Monday, September 30, 2013

Life Through the Lens// Little Discoveries

Max's latest discovery... he can hold his feet, and even put them in his mouth. He loves it! It's so fun watching him learn new things and seeing the joy each little accomplishment brings him.

His little tummy is still so miserable, and yet he carries on, keeps smiling, and continues to be delighted with the simple joys of life. He is so strong. I am so proud of him and inspired by his beautiful soul.


Around Here// Hello Dolly

Little Max still has a very unhappy tummy. We are hoping it gets sorted out soon. He is such a trooper through it all.

Our first baby, Miss Dolly, has also had a hard time these last five months. She's had a serious case of puppy depression and anxiety--not joking. The adjustment of a baby in the home has really been tough for her.

We got her into a new vet and he prescribed some puppy meds that finally seem to be helping. She runs and plays harder, she has an appetite back, and she just seems to be a bit more at ease. Such a relief!

Here's to happier healthy littles. (and a happier healthier mama too...)


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Life Through the Lens// Fleeting Moments

Sweet little Max cried and cried all day yesterday. The way our day was going, I didn't think I would get to take any five month birthday photos. He is happiest outside, so we go out and sit on the lawn a lot. I took him out one last time before dark and since he was so happy I grabbed my camera. I managed to snap a few shots just as the sun was going down. Golden light and a happy baby-- it only lasted a few minutes but it was lovely.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Growing up// Max at 5 Months

Five Months old today. How did that happen? Seriously, I am a bit in shock over it.

Max at five Months:
Max loves books. He loves to lay on his tummy and read.
He loves looking at Dolly and is starting to reach for a handful of fur. I play interference.
He loves rolling over on his tummy.
His hair is growing back nice and thick.
He loves going for walks and being outside.
His Daddy can make him laugh the hardest.
He knows just how to make me laugh with the silliest faces. He loves to get a laugh out of me.
He is learning to play Peek a Boo and pulls his burp rag over his eyes all the time.
His fourth month was not an easy one for he or mommy. Not much sleep and a lot of tears.
He is our little fighter. 
He continues to smile even when he doesn't feel well.
He continues to be the light of our lives.
He has proved himself time and time again to be a very patient, determined, and strong boy.
He has been the recipient of many faithful prayers. He is truly loved by so many.
His optimism is an inspiration to us all.

He still isn't back to his good health. The digestive issues continue to be a major problem and he just doesn't feel well most of the time. Until the inflammation in his little tummy heals he continues to be at risk of another hospitalization. We are praying things will improve soon. We love him more and more every day.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Project Life// This is my Therapy

Project Life. I am sold. I'm almost entirely caught up on documenting our year, even throughout all the craziness that has been our life these last five months--having a premature baby who has endured two hospitalizations and serious health scares.

Project Life is my therapy. Taking a few brief moments a day to edit photos, record memories, and play with paper and glue... this is what keeps me grounded. Because of baby Max's constant stomach discomfort, he isn't much of a napper--he sleeps best in my arms. When he does nap on his own, my doggie Dolly, piles of laundry, and a sink full of dishes keep me more than busy. (Oh, and then there's this thing called showering...) But I try to steal at least a few minutes a day to work on Project Life, and I've been surprised to see how well I've kept up.

I've even been going back and putting old photos in albums, like the pictures from my 2007 trip to Paris above. I've worked for seven years as professional scrapbooker and now-- NOW-- with a sick baby who pretty much needs to be held all the time, I'm finally getting caught up?! TRUTH.

So how is this possible? As much as I love creating traditional 12x12 pages, I just can't keep up with them as quickly as I photograph our everyday life. Photos pile up and memories of everyday moments begin to fade. Pages get done here and there, but that leaves a whole lot of stories untold.

Enter Project Life. Totally manageable, organized, and just plain easy. Not to mention, I completely love the look of it. Often Max sleeps in my arms while I edit or arrange photos for my spreads. I do most of the cutting and embellishing when his Daddy gets home and plays with him before dinner. Of course, I can still make 12x12 pages when I have time, but I don't have the guilt of "getting behind" or forgetting the details. Project Life just works for me!

And let's be honest, with the addition of our sweet little Max, I'm taking more photos then ever now, and there's no way I want to miss out on documenting his story-- it's a good one.

I've got a whole lot of Project Life coming at you soon... can't wait to share!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Life is an Adventure// Family Pictures

I don't have much time to write, because if I am lucky enough for Max to take a nap, it only lasts a few minutes. I have been wanting to share the beautiful family photos my amazing friend and photographer Heather took for us a few weeks ago. I may or may not have been so in love with the photos that I ordered every single print. I never do that... but I honestly couldn't narrow them down. They are such a dose of happiness! I just love them so much! I am so glad we were able to get these photos taken, and that Heather captured such sweet moments. They are priceless to me.  You can see more photos on her blog, here.

Little Max is still suffering and things are pretty exhausting right now. We are grateful he hasn't had to be hospitalized again, but he is still at high risk, so we never really know what the next moment holds. He is one tough, determined, and extremely patient little boy. We are praying his little stomach will begin to heal soon, and that his digestion will start to work properly again. I feel so bad that he seems to have inherited my food sensetivities. It pretty much breaks my heart.  

And yes... we bought the 1979 VW bus pictured above. We call her Sunny, and have some fun adventures planned with her, but more on that later. The events of the last week aren't really the sort of adventure we were planning on right now, but we are looking forward to Max feeling better and enjoying sunnier adventures ahead.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Around Here// Poor Baby

Because i don't have the energy to rewrite all of this, but I know some of you don't use facebook, here is what we have been up to the last few days, with the most recent on top:

Update on Max: They sent us home with him this afternoon but we have to keep him under very close observation. He is still at high risk of having to return to the hospital again. Basically, they believe he had what is called an intucesseption (spelling?) which is where the intestines fold over themselves and it can be very dangerous. At a very scary point yesterday he wasn't responding and I couldn't wake him up. They think the problem repaired itself, but he is at high risk of it happening again. If it happens again and doesn't repair itself, he would need immediate surgery. He also has a very contagious bacterial infection, so we are not able to have any visitors and need to keep him in while things clear up. Thank you all so much for your support and prayers. We believe they have really kept him so strong and carried us through some very frightening moments. He keeps smiling and we are trying to do the same:)

Thank you all for your concern and interest in our little Max. We so appreciate your kind words and prayers. They have meant so much to us. It was another very difficult day but he is in the hospital getting treatment and hopefully things will start improving soon. He has really been through a lot and yet he still smiles at all the nurses and staff. We are continually impressed with his strength, patience, and cheerful attitude.

We've spent the entire day in and out of the hospital/radiology with little Max. Everyone has been so kind and gentle with him. They had a pediatric surgeon on call waiting to do emergency surgery tonight but after a second ultrasound decided not to. They have involved a team of doctors up at Primary Childrens Hospital and are working to figure out what is wrong. Now they are thinking he has some sort of bacterial infection. They sent us home for the night. We are praying that his fever doesn't spike again and that he will be able to keep food down tonight. Thanks to all of you who have been concerned and praying for him. We are so grateful for our little miracle boy who continues to smile even in the toughest circumstances.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Around Here// And Sometimes We Cry

Around here we smile and giggle a lot... and sometimes we cry. Actually, we cry a lot... but that's okay. We are here and we are happy, even when we are tired and don't feel well.

Now more than ever, I see the beauty in treasuring and embracing the little moments. As a new mommy I am loving photography and scrapbooking more than ever.  I've got some serious catching up to do in sharing my project life and recent work here. I'm excited about some new creative endeavors and can't wait to share them with you soon!!


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Life Through the Lens// He Get's That From Me...

His eyes, a perfect combination of Danny's and mine, and a shade of deep blue all his own.
His hairline, from his Daddy.
His lips, from his Daddy.
His arched eyebrows when he smiles, from his Daddy.
His nose, from my mom's side of the family.
His vigorous sneezes, those he gets from me.
His name, a combination of my Grandpa Dowdle, Elder Neil A. Maxwell, and his Daddy.
The rest, too soon to tell... but it sure is fun watching it all unfold!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Life Through the Lens// Beauty in Everything

With so many beautiful blessings in my life, I almost feel guilty admitting this, but recently life has held a few disappointments. Nothing earth shattering, but a bit frustrating nevertheless.

Among the biggest was finding out that the home we'd been waiting to close on for over 8 months was no longer within our affordable budget. Interest rates went up as the bank sat on the home. They came back asking for $40,000-$60,000 more than our original accepted offer. Needless to say, it was disappointing. I had pictured so much for our little family in that home... The beautiful nursery I'd rock Max to sleep in. The spacious scrapbook room I would have to work in. Lovely walks to the neighborhood park. The space to decorate for the holidays. The yard for Max and Dolly to run around in. The outdoor parties we would hold on the deck.

We are now looking for something smaller and more temporary--not to mention, more affordable. That also means a lot less space, a smaller yard, and a lot more compromises.

In our current location, we have a lot of people coming and going in front of the house day and night. Dolly's doggie anxiety makes this a bit tricky because she is so nervous about the noise. Without fail, every time I lay Max down for a nap, something spooks Dolly, she barks, he wakes up crying, and I want to pull my hair out. Without nap time, the dishes and laundry don't get done, showers are unheard of, and I am left feeling unproductive and exhausted.

That's just life right now. I know it won't always be like this, but I keep hoping something will work out with a home soon. Even still, I can't help but think I'm going to miss this place when we finally do move on. So many wonderful memories have been made here. It's where Danny and I started our lives together. It's where Dolly has stayed by my side day and night for over three years. It's where we brought our sweet Max home from the hospital, twice. It's home. Small. Disorganized. Cluttered. Not at all where I would have chosen, but a happy place nonetheless. It's exactly where we were supposed to be.

The photo above. Pretty right? The soft golden light and delicate branches... who would've guessed it's just the overgrown weeds along the side of the house? I guess it just reminds me to look for the beauty in everything. There is beauty in waiting. There is beauty in imperfection. There's even beauty in weed patches.


Life Through the Lens// Self Timer Challenge

I am comfortable behind the lens. It's a happy place for me... but it's important for me to be IN some of the pictures with my family too. I don't want to be invisible in our memories.

You should have seen me setting the timer, picking up Max, and hustling to sit down with Dolly chasing after us along the way... and sweet Max, just going along with it all, as happy as can be. Classic.

I love that Dolly made it into one of the frames... Because even though she moves too fast for most self timer shots, she's just as much a part of our little family as the rest of us!

I love my littles! (and hats and maxi skirts)


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Life Through the Lens// So in Love

 Those eyes. Those cheeks. That perfect little boy... Love. Love. Love him so very much.

and now he needs me, so off I go.