another year older

It takes substantially less time than you think for those milestones to creep on up and turn your infant into a toddler, a toddler to a kindergartener, your kindergartener into a senior...  When you're the parent, you don't notice the acuteness of the passage of time because it isn't obvious (or shocking) like it is to people who have weeks or months or even years between visits.  In hindsight, I really wish I would have thought to take a picture of my hands and feet with my kids' hands and feet every year on their birthday.  I encourage you to do that.


This family I have watched grow in increments for over a decade.  I've known and loved the amazing man the smalls in this picture call "Daddy" for half my life, and had a girl crush on the pretty lady the smalls in this picture call "Mommy" a good 3 or 4 years before they woke up and began dating each other.  I'm so glad they finally sorted themselves out, cuz otherwise, this wouldn't have happened:


We don't get to visit as much as I'd like.  Being spouses and parents and grown-ups and business owners often leaves very little time to hang out and have a beer like old friends should.


Before you have time to turn around and say, "see you next time," the kids are getting teeth, walking, talking, potty training...


and developing their own unique and wonderful personalities and senses of humour...


and growing into the beautiful little people whose abundant charm and character already reflects the love this little family seems to be wrapped in.  Little Man O. here gives one of the most intense hugs a girl could ever ask for - the kind you feel in your toenails - and I am pretty sure he gets that right from Dad.  I am also pretty sure Little Miss E. gets her gentle sweetness from Mom.


Happy first birthday, Miss E.  Let's not wait until you're another year older before our families hang out again.


nothing beats sunshine and giggles

I always try but rarely succeed in convincing Mom and Dad to let me get a picture of them without their kids.  Luckily, this was one of those times I was successful.


"Family photo with the blossoms."  Check!


The title of "preferred photographer" for these little girls is no secret - I'm a poor stand-in for my esteemed colleague known to these girls as the "Frog Lady"- so they had to suffer through letting me chase them around with a camera.




I helped Mom and Dad gross the girls out a bit with some PDA...


Some fun shots with Mom...


and Dad...


and each other...


 and one last family shot...


before it was caterpillar o'clock.


I doubt I've escalated myself to the status of the "Frog Lady" but I think we managed OK.

the pretty pretty flowers