Monday, August 29, 2011


"Why do we always take a picture on the first day of school?"
My THIRD grader asked this morning.

Because, dear Jack, we want to remember that day...
It goes by so quickly.
And while you look back and think about
your backpack choice for each year,
Mom and Dad think about how much you are growing.
I think third grade will be lots of fun for you.
You have another great class, full of lots of great kids.
Today, your report back to me about the first day was positive:
"We didn't do any multiplication OR division...we learned about the rules...
we learned about expanded form...I tried to find all my old friends at recess.."

You are happy.
I am happy.

I saw you today, twice, as I was running around campus getting stuff
for my Kinders ready.
I saw you twice, and each time, you ran up to hug me.
I am so thankful for those little visits,
and wonder how long they will last.
When you are a 4th grader, will you still blow me a kiss across the playground?
When you are a 5th grader, will you still want a note in your lunchbox?

I know, that's a long time away...but, weren't you just starting second grade?
Or first grade?
I still remember your first day of Kindergarten!

This is why we take a picture on the first day of school.
Have a great year, Jack.
We are proud of you!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


As the pictures for this post were uploading, I thought of 100
things I wanted to say about them.
But none of them seem to be enough.

I was so honored to be able to take these pictures for the Ringgolds,
as they welcomed Ali and Bella's baby brother into the world.
At first, I thought I would be taking pictures from outside the nursery...
like this one of Tim, singing to Julian...
but, a wonderful nurse let me inside to meet this sweet, sweet face.
Julian Clayton Ringgold
August 22, 2011
9 pounds, 2 oz.
20.5 inches
It was remarkable for me to be there.
This, my friends, is why I love to be behind the camera.
Julian was about 4 hours old when I met him.
I'm already in love...
And then, to be there when he met his biggest sister?

My heart is so happy for them.
Tim & Angelique...
Thank you for letting me share this moment with you.
I will carry it with me, as I do Bella.

I took A LOT of pictures on Monday.
If you would like to see more, you can watch this slideshow,
which is set to Julian's Song.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


My kids love to jump.
In California and Ohio.
So, every year, we go to Zero Gravity.
Which is like a Pump It Up party jump place.

At the mall, we saw this...
and well...they had to jump there, too!

The good thing is...jumping this much makes the kids tired.
So, they slept well on vacation!

Great Lakes Science Center

One of the places our kids love to go in Ohio is
The Great Lakes Science Center.
They have cool stuff indoors and a cool play area outside as well.

Jack's favorite is a giant ball pit,
with a machine that drops the balls on your head
as you wait below.
The view is pretty cool...
The Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame is next door.
The weather got a bit intimidating,
so we stayed inside most of the time.
(It's really hard to photograph lightning, by the way!
I stood out there for a LONG time!)

They have a cool little gift shop,
Molly tried on ALL the glasses that they had.

It's always fun to watch the kids re-discover the same exhibits.
It's a fun tradition!

Monday, August 15, 2011

where the wild things are...

While in Ohio, we went with our friends,
the Sladkys, to the African Safari Park.
The kids got to ride a camel...

and "win" a free ice cream for traveling the farthest distance to get there.
We met a really big snake, named Frank.
(I love Molly's expression in this picture!)
Then, we got ready to drive thru the zoo.
Yep, drive.
We had NO idea what was in store for us.
Molly was cool and calm.
Oh...hello, deer.
Hello, llama.
Time to roll down the windows...
As soon as we did, crazy things happened...
The kids could hardly believe it.

When this guy approached, my window was up.
But, Molly's was down.
She was cool with it though.
She's my animal loving girl!
(This bison is drooling all over her...and she looks like it happens all the big deal!)
Jack was not as enthusiastic as Molly.
Ken was the most surprised, I think!
Then, this guy shows up, and we all sort of panic a bit.
We heard his horns up against the rental car...
Jack said "Not our car. Not our problem!"
The kids did feed him.
Better to keep an animal that large happy.
These were the sweetest friends we made :)

By the time we got to the giraffes, they were not hungry...
But they were still cool to look at!
This may be a new Ohio tradition.
What an exciting day!

More Ohio pics to know I took a gazillion more!