So: for the throwback portion of this posting, we'll pick up with decorating for Christmas last year which came directly on the heels of our Thanksgiving festivities. I mean, that is SO much work that I try to maximize the time window it all sits out. I know y'all feel me, right?
Plus...my Dad and Kathy had come in to town so it was PERFECT timing because we had an extra set of hands. Hallelujah and Amen.
What's decking the halls without a little impromptu dance party thanks to Pandora's holiday selection??
Gigi getting some Micah snuggles.
Grandaddy brought this road grader for Greyson and therefore it had a front row seat to all the decorating festivities.
Micah was ABOUT the Christmas tree lights. I can't blame him.
In her Cinderella gown about to hang up her Cinderella ornament. Perfectly princess!
Listen, trying to get a picture of these kids is nuts. I mean, I never really know what I'm going to get. I used to re-shoot and re-shoot and sweat and yell and yadda, yadda, yadda. Now I take 3-4 and hope for a decent one. Sometimes I get one and sometimes...well:
These next few pictures are of Kennedy. I was using her to test/check lighting the next morning after our decorating hoopla so I could get pictures of the kids with the tree...not in their PJ's. They are all sorts of shades, but they are so sweet of my big beautiful girl and I want to remember her just like this:
Be still my heart. Those freckles and blue eyes!
Reference aforementioned woes about photographing children. Sigh! I mean, you get shots like this one. Oh Grey.....Then you ask them (read: plea) to please look at Mommy and smile pretty and to Avery that somehow translated arch your eyebrows like the joker and puff out your nostrils as if you're a bull about to charge???!?!?!? I mean, I dunno. It's just comical.
Here's the thing though - I'm determined...I can persevere through all sorts of expressions and a general lack of enthusiasm and that type of desire to press on can earn you a pained expression by one and a pucker on one that looks as though he just ate lemon. Oh my heavens. No one will be able to accuse me of not at least TRYING to document things for memory sake.
Since we were right on top of the little man's 1 month mark - I did a little solo shoot with him.
For all those people who say babies can't smile at 1 month. Um, clearly they abso-freaking-lutely can thank you very much. Exibit A, B, C, and D.
While the babes napped, Daddy and the big girl headed out of doors to deck our outdoor tree.
And now for the current/as of late portion of this forever long post: last week while Kennedy was on Fall Break - we went to Atlanta for a few days. My Aunt lives in Atlanta and my Grandad is in a home there and I hadn't seen him since I was pregnant with Kennedy. Shameful, I know - but he was in TN and that's not close folks. Anyhow, it was WAY past time to make a visit and her break in school gave us the perfect opportunity to make a long overdue visit. As a bonus, I got to meet my cousin and have a play date at a park with she and her three kids and her youngest was only a little over a week old so met a new family member.
Our kids did what kids do - they made friends and quick.
The new babe and her Grandmother.
Sisters, Aunts, Grandmothers and Friends...here they are with their latest grand babies. My Aunt K with new baby G and my Mom with Micah. It's a beautiful thing:
Baby G and her Great Aunt.
Oh these two. No matter the friends or cousins around - they are inseparable.
She and I were so close as little girls but the years and the miles and the growing families have separated. It was so good to be together - to meet each other's "people" and watch them have fun just like we used to. Look at all these blessings: 7 of them between us - wow.
I remember my Aunt Kay being super fun when we were little and she hasn't changed. She made these fun little Halloween spider brownies with my girls and they loved it.
After the play date at the park and the fun little food crafting interlude plus naps, we headed out to see Grandaddy. Grandaddy is 86 and he has alzheimer's. He is being cared for in a group home in Atlanta about 10 minutes from my Aunts house. My Aunt had told me he wasn't talking much and sometimes responded to them but sometimes didn't so I wasn't entirely certain what to expect. All in all, physically I felt like he looked really good but for sure he didn't seem to recognize any of us and he didn't talk aside from saying what sounded like "where do you live"?
What he did do though was respond in a BIG WAY to this little girl:
Of course, she was really the only one of my littles that responded to him. She hugged him, talked to him, looked AT him and wasn't afraid to be close to him. My others were apprehensive and I totally understand that but I was praising the Lord for Avery's sweet sensitive spirit on this day because Grandaddy lit up when he saw her, he reached out to hug her and even tried to kiss her which in my book counts for super RESPONSIVENESS and it was a really blessing to all of us who got to see it.
He has a lot of what I can only articulate as "ticks". He rocks, he scratches his head and wrings his hands, he clicks his teeth and low groans/sings..it's a lot for a child to take in but overall I felt like they did well while we were there. He seems to be getting excellent care which gives my Mom and her sister peace and we're all thankful for that.
Kennedy was named after him (Kenneth) and I'm happy we got their picture together.
At this point, after we sang to him and talked to him and my kids had touched every surface in his humble little abode we attempted a picture before leaving. He was so tired and we couldn't get him to look up and or keep his eyes open but we documented the privilege of being with him and that's all that matters to me.
It's so sad when the mind fails but the body doesn't. I wish I understood why but it's one of those things I don't and I don't think I ever will. I do understand and know this - I look forward to and rejoice in knowing that he will be reunited with the love of his life when the Lord sees fit and I'll cry tears of joy for he and my Grandmomma when that day comes.