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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!


Doug’s Birthday, Dewey Beach!

We continued Doug’s big birthday celebration this past weekend in Dewey Beach!  We had a really nice long weekend together!  The weather was beautiful, we loved reading and resting by the ocean, and we enjoyed nice dinners together at one of our favorite restaurants in Dewey Beach.  We also had fun taking Victory to the beach, which she loved, especially in the evenings when it was not as crowded.  We hope to return again soon!  A few images and iPhone photos from our trip, celebrating Doug, are below!

Happy Wednesday!





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!


2017: Wrap Up

We cannot believe this year, 2017, is coming to an end already.  This year has been punctuated with important milestones: Doug turned forty this summer and reached the career midpoint of fifteen years.  And, after nearly five years of work, I finished the final edits on my long-term photography project examining the relationship between dogs and people; and I continue to work on the forthcoming steps on my project.  Other highlights from 2017 include celebrating Doug’s birthday; enjoying long weekend trips to Dewey Beach and the Shenandoah Valley; celebrating Victory’s sixth birthday; and enjoying several visits to Maryland’s Eastern Shore for crabs with our fur girl, Victory!  Additionally, we vacationed in Charleston, South Carolina this summer and truly enjoyed lazy days by the ocean!  Below is a snapshot of images representing our 2017!

We look forward to seeing how 2018 unfolds; however, most of all, we are grateful for the many blessings in our lives and we do our best to appreciate everything while remaining present.

“May you live every day of your life.” —Jonathan Swift


Around Here: September

Happy September!  Happy Fall!  We cannot believe a new season is here, and it is almost October!  We love the fall, one of our favorite seasons for various reasons!  Below are some items that have occurred around here in September!

-finishing final edits and continuing to work on the next steps concerning my long-term photography project.

-Doug and I celebrated 13 years together from our first date this month!  The time goes by too quickly!

-we went to a Navy football game at the Naval Academy, in Annapolis, which was great fun and we had beautiful, fall like, weather!  The Navy even won!

-this weekend we are taking Victory to Pups in the Park again at the Nationals!

-Doug started taking a French class this month, which he is enjoying greatly!

-we had plans/reservations to return to Dewey Beach this month, but with Hurricane Irma, and the forecast up the coast, we decided to postpone for another time.

-enjoying date nights together!  Doug and I are aiming to try at least one new restaurant a month to expand our horizons!  This month we tried a few new restaurants: Vin909, in Eastport, (which took over, a while back, for a restaurant, the Wild Orchid, which we loved); Founding Farmers, in Tysons Corner, a new favorite, which we both loved; and we made it to Tupleo Honey in Arlington (Rosslyn) with Victory, (which we were introduced to in Raleigh, North Carolina), which was excellent!

-enjoying time together outside.  We have been taking more walks outside during the evenings, when it is cooler, and Victory still loves the walks while she rides in her Hound About!  In fact, we have done so many walks, that the Hound About needs new tires, which we ordered!

-we got small drywall repairs; painting; and caulking done around the house as a result of our home settling since being built and ongoing construction near our home.

-we got our home ready for fall with mums, fall wreaths, and candles etc.

-we are getting ready for Victory’s 6th Birthday next month!  (We cannot believe that Victory, our sweet fur girl, has been with us for four years already, commemorated on her birthday!)

-we are getting ready for Halloween — we have Victory’s costume!

-continuing to work on getting fine art prints made, framed, and hung in our home, an ongoing endeavor!

-finished watching the second season of Witnesses, an excellent French series.

-began the first season of Fortitude, a good series.

-began reading Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown, a really good read so far!

-listening to a myriad of podcasts, especially, at the gym and on walks!

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list!

Happy Wednesday!


Around Here: August

Happy August!  Another month has just about flown by once again.  The summer is flying by much too quickly and, with the cooler temperatures here, it is beginning to feel like the fall is upon us.  Below are some items that have occurred around here in August!

-continuing to work on the next steps concerning my long-term photography project.

-we had a great fun in Dewey Beach celebrating Doug’s birthday!

-we have been going to our neighborhood pool and enjoying our time at the pool!  This coming weekend is our last weekend to enjoy the outdoor pool this season.

-we went to the Eastern Shore for crabs a few times!

-enjoying date nights together!  Doug and I are aiming to try at least one new restaurant a month to expand our horizons!  This month we tried a new restaurant, the Victoria and the Dewey Beer Co., which were both good!

-enjoying time together outside.  With the warmer weather, we have been taking more walks outside during the evenings, when it is cooler, and Victory still loves the walks while she rides in her Hound About!  There have been a lot of cool evenings in August; and we have even been able to open up the windows in our house to let the fresh air inside, which has been nice.

-continuing to work on getting fine art prints made, framed, and hung in our home, an ongoing endeavor!

-began watching the first season of Atypical.

-saw the The Story of Diana Documentary.

-re-read Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, by Mason Currey, a really good read!

-listening to a myriad of podcasts, especially, at the gym and on walks!

-achieving 10,000 steps most days via my Fitbit!

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list!

Happy Wednesday!


Happy Birthday, Doug!

Happy Birthday, Doug!  I cannot believe another year has flown by again and that we have known each other just shy of thirteen years next month!  I cannot imagine sharing my life with anyone else.  You are my best friend.  You are my rock.  You are my confidant.  I cannot imagine getting through the past year and a half without you.  You keep me balanced and grounded with your steadfast patience.  You are one of the most kind, giving, thoughtful, and generous people I have ever met.  You are truly remarkable.  Words cannot express how fortunate I am to be sharing my life with you — and I am certain Victory feels the same way as exemplified by the love she showers you with every day!  We love you always!  Happy Birthday!

We celebrated Doug’s big birthday over the weekend!  I surprised him with a fun, custom cake and special dinner!  We were scheduled to be away this past weekend in celebration of Doug’s birthday, but due to the poor weather forecast and some unforeseen circumstances, we moved the birthday weekend celebration at Dewey Beach to this coming weekend, weather permitting.



Around Here: November

Happy November!  I am not sure how it is already the end of November and the close of 2016 is soon upon us.  Below are some items that have occurred around here in November!

-continuing to work steadily on my long-term photography project — an image at a time.

-we took a trip to Dewey Beach with Victory!  (A few short iPhone videos from our trip are shown below.)

-enjoyed our last visit to the Eastern Shore for crabs and fish this year.

-enjoying date nights together!

-burning fall candles in our home!

-making crock pot dinners together — which are mostly prepared by Doug!

-Victory had a urinary tract infection (UTI) this month, which was treated with antibiotics and she is now UTI free!

-getting ready for Thanksgiving!

-finished and ordered our Pawliday card, custom stamp, and seals!

-getting ready to decorate for Christmas around the house!  We ordered our live tree from Maine online that is going to be delivered later this week!

-Victory recently received her Christmas sweater to wear when she goes to visit Santa again next month!

-currently reading Love Worrier.

-finished the second season of The Americans.

-listening to a myriad of fun podcasts!

-continuing to make incremental progress on our ever-growing to do list!

Happy Tuesday and wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Victory: Photography Project — 92

Beginning in January 2014, I started a weekly photography project with my muse, Victory!  I will continue to share this project on the blog this year!  My goal is to document all of Victory’s changes, while preserving fleeting moments and memories, while capturing moments of our everyday.

This past weekend, for the long weekend, we took our fur girl, Victory, to Dewey Beach!  The weather was nice and Victory loved the beach.  There were not too many other people or dogs on the beach, so it was perfect, in Victory’s eyes!  Each time we went to the beach, we walked several miles, and Victory was never ready to leave the beach — she dug her back legs into the sand and she would not budge and she turned around to head in the opposite direction we were heading!  This was the first time Victory dipped her little paws into the Atlantic Ocean!  The sunsets were very beautiful.  We had a fun time together and Dewey Beach is very dog friendly, thankfully!  It is always nice to visit the ocean!  A few images from our trip are shown below.

Happy Tuesday!











Things I Love: Fall 2016

Happy fall!  We are so happy that fall is officially here!  Below are the items I am loving, so far, this fall!




1. S’well Bottle – I recently gave the S’well bottle to Doug as a gift, and I quickly decided that I needed one, too!  They keep cold beverages cold, and hot beverages hot!  I love the sleek design!

2. Magic Lessons Podcast – I really enjoy the Magic Lessons Podcast.  There are so many great episodes.  If you like hearing about other creatives’ pursuits and how to handle and deal with fear and the unknown, you will be sure to enjoy this podcast!

3. Hot Apple Cider K-cups – I love hot cider, and these K-cups are really great, especially if you like hot apple cider!

4. Mantra Bands — I love Mantra Bands.  My friend just gave me one recently, and I love it!  These make great gifts, too!

5. Planner — I am ‘old fashioned,’ and I like having a paper planner to keep track of work and personal appointments, items, etc.  I have used this weekly paper planner found on Etsy for the past two years, and I love it.

6. Perfect Over Present – I recently finished reading this book and really enjoyed it.  This book provided a refreshing perspective on life.

You can view other things I love here!

Happy Thursday!  We hope the you have a great, long, and restful weekend!  We are headed to Dewey Beach for the long weekend with our fur girl, Victory, for a respite and to celebrate some long-awaited good news!