Friday, August 28, 2009

Weekend O' Fun

Friday afternoon, Adam and Jayci and I packed it up and headed back down to camp for a dear friend's wedding (she also happens to be Adam's boss's daughter and the reason we worked for camp in the first place). Despite the weirdness of being at camp without kiddos, we still had a great time. And I, personally, felt pretty impressed by how quickly and beautifully things are moving along in the building phase of camp. Our motto, apparently, at Camp Grace is "go big or go home." For that reason, our camp is pretty much the best ever. Just saying.

Here I am with the bride and my little Jayc-face at the rehearsal dinner. The area where camp is located is apparently some sort of camp mecca, and there are lots of other camps in the area. As a matter of face, the rehearsal dinner was at another camp just down the street from ours. Please refer to above if you're wondering which camp was better. Not that it matters. . . With the BEAUTIFUL bride before the ceremony.
Look at those flowers! Loved them. It turns out our camp neighbor (who, by the way, is the nicest person ever) is also a talented wedding coordinator/floral arranger/farmer/cow wrangler extraordinaire!
A few more shots from the ceremony in the newly-completed amphitheater, overlooking the lake. I mean it was flat-gorgeous (all of it: the setting, the ceremony, the bride, my baby . . . )

Our neighbor's cute kiddo. I was powerless to resist taking her picture.
And this one. Well this one just melts me every time. EVEN when she's "falling out" big time because that horse-drawn carriage the bride just rode in on? She simply MUST go look at it. She was quite insistent on it, totally disregarding the fact that I was hoping to, you know, watch my friend get married and all.
The happy couple having their first dance under the lights in the tent. Awww.
Here's the camp crew reunited and being ourselves. Notice I am the only normal one. And I dont want any comments from the peanut gallery regarding definitions of normal and so on and so forth.
Although I know you love looking at my pictures, since this post is quickly approaching novel (or picture book at least) in length, I will end it here. No need to thank me for that. I know when enough is enough. At least I usually know. Or sometimes know. Whatever.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Public Service Announcement

Just in case anyone is driving through my neighborhood (which shall remain nameless for the sake of safety and blah blah blah), they should be warned that apparently a crazy lady has been spotted backing straight down her driveway, across the street, and into her neighbor's tree.

Oh wait, that was me.

This is just embarrassing. I mean 9 years with a perfect driving record (well besides that one time when I might or might not have rear-ended that brand-new Lexus and the nice business man told me not to worry about it. But that was when I was 16. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I ever told my parents about that one) and I blow on something which can only be labeled "acting a fool."

The best/worst part? Our neighbors across the street are old friends. Who will probably never let me live it down. But also already knew I was crazy when they moved in.

On another note, this week has been a doozy. I mean, without even including my little, ahem, car mishap, I've been sick off and on (mostly on). And Jayci also had her first case of REAL throw-up (as opposed to baby spit-up, which doesn't even smell that bad as it turns out). Real throw-up, on the other hand, totally does. One day last week when I went to get her out of bed, she had puked all over the place, and I was all like "that's weird," before going on my merry way (I mean after washing her sheets, clothes, and bathing her of course). So then I fed her yogurt for breakfast. Which was not the brightest idea I've ever had. She threw up all over our beautiful carpet (someone please remind why I thought buying a really pretty carpet in light brown/light blue was a good idea with two dogs and a small child). And then we went to Subway and she threw up there as well. And let me just tell you how delighted I'm sure all of the lovely people trying to enjoy their lunch felt about that one.

Oh and then this past Saturday night at around 2am, she was being really fussy and crying (and the boys - Zack and Sabo - were spending the night and their room is right next door to hers so I clearly had to go get her). And she blew chunks all over me. Seriously, all over me. I whisper-yelled into the monitor for Adam, feeling panicky because I was quite certain the smell and feel of it all over me was going to make me throw up too. I'm getting the willies just remembering it. Yuck.

All that to say that it has been a lovely week. Just delightful really.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Housekeeping. And Y'all KNOW I Don't Mean Cleaning.

1. Several of y’all have asked me how you can support what we’re doing and help out the kids we work with (and by several I mean 3 or 4, but that’s enough for me). Since my goal is to keep my bloggy friends completely and fully satisfied, at all times, we have added a little donation button on the top right corner of our blog. Do you see it over there? Cute right?

I’m not doing this to make money or to try and exploit y’all. Truly. We just wanted to provide a way that people can get involved in our ministry and with our kids if they feel so led. So far we have raised about 50% of the amount we need to run the mentoring program for the year (Which is abso-mo-lutely amazing, and God has been so faithful to provide - but that's another story for another day)
(*Also, just FYI - Vision Atlanta is a 501c3, so any contribution you make will be tax-deductible.)


2. Links and other fun:
- Visit our VAM blog to stay up to date on our support, training, and so on and so forth.
- The website for our mentoring program and summer camp is www.visionatlanta.org
- Want to get our newsletters and other info about the work we're doing downtown? Send me an email at Becca1612 at hotmail dot com - with your address and I'll get them in the mail for you!
-Don't forget you can still go watch our story (and how the heck we ended up here!) on the Broken Voices Website (www.brokenvoices.org) and watch our webisode: JUMP.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Nostalgia: Wistful Desire

For as long as I can remember, I have loved the English language. The fact that certain words can take you to new and exciting places. Or can exactly describe a feeling deep within your heart. I mean, I can't always EXACTLY describe what I mean without rambling on for several paragraphs, but apparently some people can.

Despite the undeniable power of language, sometimes pictures alone have an uncanny ability to transport and even transform us. To take us back. To help us remember. Or to give us hope. Or to take us to a place we have never been, and yet long to go.

This week's theme at I Heart Faces is nostalgia. The dictionary defines it as a "a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time."

And that my friends, describes exactly what I felt the minute I saw this picture. A pang of longing for these kids. For the innocence of my own youth: an innocence they will probably never themselves experience. I look at each of their faces, some solemn and steadfast, others with shy smiles or hidden eyes. And for each of them I yearn for a happiness I can only hope they might have known, or one day will know.
Not to mention that it somehow manages to perfectly juxtapose the past and the present. To put "Cowboy" (for realz, that's the only name we knew him by) right next to Obama. Kids from the city right smack-dab in the middle of farm life . . . It's a beautiful way for them to learn and grow. And a beautiful place for change to start.

For more nostalgic fun, visit I Heart Faces!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Best Friend's Kids

And let me just say that I don't use the term "best" lightly. Unless, of course, we're talking about the BEST cheese dip ever. The BEST cheesecake I've ever had. The BEST fountain diet coke I've ever tasted. Or the BEST day of my life. Ok so maybe I exaggerate sometimes. But this time I'm being for serious when I say my BEST friend has the CUTEST kids EVER.

Don't believe me? Here's some photographic evidence of all the cuteness.


The crinkled nose is my personal favorite way to smile. Although I think it might look slightly cuter on T than it does on me. Maybe.

Um hello freckles?


I saved the best one for last . . . Could you just die at his cuteness? Cause I could.

And no, I never exaggerate. Ever.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bubble Rejects . . .

That sort of sounds like an oxymoron or something. 'Bubble' just seems far too happy and carefree to be rejected. Of course, I myself was rejected many-a-time, so I can totally understand how "bubble" feels right now.

I must apologize because I just re-read that last sentence or two, and they make no sense whatsoever. Which is why, my friends, one shouldn't stay up playing with Photoshop when all you REALLY need is sleep. Well that and some chocolate, but there is none to be had. So sleep is a close second.

Here's a few shots from our bubble photoshoot yesterday that didn't quite make the cut for this week's contest. Please dont tell me if I picked the wrong one for my entry. Those are the sorts of things I prefer NOT to know.
*Please note that many of these pictures did not even end up having any actual bubbles in them. Apparently I have less-than-cat-like reflexes.

Oh Look - There's a bubble!
Jayci's first bubble bath. I think she liked it.

Bubbles

The theme at I Heart Faces this week is bubbles. I wasn't sure I was going to get to enter, since most of my pictures involve Jayci with her eyes closed or I missed the bubbles due to all the wind. However, I quite enjoy this picture of Jayci.

As usual, visit I Heart Faces for more fun bubble-entries.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Jayci at 11 Months Old

I can hardly remember the last time I posted pictures of the little Jayc-face. Which means it has been entirely too long, and I plan to remedy that immediately.

A few days ago, my lovely hubby thought it would be a fantastic idea to walk like 2 miles to a playground. Did I mention it was probably 100 degrees outside? And I prefer to NOT exercise?

Despite all of that, a good time was had by all. And not only did Jayci have fun, but I got some pictures of her being, well, her.

So since she's the real reason y'all read this blog anyways, here she is!

We have a feeling she's going to love roller coasters one day.
This is my new favorite picture AND expression. My friend told me she just looks mischievous. She does, and she is.
Look at those two wittle teefies!
Her newest trick: She just stands up in the middle of the floor. But she does NOT want to walk yet.
She just up and climbed in this basket. Silly girl.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

For Those Who Prefer NOT Rambling

Although I suppose that those who prefer NOT rambling probably don't visit this here blog. Because rambling is my specialty.

However, in the interest of keeping myself well-rounded, I am going to refrain from rambling in the form of words today. I will do so using pictures instead.

My best friend and me in SosuaA cool statue that Adam saw and I didn't. He likes me to show off his mad photography skillz.
What Courtney and I did every day. We are obviously highly ambitious and motivated.
About to go snorkeling. Have I mentioned that I am not the best swimmer?
Adam's snorkeling wound. No joke, a fish left teeth-marks on his finger.
And here I thought we were taking a cute couple picture on the beach. One would think I'd know better after 7 years or so.
Oh look! A random fellow wandered into our picture. Strange how much he resembles Ryan.
Like I said: Adam does not do normal very well.
Adam would like me to entitle this: "Ryan between Adam's legs." I thought it was highly inappropriate and not funny at all.
And here we are in all our shiny, sweaty glory. Apparently, August in the Dominican Republic is HOT. Who knew?After eating our SECOND dinner. Because it was all-inclusive. And because that's just how we roll.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Why I Knew It Was Time to Come Home

We are finally at home, and our vacation was lovely.

The weather was beautiful. Irresistibly warm, crazy-hot really: the kind of heat you can't enjoy without jumping in the pool every few minutes, or turning your lounge chair to face the breezes off the ocean.

The food and drink was good (not GREAT, mind you, but "you get what you pay for") and they were, after all, unlimited. Because large quantities of anything somehow makes it taste better. Or not. Whatever.

I devoured no less than five novels, along with way more food than is probably healthy, or helpful to my hips for that matter.

And the company was just delightful: the kind of friends who can talk for hours, play a mean game of spades, or sit in unhurried silence.

Despite the general loveliness of our vacation, I am actually not a jet-setter at heart; so by the last day or two, I was ready to head home.

My arms developed this itch, which I knew wouldn't be scratched until they held little Jayci tight within them. I longed, ached really, to nestle into her still-baby softness, even knowing she would struggle to assert her almost-one-year-old freedom. I wanted to see her flash her two little pearly whites at me. To watch her realize that I had somehow sneaked a bow, unnoticed, into her hair, and then unceremoniously rip it out. I even longed to watch her arch her back and yell/scream with frustration when she doesn't get her way (this longing might have been the pina colada talking. . .)

Not to mention the fact that everything we did left me thinking about how fun it would be to have Zack and Sabo along. When we went snorkeling, and I found myself surrounded by flashing slivers of back, blue, yellow, striped fish eating bread from our hands, all I could think was: Oh the boys would just love this (actually they'd be freaked out and excited all at once but whatever). And as I sat and watched the vastness of the ocean, I ached to tell Sabo about a God who is powerful enough to hold the waves in His palm, but who loved HIM individually.

Besides all that sappy stuff, our resort didn't have diet coke. And I was MORE than ready for a big ol' fountain one. Next time before we go on vacation, we need to call and make sure they serve Diet Coke and not Diet Pepsi, which bears an uncanny resemblance in flavor to soap if you ask me (not that you did, but when has that ever stopped me before?)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm Nothing If Not Silly

Actually that isn't entirely true. I tend to NOT act all that silly, but I really enjoy it when those around me act silly, causing me large quantities of laughter. Laughing's my favorite.

That said, I picked this picture for this week's "silly face" theme at I Heart Faces because it makes me laugh. Every. Single. Time.

I hope it makes you laugh too. Adam wasn't sure you would be able to figure out what was going on in the picture, but I have more faith in you than that. . .
(Just in case: Lee is punching *pretending i hope* Sincere in the face in the backseat . . . Sincere's face is classic right?)

And I ALSO hope that you will go to I Heart Faces to see more silly faces. It's loads of fun. Would I steer you wrong?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I Don't Think Anyone is Ready for This . . .

Over at I Heart Faces today, the theme is: My story in photos: "The Summer Edition."

I'm not sure if Angie and Amy realize the sheer volume of pictures I have procured this summer. Let's just say it's a lot. A whole lot.

I attempted to consolidate in collage form, but could only make it down to one collage per week.
**EDITED TO ADD: Please note that we had 5 weeks of kids and only 4 collages. My brain is clearly already on vacation. . .




And then there are just some pictures begging to burst free from the restraints of collage format.
One of Jayci's new favorite past-times: Pointing at everything. It looks like Adam is going to have his hands full fending off the boys when she's a teenager. Or rather when she turns five or so . . .
Where we spent, well, our entire summer: "The Fort."
I'm telling you, there is no end to the pictures. None. This post is going to take me all day/night.
But since I leave tomorrow morning at 3:45am (that's right: three. forty. five. am.) for a much needed vacation in the Dominican, I will have to show a little restraint in the picture department. And y'all? Restraint is not my strong suit.

Nevertheless, I feel like these pictures really do tell the story of a delightful summer. And not just for me, but for each and every one of these kiddos. Hopefully, I can share even more of their stories with you soon. But not this week, this week I will do nothing but the following: eat, drink, relax, read, and sleep. Thank-you and good night.

Want more (well less per post probably . . . )summer pictures? Just visit I Heart Faces! Seriously. Do it.
Oh and let me just leave you with a quick shot of what we've been doing SINCE camp. That's right, taking our kiddos to the pool. Cause that's how we roll.

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