Thursday, October 20, 2016

Post Jiggy Day Thoughts

Jiggy Day...Jocie's Birthday...brings complicated emotions to all of my family. The intent is to celebrate, do crazy randomly fun things and remember our angel girl in every moment of the day. For me, it seems as time plods further away from Jocie's last birthday on Earth my emotions get even more complicated. I find I am crying more than last year...more sentimental than last year...and experiencing that awful ache in my heart more than last year. I wonder why that is? 

We were lucky enough this Jiggy Day to gather the entire family together for an evening.

Dione and her fiance Hailey flew in to finalize wedding venue plans, They planned their trip to coincide with Jiggy Day. It's always better when we are together. Auntie Didi loves her nieces and nephew so much.

Great friends Lisa and Francesca joined us for dinner and later spoiled just us girls with tickets to the Maroon Five concert. I asked the group to show me their favorite goofy Jocie face for this photo.

At the end of the day...endearingly surrounded by my family, I look at each one of them and am reminded at how remarkable they all are. They are living and thriving without a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a sister-in-law. The hole is apparent to me where Jocie's vivacious red-headed self is missing. Apparent...but not insurmountable. So I guess I should stop worrying about why I feel more emotional after celebrating nine birthdays (can it really be) without my daughter. Stop...probably until next Jiggy Day. Just in case you find yourself missing someone you love or know someone who's OK. It's perfectly OK to cry and feel broken and half-full. Tomorrow is fresh and new and another beginning.

And just one last thing...don't forget to always love your people as purposely as you can.

Friday, October 7, 2016

A Weekend with Nanny Goat and Bubba of our favorite things to do is spoil the grand kiddos.

Every year around their birthday...

We bring them to our house for the weekend.

We stuff the weekend full of as many fun things as possible. This weekend started out with a quick trip to the park followed by a gondola ride to the top of Needles at Snowbasin.

We found a delicious dinner and stumbled into this Star Wars band playing in honor of The Dark Moon Celebration. Star viewing was marginal that night...but the band was awesome. The ride down in the dark of the night inside the gondola was creepy and cool!

Currently, Miss Olivia has a thing for rainbows...she had a rainbow birthday party and informed me she wants to be a rainbow for Halloween. How magical that when she awoke the next morning a rainbow was outside her window. Still in pajamas, we hurriedly jumped in our car to chase it down.

I promised Olivia that we would learn to sew while she was here. I took her shopping for fabric which she picked out all with foxes. I showed her how to follow the pattern and the guide sheet and she read the instructions out loud. Livvy reads like a 3rd grader even though she is in kindergarten.

We did some pinning and some cutting...taking lots of concentration...

and then some sewing.

She was a very quick and clever learner. We made her a pair of jammies as well as a pair for her favorite teddy bear Pink.

Bubba wanted to take her to his favorite store in the entire world...Smith and Edwards. They have everything...if they can only find it!

But it is the candy aisle that is legendary. She may have gone home with a HUGE bag of candy. It's hard to say no to Olivia.

Bubba shared stories about playing in this same tank when he was a little kid and his father took him to Smith and Edwards.

A quick stop at Unni's house (Dean's mom) to feed the horses and say hi. I just really wanted to pick those burrs out of the horses manes.

This child is so brave and adventuresome...she has been since she was born.

We stopped at a fruit stand on our way home to pick up some famous Brigham City peaches. Olivia likes to eat hers with the skin on...we now refer to that as 'Olivia Style.'

The day was delightful and filled with fun...time for those jammies we made. And don't forget about Pink's pj's.

The grands are all used to Nanny Goat carrying around a I have been pointing it at them all of their lives.

Sunday morning we went on a little photo shoot to remember what six years of age looks like on Olivia. I never posed her once...this was all her natural smile and position.

Photographing Olivia has certainly gotten a lot easier than when she was a babe.

Olivia is brilliant and athletic and full of sunshine.

She has confidence and a strong will that will serve her well as she grows up into a young lady someday...very far away, I hope!

Although the air was chilly and the water even chillier...Olivia wanted to go to the lake and see the dogs swim and play in the water and sand.

Livvy's favorite singer is Taylor Swift. We sang "Shake it off...shake it off" every time the pooches came out of the lake shaking off sand and water.

All too soon...our weekend was over. I wonder if Olivia was as tired as her Bubba and Nanny Goat when she got home to her little bed and her little family. Love you sweet girl Olivia!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

K-K-K-Katie Gets M-M-M-Married

While it's no secret how much I love photography...I never want to shoot professionally. I love it too much, to ever do this for a living. I only shoot weddings for people I love...I mean really love! So...when my beautiful and brilliant niece Katie approached me about shooting her engagements and wedding photos, I never even hesitated to say yes.

Katie is one of my ginger-haired brother Blair's daughters. He's a pretty cute grandpa too.

Katie and I have always shared a sweet relationship. And now she shares that same close relationship with her nieces...of course they were thrilled to be flowergirls.

They did it...Hooray!

Katie's older sister Marilee is the gorgeous Mommy of the nieces...the youngest one is Vera.

We did a few of the standard group shots, but Katie's vision for her special day included mostly candid photos.

Everyone who knows Katie agrees...she has this uncanny ability to scatter sunshine and smiles no matter what is going on in her life.

As a young teenage girl, she lost her mother to cancer. She planned all the details of this wedding herself.

I think she had some help from her big sister and a few others in pulling it off.

No offense to Mr. Photobombing Chad...we were all very protective of Katie when she started bringing Chad around. But Katie's love for this guy finally made it clear to all of us that he was here to stay. Such a great guy...and it's clear he adores Katie.

New love...mature we share the same Anniversary. Which I think is pretty sweet.

Big priority for the with the littles. This one is my favorite!

Have you ever noticed that groomsmen are ridiculous?

They act all annoyed that they have to be photographed...

and then they just keep coming up with more ridiculous shot the bum shot...

the pyramid shot...

and the ever popular jumping shot! Men!

Girls are just so much more simpler!

Katie Scarlett you are the image of the perfect bride.

Their reception was held in the backyard of Chad's family home. Henry savoring the treats!

There is something so magical and intimate about a backyard wedding reception.

Open microphone time included this moment when my Dad...Katie's Grandpa...sang to here something he's been singing to her since she was a little girl.

K K K Katie, beautiful Katie,

You're the only g-g-g-girl that I adore;

When the m-m-m-moon shines,

Over the cowshed,

I'll be waiting at the k-k-k-kitchen door.

These photos can't even begin to show the happiness bubble that surrounded Katie the entire day. Her wedding day was perfection and I am guessing it was exactly what she dreamed it would be.

Congratulations Katie and Chad...there are oodles and oodles of sunshine and happiness in the years  ahead.