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Eleven Years In

11 years of marriage.  15 years together.  You are my favorite human being.  You are always by my side, through everything; and life without you would be totally incomprehensible.  I admire your character, patience, sense of humor, and your kindness that you show to everyone.  Most of all, you are my very best friend.  You are the greatest gift of my life, and each day spent with you is truly a gift.  I look forward to many, many more years together, knowing that we can get through anything together, as a team.  Each year just gets better and better with you.  This has been a wonderful year filled with much growth, a truly wonderful gift!  I have enjoyed witnessing become an incredible daddy to our girls!  You are the best part of who I have become!  We are so blessed.  Happy eleventh anniversary, my love!

 

Pups in the Park!

This past weekend we took Alex and Victory, in their matching jerseys, to Pups in the Park at the Nationals!  This was our sixth time, fifth year, attending Pups in the Park at the Nationals with Victory, and our first time with both Alex and Victory!  (You can view our previous trips to Pups in the Park: here, here, here, here, and here.)  

We had nice weather, although it was quite hot and humid for the tail end of September.  Alex loved seeing the other dogs, and she had no problem going up to the other dogs!  (We saw only one other sheltie at this game!)  Alex lasted about two hours after the drive to the stadium, with heavy traffic, and no afternoon nap.  Alex did pretty well at the game; she sat some of the time and she liked to roam in our row.  We were fortunate in that we did not have people sitting on either side of us in our row so that Alex, luckily, had some room to move around!  Importantly, Alex gave Victory a treat all on her own, during the game, shown in the short video below — it was so heartwarming!  (Alex had only done this once before, the evening before, while at dinner, and I was in the present moment and I was not quick enough to capture!  Alex was so proud of herself she clapped, we all did!)  Alex slept the entire ride home and Victory napped in our bed all day Sunday from being exhausted her outing to the game!  It was a fun time together; and I will always remember Alex’s and Victory’s first Nationals’ game together!

Below are several photos from our visit!  We look forward to going back for more games next year!

Happy Wednesday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few iphone images from the game!

 

 

Here is a video from Pups in the Park — Alex feeding Victory a treat!

The Importance of Rest

I do not have a blog post prepared for this week as our home has been hit by sickness the past week, and our schedules have been quite full as well.  Alex is doing better, thankfully.  She had a terrible, terrible cold and an ear infection and an eye infection.  And, then I got sick with strep throat!  So Alex and I have been on antibiotics and we are doing better.  Doug and Victory did not get sick, thank goodness.  I really learned the importance of rest during this time.  I had not felt so badly in a really long time.  Doug was so kind that he got up early with Alex in the mornings, took her to her swim lesson, and he took Alex out on a ‘daddy-daughter’ date for several hours so that I could truly rest (with Victory) in bed.  They went to the Lego store, which Alex absolutely loved, where she got some more Legos, of course!  And they also went to Bass Pro, which welcomes furry family members, where she ran all over the store and climbed all over the all-terrain vehicles!  (Doug did not get one photo as he was too busy watching and running after Alex!)  I had so much on my to do list to get done last weekend, but I got what I really needed, which was sleep and rest.  So getting sick taught me that we really are more productive when we actually truly rest and get good sleep.  According to Arianna Huffington, we all do better with just one change: more rest and sleep.   So, I learned that I want to get more rest and sleep, I need to make a conscious effort to make it happen.  So far, I have found, it makes a world of difference.  So here’s to getting more rest!  (I am so glad we are feeling better as we are taking the girls to Pups in the Park this weekend!  It is our first time attending as a family of four — it should be an adventure to say the least!)

Happy Thursday!

 

Faye Moorhouse: Women and their Dogs

I am in love with illustrator Fay Moorhouse’s series, Women and Their DogsWomen and Their Dogs consists of nine paintings that portray the everyday life of the ordinary woman and her faithful furry friend.  This includes trips to the supermarket; bedtime; and trips to the park, which truly come to life in this handmade zine.  Moorhouse’s playful style creates endearing studies of people and their furry family members, while highlighting the humorous and intimate relationship we share with our canine companions.  Perhaps we see a little of ourselves in her work, shown below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above images are courtesy of Fay Moorhouse.

Thirteen Month and Fourteen Month Snapshot: Alexandra

I completed the monthly snapshots of our beloved Alex during her first year.  I am still not, for sure, how I am going to share Alex’s second year.  In any event, here is the snapshot of Alex’s thirteenth month and fourteenth month!  Alex is just changing all of the time and she is growing like a weed!

Alex is a busy, busy, busy girl!  She is always doing something, always!  She loves exploring and she is quite curious.  One of her favorite things to do is to stack things, particularly the stacking cups!  She also thoroughly loves stacking while taking a long soak in the bath tub!  She loves her bath time!

Alex started saying “hi,” “bye,” “yeah,” and “yes!”  She is constantly babbling away, while starting to mimic words she hears!

Alex’s teeth continue to come in!  We go to the dentist in a few weeks for her first dental visit!

Alex remains very strong-willed and full of personality!  She is her own little person who is always up for a new adventure!

We enjoyed many trips to our park and pool during these two months, which Alex loves!  Alex is now jumping into the water, floating on her back (with assistance), and going underwater, without issue, on her own!  It is so neat to watch!  She is a little fish who is now signed up for swim lessons, which begin this weekend and we got her some goggles to try!

We also took multiple trips to the book store!  She keeps us on our toes every time and Doug and I usually leave exhausted from chasing her up and down the book aisles!  She is too fast!  She is currently reading this series before bed.

Alex loves our bubble whale machine!  We have fun with Alex and Victory with the bubble machine on our deck.  Alex attempts to catch the bubbles!

Alex started her first day of ‘big girl’ school!  We cannot believe it!  She loves school and she is thriving!  We framed her first piece of art, a water color painting, shown below!

Alex and I were on our own for several days while Doug was away on travel for work.  Alex, Victory, and I made it through okay!  Doug started a new position, which he is enjoying, and we are all acclimating to a new rhythm, as a result!

Alex took her first trip on an airplane!  Alex and I flew to Michigan where she met some extended family for the first time.  Alex did well on the plane.  I was, honestly, a bit nervous flying by myself with her, for the first time, but she did well.  She, fortunately, slept during the entire flight back to Maryland in my arms.  On our way back to Maryland, the gate attendant was so kind — she let us have a row to ourselves, which was wonderful, which provided a small area for Alex to roam prior to take off!  (Alex did well on flight to Michigan as well, she was awake for the entire flight!  And, Victory had a lot of ‘daddy time’ while we were away!  Victory went out to eat each evening!)

During this time, we enjoyed dinners out with Alex and Victory!  And, Victory went on two date nights with us.  Doug and I just celebrated 15 years together since our first date!  Where has the time gone — so much has changed; while, simultaneously, so much has remained the same, fortunately.  I feel so grateful for it all.

Additionally, Alex is interacting more and more with Victory.  Alex really wants to give Victory food, shown in a short video, below — Alex just has to learn to let go of the food so Victory can eat it!  We are looking forward to some outings this fall, which likely will include: Pups in the Park; the petting farm; a Navy football game; the pumpkin patch, and celebrating Halloween — the girls have their costumes ready!  We love the fall season and we cannot believe it will officially be fall so soon!

In between everything, I have continued to work on the revisions to my long-term photography project, which, hopefully, should wrap up this fall, I hope!  It has been a really long journey, but the work is taking shape, and I look forward to staring the next steps going forward.

Life is so full and so good — each month just gets better!  Doug and I are truly grateful for this journey.  We love our girls so very much.  I am savoring our early morning and evening snuggles with Alex rocking in the glider in her room, as they will not last forever.  Importantly, Alex is living her best life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Technically, during Alex’s thirteenth month, we went on vacation, which I previously shared here; and we celebrated Alex’s first birthday celebration during her thirteenth month as well, which I also previously shared here.)

 

 

A few iphone images from Alex’s thirteenth month!

 

Here is a video from Alex’s thirteenth month — Alex in the pool!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few iphone images from Alex’s fourteenth month!

 

 

Here is a video from Alex’s fourteenth month — first time on an airplane!

 

Here is a video from Alex’s fourteenth month — Alex trying to share with Victory!

Date Night with Your Pup!

Doug and I aim to have one date night a month, which we covet!  (We, thankfully, have a few sitters that we use for Alex!)  However, this summer, it was Doug’s idea to start bringing Victory with us on our date nights for as long as the weather holds!  Victory has adjusted really well since Alex’s arrival and Victory is fully enveloped in our lives as we are in her life.  What we have found is that Victory is in seventh heaven on these date nights!  She is a smart sheltie girl, and we believe she knows that these are special times being spent with her!  We took Victory recently to an Italian restaurant, and she loved sitting on the chair next to us, during dinner, pictured below!  We then took her with us for gelato, which she also relished!  She truly loved being the ‘only child’ for an evening, like old times!  We love this time with our fur girl, Victory, too!  So, if you have a pup, I am sure he/she would love to go out on a date night with you, especially if he/she has other ‘siblings!’  At least it is may be an idea to consider . . .

 

 

 

Our girls riding in the car together, pictured below.

 

And One More Thing Before You Go . . .

My good friend recently shared this book with me, And One More Thing Before You Go …by Maria Shriver, and I absolutely loved it!  This little book grew out of a speech Maria gave at a mother-daughter luncheon.  A few of my favorite quotes from this book are shown below.  I hope that they provide some inspiration for you!

“Well trust me on this: it’s okay to be scared.  And not only is fear okay, its a good thing.  Our fear gives us wisdom.  It lets us know we’re confronting something new.”

“So even if you don’t plan on making history, remember: Fear is normal.  Fear is common.  And it keeps coming back.”

“As you dive into your own future, remember this: If you feel afraid, it means you’re alive.  That good.  Now use it.”

“Don’t lock yourself up and throw away the key.  Don’t be so rigid that you can’t change your plans.  Be willing to change your plans.  Be willing to change, to adapt.  Be willing to switch direction and strike out on a new path if you want.  Or if, like me, you have to.”

“The sad truth is, girls and women often think they’re not allowed to screw up.  They think they have to be perfect.  Let me tell you another thing: Perfectionism doesn’t make you perfect.  It only makes you feel bad about yourself, because no one can ever be perfect, including you.”

“Don’t sell yourself short by being so afraid of failure you don’t dare to make any mistakes.  Make your mistakes and learn from them.  And remember — no matter how many mistakes you make, your mother always loves you!”

“And if you think about it, most of the people you admire — people you know, people you’ve studied, those who’ve changed the world — have also suffered and struggled and fought with great courage to overcome obstacles.”

“Believe me, it’s fair.  It’s not only fair, it’s the way life is.  First you’re happy, and then you go through a time of struggle.  And then there’s smooth sailing, and then the rough ride begins again.  Over and over again.  That’s the way a good life is meant to be.”

“Along with love, courage is what you need more than anything in this life.  In tough times it tells you, ‘I can go through this!’  Even when it feels like you can’t.”

“When you feel down, when you’re having tough times, when you think you simply don’t have the strength and courage to go through something or just to press on — think about your mother or any Important Woman in your life.  Think of her strength and her courage and what she’s had to go through in her life.”

“Balance means weighing and measuring your priorities to put together a life that fulfills you on your own terms, not society’s expectations of you, one way or the other.  And balance also means recalibrating your priorities when you need and want to. ”

“Weigh out your competing priorities and see how you can fulfill them over time, without making yourself insane with guilt.  If you achieve that balance, that’ll make all of us older women envious of you — and proud.”

“Gratitude lifts your spirit.  It takes you right out of yourself and into a different plane.”

“When you’re stuck in self-pity or envy or worry, try getting grateful for something in your life.  It’s good for the soul.”

“Mentors are generous with their time and wisdom because they see in you something of themselves, and they want to help it flower.”

“Keep part of your childhood alive in you — the part that is curious, asks questions, and is willing to find and cultivate relationships with the people who can answer them.”

“Everyone of us can make a difference.  Everyone can be the difference in the lives of someone else.  And when we are — trust me, it feels like a million bucks.”

“Oh, and one more thing before you go: Have fun, laugh, and enjoy yourself.  It’ll be a blast.”

 

Photographs: Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach

In July, we took our first vacation together as a family of four!  We did not want to go too far from home due to traveling with a little one, Alex, so we decided to go to Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach over Alex’s first birthday to celebrate our first year together and our metamorphosis as a family of four!  Doug, fortunately, found one of the only beach houses to rent that would allow a baby and a furry family member!  We were only a few blocks from both beaches!  We did not have high expectations as we knew this vacation would be different, more like a trip rather than a vacation.  Additionally, we also were not sure how Alex would like the beach and ocean, and we had no idea how long she would last at the beach.  Surprisingly, Alex did really well, better than we initially thought — she lasted at the beach for about three to four hours each morning, which we thought was pretty good all considering.  Alex was not afraid of the water, and by the end of the week, she was walking and swimming in the ocean!  We bought her a puddle jumper, which she did not like at all, so we held her tight in the water and we did not go too far out into the ocean with her.

So, after our first day at Rehoboth, we figured out a pattern to our days, which seemed to work, which went something like this: we woke up when Alex got us up, which was early; we all had breakfast; got our swimsuits and sunscreen on and packed up and headed to Rehoboth Beach where we stayed three to four hours; we had lunch; we got Alex bathed and down for a long nap; we got ourselves cleaned up and took a nap; then, when Alex got up from her nap, we all got ready and headed out to dinner at one of our two favorite places — Dewey Beer Co. or the Iron Hill Brewery; then we got Victory and we all went to Dewey Beach for a long walk (Alex was mostly on my back in her Ergo), and sometimes we stopped for rolled ice cream, which Victory loved; then we came home and got Alex to bed; and, we rested for a little bit after getting Alex to bed; however, most nights, were were so tired we were back in bed with Victory, too!

We were not permitted to take Victory to Rehoboth Beach, but she could still go to Dewey beach, thankfully, in the early mornings and evenings!  So it worked out perfectly!  Victory has been to Dewey Beach several times before, and we think she remembered this beach!  Victory was absolutely in seventh heaven on the beach!  She loved it!  It was interesting because anyone who has met Victory knows she is not an alpha dog.  She is much more docile and regal.  However, on the beach, if another dog approached Alex, Victory stood in front of Alex immediately.  So, I think it is safe to say that Victory has adopted her sister, Alex, into her pack!  It was really neat to witness!  Alex and Victory did sit by each other on the beach (without either one running away), which was sweet, and a short video of our beloved cherubs is shown below along with a few other short videos!  Alex loved roaming freely around our beach house rental and she was into the lower cabinets pulling out everything throughout the house!  In fact, Alex fell in love with two mixing bowls, which she carried all over the house!  So, considering everything, it went really well!  We were also very fortunate for good weather — we had no rain the entire trip!

Some images from our trip are below!  We are really grateful for our time away together with our girls!  We have many wonderful memories of our first vacation as a family of four!  Doug is currently looking for places to go next year!  We want to try some place a bit father away, for next year, but we may end up at the beach again!  (Alex is taking her first trip on an airplane soon, so we will see how she does to consider trips, in the future, that are farther away, where Alex and I can fly and Doug can drive with Victory and then meet together at our destination, as Alex cannot yet handle long drives in the car, and Victory is too big in size to fly in the airplane cabin — and we would never put Victory in the belly of a plane with the cargo for a flight!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few favorite iphone images from our vacation!

 

 

 

Here is a video of Alex and Victory together at the beach!

 

Here is a video of Alex dipping her toes in the ocean at the beach!

 

Here is a video of me and Alex together at the beach!

 

Twelve Month Snapshot: Alexandra

We made it through the first year!  Alex is officially a one-year-old!  We are so thrilled and elated!  The time keeps going by more quickly and more quickly.  (This post is delayed, as we have been away on vacation and I recently took a break from the blog.)  The theme this month, summed up in one word, is grateful.  We are so grateful that we made it through the first year, a feat.  Most of all, we are so incredibly grateful for Alex, our long-awaited rainbow baby.  Our lives will never be the same and we are extremely grateful to have a healthy child!  The first year felt long, at times, but short simultaneously, if that makes any sense.  There were days that I felt so utterly exhausted, for what felt like days on end, in contrast to days that were filled with great joy and everything else in between!  I did my best to be (and continue to be) present in it all.  The moments, after all, are so fleeting.

Most importantly, our baby Alex is turning into a little girl, before our very eyes, which seems difficult to fathom.  Alex is literally running these days!  She loves to explore, climb stairs, go through our lower cabinets, nightstands, dressers, and carry bowls around the house, etc.  (We still have some kitchen baby proofing to finish!)  She always loves to have something in her hands while she explores.  Her favorite toy is her play phone, which she loves!  She really loves all toys that play music!  She currently says: ‘mamma,’ ‘dada,’ ‘uh oh’, ‘cuckoo’ (Korean for peek-a-boo) and ‘umma’ (Korean for mom).  She does lots of babbling as well.  One of her favorite things to do is dance.  She loves music, including the ABC song, and most any song.  She understands rhythm; and she wiggles her whole body, and it is just hilarious and heart-warming to witness!  I frequently gaze back at her in the car and she is wiggling her body to the music playing!  Alex also loves the park.  We take Alex and Victory to the park, frequently, and Alex loves carrying her toys around and picking up everything off the ground!  She likes the swing and the slide, too!  She also still loves going to the pool and she floated, with assistance, recently, on her back!  Alex also loves to go to the bookstore where she loves to explore!  We are looking into a dance class that might take one-year-olds and we will start her in swim lessons this fall since she continues to like the water and she loves bath time more than ever these days!  Doug has coined it her ‘long soak!’  Overall, Alex is a busy bee and she is living her best life.

At the beginning of this month we also celebrated Doug’s first Father’s Day and, some images, documenting that special day, are shown below as well.  Doug (and Alex) opened gifts that morning and we all went out to lunch and spent the day together followed by ice cream in the evening with Victory!  Alex also had her first Fourth of July celebration this year!  She looked really cute in her spirit-themed outfit!  We also had a great date night this month — we saw the Rolling Stones!  Additionally, we had a painting made, which now hangs in our home, shown below, of our beloved cherubs made by the talented artist, Chelsey Luster.  We are so pleased with the painting of our girls.  Victory, of course, is still involved and integrated more than ever; and she is still an attentive ‘big sister.’  She still joins Alex in the early mornings and waits in Alex’s nursery for Alex to come in after bath time for ‘night-night’ in the evenings!  It is absolutely adorable.  They sit next to each other in the car — I imagine Victory knows that Alex is strapped into her car seat!  Alex is still learning not to grab Victory’s fur — Alex tries to chase her, but Victory is way too fast!  It is hilarious to watch!

Alex recently had her one-year doctor’s appointment and she is, again, off the charts with her size!  Alex has almost already out grown her Bugaboo Fox!  If we had known, we would have got the Bob stroller off the bat.  So, we will have to get the Bob stroller next, and that should be our final stroller for Alex!  She continues to work on getting her molars and two more teeth on the top and bottom, two of which has cracked her gums.  She will go to the dentist for the first time soon!  She started eating meat for the first time this month — she likes turkey and chicken.  She is now also drinking only whole milk and water.  She still loves yogurt and fruit.  She is sleeping through the night as of the eleventh month, and it has been so helpful for us.  It took us awhile to get here, but, alas, it has been so nice to sleep.  She is still up really early in the mornings and she occasionally gets up with her teething, but she is sleeping through the majority of nights, thankfully.  Also, we recently had her first parent-teacher conference at her play school, which went really well.  Alex is thriving and her teacher described Alex as: bold, adventurous, curious, and stubborn!  We think these adjectives do describe her well right now!  She is a strong person in personality and physical strength!

Notably, we celebrated Alex’s first birthday this month!  The morning of Alex’s birthday, we celebrated her birthday at home, as a family, just prior to leaving for our vacation to the beach that day!  We decorated her room where we opened gifts together; Victory also joined us, of course!  Then, Alex and Victory each had a vanilla cupcake, minus the icing for Victory!  I am not sure if Alex knew what to make of the cupcake, but she did smash it up pretty well, with some help, and we stripped her down to her diaper in short order!  We then had a birthday dinner with Alex in Rehoboth Beach!  Some images from her actual birthday are shown below, a day I will never forget!  She loves her climber that my parents gave to her along with her first baby doll that we gave her, Wee Baby Stella, whom she affectionately sleeps with!  She loves her other various toys she received from us, friends, and family!

Additionally, soon after returning from vacation, we had a first birthday celebration for Alex with friends and family!  A good time was had by all!  We had a pink and gold themed birthday for Alex’s first birthday.  I had the most fun designing Alex’s cake that was in keeping with the theme of Alex and Victory’s monthly photos along with our first vacation together, shown below!  And, the cake decorator, Rachel, did a truly wonderful job bringing my vision to fruition, which came to me earlier this year!  Doug and I were really pleased and everyone loved the cake!  The birthday cake features Alex and Victory at the beach atop the cake along with water color butterflies painted along the perimeter of the cake, which ties into the invitations, while also representing the metamorphosis of our family this year, along with beautiful, life like, roses, as “Rose” is Alex’s middle name after Doug’s beloved Grandma Rose.  (Water color roses were also painted on Alex’s swim suit.)  We served our favorite ice cream with the cake — Jeni’s ice cream!  Alex enjoyed her cupcake with a fondant butterfly coordinating with her birthday cake; and, overall, Alex had a nice time at her party and she looked adorable!  We are so very grateful that we were able to celebrate this special time!  A few images from Alex’s birthday celebration are below along with a video from this special day.

We also recently took our first vacation together as a family of four!  Doug literally found one of the only places to rent at Rehoboth Beach that permitted a baby and furry family member!  We had so much gear to pack for our trip, we thought initially that we were going to have to take two cars!  It took a long time to pack, but, fortunately, we really did not forget any items, and Doug managed, somehow, to get everything in one car along with Alex, Victory, and I in the back seat.  Due to traffic and the Bay Bridge back up, it took us over four hours to get to the beach, much longer than usual; Alex did pretty well, but she definitely is not a fan of being in her car seat for any long periods of time!  But, we made it!  And, we got both of our cherubs to the beach in the evenings, which was no small feat!  Alex loved the ocean; she walked on the beach; and she even went swimming in the ocean!  It was really nice to get away together and we all love the ocean!  We have many wonderful memories!  I will do a separate blog post pertaining to our vacation, in the near future, but a few images, providing a snapshot, are shown below.

This month, while celebrating a big milestone, has been full of some really exciting changes and Alex will, for sure, continue to really keep us on our toes.  We love our girls and we are embracing it all, and we feel extremely blessed!

A few highlights from Alex’s twelfth month include:

-she is all over our house into everything!  It is really unbelievable!

-she is climbing the stairs on her own, which is a little terrifying!

-she still loves the pool!

-she loved her trip to the ocean and she did really well!

-she loves to clap her hands and wiggle her body to songs, especially the ABC song!

-she is sleeping through the night, most nights!  We are so, so grateful!

-she is tolerating us brushing her teeth!

-she loves being with other kids and interacting with them!

-she is being a little more adventurous with food — she is trying more things!  She had ice cream for the first time this month and she liked it!

-she still likes going for stroller rides and she loves going to the park where she walks around!

-she loves bath time more than ever these days!  she has a lot of bath toys that she plays with and she loves standing up in the bath and walking around in the water.  Her new favorite thing to do is to play a game where she turns the water on, and I turn it off, and it just continues.  I suppose we will have to break this at some point soon!

-she is still very alert, curious, observant, and she loves for things to be her way!  She still loves to interact with other kids and observe them, and she is still enjoying her play school!

 

A few highlights I would like to remember:

-photographing and making videos of Alex — I want to remember and capture as much as I can!

-remembering our first vacation together.

-remembering Alex’s first visit to the ocean!

-remembering Alex enjoying the pool!

-remembering Alex giving the biggest kisses ever!

-remembering how Alex loves to have her burp cloth over her eyes when she takes her bottle before her nap and bedtime.

-remembering how Alex sticks out her tongue slightly when she concentrates like her Daddy!

-remembering her curiosity and determination.

-remembering Alex climbing the stairs for the first time on her own!

-she loves her toys and she still loves to pull them all out and play!

-remembering our walks together around the neighborhood in her Bugaboo, which she loves!

-remembering greeting Alex each morning.  Some mornings, I swear, she has grown over night!

-remembering Alex’s curls — her hair is growing at a pretty rapid rate!

-remembering that Alex is always up for a new adventure!

-remembering how Doug turns Alex upside down like a bat and Alex just giggles and giggles!

-watching her explore her environment — which has grown ten-fold for her because she is really on the move now, and I am not sure we are ready!

-watching her interact with Victory!  Alex loves to try to capture Victory to no avail!

-loving how she smells after her baths!

-loving on her long, velvety and smooth body!

-marveling at her smile — she has the most wonderful smile that melts our hearts, and now we can see all nine of her teeth!

-admiring her eyes — they are the prettiest deep blue eyes I have ever seen!

-loving her long and lovely dark eye lashes!

-knowing on the days that I feel totally exhausted, that I will someday really miss these early days, and I need to remind myself, at times of this fact.  The daily exhaustion is improving, some.

-still asking myself what will I miss about this time of my life when it’s all gone?  This question keeps everything in perspective.

-most of all, we are cherishing getting to be Alex’s parents!

Doug and I are very grateful for our little girl and our little family!  We feel so fortunate and our hearts have grown so much since Alex’s arrival.  We look forward to seeing Alex’s little personality continue to develop and unfold.  Below are a few images: Alex’s monthly portrait; Alex and Victory’s monthly portrait; followed by photos of Alex throughout this month; and some iphone images during her twelfth month with us!  You can read our birth story along with viewing images from Alex’s birth here; you can read Alex’s one month snapshot here; her two month snapshot here; her three month snapshot here; her four month snapshot here; her five month snapshot here; her six month snapshot here; her seven month snapshot here; her eight month snapshot here; her nine month post here; her ten month post here; and her eleven month post here.

(I finally completed the series of monthly photos with Alex and Victory to chronicle this first year together full of so many changes in such a short duration of time!  It was not so easy!)

This month I have continued to work on finishing further revisions on my long-term photography project with my mentor in between everything.  I am getting close to finishing revisions, an endless process, it seems.  I will continue to photograph and take videos of Alex and our little family; however, I will likely not share them in this monthly format that I shared over Alex’s first year.  I will continue print images of our family; make photo books of our family via Artifact Uprising, each year, chronicling our time together; and I will continue to write in Alex’s Promptly Journal.  This is my attempt to capture and preserve our present and past for our future reflection.

 

See how much Alex has grown as compared to last month!

 

 

Above, you can see the extraordinary change in only twelve months!

 

 

See how much Alex has grown as compared to last month!

 

 

Above, you can see the extraordinary change in only twelve months!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few iphone images from this month!

 

 

The painting of our cherubs.

 

 

 

Here is a video of Alex in the swing at the park!

 

Here is a video of Alex swimming with mamma!

 

Here is a video of Alex swimming with daddy!

 

Here is a video of Alex on her actual birthday!

 

 

Here are several favorite images from Alex’s first birthday celebration!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a video of Alex from her first birthday celebration!

 

Here is Alex’s first birthday cake inspiration board!

 

Here are a few favorite images from our recent vacation to Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a video of Alex and Victory together at the beach!

 

Gone Fishing . . .

 

We are headed out, very soon, for our first vacation with Alex and Victory to commemorate our first year together along with celebrating Alex’s first birthday, as a family, which is difficult to believe is already nearly here!  I am taking an extended break from the blog to rest and rejuvenate; and I plan to be back, to the blog, later in August with weekly posts first highlighting our twelfth month together with Alex; our vacation; and Alex’s first birthday celebration!  Thank you all, so very much, for reading the blog.  Whether you are a recent reader or have been following the blog for awhile, I am honored you take time to read the blog.  I am truly grateful.  Finally, as I take this brief break for rest and rejuvenation, I hope you find periods of rest for yourself as well.

Meanwhile, if you are in a blog-reading mood, you are warmly invited to visit the archives — the links are shown below.

Dog Related posts

Dog Rescue posts

‘Dog-Centric’ Artists Interviews

For Artists posts

Photography posts

Personal posts

Victory Related posts

Baby Alex Related posts

Tips for planning and vacationing with your furry family member

Additionally, if you are interested, here are some links to some of our previous vacations — Nova Scotia, 2011Nova Scotia, 2012Vermont, 2013Vermont and Québec, 2014Vermont and Québec City, 2015Lake Michigan, 2016; Charleston, 2017; and Charleston 2018!

Happy Summer!