Monday, November 19, 2012

Bits of Lily

When I used to imagine having a child, I wondered if they would be anything like me. Would they be shy and quiet as I was, keeping to themselves until called upon? It wasn't until I attended college and took Speech 101 that I came out of my shell (that was a nightmare by the way). Would they use their imagination and pretend they existed in their own world? My imagination as a child was so great that I would turn my dad's shoes into a Barbie limousine. Would they follow instead of lead? A good leader takes a lot of character, and an honest one would make me proud. Would they love to learn as I always have? Oh I wished and wished and wished for them to love learning. Having children is a roll of the dice, you really never know what you're going to get.

 Fast forward to today, and two months before my child turns 4 years old. Lily seems much older in my eyes than her age. Though she is initially shy and quiet, she's no wallflower. She takes her time to analyze people and her environment, and when she feels ready she takes over a room. Don't let that little face fool you, she has tricks up her sleeves.

Her imagination would stump mine on many levels, and she loves super heroes and underdogs versus princesses any day. She prefers to be the savior, and being the damsel in distress does not appeal to her. She's a born leader, and feels comfortable leading kids much older than herself (leaving me to wonder how she does it). She loves to question you, and may even lead you to doubt yourself. She's a pretty smart cookie, and proves me wrong when I underestimate her...which I've learned not to do by now. 

She's probably the most sympathetic person you'll meet. She worries when babies cry, and will request that I pick them up (this is awkward when in public and I have no idea who the baby is). She cries if you do, gives hugs when she knows something is wrong, tells you how much she loves you,  reminds you she missed you, and will kiss any wound you have. If there is such a things as an old soul, I feel she may have one. She's mature beyond her years, and can make me feel like the child at times. Playfully hitting her with a pillow will get me a "don't hit me, I'm your best friend!" and I instantly feel guilty. 

As her 4th birthday approaches, I realize a few things. This year marks the end of her toddler stage, she'll be  attending school next year. She's so prepared for school that she can't wait to meet her teacher. She's getting a haircut this weekend, so we're removing six inches of baby hair. She has an opinion about everything, but her only concern is whether or not she'll still look like a super hero after her haircut (3 year old problems). 

Ultimately, I could never have imagined the child I was blessed with. She's just one very happy little girl...everything else is just icing on the cake.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Embrace the Camera: February 16th

   If you know me, you know that I am a huge fan of comfortable much that I have been wanting a pair of footsie pajamas for a while now. So you can imagine my surprise when I received a Pajama Gram at work on Valentine's Day. While many of my coworkers were receiving flowers and teddy bears, I got to open a Pajama Gram carrying pink fluffy footsie pajamas (and chocolate covered strawberries). I'm not lying when I say that I hugged my pink fluffy new pajamas and laughed like a school girl knowing how well my Valentine really did know me.

   The moment I got home I tried them on, and stood in front of Lily saying 'look at me...look at me baby...I have footsies too'. She smiled from ear to ear at the sight of me, and couldn't contain her excitement. She loved that we were actually wearing the same exact thing.

     Needless to say, I slept like a baby! Literally. 
Thanks to my loving husband (and best friend of 18 years)...the one person who knows me best.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Lily's 3 year portraits...

   A few days after Lily's 3rd birthday we decided to take a trip to The Arboretum. I was in search for a quiet spot to capture her appearance and personality at this new age, and I looked forward to a relaxing afternoon after all the party planning.  I wasn't necessarily there for the flowers, yet the moment we walked in we met two friendly old ladies raving about the orchids. I heard one of the ladies voice her regret of not bringing her camera when she turned around and noticed mine around my neck. She smiled at me and said 'Oh, you brought a nice should come with us and take a few pictures of the orchids. There is an extremely rare blue one you MUST see!'. Not wanting to turn her down we proceeded to follow her, but not before she advised us to bring a stroller if we had one. I didn't want to lose time by taking the stroller out of the car since we weren't planning to stay I told her Lily would be fine walking. Then she lead us on a LOOOONG walk to the orchids (I nearly gave up).

Lily was so fascinated with the greenhouse that it was nearly impossible for me to capture her. She was careful not to disturb anything, but would hop from one orchid to another...then sneak around the corner.

As soon as I would call her name to let her know she had gone too far...
she would turn around and run back to me smiling.

Here is the infamous Blue Orchid...the reason why I lost breath reaching the greenhouse. It really was beautiful, just as I was told. Once the older ladies witnessed my documenting the orchids, they kindly left us to explore on our own...pointing out the Marriott Orchid on their way out.

I found the Marriott Orchid the most interesting. The very way it shields and captures water captivated almost seemed like an art piece.

These are Red Orchids

We stepped out of the greenhouse, and ran into a female peacock sitting on her eggs. The peacock didn't budge one bit, and I made sure Lily watched from a distance. The animals at The Arboretum roam freely so I was always on alert when Lily came upon one.

We kept a distance, not just for their sake but for ours also...the male peacock was apparently on guard.

We were finally back on track with only an hour to spare before closing time. 
So we began our stroll into the gardens.

I found a random rock in the middle of the field and asked Lily to sit down for a few shots. She was obviously in a wacky mood, and I couldn't get a serious face out of her for very long. Yet, her daddy really does like the larger image on the right...that's the face she gives when she's up to no good and proud of it.

It began to get cold so we decided to keep moving...

I sat her on this large bench then realized how small she looked sitting there. I took this image with the idea that I will be back every year and sit her here...I would love to have a series of these images. 
Lets just hope the bench survives that long.

Just as we were about to leave, I see that tired look in her face. She looked so tranquil standing there, and far too exhausted to act out. She didn't fight it, she just stood there looking at me as she touched the little piece of  skin on the tip of her lip. 

This becomes the portrait I was seeking. My daughter...being 3 years old.