Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Capturing Motherhood in a Photo

Sophie & Oopsie

I always heard that age five is a BIG year developmentally.  I never quite knew what to make of that statement and often questioned the truth of it.  Now I am experiencing that it is indeed true and I am watching it unfold daily.  While a five year old seeks more independence, at the same time they still want cuddles and attention and praise.  They start to develop deeper relationships with friends and family members.  They really begin to grasp more complex concepts and feelings, etc. and, as I know from my own life, start to have memories which can last their entire lives.  In Sophie's case, this is all true.  She can really articulate her feelings well. She tends to listen a bit better than before but she still has tantrums and emotional breakdowns.  In a few weeks she'll start school and spend more time away from home than maybe ever before. She'll make new friends and establish a foundation for a life outside of our home and family.  It's a lot for a mother to take in. It went by so quickly.

The four of us went out one night last week for a quick burrito.  Sophie asked to sit at a chair in the window by herself.  Not entirely by herself though....Oopsie joined her.  She got a booster seat for him and everything. Alain, Clara and I sat at a proper table just a few feet away yet I couldn't tear my eyes away from my baby girl sitting at the window with her animal friend.  So big yet still so small.

I fought back the tears in the restaurant but they flow freely now.

I am so proud of her and I am madly in love with who she is becoming!

PS ~

As is very common in Sophie's life these days, Lil' Sis had to interrupt to see exactly what she was missing out on.....I just had to include a photo of that!


Nonno Carlo, thank you for that most adorable outfit for Clara. It's perfect!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Here's to Clara and Iggy

This weekend we celebrated two very important birthdays....

Clara's First....

....and Ygal's 36th.  

Each celebration was beautiful, momentous and emotional in its own way.

Looking at pictures from both make me cry.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Iggy Pop

While it might be hard going forward to decide which picture(s) to post each Friday, this week was super easy.   

Let's take a short trip back to 1996.  In the two years before Alain and I were married, we lived in Switzerland.  The years were 1996 and 1997. At that time, Ygal was in college in South Carolina but he came home to Switzerland that particular summer.  July 29th of that year was his 20th birthday.  The rest of the family was away....traveling or working or in college.  Alain and I decided it would be cool to host a little surprise birthday party for Ygal.  We went to the grocery store, snatched up some decorations, presents, and champagne....then proceeded to decorate a corner of the garden.  I also made a homemade carrot cake.  When we asked Ygal to come outside, you should have seen his face.  He was so surprised and wicked happy!  (Can I also just say that Ygal was R-I-P-P-E-D that summer?  He looked really good ~ I guess that's why he wasn't wearing a shirt.)  This day was close to perfect.  The weather was divine and we were all in great, festive moods.  We grilled some food, ate some cake, drank champagne and soaked up the sunshine. We were out in the garden for hours.  As I've said before, it was life at its finest.  It is by far my favorite memory of Ygal.  I know he loved it too because he mentioned it a lot in the following years.  That means so much to me (and I know for Alain too) and I'm just so damned thankful to have this beautiful memory to hold on to.  

I don't think a lot of you have seen these photos ~ they were taken in the days before digital cameras, email, blogs, etc. ~ I hope you enjoy them..... 

I also chose these photos because Ygal's 36th birthday would be this Sunday.

Tio Iggy, wherever you are, Happy Birthday!  We love and miss you...

PS ~ We had to scan these photos to get them in a digital format.  Please forgive the blurriness ~ the pictures are beautifully clear and bright in real life!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Red, Yellow, Green

Look who we spotted while sitting at the stoplight.  It never ceases to amaze me how, even in the roughest of moments, a dog always has the ability to lift my spirits and make me smile.....

PS ~ I have a little dog envy ~ because this dog is GORGEOUS.
PPS ~ Clara "talked" to this dog for a full minute while we were waiting for the light to turn. She was so loud the dog's mom could hear her and we both had a good laugh!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Little Clara is ONE!!!!

It was one year ago today that I had the pleasure of giving birth to this amazing little creature.  I find it hard to believe that she is already one year old.  It was surely the longest year of my life filled with many, many challenges.  But, somehow, it also seems like the happiest year of my life, a year filled with much peace (amidst the chaos).  Clara Luhu, you are a dream come true.......a dream filled with sunshine and laughter, smiles and green grass, baby toes and sweet lullabies.  To say that you completed our family would be a gross understatement.....you filled it up and made it whole.  I am so grateful to have you in my life!  Happy Birthday, sweet baby girl.....

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wild & Precious

 The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean -
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down -
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Does everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

~ Mary Oliver

Friday, July 20, 2012

Iggy Pop

It was three weeks ago today that we were dealt a most devastating blow when we learned of the passing of our dear Tio Iggy.  Alain's younger brother, Ygal, left this world on June 29th, 2012.....just one month shy of his 36th birthday.  We are left behind....stunned, lost, confused, devastated, sad, mourning... and we struggle to find words to express the loss we feel.  Moving ahead in our own lives is difficult yet we're doing our best to continue on while keeping Ygal close in our hearts and looking for ways to honor his life and memory.

I struggled with myself about whether or not to do this post. Yet how can I continue to blog without noting this life-altering event? Still, I could never sum up this tragic occurrence and aftermath in one post, with simple words.  Therefore I've decided I would like to do a post each and every Friday, at least through the remainder of this year, where I post a photo of Ygal with a story or memory attached.  I am choosing Friday because it's the start of Shabbat and Ygal really loved Shabbat. This series of posts will be just one of the ways I sort through my own emotions. I also love the idea of having an outlet to share some of my favorite memories of Ygal.

I chose the above photo for this post because it's one of my favorites.  It was taken at Ygal & Bianca's wedding on November 8, 2009.  Ygal was an amazing uncle, as you can clearly see here.  He loved his nieces and nephews. And they adored him.  It hurts to think that he won't be around for our girls as they get older.  I know it goes without saying but we are committed to spending the rest of our lives sharing what we can and everything we know so that our children do KNOW Tio Iggy.  One thing is for sure.....they will know how much we loved and adored him.  Still do.

Iggy Pop, we miss you.
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