brandon and Bethany.  They were on their way to the hospital for Beth to be induced since their son, Porter, decided to cook a little longer.  We decided to grab some dinner before they headed to the hospital and we ate at one of my favorite SC places...GROUCHO'S!  My taste buds were having 45 sauce withdrawals!  

The next day I met up with my favorite girls at a new restaurant to catch up and have everyone meet Emmalyn.  The food was good and the company was great!  Emmalyn enjoyed it!

Here is Jordin and her beautiful first born daughter, Emersin.  Emersin loved all the baby girls and seems to help her mom a lot with her little sister.  Jordin went to high school with me and is a great seamstress.  She is currently making a Gamecock dress for Emmalyn and I can't wait to see her in it! 



And of course new aunt, Amanda was there!  It was so great to see her!  It definitely made me miss working in the NICU!



Another fellow NICU coworker, Dana, also joined us for lunch and a little trip to Target afterwards.  You know friends are great when you haven't been around for a year and things are still the same!  By the way, the little cuttie in Dana's arms is Ansley, Amanda's niece.   She is 5 days younger than Emmalyn.



Ha ha!  KB with all the babies!  Right to left: Emmalyn, Ansley, Everleigh.



And this is April, Ansley's mom!  She's an elementary school teacher.  Maybe when our little family moves back to SC these two will be able to interact with each other more :)



The Crew



You girls have no idea how happy this dinner made me.  Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to catch up and meet my daughter.  There are a lot of memories to come!




Kayla : )

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I have a lot of catching up to do on blogging, but it's good because it means we've been busy.  We are going back to last week when we had a game night at the Skelly's house.  We played Scene It, which everyone not on Brandon's team hated because the boy knows the answer to every question!  So, then we pulled out Hoopla.  We has so much fun!

While we played, Emmalyn chilled out with Aunt Sarah...One of the many Aunt Sarah's that she has.

And here is my handsome husband about to wow us with his artistic abilities while playing hoopla.

Caleb hiding behind the board while Jo tries her hand at drawing.

And, just because I think my daughter is adorable, I'm posting a few pics of her as well.  Here, she fell asleep while I was cleaning.

One morning when she was especially awake and happy.

And in her swing.  KatieBeth thought this picture was so funny so I decided to add it to the post.  No, KB, that is not a unibrow, it is just her forehead - that she gets from her daddy.
More updates to come!

Kayla : )

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hello all!  I've been MIA for a few days due to some traveling but have lots to write about in the coming days including a lunch date with my favorite ladies and one new friend for Emmalyn and a new baby boy, Porter, entering the world and changing our friends' lives forever!  Lots of pictures to follow, but in the mean time I'm just having a great time with my family!

Kayla : )

Sunday, August 1, 2010

1000 Gifts




111. a nutella and banana sandwich

112. Free baby clothes

113. my daughter's smiles

114. barbeque chicken pizza 

115. finding a good movie on tv

116. a doctor that makes house calls

117.  pledge multi-surface wipes

118. the smell of a just bathed baby

119. a good song

120. $5 jeans that fit like a glove found on the clearance rack at old navy!



Kayla : )
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