Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Invitations...

Ava's birthday invitations I created and then opted to only go with one.  I made them to be 5x5 and then ordered them from Bay Photo.  They even included envelopes for me, which I thought was awesome and it saved me some money by not having to buy them already.  

As much as I love the B&W one above, I chose the one below since Ava's birthday theme is going to be sweets (a.k.a candy and colorful cupcakes and treats).  Though she also wants a tattoo stand at her party as well.  lol  What a combination.  Well I you only turn 7 once! :)

She is super excited to turn 7 and even more excited for her birthday party!  :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Until We Meet Again...

In Loving Memory of my Step-Dad Dan
October 2, 1960 - July 16, 2012

Gone way too soon.  I know it is all in God's plan and I know you are not suffering, but it doesn't make the pain of losing you any less.  You seemed invincible and are one of the strongest, kindest, most caring men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and having in my life for almost 20 years.  The time doesn't seem nearly long enough and almost two weeks later I still cannot wrap my mind around you not being here.  I want to sit another place at the table for you or to get another text message or voice mail or to hear the excitement in your voice as you say Ava's name every day when you would see her running over to your house.  

Thank you for loving Lori, Ryan, and me as if we were your own.  For being an important part of our lives from the very beginning.  You were a brave man to date a woman with teenagers and being there for us as a Dad would be as we grew into adults and became parents ourselves.  Thank you for loving my Mom with all that you had each and every day.  Even when the days were difficult and the road you traveled was often times not always so easy.  Watching you with my Mom, I know your love for each other grew for one another every single day.  You showed with your actions that you are an honorable man who was completely committed to my Mom and the vows you took as you stood in front of God.  You loved my Mom through her illness with Alzheimer's, never giving up on her and holding out hope for a cure or something that could hep bring back the love of your life to you.  Your commitment to her never went unnoticed by her children. Thank you for standing beside her, when often times others would have opted out.   You have been the most amazing Poppy that Kylar, Austin, Jordan, Alyssa, Ava, & Olivia could have ever had.  You made each of them feel like they were truly treasured, and I know you adored being their Poppy and I know you treasured each of them.  You will remain in their hearts forever and in their eyes no Poppy is more special and amazing than you.  Thank you for showing them the love that you have.  It is something they will carry with them always.

Thank you for almost 20 years of memories Dan.  We love you and one day we will see you again.  

Sunday, July 15, 2012


I did a mini-session of Ava today for photos for her birthday invitation.  This one probably won't make the invitation, but I love it just the same.  Of course, it might make the cut.  :)  Her eyes were huge when she saw this lollipop and it was her reward after the session too.  Not all of it of course. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Last Game of The Season...

and what a fun game it was.  Ava did well and I could not have been more proud of her.  To watch how much she has grown and improved over the last couple months, definitely makes for one very proud Mommy.  :)

I look forward to watching her play again next year.  She even had quite the audience cheering her on for her last game. She is one very loved little girl.  :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Arthur Fireworks

 Once again we made our way over to Arthur again this year for their fireworks display.  And like every year we've gone before, we did not walk away disappointed.  For a small town, they put on quite a show.  Ava loves going to see the fireworks and what could make a Mom happier than to see her child full of smiles and in awe of something so spectacular.  

This year was bittersweet for me.  For the last 5 years I've gone to Arthur to see the fireworks and my Mom and Step-Dad have always gone. This year I invited my Step-Dad along, but sadly my Mom was not able to be there this year with us.  Last year I didn't think that would be our last year watching fireworks together.  Inside something just felt out of place and I missed having her with me.  The holidays make the longing to have her with us a bit deeper.

I did call and invite my brother and his family to the fireworks with us.  I knew Ava would love having her cousins there with her.  It definitely made the event a lot less empty feeling.  :)  

Such an amazing display to watch.  The regular show of fireworks they put on is like the whole show, including the grand finale in Decatur.  I've only been to the Decatur fireworks twice since Ava's been born and honestly I do not feel I am missing out by not going to see them in Decatur.  

The kids oooh'd and aaaaah'd over these.  I love the ones that rain down...Ava does too.  She thinks they look like the weeping willow tree.  I can see how she would think that.  :)

 Ava and Jordan took some pictures on my little point and shoot camera.  None of those turned out that great, but they had fun, and at the end of the day, that is what matters most anyway. 

There was a weird guy parked next to us, who would take pictures of me and Jordan on his camera phone. He did this a few times.  It was creepy.  We thought the guy was possible crazy and every time he did this Jordan and I would look at each other and roll our eyes.  He wasn't even subtle about it either, used the flash on his phone and everything with his camera phone pointed directly at us.  Strange.

On our way down it started to do some lightning and about 10 minutes before the fireworks started it started to really rain.  Our butts were soaked.  Then it let up to a little more than a drizzle, but not really too bad.  Finally it stopped raining near the end.  It stormed last year.  What are the chances of that happening 2 years in a row.  

Mother Nature had her own little fireworks to show us! What a show off she is!  :)

Happy 4th of July America and to all our men and women who have served, are serving and will serve in the future.  America would not have something to celebrate each year if if wasn't for your dedication and service to this amazing country that we take for granted day in and day out.