Letters to Our Children {March 2014}

It’s time for Letters to Our Children again! The second March installment:)Head over to Courtney at Click It Up a Notch to read her letter next!

Dear Bray,

Oh my goodness! My sweet baby.Brayden, you are something else! Your “permasmile” makes me so happy! Your outlook on life is one that I hope you hold on to forever. You smile your way through life. Your vocabulary is multiplying by the day and I love hearing what you have to say. It is usually something about trains, or Nascars, or Toyotas or Chevys, or the sweetest words I’ve ever heard. You have a lot going on in your mind, and I hope you share it all with me.

Recently, I was having a bad day. You were really concerned and gave me hugs and kisses, then you told me that I was your sunshine. That isn’t something that I’ve said to you, so I know I didn’t put those words in your mouth. My first thoughts were that God had spoken to me through your pure heart. You told me just what I needed to hear at just the right moment. What a caring, kind, sweet boy you are. I’m so in love with you, baby boy. I call you my “sweet baby” and you have started calling me your sweet baby. I will be your sweet baby for as long as you’ll let me.

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You have always been the more dare devilish child of ours up until recently. I can’t for the life of me get you to ride a bike. I think you have seen the other two kids fall off of theirs enough times to know that it can’t be all that safe. You say that you are afraid that you’ll fall off. So, I was over the moon the other day when you decided to hop on Delia’s old Razor and go for a ride. You scootered around the driveway for the afternoon. You looked like such a big boy! I get so excited when you and your brother and sister learn new things. I hope you all know that I will always be your biggest fan and supporter. I want many things for you, but most of all, I want for you to be happy and to love yourself and be proud of yourself, no matter what you are doing. 20 Bray Scooter-9-Edit_web

You go to school two days a week, so on the other three weekdays, we get to spend some one on one time together. I really love this time. I hope that you do too. I want you to know how special you are. You bring such light to this world. If this world were filled with Bray’s it would be a wonderful, beautiful place. I am blessed to have such a sweet soul in my life. You are so funny! Your laugh is contagious and you are such a crazy little dude! Recently, Delia was in a mood at the dinner table and she told you, “It isn’t funny Brayden!” and you said, “Yes it is! HAHAHAHA!” I don’t remember what wasn’t funny to Delia, but you.are.funny. You make me laugh everyday with something crazy that you’ve done. Another dinner table story is when you popped out of your chair and were shaking your “boobie”. You backed up onto Ben and said in a deep voice, “I’m gonna shake my boobie on YOU!” Then you shook it. I smile or laugh every time I think about it. You call Pirate Booty Pirate Boobies and birthday birtday and have it all planned out what your present will be. Trains, of course.

20 Bray Scooter-11-Edit_webOne of my absolute favorite things is snuggling with you on the couch while you watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Mater Tales. Those are your favorites of the moment. We do high/low at the dinner table and often you’ll say that your high was snuggling with me on the couch. You are so cuddly and I hope you know that I love those times with you. I know that one day you won’t want to be so close to me all of the time, so I’m going to cherish each moment for as long as I can.

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I love you Bray Bray. I can’t think of a better addition to our family than you. You completed us and add so much joy to our lives. Can’t wait to pick you up soon and play a round of Mario Cart with you!

Love, Mommy (your sweet baby)

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Jen BacherMarch 27, 2014 - 10:24 am

This got me all choked up Laurie! Especially when you said he called you sunshine. I love how kids remind us of God’s love and all that is pure and good. Cute Bray. Love the light in the images!

BarbMarch 27, 2014 - 11:32 am

Laurie, these photos are beautiful! Well, worth the wait (I’m assuming since you posted that your internet issues have been fixed.) I think my favorite is the third one, although it is hard to choose :) Bray sounds like a sweet boy, although knowing you and Brent, I can’t imagine your children being any different.

CourtneyMarch 28, 2014 - 9:37 am

Are you trying to make me cry? What a sweet soul. When you said the sunshine story, oh my! Melt my heart. The photos are beautiful <3 I love that you guys do high/low too. And that his is snuggling with you. How wonderful. He's a keeper!

Project 12 Portraits {Out of Focus}

It’s time again to join a wonderful group of photographers for Project 12 Portraits. This month’s focus is {Out of Focus}. As easy as it sounds to take an out of focus image, it is hard to take one that “makes sense” or looks purposeful. So, all month, I’ve been taking out of focus images and honestly, most of them just haven’t worked. When I think of an out of focus image in photography, nostalgia, or memories come to mind. So, when I took these, I could see myself looking back years from now on life back in the day “remembering” the kids when they were young (with rose tinted sunglasses of course).

Spring is here, sporadically, anyway. Every day of warmth is a blessing. I love for the kids to get outside and ride bikes and play. On this day in particular, I needed a 365 image, and brought the kids to our neighborhood entrance to look at the blooms and first sign of Spring. These trees always bloom first and smell so good! The kids enjoyed seeing the pretty flowers and running around in the grass and I got a chance to practice a few {Out of Focus} shots. I’m not sure this style is “me” at all….I can see an out of focus shot here or there adding to the feel of and enhancing  a series of images, but I’m not sure I am up for the challenge of it actually standing on its own. It can be done! Just not by me…yet. I do plan on practicing this technique more and trying to incorporate it a little more into my typical “work”. Thanks for the challenge ladies! I can’t wait to follow through the circle and see what all you came up with!

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Next up, visit the talented Krista Keller | Danville Ca child, family & senior photographer and see what she came up with this month for {Out of Focus}.

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JessicaMarch 17, 2014 - 9:52 pm

Oh my gosh, these are WONDERFUL! I just love especially the one of her little hands, and the detail of the flower in her hair–what a sweet, fun time it looks like you all had!

Letters To Our Children {February 2014)

Dear Delia,

You are growing into such an amazing little girl. It has been a while since I blow dried your hair and we did the other night. Your hair has gotten so long and is so pretty when we blow it out. You have been wanting to wear your hair down to school and it makes you look so much older! How did you get to be so big Delia? When I think of my baby girl, I see this little baby with the sweetest smile that never left her face. You are still that baby to me in so many ways.

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You are such a sweet, giving little girl. I hope you always stay that way and no one ever gives you a reason not to be. Because of the snow, your Valenti(m)e’s Day party was postponed until the Monday after. We (well kind of “we” mostly “I”) made rainbow loom bracelets for your classmates and we added a little Fun Dip in a bag for candy. You loved writing the names of your classmates on the Fun Dip bags. I enjoyed stuffing bags with you. We tied the bows together like a team. Just doing those mother/daughter things with you makes me happy.  Anyway, you wore your own bracelet that day to school. One of the little girl’s bracelets broke and you gave her the one you were wearing. That is such a kind act and makes me feel so proud of you. You love your friends at school. I’ve never heard you say anything but positive things about your friends. You are so kind and caring and I love that about you. And I know that your friends love that about you too.

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Recently, your buddy Blake had a ride-on party at Skate Country. You were so upset with your daddy and me because we wouldn’t let you take a bike with 2 wheels. We brought your scooter and you pouted the majority of the party. The problem was not that we didn’t want you to take your bike, Delia. The problem was that you haven’t taken the time to learn how to ride a bike on two wheels yet. You *almost* had it a before it snowed. But, that little incident was enough to light a fire under you, girl. At Grandma and Papa’s the following day you were zipping up and down the driveway. The next day, you were riding your big bike around in circles on the driveway and up and down the sidewalk. On the occasion that you would crash, you would pop up almost immediately and say, “I’m okay”! I’m proud of you for putting your mind to something and doing it. The smile on your face was priceless. I love seeing you so proud of yourself. You’ve always had a light inside of you, little girl. Let it shine!

16 Delia Bike Riding-29-Edit_web16 Delia Bike Riding-48-Edit_web16 Delia Bike Riding-51-Edit_web16 Delia Bike Riding-44-Edit_webAnd one more little story about you, because it made me laugh! You have been hounding me about having a playdate with a little girl named McKenzie at school. You talked about it and talked about it. You and McKenzie had it all planned out. You wanted to go to her house. I told you that you can’t invite yourself over to other people’s houses, etc. that I don’t know how to get in touch with McKenzie’s mom in order to invite her over, etc. etc. about not knowing the parent or the kid…you’ll understand this part one day. Anyway, I checked messages on the home phone and McKenzie’s mom had left a message about how McKenzie would love a playdate with you. When I called her back, McKenzie’s mom said that she got our number from YOU! haha! You wrote our phone number on a piece of paper and gave it to McKenzie to give to her mom. You are such a little stinker Delia. Once again, you wanted something, and you made it happen. While I’m still unsure about a playdate on your own, I’ll be meeting her mom at a birthday party for a fellow classmate this weekend.

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Love you little girl. So glad to call you mine.

Mommy

Next up, head over to Courtney from Click It Up a Notch to read her letter to her sweet girls.

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[…] up is Laurie’s post . Follow the circle around until you arrive back here. And get ready to be inspired! Each one of […]

BarbMarch 5, 2014 - 12:17 pm

What a sweet girl Delia is! It sounds like she takes after her mama :) And way to go for learning to ride a two wheeler! That is awesome! Beautiful photos as always :)

BrennanMarch 5, 2014 - 6:02 pm

Oh I love that last story….those traits will serve her SO well in life! Love that she is already making things happen for herself! haha!

CourtneyMarch 7, 2014 - 3:34 pm

I love that she is passing out her phone number. No need for the middle man (mom) ha ha. She has grown up so much and congrats on riding a bike! She sounds like such a sweet soul. You have raised her well!

cindiMarch 9, 2014 - 9:44 pm

Little girls sure are special!

Project 12 Portraits {Soulful}

Where did the month go? It’s time again for Project 12 Portraits and this month we are taking “soulful” portraits. Don’t forget to click around the circle to see what everyone else came up with. Next up is Kimberly Skeen Photography | Orange County Family Photographer.

soul·ful  (sōl′fəl)   adj.   Full of or expressing deep feeling; profoundly emotional. Expressive of deep feeling or emotion: {soulful eyes}.

My images this month are a bit of a stretch of the imagination this month. I had been thinking about “soulful” all month and what it meant to me in terms of photography and portraits, then I realized that it was time to post, and I had NOTHING! Ha! I quickly went to test out my idea on my most “soulful” child, Ben. He has the most soulful eyes. I really feel like they are windows to his soul. A tender soul. But the lighting was off and that just didn’t work out. A couple of other attempts later, this is what I came up with. Bennie boy in the snow. While it isn’t the black and white “soulful” picture I think of when I think of Ben and his beautiful, soulful, eyes, these images very much express of another side of Ben. His laughs and smiles are so much harder to come by than the other kids’ that I cherish them so much more. Pure joy in the snow is my take on {soulful} this month.

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Thanks for looking and don’t forget to click on over to see what Kimberly Skeen Photography | Orange County Family Photographer has posted this month!

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AmberFebruary 13, 2014 - 9:59 am

Awe these are so fun and playful! I have never been sledding and these make me want to try it out.

Laura VenoFebruary 13, 2014 - 11:07 am

Laurie, these are great! I love pics in the snow, and your boy looks so happy and right at home.

JessicaFebruary 13, 2014 - 12:03 pm

Laurie, I love these–your little man was clearly having such a wonderful time! And that last one of him giving you that little smile just melts my heart… Wonderful!

CassandraFebruary 13, 2014 - 7:22 pm

oh the joy on that kids’ face!! wow that looks like fun! Such a great sequence of shots! I bet your son really loves looking at these! :)

Allison JacobsFebruary 14, 2014 - 12:11 pm

I LOVE seeing the joy on his face in the snow! It looks like such a fun day & you captured it perfectly!

KimFebruary 18, 2014 - 3:30 pm

These are perfec! Just pure little boy joy!

BarbFebruary 27, 2014 - 10:52 pm

All of these photos are great Laurie! I love story telling photography and this is a wonderful example of it!

melissa deakinMarch 12, 2014 - 4:15 pm

these are just incredible, laurie! capturing action shots in the snow is no easy feat and these are amazing! i especially love the one where the snow is hitting him in the face. all of these images will be treasures to your sweet boy, laurie!

[…] sure to click through to my friend Laurie Flickinger’s blog to see what kind of soulful portraits she has captured this […]

Letters to Our Children {January 2014}

This year, the same group of friends is starting another year of “Letters to Our Children”. I would also like to welcome Brennan and Barb to the group this year! I can’t wait to see all of the inspiring images and read the sweet letters. I know some people might wonder, “Why would you want everyone to read the letters  you write to your kids?” Well, the truth is, I don’t really care if anyone reads them, it’s not like I’m writing anything that hasn’t been written before. But, I also know myself enough to know that without being a part of such a supportive group of women/friends/photographers, I wouldn’t write them at all. And I think that one day the kids will all appreciate my effort. So, that’s my story, I’m sticking to it.

Dear Ben,

Today is a school holiday.  Instead of doing the same ‘ol same ‘ol at home, we decided to go to Grandma’s instead. And while we are here, I thought I could choose of one you crazies to take pictures of and write a letter to. I’m glad it was you. There have been a lot of things going on in your life that I want to remember and I want you to know my thoughts.

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First off, it has never been a big secret that if you were given the choice to decide, you never would have chosen to have more than one sibling. To be honest, you would have made a great only child, but that was never in our family plans., At this point in our lives, a little over three years later, I think you have finally come to terms with having a little brother and are enjoying the benefits. I know a lot has to do with the fact that Bray is maturing and is able to communicate much better with you. He enjoys the same things that you do…all things transportation, playing Wii, and you two enjoy sitting side by side with your faces glued to your Kindles. It is nice being able to witness the bond that is forming between you. One day, Bray is going to be there for you in a way that no one else will be able to be. I hope that you will always be able to talk to me….but I know that there will be things that Bray will understand better. He is your brother, he will love you no matter what.

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You continue to love to read. You even choose to use quiet time to read instead of play, at times. I love that about you. You love to read “Weird but True”, “The Children’s Almanac”, and all about astronauts and monster trucks. You have a love for nonfiction at this point, but I hope to add fiction to your interests too. Last night we started reading a “mystery” together. I hope that you will also learn that while nonfiction books will teach you all sorts of things, that fiction is awesome too! It can take you places you would otherwise never get to go. All without leaving your room. I am beyond thrilled that you share my love of reading with me. Maybe one day we can read books together…..I would love that.

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I also want to tell you that I am so proud of you. Recently, you passed the standardized test for ”gifted requirements” at school. I am so proud of you. What an accomplishment! It is also a God given gift. This gift will likely make life easier for you in some ways. And I’m sure it will be a weight to carry at times. People may expect more from you than from your peers. Friends, family, teachers…and I’m certain the person that will be hardest on you is yourself. Just remember if you give yourself 100% to whatever you are doing, you won’t let me or your daddy down. Sometimes you want things to be “just so”. Sometimes giving 100% doesn’t mean it will turn out perfect. And that is okay. No one is perfect.

I’ve always known you were a smart kid, but there is more to Ben than a big brain. You are funny, witty, and giving (just not of your toys, ha!). You have a big imagination and you love to draw. You are a good brother, friend, and a great son. At this point, you want to be a “car engineer” when you grow up. I’m sure you will make the coolest, fastest, most eco friendly, prettiest, sleekest car ever made. And you’ll put a Dodge emblem on it. You are also a good hugger. I once told you that when you hug me, I want to feel it and know that you were there. You listened! You give the best hugs.

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I love you Bennie!

Mommy

Next up, visit Courtney Slazinik to read the letter that she wrote to her girls this month. If its anything like the past, I’m sure its a tear jerker:)

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MirandaJanuary 22, 2014 - 1:08 pm

I love reading all of the letters you ladies write! They’re all so beautiful and inspiring. Hopefully I’ll hop on board one day, I’m sure my son would appreciate it! :o)

BarbJanuary 22, 2014 - 1:23 pm

I love reading your letters. They are always so honest and sincere. Ben is growing up so fast and is so handsome :)

JenJanuary 22, 2014 - 9:48 pm

Laurie, this is such a sweet letter. He will treasure this as he gets older! Amen to all that you said about being grateful for this group. I wouldn’t get it done if I didn’t have the support! I am loving your DOF on these photos. The one of him throwing the leaves is my favorite. You always inspire me girl!

Allison JacobsJanuary 22, 2014 - 10:45 pm

So sweet Laurie!!! Have you guys looked at any of the Magic Tree House books yet? They have some of the non-fiction type content (and fact checker books that go with the series) that he might like!

CourtneyJanuary 27, 2014 - 3:03 pm

We love Magic Tree House too. These photos are beautiful! Love the light and all the lines! And your letter was so sweet. He sounds like such an amazing kid!

S u b s c r i b e
B l o g r o l l