Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Brothers . December 2014

December might be my favorite Brothers picture month - Christmas jammies!  This year, I also grabbed one Christmas morning of the boys wearing their "Christmas shirts" (really, just new shirts that look enough like Christmas to coordinate with the holiday, but really can be worn anytime!).

Brothers . December 2014 - Christmas shirts
(Harvick, Ryder, and Jarrett)

Brothers . December 2014 - Christmas jammies
(Harvick, Ryder, and Jarrett)

All Brothers Posts | December 2013 | December 2012 | December 2011

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Brothers . November 2014

A first for the Brothers pictures - 2 from the same day, but with an outfit change!  Harvick and Jarrett were able to still wear their Gobble Gobble shirts from last year (Ryder's shirt initially - I bought 2 when I got his!).

Ryder made a "pilgrim" hat at Kindergarten, and took it very seriously - wanting to wear it to various Thanksgiving themed events!  Yes - he did in fact wear it to the restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner!

To celebrate the day, we followed our tradition of going to the Feast with the Beast event at the Hogle Zoo - the weather was nice, but just a bit cool.  The boys' fleece vests were the perfect addition!

Brothers . November 2014 - Thanksgiving morning
(Harvick, Ryder, and Jarrett)

Brothers . November 2014 - Thanksgiving, Part 2
(Harvick, Ryder, and Jarrett)

All Brothers Posts | November 2013 | November 2012 | November 2011

Friday, October 31, 2014

Brothers . October 2014

In our family, we've chosen not to participate in dressing up in costumes at Halloween.  We still have fun with fall activities, and the boys are all aware of how Halloween is typically celebrated.  They even get fun new pumpkin themed shirts (or hand-me-downs - Harvick is wearing Ryder's shirt from the last 2 years).

This has worked for us, until this year.  This year we had the introduction of (1) public school Kindergarten, (2) non-Christian daycare, and (3) public school preschool that encouraged costumes.  With all of the pressure, we caved a bit.  I was able to find some cute Batman t-shirts, and capes from the Dollar Spot section at Target.  While the boys loved semi-participating, Ryder told us at the end of the day he was glad he didn't have to wear a costume - he's never liked being the center of attention, and he saw how much attention the costume wearing kids were getting.

Brothers . October 2014 - pumpkin shirts!
(Harvick, Ryder, and Jarrett)

Brothers . October 2014 - Halloween
(Harvick, Ryder, and Jarrett)

All Brothers Posts | October 2013 | October 2012 | October 2011

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Brothers . September 2014

Harvick and Jarrett were thrilled this September when, for the first time, they were able to have their very own Tomato Days t-shirt.  Ryder got one last year (Patrick gets one yearly), but they didn't have ones small enough for Harvick & Jarrett.  This year, everyone got one!

Also, a long time ago I had to stop trying for a everyone-looking-at-the-camera-and-smiling photo.  I mean, I still try, but it just doesn't happen.  And, I'm really okay with that.  This photo captures the expression of each boy more perfectly than any "perfect" shot could have done.

Brothers . September 2014 - Tomato Days
(Harvick, Ryder, and Jarrett)

All Brothers Posts | September 2013 | September 2012 | September 2011

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Brothers . August 2014

In August I have typically tried to catch the boys on a day they are all in "ultimate" summer clothing - a tank top with shorts.  Oh, and with bruised shins - another summer staple, indicating they have spent hours and hours playing outside - running, jumping, wrestling - all without the protection of full-length pants!

Brothers . August 2014
(Harvick, Ryder, and Jarrett)

All Brothers Posts | August 2013 | August 2012 | August 2011

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Brothers . July 2014

July was a 3 picture month, I just couldn't help it.  Also, it brought a big change to the Brothers pictures...a new couch!  Since starting in May 2011 we have used our brown leather reclining couch (or chair to begin with), but we've made some updates to our Family Room...short-back gray couches.

Brothers , July 2014 - Independence Day
(Harvick, Ryder, and Jarrett)

Brothers , July 2014 - Ryder's 5th Birthday
(Harvick, Ryder, and Jarrett)

Brothers , July 2014 - Ryder's 5th Birthday Party
(Harvick, Ryder, and Jarrett)

All Previous Brothers Posts | July 2013 | July 2012 | July 2011

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Brothers . June 2014

Well, I've never been this late in posting a Brothers picture.  With blogging not happening as frequently anymore, it was bound to happen.

Although the Apraxia Walk was held a different month this year, I thought it might still be fun to capture the boys in their shirts.  They were all being a bit wild, so I only captured two shots.  I figured I'd try again on Father's Day (I had shirts made for them).  That attempt resulted in a few more pictures, but some uncooperative boys.  Some months I get a winner, and some months I'm just grateful to capture my boys together!

Brothers . June 2014 - Apraxia Walk
(Harvick, Ryder, and Jarrett)

Brothers . June 2014 - Father's Day
(Harvick, Ryder, and Jarrett)

All Previous Brothers Posts | June 2013 | Apraxia Walk 2013 | June 2012 | June 2011

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ashley Danelle Photography . San Diego . 04.2014

It comes as a surprise to exactly zero people that I love photography.  It is evident when you read this blog, view my Facebook profile, or just step into my home.  I'm not sure where the desire comes from, I think it may have to do with not having very many photos of my own childhood, and even fewer family ones.  I definitely am not a fan of having my own photo taken, but I have yet to regret scheduling photo sessions.  I have hired a range of photographers from extremely reasonable, to a few sessions that may cut short the boys' college funds (but, you just can't get back the very earliest baby photos!).

So, as we planned our FIRST FAMILY VACATION, I couldn't resist the opportunity to hire a local photographer.  And, what better background (and one we can't replicate at home), than the OCEAN?!

After a ridiculous amount of time researching our options I found Ashley Danelle Photography!  Be prepared for many photos below...Ashley is seriously amazing, and to narrow them down further would be impossible for me...

My favorite of our family photos.
(Ryder, Harvick, and Jarrett)

Ryder and Jarrett being lovey...and Harvick being curious!

How much of the session went...and really, how much of our life goes...wresting and laughing!
Harvick's expression in the second one is my favorite!

An attempt at a beach Brothers photo...and the real life photo of a second later.

The boys rotate who will be the least cooperative for photos.  It was Jarrett's turn.  Ashley captured a few greats anyway!

Could Ryder possibly look any more grown up than he does in the photo on the left?  Check out his grown up watch - he was so excited when I agreed to let him wear it for our photos!

Harvick appears cooperative, but he sure made Ashley work hard to capture photos of him in focus.

I make an attempt to get a photo of Patrick and me at family sessions whenever I can.  We don't take our picture together on our own, so I figure I should take advantage of a professional when I have one!

Beautiful sunset, and 3 great kids.  Life really is good.



Jarrett.  And, no, I'm not sure what is happening on the right, but I love it anyway.

My favorite photo is the one I put at the top of this post, but this one may be a more accurate representation of our family.

All these photo sessions, and I've yet to get a picture of Patrick with all three boys.  We attempted...but it may have been too late in the session (literally, the very end).  It will still find a spot on our wall!

One more of Patrick and me, just as the sun was dropping out of sight.

I had several people think I was crazy for hiring a photographer while we were on vacation, but I am so glad we did!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Brothers . May 2014

I may need an intervention.

In my defense, I had several occasions this month where I wanted a picture of the boys captured.  And, for the most part, I had willing participants.  So...

Brothers . May 2014 - Harvick & Jarrett's Birthday
(Harvick, Ryder, and Jarrett)

Brothers . May 2014 - Mother's Day
(Harvick, Ryder, and Jarrett)

Brothers . May 2014 - Apraxia Awareness Day
(Harvick, Ryder, and Jarrett)

All Previous Brothers Posts | May 2013 | May 2012 | May 2011
Linking to these just made me realize that May is typically a hard month for me to narrow it down to just one picture.  I'm not sure if that makes me feel better, or not...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Apraxia Awareness Day . 2014

Wednesday, May 14th is the second annual Apraxia Awareness Day.

Much like I did last year, I find myself struggling with this day.

Bringing awareness is important.  In order for people to understand why our boys do not speak, they really have to know that they are affected by Apraxia.  Apraxia is not a visible disorder.  By looking at our boys, you would never know there is something much deeper going on inside.

Yet, our boys will not be defined by this.  I fight to ensure their teachers understand, that they are included in all typical activities of their peers.  Yet, I want their teachers to have high expectations of them, to not excuse behavior because of their inability to talk.

It's a fine line to walk.

Another Apraxia mom explained the struggle of Apraxia well on her blog:

Imagine you are a small child, playing outside, and you get stung by a bee or fall down and hurt yourself. You’re scared and crying and you run to your parents. But you can’t tell them what happened or how to help you or where it hurts. So you just sob and embrace your mom and dad until your just get used to the pain or it goes away.

This is us everyday right now.  Harvick and Jarrett do not have the ability to tell us what is wrong.  What is hurting them, what they need to feel better.  We comfort them, and make our best attempts to determine what's wrong, but often have unanswered questions.

This was us everyday with Ryder.  It is through intense speech therapy that we have a son who is able to articulate his feelings.  His emotions.  Without therapy it wouldn't be possible.

Like last year, the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA) is encouraging people to wear blue & white on Wednesday, May 14th to bring awareness to Apraxia.  Last year I was surprised by just how many people made the decision to join us.  We'd love for you to join our family in this show of support again!

We will beat this thing.