Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Lions, Tigers, and Bears...Oh My!" Ella Goes to the Zoo

Ok, so what do you do in Florida on a beautiful sunny day?...besides go to the beach...
You go to the zoo, of course! And what's a trip to Florida without seeing some flamingos? (Besides the plastic fake ones that people put in their yard).
A cute little hedgehog!

Can you believe this peacock let me get so close? So beautiful!!!

And this is Ella with her fabulous nanny in tow...I mean, Andrew's mom! Hahaha! No, really...she was so helpful and fun to have with us!

I had to take this one for all my redneck friends! Ella on her first tractor!

 She loved watching this little otter do flips in the water. He was very playful! that Tigger our cat? No, but he reminded me of that Tiger in "The Jungle Book."
My little animal lover

This was the perfect age to take Ella to the zoo for the first time. She was very interested in all God's amazing creatures.

This picture sums up our day! A very happy day!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Swim Lesson: Take One

So, being that Andrew and I are HUGE water people, we decided that we needed to get Ella use to the water early in life. In order to make it an enjoyable first experience, we put her in a warm "hot tub/spa" (I promise it wasn't hot) to start. It was like a huge bathtub. She was a little apprehensive when we first put her feet in, but after a few minutes...
we had a very happy and "splashy" little fish!
Here is her supermodel, "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model" pose.
One of my favorite pics in color...
and of course, I just had to do it in black & white. I love the vintage feel of black & white photography. In fact, I probably prefer it over most color photos. 

So, Ella had a great first swim lesson. When we went back the second day, she put her entire body in and swam for a long time. She was so happy in the water! 

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Life at the Beach: Part Tres

"Sunrise. Sunshine. Feels like morning in my eyes..." I felt like singing this song by Norah Jones the morning we went to the beach for the most brilliant sunrise. Beautiful clouds to filter the light made for the most perfect morning light. And, of course, the most handsome father and beautiful little daughter made the morning that much more spectacular...I'm not biased or anything.  I wish I could do this every morning. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Life at the Beach: Part DEUX

Andrew and I have always had an appreciation for the arts. We love museums, concerts, the ballet, etc. So, when our "point and shoot" camera continued to disappoint us with mediocre photos, we decided to invest in a nice SLR Nikon. So, I have now discovered a new passion: being behind the lens! These aren't too bad for an amateur, eh? Is there a future photographer in the making here??? 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Life at the Beach: Part ONE

So, after a hectic week (and since Andrew no longer had a job), we decided to head down to sunny Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for some fun in the sun. Andrew's parents live down there, so it was a free vacation-minus the gas! Here are a few pics from our first day at the beach. Yes, the water really was that beautiful...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Daddy's Girl

So, after a hectic week, our little family decided to just take some time and enjoy spending time making decisions, just enjoying life. Here's a few pictures of Andrew and his sweetheart...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Most Beautiful Story...

It's been a week full of emotions... a week full of unknowns. As a family, we have cried, laughed, broken down, and pulled each other up when the other was falling apart...but most importantly, we have found peace in the unknown.
In the middle of chaos, I heard the most beautiful story. It is so beautiful, I can barely write it without a tissue in hand. It goes something like this...
After the initial shock of being let go from his company wore off, Andrew actively started seeking a new job. We were shocked and blessed that he was able to get an interview on Thursday. When Andrew returned home on Thursday, he relayed to me the details of the interview. It was an hour and a half interview with your usual series of questions. Andrew showed off some work he has done in the past and finished by answering more questions. Here was the final question of the interview that I will relay in a script format:

Interviewer: "So, what brings you fulfillment?"
Andrew:  (Andrew pauses and thinks)..."Well do you mean professionally or personally?" with a smile.
Interviewer: Smiling back he says "Well...let's start with professionally."
Andrew: (blah, blah, some answer that I don't recall)
Interviewer: "Ok. Well, it seemed like you were thinking something else when I first asked that question. So what really brings you fulfillment in life?"
Andrew: He pauses and smiles.. "My daughter."

Dear Ella,
I had our whole future planned out. Within a moment, that was completely turned upside down. I realized I don't have it all planned out...but, God does have it planned out! And His plan is so much greater than our own...and He has given us each other...he has fulfilled our ultimate have you!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My two loves

These two people have my whole heart. I love them so much that I struggle to find words to describe how deeply I feel about them.
Andrew and I have been through so much in the 10 years we have been together. I have no idea what the future holds, but I know that this man will be in my life until death do us part. He is the most honest, hardworking, loving person ever...and seeing him with our daughter just makes my heart melt. 
Life is full of unknowns. But one thing is for sure...God has never forsaken us. He has had His hand in our lives from the very beginning and will until the end. Even though there are times that we cannot understand things that happen, we know we are never alone. We are so grateful that God has given us each other. When I am having a day like today, I look at this picture and it puts life into perspective. Isn't this what it really is all about anyway? 
Dear Ella, 
I am writing this to you today to remind myself that sometimes life doesn't work out as we planned. Today, your daddy lost his job. And although we are scared of the unknown, we are still so blessed. When I got the phone call, I was in a state of panic...but, then you crawled up to me and you were laughing and smiling...and suddenly I just knew that everything was going to be ok...because I have my family. I don't know what all the future holds, but I know it holds a lifetime of love. Thank you for reminding me about what is important today. I love you more and more everyday.