Friday, August 16, 2013


Or is it catch up? I don't know. But I'm behind. I feel bad.

Here we are mid way through August. If I had to sum it up it would be the summer of kittens, and love, and nurturing...and stinky cat litter. What started out as a hair-brained idea from this crazy mama turned into a perfect learning/teaching experience for Ella, and us.

Ella and I get to visit with Una (Darling) as she lives just a few blocks away from us. And through a fantastic twist of fate, KatieRoz were at the Humane Society at the exact moment Simba (now Gypsy) was being adopted. Just this week, I spoke with her new Forever Mama and she is doing amazingly well. Her best friend is a German Shepherd who she sleeps with at night.

Although we know that all of our second litter was adopted up very quickly (just like our first litter!), we don't have any connections with their forever families. Looking back on each of these faces, I'm rather surprised how much I miss each of them for his or her quirks.

Drum Roll please, Larry....

As of yesterday at 2pm, Thomas and Mavis have found his and her forever family. That family is us!! On Tuesday, we took them in for their 'weigh in' appointment. After four long weeks, we nursed them to health and weight so that they were able to get spayed and neutered and micro-chipped. Of the 10 kittens we fostered, they were by far the smallest. We knew this would be our last foster situation of the summer. It. Is. Work. With school starting, mornings would be too much for us. It is chaotic enough on school days. Adding in baby kittens running everywhere and, well, you get the idea.

Within the first week of their stay, Larry and I danced around the idea of adopting Mavis (a sweeter kitten I have never known). We kept it quiet. We spoke in code. Ella was clueless. Within the second week, the idea of adopting sister and brother eeked its way into conversations. Again, Ella was oblivious to our discussions.

By week three, Ella was petitioning HARD to adopt them. She came to me first; then we ganged up on Larry. It didn't take much.

I will forever be on my soap box about how gratifying this experience was for our family. Just because we are done fostering doesn't mean our work at the Humane Society is done. Ella and I will be making monthly visits with donations and to shower love on the animals waiting for adoption. We've made some great connections with the staff. They are so sweet with Ella.

OK. So when we weren't knee deep in kittens we DID do other stuff too.

We enjoyed a great evening picnic at one of our parks. There was more swinging than eating.

We welcomed our great nephew into the family. Trent and Kim are the proud parents of Abbott, weighing in at 9 pounds. She gave birth to a toddler! We are over the moon for them and can't wait to travel to meet him in a few weeks.

We gathered the troops on a beautiful Thursday and hit the bricks at our zoo.

Roz was still out of town on vacation when we went. Almost hourly I was asked, "How many days til Roz gets home?" She missed her girl so, so much.

In the last month or so, Ella's sense of humor has spiked again (so has her growing, by the way). She is a regular jokester. When she is with Larry she ramps up the screwball factor as well. They play A LOT differently than she and I play, for sure. And although she may be taller than ever, she can still 'climb' up and perch on his shoulders like a circus star.

This summer has also brought about some extra stuff for Larry and me as individuals. Thank God we have each other supporting these aspects of 'us'. It helps us be better but it adds to our busy schedules. Larry's band is playing here, there and everywhere. It has been fun as so many of the gigs Ella can attend and enjoy. My camera is getting the work-out of a lifetime. Wedding photo edits have taken up most of my evening free-time. (Reason #1 I'm not reading as much as I'd like to be!) In a few weeks, I'll be photographing my niece Haley for her senior pictures and working in a little newborn love with Abbott.

I finally got through the Washington Island vacation photos (including JT and Allison's wedding) in all of this chaos. Get ready, set, go!

Our blissful friends. What an amazing union. I still get chills looking at these. The reception was at a former dairy factory. It has been restored beautifully.

Some of the youngest and prettiest wedding guests.

Did I mention lavender? Oh, yes. There is a lavender store on the lower level. The aroma was amazing. The sun setting on the fields even more so.

The Island sunset - always this pretty. And I've got no problem admitting that I look exhausted!! It was a long day of shutterbugging at this point.

We made some great memories on School House Beach with our friends. Between these three children, the beauty is hard to grasp.

I managed to capture some beautiful moments on this vacation but this might take the cake. Ami and Ettan enjoying a great cuddle moment.

A girl. A sundress. Her trains.

The porch at our bed and breakfast, oh man, I'm still thinking about that porch. It makes me want to run out and buy an old farmhouse, stat.

We drove past this abandoned tractor at least a dozen times on the Island. Larry had the idea we needed to get Ella ON the tractor for a photo. Nice idea, really. Getting to it offered up a few challenges but they did. Once there, the spiders had taken over. Ella freaked. Larry almost freaked. The result was this photo. Ha!

The vacation ended with an amazing evening of music and swings and horrific mosquito bites. Ella hit a record of staying up until 1:00am.

The E Girls ~ Eleanor and Ella.

Jeremy and the girls. That's a whole lot of hair there...
Music. Sweet Music.

You get the idea now, don't you? If we haven't been 'doing' I've been working on the photos documenting what we were doing. No more ketchup - fingers crossed!

Happy weekend, Ella-Land! ~H

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