slide show

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Registration for Lightroom Class NOW OPEN!

We're gonna do it again!
Combining photography with a busy family can often leave me short on time.  (Can I get an amen?)  But photography is precious to me so I had to find a way to make it work.   That's where Lightroom comes in!  Lighroom is an editing program that allows me time to import and organize my pics, then edit them efficiently!  And I'm thrilled to share what I know and how I make editing happen!  Lightroom 101 is a 7-week class that starts January 12, 2015.

Registration is now open!
Click HERE to register!
Class size will be limited and is first come first serve. 

Lightroom 101: An Editing class for Beginners, will demonstrate and teach you how I edit photos efficiently via Lightroom.  I'll keep it simple, use easy-to-understand language, and give you step-by-step instructions and video demonstrations too.  No secrets.  If I know it, I'm willing to share it!

I had Danielle in class the last time I taught this class, and here's what she wrote me:

     Before this class I tried to self-teach myself Lightroom by Youtube videos and it only confused me more. Your streamlined process and workflow really helped untangle the mess I made for myself. Your videos and pdf’s were really clear and didn’t over-saturate my brain with information. But most of all, I really appreciate how flexible and accommodating you were AND continue to be even though class has ended. It’s just gives me a sense of security to know that I can still lean on you in case of trouble. That feeling is just priceless and worth every cent.  ~Danielle

More specifically, here's some of what Lightroom 101 includes:
14 lessons to print and keep forever and over 20 video tutorials!
---How to download and organize your photos
---Step-by-step instructions for completing a quick, clean edit
---Selectively editing areas of your image, including brightening eyes, 
smoothing skin, whitening 
    teeth, removing blemishes...
---Converting photos to black & white
---Correcting white balance
---Noise reduction
---An introduction to the magic of Lightroom presets and how to install, use and 

    create your own
---Saving your newly-edited photographs
---The ease of taking your photo(s) from Lightroom to Photoshop and back

---Creating and using watermarks

Here is an "oops" picture that was a test shot for a gorgeous red-head that I recently shot.  Go ahead and roll over it with your mouse to see what it looked like before I edited in Lightroom.

You do not have to purchase Lightroom to participate.  Adobe offers a free 30-day trial of Lightroom that you can download to coincide with the class.  (Click here to go to Adobe's free trial offer.)  You can try Lightroom out during the class and decide for yourself if it's worth purchasing.

This course is 7 weeks long, offering 2 lessons per week.  We all learn in different ways, so there will be both written lessons and over 20 video tutorials!  And I am not going to leave you hangin' because this class is going to be totally interactive!  We're in this together via a private forum just for our class where you can share your photos online {or not}, ask questions, and get feedback anytime throughout the class.  You will be able to see what the other students in the class are doing and asking too.  There are no set times that you need to be "in class" because you choose when to check in online, view course material, and there's no pressure because you work at your own pace.  You can participate during nap time, in the middle of the night, only on the weekend, or whenever you find an opportunity.  Feel free to come to class in your jammies!   You better belive that I will!  I will be available the whole time for questions and to offer clarifications and information.  After 5 weeks of lessons, you will have an additional 2 weeks to let it all sink in, practice and ask more questions.  
What you'll need:  
---Lightroom downloaded and installed on your computer, (Please check Adobe for 
    system requirements.
---Images taken with your DSLR and downloaded on to your computer to practice on
---A Facebook account
---Access to high-speed internet to view video tutorials
---How to watermark and why it's important to do so

Registration cost is $149. 
Class size will be limited. 

Sound like something you'd like to participate in?  

Click HERE to register

If you'd like even more details about the Lightroom 101 class or to see some  examples of student editing after they took the class and see what they had to say, go click HERE.  

And of course if you have any questions, just give me a holler! 

PS-Did I mention I'm {uber} excited to have you in class?!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Did I tell you the one about the Dentist in December?

You know when Papa and I committed to this season of crazy, we knew what this year held in store for us.  I guess part of the problem is that although I actually embrace many parts of crazy, this crazy busy goes against every part of how I envision myself and how I want my family to live.  This constant go go go and lack of slowing down to see the little miracles I am so blessed to have around me really stresses me out.

I'm sitting in the dentist's office right now.  Waiting.  And wondering... do you have those little things that you use to measure your success (or lack there of) as a mother too?  For me I think my yardstick includes dinner around the table.  The quantity and a quality of the discussions I have with my older children.  And among many other things... dental care.  Ya, that sounds weird... but brushing and flossing and visits to the dentist... I use that (among other things of course) to tell myself if I'm living up to my own standard of being a good mother or not.   To be perfectly honest, I had no idea that I even did this until very very recently.  

Where am I going with this?  Well, I actually take care of my 3 youngest's teeth better than I did with my 4 biological kiddos. I "help" them brush and floss more often, and we all see the dentist more regularly than before we adopted.  Maybe there's something about being an adoptive mom that makes me taking parenting more seriously... at least in the dental care department.  I remember making a conscious effort that if I was going to have a large family I certainly wasn't going to start slacking off even though I was 2 decades older than when I first became a mom.  BUT it seems that my dental care was not enough.  At the last dental check up, one of the kiddos had some serious issues. I'm not sure I can even put it in print what was going on in her sweet little mouth.  Let's thank God that she has an amazingly high pain threshold, or now that I think about it, maybe not because we would have had a earlier warning system if she didn't.  Nevertheless an obscene amount of money has been spent recently for an equally obscene amount of dental over the course of 1 month and 7 dentists visits.  Yes I said 7!  6 of the appointments have all been for the same child.  And yours truly has been pretty sure that she has failed as a mother.

Ya I KNOW that's crazy cause obviously I'm forgotten to remember
a)  the total lack of dental care and lack of nutrition 0-12 months of age
b)  probably poor or no maternity care
c)  infant malnutrition
d)  and the fact that some folks just have wickedly bad teeth no matter what

I really really beat myself up about this for weeks.  I am sure some of it is the money that is begin required during an already pricey Christmas season.  Maybe I'm starting to let go of some of the guilt now because were nearing the end of the emergency dental work.  But I think my guilt was more about the fact that I coulda (shoulda?) done more to avoid it all.  And maybe I could have with more brushing and flossing and more regular visits.  But somewhere in all this guilt, I forgot that kiddos that are adopted come from somewhere else and all that something else that was before me is totally beyond my control.  All that "before" stuff is part of who they are and what makes them so amazingly special, bad teeth and all, and a lot of the issues that children who are adopted show up later in life.  6 years into Tess and Jude's adoption and I was just so overjoyed and relieved to get past the initiation into the land of international special needs adoption. I guess I forgot that it never really ends.  Adoption is a journey rather than a destination full of the unexpected. Teeth and all.

So note to self.  We've made it over the I-just-adopted-a-kiddo hump.  But this crazy roller coaster ride that is adoption is far from over.  Lucky I kinda like roller coasters!

Okay, I am SO done complaining this month.  Back to my bubble of hot cocoa, ribbons, glitter and snowman making!  Bring on Christmas!

Nevermind... this visit isn't going as expected and I just had to schedule another dentist appointment.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Another complainy mess of a post. Is it just me?

I've started and stopped and started and stopped this post way too many times.  I'm just gonna push send this time regardless of how much I get done.

Of course we're starting off this stuff here and here.  Is it just me or is anyone else out there feels completely and totally overwhelmed by the Christmas season?  Say it ain't just me!  Please for the love of all the things we know, please say I am not alone?!  In the middle of a blog world full of beautifully decorated trees, handmade crafts and gift tags, trips to the Nutcracker and anticipated family traditions, I'm sorry to say I'm just not feeling the love and the joy of the Christmas season.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want it to be this way!  I want to be that mom that thinks of each gift and finds just the right teacher gift that isn't another coffee mug filled with Hershey kisses.   I want to sing Christmas carols with my children and donate me time to others, mulling cider on the stove and decorating hand-made sugar cookies with the children.  And love the season with a smile on my face and not just soak up all the reasons that make Christmas beautiful but pass on that feeling to my children too.  But there just doesn't seem like there is time to do anything other than keep my head above water.  Every December this happens.  I make it through the birthday blitzkrieg in Sept to start planning Halloween and when I make it through that there is Thanksgiving, which is one of my favorite holidays of the year, and bam there's December laughing at me, threatening me with all the things that need to get done just to barely make it through, much less the extras that I never seem to get to and then feel guilty that I've sold myself and my children short for not enjoy the real meaning of the season.  August-December 25 it's non-stop "getting ready for the birthday/holiday/Christmas season(s)

I know that this year is really tough already, and to top it off we've had some health (read dental) issues that have been and still are hugely time consuming.  But again it seems like this falling-short-at-Christmas is how it is happening again this year.  And I really don't think I'm adding any extra pressure on myself or having unrealistic expectations.  I've stripped it down to the bare minimum requirements and feel like I'm doing okay, but again I do feel like I'm meeting the BARE minimums of making it through Christmas.

Aside from a couple strings of lights that I had the big boys put up outside when they were underfoot, here's not a single decoration in the house.  We decided to spend the holiday up at Little Cabin in the Woods and we'll put up a tree complete with tinfoil star, strung popcorn and cranberries and lights once we get up there.  We're really looking forward to it and keeping our fingers crossed for snow. I just hope my Scrooge-attitude changes once we get up there and that the joy of the season fills me.  But I've used going out of town as an excuse to not decorate this year.

Now of course I don't want anyone to feel like you're just barely making it through, but I'm hoping I'm not alone on this one.  I always feel awful that Christmas is far from my favorite holiday and when December 26th rolls around I breathe a huge sigh of relief!
Sad but true but these lights are the only decorations we have around here.
Okay pushing "publish" now regardless of the typos and semi-coherent thoughts and have my fingers crossed that soon there will be lovely I-love-Christmas posts filled with snow angles, snowman making, and marshmallow roasting in the very near future!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wildflowers in November-Part II

In the middle of the Christmas preparations (I still have a small handful of gifts to purchase, and countless other things to cross off my to-do list) I escape to editing to center myself.  Am I the only one that feels the stress that inherently comes with Christmas?

So I finally got done with these pics from the November from the wildflower shoot with Mimi last month.  Cause when you run across wild flowers in November, it's important to savor their wonderfulness as long as possible.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Coming home

It feels good.

This weekend we took the younger kids "home."  And by younger kids I mean Boo, Jude, Tess and Mimi.  Patch was away at a wrestling event and Liv was working.  And by "home" I mean Papa's and my home town.  It's not that far away, about 90 minutes drive up out of the desert.  My parents and brother and his family still live there.  Coming back to this little town always feels like coming home to me.  No matter that we haven't lived there for the last 3 decades. Still.  It makes me feel like I'm in my finally comfortable in my own skin and can fully inhale and exhale.
It feels right.
It feels like home should feel.
And yet a long time a go, this small town girl, the daughter or a fireman and a teacher, ended up living in the city impersonating a city girl.  In the beginning I completely admit that I wanted it that way.  I thought I could learn and mold myself to be a city girl.  I actually thought I wanted to be a city girl.  But you know, after decades of trying, it never felt quite like me.  So coming home always feels like the right place to be.
Anyhow... my hometown likes to celebrate Christmas.  I mean who doesn't?!  But somehow Christmas isn't quite right when you're in the desert and wearing shorts and flip-flops.  So the cool brisk December air is also a welcome part of coming home.  We came up this weekend just to see the annual courthouse lighting.  The whole town makes a big deal of the courthouse lighting.  They close off a street and everyone stands around waiting and waiting... little ones climbing the light posts... and all of a sudden when they get to Luke 2:11-12, the lights are all flipped on and everyone sings Joy to the World.
Ya, it's that kind of town.
PS-That's Tess standing up there looking at the gazebo.  That girl could climb a glass wall!
A bit like Mayberry.
A lot like home.
After all the lights are flipped on, families take their little ones on walks around the square, their faces all lit up by the lights and their cheeks rosy from the cool air.  Grammy, my mom, came with us, and we walked around with our children, just like I used to do when I was their age.
And so it just seems natural to say... we're seriously considering moving.

Moving back home!

Actually we're doing more than considering it.  We're planning on it!
We think.
Most certainly.
Truth be told, I am so tired of raising my children in this affluent bubble that is our city life.  And as much as I'd like our move to happen last Saturday, with Papa's job change this summer, we'll need to wait a while.  Like a couple years.  But as I'm discovering, there's a lot that needs to be done in 2 years (well it's 2 1/2 if we're getting technical) if it's gonna happen.  Like cupboards that need to be gone through, a garage that needs to have 17 years worth of stuff sorted through, and lots fingers and toes crossed that the planets align and everything works just right so that we'd be able to do this move at all.

Another one of the things that greatly affects the timing of the move, is that both of our big boys, Boo currently in 6th grade and Patch in 10th, are doing very well right where we are.  And we are not willing to rock their boats.  Raising young men is a daunting task and for right now, it seems to be going well.  So we plan on waiting until they both graduate from 8th grade and high school before moving.  We pray that that will give them time to get used to the idea.  But still, moving children can be rough and full of the unexpected.  Uprooting the only world they've even known, that scares me a bit.  Nevertheless, we're willing to take the risk.   I'm hoping to call myself a genuine small-town girl again sometime in the future!
pps-this may be one of my favorite images ever.  
After the courthouse lighting, and after cookies and hot chocolate back and Grammy and Grandpapa's house, we all climbed back into the car and headed back down to the desert.  Boo looked out the window.  You know mom, I'd be okay if we moved now.  I like it here!
Me too, Boo.  Me too

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Photogallery {Wildflowers in November}

There was a little stretch where the dessert got a lot of rain, more than ususal.  And after a few weeks of it, there were wildflowers popping up all over at the wrong time of year.  Never the less, wild flowers at any time of year are a treasure.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

365 Project (November) & Wanna join the 365 project in 2015?

I will say that I'm still plugging along with the 365 challenge, but only on day #184 today and boy I've seem to come again my personal wall and am I struggling to take a pic every single day.  I love what I'm learning by doing this challenge, but like the hard things in life, it's hard and take commitment. Nevertheless, I'm doing it and still loving it even though it's not easy.

I hope you can find a little inspiration of your own looking at these images and it give you a push to get out there and take some photos of your own ordinary miracles!
And here's something that I'm really really excited to start!  From the interest that I saw last month I'm going to be starting a 365 project in January for anyone that wants to participate.   A 365 group is just taking and posting a picture a day for a whole year.   I really recommend that you try to take a photo every single day because it will stretch your photography skills in amazing ways!  But if you want to post once per week that works too.
Beginner, hobbyist or professional photographer.
Color or black and white.
Edited or SOOC.
DSLR or iPhone pics.
Landscapes or portraits.
Anything goes as long as you took it, aiming to take then post one picture a day.
I'll be posting a photo per day too then adding my favorites images from this new 365 group to the monthly videos too.  Send me an email a message via Facebook (click here) that you'd like to participate, and we'll be starting January 1, 2015!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Photographers

I gave you a photography wish list last year, and it was nice and all for the beginning photographer.  There is some really good stuff on there!  But I had a few emails about putting together a list for a professional or more serious hobbyist photographer that was ready to invest some money. So here it is!  Now I'm going to warn you, many of the things on this list aren't cheap.  They are for those who are already knee deep into photography, and those around them likely already know what this means to the pocket book.  But like many other things in life, you get what you pay for.  So... fair warning.  (Feel free to pass on this link with the # of the one you are hinting to get to your significant other.)

#1  Camera Bag
My camera bags have taken the place of my purse.  No more purses for me anymore!  Just really great looking camera bags that double as purses.  And as much as I love my other camera bags, but I was always kinda bummed about how they wore with time cause they aren't genuine leather.  And then I discovered Shutterbags and was pretty sure I went to photographer heaven!  Shutterbags are made out of real leather, and thus maybe is goes without saying that they are not cheap.  They are real leather and wear as such and are the best quality that I've seen of any bag so they shouldn't be.  I have one coming in January and am beyond excited about it!

#2 A Macro Lens
(or any lens but I didn't want to leave you hanging)
A new lens is better than a new outfit for photographers!  And I know it's hard to narrow down.  So this year I'm recommending the Canon 100mm f/2.8L macro or the Nikon's 105mm f/2.8 micro A macro lens is a fun one to play with and maybe one that a photography enthusiast wouldn't have or buy for themselves.  It also opens up a whole new world of macro photography!

#3 Photography Session
Photographers rarely have really great photos of themselves.  Research who is a great photographer in your area and get a photography session for with your photographer in front of the camera rather than behind it!

#4 Gorillapod
This is a tripod with a special purpose. It is not meant as a replacement to a regular tripod, but as an additional accessory to help get your camera in places your otherwise couldn't.  The flexible Gorillapod legs are able to bend and wrap.  The type I'm linking here, the Gorillapod SLR Zoom is a bit heavier for heavier camera and lenses.  See this review for more info. This is also on my short list of things to keep my fingers crossed for this Christmas!

#5 Calibration Software
I mentioned this one last year, but I get lots of questions about it still so I'm putting on the list again this year.  This one isn't for every photographer, because there are some ways to get around it.  But if your photographer is taking pics for other folks then monitor calibration software is a must because color accuracy is so very important!  Only by calibrating your computer monitor, does a photographer know if the colors she is seeing on her monitor are accurate and thus what will be printed.  Which probably doesn't need to be said but it's pretty important to clients!  There are a few well-know reliable brands out there, but I have experience with this one, Spyder4Pro.  If money is not object get the Spyder4Elite.  Be sure to get the one that works with your computer and operating system.

Rumor has it that the next version of Lightroom, version 6, will do just what Photoshop did and go exclusively to Adobe's Creative Cloud requiring a monthly subscription service.  So if subscriptions that require a monthly fee aren't your thing, you may want to consider purchasing a hard copy of Lightroom 5 before they go the way of the great white whale.  Be sure to look into the "Educator Discount" to see if you may qualify.  Lightroom rocked my photography world like no other editing software.

#7 Shoot Sac
If the photographer your buying for is doing professional shoots and changing lenses during this shoot, she may really benefit from a Shoot Sac.  I know it's on my short list of things I really want!  This camera bag is designed to be worn across the chest during a shoot to make extra lenses easily accessible.  The design of this bag makes it easy to swap lenses without running back to wherever the photographer last set it down. It's not a replacement for a standard camera bag, but to be worn during shoots.

#8 B&H gift certificate
If you just can't decide what to get the photographer in your life, then let her do the deciding with a gift certificate from B&H.  They carry Cannon and Nikon gear and almost everything under the sun when it comes to photography!  I've made a few purchases from them and have been very happy with them, as have many many other photographers because they've been around forever and have a wonderful reputation in the business.

#9 Gift certificate to rent a lens 
Speaking of gift certificates, every photographer has another lens that they'd like to buy.  I promise.  So how about a gift certificate for them to rent a lens of their choice and try it out?  Borrow Lenses is on online rental company that does just that, and it's a long standing reputable company too.  The recipient of this gift picks out what they want to rent and for how long, they ship it to you, and when you're done you ship it back with the pre-paid postage.  It's easy and sure to be a fun gift for any photographer!  

#10 Secondary Computer Monitor
A lot of photography enthusiasts started editing their laptop, and while it suits their purposes in the beginning, let's just say that although a lap top is very convenient, it's not an ideal set up for editing and especially for color precision.  So how about getting the photographer you love a second monitor, just for editing.  And while we're at it, let's make it a big one like this 27" one, from Asus. It gets great reviews and has wonderful colors, (but yes you're still gonna want the calibration software mentioned above in #5).  I have to say that I have love editing on a big secondary monitor!  If you want to go a one that is a bit smaller, they also make this 24" version that's a bit more affordable.

#3, #4 and #7... just in case you were wondering.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Do we sugarcoat adoptions on the internet?

Over on the Q&A Johanna asked,
Is adoption usually sugar-coated on blogs?
It's a simple and straight forward question.  And it hardly has a simple and straight forward answer.

Short answer... 
Yes, I believe it usually is.    

Long answer... 

What you read on blogs isn't necessarily the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  Blogs fall somewhere between reality and entertainment.  Maybe it's a lot like writing in your diary.  There's nothing that says that you have to be totally honest with yourself when you write in your diary.  Feelings are true enough but the interpretation of reality varies greatly from person to person.  So diaries (and blogs) are often more a therapeutic outlet than an objective newspaper report of the facts.  That being said, most moms I know can use their blog as a way to process their own world and make sense of their place in it.  So do we want everyone reading our diary?  Does everyone want to share their mistakes and short comings?  Or the mistakes of their children?  Do we want to put it ALL out there for the world to see... and judge?  Ummmmmm, no.  That's just a little too raw, and I don't know about you, Joanna, but I don't want to walk around naked all the time, especially in front of strangers!  Thus blogs cross the line to entertainment if only by the omission of some (or all?) of the hard stuff.  

Now let's also talk about this hard-to-wrap-your-head-around fact... adoption is born from loss and grief.  Adoption starts from a place of huge life-altering loss.  A child loses his first family at a minimum, not to mention possibly his culture, language, and sometimes every single thing he holds dear.   For adoptive parents their adoption journey can start with infertility and that's no easy path either.  So there's a lot of hard stuff, things to over come and  hope in the adoption process.  And because there are so many hurdles to over come, there can be a lot of celebrating that can go on in the adoption process.  And celebrating absolutely can come off as sugar-coating!  I do think that most moms out there writing about adoption do tend to share the happy happy joy joy and there is no reason that they shouldn't'!  But they can also omit the struggles.  They share the moment their child comes to their arms, and leave out the humongous grief the child goes through.  They share the victory their child's fabulous appetite, and omit food hoarding issues and a half eaten can of condensed chicken soup found behind the bed.  They share a child that smiles with a personality that everyone loves and don't share a child that seems to have few boundaries and lacks a natural sense of fear. It's easier and certainly a lot more fun to share the good times. 

Included in blog audiences are often extended families.  Do we want to share all the difficulties with our extended families? The fears?  All the worries?  Some blog writers do feel comfortable doing this.  And some don't.  Does that make the sunshine and lollipops stories that you read a lie?  Not necessarily.  But isn't necessarily a reflection of the whole truth either. 

And much of this hard stuff isn't our story to tell.  Adoption is our children's story and theirs to tell.  I do tell pieces of Tess, Jude and Mimi's story in my blog, but not all or it.  And as my children get older, I give them the reins on what I share and what I don't, and let them share it or not. Come up to me in person with Tess and Jude in tow and ask me if they are twins.  You'll see that I now pass that question on to them, allowing them to answer it how ever they want, or not at all if they choose.  So the specifics of the adoption story is their story and often parents don't feel they have the "right" to share the personal aspects of it, and with that comes many of the hard things that may then be omitted from blogs.  

For us, we've chosen to share more of the challenges of adoptions than most.  You may have heard me say this before, but because Papa is an adult adoptee, he gets control over what's okay to share and what's not.  And event though they are getting old enough to make some of these choices, he gets to be Tess, Jude's and Mimi's voice until they are old enough to decide for themselves what is okay to share and what isn't.   The world wide web just isn't the appropriate place to share much of the details of our children's live.  If you meet me in person, you may hear a different side of the story with more details and yet, you still won't hear it all.  There are parts of the story that are still entirely theirs to discuss or not. 

There are really tough things that can happen in adoptions.  Life-altering, shake you to the core of your beliefs stuff.  And I don't think adoption necessarily has to be hard.  In fact I know a lot of adoptions that haven't been hard where the family and children transitioned easily with little or no issues, even long term.  But adoption is more complex than having a child the old fashioned way, and it can be much much harder.  Adoption is chock full of stuff folks don't necessarily want to talk about, like fear, disappointment and uncertainty, especially with unknowing internet strangers who may and often do judge them.  Long story short, Johanna, oh yea, I absolutely do think a lot of blogs sugarcoat adoption.  Although I don't think it's necessarily intentional and deceptive sugar-coating.  It's often more of a celebration of the good parts of the journey and protection of the omitted parts.  

The Q&A is here.  Feel free to ask me anything!  

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A little birthday present for Sunny

Sunny was born on Thanksgiving Day.

Before hospital guidelines  about how long new moms should stay in the hospital after giving birth, I delivered her just after midnight and after begging and bribing the doctor and nurses with a large pizza, I was home by noon with my first child, our sweet Sunny.  All my family came to our home that Thanksgiving.  I never lifted a finger, and in fact I don't think I ever left my comfy chair in the middle of the living room, cradling and falling in love with my new daughter.  My family brought the turkey, the stuffing, the green beans, the pie, all the fixin's and cleaned up when it was over.
And I brought the brand new baby.

This is the first birthday and Thanksgiving that she's not with us.  It is a bitter sweet turning of seasons.

So this is for you sweet, wonderful, amazing, birthday girl!  Tess, Mimi and Jude picked out this song because it was only that they all knew and could sing without help.  And now that I think about it, it is kinda appropriate seeing as how I'm back here at home without you!

I am still in love and in awe of you just like I was that first Thanksgiving day.

Missing you, Sunny, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

ps-video sure does give you a glimpse into their personalities!

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