Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

This is my attempt at using the manual settings on my little unprofessional camera. My good friend Kira and I went to the Arboretum today and found it to be a perfect spot for honing some photography skills. Okay, so these aren't like the photos that Megan put together for our little family, but I tried. If anyone has any suggestions compostionally, I'd love some constructive criticism.

She's just such a flower to me.

Bracken and Chrys. I think I really like the angle of this one.

They are just such a sweet pair of babies.

I just loved this sculpture. It encompasses everything that I felt after delivering my little girl at home.

This flower was just so huge.

Fascinated with all the water fountains that were there.

A little toad. I will miss these little guys when I leave. I think they are darling.

Quietly reflecting in the Japanese garden.

I like how this one turned out because it feels like Heaven is watching over my fragile creation.

A Waterfall that Orion was so excited to see.

Kira and Bracken.

I love their expressions in this one.

Bracken giving his sweet Mama a big kiss.

Kira took this one of us.

This rose is called the Julia Child rose.

I love purple flowers.

This rose looks as though it was splattered with paint.

Getting his little feet wet.

This time she has a real flower in her hair.

Thanx Kira for coming with me to enjoy God's most vivid creations. I really had so much fun. I love nature and all too often I walk right past it without truly appreciating its visually calming effects. Anyone with stress or depression should come here. It is absolutely beautiful. 1000 plus acres of gardens, wetlands, plant collections and woodlands. Makes me want to learn how to landscape and grow things of my own.

The Last of our Days in Minneapolis

So, from Left to Right, we have Gray, Orion, Chrysalis, Bracken and Kason. We've had fun visiting this new place, but our time is nearly up. Here is a fun shot of some of the kiddos we've hung out with. We probably should have gotten a photo sooner as we're missing quite a few babies and kids. They've been fun and it'll be interesting to see how much they change whenever and wherever we go out next summer, assuming most of us are all in the same office. Last year my son was still somewhat a baby. This year, he is clearly a big boy. Last year, Chrysalis and Bracken were the size of peanuts and look where they are now. Hopefully some of us will remain in the same office so we can take similar photos and see how much they've grown together.

There have been a lot of families out here this year to get to know and I am so grateful to have had this experience yet again. Yes, I hate packing and moving but I love seeing new places and meeting new people and if it's through my hubby's job that I get to do all the traveling I've always wanted to do as kid, then by golly, I am going to enjoy it. The office wives that I've had the opportunity to learn different things from, that inspire me in so many different ways have all been uniquely engaging. So this post is my way of paying a small tribute to them and the people of Minneapolis.

Thanx Jenny for teaching me how to make those diaper wipe cases. It's become my new obsession. Thanks to Brittney for showing me how to make flower bows. I have nearly 30 of them now and it's still not enough. To Heather for all her fun recipes, inspiring me to workout more, and just helping me to realize that having a quiver full of children is truly a blessing. She makes it look so easy sometimes. To Kira for teaching me new things all the time in the ways of natural remedies and for taking walks and going on runs and outings with me all over. For Mary who makes me feel like it's okay to have awkward moments and laugh about them together. For Tiffany, whose calm and quiet demeanor reminds me that it's okay to hang out and not have much to say. Sometimes it's just fun to have others present. For Megan's gift of photography because now I want to become a photographer too. For Jacey's work ethic. How that girl can haul around a toddler, keep up at her job and grow a baby all at once is amazing to me. To Erica for being put through trial after trial and still not losing faith. Her strength lifts me. This one's for Jenevieve who has recommended some great reading that has totally changed my outlook on food. To Marissa and her crafty cake-making, knitting and I don't know how many other skills. I still want to learn how to make cake flowers. I guess maybe eventually we'll get around to it. To Angela who has made me realize that it's in the small little details, like taking care of your hair, that you keep from becoming that frumpy old mom. For Jessy who has served and been so devoted in her nursery calling at church because she deals with my little boy so that I can deal with others' kids in the primary. Go figure. But being in the primary, even as spontaneous substitutes this summer, has really enriched my life and taught both my husband and myself quite a bit of patience. For the Bloomington ward and all the friendly people that came to welcome me and offer up their services so willingly so as to make me feel like being in this ward was my home. For the missionaries who gave me an excuse to try fun new recipes and an opportunity to serve. For the many Sunday game nights with the Greenburg boys and for their willingness to babysit for food. I've never known such brothers as these. They even did our dishes for us. For my in-laws visits because I just love them. And for the people of Minneapolis who have both challenged and pushed my husband to become a better salesman. They may not have been easy to sell but they make it possible for him to have a decent job.

I know there are some people I didn't really get to know very well this summer and maybe a few others I didn't even meet so I don't mean to leave anyone out, but I know that everyone around me leaves their mark in some way. I know everything happens for a reason and everyone I come across in life touches me and leaves an impression no matter how big or small. I enjoy people watching and sometimes just seeing a person for a few moments stirs my mind in some way.

For a lack of better words, Albert Einstein said it beautifully when he said this:

"Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people - first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies are bound by the ties of sympathy."

I leave my piece and close this chapter of our lives knowing all too well that a new one is about to be opened and that our next adventure holds many new friends, lessons and experiences. Thanx to all who made our stay in Minneapolis that much more pleasant.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Family Photo Time Again

They have such unique personalities and this picture says it all.

I loved making wishes as a child. I think my son does too.

Momma's boy.

My dancer's legs. Here's to hoping she loves dance as much as I do.

My Chrysalis bug in a bed of beautiful flowers.

So here are some beautiful photos that we had taken by a friend we made out here in Minnesota. She has captured my little family so beautiully. I know I will cherish these for years to come. Today they are mine and when the day comes that they fly away, I will always have these precious memories of them. No one can take that away from me. Even if my computer crashes. Hope you all enjoy these as much as I did. Look at my little doe.

Girl with a flower and boy with a toad.

"You and Me?" Who can name that movie?
A Proud Papa and his seed.

My little Chrys.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Snakes and snails and . . . Frogs?!

Leave it to my son to find every creepy, crawling thing absolutely fascinating. Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails, right? He loves to find ants and even bees to poke at and just the other day, we were at the park when he found these tiny, cute little frogs to play with. They were so tiny I was afraid for them because Orion didn't seem to understand that if he held them too tightly, he would easily squish them to death. He held on to this one very tightly at times because some of the other boys he was playing with sought to take it away. Not to worry, though. No frogs were squished in the making of this film. Anyways, I guess they just come out when the ground is wet and it had previously been raining so they were everywhere. I didn't realize they could be so small and they obviously weren't babies cuz they were frogs and not tadpoles. I wonder how they survive. I must be ignorant because I thought all frogs lived in a pond or lake where there are lilly pads everywhere. I guess that's what "civilization" has taught me.

Our little swimmer