Our Christmas 2014

Well, it happened and it happened fiercely.

Christmas 2014.

I will remember it as the Christmas I almost didn’t get the tree up.

The Christmas I almost didn’t get the presents wrapped.

The Christmas I thought would be a bit skimpy, but lo and behold, it turned out as plump and magical as always.

We did our traditional Christmas Eve candlelight service with IHOP for dinner after.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

© Angelia's Photography 2014

© Angelia's Photography 2014

As beautiful as it was, I think we should have just stopped there. IHOP ended up being packed. The girls were in absolute distress to be late back to their mom’s.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

It was actually our year for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, but we had traded it to their Mom and just borrowed them Christmas Eve. I thought this might be Bridget’s last “Santa” year and I wanted their Mom to have it. In the end, as happy as I was to have my family together on Christmas Eve, it was just too tense and I felt really bad about the late thing, even though it wasn’t exactly our fault. It still was and…it wasn’t fun. Not for anyone. I did enjoy Averey’s great-grandparents who joined us at IHOP. I do hope that becomes a new tradition.

When Christmas afternoon came, we received the gift of two stress-free happy girls ready for a wonderful Christmas Day.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

© Angelia's Photography 2014

I didn’t mind at all waiting until Christmas Day to open presents. It was nice to have a relaxed time of opening gifts and having some time to enjoy them.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

© Angelia's Photography 2014

Of course, we dressed the dogs up. Of course, we did.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

Bridget’s first gift was the new Kindle we got to replace the one the thieves stole a few months ago. The tag said: To Bridget From: Someone who is sorry.

I doubt they are sorry at all, but it was a nice thought. Maybe, if they knew they took an eight-year-old’s Kindle they would feel sorry. Maybe? Nah.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

Molly got a cool cat shirt. And many, many other things.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

© Angelia's Photography 2014

And then, the big gift they had to open last. The iPod Touch we trekked out on Black Friday to retrieve at a decent price. Oh yes, we did!

© Angelia's Photography 2014

© Angelia's Photography 2014

It was worth it.

The smiles. The enchantment. The surprise. Every second of blood, sweat, and tears worth it.

Okay, maybe there wasn’t any blood or tears, but I sweated to get those presents all wrapped. Phew!

© Angelia's Photography 2014

© Angelia's Photography 2014

The grand baby was more fun, too. Oh, she doesn’t “get” it. But it is still fun to watch her surprise. Next year, I have no doubt, she will most certainly “get” it.

© Angelia's Photography 2014

© Angelia's Photography 2014

One of the gifts was a set of Speed Bumper cars. Those were a big hit and just as I predicted, the big kids (including Jason) liked them just as much as the girls.

© Angelia's Photography 2014
There was another surprise for me. Jason and I had promised not to exchange gifts, but out of the tree, he pulled a little box. Inside the little box, a beautiful set of diamond earrings. Earrings I have wanted a long time. I was surprised, thrilled, and humbled. What an enormously sweet gesture.

So, Christmas 2014 was an amazing day!

And now, the fun really begins….

© Angelia's Photography 2014

Giving Thanks

I can’t believe it is Thanksgiving already.

Where has the year gone?

I think this one zoomed by faster than the rest.

This is my second Thanksgiving with my little grand girl – Averey Elizabeth.

Thanksgiving 2013
Thanksgiving 2013

An itty bitty baby a year ago.

And this year, she has changed so much. She is a mover and shaker. Loves to play, laugh, clap, squeal, and RUN.

This is her and Bridget at the park last weekend. The baby is running, and Bridget is trying to keep up.

The best part of my outing is when Bridget plops down next to me and says out of breath, “I am tired!”

I guess being an eight-year-old and chasing after a busy toddler is too much for her.

What’s funny is I have photos of her “running” all crazy. And you know? It wasn’t that long ago…

Little Bridget
Little Bridget

I am so thankful I have been in her life since she was a toddler.

I am thankful to share the love of Averey with her.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography
I am pretty sure they will be friends for a long, long time.

I’ve had an entire year plus a few months of being a Grandmother. I wish I could explain what joy that brings me, but it isn’t something you can explain. It is just something you feel in your heart.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

I am grateful for this experience. It is a treasure and a gift.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

And yes, it is going by way too fast. I don’t want her to grow up, and yet, I can’t stop time. I’m not sure I would want to either. I am enjoying the great changes she is making.

So, I will cherish every moment. Every run. Every laugh. Every squeal.

And I am thankful.

So very, very thankful.

I thank you all for being here. I wish you many blessings and memories on this Thanksgiving Day.

If you don’t celebrate, that is okay. You can still be thankful.

Just take a quick lesson from a very cute fifteen-month-old.

The Beauty of Raindrops

It rained today….

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams. You are the center of your universe, and you can make anything happen. -Ashley Smith

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

And the beautiful raindrops gave me something outstanding to photograph.

She Will Be Loved

End of June, we welcome a black and white kitty into our home. Our home of four dogs ranging in size from big to little – rowdy to shy. We have no clue how she will do with the dogs, kids, or even the grand baby. In fact, I am not sure if I will be raising a cat or a cat who thinks she is a dog.

The only thing I know for sure…she will be loved.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography
And she will be photographed.

Evidence clear in this post.

This is the baby kitty mama. A little mama gifted a cute kitty for her eighth birthday present.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

This is her new housemate, the ever-curious Anna dog.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

She gives her the welcoming lick and sniff initiation.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

A sweet greeting of the canine-kind.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

Mya is not impressed.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

Cuddled up tight in her new world.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

She purrs peacefully in the arms of her favorite eight-year-old.

© 2014 Angelia's Photography

And she is most definitely loved.

Maybe too much…