Saturday, May 31, 2008

Ordinary Moments

I am an artist at heart and have a deep affinity for taking photographs. I don't know if this comes from some distorted childhood thought that if I took a picture of "whatever" then it couldn't be taken away from me. I didn't have early sibling rivalry that kept me wondering if someone might take something of mine. I always remember having a camera. I guess along about high school and during my college years --as well as the big gap in between--I really fell hard in to documenting events and chapters of my life. From family events to Phish shows...anything. I was even snapping pictures waaaaaay before I could afford a digital camera, and was still paying for 36 pictures to be developed when I may only like one or two of them. So, I have to say the digital camera has been one of the most revolutionary inventions since sliced bread and it is by far my prized possession, for sure. Beyond significant events I enjoy taking pictures of just haphazard and ordinary moments. This week we were at the lake with my parents and I was able to get some great shots. Some of family and some of just randomness. (We do have a whole album of my niece Mila's 3rd Birthday Party at the zoo posted on MySpace and Facebook and they will hopefully make it on here eventually--for now here are my favorites minus the zoo pics.)

Cajes says: "here mom-mom, I got you some 'oaks'."

Cajes drinks from the Gator pool.

Ben and Cajes go 'round & 'round

Mila and the not-so "Itsy-Bitsy Spider"

~The Family Unit~

Some of my favorite shots are below:

Bird on a Wire

Signs of Summer

Shannon and the Dandelion

Make a Wish

Shannon & Mila

Don-Don's Garden

NOT so LITTLE things...

So, the title of my blog is the little things but lately we have had some pretty monumental happenings in our life and the lives of our friends and family.

Ben graduated from Law School on May 3!!! Yippee! Everyone was so proud of him...I can speak especially for Cajes and myself, who have lived with him for the past 3 years as he endured the ups and downs of Graduate School. There were times when we were up all night with a sick baby and Ben still had to go to school....and times when I was sick and going through multiple surgeries, yet he rarely missed a day and still managed to care for me and be my personal nurse. He made great grades while his friends scoffed at him for doing Crosswords in some classes. Along the way we had lots of support from our family and friends and my job at Open Hearts. We wouldn't be here (and almost back there) without the support and dedication they had for our personal life and many of the choices we were forced to make. It has been a situation that Ben liked to call "delayed-gratification". We knew one day we would be able to celebrate the accolades of this moment. But for the most part we took it one day at a time.

A proud moment

"Here Daddy, you can have this funny hat back."

Little Scholar

We had a lot of guests in town for graduation--including my parents, Ben's parents, Ben's Aunt Lynn & Uncle Roy from Morganton, and a special treat was Jack, Sally & Connor who came all the way form Miami to be here. A short trip for everyone but a special memory for us all. It makes us realize how unfortunate it is to live so far apart from Jack & Sally when we saw how big Connor was getting. What a cutie-pie he is though... (& we're sorry to Jack and Sally about the door--ha!) A special shout-out goes to Ted who we dearly missed that weekend. :(

In addition to Ben finishing Graduate School--so did my friend Heather--who is like a sister to me!! This is a triumphant accomplishment, way more awesome than I can begin to explain, as Heather went through more than any one person deserves to go through in a lifetime--all in one semester! She completed her Master's Degree from Western Carolina on May 10 and is going to teach in a Special Ed classroom hopefully this fall. For those of you who know Heather-- you will be especially tickled to see how cute and awesome and bright Elijah is in the pictures below. I'm not being partial either. He really is a very, very charismatic little boy and such a truly joyful child to be around. He warms everyones heart.

Some of my favorites of Elijah:

After Graduation

At 2 months

At 5 months

Where do I begin? I choose today!

Those of you who know me know that I can be a little over-anxious about silly things--little things. Take this blog for example. I have been working on it since Christmas but never could decide where to start--and that has caused a 5 month road-block in my head. I mean, where do you begin when you are smack dab in the middle of your life? I've been with Ben for 12 years, and married for 7 years next month. We have Cajes who is 3 now, so it's not like starting a blog when a baby is born. Much like my friend Jessie, I am the archiver for our family and I found great inspiration in her blog. If there is an event going on and I am there--you can bet money I WILL have my camera there. I have documented so much for so long that there is not a rubbermaid tub big enough to contain my memories anymore. Our walls, fridge, boxes and my journal are completely full. So I guess moving into the cyber-world was inevitable! I too (like Jess), fear the house burning down or some sort of natural disaster, and not being able to grab everything I want to hang on to. So maybe this will be a way of permanently storing some of our most cherished moments, and some of our smallest memories. Those seem to be the ones I relish and find the most pleasure in. I have officially given up trying to find the perfect place-- or time-- or event-- to start this blog ~~so I choose today.~~

Throughout this blog I will attempt to catch the readers up on past moments and events in our life. This will no doubt take me a long time-- but I will attempt to share stories as they seem pertinent. Hopefully I can find the time to maintain this blog...geez--it took long enough to start.