Zero to Seven in 27 Photos

Zero to Seven in 27 Photos

One wildly surprising thing about the journey of grief is the raw emotions you find yourself experiencing that show up out of nowhere. Don’t worry, this is actually a very happy post — I’m just starting with a sidenote/forenote of sorts. A few days ago, I had Arabella strapped in on her changing table and I was on my knees on the floor getting something from one of the lower shelves, or sorting laundry, I don’t remember. She flipped over to her belly {she was strapped in and I was right beside the table, so don’t get worried} and her teency little baby bum was in the air, and she had a gorgeous smile on her face. The thought occurred to me, though it had many times before that moment, that it will still be several months before we have the joy of introducing this little person to our family on the far side of the pond. The thought put me into tears on the nursery floor, and I was surprised by how “close to the surface” they were.

With heaps of excitement and anticipation, we are looking forward to visiting SA in March of next year for a big, important birthday. In the midst of the to-do lists involving moving, laundry, estate-settling and getting food on the table, I’m going to make extra efforts to share photos and stories in the meantime. {We miss you heaps, Goo-Goo & Gammy & Auntie Lyn!}

We are a little bit behind on baby photos. The good news is, we have been taking them each month. The downloading, editing, and posting of them is a bit of a different story. We left off at about three months…and we’re at eight now… so I’ve decided just to pull out a few highlights from each month and then hopefully I can get a full post for eight months up… before the Belle is nine months.

Since there’s already been plenty of ado, I’ll spare you further and jump in.

It all started with this tiny gift of a creature arriving in perfect timing…

ZerotoSevenArabella 060 ZerotoSevenArabella 059

And then her first month flew by…

ZerotoSevenArabella 063 ZerotoSevenArabella 062 ZerotoSevenArabella 061

Did you know every time a baby sneezes an angel gets its wings? 😉

ZerotoSevenArabella 064 Belle2months 002

At two months, she seemed rather unimpressed with the whole photo-taking idea. Or maybe she found it a bit… overwhelming?

Belle2months 006

At three months, she decided she loved it!

ZerotoSevenArabella 069 ZerotoSevenArabella 067 Belle3Mth 005

Just before four months, I lost my Dad, and discovered this little girl was a gift I never knew I needed. We took these pictures the day before his funeral, counting gifts in this life, even in the midst of loss.

ZerotoSevenArabella 076 ZerotoSevenArabella 071 ZerotoSevenArabella 065

At five months, it seemed the Belle decided she was not only cool with this whole monthly photo thing, she was ready to ROCK it.ZerotoSevenArabella 072 ZerotoSevenArabella 075 ZerotoSevenArabella 083 ZerotoSevenArabella 086

At six months, we decided it was high time we got outside (HH’s favorite place to shoot!) and added some color to the mix.

ZerotoSevenArabella 073

I also decided an outfit change was in order. {Thanks Kathryn!!}

ZerotoSevenArabella 078 ZerotoSevenArabella 081LastTwo 001

Getting outside = great decision!

ZerotoSevenArabella 087Finally, at seven months, the Belle seemed as comfortable around the camera as she is around Cheerios : very comfortable.

ZerotoSevenArabella 080This thoughtful little face gives me a heartache…

ZerotoSevenArabella 074

LastTwo 002And since the boys arrived as the session was wrapping up, we decided to do something special…

ZerotoSevenArabella 085And grab a new image of the whole gang! I’m so proud of these kiddos… so grateful they are in my life… and so serious when I say that as crazy as things might get when you have three sweet peas and the oldest is four, they give me daily reasons to say Thank You, Jesus. And I trust they always will.

So for one and all, near and far… but especially for the folks we miss so much way down South… that’s Zero to Seven Months in 27 photos.

With hopes I’ll grab a chance to write again soon,

With Love,





Here’s Two for Almost Three

For the past round of monthly photos, the Hubs was away and I had to commandeer the camera in hopes of capturing the moment. It went a little something like this.

Oooh! Is it time for my monthly photos already? Yay!

Look how well my sweater matches this month’s sticker!

Belle2months 003

Wait! Where’s Dad? He always takes my picture so nicely. He’s not here???!!!Belle2months 004

Well then who’s taking my pictures this time…??Belle2months 005

Mom!!! I’m not sure about this!!!Belle2months 006

Alright. Well pass me the rattle and just do your best, okay, Mom?Belle2months 007

Hmm. I think you’re doing okay. I’m feeling like this could be a good one.Belle2months 009

How do I look? Can you tell I’ve grown since last month?

Belle2months 008

I’m gonna smile for the camera! This is great!  What a good surprise!Belle2months 002Happy Two Months to me!!!

Here’s my Progress Report:

BellaOneandTwoSo there she is folks! Our sweet little Belle is growing quick quick! Laughing lots, smiling loads, loving her brothers and music and playing in her little play place, batting at the rattly little lion just like the Tank did! We feel overwhelmingly blessed.

Love y’all!


P.S. Did you local folks hear about the upcoming Quiver Tree Photography workshop? If you’re keen to improve your camera skills it is a great opportunity… Hero Hubs is a great teacher! Leave a comment if you have any questions!

When It’s Time to Bite the Bullet

Four score and about two years ago, give or take, I had a bit of an issue with the Bear’s hair. He was a beautiful goldilocks of a lad, and I just couldn’t bring myself to cut those precious curls. Eventually I had enough strangers ask, “How old is she?” that I finally gave in and did a chop.

It was like this before:

Thoughtful BearAnd like this during the big chop:

The During

And afterwards, he was a grown up little Bear.

Grown UpI didn’t want to cut the Tank’s hair because it felt like a letting go kind of moment… saying goodbye to adorable curls and hello to he’s not a baby anymore.

It was getting bad.

TanksHairCut 006 TanksHairCut 005

But a lovely little curl like this is hard to say goodbye to.

TanksHairCut 004

TanksHairCut 007

What are you looking at?

I’ll be the first to admit I have no idea where the expression “bite the bullet” comes from. Would you like to leave a comment to explain? Who bites bullets?

But finally today, it was warm enough for an outdoor hair cut (less mess) so I bit the bullet, metaphorically speaking, of course, and gave those curls a crop.

The End.




Oh! Did you want to see the results?

Well okay.

After I show you how much the Bear looked like his Dad today — I couldn’t believe how much I could see the Hero Hubs when I took this picture while taking those pictures above to document the curls I was waving goodbye to.

TanksHairCut 008It’s a four-year-old version of Hero Hubs — except this one’s brunette!

So, returning to the story, the curls got the chop.

TanksHairCut 002And I’d say the Tank is better for it — who has the nickname ‘Tank’ and curls? Except for maybe a few rugby players, I can’t think of anybody.

Nope, still can’t.

This was when he expressed disappointment that it wasn’t time to go to my Mom’s house.

TanksHairCut 001Obviously not phased by the loss of his curls, whatsoever.

TanksHairCut 003

So we all lived happily ever after.

The End.

For real this time.







Rub-a-Dub, Dub

Rub-a-Dub, Dub

I hardly shared a single photo from our time in Scotland, but I think that’s because, outside of the photos for the wedding, and whatever I took with my iPhone when it wasn’t missing in action (which was like three out of our six days there) there really wasn’t much to show, with it being so rainy every day and whatnot. But as I was looking for something to update something somewhere else a little while ago (how do you feel about vagueness, vaguely speaking?) I found this photo that I’d begged the Hubs to take when Alice was busy with dinner and I was given the task of dropping the three kiddies into the tub.

Sophie, who you may remember as the flower girl from the Bell-Tominey-do, is pretty much as cute as cute can be. Her little sister was not in the tub for the picture because she was about seven weeks old at the time, and when you’ve got a Bear and a Tank in the tub, I think you can count on things being dangerous.

Oh man, I would seriously love for the Bear and Sophie to get hitched, several years down the road, just so we can share this photo at their wedding.

Rob and Alice…thank you again for your fabulous hospitality!


We Really Like Good Pictures {Photo Contest}

When we decided to invest in a camera to take pictures of the little one we were expecting four years ago, I wasn’t half as excited as I should’ve been. Now that I look back on the years of memories that I have from the days when the Bear was just a wee little thing, and the glorious swaddled up images from the morning after the fateful nine-minute delivery of Tiger Tank, I am just so grateful that those memories are captured, especially since we’re now thousands of miles away from where any of them took place.

{Can you believe this is the Bear? Totally what the Tank looks like right now!}

Now that we are able to not only take quality pictures, but also print them out on high quality photo paper or on a gallery-wrapped canvas, (ya know, in the Quiver Tree Gallery) I have realized that I value that investment even more. It has already happened a couple of times that folks have brought in pictures that weren’t captured particularly well, and the Hubs has had to discuss with them the likelihood that printing them on a big old canvas might not come out as nicely as they might be hoping. Sometimes the images are just low-resolution, other times (in addition to the low-res problem) feet have been cut off or the angles are strange — and I remember that I’m a rather fortunate gal to have a Hubs that knows how to use a camera very well.

I digress. But it seems that’s what I do best!

I just caught wind of a photo contest I wanted to tell you guys about. Shutterfly has had a photo contest running for a few weeks now, and there are two weeks left. Each week they have a different photo theme — this week it’s Sports & Activities (7/30 to 8/5) and next week it’s Parties & Celebrations (8/6 to 8/12).

{Water Fun was last week — wish I’d taken a moment to send this in!}

They’re giving away prizes each week, but the Grand Prize winner will win a trip for 4 to the Bahamas, which will include a 4 night stay and a family photo shoot! Score. I wish Quiver Tree Photography was the outfit responsible for doing that shoot. (Preez?)

Anywho, you just need to head over to Facebook, like Shutterfly and upload a photo to enter. Apparently you’ll get a gift from Shutterfly just for entering, but I don’t know what dat is. 🙂 You can enter this week and again next week… so if you have a moment, I think you should go for it. And if you’re not already a family of four, I have a suggestion or two about who you can invite to join you if you win. 😉

The official rules are right here. And I feel like a responsible adult for taking a moment to share them.

And after this photo contest is done, I’m thinking I should maybe host one right here with a giveaway. Would you send in a photie for a chance to win a prize? I’m thinking the odds would be in your favour ’round these parts!


First Year in Review {Part Two}

Yesterday I began the arduous and heart-sore task of sharing those lovely monthly photos we took, to share the Tank’s progress from Speedy Delivery to our crawling, cruising, drooling bundle of joy who just turned one. It turned into a photo fest because there were so many in-between shots it felt wrong not to include to tell the story.

Hope ya don’t mind.

We were in North Carolina, close to seven months old, Tiger Tank meeting his maternal grandparents for the first time, big brother beginning Preschool. Emotions were soaring and dipping and soaring again…

I had a birthday…did I ever show you my awesome cake?


{From Africa to North Carolina…well done, cake decorators! They even included Madagascar, my favourite!}

And suddenly six months was seven!


{Seven Months Young!}

And the unexpected joy of having a child in the middle of a transcontinental move just keeps flowing…


Month 8 was a smiley one…we struggled to keep this little guy still and keep my hands out of the picture, but not let him fall off this chair! See?


{‘Course the 8 Month Story Went Live After the Tenth… Whoops!}


We headed down to visit Uncle Russ in Atlanta for Thanksgiving, and we got to see our precious cousin, Emmi Claire! {And her parents, with a wee one on the way!!}


And the 9 month milestone took place at Uncle Russ’s.


{Nine Months On the Outside!}

It was in this very spot the Thanksgiving before where we opened the envelope to find out if the Tank was a Tank or a Tinkerbell!

Then, we missed Goo-Goo and Gammy, but loved seeing family and friends for our first Christmas.



And by then 10 Full Months had come and gone…

{Ten Months, And Leave the Lid Down}

We moved into our new place and the weather outside was chilly!


Before we knew it, eleven was the number on the shirt and oh my the baby days were cruising by too quickly!


{Grace-Laced Elevensies}

And with the blink of an eye, it seems this year went by about as quickly as the crazy drive to the hospital where the journey began.


{And the rest of the 12 months photos still need a download and an edit, and are forthcoming.}

Through sleepless nights, drooling and teething, unmentionably awful diapers, brothers already having little spats and arguments over toys, even through getting sprayed with milk or personally receiving on my own face many-a rejected taste of food — through it all I am more convinced than ever that “Children are a gift from the Lord. They are a reward from Him.” {Psalm 127:3}

I am fearfully and wonderfully thankful. And wow, we’re just getting started.