Project 52

This last year I came across a fabulous Mommy-photographer-DIYer-and all around great person that opened my eyes to the Project 52 idea. Thank you Shawna from styleberryblog. What a beautiful way to chronicle the year and share the feelings that only motherhood can open your soul to. I want my daughter to know what joy she brings into our lives and the lessons she teaches us. I don't want to miss one minute of it or let these sweet memories fade. This is for you Aubrey... My daughter, my joy, and my life.

StyleberryBlog , Paint the Moon, Lucas and Mahina

Friday, October 12, 2012

52:41 | rewarding

Swim class every Thursday at 6. Dumdum every Thursday at 6:35. The little treat bucket on the way out of the swim school is irresistible. And she earns it. My little fish jumps in and gives it her all... So dumdum it is.

We use positive reinforcement rather than punishment. Choices instead of dictates. It works. She's learning how to be a good person. A sweet, kind little girl that makes her Mama and Daddy very proud. And makes us laugh when she turns it around on us! She's getting too smart!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

52:40 | babies

Aubrey has never really been attached to any one thing. Not even as a baby. I don't know if it's because we never encouraged it or because she was always too busy exploring everything. But then came Mr. Stupid. Horrible name, I know. We can thank Opa for that. Mr. Stupid is the tiger on the right. Squeeze his hand and he will dance to the most awful dive bar music you can imagine. But she loves him.

52:39 | sassy

Aubrey has always had a passion for shoes. At 14 months old, Daddy swore he'd never go to another shoe store with her again. Ha! She was unstoppable. Aubrey needed a pair of boots this summer for a wedding we were in. I wasn't too sure what we were going to find then we saw them. The most perfect pair of purple boots. Her favorite color. They're the cutest thing EVER. I love my little Texan.

Monday, September 24, 2012

52:38 | so true

There's something to be said for the accuracy of fortune cookies. Whether it be her kindness, her generosity, or just being her happy little self, I am so incredibly proud to be her mommy. One of her favorite things to is blow out a candle. And making a wish for Grandma is always part of it. Despite all of the million things that she could wish for herself, her wishes are always to benefit someone else and Grandma is a very special part of her.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

52:37 | holding on tight

She's in our bed. Every night. She didn't start off that way. In fact, she slept in her own bed beautifully since she was born. Slept through the night by two weeks old. She might have done it sooner than that if I hadn't been so concerned with her nighttime feeding schedule. But now... She's cuddled up next to us (all over me) every night. It started with putting her in the bed to nurse her and just went from there. It didn't take long before she decided our bed was more appealing. It's not always the most comfortable but it feels so good. Cuddling up to her and hearing those baby sleep sighs...ahhh... melt me. It's incredible how one touch from Mommy, one whisper, can soothe and settle her. I love being that person. The one that makes anything and everything better. It's a powerful feeling. So yes, for now she's in our bed. Daddy is kicked to one side and Mommy to the other but it works for us. Kicks out of nowhere and her being so close you'd think she was attached but... She's only little once and the days are flying by faster than you can imagine. I'm going to soak them up. 

P.S. She's sideways in this photo. No surprise there.

52:36 | piggy backs

I really have to make a point to be in more pictures with Aubrey. I want my sweet baby to see how we spend our time together. I'm so busy taking pictures that I'm never in them. I write to her in a journal and tell her stories about our life together, crazy comments she makes, what her personality is like but she still needs to see it. And of course I can never get enough pictures of the two of us together.

52:35 | detailed

Sometimes you just have to wait a minute. She had  to write out her grocery list. That's what Mama does so that's what Aubrey does. It also came with an explanation of exactly what we needed and why. She's picking up on my use of rationales. We've never been a "because I say so" kind of family. We always explain the why's and how's so not only does she listen but she understand the concept behind what we're telling her. I can't help but laugh when she says "do you understand Mama?".

Saturday, August 25, 2012

52:34 | educational

We went to the park the other day for Mama to take a few pictures. Ha! Yeah right. With all the trails and informatin signs set out, Mama taking pictures was the last thing on her mind. It turned into a great little adventure though as she told us all about snakes and alligators and any other wild creature she could think of.

 Just so you know... You can pet an alligator as long as it's friendly and has flat teeth!

52:33 | gifted

I get a bright eyed face saying "close your eyes Mama!" and handing me the most special flowers I'll ever have. The kind her little hands picked out of the backyard just for me. They might be weeds, bushes, roses, or whatever but they're the most beautiful flowers in the world because she picked them just for me.

52:32 | girly

If Mama does it, she does it. Only when she does it, eyeshadow is all over her face. I know little boys come with their own charm but I always wanted a little girl.

God knew what he was doing.

Our days are filled with twirly dresses, make up parties, dance class, and baby dolls. There's also plenty of tools, John Deere tractors, and getting dirty. I wouldn't change a thing.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

52:31 | fierce

Fierce. That's how I describe my protective instincts of my daughter. Some think "of course you're protective". No, it's beyond that. It's a gut wrenching, heart aching, I would do anything in this world I needed to do to keep my baby safe feeling. There is no limit. PERIOD.

Monday, July 30, 2012

52:30 | dazzling

That's what comes to mind when I look at these eyes. Full of laughter and happiness. And the way they light up for Mama and Daddy... ahhh... They melt me. I don't know where the grey came from but I could get lost in them. 

52:29 | effort

Even if she's not old enough to remember everything, what she will  know is that Mama put effort into making things special for her. She can look back back at her childhood pictures and feel the love. She will always know how very much she means to us.

52:28 | friday nights at the little gym

She loves this bar. I mean SHE LOVES THIS BAR. I remember when she could barely reach and was unsure what to do but not any longer. If she has a chance to swing on it, she will. Over. And over. And over. And over...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

52:27 | triumphant

She got it! Thanks to a little Ga help SHE GOT IT! Jumping off the diving board, swimming underwater (with amazing breath control), and floating. A couple of new faces encouraging her and she did it. I'm still in shock at how fast  it happened. Literally one day to the next. Proud Mama moment indeed. Thanks Toni and Jennifer!

52:26 | silly

She's a mess... And she has my heart with every little giggle.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

52:25 | frilly

Ballet time is about to begin! We have a dancer in the family and she certainly didn't inherit it from Mama!
"Mommy, I want to ballet" is something I hear at least ten times a day. She loves getting dirty but definitely has her girly side. It's the best of both worlds.

Friday, June 15, 2012

52:24 | a blur

She's growing up too fast.
  She's not a baby anymore and I miss that.
I wish there was a pause button so I could soak in all her sweetness. I think back to the day we brought her home from the hospital. Holding my precious baby girl and feeling the pure joy of motherhood. We were just learning what life with her was like. Smelling her sweet baby breath and touching her soft skin. Getting to know her. Each day is more and more precious. There is a quote by Elizabeth Stone that resonates with me...

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

52:23 | proud

Aubrey is good at entertaining herself while I clean house. Usually she's right there with me over doing it with the Windex, playing in her kitchen, or reading her books. I love it when I walk by and she's reading to her baby doll. I still remember my Daddy buying me my first hard cover book. It was Swiss Family Robinson and I still have it. He told me how much I would enjoy reading. He was right. One day he'll give it to her.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

52:22 | Pleeeeease

It's HARD to say no to my sweet baby girl.
She's spoiled but doesn't always get what she wants or get her way. We don't give in just because it's convenient. We're teaching her right and wrong, responsibility, and consequences. But.... It's still hard to say no when she flashes a certain smile at us. Even Daddy will fall prey to it and give me this look that says "I couldn't help it". Yeah... I know that feeling.
She wanted "just one more" ride on her tractor.

52:21 | Watching your husband be the kind of Daddy you always knew he would be

I could not ask for a better Daddy for our daughter. He was never the guy that refused to change diapers. Fatherhood came natural to him. His love for her is precious and sweet and the kind you hope all children are blessed with. I can still picture his face when I told him we were pregnant. The joy and excitement... The nervousness. And the relief in his tear filled eyes the day Aubrey was born when he knew she was healthy and perfect. Those moments are forever etched in my heart. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

52:20 | fun in the pool

She loves to get naked (thank goodness we live in the country!) and she loves to be in the water. Sometimes in one of her cute little bathing suits and other times just wearing her sunblock. Our recent afternoons have involved a lot of pool time. She's such a water baby. It's now warm enough to enjoy but still cool enough to be refreshing... For now. Pool noodles are always part of the fun. That is unless Bailey gets to them first. Then it's all about cleaning up the gazillion pieces of what used to be a pool noodle.

Two days left in this work week, a three day weekend, then only four days before my vacation. I am SOOO looking forward to all the time I'll have with my sweet baby girl. I have her third birthday party to start planning for in July. WHERE DID THE LAST THREE YEARS GO??? Seriously. My "baby" is going to be three in less than two months! Please slow down. I miss my newborn in my arms but age two has been a pure JOY. Yes, I said joy. No terrible two's here. Not sure what "three's" are going to bring us. It's been fun watching her become more independent and adventurous. Listening to the words that aren't pronounced quite right but that are perfect. Watching her apply what we've taught her. The lessons she's learning and now teaching others. Proud mama moment when my little one explained to another toddler why sharing is important! Wow!
P.S. She wants a princess party and a purple jumping castle. Well Mama found a PURPLE PRINCESS JUMPING CASTLE... Shhh!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

52:19 | simple

I come home from work to find this in the middle of my kitchen floor! Oma got her all set up and she played for a good hour and a half. I had to refill her warm water three times. All the toys in the world and this is all it takes to make her happy. Keep it simple.

We're on the home stretch at work right now. Three more weeks then two and a half months off. I CAN'T WAIT! We have a wedding in June, Mommy will have surgery on her leg late June, family coming to visit, and other than that... Who knows. And I like that. Last summer was so busy-cross country trip, Daddy's surgery, Aubrey's birthday, Unka Bob in the hospital then passing away. This summer I want easy and mellow. I'm sure I'll find something to get into. Maybe some house painting? Maybe not? We'll see...

Saturday, May 5, 2012

52:18 | bumpy

She's going to get hurt. It's a fact of life... Period... I know this but it still hurts me every time.
 Big hurts or little hurts they all cut through me like a knife.
She's a trooper though. She shakes it off and moves on to her next adventure. This boo boo was the result of little miss priss dropping the lid to the ice chest on her nose. Ouch.

Aside from all the wonderful things motherhood has taught me, I've also learned just how dangerous every day life can be. It's amazing how you look at your surroundings differently when you have this precious little person to keep safe. I get crazy looks sometimes from people that aren't yet parents and I think to myself "just wait, you'll see".   

Monday, April 30, 2012

52:17 | friendly

Having a child that is (and will be) an only child can be a challenge. In a good way. I want to make sure that Aubrey has good social skills. I also want her to be independent and know right from wrong. We go to the Little Gym each week and have playdates with friends. She's not around kids her age every day but she gets it. She knows how to be a friend. She's good at sharing and is eager to please. This photo of Aubrey and Kaylee was taken at a birthday party last week and she talked about her "fiends" for days. It's such a relief knowing that we're on the right track. As a parent you really have to think about the choices you make raising your child. Even minor decisions can have a major impact.

Monday, April 23, 2012

52:16 | exceptions

You always want your child to be best they can be and that requires a good start.
A healthy start. Fruits, vegetables, lots of milk and water.
 Very few sweets... but sometimes you just have to forget about that and let them enjoy.
This was at a bridal shower I hosted for a very dear friend. Weeks of planning and hot gluing. Even Aubrey was able to get in on the decorating. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Project 52:15 | messy... but fun

Look at those hands! I went to Pinterest to find egg coloring ideas and decided to try kool-aid. It worked beautifully. It also did a great job turning Aubrey's sweet little hands into a putrid shade of green that I was sure wouldn't come off for DAYS. That's what a little double dipping will get you.
What a pleasant surprise that after her bath she was good as new.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Project 52:14 | fun

I see parents sitting at the park watching their kids play. Not this little girl.
Mama has to be part of the action and I don't mind one bit!
I'm not sure who enjoys herself more, her or me.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Project 52:13 | happy

 Waiting for Daddy to bait her hook and take her fishing.
Smiling because she's about to go on the boat.
Happy because she has her Dora fishing pole... And she knows how to use it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Project 52:12 | keeping the memory alive

This photo was taken in May of 2011. I decided to use this for this week's post because Unka Bob is always in my heart... and Aubrey's too. We lost him last year to cancer. He was like a second father to me and I have very few memories that don't include him.
 I will always believe in my heart that the news of Aubrey's upcoming arrival and the joy that she brought to our family is what kept him so strong for so long.
The smile that she could put on his face was incredible. Love, pride, amazement. He adored her and she adored him right back. I make sure that we talk about Unka Bob every day. I want to keep her two years of memories of him alive. Her memories. Not ours. She talks to him. She looks to heaven with a smile on her face and talks to her Unka Bob. She sends balloons to heaven for him. I want to keep him alive in her heart so she will always know the love he had for her. It was beautiful.
She was his girl and always will be.  

Friday, March 16, 2012

Project 52:11 | traditions

Spring time in Texas is something special. This year has been unusually rainy (meaning we've actually had rain) and everything is green and lush. Flowers are popping up everywhere and it's beautiful.
We go on the hunt for blue bonnets every year and every year we get something different. Aubrey was eight months old the first time we took photos with these pretty blooms and what an adventure that was. She thought they were something yummy to eat so I spent the entire time trying to keep them out of her mouth. This year, at 2 1/2, it's been more about exploring and discovery... which means I have a lot of shots of the back of her head... Good thing it's such a pretty little head...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Project 52:10 | full of surprises

What an understatement! This happened in about 10 seconds three feet from where I was standing. Legs were solid red! She was so proud of what she had done. She came around the corner and said "SURPRISE MAMA!" How can you not smile? Showered the first layer off then it was two bathtub fulls to get the rest.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Project 52:9 | new adventures

Someone is having some serious fun with Daddy. It's time to ride her tricycle at the park. All the ride on toys in the world can't compare to her feet finally reaching the pedals of her shiny "chicycle"... barely... but she's doing it... And leaving us in her dust.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Project 52:8 | excited

"Look Mama, Look!"  She can't get enough of showing us things, of sharing her excitement. I love it that when something interests her she wants us to be a part of it.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Project 52:7 | having an Oma

Not just ANY Oma but Aubrey's Oma. I never had grandparent relationships because we always lived too far away from them but I get to experience it now and... wow... Watching these two together, seeing what Mommy is teaching Aubrey... It's what shapes a person. It's her legacy being passed to me, to Aubrey, and one day to Aubrey's children. Their bond is unique and special and funny and beautiful to witness. Even when Oma sneaks her extra treats saying "but that's what grandma's are supposed to do!".

I snapped this one day while Oma was telling Aubrey about the day we brought her home from the hospital. She held her just like this, in this very spot. I look forward to many many more Oma stories for Aubrey. She's a very lucky little girl.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Project 52:6 | appreciative

She plays hard... She sleeps hard... It's all or nothing with my girl and I love it. Her passion for life. The way she finds joy in the simplest things. The way she has of making me slow down and appreciate what I've been blessed with. Thank you my sweet baby for showing me what's truly important.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Project 52:5 | cuddly

There's nothing better than morning cuddles... Giggles and grins. Laughter and hugs. Kisses that don't stop. This is what makes my world go round.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Project 52:4 | breathtaking

Breathtaking... Simply breathtaking. These eyes are beautiful... and kind... and intelligent... and they look at me with such love that I thank God each and every day. They also have a feisty side that's pretty fun too!

A daughter is one of the most beautiful gifts this world has to give. ~Laurel Athedon

Truer words were never spoken...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Project 52:3 | a photographer in the making

I decided to give Aubrey my very first digital camera. She's already following in mama's footsteps... Nothing is safe from her lens! We've come a long way from when she was an infant and would stop smiling as soon as I pulled out my camera. Now it's her saying "let's take pretty pictures please". I love it. I love the idea that she will hopefully one day cherish our photos as much as I do and find joy in capturing memories.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Project 52:2 | sweet

I made orange sweet rolls for after Aubrey ate a good breakfast. She had other ideas :) It's moments like this that I know I can't control everything no matter how big or how small... and it makes me smile. I'm grateful that I have this precious little person that teaches me as much as I'm teaching her. Right after I snapped this photo she turned around and said "Mama taste this!" Her generosity warms my heart and her words make me laugh... "Cinammon roll" became "casserole".

Monday, January 9, 2012

Project 52:1 | persistent

She's 2 1/2 and knows what she wants. What can I say? She's her mother's daughter. Her current fixation is the pair of shoes that match her Christmas dress. A pearlescent ivory pair that she wants to wear EVERYWHERE. It won't be long before mama doesn't have a say anymore. She's growing up so fast but each day brings more joy and wonder than the day before. Slow down baby girl... Just a little...