Monday, August 4, 2014

what a ten day stretch that was...

Even I can say with 100% certainty that the 10-day stretch we had in mid-July was something for the books. It was: Good. Exciting. Heart-Warming.

Isn't this magical? I captured it at the Collingwood Arts Center - a 100 year old building that has served in a great many capacities in its life. Oh, and it is haunted, which makes this even better!
We said farewell to the BFF and her mama for three weeks as they visit with family and friends down south. BRUTAL, I tell ya'. Ella is missing her Roz so, so, much. They are back at the end of this week. She is counting the minutes.

We had Vacation Bible School. Although we can't help/attend every day due to my work schedule, we do it when we can. Thankfully, Ella actually participated and didn't hang from leg like in the years before. I helped out with her class and came home both days like a bomb had gone off in my head. I kneel down to the elementary teachers of this world...

After decompressing on that Thursday night after VBS (settling in with my laptop and PBS) I got a text I had been waiting for - a text that had been on the back burner for almost nine months.

My rockstar friend Michelle was in labor with their fourth child...FOURTH. Because this little man was set to be their last addition, we made a pact: I would be there to photograph nearly all of the labor and arrival of Joseph Thomas. I say nearly because c'mon, well, you know what I mean.

I arrived at the hospital at nearly midnight, settled in with a good book in the waiting room and let them know I was there. A few short minutes later, Daddy-O Matt retrieved me.

It. Was. Incredible.

To say that I was honored and humbled to be welcomed into such an intimate setting is an understatement. We will forever be connected. I operated on about 3 1/2 hours of sleep in a 48 hour time frame. He was worth every second of lost sleep.

Joseph Thomas about 15 minutes old.
Our garden is so lush and beautiful right now. And these sweet sunflowers are growing a mile a minute.

And then the rest of this stuff happened too: a pig roast in the 'hood; a night out watching Larry's band; dressing up and flitting around the backyard; school uniform shopping (wherein I spent the entire time in denial) and then swimming in the bathtub.

I also was able to volunteer some shutterbug time to Adopteen Camp that was held in our city this year. 130 teens adopted from China. Woah. The organizers do such a bang-up job connecting these young adults. I thoroughly enjoyed playing a small role. Ella came as my assistant. I spent a lot of time explaining to her what we were doing before we got there.

I have no problem admitting that I got a bit choked up looking at this sea of teens. (Shocking, I know.) Fast forward 10 years and Ella and all her FCC buds will be doing this. It was like a time transport and in light of my feelings of summer - life - moving too swiftly, you can just about imagine my state. Ella: "Happy tears, right mom?"


 This was the official "I haven't had a nap and I've hit the wall" stage...

Celebration. Inspiration. Pride. What a most excellent motto. What a most excellent experience for Ella and me.


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